Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 42 (since 2010-06-30 16:28:47)

Physicist

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  • Judis's scholarly book on Truman's decision gets the Jeffrey Goldberg treatment
  • Israeli government implosion over peace process opens door to international isolation
    • I certainly agree with the bottom line. The post by Annie Robbins about the tempest in a teapot at the Knesset illustrates this fact.

  • Thomas Friedman occupies BDS
    • I'm aware of many concerns about the columns by Thomas Friedman. I think he's paid to express an opinion or fresh look at many issues. Sometimes he's interesting and provocative. Other times he stimulates derisive responses. In this article, I thought he had a success with the highlighted paragraph in that he made me think about the role of the EU. The response by Dr. Kanaaneh had a similar effect. And his response was stimulated by the Friedman column. As they say, it's all good.

  • When you watch football, you are complicit in violent assault
    • I don't agree with the two lead sentences. I don't feel like a sadist if I watch football.

      I do agree with the general theme of the article. The violence is one concern. However, the long-term effect of severe injuries is the bigger concern to me. I'm thinking of the head injuries mostly, but also the knee injuries.

      I speak as a person who has done sports for approximately 50 years now starting with football and baseball, evolving to handball and now also much basketball. My absence of severe football injuries allows me to continue to play basketball against the young guys. I played on the practice team against YMCA players last night.

      I was watching during the knee injury on Sunday night. I didn't watch any of the replays because I already knew enough about the injury. Last night, as I was finishing my warmups (the key to playing as an older person), a young guy was taken away by paramedics after a collision in a basketball game. Neither of these injuries by themselves would keep me from these sports.

      Physical intimidation is part of many of these games. I play a "physical" game of basketball. On Sunday a young guy seemed to send me a "message" with a hard collision early in the first game. Both of us pretended to not notice, but others responded right away with comments. These comments were immediate feedback from the community about over-the-top violence. I was more aware of my box-outs and picks after this incident.

      Usually we can control our emotions to make the violence controlled. In fact, I think many amateur athletes use games as therapy to reduce the possibility of uncontrolled violence. This is a common observation as we are saying our farewells after having played the games.

      Every sports person, especially players who are parents, expresses concern about football when I bring up this same subject. We all have heard the various news stories. We may have forgotten the names and the details, but we have a sense that football has too much uncontrolled violence that leads to lifelong injuries. This feeling takes away much of my enthusiasm for football. I assume that a poll would show a decline of enthusiasm in a population of fans.

      Finally, I note that the NFL seems to be ignoring the concerns of the fans and former players. I could be wrong, because I don't follow the details, but it seems to me that they are like AIPAC and similar organizations.

  • Avigdor Lieberman bombs everywhere but in The New York Times
    • I'm very happy to hear that he's not bombing the NY Times. It should be a sanctuary. Not all the reporters are in Israel. Also, even though it is very electronic, there are still some support staff in the buildings.

  • Following 'a great deal of consultation,' NYT corrects itself on the Apartheid Wall
    • I applaud your effort and persistence.

      Although I have quit as an NPR listener and contributor because of the similar lapses in objective reporting about Israel-Palestine issues, today I happened to hear an NPR interview with Barbara Slavin about the agreement with Iran. At the beginning, I heard that many nations are against it because it favors Iran too much. Of course, the next item was a recitation of the Netanyahu objections with details. I waited to hear the other shoe drop. However, I never heard it drop; I never heard about the objections from other countries. At the end, I concluded that once again I had heard a one-shoe interview. I turned off the radio.

  • Netanyahu's greatest fear: Linkage
  • Jodi Rudoren intentionally obscured reality in her recent piece on Beit Ommar
    • This post and the video seems to be a unique opportunity to examine a New York Times (NYT) article from another point of view. It appears that this situation for a NYT reporter required not only reporting skills and storytelling skills but also an awareness of the perspective of the NYT that had to be kept in mind to further a career. As soon as I began thinking about the events in this way, I began to recall some of the analysis of the behavior of the "good German" that I heard when I was a young man. Having begun to reread Shirer's book "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" again, I will look for information about how people rationalize their behavior when they focus mostly on rewards, not only financial, but also those involving approval by their peers and authority figures. Perhaps the next book that I read will be one written by Hannah Arendt.

  • Anti-semitism charge against Mearsheimer failed
    • In response to a comment like this one, I think a normal person would focus on thinking and listening instead of regurgitating.

