Tuesday, March 31, 2015
What women really wanted, all along.
Wait long enough and maybe everything the Nazis did that shocked the conscience of the Christian West will become perfectly ordinary, for obvious reasons.
Ah, that long, slow death of God.
One way or another, that's where it's going.
Questions For Indiana’s Critics
When they told you "Of course that will never happen" they were lying.
On the other hand, the conservatives are lying now when they claim it's not about the liberty to discriminate.
That is the issue when Christians refuse to participate in any way with gay marriages.
And that is also the issue when Christian motel owners refuse to rent rooms to un-married heterosexual couples or to persons of the same sex they suspect of being homosexual couples.
Liberals rightly point out that many people in the past and perhaps some even now wish to discriminate in similar ways against couples of mixed race, citing religious reasons.
Of course, they also denounce such people as abusing religion to hide bigotry, eerily echoing Obama's liberal propaganda that Islamic terrorists are hijacking, abusing, or lying that their activities have a religious sanction.
But the basic point is right.
What's at stake here is the freedom to discriminate, supported by an alleged right to do so for religious reasons and opposed by an alleged right not to be discriminated against.
Guess which moral allegation cuts ice, today?
Monday, March 30, 2015
Juan Williams: Boehner, Israel and race
Also, the Republicans are racist because they are mostly white and all their efforts at suppression of Democratic votes are actually racist.
The story, posted at 1018 EDT, reports an event at 0930 EST.
1 Dead In Shooting At NSA Headquarters After Men In Drag Try To Ram Gate
That sort of thing takes us a long way from materialism and "naturalism" as well as nominalism.
But it seems very natural to me.
The past is not necessary but only changeless.
In this it does not differ from the future.
They differ in that the future has not happened, yet, and the past has.
The A series is real, but so is the future.
So called "logical determinism" is true.
So I think.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
This rejects the "bundle theory" of mind that originated with Hume and is popular with some contemporary philosophers of mind.
This seems an uncontroversial extension of the principle of the indiscernibility of identicals,
[Update 12292015. C now seems to me not at all plausible.
Event dualism 2 seems a real and even attractive possibility.]
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Yesterday on BBC radio I listened to a remarkably hostile interview.
Not angry, not rude, the skilled female interviewer nevertheless badgered Asne Seierstad quite skilfully for reporting Breivik's horrible childhood and tormented adolescence in such a way as to call for compassion.
What? Compassion for such a fiend? How could she depict this man in such a way?
Seierstard never lost her cool and the interview as a whole was excellent and well worth listening to.
Ian Buruma's review is in that vein, missing no occasion to attack, vilify, belittle, disrespect, mock, and damn Breivik.
And they don't get immediately punched, told in an angry shout to "Knock it off, bitch," or fired.
Imagine men behaving like that on TV.
Their threats prove the point that the banks are too powerful, largely thanks to the importance of their contributions and their ability as legal persons to finance expensive and very loud barrages of propaganda.
Bust the hell out of these trusts.
Friday, March 27, 2015
Hillary Can’t Be Described by Certain Words
A group that’s referring to itself as Hillary Clinton’s “Super Volunteers” has promised to track when the media uses “coded” sexist words — such as “ambitious” and “insincere” — to describe her, according to New York Times political reporter Amy Chozick.
The other forbidden words and phrases are “polarizing,” “calculating,” “disingenuous,” “insincere,” “ambitious,” “inevitable,” “entitled,” “over-confident,” “secretive,” “will do anything to win,” “represents the past” and “out of touch.”
Done laughing, yet?
Do they want to actively repel male support?
My guess is they've made the same calculation that gave us "the Republican war on women by old white males" a few summers back, that they gain more in women's votes than they lose in men's.
Same sort of calculation the race-baiting, white-bashing liberals have made, and make repeatedly, no matter what the collateral damage in lives and money, and not by any means only in connection with criticism of Obama.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
But the US is officially committed to stopping Iran from getting a Bomb, too.
The Pentagon report of 1987
So why did O's administration release it?
Apparently B was known to be a deserter and a convert, and was suspected of having intended to become a turncoat and in the most literal sense a traitor, joining the enemy to fight with them against us.
So why did O trade five dedicated terrorists from Gitmo for him?
And why the White House fete?
Yesterday, the army charged B with desertion and "misbehavior before the enemy."
In his effort to empty the Gitmo detainee facility, the president traded five hard-core terrorists for a man who now stands officially accused of abandoning his fellow soldiers.
He very may well be court-martialed and spend a good deal of his life behind bars.
It’s the Taliban 5 who, beginning in just a few short weeks, get to live happily ever after.
WSJ says O knew the worst that day in the Rose Garden.
Kamala Harris Moves To Stop Advance Of 'Kill The Gays' Ballot Initiative
Yes, this is a horror, but there is not and ought not to be any advance filtering apart from the requirement of at least noticeable popular support, indicated in California by 360,000 valid signatures.
The whole point of the initiative process - a brainchild of the original progressivism of the eponymous Progressive Era especially disliked by today's liberalism - is to let the people decide.
Filtering would just give power back to the panicky establishment.
So liberal officialdom ought to suck it up and let the thing run its course.
The measure is unlikely to find 360,000 signatories, very unlikely to find approval of the voters, and certain to fail its first constitutional test.
All the same, if she can't find a judge in California willing to twist the law to stop this I will be quite surprised.
Though I will be somewhat disappointed if she can.
Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
As reported, the thing criminalizes homosexuality in a kind of Christian parody of legally enforcing Shariah, and goes on to command vigilantism.
