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Total number of comments: 894 (since 2015-03-14 14:32:50)

I am interested in pretty much everything, especially history.

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  • Joining up (Tzedek Chicago, and a Judaism beyond nationalism)
    • "Cause if there’s one thing Jews have always hated and will have absolutely nothing to do with, it’s socialism or communism. "- Mooser
      In my limited tiny experience, a person's ideology rarely has something to do with the stuff a human being is made of. You can be of any political view and still be made of the real stuff. What is the real stuff, you ask? I don't know, it's some kind of substance. It can show in crisis or under pressure.
      All this socialism communism stuff is nonsense and vanity. Are you the person people go to when they are in trouble and need actions not words? Would you die for something? Are you in peace or troubled and anxious? That's the deeper stuff. You are too hung up on the demagoguery, masks, spiderwebs, illusions.

    • "But just between you and me, “catty”, why do you think we are cursed with this self-revulsion - " Mooser
      It's because we are a rootless people. We want to belong, yet out parents told us we are different. We are conflicted, I wouldn't call it self-revulsion. Since life is a relatively short kind of deal we each have to find own way to deal with this condition. For me, seeing how much some people dislike Jews, all this talk of they run the country, they are rich bankers, etc makes me happy to be Jewish. If I can irritate the people who search for a uniform world, for an all encompassing ideology, national interest, Marxism, then I am happy. I want to be different. I want the world to be colorful, crazy and not a grey left wing or right wing or Muslim paradise. I want to be the thorn.

    • "Your propensity to turn hummus and fine wine into anger, foul language and violence makes you sound like a sociopath. - "
      Steve,
      He is not a sociopath but just wants to be accepted by his wife and her family/friends. Since Roman days, some Jews have been ashamed of their background. We should have compassion for Mooser. When I lived in Bulgaria, the majority of Jews were like that. I wanted to be Ivan Petrov (John Smith of Bulgaria) but my name and appearance were just too much to blend. It's sad and informative that so many Jews in this country also feel that way. It shows that the American reality is a lot more hostile to Jews than the politically correct media shows.

  • Michael Oren cannot hide his disrespect for Jewish Americans
    • "That’s what I keep on telling them; “catalan” wants everybody to know he is a regular American all-rightnik" Mooser
      Why don't we tone down on the hysteria. I voted for Obama the last election. I speak decent Spanish and live in a place where the vast majority of people are Hispanic. My town is 90 percent Hispanic according to the last census. Since I was illegal once myself, it would be the height of hypocrisy for me to speak negatively on that issue. Also, unlike you, I have tasted life in poor countries, whereas you love the poor from afar - an old American liberal habit.
      That said, the issue of dual loyalty, dual citizenship is a very common thread on this forum, and always with Jews under the microscope. It's just not objective, considering that up to 100 million people have dual citizenship. I am not making a judgement as to the morality of this situation, just observing it. As usual, you engage in schoolyard labeling tactics. Peter Pan syndrome?

    • "but refer to different versions of the same division–one a permissible topic of discussion, the other a taboo. - " irfan
      I believe that the topic is taboo but not for the reason you imply. There may be as many fifty to a hundred million Americans with dual citizenship, with the vast majority of them Mexican (nobody knows how many but there are estimates). Opening up this particular topic may result is some shocking discoveries about this country and that's why this is all best kept under the rug, with everyone pretending they don't know. Better than having a Bosnia or Sudan, I think.
      The issue of Jewish "dual loyalty" in that context is of very little importance. Well unless you think that Mexico and the Unites States have identical interests.

  • A racist country with too much influence over US -- Israel's new image among Democrats
    • “A Conservative Estimate of Total U.S. Direct Aid to Israel: More Than $130 Billion" amigo
      It's nothing. Peanuts. America has been running trillion dollar deficits for years and is projected to do so again in 2-3 years. That's more than a thousand billion - per year. 80 percent of that is social security, Medicare, and defense. 3 billion a year is an accounting error for the 6-7 trillion U.S. Federal budget. If you count local government debt and unfunded pension and social security liabilities, the U.S. debt is so enormous that it pretty much makes the whole global economy a pyramid scheme. However, the U.S. will devalue its currency gradually and the bill will be paid by the creditors.
      The bottom line is that all US money is essentially fake money, borrowed from creditors who know they cannot possibly get it back but have no other choice. So 3 billion is not worth 5 minutes of the president's time. It's like Warren Buffet spending time to determine where to get his coffee.

    • "Normal countries are respected and admired.In last years BBC poll - " amigo
      I don't know about the bbc poll but Israel is ahead of France, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg on the human development index.
      Then again, Teva is the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world, so they probably use the medicines of the country they so hate. Perhaps you can pay out of pocket for brand name meds next time you go to the pharmacy, you know, in solidarity.

  • My journey from Zionism to Palestine solidarity
    • "To anti-Zionists, the primary goal is justice. Once there’s justice, things will start to normalise and peace will come sooner or later. - " German lefty
      There is a problem with your thinking - peace is quantifiable and measurable. Justice is not. What is just to one person, very often is not just to another. Thus, I think it is just for me to pay less taxes, but someone with less money would disagree.
      Regardless, even you would agree that the kicking out the Germans of the Sudetenland and east Prussia was unjust. Likewise with the confiscation of Karelia from Finland. Yet in both of these cases these injustices led to peace.
      Finally, peace is more important than justice. Peace means you can commute home without getting shot. You can get over an injustice.

  • 'A traumatized society is dangerous'
    • "Given the power of American Jews," rosross
      I have learned from this blog that I have a lot of power and that I am above the law. The above the law thing I plan to test next time I make a traffic violation. The most common names for cops in New Mexico are Sanchez and Garcia, it would be awesome to get off just by saying I am a Jew. I do have a very Jewish name so I am surprised this hasn't already worked in the past, they look at my license and don't seem to acknowledge me as above the law.
      As to the power, we have discussed this here to death. I do have a decent career and some dough stashed for a rainy day, but power, that just sounds so much better. I want to share more in this business of running things. I have been advised to join organizations, but that seems very roundabout. Can't I just yield power today? I am glad all these Jews know so well what to do with this power, myself, I fear I may be corrupted and tempted into things if I am so powerful. I doubt I would use this power responsibly, that is, if I actually get to use it. So complicated...

    • "Oy Gevalt a few years in Hebrew School, a Bar Mitzvah and I’m fucked up for life. - "
      I didn't have a Bar Mitzvah or Hebrew school because of communism and the conformism of my family - they were communists when it was fashionable and right wingers when that came about.
      Nonetheless I still got screwed by learning Ladino curses from my grandfather and eating fried matzo balls.
      Then again, my grandma would put a huge pig, head and all, on our New Years table (Christmas was not allowed).
      I guess we were Helenized Jews.

