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    • The Left Wing “Shit Sandwich” Dilemma
      Kamala Harris and Joe Biden each have terrible records. There is no reason to believe they will do much that is good, and every reason to believe they will do much that is bad. Trump will, at least for Americans, probably be even worse. (It is less clear he will be better for foreigners.) The […]
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A Song About My Peeps

Today’s lunatic fringe is tomorrow’s mainstream.

This is an open thread.

124 Responses

  1. Late night musing.

    Say a civil servant is going to retire in a couple of years on her pension. She expects her pension to be 5 dollars a year, and she currently also pays 5 dollars a year in taxes. The taxes she pays is a dollar for social security, a dollar for medicare and medicaid, a dollar for war and security, a dollar for the stimulus and social services, and finally a dollar for the bailout and interest on the national debt.

    Now say because of the banking collapse and resulting crisis at pension funds and other creditors, the 5 dollars our civil servant is counting on for her pension drops to 3 dollars. If the banks and their creditor funds are bailed out from her taxes, her pension may go back up to 4 dollars. If the banks are taken into bankruptcy and defaults to its creditors, her pension remains at 3 dollars with a good chance of dropping further. That is unless the government looks deeper into her 5 dollar taxes beyond that one dollar for bailout and interest.

    Her situation would improve if the economy turns around of course. Would the economy recover faster if the banks and their balance sheets are taken into bankruptcy. Michael Hudson says heck yeah, wipe the slate clean and start over like they did in Babylon. A bit glib for my taste. Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is sure in this scenario. The near to medium term pain would be deep and severe. A Grapes of Wrath depression would skewer Barry, no doubt, if that’s any consolation or goal.

    • Three Wickets,

      Skewering President Obama (if that is who you mean by Barry) is certainly not our goal. It is the responsibility of every American citizen to hold their public officials’ feet to the fire, and the President is the most powerful of those public officials. If someone else were President right now we would be doing the same thing. We can’t help it if our fellow citizens chose to elect another unprepared, incompetent President right on the heels of George W. Bush, another unprepared incompetent.

    • Frankly, the piper is going to have to be paid someday. Personally, I would rather it be now than leave it for my children and grandchildren to pay.

      Barry is only looking out for himself.

  2. Would you want to consider including this song for a future thread?

    • I’ll make you a deal – if find me an embeddable full length version of this song (clean or dirty) I will:

      • I’ll see what I can do. I just happened on the other one, and knowing your affection for country music thought you might enjoy.

  3. What Obama could learn from Germany

    interesting commentary

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,605695,00.html

  4. Nice to hear about your mom, Fredster 🙂

    • Thanks Laurie. One of the good things about physical therapists is they won’t let her **not** work. They’ll know exactly what she’s capable of doing and will make her do it. Not like me, the softie. 😉

      • How old is she?

        • 83.

          When she was at the hospital, one of the nurses told me she took 20 or so steps, just holding on to the nurse’s arm. She wouldn’t do anything nearly like that with me.

  5. OMG! it’s after 4:00! Gotta head to bed y’all.

    Later

  6. I will say this as a non Jew non Arab barely Christian, and I speak for no one but me. The Star of David is an intensely visceral, personal, historical identification. Imo, it is more visceral than the Cross is for most devout Christians today, than the Flag is for most patriotic Americans. The closest comparison that comes to mind is what Mohammed means for Muslims, perhaps what a gay identity means for gays, what the legacy of slavery means for African Americans, what the Dalai Lama may mean for Tibetans. These symbols of identity are that much more visceral because they are born of deep suffering, possible extinctions, and many lives lost.

    It may be easy for those of us who exist outside these cultures or belief systems to say get over yourselves. We’ve suffered too. We now live in a secular and modern world. Just show up at the Olympics with your athletes like everyone else. But that is too easy. Thinking one can apply cold rationality and logic from a distance to judge what is right and fair is to not understand the situation from the outset. There is no understanding until one cares to experience and empathize with the emotions first hand, on site, over time, from all sides. No one has the right to say the historical emotions are not relevant. Tossing out opinions based on second hand study and knowledge ends up just being insulting more often than not. Better to shut up and keep studying. Instead of taking Catholic or the Irish out of Northern Ireland Nationalists, taking Mohammed or the Arab out of Palestinians, taking the Star of David and Judaism out of Israelis, one can begin by respecting their profoundly iconic significance.

    So yes, for me, using Mohammed or the Star of David with the Naz! goosestep in cartoons is at best unnecessarily provocative and insensitive. They are hurtful, insulting, and blissfully ignorant. At worst, they are designed to incite violence. When journalists are murdered for it, that is more horrific, but that’s how the cycle of violence and hatred catches fire. Is that what we should hope for. To what end. To satisfy someone’s sense of superior intellect. Very little of this is about intelligence. That was and is Carter’s problem. He thinks he can solve the equation on the test.

    I sense most at TC did not grow up with, live with, work with, go through life with many American Jews, Israelis, or Palestinians. So then tread lightly with the opinions. If the mind won’t open enough to listen to the actual protagonists, then keep mouth closed as well. I for one will keep trying to understand what is currently happening there everyday. The stakes are high as usual, peace must be the over riding goal, violent provocations and violent responses to provocation are tragic, will continue to trust Hillary, and will try to keep my desk opinions in check. Most importantly, I will continue to try and respect, not denigrate, Muslims and Jews alike in their struggle.

    As I’ve said, this is simply my experience with the subject over the past week or so. Notwithstanding some of my views above, I have little desire to persuade or enagage with anyone at TC on the issue. Given the pathetic early simmerings of some anti-semitism in the nation because of the economy, I would have expected an intelligent, vehemently non r@cist site like TC to push back against that weakness. But what I’ve seen is the opposite, and that’s been a disappointment. And if the response is “but what about the money,” then you are already a r@cist in training, no matter how many assurances you get to the contrary. When I think TC or PUMA “movement” now, I wonder what that means. The past many years, I have been working overseas so much, I regretfully have few Jewish friends. But if I can feel this violated and frankly apprehensive, I can imagine it might be worse for others. Well, America never fails to surprise.

    • The problem with your “tread lightly” suggestion is is silences all but a few voices. There rest of us are supposed to STFU and defer to them.

      As for you expecting us to push back against anti-semitism/racism – that is what this discussion is about.

      Is all opposition to and/or criticism of the nation of Israel anti-semitism? If not, what is and isn’t permissible?

      • As it applies to such flammable hot spots around the world, unless one plans to take up arms, it matters what vessel, tone, and manner the informed criticism and even protests are delivered.

        I don’t know what Flight of Stairs said to you, and it’s your call to moderate away an instance of one comment, but I hope you reinstate her status, in the interest of allowing for that dialogue you refer to. I have seen plenty of harsh insults on the topic from all sides. It is clear to me that moderation is a difficult and thankless role. That is not lost on me. But I imagine the task is to facilitate reasonable discussion and debate, not to shape or dictate opinion.

