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  • Internet 'redresses' Miri Regev's 'capture of Jerusalem' themed gown at Cannes
    • Certainly cringeworthy. Undeniably ugly. Any other suggestions?

    • I am trying to decide whether the original version of the dress would best be described as "vulgar" or "crass".

      Any advance on those terms?

  • US diplomats say Western Wall is in West Bank, and Nikki Haley backpedals
    • This is not entirely true, echinococcus.

      The logic developed by the Nyaya school was used in internal Hindu debates, internal Buddhist debates, and debates between Hindus and Buddhists.

      In the Western traditions, logic was used for Islamic law and theology by the Kalam school, and the Mu'tazili school was particularly keen on Aristotelian logic.
      Mediaeval Christian theologians also used Aristotelian logic in their theology.

    • From what I've heard, in Big Bad Iran, the engineering departments of the universities have more women students than men.

      One of the barbers at my local barbershop came from Iran. He used to complain about having to fit into the family hierarchy whenever he visited Iran. Then his Iranian girlfriend came to join him. For a while he grumbled about house prices in Brisbane. (And who doesn't ? Estate agents, that's who.) And then they both went back to Iran. She wanted to do her PhD in mathematics, and decided it would be more convenient to do it in Iran. Probably easier to buy a house, too.

    • But I see my subsequent comments on Yonah's claim are still being suppressed.

    • Me? No wonder my ears are burning.

      I'm impressed by Yonah's profound insight into the murky motivations and deeply repressed antagonisms of my psyche. Has this breakthrough been reported to Vienna?

      Doesn't seem terribly logical, though. I don't accept Jesus, and hate Jews for producing him, but I also hate them because they don't accept him either? (Actually, the Jesus story suggests that the Jews tried hard not to produce him, so Yonah has to believe that I am not familiar with the story.)

      Logic is, of course, a pagan predilection, and one which we know Yonah is immune to. I, however, have been known to indulge in it, since I am the type who stands on pleasant leas, hoping to see Proteus rising from the sea, or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

      So I am not entirely sure that Yonah has got it right.

    • "like saying Jesus wasn’t buried in the Vatican. Oh, wait a minute, he wasn’t. Where is he buried? In East Jerusalem! "

      No, not now. He was temporarily buried there, but then he got up and left. There is a shifty-sounding story that he ascended to Heaven, but those of us who have been paying attention know that he ingeniously managed to get himself buried in Kashmir and Japan. There is no record of him leaving either of those tombs.

    • Eljay, I would never be so rude!

      (It might be, though.)

  • DC and Jerusalem reel over Trump disclosure of ISIS plan to-- hush!-- put laptop bombs on planes
    • Many of us already knew that the red button on the president's desk just summoned a butler. Even Americans, we reasoned, would not be so stupid as to put The Button where a president could push it just to see what it did.

    • Often an outside view enables one to see the wood, and I can only call it the way I see it. If this Mr McGovern, in amongst the trees, can see it the same way, then good for him.

    • 'his main value ... being “not Hillary”'

      For which much can be forgiven.

      But I am not so sure that an impeachment trial would throw a spanner into the imperial works. It seems more likely that it would make it clear to future presidents that they needed to toe the Deep State line, regardless of the wishes of the people.

      And I do care about an all-out war against Syria.

    • Keith, I am not sure how willingly he flipped. Maybe he always intended to go along with the establishment.

      http://www.activistpost.com/2017/05/10-signs-trump-authoritarian-globalist-stooge.html

      It looks to me as though he was sandbagged by the establishment as soon as he won the election. They produced the "Russian hacking" story, whipped up the demonstrations, attacked every way they could.

      I don't think that allowing the Deep State and their media tools to drive out an elected president is a good idea, even if he is a flop as a president.

    • I'm genuinely shocked that Phil seems to be going along with this plan to throw Trump out of the Presidency.

      The whole thing stinks to high heaven.

      "James Comey memo re the president’s possible obstruction of justice"

      But Comey testified to the Senate, under oath, that Trump had not pressured him to stop any investigation. Lying then?

      "a highly classified intelligence secret Trump ... divulged to the Russian Foreign Minister "

      Where is the evidence for this? (Does Trump have sufficient grasp of the details to actually pass them on? And as President, can't he declassify them any time he likes?)

      Surely Phil is not so naive as to believe this tripe.

      Why isn't the story about the security leak by whoever told the press about what went on in the meeting between Trump and Lavrov?

      (And interesting that the story came out very shortly after the report that Seth Rich, and not the Russians, passed on the e-mails to Wikileaks.)

      To an outsider like me it is obvious that there is a concerted effort to displace Trump by all and any means. The US electorate is to have its choice overruled. Not a good precedent to set.

  • Collective post-traumatic stress disorder – Jews, apartheid and oppression
  • 'Bakr boys' cousin shot and killed by Israeli forces while fishing off Gaza coast
  • Israel tutors its children in fear and loathing
    • "The most unlikely and seemingly contradictory ideas and concepts become part of one another."

