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1 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 11:15:47am

Yeah, this considered, that doesn't work as a good response.

2 researchok  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 11:19:08am
...Brad then goes on to a long, detailed analysis linking AIPAC to the Koch Brothers, the GOP, and anyone else he thinks his audience may think is icky.

I guess Brad disapproves of President Obama's appearance at AIPAC conferences and his solemn commitment to Israel- a commitment shared by both parties and the majority of Americans.

3 SanFranciscoZionist  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 11:40:50am

re: #2 researchok

I guess Brad disapproves of President Obama's appearance at AIPAC conferences and his solemn commitment to Israel- a commitment shared by both parties and the majority of Americans.

Probably does.

4 Killgore Trout  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 11:54:40am

Wow. Talk about an epic fail. The announcement denouncing antisemitism ends like this....

If there are people who have used the Occupation Movement as a vehicle to make inappropriate remarks elsewhere, especially over the Internet, we can only denounce them and their message. Consider this a formal denouncement.

Your reply and any further comments you would like to make are welcome here. The link below is a must-read for anyone who would like to learn more about this subject:

[Link: www.bradblog.com...]

With a link to the article cited above.
Well, I don't find it surprising. The left does have a fairly ingrained problem with Israel. They know it looks bad. They are willing to deal with it or keep it under wraps but in many cases it's just a whitewash.

5 Killgore Trout  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 11:57:43am
6 SanFranciscoZionist  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 11:58:44am

re: #5 Killgore Trout

Another article from the same blog...
Zionism & Israeli 'State Terrorism' - Political Third Rail or Long Overdue Debate?

That's our Brad.

7 Killgore Trout  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 12:05:19pm

re: #6 SanFranciscoZionist

That's our Brad.

Disappointing but the whitewash will continue. The general statement denouncing antisemitism, even when it's posted on an antisemitic blog, will give the apologists enough cover to convince themselves it's not a problem.

8 Killgore Trout  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 12:10:07pm

I just got around to reading the comments. Although I find the samples you cited to be relevant you can expect to be attacked for cherry picking and excuses that they're right wing plants sent to discredit OWS. It's only fair to criticize comments on right wing blogs these days. There's some really ugly stuff in there.

9 SanFranciscoZionist  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 12:15:53pm

re: #8 Killgore Trout

I just got around to reading the comments. Although I find the samples you cited to be relevant you can expect to be attacked for cherry picking and excuses that they're right wing plants sent to discredit OWS. It's only fair to criticize comments on right wing blogs these days. There's some really ugly stuff in there.

Up to the point I read through at, there was no pushback.

10 SanFranciscoZionist  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 12:25:13pm

Elsewhere on the blog is an article about a Jewish comedian who appeared at the event and made some tacky joke about it being hard for Jews to side against banks (thanks, asshole).

Someone objected. The next two comments are:

Offense is much more often taken than it is intended. A frequent reply is to take offense--sidestepping the substance of the evidence in an effort--usually successful--to stop the exchange from continuing.

If I say, "Circumstantial evidence is highly suggestive of a Jewi$h Crime network having been involved in planning, executing and covering-up nine-eleven", I'm not intending to offend, but to inform and stimulate sharing of the evidence.

In this example, the comedian who has personal life experience in his Jewish upbringing makes an admission against the interests of his 'tribe'. It is sufficient to acknowlege the admission of loyalties--without lowering the tone of the exchange with righteous indignation (taking offense).

The 1% have put themselves sufficiently at risk of being exposed that we must take the high ground and continue to invite direct engagement in the evidence. That the conspirators scatter in the light of day--or cry "foul" is sufficient progress.

Keep hammering the evidence into the public domain. Mass media has shown their allegiance is not to truth, but to the cover-up.

and

9/11 was a mossad job. Stop our daily aid to the terrorist jewish state.

11 Daniel Ballard  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 1:13:30pm

Like the great majority of blogs, the OLA site comments need far better moderation. I hope they figure this out and properly push back on anti antisemitism and the related conspiracy crap.

An OLA link that may be illustrative
[Link: occupylosangeles.org...]

I paged it with the first comment included

12 Killgore Trout  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 1:26:13pm

re: #11 Rightwingconspirator

Like the great majority of blogs, the OLA site comments need far better moderation. I hope they figure this out and properly push back on anti antisemitism and the related conspiracy crap.

An OLA link that may be illustrative
[Link: occupylosangeles.org...]

I paged it with the first comment included

Two out of three comments there blame the Jews for 9-11. Yeesh.

13 dartmydog  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 4:42:54pm

Look, all you geisers don't know the undercurrent of hate thats building in our youth these days, English, European, American, Canadian, all are under the spell of anti-zionism, because of a fear of insulting Arabs and Islam which bitch every time something bad is said about them. 4chan, though not a good barometer is interesting to study, its majorly jew hating and insane and this is the junk youngins are filling their heads with. We havn't seen the last of the Nazi's i tell ya.

14 SanFranciscoZionist  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 6:28:17pm

re: #13 dartmydog

Look, all you geisers don't know the undercurrent of hate thats building in our youth these days, English, European, American, Canadian, all are under the spell of anti-zionism, because of a fear of insulting Arabs and Islam which bitch every time something bad is said about them. 4chan, though not a good barometer is interesting to study, its majorly jew hating and insane and this is the junk youngins are filling their heads with. We havn't seen the last of the Nazi's i tell ya.

This geiser happens to know a bit more about the history of anti-Semitism in the West than to buy the idea that this is about being afraid of insulting Islam.

15 Killgore Trout  Sat, Oct 22, 2011 7:35:28pm

re: #14 SanFranciscoZionist

This geiser happens to know a bit more about the history of anti-Semitism in the West than to buy the idea that this is about being afraid of insulting Islam.

...now git off mah lawn!
/Zionist geezer

16 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 1:22:42pm

SanFranciscoZionist -

Thanks for your post and discussion. In reference to my article at [Link: www.bradblog.com...] you critically note:

It’s interesting that AIPACs ties and work with Democrats are apparently irrelevent here

...But perhaps you missed the closing graf of my article, which reads (emphasis added):

Right. The Kochs are off the AIPAC hook because they both share the top goal of the Republicans: Removing Barack Obama from office. That is the bottom, and only, line for these folks. Democrats who throw in with any part of this crew --- there are many Dems also foolishly associated with AIPAC --- are doing little more than both hurting the Democratic Party as well as hurting Israel to boot.

Clearly, that would seem to be in direct conflict to your suggestion that I believe "AIPACs ties and work with Democrats are apparently irrelevent here."

No?

17 windsagio  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 1:23:48pm

I presume you guys have seen that youtube clip many many times before, but I haven't.

What's up with that and who's the lady talking?

18 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 1:36:27pm

re: #3 SanFranciscoZionist

Probably does.

"Probably does"?? While I believe the President of the United States should be able to speak to any group that he chooses (whether, for example, it's the GOP caucus, who I believe is not an honest player, or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which I believe is a criminal organization), it is up to him whether he wishes to speak to AIPAC or not. I think a President should reach out to any Americans. But I have no idea where you would take away the notion that I would "disapprove" of his "solemn commitment to Israel". At least not if you bothered to actually read my story, as linked in the original article above.

Hell, even if you ONLY read the portion of my article quoted by SFZ, a very different picture of my views of Israel would seem to be in clear contrast to your suspicions.

