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Total number of comments: 7 (since 2012-11-21 01:56:49)

worried we're doomed

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  • 'Forward' editor says Presbyterian vote was anti-Semitic
    • Do the anti-PCUSA posters here really not get it, or are they just pretending not to get it? Eisner is clearly arguing in bad faith, and I suspect the same holds true for many of the former.

      PCUSA has accused Israel of specific wrongs. But rather than squarely address the issues PCUSA has presented, Eisner attempts to evade them entirely, by countering with a completely unrelated accusation–PCUSA’s alleged bias–which Eisner necessarily implies is MORE deserving of examination than anything the PCUSA has raised.

      Which begs the question: does Eisner ever provide evidence that would justify such a prioritization, beyond the emotional appeal of her position? Emphatically, no. Furthermore, her argument has no persuasive force except to the extent we, her audience, accept her invitation to engage in a logical fallacy, namely, that she has established, without evidence, the superior priority of her accusation. And that's bad faith.

      You'd have to think at some point Eisner's argument would prove self-defeating. Those who invoke moral norms to imply the superiority of their position presuppose we're all living in a moral universe. But Eisner's whataboutery lives in another universe entirely, that of moral relativism, where claims of moral superiority are as useful as a belief in magic.

  • Yes the Palestinians got 'screwed' -- John Judis defends vernacular at Museum of Jewish Heritage
    • Assuming you've quoted Gribetz accurately, his desperation is as apparent as his contempt for your intelligence, given the depth he was willing to go in bullshitting you.

      As any first year law student can tell you, the traditional view is that land is NOT fungible, and it is precisely because of this that the law provides for special remedies (i.e., beyond the payment of money) in disputes over land, including, as he well knows, the remedy of "specific performance".

      In most lawsuits, courts attempts to figure out the dollar value (called "damages") of the claimed injury. But in a minority of cases the law recognizes that damages alone would be an inadequate remedy, because the injury can't readily be ascertained or expressed as a dollar value. Breached contracts for the sale of land are a famous example. A jilted buyer who's awarded specific performance gets a court order that forces the seller to turn over title to the property, in addition to any money the court might also award.

      The point is, Gribetz knows all this, but apparently thought he could pull one over on you. Next time you see him, you might ask him to name the parcels under Israeli control that he doesn't consider "fungible" (if the question throws him into a stupor, try gently singing "Location, Location, Location"; that should bring him around). And please tell him we look forward to his answer.

  • Jodi Rudoren intentionally obscured reality in her recent piece on Beit Ommar
    • Beginning at 0:26, and while gesturing with her left hand, Rudoren says something to Hashlamon, who's holding a camera. It sounds like "keep it [the camera] down." This comes after what appears to be a somewhat hostile exchange with the tall male settler in the white shirt [the driver of the silver van?] and is immediately followed by the soon-to-be attacking female [Shvat?], looking directly at Awad, who's video recording her from several yards away as she sits in the van's passenger seat.

      In the next scene, as the attack begins, Awad is recording the female from even further away. Along with what I take to be Rudoren's remarks after the earlier exchange with the male settler, I'm guessing both the soldiers and Rudoren had every reason to expect the settlers would retaliate against anyone filming the incident, and that they would do so, in broad daylight, before numerous witnesses, including soldiers, with no regard for the consequences. Because there wouldn't be any.

      But maybe we shouldn't complain. After all, had Rudoren mentioned the settler's attack in her piece, one would expect she'd have managed to explain it away. Because it's so unfair these people are forced to do battle with stone throwers and D.W. Griffith-wannabes while their pizza gets cold.

  • In electric atmosphere, Medea Benjamin takes over the president's speech
    • What Kathleen describes suggests to me that we're only spurred to act on our professed commitment to basic human decency when the perceived benefits of action outweigh the perceived costs.

      And that's nothing to shout about.

      Defend the victims as much as you can. But if you stand in the way of them leading their own cause, then you're leading for yourself, and not for them.

    • When do you suppose was the last time the man who makes his living speaking from a podium began his address without a prepared rebuttal to any potential hecklers?

  • Biden says Jewish 'influence' behind American cultural politics is 'immense... immense'
    • The problem with Philo-anygroup is that no collection of human beings constitutes an unqualified good, given that human beings are by their very nature flawed, corrupt, and corruptible. So if we feel compelled to attribute to the humans of Group A certain virtues, what then are their vices?

  • No balance: CNN slobbers over Peres, grills Meshaal
    • I wish someone would ask Amanpour whether her reluctance to fawn over Meeshal in the manner displayed by Blitzer in his segment with Peres had anything to do with avoiding an indictment under the Patriot Act. I think her answer could kickstart a very interesting discussion.

      In Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 08-1498 (2010), the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a provision of the Patriot Act making it a felony to provide "material support" to a "foreign terrorist" organization. In doing so, the court swept aside an advocacy group’s First Amendment challenge to the law, namely, that it impermissibly burdened their efforts to train the PKK and Tamil Tigers to use non-violent legal means to resolve disputes.

      Under § 2339A(b)(1) of the law, "material support or resources" includes any “service, including . . . communications equipment [or] facilities . . ." Because the U.S. defines Hamas (but not Israel, despite what 3 out of 4 Goldstone Report authors say) as a foreign terrorist organization, I’m betting CNN’s producers, editors, and correspondents have at some point been reminded by their legal department that claims made by Hamas are to be met with deep skepticism, if not outright hostility. Meanwhile, CNN can offer Peres, Netanyahu, et al., a worldwide platform from which to spew their terroristic inanities (Dahiyeh Doctrine, anyone?), and no one loses a wink’s worth of sleep over it.

      That said, I don't believe for a moment that Amanpour would have been anything other than hostile to Meeshal in the absence of the HLP decision. Rather, that in the aftermath of HLP, it should surprise no one that talking heads perceive even less of an incentive to accord any legitimacy to Hamas. After all, why invite an inquiry by the DOJ into whether your communications facilities have supported the purposes of “terrorism” if you don’t have to?

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