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‘Palestinians ought to be free’ — Cornel West’s historic moment

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Last weekend the Democratic Party platform committee rejected two changes to the draft platform that would have mentioned the occupation and settlements as obstacles to peace and called for the rebuilding of Gaza because of the degree of human suffering there. During the debate of the amendments, Cornel West, a Bernie Sanders proxy, spoke eloquently for the Palestinian question, describing it as the issue of our time. To no avail.

If there was a Palestinian occupation of Jewish brothers and sisters, we ought to be morally outraged. If there is an Israeli occupation of Palestinian brothers and sisters we ought to be morally outraged. This is a moral issue. It’s an issue of our time, and it has spiritual and moral implications. It’s not just about politics. Not just about the next election. And for the younger generation it is becoming more and more what Vietnam was to the 60s or what South Africa was for the 80s. [Rousing cheers]

Democratic Party, you’ve been in denial too long, Palestinians ought to be free….

[In Gaza in 2014] over 2000 were killed and over 500 babies killed and not a word from our political elite.

What is going on in this country What is going on among our elite, are we so paralyzed? Are we so debilitated by either the money flowing or indifference in our hearts, I would hope not. That’s what the legacy of Martin Luther King and Dorothy Day and so many others was all about….

If we are not able to deal with that then we’re in the same condition this party was in 80 years ago when it didn’t want to deal with Jim Crow, didn’t want to deal with lynching, locked in a state of denial and saying, Somehow these Negroes are going to make it through with this misery. We refuse. I refuse to reach that conclusion.

Carlos Latuff

Carlos Latuff is a political cartoonist from Brazil.

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68 Responses

  1. Theo on July 14, 2016, 9:10 am

    What did you expect from those agents of zionism, most democratic big wigs, including the Clintons, are since long bought puppets of AIPAC and other zionist groups. They would never bite the hands that feeds them, not even dogs do it!

  2. CigarGod on July 14, 2016, 9:42 am

    Right to the bone.

  3. eljay on July 14, 2016, 9:52 am

    If there was a Palestinian occupation of Jewish brothers and sisters, we ought to be morally outraged. If there is an Israeli occupation of Palestinian brothers and sisters we ought to be morally outraged. This is a moral issue. …

    He’s right: It is a moral issue. Unfortunately, Zio-supremacists and their supporters are hateful and immoral hypocrites who, when it comes to I-P:
    – despise justice, accountability and equality; and
    – believe that Jews are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they wold not have others do unto them.

  4. Kay24 on July 14, 2016, 10:49 am

    I guess this will be the closest the Palestinians will ever get to have some support from American politicians and party. The shekels speak louder than doing what’s right for people who have suffered for decades. I always thought the Democrats had more compassion for human beings.

    • amigo on July 14, 2016, 2:22 pm

      “I guess this will be the closest the Palestinians will ever get to have some support from American politicians and party. “Kay 24

      They will be getting less from Downing Street.PM May has given the post of FM to Boris .So now we have two very pro Israel British Pols controlling foreign policy.May is a member of the “Conservative Friends of Israel” –not sure about Johnson but if not , he will be very shortly.I bet one of his first , (if not first ) official trips will be to Israel.

      On the upside , If Britain —ooops sorry –the UK leaves the EU at least these two shills for Israel will not be using the halls of the EU parliament to twist arms.

      • Kay24 on July 14, 2016, 5:02 pm

        They must be opening up the champagne bottles in zio land (Sara Nutty will get rich with those empties) because they can now operate from Downing street.

        “Theresa May Will Be a Formidable PM and a True Friend of Israel
        Theresa May has been a firm, consistent friend of the UK Jewish community, committed to their security as Home Secretary, and unafraid to stand up for Israel’s right to defend itself.

        and this:

        Citing that “there is no reason, belief, or cause that can justify the abduction and killing of innocent civilians”, Theresa stressed that “Britain stands with Israel as its people mourn the loss of their boys”.