In just that graf alone, I note that "This is just shameful. As a Jew...watching how the American-Israel lobby gives a horrible name to Israel (and Jews for that matter) becomes more embarrassing every day" and that Republicans have shamefully "decided to make believe that Obama is 'vulnerable on Israel' -- they will say anything for perceived political gain, no matter whether it's actually true or not."

Where the heck, in any of that, or in any other portion of my article would one get the notion that I "disapprove of President Obama's ...solemn commitment to Israel"?

19 windsagio  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 1:38:36pm

re: #18 BradFriedman

well lets be frank, this community very easily slides into preconceived tropes when any discussion of this subject comes up... and they'll squeeze you into the slot, whether you fit or not.

20 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 1:39:46pm

re: #6 SanFranciscoZionist

That's our Brad.

Actually, that's your Ernest A. Canning who wrote the piece at The BRAD BLOG. Nonetheless, what is your concern or dispute with that piece?

(And, thanks again for the discussion. Can't tell you how refreshing it is to find folks with legitimate disagreement with something at The BRAD BLOG without foaming at the mouth with wingnut idiocy and invective!)

21 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 1:48:19pm

re: #20 BradFriedman

Frankly, Brad, when someone in all seriousness quotes Finkelstein, it's hard not to suspect extreme bias. This is a guy who complains of "Jewish Nazis" and whatnot. He wasn't always that bad, but he did go bathsit crazy.

22 blueraven  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 1:57:11pm

re: #20 BradFriedman

Actually, that's your Ernest A. Canning who wrote the piece at The BRAD BLOG. Nonetheless, what is your concern or dispute with that piece?

(And, thanks again for the discussion. Can't tell you how refreshing it is to find folks with legitimate disagreement with something at The BRAD BLOG without foaming at the mouth with wingnut idiocy and invective!)

I cant speak for SFZ but I believe there is an issue with the fact that the antisemitism at OWS seems to be blamed on the Israeli Lobby, instead of taking some accountability and being more forceful in stamping it out.
This would be like the tea party blaming the racism at their events on the NAACP (which of course they have tried to do)

23 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 2:58:44pm

re: #21 Sergey Romanov

Frankly, Brad, when someone in all seriousness quotes Finkelstein, it's hard not to suspect extreme bias. This is a guy who complains of "Jewish Nazis" and whatnot. He wasn't always that bad, but he did go bathsit crazy.

Well, I don't know Finkelstein's work (above and beyond what Ernie quoted in the article), but "suspect[ing]" is one thing. Reading the actual article in question, sniffed at as "That's our Brad!", implying something that is in no way supported, seems as inappropriate as the comments your appropriate decry from anti-Semites. It's been a while since I read Ernie's article in full, but it's a rather lengthy, scholarly article that would seem to deserve specific informed critique in kind (if you have any) rather than sucker punches that imply something rather insidious which is not at all supported by those punches.

24 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 2:59:48pm

re: #19 windsagio

well lets be frank, this community very easily slides into preconceived tropes when any discussion of this subject comes up... and they'll squeeze you into the slot, whether you fit or not.

Apparently. :-( Seems to ill-serve their cause.

25 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:07:24pm

re: #22 blueraven

I cant speak for SFZ but I believe there is an issue with the fact that the antisemitism at OWS seems to be blamed on the Israeli Lobby, instead of taking some accountability and being more forceful in stamping it out.

If you're referring to my article (versus the OccupyLA article which linked to mine), it doesn't actually speak to "antisemitism at OWS", but rather those who have lied about it. If one wishes to make the case of "antisemitism at OWS", using the cases of 2 folks -- one of whom is mentally unbalanced, another who is a long time anti-Semitic protester, neither of whom actually have anything to do with OWS complaints or oganization, while pointing to Ds who've said the same exact thing about OWS that high-ranking Rs have (without showing the Rs), and then using that to calim the Ds are anti-Semites is preposterous, disingenuous, and a disservice to real supporters of Israel.

This would be like the tea party blaming the racism at their events on the NAACP (which of course they have tried to do)

That analogy, unfortunately, makes absolutely no sense, as I can't even figure out how that is supposed to apply. You are suggesting that I am "blaming anti-Semitism at OWS events on the Israel Lobby"??? Where is that even hinted at in my piece???

26 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:14:38pm

re: #23 BradFriedman

Not sure why you call it scholarly, it's just a publicistic op-ed, even Finkelstein aside. Note that I'm not even implying it's antisemitic, only that the choice of sources betrays bias. But yeah, the nature of sources matters. I'm not even touching on the issue of "state terrorism" description, which apparently you don't have a problem with.

27 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:15:09pm

re: #19 windsagio

well lets be frank, this community very easily slides into preconceived tropes when any discussion of this subject comes up... and they'll squeeze you into the slot, whether you fit or not.

You've squeezed us into a slot, didn't you.

28 Daniel Ballard  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:17:58pm

re: #25 BradFriedman

Brad, would you meet with me at OLA for an interview about this issue, or perhaps some other OLA topics?

29 windsagio  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:19:55pm

re: #27 Sergey Romanov

really? Is the best response to this "NO U!"?

30 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:20:50pm

re: #29 windsagio

really? Is the best response to this "NO U!"?

It's not "no u", it's "Doctor, ...".

31 windsagio  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:24:53pm

re: #30 Sergey Romanov

I admit to my sadness I don't get that reference :(

32 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:29:02pm

re: #31 windsagio

"... heal thyself."

33 windsagio  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:33:18pm

re: #32 Sergey Romanov

OK I didn't get it because it doesn't fit the context :p

Seriously though, its a pretty strong general trend, if less noticeable than it used to be. *thinks back to the time before Nekama finally got banned for being insane, when any even slightly deviant post got linked the 'troll hammer' no matter how inappropriate'

34 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:34:20pm

re: #33 windsagio

I know that there is a trend, but comments like that prejudge the whole community. Surely some qualifiers were in order?

35 windsagio  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:36:36pm

re: #34 Sergey Romanov

well they probably would have been wise, it opens me up to derailments.

Still, its kind of a mark of respect, in a weird way. I tend to think that people will know I don't mean 'everybody automatically' without having to say it.

36 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:38:00pm

re: #35 windsagio

It's up to you, of course. Just as it's my right to point this out when I see it.

37 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:51:39pm

re: #27 Sergey Romanov

You've squeezed us into a slot, didn't you.

How's that feel? ;-)

38 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:54:09pm

re: #37 BradFriedman

How's that feel? ;-)

Warm, dry, flies don't bite.

39 Vicious Babushka  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:54:59pm

"Israeli Minister: We always use the anti-Semitism trick"

ZOMG. The "Israeli Minister" in the video is Shulamit Aloni. She's more Stalinist than Stalin!

40 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:56:55pm

re: #39 Alouette

"Israeli Minister: We always use the anti-Semitism trick"

ZOMG. The "Israeli Minister" in the video is Shulamit Aloni. She's more Stalinist than Stalin!

Stalinist in what sense? She admires Stalin?

41 Daniel Ballard  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 3:58:03pm

re: #37 BradFriedman

Thanks for weighing in, one of the reasons I Page from OLA is to get voices heard away from CNN and Fox.

