Cognitive Warfare or Anti-Zionist Fantasy? Ban Ki-Moon calls for the revocation of Israel’s membership in the UN

I got this announcement that Ban Ki-Moon, in a speech to the UN General Assembly, had called for the revocation of the state of Israel’s membership in the UN.

If it hopes to play a meaningful role in the 21st century, the UN must do more than simply promise to enact reforms. It must search deep within its soul to redress the fundamental violations of its founding principles, which have long since ceased to have any force. That recommitment must begin now, for it was 60 years ago today, May 11, 1949, that Israel became a member of the UN. The UN cannot hope to achieve any measure of peace or justice as long as it condones war crimes, which it does every day that Israel is allowed to flout its terms of admission.

The past cannot be undone, but the future can change. As its newly elected Secretary-General, I promise that the UN will no longer be a passive enabler of genocide. Therefore, I will ask the General Assembly to meet in special session at the earliest possible time to strip Israel of its membership. Ordinarily, a motion to expel a member nation would have to come at the recommendation of the Security Council, but this is not an ordinary motion. Because Israel is in violation of its terms of admission, it is not a member in good standing, so the UN has every right to declare General Assembly Resolution 273 null and void. Since Israel’s membership depends on adherence to that resolution, its expulsion is automatic.

Essentially, the unavoidable, lamentable truth of the last six decades is that the UN has been a moral and political failure because it has refused to enforce its own rules and defend the Charter. Nothing the UN does will have any value as long as
this illegitimate member occupies a place in the General Assembly. I want the UN to have value.

This struck me immediately as unlikely language for Ban Ki-Moon to use. It was straight out of the anti-Zionist playbook. It had “forgery” written all over it. And there was nothing I could find with those words at the official UN site.

(I especially like the inversion of the actual situation: The UN has been a moral and political failure because it failed to enforce its own rules and throw out members who refused to abide by the rulings of the UN (e.g., the Arab block that refused to recognize Israel), and as a result of the power of large, undemocratic blocks (Arab states, Muslim states) has been sucked into a grotesque moral cesspool that has betrayed the very principles of “human rights.”)

A search for the speech produced a very impressive PDF file that sure looked like a UN document. (Note, however, that none of the other links work… sloppy work.)

Is this cognitive warfare — the power of suggestion? Or is it just anti-Zionists fantazing their wet dream?

UPDATE: The new Jewish International Commission for Jewish Legal Affairs is on the case:

UN HOAX EXPOSED
Written by the Jewish Tribune staff
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
JERUSALEM – A document purporting to be an address by Ban Ki-Moon, secretary general of the UN, delivered to the UN General Assembly on May 11, 2009 “on the 60th Anniversary of Israel’s Admission,” and widely circulated on the Internet, is a deliberate forgery, said the newly created International Commission for Jewish Legal Affairs.

Brenden Varma from the UN Press Office confirmed to representatives of the commission that the perpetrators illegally copied the heading of the web site of the UN News Centre, so that the address would appear to be an official document of the United Nations.

Dr. Haim Katz, chair of the International Commission for Jewish Legal Affairs, newly established in cooperation with the B’nai B’rith World Center to help combat efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel, called upon the secretary general to immediately disassociate himself from this forged document, to condemn the dissemination of false and inflammatory information about Israel or any other member state, to commence an investigation to identify the perpetrators, and to pursue all available legal means to do so.

Dr. Katz indicated that the fake address to the General Assembly contained a complete distortion of the history of the UN resolution of 1947, which led to the creation of Israel and a pledge by the secretary general to call a special session of the General Assembly “at the earliest possible time to strip Israel of its membership.”

In his letter to the secretary general, Dr. Katz stated, “With the current climate of anti-Israel sentiment, undoubtedly hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people will accept this forgery at face value. If it is not denied promptly and publicly, this false document, which clearly has the potential for violence, can produce dire consequences in world opinion. The integrity of the United Nations will be damaged as well.”
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 May 2009 )

69 Responses to Cognitive Warfare or Anti-Zionist Fantasy? Ban Ki-Moon calls for the revocation of Israel’s membership in the UN

  1. SE says:

    You ought to fix the type in your first sentence so it is consistent with the title. It is not the state of Israel that BKM wants to revoke, just its membership in the UN…

    done

  2. E.G. says:

    99.9 probability it’s a hoax.
    Let’s wait for the distribution of sweets on Gaza streets.

  3. Aviv says:

    Open up the host of the PDF, http://www.gregfelton.com/.

    The guy is a loon – The whole website is about how the Israel lobby controls Canadian gov’t and media.

    Also you could cross-check with the UN website before just floating the question.

    RL, I expected better. =\

  4. Richard Landes says:

    you misunderstand me. i think this is a fake (ie what i was pointing out in the parenthesis about sloppy inactive links in the forged PDF). it’s either cognitive warfare — putting out a forgery to launch the idea and give it legitimacy — or fantasy — the wish…

    i most definitely do not think this is real.

    but thanks for the heads-up. i have changed the text to make that clear.

  5. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Of course it is a hoax! I found about that piece of junk one week ago, when posting on the web site of the french newspaper “Libération”.

    One of the antisemitic thugs who crowd this kind of site had referred me to a translation into french of this thing, and even more funny, the translation had the most anti-israel lines in red, claimed as “censored”. With a couple of clicks, I was on Grefton’s blog and I could state that it was a hoax and give the exact link for the real Ban Ki Moon speech.

    I also checked the metadata on the piece of junk, and observed that (a) all origin data have been carefully removed while (b) pdf from the UN is produced out a microsoft file, and this is *not* removed.

    Not a very clever hoax, I must say.

    But it is also part of a campaign, since a few days before, the french weekly “Marianne” had publisehd an opinion by an attorney named Zyad Clot, who defended a point of view according to which Israel has been accepted provisionnally into the UN.

    So I looked at the relevant resolution, and this again is a hoax. There are no conditions. The phrasing is rather funny, since Israel had to prove that it was a peace-loving country in order to enter the UN. I am not sure of what they had to do for this proof.

  6. Stuart Green says:

    It’s true that it smells like a fake and that one can easily check out the document, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a successful meme. The fecundity of a meme is not inseparably tied to its veracity; in fact, some of the most successful ones are half-truths if not full lies. They reproduce because they have the stuff of virility, not because they are logical or factual. The question is, then, what makes them so rabbit-like?

    Ron Schleifer writes in Psychological Warfare in the Intifada, “It does not matter if an allegation is wholly true as long as it keeps the enemy on the defense.” J.M. Balkin is also onto something in his book Cultural Software, writing, “When a belief is obviously true, no one may pay much attention to it or think about it. As a result, it may be much less likely to be communicated to others…. true beliefs are more likely to be communicated in response to false beliefs or only partially true beliefs.”

