Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 7659 (since 2009-12-17 04:46:00)

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  • It's happening
  • Letter to Fordham: 'Have you ever seen an instance where a university gains in the long run from speech suppression?'
    • Thank you, K. J. Freeman.

    • I'm not going to waste my time getting checked for all these new-fangled "syndromes" they keep coming up with these days. When I was a lad, people used to cure themselves with whisky and a Bex.

      Young people today have had it too soft. They run off to the doctor or the "counsellor" as soon as they get the slightest bit uncomfortable.

      Though that all that noise they call music in the shopping centres is enough to drive anyone mad, if they hadn't been driven mad by the price of things nowadays. I remember when ...

    • I thought that, these days, most speech was suppressed at American Universities. It has been decided that only a very few ideas, expressed in very carefully controlled terms, are permissible. If other ideas get through, the students flee to the designated safe spaces and eat cookies to comfort themselves. And providing all those cookies gets expensive.

    • "People who learn of City University’s banning of the Philosopher Bertrand Russell for advocating cohabitation before marriage laugh at whoever decided that, and it’s a black mark on a great University."

      City University is a great university?

      (I've corrected the punctuation.)

  • Israeli 'human interest' matters a lot more than Palestinian 'human rights' in Washington Post
    • "friends waited to see how the American papers would cover it. The Times didn’t do a story on Tuesday. "

      You're slipping, Phil. The Times isn't an American newspaper.

  • The Perfect Storm: Civil rights in the era of Trump, Netanyahu, and Abbas
    • Theoretically, any member of the Orthodox can say "Sod this for a game of frum soldiers", and leave the cult.

      But perhaps it is not so easy in reality.

    • ' One young woman expresses it thus: “We will say to Israel ‘Ok, Israel, you won. You have won all of the land. You have won all of the water. And, guess what else you’ve won? You’ve won all of us. Now where do we go to sign up for our voter registration cards and our health insurance cards?”'


      But don't hold your breath while waiting for the cards.

  • Before there was 'fake news' there was Judith Miller
    • "Before there was ‘fake news’ there was Judith Miller"

      I don't know much about this person, but I do know about fake news, and I know it long preceded her.

      Fake news was old news when Waugh wrote Scoop! and Humbert Wolfe wrote:

      You cannot hope to bribe or twist
      (thank God!) the British journalist.
      But, seeing what the man will do
      unbribed, there’s no occasion to.

      A fine article by John Pilger:

      Particularly depressing part for me:
      A few years ago, Terry Eagleton, then professor of English literature at Manchester University, reckoned that “for the first time in two centuries, there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist prepared to question the foundations of the western way of life”.

      No Shelley speaks for the poor, no Blake for utopian dreams, no Byron damns the corruption of the ruling class, no Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin reveal the moral disaster of capitalism. William Morris, Oscar Wilde, HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw have no equivalents today. Harold Pinter was the last to raise his voice. Among today’s insistent voices of consumer-feminism, none echoes Virginia Woolf, who described “the arts of dominating other people… of ruling, of killing, of acquiring land and capital”.

      And more about lies here.

      As for truth, I've quoted this before, and I will again.


      The Master said, "... A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve. If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music will not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot. Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect."

      Analects 13:3

  • Fordham bans Students for Justice in Palestine
    • I'm with Siberiak.

      Whilst I use MW to exchange quips and cranks and contradictions queer with Mooser and eljay, there are people who read it for information and ideas. (I know this because they occasionally break their silence and post a comment. )

      Seeing hophmi's comments, and the replies he receives, is a grand education in Zionism and its faults.

  • 'Constructed crisis for political ends': anti-Semitism claims are prime weapon for UK Israel lobby, Al Jazeera shows
    • No.

      Mysogynists don't like women, and don't want to have anything to do with them.

      Male chauvinists may like women to the extent of having a whole harem full of them, but still hold ideas of male superiority.

    • According to Wikipedia, the term "male chauvinism" was first used in a play in 1935. However, it remained almost unknown to the rest of the world until the later 60s, when the Women's Libbers started using it. (I, of course, remember this.) it was quite a useful term, and easily understood because in those days quite a few of us actually knew what words meant.

      Nowadays, thanks to the usual deadly trio of laziness, carelessness, and ignorance, the "male" is, more often than not, omitted. The term for extreme nationalism is used to mean the belief in male superiority.

      And I expect to hear the usual cries of "it doesn't matter because we all know what they mean". Only sometimes we don't.

    • "We’ve gotta say in the language of social democracy, I think, these people are misogynistic, they are homophobic, they are racist, they are anti-Semitic, they are reactionary."

