December 08, 2006

Deep pockets and long arms

God, I'm sick of politics. The only things that make sense are chess and sport. If anyone out there cares, here's a long interview with Jose Mourinho, the super-competent, super-confident manager of Chelsea Football Club. which is owned by the super-rich, super-shrewd Roman Abramovich. If you skim over the inside-soccer material (tho fascinating to me), there are insights of self knowledge and team management with zero therapy-speak. Mourinho is affectionately mocked as "The Special One". He'd been an average player who managed an unfashionable club, Porto, to victory in the Champions' League - aka the European Cup, the most prestigious title in club football - and is on track to make Chelski the top club in the world. Abramovich bought the fashionable but underperforming London club in 2003 and hired Mourinho in 2004. Chelsea then won their first English league title in 50 years, then did it again the next year. Abramovich has spent about a billion dollars on the club. It is hard to dream up a more fabulous life than his, a Jewish orphan who is now the richest Russian. He's 40.

The Utility of Useless

Do you remember the judgement of Anna Diggs Taylor against the NSA surveillance program with arguments so thin and embarrassing that it made the Administration's case for it? The Baker report does that for the Victory Strategy in Iraq, Iran and Syria. It holds up the unreality of ancien regime 'realism' for the world to mock.

God may not play dice, but he has a sense of humour to have timed this report to coincide with the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.