Nota Bene #52

nboctoberLink of the Week (as opposed to the Weakest Link)

Warren Strobel, McCatchy’s Nukes & Spooks, blogging from Tehran:

. . . rumors are running rife in Tehran’s huge central bazaar that the United States is on the verge of establishing some sort of diplomatic office in Iran for the first time since shortly after Iran’s 1979 revolution. That would probably cause a mass stampede, since half of Tehran seems to have a relative in the United States, and even many that don’t would love to have a U.S. visa.

Bob Herbert, the New York Times, A Race to the Bottom:

It is becoming an article of faith in the discussions over an auto industry rescue, that unionized autoworkers should be taken off of their high horses and shoved into a deal in which they would not make significantly more in wages and benefits than comparable workers at Japanese carmakers like Toyota. … The economic downturn, however severe, should not be used as an excuse to send American workers on a race to the bottom, where previously middle-class occupations take a sweatshop’s approach to pay and benefits.

Glenn Greenwald, Salon, George Washington’s warnings and U.S. policy towards Israel:

The degree of mandated orthodoxy on the Israel question among America’s political elites is so great that if one took the statements on Gaza from George Bush, Pelosi, Hoyer [et al] and redacted their names, it would be impossible to know which statements came from whom. … total, lockstep uniformity almost more unyielding than what one finds among Israeli leaders themselves.

Chris Floyd, Voiceless in Gaza:

The hard, enclosed, impenetrable shell of American “bipartisanship” has achieved a steely perfection on the issue of Palestine; it is itself a missile — a weapon of mass destruction — falling on the people of Gaza.

Norman Solomon, AntiWar.com:

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” Gandhi said. What about a hundred eyes for an eye? … Routinely, the politicians and pundits of Washington can’t summon minimal decency in themselves or each other on the subject of Israel and Palestinians.

Justin Raimondo, AntiWar.com, The Politics of the Gaza Massacre:

The Israeli rampage is not in our interests [and] is sending shockwaves through the region that could upset several apple-carts of U.S. construction. … Quite naturally, the Israelis care not a fig for any of this. That’s what’s so “special” about the much-vaunted “special relationship” between Israel and the U.S., in which Uncle Sam plays the part of the henpecked husband who always gives in to the demands of his battle-ax of a wife, no matter how extravagant or unreasonable.

Jeff Ring, AntiWar.com, Gaza Voices, American Silence:

It’s hard to imagine what being in Gaza does to someone’s will until you’ve come here. You no longer feel alive, in fact, you’re not living; you’re just killing time until some sort of change happens.

Jeff Zeleny, the New York Times, Obama’s Zen State, Well, It’s Hawaiian:

“When Obama gets on television, the national pulse goes down about 10 points,” said Representative Neil Abercrombie, Democrat of Hawaii, who was close friends with Mr. Obama’s parents. “He has this incredibly calming effect. There’s no question in my mind it comes from Hawaii.”

Vijainder Thakur, Indian defense blogger:

The press is more a perpetrator of censorship in India than a victim.


Jere Longman, the New York Times, As Others Didn’t Quit on Him, Giants’ Jacobs Persevered and Excelled:

After [the 6’4″, 260-lb.] Jacobs jawed with a Steelers player this season, [his aunt, Dianne Cheavious, who raised him] and her sister, Brandon’s mother, traveled to Giants Stadium the next week. Shortly after he picked them up at the airport, Cheavious said she swatted Jacobs’s head and told him, “Don’t you ever let me see that again.”

Arash Markazi, SportsIllustrated.com, on Mark Texeira‘s eight-year, $180 million signing:

Say you’re a Yankees fan who had season tickets to the old Yankee Stadium but got priced out of the new Yankee Stadium and lost your job recently — how fired up can you be to cheer for a billion-dollar team playing in a billion-dollar stadium for a billionaire owner? It’s like a homeless guy cheering for Donald Trump to win the lottery.

Ross Tucker, SportsIllustrated.com, Playoff payoff? Some players don’t believe the postseason is worth it:

These players are almost always motivated solely by money, and they look at playoff income as a pay cut rather than a bonus. … Sounds ridiculous to most people, I’m sure, but the truth is the playoffs are simply not as important to some players as they are to the fans of that team. Those players aren’t fans of that team. They probably didn’t grow up in that city. They may or may not be in the last year of their contract. For them, this is just a high-paying and extremely physical mode of employment.

3 replies »

  1. A little discussed fact is that Japanese autoworkers in Japan are pretty much on par with UAW workers in America. (excepting that after the first two years of retirement the Japanese national health care program picks up the tab for medical coverage) So the super-cost efficient transplant factories we hear so much about are basically the Japanese outsourcing to America. And Daimler’s original plan in purchasing Chrysler was to do much the same thing: keep design and engineering in Germany and move production to the US with its lower labor costs.

    I miss Floyd’s old Moscow Times writing. It was much punchier than the daily fair at Empire Burlesque.

  2. Lex, Chris Floyd still does good work, especially on Somalia. But he could afford to turn down the volume.