        Theresa May seems sympathetic to the zionists, but not a word of sympathy for the military occupation, land grabs, collective punishment. that Palestinians have to endure, and forget about those precision bombs that killed entire families, including babies. Theresa May seems to, like others before her, forget that it was the UK that is partly responsible for unwanted Europeans dumped in Palestinian territories. Theresa May needs to pander to the zionists, just like Hillary Rodham Clinton.

  5. johneill on July 14, 2016, 1:05 pm

    why are viet cong flags not shown?

  6. Polly on July 14, 2016, 1:11 pm

    These days it’s hard to watch anyone speak to this issue just knowing the gargantuan concessions that they will HAVE to make in order to get in just a fraction of the hard truth but Cornel West got pretty close to the bone anyway with his magnificent and uplifting words.

  7. ckg on July 14, 2016, 3:24 pm

    In the Guardian today Cornel West endorses Stein

    This November, we need change. Yet we are tied in a choice between Trump, who would be a neo-fascist catastrophe, and Clinton, a neo-liberal disaster. That’s why I am supporting Jill Stein. I am with her – the only progressive woman in the race – because we’ve got to get beyond this lock-jaw situation. I have a deep love for my brother Bernie Sanders, but I disagree with him on Hillary Clinton. I don’t think she would be an “outstanding president”. Her militarism makes the world a less safe place.

    • Kay24 on July 14, 2016, 5:21 pm

      It looks like those sick of Drumpf and Clinton, are heading towards Jill Stein.
      They are ex Bernie supporters of course.
      I am not very familiar with the source, but it is interesting.

      Donations to Jill Stein Explode Nearly 1000% Since Sanders’ Endorsement of Clinton

      • ritzl on July 14, 2016, 6:15 pm

        Thanks for the US uncut link Kay. Encouraging.

    • echinococcus on July 14, 2016, 6:39 pm

      Cornel West is a professional endorser. Endorses all.
      He agitated and propagated and insinuated and thundered with a lot of prophecies until he got Obama elected.
      Yes, that’s correct.
      Then he did the exact same for his other brother Bernie friggin Sanders, the imperialist and warmonger since before Obama was a project.
      Now he’s endorsing Dr. Stein?
      That’s making me think that something must be wrong with her –I don’t know what, but Cornel West endorsements are kinda funny.

      • gamal on July 14, 2016, 10:54 pm

        “but Cornel West endorsements are kinda funny”

        Massa we sick?

      • echinococcus on July 15, 2016, 3:20 am


        Just look at the series: Obama, then Sanders, then… Stein.
        Perhaps from England it’s not that meaningful, I wouldn’t know.
        At any rate, one side of me is laughing at the cluelessness but the other side is kinda expecting some unpredictable curse to hex my favorite family physician in the US.

      • xanadou on July 15, 2016, 4:20 am

        Prof. Cornel West endorsed Obama, believing, like most, that Obama was really about the “change”. Until he learned that the only change was at the handler level, i .e., when joe Lieberman stepped in and separated the rhetoric on the teleprompter from reality, and devolved Obama away from historic greatness and into a windup toy, who promptly replaced the likes of Joseph Stiglitz with summers and the other destructive twit, and prof. West and others with Wall Street hustlers and the DC mafia of lobbyists.

        Let’s not forget that Bernie Sanders was the first person of political prominence who, however hesitantly, spoke, however briefly, about Palestine in the context of the genocidal occupation.

        As for Jill Stein….? Why not ask her what her views are and what, if anything, would she do about the Israel/Palestine quagmire, the horror of the ME morass, and the fast proliferating wars in Africa?

        Would anyone at MW want to interview Ms. Stein?
        Tick tock.

      • echinococcus on July 15, 2016, 9:51 am


        “Believing like most” ain’t good enough. That’s how religious nonsense starts. Obama was as transparent as glass with his maudlin hope-mongering where every statement also carried a lawyer’s small print –and the Obamaniacs were duly warned.
        Sanders was a colossal fraud who warned you himself that he was out recruiting the disgruntled back into the imperialist party, while he continued to support war of aggression (and Labor-invader Zionism). And the BS maniacs were duly warned.

