Tuesday, February 14, 2006

--- JEW HATRED & WHITE SUPREMACY ON CYBERPOLS --- Debate on Jews and Israel shouldn't crowd other topics out.

======= BUT ONE COMMENT ON THIS SITE MUST BE SEEN. =======

It is worth calling attention to a comment by "Anonymous" regarding our Feb. 5 posting. It's much better first to read what's written here, to understand the context in advance. But if you want to go straight to the comment itself without knowing its context, first click this link, and then scroll all the way down until you reach the comment by "Anonymous".

This blog's Feb. 5 posting below, about which "Anonymous" made his comment, was entitled "Anti-Semitic Words by a Cyber Columnist? NO." It argued that a view expressed in an earlier posting had its roots in anti-semitism, but that the author of that earlier posting was almost certainly not anti-semitic himself. This distinction is of more wide-ranging importance than one might think (i.e., not just a point about this particular view and its author). The distinction, made in this Feb. 5 posting, is one that is central to virtually all debate about Israel, as discussed below. But first, why is the subsequent comment by "Anonymous" also so important?

As is so often the case, it may be necessary to clarify that "Anonymous" is not being branded a Jew hater or White Supremacist here. But he makes his point by citing journal articles by a highly intelligent, intellectual author, Kevin MacDonald, who is indeed an extremely Jew-hating White Supremacist man, one who probably does not actually froth at the mouth and stomp around with a shaved head and combat boots, but couches his poisonous thinking in academic, fancy-sounding prose. It is extremely useful to skim his articles, which are published in a journal called The Occidental Quarterly; and perhaps also look over the other kinds of articles by which The Occidental Quarterly has made a name for itself in ultra-rightist, racist circles. It essentially publishes intellectual fodder for neofascism. Click here for background on the OQ.


"Anonymous" offers these journal articles as supposed evidence that it is reasonable, and well warranted, to oppose many of the goals and actions taken throughout history by Jews, who are a people united by aggressive tendencies. In fact, an unintelligent reading of the articles may convince a gullible reader of exactly that. The articles are steeped in highly intellectual analysis. They mix in plenty of truths with their poison. Only careful readers, ones who know some history, who are capable of thinking critically about what they read and who can see between the lines, will recognize the speciousness of the reasoning and ultimately the deadly evil, Jew-hating conclusions it supports.

If you wish, you can review the relevant Feb. 5 and Feb. 1 postings below, or you can go straight to the comment by "Anonymous," which is the fourth comment down on the page you will reach by clicking here. Once you're there, you'll find in "Anonymous"'s comment the links to The Occidental Quarterly's poisonous articles, which, luckily (since the articles are so lengthy), have summary abstracts at the top.

In conclusion ... back to the reasons it's actually so important to distinguish between an anti-semitic person, an anti-semitic view, a view that is not anti-semitic inherently but has its roots in anti-semitism, and, finally, a view that has nothing to do with anti-semitism but is based on opposition to the policies of Israel, or of Britain, the U.N., the United States, etc...

The distinction is so critical precisely because it is so difficult to see clearly and it confounds virtually all debate on Israel. So many leftists feel vehemently that their anti-Israel views are unfairly attacked by Jews as being anti-semitic. "This is a tyranny of Political Correctness," they say. "We stand accused of hating Jews merely because we disagree with Israeli policy." Meanwhile, their accusers, usually Jewish, may be rhetorically frustrated: the leftist views they've branded anti-semitic are sometimes, indeed, merely critiques of Israeli policy, but more often that is far from the full truth. (Many Jews share highly critical views of Israeli policy. There are some who support all Israeli policies blindly, but may still recognize that opponents of these policies are not necessarily anti-semitic. When the charge of anti-semitism is, in fact, leveled, it can well be by non-extremist Jews who only consider particular types of views to be anti-semitic.)

Looked at very narrowly, without historical or global context, these views seem debatable, but "reasonably debatable" That is, they seem based reasonably on current events, as seen from a certain vantage point, but devoid of any actual Jew hatred. However, anyone with a more global, historical perspective, can recognize as anti-semitic these views' over-arching misdirection, their arbitrary focus, their underlying assumptions and their origins in longstanding, Jew-hating rhetoric; not just against Israeli policy or even against Israel itself as a state, but against Jewish people because they are inherently despicable. Thus, a non-anti-semitic person who does not know the many sides to the story of the history of Palestine and Arab-Jew antagonism, may hear these views, and convey them onward, not realizing their anti-semitic roots, context, assumptions and implications.

These issues are explored somewhat in the Feb. 5 and Feb. 1 postings below, but much more thoroughly in two other places. The first is the posting on Jan. 23 (viewed by scrolling down to the Jan. 23 posting on the page you'll reach by clicking here). The second is not so much a Jan. 26 posting itself or the first few comments on it, which focus on the recent electoral victory by Hamas, but in the subsequent comments, as you scroll down. (To view these comments, scroll past the Hamas-related ones after you've clicked here.)

51 Thoughts:

Blogger Demotiki said...

I really don't want to get into this debate again. I will state my belief as simply as possible and leave it at that.

