Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 173 (since 2011-05-07 02:51:59)

German, age 60, with a background in christian pacifism, libertarianism and cultural anthropology.

Showing comments 173 - 101

  • Israeli lawfare organization sues BDS activists for advising Lorde to cancel Israel concert
    • Well, I am somewhat stunned by the naivete of our NZ commenters. Don't they know about the debates in other countries of the Anglosphere?
      The general tendency is that anti-discrimination laws, including incitement of BDS, overrule freedom of speech. These kinds of lawsuits could be brought to court in Canada or Britain with a real hope of success. In Australia things are in the making, but it is already clear that BDS supporters will have to fight an uphill struggle.. And NZ comes next, logically.
      (And of course, in France the BDS supporters would already be sentenced.)

  • Stop the attacks on David Palumbo-Liu
    • In my eyes, at least, honesty is important. We will never get mutual agreements or universal rule of law, if we don't consciously excoriate the widespread human feeling that "When I do it to you, it is essentially different from when you do it to me".
      And this affects the debates about the Israelian-Palestinian conflict, as well. So, if we all have to draw a line, why not do it here and now?

    • The problem of Antifascism is its dishonesty - pretending that the methods of the opponent (incitement, harassment, watchlists etc.) are essentially different from one's own methods. This denial of facts prevents any agreement, any general code of conduct, any general rule of law, between both conflict parties. In fact, Antifascists represent a political faction which thinks that agreements, codes of conduct or impartial rule of law are unnecessary or unhelpful.

      This is based in a particular philosophy which would as well be applicable to the Palestinian/Israel conflict. Insofar everyone has to decide here and now if he supports or doesn't support this wordview.

      This is a rather crucial question. And if the pro-Palestinian movement has to split about this, it ought perhaps better to split now. Before the tradition of dishonesty and cynicism infests the whole movement.

  • American Jewry and Israel, unbound
    • Well, BDS is an obvious case of discrimination. So it is rightly forbidden by anti-discrimination laws.
      Of course, conservative critics have told you from the beginning, that anti-discrimination laws destroy the First Amendment rights. And that is what is just happening now.
      I wonder how the ACLU and Liberals in general will resolve this self-inflicted dilemma.

  • The real reasons Trump is quitting Unesco
    • Well, Trump has to play his cards. As the leading American Jewish publicists are fiercely and hopelessly anti-Trump, his only chance is supporting Israel and this way making the average Jews in America uncertain and divided about him.

  • Gideon Levy calls out Israel's fundamental, racist religion: Zionism
    • Catalan has asked some difficult questions. By what means do you think to reach your goals, and in what way will your means determinate your results? I still miss the answers.

      Civilization is a (in most cases) successful agreement to respect each other's "borders" - in the broad and the narrow meaning of the word. The kind of anti-civilizational fanatical cosmopolitanism which is promoted here has some right - it serves the interestst of a small cosmopolitan class -, but it will never be popular, even not with the Palestinians. Palestinians will not want to sacrifice their ethnicity, nor will they want to admit unlimited numbers of Africans into their state.

  • Changing the narrative, from BDS to antifa
    • The main argument in favour of the antifa seems to be "self-defense".
      Now there is something like "putative" self-defense. Namely, the danger was not real. For example, in Charlottesville, a lot of people feared to be shot, but nobody was shot, and why? Because nobody on both sides really wanted to shoot someone. (Mankind is not as bad as one thinks.)
      There's also something like "excessive" self-defense. Meaning that the counteraction is worse than the imminent danger - or, alternately, worse than necessary for to overcome the imminent danger.
      I would be quite satisfied if "antifa" asked themselves at the right moment: Is this putative? Is this excessive?

  • New network leads the fight against fascism on campus
    • But I wouldnt be so certain that the Palestinians will win their own fight by joining the antifa.

      From what I see in Germany, the antifa is deeply divided over the Zionist/Palestinian question, one doesn't know which side will win - and public opinion in antifa circles (as anywhere) depends more and more on that kind of journalism which is paid for by foundations. The question may be in the end: How much money have the Palestinians to fund and how much the Zionists?

    • The idea was - as far as I know - that freedom for both sides is the lesser evil: Better agree to freedom for both sides than be the loser in a fight about who silences the other.
      Seems reasonable to me.
      Leo Strauss tried to win over the Jewish public this way: They shouldn't support Bolshevist laws against anti-semitism because in the long run they might be at the wrong end of the stick. (Seemed plausible in the Fifties, and that's why the ACLU is now outdated and in trouble. Civil rights don't get along well with civil liberties.)
      Inevitably, the side who pleads for liberty is the weaker side - and the side who pleads against liberty is the side who expects to win the fight.