42 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:00:56pm

re: #28 Rightwingconspirator

Brad, would you meet with me at OLA for an interview about this issue, or perhaps some other OLA topics?

In theory, I'd be happy to. In practice, I'm smack dab in the middle of several deadlines that has prevented me from evening getting to OLA at all yet, actually! Though I keep hoping to get down there!

Drop me a line via email (it's available on the top right of BradBlog.com, on the right side of the yellow bar) and let's see if we can work something out. For the record, OLA's post that link to me was their own, and had to do with whatever they are dealing with at OLA that I am neither privvy to, nor even had any inkling of until I noticed they were linking to me. So I'm unable to speak on behalf of what OLA is dealing with. But if there's anything else in particular you'd like to discuss, I'm happy to see if we can work that out. Hit me via email.

43 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:01:13pm

re: #41 Rightwingconspirator
I think you should give him the links to your videos - otherwise he thinks "who's that guy"?

44 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:01:38pm

re: #43 Sergey Romanov

I think you should give him the links to your videos - otherwise he thinks "who's that guy"?

OK, wrong :D

45 Obdicut  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:03:41pm

re: #16 BradFriedman

You could have avoided a hell of a lot of trouble by clarifying in your opening sentence that by "American-Israel lobby" you were referring to AIPAC and ECI, and not, you know, the whole panoply of lobbying organizations that could fall under that rubric.

What do you think of Adbusters "lot of Jews in here" attack on Bush's White House? It was really weird to me to go Jew-counting after the whitest goddamn guy in the world started the war with Iraq.

And what do you think about Adbusters (and Finklestein's) comparison of Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto?

46 windsagio  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:07:54pm

re: #40 Sergey Romanov

[Link: en.wikipedia.org...]

Apparently she was a 'socialist zionist' back in the day. Fought in the war of independence, etc.

She left the Alignment in 1973 and established Ratz (Citizens Rights Movement), a party advocating electoral reform, separation of religion and state and human rights. The party won three Knesset mandates in the 1973 elections. Ratz initially joined the Alignment-led government with Aloni as minister without portfolio but she resigned immediately to protest the appointment to cabinet of Yitzhak Rafael. Ratz briefly became Ya'ad – Civil Rights Movement when independent MK Aryeh Eliav joined the faction, but returned to its original status soon after.

Total Stalinist! (altho' Ratz has to be one of the most unfortunate possible names for a political party when looked at in English sources)

47 Vicious Babushka  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:09:22pm

re: #40 Sergey Romanov

Stalinist in what sense? She admires Stalin?

She's a hard line Communist.

48 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:10:50pm

re: #47 Alouette

She's a hard line Communist.

I asked because it does matter to me. For me neo-Stalinists are like neo-Nazis. However, not all hard-line commies were Stalinists - e.g. in Khrushchev's time the official line was mildly anti-Stalin. If she was pro-Soviet tho, it's bad enough.

49 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:11:02pm

re: #45 Obdicut

You could have avoided a hell of a lot of trouble by clarifying in your opening sentence that by "American-Israel lobby" you were referring to AIPAC and ECI, and not, you know, the whole panoply of lobbying organizations that could fall under that rubric.

As AIPAC and ECI are among the largest and/or loudest of that lobby, and as my article focuses on the two of them, I think that was pretty clear. At least if one bothered to read the full article.

What do you think of Adbusters "lot of Jews in here" attack on Bush's White House? It was really weird to me to go Jew-counting after the whitest goddamn guy in the world started the war with Iraq.

Sorry, no familiar with it, or the context for it. (This issue isn't particularly a beat of mine, and I rarely write about it. But seeing those two issues in a row -- the disgusting ECI ad, and the hypocritical pass given to the Kochs by AIPAC -- I happened to have a free to moment to share my thoughts on them.)

And what do you think about Adbusters (and Finklestein's) comparison of Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto?

Again, not familiar with it. But I'm a strong believer in democracy and the First Amendment, so happy to see both folks expressing their opinions -- whatever it is -- and others respond in kind, as appropriate. I'm not big on condemning someone for having an opinion (even one I may disagree with). Seems to me an argument should win, or lose, on its own merits, rather than someone being condemned (and the argument ignored) for simply having made it. Don't know if that speaks to your questions or not, but there ya go.

50 Obdicut  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:11:16pm

re: #47 Alouette

She's a hard line Communist.

Big difference between a Stalinist and many other forms of 'hard-line' communism, though. Stalinism has a pretty specific meaning.

51 Vicious Babushka  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:13:36pm

re: #48 Sergey Romanov

I asked because it does matter to me. For me neo-Stalinists are like neo-Nazis. However, not all hard-line commies were Stalinists - e.g. in Khrushchev's time the official line was mildly anti-Stalin. If she was pro-Soviet tho, it's bad enough.

Here, she compares "Jewish settlers" to "Kulaks" (this article was published just before the mass evacuation of Gaza)

She talks about all the "settlers" who were removed from Gaza receiving huge amounts of money, which they never saw.

52 Daniel Ballard  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:17:19pm

re: #42 BradFriedman

Okay you should see my note in your Inbox.

53 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:17:40pm

re: #51 Alouette

OK, I get that she is an asshole (tho not necessarily a Stalinist even after the Kulak comment, but in the end it doesn't matter).

54 windsagio  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:18:23pm

Man I've spent the last 15 minutes reading up on this Aloni woman, and altho she's leftwing and fiercely anti-settlement, I can't find any reasonable claims of communism let alone stalinism.

I can see why she'd piss people off, though.

55 Vicious Babushka  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:19:27pm

re: #53 Sergey Romanov

OK, I get that she is an asshole (tho not necessarily a Stalinist even after the Kulak comment, but in the end it doesn't matter).

I thought that only a Stalinist would use the term "Kulaks" in an approving way, that they "deserved" the Ukrainian genocide, and that other "Kulaks" or "Jewlaks" should also be purged.

56 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:20:44pm

re: #55 Alouette

No, it's pretty common among Commies. Do you think Khrushchev didn't rail against evil kulaks after Stalin's death? :)

57 Obdicut  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:20:44pm

re: #49 BradFriedman

As AIPAC and ECI are among the largest and/or loudest of that lobby, and as my article focuses on the two of them, I think that was pretty clear. At least if one bothered to read the full article.

The American-Israel lobby is often used as a catch-all phrase, purposefully inexact. I can easily believe this is a perfectly innocent mistake on your part, but by using a phrase often used by those who believe that Teh Juice Controlz the Gubmint it can easily give the impression that you are one of those people. I'm glad that you're not.

Sorry, no familiar with it, or the context for it. (This issue isn't particularly a beat of mine, and I rarely write about it. But seeing those two issues in a row -- the disgusting ECI ad, and the hypocritical pass given to the Kochs by AIPAC -- I happened to have a free to moment to share my thoughts on them.)

Okay. Here is the article. Long story short was that Adbusters literally Jew-counted and implied that the Jewish neoconservatives may have been serving Israel's interests, not the US's, in pushing for war with Iraq. Given that, to me, it's very clear that Bush needed no push whatsoever for the war, the odious nature of Jew-counting, and the ugly history of the 'double loyalty' charge, I find that article ridiculous and foolish.

Adbusters, as one of the 'organizers'-- or at least the people who put out a call to action-- for Occupy is one of the main reasons a lot of people, myself included, are leery about antisemitism.