Jews are an interests group, just as Italian Americans, or African Americans are an interest group. Interest groups are not monolithic entities and it’s beyond obvious that a diversity of opinions exist within all interest groups and that individual members often are completely at odds with the dominant opinions of their respective groups.

However, interest groups participate in politics and their actions follow common rules of political economy that we can analyze to understand the political process or to achieve our own political objectives. I do not believe, as some here at cyberpols have, that applying the teachings of political economics to Jews as an interest group is anti-Semitic. We need to study the political implications of “Jewish identity” with the same seriousness that we study other interest groups. Sadly, this is not currently the case in America. Anyone who studies the political influence of Jewish and its role in shaping American foreign policy in the Middle East is automatically branded an anti-Semite and their comments are given short shrift.

Anti-Semitism is a paper tiger. The United States has killed literally millions of people in racist wars over the last 60 years. At present our military has brought about the death of more than 100,000 people in Iraq, at least partly to protect Israel. To say that calling attention to Israel related war motivations is somehow anti-Semitic or that it is engendered by a “climate of anti-Semitism” is downright racist. Killing 100,000 Arabs to maybe, and I stress “maybe”, save a few Jews down the road is racist per se.

Anti-Semitism is not a major problem in the world. Clearly racism against Africans, Arabs or any of the other people of the developing world is a far greater problem. Even if we confine our analysis to only those countries of the Middle East, anti-Arab or anti-Islamic tendencies are more pronounced and far more destructive to human life than modern day anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism is raised more often as a defense against arguments that cannot be defused any other way. For example, when it was pointed out that many of the Neocons were Jewish American Zionists, and that they had often publicly commented on the need to invade Iraq to protect Israel, the observation could not be disputed on a factual basis. Instead, the observation was discredited by claims of Anti-Semitism. In other words, simply pointing out that Jews, particularly those who either have dual citizenship with Israel, are married to Israeli citizens or who have close political ties to the Likud party, may have motives related to these ties is in itself anti-Semitic. This obviously not the case and playing the “anti-Semitism card” is such a way is extremely damaging to the national debate and the national interest. I might point out that such blind “ethnic loyalty” is nothing but further evidence that there is such a thing as “Jewishness” and that it informs the political opinions of those who thing of themselves as Jewish. Any information that sheds light on the motivations of policy makers should be open to the public, warts and all. Jewish Americans are just as coherent and political as any other interest group, probably more than most. To think otherwise is positively anti-Semitic.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 9:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.geocities.com/israel_shahak/book1.htm

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 9:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I searched your blog for "israel" and found these:

http://cyberpols.blogspot.com/2005/10/is-there-israeli-connection.html

http://cyberpols.blogspot.com/2006/01/value-added-from-israel.html

http://cyberpols.blogspot.com/2005/10/one-state-solution.html

demotiki wasn't accused of anti-semitism, suprisingly enough.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger pawlr said...

I remember after 9/11 when I was in Union Square debating with this Orthodox fellow. He was getting all up in my grille about the Arabs and how America could never compromise with them. I asked him, if the U.S. and Israel went to war, who would you fight for? His answer, after a pause: "Israel". That's about all I needed to know about whether this guy had anything valuable to say about the best way to defend our country.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there are such traitors in our midsts, what should we do with them?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do cyberpolers think of this? After reading your blog, this is what I think:

Everything is discussed openly in the US, and every American claims the right to have an opinion on any and all questions. One is Catholic, the other Protestant, one an employee, the other an employer, a capitalist, a socialist, a democrat, an aristocrat. There is nothing dishonorable about choosing one side or the other of a question. Discussions happen in public, and where matters are unclear or confused one settles it by argument and counter argument. But there is one problem that is not discussed publicly, one that it is delicate even to mention: the Jewish-American Zionist question. It is taboo in our republic.

JAZers are immunized against all dangers: one may call him a scoundrel, turncoat, profiteer, it all runs off him like water off a media raincoat. But call them on their divided loyalties and you will be astonished at how they recoil, how injured they are, how they suddenly shrinks back: "I've been found out."

One cannot defend oneself against these JAZers. They attack with lightning speed from a position of socially protected safety and use their abilities to crush any attempt at defense.

Quickly they turn the attacker's charges back on him, and the attacker becomes the liar, the troublemaker, the racist. Nothing could be more mistaken than to defend oneself. That is just what these JAZers want. They can invent a new lie every day for the enemy to respond to, and the result is that the enemy spends so much time defending himself that he has no time to do what they really fear: to attack their political interests on the ground. The accused has become the accuser, and loudly he shoves the accuser into the dock. So it always was in the past when a person or a movement fought JAZzy influence. That is what would happen to us as well were we not fully aware of their political nature, and if we lacked the courage to draw the following radical conclusions:

1. One cannot fight JAZzy influence by positive means. It is a negative inflluence, and this negative must be neutralized from the American system, or he will forever corrupt it.

2. One cannot discuss the Israeli-Palestinian question with most Jews. One can hardly prove to a person that one has the patriotic duty to render him harmless, for the good of the country and the world.

3. One cannot allow JAZzers the same means one would give an honest opponent, for they are not honorable opponents. They will use generosity and nobility only to trap their enemy.

4. The Jewish Zionist has nothing constructive to say about questions of American foreign policy. He has divided loyalties and abuses his citizenship.