  • Trump support for racists forces Israeli leaders to take sides, but which side will they choose?
    • Who is worse, the leftist or the rightist?
      Depends on the distribution of power.
      In a Gulag, the Bolshevist was far worse than the Nazi. (That's why Solshenitsyn had a soft spot for the soldiers of general Wlassow.)
      People like Tzipi Livni or Jonathan Ofir tend to forget that there was something like a Gulag.

  • The Israeli right can't condemn Charlottesville because its whispered policy is, Nakba
    • Peace between the nations will come when nationalists get moderate enough to work with each other. This has worked well from time to time. It didn't work in 1940 - because of long-time distrust and vindictiveness -, but that is a counterexample, not a general proof.

      On the other hand, cosmopolitans can become a positive force only if they see themselves as a particular "nation", different from the tradtional nations, on equal terms with them, and not speaking for mankind in general.

  • Where Zionism and the 'alt-right' meet
    • In matters of activities against unwished professors, there is no real difference between the left and the right. No party can reclaim the moral high ground. Of course, professors must be protected, but accountable to a degree, and in some cases students must be protected against professors. The best would have been if both parties had agreed to a non-partisan code of conduct.
      In fact, this was what David Horowitz tried to work out with his "Academic Bill of Rights", but liberals shunned it because they thought they had the upper hand and shouldn't look for an agreement.

  • Charges against 'Israel Victory Caucus' protest show dissent is being criminalized under Trump
    • Now what's "total defeat"? Isn't this a romantic illusionary term? And will "total defeat" make a people "normal"?
      I suppose this is a false interpretation of WWII American-German history - "total defeat" made Germans "normal".
      It's sad that such a false interpretation is yet alive.

      But (1) the German defeat was far from "total" - a lot of the industrial capacity remained which made the "wirtschaftswunder" possible.

      And (2) Germans were won over because, after the end of Morgenthauism", the Americans presented themselves in a totally different light - un-arrogant, amical, magnanimous, sometimes altruistic and, last not least, culturally conservative - people which as well as any fascist had a liking for "travail, famille, patrie". (This of course was mostly due to the influence of the American Rightwingers and former American Firsters whose influence rose again until the Eisenhower era).
      Americans should look at this success of their reconciliatory efforts as their great victory.

  • 'Negation of the diaspora' as Zionist antisemitism: The JCC bomb threats came from an Israeli Jew
    • Competitive democracy is also a way to pursue one's happiness; and it implies that Leftists hate a rightist president (and vice versa). That said, hate should not affect one's judgment of reality. If Shasha says "Trump is not completely unaware of his toxic role in the resurgence of Anti-Semitism in this country", the answer must be (a) that there was not much resurgence of Anti-Semitism (b) Trump didn't play an important part in it and (c) Trump's activities w.r.t. the terror threat enquiries can be explained without insinuating a bad conscience. In summa, there exist not only misplaced sympathies, but also misplaced antipathies.

      Michael K. himself was an attention seeker and found out that the American liberal media were highly interested in anti-semitic activities which would offer him a lot of public attention.

  • Steve Bannon's Judeo-Christian 'Camp of the Saints'
    • "But Trump had never addressed the central question: the wave of anti-Semitic incidents." (Jonathan Ofir)
      He did. He supposed that they were make-believe.

      "A 19-year-old dual American Israeli living in Ashkelon has been arrested, suspected of being behind most of a series of bomb and other threats to Jewish communities in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand that date back around six months, The Jerusalem Post has learned."

    • Perhaps Dugin is exclusively interested in "Eurasia" and Bannon exclusively in "America". Which would explain why, with all scrutiny, people have found only one quotation where Bannon mentions Dugin and Evola en passant, and not in the context of Eurasianism, but in the context of traditionalism.
      Traditionalism, by the way, is fine with me; highbrow geopolitical notions don't concern me.

    • May I just remind you that the American translator of "Camp of the Saints" has been Norman Shapiro?
      That would probably be "Norman R. Shapiro ... Distinguished Professor of Literary Translation and Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Wesleyan University. He is also Writer in Residence at Adams House, Harvard University", probably the most distinguished living translator of French Poetry in the United States (by the way, he rediscovered Victor Séjour's forgotten tragedy about "the Jew of Seville").
      Perhaps Mr. Shapiro has understood something which Mr. Ofir hasn't? Or is Mr. Shapiro an antisemite in his own right?

  • Human rights lawyer: Israel's new anti-BDS travel ban violates international law
    • "International Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person’s opinion" and therefore selective rules for entering a country (Sfard)?

      I am constantly confused about "international law". On first view, it seems to be based on agreements between nations. On the other hand, it seems regularly to support policies to which no nation in its good sense ever would have agreed.

      Nations are build by humans who want to protect each other against common enemies. That's the good reason why nations exist. So, no nation will deliberately open its borders to hostile aliens (on whatever "opinion" their hostility is grounded) - so may we really assume that any nation has agreed to such an international law?