    • "But today I’m really glad I’m just another human being with no stupid labels - "
      Many Jews are ashamed of their heritage. One never hears of Norwegians rejecting the Norwegian label and seeking to be just another human being. Incidentally, this notion of "universalism" is seen much more among Jews than anyone else. I imagine other aliens in society may feel that way though.
      The people that run the show are all too happy to have their label. It's the outcasts that reject labels.

    • "my view that Jewish culture is organised like a cult. The exclusivist, insular mentality based in a fearful, mistrustful, inward focused view of the world, self preoccupation and self centrelines and what I call a ‘specialness complex’, "
      This is a perfect description of my mistrustful personality. I guess with me the damage has been done as I am too old to change. However, if there is reincarnation, I request to be Italian in my next life. Or Navajo.

    • "If anyone was to be traumatized, one would think it would be the Russians. - " Giles
      Like most Americans, you are blissfully unfamiliar with Russian culture and history. As someone who speaks Russian and other Slavic languages, I can attest to the gigantic importance modern Russians place on the Great Patriotic War. Indeed, most Russians start crying when they hear their famous songs from that era. How you come up with this silliness that Russians are less traumatized than Jews (as if trauma can be quantified) is a mystery that can only be explained with the atrocious quality of American public education. It's forgivable in other words.

  • 'Jewish cow' is udderly superior to all other cows in the world, Netanyahu says
    • Amigo is in full patriotic mode, standing up for Irish farmers. Next, the chapter on the humaneness of Irish butchers.

    • "Maybe because the Russians have not built monuments to their suffering in every..." Giles
      They build them in Russia, which is where most Russians live.
      Seeing how much these Holocaust memorials upset you is sufficient evidence in my mind of their necessity.

  • Interview with a suicide bomber
    • "The crowds of civilians might have been collateral due to the target being amongst them. Soldiers & collaborators go to pizza parlors, markets and catch buses too. - "
      I wonder how many talknic admirers like Mooser, Annie, etc agree that it is A-ok to blow up a pizza parlor because of a "collaborator".

    • "just, catalan is not interested in compromise."
      The question on what compromises are necessary and/or possible should be addressed to the Israelis and Palestinians on this forum. I know that talking is better than not talking though. We have to learn how to be friends, Jews and Arabs. Forget the past.

    • "The victim wants and should be entitled to justice and accountability. The rapist much prefers “peace”. - " eljay
      Countries are not people. Analogies like that are useless and only serve to inflame.
      It's just that the world belongs to those who can let go and move on. Bulgaria, my country, lost about 30 percent of its male population, close to one million out of four million in the two Balkan wars and the First World War. All to get Macedonia, and it didn't happen. It was the end of a dream and cost an unimaginable number of pointless deaths. But they chose to move on and it has been very helpful.
      It's important to play a smart game. Maybe the Palestinians are playing a smart game, it is just not evident to me that they are. Who can tell the future? The responsibility of leaders is to bring about the best possible outcome, not to lose in the most dramatic fashion. Look at what Bar Kochba did to the Jews. How much wiser would it have been to cooperate with the Romans instead of fighting them?

    • so you admit you’re nasty snarky, not funny or amusing, mean spirited, and international pressure is working. - Annie
      I will let others judge about snarky. As to whether international pressure is working, I have no idea. But many articles here emphasize how hopeless the Palestinians feel. So, why are they so hopeless, if the outcome of BDS is so inevitable. I think the Palestinians are very intelligent and informed people. So if they don't see any cause for hope, I trust them. This is a case of some type of dissonance.

    • "There is such a nasty snarkiness to your comments, catalan. Not funny or amusing, just mean spirited" kris
      So you admit that BDS and ICC is not a cause of hope despite the volumes written here about this strategy. Personally, I think the only road to peace is compromise. With a few exceptions (France, Sweden) all European countries lost most of their historic territories. Hungary is a quarter of its size at one point. Albania in 1912 got less than half of Albanian territories. Serbia lost Bosnia. Greece- the Ionian territories. Germany, Bulgaria, the list goes on. People get over it, and move on.
      The Palestinians can make certain compromises but I know they won't. Just like Ukraine, they have chosen a losing battle. Ukraine can choose to let Crimea go and move on. Instead, they will spend the next 50 years drowning in their stupidity. The Palestinians have chosen the road of international pressure. You say every day here that this is super successful, yet the situation is hopeless. This is a completely illogical stance. You can't be winning and losing at the same time.

    • Just,
      I understand that this was 15 years ago. Yet you provide information that the suicide rate is still very high. Is it your suggestion that things with BDS and the ICC are not on track? After all, happy and hopeful people do not commit suicide. Or, as I asked earlier, is it that Palestinians are not aware of how things are about to change due to outside pressure?

    • The Palestinians must be unaware that the ICC and BDS are about to give them freedom and prosperity. How tragic that they contemplate suicide when they should be celebrating, at least according to the predominant view here. Why all the doom and gloom when foreign direct investment in Israel is falling?

  • In letter to John Kerry, 19 reps stand up for Palestinian children behind bars
    • "We can be sure AIPAC now has all 19 on its shit list, th
      e list MJ Rosenberg told us about years ago. Their competition will get lots of campaign cash. - " citizen
      I wouldn't worry. The incumbent reelection rate in the House is about 96 percent. Unless you die or have an affair at the taxpayer expense, you get reelected.
      Also, the cost of a House seat is 1.6 million. So, it wouldn't be wise for pro-Israel groups to waste their cash on elections with 4 percent chance of winning. Seems like the average cash contribution to House members from pro Israel groups was a few thousand dollars, with some very friendly members getting more http://maplight.org/us-congress/interest/J5100/view/all%22.

  • 'Six Jews sitting in the White House discussing the Palestinian state'
    • "Rather than deny this, perhaps it is a better strategy to consider celebrating this over-representation and ask why it is so remarkable and why it occurs"
      As a member of the overrepresentation (good job in government finance), my opinion on why this occurs is really simple: study when the other kids are playing and read a lot. Of course a little luck doesn't hurt. That, and be nice to everyone, because you never know who will trip you or help you. I had one weak spot which was not taking enough risk.
      Also, it pays to develop one specific skill. Like, Phil is a good writer and savvy journalist. Thus, I am not a good debater, or public speaker, or easy company. But, I know something about numbers, math, money, and logic, that's very valuable to society.

  • 'Obama coffee' is black and weak -- racist tweet from wife of Israel's vice premier
    • you have to be ‘of the earth itself’ in the region where you live, ie (at very least) your earliest ancestors must not have been immigrants. - MHughes
      My understanding is that most of us are predominantly ancestors of the dubiously called Homo Sapiens. This aggressive species took over most of the earth in about 10 thousand years by annihilating the other hominids who resided already in Europe and Asia. It seems they also interbred with the local hominids but this is glossed over as racists use these facts to justify stupidities. Clearly, we are all invaders and our history is one of moving and mixing.
      That's why the modern jargon of indigenous people vs newcomers is a fantasy, having to do with the romantic myth of the noble savage.