5. The so-called religious identity of the Jewish people is no identity at all, rather an encouragement to betrayal. Therefore, they have no claim to protection from the state.

6. It is racist to think Jews are smarter than others are, rather only cleverer and craftier. Their media-power system cannot be defeated economically — it follows entirely different loyalties than most Americans do. It can only be broken through political means.

7. Zionist slanders of "anti-Semitism" are but badges of honor for an opponent of the Jewish-Zionist-Likudnik.

8. The more a courageous person or movement opposes the divided loyalites of Jewish-Americans, the more valuable they are. If someone is attacked by JAZers, that is a sure sign of his virtue. He who is not persecuted by the JAZers, or who is praised by them, is not doing his patriotic duty, considering their pernicious and widespread influence.

9. The Zionist evaluates questions of American foreign policy from a Zionist standpoint. As a result, he cannot be trusted.

10. One must either affirm or reject Zionism. Any American who defends Israel harms his own nation. One can only be a Zionist tool or a Zionist opponent.

These principles give the anti-Zionist movement a chance of success. Only such a movement will be taken seriously by the JAZers, only such a movement will be feared by them.

The fact that JAZers shout and complain about such a movement therefore is only a sign that it is right. Demotiki, you should be delighted that you are constantly attacked on cyberpols. It is a matter of political courage.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger pawlr said...

"If there are traitors in our midst, what should we do with them?"

Since the U.S. & Israel are clearly NOT at war, this person is not a traitor, he just has different priorities. Of course his point of view should be tolerated and debated as all points of view are.

However, to your point, if he was a single-national citizen I would seriously wonder whether it should be revoked or not, considering he would refuse to defend the U.S. against all enemies.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about what I wrote? Do you agree? or does demmotiki?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger pawlr said...

Anon, I don't agree with your Manichean view of what you call "JAZ"-ers. In fact, you are pretty clearly anti-semitic in your characterization of them and your false claims that Jews have "no religious identity".

One can be concerned about the undue influence of Likudniks on U.S. policy without resorting to the wild-eyed racist ravings you favor.

It's also possible to legitimately support the existence of Israel and still be pro-U.S..

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 1:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote JAZers using your blog's term. I didn't say all Jews or whatever.

What about demmotikki? He put "Jewish identity" in quotes, and I never denied a religious identity to anyone. It's that very identity that gets in the way, as the other articles said. You should all read them.

Wouldl ike to hear what demotiki thinks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 1:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more thing, how is what I wrote different from what I read of demmotiki's? I was happy to find someone courageous enough to come out and say what he thinks.

I don't get it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 2:02:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Look,

Both Anon and Paul make good points. Anon is absolutely correct to point out that Jewish American Zionists are powerful within the media and that they have much control over the I/P debate. He is also correct that the main way they control the debate is to appeal to Christian guilt over anti-Semitism to make important subjects completely out-of-bounds. However, Jews are not nearly as important or as powerful as Anon seems to think, nor are they bent on global dominance.

Paul is correct that Anon's views are often simplistic and anti-Semetic. Granted there is a group of Jewish American Zionists who clearly pull important levers of power to the advantage of Israel and to the detriment of the USA. However, I don't think they believe their actions are against American interests, or that they are the monolithic entity that Anon seems to believe they are. I also disagree with Anon that something about the "character" of Jewish political economy is somehow different, deceitful and underhanded. All interest groups play dirty, that's the norm not the exception. Jewish American Zionists are no different from any other group in that way.

The real issue is that we have a number of very highly placed and very powerful Jewish American Zionists who have played an important role in changing our foreign policy for the worse. Strangely, there is absolutely no discussion of these individuals and their divided loyalties. At the very least one should expect the media to investigate motivations that lay behind the foreign policy stances of important administration officials. For example, a number of stories have looked into the Bush Administration's relations with the oil industry or with the Saudi family and asked how they might have influence Middle East policy. Why hasn't the media looked into Neocon Zionists? Mainly because nobody wants to be labled an anti-Semite, or be black-balled in an industry that is dominated by Jews. It's simple economics and careerism for many journalists and television personalities.

Of course just saying that the debate about the motivations of Jewish American Zionists is anything other than complete runs the risk of being labled anti-Semetic. To this extent, I agree with Anon that being called anti-Semetic is often a badge of honor. By the way, many Jewish people have been smeared as well for breaking ranks over the I/P issue, placing them in the strange situation of being accused of hating themselves.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 7:11:00 PM  
Blogger Bspot said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, these comments are extremey helpful.

Demotiki, Pawlr, and all other Esteemed Readers: obviously I find the 10 points by Anonymous, along with the preamble he wrote before those 10 points, extremely useful. I'm VERY glad he displayed his thoughts and I hope you will consider what I will be pointing out, about them (not just the obvious). But first, a note to Demotiki and all of the many many who are like-minded.