        • We can discuss genocide against the Native Americans, the killings in Rwanda, Darfur, Cambodia or just about anywhere else without people losing control of themselves.

          I’m tired of not being allowed to discuss the I/P issue in a calm, civilized manner.

          Perhaps the people who have such stong feelings should take a seat and let those of us who aren’t so emotionally invested have a turn?

          • If that happened maybe there could be some actual progress towards a reasonable agreement. just sayin….

        • I really do not want to get involved in this discussion, and I do agree with Arka that terrorism is not to be tolerated. (Which is why I did not like Obama inviting that ex IRA terrorist to the WH on St Patrick’s Day.)

          However, I do not think that TC’s discussion had anything to do with the pathetic early simmerings of some anti-semitism in the nation because of the economy, but more to do with the latest January invasion of the Gaza Strip.

          I have not looked up english-speaking refs to the conflict, but googled in Italian, and the results not pretty.

          “A ora sono 768 i morti palestinesi, 3129 feriti, 2199 i bambini ammazzati. Il computo delle vittime civili israeliane, fortunatamente è fermo a quota 4.”

          From “The horror of the War asTold by the Children.”
          rough translation:
          ” Up to now there have been 768 Palestinian dead, 3129 wounded, 2199 the children killed. Fortunately the number of civilian dead among the Israeli is 4.”

          http://tinyurl.com/c4xj65

          • Typically when someone posts casualty figures from the I/P conflict someone else soon shows up and disputes their accuracy and claims they are propaganda.

            Both sides do it – it’s one of the annoying things about the issue.

          • It’s a volatile subject, definitely.

            Human shields, using women and kids, that could have something to do with the numbers.

            Excusable? No.

            But like myiq and so many others have said, there’s always more sides to a story and numbers don’t give that whole story.

          • yes, I remember some time ago, when I used to listen to npr via internet, hearing, upon the occasion of Berlusconi’s visit to GW Bush, that there had been NO Italian casualties in action in Iraq. It was very strange because that very day they were holding State Funerals for 40 Italian soldiers who had been killed, and every single news outlet here was full of it. (Someone had driven a truck full of explosives into their unit’s HQ.)

            That was when I stopped believing in NPR news. I stopped believing the BBC with their Hillary coverage.

          • Laurie, with respect as always, by simmerings I was referring to the nation, but when there have been so many discussions on banking here, and there have been comments using terms like the threat of [unacceptable term removed] in the context of our financial system, and there are no objections, I read passive concurrence. Call me paranoid. I can find other examples, but I don’t think it would be productive or positive at this point.

            Yes, the casualty and death tolls are always horrific. But death tolls on their own do not confer innocence politically or militarily. There is the Israeli military, there is Hamas leadership and yes terrorism, they share responsibility. If civilian casualty scorecards correlated to moral liability, then the US actions in Iraq should put our generals on trial at the Hague.

            (my tone is gentle here, not combative)

          • (still not combative)

            Why does that deserve moderation. Not the right opinion?

          • Three Wickets suggested that this appeared in one of our posts: “using terms like the threat of [unacceptable term removed] in the context of our financial system”

            __________________________________

            Three Wickets, that doesn’t sound like any of our writers. Are you perhaps referring to a comment by someone else? We can’t control everything that commenters say. We do our best to prevent personal attacks and rudeness. But we frown on conspiracy theories here.

            As for “simmerings of antisemitism” in the banking crisis, I haven’t seen any of that myself. I’m sure it is out there. It probably wouldn’t be out front in the Boston area though. I think you said you live in the UK, so maybe you heard it there? I haven’t seen anything in the media about it.

            The I/P issue has only rarely been discussed at TC. It wasn’t really on our radar, because we have only existed for a little over a year. Our entire focus until recently was on the presidential election. On other blogs I have participated in, the issue is very volatle, and I have always stayed out of it. On some blogs the topic is even banned because of the abusive language and personal attacks that happen with it is discussed.

            None of the writers here have said they agreed with the imagery in the cartoon that RD posted. I think she posted it as a question. Can any non-Jew criticize the government of Israel without being called an anti-semite or a horribly insensitive, awful person? At this point, from reading the responses of pro-Israel commenters, I would have to say no. One must not criticize the government of Israel or anything else about Israel unless willing to risk being called terrible names. Personally, I haven’t even criticized the government of Israel and I have been subjected to vitupertive attacks anyway.

            As an older American who actually took Civics in high school, I still believe in freedom of speech and expression. I have serious problems with anyone who wants to deny other Americans their freedom of speech and their ability to ask questions about a topic and learn more about it. But that is what happens in this kind of atmosphere.

          • I suggested to RD to post the Oliphant cartoon with just a ? because I wanted a discussion and thought that a cartoon from an American cartoonist with such strong and controversial imagery would serve that end.

            l was hoping we could focus on discussing the ways we could separate the policies of Israel from Jewishness. Perhaps this is not possible. Israel exists. To me,there is no going back from this. The question to me is how can we reconcile this with the human rights of ordinary Palestinians? Terrorism against Israel is unacceptable. Anti-Semitism is unacceptable. How can you make this clear while sayings many Israeli policies are not working,appear to be making things worse and seem to deny basic humanity to Palestinians. Sometimes it does appear to me that Israeli government’s anger and frustration crosses some line where it appears they are intent on wiping all of traces of Palestine from the face of the earth. Surely, given the tragic history of the Jews they can see this? I know it is the intent of Hamas to take actions to force Israel to do actions to put Israel in the worse possible light but perhaps trying something different than overwhelming force is called for.I’d just like to have a civil discussion of other approaches without escalating emotionality and defensiveness.I’m interested in understanding but the level of discourse on the subject works against this.

          • Thank you, Dakinikat. You speak for me too. I would like to understand the situation better, but every time I ask a question, simply trying to get information or clarification, I end up feeling as if I did something terribly wrong.

    • Much like your point of intelligence being not the point – which I agree with – people have an opinion about everything, and we can’t help voicing it. Whether it’s informed, considered, empathetic, or not, doesn’t really enter into it.

      I’m with you on how that cartoon was offensive, but it’s like with everything – one person’s taste isn’t another’s.

      I was born and lived in a terrorised place, and the ones doing the terrorising and killing was apparently doing it for our good. I do bristle when people who have no clue about living in such a state, take the side of the terrorists. But again, I realise that , eg, you don’t have to be black to sympathise with racial discrimination.

      I do get that, but I still can’t help the ruffling of some of my feathers. Emotion over intelligence, as you noted.

      Like how some get annoyed at a Brit criticising their Prez, even though they’re critcising the Prez too. Like how I get annoyed at Gordon being bashed, despite the fact I quite loathe the man.

      And good morning, 3W! It’s nice to find someone awake here at the same time as me.

      • The issue here isn’t anyone “taking the side of the terrorists” it’s being able to discuss the issue and get information without people making accusations and insults.