        The Green Party program is out for all to look at and it is anti-imperialist, although not aggressively so. It seems to be binding for all members, at least this far (else no point at all in supporting.) I can’t believe you haven’t read it.

        Dr. Stein has been interviewed about this.

      • gamal on July 15, 2016, 1:26 pm

        “from England” nor is it from Ireland,

        yes I am not really into voting the good vote, all of these people are criminals look at Blair, its unbelievable an ex prime minister is slinking around the back alleys selling his pablum ( have you seen what the vile Eman al Badawy and others write at his “centre on religion and geopolitics”)

        while the world speculates whether or not he should be tried for war crimes, 20 years ago that would have been a scandal now ah what we drone half of Asia as we yearn for yet another new beginning to sort out the catastrophe of the last one

        really Corbyn? Sanders? here we have sinn fein but none of these crews have any ideas the system is finished its war now at home abroad everywhere, even here in Ireland there is an astonishing epidemic of suicide, alcoholism and all this drenched in a mindless Americanized commercial culture of utter vapid idiocy.

        the option i am voting for isn’t on the ballot so i can’t lose, the benefits of 200 hundreds years of bloody struggle have evaporated right before Westerners eyes as they were posting pictures of their breakfast to facebook,

        the system is not benign has never been democratic all the people i respect politically are either dead or incarcerated or lying low.

        I vote Mumia, which box do i tick

      • echinococcus on July 15, 2016, 3:41 pm


        What about the solitary confinement box? We’re many to want to join you there.

  8. Kay24 on July 14, 2016, 5:17 pm

    It seems Nutty’s close aides are under suspicion for corruption, and despite the accusations by zio trolls that Palestinian officials are dishonest, it seem the only democracy in the ME has a large share of dishonest officials in high places too. No surprise.

  9. brent on July 15, 2016, 12:01 pm

    Tragically, the cause of Palestine continues to fail. In my judgment, the Black Lives Matter movement will also have a steeper hill to climb if hotheads continue throwing rocks and bottles at the establishment’s army. I’m hoping Palestinians will buy into more powerful paths for resistance.

    Random murder precludes political support from politicians who want to be re-elected.

    • gamal on July 15, 2016, 1:31 pm

      ” In my judgment ”

      yes thats why Jesus said “Judge not”

      “steeper hill”? we going Down Hill fool steep is good.

      “hotheads”, thugs, terrorists, hostiles, ….? i know what you mean.

    • echinococcus on July 15, 2016, 3:38 pm

      Yeah, don’t we love the newfangled fashion of “concern-trolling” as they call it nowadays?

      Sure, read to me again these fairy tales about there being no application of violence against all-powerful empires and their slaves before the providential descent from Heaven of a Gandhi or the post-hoc conversion to non-violence of a Mandela… Throw in for good measure Abbas, too. All we need is more preachers to tell us to pull down the pants now and forever –not a provisional tactical moment but just forever, the “more powerful path for resistance”. Yes, Bwana.

  10. xanadou on July 15, 2016, 4:58 pm

    Echinococcus, I share your skepticism about the front runners, and as a realist I have no delusions about their true opportunistic nature. I lost interest in Obama while listening to his, indeed, maudlin rhetoric aimed at the most desperate public common denominator who never once thought to ask how Obama intended to implement his nebulous nonsense. But I do remember his one-time call to “make me do it”, i.e., a call to his supporters to get involved on a sustained basis. Maybe not by hitting the streets to face our psychotic militarized police, but perhaps by trying alternative means, e.g., national referenda (my inference) to force our congress and senate to do their job in the service to WTPeople.

    Was BS more of the same bs? We’ll never know. But my reason for taking an interest in BS was b/c of whom he had selected for his advisory entourage, and the cruel reality of American politics with no room for anyone without the R or D tag.

    I have listened to Ms. Stein describe her agenda and had hoped that BS would somehow find a way to connect with her, and together work the system toward the long overdue structural overhaul he often referred to in his speeches.