      Or is "international law" perhaps something which never has been based on agreements but something which was invented by a small class of "international lawyers" behind the back of the peoples on whom it is enforced afterwards?

  • More than a feeling: Jews and whiteness in Trump’s America
    • Well, first I think that it would be more profitable for all sides if people stopped deconstructing Whites (the same way Golda Meir deconstructed Palestinians), but recognized them as a part of the American patchwork.

      Then this is no particular Jewish problem. Whites are losing their majority (and on long run probably their influence), so more and more groups who were traditionally "Caucasian" discover that they never were "White", really. That has happened with South Asians/Indians, with the "Hispanics" and is happening at the moment with the MENA people. (Jews might identify as MENA, I suppose, but probably won't.) A poor man loses some of his friends, a poor people loses some of its members.

      But there's a special difficulty here for Jewish publicists and politicians. Most of them are used to appeal to the Gentile white population as "I am one of you, so I am entitled to shape your ideas". This will become more difficult - and even if Gentile whites become a minority, they will still make up a great part of the paying public for Jewish publicists. Therefore the urge to transform whites into Cosmopolitans.

  • History shows that anti-Semitism and pro-Zionism have never been mutually exclusive
    • Mooser,
      this is probably a misunderstanding. What he wanted to say is: The "aversion to reactionary politics" is "not something intrinsic to Jewish culture but rather that it is part of their defining status as outsiders" - and that's why the aversion to reactionary politics disappears in a country where Jews are no outsiders.

    • "“Is it possible to be anti-Semitic and pro-Israel at the same time?”

      Yes and no. Moderates tended to be pro-Zionist, and that included moderate philo-Semites as well as moderate anti-Semites ("the Jews will be less of a nuisance if they have their own nation-state").

      On the other hand radical anti-Semites were dead against Zionism, on the ground that they distrusted the Jews too much: Jews would abuse their power against the Arabs (as argued Friedrich Delitzsch already in the 1920s) or against the European nations.

      Another point was that Zionists had, for to promote migration to Palestine, to emphasize anti-Semitic maltreatment of Jews in Europe. This as a rule made collaboration of anti-Semites and Zionists impossible.

    • jon s,
      do I smell a whiff of scepticism here?
      I affirm that I've really read this and it was really a memoir of a Zionist about a talk he had with his uncle (a German assimilationist), probably between the world wars.
      And from the way the sentence was introduced it sounded like a quotation - a sentence the author had heard before and applicated to the situation. Rhetorically it was somewhat above the level of the surrounding text, and the regular alternation between stressed and "nonictic" syllables made it sound like a line of a poem. But I haven't found the source yet.

    • Rightwing Jews (Zionists or Orthodox etc.) are often seen as more tolerant/acceptant/libertarian than leftwing Jews. And there are examples which confirm that view.

      Take Chabad. At a time when leftwing Jewish lawyers minutiously tried to remove all Christian symbols from public spaces, Chabad openly declared: We have no problem with Christian symbols as long as we can erect our Jewish symbols beneath them.

      Or take Leo Strauss. At a time when Jewish communities tended to strife for laws forbidding "antisemitism" (as were installed in the URSS), it was Strauss who courageously told them: Don't follow the Communist model - free speech for all is by far the better policy.

    • In fact Jewish Zionism has always had its charming side.
      For me unforgettable: a German Jewish Zionist who quoted "Your foot be light on foreign soil" (source unknown) which meant that Jews should not intrude too massively into non-Jewish affairs.
      You bet that this could endear Zionists to the non-Jewish population.

      (This advice should, of course, be followed more often by everyone, not exclusively Jews.)

  • Trump is putting the crunch on liberal Zionism
    • Jews (as well as other minorities) have normally three options:
      - being part of a distinct Jewish people (which implies the desire for their own state)
      - being part of the majority people (which may or may not be difficult)
      - being Cosmopolitans. This seems the most sophisticated option, just as long as one interpretes Cosmopolitans as "non-people". But don't deceive yourselves: Cosmopolitans are a particular identitarian group which more and more acts for its own interests against others and is seen as a people of its own.

  • Albert Einstein's advice to Jared Kushner
    • Yes, but look at the matter from the angle of Mr. Smith's mother. Would visiting a synagogue or adoring a particular God boost your children to strive for the higher professions? Or make yourself feeling superior to your neighbours? (Especially if you are no true believer yourself.) Quoting Einstein as a proof for common Jewish genius and moreover as a moral authority would do the trick much better.
      We must take into account the real needs of the average humans.

  • Michigan Arabs react to Trump's executive order -- 'worse than 9/11'
    • I'm not all against huddled masses of migrants landing in a haven - only it better shouldn't be a ground which belongs to other people.
      (You see the parallel to the Jewish-Palestinian problem?)
      That's why I support a two state solution. Leave one state to the kitschy liberals and their huddled masses, leave the other state to the really integrated Americans. Everyone will be happy.
      But don't claim all and every inch of the territory for yourself.