        • The “taking sides” was from my experience, nothing to do with here.

          I’m thinking this has to do with past posts which I haven’t read yet. I was just replying to 3W’s comment above.

      • Good early afternoon arkachips. You don’t have to answer, but I’m guessing you were born on an island, and not the British Isles. None of my business really.

        Don’t think anyone at TC would have an issue with your taking issue with Barry. And as you’ve said before, the two nations’ fates are inextricably linked.

        • Bzzzz! Sorry, wrong.

          An island would have been fantastic compared to surrounded on all sides! *g*

          And before any islanders take offense, that I’m saying it was worse than theirs etc – no, no I’m not! Just a grass is greener thing.

          .. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells.

          • You shouldn’t feel that way. You’ve never said anything unreasonable here.

            Some people live to be offended, so worrying about their feelings is a waste of time.

        • Speaking only for myself, I object to calling the President “Barry.” You can do it, but I find it a bit rude and consescending.”

    • Three, I felt that using any religious symbol, regardless of how anyone feels about religion in general – IS OFFENSIVE.

      Oliphant clearly knew what he was doing when he depicted the Star of David the way he did – and I abhor it. He could’ve easily criticized Israel without using the Star.

      IMHO.

  7. The first post on the I/P issue here at TC was during the Gaza crisis a few months ago. I basically sat on the sidelines because I don’t know that much about what was going on. I hoped to watch and learn.

    But I was bothered by the discussion because it quickly turned into a food-fight. Even worse, some of the loudest voices were people who had rarely or never commented before.

    Certain people seem determined to prevent a full and free discussion of the issue. That simply isn’t acceptable.

    • Like arkachips, I was born in another country recovering from violent occupation and war. My parents were beaten, imprisoned, indoctrinated, and probably worse, they won’t speak of the time. I’ve been a naturalized US citizen for most of my life, since we moved here when I was young. I am in many ways now far removed from my place of birth. But if we decided on TC to have a rational discussion among relative strangers on the shape and fate of my birthplace as it fought a modern civil war, questions of whether or not it deserved to exist and in what form, I would not be able to endure it. And if I did hang for the debate, my input would be emotional, and to expect otherwise I would find insulting and pedantic. It would feel like people were trying to play a polite game of chess on top of the very fiber of my being. It’s not necessarily the allegiance to the nation of my birth. It’s the bloodline. I am American as can be, but my bloodline traces back to another people, place and time. With the exception of Native Americans, we are all a nation of immigrants.

      • The problem is that there is always two (or more) sides to every story.

        If the people that are emotionally invested can’t agree and the rest of us can’t discuss it, what are our options?

        It would be easier if the discussion were purely academic, but the I/P crisis is ongoing.

      • It would feel like people were trying to play a polite game of chess on top of the very fiber of my being.

        Ask yourself how Palestinians must feel.

        I would like to point to the example given by Daniel Barenboim in his work promoting Israeli-Palestinian relationships.

        In the early 1990s, a chance meeting between Mr. Barenboim and the late Palestinian-born writer and Columbia University professor Edward Said in a London hotel lobby led to an intensive friendship that has had both political and musical repercussions. These two men, who should have been poles apart politically, discovered in that first meeting, which lasted for hours, that they had similar visions of Israeli/Palestinian possible future cooperation. They decided to continue their dialogue and to collaborate on musical events to further their shared vision of peaceful co-existence in the Middle East. This led to Mr. Barenboim’s first concert on the West Bank, a piano recital at the Palestinian Birzeit University in February 1999, and to a workshop for young musicians from the Middle East that took place in Weimar, Germany, in August 1999.

        The West-Eastern Divan Workshop took two years to organize and involved talented young musicians between the ages of 14 and 25 from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia and Israel. The idea was that they would come together to make music on neutral ground with the guidance of some of the world’s best musicians. Weimar was chosen as the site for the workshop because of its rich cultural tradition of writers, poets, musicians and creative artists and because it was the 1999 European cultural capital. Mr. Barenboim wisely chose two concertmasters for the orchestra, an Israeli and a Lebanese. There were some tense moments among the young players at first but, coached by members of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony and the Staatskapelle Berlin, and following master classes with the cellist Yo-Yo Ma and nightly cultural discussions with Mr. Said and Mr. Barenboim, the young musicians worked and played in increasing harmony.

        Latest news on his site is about “REBUILDING THE GAZA MUSIC SCHOOL
        March 2009

        A donation of 50,000€ was recently made in the names of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Mariam Said, and Daniel Barenboim towards the rebuilding and reopening of the Gaza Music School. The school had opened on October 5th, 2008, and destroyed during the Israeli bombardment in January 2009. For further information on the Gaza Music School, visit http://www.qattanfoundation.org/en

        This is part of his speech before the UN last December on his West Eastern Orchestra:

        I cannot imagine a better way of implementing the first and most fundamental article of the United Nations’ declaration of human rights: that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, that they are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

        Unfortunately, today in the Middle East, not all human beings are granted the same freedom and equality in dignity and rights. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is a musical organization, not a political one, but for the approximately six-week duration of its annual existence it is able to provide its members with one basic need, and that is equality. It is a realistic utopia. The same two young people who might encounter each other at a checkpoint in the roles of border guard and citizen under occupation sit next to one another in this orchestra, playing the same music, equally striving for perfection of musical expression and equally responsible for the result of their striving.

        http://www.danielbarenboim.com/journal_w-e_divan_at_un.htm

        • That’s a great story, laurie. And there’s more of that happening in Israel than we’re led to believe. 20% of Israeli citizens are Arabs, though Palestinians are not Arabs. I wrote a little about it on the other thread.
          I’m continuing to do more research and will post as I learn more.

          That was beautifully said, TW, and much appreciated.

          From experiences in my life, particularly in the past few years, I would say that it’s very difficult for people who are not part of the group, whether black, female, Jewish, or Muslim, to understand what this prejudice feels like, for any other group. I do appreciate that there are some people here who seem to be able to empathize in such a profound way.

          I find myself commenting way more on this issue. Oddly, it’s not my top issue. It’s the economy, stupid, of course. But on other issues there are so many articulate voices speaking for me, my own would be redundant.
          But on this issue, I feel like one of the few Jewish voices left on this site, which makes me very sad. Of the three who left one just disappeared, which puzzles me, though I imagine there was very deep hurt that made he do that. And one of them is way more right-wing than me on the issue, and doesn’t represent my views either.

          I agree that dialogue should not be shut down. But so far most of the intolerant voices have been on the other side, meaning opinions based on facts which are totally incorrect, or subject to disagreement. Before making such condemning conclusions, one should certainly do research on the facts, from all sides. And to present ideas or dialogue that’s controversial is it necessary to use cartoons or techniques that were used in 1930’s Germany. They were used because they worked in inciting hatred, and therefore dangerous.

