Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3266 (since 2009-12-17 04:46:00)

Showing comments 3266 - 3201

  • In yet another sign of fascism, Lieberman likens Mahmoud Darwish to . . . Hitler
    • 1. All anti-Semites are like Hitler.
      2. All nonJews (and some Jews) are anti-Semites.
      3 (IC) All nonJews are like Hitler.
      4. Darwish is a nonJew.
      5. Darwish is like Hitler.

      I think that is a valid argument, and I call on MHughes to test and affirm the validity.

  • Freewheeling Trump has backed down on only one issue. Guess which one
  • 'Power is what matters': Alt Right leader Richard Spencer explains his admiration for Trump and Israel
    • "Romans came in all kinds of colors and languages, but the social construct that mattered back then wasn’t race, it was religion."

      Could you unpack this claim a bit? The Romans were, in general, pretty easy-going about religion. But loyalty to Rome was important.

    • "The left laughs at Trump, and perhaps imagines humor will defeat him in November. Or something. "

      It will be the usual rigging of the voting machines.

  • Hillary Clinton gains backing of neocon megadonor who funds Islamophobic groups
  • Coexistence in the land of 'Hatikvah'
    • "the west is obsessed with Arab sects"

      Bunch of sects maniacs.

    • "because no one bothers to attend to even recent history,"

      Aw, Jeez, gamal! You mean we gotta learn history before we bomb the crap outta them?
      I can't do that. I've got a heavy date tonight.

  • Why Trump's revolution succeeded, and Bernie's fizzled
    • Annie, there are quite a few arguments about the putative right to immigrate. A quick Google will reveal this. Nonetheless, it would have been helpful for s to point towards one or two.

      link to

      link to

      Here is a rather good piece.

      link to

      If we accept the "Earth as common property of all human beings" line, it certainly seems that a case can be made for open borders. But I think there are at least two aspects to the question. One is the right to free movement, but the other is the right to become a member of a society. For immigration involves not merely movement, but entry into a society. And I think that the members of a society have some right to decide whether a new member is wanted. Aside from Wellman's argument, there is a consequentialist case. Immigrants can have deleterious effects on a society, as the Palestinian case shows. (And those blasted immigrants from NSW and Vic are pushing up house prices here in Brisbane.,) If we acknowledge that the interests of the locals have moral significance, it looks as though the putative right of immigration will have to be restricted or qualified to take those interests into account.

      But then we will have immigration laws of some sort

    • Gamal, Murphy's and Jameson's certainly helps.

      link to

    • S is claiming a moral right, rather than a legal right. I would like to see it backed up by argument, but, as one who has been an immigrant several times, and as an admirer of Thomas Paine's ringing assertion "It is wrong to say God made rich and poor; he made only male and female; and he gave them the Earth for their inheritance"*, I have to admit that I find the idea attractive.

      If we take it simplistically, at face value, we find that the Aborigines had no right to resist the English settlers, and the Palestinians were wrong to resist the Zionists.

      But, as Paine also pointed out in Agrarian Justice** , humans need society to survive and prosper. And (putting on my Confucian hat - and very fetching it is, too ) a society can only function if most of the members have pretty much the same ideas about what their social duties and responsibilities are. If a lot of people with very different ideas arrive to live in the same area, and do not change their ideas, the society in the area will not function so well, and all the people will suffer as a result.

      This is just one of the considerations that lead me to suspect that, if the alleged right exists at all, it must be heavily conditional.

      *Phraseology clearly influenced by those splendid chaps who translated the Bible from barbarian babble into honest English. Deut. 32:8
      **Should be compulsory reading for everyone. But s will not like the fact that it was written by a white man who was, at first, English, but who later invented the USA and became an American.

      link to

    • Will either T or C follow the wishes of their parties?

      I don't vote in the US. (I should, given the influence the US has over Australia.) So, for me, the smoking rubble question is the big issue.
      I expect politicians to take bribes and murder people who make trouble for them. I don't think it is nice to say rude things about Muslims, but I regard it as preferable to bombing them. Misogyny is bad, but to my way of thinking it is marginally less bad than total nuclear war with Russia and China.