    • Integration in the classical sense meant that - over the time - an immigrant sided more and more with the inhabitants of his new country - and less and less with his co-tribals in his country of origin.

      In this sense, the 20 percent Arabs who voted for Trump may simply be those who are better integrated (better than the anti-Trump voices which are solely heard here).

  • Under Trump we cannot expect 'the system' to protect us, but we can protect ourselves
    • Dear Ms. Elia,
      thank you for your principled rejection of free speech. Clear positions clean the air.

      May I add that you implicitly reject the two consequences, namely (a) the right to opposition, (b) the idea of a free or liberal democracy as a competition between opposing parties?

      May I remind you, too, that a lot of persons before you have thought that they were part of "the majority" (and thus had no use for restraining rules) and have found themselves later on at the receiving end of a stick they had helped to make. A general agreement about "free speech, free assembly, free association" may not proffer the best outcome for anyone, but prevents the worst outcome for everyone.

    • Could we please return to the old-fashioned idea that we all are basically humans, the same kind of beings, which allows for some mutual empathy.
      I distrust someone who is completely unable to place himself in the shoes of his opponent.

  • Why the Personal Has Always Been Political: an Iranian-American reflects on the Trump executive order on refugees
    • I don't see why the temporary Russian use of the term should be relevant. Cosmopolitans called themselves Cosmopolitans a long time before, with pride, so it is completely fair to give them the name they gave themselves. But of course (as my guru Karl Popper would say) we can formulate the content (the dilemma) as well by using different terms (like "anti-nationalists" or "open borders fanatics").

      The dilemma is, in any case, that an international group of persons wants to make a definite territory (the Unites States) their own territory - without accepting that another group (the American nationalists) has at least as much right to lay claim to this territory for themselves.

    • The distinct American nation comprises all the people who want to be a distinct American nation. It's as simple as that. (The motives are of course different, some more tribalistic, some more ideological. But the good will is decisive, not the motives behind it.)

      The modern Cosmopolitans indeed believe that this distinct nation will simply disappear. That's the same delusion as with the early Zionists. I don't extend the comparison to the way how later Zionists coped with the fact that their delusion didn't come true - modern Cosmopolitans are yet in the early state of unshattered and naive delusion, as innocent as the first Zionist settlers.

      And I would emphasize that I propose a working solution in which Cosmopolitans and nationalists can live peacefully side by side (but not together).

    • Has anyone observed how similar modern Cosmopolitanism is to early Zionism?
      Early Zionists felt like a Volk ohne Land, and their eyes fell on Palestine because "it has always been Jewish".
      Modern Cosmopolitans feel like a Volk ohne Land, and their eyes fall on the U.S. because "they have always been Cosmopolitan".
      Early Zionists believed that the Arab population would, in one way or other, blend into their state or melt away. That led to a lot of trouble.
      Modern Cosmopolitans believe that the distinct American nation in the U.S. will blend into their state or melt away. This will lead to a lot of trouble.
      If only Cosmopolitans were prepared to divide the country and claim only a part of it! A two-state solution might yet be possible in this case.

  • 'Come all ye faithful' and 'Kiss my Jewish ass, Donald' -- sacred and profane mix at NY demos
    • Psychology is a personality disorder under which one looks at the most normal humans as freaks.
      Trump of course doesn't remove or attack or shun everyone who is not "at awe" with him. How ever would he do this as a businessman, literally? And there's no information that he carries grudges "forever" (or longer than any average person). But if he is attacked, he indeed counterattacks - which is not the worst way to cope with attacks, a lot of bloggers here do the same. Can't judge about it myself, but it seems rather good for mental health.
      In fact, Trump has shown himself like Reagan as a man who can cope with a lot of really, really mean attacks in good grace, without a "stiff upper lip", but also without really losing countenance. Just that is what makes him presidential timber.

    • Most Americans would be content with a return to the Ellis Island routine - testing each immigrant individually and at length. Only when this routine was abolished, the present conflict between immigration fanatics and anti-immigration fanatics erupted.

      But please note that Trump is no anti-immigration fanatic: he pleaded for these bans as a means "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on", i.e. until they find a more sophisticated way to find out the bad ones and separate them from the good. But this is, as he rightly said, a matter for the Congress. His own possibilities are much more constrained.

  • The dismal cartography of Trump's pre-fascist state (and opportunities for progressive populism)
    • The "Trumpian" counterrevolution is of course a deep and emotionally concerning incision - like the McCarthy/Eisenhower counterrevolution.

      To be fair, that counterrevolution around 1950 was a bit more slowed down and cushioned by the fact that Truman unexpectedly won his election, that Eisenhower was a compromise candidate etc. Nevertheless, it meant that an existing leftist hegemony was shattered. And leftists went no less unhinged than Prof. Falk here.