Again, not familiar with it. But I'm a strong believer in democracy and the First Amendment, so happy to see both folks expressing their opinions -- whatever it is -- and others respond in kind, as appropriate.

Really? It doesn't matter what that opinion is, you'd be happy to see them express their opinion?

You know that the first amendment doesn't say "The freedom of speech shall not be abridged, and by the way, saying whatever crazy shit pops into your head totally rules. Go for it, man!"

If someone expresses the opinion that, say, blacks are inferior to whites and should be re-enslaved, I'm not happy to see them express that opinion. If someone says that abortion should be disallowed in all cases, I'm not happy to see them express that.

Did I misunderstand you?

Seems to me an argument should win, or lose, on its own merits, rather than someone being condemned (and the argument ignored) for simply having made it.

Yeah. I'm talking about condemning the argument on its merits. Not for having made it.

58 windsagio  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:22:36pm

re: #55 Alouette

I thought that only a Stalinist would use the term "Kulaks" in an approving way, that they "deserved" the Ukrainian genocide, and that other "Kulaks" or "Jewlaks" should also be purged.

The article you linked has her saying none of those things.

(except actually using the term)

59 Daniel Ballard  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:24:26pm

Just got a note from Lisa Clapier at OLA
Seems relevant
Van Jones joins us today at 4pm on the South Steps of City Hall

"Occupations throughout the country have grown into a movement that can renew the American Dream. The occupations form a transformative, people-powered movement that can take our democracy back and take our country forward." -Van Jones

60 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:25:18pm

re: #59 Rightwingconspirator

Expect shouts of "trutherism", tho there is no credible evidence of that.

61 Obdicut  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:27:42pm

re: #60 Sergey Romanov

Expect shouts of "trutherism", tho there is no credible evidence of that.

In fact, I'd even say that there's evidence against it, since he took pains to distance himself from the view. Even if, at any time in the past (which, as you say, there's no evidence for) he was a truther, he has explicitly rejected that position.

The dumbass shitty attacks that that dude has taken already endured makes me very impressed that he's still willing to fight for what he believes in.

62 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:28:30pm

re: #61 Obdicut

And the truther assholes admitted they did not have his actual sig and removed him from the list.

63 Obdicut  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:29:30pm

re: #62 Sergey Romanov

And the truther assholes admitted they did not have his actual sig and removed him from the list.

Yes. And that others were likewise put on the list with no actual validity too, so this is not exactly new to them.

Gee, truthers being dishonest assholes who pretend people agree with them, whodathunk it.

64 Daniel Ballard  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:31:01pm

re: #60 Sergey Romanov

re: #60 Sergey Romanov

Expect shouts of "trutherism", tho there is no credible evidence of that.

We will have that no matter what, as he has his never say die critics. But higher profile voices are exactly what OLA could use about now.

65 Gus  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:40:49pm

Just a note. I think it's important to note the differences between AIPAC and ECI. The former is a lobbying group for Israel and is open to any political party whether they be Democrats or Republicans. They, like any other lobbying group, are open to criticism as it is in a democratic nation like the United States.

EIC on the other hand is a political advocacy group and highly partisan -- i.e. conservative or Republican in nature -- using Israel and Judaism as a wedge issue for the benefit of Republican candidates.

You would be hard pressed to find anything like this at an ECI page or event:

AIPAC Policy Conference 2011 | Watch Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Speech

...And by "democracy," I don't just mean elections. I mean freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, the rights for women, for gays, for minorities, for everyone. What the people of Israel want -- -- is for the people of the Middle East to have what you have in America, what we have in Israel -- democracy...

66 Obdicut  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:42:15pm

re: #65 Gus 802

ECI is a transparent derphole of right-wing suckery.

67 Gus  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:44:05pm

re: #66 Obdicut

ECI is a transparent derphole of right-wing suckery.

Exactly. Gary Bauer is one of their board members.

68 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:45:09pm

re: #57 Obdicut

Okay. Here is the article. Long story short was that Adbusters literally Jew-counted and implied that the Jewish neoconservatives may have been serving Israel's interests, not the US's, in pushing for war with Iraq. Given that, to me, it's very clear that Bush needed no push whatsoever for the war, the odious nature of Jew-counting, and the ugly history of the 'double loyalty' charge, I find that article ridiculous and foolish.

Hadn't read it before (thanks for linking to it), but appreciate both their rather gutsy attempt to have the conversation (the last two grafs seem to be key) and your response in rebutting it and/or condemning it. Democracy 'n' stuff. :-)

And yes, I do think that many neo-cons -- Jewish or otherwise (I've often argued with relatives that many Christian supporters of Israel have no love at all for the Jews, and do so only because they hate A-rabs even more) often put Israel's interests, for whatever reason, over the good of this nation. For example, giving Israel a pass for behavior they'd not tolerate from a Muslim country does not, ultimately, help either Israel *or* the U.S. as I see it.

Adbusters, as one of the 'organizers'-- or at least the people who put out a call to action-- for Occupy is one of the main reasons a lot of people, myself included, are leery about antisemitism.

Be leery all you like. I don't know enough about Adbusters background (above and beyond the one article you linked to, which I don't find as troubling as you do, from a 1st Amendment perspective -- though I think they're Canadian, right?) to share the same feeling. Also, given Adbusters initial call for folks to come to OWS, and nothing much since then, as I understand it, it seems particularly thin gruel to use in somehow making the case that OWS, which is pretty clear about what it actually stands for, is some kind of mask for anti-Semitism. From what I've seen, one would have to be pretty cynical and/or desperate to try and make that case (hence the abhorrent ad from Kristol and friends at ECI.)

Really? It doesn't matter what that opinion is, you'd be happy to see them express their opinion?

Really? You're troubled my use of the word "happy" there? Allow me to amend, so as not to trouble you: I am very pleased, very happy, in fact, to live in a country where folks can say whatever they wish, no matter how offensive it may be to me or you or anybody else. The alternative REALLY sucks. Is that better?

You know that the first amendment doesn't say "The freedom of speech shall not be abridged, and by the way, saying whatever crazy shit pops into your head totally rules. Go for it, man!"

Um, yeah, that's pretty much what it says. Literally: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

If someone expresses the opinion that, say, blacks are inferior to whites and should be re-enslaved, I'm not happy to see them express that opinion. If someone says that abortion should be disallowed in all cases, I'm not happy to see them express that.

I am happy to live in a country that allows both statements, yes.

Did I misunderstand you?

Don't know. Now that I've tried to clarify, a touch, by expanding my initial wording, you'll let me know if you misunderstood me. :-)

69 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:57:52pm

What? There's a discussion going on? I thought we had Brad squeezed into a slot. How did he get out and how do we put him back?! ///

70 windsagio  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 4:59:57pm

re: #69 Sergey Romanov

we can talk about the 'hyperliteral intentional misunderstanding' slot some more >>

Edit: Or the 'someone I don't like is clearly a commie' slot.

71 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 5:03:19pm

re: #70 windsagio

we can talk about the 'hyperliteral intentional misunderstanding' slot some more >>

Thanks, Cap.

72 Charles Johnson  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 5:34:22pm

Just got a chance to check on this burgeoning thread. Interesting discussion - thinking of promoting this to the front page...