      Far simpler to ignore them all and just be a natural pagan.

  • Here we go again! Netanyahu disputes Trump administration, urges him to 'shatter Palestinian fantasy' about Jerusalem
    • Assuming Trump did pass on classified information. It would be as foolish to believe what US newspapers say about Trump as it would be to believe what the US State Department says about Assad.

    • "Flying by the seat of his pant" is an aviation phrase. It means that pilot ignores his instruments and gets his information about the status of the plane from the variations in the pressure of the pilot's seat against his bottom and back. It is used as praise for a successful fighter pilot, but it is frequently used metaphorically as a criticism, and certainly would be if applied literally to the pilot of an A380.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cf2oJjUoG0I

  • Israeli sniper kills unarmed Palestinian protester during demonstration in occupied village of Nabi Saleh
  • Sleazy spat revives Paul Berman's role as 'liberal intellectual who whored for Bush’s war'
  • Pro-Israel group bullies Church of Scotland over its 'sensitive' commemoration of Balfour centenary
  • The 'nation state of the Jewish people' bill is just more Apartheid with a veil
  • Anti-Zionism in your earbuds -- Help support the Treyf podcast
  • 'We shall remain': Bedouin of Jabal al-Baba face an uphill battle to keep their land
    • Look on the bright side. Ethnic cleansing is currently not necessary, so they are just doing this to stay in practice. Let us hold our noses and primarily celebrate.

  • Jews made America great so 'we deserve our influence' on Israel policy, Dershowitz tells Scarsdale synagogue
    • @ckg

      Off topic, but since you are a connoisseur of the wonders of the US State Department, I thought I'd offer you this. (Though you might have seen it already.)

      http://www.activistpost.com/2017/06/awkward-state-dept-spokesman-freezes-when-questioned-about-ksa-democracy.html

    • I thought the question was a joke, but if Keith takes you seriously, so will I.

      (If you can handle the truth, that is.)

      I hold the correspondence theory of truth, so I consider that truth is a relationship between representations of reality and reality itself. (Assuming there is such a thing. )(And Jesus was talking nonsense. A person is not a relationship.)

      The nature of this relationship was neatly summed up by Aristotle:
      “To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true."

      You can read more about it here.

      https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/truth-correspondence/

      There are other theories of truth, such as the pragmatic theory ("if it works, it's true") and the coherence theory ("if it hangs together*, it's true), but I'm going to pretend there aren't, because I don't think they are true.

      (*And that reminds me of a joke which I learned in Denmark and which is far too disgusting for these refined circles.)

    • Hollywood, perhaps?

    • A Celt is a stone axe.

    • "Finally, if the accusations are true is it anti-Semitism?"

      As far as I can tell, truth is no defence in cases of "hate speech".

    • And he put a comma after a subject clause.

      "... the only way peace will be achieved, is if Israel remains qualitatively superior to all– all– its neighboring countries"

      There is no limit to this man's vileness.

    • "wait, we did that to them already."

      Without checking to see which country they did show more loyalty.

      Quite a few made it clear where their loyalty lay.

      http://encyclopedia.densho.org/Japanese_Americans_in_military_during_World_War_II/

    • I think we are all completely clear about the strength of your love of Zionism. We don't know why you love it so much that it destroys your moral sense.

      "Chazak, Chazak, v’Nitchazek."

      Bless you. Gesundheit.

    • Destroyed? He's still around, still prating.

  • Why are Israeli children brainwashed to hate?
    • Racial prejudice is the theme of the entire musical. Nellie Forbush is shocked to discover that Emile de Becque's first wife was an Islander. Joseph Cable falls in love with a girl of Vietnamese ("Tonkin Chinese") ancestry, but knows that his family, and his society, would reject her if he took her to the US with him.
      Nellie overcomes her prejudices. Cable gets killed.

      Wikipedia says that the song caused rather a fuss.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You%27ve_Got_to_Be_Carefully_Taught

      The musical is derived from Michener's book Tales of the South Pacific. I read that when I was a boy, shortly after seeing the film, so I can't remember how strong the theme of racial prejudice was in the book.

      Michener also wrote The Source.

    • “there will be a war, and all Arabs will die, and some of them will be slaves”

      I'm not sure that ghosts would be very useful slaves.

  • 'Pizza Hut' and Israeli army radio join in grotesque attacks on Marwan Barghouti
    • Do I read that aright? Pizza Hut has actually apologised for the actions of its Israeli associates? I expect Pizza Hut to be now attacked as a bunch of anti-Semites.

  • 'Look, I didn't write that letter' -- Sanders on defensive for signing letter slamming UN on Israel
  • A Republican plan for peacemaking: 'break the will' of the Palestinians and force them to 'accept defeat'
    • I wish I could claim to be a master. But I have heard true masters use the words in such devastating combinations that I recognise myself as a mere fumbling amateur. I can spell them, though.

    • Logic? I asked a suppositional question. That the supposition is probably counterfactual does not make it illogical. I would like to know what the Zionist dreamers are dreaming.