          Think of all the sexist codewords used against Hillary, about those using them laughed at us for first, claiming they were codewords or sexist, and second, for being so wimpy to be offended. Think of the visceral pain that brought on. Now add to that the knowledge of a group that’s been murdered in huge numbers for who they are.

          I’m not saying never criticize Israel. I’m saying understand all these things to know some of the issues involved, and why how you say things is important. And that we have the right to disagree with you withougt being attacked (as I have been, too). I agree with TW here. If so many insensitive comments can be made here, on a site for TC, standing for fairness and justice, I fear to think of the rest of the world.

          • Again, your implication is that somehow some unnamed people at The Confluence do not *understand* what you are talking about. That is not the issue. The issue is whether non-Jews should be attacked for criticizing the policies of the government of Israel. A side issue that I feel very strongly about is whether people like me who do not want to take a position on this issue should be assaulted by the often expletive and hate-filled argument of those on both sides who are passionate about the issue.

            In my opinion, every government should be subject to criticism, even though I have offered none. And furthermore, you have no way of knowing the the ethnic heritage of the people who read and comment here.

          • Actually Speaktruth, you are one of the most intolerant voices.

            You say it oh so nicely but you accuse us over and over of an anti-semitic bias.

            You keep saying anyone who disagrees with you is insensitive, doesn’t know what they’re talking about, or their facts are “totally incorrect.”

          • Okay, now we’ve moved on from typo wars to the nesting wars. So myiq, ignore my previous comments below – I really didn’t know you were referring to the comment above, which I really did miss. Sometimes your humor is so darn subtle that it can be missed.

            Now to respond to your comments:

            I NEVER said non-Jews are not allowed to criticize Israel. Never.

            I’m saying that’s not the issue for me. The issue is how the criticism is expressed. This relates to accusations which aren’t factual, such as Israel is a religious state (it’s not, it’s secular, with Arabs as citizens with all rights), to Arabs having no rights to history of Israel. I’ve been amazed at misinformation, which is not the problem, since I don’t know all that much about Israel either. But before criticising anything, I think it’s important to get your facts straight. I’m old-fashioned that way.

            When you say “us” I don’t know who you meant. There is no monolithic “us”. I’m not directing this at a group, just a few people who have done this.

            “Anti-Semitic bias” – certainly not everyone, and I’m sure not intentional. But making blanket criticisms without checking out facts against a group – yes, of course that’s bias.

            And I think being “politically correct” or sensitive to the effect of something written is important. Would you post a cartoon of a black jockey or put one in front of your house? Why don’t they use Aunt Jemima any more? Or any number of other racial stereotypes. I don’t think those who objected to those kinds of things were intolerant or overly sensitive.

            The Star of David is not the symbol for Israel. It’s the symbol Jews had to wear on their coats in Germany. It’s equivalent ot the cross. For Israel they could show the flag. I’m sure there are other ways to criticise Israel than showing Nazi jackboots. Yick. And the Star.

        • Thanks for this. Appreciate the information. War on any level is horrific. Peoples on every side should do everything possible to not instigate it. The civilian death tolls in Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, North Vietnam were unimaginably huge and tragic, even before the atomic nightmares. As I mentioned the other day, we have directly or indirectly caused the passing of up to half a million Iraqi citizens as a result of 9/11. How do we possibly go about judging which of these were righteous, which were not. Provoking a military response to achieve political leverage in negotiation crosses the line, imho. It seems to me that is gambling away the lives of your own citizens on a larger suicide mission. It does exactly what the leadership wants. World sympathy and attention resulting in a few more chips for negotiation. The political debate should be open to all kinds of global scrutiny on all sides. But if you start a shooting war, then you must expect war. If the contention is that the Israelis are engaging in genocide, I’d like to see the evidence for that on intent, not just the symptoms. To their credit, the Israeli media has been wide open in their coverage of the conflict and all the tragedies, and there have been very strong voices regarding the tragic outcome from all sides of their government and parliament in transition. I am not declaring an opinion here on the politics of I/P. Just offering some context on the dynamics of violent conflict. (with gentle and respectful tone)

          Edward Said was a controversial but interesting and brilliant man.

      • I can help here. If the 8:54am comment creates this much trouble for you, then you’re not looking for dialogue, so just blow me up.

      • Then maybe you can understand why I, as an American born and bred, whose ancesters fought in the Revolutionary War and in the Union Army under Abe Lincoln, and again in WWI, whose dad fought in the Pacific for five years in WWII, might be offended when you claimed above that I couldn’t possibly have the same feelings about the symbols of my country as someone else has about theirs.

        I was brought up hearing about the Holocaust and taught by my parents never to discriminate against anyone. I grew up thinking that all human beings deserve rights and dignity. No one told me that certain groups should have privileges to never be questioned because their ancestors suffered great hardship and pain. In my lifetime I have seen genocide and exterminations in many parts of the world–horrors that I abhor just as much as the Holocaust committed by the Nazis.

        • Well put.

        • As I’ve said BB, I am not a Jew, not even close, and I’m not speaking here for any Jewish people. That by itself is presumptuous. Both my parents are living and healthy. When they were young, they lived under harsh foreign military occupation. For illustration, let’s say they and six million of their country men and women (the entire state of MA) were forced to brand themselves with their flag, then marched off to be exterminated in ovens. That stamp they were forced to wear would be permanently seared into their minds and hearts as a deeply painful memory of their survival as a race and people. Even as they are proud as can be Americans today, asking my parents to get over the experience and defuse the loaded legacy of that symbol would not be possible, nor should it be. And that’s before considering that the symbol was also an embodiment of their deeply help religious faith and of their long ancestral history. As their American son, would I have the same relationship with that symbol. Absolutely. The Jewish heritage is much much more than the Holocaust. But asking Jews to move on, well, even as a non Jew, I find that insulting. Not necessarily because it is political, but because it is deeply personal. The notion of victim hood, I don’t even have the words..

          I am no less American than you BB. I love this nation deeply, and if required I would serve proudly. You may disagree because your ancestors have been here longer, have fought in earlier wars. But imho, that’s a slippery slope of grading people’s entitlement to this nation. It inevitably leads to social friction, suspicion, segregation, and nasty prejudice which I have plenty of experience with. That’s my personal opinion, provided with respect.

          • I resent your repeated implication that somehow I and other commenters are unaware of the horrors of that took place during WWII. The posts you have so strongly objected to here were posted to encourage discussion of a specific issue: whether non-Jews are permitted to criticize the policies of the government of Israel. You have completely missed the point. Here is an article at The Nation you might consider reading if your mind is not quite completely closed to a different point of view than yours.

            http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090413/kushner_solomon?rel=hp_picks

          • None of our writers has asked Jews to “move on.”

          • You have a penchant for criticizing us for things nobody has said.

          • Please ((((Wickets))))-don’t go. I think we all enjoy having you round and your comments are ( well almost) always valid.

            Do you come from somewhere beginning with Camb….?

            Just curious ….