("Gomorrah" is misspelled in the Yahoo piece.)
The proposed initiative declares: "The abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also sodomy, is a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha.
"Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God's just wrath against us... the people of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method," it reads.
As to criminalizing homosexuality, the liberal judicial establishment has already made creative use of the equal protection clause and the altogether fictitious right to privacy to declare any such thing unconstitutional and thus deny the people as well as all legislatures the right to criminalize it.
Since the measure expressly aims to enact a Christian understanding of divine law into California state law it certainly in spirit at least runs afoul of the establishment clause, as extended to the states via that judicial fraud, incorporation, but I would be surprised if a court used that against the initiative, if passed.
As to the last point, I have to admit the question is new to me whether the federal government or any state government can, consistent with the constitution, command vigilantism.
But I would see this as a literal violation of both the equal protection and the due process clauses.
The whole exercise would be an interesting civics lesson in so many, many ways.
Not least because of the demonstration it would afford of the PC variant of the Daddy Knows Best attitude of today's left.
Kamala Harris, by the way, is much admired among liberals and is being shaped for a fine future, being a very bright, not entirely white woman with a not entirely white name, already en route on the cursus honorum.
Finally, I have to ask.
Is this a prank?
Perhaps a provocation by the left aimed at giving them a chance to place restrictions on the process favoring their own values and agenda?
The process in California and other states has, in recent decades, let to results that have annoyed the left in many ways.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Up to him?
Pretty big move for a president to undertake without congressional backing.
Could the Republicans drum up public opposition?
I would think it would be easy.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
François Furet rightly said communism in the 20th Century was motivated by hatred of the bourgeoisie.
But so was Facism.
Hence, the uniforms.
Much as the plebs - some of them, anyway - preferred Caesar to the oligarch-dominated republic.
Imagine that, Michael Parenti.
She became a US citizen in 2013.
Ayaan Hirsi Ai: From Selma to Tunis
Her determination to involve the US in the global reform of Islam is typical of the determination of immigrants to involve the US in the battles of "the old country."
Ethnic nationalism, and only ethnic nationalism, can be a secular nationalism.
And exactly such nationalism drove many of the leading lights of the historic Zionist movement.
But ethnic nationalism has fallen into moral disrepute, thanks mostly to the Occidental political left, and so is not an acceptable option for today's American, non-religious Jews any more than for the Jews of Israel.
When Bibi needs support for his project of keeping the Jewish State safe he finds the nationalists who take his side are less and less secular, more and more religious, with every year that passes.
A different way of looking at the the decline of Ashkenazi Jewish nationalism and its replacement by Sephardic nationalism.
"If thine eye offend thee pluck it out."
It's annoying to have to note that the press, among its many other lapses, now does not grasp that "parent," "father," and "mother," used without qualification, mean "biological parent," "biological father," and "biological mother."
And "have a child" just means "biologically, have a child," if that means "get pregnant and stay that way long enough to give birth to a living child."
Still, will it be long before medical science comes up with a way to bring into the world a child who is genetically yours but was neither conceived nor carried nor born in the normal, animal way of these things?
Steve M on Ted Cruz
As Jonathan Chait writes -- in a post titled "Why Ted Cruz Wants Republicans to Hate Him" -- Cruz thinks he's battling moderates in his party the way Barry Goldwater did half a century ago.
But moderates really were very powerful within the GOP in the 1960s.
Hence Nixon in '68.
Goldwater conservatives had to wage war on the Establishment if they wanted an unyieldingly conservative party.
The first real proof of their victory was Reagan.
Cruz, by contrast, is fighting exclusively on matters of style.
His side has already won the ideological battle[.]
If radicalism regarding means is a style, he's fighting about style.
He and the conservative commentariate are much more radical about means than the senior Republicans in the House and the Senate.
Think Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, and government shutdowns.
Jon Chait on Cruz
Chait's piece is pretty good.
The conservative movement, which was identified intellectually with National Review and politically with Barry Goldwater, wanted their party to launch a full-throated counterattack on big government.
They had an ideological program that differed sharply from the reigning ideology of Eisenhower and Nixon: a straightforward attack on big government as socialism.
Conservatives attacked big government, absolutely essential to the progressive vision, as communism, too, pretty much using the two words interchangeably, as did Reagan later, and as the right does, now and again, to this day.
Nixon claimed to be a liberal and conservatives agreed then and agree now.
Think EPA, negative income tax, a guaranteed annual wage.
Eisenhower was wooed by both parties to be their presidential candidate.
He thought the conservatives who wanted to undo the New Deal were crackpots and created the interstate highway system.
He nominated Earl Warren (a Republican) to the Supreme Court and Nixon encouraged him to enforce Brown in Little Rock , which he did.
Acting with and for IKE, Nixon supported a Civil Rights Act.
Every creation of the New Deal including especially Social Security, Brown, and the Civil Rights Act are denounced in Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative, ghost written by Brent Bozell of the founding generation at the National Review.
(They were denounced by Rehnquist, too, for whom Cruz clerked.)
But this of Chait's blurs a key point.
Conservatives have not completely worked out how far they would go if given absolute power — back to 1932? 1905? — but they agree on the direction.
Going back to 1932 undoes every progressive creation starting with those of the New Deal.
But significant parts of the progressive achievement pre-date the New Deal, including the federal income tax, the creation of the IRS, and popular election of the senate.
Much of the conservative movement and commentariate (see George Will, for example) is quite clear they want all that rolled back.
To understand conservative aims you have to think McKinley.