    Obviously, this one is completely false, but it smacks of good email-forwarding fodder. It is precisely the kind of thing that would *not* be verified by those desiring a real event like this, or those who already “knew” it to be true because they had heard about it from their reliable, like-minded friends. Unfortunately, Balkin is probably right. There is no competing, pre-existing meme out there that specifically says, “Ban Ki Moon has not called for Israel to be thrown out of the UN,” so anything similar that pops up today will appear defensive and inadequate. More to the point, even if this particular letter never rises to pandemic importance–and it probably won’t–that doesn’t mean it won’t spawn curiosity and a whole series of other false memes about Israel’s “war crimes.”

    I imagine getting the truth out at that point would be difficult. Perhaps like eradicating a swarm of army ants by stepping on them with cleated shoes.

  7. RedPencil says:

    FWIW go to the front page of gregfelton.com. (Ewww.) It is posted there pretty much like an opinion column. I am thinking it was not an attempt at a forgery per se.

    On the other hand, it does actually seem to be a fantsy of his. Greg Felton is one sick Canadian puppy.

    From his page, cover of his (self published!) book
    http://www.gregfelton.com/images/front_cover.gif

  8. E.G. says:

    So this guy is Gaza residents’ worst enemy: no sweets distribution in the next 2-3 days!

  9. RedPencil says:

    More from Greg Felton, the author of this Ban Ki Moon speech. (Which as stated is apparently intended more as “satire” than as a “real” hoax.)

    “The Israel Lobby’s control of Canada’s foreign policy is sustainable if and only if the Canadian public can’t sense it. The illusion of a national foreign policy must be maintained, both to insulate The Lobby from public scrutiny and to prevent the government from having to explain to its own people why it puts the interests of a foreign power ahead of national and international law.”

    http://www.gregfelton.com/canpol/2008_02_11.htm

    Felton is also a contributor to whatreallyhappened.com, which if you haven’t been there is a fascinating grand central terminal of conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism, 9/11 “Truth”, and other manifestations of paranoia.

  10. oao says:

    it’s either cognitive warfare — putting out a forgery to launch the idea and give it legitimacy — or fantasy — the wish…

    it’s both.

    the increasing appearance of this garbage indicates the danger for israel.

  11. RedPencil says:

    Again, the PDF file is under gregfelton.com. The “speech” is on the front page of gregfelton.com http://www.gregfelton.com/ in place of the “regular column”. In context of Felton’s other writings I think it is clear that he intends this as “satire” as in real life (on the planet where HE lives, anyway!) the UN lies cravenly under the thumb of the “Israel Lobby” and Ban Ki Moon would never tell the “truth” like this.

    So, no, it’s not a “hoax”, at least per the original intent of the author, tho I don’t think he minds if it is taken up and passed on as one.

  12. Greg Felton says:

    Thank you for a most interesting, intelligent discussion of Ban Ki-Moon’s “speech,” despite the predictable, feeble attempts of some of you to discredit me and my website.

    I especially wish to congratulate Red Pencil because he or she is the first person to recognize that this piece of writing is a satire, not a hoax.

    you may be the author, but you’re not the definer of satire. a satire makes fun of a belief that it articulates in terms that are so exaggerated that it’s clear to (most) readers, that the author does not support the position embraced. this is clearly your dream, not something, like eating Irish babies, that you mock. so whatever you want us to believe about your intentions, the text belies them.

    A hoax is a fraud passed off as fact,

    … as for example a speech of Ban Ki-Moon’s carefully imbedded in a fake UN format. -rl

    as in the hoax that Saddam Hussein had WMDs, or that torturing Muslims saves U.S. lives.

    It’s a matter of debate as to whether the WMDs was a mistake or a hoax, and again a matter of debate whether waterboarding terrorists yields useful information, but in either case with torture, unless you have evidence that the actual claims are based on faked evidence, you can’t claim it’s a hoax. your approach seems designed to obviate discussion by dismissing anyone who disagrees with you. you seem to have a limited grasp of the terms you use. -rl

    Ironically, hoaxes are commonplace in the MSM. Though invented, this speech contains historical information that is 100 percent factual, despite Michelle Schatzman’s cognitive denials.

    again, you seem to have a limited grasp of terms. the claim that your joke is “100 percent factual” suggests that you have a tentative grasp on both facts and the empirical reality that lies behind them.

    Thanks also go to Stuart Green for recognizing that my intent was to spawn controversy and discussion about Israel’s war crimes, though the main focus was on its illegitimate UN membership.

    So help me here. Why, after the UN voted Israeli membership did the Arab states, who refused to recognize Israel and instead went to war in an effort to wipe this UN state, were the legitimacy of their memberships not in question?

    I will be writing a follow-up piece soon.

    looking forward. shd be amusing, if nothing else. hope this time you show greater discrimination in trying to reflect on empirical reality. -rl

    Thanks for reading.

    Greg Felton

  13. Michelle Schatzman says:

    @ Greg Felton : you may have thought that you were writing satire. It becomes a hoax on the following pages :

    French site alterinfo.net

    Panier de crabes

    Fatahelbab

    The site suntzu.vox.com has removed its copy of the piece, though it is still referred to in the page of fatahelbab.

    Producing a UN look-alike pdf is certainly completely innocent. And you are totally innocent of provoking nobodies into transforming this pdf “satire” into a hoax.

    I’m afraid that there is not much to add.

    actually there is, the way that blogs that agreed with Greg’s position believed his “satire” proves it’s not a satire. Imagine people citing Swift’s proposal to eat Irish babies seriously — Swift would surely not agree with them. -rl

  14. oao says:

    felton,

    you seem to belabor under the illusion or delusion that the problem with your piece is that it was “satire” and not a hoax. that’s the least of your problem and your whole material speaks for itself.

    you’re what we call a anti-semitic moonbat, as only that could come up with the idea in your piece.

  15. oao says:

    rl,

    i think you made a serious mistake posting your piece about greg felton and his post here demonstrates that it played into his hands.

    a simple google search would have revealed the following. it would have informed you that there is no reason whatsoever to provide any publicity for such an obscure nobody kook that he is.

    Howard Rotberg on the Vancouver Public Library – Greg Felton scandal

    Does our library know there’s another word for anti-Semitism?
    Terry Glavin, Special to the Sun

    More on Greg Felton
    Published by Ben Cohen

  16. Stuart Green says:

    Greg,

    I put “war crimes” in quotation marks for good reason. This site and Seconddraft.org are good places to see why.

    For you, in particular, I recommend Landes’ movies on al-Dura and Pallywood. You will see some brilliant theatrics, but you may not understand how it brings into question your belief system vis-a-vis Israel. That might create cognitive dissonance. Unless, of course, you recognize it for what it is: a well-executed cognitive attack that merits replication (making up a SECGEN’s speech, for instance).

    All,

    Note how Felton admits that he wants to spawn “controversy”. First off, it gives us the answer to Richard’s original question: this is indeed cognitive warfare. We don’t know why Felton in particular is waging it (possibly a bad break-up with a Jewish girlfriend, or having lost his luggage at Ben-Gurion), but we can clearly see that this is, at the very least, a campaign that meshes neatly with those of so many others.