  8. Oh crap, I turned on the television and the Slap-Chop & ShamWow guy is on.

    He just got busted for abusing a prostitute (she messed him up pretty good too)

  9. High Maintenance Woman:

  10. I just made little apple hand pies. Smells gorgeous, tastes even better.

    In uni, I had a friend who said there would be peace everywhere if we all smoked pot.

    I said no, pie over pot anyday 🙂

    • Smoke the pot first, then you’ll really want to eat the pies.

      • Chicken pot pie is one of my choice instant meals.

        • Absolutely. Especially my mum’s. I can never make it taste the same, despite using her recipe.

      • When I made brownies, she and her horde would ask “are those special brownies?”

        Every time I baked. Every time.

        I swear, you potpeople are obsessed! *g*

      • I consumed some special brownies once on a long international flight. Forgot one of the side effects is mild paranoia. Was sure the flight attendants were going to breathalyze me or something.

    • You know I used to work in London, at Canary Wharf, not in banking for the hundredth time. Would hate to be around the Wharf these days. I imagine a scene for the Omega Man where Charlton Heston is stumbling around the post apocalyse as the last man standing. Well, maybe it’s not that bad. My last visit to London last year, the pound was two dollars.

      • I actually avoid Canary Wharf area. I looked at apartments and houses there and the agent said how there was cctv everywhere so I’d feel perfectly safe. It was afternoon, we were standing on the pavement, the only two people around. It was eerie.

        No idea how it is now.

  11. Did you see that Donna Brazile is going to give a speech at the DOJ for “Women’s History Month”.

    Irony lives!

    http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/2009/03/27/brazile-to-speak-at-doj-on-behalf-of-women%e2%80%99s-history-month-%e2%80%93-a-new-outrage/

  12. remember the washed out cram downs the House managed to pass? Reid & co will make sure they get eliminated. And the Economist is reminded of Hillary’s quip on Obama about the ‘on the job training”
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/03/28/bankers-let-the-homeowners-hold-the-bag/

  13. Brad Paisley – “Online

    • My wife thinks my tractors sexy too. Haven’t had the courage to ask about me. :-).

  14. Just sent this email to Evan Bayh. I can’t let go of my naivete.
    My real only hope is a friend’s running for school board – experience, commitment, integrity, passion, knowledge. No I am not making this up!

    To Bayh:
    “I am encouraged by your efforts to form a coalition to carefully look at our policies concerning these critical economic times. I am encouraged by little these days. Having supported Clinton in the Dem primary, I saw the corruption in the Democratic Party’s “we only want your vote in the GE” attitude, and “please send more money.”

    I don’t expect you to restore my faith in the Democratic Party.

    I support your efforts to do what is needed by and for our citizens.

    My two cents:
    1) Too big to fail = too big. Downsize our “too bigs” and our monopolies.

    2) Please take seriously Paul Krugman’s analysis and suggestions.

    Thank you again for standing while so many dither.

  15. If civilian casualty scorecards correlated to moral liability, then the US actions in Iraq should put our generals on trial at the Hague.

    A lot of people would like to see that. Many of us on the left consider George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld to be war criminals for launching an unprovoked invasion of Iraq.

  16. Laurie, with respect as always, by simmerings I was referring to the nation, but when there have been so many discussions on banking here, and there have been comments using terms like the threat of globazionism in the context of our financial system, and there are no objections, I read passive concurrence. Call me paranoid. I can find other examples, but I don’t think it would be productive or positive at this point.

    I really hope you aren’t suggesting that discussions here about the financial crisis include some element of the “Jewish banking conspiracy” bullshit.

    If you think that any sane people are blaming the crisis on the Jews then you are waaaaaay off base and I have to wonder about your credibility.

    • Amen, myiq. I rail against the corruption in our (worldwide) financial system all the time, but I certainly don’t have any link to any ethnic group in mind when I do.

      Money and corruption knows no race. If pushed on the matter, and if in some crazy hypothetical I HAD to choose at gunpoint a face to put on it internally when I think of it, that face is more likely to be an Ivy League WASP than anything else!

      • ….. more likely to be an Ivy League WASP than anything else!

        Exactly what I was gonna say.

    • Well, let’s not get into credibility, shall we. I personally think the term [unacceptable term removed] when discussing who’s to blame at the banks is too close for comfort.

      • Wait, who the heck on here ever used the term “globa-zionism”?! I’ve never seen it. I thought you had just misspelled globalization in your earlier comment, but evidently not.

        When did any of us use that term?

        • Wow, I didn’t even get what he was referring to. I thought he just mispelled the word globalization. I have never seen any writer here use a dispicable term like that! Three Wickets, you need to be aware that we have rules against personal attacks on our writers and regular commenters. If you continue that sort of thing, your comments will have to be moderated. In the meantime, I’m editing that term which I consider way beyond inappropriate!

          • bb, I missed the “personal attacks” by 3W. He’s bringing up some touchy subjects with respect IMO. We seem to be having a discussion where we have not dared go without rancor. I’m learning. Your post at 9:42 is very powerful.

          • You guys. I really don’t want or need to be here. I’ll find the comment for you. Then goodbye and good riddance. I will remain hopeful for our nation.

          • FrenchNail, on March 26th, 2009 at 10:17 am Said:

            Typical of this Administration. Geitner was having an “open mind” moment and open his fat mouth at the same time to put his foot in it.

            This administration represent by excellence what I call ” the Globalization Generation”. They come from the “New” corporate and financial worlds where frontiers exist only to differentiate preferable regulations and legal systems from each other.

            So in that vein, the idea of a global monetary serpent or basket is an attractive concept, even if the reality of it is counterproductive to their own interests.

            They are open and attracted to everything labelled Global. But there is a breaking point fast approaching where globalization will shift from meaning choosing the most favorable regulation local system to globalization of the control systems.

            Hence the Geitner moment “Globalization Yes, Globalizayion No”

          • Purplefinn,

            We cannot be responsible for every single thing a commenter says at TC. I had never seen that term used, and probably would have thought it was a misspelling.

            Now that Three Wickets has posted the comment in question I see that the commenter in question is not one of our writers. However, I have added several variations of the that term to the spam filter, and I will now add this this which unfortunately got through.

          • Which post? Thanks.

          • Maybe it was on RD’s post, “Cannonfodder.” On that one post, we pretty much let every comment through. But also I think it’s asking a bit much for us to catch every inappropriate or troll comment. We do a hell of a lot of work for this blog for nothing but the love of doing it. We take a lot of time out of our days and usually myiq, Katiebird, or I is on-line a lot of the time. But we simply aren’t perfect, and I think it is very unfair to expect us to be.

          • bb, I was referring to 3w’s comments and our discussion in general not an offensive term. I don’t believe that there is an anti-Semitic slant here at all. It’s just one tough topic to discuss. I am impressed by those who have dared broach the subject respectfully, have listened and responded. You moderators do an excellent job. I had never seen that term until it was brought up today.