    In the absence of any venue of consequence, only frequent exposure of a candidate with no hope for the same access to the same events as the Rs or Ds can create a dent. Does Ms. Stein have any hope of getting anywhere near the unholy grail? No. But being heard by, and seen on, often and on as many media that will have her, and by furthering her POV via social media, can there be hope for this country in the, sadly, distant future, short of a revolution precipitated by an unforeseeable event. Kind of like the police murder of Eric Garner which propelled BLM into a movement of consequence.

    Clinton is proposed as an alternative to TrumptyDumpty, i.e., realistically, more of the same nightmare we have been living for long decades. But what if the growing number of sources hinting at her medical problems are right? Considering what she has invited into her possible WH entourage so far makes for an even more frightening disaster.

    Our choice for the future: 8th or 9th circle of Hell.

    • echinococcus on July 15, 2016, 11:06 pm


      I’ll give a corollary to that: if, instead of hunting shadows with the Obamas and Sanderses, all those people who elevated them had used a couple of brain cells, now one or more anti-imperialist third parties would have been heard more loudly than most anyone else.
      More to the point for us here, if would have given an unimaginably strong boost to the support for the Palestinian resistance, instead of that lame Lib-Zionist mush that BS already retired.
      It’s not the fault of the mountebank as much as that of the gulls who listens and carries on for months –until it’s too late to organize them.

  11. wondering jew on July 15, 2016, 4:59 pm

    Off topic- I’ve looked at the comments and nothing to say about those killed in Nice? Truly i guess there is nothing to say, but no speculation about how trump will play this? no talk about how americans would react to something like this. well, of course, orlando was a bit like this too. i suppose that cool and calm treats this as a blip in the murder rate, and maybe we should aspire to cool and calm. but the chattering that goes on here and not one comment about Nice seems that people are willing to deal in superficials, just to avoid the thoughts conjured by a major terrorist attack in france.

    • eljay on July 15, 2016, 8:23 pm

      || yonah fredman @ July 15, 2016, 4:59 pm ||

      It’s funny that you complain about the lack of…
      – thoughts on Nice; and
      – speculation about how Trump will play this,
      …and yet you fail to offer up a single thought or bit of speculation of your own.

      Looks like you enjoy chattering and dealing in superficials as much as anyone else here on MW. :-)

      I think what happened in Nice is a damned shame. I fear that the French and other (Western) governments will appropriate this tragedy for their own political agendas. I wish the driver hadn’t been killed so that he could have been tried and held accountable for his crime. And I have respect for the heroic actions of the motorcycle rider who died trying to gain access to the cabin of the truck in order to stop it.

      • Mooser on July 15, 2016, 11:54 pm

        “It’s funny that you complain about the lack of…
        – thoughts on Nice; and “

        “Yonah’s” subtle questions will elicit the truth, just you wait. The Mondo comment section must somehow be responsible for that Nice bombing!

    • talknic on July 16, 2016, 12:51 am

      @ y f

      Another ghastly, seemingly inexplicable and un-necessary waste of life

      BTW Apart from being off topic you seem to have omitted anything even bordering on humane.

    • RoHa on July 16, 2016, 2:52 am

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

      • RoHa on July 16, 2016, 6:41 am

        That should be “see what he does do”.

      • John O on July 16, 2016, 12:11 pm

        @RoHa “That should be “see what he does do”.”

        I dunno. The US Constitution will certainly be done for if Trump wins in November.

      • echinococcus on July 16, 2016, 12:41 pm

        John O.

        What constitution? The one officially abolished by the Dim government by decreeing Imperial power to commit plain Murder One? Let’s not be ridiculous.

      • RoHa on July 17, 2016, 12:02 am

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

    • John O on July 16, 2016, 4:30 am

      MW contributor, Carlos Latuff, has a cartoon on Nice that has gone viral. Here it is on the BBC website:

    • wondering jew on July 16, 2016, 11:39 am

      Recently i have read where Muslims were upset that westerners only focused on terrorism when western targets and western humans were killed. But til i mentioned it, really no one here bothered to comment, because no one here lives in france and it is not your primary concern.

      the uses politicians put to terrorist attacks is really an unworthy topic to raise. when a bus was blown up in jerusalem in 1996 and a friend’s wife’s first comment was: “i wonder what netanyahu is going to say”, i was very offended, so you are right, pontificating politically is one step removed from a human reaction.

      i am sometimes surprised by how uninvolved in foreign policy analysis the primary commentators are here. not one comment on the attempted coup in turkey, is a further example of the nonglobal emphasis of the rhetoric of this comments section.