    • "And that’s why you hang around here instead of some place that deals more with your claimed interests. - "
      Actually it's to practice debating with people who are very certain of their position and have strong ideas about fixing the world. I am clearly pretty bad at it so that's what I like to do. I figure, with some practice, I can improve.
      As to not being popular, who cares? Socrates and Julius Caesar, Cicero and Cato all were killed by the multitudes. (That was humor).

    • "I’m sure as the self-described intellectual and physical superman" tree
      You are mistaking me for Mooser. I am just a loyal and eager disciple.

    • "Try living like the Palestinians are forced to live for a few months" Oldgeezer
      To be a Palestinian, especially in Gaza, would be one of the toughest things I can imagine. For all its flaws, Bulgaria is still a second-tier country. It means that it is nothing like Denmark or Canada, but you still got tolerable healthcare, decent education, etc.
      To be a Palestinian, or an African, especially an African woman, would be the hardest pick in the lottery of life. No question. With my personality I wouldn't probably survive there long anyway. I would look at some Hamas or Fatah militia type the wrong way and would be dispatched shortly to the hereafter. Besides the fact that I am spoiled, I also have major authority issues and that would be the end of me.
      That's why I am here. To exchange ideas on how to improve the lot of those who have it hard. Yelling at my lungs about evil this and evil won't do any good though so I try to have a stimulating discussion. I have not succeeded in that endeavour, but so be it.

    • "That’s the double standard of yours, catalan" tree
      I don't claim to be perfect. See, for many years I had to be a servant in the great empire so yes, on occasion I am bitter. I had to tutor spoiled brats in math, paint the houses of rich people, wash dishes, make sandwiches, and saw how people without money lived. It ain't pretty.
      I am not proud of my bitterness, and assumed that people have enough sense of humor to take it with a grain of salt. The thing is, I am not saying it with meanness and I don't have anyone specific in mind. Marnie, on the other hand, addressed me with meanness. Also, I have never seen any humor in her posts, so I assumed she is serious. Maybe I was wrong.
      Also, Americans run a huge empire, have a gigantic army, and attract the brightest people in the world. So they can take a little joke about their brilliance.

    • "You regularly bash Americans in your comments and yet you think that a generalization about the “average Israeli male” is over the line? - " tree
      I consider myself an American, basically. So yes, I think it is ok to say it like it is about a group I belong to. I think we are spoiled, arrogant, and self righteous.
      It's a whole other matter to make big generalizations about groups of which I am, broadly speaking, not a member. Thus, it behooves me to not express opinions about how angry black males appear to be in Baltimore or St Louis. Perhaps if my ancestors were brought here as slaves to build this paradise, I would be very angry too.
      Apples and oranges, tree. Look through my comments and you won't see anything negative about blacks, Arabs, or Latinos.
      That's why this Israeli woman should stay out of it and not express moronic and bigoted quotes about a black president.

    • Marnie,
      If your statement about angry, fearful, etc Israeli males was made regarding Black males, or Latino males, or Arab males, it would not have passed moderation.
      You have now demonstrated two things at the same time. That only one class of statements get "moderated" here, and that the casual bigotry of some Israelis has its equivalent among some Americans, so thanks.

    • "So, “catalan”, you have written reams of stuff about yourself, endeavoring to give us a picture of yourself and your views, and none of it is true? "Mooser
      Marnie pointed out that Israeli males are" angry, fearful, and have a massive inferiority complex". Now, as you know, I am not Israeli, I have only visited three times in my life.
      That said, the only conclusion would be that American males, such as yourself, are calm, poised, and have a massive superiority complex. That seems a fair assessment, wouldn't you think? See, I was told for much of my life that I was inferior - waiting every day for a month or two at the German or Belgian or American embassy can do that one's psyche. Or waiting for Polish people to come vacationing so they can sell you car parts for a socialist car.
      Mooser, your poise as an American male is quite simply an unattainable standard for lesser, middle eastern beings like me. But at least we "inferiors" now have a standard. Mooser, here we come.

    • "You sound like the average Jewish Israeli male – angry, fearful and with a massive inferiority complex. - " Marnie
      Only, I am not. I am Bulgarian and spent many years working with other immigrants in the restaurant business. Trust me, America doesn't look so fine from that angle.
      The point about martial arts was exaggerated. It was quite a few years ago. That said, it's comical when Americans speak of "safety" in other places when our own cities are such a mess. And I was expressing the opinion of my co-workers, particularly women, more than my own. They are the ones that hate walking to their car after work. Bonfire of the vanities has a great passage on this topic, for the literary minded.
      Also,Marnie, you must be a psychologist. Such a precise definition of all my foibles. And without ever having met me. Impressive.

    • Israeli Jews are among the most racist population on the planet. I wouldn’t feel safe in Israel as a non-white person. - Cliff
      Good thinking. I don't feel safe after 6 pm in Downtown Albuquerque and I am a white guy with some martial arts training and in excellent shape.
      But remembering Tel Aviv, I saw every possible race and ethnicity, including a surprising number of East Asians. It's impossible for anyone to stick out and you hear a thousand languages on the streets. Many Indians go for cancer treatment at Hadasa, a fact that I was sadly familiarized with.
      Politically incorrect humor is very common in Eastern Europe, Russia, and other places where Israelis hail from. When I read Bulgarian commenters on the Internet, it's at once shocking but also refreshing to see that openness. It's a cultural difference. There are fewer taboos there, but I have a suspicicion that because racism in America is so suppressed, it tends to explode in mass killings. I think we all need to grow a thicker skin. Let's yell it out instead of killing each other. Its human to be prejudiced, we don't need to pretend we are saints.

  • Cycles of violence only begin when Palestinians kill Israelis
    • "illegal squatter living on stolen land , not that that makes his killing - " amigo
      That's exactly the language that Bulgarians use towards the gypsy and right wingers in the United States towards Mexicans. Citizen - good. Squatter - bad. Now, if we can all get born in New York and Paris, vs. Calcutta or Mogadishu, there wouldn't even be any need to "squat".

  • 'Fresh Air' turns a critique of the occupation into an Oedipal issue
    • Well since some people are selling Catepillar stock (the "d" in BDS) these "monstrous" conditions should improve soon. That's one crappy stock by the way.

