Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 8936 (since 2009-12-17 04:46:00)

Showing comments 8936 - 8901

  • Mother of Palestinian baby burned to death tried to save her child
    • Loose or lose?

    • "We tend to forget that we’re all animals basically.

      Empathy is learned – not in-born to the human condition."

      Many animals show concern for the well-being of others. They seem to have built-in tendencies to do this.
      Why do you suppose that empathy is not one of the built-in tendencies of human animals?

  • Understanding the Partition plan
    • "You allude in this article to both Jews and Arabs supporting the British effort. But I thought the Nazis were supported by the Arabs — that whole Desert Fox thing,"

      The Desert Fox was Rommel. Nothing to do with Arabs.

      In Palestine the British recruited Arabs and Jews into the Palestine Regiment. They fought in North Africa. However, the Hagannah persuade the Jewish section to replace the Union Jack with a Star of David. This broke the Regiment, and it was disbanded.

      link to

      The Libyan Brigade was their own idea. They were Senussis who allied themselves with the British to eject the Italians.

      There was pro-Nazi, anti-British sentiment in Iraq. In Egypt, where the British forces in the ME had their major bases, the Egyptians mostly supported the British. Many of the Free French forces were Arabs from French North Africa.

      However, my own guess is that most people in the area just wanted all the foreigners - Italians, French, British, Germans, and, eventually, Americans - to go away and fight their wars somewhere else.

    • "Arabs do not accept the idea of Jewish sovereignty in their part of the world,"

      That is to say that Arabs do not accept the idea that European Jews have the right to invade Palestine, claim exclusive rights to the country, and then, through terrorism and violence, drive Arabs of their farms, steal Arab houses and businesses, expel a large proportion of the Arab population and make the remainder second class citizens, reject all reasonable peace deals, make war on the Arab neighbours, expand into another section of Palestine, subject the people there to an oppressive regime while dispossessing as many more of them, slaughter many more both in Gaza and the neighbouring countries, and lie continuously about the whole thing.

      What irrational bigots those Arabs are!

  • Did the BBC cover up the anti-Semitism of Gaza's children?
    • Sorry, echinococcus. I can't find it.

    • "You totally equate Jewishness with Zionism. Being a Jew is not the same as being a Zionist. "

      It seems to me that the vast majority of modern Jews support Israel and the evil it commits. Thus, anyone who chooses to be a Jew chooses to associate him/herself with that group, even if s/he does not support Israel. Such a person should feel shame for associating with evil.

      Choosing to be a Jew does not only mean converting to Judaism. It also means accepting the idea that a person born to a Jewish mother and brought up to be a Jew can, nonetheless, stop being a Jew, and yet not stopping.

      A Jew who believes it is not possible to stop being a Jew, and who does not support Israel, has no cause for shame. He is not choosing the association with evil, because he does not believe there is a choice.

      Zionists who are not Jews have chosen evil, and should feel shame.

    • You'll have to explain that to me, echinococcus.

      To be ashamed one would have to see oneself as in some way sharing the guilt for the evil.

      If we think (as I do) that being Jewish is voluntary, then continuing to count oneself as a member of - and thus a supporter of - a group that enables and encourages such deeds is a deliberate sharing of the guilt.

      But if we think of being Jewish as involuntary and inescapable, a result of birth, then being a member does not imply being a supporter, and in that case there is no sharing of the guilt.

      If a Jew holds the involuntarist view, I do not think that lack of shame necessarily implies a flaw in character.

    • "The story in the Jewish Chronicale doesn’t say this or even infer this. "

      The story in the Jewsih Chronicle does not imply this. But apparently RC managed to infer it.

      And how self-obsessed, how convinced of the supreme importance of Jews, must he be to declare that anti-Semitism is so egregiously evil an attitude that even a child who has that attitude no longer deserves moral consideration!

  • US gov't has 'faith in the system' that Israel will prosecute killers of Palestinian child-- why?
    • Remember your logic.

