Tuesday 14th of July 2020

machoman does not do laundry...

machoman

It’s wonderful when the house is tidied, the children dressed, a meal prepared, the clothes ironed. Well, not in my house. Do pop by when it’s safe to. I haven’t done any laundry since 1997. What actually is a vacuum cleaner? I may have made an omelette. Sorry, bit hazy on that one. Washing up? Not my thing. Cleaning the loo? Er … no. As for children, I was terribly good with mine. Sometimes, I fed them at night and changed nappies. Possibly. I had quite a few. What matters is that I was “both present and involved in a detailed way”. Although details of anything, least of all nappy-changing, are not my forte. Anyway, watch me pump up and down doing press-ups on a carpet that – hopefully – someone has vacuumed. This will reassure you that all is well in the world.


So, this is not actually me, slattern that I am, but some of the stuff that Tony Blair and Boris Johnson have said in interviews over the weekend. The subtext: important men don’t do housework. Blair admitted he had done no housework, been to the supermarket or even washed his own clothes since 1997. As Dominic Cummings ignores the freshly pressed suits hanging in his townhouse wardrobe to rummage in the laundry basket for the most “screw you” trackies he can find, the message is clear: “I didn’t get where I am today by being bogged down in domestic duties.” Childcare is something that other people do. (Possibly up north?) Anyway, it’s unfair to expect people to have full-on jobs and get their hands dirty. Especially when we have to wash them all the time.

 

Read more of Suzanne Moore:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/29/tony-blair-wont-do-housework-but-boris-johnson-will-do-press-ups-spare-me-these-macho-politicians

cleaning the mess of war...

the warriors don�t nappies change...

the warriors don't nappies change...

 

...

The purpose of McMaster’s essay is to discredit “retrenchers”—that’s his term for anyone advocating restraint as an alternative to the madcap militarism that has characterized U.S. policy in recent decades. Substituting retrenchment for restraint is a bit like referring to conservatives as fascists or liberals as pinks: It reveals a preference for labeling rather than serious engagement. In short, it’s a not very subtle smear, as indeed is the phrase madcap militarism. But, hey, I’m only playing by his rules. 

Yet if not madcap militarism, what term or phrase accurately describes post-9/11 U.S. policy? McMaster never says. It’s among the many matters that he passes over in silence. As a result, his essay amounts to little more than a dodge, carefully designed to ignore the void between what assertive “American global leadership” was supposed to accomplish back when we fancied ourselves the sole superpower and what actually ensued.

Here’s what McMaster dislikes about restraint: It is based on “emotions” and a “romantic view” of the world rather than reason and analysis. It is synonymous with “disengagement”—McMaster uses the terms interchangeably. “Retrenchers ignore the fact that the risks and costs of inaction are sometimes higher than those of engagement,” which, of course, is not a fact, but an assertion dear to the hearts of interventionists. Retrenchers assume that the “vast oceans” separating the United States “from the rest of the world” will suffice to “keep Americans safe.” They also believe that “an overly powerful United States is the principal cause of the world’s problems.” Perhaps worst of all, “retrenchers are out of step with history and way behind the times.”

Forgive me for saying so, but there is a Trumpian quality to this line of argument: broad claims supported by virtually no substantiating evidence. Just as President Trump is adamant in refusing to fess up to mistakes in responding to Covid-19—“We’ve made every decision correctly”—so too McMaster avoids reckoning with what actually happened when the never-retrench crowd was calling the shots in Washington and set out after 9/11 to transform the Greater Middle East.

 

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/madcap-militarism-h-r-m...

 

See also:

 

how trump is protecting the middle-east...

we're 2 percent less evil...

 

From Chris Flyod

 

Keir Starmer to sign up for unconscious bias training amid criticism (Guardian)

I find it difficult to believe that a man as capable and intelligent as Keir Starmer did not know exactly what he was saying and why in his now infamous statement. He was consciously trying to have a "Sister Souljah" moment. But this is no longer 1992, so his deliberately Clintonian gesture produced far more pushback than he anticipated. Thus he resorts to "bias training" of the sort we've seen in, say, US police forces for decades, with absolutely no effect. These courses are performative gestures without substance. 

What's odd is that Starmer doesn't seem to realize that this will not mollify people who object to the clear intent of his original statement, nor will it win him any credit with the "center-right" for whom he is striving to "detoxify" Labour and make it worthy once more of the endorsement of Rupert Murdoch, as it was in the glory days of 1997. Like Joe Biden, Starmer, despite his relative youth, seems a figure from a bygone age, unaware of how the political landscape is shifting under his feet, as the world hurtles through a series of unprecedented disruptions: the pandemic, the ever more catastrophic consequences of accelerating climate change, the pent-up rage of generations denied opportunity by austerity and neoliberalism, and people brought to the boiling point by the ever-more brazen injustices of our power systems and their brutal enforcers.
 
However, like Biden, Starmer also benefits from being the officially sanctioned opposition to an especially monstrous government – i.e., from the "we're 2 percent less evil" principle that has guided "centrist" politics in the US and UK for decades now. Which means he doesn't actually have to try so hard to ingratiate himself with a center-right, Murdoch-approved power structure that grows more illegitimate every day. Like Biden, he just needs to more or less stand still in order to look better than the murderous fools in power. There was absolutely no need for him to deliberately and clearly, more than once, denigrate BLM as a "moment," not a movement; nor any need to say that the call to re-cast the care and security of our communities away from the current combative policing model is "nonsense." He chose to make these statements, not from "unconscious bias" (a blame-shifting ploy worthy of BoJo: "Offensive? No, it wasn't me, it was my unconscious bias!") but from a very conscious, very deliberate application of supposed realpolitik in the 1990s style. 

Every sensible person wants to see Johnson gone. But it is entirely legitimate, even necessary to ask if 1990s Clinton-Blair 'centrism,' which used symbolic dissing of minority concerns – and also ended up killing 500,000 children with sanctions then waging a war of aggression – is the best way to do this. After all, what world did this kind of "savvy," realpolitik centrism give us? A world of murderous clowns like Bojo and Trump in power, a world where socioeconomic inequities & state corruption are at unprecedented levels. Why do we want to tread this ground again?

 

Read more:

http://www.chris-floyd.com/mobile/articles/starmer-s-sister-souljah-ploy...

 

Read from top.

 

We did not have sex with THAT woman...

monday lisa