      On hindsight, McCarthy and Eisenhower did a lot of useful work; and the greater part of their opponents learned to appreciate their deeds (and in the case of Eisenhower, the man, too; McCarthy was eternally vilified by his enemies as a person, but his efforts were maintained.) Above all: McCarthy and Eisenhower enforced the Left to take on a new language of freedom, fallibilism and rationality - which was a definite improvement. I suppose that Trump may be a similarly sanitizing influence on the Left.

  • Saturday's marches are going to make America great again
    • "We know now we can stop Trump ..."
      Anyone can stop a democratically elected government. It has been done often. Most effectively in Czechoslovakia 1948. Less effectively in Ukrainya 2014. The more interesting question is: When you have stopped a democratically elected government, what do you do afterwards?

  • William Blum: the dissident and the style
    • "It could have turned out worse for Blum when a police officer caught him reading an anti-Soviet newspaper on a train carriage in 1970s East Berlin."
      This anecdote is probably put in for to make Blum look more like a critic of communism. In fact these kind of anecdotes are typical stuff in the biographies of "fellow travellers", after communism became uncool (I hadn't looked at Blum as a possible "fellow traveller", until I read this anecdote.)
      For the record, police officers didn't control papers for to find dissidents or spies, but for the sake of securing the communist intellectual hegemony - i.e. preventing East German citizens from reading dissident stuff. And as the paper was in English the police officer could rightly infer that it would not be readable by the average East German citizen, so why bother?

  • Why a Texas rabbi keeps losing a debate over Israel with a white nationalist leader
    • I appreciate that Mondoweiss called Spencer a "white nationalist" and not a "white supremacist". As for Phil Weiss, simple gracefulnesses or fairnesses like this will cost him his reputation, some day or other.

  • 'Tis the season, to boycott!
    • "Rather than being divisive, then, will boycotts become the grassroots movements that “unifies” this country, as our constitutional rights come under further attack? "

      I would like to see this coming. On the other hand, I think liberal judges are quite able to find a formula under which liberal boycotts are allowed and conservative boycotts are forbidden.

      Remember, the SCOTUS only "held that boycotts to bring about political, economic, and social change ... are a form of expression protected by the First Amendment". This doesn't expressively include boycotts in order to prevent change - and won't include them unless Trump indeed becomes president and is really successful in getting a conservative replacement for Scalia.

  • I'm not worried about anti-Semitism
    • As a gentile outsider, I understand that you defend the secularized "social justice warrior" variant of Judaism, and this in particular where it contradicts the politics of Israel.
      But I see also some tendencies to emphasize that you are the only authentic and legitimate form of Judaism and your opponents are nothing more than "Zionists" or "Israelists" or "ethnic nationalists" without a religious legitimation.

      But I would recommend that you don't see your variant as the only possible. Chabad is a distinct, but completely legitimate and authentic variant of Judaism.
      And there are of course deep differences between the secularists and Chabad. E.g. the Jewish secularists have a long tradition of fighting against Christian symbols on public places, whereas Chabad is much more open and accepting to Christians - they are more occupied with promoting their own symbols than with fighting against others'.
      Insofar Chabad is more prone to create good feelings between Christians and Jews and will play a greater part in conservative circles.

  • Donald Trump is ready to bring Islamophobia into the White House
    • There is no essential difference between "critique of/opposition against Islam" and "Anti-Muslimism" resp. "Islamophobia". Of course we can construct a scale between extreme affirmation and extreme negation; we can say that extremes (in the pro and in the contra direction) tend to become unreasonable, and we can say that the right degree is not automatically in the mathematical middle of the scale.

      But the right degree of critique/opposition can only be found out by a debate in which everyone - including Ms. Geller or Mr. Spencer - has her/his say. And as a journalist with Breitbart it was Mr. Bannon's task to give them an opportunity to deliver their observations and arguments.

  • Neoconservatives warm up to Trump (maybe they have an agenda)
    • Yes, but that is so because "anti-semitism" is such an indefinite smear word. I mean, just people who use it daily will become somewhat cynical about its use and treat it as something which can be switched on or switched off, according to your momentaneous intentions.

  • We are in an era of conservative counter-revolution
    • Imho the article is rubbish. He relies on the idea that one party - the progressives - incarnates all things good and therefore the other party must inevitably incarnate all things bad.
      But conservative and progressive are only momentaneous positions. When a progressive has been successful, he will at all costs defend what he has got, and become conservative insofar.
      And the progressive fear of everything "traditional" makes no sense, because traditions of today are the progresses of our forefathers.

      We could, I suppose, all agree that society is still improvable, even if our ideas about improvement differ. But this must imply the possibility that some earlier improvements were failures and must be re-corrected. On this common ground we can begin the debate about concrete proposals for improvements, without an unnecessary struggle between so-called conservatives and so-called progressives.