73 Obdicut  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 5:34:50pm

re: #68 BradFriedman

Hadn't read it before (thanks for linking to it), but appreciate both their rather gutsy attempt to have the conversation (the last two grafs seem to be key) and your response in rebutting it and/or condemning it. Democracy 'n' stuff. :-)

How is it gutsy to say "Look at all these Jews who are neo-cons"?

And yes, I do think that many neo-cons -- Jewish or otherwise (I've often argued with relatives that many Christian supporters of Israel have no love at all for the Jews, and do so only because they hate A-rabs even more) often put Israel's interests, for whatever reason, over the good of this nation.

How was it in Israel's interests for the US to invade Iraq?

Really? You're troubled my use of the word "happy" there? Allow me to amend, so as not to trouble you: I am very pleased, very happy, in fact, to live in a country where folks can say whatever they wish, no matter how offensive it may be to me or you or anybody else. The alternative REALLY sucks. Is that better?

Yes. Do you realize that those are entirely different things? Being happy at the generalized first amendment is cool. Being happy that someone is saying a particular thing may or may not be cool, depending on what that thing is. So when criticism for something that was said comes in, it makes no sense to say "I like the first amendment". I'm not criticizing their right to say these things, but what they actually said.

Um, yeah, that's pretty much what it says. Literally: "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Right. But it doesn't mean we actually have to approve of or like whatever the hell anyone says, or to give them a platform to say it. Finklestein has said loads of odious crap. Do I want him prevented for saying it? No. Do I want him criticized, and for decent people not to use him as a reference because of the terrible shit he's said? Yes.

Also, given Adbusters initial call for folks to come to OWS, and nothing much since then, as I understand it, it seems particularly thin gruel to use in somehow making the case that OWS, which is pretty clear about what it actually stands for, is some kind of mask for anti-Semitism.

Do you understand that I'm not saying it is, nor, I think, is anyone else here? The main concern is that Occupy is going to attract anti-semites, both of the Paulian version and the "Jews are Nazis"-- like Finklestein-- type.

The anti-war movement, which overlaps to a degree with Occupy, had a lot of anti-semitic groups and behavior in it, which were tolerated to an unsettling degree. I've been happy to point out the pushback against anti-semitism at Occupy, but the open nature of the gathering makes policing groups difficult and demonstrating that intolerance will not be tolerated even more difficult. It is the form, as much as the substance, of Occupy that makes me concerned about antisemitism there.

It really, for me, in your article was mainly naming AIPAC and ECI as the "U.S. Israel Lobby", instead of two examples-- in your headline and opening paragraph-- that threw up red flags for me. I fully think ECI should go jump in a river with an anvil tied to its head, and I do think that Obama has been wrongly criticized for being weak on Israel when he is not, in any way, and in some ways is actually a better supporter than Bush was.

74 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 5:47:32pm

re: #72 Charles

Just got a chance to check on this burgeoning thread. Interesting discussion - thinking of promoting this to the front page...

Oh, great. Total scam to keep me from getting any real work done ever again! Thanks for nothing, Charles ;-)

75 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 5:53:55pm

re: #70 windsagio

we can talk about the 'hyperliteral intentional misunderstanding' slot some more >>

Edit: Or the 'someone I don't like is clearly a commie' slot.

Well, there is that.

That first one - also a keeper.

76 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 5:58:15pm

re: #73 Obdicut

Yes. Do you realize that those are entirely different things? Being happy at the generalized first amendment is cool. Being happy that someone is saying a particular thing may or may not be cool, depending on what that thing is. So when criticism for something that was said comes in, it makes no sense to say "I like the first amendment". I'm not criticizing their right to say these things, but what they actually said.

Well, the corollary is really easy.

So someone is exercising "first amendment rights" to say whatever. Big deal - Anyone else also has first amendment rights to critique the content of what was said.

Typically, when this happens, the fallback is some form of "well! I'm just being honest!! poor me, I got criticized for merely 'being honest'", as if anyone else can't be honest in their response to what was said.

Happens often.

77 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 6:07:33pm

re: #73 Obdicut

How is it gutsy to say "Look at all these Jews who are neo-cons"?

But, that's not really what they said, is it? That's a nice shorthand which rather does a disservice to what they actually said (whether you like what they actually said or not.) I stand by my point that I believe it was a gutsy argument to make, and one worth discussing and/or disabusing, if one is so inclined.

How was it in Israel's interests for the US to invade Iraq?

My opinion? I don't think it actually was, in truth. In the neo-cons' view, however, remember that guy who hated Israel, offered rewards to terrorists willing to blow themselves up to kill Israelis, and was willing to send scud missiles their way?

Do you realize that those are entirely different things? Being happy at the generalized first amendment is cool. Being happy that someone is saying a particular thing may or may not be cool, depending on what that thing is.

All associate with windsagio @ 70 here: "we can talk about the 'hyperliteral intentional misunderstanding' slot some more"

Right. But it doesn't mean we actually have to approve of or like whatever the hell anyone says, or to give them a platform to say it.

Who said you did?

Finklestein has said loads of odious crap. Do I want him prevented for saying it? No. Do I want him criticized, and for decent people not to use him as a reference because of the terrible shit he's said? Yes.

And that is your right. Phew, glad I posted the actual text of the 1st Amendment for ya, so there'd be no confusion here. :-)

The main concern is that OW is going to attract anti-semites, both of the Paulian version and the "Jews are Nazis"-- like Finklestein-- type.

Be concerned as much as you like. Though I would argue that whereever a large group of people gather to express their First Amendment rights, and where they are likely to be noticed by TV cameras and such, there are gonna be a lot of folks "attracted". Just ask the Phelps family. Does it make you concerned that military families hold funerals, knowing that the Phelps' are likely to show up and express their First Amendment rights?

the open nature of the gathering makes policing groups difficult and demonstrating that intolerance will not be tolerated even more difficult.

You didn't really just write those words, did you? (And you held me accountable for saying "I'm a strong believer in democracy and the First Amendment, so happy to see both folks expressing their opinions "?!)

It is the form, as much as the substance, of Occupy that makes me concerned about antisemitism there.

Be as concerned as you like. Or join the fight for what matters above all right now (even as you have your own personal concerns about stuff.)

It really, for me, in your article was mainly naming AIPAC and ECI as the "U.S. Israel Lobby", instead of two examples-- in your headline and opening paragraph-- that threw up red flags for me. I fully think ECI should go jump in a river with an anvil tied to its head, and I do think that Obama has been wrongly criticized for being weak on Israel when he is not, in any way, and in some ways is actually a better supporter than Bush was.

Happy we see eye-to-eye re: ECI and the appalling, opportunistic attacks on Obama/Israel. That said, you justify the pass AIPAC gave to years of trading with Iran how, exactly? Do you think AIPAC would have given that same pass to, say, Obama or Nancy Pelosi or MoveOn.org having traded with (or invested in a company that was trading with) Iran, illegally, for years until only very recently?

78 Obdicut  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 6:19:56pm

re: #77 BradFriedman

But, that's not really what they said, is it? That's a nice shorthand which rather does a disservice to what they actually said (whether you like what they actually said or not.) I stand by my point that I believe it was a gutsy argument to make, and one worth discussing and/or disabusing, if one is so inclined.

Then what is it that they actually said, that you're defending? They really, really did literally count the number of Jews in their semi-arbitrary list. They really, really are claiming that is somehow significant. They never actually get around to explaining why, except for the tired old dual-loyalty allegation.

