Miserable Signs of the Times: Swedes and Yalies

Apologies to my readers for my long absence during several important events. A brief update and list of articles worth considering for discussion. I am now in a better position to both post and pay attention to the excellent discussions some of you readers have been maintaining while I lurked.

Swedish article on Organ Transplant

Among the most significant items on which I need to post has been Aftonbladet controversy, the Swedish article accusing the Israelis of engaging in harvesting organs from dead Palestinians, what many — justifiably to my mind — consider a modern blood libel. By now, it’s clear — and avowed — that the author has no evidence for his claims, and even the families involved admit that they never made the claims. Barry Rubin has some excellent remarks on Facebook about why, even though the media openly admits to holding Israel to a higher standard, it’s equally if not more important for the media to be careful with Israel, given the long history of libels against it.

So if you say that you hold Jews to higher standards remember equally that they have been treated, misexplained, misunderstood and lied about to lower standards. That there are people–often the main supposed witnesses to the things you denounce Israel for–who have a vested interest in making Israel look bad and who are willing to lie, along with reporters and others who have an antagonism to Israel. What are you doing to correct that side of the balance?

I’m going to hold you to a higher standard in your coverage of Israel for the same reason.

Dershowitz addresses the Swedish government’s invocation of “freedom of the press” as an excuse for them to weigh in on this.

Israeli spokespeople have hit back hard on this, both officially and unofficially. Below is Mordechai Kedar’s responses to the author of the piece, Donald Bostrom, in which he mentions al Durah and invokes Pallywood. Note how Bostrom starts by saying, “It’s not up to me to have any evidence…” How do you think Kedar comes off?

One of my correspondents shudders at Kedar’s performance.

This TV interview with Kedar and Bostrom is a disaster. Bostrom comes across as the calm, reasonable speaker. Kedar is overheated and makes unsupported allegations that Palestinians are “compulsive liars” and have a conspiracy—these remarks make him look like a racist. Kedar is right, but his delivery completely undercuts his own message.

Bostrom, on the other hand, is a poster-boy for Pallywood, as it manifests in journalism. Not only are Palestinian witnesses “as good as anyone’s”, but the work of the NGOs and other journalists in having Israel as a daily human rights violator, make anything the Palestinians claim perfectly believable.

Yale University Press and the Danish Cartoon Book without Danish Cartoons.

The appalling decision of Yale U. Press not to publish the cartoons out of concern for the sensitivity of Muslims is, among many issues, a perfect illustration of the role of experts (the unanimous 12 who recommended not to publish the cartoons) of the role of an anomalous consensus among our elites whose opinions matter. All twelve? No one i respect who thinks on the issue of how we deal with militant Islam would have recommended so pusillanimous a course. Was there not one person in the bunch to say something like this?

This is absurd. Of course you publish the cartoons. Their almost entirely anodine nature is part of the story.

muhammad cartoonist sweating

It attests to the nature of the violent response, which was the bullying of a newly empowered advocacy community: global Jihadis who feel that Muslim sharia should rule the planet. Not to publish would be to act like dhimmi. It would replicate all the errors that were made at the time of the event, in which America’s failure to publish the cartoonbs in every paper at once betrayed Europeans behaving bravely, and signaled to the Islamist triumphalists that indeed the whole world was vulnerable to their demands.

Or just a simple, “don’t be ridiculous.”

In any case, the “unanimous 12″ strike me as the most significant elemnt in this lamentable story. It’s testimony to the Emperor’s New Clothes effect. The court has so taken control of the discourse that the simplest and most obvious responses are not merely “voted down,” but excluded. Let’s not forget that the emperor and his court carried on the charade even after the crowd had turned against the hegemonic discourse in which the emperor’s clothes were dazzling.

But this issue is not confined to Yale alone. This essay, by Yale senior Matt Shaffer, about his time at Yale gives an intellectual backgrtound to this court consensus.

Condemning prejudice is great, but devoting the keynote speech of Yale orientation to a finger-wagging lecture against bigotry, as Professor Yoshino did, was like opening a conference of physicists with a warning on the dangers of astrology. In short, Despite Dean Salovey’s assertion that, “We will help you learn how to think rather than tell you what to think,” it looked more and more that they were going to teach us neither how to think nor what to think, but rather, what to feel.

That evening, things went from mere disappointment to sheer farce. Tedious lectures turned into indoctrination. We were required to attend ‘discussions’ with our freshman counselors about Professor Yoshino’s speech. The freshman counselor set the tone, and then student after student performed a series of variations upon a single theme: white men are bad, Islam is fabulous and judgment is bad. We need to be eternally vigilant and morally courageous in the face of the innumerable male WASP bigots around us. (Why we are allowed to judge white people as bad and Islam as good when judgment is supposedly forbidden is beyond my ken.)

This article — despite it’s somwhat archaic conclusion about truth beauty and goodness — supports the folllowing lllustrated metaphor in some detail. When I first read this cartoon (HT Michelle Saltzman) I confess to feeling uneasy. The packaging is harsh; the insights, given Shaffer’s reflections, seem quite accurate. Is it Kedar-style? Or something else.

269 Responses to Miserable Signs of the Times: Swedes and Yalies

  1. Aftonbladet is a freaking TABLOID! Why would anyone pay attention to it? How many people get upset about the stories of werewolves or alien abductions?

  2. Eliyahu says:

    As a matter of fact, Aftonbladet is owned by Swedish trade unions that are allied to the ruling social demophobic party of Sweden. It also seems to be an organ of the Swedish foreign ministry. What is more significant here, perhaps, is that Bostrom made some of the same body parts accusations in a book that he published in 2001, “Inshallah.” And that book was subsidized by the Swedish foreign ministry, according to the Israeli Hebrew daily Ma`ariv. See partial translation here:

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2009/08/scandalous-sanctimonious-sinister.html

    This explains, perhaps, why carl bildt, swedish foreign minister, refused to condemn the blood libel. After all, the foreign ministry had already paid to disseminate that libel [in 2001]. Why would they want to condemn THE FOREIGN MINISTRY’S OWN LIBEL. If the FM had paid to spread the libel, then they must have wanted to spread it, one would think. However, at this time, they may be playing coy and do not yet want to widely publicize the fact that they paid for Bostrom’s hate book. See link:

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2009/08/scandalous-sanctimonious-sinister.html

  3. Ray in Seattle says:

    Kedar is the perfect choice for an interview on a TV news program in an antisemitic country. I suspect Kedar was selected by the program director because of the contrast in demeanor between him and Bostrom and the way Kedar would satisfy stereotypes of Jewish arrogance. He was described by the interviewer simply as an “Israeli army veteran” – revealing that he had no apparent authority to speak on behalf of the IDF.

    News organizations must pander to such collective images as a matter of competition with their rivals. They try to satisfy the emotional need of their target audience to feel secure by assuring them that their existing world-view (antisemitic) is confirmed by reality and is coherent. News media in the West are largely given complete credibility in this regard and use that credibility to gain market share – and thereby advertising income.

    That’s why conservatives like to watch Fox news and is why liberals will find it a grating and threatening experience. The same is true for conservatives who try to watch the news on PBS. In both cases the news org attempts to give their target audience that feeling of security by subtly but consistently affirming important elements of their world-view. I doubt the program managers even know they do it. It is intuitive and is why they were hired, because they share that world-view and couldn’t imagine delivering the news any other way.

    It is incorrect to think there is some conspiracy to make Jews and Israel look bad. Such considerations would almost never be placed above market share which is how station managers are graded – that, and complimentary letters from viewers. Of course, this creates positive feedback. Market share increases and Swedes become more antisemitic and so will tune in to that station more eagerly to get that hit of security. The same thing was going on in Nazi Germany on many levels in the late thirties.

  4. Ray in Seattle says:

    To summarize my comment in #3 I think participants in media news delivery in a place like Sweden experience it more as riding the wave than pushing the ocean.

  5. oao says:

    Whether anybody likes it or not, western civilization is gone. It has collapsed and disappeared.

    One integral part of this collapse is the decision that israel should be eliminated. This includes a large majority of diaspora jews who, in the face of their demonization, are replicating the behavior of their ancestors when they were demonized by the nazis. History does repeat itself.

    The israelis, part. their currently incompetent and corrupt elite, cannot get it through their head that they must maximize survival for as long as possible by fighting to win, no matter the cost. they play to sate
    the west and, as a result, are shortening the survival.

    Nowhere is the evidence for the collapse of the west more obvious than in the behavior of academia. Whst Yale did was not out of concern about violence, but rather to gain access to arab money. This replicates western politicians’ prostitution in the face of economic collapse brought on by the decadence, corruption and incompetence of all western institutions.

    The forces that are involved producing this reality are too powerful and systemic to be stopped or even slowed by the behavior of any individual person, institution or country.

    It’s Greece and Rome all over again.

  6. oao says:

    I already posted in another thread a link to a report by a Yale student about the decay of Yale away from education and into political indoctrination and whoring for arab money. It is a must read.

  7. oao says:

    here’s the yale link:

    http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2009/08/by_matt_shaffer_my_freshman.html

    pathetic.

    the west cannot recover from this even if it took the right actions, but it won’t.

  8. Alan Dechert says:

    There are several things disturbing about the Aftonbladet controversy. Harvesting of organs seems unlikely and unproven. However, the article cited to show that even the Palestinian families weren’t making the stolen organ claim. Then it says all we know is his “teeth were missing.” Say what? Exhumation of the body might provide a few facts, but I suspect that not everyone is interested in facts. The spin in more interesting.

  9. oao says:

    more evidence:

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/pollak/80441

    and don’t think it’s unrelated to the subject.

  10. oao says:

    more on yale:

    http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerkimball/2009/08/28/my-absolutely-positively-final-word-about-yale-and-the-danish-cartoons/

    to quote:

    I hope now finally to have done with this discreditable affair. If I have gone on about it frequently and at length, it is because what is happening at Yale is symptomatic of a much larger problem — a much larger failure of nerve — in our culture at large. What is at stake is not just academic freedom but freedom writ large. John Donatich and Richard Levin are sorry collaborationists in a movement that is inimical to everything the institutions they lead represent. I suppose that, from one point of view, they should be pitied. But from the point of view of those who cherish political freedom and the free exchange of ideas, they should be replaced.

  11. Michelle Schatzman says:

    When I read the Eli Valley cartoon I mentioned to RL, I did not even suspect that it could be tongue in cheek. French has the phrases “premier degré” and “second degré”. Premier degré is when you are not supposed to go beyond the obvious sense (I’d say the pshat, in a more traditional jewish approach) and second degré is when you are supposed to understand that in fact the author wants to make fun of the obvious meaning of the cartoon (or story or whatever).

    I must be pretty stupid, because I can’t stop seeing the Eli Valley cartoon as invented with a premier degré intention. Let’s say the reasonable american jews against all those madmen in the M.E. I could read it as a charge against the cartoonist, but I really have trouble imagining that the cartoonist had intentions at another level.

    What do you think, my friends?

    Also read :

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1110632.html

    which may be an echo to

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3764938,00.html

    but it seems that different organization are described in these two articles.

  12. Eliyahu says:

    My #2 was meant as response to #1.

    Alan, the family denied that they had told the journalist Bostrom that the son’s organs had been removed, according to a report by Khalid Abu Toameh in the Jerusalem Post. Therefore, the allegations of organ stealing were Bostrom’s invention. That is a serious charge against Bostrom’s credibility and morality.

    Now, Kedar may have been too excited in this TV discussion to expose Bostrom, whereas Bostrom may have won more credibility because he was calm. So Kedar failed in the main. Yet Bostrom calls for an investigation of the charges he makes, without any concrete evidence [Waving the claim of "20 families told me," unidentified families, is not evidence, nor is the claim that Israel violates int'l law every day]. But I must admit that Bostrom was smooth, which may have made him persuasive.

    Now my question for Bostrom would be: If he saw this allegedly or possibly abused body back in 1992, and he believed then that body parts had been taken from it, then he should have called for an investigation then. Why did he not call for an investigation back in 1992 if he thought that something so terrible had happened??

    Of course, Bostrom’s charges are like the old trick question: When did you stop beating your wife? The premise of the question presumes an accusation. You can’t answer the question without admitting guilt to wifebeating. So you should not answer it, but should instead point out the manipulation in the question itself. Likewise, here. And I consider it a very clever, subtle ploy on Bostrom’s part: Investigate! But again, if he thought something so horrible had occurred, why didn’t he call for investigation in 1992?? Why investigate without evidence but just on the basis of bostrom’s suppositions?

    Also, has bostrom made any big deal over Carla del Ponte’s charges of organ stealing by Kossovo Albanians?? Can’t we agree that Carla Del Ponte of the Hague Court has more credibility [not unlimited, to be sure] than bostrom? [I give links to the Kossovo affair on the post on my blog devoted to the swedish charges]

    On another point, Kedar made a correct statement, which is that a large group of Arabs can pretend and lie outrageously, even to fellow Arabs, but especially to Westerners who want to hear these gruesome, ugly charges against Jews. Kedar was right about that but did not make his point persuasively. Maybe his command of English is not good enough. However, I saw this very argument made by Kedar illustrated by a film of Arabs talking about what lie to feed to a Western journalist. This was in a film by Pierre Rehov. RL has probably seen it. Rehov used a hidden camera and voice recorder to catch an Arab leader/spokesman telling an Arab couple what to say to Rehov and his assistant. That is, they were to say that soldiers at an Israeli checkpost had forced the woman to give birth at the checkpost rather than a hospital. Which was not true.

    I would also agree with Kedar that Arabs lie more often than folks of other cultures. They often tell people what they think those people/persons want to hear and they often lie very extravagantly, one lie sometimes contradicting a previous lie, as I experienced about tens day ago when I interviewed a spokesman for the Arab family evicted from a house in the Shimon haTsadiq Quarter [not in the nearby Nahalat Shimon Quarter, as I had thought previously might be the case]. I have sometimes experienced bizarre lies from Arabs about matters having nothing to do with politics, as in business relations, on several occasions. I sometimes do business with Arabs but I avoid it. So I agree with Kedar, but he made his case poorly.

    Ray in #3 & 4 made an interesting observation. Broadcasters, who are actually part of the “infotainment” industry, will try to please their target audience by catering to its prejudices, its underlying world-outlook. Yes, but Ray forgets that broadcasters, particularly in the “news” racket, may wish to change their audience’s understanding of reality over the long run. That might be called psywar or cogwar, to use Stuart’s term. It necessarily proceeds over a long period of time and does not expect to succeed all at once. Such was the introduction of the “palestinian people” notion which took place over years. The project to impose this term on the public mind by manipulative techniques involved an army of academics, diplomats, and journalists. The effort became overt rather than covert only in the early 1960s, whereas it must have been gestating for years in the 40s, 50s, and early 60s among British psywar experts.

    I would also reject Ray’s confidence that broadcasters are interested only or mainly in “market share” and “ratings.” That is, that their purposes are commercial and pecuniary. It is obvious that PBS and National Public Radio are motivated first of all by political/ideological purposes. Further, I believe that the American mainstream MSM TV are just as much interested in making propaganda and indoctrination as in commercial profit.

  13. sshender says:

    OMG… I’m appalled… Who the imbacil who sent Kedar to represent Israel in the world MSM?!! He should be f*cking shot! Jesus, if I were a non informed person watching this, my next stop would be the closest Israeli divestment franchise…

    And now seriously, how hard is it really to find a native English speaker Israeli without the horrid accent and grammar mistakes, with just enough insight to be able to answer and counter what these pundits throw achya? How is it that most countries in the world, even those with more than 50% illiteracy produce lucid and eloquent speakers for TV, while Israel, which has one of the highest percentages of people speaking fair English outside the English speaking world, puts clowns like Kedar to be the face and defender of Israel where it matters the most?!! No wonder we are losing the PR battle…(not that this is the sole or the main reason we are, but still it wouldn’t hurt to have people who can at least speak decent English and produce constructive rebuttals and this farce).

    Regev is better, but we should have people of the caliber of Netanyahu and Dershowitz as speakers and defenders of Israel. And god knows there is plenty of potential to go around.

    Oh man, now I’m more upset than when I first heard about this libel affair. This is just F*CKED UP!!!

  14. [...] Augean Stables  “Miserable Signs of the Times: Swedes and Yalies“, which began by saying ..      … “Among the most significant items on [...]

  15. Ray in Seattle says:

    Eliyahu makes several interesting points in #18. Let me address this one: Further, I believe that the American mainstream MSM TV are just as much interested in making propaganda and indoctrination as in commercial profit.

    The MSM are mostly large publicly held corporations. They first must make profit and they must develop business plans that make sense to and attract a diverse investment community by their ability to define a particular market segment and go after it with a well-thought-out business plan.

    Management then hires journalists, pundits, on-air talent and writers by their ability to identify with and appeal to that market segment. I seriously doubt that top management in any publicly held corporation ever places their personal desire to indoctrinate the public to any particular political views above that necessity. There is far too much money at stake.

    With a privately held company it is possible that the owner family may hire top management for an indoctrination mission – such as the Washington Times which is owned by Sun Yung Moon. But even there, the WT is widely understood to be a propaganda rag for Moon.

    But, that is just a restatement of my opinion on this. Our disagreement aside, the interesting part of this is that you and I can see this so differently. The difference I am sure is caused by the views of human nature we each carry in us. I fully accept that you could be right and I could be wrong. But I find it hard to attribute the difference in our views to our relative intelligence or education or that either of us has access to better information than the other. Yet, each of us sees a very different picture when we consider the question. That’s fascinating to me.

    I am not saying that indoctrination does not occur. Just that it as a minor effect compared to the diligent efforts of MSM managers to design and fit their product to a selected market demographic that will provide the desired profitability and return on investment for its owners. I can’t imagine any other explanation and I’m sure you can’t imagine any other view than the one you expressed where indoctrination and propaganda are significant programming goals along with profitability.

    My sense of human nature is that very few people will appreciate being indoctrinated if they know – nor will they happily pay to be indoctrinated (by buying an advertisers’ products). But, I think that very many people will pay good money night after night to have their strongest beliefs affirmed.

    I’d be interested in the basic reasoning why you hold the view you do. Do you think it is only on the left or do you think that the right does it too?

  16. oao says:

    That is a serious charge against Bostrom’s credibility and morality.

    no need for that. he made the same claim in a book in 2000 or 2001.

    how hard is it really to find a native English speaker Israeli without the horrid accent and grammar mistakes

    but he explicitly said it’s not his job to validate; it’s to just “raise the issue”. it’s not a matter of finding anybody, he does not WANT to validate, probably because he knows he can’t.