  • Chuck Hagel confirmed as Secretary of Defense by 58-41 vote (Updated)
    • Jason Ditz monitors various sites to collect the news for his posts. From his post, I gather that "Channel 10" spoke to the unnamed officials. I agree with Jimmy about the attempt to influence Pres. Obama. More information about this latest effort would be interesting.

  • More on SNL's fellate-a-donkey for Israel skit
    • I think your phrase, "doing the donkey for Israel," is the most memorable way to state what the lobby wants from politicians. I think that it is a great phrase because it is vague at first, but memorable when one knows what it means.

      I hope that some demonstrators get into the hearing room and start shouting "Stop doing the donkey!" over and over.

  • 'Tablet' gets it wrong: Student Israel activists passed out anti-BDS flyers during Brooklyn College event (updated)
  • Hagel offers himself as secretary of Israel's defense
  • '5 Broken Cameras' plays NY and Tulsa, 'Gatekeepers' makes NPR
    • As mentioned by dickerson3870, this movie can be streamed from Netflix. I noticed that "My First War" and "Palestine Blues" can also be seen in this way on Netflix.

  • No diversity: NPR's 'National Conversation' on US-Israel future includes 5 Zionists, no Palestinians
    • I also sent a complaint letter to the NPR ombudsman. I made a similar complaint about the the Lieberman event involving Roboert Siegel a few weeks ago. I never received a response. In fact, I don't recall receiving any response to any letter that I've sent to NPR with the exception of those that went to the local station manager.

  • Hagel prostrates himself before the lobby, gets votes
    • I looked at the full-page ad in the New York Times today that opposes the confirmation of Sen. Hagel. At the bottom of this ad, paid for by the Emergency Committee for Israel, is a call for action. It urges us to call Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to "ask them to put country ahead of party" in urging them to vote against confirming Sen. Hagel. I wonder which country, Israel or the United States, should we envision during this phone call? This question could be a good one for the start of a discussion with any senator's office.

    • I agree with Annie. This was really Sen. Hagel coming to the rescue of Sen. Schumer after he had put himself in an untenable position by doing the biding of AIPAC.

  • Think Hagel represents meaningful change for US foreign policy? Think again.
    • I like this article and its different interpretation of the meaning of the Sen. Hagel nomination. However, I tend to side with Phil's optimistic point of view, and I echo the comments by ToivoS. In my comment, I start with an observation about the AP item quoted in the article concerning the military option. Sen. Hagel states that the military option is on the table. To me, it's obvious that it is on the table for any nominee for that position, and thus there is no conclusion to be drawn from his statement. However, the reason I'm optimistic about Sen. Hagel is that if he were the Sec. of Defense, a process involving facts and assessments about costs and outcomes will be undertaken before a new war is started. Furthermore, the confirmation process itself will not be one that the warmongers would prefer. I think that in the end, they will wish that they had confirmed Sen. Hagel by voice vote so they could have avoided all the discussion about the military budget and the failures of neocon ideas. Finally, I think the whole point of the war talk is to divert attention from the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. My expectation is that a realist, such as Sen. Hagel, will reduce the probability that war chatter can lead to a real war. It's not a huge expectation, but it's enough to make me hope that he survives the confirmation process.

  • Elliott Abrams calls Chuck Hagel an anti-Semite
    • I looked at the comments at the NPR site. At this time, there are 52 comments. All express various forms of antipathy towards Elliott Abrams. Furthermore, the NPR news-slanters, such as Robert Siegel, could learn that some of the antipathy also targets NPR.

  • Obama taps Hagel with combative speech-- following outreach to AIPAC
    • "The same consensus exists within the Israeli national security community, which is opposed to Netanyahu on this one. That’s one reason why, despite repeated predictions from all of you, Israel hasn’t attacked Iran."

      The falsehood involving the word "all" in the middle of the last sentence deflates the impact of the comment. I never made any such predictions; I bet that some other commenters did not either. Also, I was unaware that the Israeli security community had concern about "American interests." I thought they were concerned about "Israeli interests."

  • Multiple reports say Chuck Hagel to be Defense Secretary nominee
    • The essence of this article is captured in the title: "Conservatives relish prospect of Hagel confirmation fight." The idea is that a Sen. Hagel nomination would be a disaster for the Obama presidency. She says "Indeed, it is Democrats on Capitol Hill who seem glum and pro-Israel critics of the president who are nearly giddy with anticipation." Evidently, the pro-Israel critics have flipped from being negative about the nomination to being supportive. It's probably too late to stop this anticipated nomination and the disaster it will create. Perhaps Pres. Obama's only option is to resign immediately.

