"It is easy to confuse what is with what ought to be, especially when what is has worked out in your favor."
- Tyrion Lannister

"Lannister. Baratheon. Stark. Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that's ones on top and on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground. I'm not going to stop the wheel. I'm going to break the wheel."

- Daenerys Targaryen

"The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where's the God of Tits and Wine?"

- Tyrion Lannister

"The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends. It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are."

- Jorah Mormont

"These bad people are what I'm good at. Out talking them. Out thinking them."

- Tyrion Lannister

"What happened? I think fundamentals were trumped by mechanics and, to a lesser extent, by demographics."

- Michael Barone

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."
- Dorothy Parker

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gully Wells on Hitchens and Amis
Fucking shameful. DeLong posts Dennis Perrin on Hitchens.


"Milosevic wasn't a mere regional thug with blood on his hands--he was a genocidal monster who, if left alone, would wipe out every Muslim and Kosovar he could catch."

Just like Saddam was a "mere" regional thug. Some on the left are very forgiving of the Empire's designated "thugs."


"The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide,refers to the July 1995 killing, during the Bosnian War, of more than 8,000[7] Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims), mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of General Ratko Mladić. The mass murder was described by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War. A paramilitary unit from Serbia known as the Scorpions, officially part of the Serbian Interior Ministry until 1991, participated in the massacreand it is alleged that foreign volunteers including the Greek Volunteer Guard also participated.

In April 1993, the United Nations declared the besieged enclave of Srebrenica in the Drina Valley of north-eastern Bosnia a "safe area" under UN protection. However, in July 1995, the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), represented on the ground by a 400-strong contingent of Dutch peacekeepers, Dutchbat, did not prevent the town's capture by the VRS and the subsequent massacre.

In 2004, in a unanimous ruling on the "Prosecutor v. Krstić" case, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), located in The Hague, ruled that the massacre of the enclave's male inhabitants constituted a crime of genocide. The forcible transfer of between 25,000 to 30,000 Bosniak women, children and elderly which accompanied the massacre was found to be confirming evidence of the genocidal intent of members of the VRS Main Staff who orchestrated the massacre."

Hitchens had been to Bosnia, unlike Perrin. He had also been to Kurdistan.

"The Anfal campaign began in 1986 and lasted until 1989, and was headed by Ali Hassan al-Majid (a cousin of then Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from Saddam's hometown of Tikrit). The Anfal campaign included the use of ground offensives, aerial bombing, systematic destruction of settlements, mass deportation, firing squads, and chemical warfare, which earned al-Majid the nickname of "Chemical Ali".

Thousands of civilians were killed during the anti-insurgent campaigns stretching from the spring of 1987 through the fall of 1988. The attacks were part of a long-standing campaign that destroyed approximately 4,500 Kurdish village in areas of northern Iraq and displaced at least a million of the country's estimated 3.5 million Kurdish population. Independent sources estimate 1,100,000 to more than 2,150,000 deaths and as many as 860,000 widows and an even greater number of orphans.[5] Amnesty International collected the names of more than 17,000 people who had "disappeared" during 1988.[6] The campaign has been characterized as genocidal in nature. It is also characterized as gendercidal, because "battle-age" men were the primary targets, according to Human Rights Watch/Middle East.[7] According to the Iraqi prosecutors, as many as 182,000 people were killed.[8]"
Christopher Hitchens, Consumate Writer, Brilliant Friend by Ian McEwan

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hitchens on the Daily Show
Victor Navasky on Hitchens

Andrew Sullivan on Hitchens

Timothy Garton Ash

David Corn

Fred Kaplan
Good Vanity Fair video montage on Hitchens. 

It was so funny to see him on CSPAN early on.
Graydon Carter remembers Hitchens
People Hitchens spoke highly of: Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Jessica Mitford, Ian McEwan, Susan Sontag, Nadine Gordimer, Hunter Thompson among others he know. From history, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, George Eliot among many others.
Slate's Jacob Weisberg on Hitchens
I ran a Hitchens fansite and met him a few times and corresponded with him a few times more. He was very generous, kind, funny and cheeky.

Most memorable was having a drink with him at Café Loup in Greenwich Village and attending a party at his DC apartment with a Pakistani politician, Grover Norquist, and a hot female conservative commentator among others.
Benjamins Schwartz at the Atlantic
We shared a great admiration for his friend Gene Genovese--a fervent Catholic, a man who at different times in his life was dedicated to a vision of the left and of the right that Christopher equally opposed. And we shared a fondness for one of Genovese's rather martial and uncongenial passages:
In irreconcilable confrontations, as comrade Stalin...clearly understood, it is precisely the most admirable, manly, principled, and, by their own lights, moral opponents who have to be killed; the others can be frightened or bought.
Just as Orwell, when an adult, was drawn to his old Etonian classmate, the high Tory Anthony Powell, not because of Powell's literary promise, but because of his military bearing and position, so Hitchens most cherished what he called (quoting his father) "sand"--grit. Christopher was haunted by his father--whom he called "the commander," and in a piece I asked him to write on Churchill, he wrote a throwaway line that I've always found hugely illuminating:  
My father, a Royal Navy commander, was on board H.M.S. Jamaica when it helped to deal the coup de grâce to the Nazi warship Scharnhorst on December 26, 1943--a more solid day's work than any I have ever done.

What Christopher Hitchens Held Sacred by Jennie Rothenberg Gritz at the Atlantic

Ta-Nehisi Coates links this video:

Hitchens's final interview (with Richard Dawkins)
Stephen Fry on twitter:
Goodbye, Christopher Hitchens. You were envied, feared, adored, reviled and loved. Never ignored. Never bested. A great and marvellous man
BBC obituary of Hitchens

Ian McEwan and Labour MP Denis McShane.

Denis McShane on Hitchens

Daniel Davies retweets McShane:
Correction. Told Dr Who big export success. Good. Just no-one has ever mentioned Dr W to me abroad in contrast to Monthy P or Yes Min
Guardian obituary of Hitchens
D.D. Guttenplan at the Nation
Wow I learned so much from Hitchens I don't know what to say. What's really felt is the infighting with the left, but also his love of the literary and ironic. He'd repeat Voltaire's "écrasez l'infâme."

From Wikipedia:
Voltaire's works, especially his private letters, frequently contain the word "l'infâme" and the expression "écrasez l'infâme," or "crush the infamous". The phrase refers to abuses to the people by royalty and the clergy that Voltaire saw around him, and the superstition and intolerance that the clergy bred within the people.[20] He had felt these effects in his own exiles, the burnings of his books and those of many others, and in the hideous sufferings of Calas and La Barre. He stated in one of his most famous quotes that "Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them".
I remember the Bosnian war being a big break from the left. And then of course Iraq.
Jonathan Karp published "God Is Not Great" and "Hitch-22".
James Fenton on Hitchens
Molti nemici, molto onore was the old Fascist slogan—many enemies, much honor. Christopher upset some people for bad reasons—others for good. I remember that Michael Foot, the Labour Party leader and veteran representative of what would come to be dismissed as the Old Left, Old Labour, quivering with fury when Christopher’s name came up in an otherwise friendly, private conversation.

It is very likely that the occasion for this fury would have been Christopher’s disgust at Foot for his loyal support for Mrs. Gandhi during her “Emergency.” Christopher hated—he was a great hater—the sentimentality of the left. He hated it while he was a part of it, long before he cut himself adrift from it.
Hitchens is dead at 62

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Audio of "What Have We Learned about Macroeconomics from the Crisis?" with Olivier Blanchard, Mark Zandi, and Richard Clarida of PIMCO

(via DeLong)

Monday, December 12, 2011