      1. "All Jews are not Zionists."
      2. Netanyahu is a Jew.
      3. Therefore, Netanyahu is not a Zionist.

      But we know 3 is false, and we know that he is classed as a Jew, so it cannot be true that all Jews are classed as "not Zionists". Premise one is false. Some Jews are Zionists.

      Since we know that some Jews are not Zionists, we can, however, say "Not all Jews are Zionists".

  • Inside a CUFI Summit: Christian Zionists dance the hora and prepare for end times in Washington DC
  • Why is Wasserman Schultz, Obama's surrogate, holding out on Iran deal?
  • Palestinian toddler killed in settler price-tag attack
  • Sheldon Adelson bankrolls NBA player trip to Israel to fight BDS
    • Do you think we should have one of those popular uprising thingies that Doublestandard advocates to save Western civilization from these primitives?

  • 'This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel': A Palestinian-American's story of being detained at Ben Gurion airport
    • I'm going to have to find a map of the airport to see where that is. Not that I want to see it. It looks like the lair of Ming the Merciless or some similar technovillain .

    • They'll be here soon. Probably just held up in traffic.

    • Incidentally, while we are waiting for an Israel supporter to explain that this treatment of visitors is a historically necessary justice and so much better than the way they do it in Somalia, could someone please tell me exactly where in the airport one can see the terrifying facade shown in the picture?

    • Calm down, people.

      I'm sure hophmi or Doublestandard or someone will be along any minute to explain how justified and reasonable it is.

  • In wake of January attacks, French Muslims have been demonized in manufactured 'clash of civilizations'
    • "there is no comparing the level of enlightenment and sophistication of Western culture to any other civilization in the world."

      I certainly agree that Western culture has plenty of good things going for it, even though I sometimes take a Ghandian line on the topic. However, before I could agree with your assessment, I would need to see definitions of "enlightenment" and "sophistication", a full description of the method used to measure the levels of e and s in a civilization, and the actual, measured levels for each civilization. (Raw data, as well as the "adjusted" figures.)

    • "with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response."

      I confess that I do sometimes post with the intent of provoking an emotional response, but never with the aim of disrupting the discussion.

    • "A populist uprising means a revolution grounded in mutual understanding of the dangers that radical Islam poses to Western civilisation."

      Goodness, yes!

      We need a few good, old fashioned, mobs to go smashing the windows of Halal butchers and burning mosques. We need vigilante patrols to beat up random Muslims, burn Islamic literature, and denounce Islamic music.

      The portrait of Avicenna in the U. of Paris Medical School has to go, as well.

      That'll restore Western civilization to its full glory.

  • Time Warner executive moonlights as speechwriter for Netanyahu
    • "obviously there can be nothing foreign about an embrace. "

      Back in the days when I was single and rambling around the world I embraced, and was embraced by, a number of foreigners.

      Not as many as I wanted, mind you.

  • You be the judge
    • Mooser, please! I don't want to see that sort of thing just after breakfast.

      Let's keep this blog decent, and concentrate on politics, unspeakable violence, and underage sex.

    • And I thought it was anti-Semitic to say "the Jews killed Jesus".

  • When a U.S. president demanded inspections of a nuclear facility in the Middle East (and failed)
    • Turn on your sarcasm detector, Kris.

    • Kennedy pissed off the Mafia. They thought they had bought a president, only for him to start clamping down on them.
      Kennedy wanted to rein in the CIA. The CIA did not like this.
      He showed a distinct reluctance to bomb anywhere, which led some of the military to doubt that he was a true, patriotic, American.
      He tried to bring U.S. currency under the control of the U.S. government. The private bankers of the Federal Reserve did not share his enthusiasm.
      He opposed Israel's plans for nuclear weapons.
      And, of course, he was shagging lots of beautiful women and getting away with it.

      So the Kennedy Reduction Programme had plenty of support from very powerful people.