      (And I do make mistakes, but seldom with common four letter words. I see that particular word misspelled far too often.)

    • It had better stop changing, if it knows what's good for it.

    • OK. They have already lost a great deal. They admitted defeat when they recognised Israel and suggested the two-state deal. Suppose they go further, and say that they accept that they will never have a state, never have equal rights in Palestine, and will cease all forms of protest or resistance.

      What then?

      ("want them to loose?"
      How can it be so difficult to spell a four letter word?)

  • Jake Sullivan seeks to rebrand 'American exceptionalism'
    • Mooser, if you want an indictment of British colonialists, you should add the extra charge that they took control of the territories without asking permission of the natives. I think Fiji is the only bit that actually asked to join the Empire.

      I'll make that my last word on this thread. It is far too long.

    • Dammit, I put this one in the wrong place. These really long threads get tricky to navigate. I'm having another go, and I hope the mods will let this one through and kill the first one.

      Sorry to have taken so long to respond. I have a lot on my plate at the moment.

      “Hence, your inability to argue on a legal basis, using the framework of international law and doctrines of universal human rights that are recognised by all nations.”

      I don’t know why you are referring to the law. Moral duties do not stem from law, though some laws are attempts to enforce moral duties.

      “Immigrants have no moral duties fullstop.”

      Everyone has moral duties, and this includes moral duties to the society that sustains them.

      “They may have their own customs and traditions when it comes to queuing, marriage, education, economic activities, religion and so on, or they may just adopt the local way of life.”

      If they cling to those customs they will, at least some of the time, be failing in their duties to support the society they have moved into.

      “If you like having choices then its only fair you support the right of immigrants to have theirs.”

      My choices are constrained by my duties to the society I live it. The same constraints apply to immigrants.

      “But now that they are in a new environment, those behaviors will no longer be sustainable and those who hold on it will be stigmatised by wider society and looked down upon by their families. The mechanisms that allowed disgusting practices to take place, like a patriarchal culture, a corrupt government, dysfunctional legal system etc are no longer there”

      You clearly have no idea of the realities of immigration. Have you not read what Kaisa and I wrote about some migrants setting up parallel societies in which they maintain those mechanisms, in which their families and social circles endorse, sustain, and, by social pressure, enforce those practices?

      “Thirdly, banning articles of clothing is an act of fascism”

      Labelling is not argument. I agree that banning articles of clothing is a restriction of individual freedom, but some individual freedoms have to be limited in order to allow more general freedoms. My freedom to stab strangers is restrained so as to allow a general freedom to walk around safely. You should argue that wearing burkinis is not a threat to French secularism or the general position of women in French society.

      “It can never be a progressive idea to forcibly deny human beings the right to wear clothing they like”

      And yet many very progressive societies deny me the right to walk around naked, or in completely transparent clothing, so the principle of enforcing certain dress standards is accepted. Perhaps those societies need to be more liberal.

      “Furthermore, widespread availability of legal sex workers is not a progressive ideal.”

      Not if the women are forced into prostitution, no. But I said that before.

      As a practical move, it will be necessary to limit the freedom of pimps to exploit women.

    • Sorry to have taken so long to respond. I have a lot on my plate at the moment.

      "Hence, your inability to argue on a legal basis, using the framework of international law and doctrines of universal human rights that are recognised by all nations."

      I don't know why you are referring to the law. Moral duties do not stem from law, though some laws are attempts to enforce moral duties.

      "Immigrants have no moral duties fullstop."

      Everyone has moral duties, and this includes moral duties to the society that sustains them.

      "They may have their own customs and traditions when it comes to queuing, marriage, education, economic activities, religion and so on, or they may just adopt the local way of life."

      If they cling to those customs they will, at least some of the time, be failing in their duties to support the society they have moved into.

      "If you like having choices then its only fair you support the right of immigrants to have theirs."

      My choices are constrained by my duties to the society I live it. The same constraints apply to immigrants.

      "But now that they are in a new environment, those behaviors will no longer be sustainable and those who hold on it will be stigmatised by wider society and looked down upon by their families. The mechanisms that allowed disgusting practices to take place, like a patriarchal culture, a corrupt government, dysfunctional legal system etc are no longer there"

      You clearly have no idea of the realities of immigration. Have you not read what Kaisa and I wrote about some migrants setting up parallel societies in which they maintain those mechanisms, in which their families and social circles endorse, sustain, and, by social pressure, enforce those practices?

      "Thirdly, banning articles of clothing is an act of fascism"

      Labelling is not argument. I agree that banning articles of clothing is a restriction of individual freedom, but some individual freedoms have to be limited in order to allow more general freedoms. My freedom to stab strangers is restrained so as to allow a general freedom to walk around safely. You should argue that wearing burkinis is not a threat to French secularism or the general position of women in French society.

      "It can never be a progressive idea to forcibly deny human beings the right to wear clothing they like"

      And yet many very progressive societies deny me the right to walk around naked, or in completely transparent clothing, so the principle of enforcing certain dress standards is accepted. Perhaps those societies need to be more liberal.