    Secondly, it’s worth pointing out that the introduction of a “controversy” where this is none is a tried and true tactic. A Holocaust denier, for instance, may successfully reference in passing a “controversy” about the number murdered Jews. In most instances, people do not have the time or are not in the right setting to determine whether there is, in fact, a real controversy. The meme for Holocaust doubt is thus subtly implanted, preparing the way for more outrageous ideas later, which then seem more like legitimate “points of view”. Creationists on a mission to mix science with faith have done the same thing. One sometimes hears that there is a “controversy” over evolution in the scientific community, when in fact there is no real debate over the existence of the phenomenon–at least in biology circles.

    Note also the critical role deception plays in the process. There may be a point at which individuals utter falsehoods unknowingly, but how did the false memes first get into the mix? The Palestinian narrative is now a complex tapestry made from both intricate and outrageous lies (occasionally there is a sprinkling of accidental truth, to be sure), but some Palestinian must have been the first to claim that there is no Temple mount in Jerusalem.

    Felton, for his part, clearly made something up with the hope that it would draw attention, even if he genuinely believes the other material he pushes. He claims the “speech” was satire, but he failed to include any humor, instead expending that energy on making it look authentic. He admits that it is made up now, but by the same token states there things in it that are “100 percent factual”. Assuming that Felton refers only to the part about the UN being a political and moral failure, he is at least correct about that.

    I mentioned Schleifer above. In Psychological Warfare, he stated that a half-truth is useful because it is not, “…an outright lie, which might be exposed and thus harm the overall effort to achieve credibility.” If the lie is exposed, the liars can the dilute the accusation by focusing on the true half, attempting to obscure the other half. This is not to imply that Felton and his ilk have much truth to play with, rather that they are constantly shifting our attention–as in a shell game–in order to keep us on the cognitive defensive.

    How then to shut it down?

  17. Michelle Schatzman says:

    hi Stuart,

    Besides the excellent question you asked in conclusion, this is really a case study on how a hoax gets to be created. When I found about it on Sunday, May 17th, it had already become a hoax. In probably less than 6 days after being launched by Felton.

    I watched the “Libération site”, on which I post on these subjects, and after I posted that this was a hoax, the matter did not come up again. The “alterinfo” site is catalogued as extreme right. “Panier de crabes” is so loony that it is beyond political categories.

    Abdellah Ouahhabi introduces humself on his website :

    http://fatahelbab.over-blog.com/article-31599531.html

    he explains why he agreed to support the “liste antisioniste” which is presenting itself to the popular vote in the European elections on June 7th.

    This list is present only in the Paris electoral region. It resembles the former “Europalestine” list, which got especially high votes in some highly muslim areas in 2004, the analogous elections. Globally the vote for Europalestine was extremely low, but there were some important fluctuations.

    The antizionist list is much more agressive than “Europalestine”. It federates a chief of the “Fédération chiite de France”, Mr Gouasmi, who explains that “there is a zionist behind each divorce”, a comic actor by the name of Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, who has developed in his acts a strongly antisemitic undertone, and who remains on the good side of law by substituting “zionist” for “jew”. Being born of a french and white mother and of a black father from Cameroon, he identifies to oppressed blacks, and in particular he considers himself as a descendant of slaves. This claim is dubious, since Cameroon has been as well a center for the sale of slaves, by black merchants.

    Mr M’bala M’bala has been recently indicted for “incitement to racial hatred” after he had stated that he was fighting those who were “former slave-traders who recycled themselves into banking and entertainment”. From the context, the court decided that the “those” he designated were indeed all jews. M’bala M’bala is arguing that he had in mind only the specific jews who were fighting him. Some are, because of his undeniable antisemitic attitudes.

    I believe that he is not worth the effort.

    Another of the known people on this list is a strange character, Alain Soral, who has been a member of the communist party and later a member of the “Front National” (extreme right). He is clearly obsessed by the “zionists”.

    Our beloved president let his right hand man, Mr Claude Guéant, state that the government is looking for ways to prohibit this list from appearing in the elections. Personnally, I do not see on which grounds this could be done, and I would consider a prohibition to be extremely counterproductive. I came to think that Guéant’s declaration is a trap against the extreme left and the left. The idea is that there will be enough morons in areas with high density of muslim immigration to vote for this antizionist list in order for the extreme-left to make a bad showing. One of the collateral advantadges is that high scores of the list in these areas will be very efficient for setting them apart as dangerous zones (which they tend to be), and removing all sympathy for the moslem immigrants who wish to integrate, dumping them with the jihadist elements.

    Either Mr Guéant is very smart, or he is not. In any case, he certainly did a lot for the PR of the antizionist list. We will know shortly whether this list is allowed to run.

    I find it really impressive that a guy who pretends to work for the antizionist list uses as a hoax an “intellectual production” of Mr Grefton. I wondered whether these “antizionist” people were deeply stupid, or whether they agreed with Goebbels’ idea of propaganda “the coarser, the better”. The latter is probably true, unless they are even more stupid than I can imagine.

  18. Greg Felton says:

    Aw, Just when I thought Some people actually understood me. Instead, I get regurgitated stale zionist propaganda (infantile insults, possibly a bad break-up with a Jewish girlfriend, or having lost his luggage at Ben-Gurion, and “holocaust denier moon bat”). It appears that genuine cognitive function among you has been greatly overestimated.

    RL even goes the effort of referencing the libelous attack made about me regarding my lecture at the Vancouver Library. I will be suing Terry Glavin very shortly. (If you can’t tell libel when you see it you have no business offering an opinion on satire.)

    wow! do you consider this libel? good luck in court. smear, maybe. but given the (favorable) descriptions of your book, i’d say, probably not. (feel free to include me in the suit.) -rl

    In case none of you bothered to note, Ban Ki-Moon is such a spineless tool of Israel and the U.S. that this speech could only be understood as satire.

    actually, given Ban Ki-Moon’s sobriety (in comparison with the idiocies of his two most recent predecessors), this could easily be understood as (poor) forgery. you still seem to miss the point about satire: it takes a position it is ridiculing. you are surely not ridiculing the position you attribute to Ban Ki-Moon. do you understand this fairly simple point? -rl

    Also, for the benefit of the dim, zionist Michelle Schatzman, I can hardly be blamed for how other people reproduced to my satire. Also, insulting other sites is a coward’s way of attacking me. Either say something intelligent or don’t say anything at all.

    Finally, Stuart Green wastes bandwidth trying to attack the facts in my satire without once demonstrating any understanding of them.