    • I did a quick look through the comments at the link from Annie. My impression is that the majority of the longer, thoughtful comments are strongly supportive of Sen. Hagel. Some of the shorter, negative comments seemed to be repeats of the information from the smear campaign. They weren't interesting. However, the longer, negative comments, in the minority, were more thoughtful and interesting.

    • Haaretz has an article about the impending Sen. Hagel nomination (Divisive, Israel-centered battle royal looms in Washington as Hagel appointment appears imminent). I noticed that most of the 24 comments are supportive of the Sen. Hagel nomination. Another article on this access-controlled site expresses concern about Al Jazeera having access to millions of American homes. Once again, it seems that the Mondoweiss readers have invaded the Haaretz site.

  • Endless 'debate over two-state solution' is cover for the real story, annexation of West Bank
    • Phil's original post generated some discussion with details. Today I decided to insert a supportive comment to emphasize what I think is the essence of the issue. I agree with the statement by surewin. In addition, I think that all the fuss about nukes in Iran is part of this public relations effort. In the end, this effort is doomed because the Palestinians will remain as the living facts on the ground. Although one can summarize approximately 60 years of history in a few sentences, I think no one knows what will have happened after another decade of time. I hope those events don't involve the US military.

  • White House to announce Hagel nomination shortly, Republican Jewish Coalition reports
    • This has the ring of truth to me. The statement by Pres. Obama implied that a positive decision was being approached, but the process was not complete. The information leaking through various White House staff is consistent with this notion. However, as suggested by others, it's not done until it's done.

      In my reading of various postings and comments, I somewhere picked up speculation that some AIPAC folks are unhappy with particular neocons. The accusation is that Kristol and other neocons were attempting to strengthen their attack on Sen. Hagel by linking to the political power of AIPAC. However, they didn't obtain approval for this linkage. Consequently, there is some complaining about this tactic, which will look very bad if Sen. Hagel is nominated.

      I'll be curious about further developments in this interpretation of the smear campaign events.

  • After Islamophobic hate crime in New York City, mayor wants public to 'keep death in perspective'
    • Being a "theoretical" physicist, I'm compelled to respond to the new category of physicist, the "theatrical" physicist. At the next meeting at which we do introductions to each other, I will announce that I'm a "theatrical" physicist. Until then, I will be developing ideas for "good" descriptions of the meaning of the term.

  • With conventional wisdom solidifying behind Hagel, will Obama finally declare on 'Meet the Press?'
    • Andrew Sullivan cites the Duss article in a comment (Sullivan ) today.

      Here is the essence of what Sullivan says: "Hagel's journey has been very similar to my own, in response to the same set of damning facts over the same period of time - and we have both been smeared as Jew-haters for our response to empirical reality. For those reasons, perhaps I am overly fond of Hagel - because he represents a future, reality-based, non-group-think conservatism that can rid itself of the neocon cancer. And that's why Obama's possible selection of him for secretary of defense would not just broaden the range of views within the cabinet on military intervention, but could begin to craft a post-neocon conservatism in foreign policy, where defense - and not hegemonic offense - is the core American value."

  • Neocons, wearing jackboots, are suddenly on the defensive over Hagel
  • Chuck Hagel gets reinforcement from gay rights advocates, but White House is wobbling
    • Inspired by the fact that Phil Weiss has yet another post about this matter today, I will make a small comment here.

      I enjoyed this thoughtful article. However, no specific ideal candidate is discussed and compared with Chuck Hagel. It is really an article about the ineffectiveness of the antiwar movement, as stated in the opening sentence.

      The primary issue is that the advocates for war with Iran oppose Chuck Hagel because he has been negative about such a war. These warmongers seem to be confident that any other candidate would be more supportive of a war with Iran.

      Just as the article makes an argument without mentioning a name of an ideal candidate, I make an argument without naming the ideal candidate: The ideal candidate is one opposed by the warmongers. Other matters, such as existing wars, are secondary details at this time of making a choice of a specific person.

    • David Bromwich states his opinion about this matter in "Chuck Hagel and the Trial-Balloon Method" at the Huffington Post: link to huffingtonpost.com.

      I liked his article. On the surface, his article regards the nomination as doomed, but it also strongly supports Chuck Hagel. In other words, we failed, but let's keep trying.

      I think it would be worthwhile to read the entire article instead of any summary that I might attempt.

  • The wrong way to defend Chuck Hagel from neoconservative smears
    • The initial negative response at Dailykos was the fact the Chuck Hagel is a Republican. The argument was that the nomination of a Republican furthers the notion that only Republicans can be trusted for defense. I didn't see anything negative about Chuck Hagel as a person. I hadn't noticed any use of the argument that he wasn't a strong supporter of Israel, but I have been wondering if it is an underlying, unstated reason.