  • Does Israel have a toxic personality? Ask Michael Oren
    • "The why has yet to be determined. No doubt you have an opinion of yourself. You love the state yet deride it’s citizens. You hate collective punishment yet support a state which implements same as a matter of policy." - Oldgeezer
      I love and admire the Unites States, it's my country. That said, I can see both the strengths and weaknesses of its citizens. The internet debates unfortunately provoke me sometimes to be overly negative. A false impression gets created.
      I emphatically don't support Israeli policy towards the Palestinians. Actually, many Israelis don't either. It's just that nobody can come up with a good plan to change a bad situation. That's not unique. Everyone sees that destroying the Amazon jungle is a bad thing, yet nobody can come up with an answer how to stop it. I guess it is very easy to see a problem; cancer, global warming, poaching, overpopulation. Fixing it is a whole other matter. Historically, people fixed their problems by annihilating their enemies and taking over their resources: like the Romans did with Carthage or Corinth, or the Assyrians with a thousand cities. This option is not available anymore.
      I am a practical person and look for practical solutions. I believe that the evidence proves that BDS does not work in changing Israeli policy.
      The solutions I can think of, unfortunately don't seem to work either. I used to think that one answer would be to provide Israel and Palestine with EU membership in exchange for signing a peace agreement. Seeing how dysfunctional and divided the EU is, I am not sure that's viable either. I just don't know at this point what the answer is, but I don't think that harming innocent Israelis who just try to get by is the answer. One reason is that I myself come from a small country.

    • "Why should anyone believe anything you write?" Talknic
      I don't know, because I have no reason to lie perhaps?

    • " Herzl in his lifetime could have immigrated to, acquired citizenship, bought land and settled anywhere in the Jewish People’s historic homeland in Palestine. He didn’t bother. Nor did his family. - " talknic
      I am curious why in your opinion he didn't bother. Also, what conclusions do you draw from it?
      As a side note, I would never ever give up my American citizenship. Unlike Oren (and talknic) I don't consider Israel "our Jewish state". I love the United States.

  • Israeli leader turns on US Jewish journalists Friedman, Wieseltier, Remnick and Silvers for disloyalty and anti-semitism!
    • Talknic, you have stated:
      "We were given, completely gratis, the territory for our Jewish state. -"
      You, an Australian citizen, refer to Israel in this quote as "our Jewish state". I am very confused. Is Israel Beinart's state , or is the United States?

    • "Beinart is American. ‘His people’ are his fellow Americans. - "
      But talknic says that Israel is the state of every Jewish person because they allow easy immigration for Jews.
      Whom should I believe?

  • Israel's race to economic (and moral) bankruptcy
    • "etc coming ever closer to Russia’s border, have been reneged on by the US. - " citizen
      Poland actually wants these "assets". They can't learn, can they? Sure, they had Copernicus and Chopin, but hey, they are still a "buffer", a pawn in the bigger game. Who cares what they want?

  • African leaders want indictments of Bush, Blair and Netanyahu -- NPR
    • "don,t know if he is guilty but as he is not a white suspect , he is screwed" amigo
      Read "What is the What?", it's a terrific book on the subject of South Sudan. Fiction, you know.

  • Netanyahu likens BDS to Nazi Germany
    • Keith,
      I am not normalizing anything. That's all human history is, at least since the beginning of civilization - wars, empires, revolutions, brutality. To quote Santayana, only the dead have seen the end of war.
      What do you propose as an achievable alternative? Something that enough people throughout the world would subscribe to, that would end the cycle of greed and violence.

    • "The position of the Israeli gov’t seems to be when you’re in a corner accuse someone else of something worse i.e. play offense. - " chu
      Try as I can, I can't actually think of any other defense. As a kid in Bulgaria, some boys would call me a dirty Jew. Was I dirty? Kind of, but all of our hygiene was pretty horrible these days.
      Now I hear often, Jews are greedy. Are we greedy, sure enough. But are we greedier than other Americans or Hindus? Probably not.
      Likewise, Israel is far from ideal. That said, unless you somehow put it into perspective, that assessment is meaningless. Look at the Africans drowning from the coast of Italy. Or the Mexicans braving the Arizona desert. What are they running from? Well obviously something horrible.
      Or the hypocrisy charge. But who isn't? I love shopping at Kohls, so cheap and good quality. But probably produced in horrible conditions by people making less than a dollar an hour in Bangladesh.
      The point is, perspective matters.

  • After a hard week in the news, Israeli gets valentines all weekend from NPR
    • "Bir Seb’a. In 1931, there were 2791 muslims, 152 christians, 11 jews. In 1948, IDF took over - " cigar
      Smyrna. in 1905, there were 100,356 Muslims, 73,636 Orthodox Christians, 11,127 Armenian Christians, and 25,854 other. In 1923 te Turkish army took over and killed/expelled virtually all Christians.
      Cigar, change the name of the town and ethnicity (Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Armenian, Azeri, etc) and you will have ten thousands such towns - in Europe, Asia, Africa, everywhere.
      That's the story of the 20th century - it's one of displacement. Why do you focus on Beersheva with no context?

  • BDS could cost Israel $4.7 billion a year
    • "Oh and please don,t respond with a cut and pasted “Out of context ” one liner .That,s why I provided the summary. - " amigo
      I got nothing. I just know that there are enough greedy people that would short Israeli stocks to make a bundle if things are going to be so awful. I myself wouldn't be above it.
      Perhaps you and James should short the tel aviv 25 index and then do all kinds of good with the money you made. Or is betting on your own forecast too risky for you?

    • "I spent years in apartheid southern Africa and wrote a book against it. - " James
      Do you think that the sanctions contributed to the fall of white rule? I thought that the standard of living for whites in SA was extremely good despite the sanctions.
      What do you think of South Africa now?
      In practical terms, do you think that 4.7 billion for Israel is enough to make voters vote more left wing?

  • Video: Israeli soldiers violently attack unarmed Palestinian man
    • "BDS is a citizen…and stateless person driven resistence movement - " cigar
      You live in a free country and it is your right to resist, boycott, whatever. It is my right not to boycott products or services because of their country of origin.
      If there is a joint Israeli-Palestinian business venture which brings people to work together, I would be interested in participating. I am a pacifist; boycotts in my opinion are also financially unsound but I don't want to get into technical stuff because it would be boring. That said, I have reasons to think that certain boycotts work only temporarily and then actually strengthen the economy of the boycotted party. I expect Russia's economy to improve significantly not least because of the sanctions. Economics and finance are extremely counterintuitive. That's one reason the "one percent" is, well, rich.

    • "claim to represent you as a jew. doesn’t that rankle, even a little" Frankie
      No. I try to live a good life. I have been fortunate too, so I give a lot to all sorts of people and causes. I am an individualist, so it doesn't rankle me when people claim to represent me, as a Jew, as an American, or as a Bulgarian.
      My opinion is that we lose our humanity, or soul, or spirit, goodness, whatever you want to call it when we practice collective punishment. BDS is collective punishment, ergo, I am against it.
      If I get even luckier than I have been, I would like to participate in preservation of African wildlife. I wish Lawrence Anthony was still alive.