    Regev is better, but we should have people of the caliber of Netanyahu and Dershowitz as speakers and defenders of Israel.

    i am not so sure. i would prefer abu toameh.

  17. In response to Comment No. 1 –

    There is a history at least a millennium long of Blood Libels against the Jews being exploited to instigate or excuse pogroms, expulsions, and judicial murders.

    They are not to be dismissed as mere harmless fantasies. They have bloody consequences.

  18. Eliyahu says:

    Ray, I don’t believe in “right” & “left.” I don’t believe in a political spectrum. That is a very misleading notion that many people share. Of course, so-called “rightists” or “right-wingers” and “leftist” ["leftwingers"] and good old centrists can and do employ the same PR tecniques, psywar techniques, propaganda tricks, etc etc. Just to show you how confused and confusing the left-right notion currently is, I suggest you look at the scarcity doctrine apparently embodied in Prez obama’s “health care” plan. Now a scarcity doctrine or a belief that some product, commodity, human ability or skill or expertise is in short supply would dictate that the product, skill, etc be RATIONED. Now, rationing of health care services is an important part of bho’s plan [I don't call it a "health plan" but a bad health plan]. Indeed, so far as I know, people over 55 would be discouraged from getting certain operations or health services. People over 65 would be forbidden other operations and services, etc. End of life counseling might be intended to get people to voluntarily and willingly not ask for such services. That would certainly save money and resources for the system.

    But since when is rationing “lefist” when one might traditionally view “leftism” as working to increase the supply of a good or service [here: medical expertise] for everyone???? That is of course if “leftism” aims to benefit people universally. So rationing ought to be anathema to “leftists.” But it is not.

    Yet another approach to the real, existing problems in health care could be implemented more cheaply. First of all, many opponents of the obama rationing plan are not against government intervention. After all, most retired people want to keep the benefits that they now enjoy under Medicare. They want that sort of governmental intervention.

    What a real health care plan aimed to help everybody would do would be to increase supply generally. That is, more physicians, nurses, technicians, specialists, etc., plus more hospitals, clinics, specialist centers, medical schools and so on. I’m sure that providing financial aid to medical and nursing students, to would-be specialists as well as for building new physical medical facilities would cost much less than the plan that bho and his pro-rationing guru, the “bioethicist” Zeke Emanuel, are now promoting, along with a mass of ranting and raving know-nothing, mindless “leftist” slogan-chanters and obama groupies, including many academics.

    Other policies could and should be instituted, such as preventing physicians, hospitals, and companies providing medical-technical services from gouging the system by inflating charges for services, such as CT scans, x-rays, etc. But the main thing is to eliminate the need for rationing. The issue is not free market versus govt intervention but Rationing.

    Now, let’s ask what could be the real purpose of rationing of med services, especially for the retired. Does somebody want to get rid of the older generations which may be deemed to be too knowledgeable about the past, too devoted to American traditions of free speech? Maybe the elderly remember too much and might tell the younger generation too much about the past that might be inconvenient for those who want to make a totalitarian revolution in America. Of course, all this is hypothetical. But Ray, do you see why the Left-Right notion does not now hold water??

  19. Lorenz Gude says:

    When people make off the wall allegations sometimes they are really projecting their own pathologies on the person or people they are accusing. So if Israel isn’t killing Palestinians to harvest their organs, why are the Swedes making an issue of it? I could be that the Swedes are involved in the illicit organ trade and that government bodies such as their Foreign Ministry are in it up to their necks. Of course I have no evidence, but it isn’t up to me to prove anything. I am just raising the issue – as is my duty as a citizen of the world exercising my right of free speech. ;-)

    I didn’t think Keder came across that badly – for an ugly looking guy with a heavy accent. Central casting sent him to play the landlord, right? Seriously, it was Bostrom’s opening correction of the interviewer that made it pretty clear the whole thing was a media beat up. I agree Keder blew it, but only after the whole thing had been revealed as a BS story. I think most balanced viewers would take away that it was unlikely the Israelis were shooting people for their organs. And yes the Israelis are still not working hard enough on refuting the Pallywood narrative with credible people.

  20. oao says:

    lorenz,

    i would not be surprised if there were swedish involvement in organ harvesting, but i doubt that’s what drove bostrom. he had already raise the libel in an earlier book, so it was not some kind of journalistic scoop. apparently he already had pushed this crap in the book and in order to get some newer publicity he went there and pushed some pals to say something and voila — he had been right in the book.

    the pals, otoh, is another matter. there is absolutely no question in my mind that they would do this, as they do worse daily. in fact, they were probably dreaming about what they would do to jews if they could when bostrom brought it up.

    as to kedar, yes he was not the ideal response. but i keep reiterating that responses by israel don’t count.
    there is NOTHING israel can do to counter the demonization — it’s 1930′s again and there are huge forces — cowardice, greed, ignorance, stupidity — that are collapsing the west. it cannot be stopped.

    in fact, i believe that israel should do the opposite . of responding. it should ignore the accusations and behave along the lines of the demonization, scaring the shit out of everybody. i don’t mean, of course, harvesting of organs, but ruthless in fighting the pals , exposing the bankruptcy, corruption and undemocracy of europe, alibama’s bias and stupidity, etc.

    if you’re demonized anyway, justify it by playing the part. remember what happened in the 1930′s given the jewish response then?

    if they strive to bring you down, at least give them hell.

  21. oao says:

    how can anybody see the reality and draw such upside down, backward conclusions:

    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1251547904/

    and i am referring mainly to gordon, but also to avneri:

    Neve Gordon and his partners in this effort have despaired of the Israelis. They have reached the conclusion that there is no chance of changing Israeli public opinion. According to them, no salvation will come from within. One must ignore the Israeli public and concentrate on mobilizing the world against the State of Israel. (Some of them believe anyhow that the State of Israel should be dismantled and replaced by a bi-national state.)

    they’ve despaired of ISRAELIS!!!!! not of the arabs.

    there is no limit to idiocy.

  22. Michelle Schatzman says:

    @ Eliyahu

    there is one obvious thing in the US health system : the price of medicines is not high, it is completely outrageous. Something I saw recently on a cancer blog by someone who is probably half mad, but whose madness does not include false reporting of facts : the intravenous feed bag by Fresenius or some analogous industrialist is sold for $3000 a bag, and a bag a day is needed. The stuff is worth at most fifty bucks, because it is just industrial proteins, fats, sugars and minerals. You need to pay something, because the stuff has to be sterile and put in a plastic bag. But it is really low tech. I know about those things since I had one month of that regimen in the spring of 2006, lots of fun I must say (the feeding machine clicking at night and silly me going to work in the day). Beyond the fact that I did not pay a single centime for that treatment, including the infusion pump rental, the nurse’s fee for puncturing my skin and so on, the simple idea to get 3000 dollars for a bag of intravenous food plain ridiculous.

    This would have been the case for any permanent resident of France, with the same kind of disease as me and the same kind of medical needs.

    I also read that in the US, in fact, the price of medicines, and also the price of hospital care depends on which insurance you got : if you are insured, the doctors, the hospital and the pharmaceutical companies get less money, because of the bargaining power of the insurance companies. The uninsured end paying more for equal care than the insurance companies pay.

    The US health system has nothing to do with free market economy, or freedom of any kind. It has been transformed into a system where a few big players call the game, and the little player is just lost. The simple fact that uninsured people cannot associate, set up an insurance company to their taste and get a decent health coverage says it all.

    I understand that passions run very high in the US on this subject, and I wouldn’t dare to pass judgment on either side of the controversy, since I did not follow its details. However, there is an absolutely clear piece of statistical information that one should always keep in mind : the proportion of the national product spent into health in the US is about 16%, and the analogous proportion in the other industrialized countries is about 8% AND people have a higher life expectation, proving at least that something right is being done there.

    Once in a while, I agree with Gideon Levy, who recently published a piece in Haaretz about the swedish blood libel, explaining that this article was very bad for the Palestinians, since it was so easy to debunk and it drew the attention away from the real problems of the occupation.

    Re. health care reform in the US, the health rationing argument looks as serious as the organ harvesting argument. You are free to hate Mr Obama as much as you want, or to consider him as a very bad politician and a danger to the world or whatever. In any case, you do not need unfounded accusations, you got a large enough number of serious ones. If even Gideon Levy understands that the swedish blood libel is a red herring re. his propalestinian ideology, why do you have to swallow the craziest accusations against Obama, hook, line and sinker?

    I forgot : in any case, organ harvesting is an urban legend in the form of snatching young and healthy people and leaving them with a missing kidney and lots of pain in a bath full of ice water. This legend has been around for many years. I guess I even heard it live from some very nice jews who had invited me over for a shabbat meal in Hamilton, Ontario, in ’94 if my memory is correct. I tried to explain that medically it did not make much sense, talked about histocompatibility groups (HLA) and so on, and I realized I was talking to a wall. So I remained polite and did not push the matter. After all it was shabbat and I did not deem it nice to anger my hosts by explaining to them that their credulity was not precisely an asset in life.

    The phenomenon of urban legends is really strange, and there are specialists in urban legends, since they resemble folk tales of olden times. Organ harvesting is known to happen to the bodies of Chinese prisoners to whom the death penalty has been applied, and kidney selling takes place in very poor countries. This is well documented in the case of India. I would like very much to hear a transplant specialist comment on the quality of such organs. Do very poor people have healthy kidneys?

    Usually, the urban legend of organ harvesting points to some kind of mafioso organization, which deals in this trade. Attributing organ harvesting to the IDF strikes me as a condensation of the mafia theme together with the antisemitic/antiisraeli theme. So, not only the Elders of Zion are plotting to dominate the world, they are also stealing the organs and/or the life of our young people in order to extend their wretched lives. Therefore, blood sucker is transformed into the modern and more technological version of organ harvester.

    Be free to disagree, my dear Eliyahu!

  23. Eliyahu says:

    oao, did you ever think that maybe both avneri and gordon are on somebody’s payroll??

  24. Robbins says:

    “One of my correspondents shudders at Kedar’s performance.”

    So do I, why can’t Israel come up with more calm spokespeople?

    It is true that Bostrom reports’ was based on hearsay but Kedar’s wholesale accusation of Palsestinian lying while true came across as a blanket condemnation of a whole people.

    Moreover, it would have been easy enough to challenge Bostron’s assertion that Israel daily breaks international law yet Kedar never address that accusation.

  25. Michelle Schatzman says:

    And to add to the end of my latest post :

    If I come back to my initial observation : billing a bag of intravenous food substitute for $ 3000 is real blood sucking, since it cannot cost more thant $ 50. One should be used to read beyond the obvious meaning of words : blood sucking is going on and so is organ harvesting, but not the obvious kind, performed by nasty and brutal zionist soldiers. What about blood sucking and organ harvesting by nasty and brutal jihadists, who do not use high tech to suck the blood and harvest the organs of western industrialized societies, but just plain old intimidation, lies and corruption? So the swedish public, which might have believed some of that silly story, might be made up of two kinds of people : projihadists who dream of (metaphorically) sucking blood and harvesting organs for their own purposes and passive regular swedish Joes who are not emotionnally able to realize that their blood is (metaphorically) being sucked and their organs harvested by the projihadists.

    For a long time, I read and reread La Boëtie’s “Discours de la Servitude Volontaire”, which examines and analyzes how human societies can be enslaved, and how, indeed no society could be enslaved unless it agreed in some way to its own enslavement and collaborated to it. I still deem this book to be one of the deepest I ever read in political science, and it has an unusual virtue : it shies away from giving a full answer, and while the how of willful enslavement is quite well explained, the why remains for us to ponder.

  26. oao says:

    oao, did you ever think that maybe both avneri and gordon are on somebody’s payroll??

    i would not be surprised but my guess is they are paid because of what they write and do and not the other way around.

    So do I, why can’t Israel come up with more calm spokespeople?

    actually, for what they have to put up with they are extraordinarily calm. nobody else would be able to be as restrained in the same circumstances.

    It is true that Bostrom reports’ was based on hearsay but Kedar’s wholesale accusation of Palsestinian lying while true came across as a blanket condemnation of a whole people.

    no matter how he said it it would not change anything.
    i refer you to sharon’s words to condi: “they are treacherous and bloodthirsty”; “what, all of them?”; “yes, all of them”. in practical terms this means that the number of those who aren’t are too small to invalidate the generalization.

    the reality is what it is. it’s not israel’s fault that the world insists on being in denial about it and the notion that style would change things for israel is denial too.

    Moreover, it would have been easy enough to challenge Bostron’s assertion that Israel daily breaks international law yet Kedar never address that accusation.

    what difference would that have made?

  27. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    I would also reject Ray’s confidence that broadcasters are interested only or mainly in “market share” and “ratings.” That is, that their purposes are commercial and pecuniary.

    I would add ego to the mix as a lot of them display pleasure at commanding opinion in others.

  28. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    I did not even suspect that it could be tongue in cheek.

    Here’s a link to show just how tongue in cheek things can get and as an added prize, the media falling for it.

    When The Wire and Midsomer Murders collide

    A fake website linking cult US television show The Wire to not-so-cult Blighty TV drama Midsomer Murders has hoodwinked several newspapers into reporting what they believed were the reactionary views of Baltimore mayor Sheila Dixon.
    The Guardian and Independent were both caught out by the hoax planted ……………
    ……
    The joker was also kind enough to sign his name at the bottom of the press release page, for anyone who might’ve cared to look.
    “Copyright R Monkee Esq,” it helpfully reads

    I suppose who ever decided to run with the story wanted it to be true.

  29. oao says:

    I would add ego to the mix as a lot of them display pleasure at commanding opinion in others.

    yes, but market share and pecuniary considerations is what promotes their ego to influence others. less so for state funded media such as the aftonbladet or channel2.

    but the core problem is the collapse of the journalistic education and profession. as bostrom has demonstrated he does not see evidence/validation as past of his function.

    The Guardian and Independent were both caught out by the hoax planted

    i rest my case. but that’s a stronger expectation for media with an explicit dogma/agenda. because then is not reality as truth but dogma as truth.

    I suppose who ever decided to run with the story wanted it to be true.

    more than that: they believed it true (because they wanted it).

  30. oao says:

    GUARDIAN WRITER: “THE MOST INACCURATE WAY TO DESCRIBE ISRAEL TODAY IS AS AN APARTHEID STATE”

    Amid the daily slurs on Israel in the influential British paper The Guardian, the paper printed a rare positive online article last week by former South African campaigner against apartheid Benjamin Pogrund. Pogrund, who is now resident in Israel, wrote:

    “The most inaccurate way to describe Israel today is as an apartheid state. That’s the exact opposite of what [anti-Zionist Israeli professor] Neve Gordon* said in The Guardian last week. Level whatever criticisms you want against Israel – start with West Bank occupation and oppression of Palestinians, and go on to the domestic discrimination suffered by the Arab minority – but the simple fact is that none of it is the apartheid of the old South Africa. Abundant evidence of this is readily available, in The Guardian and elsewhere.

    “Why then is the comparison so often made? One reason, in a different context, is in the words of American comedian Stephen Colbert: ‘Remember kids! In order to maintain an untenable position, you have to be actively ignorant.’

    “The apartheid accusation is the way to destroy Israel. If Israel can be linked with apartheid then it can be denounced as illegitimate as was white-ruled South Africa and hence be wide open to international sanctions. Those who pursue this couldn’t care less about facts. They have an agenda and are unscrupulous about distortion, lying and exaggeration.”

    http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/001050.html

  31. oao says:

    colbert’s proposition is the driver here.

  32. oao says:

    SILENCE, WHAT A SURPRISE

    Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have yet to publish reports about the bloody events, even though Palestinian women and children were among those killed by Hamas. 120 Palestinians were also injured, some severely.

    Despite the disturbing eyewitness accounts, the UN Security Council did not meet to condemn the alleged massacre.

    Sweden, which currently holds the presidency of the European Union, did not even bother to comment on it.

    As leading Palestinian journalist (and longtime subscriber to this email list) Khaled Abu Toameh notes: “As far as the mainstream media in the U.S. and Europe is concerned, an Israeli soldier who, for example, confiscates a mobile phone from a Palestinian at a checkpoint is more important than a story on the death of 30 Palestinians and the wounding of more than 120 others.”

    same source

  33. oao says:

    an aside about the level the media is descending to:

    http://www.debbieschlussel.com/8033/new-nbc-reporter-jenna-bush-hager-must-leave-unicef-board/

    the guardian is hardly the bottom

  34. Ray in Seattle says:

    I guess one reason I keep responding to your comments is that while I find important reasons to disagree with you I also find that I agree just as strongly with some of your other comments – even more so than with most other comments here. Go figure.

    In one comment you said, “‘Remember kids! In order to maintain an untenable position, you have to be actively ignorant.’ And then you said, “colbert’s proposition is the driver here.”

    I think you are spot on in this case. But I would add that the adjective “active” is the key which I’m not sure you mean in the same way I do.

    “Ignorance” implies the possibility of the opposite state – informed, knowledgeable, etc. I like your inclusion of the adjective “active”. In this case it means to me that the mind has “actively” rejected reason and evidence. Why is that? Laziness, lack of critical thinking skills or adequate education?

    Those probably contribute I agree. But the overwhelming factor IMO, especially with abundant information available almost for free these days, is that the ignorant mind does not want to be informed of evidence that would contradict its existing beliefs. That is how our minds work. It is about the emotional force of beliefs to control our minds – to make them rationalize our existing beliefs rather than examine them.

    I believe this effect is far stronger than poor “education”. The cure is to first understand how insidious this force is and that it exists in all our minds. But that takes humility – to understand that we are not as smart or objective as we like to think – and also that we are often wrong about our judgments when our strong beliefs are at stake.

  35. Eliyahu says:

    Chere Michelle,
    I hardly want to defend the existing health system in the USA. But to point out faults in the existing set up does not justify the obama administration’s proposal. A lot of people there in the US are justifiably angry over the obama care plan. I saw France24 yesterday and Raphael Kahane, who seems to be a fairly decent fellow, was pointing out what we might consider flaws in the existing set up. He was using these presumed flaws to advocate for obama’s proposal. Maybe you were taken in by similar propaganda disseminated in France in favor of obamacare. I am saying that rationing of medical treatment and care is part of the proposal. Rahm Emanuel’s brother, Ezekiel, a physician, has tried to justify selective rationing or what in French may be called “triage.” This term is used in English too.

    One of the reasons why I brought up the issue of obama’s health plan is that I wanted to illustrate to Ray the silliness of the left-right notion. This appears in the obama health plan. First of all, in the name of “leftism”, obamacare would reduce treatment and care access for millions, especially people over 65. If you know better, could you please quote chapter and verse of the proposed bill/s/ now before Congress??