  • Iran deal is overwhelmingly supported by American voters -- 54 to 38 percent
    • "The American people ... aren’t so stupid as some on this blog assume. The whole point of an educated populace"

      You are really testing the self-restraint of the non-American commenters.

  • Israeli general likens attack on Gaza towers to 9/11 attack, as 'symbol'
    • I'm sure it can, and probably will.

      I don't know how, but reality is not bound by the limits of my imagination.

  • It's time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped
    • "The non-Jewish world has always been happy to listen to Jews report on how evil their fellow Jews are. It's just a shame to see people reviving this historical phenomenon in the 21st century."

      If the fellow Jews stopped being evil there would be nothing to report, and the phenomenon would not be revived.

    • Thanks, Avigail. I've seen the phrase a few time, but I didn't know exactly what it meant. Instinct told me it was deserving of mockery anyway.

      On a more interesting and important topic, did you see that thirteen new species of spider have been discovered in Australia? (As if we didn't have enough already.)

      They include a type of trapdoor spider, and tarantulas as big as a Chieftain tank a hand.

    • "The psychology of the Jew in 1961 is different than the psychology in 2015. as they say in the yiddishe shprach"

      But in English "is different from the psychology in 2015" is correct.

      "so let me just end by saying, am yisrael chai."

      Why does Indian spiced tea keep coming into the question?

    • "my saving disgrace"

      Oscar: I wish I'd said that.
      Whistler: You will, Oscar, you will.

      Yes, I'm stealing it. Sue.

    • "Ahab certainly existed"

      It's nice to know that someone did.

  • Focus on Jewish Democrats as key to Iran deal raises 'loyalty' issue
    • I'm not too thrilled with the regime in Iran, either, but you haven't explained the vehemence.

      "You are anti USA"

      No, just anti the regime, and not even all the regime post the '76 revolution.

      "See how far that gets you"

      It isn't supposed to get me anywhere.

    • Steve, why are you so vehemently anti-Iranian?

  • US Jews want Congress to approve Iran deal, by whopping 53 to 35, far more than Americans overall
  • Greece’s Syriza makes military deal with Israel that only US has made
    • "Privatizing the Acropolis can be done very effectively and with great benefit to the Greeks. "

      Hell, yes! I've been there. The place is a total wreck. It needs a developer to clear the old rubble off the site and build some fancy apartments and a shopping mall. Those lazy Greeks need to get off their arses and start work on the place.

  • Christian Zionists expose their anti-Semitism at conservative summit in Iowa
    • "And why not?" say I.

    • "Is it alarming?"

      I was making a logic joke.

      On the other hand ...

      Look at these voters:

      link to

      And who they can vote for:

      link to

      Still want to ask that question?

    • "Half of humanity has below average intelligence."

      We really should do something to correct this terrible situation.

    • Yes, but CofE is still usually counted as Protestant, and, as Henry VIII and Queen Victoria showed, English monarchs outrank God.

    • Brewer, from the way the term "anti-Semitic" is used, it is clearly intended to deflect any criticism of Israel, Jews In general, groups of Jews, or any individual approved Jew. ("Self hating" Jews not included.) The deflection turns the argument away from the important question of whether the criticism is true or justified by accusing the critic of insufficient love for Jews. (Apparently we are morally obliged not merely not to hate Jews, but to actively love them.)

      Thus, the accusation of anti-Semitism is a form of argumentum ad hominem.

      "In my view, the proper response to an accusation of anti-Semitism is to ask the accuser if he/she is implying that the accused is racist."

      In my opinion the proper response is a contemptuous snort, indicating a rejection of this fraudulent moral bullying and a refusal to be diverted from the important question.

    • Indeed it was. CofE is the obvious choice. A religion started by a vague sky-monster cannot be as classy as a religion started by the King of England. (VIII, not VII)

  • 'If we don't take out Iran,' it will reenact the Holocaust in US and Israel -- Steven Emerson to Times Square rally
    • "It is unadulterated hate speech."

      Is MRW's claim true or false?

    • Budweiser beer is certainly a good reason to hate America.