Too, Chait follows Steve M in misunderstanding TC's radicalism - his "style," according to SM and his "tactics,' according to JC.
Both of them treat this as some sort of shtick, some sort of self-advertising gimmick.
It is absolutely not that.
It is for real and deadly serious.
Cruz's stop-at-nothing methods are exactly why he is beloved not only of the tea-bagger wing of the conservative base but of nearly the entire conservative base and certainly the majority if not all of the conservative commentariate, some of whom were Reaganites in their youth.
And it is that radicalism, common to him and to many other conservatives in the House and in the Senate, that forced Boehner to pass a clean funding bill for Homeland Security without Republican support, relying on Democratic votes, a deal that was the only bright sign O's final years might not be years of total paralysis and final defeat for Obamacare.
And that in turn explains the fury of the conservatives of the base and of the commentariate against Boehner and McConnell.
Nixon was hated by the Democrats and fellow-traveling liberals before Watergate and they were delighted to use that scandal to destroy him, settling old scores from early Cold War days when he had been abundantly willing to use his otherwise undoubtedly sincere anti-communism for party advantage.
Think about the Alger Hiss/Whitaker Chambers affair, for example.
Politics, as they used to say, ain't beanbag.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Yes, let's have that conversation about race.
The next guy might replace 4 retiring Supremes.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
A completely medieval view of political legitimacy that has nothing to do with consent and everything to do with vassalage and divine right makes this perfectly OK.
Reading King Lear.
If Shakespeare has a view of politics I suspect this is it.
All of his blather about nature supports monarchy and aristocracy, more feudal than national.
And nothing in his plays about ancient republics contradicts.
Or maybe he just thinks it's all bullshit.
Which is understandable.
Goneril and Regan assure us he is no worse a fool than he has always been, right away, in the first act.
They cut him, betray him, and dishonor him and his because they can - he himself has enabled them - and it suits their greed and malice.
Regan to Lear: I pray you, father, being weak, seem so.
They plead in insolent, insulting, and false excuse that he is old and past it.
Lear replies irrelevantly to that charge, but pleads well for disrespected age.
Reading King Lear.
Kent is a thug and a bully.
What used to be called "a man's man."
Ours are not so very far from the dominant values of Shakespeare's age.
It's always a question of who calls the tune.
On slight evidence indeed, Gloucester believes his lawful and beloved son, Edgar, seeks his death to sooner reach his inheritance, even at the cost of splitting it with the bastard, Edmund, for his help, on the word of the latter.
Without wanting an interview with Edgar, without turning a hair, he orders his death, naming Edmund his heir, as was Edmund's plan.
Authority and virtue behave very stupidly in this incredible play.
Reading King Lear.
Obama suggests making it mandatory to vote.
Those who think the difference would matter also think it would be pro-Democratic.
Hence liberals favor it (along with votes for 16 year olds, convicts, people too lazy to get photo ID, resident aliens both legal and not, and maybe even foreigners) while conservatives oppose it (along with all those other things).
Sure. Think of South Africa for many decades before majority rule.
Think of any of the multitude of historic examples of democracies that rested on a far from universal franchise.
Athens was a democracy in which slavery was lawful and common; slaves did not vote - nor, I believe, did women.
Think of the democratic republics that have been the norm among the settler states born of the age of European expansion.
Those in Africa eventually failed, and one might say they failed because they broadened the franchise, exactly as predicted.
Except for Israel (so far).
Those in the Americas and Oceania are still with us, though mostly now with much expanded franchises.
My thought is that Bibi is out to save the Jewish State and he thinks the two-state solution too great a risk.
So instead he's going with a policy of long term ethnic cleansing that dares not speak its name.
Israel, after all, was founded in ethnic cleansing.
Not a single writer wringing his hands about the Arab population bomb in Israel has even dared to mention this, to think this thought.
But Bibi dares to think it, I think.
Why bother to incur global opprobrium by saying it?
Ask him in his sleep and he will tell you.
Oh, you want a Palestinian State?
There already is one and its name is "Jordan."
I am surprised a man as smart as DM can still deceive himself about Israel ever having been, or ever being, the Jews' global safe haven.
But smart people believe a lot of crap, after all.
The are preferring as wives women who they think more likely to stick with them over the long haul.
Women who "marry down" are often doing the same thing.
It is by no means just about Hillary.
Jews are a tiny but highly influential sliver of the American population.
And they are far more pro-Zionist than anyone else among the American elites or educated middle classes.
If they bolt in significant numbers to the Republicans out of loyalty to Israel that will change the dosage levels in the daily propaganda cuisine prepared for us all by the media - including the entertainment media - and served to the best and the brightest of all ages by dominant forces in education and culture, middle-brow and up.
How would that affect, for example, the media war on white people?
The more extravagant lunacies of the gay rights and feminist movements?
The position of the law in the ever-sharpening conflicts between the rights of religious individuals, organizations, and employers and the demands of sexual outlaws and women intent on killing their children - so far, only the unborn - and undermining traditional sex roles?
How far would it strengthen the media subversion of the traditional aims and achievements of class-based progressivism?
As Obama said, this one was not a stupid war, right?
Afghan woman killed by mob in Kabul
A woman killed by an angry mob in front of police in the Afghan capital last week for allegedly burning a copy of Islam’s holy book was wrongly accused, Afghanistan’s top criminal investigator has said.
Mobile phone footage circulating on social media shows police at the scene did not save the 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul on Thursday.
“Last night I went through all documents and evidence once again, but I couldn’t find any evidence to say Farkhunda burnt the holy Qur’an,” Gen Mohammad Zahir told reporters at her funeral on Sunday.