    The health care affair shows the silliness of left-right in another way. That is, the debate is often revolving around the false issue of govt intervention versus free market. I believe that what bothers millions of people most is their fear of rationing, as well as what they hear of the bad situation in Britain and Canada, what with filth in the hospitals, long waits for operations, uncaring staff, etc. I understand that the French health care system is better than the British one. I think that Israel’s system is good. However, we shouldn’t overgeneralize about state systems [since the French one is good] and we ought to recognize that Israel’s system combines private and state features and is unique in another way. The health funds are in a sense public bodies, the first of which, Klalit, represented the trade unions [Histadrut], whereas the Leumit too was founded by a political movement. So these two began as bodies with a sense of solidarity and fellowship. Further, a sense of solidarity with fellow Americans is something that I feel is lacking in American medicine, particularly in hospitals where staff belonging to one ethnic group may resent those belonging to another. This may have to do with the multiethnic, pluralistic character of American society. But it cannot be corrected by laws passed by govt.

    Getting back to rationing, Z Emanuel who is part of the administration along with his sinister brother, has defended rationing of med services in his role as a “bioethicist.” It is not a secret. I ask you if rationing is “leftist.” Do these services have to be rationed if measures to end scarcity are taken? Why isn’t the ending of scarcity the focus of obama’s program? So, I would say that the obamacare program well illustrates the silliness of believing in the political spectrum [right-left] notion.

    I would also caution you that in the USA policies are sometimes pursued in the name of democracy, social uplift, anti-racism, etc., that in fact have other purposes. Certainly other outcomes. Back around 1970, there was a movement in American education to remove or reduce or weaken the need to study a foreign language, depending on the school, the school district, the level [high school vs. college], etc. This was all done in the name of democracy. The outcome was to make the students more ignorant, even the better students. After all, those who don’t know a language other than English are going to be more ignorant. They will be less able to know what is really going on abroad. They will have less access to literature, scientific and scholarly writings, etc. So “democratization” of education led to more ignorance. Now, if democracy is merely majority rule and if the ignoramus’ vote counts as much as any other, then you will have people who can be misled being manipulated for political purposes. Therefore, Michelle, be wary when you are told that something is necessary for the sake of democracy, or that obama’s health plan, for example, is needed because of all the people uninsured by any health insurance in the USA. This kind of democratic need argument reminds me of Cuba. Before Castro, the country was corrupt and about half of the people were very poor while there was also a large middle class. Castro and his advocates claimed that his revolution was needed because he would bring equality. Indeed, Castro brought equality. He made the vast majority of the population very poor with some relative few party officials and specialists enjoying a better standard of living. Poverty is what characterizes Cuba today. Could that be the result of obama’s plan, that is, equally bad medical care for almost everybody but the very rich, like Teddy Kennedy, who was taken to hospital by helicopter, etc.?? So you ought to be wary of promises to bring more democracy and more equality.

    Again, what is the diff between left and right?

  36. Ray in Seattle says:

    Hi Eliyahu, My question about right and left was peripheral. An afterthought. The main thrust of my question was why you saw indoctrination and propaganda as a primary motivation for the MSM. Have you seen evidence for this as a widespread practice? I really didn’t want to get into a right / left thing. I’m more interested in human nature than politics. Thanks

  37. oao says:

    I like your inclusion of the adjective “active”. In this case it means to me that the mind has “actively” rejected reason and evidence. Why is that? Laziness, lack of critical thinking skills or adequate education?

    it’s not I, it’s colbert.

    if you’re not trained to rely on evidence and to reason critically and independently (a) you don’t see the need for it (b) you don’t have the intellectual tools to do it (c) you don’t have and want to exert yourself (lazy) (d) your beliefs (rather than thoughts) are fixed or blowing in the wind with the fashion. If it gets you a good job, publicity and income, it’s reinforcement.

    I’m more interested in human nature than politics

    the left-right is more human nature that you think.
    in the west.

  38. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says, “if you’re not trained to rely on evidence and to reason critically and independently . .

    (a) you don’t see the need for it”

    What about the millions of people who have not had that training but choose to go to school and pursue degrees to get it. Are you suggesting that they had no desire to learn such skills and thinking habits? That seems pretty improbable to me.

    “(b) you don’t have the intellectual tools to do it”

    There are many who develop an appreciation for objectivity and who develop those skills on their own. Life itself can be the best training for this if you are open to such a reality based world-view.

    “(c) you don’t have and want to exert yourself (lazy)”

    Show me the data on this. Many don’t get such training because they can’t afford it or it is not available to them. Are they all lazy derelicts?

    “(d) your beliefs (rather than thoughts) are fixed or blowing in the wind with the fashion. ”

    So, which is it – fixed or blowing in the wind?

    I think you are attracted to these views because they support your belief in the “collapse of education in the West”. But I’m open to convincing evidence. I hope you provide some this time. You usually don’t bother to answer my replies where I carefully rebut each part of your position as I have here.

    Let’s make it easy. How about just the first one? Can you show any data that students planning to study the sciences or law or medicine or philosophy, for example, see no need to rely on evidence and to reason critically and independently, before they gain admission or receive that training?

    There should be hundreds of thousands of admissions essays every year going back decades that show little or no interest in such things if that were true. Where are they? I think you’ll find the opposite if you care to look.

  39. Ray in Seattle says:

    To be clear oao, in #41, I enjoy discussion with you because of the vast differences in our views (beliefs) not because we agree on some things. But that makes it even more interesting.

    You say, “the left-right is more human nature that you think.
    in the west.”

    I don’t know what that means but I bet it would be interesting if you explained it.

    Yes, I knew it was Colbert. I should have stated my response more clearly.

  40. oao says:

    why do you think the left-right continuum is so prominent? could that be if it had nothing to human nature?

  41. Ray in Seattle says:

    What observable behavior of humans or humanity would not be the result of human nature? What else could it be the result of? Let me think about your first question.

  42. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Hey Eliyahu, I love you, but I must fill you up on some of my particulars:

    (1) I don’t own a TV, and I haven’t for at least 25 or 30 years (I’m not chareidi, but I’m an intellectual, a fast reader and I’m bored by television)
    (2) these days, I’m not in France
    (3) I’m fully aware of how political discourse can use good intentions in order to motivate bad decisions.

    From my point of view, your answer is slightly “hors sujet”, meaning that you may have lots of good reasons to be opposed to the Obama health care plan, but why should you use obviously bad reasons?

    Lemme give you a caricature of an example. Assume Mr X has liver cancer, and he is well taken care of, but someone whispers into his ear that he needs a liver graft in order to really get rid of his cancer. Should he get a liver graft? In France, he would never get a liver graft, because immunosuppressive treatements increase the probability of developing a cancer, and cancer is an absolute no-no to any kind of organ graft.

    Is this rationing or sound medical practice?

    Please, Eliyahu, define “medical rationing”, and point me to serious sources… if I can see right away that organ harvesting by the IDF is a medical impossibility (and I’m not an MD), I can also see right away that some level of argument against Obama health care is plain silly.

    My remark on that plan and the US health system was that some actors in the game pay themselves outrageously high prices (what about $125 for some six pills of Augmentin, an old and useful antibiotic, which I paid out of my pocket in 2003 for a regular infection? would have cost about $12.5 for an uninsured foerigner in France) and this is possible not because of market economy, but because in the US health system, the market has been subdued and domesticated in order to fill some very deep pockets. In particular, the large number of uninsured in the US testifies that market forces do not operate as they should. Nor does ethics, but this is another matter.

    My main point was that politicians use social anxieties in order to push their agendas, and the MSNM that live out of their financial results have to sell (at least to advertisers), so that circulation is the essential consideration. Anxieties are real : having your blood sucked happens all the time, though in metaphorical ways except on the morning of a blood analysis. Once the metaphorical blood-sucking fact has been established, indicting the Jews or the Rahms, or whoever for *non* metaphorical blood sucking is silly. This is all I meant.

    To answer your initial question : right now, in France, the left-right classification is irrelevant in many respects.

  43. Cynic says:

    oao,

    yes, but market share and pecuniary considerations is what promotes their ego to influence others. less so for state funded media such as the aftonbladet or channel2

    Maybe I did not get across what I meant; but in using commanding I was implying “power” over his readers that the journalist aims for in directing opinion.

  44. Cynic says:

    oao,

    Those who pursue this couldn’t care less about facts. They have an agenda and are unscrupulous about distortion, lying and exaggeration.”

    As I’ve said before, journalists in many instances are malicious; none of this ignorant; stupid; naive claptrap.

    And so are Judges of Supreme Courts going by the antics of John Dugard and Richard Goldstone(also associated with HRW)

  45. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    With regard to American medical care and the fears of the average American have you read this take?
    Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama’s Rationing Czar, Says We Have Too Much Health Care

    My original comments concerned statements made by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy advisor to President Obama and the brother of the President’s chief of staff. Dr. Emanuel has written that some medical services should not be guaranteed to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens….An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” [10] Dr. Emanuel has also advocated basing medical decisions on a system which “produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.” [11]

    This all forms part of that 1000 page+ document that OB tried to get signed in such haste before the August recess without Congress and the Senate reading it.

    The most frightening aspect appears to be the removal of freedom choice which Americans are accustomed to.
    Israeli plans provide a modicum of choice and one can change not only doctors but clinics.

    Reading the above link provides such bits as:
    Dr. Emanuel is part of a school of thought that redefines a physician’s duty, insisting that it includes working for the greater good of society instead of focusing only on a patient’s needs. Many physicians find that view dangerous, and most Americans are likely to agree.
    Dr. Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, has already been appointed to two key positions: health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. He clearly will play a role guiding the White House’s health initiative.

    If one cares to look at Britain’s NHS then one finds that in several cases age played a part in denying treatment; no statins for a man over 65 etc.There seems to be a daily list in their MSM.
    Then of course the waiting times for consultations and treatment.

  46. Ray in Seattle says:

    I hesitate to get into partisan politics as this has become but re: health care: The US spends over twice the average for health care per person as other 1st world democracies. And we get worse health care on several measures. One obvious factor, we have over 50 million citizens that have no health care insurance whereas other democracies even cover tourists and visitors in many cases.

    All the talk about rationing, treatment denial, organ harvesting, etc. are propaganda that are designed to emotionally deflect from the basic question of how to delver health care for all citizens more effectively and at a lower cost. Several other states such as France, England, Canada, Israel, etc. provide stark examples using different approaches of how it can be done. These are not hypothetical examples; it is being done today.

    If you don’t like particular aspects of one or another of these systems that has nothing to do with the basic question. The insurance industry (and the politicians it has in its pocket) doesn’t want people looking at that basic question because it would become obvious that we are being looted at the rate of hundreds of billions of dollars per year that is paying for the yachts of insurance company executives that are providing wasteful and unnecessary services in return. i.e. it’s a scam.

    Bottom line: if you are obsessing on bogus issues such as rationing, treatment denial, organ harvesting, etc. then you are helping them loot us and deprive us of the high-quality lower-cost health care that we know is available to states who approach the question rationally.

  47. Ray in Seattle says:

    I should have included Japan. The US spends $7291 per person per year on health care. Japan spends $2581 – that’s 35% od what we spend. Japan has a life expectancy of 83 years compared to our 78. There are other factors but the quality of health care is certainly an important consideration.

    Everyone in Japan is covered by insurance for medical and dental care and drugs. People pay premiums proportional to their income to join the insurance pool determined by their place of work or residence. Insurers do not compete, and they all cover the same services and drugs for the same price, so the paperwork is minimal.

    Patients freely choose their providers, and doctors freely choose the procedures, tests and medications for their patients. Reimbursement rates to doctors and hospitals are negotiated and set every two years. The fees are quite low, often one-third to one-half of prices in the United States.

    This is what our health care insurance providers and our politicians and our MSM don’t want us to know about.

    The italicized paragraphs above are from:

    http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh090109.shtml

    . . if you want to read BoB Somerby’s views on this scam, who is lining their pockets from it, who is perpetrating it and who is keeping us from knowing more about it.

  48. Michelle Schatzman says:

    I agree with you Ray. I’ve spent enough time in the US to know a few things about its health system and to live in anxiety about any kind of serious health problem, because I never had good insurance when staying there.

    Some agents put an enormous quantity of money into their pockets. Insurance companies, drug companies first. Lawyers also (the doctors pay very high malpractice insurance fees). As long as these agents can’t be deprived of part of their resources, the cost of health care can be reduced only through rationing.

    There are ways to reduce health care costs which have nothing to do with rationing : prescribing generic medications, forbidding the screening of patients by insurance companies (as done in *all* industrialized countries except the US), rebuilding a real free market situation, and not an oligopolistic situation, where the bargaining power of big insurance companies defines the price of treatment, without any benefit to the uninsured.

    I’ve always thought that the US were a great country, and that it could find solutions to difficult problems when forced to. So, we shall see…

  49. andrew says:

    Michelle: on a practical level, did you ever have a look at the fine print of your credit card contract ?
    Visa Premier promises it will cover the medical
    expenses incurred during a short trip out of France
    (I never had to use it, so I cannot vouch that they will deliver on this promise). On the other hand, of course, on the occasion of a longer stay in a math.deparment in the US, you may be eligible (this, I
    have experienced) for participation in a group plan.
    This being said, I totally agree with you, with the reservation that the French system is far from perfect either: with a complemenatry insurance (like MGEN), you
    will get 100% of what Social Security defines as the basis of reimbursement, which, when you have to see
    a specialist, is roughly one-third of what you really
    pay. Moreover, as you well know, the whole system is
    consistently deteriorating, year after year more unable to face its self-defined obligations.

  50. Cynic says:

    Insurance companies, drug companies first. Lawyers also (the doctors pay very high malpractice insurance fees). As long as these agents can’t be deprived of part of their resources, the cost of health care can be reduced only through rationing.

    Exactly, and one of the things this “reform” does not treat in its 1000 odd pages is tort law reform.
    By the way there seems to be a growing credibility gap between the administration and the people creating opposition to accepting the politician’s rhetoric.

    For example given that while Obama is adamant that he will not permit American drilling for petroleum he is prepared to loan up to 10 billion to Brazil’s Petrobras (in which Soros has some 800 million invested)for offshore drilling thus styming the creation of tens of thousands of American jobs and killing revenue for federal and state organs to the tune of over a trillion, why on earth would I trust his minions on their calculations with regard to my health care?

    Given the state of affairs in Canada’s and Britain’s single payer systems I wouldn’t cite them as positive examples of nationalized health care.

  51. Ray in Seattle says:

    Cynic said, “Given the state of affairs in Canada’s and Britain’s single payer systems I wouldn’t cite them as positive examples of nationalized health care.”

    I don’t know much about England’s system other than a very thorough documantary I saw on PBS that showed Brits to be quite happy with their system and ready to lynch any politician from either party who suggested getting rid of it or changing it significantly.

    OTOH I’ve been traveling to Canada several times a year at least since the early 70′s. I have dozens of friends whom I visit in their homes, play music sessions with and who visit me often. I occasionally make a point of asking their opinions about their health care system. Once while crossing a large lake in the BC interior on a (free) ferry I asked every one of the twenty or so passengers about their opinion of their health care system. This was back when HRC was trying to design one for us.

    I have never once had any Canadian express any strong negative opinions about their system. Invariably they tell me that they are thankful for and proud of their system and even express concern that I have to live under such a primitive system that we have here. Some tell about serious problems they had at one time and how easy and fast it was to get it treated, wherever they were in Canada, even while traveling.

    I have a business associate who used to live in the US with his family until two of his three boys developed serious congenital health problems. He now lives back in Calgary because, as he put it, he would be bankrupt if he had stayed since he could not buy insurance for his kids due to their pre-existing condition that did not develop to require serious treatment until after he moved here.

    I’m sure every system has its flaws and some Canadians must have had bad experiences. No large bureaucratic system could only produce good results. I’m sure some Canadians somewhere really don’t like their system but I’ve never met one of them and I’ve been asking informally for about 40 years now.

    The terrible opinions I read are typically expressed by conservative American pundits and think tank “experts” on TV, telling me things about Canada’s system that don’t match up with my personal informal inquiries. I can’t imagine why a Canadian would praise their system to me if they really didn’t like it very much.

  52. Ray in Seattle says:

    Good Wiki article on this at if anyone’s interested:

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

    First paragraph:

    Government and private health and public policy analysts have compared the health care systems of Canada and the United States.[1][2][3][4] The U.S. spends much more on health care than Canada, both on a per-capita basis and as a percentage of GDP.[5] In 2006, per-capita spending for health care in the U.S. was US$6,714; in Canada, US$3,678.[5] The U.S. spent 15.3% of GDP on health care in that year; Canada spent 10.0%.[5] In 2006, 70% of health care spending in Canada was financed by government, versus 46% in the United States. Total government spending per capita in the U.S. on health care was 23% higher than Canadian government spending, and U.S. government expenditure on health care was just under 83% of total Canadian spending (public and private).[6]

  53. oao says:

    As I’ve said before, journalists in many instances are malicious; none of this ignorant; stupid; naive claptrap.

    no need to attribute malice to what can be explained by ignorance and stupidity.

    yes, there are malicious ones too, but there are more idiots who should have never been hired as journos. and even when they are malicious it does not mean they are knowledgeable and smart.

    Maybe I did not get across what I meant; but in using commanding I was implying “power” over his readers that the journalist aims for in directing opinion.

    they have power and direct opinion because their readers are ignorant and unable to reason and most rely just on these rags to form an opinion.

  54. oao says:

    What observable behavior of humans or humanity would not be the result of human nature? What else could it be the result of? Let me think about your first question.

    1. then ask yourself why you raised the distinction.

    2. i was careful to specify PROMINENT because it’s significant in the context.

  55. oao says:

    Some agents put an enormous quantity of money into their pockets. Insurance companies, drug companies first. Lawyers also (the doctors pay very high malpractice insurance fees). As long as these agents can’t be deprived of part of their resources, the cost of health care can be reduced only through rationing.

    one of the fundamental problem with US health system is that insurance companies spent an awful amount of money on the huge bureaucracy whose function is to reject care. that money could be used to provide lots of care.

    the problem is how to organize the system: if the bureaucracy is transferred to the govt the cost will skyrocket and the care will go down the drain.

    there are suggestions to remove all constraints on insurance plans and allow full competition. whether this will solve the cost problem i dk.

    it’s one of those things that does not seem to have a good solution. whichever way it goes, there will be serious problems.

  56. oao says:

    if you forbid screening what insurance company will offer policies???? most of their profit comes from setting in advenace what they cover and what they don’t. if they must cover everything for everybody no questions asked they won’t stay in business.