    • "if it was “collected” while iraq was “administering” england for a few decades, would you feel the same"


    • That's a "Jews speaking to Jews" sign. It strengthens the impression that American Jews want Jewish politicians to turn against the rest of the country for the benefit of Jews in a foreign state. Is this a good impression to give?

    • Bill Tidy cartoon from the late 1960s. Captain looking at a small yacht sailing past his ship. Says to first officer, "I don't like it, Evans. That's the four millionth lone Chinese yachtsman we've seen on this voyage."

    • I should point out that the Vietnamese have an ancient and sophisticated culture, and that they very quickly developed an Air Force that taught the USAF a few lessons.

      But you are right in that a war with Iran would be more devastating for the world than the Vietnam war.

    • Incidentally, the story about the Mingana collection reminded me of this bit of the Maulana Muhammad Ali translation of the Qur'an.

      link to

      So I did a bit of Googling and came up with

      link to

      (July 22 2015) which tells me that I was not the only one so reminded.

      It looks as though the university was slow in getting the collection online,

      link to

      but it's there now.

      link to

    • "i wonder how much plundering went on and if the manuscript was in iraq for centuries. if so, perhaps it should be returned someday."

      I find myself torn over this issue*. On the one hand, the Eighteenth and Nineteenth century "collectors" certainly look as though they were looting the national treasures. On the other hand, I am not unreservedly in favour of returning cultural items to the country of origin.

      I have two reasons for taking this equivocal position.

      First, there is the practical issue of safety. We have seen what the Israelis did to the Palestinian libraries, what the Taliban did to the Buddhist statues, and what the Americans and ISIS are alleged to have done to Iraqi antiquities. If all the various treasures are gathered in one place, it is easy to destroy them. If they are scattered about the globe, there is a better chance that at least some of them will survive.

      Secondly, I am not entirely happy with the idea that such items "belong" to the people of the particular geographic area they originated in. My general position is that all human culture "belongs" to all of us. Confucianism "belongs" to Westerners just as much as Stoicism does, and Stoicism "belongs" to Easterners just as much as Confucianism does. Similarly for science and technology. And similarly for the treasures of antiquity. They are part of a common human "heritage".

      If an Iraqi had "collected" (I am going to wear out my quote mark key) a hand-written first draft of Titus Andronicus and presented it to a university in Baghdad, I don't really see any obligation to send that back to Britain. (As long as the university makes it available to scholars.)

      (*Not torn at all on the issue of capital letters.)

    • Some twenty-odd years ago I taught a couple of summer courses at the university there. Not beautiful, though there are undoubtedly uglier places.

      Contrary to popular claims, it doesn't have more canals than Venice, either.

      link to

    • Mockery here.

      link to

      PM's comment here.

      link to

      When someone refers to Birmingham as "beautiful", you know his opinions are worthless.

    • Hessian? According to Wikipedia, it's 50% nylon and 50% cotton.

    • As I have pointed out before, the song needs very little editing. In the verse, "Vietnam" can be replaced by "old Iran". For the chorus, replace "Vietnam" with (old spelling) "Teheran".

      The only tricky lines are

      "But just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
      They drop it on the Viet Cong. "

      but I'm sure Mooser can fix that bit.

  • Scenes from a Sanders presidency
  • If Americans support Iran deal, 56-37, what gives Israel the power to 'croak' it?
    • "including a retired naval officer like myself"

      Hello, sailor!

      "It’s true that sailors and officers of the U.S. Navy don’t like to be called soldiers,"

      Quite rightly. They aren't soldiers.

      Marines, however …

      "'E's a kind of a giddy harumfrodite—soldier an' sailor too!"

      (Incidentally, I know they told the Navy that it was all just an accident - someone made a typo when writing out the orders - but did they also tell it to the Marines?)

    • There were soldiers on the Liberty ?

    • "The Marines murdered by Hezbollah in 1983 are a part of the blood on Iranian hands."

      Technical note: Hezbollah did not exist until 1985.