      "Furthermore, widespread availability of legal sex workers is not a progressive ideal."

      Not if the women are forced into prostitution, no. But I said that before.

      As a practical move, it will be necessary to limit the freedom of pimps to exploit women.

    • No word for "please" in Swedish, either. Very disconcerting. I had always made a point of trying to learn "please" and "thank you" in the language of any country I visited, and suddenly I only had "thank you".

      Eventually, I discovered that there were a bunch of different phrases for different situations.

      http://www.wikihow.com/Say-Please-in-Swedish

      And then I had to learn what "varsågod" was really used for.

    • " none of what you said have any legal basis."

      Legal basis depends on the jurisdiction. Legal in one country can be illegal in another. But I am not discussing law, but the moral duties of immigrants.

      "Immigrants may bring with them conservative and often clashing values, but so what? Societal values are in a constant state of flux regardless of the state of immigration."

      This is not just a matter of crusty old farts grumbling about long-haired layabouts and the disbanding of the Royal Green Jackets. (They'd fit right in!) The problem is those immigrants who set up parallel societies which actively supress the rights and freedoms of at least some of their members, societies which perpetuate oppression by familial and social coercion. Allowing those immigrants to do what they want is to allow them the freedom to deny that freedom to other immigrants and their children. This does not seem consonant with the idea of a liberal society.

      (Of course, you will want to say that such familial and social coercion already exists in liberal societies, but why make it worse?)

      "Also, who gets to define what is progressive and liberal values?"

      That would be you, wouldn't it? You wrote "Of course immigrants should be free to do what they want, that's the whole point of living in a liberal, progressive society."

      "Was France being liberal and progressive when it attempted to ban Muslim swimming gear a few years ago?"

      Perhaps not on your view of "liberal". From my point of view, yes. First, resisting a religiously inspired fashion promoted secularism, and, second, the ban promoted French ideals of freedom for women.

      "Is Holland being liberal and progressive for having nude women in glass boxes offering paid sex to anyone walking pass the red-light alleys of Amsterdam?"

      If the women have freely chosen to do this, then on your "free to do what they want" criterion, the answer is "Yes". If they have been forced to do it, then the answer is "No". But nor is Britain being liberal and progressive for allowing parents to force their children into arranged, underage, marriages.

      "Lastly, who gives a shit about how immigrants choose to socialize, or their inability to queue in a satisfactory manner."

      Try queue jumping in Britain or Australia and you will find out who cares.

      "What happened to minding your own business and just respecting people's spaces?"

      Mind your own business while a boy in your country is persecuted for apostasy and a twelve-year-old girl is sent to another country to be married off. That's "respecting spaces".

    • "In America, immigrants stand in the forefront of cultural shifts and progressive ideas that otherwise would have never taken root in society."

      Europe finds the opposite to be all too often true. It does not seem to be wise for a liberal, progressive society to admit immigrants who not only do not share liberal and progressive values but also show no intention of adopting such values for themselves or honouring them when practiced by the rest of society. On the contrary, they would not only deny freedoms to members of "their own community", but also would like to restrict the freedoms of the rest of society as well.

      "Hence it is ridiculous to suggest immigrants must be legally required to speak the national language or else. How else are they going to socialize, work, entertain?"

      For those who are allowed to socialize with people other than their husbands and their children, they can socialize, work, and entertain with other members of their "community". Do not forget that there are groups of immigrants who do not want to become part of the society into which they have migrated.

      "Why not make a law demanding immigrants must ... enjoy themselves and be happy?"

      Slightly off topic, but I thought King Otto had a good idea when sentencing people who were not happy to be hanged by the neck until they cheered up.

      Yes, Ive have lived in a number of different countries, so I know manners differ among different groups.

      https://satwcomic.com/society-will-crumble

      As for Alabama, the wise immigrant would adopt the manners of the group he was dealing with. However, I cannot believe anyone with even a scrap of wisdom would migrate to Alabama in the first place.

    • Echinococcus, right at the start of this I said "Of course, the Palestinians can tell you about the dangers of unrestricted immigration."

      "The new immigration to Europe after 1960 does in fact have a couple islands of creeping invasion and takeover, especially in France, Britain and Germany."

      The current wave of genuine refugees, fake refugees, and runaway criminals looks even more like an invasion.

    • "Oh, you mean the peremptory and aggressive intonation picked up from the English during the Raj?"

      Yes, it has to be that. It couldn't possibly be that other languages have different intonation patterns from English. And Finns are all suicidally depressed. That's why they constantly get drunk and stab people.

      I think you should let that nice Indian man fix your computer.

    • Kaisa, an interesting point about sociolinguistics.

      The intonation patterns used by Indian-born Indians often sound very abrupt and aggressive to English people. This means that the Indian immigrant asks a question in what he thinks is a neutral tone, and the English woman thinks the Indian is snapping at her. She responds indignantly, and things go downhill from there.