          • Since we can no longer nest on this nested comment. My comments are out of sequence and I think we’re talking past each other a bit. I appreciate what you and others do here. I don’t expect anyone to be perfect. That leaves more leeway for me : )

          • 3w: I’m not seeing that comment referenced above implying what you think it does, I think it’s not referring to those old world global conspiracies associated with say the Rothschilds nonsense. It’s more from US corporatism

          • Have I missed something? I was away for a while. I never heard Three Wickets make any personal attack against anyone on thi site. He’s always very polite. So I don’t understand what you’re referring to. I think – did I miss something – he was quoting something else said.

            As far as personal attacks – I felt that I was attacked by at least one person yesterday. (See Owen’s comment – Maybe because I read and study so much that I found it particularly insulting. I was wondering why that was allowed to stay.) And that’s not the first time I was attacked, though not so blatantly as yesterday. Are there different standards for different people?

            TW, I hope you don’t leave. You contribute a lot.

          • Yes, you have missed something

          • Purplefinn,

            Please see my unnested comment to you at the bottom of the thread.

      • Please refer to the post/commenter who used the term. Sometimes if terms are buried in the middle of a long comment people just skip thru them.

        I remember during the Wankette time, that someone was using my nick. Whoever it was was spouting off the wierdest gobble-de-hoo and no-one noticed (except me). I’m sure people don’t read everybody’s comments very closely.

        • “t “and “y” sit next to each other on my keyboard-were you talking about globalizayion? I’m sure that’s a typos.

          • What the hell is globalizayion???

          • OMG. If that was a typo, that would explain it.

            So this is a perfect example of how easy it is for sisunderstandings and miscommunications to bring on war. Look how fast everything escalated. I can’t even proofread for my typos because part of the screen is invisible.

            In a way it’s funny, if it weren’t so hurtful for everybody.

          • Three Wickets changed the spelling and posted it as globozionism or something like that.

          • Speaktruth:

            Read my previous comment

  17. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090413/hayden

    I just got this link from realclearpolitics, and must say I fear this country keeps getting itself into military operations without fully exploring the consequences.

    • But that’s my point, bb (see above), I think TW made a honest mistake and read it as that, partly because the comment doesn’t really make sense if it’s the same word twice – though it might mean that. But he was reacting to what he thought it said, wondered why no one else noticed it, and saw passive agreement. Makes sense, but probably was misunderstanding based on a typo. Again, that supports my point about subtlety, code words, and misunderstandings, from here to what happens between nations – on a bigger scale.

      myiw – I did read your previous comment. I decided to ignore it. I didn’t understand your point, thought it was probably sarcastic and rude, but decided to give you the benefit of the doubt. But then you repeated it. Do you want to explain – because it’s not clear. But so far it seems insulting. Is that what you meant?

      • Well, see everyone else missed it, because we don’t think in terms of global ethnic conspiracies. We are liberals who want everyone to have equal rights. It seems to me that 3W saw something that wasn’t there because he was looking for something to condemn us for. The reason I say that is that I read his comments on RD’s Cannonfodder post, and he has continued to post such inflammatory remarks ever since.

        I have always enjoyed 3W’s comments, and I’m really disappointed by this, although I am also quite willing to try to understand where that anger is coming from. I just don’t know why it needs to be directed at the The Confluence.

        • Frankly, I often skip over or skim comments on I/P, especially if I see expletives. As I have said repeatedly, I don’t want to get involved in the passionate arguments on this topic.

  18. Hey, it’s time for some sanity! ENJOY, Conflucians!

    Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (March 28, 2009) First Hummingbird and First Cactus Flower!; Wisconsin Robin; Happy Birthday, TORO the Dog!; Trooper Shows Off)

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2009/03/28/saturday-sanity-the-antidote-to-the-madness-march-28-2009-first-hummingbird-and-first-cactus-flower-wisconsin-robin-happy-birthday-toro-the-dog/

    • Love the way you start weekends insight. Loved the link to that Soros symposium, too.

  19. http://www.dailypioneer.com/165721/Obama-gives-the-cash-for-Americans-to-play-on.html

    “Who would have thought that the first word might serve as the last word and the first word would be uttered by Mr George W Bush? Mr Bush’s plaintive analysis of the Greatest Crisis in Human History was pithy:

    ‘If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down.’ ”

    I can’t help but wonder if Bush really said that.

    • Not sure what the “Greatest Crisis in Human History” really is, but that W would be associated doesn’t surprise me.

      “I can’t help but wonder if Bush really said that.” I agree with your skepticism. He was good at stating the obvious, but he never really seemed to be in the forefront of analysis much less solution. Being plain spoken doesn’t equal common sense.

      I believed Bush when he said, “”This is an impressive crowd – the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites; I call you my base.”

      It was written for him, but it rang so true.

  20. http://www.winknews.com/news/local/42019772.html

    “With all of that attention, the City of Cape Coral felt there could be more than 500 people attending the tea party.

    Therefore Rosko needed to get a permit and insurance for the event.”

    I was aware of the public permit requirements, but I never knew you had to get insurance to hold a demonstration. Somehow that seems to be an impediment to our rights to speak out.

  21. I was one of those who had mixed feelings about Hillary taking the SOS position, but have been rethinking it. As fast as Obama is imploding, Hillary is looking smarter and smarter for taking SOS rather than staying in the Senate.

    Can you imagine the conflict she’d be in, knowing there was nothing she could do (don’t have the numbers or party support), and continually having to vote on this man’s asinine ideas?

    She was wise to remove herself from that ticking time bomb arena, and go where she could quietly do some good and not be associated with any of his boondoggles.

    The only way I can see her stepping down is if he pulls something in foreign policy so horrible, so egregious, that she could not stand and face the American public and say what she was expected to say. I.e. if she were faced with the Colin Powell choice. I think she would step down then.

    That may have been her plan in taking SOS. Who knows what deal they cut? She may have taken the post knowing damn well that she had him over a barrel on foreign policy if she did take it. If he tries anything insane, she can sink his entire presidency simply by the act of publicly condemning his act and stepping down. And he knows it.

    She’s the safety valve.

    • Escalating the war in Afghanistan is not the sanest idea right now. It would have made sense in 2001 but there needs to be an assessment of what we should do now. The stability of Pakistan is as important as any other objective in the area it would seem at this time. What will more US troops running around do to them?

      I would hate to see Afghanistan another Vietnam while Obama morphs into LBJ on the foreign plicy front.

  22. Purplefinn,

    Sorry about the weird nesting situation above. What I said about not being perfect about moderating commenters was really about Three Wickets’ holding us responsble for an isolated comment from a previous day. He surely could have called one of the moderators’ attention to it at the time. Regular commenters do that a lot, and it’s a big help.