      The current headlines say about the Tunisian who did this that he was not religious, but under medical care for his unsocial personality. When the prick from Orlando was described as a jilted HIV fearing closet gay, did that change the net effect?

      These are half formed still unfinished reactions to these two events that can be described as tragedy: to human anger having gained access to guns, trucks and causes that espouse bloodshed.

      The anger in the US today is primarily expressed politically through the candidacies of Trump and now Jill Stein, since Sanders has taken the step away from the abyss and into the mainstream that some advocate for him. Frankly a Trump presidency scares me more than Orlando or Nice. I accept people who prefer the Trump foreign policy and thus are sitting this one out or coming out for Trump. It isn’t foreign policy that scares me regarding Trump.

      it is american history and the presidency itself if not the health of the republic. When has the presidency been handed to someone as irresponsible as Trump? Never.

      • Mooser on July 16, 2016, 12:24 pm

        “When has the presidency been handed to someone as irresponsible as Trump?”

        Bush Jr. just about a decade and a half ago. Compared to launching the War on Iraq, Trump is small time.

      • talknic on July 16, 2016, 1:24 pm

        THREAD HIJACK ALERT @ yonah fredman
        July 16, 2016, 11:39 am

      • eljay on July 16, 2016, 2:23 pm

        || yonah fredman: … I am sometimes surprised by how uninvolved in foreign policy analysis the primary commentators are here. not one comment on the attempted coup in turkey … ||

        Yup, not a single comment from you about it. Huh. But why bother when you enjoy chattering and dealing in superficials, right?

      • MHughes976 on July 16, 2016, 5:01 pm

        Well, I did draw attention about 24 hours ago to events in Turkey, though I did not rush into expressing an opinion. They fill me with dismay and foreboding, as do the events in Nice. I spent quite some time yesterday reading comments, most of which caused more dismay. Some of the British ones were more vitriolic than I would have expected, the American ones were obsessed with immigration and guns. I’d welcome your comments, Yonah.

      • wondering jew on July 16, 2016, 6:13 pm

        mooser- indeed the war against iraq sets a certain standard in fiascos for america in the post vietnam era.

        trump combines aspects of huey long, george wallace and ross perot (and not in a good way). i think he is unpredictable and i would prefer not to have my fears confirmed or denied by a reality of a trump presidency.

      • wondering jew on July 16, 2016, 7:06 pm

        A massacre like the one in Nice is just human nature plus politics equals bloodshed. 1 in every 1,000 human males has murderous rage and between the ages of 18 to 42 a fair number will give expression to that murderous rage. In 2016, if you are muslim and male and young and angry, there is a cause or an excuse for you to kill.

        of course, when some nutjob goes off and kills 49 in orlando or 84 in nice, one does not engage in statistical analyses. if one has stomach enough to watch video tapes of news casts from the scene of ambulances and morgue and forensic crews, if one can afford to open their heart to the pain of such senseless death, those are two paths to dealing with it: reporter and feeler.

        the religious impulse has often involved a component of violence from the crusades to the inquisition. i haven’t read william james recently enough, but as I recall much “sincere” religion involves anger and uncontrollable emotions that are channeled in a specific path and then there are the killers of orlando and nice who just needed an excuse to kill, and their religion was as superficial as an october frost.

        america’s relationship to guns is quite atyical of modern civilization.

