Confidential Business Proposal

by Kieran Healy on April 9, 2005

Dear Sir,

I know this letter will come as a “surprise to you”:, but suffice to say I got your email from a contact at the Department of the Treasury, who assured me that you are capable and reliable to assist me in this transaction. Before I go into details, I will first introduce myself to you. I am Mr. Joseph Abudulkarim Adisa, associate to “TOM NOE”:, who is a prominent figure in the governing party of “OHIO”: and Chairman of the U.S. Mint’s Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Our “rare coin company”: was entrusted with 50 (FIFTY) million dollars of public money since 1998, which we have used to buy various quantities of nickels, half-dollars, and gold dollars to sell to collectors or “lose in the mail”: Photographs of these holdings are available on request, to allay any questions you may have about our completely legitimate business enterprise. You will no doubt have heard of the recent “political instability”: in the region, which has prompted an unjust and unfair “investigation”: by seditious elements intent on seizing their our assets, and they must be moved out of the state as soon as possible. I have therefore been directed to inquire if you would agree to act as our overseas agent in order to actualize this transaction.

A couple of interesting quotes

by John Q on April 9, 2005

“The Strange Death of Liberal England” (George Dangerfield). A classic I’ve meant to read for years, but only just got to has a strikingly apposite quote in relation to the Tory party’s incitement to army mutiny in relation to any order to enforce Irish Home Rule on the Ulster Unionists. Dangerfield has this great line,

The Tory philosophy, up to the beginning of the war, might be summed up in this way: Be Conservative about good things, and Radical about bad things. This philosophy, so far as can be seen, has only one flaw: it was always the Tories who decided what was good and what was bad.

So while donning the mantle of conservatism in defence of the House of Lords, the Tories were prepared to tear up the constitution to defeat Home Rule. The same line seems applicable to the Bush Administration today.

“In Defense of Globalization” (Jagdish Bhagwati). Bhagwati is a smart guy, but he hasn’t yet learned that, on the internets nothing is as it seems. On the lookout for a good anecdote about globalization he finds one that seems too good to be true:

In fact, while the rich-country claim to be providing “countervailing power” against the far richer corporations in their midst, it is ironic that some of the the truly small NGOs in the rich countries themselves have voiced their fears over “unequal” competition from the far bigger and richer NGOs. A hilarious example is provided by a report in mid-2001 of “calls today for multinational pro-anarchy pressure groups to be investigated for monopolistic practices after the NW3 branch of the Radical Left Movement for Socialist Revolution Socialist Revolution was disbanded due to lack of interest.” The report goes on to say that the group’s spokesperson, Nigel Wilkinson, “believes that global anarchy movements such as the ones responsible for the G7 riots in Seattle are to blame for forcing out smaller, independent operations like his…. These large American anti-capitalist movements have effectively taken over the militant scene in this country.” As if this were not amusing enough, the report goes on to say: …”Wilkinson has seen his group’s membership dwindle by almost 70 percent over the last two years, from a peak of three members to one himself .”

Turning to the reference we find the source is Urban Reflex, which is currently running the headline Audience Stunned As Pop Star Appears On Stage Fully Clothed.