    Frankly, my first reaction when I saw that cartoon was that it was anti-semitic. That is my gut reaction when I see this kind of ugly imagery. But then I have to take a step back and try to be a little more objective. People are being murdered on both sides. I don’t really know how to feel about this situation. All I have been arguing all along is that we all have a right to express our opinions–in respectful ways.

    • Gotcha. This is one tough topic which has been handled well here considering the volatility (no judgment implied.) Thank you and all for your tireless efforts to have crucial and respectful discussions here.

      I’m a nesting advocate, but when we reach the limit, I think I’ll follow your example and zip to the end of the thread!

      • I totally agree, and I always try to stay out of the I/P discussions, because I really don’t know enough to give my opinions–beyond not liking war and killing in general.

        Maybe we need to take the nesting to the 10th level. Right now we are at only five levels.

    • Hi bb–just want to note I’ve changed my name to differentiate myself from someone who showed up on a thread yesterday posting as “Nell.” This way, I get to be your “little” (and I’m referring to height, not age) sister.

      On a serious note–how sad this discussion has turned so rancorous over what was obviously a typo. In no way did French Nail mean to bastardize the word “globalization” by combining “global” and “z!onism” in order to insult Jews or Israel. As laurie pointed out above, it was a simple transposition of the “y” and “t” on the keyboard. As I read it, French Nail’s comment is about Geithner’s vacillating position on globalization, especially vis-a-vis controls/regulation.

      • I’m in moderation. Is it because I changed my name?

        Please release me. Thanks!

  23. speaktruth, on March 28th, 2009 at 12:33 pm Said:

    “OMG. If that was a typo, that would explain it.

    So this is a perfect example of how easy it is for sisunderstandings and miscommunications to bring on war. Look how fast everything escalated. I can’t even proofread for my typos because part of the screen is invisible.

    In a way it’s funny, if it weren’t so hurtful for everybody.”

    Please say it isn’t so. Not the “typo wars.” I could have been outside smelling the daffodils!

    • Yup. I think it was just a typo. A “y” instead of a “t.” 3W changed the spelling when he complained about it. It was a completely manufactured crisis.

      • I think it was a matter of one typo leading to a jumped conclusion, leading to an erroneous accusation and, thus, a kerfuffle. It’s been nice chatting with you.
        Thanks for seeing this through to the bitter end. : )

        Now I had better get my walk in before “Earth Hour” http://www.earthhour.org/home/

  24. OK, while everyone is having such fun with the I/P issue, here’s a fun solution. And yes, it’s a bit tough and cheek and don’t take offense. OK, so here’s my solution. Give everyone a month or two’s notice, and provide lots of evacuation support. Then nuke the crap out of the entire region so it can’t be occupied for say about 500 years. Then say, OK, no if you can’t share and play with your toys responsibly, you don’t get to have them.

  25. ((((Wickets)))))

  26. I NEVER said non-Jews are not allowed to criticize Israel. Never.

    I never said you did. Strawman much?

    I’m saying that’s not the issue for me. The issue is how the criticism is expressed. This relates to accusations which aren’t factual, such as Israel is a religious state (it’s not, it’s secular, with Arabs as citizens with all rights), to Arabs having no rights to history of Israel. I’ve been amazed at misinformation, which is not the problem, since I don’t know all that much about Israel either. But before criticising anything, I think it’s important to get your facts straight. I’m old-fashioned that way.

    Who is criticizing Israel?

    When you say “us” I don’t know who you meant. There is no monolithic “us”. I’m not directing this at a group, just a few people who have done this.

    If you aren’t directing it at us why do you keep directing it at us?

    “Anti-Semitic bias” – certainly not everyone, and I’m sure not intentional. But making blanket criticisms without checking out facts against a group – yes, of course that’s bias.

    So anyone who states something you don’t agree with is biased.

    And I think being “politically correct” or sensitive to the effect of something written is important. Would you post a cartoon of a black jockey or put one in front of your house? Why don’t they use Aunt Jemima any more? Or any number of other racial stereotypes. I don’t think those who objected to those kinds of things were intolerant or overly sensitive.

    Nobody posted a racial stereotype. Yesterday in another thread RD posted an editorial cartoon that some found offensive. I’m sure it was intended to be, and sometimes political cartoons are supposed to be. The question was whether it was anti-semitic.

    The Star of David is not the symbol for Israel. It’s the symbol Jews had to wear on their coats in Germany. It’s equivalent ot the cross. For Israel they could show the flag. I’m sure there are other ways to criticise Israel than showing Nazi jackboots. Yick. And the Star.

    If the Star of David isn’t the symbol for Israel then why is it on their flag?

    But you missed my entire point. You keep posting long comments where you smarmily insult others (including me) and imply things about them (including me) in response to anything and everything that isn’t 100% pro-Israel.

    There isn’t anyone here taking the other side. You’re being intolerant of other ideas and you’re offending people.

  27. You know what, myiq, I’m not going to go through each of your points and answer them, though I could. The gist is that you have distorted my words in some cases and their meanings in many cases. You’ve parsed my words and missed the real meaning.
    Fine. You can be right. There’s no point in me spending energy trying to make a point that’s not being received. I’m sure if I give it up it won’t make any difference in the relationship between religions and nations. It won’t make a difference to anything so I’ll stop bothering.

    Above you said “You keep posting long comments where you smarlily insult others (including me) and imply things about them (including me) in response to anything and everything that isn’t 100% pro-Israel.”

    This is so ridiculous because I’m so not 100% pro-Israel (whatever that is anyway), and never said anything like that.

    Then you said “There isn’t anyone taking the other side.” Well, of course there is.

    Then you said:
    “You’re being intolerant of other ideas and you’re offending people.”

    You also said earlier that other voices should stay out of it (STFU) and let the reasonable people can have a reasonable discussion (I forget the exact words).

    That pretty much does it for me. So you want to have a discussion with all the people who agree with you. Fine. So what about all the free speech ideas espoused earlier? But I’ll shut up.

    I guess you’re getting your wish. If thoughtful calm sweet people like Three Wickets feel they can’t come here any more something is very wrong. Seems a lot of people have left. So we’ll leave you to your discussion with people who can follow the unspoken script that’s in your mind.

    I would be interested in seeing direct quotes where I “smarlily insult others” and where I “offend” “people.” And I’ll stop commenting so I never offend anyone again here.

    • Who is distorting who?

      No one here is bashing Israel. There are people that are, but they’re not here.

      When you keep insisting that people you disagree with are ignorant of the real facts, that’s intolerant and it’s also insulting.

      As for Three Wickets, he accused us of believing in the “Jewish Banking Conspiracy” based on our lack or reaction to an obvious typo. But no one told him to leave.

    • Who is taking the other side, Speaktruth? Is there anyone here among our writers who is arguing against Israel’s right to exist or for a one state solution? Who? Most of us don’t really have a position, because the I/P controversy has never been a focus of this blog.

      Riverdaughter created this blog because she was run off the Cheeto. Until January, our main focus was the election. Recently we have been focusing on political events as they come up. Much of that has been about the economy.