“Farkhunda was totally innocent.”
Of course, if she had been guilty, . . .
The numbered ones, I mean.
Claiming it's racist for Starbucks to inquire about or for us to notice the races of our acquaintances or to count them by race is an interesting defensive move that is apparently quite common.
A "more unracist than thou" sort of move.
The Broader Problem with Starbucks’ Racialism
I personally had enough PC racist bullying while in the army back in the early 1970's, where (and when) they called it "sensitivity training."
The "conversation about race"
A leading reason contemporary liberalism focuses so much on race, sex, and other identity issues is that billionaires decide what liberalism is about for the middle class professionals who run it and they don't want it to be about taming capitalism for the social good, the traditional agenda of progressives for more than a century.
Shocking race truthies of doubtful coherence from Starbucks/USA Today.
- A genome project proved race cannot be identified genetically.
- In a genetic study, 5% of self identified whites in South Caroline and Louisiana had at least 2% African ancestry.
I only got 9 out of 10 questions right (and there was some guessing) on the quiz.
There actually is such a thing as respectable journalism, and you can still find a lot of it in the New York Times.
Since 2013, 29 people in the United States have been charged or detained as juveniles on allegations of supporting the Islamic State, usually after trying to travel to Syria to fight for the terrorist group.
Two dozen other Americans are believed to either be with the Islamic State or to have been killed in the fighting.
6 are converts, 23 are from Muslim families.
8 are women, 21 are men.
11 are teenagers, 18 are ages 20 to 47.
Patrick Moore, Ph.D., has been a leader in international environmentalism for more than 40 years.
He cofounded Greenpeace and currently serves as chair of Allow Golden Rice.
Moore received the 2014 Speaks Truth to Power Award at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change, July 8, in Las Vegas.
The man is a renegade.
Golden Rice is a GMO rice variant altered to provide Vitamin A, which natural rice does not do.
Here, he writes:
Global warming is natural, much slower than the alarmists say, impossible to prevent, and not very threatening.
Measures proposed to prevent it by alarmists would be economically devastating to the whole world.
It would be much cheaper to just deal with it.
The IPCC is profoundly compromised by its bureaucratic interests.
[T]here is a powerful convergence of interests among key elites that support the climate “narrative.”
Environmentalists spread fear and raise donations; politicians appear to be saving the Earth from doom; the media has a field day with sensation and conflict; science institutions raise billions in grants, create whole new departments, and stoke a feeding frenzy of scary scenarios; business wants to look green, and get huge public subsidies for projects that would otherwise be economic losers, such as wind farms and solar arrays.
. . . .
[T]he Left sees climate change as a perfect means to redistribute wealth from industrial countries to the developing world and the UN bureaucracy.
‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ did not happen in Ferguson
Not that we hadn't all figured that out, long since.
Not that the racist black people who insist on this fiction will believe or care that it is fiction.
Conservatives seethe after attacks from allies of Boehner
Recall how the press used to sort Russian communists in the Politburo into those it called "liberal" and those it called "conservative."
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Almost comic, reading someone so clear-eyed and frank about the situation on the ground.
Peace awaits three things.
Eventual Palestinian acceptance of a Jewish state.
A Palestinian leader willing to sign a deal based on that premise.
A modicum of regional stability that allows Israel to risk the potentially fatal withdrawals such a deal would entail.
This part, however, is insincere or a mere act of faith against the evidence of more than a half century of experience.
I believe such a day will come.
But this again is right.
But there is zero chance it comes now or even soon.
That’s essentially what Netanyahu said in explaining — and softening — on Thursday his no-Palestinian-state statement.
Thereafter, the only place he goes wrong is where he supports the US continuing to play Israel's bodyguard, no matter the price.
On the other hand, he writes skeptically of the US and UN security guarantees that are supposed to provide Israel sufficient confidence to move ahead with the two-state solution.
And he is right to do so, and to compare such guarantees with American and NATO guarantees for the Ukraine.
He sees the guarantors are very, very unlikely to risk much to fulfill their promises.
What he does not concede is that those promises were rash and foolish, as would be any formal US guarantees for Israel.
Democracy in any Muslim state with a strong Islamist, anti-Zionist movement leads to strongly anti-Semitic rule by Islamic religious law.
Muslims within Israel, on the West Bank, and in the Gaza Strip have an exceptionally strong and violently anti-Semitic Islamist presence dominated by Hamas.
Those same Muslims would become voters with the same political and civil rights as anyone else in the democratic version of the one-state solution many American liberal Jews now officially favor, though they mournfully acknowledge that would soon end Israel's Jewish character.
Faced with a choice between a Jewish Israel and a democratic Israel, they choose the latter.
But so describing the choice hides the real nature of the alternative they now favor.
Imagine if ISIS sent emigrants to The Netherlands in sufficient numbers to make up about 55% of the population or more, five or ten years from now.
Imagine what that would do to The Netherlands, the native Dutch, and any Jews stupid enough to hang around waiting to see what happens.
All right, the comparison is hardly just.
But I say it is not at all clear who would be worse off, the Dutch under the ISIS immigration hypothesis or the Israeli Jews under the democratic one-state Hamas hypothesis.
Liberals who insist on the democratic one-state solution in Palestine are hiding the horrible truth when they sadly agree this will mean the end of Israel's specifically Jewish character, the end of the Zionist dream of a Jewish state, a Jewish homeland in Palestine, as though only that were at stake.
It will mean blood, genocidal slaughter of Jews, persecution and ethnic cleansing of a far more brutal type than that practiced by the Jews of Palestine against the Arabs.