      It is claimed that a group called "Islamic Jihad" declared itself responsible. It is further claimed (mostly by the US) that this group was backed by Iran. Iran denies this.
      I have no good reason to believe either the claims or the denials.

      "And then, of course, there are the hundred of thousands of dead Syrians."

      Could you elaborate on that? It seems to me that Iran is trying to protect Syrians from the rebel forces that are destroying the country.

    • "scurrilous license"

      You mean freedom to express ideas you don't like?

      Do what Mooser is always urging, and read the "about" section. There you will find what is and what is not permitted.

  • The Iran deal: a triumph of irrationality
  • Walker and Bush talk tough on Iran in bid for Adelson's millions
  • Video: Israelis in West Jerusalem call for attack on Iran
    • "Also, the fascist takeover in Germany predated the economic improvements you refer to, so they do not explain why the German people allowed the fascist (as opposed to socialist/communist/Marxist) takeover in 1933. In contrast to economic self-interst, Nazi demagogic appeals to “national pride” (and its kissin’ cousin, anti-Semitism) certainly do"

      In the economic chaos of the Weimar Republic, both parties had economic appeal, but the Nazis had a better demagogue as leader. And they never managed to get 50% of the vote.

      "Reich noted that the symbolism of the swastika**, evoking the fantasy of the primal scene, showed in spectacular fashion how Nazism systematically manipulated the unconscious."

      To see a swastika as evoking the primal scene of sexual intercourse requires an imagination far more perverse than that of the average German. I think only a mind steeped in Freudian pseudo-science can manage it.

      I almost agree with Keith on this. To use psychoanalytic theory to explain political events may not be quite crazy, but it is certainly silly.

    • Calling Einstein a Deist seems a bit too specific. His various comments on the topic of religion, as well as his admiration for Benedict Spinoza, seem to put him closer to a pantheist or panentheist position, though he was reluctant to apply such labels to himself.

    • "if Iran is so much more worrisome than Israel why didn’t they steal or buy nuclear weapons in all this time?"

      Same reason they haven't slaughtered all the Jews in the country. They are just too lazy and incompetent. No other explanation can suffice.

    • "The question at the heart of Reich’s book was this: why did the masses turn to authoritarianism even though it is clearly against their interests?"

      I'm not sure that it would have been immediately obvious to the average German that Nazism was against their interests. The democracy of the Weimar Republic had afflicted them with unemployment and raging hyperinflation. The Nazi economic programme stopped the inflation and reduced unemployment. And the Nazis also gave Germans a sense of national pride.

      So if the German masses did support the Nazis (and I have seen claims that the support was not as enthusiastic as it seems) I don't think we have to indulge in Reichian fantasies of sexual repression, orgone energy, and so forth in order to explain that support.

  • There are 326,000 children near Tel Aviv who won't be hearing Caetano Veloso
    • A good ice pick would be useful for opening those cases when he wasn't looking.

      It seems to me that there is a tension between "feeling pride in our traditions and heritage" and "standing up for good against evil". Self-praise for the traditions and "heritage" (whatever that is) of the group one happens to belong to is, I think, the sort of thing that would distort one's moral judgement.

      And if we're handing out advice, that prosy old bore Polonius had a few good ideas.

      Give thy thoughts no tongue,
      Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
      Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
      Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
      Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
      But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
      Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
      Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
      Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
      Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
      Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
      Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
      But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
      For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
      And they in France of the best rank and station
      Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
      Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
      For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
      And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
      This above all: to thine ownself be true,
      And it must follow, as the night the day,
      Thou canst not then be false to any man.

      (Hamlet, 1:3)

  • Israeli settlements are a 'war crime,' but ICC dodges the case -- Buttu
  • St. Louis Jews call on ADL to cancel honor to police
  • Press can't justify red carpet for Oren tract and blackout for Blumenthal's 'definitive account' of Gaza
  • Let's help the 'NYT' get an interview with Netanyahu
  • ICC rules prosecutor to reconsider 'Mavi Marmara' investigation
  • Nine reasons Obama is going to win on Iran. The first: Netanyahu
    • Sitting in lawn chairs and cheering when
      Looking at the shreds of the little children.