    • Here is a URL to a White House petition that supports Chuck Hagel: link to petitions.whitehouse.gov

      I received the request from Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com.

      Here is the text: We petition the Obama administration to:
      Nominate Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense -- and fight for his nomination

      In response to the news that former Sen. Hagel is a frontrunner for SecDef, a vicious smear campaign has been launched that seeks to impugn his character. While the Washington elite is committed to perpetual war, and considers American soldiers to be pawns to be moved around on the global chessboard, Hagel understands what war really means -- he would be the first SecDef with actual battleground experience since Caspar Weinberger. Mr. President, please ignore the laptop bombardiers and nominate a true American patriot, who puts America and American interests first -- and put the full weight of your enormous prestige behind him. You won't regret it.

  • During hour-long interview at Saban Forum, no one dared ask Lieberman about corruption case that cost him his job
  • NPR host Siegel serves as moderator for Avigdor Lieberman at Saban gala
    • I attended the radio board meeting of the local NPR station. I was able to express my concerns about one-sided coverage. I explicitly complained about the actions of Robert Siegel at the Saban event. Now I will also complain to the main office. Given that Robert Siegel is attempting to play a role in Middle Eastern politics, he should be removed from any roles as an objective journalist.

    • On Tuesday I think we have a monthly meeting of the local NPR station staff, the board members and a few listeners. If my schedule permits, I'll complain in person. In the past, the staff has shown great skill in listening carefully, but doing nothing. However, I'll be curious about the reactions from whoever is there.

    • Yes. I was thinking about Reich for another reason as I wrote the comment.

    • Lately I've been reading comments at sites other than Mondoweiss. For example, the comments at Democratic Underground illustrate the fact the majority of those who comment have an opinion that is contrary to the AIPAC story.

      Today I followed Annie's link to the NPR site. I basically ignored the story, but I looked at many of the comments. The discussion was more civil than what I see at most sites. Also, the level of information seemed high, although my level is mostly at awareness rather than knowledge. Many of the NPR listeners seem to have information sources other than NPR.

      Finally, I note that my opinion about Robert Reich is much lower than my opinion of Jodi Rudoren at the NYT. I often think of personal progress in terms of journeys and destinations. I try to do journeys without having a fixation on whether I've reached my destination. It seems to me that Jodi Rudoren is taking a journey that may take her to a non-Zionist destination. It seems that Robert Reich has been in the same place for several decades. He probably has no recollection about any journeys.

  • NPR's Bob Garfield says a listener who senses pro-Israel bias has 'a receiver in his dental fillings'
    • In the past, when it was time to donate to NPR, I have complained about the one-sided pro-Zionist slant to their stories. In the future, I will tell them that I've become accustomed to the free broadcasts from my fillings.

  • Siun and Philip Munger say FDL has offered a platform for criticism of Israel
    • This exchange reminds me that during a basketball game last week I got between two really big guys who were about to get physical while arguing over the score. They were on the same team! I'm happy to report that they shook hands and chatted after the game ended.

  • Blaming the victim
    • I would not dwell on the matters you state but I always try to learn something from these experiences. So even if 99% of the problem was caused by someone else, I think through my contribution.

      I have a new "in the wrong" suggestion. I would have called the cops about a bus driver who drives this way. I'm surprised that someone on the bus didn't do it. In the old days, I would get a license and pull over to find a phone. One Sunday 30 years ago, my sister and I stopped at a farmhouse to report a deranged driver. Nowadays, with a cell phone easily available, there is no question that I would want to call. I would be honest about what I did but the main point is that a person driving a bus should not be driving like a juvenile whether the bus is full or empty.

      Concerning the finger salute, I would never give it to someone I think is deranged. I would give it to someone like you, who gave it to me. I've tried being discrete, so my family didn't notice, but it usually doesn't work. Then I have two sets of people unhappy with me.

  • Updated comments policy
    • Phil,

      Stimulated by this comment, here is an idea for handling the over-the-top comments after you become tired of your new procedure that involves editing them. Simply put them in a special place, perhaps "Outrageous Comments." When we want to see them, we can go look at them. However, no one can respond to them. Each of these comments will have resulted in a dead end. If someone wants to revise their comment into a normal comment that continues the discussion, they can go back to the original post and insert their more moderate comment.

  • Republicans finally divide over neocon Rx of permanent war

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