    Israel is a criminal state; it is illegitimate; and is in violation of tis terms of admission to the UN. All of this is demonstrably provable, as I showed. Denial is not a defensible intellectual position, Mr. Green

    Help me here, Greg. What evidence do you have that there were “terms/conditions” to Israel’s admission to the UN — and documents or discussions you can point to? and while you’re at it, what’s your evidence that the US — which almost didn’t vote for Israel’s admission to the UN — “blackmailed European countries to vote for Israel” (or is that a misrepresentation by your fawning reviewer, Sam Bahour, Ramallah, Palestine?). -rl

    Looks like I’ll have to write a negative opinion of this site.

    oh my gosh. i’m devastated. -rl

    I leave you to your mindless masturbation.

    for someone who wrote a more than 500 page book on how Israel has driven the USA into fascism, we may well be dealing here with projection. -rl

  19. RedPencil says:

    RL [sic, actually oao] even goes the effort of referencing the libelous attack made about me regarding my lecture at the Vancouver Library. I will be suing Terry Glavin very shortly. (If you can’t tell libel when you see it you have no business offering an opinion on satire.)

    I know laws differ but in the U.S. a successful libel suit requires a FALSE claim causing injury. Truth is a defense. Hopefully it is so in Canada as well. Not seeing falsehood in Glavin’s piece.

    In case none of you bothered to note, Ban Ki-Moon is such a spineless tool of Israel and the U.S. that this speech could only be understood as satire.

    OK, NOW you have mastered the humorous element necessary for a satire! The Zionist conspiracy that meets in my basement has not hitherto noticed that Ban Ki Moon is a “spineless tool of Israel”. To put it mildly.

  20. Michelle Schatzman says:

    @ Greg Felton,

    Did the “dim zionist Michelle Schatzman” by any chance insult any web sites or cowardly attack you by stating this :

    Producing a UN look-alike pdf is certainly completely innocent. And you are totally innocent of provoking nobodies into transforming this pdf “satire” into a hoax.

    Whether you know about satire, or you do not, Michelle Schatzman stated clearly your innocence. And she stands by it.

    Anything wrong here?

    The glorious Greg Felton must immediately link his web site to Richard Landes’ web site, since he got a proof here that even a dim zionist acknowledges publicly his innocence, on a very precise topic.

  21. Stu says:

    Greg,

    Wait just a gosh darned minute! I’ll have you know there is nothing mindless about my masturbation!

    All,

    Folks, we’re in serious trouble. The Augean Stables’ biggest fan has threatened a bad review.

    Greg (again),

    “Finally, Stuart Green wastes bandwidth trying to attack the facts in my satire without once demonstrating any understanding of them. Israel is a criminal state; it is illegitimate; and is in violation of tis terms of admission to the UN. All of this is demonstrably provable, as I showed. Denial is not a defensible intellectual position, Mr. Green.”

    Picture me saying this in as dry a monotone as conceivably possible: “Rats, you win. I’m overwhelmed by both your facts and your unshakable grip on the context. You have intellectually trounced us all.”

    Seriously, though, my time really would be better spent on the aforementioned mindless activities. Felton is obviously a good one to study, but not interact with.

  22. obsy says:

    Greg Felton: “as in the hoax that Saddam Hussein had WMDs, or that torturing Muslims saves U.S. lives.”

    I haven’t heard anybody say that torturing Muslims saves U.S. lives until now.
    I have heard people talk about torturing Terrorists to get information that might save lives – including the lives of U.S citizens. I guess when your on the far left or right you loose the ability to differentiate.

    Another funny thing is that extreme leftists only care about the USA.
    It is about US-lives.
    It is only about US-allies.
    It doesn’t matter that Saddam was a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people. Suppose WMD were a lie. You cannot base your decisions simply on whether somebody lied to you. That ignores all important fact. Look around at this blog. We could say, “Al Dura was a lie therefore Israel is the good guy.” We consider hard questions about Israel and ourself, look at the facts and discuss issues in their context. I don’t think that you have that ability.

    In case none of you bothered to note, Ban Ki-Moon is such a spineless tool of Israel and the U.S. that this speech could only be understood as satire.

    I never noticed that. Even now that you say it, I can’t see it. It sounds completely insane.
    Do you complain only here that this was not noticed or do you complain at that leftists sites, too, that haven’t noticed that Ban Ki-Moon is a Zionist-tool? Somehow as leftists they should have noticed that – so maybe your obvious “facts” here are not so obvious or not so true.

  23. Stu says:

    And speaking of studying Felton, check out the discussion at this site: http://bclaifc.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/greg-felton-at-vpl/

    There is one contributor, vildechaye, who beautifully describes Felton’s tactics, most of which we have seen here. The best part is that, having been accused of getting nasty, he “defends” himself by getting even nastier. I’m reminded of the Arabs who rioted over being offended by violent depictions of Islam in the cartoon scandal.

    I do think Felton is a good case study, but only to a certain point. The venemous/rabid attacks he inevitably devolves to (I’ve looked at a few of his online discussions) tend to discredit him. Thus, he is dangerous as a cognitive warrior, but not the most dangerous. His venom will tend to tip off some who might otherwise be convinced of his “facts.” Watch out Felton-types, to be sure, but really beware of the smiling smooth talker. Felton is more of a stooge, or middle management at best.

  24. obsy says:

    Greg,

    imagine that some evil rightwing Zionist guy would have written a text like yours in which Ban Ki-Moon would have said something about that the majority of Palestinians voted for the terrorist group Hamas and still supports them. And that therefore the UN would withdraw from the Palestinian camps and stop all support for the Palestinian people until this situation would change, because maintaining the current circumstances the UN would offer more support to a terrorist group than a legitimate people.

    Let’s say this evil rightwing Zionist guy would make an effort to let this document look like an official UN piece.

    Let’s say this document becomes spread among rightwing Zionist websites as truth, but that author wouldn’t care to correct them.

    Then one day a centrist site would take a look at this document and make an article about the document’s faults and ask about the author’s intention.

    Let’s say that somebody claiming to be the author would post comments at that site (and only that site) insulting other commentators and defending the author with the argument that he is just completely misunderstood.

    What would you think of that?

    Please answer this question privately to yourself. It will be hard enough for you to be honest with yourself even in private.

  25. oao says:

    We don’t know why Felton in particular is waging it (possibly a bad break-up with a Jewish girlfriend, or having lost his luggage at Ben-Gurion)

    he came out of the woodwork thinking that his no-career can be resuscitated by demonizing the jew; he took a place in a long line, though. and he found some multiculti idiot at the public library to give him a platform.

    may have had something to do with his being kicked out as a reporter after a very short time on the job, spewing the same crap (see the links I posted above).

    In most instances, people do not have the time or are not in the right setting to determine whether there is, in fact, a real controversy.

    precisely. and the more ignorant and unable to reason the audience, the more effective this technique. here the collapse of education is critical.

    How then to shut it down?

    there is a need to shut it down only when it is given publicity. once it is given — by the library and now RL — it’s hard to shut down, because it’s already a “controversy” to which serious people gave attention and accorded importance.