      And so they should be denied all rights and never allowed to participate in any political process.

      (Incidentally, when did people start using "misogyny" to mean "male chauvinism"?)

    • "There is no Anti-Semitism in Britain"

      Not now, but I'll be back there again for a few days in February.

  • Antisemitism and its useful idiots
    • "the luxury of reading about all of the 100 or so candidates for the Senate before voting. "

      Luxury? Sounds like a cruel and unusual punishment to me.

      You are also unfortunate in your polling station. Quite a few do offer vegetarian options, in plain wrapper and without publicly questioning your patriotism.

    • "a revealing example on the accusatory phenomenon as a whole"

      Climate Change Denier!

      So much easier than actually using reason and gaining enough knowledge to debate the issue.

    • And a bit more essential information about Australian voting.

      Drawing a rude picture will not invalidate your vote.

      And on this site you can see the Australian coat of arms.

    • We don't have primaries. Members of the party in the electorate offer themselves as candidates. A selection committe of senior party members decide which one they hate least and will cause the least amount of spontaneous vomiting from the public, and declare him/her/it/whatever the candidate.

      You can declare yourself a candidate without being a member of any party, as well. You have to pay a deposit to the Electoral Commission, If you fail to get a certain percentage of votes, the deposit will not be refunded.

      Voting is compulsory. All citizens have to enroll in their district. The Electoral Commission keeps a list, and checks it twice. It then assumes everyone is naughty, and, just before the election, sends a letter, with a voting card, telling where, when, and how to vote. It doesn't bother telling you whom to vote for, because, no matter whom you vote for, it won't make any difference.

      On election day you turn up at the polling place, ignore all the party reps telling you how to vote for their candidate, buy a sausage from the sausage-sizzle (another of your civic duties), look at the display the local historian has set out, and, eventually, go in and present yourself to a nice lady who crosses your name off her copy of the list and gives you your ballot papers. You go to the booth, scan the papers to find the "hang the lot of them" option, fail to find it, and then despairingly put numbers at random next to names you have never seen before.

      Your votes then go into the Australian Preferential voting system. (This was, it is rumoured, fully understood by George Pennington, of Bendigo, in a moment of blinding insight on the 18th of March, 1976. Apparently he forgot it the next day.) This system counts, collates, and transfers your votes for an inordinately long time, and finally comes up with a result no-one wanted. This is then called the Government.

      The British system is similar, except that voting is not compulsory, votes are not transferable, and thus can be done with a single X, and it always rains on election day.

    • Annie, people in the British and Australian systems don't know what you mean by "registered".

      Most of us are not members of any political party. We vote for whomever we want, and then grumble that it didn't make anything better.

      Joining a party is like joining a club. The party can decide whether it wants you. You pay membership fees, and have some say in the running of the party.

  • The immaculate conception of Louis Brandeis
    • "So if 1000 Arabs were caught after entering Palestine illegally, we can safely assume that many thousand more entered Palestine and were not caught."

      No, we cannot make that assumption. We have no way of estimating the proportion of caught to uncaught for that place and time.

  • Mock campaign supporting two-state solution reveals liberal Israeli racism
  • It turns out Jews are as stupid as everyone else
    • A snail can't shed its shell. If it is removed from its shell, it dies. It is then an ex-snail.

      Einstein might have been good at maths, but he was no biologist.

    • Mooser, if you give me a couple of billion dollars, I'll take up that challenge. I'll let you know if you are right.

    • Try replacing it with coffee.

    • "Yeshiva people automatically think, if only he would have studied torah he would have been a great rabbi, "

      Yeshiva people need to learn how to form conditional sentences.

      "If he had studied Torah, he would have been a great rabbi."

      "and the culture of books and queries involved in talmud study, we of the books attribute the culture of ours for producing einstein. "

      How did Newton and Hawking manage without that culture of books, queries, and advanced mathematics involved in Talmud study?

    • As the generations have got further away from European education.

    • Now check out where they were born, where they were educated, and where they did their important work.

    • Sometimes I think that in Canberra we've got someone else's share as well as our own.

    • "Insofar as there is any truth in the idea of Jews as bearers of freethinking modernity, it concerns only a transitional type of Jew who arose out of the collapse of the closed medieval ghetto"

      I have noted before that the Jews who made the greatest contributions to Western civilization were the least Jewish Jews. They had adopted the culture of the country they lived in, so that it is absurd to call the contribution of, say, a German Jew, educated as a member of the German middle class, a Jewish contribution rather than a German contribution.

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