  • Epic battle looms over accused anti-Semite entering White House, and 'NYT' graywashes the moment
    • Isn't this "Steve Bannon" hype mostly an attempt to bully Trump for to get a compensatory pro-Jewish action: namely, abolishing the Iran Deal as quickly as possible?

  • Day One in Trump's America
    • I just read that HRC was told by her campaign advisors that she needn't to reach out to "white Catholics" (because, of course, she had all those minorities at her side).
      You all have an opportunity to be smarter than HRC. Reach out! To the white Catholics, to the white working class etc.

    • Who wants to be tarred as someone who thinks outside the box?
      The box is: We are the center of the world and have anything to see from the point of "our rights".

      Outside the box one might think: There are other people on the earth, different from ourselves, which don't all think about "our" rights, but about "their own rights", and we must reach out to them and come to terms with them.

    • For years the Democrats have tried to mobilize the minorities agressively against the dwindling white majority.

      This wasn't necessary. And in fact a lot of minority individuals weren't complicit and didn't follow the script. But the minority leaders supported the script enthusiastically and made believe that all minoritarians are agressively anti-white, that politics is a fight between identity groups - immigrants against inhabitants, non-whites against whites, gays against straights, women (a mere pseudo-minority) against men etc.

      Which was a stupid thing to do. Now all minoritarians are harvesting what their leaders sowed. In reality, most of you will have to live with people who criticize and oppose you for the rest of your lives - so why not come to terms and use the moment for to transcend these identity struggles. Stop whining about Trump voters - develop ideas about how to live with them.

  • Ari Shavit’s humiliating fall from grace: AIPAC, Hillel cancel events in wake of groping story
    • Every Puritanism is slightly comical from an outsider's sight. And American "sexual assaults" are definitely a laughing matter.

      What exactly should the poor guy have done? Never proposing to a woman at all? Or only offering her to become his wife, but never offering her to become his mistress? Or offering her to become his mistress, but only without pregnancy?

      Obviously someone (mostly the man) must take the risk of proposing, so that the other side (mostly the woman) has a chance to turn him down. And no, he needs not to know this before.

      I suppose that one could draw a reasonable line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. But American Puritans with their confused ideas about "sexual assault" can't.

  • Clues to the end of the world shared during final 2016 presidential debate
    • Some of the rightwing intellectuals are indeed admitting that Blacks have a point (e.g. Steve Sailer or David Cole). Even if they emphasize that the "famous cases" are flawed: most black victims were not as innocent as pretended, and a lot of policemen acted out of fear (more or less justified by the facts).
      But Sailer typically looks for help not so much by "reeducating" the policemen but by giving them more non-lethal options.

    • "where hierarchy is absolute and religion respected, instead of the self-indulgent atheistic anarchism of the far left running the show"

      I suppose that Mr. Dizard is here trying to sketch the contrast as it is seen by the rightwingers. But in this case he has misunderstood the rightwing point of view.

      Rightwing intellectuals have for a long time characterized the evolving Western system not as a feel-good anarchy, but as an "anarcho-tyranny": a system in which the establishment ignores crimes against the average citizens, but persecutes aggressively every opposition against itself as well as every deviation from its ideological line.
      So rightwing intellectuals have seen a lot of tyrannical elements in the evolving system which Mr. Dizard doesn't see. That depends on from where you are looking: from below or from above.

    • "Trump will say he’d have to wait and see if he will accept the results of this year’s election, a practically unprecedented statement by a presidential candidate. "
      Trump cannot foresee what more Wikileaks discoverings will come out. He also cannot foresee how much the elections will be rigged at the voting stations. (Project Veritas is just covering as much voting stations as possible and we don't know what they'll find out.) So his point of view is reasonable.

  • Despite groping revelations, Israeli-American Trump supporter says all five of his daughters will vote Trump
    • C.V. Woodward seems to say, with so many words, that Southern Whites behaved reasonably. Standing together against outward menaces, dropping for the time being interior feuds, has always been seen as reasonable behaviour.

  • 'There is no stronger disorganizing force in American Jewish life than Israel'
    • My two thoughts.

      Halevi is right when he says that American Jews are white collar and Israele Jews are blue collar. That is, Israeli Jews can care for themselves and are independent. American Jews not so much. American Jews tend to ignore that Herzl tried to solve a problem. Have they indeed found a better solution for Herzl's problem?

      Brant Rosen is wrong when he thinks that "justice and human rights" are obvious things, understood by intuition. Justice and human rights are extremely definable and debatable and it will need a lot more considering and reasoning till the different expectations of different groups can be reconciled to one common definition.

  • Liel Leibovitz wants to excommunicate most American Jews, beginning with Beinart
    • I thought that we were debating the article above, by Roland Nikles, who expressively relies on Wieseltier's article "Against Identity" (1994) (or parts of it) in order to confute Leibovitz.