  57. oao says:

    cynic,

    one example

    The Times Admits that its Reviewer is Dumber Than the Book He Reviewed
    http://www.tnr.com/blog/the-spine/the-times-admits-its-reviewer-dumber-the-book-he-reviewed

  58. Cynic says:

    Britain’s NHS

    Sentenced to death on the NHS

    In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.
    ………………..
    But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.
    …………….
    The warning comes just a week after a report by the Patients Association estimated that up to one million patients had received poor or cruel care on the NHS.

    Don’t pull the plug; just don’t give them one in the first place.
    Dr Hargreaves said that this depended, however, on constant assessment of a patient’s condition.
    He added that some patients were being “wrongly” put on the pathway, which created a “self-fulfilling prophecy” that they would die.
    He said: “I have been practising palliative medicine for more than 20 years and I am getting more concerned about this “death pathway” that is coming in.

    In the hypocritical jingoism of Human Rights the one thing denied is access to health funds.

  59. Ray in Seattle says:

    it’s one of those things that does not seem to have a good solution. whichever way it goes, there will be serious problems.

    No good solutions? I’m omly looking for a better solution. Every Western industrialized country has a better solution that we do. There’s no reason not to find what works best from those and adapt it to our economic system which is not so different. I don;t trust any published accounts of “plug-pulling” and such. The insurance industry is flooding the media right now with made-up horror stories just as they did in ’92 when health care reform was in the works. There’s no way to separate the true stories, which should be acknowledged and addressed in any system proposal, from the BS.

    The only data / evidence to be trusted would be WHO studies or similar professional studies where people sign their name and credibility to them.

    The best thing is to stop demagogueing and for the right and left to work together to come up with a sensible system that will cover everyone at the lowest practical cost per person. As usual, the RW is making it an ideological issue.

  60. oao says:

    I’m omly looking for a better solution. Every Western industrialized country has a better solution that we do.

    i am seeing evidence daily that there are serious problems with the various western systems. cynic has just posted one. there are tons of articles in the press about european — sweden, germany, france — systems. in each and every one of them the rich find away around the standard care and the less fortunate get screwed.

    studies, schmudies. there is logic and evidence as to the consequences of govt healthcare. so that’s not a solution. neither is the current system. but i see nobody talking about real improvements, just ideology.

  61. oao says:

    this, otoh, is PURE MALICE. and from the great white hope: the idiot sarkozy. so you see: one can be both scum and an idiot. in fact, chances are idiocy induces malice, not the other way around:

    AMAZEMENT AS SARKOZY GIVES PROPAGATOR OF AL-DURA MYTH AN AWARD

    Charles Enderlin, the French journalist at the center of the al-Dura affair, who is accused of manipulating the truth to portray Israel in a negative light in one of the most infamous examples of media deception of modern times, has been awarded the Legion d’honneur, one of France’s highest accolades. The French consul general in Jerusalem presented the award to Enderlin on behalf of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    The news has caused outrage among Jews in France who say Enderlin has helped stir up the new wave of anti-Semitism which has led to a number of brutal assaults and murders of French Jews in recent years. Enderlin is the longtime correspondent in Israel for the state-controlled France 2 TV. It was in recognition of this that he was given the award.

    Curiously, the award was presented under the auspices of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and not, as would be more appropriate for a journalist, the Ministry of Culture.

    French subscribers to this email list also tell me that it is unheard for the award to be made in the middle of August, when many people are on vacation, and to be presented at a foreign consulate rather than in Paris. They suspect this was done deliberately in an effort to avoid protest. No prior announcement was made that Enderlin was to receive the award, which was also unusual.

    Among previous dispatches on the al-Dura affair, please see here.

    http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/001051.html

  62. oao says:

    hey, ray,

    with respect to my claim of ideology rather than real solutions, here’s some evidence:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/media_propaganda_enablers.html

    check out the contribution of the media to fool a rather ignorant public.

  63. oao says:

    in the context of my argument that the core mechanism for collapse of civilization and freedom is the destruction of education, here’s russia and “Back to USSR”:

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OWU1NzY0YThjMjQ1ZTYzYzE5Yzg0ODE0NDVjNjgwMzM=

  64. nelson says:

    If the owners of insures companies and other people in the private sector are after money, what exactly do politicians (like Obama) and public servants want?

    Is there an adult on Earth who think they, unlike all those egoistic capitalists, work only or mainly for the public good?

    Politicians, public servants and so on want exactly the same thing or even worse than do capitalists: they want lots of money, power and influence for themselves.

    Anywhere and everywhere, the state and the government are just private companies like all the others, but with one huge difference: they have no competitors.

    Whatever the government can do, private companies and individuals can do better and cheaper. So, why give ever more control over absolutely every important sphere of life over to the state, the government, the politicians and the civil service? Someone has to be quite naive to trust these kind of people.

    If the US still works, that’s because large parts of it weren’t yet (as has already happened in Europe) taken over by the state and the politicians. But once these gangsters take anything over, they’ll never give it back to their legitimate owners: the people.

  65. oao says:

    Anywhere and everywhere, the state and the government are just private companies like all the others, but with one huge difference: they have no competitors.

    1st,they are not private, but public — they don’t operate with their own resources. what you can claim is they behave as it WERE their private resources and that they don’t act but in the private interests of the politicians.

    2nd, they do have competition in some instances but when they do they either induce private competition due to incompetence or eliminate it.

    Whatever the government can do, private companies and individuals can do better and cheaper.

    generally true in true free market without monopolistics or oligopolistic forces, where no one participant is large enough to affect the market. this is not true in the presences of huge corporations who distort the market and use their power to make the govt servile to their interests. furthermore, the larger they are, the more bureaucratic and inneficient, and thus similar to govt they are.

    If the US still works, that’s because large parts of it weren’t yet (as has already happened in Europe) taken over by the state and the politicians. But once these gangsters take anything over, they’ll never give it back to their legitimate owners: the people.

    the US doesn’t “work” anymore because of reasons above.
    the reality is that the public can be screwed either by corporations or by the govt.

  66. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Re Enderlin’s légion d’honneur, the author of the note quoted by oao makes several mistakes :

    (a) if nominally, the President of the Republic gives the honor, the lists are prepared by the different ministries and the honors are given after a standard inquiry, basically checking that the potentially honored person leads a reasonably hoorable life. I am not sure of the criteria for “honorable life”, and I imagine that a pimp would not make it, or someone who is suspected to be a pimp. Anyone who receives the legion of honor and afterwards is condemned to one year of prison at least is simply expelled from the order.

    (b) the list of honored people appears mostly on Jan, 1st, some time in the spring and Jul. 14th. The ceremony during which the honor is offically bestowed is organized according to the wishes of the person who is honored and at the date chosen by this person. The only set part is that the honor is bestowed formally by someone who already has been honored at the same level at least. If Enderlin did not wish to travel to France and to receive the honor at a french consultate in Israel, there is not necessarily a dark motivation. Maybe he is in bad health and he did not want to wait. Maybe he is stuck in Israel for whatever personal reason. There are hundreds of possible reasons.

    (c) I believe that the tricky part in this honor is that Enderlin made in to the list perpared by the relevant ministry (its name changes all the time, so I’d have to dig it up and it is not very important). But, oh well… if one looks seriously at the lists of people who get the legion of honor, one finds that it includes two different kinds of people : those who are honored by the distinction and those who honor the distinction. One should not make a too big deal of te legion of honor… for a long time, it has distinguished people who absolutely deserved it and people who just got it for whatever unfathomable reason.

    Now, people, you have to guess : does Croquemichelle have the legion of honor?

  67. oao says:

    the issue is not the value of the award. the issue is that sarkozy and his people have chosen, from all possible candidates, the one who blood-libeled israel and was proven incompetent and a liar in court.

    same as alibama did with mary you know who.

    it’s the fashion these days and that’s not the least of it.

  68. sshender says:

    You can add to the Miserable Signs of the Times the fact that this blog has last been updated two weeks ago… :-(

  69. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    if nominally, the President of the Republic gives the honor, the lists are prepared by the different ministries and the honors are given after a standard inquiry, basically checking that the potentially honored person leads a reasonably hoorable life.

    So basically the President sullies his name by having it associated with some dishonorable types.

    Now if this was a private company relying on good marketing to reap profits someone would be fired for spoiling their reputation and reducing the lucre by not vetting the baggage the honoured one brings with him.

  70. oao says:

    Now if this was a private company relying on good marketing to reap profits someone would be fired for spoiling their reputation and reducing the lucre by not vetting the baggage the honoured one brings with him.

    are you sure?

    it seems to me that private or public, there is no sullying, but rather rewarding for anybody who dumps the most absurd and disgusting stuff on jews and israel.

  71. oao says:

    Charles Lewis: Boycotting the Israel boycotters
    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/09/04/charles-lewis-boycotting-the-israel-boycotters.aspx

    the salient item that i have been reiterating here:

    There is nothing Israel, or more precisely the people who live in Israel, can do to prove there is more to them than this conflict.

  72. oao says:

    A must read:

    An Update on Yale [MUST READ]
    Ted R. Bromund
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/bromund/85912

    including the linked piece by shaffer.

    american ivy league education.

  73. oao says:

    You can add to the Miserable Signs of the Times the fact that this blog has last been updated two weeks ago… :-(

    methinks RL is busy with organizing a website in response to the goldstone commission.

    we may continue to chat here on various until he comes back to blog.

  74. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Dear Cynic,

    didn’t I write that there are two kind of recipients of the legion of honor : those who are honored by the distinction and those who honor it? This seems to be equivalent to your criticism, up to our standard difference in style… I am lower key, but probably meaner :-)

  75. E.G. says:

    Re Charlie’s Legion d’honneur-

    a. His nomination was announced on July 14th. I think I posted the info here.
    b. The Consulate in J’lem is the most appropriate place for such an event. Hardly where one finds people concerned about Israel or Israelis (except for attributing them all the wrongs in the world).
    c. Mr E. did not receive the distinction for his journalistic activity. It’s the Foreign office that recommended him for, apparently, some diplomatic high deeds.

  76. oao says:

    c. Mr E. did not receive the distinction for his journalistic activity. It’s the Foreign office that recommended him for, apparently, some diplomatic high deeds.

    ah, yes, the Quay. make no mistake about it, they chose him FOR his al-durrah role. that’s their specialty.

    anyway, sarkozy is of the type that is capable of rejecting if he wants to. in this case he didn’t and i would not expect him to.

    UK and France are long gone. forget about them. there has just been a piece about the despicable details of the lybian release. it ends with “what shameful inheritors of churchill”.

  77. E.G. says:

    I don’t think the choice is directly linked to the al-Dura case. He’s just considered a specialist in ME/IP affairs.
    And a conspicuous absence at the event is that of the Ambassador. The one that served is just back “home” and the new one not yet there…

    But then…
    How France sank the original Mideast peace

  78. E.G. says:

    Ah, those @&°!§ filters devoured my comment!

  79. Cynic says:

    oao,

    UK and France are long gone.

    Did you read Amotz Asa-El’s piece?

    Middle Israel: What if America is on the decline?

    Yet there is reason to suspect that the real threat Obama represents is not to Israel, but to America, and not in his diplomacy, but in his economics.
    From what we have so far seen, Obama is assuming that the laws of financial gravity do not apply to the US. Like the Israeli bankers who used to argue that in Israel there will always be inflation, until a resolute Bank of Israel proved that even the shekel could be made rock solid, Obama now thinks America can multiply its public debt and budget deficit, nationalize dinosaurs like General Motors and legislate prohibitive social spending without saying where its financing will come from – and yet the financial markets will stand by idly.
    They won’t.
    America’s public debt is already 55% of GDP,…

    By the way Dhimma is cited in Haaretz:
    Carter: Palestinians seriously weighing one-state solution”


    Palestinian leaders are “seriously considering” a one-state solution with Israel as progress in peace negotiations continue to stall, former U.S president Jimmy Carter wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published on Sunday.
    ………………….
    “By renouncing the dream of an independent Palestine, they would become fellow citizens with their Jewish neighbors and then demand equal rights within a democracy,” he added.

    Seems that he can’t see the difference between a goober and a garbanzo.

  80. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Heh, the subtle distinction between growing nuts and cultivating them.

  81. oao says:

    cynic,

    I responded to your post but the system has rejected my post again and now claims it’s a duplicate when i try to repost. let’s hope the reply will appear later.

    this happens often and it’s terribly frustrating. i and others alerted RL to it but he seems not to have the time/means to address it technically.

  82. oao says:

    cynic,

    i’ve read enough to know that america is gone too. there is nothing alibama could further do to save it from decline, it’s over the edge. yes, he has little clue about anything, but he know what he wants: to turn america into a socialist heaven with the govt in charge, redistributing income and controlling a servile public.

    you got a glimpse of what he’s headed from the latest scandal and resignation of van jones. and like in weimar, the maericans screwed themselves like the germans, deomocratically. as to foreign policy, the superpower has turned to garbage.

    even the retard pals understand that the west put the one-state solution on the table — even their stupidity does not prevent them form taking advantage of the west wanting to get rid of the jews.

    that holds for carter too who knows it’s a good time to put that concept in the public domain and push the pals into it. he knows exactly what the 1-state solution will do, but even he is not that stupid to expose it

  83. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Heh, the subtle distinction between growing nuts and cultivating them.

    It gets “subtler” in distinguishing whether he had them to start with or had to cultivate them.
    Then again taste dictates which ones to grow.

  84. Cynic says:

    By the way something new, to me, of interest maybe for some of those frustrated people

    You can add to the Miserable Signs of the Times the fact that this blog has last been updated two weeks ago… :-(

    Top Tehran TV journalist wanted by FBI for 1980 murder in the US

    Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, is also employed by the Iranian-financed organisation.

    So it’s good for the liver when we have the facts showing where those pontificating personalities/prima-donnas are coming from.
    Maybe Donald Bostrom is also an employee?

  85. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    #93 – Or is it a matter of nature/nurture?

    #94 – Money has no odour. The bunch, on both the transaction ends, stinks.

  86. oao says:

    the number of pontificators who are not stinking in some way strives to 0.

  87. Cynic says:

    Seeing that HRW has been the subject of several posts here I think that this post by Solomonia in which he links to the revelations on Mere Rhetoric will make an interesting read:
    Marc Galasco

    There are two Marc Garlascos on the Internet. One is a top human rights investigator who, having joined Human Rights Watch after several years with the Pentagon, has become known for his shrill attacks on Israel. The other is a Marc Garlasco who’s obsessed with the color and pageantry of Nazism, has published a detailed 430 page book on Nazi war paraphernalia, and participates in forums for Nazi souvenir collectors.
    Both Marc Garlascos were born on September 4, 1970. Both have Ernst as their middle name. Both live in New York, NY. Both have a maternal grandfather who fought for the Nazis.

  88. oao says:

    The other is a Marc Garlasco who’s obsessed with the color and pageantry of Nazism, has published a detailed 430 page book on Nazi war paraphernalia, and participates in forums for Nazi souvenir collectors.

    what kind of conspiracist are you? it’s just a coincidence that he’s a sucker for things nazi and an israel attacker.

    it makes one wonder who else works in the pentagon. we already know who works at state, and now at the white house (see van jones saga).

  89. oao says:

    you better read this:

    Obama’s Middle East peace plan floated?
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0909/Obamas_Middle_East_peace_plan_floated_.html?showall

    if true, note that it was shared with arabs but not with israel. that about says it all.

  90. Eliyahu says:

    Re #108

    human organs for transplant purposes cannot be simply harvested or extracted from the body –dead or alive– in one place and sent to another place. The transplant has to be made quickly after removal from the body. It is considered best that donors, such as kidney donors, be located very close to the intended recipient so that the organ does not have to travel far or long before being transplanted.

    Hence, the whole story is nonsense. If someone has better info on this matter, let us all know.

  91. Eliyahu says:

    oao, can’t you appreciate that Garlasco’s militarism and Nazi regalia infatuation are just expressions of his human right to be a pervert?

  92. Cynic says:

    oao,

    it makes one wonder who else works in the pentagon. we already know who works at state, and now at the white house (see van jones saga).

    You left out the FBI.

  93. Cynic says:

    oao,

    what kind of conspiracist are you? it’s just a coincidence that he’s a sucker for things nazi and an israel attacker.

    You’re being sarcastic I presume?

    From your Noah Pollack link above #107:
    He has contributed almost 8,000 posts to a Nazi web forum called Wehrmacht Awards under the handle “Flak88,” with his collection of swastikas and Nazi medals all lovingly photographed and posted online. Garlasco’s Nazi hobby is actually quite ambitious: he wrote a 400-page book on Nazi military awards, and his car’s license plate is personalized—it reads “Flak88.”
    A Nazi-memorabilia hobby sure is a strange one for a professional human-rights activist to have. Are there any senior staffers at PETA who moonlight as collectors of fur coats and leg-hold traps?

  94. oao says:

    oao, can’t you appreciate that Garlasco’s militarism and Nazi regalia infatuation are just expressions of his human right to be a pervert?

    i do — hence my rebuttal of cynic as a conspiracist.

    besides, he’s collecting “military” stuff, not nazi.

  95. oao says:

    You left out the FBI.

    not to mention the CIA. i have just finieshed reading
    a book THE DIVINE TRINITY about the cooperation between the Vatican, the Soviets and western intelligence to
    save and employ the nazis.

  96. oao says:

    You’re being sarcastic I presume?

    you have to ask?

    A Nazi-memorabilia hobby sure is a strange one for a professional human-rights activist to have.

    the key point.

  97. oao says:

    the dear leader and the arts

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/09/024473.php

    and the naive thought communism lost. it didn’t.

  98. oao says:

    The Los Angeles Times Talks About Iran and Shows Why the West is so Weak and in Apparent Decline
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/09/los-angeles-times-talks-about-iran-and.html

  99. oao says:

    the book i mentioned above deal with the croatian nazis saved by the vatican. here’s today generation:

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/133333

  100. oao says:

    and there’s no paucity of cowardly, weak american fools:

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/133332

  101. Steve in Brookline says:

    I dont have any direct evidence of this but I heard from a cousin who visited Sweden recently and talked to a cab driver whose friends brother was told of a conversation overheard in a bar. Apparently, the patrons of the bar noted that reporters who work at Aftonbladet are hired on the basis of their pedophilia which they are encouraged to engage in by the management. Moreover, many of the senior editors, with participation from senior officials in the Swedish Prime Ministers office engage in ritual cannibalism when there is a full moon. These claims certainly require a full investigation. Yet, the editors seem unconcerned about these activities and have not taken any steps to refute or investigate them. If they are not true, then it is up to them to set up an independent commission, perhaps from the UN, to investigate. Let’s hope they are able to refute these allegations.