CONTENTS SUB-HEADED BELOW

--Note from me to Demotiki: We Differ On Global Context, But Not Re Many Policy Opinions

--Points on Which We Agree (I, II and III)

--The Gift To Me From Anonymous

--The Noteworthy Insecurity and Victimhood of Anonymous

--My Treason, National Allegiance

DIFFER RE GLOBAL CONTEXT, BUT NOT RE POLICY

Demotiki, all along, I have known, but certainly did not sufficiently disclose to you, that I am in agreement with most of what you've said! Often in my effort to discuss a very specific part of an issue, or a particular aspect of what someone has said that I find important to examine, I accidentally make my overall agreement with them and their views and the larger issues at hand unclear. Following are the gazillion points on which you and I agree. I am certain that at first they will surprise you, but I am hoping it will be possible to see how my agreement on these larger points (perhaps surprising to you) can be and is consistent with the views I have been expressing on some "side aspects" of what you said that I've tried to separate out, since I felt those "side aspects" were in some ways even more important to consider than the main thrusts upon which we agree.

POINTS OF AGREEMENT
I agree with an enormous amount of everything you've said about Israel.

=I= I think Israel has no "divine" right to exist. I don't believe in such a thing, but many extremist Jews do, and I think they're wrong.

=II= Moreover, divine invocations aside, even on the level of earthly principles of politics and ethics, I also think Jews had no actual "Right" or "Entitlement" to move to Palestine and create a state - accept inasmuch as any bunch of human beings has a right to try to pursue life, liberty and happiness, to flee somewhere to safety. However, they don't have a right to do it in any one particular way or location, especially when it harms others.(See footnote *1 below for clarification.)

=III= Note that you and your policy opinions about Israel were specifically identified as, in my opinion, NOT anti-semitic! I even made that the headline! In this I am separating myself and my points from the knee-jerk, inappropriate accusations by some extreme Jews (and blacks, and other minority groups) that all opinions they deem unfavorable to them must stem from bigotry. In fact, I AGREE with the main thrust of the view you originally stated, re U.S. protection of Israel being among U.S. motives to invade Iraq; I agree with that even while the way that it's focused upon, by many people, triggers my desire to point out some outside context, a context that is totally soaked in anti-semitic. [See *2* at bottom for clarification of how this is consistent with the point I sought to make. I hope you will read *2* since apparently the distinction I spent so much effort making was not understood].

As I've always tried to explain, I am against many Israeli policies, I am against many U.S. policies, I am strongly in favor of saving Palestinian refugees from the horrible situation they are in, and I absolutely do not believe that these positions, on my part or anyone else's, are anti-semitic. All this said, the importance of non-Jews' (and Jews') learning about realities that ARE in fact anti-semitic .... leads us (I know you're shocked), to comrade
Anonymous.

THE GIFT FROM ANONYMOUS
It's easy for the preoccupation with anti-semitism by safe, middle-class Jews to seem bizarre and self-centered to non-Jews. They note that Jews are currently assimilated, safe and middle-class, or in some cases rich. They note that blacks, Cambodians, Armenians, Kurds, Rwandans, Native American Indians have all suffered massive injustice as peoples, but don't seem to have powerful lobbyists running around Washington, or esteemed intellectuals spouting on in high-brow journals, books, op-eds, etc.. about their people's historical suffering.

Yet, I think it's absolutely reasonable for Jews to focus on anti-semitism and continue trying to raise awareness about it. {As aside about Jews' supposed self-centeredness re suffering, take note that Jews are 3% of the American population, and then take a look at the relatively enormous percentages of Jews among the activists against Japanese internment in WWII, among the young white "freedom riders" who were the first Whites to join in the civil rights movement, going to the South to help blacks register to vote, among the sponsors of Cambodian refugees to get political asylum and residency status in the U.S. in the 80's, and on and on .}

There are several reasons that many non-Jews don't get it. They forget how recent the Holocaust was, and therefore how fresh it is on the minds of people whose parents lost their families and barely escaped (this amnesia is just like the forgetting of Vietnam by so many American voters nowadays, who initially and for a couple years favored our invasion of Iraq.

Non-Jews don't realize how well established the Jews of Germany were, how safe they felt, how middle class and in some cases wealthy they were, how glad they were of their relatively new permission to assimilate. Non-Jews don't realize how suddenly things changed, how many Jews died because they just couldn't keep up, conceptually, with the speed at which their friendly relatively liberal neighbors were suddenly transforming into vicious enemies.

None of this is to say that we American Jews actually fear for life and limb right now in America. Of course not. But are leftists actually fearing for our lives when we trumpet the belief that Bush is bringing America in the direction of fascism? It's not that we think America is anywhere near being a fascist state yet or anytime soon. It's that we've read our history. We know that things can change over a surprisingly small number of decades.

Finally, Non-Jews are often unaware of the extent to which virulent anti-semitism, sometimes overt, sometimes suppressed and latent, is still very alive among many people, particularly in the "red states" but also elsewhere. Even more importantly, seeing no overt "climate of anti-semitism" in America (I don't see one either), they are often unaware of how much more present it is in many, many European countries.

Obviously, this is where I'm grateful to Anonymous and what he has shown us.