    • "then why would the israeli government be dumping 100 million grand into the coffers of the ministry countering it? - " Annie
      Of course boycotting Israeli products is harmful for Israel. Who could deny that? I mean, they can adapt, they can make products more competitive, hide country of origin, look for other markets, but when all is said and done, it is harmful. As you say, they are investing money in countering the boycott.
      However, you define "success" as harming the Israeli economy or society or individuals. What I am suggesting is that this definition of success in no way includes tangible improvements for the Palestinians. Indeed, this so called "success" is probably on balance harmful to the Palestinians. The Palestinian economy is tied up with the Israeli one. More importantly, human nature and common sense says that the Israeli response will be more settlements, more checkpoints, and more militarization. It's just what people do when they are under threat.
      So yes, if the definition of success is harming the Israelis, sure. But if it is helping the Palestinians, I just don't see how this is going to happen. And if it does, great.

    • "The cognative dissonance that you display is so massive that you are unable to see it yourself. -" Frankie
      I meant ashamed of being human, not ashamed of being Jewish.

    • "as if catalans opinion of “BDS ..is the wrong cure” amounts to a tried and true scientific" Annie
      Interesting point. The fact is that cancer treatments, far from being tired and true, are highly unpredictable on the individual level. There are statistics of response rates, chances of remission and length of remission but nobody knows how an individual would respond. Indeed, that's one of the big criticisms of the way we deal with illness generally because frequently, the chances of survival are not sufficient to justify the pain and suffering caused by therapies with remote chances of success.
      It is difficult for people to do nothing, and we tend to cling to every hope.
      Likewise with this issue of BDS. The most we can have is probability of success and then we place our bets on the outcomes. As things stand, we are not witnessing a big probability for success of BDS. If we did, we would see much higher emigration levels from Israel, a weak stock market, a weak currency, etc. On the other side, we would see increased investment in the Palestinian economy, refugees selling property in readiness to go back to Israel and so on.
      As far as possible solutions - I think that maybe an anonymous committee of experts from both side could build a plan. People who actually have attained something, doctors, entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists. They would have to be anonymous to avoid being labeled traitors etc by either side. At my school in DC we had a conflict resolution Masters degree. Clearly, they can't think of anything, so I am not sure I am qualified at all. Maybe Phil can write an article here about how he sees prospects for peace, timeline, logistics, parameters, success probability, participants, etc.

    • "Spare me your tears. I call bull on that. You already stated that you are a US citizen, previously “illegal”. - "
      No tears at all. I take life as it comes and try not to fear death, pain, and old age. I only brought this up to say that I would never refer to anyone as "uppity". I don't think that BDS has anything to do with "uppity" Palestinians. Someone here said that the goal is to isolate the Israelis so that they rethink their ways. That's magical thinking.

    • "Like any zionist you have to deflect responsibility away for your fellow travellers. -"
      Geezer,
      I grew up in Bulgaria. Very "nasty and brutish". I have seen people beaten horribly while everyone is watching. One wrong move and you are out. All kinds of torture.
      I don't know what you mean by fellow travelers. Bulgarian accountants in New Mexico who like to read philosophy and history and play with their sons?
      The point of bringing up BDS was not deflect but to point out it is the wrong cure. Saying that aspirin will not cure lymphoma is not saying cancer is a good thing, you know....

    • "Atrocious behaviour but it’s still the Palestinians’ fault. - " John
      In Bulgaria they say, the way the Devil reads the Bible. That's how you interpret me.
      But to your point - no. The behavior of the soldiers in this video makes me sad and ashamed.
      I do believe that kids should be kept out of confrontations with military or police.
      This Palestinian man they were abusing seemed very nice. Just heartbreaking stuff.The fault in this case lies clearly with the soldiers.
      As far as BDS, Santayana said, fanaticism is when you double your efforts when you have forgotten your aims.
      I have never said anything about uppity Palestinans. I don't know you come up with this stuff. Uppity? I am Bulgarian. We are like, the last on the Totem pole you know.

    • "Please show evidence that BDS in anyway…has influence in this case…one way or another. - "
      I have zero evidence that BDS influenced this case specifically. My prediction, as you know, is that BDS will further stoke tensions, hurt the Israeli economy, and in the process, hurt the Palestinians too. There will be more situations like the one in the video as people on both sides get angrier. You disagree as is your right.
      Please show your evidence that the parents of these kids were incarcerated or stuck at check points.

    • Atrocious behavior from Israeli soldiers. Really depressing. Not sure who the kids are at the end of the video, but their parents shouldn't be letting them do that. Risky.
      BDS is hurting Israel but not helping the Palestinians. As seen above.

  • Israel failed to interview eyewitnesses to soccer boys' slaughter
    • "One should be ashamed when someone claims you as an accomplice and you didn’t manage to silence him. - "
      Is this an original thought? I have never heard of this before. Is there any writing by ethicists or philosophers on the subject of shame that you are referencing?
      Generally though, prefacing a phrase with the word "should" is odd. Why "should" they? Because anonymous Internet writers said so?

  • Untold Stories: First-ever US Nakba Museum opens in Washington DC
    • "Jewish suffering is worse than other people’s, for some reason. Maybe we feel it more, or deserve the suffering less" Мооser
      Mooser, you have so much more empathy and compassion than other Jews.[ ... ] but you seem to have reached a much more universalist point of view.
      How did you do that? Was it your upbringing? it's just amazing how you care for other people.

  • Schumer says Jewish and American interests on Iran deal differ but he has 'to do what's right for U.S.'
    • "too much worthless spam/diversion clogging up the threads - "
      The tide is turning, the Zionists are in retreat, BDS is winning. The Palestinians will shortly be free. Yet all this anger. What gives?

    • "but i am very glad she asks him because it should put the rumor about him to rest. -"
      But why should he have to respond to rumors. If I put a list of a group of Muslim Americans who donate to ISIS, which I pulled out if my hat, should they have to respond to it? Don't you see how wrong it is to ask a person a question like that? You don't of course and play all coy and how it doesn't matter. But oh my, all hell breaks loose if some Muslim is on the other end of this. Classic passive aggressive behavior. "It's such an innocent question" yeah right.