      There have been no posts here arguing against Israel or for a Palestinian state. We have simply tried to defend ourselves against some accusations and we have tried to ask a simple question: Why is it unacceptable for non-Jews to criticize the policies of the government of Israel?

      I think it has been very well established at this point that for some, any criticism of the government of Israel by non-Jew is anti-semitic. That attitude makes it very difficult to discuss this subject and I for one would like to leave that discussion to others more knowledgeable than myself.

  28. I wasn’t going to comment at all any more but I want to clarify some things with you, bb. I’m trying to choose my words very carefully so they won’t be misunderstood. As a former therapist I’m struck by how communicating is so difficult in this medium. Even harder than live, which is hard enough, but here you don’t see expressions or hear voice nuances.

    First, when I’ve addressed “some” comments I don’t mean everyone, or even TC writers, or regular posters. I’ve intentionally refrained from addressing specific people because I wanted to avoid direct confrontations. I guess that didn’t work out too well. But you’ve been taking personally some comments that weren’t directed at you. I think you may be placing with the “group” that you had conflicts with behind the scenes. So I don’t know what I’ve “accused” “you” of personally.

    Two, I strongly believe in a two-state solution, I believe needs and right of Palestinians have to be addressed and negotiated. I want to see Hillary take a strong position there, and work on this. I don’t know how much I have, because of problems with BOTH sides, but she would be best for this. I do strongly believe in the survival of Israel, now more than ever.

    The relevance of the Holocaust, and why it’s brought up,
    is not a “get out of jail free card”, but that what happened in Germany can happen again at any time, and that it can happen here. (See book by Sinclair Lewis, “It Can’t Happen Here”.) Like women, most Jews always are aware of possible danger, hence, the sensitivity to signs of anti-Semitism.

    Third – there are many commenters, with a diversity of opinions. Some have said they don’t believe Israel should exist, no one from TC front page, I agree, but a few others have said this (I believe that’s Cannon’s position). Myiq says “no one here is bashing Israel” and that’s just not true. There have been several who have bashed Israel (not you guys). I don’t hold TC responsible for this, but sometimes I may be addressing those comments. I believe in their right to express their opinion, but I also believe in my right to express mine. What I’ve been hearing from some of you is that I should not express mine.

    Fourth – I don’t believe that all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. Of course not. But I happen to believe the cartoon is anti-Semitic. Shtuey, on Oh…my Valve explains why, and clarified it for me. I also believe that the way criticism is expressed is important, and that it often becomes fodder for the very scary rise of anti-Semitism that’s happening across the world. Check a few of those blogs if you don’t believe me. If you’re Jewish and you read this (as for women hearing 99 Problems or others like this) you get a chilling feeling of fear. We are on the alert for any signs because of what of what happened before, which started with small signs. That doesn’t mean AT ALL (I’m repeating this point because I feel it hasn’t been heard) that there should be no criticism of Israel. Speaking for me only, not anyone else.

    Fifth, myiq says that when I keep insisting that people I disagree with are ignorant of the real facts “that’s intolerant and insulting”.
    Man, what can I say to that? Sorry – first, I’ve said repeatedly that I’m ignorant of the facts, too. Of course we’re ignorant of many facts because we don’t live there, don’t know what it’s like, for both sides, don’t know comes from leaders, from “rogue” people, from Hamas, from Israeli right, what’s really going on behind the scenes in millions of different issues, even so many differing versions of history. How can you possibly dispute that we’re all ignorant of so many “facts”, some more than others.
    My position is, same as yours, bb, that we really know so little about it. And that doesn’t stop people from stating what they’ve read from one “biased” source (and EVERY source is biased), never bothering to get the other side of the story, and repeat those ideas as facts.

    I would have hoped, like dakinikat and others, that we could have dialogues on this topic, with purpose of getting more “facts”, learning more without
    Now, depressingly, I wonder if this is possible.
    Also, I expect my meaning will be misinterpreted by a few. Yet, like obots, I live in hope.
    I also see that it’s about much more than I/P. It’s about communication and how almost impossible it is. How easy to offend and be offended. And to misinterpret. Which in part explains why we live in a world constantly at war. Without clearer communication it will never change.

    Anyway, I had to put it all out there, even if just for me.

    • I don’t know what’s going on here but I think there has been a string of deliberate misunderstandings about some of our views on I/P. That’s to be expected. No one talks about the subject much because it has become so incendiary. For the record, no one who posts here on the confluence is anti-Semitic. We ought to know if we hold anti-Jewish sentiment and I guarantee you, none of us do. We also support Israel. We support it as a state and don’t want to see it disappear.
      BUT we do have a right to criticize Israel’s government whether Israelis and American Jews like it or not.
      Furthermore, we do not need any more lectures on the Holocaust or insistence that we do not understand what the Holocaust has done. That’s just plain insulting to our intelligence. And yes, it has been used as a “get out of Jail free card”. Everytime anyone even timidly raises their voices to criticize anything Israel does, we can expect to see some one pull out the Holocaust.
      The Holocaust was very serious. To me, it is demeaning to anyone who died or lived through it to have that tragedy used to excuse what might very well be inhumane treatment of others. You can say that there are terrorist elements among Palestinians. Not ALL Palestinians, but some. And this is why there has had to be extra security. You could say that Israel is surrounded by hostile neighbors. This isn’t strictly true though, is it? Jordan and Egypt have made an uneasy peace. It’s still peace. But yeah, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran are still problems and the government has to be vigilant.
      But you are not allowed to invoke the Holocaust anymore to justify bad behavior. That was the reason for establishing the country. The country is 60 years old now. It’s time to get with the program, end the apartheid and get on with it.
      That’s it. That’s my rule and I’m sticking with it. Anyone who uses the Holocaust to justify mistreatment of Palestinians is itching to have their comment deleted. It’s emotional blackmail and I will not put up with it anymore.
      If you want to discuss I/P here, and we certainly encourage discussion that focuses on maintaining the state of Israel that will help them enjoy peace with *all* of their neighbors, you will have to do it without saying anything about the Holocaust. It can be done.
      Be creative.

    • One more thing: If you are a fan of Shtuey’s exposition on the subject of I/P, I suggest you go to his blog to discuss it. He has an opinion that is much more defined than ours and if that’s your cup of tea, please do not let us stop you. It’s been our policy to shun absolutism. We are not a feminist blog, we are not a tree-hugger blog, we are not a strictly and exclusively pro-Israel blog. We try to avoid absolutism because that way lies disaster. You can easily back yourself into a corner and can’t respond to a changing environment. Pretty soon, your blog becomes very strident and monotonous, not to mention full of foolish consistencies.
      But like I said, if that is your POV, great, go live it up with Shtuey.
      We take no position on the Oliphant cartoon. It was simply a provocative post illustrating that public opinion on the I/P issue is changing and that political cartoons may become more critical of Israel.
      If the jackboot fits, wear it.

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