  102. E.G. says:

    Steve in Brookline,

    Funny, I saw a similar report on French TV.

  103. oao says:

    yeah, but those who OUGHT to see it won’t or will ignore it.

  104. Ray in Seattle says:

    The last three posts are interesting as I can’t figure out which one is putting on the other one (or two) – and which one (or two or three) doesn’t know it. I’ve got my suspicions but I’ll just have to wait for the next installment. Or the next after that.

  105. oao says:

    another alibama success:

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/133383

    how much would you bet that he’ll use this to pressure israel more WITHOUT arab “gestures”?

  106. obsy says:

    Have a look: http://www.thelocal.se/22008/20090911/

    The Swedish government is currently trying to change the integration related issues a lot, because the population has serious problems with certain refugees from war-torn areas.

    I wonder where those came from …
    (Somebody waiting till sundown in the recent weeks before dining?)

    Is there good old appeasement at work?
    (We are mean to the Jews and you’ll be nice to us …)

  107. obsy says:

    Kedar reminds me of my early attempts to argue about Israel. Give all the “new” facts and the logic behind them in too short a time and then get enraged that your opponent seems not to get it.

    Apart from that: it looks as if Kedar did not really react to Bostrom – and when he did he went too far so that Bostrom could just reject that line of thought.
    In a nutshell:
    Too much theory and not enough interaction on really made statements.

  108. obsy says:

    Ray: “To summarize my comment in #3 I think participants in media news delivery in a place like Sweden experience it more as riding the wave than pushing the ocean.”

    I would like to stress the word “more” in your summary. People in media will definitely search for ways to transmit their own point of view.

    Everybody wants to be the good guy. And everybody wants to be important somehow. Many journalists studied journalism because they thought that this is an important contribution to society.

    You have different levels in media where different kinds of people work and let slip in their cultural, social and personal biases.

    It is not only a question of what the customer is thought to want. Media also mirrors the cultures of its participants.

    Especially in topics that are not on the top list of people you can put in your own thoughts.
    The Swedes might be interested in shocking stories about illegal organ trade in civilized countries and the author in stories that insult Israel. Mix it and both will be happy.

  109. obsy says:

    Michelle,
    rl,

    that cartoon I see as a plain and evil attempt to support Obama’s ill analogies (Blacks in the US = Muslims in Israel).

    If it was made for any other purpose that to upset African Americans and push them to support the Pals, I cannot see it.

    Ask yourself how you would feel as an African American when you would read it!

    Correct arguments are dragged into a distorted reality.
    African Americans have culturally nothing in common with people from any African country.
    The comparison with apes is so obviously used to offend.
    I don’t know any non-muslim African culture that demands the destruction of western cultures in the west.

    Ask yourself how you would feel as an African American the next time when you hear a valid Pro-Israel argument that sounds somehow similar to anything in this sad comic.

  110. Cynic says:

    Maybe it is a descendant of the apes and pigs genealogy mocking those descendants in the US?

  111. Eliyahu says:

    back to the main topic, the Yale censorship of the Muhammad cartoons from a book on the Muhammad cartoons.

    tony blair says that he’s all in favor of it. That is, tony, champion of Western values, favors censorship of whatever might conceivably insult the sweet and tender Muslims whom he loves so much. [see the Yale Daily News, through a link on Martin Kramer’s site.

  112. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    Not for nothing is he known as Phony Tony.
    A bigger bunch of hypocrites have yet to be found.

  113. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Let me explain how I read the chimapanzee cartoon : the chimpanzee are israeli jews, who do not eat brains, and the brain eating chimpanzees are the arab neighbors of Israel. The kind of education given to kids, as represented in this cartoon, emphasizes “birthright”, “self-esteem” and a few other buzz words, which appear in present day zionist propaganda. The author of the cartoon has a J-street like point of view and his conclusion is that zionist education turns children eventually into (isareli) apes, who are not worth much more than the other middle-eastern apes.

    When analyzing this cartoon, I took into account it being published in Haaretz, and its key words.

    I can see that other people read it differently. Let us go for soem argumentation.

  114. Michelle Schatzman says:

    As support for my analysis of the chimp cartoon, see

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1113188.html

    which shows that Haaretz does not only report on ties between Birthright/Taglit and religious organizations. It hates Birthright/Taglit.

  115. E.G. says:

    Sorry, the link below is in Hebrew only.
    It’s from Caroline Glick’s site (Latma.co.il), where they have a satirical newscast.
    At 5:00 there is an interview with a Haaretz journalist and an Aftonbladet representative.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z764FyrgRMg

    Haaretz’s journalist is furious. Claims IDF soldiers don’t have time for organ-harvesting because – as Haaretz published last month – they’re busy shooting helpless Palestinian elderly women.
    The Swedish guy says they love such news, but it’s only part of the info. He’s got authentic Palestinian rumours.
    “Why base your reports on Palestinian rumours?!” the Haaretz woman cries “while we provide you with good Jewish rumours!”

  116. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    Maybe I just got it the wrong way around:
    Instead of Maybe it is a descendant of the apes and pigs genealogy mocking those descendants in the US?

    and it should be Maybe it is a descendant of the apes and pigs genealogy in the US mocking those other descendants?

    Dry Bones has a cartoon:
    Those Children of Israel

    The phenomenon of Jews joining in on the demonization of Israel is astounding! From Israeli professors to Jewish reporters they are active in the defamation and delegitimizing of the Jewish State. Sometimes they are called “self-hating” Jews. I prefer to use “Jewish Defamers” (I don’t think that for a moment that they “hate themselves”).

    I think that he is very naive if he does not realise that people can truly hate themselves and everything about themselves.

  117. RfaelMoshe says:

    The phenomena of the “self hating Jew” is not unique to Jews. Its rather typical for some individuals within a group that experiences prejudice to absorb the attitudes of the dominant group, particularly if their own group identity is weak. Thus we have similar examples in the African-American community where the phrases “Oreo cookie” or Uncle Tom” are used rather than “self hating.” In my personal experiences with the anti-Israel Jews, I have found that generally they are not educated in Judaism or Jewish history and only have minimal connections to the Jewish community,often they are only Jewish by birth. By identifying as “progressive” or “leftist”,they then have to support all of the knee jerk causes that go along with those labels. If they publically proclaim their Jewish heritage while denouncing Israel, they hope to be more fully accepted by their peers under their adopted identities rather than as Jews, and recieve greater “strokes” for doing so.

  118. E.G. says:

    I think the best term is Alter-Jews. It refers to both “alternative” and “Other” concepts. Their selves is the least hated thing on their list.
    They’re highly critical of their kinfolk, often citing Jewish wisdom and tradition notions (though not always accurately and with some “interesting”, “innovative”, PoMo interpretations*), but never of themselves, nor of any Jew or non-Jew who is anti-Zionist and, often, anti-clerical – except for Moslems.

    They’re Jewish, and claim it loudly. But self-proclaimed of a distinct sort – very loudly claimed.

    *The last one I saw was Marek Halter meeting with Khaled Mashaal under the pretext of a non-existent Talmudic teaching (checked with a Rabbi who checked himself).

  119. oao says:

    Everybody wants to be the good guy. And everybody wants to be important somehow. Many journalists studied journalism because they thought that this is an important contribution to society.

    not to mention everybody wants to show off his knowledge and smarts. and if the audience does not have either and the journos, who are are themselves an integral part of the public, know it…

  120. Cynic says:

    Many journalists studied journalism because they thought that this is an important contribution to society.

    Nah! Many journalists studied journalism because they thought that this is the only possibility of getting some of the spotlight in their quest for instant recognition by society.

  121. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    It appears that I was wrong in both instances and that the cartoon was in response to a campaign for “The Lost Jew”:
    Israel calls for “Lost Jews” to come home

    The Israeli authorities have launched a video campaign calling for people to report on Jews in danger of marrying non-Jews.
    was seen as racist.

    See video on page – in Hebrew
    “Do you know a Jewish youngster living abroad?”

    Funny I saw it and never gave it a second thought. Hoo boy, am I a racist.

  122. Cynic says:

    Melanie Phillips has a post
    The Goldstone show-trial

    and we get some about HRW
    But Goldstone himself was actually a member of the HRW board, only resigning from it after his inquiry began. During the 2006 Lebanon War, when HRW was making a series of highly tendentious claims about Israel’s alleged human rights abuses Goldstone sprang to HRW’s defence. How then can he be an objective assessor of its evidence to his own Commission? NGO Monitor observes: ……..

    but she does not disclose the latest about Garlasco, Stokes et al.

  123. Ray in Seattle says:

    Being true to his moniker Cynic said,

    Nah! Many journalists studied journalism because they thought that this is the only possibility of getting some of the spotlight in their quest for instant recognition by society.

    Too bad we don’t have a rating system for comments. I’d give this one a ten.

  124. Cynic says:

    Ray,

    Thanks for the, in my opinion, compliment. But then I’m not a journalist. :-)

  125. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    Just to add to #148, Gideon Levi weighs in
    ‘Lost Jews’ campaign is racist, despicable and disgusting

    , and life for the non-Jewish minority in Israel is immeasurably worse than life as a minority for most of the Jewish communities around the world.

    “Immeasurably worse” but not so when compared to many of the poor-Jewish minority in Israel.
    Maybe someone will comment on Haaretz but Levi will turn a blind Eye to the Asians – Phillipinos, Indians, Chinese – and Africans doing everything to live in Israel.

  126. oao says:

    They’re Jewish, and claim it loudly. But self-proclaimed of a distinct sort – very loudly claimed.

    Finklestein anyone?

  127. oao says:

    Maybe someone will comment on Haaretz but Levi will turn a blind Eye to the Asians – Phillipinos, Indians, Chinese – and Africans doing everything to live in Israel.

    these people are not concerned about the oppressed,
    but rather self-centered. they must claim some oppressed to show off how moral they are.

    that’s why they are so useful idiots for the arabs.

  128. oao says:

    Too bad we don’t have a rating system for comments. I’d give this one a ten.

    not to diminish cynic’s contributions, but that was
    rather an obvious and trivial one.

  129. Ray in Seattle says:

    That was a compliment in the sense of stating a fundamental truth about human nature. It was such a perceptive statement that maybe I should expand on it a bit.

    Recognition by society induces extremely powerful emotions in most humans and is a primary driver of behavior. In every society becoming an adult is learning (developing beliefs) about what society approves of and what it disapproves of and what behaviors will earn recognition and praise. Such recognition is valuable for reproductive success as any boy who has become a rock musician will tell you.

    Or any man who has recently increased his wealth (which results in positive social recognition) can attest by the sudden increase in his attractiveness to available women.

    That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But, in a place like America where we have sub-societies within our larger one, a liberal sub-society can provide recognition rewards for silly things like being black – which in this case accounted for a significant proportion of votes in the last election for Obama.

    Likewise, a sub-society like conservative can provide recognition rewards for silly things like a strong professed belief in the Christian God – which in the 2000 election resulted in a significant number of votes for GWB.

    IMO the greatest danger from this element of human nature comes from a closed autocratic society like the Palestinain one. Here, social recognition is passed out according to strictly enforced political decree. High social recognition rewards can then be given to mothers who sacrifice their sons as martyrs in the war to kill Jews. Young mothers then learn what will make them admired in their society and a new generation of martyrs is brought into the world.

    Or, being a son you learn that becoming a martyr in the (socially admired) effort to kill Jews will get your picture placed on a prominent public wall and the everlasting approval of your father – another very powerful emotional driver of behavior for young males.

    The point is that whatever a society or sub-society elevates as positively recognized behavior will result in many people attempting to behave in that way – no matter how irrational or destructive that behavior is. Most advertising is based on this very dependable cause and effect. Once we buy in – and we usually have no choice because good ads wisely appeal directly to our emotions and not to our reason – we’ll even use our reason to justify our induced behavior rather than question it. We pretty much can’t help it.

  130. Ray in Seattle says:

    And just to quickly connect this back to Cynic’s observation about the incentive to become a journalist – several people I knew back in the sixties went to journalism school because of the movie “All the President’s Men” which made heroes of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein especially among the anti-war crowd.

    I just checked the Netflix description of that movie and they agree it seems,

    The film that launched a thousand journalism school students, All the President’s Men chronicles how the work of reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) contributed to the public downfall of President Richard M. Nixon. The duo connected a Washington, D.C., hotel break-in with a Nixon “dirty tricks” team assigned to discredit Democratic rivals, launching a series of tense events that forced Nixon to resign.

  131. E.G. says:

    Cynic,
    (and oao and others)

    Some Israeli popular wisdom about journos and politicians (almost 3 decades old)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4B-TiGiFkU

    Sorry for the non-Hebrew speakers. The line is “we’re being fooled”.

  132. Cynic says:

    Journalists, yech!

    The Power and Importance of New Media

    On Meet the Press this past Sunday, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman railed against internet news sources, referring to them as an “open sewer of untreated, unfiltered information.” He continued to mock.. …………..
    ………..when he said that modems should have a warning label from the surgeon general that reads “judgment not included.”

    Talk about projecting.

    Then of course we get this
    NYT’s Friedman’s ‘Enlightened Elite’ Kills Baby Girls in China

    The pride of the New York Times stable of tame pundits, Thomas Friedman, has high praise for one-party autocracies. Like China’s:
    “One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.”

    Give him the spotlight!

  133. Michelle Schatzman says:

    @ Ray and other people : I spent a few days in a conference celebrating the 60th birthday of one of my fellow mathematicians – my turn in three months, and this gave me of occasion of repeating a very well-known paradox : if you have an absolutely wonderful opinion of yourself, you have no incentive whatsoever to be arrogant or to bother people with things they know, and you can pass for the truly modest person, because you simply don’t need the kick of public recognition. It is only if you are not too sure of yourself that you need that kick, or flash or whatever.

    I had before my eyes a large gallery of people whose talks were not always terribly close to my interests, which is OK. But on top of it, some of them were mostly interested by explaining that they were the best, maybe not in mathematics, but in their field of mathematics. I am not sure that they succeeded in my eyes, but I did not come up with any new cartoon (remember that Croquemichelle emerged from a boring seminar). I was busy being modest and working on my own math and my own talk.

    :-)

  134. E.G. says:

    Elementary, My Dear Michelle.

    Competence and modesty are highly correlated – and not only in maths.

  135. Michelle Schatzman says:

    @ Cynic,

    I stick to my interpretation of the chimp cartoon as birthright/taglit virulent criticism – but the criticism of the “lost jew” ad campaign by haaretz is of the same nature. I believe that the “lost jew” campaign is plain stupid and of very bad taste, but I also observe Gideon Levy puts forward a totally different criticism : he believes that it is better to be less but more virtuous.

    The point is that virtue, among jews, is often related to religion or ideology. And I’d bet that dear Gideon would probably be helpless if he had to delineate a program of virtue, beyond making peace with the neighbors at all costs (including possibly the destruction of Israel, but he pretends that he does not know about that).

    More generally, the point with alterjews (nice term, coined by a friend of mine as alterjuifs, appeared in the french jewish quarterly “Controverses” and stuck) is that they want to be virtuous, and they love the prophets of Israel, for their castigating of Israel. They are missing a few points, however : the prophets did not rejoice in castigating Israel for its sins, they thought that they bore the weight of the sins of Israel together with Israel. See Hoshea, in particular. The alterjews are not really after collective virtue, they are after saving their skins and looking good before the non-Jews.

    I believe that the word “alterjew” captures much better the phenomenon than self-haters or self-defamers. I found on the web the words of a womn about my age, whom I knew as a child, the daughter of a jewish mother and a non jewish father, who was an important guy in the french resistance – and so was the mom. She explains that, in 2006 or so, she demonstrated as a jew for the first time in her life, because she wanted to show that jews do not behave as the bad israelis. Maybe my dates are wrong, but that was the gist of the declaration.

    So here is a woman, who has been on the extreme-left all her lifetime, and around her sixties, she decides that she must tell the world that she is a jew (does not show from her patronym), so as to prove that she disagrees with whatever element of israeli politics.

    Who can be fooled by such a claim? Maybe the lady herself, and a few other people in her circle of friends. She would be certainly a lost jew, with regard to the stupid campaign. At some point, I was a lost jew, since I married a non-jew and stayed with him for about 15 years.

    So, there are lost jews and lost jews… :-)

    There is only one point on which I may agree with Gideon Levy : the “lost jew” campaign is stupid. As we say in french “on n’attrape pas les mouches avec du vinaigre” (one does not catch flies with vinegar). There is one and only one way to attract lost jews : to show them that judaism is interesting from an infinite number of points of view. In particular, it would have been better if jewish organization had spent less time and energy on holocaust education and more on living jews, and living jewish ideas.

    Coming back recently to my mind, this explanation by a chasidic rebbe on the reason why you must see a physician and take medicines – while of course, God could cure you right away, couldn’t he, if you had enough faith? The reason is that, when you take a medicine, which is after all a poison, you redeem the sparks of light, which have been dispersed throughout the world during the breaking of vases, the shvirat hakelim of the kabbalists, and that the sparks of light which are hidden in poisons must be redeemed too.

    I know that oao will bite my head off for evoking religion – but I realized that I have lots of heads, or maybe they regros immediately in place, and I’ll continue. But I love this explanation, not because I have doubts when taking my medicines (including th4e very poisonous ones) about the necessity of taking them, but because this explanation gives a dynamical view of the world, not one where one lays curled in the bottom, of one’s bed, just waiting for life to get better. This is an explanation which fits the world view according to which “it is forbidden to despair”.

    Had the jewish organizations spent more time explaining that judaism is about life and the future no less than about the memory of the horrors of the past, we would be better off.

  136. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Not so elementary, my dear E.G. : arrogant people are not always incompetent… and modest people can be quite incompetent, but there is a good chance that they’ll know it.

  137. Michelle Schatzman says:

    typo in #162 : I realized that I have lots of heads or maybe they regrow immediately in place.

  138. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    As you well know, a high correlation coefficient does not mean a perfect correspondence of all events.

    Regarding “lost” and “back to fold” Jews and “away from fold”/Alter-Jews, it is a sociologically fascinating trend. While 2-3 decades ago one’s Jewishness was a matter of private rather than public statement, nowadays it’s become a public issue. I most “appreciate” those who go beyond Hitler’s criteria so as to get some more legitimacy as Jews against Israel (e.g., his Ambassadorship, former Buchenwald inmate Stephane Hessel ).