    • "I’m referring to your above comment. One which, btw, Kris quite rightly dispelled as myth"
      Just, removal of the foreskin is not as invasive as FGM. In fact, it is thought to have some positive health effects related to chances of UTI. FGM of the type practiced in Egypt and across North Africa is a true unmitigated horror. Indeed, UNICEF has a very long explanation of it, which also states that the comparison to male circumcision is harmful and minimizes the brutality of this surgery.
      But by all means, let's wait till Jews worldwide and many Muslims in Turkey and Europe stop curcumcision of boys till anything is done about FGM.
      I have truly lost my faith in humanity seeing that anyone would do that to a girl and that white western liberals defend it or compare it to circumcusion. It's a tragedy. But please don't take my word for it. There is plenty of information on FGM on the Internet. Why not read it before hurling accusations?

    • The Law of Return grants all Jews the right to immigrate to Israel and almost automatic Israeli citizenship upon arrival in Israel.” -
      The key word is "almost". I was almost hit by a car a few times, but here I am, unhurt. The almost part is key, it means that you have to apply for it. Sure, if you have the documentation, and you apply for it, you will probably get it. But it doesn't happen in some mysterious way, without you knowing.
      As to whether it is damaging, of course it is. This will now become the main thing about his campaign. There are enough people who dislike Jews enough not to vote for them as President. Just like they harassed Obama for his Kenyan birth, Sanders will now be the "Jewish" candidate. If it was said with intent to damage reputation, it is libel. As to whether he will laugh at it, I don't know, I hope not. This type of thing should be attacked head on.
      Just, by the way, I am glad that you think one had to be an expert to oppose removal of clitoris and vagina of young girls because it is dirty and also makes them unfaithful. I thought it's just common sense and empathy but apparently I need to be an MD.

    • "But if they’re Jews landing in Israel, they’re … uh …. Jews! - " talknic
      Just like Birthers believe Obama was born in Kenya, people such as yourself will believe their conspiracy theories. That's why I am suggesting that Bernie file a lawsuit for libel and defamation. Let Diane explain in court how Jews landing in Israel get this purported citizenship.
      I can argue with some person whether the rainbow is a physical effect due to the properties of light and he will still believe that it was caused by the beautiful goddess who passed by his village and left him a sign that a male baby is on the way. Facts to you and facts to me just don't overlap.
      There is no automatic citizenship bestowed on Jews when they arrive in Israel. I suppose anything can happen occasionally, human errors occur, that's what I do for a living, looking for human errors.
      Nonetheless, legally, there is a series of steps that has to be undertaken prior to a person obtaining citizenship in Israel.

    • "But Rehm, an award-winning journalist, thought otherwise, based on nothing more than a Facebook post by Vittorio Arrigoni"
      The stuff about automatic citizenship for Jews landing in Israel is just pure non sense. For one, it doesn't even make sense, since you have to prove you are Jewish before going to Israel. If you don't do that you have to go through all the red tape in Israel. I have been there several times.
      Now, this type of craziness is common on the Internet. This is the same stuff as the birther movement, and of course, once the obsession sets in, it becomes dogma and nothing can shake it. If people want to believe that every Jew visiting Israel becomes a citizen, no amount of logic, evidence or common sense would convince them otherwise.
      That said, I believe what Rehm did is libel and should be punished. She didn't ask it as a question but stated it as fact in a radio show. I am contacting Bernie Sanders to urge him to file a lawsuit against Rehm and NPR.

  • Obama's disgust for Netanyahu's 'stink' signals coming era of Jewish persecution in the U.S., says 'Tablet'
    • Keith,
      I am not provided anything by Hasbara Central. I would tell you who I am; however, I am a (somewhat) visible person and these days you can't be too careful about what you write in social media. I am well aware of the issues with the police department, etc.
      Anyway, I appreciate your sentiment about the issue with FGM. While I disagree that it is due to western imperialism, I am nonetheless relieved that you looked up the wiki article and acknowledged it. It is not "whataboutery" and is very different from male circumcision, especially the one practiced in American hospitals under proper medical conditions (scalpels are not used).
      I know you are a decent person. I hope you think the same of me. I honestly respect your contributions and like I said, I am relieved that you acknowledge horrible things without minimizing them and making dumb comparisons as others do.

    • "Tiresome hasbarist"
      Yes mentioning that about 10 percent of the world's women including 80 percent of Egyptian women are subjected to gruesome, often public sadism and torture with lifelong physical effects is Hasbara.
      Hey, Americans, Jews and non-Jews alike live in a cocoon. This condition will not last, of course, and when it ends, the things people nowadays talk about will be a sad joke.
      But I agree, antisemitism is not a big issue. It exists, of course, but is harmless and is generally of a much lower order than the hatred among the other ethnic groups, for example white racism, black hatred of whites, Hispanic hatred of everyone, take your pick. In America, Jews are generally safe not because everyone loves them but because everyone hates someone else more.

    • "meanwhile other people have real problems. people go hungry in this country, they can’t afford to send their kids to school or go to the dentist. - " Annie
      Yup, these are the real problems in the good old United States. Now, if you have the misfortune of being born a female in the Gambia, you will have a 90 percent chance to be looking at FGM without anesthesia at the age of 12. If you survive this unimaginable torture, you may look forward to a life of having pain while urinating in a country with a monthly income of 50 dollars.
      Then again, a similar thing is likely to occur to you in Egypt, or most of the rest of North Africa.
      Read the gruesome details on Wikipeadia.
      All I am saying is, one person's real problem is another one's dream.
      Life is so unfair.

  • Notes from the Munayyer-Beinart debate
    • "Spain manages to keep it together" Marc b
      Fair enough, but a big reason for it is that a majority of Spaniards from the different provinces actually want to remain in the same country. Likewise with Britain, Canada, and presumably, Belgium.
      Is there any evidence that a majority of Israelis, or Palestinians, wishes to live in the same country? Everything I have read points to the opposite. Also, with the level of mutual suspicion and hatred that's build up, how would people be able to trust a judge or a policeman of the opposite ethnicity? This is ivory tower thinking, might as well plan for global brotherhood. Travel to Mars is much more likely. I am truly amazed that anyone seriously entertains that as a possibility, but then again, any craziness has adherents, sometimes billions of them.

  • Netanyahu under siege, in 'the most embattled democracy on earth'
    • "Israel doesn’t have a problem with non-Jews doing the shit jobs - " SQ
      It would be enlightening to see a liberal perspective on which jobs constitute "shit" and which are "roses". I wonder where cleaning ladies fall in this categorization.

  • Munayyer and Beinart's historic debate on the solution to the conflict
    • "More bullsh*t. You can visit or pass thru. Immigrating to any of the states in the European union is another matter! - " talknic
      I can work without restrictions, live and be elected to municipal office in any EU country. Any Bulgarian citizen can. There is no limitation on this right.
      I am also entitled to Portuguese citizenship if I prove that I am a Sephardic Jew. I do not need to prove any lineal descent as you say.
      Finally, Canada has a point system for immigration, and accountants who speak French receive a lot of points. I can immigrate any time.
      What is it that you don't understand that Israel's immigration policies have zero bearing on me? What do I care if they invite all Jews or some Jews or no Jews?