      The intonation patterns used by Finns sound depressed, like Marvin.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4P3pvKmbsg
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh-W8QDVA9s

      But perhaps you are all depressed. If so this will cheer you up. A bit.

      https://satwcomic.com/the-world

    • Everyone who lives in a society has a general duty to maintain and improve that society. This general duty implies specific duties.
      The immigrant, like the native, has a duty to obey all the laws, even if s/he regards them as unjust. Here in Australia there are some pettifogging regulations (a sub-paragraph in the laws about food preparation, I think) that make it technically illegal for me to rape, kill, and eat my neighbour's daughters. This is, of course, totally unjust. It is an outrageous denial of my identity as a descendant of blood-thirsty Vikings. (I might actually be a descendant of Vikings.)
      My neighbour, on the other hand, thinks that it is horribly unjust to expect him to drive on the left and stop at red lights.
      If we all obey only the laws we think are just, our society will not function very well. We can attempt to change the laws, but our prima facie duty is to obey them all.
      But there is more to society than laws. Most human interactions are mediated, not by law, but by custom and convention*. Good manners count for more than acts of Parliament. In Britain and Australia, queuing is practiced as system for establishing priorities. It is a means of organising society, and so the queue jumper is an enemy of society, even though he will not be prosecuted by law.
      Immigrants who do not adopt at least the acceptable minimum of those conventions (and a passable command of the local language is one such convention) and especially immigrants who set up parallel societies are likewise making themselves enemies of the society.
      I don't understand your point about dignity. If it is not undignified for the native-born Englishman to speak English and stand in a queue, why would it be undignified for the American immigrant to speak English and stand in a queue?

      (*Regular readers of MW will know that the most important are the conventions concerning the use of commas.)

    • "Rather lingual differences are often made as an excuse to dehumanise and marginalise people "

      That may be so, but it does not change the duty of the immigrant to learn one of the official languages of the country, and it does not reduce the practical value that learning the language has for the immigrant.

      But I do agree that it should be made explicit to immigrants that they should assimilate to the society.

    • Kaisa,

      It seems to me that East Asian immigrants are, on the whole, usually willing to fit into the new society. Middle Easterners and subcontinentals much less so. Many of them seem to try to recreate India, Pakistan, etc instead. (Or their youthful memories of the country, rather than the way it is now.)

      Yes, I know Tove Jansson is Finnish. I love the books, and I read them in Swedish, but when I read them I feel an undercurrent of something unspeakably unSwedish. The Moomins themselves are a normal Scandinavian family, but in the background there are hints of even darker forests than the Swedish forests, colder winters, and a creepier mythology.

    • Kaisa,

      Thanks for the offer of the book. I'm changing addresses in a month or so, but if I decide to take it up I'll let you know the new address.

      (I admit, though, I prefer Nordic noir mystery novels. I have to get translations here in Australia.)

      (And Jansson's Mumintroll books, but I bought nearly all those when I lived in Sweden.)

    • Kaisa,

      We can call the problems "social problems" if you prefer. The problems remain.

      Yes, governments have made the problem worse by allowing immigration without having a proper immigration policy.

      But many of the current problems that trouble the Swedes and the Germans, and have caused the Poles, Austrians, and Hungarians to close their borders in spite of the EU's threats, are from newly arrived immigrants. They have not "inherited" the problems of bad neighbourhoods.

      And some problems (e.g. arranged marriages, FGM, rejection of religious tolerance) stem directly from the customs the immigrants brought from their countries of origin.

      I was an immigrant child in Australia in a time before "multiculturalism" became the fashionable buzz word of the day. At that time, the policy of the Australian government was that all immigrants should become completely assimilated Australians.

      (The term "New Australian" was intended to convey this idea. It was applied to non-British immigrants. British immigrants were called "whinging bloody Poms", a term of opprobium that was, alas, all too often justified.)

      Some assimilated more completely than others. Greek immigrants tended to hold on to Greekiness, and the murky story of ASIO and the immigrant Croatian fascists reflects little credit on anyone.

      When I arrived back in Britain I was astonished to discover that the British government didn't seem to have a policy about immigrants. The government imported West Indians as cheap labour, and allowed in subcontinentals from India,Pakistan, and Bangladesh,many of whom had earned British citizenship on the battlefield or in other service, and had a right to live in Britain. But the British Government had no ideas about what to do next. They seemed to have given no thought to how the immigrants would fit into British society or what the effect on the rest of the populace would be.

      Of course, both groups of immigrants went to live where they could afford, and this was usually the working class areas. The working class were not happy about (a) cheap labour (the West Indians) being brought in, and (b) their home neighbourhoods becoming, in effect, a foreign country: enclaves of subcontinentals who refused to assimilate and, often, spoke little English.

      (Though they quickly recognized the value of the Paki-shop, which stayed open well into the night.)

      The artsy-fartsy chattering classes (who did not live in those areas) noticed disaffection of the working classes, and branded them as "racists", "bigots" etc. (There was real racism as well, and some of it was very nasty.) The chattering classes urged the native British to change their attitudes, but did not seem to think that the immigrants should change in any way.