  139. oao says:

    friedman has become an ass a long time ago after he got rich. and the richer he got, the asser he became. there are lots of articles demonstrating it.

    The line is “we’re being fooled”.

    And the audience has become much easier to fool.

    Here’s Rubin on the west contribution to the arab world:

    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/09/middle-easts-disease-infects-west-west.html

  140. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G.,

    Hessel is a mystery to me. He was not well-known in France until, say 15 years ago. He became famous on two account : supporting illegal aliens and Israel-bashing. For the former activity, it is nice to be an Ambassadeur de France. For the latter, it is nice to be a Jew. OK, Hessel is not a Jew according to Halacha, but who cares? methinks that Hessel got a real case of mediatic “démon de midi”, but at a very late age. He wanted to be famous, he got it. He found that the more outrageous your statement and attitudes, the better reported you are. Didn’t someone tell hikm of the story of the guy who burned down the temple of Artemis in Ephesus so as to be famous? His condemnation was that no one should utter his name under death penalty. Unfortunately someone said his name, and he was called Herostratus.

    Therefore, the appropriate condemnation is probably not to forbid any utterance of the name “Hessel”, but to link every utterance of the name “Hessel” with the comment “you know, the guy who said he was a jew only in order to attack Israel, and who used his title of Ambassadeur de France only to defend illegal activities under a democratic regime.”

  141. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    As we say in french “on n’attrape pas les mouches avec du vinaigre” (one does not catch flies with vinegar).

    As I already mentioned in a comment some time back that “here” the one sure way of attracting flies, apart from uncovered food and dirt, is leaving a bit of wine in the bottle to go sour.

    As for good Jews and bad Jews I had my eyes opened more than 50 years ago to that siren song.

    So here is a woman, who has been on the extreme-left all her lifetime, and around her sixties, she decides that she must tell the world that she is a jew …

    She needs to make her invective against her roots more credible so she grabs that overused meme that if a Jew says something about other Jews then it must be true, (moral, wholesome, whatever), as opposed to that of a non-Jew which can be more easily rebutted as anti-Semitism.

    There is one and only one way to attract lost jews : to show them that judaism is interesting from an infinite number of points of view.

    Many of them are not interested in the spiritual aspect but are trying to hide even as they are being used to cut their roots from under them with lies and distortions.
    Levi is no virtuous and moral being as he distorts and inflames the situation under which his house is being judged. His idea of virtue is relative (as is Obama’s idea of Honduran independence not being in accordance with the current “Democratic” definition, where the combined judgment of Zelaya by their Congress, Supreme Court and people goes against his principle).
    One can see analogies of Levi’s virtue in court decisions where the aggressor becomes the victim.
    It is not a case of less or more, virtue or not but of building and setting alight his own pyre.

  142. Cynic says:

    Reading Adloyada
    The painful attempts of a Muslim to come to terms with Jewish history

    I came across a very lengthy post which meshes with what I was saying above:

    So, Fiyaz, I’m just as suspicious and sceptical about anyone using the formulation “as a Muslim” as I am of someone saying “as a Jew”. It has all to often been a marker of quite a different agenda, and one based on attempts to pass off unrepresentative views as typical or as having an importance beyond their own speaker’s presence.
    ……………..
    Of course they had and continue to have a retinue of some thousands of Jews (who would invariably invoke the As A Jew formula) who supported and continue to support those of them who wish to see an end to the State of Israel, and who wish to see all Jews removed from living in the occupied territories.

  143. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Do you know about this ?
    The Book of Seumas

    3. And it came to pass in the East that Yeltsin, the son of Gorbachev, turned his back on the inheritance of the Marxite tribe. In the West the great King Ron Reagan was triumphant and this sorely troubled the Guardianites. So they asked their Warlord Seumas what they should do. “Cleave ye to the enemies of King Ron” he said. “Get ye to the tribe of the Shi’ites of Persia. Make common cause against those who joined with King Ron, for example the tribe of Judah. Take no notice of the fact that the Persian King ImADimNutJob opposeth everything ye hold dear, such as equality for women, respect for gays, democracy and justice.”
    4. Lo, behold: the Guardianites had in their inheritance in their land of Kings Place a multitude of rabid dogs,

    Scroll down to Adloyada’s comment on Dawkins and Freedland.

  144. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    In their criticism of the Guardian’s “Comment is Free” CIFWatch in this post uses the term “House Jews” which along with “alterjew” provide a new entry to Roget’s Thesaurus:

    The Use of Nazi Analogies on CiF

    But the greatest trick the Guardian has up its sleeve is the establishment of a stable of five or so “house Jews” eager to demonstrate that they, “unlike all those other Jews”, are really on the “right side” ..

  145. Michelle Schatzman says:

    “House jews” : not bad… Besides, I am always wary of accusations of trivializing the holocaust. The reason is that the members of the Knesset, in the early years of the state of Israel exchanged insults, which were exactly doing that. It is well-known, it is historically reported and no one claims it did not happen

    The people who trivialize the Holocaust on the Guardian’s web site or in its pages are not educated enough to know about the foul language used in the Knesset. I’m not going to tell them, but they will eventually find out.

    If our enemies use weapons we already used between us, it a bit difficult to tell them : “look, WE may trivialize the holocaust, but you may not”. Just does not work. I know that it is a sad statement, but the love of truth pushed me to make it, and of course, I’m NOT guilty or even responsible of my love of truth.

    :-)

  146. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    members of the Knesset, in the early years of the state of Israel exchanged insults, which were exactly doing that.

    Which reminds me of the infantile behaviour I witnessed as a child between adult members of the community. The most spiteful and nasty things said which confused me as my mother always reprimanded us kids for such behaviour.

    One must not forget human behaviour is not logical and in the same vein that Jews can tell jokes about Jews that they would object hearing from non-Jews so Afro-Americans indulge in the N word while denying whites the privilege.

    But then again it is not correct/right that because a few uncouth individuals used certain terms and expressions that it becomes okay for others to indulge.
    As for those knesset members in the early years of the state; they behaved in a manner that was symptomatic of their political alliances and roots which have changed radically since then. Some individuals trivialized the Holocaust but that doesn’t mean that such behaviour should become the norm and society in general has the right to reject such actions.

    One has to compare things of even twenty years ago with that of today to notice the general improvement in behaviour as the culture has progressed and people have moved away from the immediate results that spurred their stress and frustration in the early years just after independence.

  147. oao says:

    cynic,

    levy exposes nothing but the classic attempt by the jew
    to ingratiate himself with his oppressors. he fools himself that he acts out of morality but in reality he
    is scared shitless. it is easier psychologically than
    accepting a negative reality and fight against the world.
    isn’t that what the holocaust jews did prior to their pyre?

    members of the Knesset, in the early years of the state of Israel exchanged insults, which were exactly doing that.

    which is stupid and ignorant, but they at least don’t kill each other or their own a la fatah-hamas. and they do unite when fatah-hamas start shooting. it’s rather pragmatic than moral but hey, it’s better than nothing.

  148. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    trivializing the holocaust. The reason is that the members of the Knesset, in the early years of the state of Israel exchanged insults, which were exactly doing that. It is well-known, it is historically reported and no one claims it did not happen.

    This is news to me. Any reference?

    Hessel is not only non-Jew by Halacha, he wasn’t even by Hitler. He was deported to Buchenwald (like many others, Jews and non-Jews) as a Résistance activist. Gives him even more aura as a KZ survivor. Talk about Shoah manipulation.

    O/T Nu, what news with Grandchild? A Bris or a Brita?

  149. Eliyahu says:

    oao, Mark Steyn makes important points at that link [#167]. He says several things that I would say but probably better than me. Like, certain Western leaders wanting Iran to have the bomb. Don’t you see how that would help, though?? If Iran had the bomb, then Europe would be back living under nuclear terror the way it did in the 1950s and 60s. This time, the ME too would live under nuclear terror. Then the English-speaking major powers would save everybody else from the threat of Iran’s bomb, which would mean their dependency on the major English-speaking powers. OR, what would be worse would be if the latter allowed Iran to use the bomb. Maybe they will. Of course, zbig bzzzzski would never imagine such a scenario. He couldn’t possibly have thought of such a possibility when he helped Khomeini take over Iran in 1979.

    I just read on Shmuel Rosner’s blog on the JPost what some idiot named Glen Greenwald wrote against Norman Podhoretz. He accused NP of being more in favor of Israel’s well being/interests than of “his” [NP's] country’s interests.

    The problem is that the obama administration is hardly working for the benefit of America by favoring Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran against Israel. Welcoming an Iranian bomb, which Steyn points out could lead to a Sudanese bomb, etc., is not good for America. But these superficial idiots burp up their simplistic slogans, while the world slides toward a truly dank era, a replay of the Middle Ages, this time with A-bombs.

  150. Eliyahu says:

    oao, Barry Rubin has the West’s number, that is, the Left’s number, since Left policy and goals are more or less the same as EU goals, as UK goals, etc.

    But Rubin is so polite about making his argument.

    I would say that many or most Western journalists working in the ME are sent out less to report the news than to help mold public opinion in their home countries in certain directions, pro-Arab, pro-Muslim, as barry rubin says. Of course I go farther than rubin. But, a good sweet new year to all, including our friends not of the Mosaic persuasion.

  151. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Thanks!
    I also clicked on Adloyada’s “exciting new biblical discoveries”.

    Bashing Israel, at the Guardian and elsewhere, seems to provide some intellectual orgasm to those who indulge in it. Nihil novi sub sole.
    Some people have strange pleasures.

  152. E.G. says:

    I join Eliyahu’s New Year wishes.
    To all friends of Eretz Zavat Halav U- Devash: Land of Milk and Honey.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGuXEWuZLlw

  153. Michelle Schatzman says:

    @ E.G.,

    (a) here is the list of insults that M.K. Colette Avital proposed to ban in 2001 from public Knesset discourse:

    Animals, anti-Semite, backstabber, blood drinker, swamp fly, boors, brain defective, cheat, coarse, contemptible degenerate, dirty, enemy, evil one, fascist, father of violence, fifth column, filth, gang, government of murderers, gut-ripper and eye-gouger.

    Horror, humbug, hypocrite, idiot, instigator of murder, Jew-hater, king of the swamp, leech, liar, loathsome, lunatic, man of blood, tortured saint (used ironically), may your name be blotted out, madman, mental case, monster, murderer, Nazi, nincompoop, occupying army, parasite, Philistine, pig, PLO, poisoner of wells.

    Poodle, racist, reptile, savage, scoundrel, slanderer, character assassin, spiller of blood, swindler , terrorist, threat to the state, thug, total nonentity traitor, Trojan horse, troublemaker for Jews, ugly, venal, worthless.

    Source : http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Israeli+lawmaker+pushing+for+ban+on+insults+%60Poodle,%27+%60humbug,%27+%60evil…-a075813677

    In fact, finding a source to answer your question was a bit difficult : the bad behavior at the Knesset is part of the objective data of Israeli life. I’d say : just ask anybody who is not afraid of the truth. And it was already present at the foundation of the state. OK, I’ll look for sources written on paper, but I do not promise I’ll find in finite time.

    IMHO, bad behavior in the Knesset (and you will agree that “bad” is well above the real qualificative) is a blight upon the state of Israel and anyone who has the tiniest bit of sympathy for Israel. Yes I know that the prophets of Israel said incredibly tough things to the people of Israel, AND they shared the destiny of Israel. And yes, I know that the chavrei knesset, even when they say the most horrifying things to one another will eventually stick together when needed. But in our world of instant communication of infinitely reflected soundbites, it just sounds terrible.

    I am sensitive to the notion of mar’at ayin : once upon a time, a respected rabbi in my town made before a number of people including me the following joke: “blacks and racism are things which should not exist”. I did not laugh. I guess that you know why – and you also got the idea that I absolutely love jokes.

    (b) Rinat, born Aug. 27th. Does very seriously her baby job : nursing, sleeping, eliminating, putting on weight. And being beautiful (partial grandma speaking).

  154. Michelle Schatzman says:

    I join Eliyahu and E.G. : since Jews believe that Rosh Hashana is the anniversary of the creation of man, it is happy new year for everyone reading this.

  155. E.G. says:

    Mazal Tov Savta Michelle,

    May Rinat grow healthy and happy in a land of peace and prosperity.

    So the “well-known”, “historically reported” MK Shoah trivialization seems more a matter of memory of words (ouïe dire) than recorded facts?
    Sorry, but Ms. Avital’s list only indicates MK’s use of foul language (that I certainly don’t approve). I suspect you’ll much more easily find written transcripts of Knesset “discussions” where a few MK’s indeed make Shoah trivialization comments. One of those MK’s is no longer one, since he fled Israel.
    BTW, Ms. Avital’s record for Shoah survivors’ well-being goes very little beyond words. But she’s a nice woman.

  156. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Dear E.G.,

    I gave Ms Avital’s list, as it was evidence of foul langage. And it includes “nazi”, which is of course the evidence I’ve got up to now of trivialization of the shoa. I know about non jewish MK’s hurling epithets not worth of reporting here. But I meant jewish MK’s. It’ll take me more time. I’ll look better for sources.

    I do hope that Yakir and Rinat will grow healthy and happy in a land of peace and prosperity, and the same for all children their age, including neighbors. And I even hope that I’ll live long enough to see it (a much harder vow).

    Right now, we are still living with the old roman paradox “si vis pacem, para bellum” (if you want peace, prepare war). Still true, still difficult to stomach.

    Du-Savta Michelle

  157. E.G. says:

    Du-Savta’le,

    Would you characterise the following as Shoah trivialization?

    - So, how’ve you been doing lately?
    - Working endlessly.
    - Well, it’s good to be working.
    - Sure, gets one free.

  158. Eliyahu says:

    Michelle, it’s interesting that Ms Avital wanted to ban the epithet “poodle.” After all, poodle is what the former PM, the late Yits’haq Rabin [ז''ל], called Yossi Beilin, specifically “Peres’ poodle.”

    Since someone mentioned the Guardian, here’s a charming anecdote about an assiduous Guardian journalist in Baghdad and one of the last Jews there.

    http://iraqpundit.blogspot.com/2009/09/outrageous-journalists.html

  159. Eliyahu says:

    Michelle,
    let me say mazal tov over the beautiful addition to your family. You are a proud bubba [= grandmother].

    To change the subject, Yossi Beilin is still a poodle. He now is a poodle for the European Onion which funds him and his various projects. Isn’t it heartwarming that despite all the poverty in Europe and the backward health care systems in some EU countries, especially in Eastern Europe, I suppose, and all of Europe’s other problems, that the EU can always find a few spare euros for poodles like Beilin?? I myself am a great dog lover. I even like poodles, eventhough they, like other hounds, do tend to leave unsightly mounds on the sidewalks of major cities.

  160. Michelle Schatzman says:

    @ E.G.,

    (1) I laughed when reading the joke. I would not call it trivializing the shoa. Anyway, only really historically educated people could understand it.

    (2) I’ve asked by e-mail the testimony of my uncle, who is a former parlementary journalist – of course a partisan one, but he probably has dates and names in mind. I’ll keep you posted.

    @ Eliyahu,

    Thanks for congratulating me over my second bubba’leitis. Or should I say bubba’leosis? One of the best diseases on earth!

    Regarding insults, the list of insults reveals as much on the people who use them than on the person who selected them to make the list. Well, poodle is not such a terrible insult after all… it might even be an objective statement, who knows?

    Y’know, there are always ways of dealing with insults. One does not have to take them at face value. A common derogatory name in french for females is “bonne femme” (ggod woman), which means “reduced to her glands, stupid and totally lacking ambition”. When this comes across, I always thank the people who use the phrase, since I’d rather be a “bonne femme” than a “mauvaise femme (bad woman)” (the latter has undertones of licentiousness and meanness).

    So Beilin is a poodle? Why should you care about poodle feeding by the EU? You should be concerned by rotweiler feeding by the EU, right? And the EU does feed quite a few rotweilers, including NGO’s whose agenda reduces to Israel bashing and boycott organizing. We should persuade the EU to use its doggie money to feed only poodles, instead of feeding rotweilers. You know, this is basically vaccinal strategy : if you can’t eradicate the deadly virus, let it compete with an innocuous cousin, who will take its place harmlessly. This is how smallpox was eradicated for real.

    Long life to poodles!

  161. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    It was a real life dialogue. I’m the “endless worker”. And my Goy interlocutor took my reply very humourlessly.

  162. Cynic says:

    Firstly, Michelle Mazal Tov and much pleasure from your family.

    Secondly,
    As some have remarked on my moniker :-) I will issue a disclosure:
    I am not trying to ingratiate myself with readers but am sincerely hoping that we all will be blessed with peace, happiness and sufficient prosperity to toast life regularly during the coming year.

  163. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    So Beilin is a poodle? Why should you care about poodle feeding by the EU? You should be concerned by rotweiler feeding by the EU, right? And the EU does feed quite a few rotweilers, including NGO’s whose agenda reduces to Israel bashing and boycott organizing.

    Because the rotweiler usually has its way with the poodle?

  164. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    A while back on this blog I mentioned a book published in Hebrew earlier this year about the humour that was displayed in the camps.
    Without taking into consideration the conditions it would be very easy to demean the work as trivialization of the Shoah.

  165. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    From your link to IraqPundit
    NYT’s Stephen Farrell just gave them more evidence than anyone could ask for.

    What could one expect from someone employed by the NYT other than stupidity?

  166. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    And my Goy interlocutor took my reply very humourlessly.

    But that’s Oxford isn’t it?
    One has to descend to the level of Sid James and Hattie Jacques to appreciate that :-)

  167. E.G. says:

    TY, Cynic’le ;-)

    Even Oxfordians appreciate a bon mot. It was a (not old) Austrian.
    How’d she react to my dialogue with a Ravensbrück survivor (done forced labour in the salt mines, her mother’s ashes in the nearby lake)?
    Me: You look great!
    She: Yep. Salt preserves.

    Because the rotweiler usually has its way with the poodle?

    Spot-on. Although Rotweiller is not what comes to my mind when thinking about those orgs/assocs. Farfour does.

  168. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G.

    So, your goy interlocutor did not laugh. Too bad. Strike him off your list of people with whom to make jokes. I never saw a successful graft of the humor organs. Of course, we must not harvest the humour organs off the bodies of our dead enemies : (1) they are dead and we need living humor. (2) they generally lack humor.

    ;-)

    Some people have trouble making the distinction between “se moquer des gens (making fun of people)” and “rire d’une situation (laughing at a situation)”.