    • "By the way, you are the only professed Zionist I have encountered that claims to not believe in eternal and irrational anti-Semitism. - " Keith
      I actually don't sit around wondering if people like Jews or not. Some do and some don't I guess, but more importantly, it just doesn't bother me if they don't like me. There is an obsession with being popular these days, and I don't know what it has to do with being happy. Also, because I like to read some history, I actually try to put the violence against Jews in the context of other horrors; since I don't subscribe to the notion of human progress, I don't see why people today should act any different from Assurnasirpal II, or Pompey. Indeed, they don't, and there is some evidence that our brains are atrophying since the agricultural revolution. We are getting dumber! I just don't see any hope at this point for humanity, so I just try to enjoy my life.

    • "In fact, there is lots of anecdotal evidence which points to the fact that Jews — not only the elite power broker ones — are largely above the law -" Giles
      If true, I just have to add another item to the list of things I missed on, which is very depressingly long as it is (Victoria falls, supermodels, the Northern lights). I get stopped for speeding, and recently I even got yelled at by a cop for crossing on red. What do I need to do better? Mention that I am Jewish? I am afraid if I do that I may really confuse people and get locked up in the funny farm. Just like my guy friends in high school were able to uncover the mysteries of the female psyche while I watched on, it seems that other Jews just know how to take advantage of these secret loopholes in the legal system. Damn.

    • "That is a real danger." Giles
      I don't feel in danger at all, not from being Jewish anyway. Aside from the Boston to Washington corridor, where many people think in terms of this or that -ism, or Neo this or Neo that or anti- this or that, most Americans living anywhere else just don't care about Jews, Palestinians, the ME, etc.
      So thanks for the concern but I think I will be fine.

    • "You can’t move to Israel simply because of your name. You can if you’re Jewish. - " talknic
      I was speaking figuratively. I can move to Portugal simply because I am Sephardic Jewish, just like with Israel. I said because of my name to make a point.
      Anyway, I don't agree that Israel is my state because of its immigration laws and some pronouncements that they have made. The fact is that I don't speak Hebrew, I am not familiar with the culture, I haven't studied there, worked there, or served in the military.
      As an accountant, I can easily emigrate to Canada, Australia or New Zealand. As an EU citizen I can move to France, Germany, or any other EU country.
      Therefore, it is clear that Israel is no sense my country, as I can move to any number of countries based on criteria that are not religious. I do like visiting Israel as a tourist but have no time to do that really either.
      So, Israel is clearly not my country. Its laws and policies are made by people for whom I don't vote. Because I am a U.S. Citizen and pay taxes here, that is the only country I have.
      This is all crazy talk. I am middle aged, sadly. It pains me to say it, but I am in no position at this point to uproot myself. It's a life stage thing, really. A young person's opportunity to take advantage of or to squander. I have done plenty of both.

    • "You also have the option of moving to the Jewish People’s Homeland State of Israel for no other reason than you’re Jewish. I don’t believe any other state in the world makes such an offer".
      My son, an American boy with no connections to Bulgaria, can move there any time due to my citizenship. That doesn't make him Bulgarian.
      Like I said, I can also move to Portugal, and soon Spain, simply because of my name, nothing more. That doesn't make Portugal my state.
      I have no legal connection to Israel. Or to other Jews like you. Thankfully.

    • "You’re not Jewish? WOW"
      I am Jewish. Israel is open to Jewish immigration. How does that make Israel my state? Portugal is also open to Sephardic Jews. Does that make Portugal my state?
      No. My state, with all its flaws, is the United States. Hey, so long as that makes the haters unhappy, it gives me a reason to stick around.

    • "We’ve had our self determined state for 67 years."
      We? I thought you were an Australian. I am an American. Who is the "we" in question? I certainly don't "have" Israel.

    • "No group of people is entitled to a supremacist state, and no state should exist as a supremacist state. - " eljay
      Article 1 of the current Bulgarian constitution defines Bulgaria as a social, democratic and Christian Orthodox country. I am Jewish and about 15 percent of the population were Muslim. Is Bulgaria a supremacist state? I mean, I wasn't bothered by it, but still, how is a Muslim or a Jew supposed to feel about it. Greece, Russia and several other European countries, including members of the EU have such references in the constitution.
      Come to think of it, the ruling block in Germany is the Christian Democrats and the social Christian Union from Bavaria. What is a German Jew or Muslim to make of the fact that the ruling party espouses Christian principles. Why not Hindu, or Ancient Greek ones?
      Even if the laws of Germany are not biased against Jews, a good case can be made that the name of the ruling party breaches the line between state and church.
      The thing is, if the vast majority of countries espouse a religion, or a pseudo religion like communism, then religious supremacism as you call it is the rule.

  • In the propaganda war, Israel will stop at nothing
    • "Makes me wonder…what other nations send aid, and how much? - " cigars
      All foreign aid received and sent is detailed in Wikipedia. There is no huge conspiracy.

  • Gaza’s al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades prepares for next Israeli war
    • If I owned a paper, I would want it to be as controversial as it can. That way people will talk about it and it will sell more. One of the things about communist party papers was they were so damn boring. Dialectical materialism, imperialism, we are winning, capitalism is rotting, endlessly, no humor, no controversy.
      It made people want to kill themselves from boredom.
      Now, there is plenty of that on this site too, sort of ideological palaver, a simple system, good guys, bad guys, etc. The psychology of that fascinates me and I think is at the heart of a lot of failings of our society. Meaning, my reaction to anything I read, is to look for the weak spots, contextualize it, imagine how a really smart person would argue with it. That's how you improve things. But, most people like empty repetition of things that make them look good and others-bad.
      I actually like the NY Post much better than the Times. It's funny, smart, irreverent. I wouldn't put a penny in NYT stock, this type of paper is doomed.

    • "I would define a “useful idiot” as a person who abhors a certain website, but ceaselessly contributes to its hit-count and page-views" Mooser
      Likewise, since all publicity is good, the incessant critiquing of the NYT on this site actually increases its circulation.
      Casting the first stones and all...

  • What I Was Told: Arabs hate Jews
    • "Despite all Iran’s bad points some 25,000 Iranian Jews choose to stay there - "
      Despite America's bad points some 40 million blacks choose to stay.
      Despite Israel's bad points 1.5 million Arabs choose to stay.
      What of it? America is still a very racist country. Possibly so with Israel. And Iran is still run autocratically by a very old and possibly senile, certainly mentally unstable man with a scary beard.
      I myself was subjected to American hostility towards immigrants and foreigners. Then again, New Mexico is much more tolerant.
      But still, because I choose to stay it is Ok for Americans to be intolerant? What twisted logic.