It would not be too unfair, given the facts, to say that liberals who try actively to coerce Israel towards what they will certainly persist in referring to as a democratic one-state solution are objectively pro-Hamas, pro-Islamist, anti-Zionist, and anti-Semitic.
At best, Israel's future would be like Lebanon's past.
Only probably much worse.
The above considerations go far to explain why Bibi will not accept any significant transfer of legitimacy, sovereignty, or state power to a Palestinian State to be formed out of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Those would be transfers of legitimacy, sovereignty, or state power to Hamas.
Not a prudent move.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Act I, scene 2.
Edmund's speech against "the excellent foppery of the world" that the stars determine our natures, our characters, our dispositions, our vices, and our flaws is no defense of libertarianism.
"Fit! I should have been that I am had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing," he says.
That is more Schopenhauer than Sartre.
Reading King Lear.
The King is a childish boob, the basic premise is absurd, the three sisters are cardboard, Cordelia is a prig, and the values of the "good guys" are archaic, alien, and alienating.
On the other hand, Lear's folly gives occasion to Kent's true loyalty and the Fool's perceptive candor.
Israel is a junior member in a security alliance in which the needs of each partner are deeply imbalanced.
There's nothing wrong with that.
The two countries do share a range of common values and are bound together by a deep mutual affinity.
That is as good a reason as any for an alliance.
A more ridiculous anti-realist view of foreign policy, military alliances, and war would be very hard to imagine.
Not that common values and deep mutual affinity count for nothing.
The existence of common values and a deep mutual affinity is a perfectly good reason for us to sympathize with Israel, to wish that country well, and perhaps to offer support and encouragement at no significant cost.
But it is a perfectly stupid reason for any country to incur serious costs or take serious risks, both of which we have done to the tune of literally trillions, over the decades, for this tiny country wholly insignificant for our own security or interests.
Josh Marshall urges this change in US policy in light of Bibi's efforts to sabotage both the Iran deal and the two-state solution.
US policy should change.
Not on security, which should remain just as robust, but on the policy of blocking all external diplomatic pressure [for the two-state solution, for peace talks, for Palestinian rights, for moderation in Gaza, for compliance with UN resolutions and official US policy forbidding Jewish settlements on the West Bank and in Gaza, etc.] on the reasoning that leaving the Israelis free to settle things with the Palestinians between themselves is only way to reach a settlement.
It is clearly not.
So the policy should change.
That's not good enough.
That's not what we should do.
We should walk away from Israel, altogether.
Look again at the first quote from JM, the one about the basis of our security relationship with Israel in shared values and deep mutual affinity.
If that's a good reason not just to sympathize with Israel (which I most certainly do) but to provide a flat guarantee of its security, would it not also have applied to the same effect - to both same effects - to other European settler-states in Africa?
If not, why not?
But when conservatives made exactly such claims the left told us their talk of shared values and mutual affinity was just code for racism and the official view of the liberal Occident was that both white minority rule and partition, where practical, were unacceptable; the US and the West had to support local majority rule all over Africa.
So tell us, please, why Israel is special.
Recognition that it's not special, recognition that it's in a case on all fours with European colonialism that came to an end in the decades immediately after World War Two, is what drives abandonment of the two-state solution, of the idea of Israel as a truly Jewish State, and of both by increasing numbers of the left and even the Jewish left.
It even drives some of those folks to actively oppose, and insist the US and the UN and the world ought to oppose, both the two-state solution and the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish state.
Friedman, the other day, in the Times, told us that if the two-state solution is abandoned then if Israel remains democratic it will not remain Jewish.
And he pretty clearly liked that idea better than the alternative of decades of ethnic cleansing to push the Arabs out of all of Israel, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Maybe Josh Marshall feels the same way.
But the preferred solution, for him and I think Friedman, is partition and recognition, in Palestine, of both a Jewish State (Israel) and a Palestinian State, with explicit security guarantees for Israel from the UN and the US.
They might even insist that the Palestinian State have no army of its own, and that the Jewish State have a right to police or even invade the Palestinian State to prevent or oppose terrorism.
So again I ask Josh and those who agree with him, why is Israel special?
Why is a Jewish settler state in Palestine maintained in the face of deathless native opposition by constant and unchallenged security assistance from Europe and America OK while similar arrangements in Algeria, in Kenya, in South Africa, and elsewhere in Africa were not?
Joan and the Democrats she quotes are much more focused on CHIP than they are on how the Pelosi-Boehner deal screws seniors by raising costs and means-testing benefits.
The doc fix and senate Democrats
Seniors who will be adversely affected are mostly white and mostly vote for the wrong party.
The party that, given the chance, would screw them even worse, much worse, than this.
Seniors who will be shielded include the bulk of the non-whites, and they vote for the right party.
Kids don't vote but moms do, and they generally vote for the right party.
But now he has to deal with the UN, America, Europe, and the Arabs, who have not reacted well to his total disavowal of any Palestinian state.
Obama to 'reassess' Israel relationship
So now he's publicly embraced the two-state solution, again.
Bibi Walks Back
The man has covered himself with shit.
Should Anyone Believe Bibi?
Thursday, March 19, 2015
At the beginning of act 5, as he prepares at last to kill Cassio if Roderigo fails, Iago tells himself reasons like an irresolute man.
But this is impossible for his character.
And he has already revealed his motives to the audience, long since.
Desdemona's death scene is ridiculous.
A strangled woman suddenly bursts out with loud complaints and then dies?