      And, so far, it seems to me that Trump would be the one less likely to ramp up American aggression, regardless of what the Republican Party wants.

    • "Trump exploited anti-immigrant and pro-law-and-order resentment to build his movement. Sanders did the opposite; he made bridges to Muslims and the Black Lives Matter activists to build his movement. "

      Sorry, I can't quite see the opposition. Making bridges to American Muslims is compatible with an anti-immigrant stance. (Even one that says "No more Muslim immigrants until we have sorted things out a bit.") And unless Black Lives Matter is even worse than I have been told, it isn't directly opposed to law and order.

      "It would seem to be obvious that Trump’s Make America Great Again message was a message to a white American nation in its dying throes. Our country’s changing, and Trump’s forces don’t like that. "

      Perhaps if I were there I would see that, but it is not obvious to me over here. The message seems to be to those who don't like the bad changes of jobs going overseas and illegal immigrants coming in. And I'm not convinced that it is only whites who don't like that.

  • Outside RNC, Cornel West has inspiring words for the Palestinian people
    • Of course, it is not necessary to use the exact words to be guilty of plagiarism. The same ideas, especially if in the same order, but without attribution, is a sufficient condition. If, for example, I were to rewrite the Enneads, in English, in my own words, with full stops, capital letters (now regarded as essential for NeoPlatonic philosophy), with my annoying spell checker suppressed, and without a single misplaced comma, and then declare it to be All My Own Work, I would be roundly and correctly denounced as a plagiarist by the tiny handful of people who have actually read the blessed Enneads.

      But rather than subject myself to the torture of actually listening to the speeches, I'm going to take a free ride on Keith's question and suggest that cliches and political pabulum aren't really the sort of thing that the concept of plagiarism applies to. It would certainly be a mockery of language to call that stuff "intellectual property".

    • You mean you have actually listened to the speeches? That is dedication way beyond the call of duty.

    • It seems those cliches were plagiarized from a film, so MO is as much a plagiarist as MT.

      link to

      And I remember that Biden plagiarized a speech from Kinnock.

  • Poet on Trial: A visit to an Israeli court
  • Israel’s opposition parties plan to filibuster bill to expel Hanin Zoabi
    • And I keep hoping that, one day, some Zionist will explain why the "Palestine was never a state" line is so important to them.

      I've asked and asked, but never got an answer yet.

    • Annie, I want to keep them around.

      The Zionists keep dragging up their old hasbara lines, and we keep refuting them.

      I know it is tedious and repetitive work, but it is valuable. It helps the casual reader and the inexpert reader to see that the standard pro-Israel lines peddled by the mass media are just a load of fetid dingos' kidneys.

      For their sake (the readers'sake, not the dingos') I would not want the Zionists to flee from MW.

  • Video: 'Gaza in Context' says root of conflict is quest for Palestinian land, without Palestinians
    • eljay: "I have no power to influence or compel anyone."

      Isn't it about time for you to remedy that?

    • "Did you expect the Palestinians ... to sit on their hands and do nothing"

      Heavens, no!

      They were expected to say, "We're on your land? Sorry about that. We'll just fold up our tents and slip silently away into another country.
      Actually, we don't live in tents. We live in very nice stone houses, but you can have those, along with the farms.

      We'll just leave you to get on with it, but do give us a call if you want some water carried or wood hewn.


      Don't forget to claim credit for the big oranges."

      Was that so unreasonable to expect?

    • Lessee now.

      You are living quietly in your own country. You are making olive oil soap, or growing oranges, or farming for a living. Then a flood of foreigners from far away starts pouring into the country. They show no interest in becoming part of the community. On the contrary, they self up a closed society for themselves, using a language they have made up for themselves. They declare that they are the true owners of the land, and that they intend to set up a state in which they will be the top dogs, and you, if you are allowed to remain, will be a subject. And to prove this, they start buying up land and driving off the tenant farmers.