    • Bombing Palestinians two by two.

    • Yep, Mooser knows his Ink Spots.

    • I'm guessing that you intend to claim that the deal with Iran is analogous to the Munich agreement, and that you are suggesting that Iran will meet the same fate as Germany.

      If so, I can't see the similarities.

      Hitler claimed a slice of another country on the basis of the "ethnicity" of the people living there.

      Iran has made no such claim.

      Hitler was allowed to have that slice, with no penalty and no requirement other than a promise that he would not do it again.

      Iran has not actually done anything wrong, but has been subjected to penalties to stop it from doing what it wasn't doing. Nor does the agreement permit Iran to do it now.

      How, then, are we to apply the lesson of the Munich agreement to the agreement with Iran?

      The only similarities that I can see are:

      (A) Hitler threatened war, and the U.S. threatened war,
      (B) an agreement was made to avert the threat of war,
      (C) concessions were made by Czechslovakia and Iran.

      But if we are to despair of all agreements that include concessions to avert war, then we might as well not bother attempting to make any agreements at all, and simply start a war straight away.

    • $150 billion?

      Um, Mr. Ayatollah, sir, could we ... er ... talk a bit about exactly what terrorist activities you require? Do you have some sort of set payment scale? I'm not really into the blowing people up side of things, but I could, say, write some slogans on a wall, or something like that.

    • "the elite of this country"

      Which county? Don't make us guess.

    • "Michelle readied for run..."

      You mean you are going to run for President?

    • According to the real dictionary, it's a respectable word.

      link to

  • Not everyone is allowed to have a 'Good Life in Germany'
    • Should be "One could point out that if the child did not pay…"

    • "do you think it would be fair for one of the children to say “i don’t want to pay that debt because …"
      "but a debt(reparations) stemming from a criminal act can very much be inherited if there is an inheritance. in fact it is often extracted from the inheritance before it is paid out."

      It looks to me as though you are confusing the legal with the moral. In the second case, I think you are referring to legal obligations, whereas in the first case the child is denying a moral obligation. And I think the child does have grounds for rejecting that moral obligation.

      One could point out that the child did not pay a share of the debt, he would "undeservingly" profit from it, but every one of us who is born into an improved world profits equally "undeservingly" from the efforts of our forebears.

      (Undeserving in the sense that the profit is not from the efforts of the one who benefits.)

  • British gov't welcomes Iran back into the 'community of nations' -- why can't we?
    • "Sir Nicholas is on the right of the conservative party "

      Which, in comparison with American Democrats, would put him very slightly to the right of Mao Tze Tung.

    • "What country is a model."

      San Marino, maybe?

  • Israel's real fear about the Iran deal: It puts pressure on the occupation
    • Good! You do have a chain of reasoning. A genuine inductive argument.

      1. All the Holocaust deniers I know are anti-Semites.
      2. Therefore it is reasonable to believe that other Holocaust deniers will be anti-Semites.

      The force of this argument is vitiated by the fact that in the hophmiverse almost everyone (and certainly anyone who is in any way critical of Jews or Israel) is an anti-Semite, and so it is almost impossible for a Holocaust denier to avoid being an anti-Semite, but it is an argument nonetheless.

      Of course, it does not establish a logical connection between Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, and that is what I was asking for, but I am grateful for receiving a coherent answer.

    • @CigarGod

      And why is there a comma after "Shah"?

    • "Honestly, Roha, if you need an explanation, then you’ve got much bigger problems. "

      In other words, you do not have an explanation. You do not know of any chain of reasoning. You simply repeat without thought.

    • "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held an entire conference dedicated to Holocaust denial. The regime hasn’t disavowed those views; they’ve affirmed them. So I think I’m on solid ground here when I say that the regime is antisemitic."