What, this time at last for the last time?
And then even Roderigo returns from the dead to denounce Iago.
How did Iago think for a moment to get away with it all, in the end?
Caught with his murdered wife in his bed, the Moor confesses immediately and lays it all at Iago's feet, Iago proved to him his wife betrayed him with Cassio.
And that's it for this evil genius of deceit, since nobody believes him for an instant.
Only the Moor believed him even that long.
At the play's end he awaits death by torture at the hands of Cassio.
At the end of III, 3 Othello demands and receives Iago's promise to kill Cassio, resolved himself to murder Desdemona.
But then Iago spends another act trying to convince the Moor, and we watch Othello struggle to resolve himself.
Iago does not finally attempt to dispose of Cassio until the start of act five, and still Othello delays his part.
Good God the souls of all my tribe defend
Was Iago a Jew in some early draft of the play?
I never saw Fishburne in the role but will yet.
He is a fine actor.
I have a tape of Olivier, who is also fine but plays the role in blackface and, looking with today's eyes, perhaps made a silly and embarrassing to do of acting the part of a black man.
Ethnic cleansing must be part of the plan.
Apparently, that's just too unthinkable even to be mentioned in accounts of how this might play out.
But the ICC, which has no jurisdiction, does get mentioned.
What the hell does this really mean?
The big carrot for conservatives: two major reforms that cut billions of dollars from Medicare spending in the long-term.
One change would require upper-income seniors to pay higher co-pays; another would reduce spending on supplemental "Medigap" plans that some elderly beneficiaries enjoy.
The reforms would be phased in to avoid immediate disruptions.
. . . .
"Essentially this would increase the amount [paid by] individuals with income of $133,000 and families of around $260,000," said Rep. Sander Levin (MI), the top Democrat on the powerful Ways & Means Committee.
"These changes are much better than others that we could have done. ... So there are some major, major pluses in this."
So only Medicare recipients with incomes - not savings - as indicated would be affected by the "higher copays"?
Is that what Levin's talk of "the amount [paid by] individuals" refers to?
Too, as used in the industry, the term "medigap" does not include advantage plans but old-fashioned Medicare supplements.
But in this article?
Sometimes the ignorance of journos and the shoddiness of their reporting get really annoying.
The Times apparently toned down its online attacks on Bibi, at some point yesterday.
Considerably more interesting is how much left support, and Jewish support, there is for the not at all toned down version that involved lots more anger and lots more denunciations of racism.
And for a shift in the US position regarding Israel, though that is not to say any of these people are looking for a withdrawal of the permanent, tacit US guarantee of Israel's safety and existence as a state.
Far from it.
Recall that the two-state solution supported by the US and others frankly includes UN and specifically US security guarantees, guarantees that our congress would be only too delighted to formalize with a treaty.
Guarantees these irate Jews and other irate leftists, upset at Bibi and Bibi's policies, have shown no sign of opposing.
In the days before the election, Netanyahu accused the opposition of being manipulated by Americans, insulted Arabs for simply voting, doubled down on support for settlements in East Jerusalem and—most significantly—said there would be no Palestinian state on his watch, thereby confirming a view that critics always suspected he harbored.
. . . .
Monday’s comment set his feet in cement.
“I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state and evacuate territory gives territory away to radical Islamist attacks against Israel,” Netanyahu told a website owned by his most generous supporter, American casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson.
Should he go back on this pledge, his right-wing supporters would desert him and he would be forced to call another election next year that he would likely lose.
And yet the "reckoning" Alter predicts is not much: a few UN slaps on the wrist, more successes for the leftists of the divestment movement, and unwillingness of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and other Arab states to "ally with Israel against Iran" - whatever he actually means by that.
Bibi and his supporters will complain, but regard those things as a very small price to pay for the nation's safety.
In the wake of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decisive reelection, the Obama administration is revisiting longtime assumptions about America’s role as a shield for Israel against international pressure.
Angered by Netanyahu’s hard-line platform toward the Palestinians, top Obama officials would not rule out the possibility of a change in American posture at the United Nations, where the U.S. has historically fended off resolutions hostile to Israel.
. . . .
There is no virtually no chance that the U.S. will trim its financial or military support for Israel.
But some analysts believe that going forward, Netanyahu may be vulnerable in international forums where the U.S. has long been a bulwark against criticism of Israel and its presence in Palestinian territories.
“I do think the administration is going to look very closely at the possibility of either joining, or at least not blocking an internationally backed move at the U.N. to restate the parameters for ending the conflict,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the left-leaning pro-Israel group J Street.
I can hear Bibi now, going "Oh, boo hoo."
As I noted before, if O goes too far with this it will please the angry Jewish left but hurt any Democrats who support him with far more Jews, both the money and influence men and the men in the street.
The Republicans and the neocons will be thrilled to howl mightily, all the more delighted if these new O moves happen over many months, right up to the primary season and generals of 2016.
The White House hoped a new Israeli prime minister would resume peace talks with the Palestinians.
With Netanyahu holding on, the administration is weighing a turn to the U.N. to help force a deal.
Because O, thinking the US, the indispensable nation, the exceptional nation, needs to support a morally/politically correct disposition of Palestine, and his vision of that, about two decades behind the contemporary left, is the old two-state solution that included and includes a right to national statehood in Palestine for the Palestinians?
Does it, in his mind, include a right to national statehood in Palestine for the Jews?
So will he be urging all this at the UN as an open ally of the Palestinians in opposition to the Israeli position?
The Lobby will beat his head in and the Democrats will lose a lot of their Jewish support, both big money Jews and plain old Jewish voters.