      Wouldn't you get just a teeny bit narked?

      And this was before 1948, before 1929.

  • Report from Cleveland: Republicans prepare for Trump
  • 'Ex-Neocon' -- Scott McConnell looks back on 20 years of ideological tumult
    • "Probably most people identify the left as identifying structural racism as the central evil of American capitalism "

      That's pretty depressing. Anything that even came close to being the left in the US should be identifying American capitalism as the central evil of American society.

  • Iran deal is still imperilled by deep state-- hardliners, Israel lobby, Hillary Clinton
    • Further to the question of Saudi government involvement in 9-11, this story suggests that the Saudi government wanted the 28 pages released years ago. If true, it shows that the Saudi government had no fear of being convicted by those pages.

      link to

      But I am given to understand that there has been a bit of redaction of those pages. What details are still being withheld?

    • I haven't read the full 28 pages, but the little I have seen is full of "may" and "might" and "alleged by some to be". Is there any hard evidence of direct Saudi government involvement?

      "Why does our deep state government want to suppress inquiry into 9-11?"

      I simply cannot imagine why your government would want to suppress inquiry into 9-11.
      No idea at all.
      Nothing springs to mind.
      Can't think of any possible reason.

  • Democrats and GOP are in a race to the bottom on Israel
  • Israelis take on Facebook 'monster' with claims it knowingly incites Palestinian attacks
    • Since the First Amendment only has force in the USA, I doubt that Israelis are targeting that alone. Rather, they seek suppression of all criticism of Israel, no matter where in the world it originates.

  • Your support today determines: How much truth?
    • "As per the truth having versions I could point to ...Rashoman ...:jewish, christian and muslim all claim to preach the truth in some capacity or another. So much so that there have been countless wars waged and millions of bodies scattered for a version of the truth either side thought they possessed"

      You are confusing "truth" with "what people believe and/or say is the truth".

      Rashom o n (羅生門)

    • Thanks, Mooser. I learned a new word from that link, and it's one I can use in front of the ladies.

      (I checked it with the real dictionary, of course.

    • "it is you that is the supremecist hell-bent on ethnic cleansing of Jews "

      This is actually the real reason that the comments archive has been withdrawn. Phil and Adam were embarrassed by the plethora of comments from eljay in which he calls, in the most blood-curdling terms, for every last Jew to be driven from the Holy Land. We all remember those comments.

      Unless they were embarrassed by something much worse: the large number of comments with misused commas.

    • "the fact that jews have been living on and in the land of Israel ... continuously since well before the arab/muslim conquest and colonialization of the levant in the 6- 700’s a.d.)

      And that is a good basis for claiming that those particular Jews, and those of their descendants who remained in the land, have a right to live there.

      But it gives no rights to other Jews.

      (Psssst! "Then" is not the same as "than".)

    • "the “truth doesn’t have versions” you say? much better minds then I possess would argue otherwise."

      And still better minds argue that they are wrong.

  • The iron law of institutions versus Bernie Sanders
  • 'NYT' editors twist themselves into knots not to say the word 'Jewish'
  • Israeli army blows up three Palestinian wells in occupied Hebron
    • Mooser, I'm going to stop teasing Yonah about authenticity. Apparently, it is tied up with his memories of the Lower East Side, with his boyhood friends Cockeye, Patsy, and Fat Moe. It would be cruel to spoil "Amapola" for him.

    • What makes land "Jewish"?

  • 'Palestinians ought to be free' -- Cornel West's historic moment
    • I don't rely on a spell-checker. I asked it, very politely, to watch out for the more egregious typos, but it has a will of its own and changes what I write without consulting me.

    • As long as that letter is a zed*, I would like to, since "apologize" is the preferred spelling in the OED. But when I am commenting from my iPad the machine changes the spelling, and it is usually too small for me to see anything more than a general outline.

      (It also decided to write "self up" when I meant "set up".)

      (*I will have no truck with zees.)