Can you explain what the significance of counting those Jews is?

My opinion? I don't think it actually was, in truth. In the neo-cons' view, however, remember that guy who hated Israel, offered rewards to terrorists willing to blow themselves up to kill Israelis, and was willing to send scud missiles their way?

Sure. He was marginally less threatening to Israel than most of Israel's neighbors. The scuds were sent when Iraq was attacked, meaning that that point is actually against the claim that it's in Israel's interests for Iraq to be invaded, unless you think Israel really likes being hit with Scud missiles.

It really is bizarre to me that with Bush (and Cheney) so adamant from day 1 about invading Iraq, that the supposed desire (never actually explained) of Jews to have Iraq invaded is given any credit.

And that is your right. Phew, glad I posted the actual text of the 1st Amendment for ya, so there'd be no confusion here. :-)

Jesus. I'm not confused about whether it's my right or not. I'm pointing out that when you quote someone who is odious, and then are criticized for doing so, saying you support the rights of everyone to speak is inane. I support the rights of neo-nazis to speak. That doesn't mean I'm going to reference them or give them the slightest credibility or platform. Do you understand?

Be concerned as much as you like. Though I would argue that whereever a large group of people gather to express their First Amendment rights, and where they are likely to be noticed by TV cameras and such, there are gonna be a lot of folks "attracted". Just ask the Phelps family. Does it make you concerned that military families hold funerals, knowing that the Phelps' are likely to show up and express their First Amendment rights?

Do you honestly believe that's a good analogy? You're citing people who are protesting the event from the outside-- the Phelps-- and conflating them with people who are at an event. That analogy fails. And it's a completely unnecessary one. I do indeed think-- and it was in fact what I was saying-- that whenever a large group of people is around and whey're they're likely to be noticed, that they'll attract bad actors. What I'm pointing out is that Occupy's structure (or non-structure) makes it very difficult to ostracize the extremists and the outright bigots.

You didn't really just write those words, did you?

Yes, I did. Feel free to actually explain what you find wrong with them, if you're interested in actually communicating that.

yappy we see eye-to-eye re: ECI and the appalling, opportunistic attacks on Obama/Israel. That said, you justify the pass AIPAC gave to years of trading with Iran how, exactly?

Can you point out where you see me justifying it?

79 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 6:33:05pm

re: #72 Charles

Just got a chance to check on this burgeoning thread. Interesting discussion - thinking of promoting this to the front page...

Please do.

80 Obdicut  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 6:40:08pm

I'm going to have to hit the hay pretty soon.

To sum up:

The first amendment rules hardcore. But it creates a responsibility in the populace to make sure our speech is reasoned, measured, truthful, and that when we reference and cite others, that we're not citing people who say really horrible things and therefore grant them credibility by doing so.

I'd note this is something that the media completely fucking fails at with their 'report both sides' bullshit.

And it means that in any large gathering, the problem presents itself of how to actually demonstrate that certain speech by members of that group are not well-tolerated in the group at large. This is a significant challenge to any non-hierarchical group.

Now I need to apparently run out for staples and beer (wife request) and then I'm going to be supinely snoring.

81 Daniel Ballard  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 7:18:35pm

re: #13 dartmydog

Never been called a "geiser" before. LOL.

82 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 7:56:57pm

re: #78 Obdicut

Then what is it that they actually said, that you're defending?

I don't believe I "defended" anything they were saying, though I did defend their right to say it, and somewhat lauded their right to say it by calling it "gutsy".

They really, really did literally count the number of Jews in their semi-arbitrary list. They really, really are claiming that is somehow significant.

Well, now you're forcing me to "defend" something that I don't have all that much interest in, much less in defending it. But I'll bite, since I've already lost most of my day here (my own fault!) and find the challenge interesting. Would you have any problem with an all white administration? Or do you feel that minorities should be appropriately represented? Be careful, your answer will be held against you.

They never actually get around to explaining why, except for the tired old dual-loyalty allegation.

I think the explanation in penultimate and then ultimate graf are adequate. You don't? Why not?

Can you explain what the significance of counting those Jews is?

It seems to me they do exactly that in the article (again, see last 2 grafs.)

Sure. He was marginally less threatening to Israel than most of Israel's neighbors. The scuds were sent when Iraq was attacked, meaning that that point is actually against the claim that it's in Israel's interests for Iraq to be invaded, unless you think Israel really likes being hit with Scud missiles.

You really don't think the Rightwing in Israel wasn't pleased as punch to see the U.S. invade Iraq? You also skipped the point I made about Saddam supposedly offering financial rewards to the families of Palestinian martyrs.

Jesus. I'm not confused about whether it's my right or not. I'm pointing out that when you quote someone who is odious, and then are criticized for doing so, saying you support the rights of everyone to speak is inane.

Let's be clear. We were originally talking about someone (SanFranciscoZionist, author of the original post, who hasn't bothered to come back here to explain the post since I showed up) who slimed me, without explanation, for what a blogger at my site wrote, w/o explanation. Someone else claimed that that blogger quoting someone they objected to somehow reflects poorly on me, suggested I am anti-Semitic (as did the entire original thread and follow up comments by SFZ). That all seems "inane" to me. In case it's unclear, I didn't quote Finkelstein, don't know who he is, and so can't agree or disagree with your assessment that he's "odious". I can, however, disagree with your contenion that either I, or my comments here, have been "inane".

I support the rights of neo-nazis to speak. That doesn't mean I'm going to reference them or give them the slightest credibility or platform. Do you understand?

Of course. You believe Finkelstein is the equivalent of a neo-nazi. Sorry if I don't share your opinion. I've seen no evidence to that end (though, granted, I haven't looked ver hard, since I'd never heard of him until I saw him quoted in Ernie's article.)

[Cont'd in next reply...]

83 SanFranciscoZionist  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 8:14:29pm

Good God. I missed the whole thing.

84 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 8:15:15pm

re: #78 Obdicut

Do you honestly believe that's a good analogy?

Frankly? Yes. Pretty brilliant, in fact, and I'm quite delighted I offered it.

You're citing people who are protesting the event from the outside-- the Phelps-- and conflating them with people who are at an event. That analogy fails.

Uh, no. But that attempt to discredit it fails. Do you honestly believe the Phelps family wouldn't be RIGHT THERE AT THE GRAVESITE if they were allowed to be? The OWS events are held in public spaces. The OWS demonstrators have no right to keep anybody out of those public spaces...

And it's a completely unnecessary one.

Seems quite necessary, in fact, as it may even help you wrap your brain around the importance of the First Amendment...

What I'm pointing out is that Occupy's structure (or non-structure) makes it very difficult to ostracize the extremists and the outright bigots.

Yeah, well, that happens when you're in a public space and relying on First Amendment rights. You don't get to decide who does and doesn't get to do so. That said, did you bother to watch Cenk's video that I included in my article? Did you happen to notice how effective the OWS folks were in discrediting that asshole (by holding up a big sign next to his that said "ASSHOLE" and had an arrow pointing towards him?)

I think between that, having Jewish temples at the protest and, indeed, holding a huge, public Yom Kippur service there that you'd be spending more time lauding what these folks are doing -- and the extraordinary way they are fighting for their rights and yours, while taking extraordinary measures to be inclusive of everyone's rights -- rather than seeking out ways to discredit them somehow.