They never had the serious Christian Zionists to lose.
Which way will Hillary, quondam senator from New York, jump on this?
By the way, it looks like Bibi's support comes increasingly from religious Zionists and less and less from secular supporters of the real Zionist idea, that of a Jewish State in Palestine.
A Jewish State in the sense that makes sense to ethnic nationalists, that is.
For Jews as well as for everyone else in the Occident, ethnic nationalism has come to smell more than faintly of sulfur and there is a marked inclination on the left to equate it morally with racism, particularly among younger folk.
Perhaps this is happening as well in Israel, itself?
By the way, II, neither the US nor Israel nor any of their citizens is subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC, if Wikipedia is right on this point.
So it is unclear why it is mentioned in the article as a possible venue for action against Israel.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
My God, they are awesome.
Not stringy, the peels just fall off, the segments separate neatly and turn out to be little bags of juice.
They are so much better than navel oranges it's hard to believe they're not GMOs.
The wife saw the commercials and got me to try them.
Iago is so repulsive a character, he so fills you with foreboding it is hard to read his lines.
Is Othello's isolation supposed to make it more believable to us that the greater and less plausible infidelity is more believable to him than the lesser, more plausible one?
That he should credit Desdemona's betrayal without so much as suspecting Iago's?
Yes, I think so.
By the way, are we supposed to believe Iago's wife has cuckolded him with the Moor, or only that he does, at least by half?
Though that's enough, I suppose.
The pro-Ebola position of the liberals still controls official US policy.
And the press, whom they told to shut up about it months ago.
But, seriously, all of these people are voluntarily waiting out the 21 day quarantine period?
Sure, they are.
Another four U.S. healthcare workers were flown back to the United States for monitoring for possible exposure to the Ebola virus, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday.
The return of the four U.S. healthcare workers brings to 16 the number of Americans who have returned to the United States from Sierra Leone since Friday, the CDC said.
That includes a healthcare worker in critical condition who is being treated for Ebola in a Maryland biocontainment unit run by the National Institutes of Health.
Most of the healthcare workers are employed by the aid group Partners in Health.
Only one of the 16 has tested positive for Ebola.
The rest are being flown to Atlanta and Maryland, which have special biocontainment units.
They are all undergoing monitoring for Ebola in self-imposed isolation as they wait out the remainder of the 21-day Ebola incubation period.
The Editorial Board says
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s outright rejection of a Palestinian state and his racist rant against Israeli Arab voters on Tuesday showed that he has forfeited any claim to representing all Israelis.
. . . .
Mr. Netanyahu showed that he was desperate, and craven, enough to pull out all the stops.
On Monday, he promised that if his Likud faction remained in power, he would never allow the creation of a Palestinian state, thus repudiating a position he had taken in 2009.
His behavior in the past six years — aggressively building Israeli homes on land that likely would be within the bounds of a Palestinian state and never engaging seriously in negotiations — has long convinced many people that he has no interest in a peace agreement.
But his statement this week laid bare his duplicity, confirmed Palestinian suspicions and will make it even harder for him to repair his poisoned relations with President Obama, who has invested heavily in pushing a two-state solution.
Mr. Netanyahu added to the ugliness of the campaign when, during Tuesday’s voting, he said in a video on social media: “Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are streaming in huge quantities to the polling stations.”
This outrageous appeal to hard-line voters implied that only he could save Israel from its enemies, including the country’s Arab citizens, who represent 20 percent of the population and have long been discriminated against.
There were signs that Arab Israelis were turning out in somewhat higher numbers, apparently to vote for the Joint Arab List, a coalition of four small parties.
House Republicans unveiled a budget on Tuesday that, in addition to repealing Obamacare, reprises many of the safety net cuts Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) proposed in previous years.
In his budget blueprint, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), who took over for Ryan as chairman of the House Budget Committee this year, seeks to balance federal spending over 10 years by cutting assistance to the poor while boosting the defense budget.
As GW pointed out some years ago, elections have consequences.
Group seeks to replace Jackson with a woman on the $20 for 100th birthday of the 19th Amendment
Not that she had anything to do with the 19th Amendment.
Netanyahu Scores Crushing Victory
The Times comes within a hair of calling him a racist and so does KOS for last minute appeals to his voters that warned the left was busing in large numbers of Arab voters to beat him.
No one says his claims were untrue.
Bibi in Israel
Deep Wounds and Lingering Questions After Israel’s Bitter Race
Says Isabel Kershner,
JERUSALEM — Benjamin Netanyahu was poised to return to power.
But there was a cloud over his apparent turnaround, the result of an increasingly shrill campaign that raised questions about his ability to heal Israel’s internal wounds or better its standing in the world.
He said there would be no Palestinian state under his watch.
He railed against Israeli Arabs — because they had gone out to vote.
From the capitals of Europe, to Washington, to the West Bank, to the streets of Israel, even while his critics said Mr. Netanyahu had reaffirmed his reputation as a cynical, calculating politician, it appeared that his approach succeeded in drawing votes from other right-leaning parties.
We report, you decide, hmm?
Notable members of the Jewish commentariate are abandoning Bibi and Bibi's Israel.
Here's Jon Chait giving his inverted world vision of what Bibi is about and what traditional Zionism was and is about.
(Hint. A Jewish state in Palestine.)
Netanyahu Clarifies His Chilling Vision for Post-Democratic Israel
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Monday, March 16, 2015
Too right wing for me on taxes and all that "work hard and you'll be fine" crap, anyway.