      And that still seems to be the preferred model. The natives must change to accept the immigrants. The immigrants are not required to change. One the contrary, they are to live in ethnic "communities", and restrict their children from full membership of the country.

      But we now hear the slogan "diversity is strength".

      This is not what we were formerly told.

      And we are not told why diversity is strength. Perhaps the slogan comes from confusing genetic diversity with cultural/social diversity.

      It seems to me that for a society to function smoothly there needs to be a fairly high degree of shared customs and values. That requires assimilation.

    • On the other hand, Mooser, the English did have sheep for David Unaipon's invention to be used on.

    • "you don’t think that perhaps these “ideals” might be a touch illusionary as their name suggests "

      I did suggest that they are more proclaimed than practiced.

      But when boatloads of weird foreigners, many of them criminals, arrive on your shores and start taking space for themselves and setting up separate "communities", the resulting social problems are very real.

      You ask the Aborigines. They know about it.

    • "Wonder why Rabino José kept schtum."

      The rest of the passage reads

      "Now, Judah the son of proselytes went and related their talk,16 which reached17 the government. They decreed: Judah, who exalted [us], shall be exalted,18 Jose, who was silent, shall be exiled to Sepphoris;19 Simeon, who censured, let him be executed."

      So maybe the Mexican Rabbi guessed what was likely to happen to Simeon, but overestimated the acceptability of silence.

    • Kaisa, you are interpreting "culture" as just art, music, and so forth. I have no objection to Australian girls of European ancestry practicing Indonesian dancing. Some do, and it looks fun.

      But the culture in question is the collection of shared customs and values which enable a society to function. When people have, through several painful centuries, developed societies in which at least some of the laws, customs, and practices reflect their high values and ideals, it seems to me that they have a prima facie right to exclude migrants from cultures in which those ideals are not held.
      This is especially the case when experience has shown that quite often those migrants do not change their attitudes, but continue, though ignorance, indifference, or contempt, to practice customs which subvert those values and ideals.
      And this is the issue with the current wave of immigration/refugees into Western countries. We proclaim, and occasionally actually apply, principles of freedom of the individual, freedom of speech*, religious tolerance, and equality of the sexes.
      But these values are not held by many, perhaps most, of the non-Western immigrants. It is not only the violent and criminal behaviour of some of the young immigrant men that is a problem. There is also the problem of the tendency of many immigrants to cluster together in groups which seem to maintain the most oppressive aspects of their ancestral culture, rather than assimilate. They do not become part of the greater society, but set up a “parallel society”. When the law and customs of the land conflict with their customary practices, they ignore the law asn the customs of the land.
      Thus we see teenage girls born in Britain or Sweden packed off abroad and forced into marriage. Thus we see this case:
      http://mondoweiss.net/2014/03/repeal-criminalize-activists/#comment-649317

      Thus we see a case of immigrant men wanting to exclude women from a cafe in Paris. This is contrary to French custom. (It's a French cafe, guys, not an English gentleman's club.)

      It is no use you talking of respect. Many of the immigrants seem to have no respect for the country they have moved into. They create the impression of being parasites upon and enemies of the countries – and the values of those countries – in which they live.
      It is not surprising, then, that Hungary and Poland are prepared to defy the dictates of the EU, and refuse to accept more of these immigrants.
      It is not surprising, then, that plenty of French people vote for Le Pen.

      (*Freedom of speech is being now suppressed under "hate speech" laws, and especially those which class criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism. Of course, this will spread beyond "hate speech" to "might upset or annoy somebody speech". Eventually only officially approved speech will be permitted.)

    • Veering off topic a bit, I came across this, allegedly from the Talmud, about what the Romans did.

      "R. Judah, R. Jose, and R. Simeon were sitting, and Judah, a son of proselytes, was sitting near them. R. Judah commenced [the discussion] by observing, 'How fine are the works of this people!15 They have made streets, they have built bridges, they have erected baths.' R. Jose was silent. R. Simeon b. Yohai answered and said, 'All that they made they made for themselves; they built market-places, to set harlots in them; baths, to rejuvenate themselves; bridges, to levy tolls for them.' "

      https://www.reddit.com/r/badhistory/comments/228i5n/whats_wrong_with_what_have_the_romans_ever_done/

      I think Simeon got at least part of this wrong. Providing market places full of harlots is a useful public service that benefits everyone, not just Romans.

    • Kaisa,

      "Without forgein influences we would not have had even barley or turnips."

    • "And what about Estonians, if there is no reason, why are they so scared??"

      Perhaps they have made the elementary mistake of listening to officialdom. During the cold war they used to scare us by telling us that the Warsaw Pact had twice as many divisions facing West as NATO had facing East.

      They consistently forgot to mention that a Warsaw Pact division was half the size of a NATO division.