It's not just that his 10 points so clearly spill over from policy into impassioned, frothy ranting about the power and evil of Jews. It's no longer that we're a diverse group of American citizens, one conservative faction of which supports pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington. (Note that such lobbyists are there for every single group imaginable, ranging from Germans and Eskimos to Russians and Muslims -- but true they're not usually as well funded.) Now, with Anonymous in the house, the influence of me and my family and all our Jewish comrades and lobbyists must not merely be opposed, or debated against, but "neutralized from the American system, or he will forever corrupt it." Jewish influence has suddenly become "he" (presumably The Jew), and "influence" is to be neutralized "from"?

I don't know if you Demotiki are Jewish or which readers among you (us) are Jewish, but I ask you non-Jews to try to imagine how it feels, as an individual, not merely that my opinions are wrong, or my hypothetical contributions to lobbyists are politically bad, but the influence of people like me must be "neutralized from" America or we will "forever corrupt it," and, moreover, I am not owed as a citizen the protection of the American state. I have to tell you that, much as I know this guy represents a fairly disempowered minority, it still freaks me out and really scares me.

I'm not "honest," "honorable," I "trap my enemies," I shouldn't be talked with, I am not intelligent but rather "clever" and "crafty," (what the fuck?!), and it is hoped and promoted that a movement arise that I will fear.

I submit to you that this rabid, deranged paranoia, vicious hostility so obviously verging on actual violence, is not negligible a phenomenon as one might think, even in America. Perhaps one only imagines a small bunch of strange survivalists stocking up arms in Montana, and a very few highly eccentric, hate-filled guys in other parts the country who hang out in their basements with swaztikas on the walls. I beseech you, don't rule out the possibility that they are more numerous than you think. You can imagine how, given this possibility, given its actual reality to varying degrees throughout large parts of Europe, and throughout all of the Muslim world; and given the removal by Bush of civil protections, which threatens and worries us all; one can imagine that the adult children of Jews who fled the Holocaust may feel sensitive, even highly worried, and may wonder where elsewhere, exactly, the Jews of Israel are supposed to go set up their state, once they are driven out of their current one.

VICTIM IDENTITY OF ANONYMOUS
It is instructive to note one aspect of the profound differences between the stances of Demotiki and Anonymous. Both express strong frustration and opposition to being branded anti-semitic merely because they state something anti-Israeli. But Demotiki argues against it as a political matter (wherein "political" includes racial issues, political identity, the use of victim identities to create contrived taboos, etc..). He sounds pissed off, but not personally threatened. He does not sound like he's faced with a scary, dangerous opponent who is out to dominate him and with whom he is in a cosmic struggle.

In contrast, this is how Anonymous sounds. He sounds truly intimidated by and in awe of the power and influence of the evil Jews. He says one cannot defend oneself from these Jews, they attack with lightning speed, he finds himself (one finds oneself, he says) shoved against the dock ....

As we all know, but it's useful to see it on display, fascism and racial hatred virtually always spring from deep feelings of victimhood, powerlessness and fear. These people may have reasons for feeling victimized by other aspects of their lives, but they are nowhere near as powerless as they feel on the inside -- we all have difficulty sometimes being in touch with our own power to take our own lives by the reins, but of course we usually can. For Anonymous's sake, I hope he is able to find other more healthy ways to console and comfort himself, and to find strength.

TREASON AND NATIONAL ALLEGIANCE
This supposed question of conflicting national allegiance is again a bizarre one. It's not the question that's the most intrinsicly bizarre, but the fact that it's not being asked about Russian Americans, Japanese Americans, Latino Americans of varying origins, Chinese Americans. Even more, given that Israel and the U.S. are strongly allied, the more appropriate comparisons are German Americans, French Americans, British Americans and so on.

Moreover, note that it is extremely unlikely we'll have a situation in which America is at war (that part is possible, and occuring right now) and many of America's citizens need to choose between their loyalty to America and their loyalty to their grandparents' or great-grandparents' country of origin. I can only assume the current clash between America and extremist militant Islamists has disturbed many Muslim Americans of varying origins, Syrian Americans, Palestinian Americans, etc.. ... and even raised feelings of conflicting loyalties and opinions; but I don't see the vast majority of them joining Al Qaeda.

There is also immense diversity among Jews on a hypothetical issue such as this. A case in point is Pawlr conversation with an Orthodox fellow in Union Square. Don't bother correcting me if I'm wrong Pawlr, since it doesn't matter, but I'm imagining the fellow was Hasidic Orthodox. For those who don't know, Orthodox Jews are a minority subset of Jews who are the most conservative. And Hasidic Jews are small faction among the Orthodox Jews, a subset of that subset, that many of us (including many Orthodox Jews), consider weird, arrogant and unpleasant. They are sect with origins in Poland in the 1800's and they dress weird (retaining the costumes of 19th century Poles) and, in the cases of many of them, though not all, they seem haughty if and when they ever interact with non-Hasids.

I digress. Points is, there is great diversity in the kind of response you would get from American Jews, if faced with some war to the death between America and Israel.

Let me also explain that national identity is like some other kinds of identity that you can have simultaneously with each other. You can identify as a woman, or as heterosexual, or as a Northeastern liberal, as a Catholic, as a member of your own extended family....and you can be all those things at once, plus American. To understand how we people with hyphenated national identities feel (i.e. recent generation Italian Americans, Jewish Americans, Japanese Americans, etc..), you just have to imagine one extra overlay of identity. It doesn't dominate and it's not subordinated exactly. It may be of higher priority in some contexts than others. Right? And we're fairly rarely forced to put two such identities in conflict, though it certainly happens. Examples range from homosexual Catholics, female Catholics facing unwanted pregnancies, and so on.