      Can someone please explain to me why Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic? I simply do not understand why denying that a group were slaughtered or otherwise persecuted implies hatred of that group. What is the chain of reasoning?

    • Dropping the charge doesn't mean they are not guilty of etc. Those guys have got beards and funny headgear, so they must be guilty of something.

    • "Bahai is anathematized despite its origin as a sect within Islam. "

      Not quite a sect. Baha'i is anathematized because it claims to supersede Islam. A fundamental claim of Islam is that it is the final revelation, and Muhammad is the final law-giving prophet. Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism are held to be distorted interpretations of the messages of earlier prophets. (Other regions were either even more distorted or just mistakes.)

      But Baha'i says that Muhammad was the last of the first series of prophets, and that, even though the Qur'an has not been corrupted, the spirit of the message has been lost. It puts Islam in the same category as the previous, outmoded, religions. This gets up the noses of the orthodox no end.

      Many orthodox even deny that Ahmadiyyahs (whether Qaidani or Lahori) are Muslims, on the grounds that Ghulam Mirza Ahmed claimed to be a minor, non-law-giving, prophet.

    • Giles, Yonah and hophmi don't need any evidence beyond the scary beards to know that the Iranians are guilty of etc.

      Very guilty indeed.

    • "And arming Hezbollah, Hamas, and Bashar al-Assad."

      Hezbollah and Assad are fighting against ISIS.
      The US is arming the "moderate" enemies of Assad.
      These "moderate" enemies make common cause with ISIS.
      The US is fighting against ISIS.
      The US supports Israel.
      Israel is acting against Assad and in support of ISIS.
      Hamas opposes Israel.
      ISIS opposes Hamas.

      So is arming Hezbollah,Hamas, and Bashar al-Assad a good thing or a bad thing?

  • The people love the Iran deal -- to judge from 'NYT' letters
  • Crisis for the lobby: Clinton bucks Saban, AIPAC doesn't know what to say
    • Actually, it was the contempt, not the term "barbaroi", that I was interested in. A perjorative term does not, I think, automatically imply contempt.

    • "while assembling the information and materials to build a nuclear weapon."

      Allegedly, Iran has been doing that for the last thirty years. If those dumb Iranians haven't managed it by now, I doubt they ever will.

    • "But their contempt for non-Greek speakers, whom they called barbaroi, is definitely not one of them.

      From my inexpert point of view, it seems that contempt was directed more at the uncivilised tribes of the Macedonia and the North. It did not include the Egyptians, and the Persians were regarded as a dangerous enemy rather than inferiors. I have been told that Greek culture imitated a few things from the Persians.

  • 'We should seize it' -- Obama announces Iran deal as 'new direction' for the Middle East
    • My previous comment was certainly not intended as any sort of complaint or criticism. Quite the contrary.

    • "just what is it that they want to stop Iran from doing?"


    • "North Korea has nukes"

      I haven't been keeping up with the NK issue, but I thought NK had one nuke.
      And then they blew it up.

    • They eat falafel in iran?

      My wife bought some Iranian dates yesterday. Delicious.

    • Girls waggling their bottoms isn't against Islamic principles, it seems.

    • "denying the Holocaust"

      My copy of the Qur'an must be incomplete. I can't find anything about the Holocaust in there at all. Nor can I find anything forbidding believers from questioning historical claims.

      Perhaps Gamal, who clearly knows a good deal about this sort of thing, can help me to find out how denying the Holocaust is against Islamic principles.

    • Now 21:23 Eastern Australian Time. ABC news channel has a live link to Teheran, showing Rouhani speaking to the Iranian people, with translation. He is saying the agreement is a win win.

    • The ABC is announcing the deal as done.

      link to

      This is really bad news. No carpet bombing, no total destruction of Iran, and a lifting of sanctions. Only those lacking spite and vindictiveness could think this is a good thing.