        as far as immigration: it is natural to react to an orlando and try to imagine how we might have acted differently to not have reached this point in time and limiting immigration is a very human reaction. i’m from brooklyn and immigration is as essential to brooklyn as are the subways and the attitude, so to attempt to put the genie back in the bottle and undo immigration goes against the code of brooklyn. (although also part of the code of brooklyn is to hate the other immigrants, or to hate the new immigrants. “a view from the bridge” by arthur miller is based upon such hatred and about one fifth of the episodes of the sopranos deal with immigration and mixed feelings towards newer immigrants.)

        as far as Turkey, i have very mixed feelings.
        From the Ottoman empire through the genocide of the armenians, to the role Turkey tried to take upon itself of secularizing itself and modernizing itself. to erdogan and his alpha male ways. to the confusion of how islam can be both modern and assertive. added to the role of turkey vis a vis iran and vis a vis the kurds and vis a vis syria and the role that they have been cast as the destination for refugees so that europe can stop the flow. to the future of europe and how turkey might fit into that future. mostly superficial impressions.

        (the fact that Arabic is so close to Hebrew, whereas Turkish and Farsi are so distant from both those languages.)

      • Mooser on July 16, 2016, 8:12 pm

        “Yonah” even tho some of the comment archives have been misplaced, the possibility of crashing the site by pouring reams and reams of meaningless text into it is very remote. You can go on trying, but I don’t think it is going to work.

      • RoHa on July 16, 2016, 11:52 pm

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

      • echinococcus on July 17, 2016, 12:20 am

        Mr Fredman,

        Perhaps nobody told you yet: this here is Mondoweiss, where people come together to explore how to best help the Palestinians overthrow the Zionist occupation and stop the genocide. Comics like yourself and other Zionist propaganda agents are not really the core constituency, just a nuisance. This means that any political aspirations you have are necessarily diametrically opposed to those of the people here.

        So how on earth could you ever be so full of your insufferable self as to imagine that any of your political bullshit will find any interest, except as comic relief?

        I don’t see you responding to precise questions, by the way. What about that definition and proof of your vile accusations of “antisemitism”? When can we expect that? It’s already been two weeks.

      • Mooser on July 17, 2016, 2:11 pm

        “Neglect of the shift key is not one of them.”

        Remember, ‘there are deal within wheels’, as the guy at Les Schwab, (or was it Charles Schwab?) used to say.
        “Annie” foregoes the use of upper-case (you think I’m going to risk “capitol” or “capital” with you around? No way.) letters in comments so she will know immediately if a quote came from her comments, or her articles.

      • annie on July 17, 2016, 2:33 pm

        it’s simply unnecessary behavior. i can understand wearing heels to a wedding or funeral but everyday? it’s just dressing up a letter for heavens sakes and serves no purpose other than formality. i mean, why not capitalize the last letter of the word instead? who cares! and this using of the left hand to hold down a certain key while the right hand types the letter? waste of time and effort. i type with 2 fingers, one from each hand — capitalizing is a big fat waste of time and energy. it’s becoming extinct. now, i always (generally) capitalize when i’m writing in cursive because those capital letters are so pretty! especially the capital s,t,j,r — stunning! and the w is quite loverly in cursive too. but hardly anyone writes in cursive anymore. life.

      • Mooser on July 17, 2016, 2:16 pm

        “So how on earth could you ever be so full of your insufferable self…”

        For pity’s sake, “Echin”, what choice does he have? If he ever sprung a leak, he would end up studying the “three R’s”!*

        (*Razor, rope or revolver)

      • wondering jew on July 17, 2016, 3:58 pm

        echinocuss- I understand that you don’t want to hear from me, but MHughes expressed explicitly that he wouldn’t mind hearing from me.

        As far as your two week old claim on my attentions- I am afraid that i do not esteem your opinion of me highly enough to care.

        if it was about gore vidal, i wish gore’s bones well. i think his memory is not a blessing nor is it a curse. you, on the other hand surely add to the cesspool aspect of the comments section.

      • echinococcus on July 17, 2016, 5:29 pm


        Now we are into spelling and such, it’s “forgoes”, no e.

      • echinococcus on July 17, 2016, 5:47 pm

        Reb Fredman,

        This isn’t about what I think of you.

        It is about definitions.