I'll tell you how I feel. If America went to war against Cuba for some unjust reason, and if my wife were Cuban and had family in Cuba, I could easily imagine moving to Cuba with her and, in some extreme situations, fighting against American soldiers. I don't have an Israeli wife or any relatives in Israel, but yes, despite that, I feel significant identification with the cause of Israelis intent on defending their state.

Most likely, I'd try to avoid becoming a soldier in the military of either warring country (Israel or the U.S.), just as I'm guessing that none of the participants in this blogging debate are American soldiers in Iraq, accessing the internet and debating anti-semitism. You haven't joined the military, and likely wouldn't even if you agreed with the reasons for war.

If I were to decide to fight, rather than just fleeing the madness, much would depend on which side was beating the shit out of the other and seeking to dominate and invade the other. I would identify with the weaker side because I'd believe neither side should be warring.

Fundamentally though, I resent the question. Though I like Pawlr, particularly because he has a funny icon next to his comments, on a theoretical and somewhat emotional level, I resent the fact that Pawlr found himself in a situation in which raising such a question seemed interesting. It probably wasn't due to some fascination with the issue by Pawlr alone, but also with this "Orthodox fellow" 's contributions to their conversation. I resent the Orthodox Jew if he was posing some unnecessary concept of difference and separation of Jews from others, Jews from Americans, Jews from Jewish Americans. At the same time, if he was doing so, I resent the conditions thrust upon him that led him down that path.

Why all this resentment? Because I've heard this question asked many times before re Jews and Israel, but almost never asked re others of split nationalities or religious affiliations.

I, by the way, I am not a religious Jew, and not particularly interested in Jewish religious, but do identify fairly strongly with a sort of Jewish, national identity, albeit less than I do with my identity as an American.

I have been in Europe talking about America with pro-American right-wing Europeans, and I found myself speaking, at least on the issues we discussed, as an anti-American. When faced with hyper-critical dogmatic European leftists who spend all their time hating America, I become very pro-American. Throughout, I feel myself to be very, very American, and eager to tell these idiots about the immense diversity in our country and the fact that our whole ideology and nationhood is based, more than most other nations, on explicit principles of inclusion and mutual tolerance among differing people.

FOOTNOTES
*1 To clarify, my belief that Jews and Israel should not now be kicked out does not rest on a positive argument of their rights ... what I believe is that it's wrong to argue AGAINST their rights, i.e., that they should leave because they have "no right" to be there. I know I am expressing this confusingly. Understood the way I mean it, they indeed do not have "rights" AND they also do not have "no rights." My point is that it's not about rights, contrary to what many, many Jews, who I think are wrong, say. It's about people striving (or failing to strive) to be fair and just to each other and work things out. It's about the two sides saying what the hell should we do here. Should we try to find solutions and compromises that will work as best as possible for all, without one side getting unjust treatment, or should we just fight each other and kill each other. When one side says "you have no right," the other side responds of course "yes I do," but in that direction, all is lost, because people are not focusing on caring for the others and seeking out the best possible solutions.

*2 I think among the various American motives for invading Iraq, an interest in defending Israel DID play a role - - and I think that's a bad thing. I think it's another one of the stupid, wrong, bad reasons that Bush declared war. What I sought to focus on was the fact that this point, while true, is so often raised in a way, focused upon in a way, that "has its roots in" anti-semitism. These words are not some pointless rhetorical flourish to protect myself from the charge that I am attacking you as anti-semitic. It is a larger, separate context I am trying to call attention to. You, and your specific point, I agree with. But I sought to point out, just for example, that with Iraq's threat toward our ally Saudi Arabia; its threat directly toward American interests (the other ones besides U.S.-Israeli alliance); Iraq's supposed (though bullshit) threat of using WMDs; our obvious oil motives; the supposed motives of spreading democracy (i.e. spreading American hegemony over the whole region); and the major overarching motive of pumping up our defense industry and its over-sized existence ....and on and on and on .... what then is the point of noting the view, however true, that protection of Israel was in there too. Yet, noting it, as you Demotiki did, is totally reasonable in a way. It's one element of what's going on. But I wished to call attention to the fact that other masses of commentators are not merely "noting" it. It is the extremely loud, dominant, single-track focus of millions of people across the region, moving them to the streets and to riot, AND moving some leftists to focus on it disproportionately.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 7:39:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Bspot, you are too fuckin' fast for me. I have 200 pages of contracts to read, otherwise I would love to debate this. I also need some time to follow the Cheney shooting scandal. . .

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 7:41:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Bspot,

I promise I'll read it all this weekend.

Demo

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 7:41:00 PM  
Blogger Bspot said...

Yeah, Demotiki, see, I'm unemployed, verbose, and a very fast typist. And I don't have cable TV.