    • "Fact is, they could have chosen to immigrate and they can still immigrate" talknic
      75 percent of Iranian Jews emigrated. 25 percent stayed. To talknic, that's a sign how great Iran is.
      Let's try this. If 80 million Russians leave out of 120 million, would that prove how great Russia is? Because some stayed? Or, if 260 million Americans left, would that be a sign that America is great, because some stayed?
      Iran is a religious authoritian country where Facebook is deemed a threat to national security. Sure, some people stay, but so what? It still is horrible.

    • "why don’t you tell us what conclusion you’ve come to"
      Annie, it is much easier to draw a conclusion from an act than from a passive situation. People generally prefer status quo to change. So when someone is willing to completely overhaul her life, it tells me more than if this person woke up and went to work.
      The fact that most Iranian Jews chose to leave Iran after the Islamic Revolution shows that they were willing to completely change their lives in order to get out of Iran. It means that they considered their prospects for happiness there very low. However, there are always older people and creatures of habit who would choose to stay. This is nothing unusual - look at the Jews from Eastern Europe, of whom I am a specimen.

    • "what does it say? (without “making conclusions” of course")
      It says that on balance, a lot more Jews chose to leave Iran than stay there. Leaving is active, whereas staying is passive. By default, people would rather stay where they are, because of the force of habit and love of the surroundings. Leaving one's country is a final step, it's the one decision that changes your life.
      What I was saying is that there are many reasons people leave and many reasons people stay. However, when a large number of a community leaves, one surely can draw conclusions about the quality of life in that country.
      It is significant that one million Mexicans choose to come into
      The United States annually. The fact that many more stay in Mexico is not an argument for how great staying in Mexico is.
      Likewise, the fact that a few Jews, probably older ones, have chosen to remain in Iran in the familiarity of their own culture, in no way demonstrates that Iran is a paradise. You can love the Palestinian people without having to defend Iran's close minded system of govenrment, you know.

    • "I wonder why Iran’s remaining Jews chose to remain rather than accept fully funded immigration to Israel - " talknic
      More than 75 percent did leave though which says a lot. In Bulgaria, about 80 to 90 per cent left for Israel in 1948. The ones who stayed did so for different reasons. Some were just too inert, others believed in building communism. Still others had too many friends and relatives that they couldn't leave. It's because you see things on black and white that you are making conclusions about the Jews of Iran.

  • New West Bank settlement casts light on clandestine role of international support for settlers
    • "The only hope these days looks like US incompetence, - " echinococcus
      Whenever I descend into utter gloom, it is always refreshing to find out that there are many more as hopeless or even more so.

    • "I propose a single sovereign state consisting of two largely autonomous nations, with a defined and open border between them, along the lines of the England-Scotland model. - " DGF
      This is a very realistic plan. While we are it, I propose the abolition of money. What will bean counters like me do then, you might ask. Well, why not go back to counting beans?

  • US and Israeli pressure on Nigeria to sell out Palestine at U.N. amounted to 'national security threat'
    • "You have assimilated well. Everything is a war or attack. - " Oldgeezer
      Good catch.

    • "Present your evidence, Eva. I think you’re full of nonsense. FIFA has long been one of the most corrupt organizations in the world"
      I like to read the comments under the German edition of Spiegel to practice German. When it concerns the United States they tend to be pretty negative. However, to my surprise, the comments under the article about the Fifa arrests were incredibly supportive. The Germans were applauding. Same thing in the Bulgarian papers. Fascinating that they like the Yanks for attacking the soccer federation. Americans can be proud.

  • Despite differences, US showers Israel’s new right-wing government with arms and favors
    • "Accounting may be your point of brilliance" Oldgeezer
      I was being ironic. I have some skills that allow me to do OK, that's all. Brilliance is overrated anyway. People often forget the purpose of life which is to be happy.
      As to Obama, I think you are judging him in absolute terms (kind of like Israel by the way). Would Hillary do better? Romney? Jeb? Biden? Well we may find out soon.

    • Tree,
      Not sure how Obama's views are "bought and "paid for". He is not a greedy person. Look at his investment portfolio, it is public. It's all treasuries yielding two percent a year. For that matter, I don't think he is that interested in power after office either. Now, the fact is that the extreme left and right dislike him immensely, but to me that's a sign of a job well done. Actual governing work is about compromise.

    • "Obama is one of the major criminals against humanity in US history" - Coccus
      Well I am glad that you make our difference of opinion so start. I admire and respect the man and see him as an example, even though I don't hold identical views.
      You think he is a criminal. Great stuff. Now if we can see how many others on this site agree with you.

    • "This opinion by a Zionist propaganda agent" coccus
      I am flattered by this opinion. This sounds so much more glorious than my regular job. I am like Peter Parker, evidently. Thanks, bud!

    • "But he really has been such a huge dissapointment. Surely we have to aim higher than this? - " Bornajoo
      He has been disappointing to you because you are a one issue person. And "political prostitute" is such a sexist comment anyway. What is so wrong with being a "prostitute"? It should be a legal and respected profession in my opinion.
      But calling Barack Obama a "prostitute"?!? What service is he "selling"? He doesn't need any money. On top of being financially secure for life by an extremely generous pension, he can make as many millions as he wants to just from speaking engagements. Then he can consult, do charity, all sorts of things. As long as he is healthy and wise, he is is set for life. If anything, he would be the one doing the buying, not the selling.

    • "As I said: history will be harsh on that political prostitute" Krauss
      I see it entirely different. I think he is one of the best, sanest, most humane, and intelligent presidents that the U.S. has had. I have no idea what historians will say about him and don't care actually.

  • 'Oglethorpe stands with Palestine': BDS comes to the American south (Updated)
    • "That might include you but who cares. Not me." Oldgeezer.
      No offense taken. Freedom of speech is very important. As to "divided loyalties" surely every reasonably intelligent person has loyalties towards all sorts of things. A Hispanic catholic woman may be "loyal" to Catholicism, womanhood and other Hispanics. I am a non-religious Bulgarian Jew in the U.S. so I also have a whole set of loyalties.
      But if you choose to not like Bernie Sanders because of the suspicion that he might be a dual citizen, that's your right of course. The man has a one in several thousand chance to become president, so it is all moot anyway.

    • "I am sure that if Sanders was also a citizen of a Muslim country it wouldn’t trouble you at all. - " Catalan
      Nope. It wouldn't bother me at all. Muslim country, Hindu, whatever. There are probably hundreds of millions of people in the world who are citizens of more than one country. Why disqualify all these people from public office?
      Anyway, seems to me the one thing this world has more than enough of is nationalist bigots. It's amazing that with the number of lunatics available the possible dual citizenship of this very liberal and idealistic man is such an issue. So sad.

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