    Another of the known people on this list is a strange character, Alain Soral, who has been a member of the communist party and later a member of the “Front National” (extreme right). He is clearly obsessed by the “zionists”.

    validation of the left righ continuum being a circle where the extremes meet; the hatred of jews unite the kooks as much as it unites the arabs.

    I wondered whether these “antizionist” people were deeply stupid, or whether they agreed with Goebbels’ idea of propaganda “the coarser, the better”.

    because they are stupid and ignoranr intellectually they must be shrewd procedurally to get anywhere. they succeed only when the relatively smarter intellectually but less so procedurally give them a platform.

    The Zionist conspiracy that meets in my basement has not hitherto noticed that Ban Ki Moon is a “spineless tool of Israel”. To put it mildly.

    he got spineless correctly; it’s just that he is spineless in the opposite direction. i suspect that his evidence that moon is a zionist tool is the fact that he has not kicked israel out of the un. yet.

    Did the “dim zionist Michelle Schatzman” by any chance insult any web sites or cowardly attack you by stating this

    pay attention to what RL’s posting has done: you’ve been spending considerable time and effort to respond to this idiot and now you’re even defending yourself against his moronic accusations, instead of the other way around. this proves how wrong it was for RL to pay any attention to him.

    “Rats, you win. I’m overwhelmed by both your facts and your unshakable grip on the context. You have intellectually trounced us all.”

    that’s why it’s important not to give them attention. once it was given, it’s important to call the nonsense as such rather than waste once time arguing with him that his nonsense is nonsense. that’s where he wins, because the exchange seem to validate some value to his nonsense.

    I guess when your on the far left or right you loose the ability to differentiate.

    i am not sure he’s either left or right. he’s just an opporunistic moron who is riding the wagon of anti-semitism to get any attention. his arguments are too stupid.

    It sounds completely insane.

    and it may well be: utter failure as a moron can drive one to insane hatred. that’s what drove hitler, remember? this is what drives the jihadis too.

    There is one contributor, vildechaye, who beautifully describes Felton’s tactics, most of which we have seen here.

    only because RL gave him entry.

    Thus, he is dangerous as a cognitive warrior, but not the most dangerous.

    he is made dangerous when the serious give him publicity.

    His venom will tend to tip off some who might otherwise be convinced of his “facts.”

    the jihadis made such venom (and worse) acceptable, and for an ignorant and unable to reason audience this may no longer be a warning.

  26. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Hey oao, for once, I tend to agree with you. Yes, I did lose time with this Greg person. But anyway, today my bad health makes itself known beyond my usual level of comfort, and I am not able to do much better than curse my disease and anything that could have the slightest resemblance to it.

  27. Richard Landes says:

    oao, i appreciate your position on Greg, but i don’t agree. first off, i find this back and forth fascinating.

    Greg’s notions of “fact” “satire” “debate” “insult” “libel” “truth” and a host of other terms he use provide almost a dictionary of — let’s find a term for this — one of many people who, for want of a better term, live in a solepsistic universe where they mistake their fantasies for reality. Damian Thompson wrote about this at length in his book, Counterknowledge (which i think you will find particularly interesting.

    similarly, his modus operandi, described in part by the quotation below from vildechaye, is especially revealing and displayed in some detail here:

    Claim that everything he’s ever said is totally rooted in fact and daring anyone to disprove a single fact: of course, when you do, he simply gets abusive and/or ignoring what you said and repeating the same mantra about how everything he writes is factually accurate over and over.

    i also liked the comment about how any opposition is organized by the israel lobby, “as if no one could be independent and support israel.” there is an important element of megalomania in paranoia, in that the paranoid imagines that vast numbers of people have nothing better to do with their time than plot against little old them.

    as for your fear of my legitimating him, i really doubt that there is any likely impact of my having discussed his forgery here in terms of burnishing his reputation. if you have evidence to the contrary, please let me know.

    and lastly, i think that many of the comments here, in particular those of Stuart and responses to him, are very valuable.

  28. oao says:

    well, you know, when i’m right, i’m right and even you cannot deny it :).

    sorry about your illness and wish you feel better. however, dealing with the likes of felton is not exactly conducive to health, no?

  29. oao says:

    here’s evidence that venom is becoming respectable and it becomes so due to the collapse of education.

  30. Michelle Schatzman says:

    dealing with the likes of felton is not exactly conducive to health, no?

    Hence :

    curse my disease and anything that could have the slightest resemblance to it

    :-) :-) :-)

  31. Michelle Schatzman says:

    oao, your

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/33752_Paulians_Pushing_for_Judge_Napolitano

    is hungarian to me. Or maybe finnish or basque.

    By the way, did I already mention that Cato the Ancient used to repeat “delenda est Carthago”. Even if it took time, the Romans deleted Carthage. But they had the appropriate destruction technology.

    How many times can you repeat that education has collapsed? If you said that education should be destroyed, I might have observations about that. If you said it should be reconstructed, I might also have observations. But if you keep repeating that education has collapsed, what do you get out of this statement?

    It is a *real* question, not one devised in order to push your buttons.

  32. oao says:

    But if you keep repeating that education has collapsed, what do you get out of this statement?

    because is the root cause that is at the root of most of the stuff that is argued here, yet people don’t get at the root at all and seek solutions which are rather its consequences.

    the necessary way to reverse the decline of the west is to institute education as i define it but because this won’t be done i conclude that the west is gone.

  33. oao says:

    i left my profession after 25+ years because it has deteriorated into a collection of morons like felton and it became a quality of life issue for me: i am overfamiliar with the phenomenon and i never found it as fascinating, but rather a depressing sort of sickness.

    as for your fear of my legitimating him, i really doubt that there is any likely impact of my having discussed his forgery here in terms of burnishing his reputation. if you have evidence to the contrary, please let me know.

    you are not exactly legitimizing him. you are simply creating the impression that his stuff is worthy of attention and debunking. the vast majority of the public who is not knowledgeable either about the substance or the technique see serious people arguing with and about him and length and think he is worth of attention.

    that’s why i believe it’s better to ignore him or simply state that he is a moron.

    there is nothing i don;t know about felton and his ilk.

  34. Michelle Schatzman says:

    I’m sorry, oao, but you replied to a question that I did not ask.

    I asked you But if you keep repeating that education has collapsed, what do you get out of this statement?

    Maybe, this question was not clear. I will therefore reformulate it.

    What do you expect from the repetition of your statement about the collapse of education, since you do not develop a practical way of implementing your program?

    Then, there is a subsidiary question:

    Do you have a web page, which describes your educational principles?

  35. obsy says:

    Michelle,

    I can’t talk for oao (especially because I disagree with him about the root cause), but I would like to say something about your implicit implication, because it touches a point that I repeat often.

    People who think they have found the solution to a problem often are willing to compromise on other or related issues to get their solution implemented. When their solution is wrong, this becomes a problem.
    Think about those people who believe that everything would become fine if the Palestinians could live in an autonomous state and Israel would just ignore attacks from individual terror groups.