    • I don't want to teach, but I do warn you. Don't buy into this Wieseltier thinking. Wieseltier relies on a post-Jewish movement which tried to make psychology their ersatz religion (partly identical with the Frankfort School).
      But psychology as religion is unerrantly a racist religion, a religion which sorts people into "good" and "bad" personalities.

      There are people who are "multi-cultural personalities" by natural development, e.g. as offspring of parents with different cultural background. Nothing to say against them.
      But it is quite normal if one wants to be "whole". It's part of humans' pursuit to happiness. And in any case you work through the cultural traditions you have inherited, leave some, develop some, making your worldview more consistent.
      And other people are mono-cultural by ancestry and don't suffer from it. We have to accept all of them as they are.
      Sorting people into good "multi-cultural personalities" and bad "persons who want to be a whole" is as racist as possible.

    • Makes the guy even more simpatico. And isn't it always the "marginal man" who is the best defender of his tribe against its despisers?

    • Last not least. The Herder-bashing is wrong, the bashing of Leibowitz is laughable. From all we see he's a nice guy, lots of masculine vibe, strong sense of loyalty, the sort of man we don't expect to be utterly sharp or bright but we would chose to back us up in a fight. His arguments against social justice warriorism are over the edge, but no more so than the counter-arguments of Roland Nikles.

    • By the way, that damned Herder, says Wieseltier, "strongly affirmed the right of each people to determine its own path and worth".

      As did, for example, Woodrow Wilson.

      Wieseltier as an imperialist of course finds this disgusting. But what about you all here? You really think, with Wieseltier, that Palestinians must never have a "right to determine their own path and worth"?

    • The idea is not that babies are born with different rights and obligations. The idea is that babies are born with different loyalties and with different expectations, directed at them. If you are the father of baby A you feel a particular loyalty to baby A (and of course you hope that baby A will develop a particular loyalty to you, even if this can perhaps not be expected from John Douglas).

      By the way, neither Locke nor Jefferson wanted to eliminate all different human communities. That was an exclusive reinterpretation of enlightenment enforced by the French Jacobines and their Bolshevist followers - the idea was basically that all humans must be soldiers for the government and as good soldiers are not allowed to form any personal preferences and loyalties. And in France as well as in Russia the elimination of all different expectations, loyalties and communities required a really high level of repression.

    • I think that this Herder-bashing is uneducated. There's no reason to depict Herder as "counter-enlightenment". Herder was convinced that nationality and humanity were not mutually exclusive. And Herder had definite followers among German "Jews" (the Lazarus-Steinthal group which defined the "Wissenschaft des Judentums").

      Of course there were other people who left the German as well as the Jewish community in order to become "cosmopolitans" (i.e. to have better access to the international markets for science, technology and capital). That's fine with me. If they want to leave, let them leave.
      But cosmopolitanism means that you leave your community. Thus you can't make a useful contribution to your community, how it shall be defined etc. And of course every community is defined by similarities, mostly either in ancestry or in worldview. (The simple reason is that communities are built on mutual trust, and you don't trust every person to the same degree.) Thus no community is defined by dissimilarities.
      Wieseltier seems to be rather confused about all this, but was he really inclined to eliminate Jewish "identity"? I doubt it.

  • I can't stop looking at these great Gawker posts about the Middle East
    • It is correct that Peter Thiel has resented Gawker's existence for a long time, and that quite understandably: Gawker denied his right of privacy w.r.t. his sexual behaviour. But Thiel could not have damaged Gawker if Gawker hadn't damaged itself by its loose activities against Hogan.

      Thiel's interest in "parabiosis" (= blood transfusions for prolongating life) seems quite reasonable to me, if we accept that Thiel is a libertarian with the traditional libertarian's typical intense feelings about technical progress, the more "utopian" the better (but "parabiosis" is not extremely utopian).

  • As San Francisco mourns Orlando, Trump pulls Clinton his way
    • Hophmi is quite right w.r.t. the principle. Every larger religion implies thoughts which can lead to violence. This relations between religion and violence can be exaggerated or downplayed by propagandists, just according to their intentions. From which follows that propaganda is generally hypocritical, downplaying the violent aspect of the religion one defends and exaggerating the violent aspect of the religion one attacks.
      Propaganda here is not completely above this general hypocrisy, even if I think that the more one knows the trap, the more one can avoid it.

    • Does Trump actually have to "provide leadership and healing words and direction, at a time of tragic national trauma"? Is an American president something like an psychotherapist, or rather a medicine man/magic healer? Is this what the average American needs? Did any other president, e.g. Obama, ever accomplish such a task? Seems unreal to me.
      Trump probably sees his role rather like an administrative which has to sort out which people are not fit to enter the U.S.

  • The List: Cuomo's anti-BDS executive order is a first amendment nightmare
    • Comparisons to McCarthy are erroneous from two reasons.