Yes, I did. Feel free to actually explain what you find wrong with them, if you're interested in actually communicating that.

Sure. You actually wrote these words: "the open nature of the gathering makes ... demonstrating that intolerance will not be tolerated even more difficult."

So, you do realize that the thing you seem to be calling for, not tolerating intolerance = intolerance, right?

Can you point out where you see me justifying it?

Sure. You have pointed to the two examples I offered in my article of the "U.S. Israel Lobby" ill-serving Israel and the U.S. and even Jews, and joined me in condemning EIC several times, and yet appearing to defend APIAC. In the bargain, you've not once recognized AIPAC's extraordinarily hypocritical pass given to the Koch brothers for doing millions of dollars in business, secretly and illegally, with one of Israel's worst enemies.

If you're not justifying AIPAC's behavior, feel free to clarify. Are you condemning it as behavior that seems only explainable as hypocrisy in giving a pass to one of the GOP's top supporters, as I have argued? Or do you have a different reason for condemning their behavior?

85 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 8:22:50pm

re: #80 Obdicut

The first amendment rules hardcore. But it creates a responsibility in the populace to make sure our speech is reasoned, measured, truthful, and that when we reference and cite others, that we're not citing people who say really horrible things and therefore grant them credibility by doing so.

You have an interesting and complex (and liberal) view of the First Amendment :-)

I'd note this is something that the media completely fucking fails at with their 'report both sides' bullshit.

I'll join you there. But for different reasons. As the only industry named in the Constitution, I'd argue that they have an extraordinary responsibility to live up to that honor. They have failed it miserably, for the reason you note above and many more.

And it means that in any large gathering, the problem presents itself of how to actually demonstrate that certain speech by members of that group are not well-tolerated in the group at large. This is a significant challenge to any non-hierarchical group.

That is an optional response to the First Amendment. Perhaps I have trouble with your liberal use of the word "tolerate". If something will not be tolerated, it sounds to me like it will not be allowed. I'll have First Amendment issues with that sort of thinking.

But I'll tolerate it.

86 BradFriedman  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 8:58:47pm

re: #83 SanFranciscoZionist

Good God. I missed the whole thing.

No ya didn't. Would still welcome responses to the questions I left for you at 16 and 18 above. Thanks!

87 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Sun, Oct 23, 2011 10:39:40pm

re: #19 windsagio

well lets be frank, this community very easily slides into preconceived tropes when any discussion of this subject comes up... and they'll squeeze you into the slot, whether you fit or not.

this forever

88 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Oct 24, 2011 1:25:43am

re: #82 BradFriedman

Someone else claimed that that blogger quoting someone they objected to somehow reflects poorly on me, suggested I am anti-Semitic

I explicitly stated that I'm not suggesting quoting Finkelstein was necessarily antisemitic. So in case the latter part of the quoted sentence is about me, it's dishonest.

89 Obdicut  Mon, Oct 24, 2011 2:26:51am

re: #82 BradFriedman

I don't believe I "defended" anything they were saying, though I did defend their right to say it, and somewhat lauded their right to say it by calling it "gutsy".

Calling something gutsy to me is not lauding 'their right to say it'-- an extremely awkward construction-- but the thing being said. Would it also be 'gutsy' for Rush Limbaugh to talk about the percentage of black people in the 'progressive' movement, on a semi-arbitrary list he drew up of 'progressives'?

Would you have any problem with an all white administration? Or do you feel that minorities should be appropriately represented? Be careful, your answer will be held against you.

This question is not related to the topic. I may have misled you earlier by saying that Adbusters complained about the number of Jews in the administration, but you clearly read the article and know they're talking about the media class and academics as well.

But treating the question as though it has significance: It depends what you mean by 'appropriately', and, for that matter, 'white'. An all-white administration would be dumbass, exclusionary-- the idea that there wouldn't be a significant proportion of minorities who were highly competent and desirable for their connection to their own subcultures is obviously wrong.

But that's not what we're talking about here. we're talking about a minority being 'overrepresented' in an ideological subgroup. Which is something that Jews are often accused of; the Civil Rights Movement was criticized for having so many Jews in it (not to mention those pesky blacks), the Bolsheviks were criticized for being heavily Jewish, academia is criticized for the high number of Jews in it, journalism is, etc. But the attack from Adbusters is no more significant or better placed than any of those previous attacks. It basically places two facts next to each other: The neo-cons have a 'special affinity' for Israel, and the neo-cons include a lot of Jews-- and then pretends that it's made an argument. It hasn't.

The neocons also include a hell of a lot of white folks. The most powerful neocons were all white folks. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush (I'm including him even though I doubt his actual ideological underpinnings, but in action he can be included as a neo-con), Libby, all had more temporal power and more influence than the Jews among the neocons. Amongst the pundits and media class, Scaife and Murdoch are obviously far more powerful than the individual Jewish pundits. So one of the main problems with Adbusters arguments is the simplicity of pretending that numbers matter on their own. Are there a lot of Jews on their list? Yes. Are those Jews as powerful or influential as the white people on the list? No.

And let's revisit the actual final paragraph (is there some reason you can't type that word out?) that you think makes their argument so clearly:

Some shape policy from within the White House, while others are more peripheral, exacting influence indirectly as journalists, academics and think tank policy wonks. What they all share is the view that the US is a benevolent hyper power that must protect itself by reshaping the rest of the world into its morally superior image. And half of the them are Jewish.

Do you see that Adbusters is not actually making an argument here? It's simply asserting that there are a lot of Jews in the group that believes that the US is a benevolent hyper-power. So what? What is the connection? Why does that matter? They don't actually say. Their only argument is that neo-cons have a 'special affinity' for Israel, but they never explain why that would be, but they hint darkly at it through Jew-counting.

Israel is the only Jewish nation in the mid-east. It is also the only nation that is a Western-style democracy. Why is that not a sufficient explanation of neo-con affinity for it?

90 Obdicut  Mon, Oct 24, 2011 2:39:25am

re: #84 BradFriedman

You really don't think the Rightwing in Israel wasn't pleased as punch to see the U.S. invade Iraq?

No, I really don't. Why do you? Israel's main concern during that time was Iran. Some Israeli right-wingers made approving noises, others scoffed at the idea that Iraq had a working nuclear arms program or were a significant threat to Israel. [Link: ipsnews.net...] If we had invaded Iran (terrifying thought) this might be relevant, but we didn't.

You also skipped the point I made about Saddam supposedly offering financial rewards to the families of Palestinian martyrs.

Because those same neo-cons are generally (and I think highly hypocritically) supporters of the US's close relationship with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states that are supporters of terrorism and anti-Jewish propaganda. As I said before, Saddam was somewhat less of a threat to Israel than other bad actors in the region. In terms of propaganda, he was less of a threat than Saudi Arabia. In terms of actual military power, he was less of a threat than Iran.

In case it's unclear, I didn't quote Finkelstein, don't know who he is, and so can't agree or disagree with your assessment that he's "odious". I can, however, disagree with your contenion that either I, or my comments here, have been "inane".

I didn't say your comments were inane. But do you feel any responsibility for the writing that appears on your blog? Do you exercise any editorial control? Did you read the article before it was posted, and follow the references? It kind of appears not, since you don't know who Finklestein is. That I can and will criticize; if you don't bother to actually read and understand the things that are appearing on your blog, I find that lacking. I find the particular blogger referencing Finkelstein to be inane.