  • Abe Foxman says goodbye to an America of secret Jew haters
    • "The much bigger problem is that so many Jews and Jewish organisations outside of Israel support Israel’s crimes. This support makes people draw the (logical) conclusion that Israel’s claim to represent all Jews is actually correct. "

      And another, regrettable, conclusion seems to follow.

      link to

    • "it would never occur to me to self identify as a gentile."

      And that, of course, proves that you are an anti-Semite.

      (Not that any proof was needed.)

    • Historically speaking, the “sweet, just, and boyish masters” of the Empire were more likely to be sons of the nineteenth and early twentieth century middle class gentry than sons of the eighteenth century squirearchy. This made them more closely connected to the new, unhappy, lords than to the squires.

      On of my vague guesses at what happened in British history is that the A team went out to run the Empire and left Britain in the hands of the B team.

    • "Make no mistake, the Lords of capitalism are the new nobility and they are working to restrict the rights and benefits of the 99%."

      We only know the last sad squires ride slowly towards the sea,
      And a new people takes the land: and still it is not we.

      They have given us into the hand of new, unhappy, lords,
      Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords.
      They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright, dead. alien eyes;
      They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
      And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
      Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.

      (G. K. Chesterton - The Secret People)

      But I don't see much pity, loveless or otherwise.

    • I thought the Western and central European Jews sneered at the Eastern European Jews because the latter were mostly peasant farmers.

    • Though in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas we are told that Joseph worked with wood. He cut a plank too short, and Jesus magically stretched it to the right length for him.

    • "Also, someone once said that you changed your name from Mossberg; were you trying to pass?"

      Is this the same kind of passing that Steve Grover was talking about? If so, I don't think you need to change you name for that.

  • The case for US government sanctions on Israel
    • "If I am not wrong just about all the mainstream Jewish organizations in the US – ADL, JAC, AIPAC, ZOA, HILLEL, etc. – oppose BDS. Interestingly, the same phenomenon applies even in generally anti-Israel-inclined Europe – in just about ALL of them the mainstream Jewish organizations stand by Israel.

      For anti-Semites like me, this is evidence of the moral depravity of Jews. They will support, or at least excuse, any evil, so long as it has the label "Jewish" attached. Only a tiny handful will stand up for decency and humanity.

  • Why the Charleston massacre isn't terrorism, and Palestinian resistance always will be
    • Yes, but I only heard of those groups later. The Mau Mau* and EOKA were active when I was a boy, and the IRA seems to have always been around.

      My point was that I don't automatically think "Arab" when I hear the word "terrorist".

      (*I think John Ciardi is the only American who has heard of the Mau Mau.

      link to

    • Most people don't think at all.

      But, for me, "terrorist" first conjures up the Mau Mau, then EOKA, then the Viet Cong, and then the IRA, since those are the first terrorists I heard of, in that order.

  • Lies, smear, and two-steps -- Why did organizers really cancel the Feis?
  • Time for a Jewish reformation?
    • "It seems to me that starting, and developing, a non-Zionist denomination of Judaism is the simplest and most practical plan."

      I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

      You do it.

      (I'd do it myself, but I don't know enough about Judaism to fake it. Pity. There's probably money in it.)

    • Aren't you supposed to call them "Terror Tunnels"?

      (And is there a single recorded case of a missile being launched from one?)

  • Michael Oren misrepresents 1971 synagogue bombing that changed his life
    • "There is little question that speech patterns are genetic,"

      And yet my students of Chinese ancestry and my students of Samoan ancestry sound just as Australian as my students of Irish ancestry.

      A great deal of speech is simply imitation of the speech community in which the speaker lives. Grammar, syntax, phonetics and phonemics, and vocabulary are not genetic. Choice of register, choice of vocabulary, sentence complexity, and preferences for rhetorical devices are strongly influenced by education and fashion. (Compare 18th, 19th, and 20th century English to see this in operation.)

      So exactly what aspect of speech is deemed to be a genetically influenced pattern? Could you give some references to the relevant technical literature, please?

    • Yonah, lie down, put a dampened cloth over your eyes, breathe slowly.

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