Wait a minute. Demo says we Jews dominate the media. I wish! Is this really true that Jews hold a lot of dominance over the media? I'm a Jewish former reporter but honestly don't remember being surrounded by many Jews in the newsrooms. Certainly some. But truly, not many. One of the very top editors at the Wall Street Journal is Jewish. But the others at his level are not. I think the family that own the New York Times is Jewish. But not the Hearst family, or Knight Ridder, or A.P., or Reuters, or USA Today, or the Washington Post.

I honestly don't know for certain why Jews are disproportionately represented at the top of media organizations, IF they are, but isn't it true of nearly every profession in America?

Aren't there a disproportionate number of Jews among lawyers, bankers, doctors, dentists and academics, too? Clearly this group has been successful getting jobs in these areas, which are widely seen as desirable, but why?

Rather than making generalizations about a culture's background priorities regarding education (i.e. Asian Americans doing so well in the maths and sciences, etc..), I can offer a much more personal anecdote: myself.

I went to top universities and had a shot at various very upwardly mobile career paths. I came somewhat close to getting quite a high position in a couple different fields (one after the other), though I didn't make it (yet?), mainly due to personal shortcomings and failings of my own. I may never make it much higher than I am, which is fairly mid-level within the middle class. But the fact is, I'm Jewish, and I certainly had a higher-than average shot at becoming a top-level journalist, or banker, or lawyer, or doctor. For sake of argument (your side of the argument), I'll set aside for a moment the fact that most of my peers from high school and college were not Jewish but had equally privileged opportunities, and in many cases have been more successful than I have.

But let's look at the reasons I did get close to these top careers. I can tell you I never made a single step up through any kind of networking where anyone Jewish helped me out because I'm Jewish. Never.

But I think I was born with some advantages -- none of them to my credit. My father is a professor. He and his father score very high on IQ tests, and so do I (as do plenty of my non-Jewish peers, of course). I don't know how my grandfather got his high IQ, and I don't know whether it was passed down to me, or whether, if it was, it came through genes or through family culture.

But I do know he came to this country in his mid-30's and became a cab driver. He went to night school to improve his English, while working very long hours driving the cab, and then he went to law school at night. And then he gradually became a successful New York lawyer.

Maybe this is typical of many of the Jews who have risen to positions of prominence. I think this kind of path is typical of a lot of immigrant families. And also families that have been on American soil for many generations. I don't know the relative statistics, but the point is, if there is some kind of collective purposeful effort to help each other into positions of dominance over certain fields, my family never knew about it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:08:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Bspot,

Okay, I understand. However, I find it difficult to accept your view that somehow the I/P issue boils down to "people trying to live together in peace." That would be a nice thing, but that's really not the core problem. The core problem is that a bunch of Western countries felt really bad about the murder of six million Jews during the Second World War but not so bad that they were willing to give up a peice of European or American land. Instead they gave up a peice of somebody elses land that they had themselves stolen during the colonial period from the rightful owners. When the Jews moved in, the former tennants were unhappy and war insued.

Marshall told Truman that creating the state of Israel in Palestine was a massive mistake, and that it would lead to endless war. Marshall was correct. To now say that the challenge is to find a way for the peoples who find themselves mixed up in this terrible mess to live in peace is not very helpful. We need to recognize that the creation of Israel was wrong and move on from there. We need to say to the Palestinians, "sorry, our bad, what can we do to make it up to you?" We then need to make clear to them that Israel has the bomb, and isn't going to leave so they'll have to accept some other form of compensation. Think of it as a from of geopolitical eminent domain. The world needed that land, but we can't take it without paying for it and giving the Palestinians some good land elsewhere. Ideally Israel would allow the Palestinians to return to the homes they were driven out of but let's not be unrealistic.

The most important thing that the West needs to do is to admit that it was wrong to create Israel, and to apologize to the Palestinians and to the Islamic world. Once that is out of the way, we need to explain that everyone has to live with this mistake because it can't be undone. Then, the third and final step is to fix an appropriate compensation. I think that US or EU citizenship for any Palestinian who wants it plus a lump sum of $50,000 per capita is more than enough. Have them sign a document giving up their claims to Israeli land and accepting their role in the much reduced Palestinian territories.

We need to tell the truth, at least occationally, or nobody will ever believe us. Somehow our leaders think that if they can pull the wool over the eyes of the American public that is enough, but as we see in Iraq, the Arab street isn't fooled. We need to build their confidence in us. The first step is admitting our mistakes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:22:00 PM  
Blogger Bspot said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Bspot said...

I agree with the bulk of this latest comment of yours. As you know I do not think it was wrong to create Israel. But I do think there were very bad consequences.

Those consequences could have been solved easily if a couple Arab governments had given a shit about Palestinian refugees, had cooperated with Israel to help the refugees, and had not been filled with hatred of Jews. (Remember, there were no refugees when Israel was created; Palestinians had their part of the land, and Arabs living on the Jewish part ultimately became Israeli citizens ... unlike the Jews in Arab countries who were all forcibly expelled). It was only following the united Arab attack on Israel in 1948 that Palestinians became refugees.)

But I agree with virtually everything else you say here, ranging from the culpability of the colonial powers to the prognosis of what ought to be done going forward.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well, that was an interesting Rorshach test on coded language.