    • Unless you mean the words"classical clarity", it's easy.

      Track down printed copies of

      Hobbes Leviathan
      Berkeley Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous
      Hazlitt An Essay on the Principles of Human Action

      and you will see classical clarity printed with full stops and capital letters in all their glory.

      But if you meant the clarity of the Greek and Roman classics, rather than English classics, there are plenty of editions with full stops and capitals.

      (Of course, the ancient writers didn't put in the full stops, but they didn't print the books either. And you said "printed". )

      Send the money to MW as a donation.

    • Mooser, I accept your rebuke. I should have written "corrrect". I acknowledge that, by spelling it the way I did, I was conforming to, and thus supporting, an outmoded Western white-privileged double consonant spelling stereotype.

      I deeply apologise to all the members of the triconsonantal, interconsonantal, transconsonantal, panconsonantal, and otherwise consonantally expansive community whom I have so profoundly offended by my disrespect for consonant fluidity.

      I further apologise to all the members of the otherwise vowel, semivowel, indeterminate phoneme, orthographic symbol expansive community for any distress the previous apology may have caused them.

    • Echinococcus, these days, Byzantium is no county for old men, either.

      But I think the world is Byzantine enough. We need more classical clarity.

    • Annie, capital letters are a Good Thing. We can, as you see, use capitals to Make A Point, and for other forms of emphasis. But in English their primary functions are to indicate the beginning of a sentence and to mark a proper name.

      You appreciate the value of capitals if you spend time reading texts written in scripts that do not have capitals and in languages you are not very good at. You need to pay very close attention to the other punctuation marks in order to see where one sentence ends and another begins. Proper names can be very confusing until you realise it is a name and not an idiom.

      (In German and older forms of Swedish and Danish, the value is vitiated by overcapitalisation. Every noun takes a capital. But at least it means the Germans know the parts of speech. )

      Perhaps, as you claim, capitals are becoming extinct, even though Apple products and eBay need them for logos and trade marks. But that is just part of the neglect of grammar, the abandonment of language as a precision instrument. As grammar goes, so does logic. Rhetoric is reduced to Politicallly Correct speech. The trivium is lost.

      Furthermore, without an understanding of capital letters, people will no longer fully appreciate E. E. Cummings (yes, he wrote his name that way) or archy and mehitabel.

      Darkness falls.

    • The US Constitution is a museum piece tied up in a Navy yard. Modern Americans don't pay much attention to it.

    • Yonah, Annie has many fine characteristics which are worthy of emulation.
      Neglect of the shift key is not one of them.

    • That should be "see what he does do".

    • What would be the point of speculating on what Trump will do? Why not wait and see what he does for?

  • 'I Am a Human Being': A visit with Dareen Tatour
    • It means that even the worst Palestinian poets will have some readers. Might sell a few slim volumes.

      (I don't know how bad Palestinian poetry can get, but I do know that there is some poetry in English which is so bad that it should be a criminal offence to publish it.)

  • BDS victory in Mennonite Church Canada
  • Israeli police initiate 'friction activity' on quiet streets in East Jerusalem
    • Mooser, I believe Max. If the Palestinians lay down their weapons and burn their slings*, there will be peace.


      Once all the Palestinians have been driven out and/or killed.

      (*They are slings, dammit, not slingshots.)

  • Israeli rabbi who advocated rape of 'comely gentile women' during war becomes chief army rabbi
    • Congratulations, Mooser.

      Happy Birthday, MHughes. (You are two years older than me! Who'd have thought it?)

    • Ancient foreigners, too. But not the Greeks, the clever chaps, or the Romans, the decent chaps . They were the ones who set up most of the pillars of Western society. The hairy chaps, the Saxons and Vikings, set up the Common Law system.

    • "Ben Gurion ... and to go from Plonsk to Tel Aviv"

      You are saying Ben Gurion was a total Plonsker?

    • Aside from any other consideration, we should remember that the Bible was written by a bunch of foreigners. None of the authors were either British or Australian.

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