    • And here's an interesting bit suggesting that the French election was rigged. I don't know whether it is true, though I would not be surprised if it were.

      http://yournewswire.com/marine-le-pen-election-rigged/

    • Yes, Mooser, if the French wish to maintain their culture and social unity, I say "Let them, as long as they don't inflict Bernard-Henri Lévy and Jacques Tati on the rest of us."

    • "why? you on the other side of the world is it a genetic thing?"

      No. I think Europeans would be better off if they were free from the dictatorship of the Brussels bureaucrats.

    • "Specially, when the “Frenchmen” went first to the Tunis, Morocco and West Africa and did not try to change the way of life there at all."

      Was this a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

    • I don't think I ever suggested that Putin was a fair, peace loving man. I do know that he rescued the Russian economy from the looting of the Yeltsin era.

      "The rights of the minorities are trampled on."

      According to you, everyone's rights are trampled on, so it looks as though he is treating the minorities the same way as he treats the majority. Do you think that the minorities should have special rights that other Russians do not have?

      "Before Putin’s time, Sweden had almost given up all of their army, cause they thought they’d never need such a thing any more."

      And now their navy is back hunting phantom Russian submarines, just as I remember them doing in the 1970s.

      I understand that, due to the history of relations with Russia, Finland and the Baltic states are suspicious of Russia, but I see no reason to suppose that Putin has any intention of swallowing any of them. (He does show a bit of concern for the status of the Russian-speaking minorities.)

      All Putin's military actions have been reactions to threats against the interests of Russia. He did not swallow Georgia. He has held off from annexing the Donbass, even though such annexation would be welcomed in the Donbass. If Finland and the Baltics do not directly threaten the current position of Russia, I see no reason to suppose Putin will invade.

      "you here speak for the Palestinians and Putin allmost in the same sentence"

      No, my reference to the Palestinians was in the context of immigration.

      "I wish you could respect our choise not to belong to Russia, if we do not want that ourselves."

      I do respect that choice, just as I respect the choice of the Crimeans to belong to Russia rather than Ukraine.

      "What comes to these extremist nationalists in EU, I do not see how discriminating and eliminating the immigrants and “the strangers”, could solve our problems."

      Restriction on immigration might help with the problems caused by the immigrants.

    • "Look, I’m a Breton nationalist wrt culture, language, music, and such."

      So you have sympathy with Marine Le Pen's desire to maintain French culture?

      "Culture will change, but it will never die."

      What is the difference between a culture changing until it is quite different from the original form, and the culture "dying"?

    • Kaisa, I too would prefer no EU at all.

      As for the heavy message about NATO, that is the sort of thing all countries do. (Here's a report on US heavy messages

      http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/maria-zakharova-spokeswoman-sanity/ri19756 )

      I don't blame Putin for his distrust of NATO. NATO was cooked up just after WW2 to threaten as a defence against the Soviet Union. The Soviets responded by setting up the Warsaw Pact. When the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact were disbanded, the Americans promised the Russians that NATO would not expand to the East. This promise was quickly broken, and right now NATO troops are massing on Russian borders.

      And while American leaders have been spreading destruction through the world, Putin has concentrated on improving Russia and defending Russian interests. Putin just doesn't seem as scary as the American warmongers.

      Is Marine Le Pen a racist? If wishing to defend French culture and the French way of life from being radically changed by immigrants is racism, then she is. (Of course, the Palestinians can tell you about the dangers of unrestricted immigration.) But is such racism - defence of French culture - worse than subjugating France completely to the whims of the bankers of Brussels?

      Even if she is racist in some more serious way, is that worse than treating most of the human race as a means for enriching the few?

    • Froggy, why does being backed by Putin reduce your trust in a candidate? (Why, for that matter, would you have any trust to be reduced?)

      But, on your general point, why do you think Le Pen is worse than Macron? Assuming, for one moment of breath-taking naivety, that Le Pen actually carried out her campaign promises, what dreadful things would have occurred?

    • Subjunctive or not, Granada produced some damned good shows as well as the dismal CS.

    • The bankers have won in France.

    • [Ahem .]

      Grenada.

      [Blush]

    • "And a great blow to Islam it was!!"

      Didn't stop Coronation Street, though.

    • That's a bit harsh. The US played a major role in the defeat of Japan. And even after Stalingrad and El Alamein, there was plenty of fighting to do against the Germans, and the Americans did a fair bit of it.

      (WW1 is a different story.)

      Also, I seem to recall that the US did win the war it started against Granada.

  • 100 senators throw their bodies down to end UN 'bias' against Israel
    • All of which muddies the concept of indigeneity even more. If we add this confusion to the questionable issues of group rights and whether indigenes should have any, we have a fine tangle that only professional philosophers and jurists can sort out and re-entangle. Since I am no longer paid for the work (though even before I retired I was hardly paid at all, so nugatory was the remuneration), I will leave that to others.

    • MHughes, for our first definition of "indigenous", I wanted to go back to the Dreamtime, when the Ungambikula carved people out of the lumps they found near the waterholes. The people who are descended from those carved out near waterhole X can be regarded as indigenous to the area around X. But this fails to take the Wandjina, Baiame, and the Rainbow Snake into account.