    The case you reported is an good example of it: if you are alive and well and you say that work makes you free, it means that you know how pervert the “Arbeit macht frei” motto was, and you expect your interlocutor to agree. You were laughing at the situation. But your interlocutor, probably embarrassed by it, had no answer. He probably thought that he could not tell you that work would make you free because he assumed you would have interpreted this as an antisemitic slur.

    It seems (but it may be apocryphal) that Churchill said that an antisemite is someone who hates Jews beyond reason. I like the idea that hate is part of daily human interaction and we can’t expect to love all our neighbors and to be loved by all our neighbors. It is enough if we refrain from acting badly with respect to our neighbors, and it suffices to fill up one’s life.

    Happy new year! A year of peace, prosperity, success, good deeds, and all the things in life that deserve toasting.

  169. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G.

    The salt dialogue is even better! Laughed aloud at my desk!

    So your intelocutor was a not too old female austrian? My diagnosis is that she has to work on her feelings of guilt. Not knowing the person it is a bit hard to write a prescription. But what about a mystical message according to which she has to atone for the sins of her forefathers by converting all of Austria to judaism? Otherwise, Croquemichelle is going to tickle her toes at night…

  170. Cynic says:

    The reaction of somebody in this part of the world to the Aftonblat’s allegation was: “but steak and ‘kidney’ pie is not our national dish!”.

  171. oao says:

    Then the English-speaking major powers would save everybody else from the threat of Iran’s bomb, which would mean their dependency on the major English-speaking powers.

    uhuh. who would rely on the bankrupt west? not even the bankrupt west. there may be such intention, but reality will blow it away.

    The problem is that the obama administration is hardly working for the benefit of America by favoring Saudi Arabia,

    alibama does not give an ff about america, just the opposite (remember michelle’s comments?). he cares only about his own aggrandizement via grabbing of govt power and turning everybody dependent on him. the worse america becomes the more it works for him.

    But Rubin is so polite about making his argument.

    very annoying. he thinks that politeness will enhance acceptability of his points. wrong.

    I would say that many or most Western journalists working in the ME are sent out less to report the news than to help mold public opinion in their home countries in certain directions, pro-Arab, pro-Muslim, as barry rubin says.

    the mechanism is slightly different and has to do with the realization that the media does not sell content to audiences, but audiences to advertisers. and advertisers are corporations. and corporations…

    Bashing Israel, at the Guardian and elsewhere, seems to provide some intellectual orgasm to those who indulge in it.

    when one is an insignificant impotent where it counts,
    bashing israel is about the only orgasm one gets.

    Right now, we are still living with the old roman paradox “si vis pacem, para bellum” (if you want peace, prepare war). Still true, still difficult to stomach.

    what is difficult to stomach is that we SHOULD live with the old roman paradox, but WE DON’T!!!! we don’t prepare for war, we either appease or make believe there’s no danger.

    To change the subject, Yossi Beilin is still a poodle. He now is a poodle for the European Onion which funds him and his various projects.

    once a poodle always a poodle, it’s a state of mind.
    and the ability to convince oneself that one does it out of moral responsibility — getting all those funds — not for self-benefit. my guess is he’s doing better with EU than with peres — more funds.

    Because the rotweiler usually has its way with the poodle?

    yup. and some poodles are rotweilers in disguise. or can do more damage than the latter.

  172. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Although Rotweiller is not what comes to my mind when thinking about those orgs/assocs. Farfour does.

    When one thinks of the Rotweiler/Poodle relationship one does not contemplate Disney entering the picture.

  173. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says, the mechanism is slightly different and has to do with the realization that the media does not sell content to audiences, but audiences to advertisers. and advertisers are corporations. and corporations…

    A valuable insight IMO.

    And so, if significant parts of the population are pro-Arab / anti-Israel (i.e. the left in England and the US) then those become audiences that can possibly be delivered. Someone looking to make money will try to deliver them in a free economy – if their spending habits and economic size are tempting enough.

    All it takes is pro-Arab / anti-Israel programming and talent. But that must be followed up by a marketing program to attract those viewers and keep them by helping them develop emotional attachments to on-air personalities that can be depended upon to deliver the red meat.

    On the right Rush has made many millions by this formula – renting out his ability to deliver his red meat through syndication to the anti-liberal, pro-conservative market. Fox news goes after a similar demographic but must be more subtle ideologically because of the difference between news and entertainment.

    Does Rush believe what he says? Of course he does. His income would be adversely affected if he didn’t. Does Rush mold his opinions to produce more income? Not consciously. The same can be said for the board-of-directors at Fox News. Opinions, you see, are the dependent variables in such deliberations and those who make such decisions are hired by their shareholders for their ability to always understand that.

    Even with Obama in the WH, the right is well ahead of the left in establishing such communication channels for its fans and filling those channels with emotionally satisfying fodder.

    Despite what many liberal “experts” say, RW media management orgs like Regnery or the RNC, etc. don’t control this process. But, I believe the RW has done more research into human nature and has taken good advantage of this knowledge. I think liberals are still stuck thinking it’s about politics rather than the emotional forces of identity belief.

    Despite this advantage, Obama won because Bush had screwed things up so badly that almost any Dem would have won – not because Obama laid out any superior ideas. Also, of course, McCain’s choice of Palin as VP has to be one of the worst political blunders in decades. The only real race was between Obama and Clinton. I really hope the Repubs offer someone better next time – depending on Obama’s coming actions w/respect to foreign policy I may vote for him.

  174. oao says:

    A MUST READ — what could be expected as a result of Alibama’s presidency:

    http://counterterrorismblog.org/2009/09/bin_laden_us_must_eliminate_th.php

    Now America has common interests with Al-Qaeda:

    There is without any doubt a shift in the strategic communications of al Qaeda. The latter’s advisors, some of whom we can detect are operating from within the American political culture, have convinced Bin Laden (assuming it is voice on the tape) that it would be strategically preferable to single out one issue, the US-Israel relations, and try to break it by putting Americans in general and perhaps some in the Administration, under pressure: the offer is that the entire War on Terror could end from al Qaeda’s side if Washington would let go of its alliance with Israel. This is why I found that this tape, unlike any previous one, shows a non traditional al Qaeda approach. It could even signifies that a possible re-alignment has been taking place between various forces of Jihadism in the Greater Middle East.

  175. oao says:

    eliyahu,

    in support of my argument about alibama:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/09/024518.php

  176. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    When one thinks of the Rotweiler/Poodle relationship one does not contemplate Disney entering the picture.
    Rats!

    But now that you’re provoking me –
    Podgy Poodle peddling pooches, Pooh-Bahs piddling in puddles, paddling in pooh…

    (with thanks to Dr. Seuss)

  177. oao says:

    And so, if significant parts of the population are pro-Arab / anti-Israel (i.e. the left in England and the US) then those become audiences that can possibly be delivered. Someone looking to make money will try to deliver them in a free economy – if their spending habits and economic size are tempting enough.

    correct — advertisers want to appease audiences into buying and the media know it.

    but: the media and other corps are anti-semitic themselves and their content reinforce or create the anti-semitism in the audience. the sides feedback and reinforce each other — it’s an accelerating process.

    Even with Obama in the WH, the right is well ahead of the left in establishing such communication channels for its fans and filling those channels with emotionally satisfying fodder.

    funny you should say that:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/34662_Tea_Party_Logo-_Lifted_From_Communist_Designs

    anyway, we know you’re a lefty, ray.

  178. oao says:

    and more on media ignorance and lazyness, also big factors (since as long as it has the right bias, why bother acquiring knowledge and make an effort?):

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/09/turd-eaters.html

  179. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says, but: the media and other corps are anti-semitic themselves and their content reinforce or create the anti-semitism in the audience. the sides feedback and reinforce each other — it’s an accelerating process.

    But, according to the left the media is supposed to be controlled by (pro-Israel) Jews. I think the right and the left are each highly sensitive to propaganda from the other side that makes an impact – and also they each fail to see the propaganda from their own side – seeing it simply as a factual account.

    Ihe self-reinforcing part I agree with. Any successful institution creates its own self-reinforcing reality.

  180. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao: and more on media ignorance and lazyness, also big factors (since as long as it has the right bias, why bother acquiring knowledge and make an effort?):

    Exactly. If it makes money (draws in and satisfies the market readership) produce it cheaply as possible and get on to the next turd.

  181. oao says:

    more on the roman paradox:

    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/09/us-government-jumps-voluntarily-into.html

    how the mighty have fallen. america has become nothing, the laughingstock, a banana republic.

    since america has brought it on itself, i can’t say it does not deserve it. it’s israel that i am worried about.

  182. Eliyahu says:

    oao, the powerline blog says or quotes someone saying that the movie industry is not concerned first of all with profit. I would say that that is true of the msm too. If somebody can finance a non-profit making newspaper that yet conveys a political/ideological message, then he may well do that. So money is not the only driver of the media or of Hollywood.

  183. Ray in Seattle says:

    E;liyahu says, the powerline blog says or quotes someone saying that the movie industry is not concerned first of all with profit. I would say that that is true of the msm too. If somebody can finance a non-profit making newspaper that yet conveys a political/ideological message, then he may well do that. So money is not the only driver of the media or of Hollywood.

    If someone doesn’t make a profit then they must depend on donations (like PBS which is under gov regs to not become an ideological source or at least to balance things) or existing wealth for financing. That is impossible to keep a secret. Everyone knows where the Wash Times gets it’s financing so it can operate on a loss year after year – and people discount whatever they say for that reason.

    I think almost all major media are required to show a profit to their shareholders. If they are public anyone can buy their shares and vote for directors. It usually comes down to making money though there are minor exceptions.

  184. oao says:

    So money is not the only driver of the media or of Hollywood.

    At the level of the money they make they can afford other drivers, but not at the expense of a lot of money. that’s why they strive to manipulate audiences so that they can make money from the other drivers.

    (like PBS which is under gov regs to not become an ideological source or at least to balance things)

    i hope you’re not serious.

  185. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, re PBS: The News Hour is usually a very well-balanced program I believe. I find little or no spin on this program which is the one I watch fairly consistently.

    There are ideologically driven programs on PBS such as Bill Moyers’ show but the few shows like that are more than offset by Fox News where the actual news is delivered with a rightward spin. Fox also has several pundits like Glenn Beck or Shaun Hannity who leave Moyers in the dust when it comes to overt hatred and trashing of the opposition. I seldom watch Beck, Hannity or Moyers.

  186. oao says:

    oao, re PBS: The News Hour is usually a very well-balanced program I believe. I find little or no spin on this program which is the one I watch fairly consistently.

    you obviously know nothing about the internal politics of PBS; I would not comment on your notion of balance and fairness.

  187. oao says:

    michelle,

    at the end of his piece on obama’s lack of balls bret stephens deplores the failure to adhere to the roman paradox:

    http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB10001424052970203917304574410672271269390.html

  188. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says, you obviously know nothing about the internal politics of PBS You are correct.

    oao says, I would not comment on your notion of balance and fairness. Why not? A assume you are implying that my notion on that topic is askew. Show me where I went wrong with my standards in your opinion.

    Perhaps you mean that the News Hour does not deliver the news in a fairly balanced non-ideological way and that I am not perceptive enough to see it.

    You could be correct. I invite you to offer some objective evidence of their lack of balance. Like a scientific study done by an independent non-political research org. I’m willing to adjust my views if the evidence exists.

    Can you provide any of this evidence? Or are we just observing your lack of balance and skewed perception?

  189. oao says:

    You are correct.

    i know.

    Perhaps you mean that the News Hour does not deliver the news in a fairly balanced non-ideological way and that I am not perceptive enough to see it.

    yes.

    not off the top of my head. look for critical analyses
    of their news, there were quite a few. and look for political manipulations of its management.

  190. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, Short version: I don’t have any evidence but if you do some research you’ll see I’m right.

    Yeah. I’ll get right on it. ;-)

  191. Cynic says:

    Ray, oao, Eliyahu,

    With regard to the media’s bias here’s a blogpost about a shipping as opposed to a political “adventure” displaying the same points made above.

    Exactly. If it makes money (draws in and satisfies the market readership) produce it cheaply as possible and get on to the next turd.

    Ray did you by any chance read this blogger’s post because heh, heh, the title he uses shows that you both have similar thoughts?
    The turd eaters

    Discussing with one senior official a particularly egregious example of an error-ridden story which had spread through the system, in frustration he described the process as akin to journalists eating each others’ turds.

    Here what interests the British media being fisked is how their readers will take to the material and nothing to do with facts etc:

    Both repeat the elements of the story but the latter, in classic tabloid style, “adds a Union Jack” to it – on the assumption that the matter is of no interest to its readers unless there is a British dimension.
    Thus we get: “Melting ice cap opens up Northeast Passage to British ships”,
    ………………

    Having planted the flag, the paper then goes on to re-excrete the Independent’s droppings, asserting that,
    ………….
    Amusingly, not once in its piece does the Mail mention that the ships which completed the “historic shortcut” were German. Although the paper is happy to deliver its own variety of turds, its editors presumably judged that this particular bit of information was too strong for its readers’ stomachs.
    ………

    It goes on to display all the errors and ends with:
    But an industry which is capable of producing the low-grade material that we have just seen is capable of anything. Nothing, but nothing, should be trusted. Just because journalists produce turds does not mean we have to eat them.

    Now when the yeast of the media’s political flavour is applied to this behaviour we get these turds rising to despotic dimensions. And that can become dangerous for an ignorant people.

  192. Cynic says:

    oops.
    Typo.

  193. Cynic says:

    oao,

    With regard to your link in #222 B Stephens doesn’t consider all possibilities when trying to determine why alibama is not doing one thing or another.
    Wasn’t there a saying that one should consider all things, credible and incredible?

    Maybe behind the behaviour of the US and Europe there is the wish that Iran do as much damage to Israel as possible?

  194. E.G. says:

    Rights group official suspended for collecting Nazi memorabilia
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1114712.html

  195. Ray in Seattle says:

    Cynic, Yes, I read the article. I thought it was a well-done fisking.

    However, I still attribute the great majority of these media spins and turds as non-ideological and non-conscious attempts to feed the market readership stories that mesh with popular current overviews – to turn them into something that makes the readers feel good – and therefore return to buy the next edition. Hence the twisting of the German ocean freighter story into a fictional triumph of British maritime sagacity and economic good times just ahead.

    Practically, those who write these stories can’t possibly be experts in maritime shipping, global warming, international trade, oil and gas exploration, etc. and other perspectives that are required to even approach a thorough view of even simple events like this. But they can easily learn to be experts on what their readership like to hear.

  196. Ray in Seattle says:

    Connecting this tendency of media to find effective ways of selling advertising by appealing to their readers’ emotional sensitivities and need to feel secure in a hostile world – here’s a good article about the way the NYT is doing this right now with respect to the HRW/Garlasco account.

    http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2009_09_13-2009_09_19.shtml#1252986412

  197. Ray in Seattle says:

    The other side of that coin is that advertisers increasingly need to avoid being associated with content that significant sized media-savvy market groups find objectionable.

    ColorOfChange.org launched its campaign against Beck last month after the Fox News Channel host called President Obama a “racist” who “has a deep-seated hatred for white people” during an appearance on Fox & Friends, remarks that they say indicates a pattern of race-baiting and fear-mongering on Beck’s part. ColorOfChange.org called on its members to sign a petition urging companies who advertise on Glenn Beck to cut off their advertising support of his work. To date, over 180,000 people have signed the petition and 62 companies have pledged to not run any additional advertisements during Glenn Beck’s show.

    I really haven’t been following this Beck flare-up but this article caught my eye. Aside from the scandal itself it’s interesting that as the public becomes more media savvy they are finding out how to organize and directly effect a program’s content by communicating their concerns directly to the advertisers. New media models are being calibrated as we watch.

    Maybe the result of this trend is that large companies and conglomerates that sell to consumer markets will try to avoid all but the most bland non-ideological programming. In the end that could be bad for the likes of Rush, Beck and Moyers. The problem though is that emotionally-charged programming attracts emotionally-charged viewers who tend to be more susceptible to emotional advertising messages in their aroused state. i.e. less advertising yields the same results.

    To use this to advantage maybe mfrs will increasingly diversify their brand labels of the same product with different packaging and ads directed to specific hot (emotional) demographics. We could get many versions of Rush and Moyers – each selling differently packaged and labeled versions of the same product to specific target markets.

    But don’t worry – they’ll figure out how to get us to keep buying their stuff – whatever it takes.

  198. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Maybe we’d have better information if we agreed to pay for its real value…

  199. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Just getting info for free, I looked at the web site of “Le Monde”, and I found several comments on the reaction of Israel to the Goldstone report. Here they are (and hurry up, because I just wrote to the webmaster to signal that the earliest comment was illegal under the french law punishing incitement to racial hatred)

    http://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/reactions/2009/09/16/contre-offensive-israelienne-apres-le-rapport-de-l-onu-sur-la-guerre-a-gaza_1241088_3218.html

    Here is the earliest comment in french, with its translation into english:

    «bien sur que ce rapport est pervers puisqu’il ose accuser Tsahal de crimes contre l’humanité et de crimes de guerre. seul le peuple élu a le droit de se prétendre la victime de tels crimes, c’est connu depuis toujours!»

    (of course, this report is pervert, because it dares accuse the IDF of crimes agains humanity and war crimes. Only the chosen people has the right to pretend to be the victim of such crimes, this has been known for ever!).

    I am watching to see how much time it will take for this comment to be removed. It’s been there already for four hours. I kept a screen image, of course.

  200. Cynic says:

    Ray,

    But they can easily learn to be experts on what their readership like to hear.

    and when it comes down to politics the journalist pushing fauxtography and other distortions is not an innocent salesman but an agenda driven hack proselytizing his faith.

  201. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    Maybe we’d have better information if we agreed to pay for its real value…

    What amazes me is that people are paying for so called information in the price of their copy of the “newspaper” etc., and for all their hysteria with regard to Freedom, Independence etc., they complacently accept the rubbish dished up as factual news and information without complaining. Until now that has been the norm and permitted the MSM to get away with murder.

  202. Michelle Schatzman says:

    OK, I was away from my computer screen and on my return, the offending message was suppressed. I also got a message from Le Monde, service clients, at 4:05 pm, telling me about the suppression. So, from 9:48 am to 4:05 pm, one can post a clearly antisemitic message on the web site of “Le Monde”.

    I’ll keep that in mind.

    Now, why do we get such trash on our screen and on the paper we buy? That’s because we do not agree to pay for the real value of journalism. I remember learning that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Why should we get decent and honest journalism if we do not agree to support the price of decent and honest journalism i.e. journalists who are educated, who can research their subjects long enough, who have a good measure of independence and so on.