        Where I am from, hit-and-run slurs without bothering to provide solid proof (and an exact definition of the supposed accusation) are considered outside the bounds of civilized behavior. Slander, libel, etc., according to your lawyerly disposition.

        Still where I am from, anyone practicing that and never responding when challenged to produce the necessary proof is considered to be without the most elementary human self-respect. Even some Zionists don’t fall that low.

      • Mooser on July 17, 2016, 8:45 pm

        ,” it’s “forgoes”, no e.”

        You are right, and I looked right past my own spel-chek to misspell it.

      • Mooser on July 17, 2016, 8:59 pm

        “Where I am from, hit-and-run slurs without bothering to provide solid proof (and an exact definition of the supposed accusation) are considered outside the bounds of civilized behavior. Slander, libel, etc.”

        See, it’s just one of those multi-cultural misunderstandings. Where “Yonah” and “Hophmi” is from, they call that “just making conversation”.

      • echinococcus on July 18, 2016, 12:29 am


        Not that I mind –I mean, when RoHa isn’t watching, I don’t.

      • RoHa on July 18, 2016, 10:29 pm

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

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

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

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

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

        Darkness falls.

      • echinococcus on July 18, 2016, 11:51 pm

        Dunno, RoHa.
        Annie has almost converted me.
        Instead of lamenting the loss and neglect of the Classics, let’s go Byzantine.

      • Mooser on July 19, 2016, 1:02 pm

        “You appreciate the value of capitals if you…”

        …give Olympia, Wa. a try.
        See you at the picnic!

      • Mooser on July 19, 2016, 6:48 pm

        “The trivium is lost.”

        Yes, people should study “the three L’s”.
        Like the ones in “politicallly”!

      • RoHa on July 19, 2016, 8:34 pm

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

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

      • RoHa on July 19, 2016, 8:49 pm

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

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

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

      • echinococcus on July 19, 2016, 10:26 pm


        When “classical clarity” comes printed even once with capitals after full stops, you can call me to claim your five pounds. Heck, claim 50! There’s no risk.

      • RoHa on July 20, 2016, 12:13 am

        Unless you mean the words”classical clarity”, it’s easy.

        Track down printed copies of

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

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

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

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

        Send the money to MW as a donation.

      • Mooser on July 20, 2016, 1:12 pm

        “I further apologise to all the members”

        Here, we “apologise” with a “z”!

      • RoHa on July 20, 2016, 10:09 pm

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

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

        (*I will have no truck with zees.)

      • echinococcus on July 21, 2016, 12:19 am


        To make it clearer: since the pre-printing Alexandrine and Byzantine days and now into printing.
        Again, bring me one ancient Greek text (which is what to me means classics) printed with capitals after full stops.
        But OK, I wasn’t considerate enough to stop and remember that others may define their classics otherwise.

        As for the other story, well this is an earth-shattering moment: RoHa himself relies on a spell-checker. Impossible!

      • RoHa on July 22, 2016, 12:15 am

        I don’t rely on a spell-checker. I asked it, very politely, to watch out for the more egregious typos, but it has a will of its own and changes what I write without consulting me.

      • echinococcus on July 22, 2016, 1:39 am


        Of course you asked it politely. You’re always so impeccably polite.
        But you are requesting exaggerated precision: let’s reformulate it then. You relied on the spell-checker to alert you to barely possible egregious mistyping and the son of a gun misled you intentionally. OK?

      • Mooser on July 22, 2016, 11:14 am

        “but it has a will of its own…”

        De-select “Auto-correct”! If you don’t, you will end up with ‘homonym howlers’ sooner or later.

  12. Mooser on July 17, 2016, 5:01 pm

    you, on the other hand surely add to the cesspool aspect of the comments section.”

    “Yonah’s” in da house, and judging! So get your aspects in line. And he’s cutting up rough, too. We used to be a “choir” (that was nice) or “cheerleaders”, but now
    we’ve got that “cesspool aspect”.

    Which is not like “a turd in aspic”. Nobody’s comments gel like yours,”Yonah”

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