      First, McCarthy researched treachery, not heresy. The reproach wasn't different opinion, or political opposition, but acting as an agent for a foreign country.

      Secondly, the First Amendment has been deeply damaged by Civil Rights legislation. Nowadays, it's quite logical to say that freedom of speech ends where "discrimination" begins - and nobody can with a straight face deny that BDS is "discriminatory". Perhaps the Left ought to have avoided the ambiguous term "discrimination" from the beginning, but now it's too late and one has to live with such a weapon which can be used by everyone against everyone. (Like in the Fifties the Leftists had to live with the House Committe for Un-American Activities that originally had been constructed as a weapon against their German-friendly opponents.)

      I feel here a strong sense of leftist invulnerability "we can inflict pain on others, but others cannot inflict pain on us under the same terms". I suppose that this sense of invulnerability is delusional.

  • Mainstream media frames Israeli attacks on Gaza civilians as 'retaliatory'
    • In a way this is funny. I remember well that the German Zionist website "hagalil" some years ago complained that Israeli military acts were (by the German media!) always called retaliatory - in this way the German media would appeal to a traditional stereotype of Jews as vengeful.
      (In Germany the words for retaliation and revenge are nearly synonymous, and I suppose it's the same in English.)
      And just then I thought: Wait! Isn't the Israeli government itself callings his acts retaliatory?

  • Donald Trump has one proposal to unite a fractured Republican party -- Islamophobia
    • As for the sharia problem, it's stupid not to take this legal problem serious. The Salon article quoted above tells us that "of course" the Constitution is the law of the land and sharia has to be regarded as foreign law in the same sense like all foreign laws.

      But there's nothing "of course" in that.

      The Salon itself refers to a case where the trial judge used sharia as an excuse from otherwise forbidden behaviour, but "of course" this was abolished by the appellation court. I repeat that there's nothing "of course" in that. In fact, the appellation court could well have erred on the side of the trial judge. That depends mostly on the person of the judge. You can't expect (you can't even wish) that demographical changes don't lead to legal changes.

      So there is indeed reason to be concerned. I don't pretend that anti-sharia laws are the best solution.

    • This description is correct, but it simply means that there are not enough Native English left in London to have an influence on the electoral result. Those who could afford it, have already gone off. And their dogs with them.
      It's the simplest solution, of course. The more Muslims you have, the less islamophobia.

    • Back to the question: "What is the Muslim woman to say to its child, w.r.t. the father's future?"

      Now that obviously depends on if the father is a terrorist (or has terrorist ambitions) - or not.
      If the father has indeed terrorist ambitions the mother ought to make clear to the child, just in time, that Father may some day get lost (either by a suicidal attack or by imprisonment or by deportation).

      On the other hand, if Father has no terrorist ambitions, Mother ought to tell the child that Father has nothing to fear, except if tensions go to extremes. If tensions go to extremes, Americans are quite willing to deport foreign-born people. (Dizard seems never to have heard about the many German Americans who were deported to Germany after the end of WWII.) There's nothing un-American about it.

  • Elor Azarya, King of Israel
    • As I said before. every man is proud to be a loyal friend or comrade. So "My honor is loyalty" is universal and human, and the SS was only accidentally the lucky institution who found a slogan for it.

  • Trump and the war for 'Western Values'
    • "Trump embraces Western values, but they’re the kind that put Westerners first and everyone else second. " (Dizard)

      - Yes, but only in the West. If you live in the East, you can put Easterners first and cling to Eastern values.

      On the contrary, a Universalist demands that everyone on the world follows his values - and people are put first according to how far they follow his values.

      On the whole, I prefer a system where different regions and different values are possible.

  • As right-wing incitement spreads through Israeli society, Netanyahu looks to extinguish fire he has stoked for years
    • "Among the sea of flags and signs, one read “My honor is loyalty” – the motto of the Nazi SS."

      The inculpatory style here is erroneous. Everyone's honour is loyalty. We only ought to look for an object which is worth our loyalty. (Living men and people are, mere words or maps aren't.)

      Loyalty and honour are intertwined concepts.

  • Advocate for 'white British people' bridles when Rula Jebreal mentions race
    • I'm convinced that Ms. Jebreal is in fact not a racist. She judges people by the question: Do they agree with my standpoint? and if they agree, she's quite able to ignore their sex and skin colour.
      But Mr. Weiss, don't you see that this makes her behaviour worse, not better - she referred to her opponent's sex and skin colour not from a deep personal conviction, but as a cheap shot.

      On the other hand, Murray expressed his deep personal feelings when he was sad about the future in which his people will be a minority in a country they once saw as their own country. Should not just a Palestinian person be able to empathize with this feeling??? And to understand that under such a sombre perspective, one can become a bit sensitive when one's skin colour is emphasized?

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