    As long as information is purely for profit, and the aim of the media owners is to get the largest possible profit by obtaining the widest circulation and selling their product for the lowest possible unit price, there is simply no solution to the problem of mass media being partial, full of hate and possibly danger to our societies.

    Let me put the question in other words. If I want to buy a sweater, I can decide to buy a cheap acrylic thing or an expensive cashmere. I know to which shop I should go if I want an acrylic and to which to go if I want cashmere. I even have the luxury of a little printed piece of material attached to the sweater and giving its fiber content.

    Why can’t we have tags on newspapers, saying “100% gobbledygook” (that would be fine for Aftonbladet) or “”80% honest journalism, 20% ideology, ideological articles have a li’l star to attract amateurs and repell non-amateurs”? I’d be happy to pay money for that kind of stuff.

  203. oao says:

    Short version: I don’t have any evidence but if you do some research you’ll see I’m right.

    this is one of the reasons I try hard to refrain from talking to you. one does not owe you spoonfeeding evidence. i referred you to the kind of evidence available. I have READ that evidence, but it may have been over a long period, i don’t collect it, i don’t have it at the tips of my fingers and’m not gonna look for it everytime i am arguing something. when it’s recent and i have it i will link to it. when not i am alerting you to its existence and if you are really interested in the subject YOU go look for it.

    but it looks like you like to soothe yourself rather than do the legwork.

  204. oao says:

    With regard to your link in #222 B Stephens doesn’t consider all possibilities when trying to determine why alibama is not doing one thing or another.

    Of course not. There are so many possible ones. Those popped into his mind.

    Maybe behind the behaviour of the US and Europe there is the wish that Iran do as much damage to Israel as possible?

    There is no question that there is a lot of that. But I don’t think that’s the main driver. With respect to alibama, it’s a combination of ignorance, stupidity and self-centered egomania and the confused leftism of today. he would simply not care if israel would disappear and he thinks he has the american jews eating out of his hands no matter what he does. which is true.

  205. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, Let’s try to be civil this time. I stated that the News Hour seemed to be a balanced program to me. You replied that the News Hour was biased and that I was not perceptive enough to see it. Fair enough.

    I then asked if you had any independent evidence to back up your statement. You said it was out there some place and I could look it up if I was interested.

    No problem there. You apparently didn’t have any evidence to show me. That tells me that either of us could be right or wrong on this one. Note that I didn’t offer any evidence that it was balanced either.

    OTOH my statement was “The News Hour is usually a very well-balanced program I believe. I find little or no spin on this program which is the one I watch fairly consistently.”

    I qualified my assertion as only my belief, not some statement of objective fact. That means I accepted the possibility I could be wrong.

    Your response in 225 was an outright assertion of truth – of objective fact. As is your habit you didn’t say “It’s my belief” leaving it open for correction. But that seems to be the case after all.

    As far as trying not to respond to me. That shouldn’t be so hard. But if you do you should expect that I will challenge you sometimes and if you don’t meet the challenge you may end up looking uninformed and biased to others. That’s how forums work. You act as if this forum is for you to state your opinions – and others only if they agree with you. That’s not how forums work. If you don’t want to appear uninformed and biased then you could make sure you have evidence for your outright assertions before posting them or you could qualify your statements as just being an opinion (that might not be true) as I usually do. I mean no animosity but as a member of this forum I do expect to engage and challenge ideas posted here.

  206. Ray in Seattle says:

    Cynic says, . . and when it comes down to politics the journalist pushing fauxtography and other distortions is not an innocent salesman but an agenda driven hack proselytizing his faith.

    I agree but that’s not exactly the problem. As some French journalist said re: al Dura, he believes his job is to present the larger truth – which in that case was that the IDF kill innocent children all the time. And therefore, if it required a staged scene to show what the IDF do “all the time” then staging it and showing it was justified.

    He believed that interpretation of journalistic ethics was the correct one. Therein lies the problem.

    Correct me if I’m wrong Michelle but in France the public is largely pro-Palestinain and believes that the IDF wantonly kill Palestinian children as a matter of course. The journalist really sees his job as affirming the beliefs of his viewers. He was hired by France 2 because he has a keen nose for knowing what his viewers believe and how strongly they believe it and knowing how to find images and stories that affirm those beliefs.

    People pay for having their beliefs affirmed this way by viewing the program and buying the sponsors’ products. As regards France 2 (a state run channel) the product they are selling is increasing public support of their salaries and budget.

    Based on the majority views in France I’d say that a journalist who didn’t know how to manipulate footage and interviews to affirm the beliefs of the French public would not last long in their position or more likely would never have been placed in that position in the first place.

    It’s probably more important for large public stations to observe this need to feed the majority public their own biases than commercial stations which can pursue market segments. That’s why I suspect that the News Hour is pretty well balanced. Any blatant bias will find several members of our 50/50 (effective power-wise) congress up in arms and threatening to cut the funds.

    For my view on this to be correct it would be necessary for the French public to be clearly anti-Israel. Enough so that there would be no serious threat to their funds getting caught as they did with al Dura. That seems to be the case.

  207. oao says:

    and for all their hysteria with regard to Freedom, Independence etc., they complacently accept the rubbish dished up as factual news and information without complaining.

    because they were never TRAINED to know what it really takes to ensure those big concepts — so they would not know how to do it. they passively expect “the system” to do it on its own, without their effort, and would not know violations if it bit them on the ass,

  208. oao says:

    i was perfectly civil. and you know how i respond to long stories rather succinctness.

  209. Michelle Schatzman says:

    For my view on this to be correct it would be necessary for the French public to be clearly anti-Israel. Enough so that there would be no serious threat to their funds getting caught as they did with al Dura. That seems to be the case.

    I am not sure whether the french public is enough anti-israel to buy any sort of lies, including the Al Dura affair – if and when we have a final judgment. This must be the reason why (a part of) the journalistic caste has been petitioning to defend dear Charles E. They do not relish the idea of losing their monopoly on information.

  210. Ray in Seattle says:

    Michelle says: I am not sure whether the french public is enough anti-israel to buy any sort of lies, including the Al Dura affair – if and when we have a final judgment.

    Really? My sense was that France is decidedly anti-Israel and that overt antisemitism is quite openly expressed in public discussion there. How would you rate French opinions of Jews and Israel compared to the USA’s and England’s.

  211. oao says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/world/middleeast/16lebanon.html?_r=1&ref=world

    chek out the (predictable) end and ask yourself why this comment was added. then note the name of the “reporter” from beirut who “worked on the article?

    the nyt — all news that’s fit to print. who needs aftonbladet?

  212. Ray in Seattle says:

    I think it was added because that’s what the guy said and the reporter thought it was relevant. I agree. It shows how these people, driven by the emotional force of their ideology, made some very bad investment decisions. Any reasonable, non-ideological reader will see that as more evidence of how easily these people allowed themselves to be cheated. Other astute observers will also realize how the powerful emotions of ideological beliefs can cause very bad and self-destructive behavior decisions.

    Even if the hapless Mustafa Fneish was correct (highly unlikely) then what is wrong with Israel or the US ruining someone who is closely associated with Hizb’allah who has attacked and killed US and Israel citizens in the past and continues to threaten further attacks? And why wouldn’t Mustafa be thankful that with Ezzadine in jail more Lebanese Shiites will not be swindled? Perhaps they will be more careful where they invest their dollars next time. They might consider a US/Israeli technology index fund.

    I think Hwaida Saad wrote a fairly decent article on it. And where did those impoverished Arabs get all that money? I thought the IDF totally destroyed their lives and property three years ago.

  213. Ray in Seattle says:

    Following on: If I was a con artist and wanted to make some big bucks fast I’d focus on parts of the world where money is in easy supply and where ideology runs through the population at a fever pitch. What better target than the whole Arab world? I’m sure there is a huge transfer of wealth going on right now from rich Arabs back to the bank accounts of astute Western “financial entrepreneurs”.

  214. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Please don’t confuse a vocal minority with some general consensus, or governmental policy. There’s a difference between what one reads/hears on MSM and what one hears/sees in real-life. Plus, don’t forget you’re only (?) relying on accounts resuming media accounts (about a foreign language/country).
    This is not to deny that there has been a shift towards more open, free anti-Israeli/Zionist/Semitic expressions in Europe. But this louder noise also covers quite some low-toned yet highly significant cooperations with Israel and Israelis (e.g., scientific/tech). These aspects are not covered by MSM, and these people don’t write talkbacks and hardly ever newspaper articles, nor do they get interviewed.

    One thing that appears clearly is people’s rejection of war. There are at least 2 generations who’ve been raised with war=evil axiom. So anything that’s got to do with an army is automatically (i.e., no thinking involved, it’s a conditioned reflex) considered bad. Even schooled people think of soldiers as shooting animals, and can’t believe that some soldiers (e.g., IDF) are bound by an ethic code. Especially people in countries with a colonial/imperialist heritage (where African/Asian collateral victims never counted and were/are hardly ever mentioned). They cannot conceive a different military approach.
    Terror OTOH is not conceived in either war or military terms. Hence a total misunderstanding of the nature of the war that’s happening in former Palestine. MSM acts, in this respect, as a great confusing weapon: freedom-fighters/activists/militants/resistants/insurgents are not assimilated to military and therefore cannot be placed in MSM consumers’ mental category “soldier” (and be judged by the criteria applied to this kind).

  215. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG, Michelle stated, “I am not sure whether the french public is enough anti-israel to buy any sort of lies, including the Al Dura affair – if and when we have a final judgment.”

    I found that surprising. I asked Michelle, who lives there, to fill in more info so I could figure out if my impression of French views of Israel and Jews is off base.

    You seem to be saying that the french are really supporters of Israel and the IDF. I’d be gratified to find that was true. But then I’d have to ask why they elect and tolerate Sarkozy who seems to be anything but a supporter of Israel and the IDF.

    I’m just trying to figure out what is real. I’m ready to recalibrate in the event of better evidence. Your description of the French as pacifists does not do much to change my mind as it seems to be a justification for why they would hate Israel and the IDF – not evidence that they do not hate them.

  216. E.G. says:

    You seem to be saying that the french are really supporters of Israel and the IDF.

    Certainly not.
    I’m saying that not all French/Europeans are Israel bashers. I’m saying that there’s an indefinite (unquantifiable) silent/unheard part that are pro-Israel, or at least not anti. I’m saying that there’s a lot of anti-Israel noise that is amplified by MSM. So it’s hard to tell whether the MSM reflects a vocal minority or a major trend.

    And I’m saying that the IDF is misconceived by most people, even neutral or pro-Israel. And that terrorists are misunderstood, misrepresented, in most “ordinary” people’s minds.

  217. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    Michelle can fill more details but the alternative to Sarkozy was an ambitious emptiness, and her Mid-Eastern views (like many others) lacked clarity. Sarkozy was the object of a vicious anti-Semitic campaign (his mother is sort of half-Jewish). At any rate, Sarkozy’s less anti-Israeli than his predecessors and competitors are/were. Doesn’t make him a Zionist (except for his many bashers). And overall, external politics played a minor, if any, role in the French Presidential elections.

  218. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG: I’m saying that not all French/Europeans are Israel bashers. I’m saying that there’s an indefinite (unquantifiable) silent/unheard part that are pro-Israel, or at least not anti. I’m saying that there’s a lot of anti-Israel noise that is amplified by MSM. Sure, I accept that.

    EG: Sarkozy was the object of a vicious anti-Semitic campaign (his mother is sort of half-Jewish). Now, for that to be possible doesn’t that mean that France is more overtly antisemitic than the US? I’d have a hard time imagining that here. Even though some far lefties were making racism charges against Obama’s competition (HRC) they lost points for that in the middle and pulled back on that stuff. It only resonated on the far left as far as I can see and was considered over the line by most. And I’d hardly call some spurious ill-conceived charges like that a vicious campaign.

    But, my concern was not that France was antisemitic, which I pretty much took as given. It was if the french public is anti-israel enough to buy any sort of lies – as Michelle put it – in this case the lie that Muhammad al Dura was killed in cold blood by the IDF.

    What’s your take on that and why?

  219. Ray in Seattle says:

    That last sentence should have been more like, “I’d like to know your thoughts on that”. That first version seemed a little demanding and that wasn’t intended.

  220. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G., Ray, there are some questions that I cannot answer. For instance I certainly cannot provide comparisons between antisemitism in the UK and in France. The first and ridiculous reason is that I haven’t set foot in the UK in the last ten years. The real reason is that this is a very difficult thing to estimate.

    Assuming that we can define antisemitism, we have to observe that most societies are not homogeneous in that respect. We have quantitative data on this subject. For instance, it has been observed in France that devout muslims identify more with antisemitic statements than non devout muslims and that non devout muslims hold about the same rate of identification with antisemitic statements as the average population.

    But as in every opinion poll regarding delicate subjects, we have to imagine that people might like to disguise their opinion and might avoid candid answers. The polling companies know that, and they try to correct for this bias. But they do not tell us how they correct it and this is a very mysterious part of the polling industry.

    Then, I come back to the definition of antisemitism. There are no antisemitic laws in present day France. Therefore, saying that France is an antisemitic country, which Ray takes for granted, is a statement which should be founded on the knowledge of social and political behavior in France. What grounds would you have to found such an appreciation? You’d read newspaper articles, historical or sociological studies, and so on. And we are back to square one. What qualifies as antisemitism?

    I’d say that there are several levels of antisemitism. And conversely of acceptance of the Jews in society.

    In France, Jews are not barred off any kind of social position for being jewish. They are CEO, members of government, doctors (and professors of medicine), lawyers, entertainers, and so on. Not that many are wealthy farmers or owners of highly prized vineyards. Must be something in the history :-).

    Another question is hatred. Is there hatred against Jews? Yes. And more now than, say, 15 years ago.

    Now, does that make France antisemitic? I live in France, and, to tell you the truth, I don’t know.

    Sarkozy and Israel : he was certainly not as bad as his opponent, a lady called Segolene Royal, whom I hate frankly and deeply for having presented herself to the voters as a mom. Among a long list of other very stupid statements, I thought that this one really exploded all possible examples of political idiocy I ever heard. Among ladies above the age of 50, very few never had children. Therefore, presenting oneself as a mom is not really discriminating, unless one insists on the tenderness and affectivity involved in using the word “mom” instead of “mother”. And no, I don’t need a mom as President of the Republic. I’ve got a mom, I’m a mom and a grand’mom, which makes quite enough moms in my life to expect better things from the political debate.

    The opinion of Segolene Royal is clearly that she should be led by public opinion polls so as to decide which way to go. I consider her as poisonous, and this is only a weak form of my true feelings toward her.

    Sarkozy’s maternal grandfather was a jew, who converted, but did not change his name. The anti-Sarkozy campaign were vicious, and mainly stupid. Sarkozy has lot of defects. One does not need bad arguments when one’s got good ones. I do not think that he spends much time bashing Israel. I guess that he has no real opinion on what is going on in Israel and the I/P conflict. He’s got advisers. They may be not terribly good. He follows. He is interested mostly by how nicely he is faring in the polls and how to put himself in a positive light, in France and on the international scene. He’s been a disappointment. That’s life.

    My feeling of my country is that it would be quite healthy to show beyond doubt and have it finally accepted by justice and society that Enderlin goofed in the Al Dura affair. In any case, the french newspapers are a disaster. I buy a papier newspaper once in a while. I look at the web systematically. I’d use the f word, with f being the initial for “failure”. I bought “Liberation” yesterday, because I wanted to see what they wrote about the Goldstone report, since now their web site is for a fee, at least partially.

    Failure is the appropriate qualificative : the journalist wrote only “A says this and B says that” and their is no attempt whatsoever to try to verify whether A or B is telling lies. No independent inquiry whatsoever. A disaster.

    I observed “Le Monde” yesterday and I reported on it here, because any article on the I/P conflict attracts antisemites as excrement attracts flies. So, I’ve got an interesting observation : you can post an explicitly antisemitic talk back on “Le Monde”‘s web site and it can stay there for six hours and a quarter, including more thant two hours after a reader signalled it to the webmaster of the site. It does not prove that France is antisemitic. It does not even prove that “Le Monde” is antisemitic. It proves that few people are interested in banning antisemitism from public discourse.

  221. Eliyahu says:

    The video at the link below is must viewing for all those concerned with the future moral health of the Western world.

    http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/116981.html

  222. Cynic says:

    And why wouldn’t Mustafa be thankful that with Ezzadine in jail more Lebanese Shiites will not be swindled?

    Because it’s not about Shiites being swindled but that a Shia Muslim screwed the “honour” of the others of his tribe by being caught.

  223. Cynic says:

    Ray,

    Just to add to #237 here’s a toon that makes my point given the media’s obvious ideological driven behaviour recently:

    This just in … This just out

  224. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    Just observing Goldstone makes it obvious that any morals the West had went west.
    It has become a sick society of hypocrisy and corruption.

  225. oao says:

    Sarkozy’s less anti-Israeli than his predecessors and competitors are/were.

    sarkozy is an ass.

  226. oao says:

    It has become a sick society of hypocrisy and corruption.

    which is what it deserves to be.

  227. Cynic says:

    oao,

    which is what it deserves to be.

    yeh! Well I object to it being at my expense.

  228. E.G. says:

    Ray and Michelle,

    IMO it’s wrong, untrue, to state that France is anti-Semitic. But there is anti-Semitism in France. It’s certainly not an official policy, but it’s a social phenomenon. And it’s not the only European country where this has been happening.
    In both France and the UK – countries with the largest numbers of Europe’s Jews – Jews (including the Zionist brand) live well. But the level of anti-Semitic attacks, both verbal and physical, has significantly increased during the past decade, and too little has been done to condemn these attacks and to stop them. As a result, Jewish families with young children, got more community-close and quite a few left (mainly to Israel, to the US and Canada).
    The sentiment is that there are places in the world where a better future (economic, educational, “ethnic”, etc.) can be made – and Jews join an existing trend among young Europeans (of all faiths).

  229. oao says:

    yeh! Well I object to it being at my expense.

    same here. but since there is nothing that can or will be done about it, that’s about all I can get out of it

  230. oao says:

    But the level of anti-Semitic attacks, both verbal and physical, has significantly increased during the past decade, and too little has been done to condemn these attacks and to stop them.

    well, it’s a start. that’s how it begins and before you know it…

  231. E.G. says:

    Well, it’s not before I know it… and, as I explained, I’m not alone to read the writing on the wall.
    Europe has a problem and the Jews, as usual, got the first blows. But more and more non-Jewish people feel threatened, and more and more often they actually are threatened.

  232. [...] brings me back to Yale University Press, whose infamous decision embodies all the condescending and self-destructive elements I just [...]

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