    When you start with illusions, you will get bad conclusions. It is an important task to show people that they are wrong. If nobody can solve a significant root problem, the problem can’t be solved.
    In this case ceding anything important to solve this problem will be wasted in vain.

    Things get even worse when people see their failure, but do not want to admit their stupidity. That is when they become real morons.

    Of cause when you aim to low and go energetically for a bad solution while betters are possible, you ruin a good outcome.
    So key is to know the situation on all levels as best as possible. Complex situation require long and hard investigations. And in the end you will never reach the optimum.

    I am currently disappointed with popular line of thought:
    People are generally good.
    Muslims are people.
    Muslims are generally good.
    Anything bad must come from big financial companies and secret services and states and complex conspiracies …

    I think even the root is questionable here.

  36. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Obsy,

    I just do not get your point. What do you think my implicit implication is? I just can’t figure out what you have in mind.

    Thanks.

  37. Rich Rostrom says:

    Stuart Green: “It does not matter if an allegation is wholly true as long as it keeps the enemy on the defense.”

    Lyndon Johnson once told his aides to circulate a rumor that an opposing candidate had “carnal knowledge” of his farm animals. The aides told him “No one will believe that!” Johnson said “I don’t care if anyone believes it – I just want to make the son-of-a-bitch deny it.”

  38. oao says:

    I asked you But if you keep repeating that education has collapsed, what do you get out of this statement?

    i did, but you did not catch it: in general people ignore what i think is the root cause which dooms the west. they discuss a lot of issues which make some contributions, but in the absence of education to reinstitute knowledge and ability to reason the west is doomed even without islam knocking down its doors. each time i see people beat around the bush i must remind them that they do.

    that the root problem is the collapse of education is also why the collapse could not be prevented and cannot be reversed. collective choice/public goods theory makes it abundantly clear why that is.

    Do you have a web page, which describes your educational principles?

    i have a web page involving my profession which, if read, offers enough to infer some of that. but i described the characteristics of that education in several of the threads here. generally, it should emphasize HOW not WHAT people should think. it should instill appreciation for knowledge and its acquisition and ability to reason. this means it should consist of classics, logic and debating, philosophy, comparative history of cultures and religions, etc.

    practically none of this is currently present in the curriculla.

  39. oao says:

    and even if there was an intention to institute such a program, there are not enough capable cadres to do it, because that knowledge and talent has been reduced to just a few who are disappearing altogether.

    but of course, the intention is not there and it’ll never come back.

  40. oao says:

    I am currently disappointed with popular line of thought

    the west has been dominant for a long time and is not used to fight for survival anymore. what it has pushed it into progress and dominance was the advance of secularism (out of religion) via education. but, like all dominants has become decadent–a natural process–and now it is in denial that it cannot and will not recover.

    all the discussions here about “solutions” are mostly grinding water. it has to do with the psychological difficulties of accepting that there is no solution. that’s also why those who argue it are being criticized, downplayed and even demonized. in fact, that’s a clear indicator that at some level it is understood that they are right.

  41. oao says:

    “I don’t care if anyone believes it – I just want to make the son-of-a-bitch deny it.”

    karl rove made a huge career out of it.

    but there is a critical aspect at work here: it is part and parcel of the decline of the west due to decadence: the acceptability of untruths for the sake of achieving one’s objective.

    truth is critical for the long-term viability and progress of a social system. but once dishonesty becomes acceptable and effective for ANY purpose via lack of socialization and enforcement from childhood, it will permeate the society and bring it down.

  42. Stuart Green says:

    oao,

    “in general people ignore what i think is the root cause which dooms the west…”

    Well, the jihadists didn’t ignore it. That’s where they stuck one of their biggest daggers. I don’t know what you think of Walid Phares, but I have found his book Future Jihad fascinating so far. Check out this:

    “…the Wahabi assault on the nation’s mind targeted the academic world first. As of the early 1980s, significant amounts of petrodollars started to find their way to universities, research centers, and public libraries across the country… the epicenter of cultural jihad is right there: in the funding imposed on the curriculum and the hiring of teachers…. In the new textbooks, there was no Islamic conquest, no fatah, no jihad. There were no conquered peoples and no identity crises in the region. But more important, the Salafis were presented as mere ‘reformers’ and the Wahabis as just ‘conservatives.’ The Islamists were mutated into forces of change, but not regressive ‘change’ toward the caliphate of the Middle Ages…. Last but not least, jihad was painted as a spiritual inner experience, almost a yoga exercise…. ”

    Phares explains how the intellectual de-fanging accelerated. After memes found purchase in student minds, groups like the Middle East Studies Association of America (MESA) would

    “anoint new generations of Middle East studies graduates [thereby putting] even more teachers in the classrooms…. From the classroom, the graduates were picked up to serve either as teachers for future classrooms or as public servants in agencies—State Department, Congress, embassies, and beyond.”

    I would say that the world of intelligence is by no means immune to these effects.

  43. Michelle Schatzman says:

    oao, I am still lacking an answer. I can feel that this is bothering you, but I would really know what you have to say. The beginning of your post is:

    I asked you But if you keep repeating that education has collapsed, what do you get out of this statement?

    i did, but you did not catch it:

    I simply do not understand what your “i did” refers to. I do not unerstand either what the last “it” stands for.

    At the end of paragraph 2, you also state:

    each time i see people beat around the bush i must remind them that they do.

    That they do what? beat around the bush?

    I’m stuck.

    Now, on to an easier discussion.

    You say :

    “generally, it should emphasize HOW not WHAT people should think. it should instill appreciation for knowledge and its acquisition and ability to reason. this means it should consist of classics, logic and debating, philosophy, comparative history of cultures and religions, etc.”

    and I approve completely. But this education still exists, though. Not everywhere, far from it. But in Italy people still learn latin, and in Germany too, though much less than 20 years ago. And I would bet that you can get this kind of education in Oxbridge. If you are a student of an Ecole Normale Supérieure in France, you also get it, provided that you enter a literary curriculum. And this includes ancient greek, of course. I guess that there are also pockets in Switzerland where you can get all of that too. I do not know for other european countries.

    Assume that the doom you prophetize comes. What is the first task before its coming? identify and protect this kind of knowledge. Keep producing and reproducing people who master it.

    If you picture the situation in France in the 19th century, I would bet that there were not that many more high school teachers of greek and latin than there are now, simply because so few people went to high school at that time.

    It is plain that this type of education was spread more widely fifty years ago than now. Any bourgeois or petty-bourgeois family would plan to give it to thei children, if they were smart enough to learn it. Fifty years ago, a french m.d. would have gone through such a curriculum, and I clearly remember my latin teachers explaining that latin and greek were good if you intended to go through medical school, since it would help you a lot to learn medicalese.

    The argument was not very good, unfortunately…

    My six years of latin and my five years of ancient greek left little in me in terms of knowledge. But they were not lost time. Learning ancient languages, learning languages in general is good for the soul, and it definitely helps for learning other stuff.