I am very glad that you have clarified that your 'Israel/US Lobby' formation was not inclusive, but limited to AIPAC and ECI (though I'd say those tow are miles apart, ECI being a thoroughly, utterly corrupt and bogus group). That, to me, takes away most if not all of the problem that I had with your article.

91 Obdicut  Mon, Oct 24, 2011 2:51:12am

re: #84 BradFriedman

Uh, no. But that attempt to discredit it fails. Do you honestly believe the Phelps family wouldn't be RIGHT THERE AT THE GRAVESITE if they were allowed to be? The OWS events are held in public spaces. The OWS demonstrators have no right to keep anybody out of those public spaces...

Yeah. That's why your analogy fails; you're comparing fundamentally different situations. A better analogy might have been the presence of Birchers at the Tea Party events, which I also criticized the Tea Party for heavily. What happened then was that the Birchers, given new credibilty through the populism of the Tea Party, were accepted back into the GOP fold as if they'd never left and are now quite at home there.

I have repeatedly said that the main difference in politics between Occupy and the Tea Party and related populist stuff on the right is that the Occupy people are marginalized from the Democrats, while the Tea Party were wholeheartedly accepted into the bosom of the GOP. I would really like for Occupy to have more influence on the overly-corporatist Democrats, I really, really would; but that is precisely the reason I want the extremist groups latching onto Occupy to get marginalized, so that if (however unlikely) such a thing occurs that the same thing that happened with Birchers and their ilk in the GOP doesn't happen with the Democrats.

Yeah, well, that happens when you're in a public space and relying on First Amendment rights. You don't get to decide who does and doesn't get to do so. That said, did you bother to watch Cenk's video that I included in my article? Did you happen to notice how effective the OWS folks were in discrediting that asshole (by holding up a big sign next to his that said "ASSHOLE" and had an arrow pointing towards him?)

Yes, it's one of the things that I meant when I said that I was happy to see the pushback against anti-semitism at Occupy. You did see that I wrote that, right?

I think between that, having Jewish temples at the protest and, indeed, holding a huge, public Yom Kippur service there that you'd be spending more time lauding what these folks are doing -- and the extraordinary way they are fighting for their rights and yours, while taking extraordinary measures to be inclusive of everyone's rights -- rather than seeking out ways to discredit them somehow.

Psychology via TCP/IP always fails. I am in no way seeking to discredit Occupy. I have, from the start of it, wanted fulsomely for Occupy's main message-- what I see as their main message-- to be heard. The wealth division in this country is a massive crisis, the corporatist power over government is a threat to our democracy, the abandonment of social responsibility by the government is a pathetic and terrible thing. I have no idea why you believe I'm seeking to discredit them. One a couple of days, I have been them.

Sure. You actually wrote these words: "the open nature of the gathering makes ... demonstrating that intolerance will not be tolerated even more difficult."

So, you do realize that the thing you seem to be calling for, not tolerating intolerance = intolerance, right?

Have you never run into the 'you can't tolerate intolerance' thing before? Sorry, it's a frequent meme in talking about first amendment stuff, so I'd have figured you'd run into it.

I'm calling for, for example, the actions of the guy with the 'asshole' sign. He didn't tolerate the anti-Semitic speech of the asshole. He called him out. That is a very good thing. I am happy to see it occurring at Occupy. I'm noting that it's a bigger challenge to do this in a truly open group.

92 Obdicut  Mon, Oct 24, 2011 2:56:17am

re: #84 BradFriedman

Sure. You have pointed to the two examples I offered in my article of the "U.S. Israel Lobby" ill-serving Israel and the U.S. and even Jews, and joined me in condemning EIC several times, and yet appearing to defend APIAC.

This is what I'm asking you to show, not to assert again. I'm asking how I'm defending AIPAC. I'm not. I implicitly criticized them when talking about the unfair attacks on Obama. I never said one word of defense of them. So again: Can you show me where I appear to defend them?

Are you condemning it as behavior that seems only explainable as hypocrisy in giving a pass to one of the GOP's top supporters, as I have argued? Or do you have a different reason for condemning their behavior?

Hell, I'm generally critical of any large lobbying group, since I tend to think they're cynical by default. But yeah, giving the Koch's-- some of my least favorite people in the world-- a pass is the height of cynicism.

The question I'm asking, though, is why you thought I was defending them. Absence of criticism is not a defense, even if you thought I wasn't criticizing them.

Do you get that referring to those two groups under the rubric "The US-Israel lobby" is problematic, since those two groups are not the sum total of all US-Israel lobbying groups, and since the formulation is often used by anti-Semites as a purposely vague attack?

93 Obdicut  Mon, Oct 24, 2011 3:09:53am

re: #85 BradFriedman

That is an optional response to the First Amendment. Perhaps I have trouble with your liberal use of the word "tolerate". If something will not be tolerated, it sounds to me like it will not be allowed. I'll have First Amendment issues with that sort of thinking.

But I'll tolerate it.

Of course it's optional. So what? I'm saying that with the right to free speech comes the responsibility to use that speech well. I support Rush Limbaugh's right to be a foul, racist jackass; I don't support the decision of media moguls to continue to employ him despite his jackassery. I wish he were not tolerated, that his show was cancelled, that he was not given large speaking fees, that he was not listened to by the GOP and treated like some sort of intellectual.

This is the heart of what I'm saying. At the Occupy groups, because of their inclusive nature and non-hierarchical stance, you can't actually eject a group-- you can't make the Phelps or any Phelps-like guys leave. So, there has to be constant vigilance on the part of those who want the movement to succeed to show that those views, while they can't be (and shouldn't be) silenced, are not held by the majority or tolerated by the majority.

I am saying this not to discredit Occupy, but because their message of anti-corporatism is so goddamn vital. Our country is facing an enormous peril. I want them to be able to help us overcome it. I don't want to see them discredited. And I think the open, non-heirarchical structure makes it easy for extremist groups to gain influence there. I am very much hoping that this is not the case.

If you look back on what I've actually written about Occupy here, I have repeatedly defended them against overly-broad charges of anti-semitism, being commies, etc. My main concern about the movement itself is that it contains revolutionaries and non-revolutionaries, and I do not see any way for those two groups to effectively work together. When I did my unscientific little survey down at OWS, I found that more than half of the people there felt that our political system was irrevocably broken or very, very close to it. I made it very clear that i meant 'irrevocable', that there was no path through our current political system to fix it.

The current way this problem is manifesting is in the large numbers of ideological non-voters-- see ABL's post here . I can, and do, respect their point of view, literally: i believe them when they contend that both parties are just as bad, and we need revolutionary change in order to fix this. I do not see how those people are going to mesh with progressive voters whose goal is to vote people like Elizabeth Warren into office.

By the way, I'm not sure if you know this but your writing style often comes across as patronizing and glib. If that's your intention, that's fine, but saying things like as "it may even help you wrap your brain around the importance of the First Amendment..." is rather pointlessly insulting.

94 Obdicut  Mon, Oct 24, 2011 5:01:24am

re: #93 Obdicut

Just to be completely clear, when I said "I believe them" above, I meant "I believe them to be sincere".


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