Al Gore at SXSW: We Need to ‘Punish Climate-Change Deniers’ and ‘Put a Price on Carbon’
Interesting what nonsense Joe Biden talks about Israel, and that neither JG nor more contemporary Jews are buying it.
The immediate purpose of Zionism was to build a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
The underlying purpose was to create a place of safety for individual Jews and the Jewish people.
Regarding the latter, Israel has been a failure from the moment the idea was conceived.
America is the safest place in the world for Jews, individually and as a people.
Regarding the former, Israel may yet also fail.
Also interesting how un-hostile, even sympathetic, the article is toward Marine Le Pen.
As the article reports, this warming toward the FN and its leader seems to be a bit of a trend among some Jews.
No doubt JG will be attacked for that in coming days.
Why sane people hate people involved in politics, lesson 1,345,654,456.
In no sane universe does Kerry bear responsibility for the letter signed by 47 of the 50+ Republican senators, published as an open letter to Iran with the purposes of undermining the administration's negotiations, pleasing the party's conservative base, and advancing the career of Tom Cotton.
But Kerry's charges that the letter is full of falsehoods and unconstitutional are both egregious lies.
And the beat goes on.
Of course, the Iranians might conclude from the letter that their best shot at a good deal is with Kerry, since after 2016 only worse terms might be available.
Or they might suspect this is a bit of bipartisan, good cop/bad cop.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Alabama House passes bill allowing officials to refuse to perform same-sex marriages
The Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would allow any judge, minister or other official to refuse to perform a marriage ceremony.
The point of this law is to shield medical people and institutions from government coercion.
It is to protect their liberty.
Amy spins it as an attack on the liberty of groups to whom some medical professionals or institutions might not provide some desired service, uncoerced by the government.
Pure gibberish, but then propaganda wars are like that.
Saturday, March 14, 2015
And that is true whichever is the cart or the horse, white seniors voting Republican or Democrats withdrawing their protection for earned benefits on which white seniors rely.
I'm guessing the following means anybody not poor enough for Medicaid or other forms of special help for Medicare beneficiaries who are utterly destitute will be getting hammered with hikes to "cost sharing."
Friday, March 13, 2015
In Scandinavian polars, Christians are universally benighted and all but universally Protestant wife or child beating psychopaths, especially the clergy.
Doesn't seem entirely fair, somehow.
Only a tad less universal is an egregious political leftism.
Still, they are the best.
But to admit this is to admit that the interests or the happiness of the individual do not require very much at all.
Putting President Obama on the Supreme Court is sort of a no-brainer, and I expect Hillary Clinton to seriously consider it if a slot opens up while she's serving as president.
Only airhead racists like Boo would want to put a racist like O on the Supreme Court.
And O is unquestionably a racist, though that did not mar his presidency in any very significant way until his and Holder's recent interventions concerning Ferguson and policing in America.
On the Court, it would be more harmful from the beginning.
Will Hillary do a Sister Souljah moment, dissociating herself from these racist antics of O, Holder, Al Sharpton, Jeremiah Wright, and the ofay-hating left, black and white?
I doubt it.
That would plunge the Democrats into turmoil and disaster far more serious than Rand Paul denouncing the new Klan would the Republicans.
Come to that, he's probably already done it.
Wasn't the production and sale of rabbits' feet abolished years ago in the US under pressure from animal rights types?
Wikipedia says it's a contribution of voodoo to American culture.
Be glad it wasn't this.
Every step O takes like this costs the party white votes in 2016.
Did they have white votes to spare?
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Politicians don't only lie about their agendas, their religious beliefs, and their sex lives.
Here, Kerry takes the imperial presidency another step forward.
Kerry tells Republicans: you cannot modify Iran-U.S. nuclear deal
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Republicans who control Congress on Wednesday they would not be able to modify any nuclear agreement struck between the United States and Iran.
Kerry said he responded with "utter disbelief" to an open letter to Iran on Monday signed only by Republican senators that said any deal would only last as long as U.S. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, remains in office.
"When it says that Congress could actually modify the terms of an agreement at any time is flat wrong," Kerry, who has been negotiating a deal to rein in Iran's nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"You don't have the right to modify an agreement reached executive to executive between leaders of a country."
Put that broadly, this is a breathtaking nullification of the constitutional assignment of the treaty-making power to the senate.
Asserting that not every agreement needs to be enshrined in a treaty is one thing.
Asserting all subsequent presidents are bound to comply with such an agreement is lunatic.
Later presidents might abide such an agreement but there is no impediment in the constitution or the law to their declining to do so.
Kerry: Even a Republican president won’t undo Iran nuclear deal
We may hope Kerry is right about that but there is no guarantee.
And he may well be right about the practical impediments to a Republican successor of Obama simply rejecting an executive agreement with Iran about nukes, if he and O can get one made.
But whether it would be prudent is quite a different question from whether it would be within the new executive's power.
And asserting the executive can make whatever agreements it likes with foreign powers and avoid the need for senate agreement by simply not bothering to submit the deal to the senate for confirmation pretty much deprives of all point the constitutional assignment of the treaty-making power to that body.
The constitution is also totally silent on the alleged inherent power of the presidency to make executive agreements at all, of any kind.
Weigh that when you consider who is on more solid constitutional ground, here.
PS and by the way.
The constitution is notoriously silent on the matter of abrogating a treaty as well as the conditions under which the US is no longer bound by the terms of an existing treaty.
It is likewise silent on abrogation of or release from executive agreements, which is no surprise since it has nothing at all to say about such things, their alleged constitutionality being pure invisible ink.