    The HOW instead of WHAT is the difficult part, and it has always been. If you have a small system of secondary education, then you may put enough money per teacher for their qualification to be high. A very highly qualified teacher, who moreover happens to have an independent mind will teach the HOW, because he is a master of his field and he will not fear thought.

    If you increase the size of a system of higher education, you have to hire more teachers, and you cannot avoid hiring people closer to average. While they can still be qualified, they will have less of an autonomous way of thinking. They will have just a bit less of mastery of their fiel but much less confidence with themselves, and they will fear thought. So they will put more WHAT and less HOW.

    When you get a really big system, as we have in the modern societies, the bureaucracy takes the system over. It has several consequences : less value for independent thought, pressure for applying educational theories, which are usually not scientifically proved and subject to fad and fashion, conformism, and a long list of other evils, on which you would probably agree. The larger the system, the lower it has to dig in the pool of talent for its hirings. Next, you see that teachers consider themselves as provider of a rather indifferent service, they are often ill-treated, they organize, putting more inertia into it.

    This kind of thought was already deeveloped in certain sectors in the sixties. I know, since I read it, and it was certainly at the core of the opposition to the french May ’68 student troubles.

    The big, big, big ideological lie was that, if you just schooled everybody, then everybody would become smart, creative and an independent thinker and the sky would be the limit.

    I certainly belong to a generation that lied itself into this trap. There was just one limitation, which was wilfully ignored by me and people of my age. We just would not factor in our thought the simple observation that learning takes time, and not everyone learns at the same velocity.

    If one is willing to work hard, I can testify that he will improve his level in whatever pursuits he tackles. I saw it in my students when I was a university professor, and in general I saw it in my colleagues and grad students in mathematics, my job since ’70.

    Nevertheless, people reach varied levels. The sky is the limit, but the height of individual skys varies. Moreover, the level of creativity is something we control even less than the ease of learning.

    One of the big difficulties in democracy – and this is something that Alexis de Tocqueville had clearly seen in 19th century America, is that equality before the law tends to turn into a demand for equality of conditions. The first one is an essential ingredient of democratic society, while the second one weakens them. So capitalism invented the competition between individuals for money and a better car, and a more beautiful house and so on.

    Knowledge and education and culture not being things, or ordinary services, they cannot be managed only through markets.

    An ordinary service is getting a haircut. Whether I participate in the conversation with the barber/hairdresser or not, I get a haircut. I just need hair on my head for that and money in my wallet.

    If I want to learn enough latin to read De Bello Gallico (The war of the Gauls) in the latin original, by Caesar, I cannot buy the dedication needed to learn enough latin, with grammar, declensions, verbs, syntax, the use of a dictionary and so on. The language of De Bello Gallico is not difficult. If I remember correctly, we read it at school after about two years of latin, so it must have been around the age of thirteen.

    I am an absolute devotee of democracy, and I do not know how to instill the thought that you can buy a haircut but you cannot buy the competence to read De Bello Gallico in the latin original.

    You can buy a translation, you can buy the time of a teacher or tutor, you can buy books and electronic aids, but you have to acquire the linguistic competence. The competence for reading De Bello Gallico in the latin original is exactly as useful as a fancy haircut. You get it for its sheer beauty. OK, some haircuts are out of fashion, which reinforces my metaphor.

    For Stu : do my observations fit into your frame of memes? Say memes about how democracy is set up and functions?

  44. Michelle Schatzman says:

    rl, can you do me a favor and remove my ugly boldface starting from “You can buy a translation”. Thanks :-).

  45. oao says:

    Well, the jihadists didn’t ignore it. That’s where they stuck one of their biggest daggers.

    that was not difficult: they know all about early indoctrination, that’s what teir regimes are predicated on.

    But this education still exists, though.

    not anywhere near levels that it would facilitate survival, let alone progress. and it’s decreasing, rather than increasing. and just learning ancient languages is certainly not it.

    now, you will forgive me, but i stated a few times before that reading long posts is not my cup of soup. i simply don’t like on screen reading for fore than a few very succincts paragraphs. you can see that this is my style here. sorry.

  46. oao says:

    I simply do not understand what your “i did” refers to. I do not unerstand either what the last “it” stands for.

    reread my answer to your question that prompted this statement and tell me what you did not understand.

    the point is that people keep running away from arguments or evidence that there is no solution and i don’t want to let them.

  47. oao says:

    here’s an example of what passes for education in the us:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Freshwater

    while in europe secular religion is substituted for religion, and the reaction against it is neo-nazis and fascist.

    can you see a way out of it that will not defy the logic of collective action?

  48. obsy says:

    Michelle,

    But if you keep repeating that education has collapsed, what do you get out of this statement?

    Suggests that you can’t imagine a reason for oao’s frequent statement.

    I’m sorry, oao, but you replied to a question that I did not ask.

    Implies that it is not reason enough for you, that its expression is true and important (root cause) to oao.

    What do you expect from the repetition of your statement about the collapse of education, since you do not develop a practical way of implementing your program?

    Same as the first question plus a generalization that results from your stated reasoning:
    Which suggests that you cannot think of a good reason to emphasize an important and true problem unless you do not develop a way to overcome it which looks practicable.

    As I said, I can’t answer your question. I’m not oao. But I could and did pick up the implication.

  49. Michelle Schatzman says:

    oao, I am sorry about your not liking to read long text on screen. You might consider printing…

    In #35, I posted:

    I’m sorry, oao, but you replied to a question that I did not ask.

    I asked you But if you keep repeating that education has collapsed, what do you get out of this statement?

    Maybe, this question was not clear. I will therefore reformulate it.

    What do you expect from the repetition of your statement about the collapse of education, since you do not develop a practical way of implementing your program?

    You answer in #39

    I asked you But if you keep repeating that education has collapsed, what do you get out of this statement?

    i did, but you did not catch it: in general people ignore what i think is the root cause which dooms the west. they discuss a lot of issues which make some contributions, but in the absence of education to reinstitute knowledge and ability to reason the west is doomed even without islam knocking down its doors. each time i see people beat around the bush i must remind them that they do.

    that the root problem is the collapse of education is also why the collapse could not be prevented and cannot be reversed. collective choice/public goods theory makes it abundantly clear why that is.

    I have trouble with possible typos, use of punctuation and lack of antecedent for certain pronouns. Form rereading lots of mathematics, I bet that something simple is missing here and you do not see it, because it is simple.

  50. obsy says:

    oao,

    I agree that our civilization has already seen its best days and it will (continue to ) go down big time (much faster). But it makes a difference how far it goes down. There are many levels of “bad” or “worse”.

    Barry Rubin wrote:

    This is the basic American doctrine of what might be called deterministic optimism: either history is moving toward better things or it isn’t moving at all. There is something very American in saying that something “hasn’t produced results” when they really mean hasn’t produced good results.