      I would suggest, then, that "indigenous" be used to refer to the first group of people to regularly use a particular tract of land for their sustenance and residence. (I'm trying to accommodate hunter-gatherers and wide-ranging nomads.) It seems perfectly possible to have several different indigenous groups in a particular area.

      But when we start thinking about the descendants of those people, there is another problem which Mooser has raised previously. This is the fact that a lot of people are inclined to spread it around. Some of the descendants of the indigenous people will also have non-indigenous ancestors. Travellers, international traders, passing sailors, invaders, and immigrants are all likely to mix things up a bit.

      The modern population of the Levant undoubtedly bears genes from Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Crusaders, Australian and Turkish soldiers, French administrators, and a wide variety of other odds and sods. Probably more from the odds than the sods.

      How diluted can the indigenous be before we cease to count them as indigenous?

      As far as rights to the land are concerned, it looks as though we are invoking group rights, which both of us regard as (to use a philosophical technical term) pretty dodgy.

      I think we can agree that established residents shall not by main force be put forth, but I see no reason why that restriction should apply only to indigenes.

    • "The Jews are the indigenous people in the Land of Israel. "

      Not according to Jewish myth-history. Jews are supposed to be descendants of Abraham and his gang. But the story says that A was an Iraqi who migrated to Palestine and bought land from the people who were already living there.

      "From the river to the sea, Israel for eternity."

      That wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command was probably shared by a fair number of people in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, but all their pomp of yesterday is one with Nineveh and Tyre. The chief lesson of history is that proclaming a thousand year Reich is pure hubris.

  • 'Ban the Boycott' – An all too familiar refrain
  • At PEN festival, Patti Smith honors Rachel Corrie
  • True independence on Nakba Day: accountability and healing as an Israeli aggressor
    • "Israelis must be understood in order for Palestinians to achieve justice."

      Israelis are terribly misunderstood? Also extremely shy, no doubt.

      Or do you mean that the Palestinians need to understand Israeli weaknesses, and find ways to exploit those weaknesses?

    • Xanadou, I am similarly unimpressed by these True Confessions, be they Mr. Litvin's, the Mills and Boone "moonbeams" story, or others, unless they are followed by some sort of positive action.

  • 'I'd rather die than live as a servile slave,' Omar Barghouti told his daughter
    • I agree with most of your comment, but it is odd to see you invoking the moral concept of justice ("is it a just solution or an unjust solution") and then denying the existence of moral obligations.

  • Abbas fears the prisoners’ hunger strike
    • 'Those F-35s can fly over any country on the way to, e.g., bomb Iran and the flyover country will not even know it.'

      Unless it rains. Or there's no "r" in the month.

  • Fake progressives
    • "It’s not that King is infallible, but if a man of his stature, who was aware of the situation in the ME, was a Zionist, then perhaps there is some merit in the position."

      I have yet to see evidence that King was any more aware of the situation in the ME than the average ignorant American. But even if he was, I think it is more likely he knew that he had enough problems without arousing the ire of the Zionists as well, or was simply wrong, than that there is any merit in the Zionist position.

      I think that it is silly to classify people as "progressive" as though they all toed a single party line of acceptable doctrines. Better by far to say "these people agree on this point, those on that point", but not to assume that the same groups will also agree or disagree on a third point.

    • The most serious flaw in the article is, of course, the comma after a subject clause.

      But there is another oddity.

      "...Hillary Clinton would have been our first female president, .... These are indeed social breakthroughs. "

      I don't see how something that didn't happen can be a social breakthrough.

      Nor would it have been a social breakthrough if she had been elected. The real social breakthrough came in 1960, when Sirimavo Bandaranaike became Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Women presidents, prime ministers, governors, state premiers, etc. are ten-a-penny now.

      (This is why I reject Clinton's whine that "misogyny" played a part in her losing the election. Even I cannot believe that the US is so socially backward.)

    • "King was a Zionist ... By the definition of the author, King would have been a “fake” as well, but she did not refer to him in this light."

      Ah! That's your point. If you can show that King was, indeed, a Zionist, then I agree with you that he would count as a "fake".

      Perhaps not disingenuous of the author, though. If she does not believe that King was a Zionist, then there is no reason for her to include him in the fakes.

    • But the author does not say that a "great progressive" is always right about everything. Nor does anyone need to believe that the author is right about everything.

    • So what? MLK (or his wife) might have had some good ideas about American society, but that doesn't mean he (or she) had any understanding of anything else.

  • Warren and Sanders stand firmly behind Trump officials -- on guess what issue?
    • Optical pledging? As in:
      "Drink to me only with thine eyes
      And I will pledge with mine..." ?

  • Yet another young American Jew has had it with Israel
    • "The US still has an education system."

      Don't tempt me like that.

    • "Of course, all the Older Jews haven’t twigged to the change."

      What? All "Older Jews" have their eyes closed? Not one of them has seen what is happening?

  • Map map on the wall, who's most existing of them all?

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