    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/05/inside-obamas-brain-on-middle-east.html

    In our case I wouldn’t call it “deterministic optimism”. Nevertheless it looks similar.

    Making something reduce less is as important as making something improve more.
    If we end up with something better than sharia, we have won something. If we end up much better than sharia, we have won a lot.

  51. Michelle Schatzman says:

    obsy, I can figure out many reasons for oao to repeat his statement. But I’d rather hear his reasons than make up mine. I am personnally wary of all-encompassing root causes and of apocalyptical statements. If I allowed myself to make up oao’s reasons, I would probably make up reasons which would reinforce my prejudice. But, since I am aware of the possibility of this prejudice, I take the longer way, and ask oao for his answer.

  52. Michelle Schatzman says:

    John Freshwater burnt two of his students and he is not in jail?

  53. oao says:

    I am personnally wary of all-encompassing root causes and of apocalyptical statements.

    education is necessary (and thus, root cause) but not a sufficient cause. without addressing it, everything else will not solve much.

    it is no bias. if you carefully analyze most of the other causes you will find that they are all predicated on the lack of knowledge and ability to reason and that can only be addressed by proper education.

    here’s another interesting piece. there are others who say these things much better than i do, often because they are more knowledgeable and better reasoning than i.

    on the inversions of being “progressive”
    http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2009/05/elsewhere-11.html

  54. Michelle Schatzman says:

    John Freshwater got a degree in education at Ohio University. So I looked at the web site of the departemet of education of OU. What they are teaching now in this department, even for specialized teachers, is at a very low level. It is easier for me to have a professional appreciation of this in the case of mathematics, and I guess it is not really better for science. In fact, I have known about the bad reputation of departments of education for many years. I just never took the trouble to look at their academic programs. We keep complaining about the low level of education we give to french teachers, but they seem to know twice what the american teachers have to know…

    The US should have been more grateful to the Soviets : at least Sputnik 1 provoked a significant enhancement of the level of teaching in the US. I remember hearing the little satellite on the radio – my father had gotten has children to listen to it at night.

  55. Michelle Schatzman says:

    The David Thompson page: nothing really new to my eyes.

  56. obsy says:

    Michelle, wonderful.

    Let’s stop our dialog about this topic here.
    You might want to have a look at pragmatics, if you are interested to dive in deeper.

  57. Eliyahu says:

    Michelle, hope that your health situation improves.

    Now on felton’s claims:
    – every state that wants UN membership is supposed to fulfill conditions. Israel was not the only one. All members are supposed to abide by /to observe/respect/fulfill/ the UN Charter. Iran for instance violates many parts of international law. It has violated the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty to which it is a signatory, for one thing. Israel did not sign and is thus not in violation. Anyhow, the NPT treaty is problematic and toothless, as we see.

    Iran has violated the UN charter by threatening war against Israel.

    – in re the presence of WMDs and WMD reasearch facilities in Iraq up to 2003. There is reason to believe that they were present in Iraq. Israeli pm Sharon mentioned officially in the fall of 2002 that much of Iraq’s WMD research infrastructure was being moved to Syria.
    A truck-mounted laboratory much like the sketch showed to the UN security council by Colin Powell was found in Iraq by a team of US researchers after the war.
    There have been several reports by Syrian oppositionists/dissidents of Iraqi WMD facilities having been transferred to Syria. These are in addition to Sharon’s earlier statement.
    Raphael Israeli, a researcher at the Truman Institute of the Hebrew U, wrote a detailed article on the subject of ABC weapons in Nativ. See link:

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2007/10/for-oil-or-for-new-world-order.html

  58. oao says:

    What they are teaching now in this department, even for specialized teachers, is at a very low level.

    i knew it because it is obvious even without looking it up.

    recently my wife, who is a foreign MD, went through a master program in epidemiology at the UoSC at Columbia.
    it was hard for me to believe that something like that is called an academic department: the degree of ignorance, incompetence and corruption is mindboggling.

    there are tons of places like this and even the better ones are deteriorating.

  59. oao says:

    some here deplore israel’s failure at PR.

    well, there is only in one aspect that i agree israel made a critical mistake: it did not lodge as strong a position on this as the arabs did at their end:

    http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/001031.html

    other than this i don’t think anything would have made one iota of difference.

  60. oao says:

    there are other greg feltons who don’t just foam at the mouth, but act:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/33765_White_Supremacists_Plan_to_Recruit_at_July_4th_Tea_Parties

    looks like america is not excepted from the same processes in europe: crises are dangerous, they bring the kooks out of the woodwork–both legt and right.

  61. oao says:

    more evidence of the consequences of the collapse of knowledge and reason:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/33763_More_Diseases_Coming_Back_Thanks_to_Anti-Vaxers

  62. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Knowledge, reason, woo and vaccination : I love the following site

    http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/

    Their politics are not as rational and knowledgeable as their anti-woo fight. But their anti-woo fight is just great.

  63. oao says:

    well, you know, i don’t need to invent new terms to understans what’s happening.

  64. Michelle Schatzman says:

    oao, stop acting childish. Remember, you said you are an old geezer. If you are a childish old geezer, then it means that you are an alzheigeezer, and that would be too sad.

    :-)

    I guess you did not even look at the web site I mentioned. They developed a rather interesting characterization of the argumentation of denialists.

    They list
    - conspiracy,
    - selectivity (cherry-picking),
    - fake experts,
    - impossible expectations (also known as moving goalposts),
    - general fallacies of logic.

    This works exactly as in propalestinian discourse in MSM.

    Same spinelessness, same tools, same perversity.

  65. Michelle Schatzman says:

    It is interesting that it has taken about 2 weeks for a jewish organization to protest the UN. I’m glad they did. I’m afraid it’s too late.

  66. [...] Arab-Israel conflict. It begins with a response from Mark Weitzman of the Weisenthal Center about the forgery we discussed last week. Ostroff warns that they may be dismissing it too lightly since Pravda has posted it as true and [...]

  67. oao says:

    oao, stop acting childish. Remember, you said you are an old geezer. If you are a childish old geezer, then it means that you are an alzheigeezer, and that would be too sad.

    well, we may be even, as i think that all these creative attempts to find new concepts via classification of existing concepts in order to appear to have a new perspective or understanding is rather childish itself and i find it rather unnecessary for understanding what’s going on.

    and that’s because i am an old geezer — it’s very hard to impress me, particularly with new ways of looking at old things.

    it is an attempt to de

  68. Greg Felton says:

    Hi There:

    I’d just like to thank you all for making my satire such a success. (Yes, that’s “satire.”)

    Here’s my commentary on the reaction: “In a corrupt world,nothing succeeds like satire!”
    http://www.gregfelton.com/media/2009_06_15.htm

    By the way, Israel is unique in violating its terms of admission, contrary to what Eliyahu and his ilk would have you believe. Also, Iran is not in violation of the NPT. That’s propaganda, a false meme as Stuart would say.

    End communication.

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