While coming to cyberpols to get some links for my new environmental blog, after having seen The Sting for the first time in years, I saw that bspot was trying to get thru, apparently unseriously (?), to Andrew. I saw Andrew supporting the Iranian leader's recent statement that Israel has no right to exist. Hmmmm.

Moreover, I saw that my actual argument(s) against Andrew had been conveniently shoved down the memory hole (a previous reader of cyberpols turned me onto this; he's since stopped RSSing).

So, I thought I'd have a little fun.

Unsurprisingly, pawlr got it immediately -- he knows a fascist when he sees one. bspot -- who knows where he stands? But he does pay attention to words, and caught a "he" that should have been expunged from my neo-Goebbelsian riff, so kudos to him for that. He also took the time to research the Occidental yahoo, who, I might add, if you actually read the articles (long though they are) pretty much line up with Demo's past posts. Try it. I'd love to see Demo distance himself from them, but he'll be too busy at law school to do so, I'm sure.

Prof. MacDonald, by the way, felt the need to defend David Irving a few years back. For pure reasons of free speech, no doubt. Nope, Demo's not a Holocaust denier, but it's instructive, as Galloway told Hitchens, to point out what kind of thinkers you associate with when you take on certain arguments that b-spot has bent over backwards trying to distance Andrew from -- it must be unconscious, subconscious... something! Well, what WOULD anti-Semitism look like? What do you expect?

No, not all anti-Zionists are anti-Semitic. Only some are, and one is responsible for one's words. Like most mental illnesses, it comes out of a deep dissatisfaction with oneself. Although Demo does better housework to greater effect, and seems to be integrating into society, finally, so let's hope that the rage subsides.

"Demotiki"? Self-styled supermen always like to wrap themselves in "the People" -- "The people...you talk about the people as if you own them!" as the famous line in Citizen Kane goes.

I leave it to y'all to judge. I'm glad "Kathareuousa" has learned not to see "Jews" as monolithic -- if you'd like to track that learning curve, go back and actually read his posts on this topic and see "American Jews" morph into "JAZzers". How real is that change? In commment #1, lip service is given to nonmonolithic groups, but a few lines down, "Jews" are a collective noun again, amenable to some unnamed political-economical analysis, apparently as a unit(?). But this could just be bad writing.

Never, by the way, at any point, did I deny that a mistaken but wholehearted belief at the time to help Israel was one of several reasons for going into Iraq. Never once -- check the memory hole, kids, if it hasn't been purified yet by our demotic paladin.

As a Chomskyan-lefty, I have found little but shock at the constant "framing" of me as a Zionist, because, as the linked (and I assume unread -- by bspot) post by Demo on "aspen roots" argued -- of my ineradicable ethnic identity. Never once was Andrew -- who really does need to feel under siege -- called anti-Semitic for pointing out that some neocons are Jews. Paul and I asked for the list of non-Jews -- do a little research and dig it up. Never got a response. I guess some aspens are more (or less) equal than others?

Nice to see Andrew has retreated to the more defensible position that I tried to get him to admit for years: that some misguided notion of "protecting Israel" (whether for itself with American blood or treasure or, as I think, as an outpost/ally is unclear, but I'll take it) was ONE of the reasons we went into Iraq.

Sixty years ago, the Holocaust had just ended. As a reader of Normon Solomon, I am well aware of the abuse of the Holocaust by Likudniks, neocons, the ADL, Dershowitz, et al. But that did occur, and wasn't a paper tiger then. A glance at the Soviet Union and at much of the Arab world -- as well as far-right groups in the "West" -- might enflesh that tiger today, too. Iran's current government would like to wipe Israel off the map. Quote. Well, it's probably for home consumption, but that's scary enough. And, yes, that yahoo would likely not be in power (perhaps) if 1. the US hadn't invaded Iraq; and 2. the US hadn't been fucking with Iran and the rest of the Middle East, along with the UK, for a century. Hatred isn't a zero-sum game: all silly, granfalloon-based hatreds are what's slouching us toward Bethlehem. No one culture has a corner on the idiocy market. Or the humaneness market.

People are not cultural or racial dupes. That's got to sink in.

I'll end with two quotes.

Andrew, The Voice of the People:

"I might point out that such blind 'ethnic loyalty' is nothing but further evidence that there is such a thing as 'Jewishness' and that it informs the political opinions of those who thing [sic] of themselves as Jewish."

I guess we're back to the monolith -- 2006: A Race Idiocy.

Steven Pinker, an evolutionary psychologist with whom I usually disagree, had this to say about the work of the aforementioned Kevin MacDonald (self-styled evolutionary psychologist):

"1. By stating that Jews promulgate scientific hypotheses because they are Jewish, he [i.e., MacDonald] is engaging in ad hominem argumentation that is outside the bounds of normal scientific discourse and an obvious waste of time to engage. MacDonald has already announced that I will reject his ideas because I am Jewish, so what's the point of replying to them?"

Indeed. This comment is not for Despotiki, but to tickle b-spot, amuse pawlr, and anyone else who cares to read it.

Have fun with MacDonald's site here. You can learn all about him, and why he defended David Irving, too.

Happy Valentine's Day. It's been a laugh riot for us over here!

Here's the original version of "Anonymous'" long comment. You decide whether it was unfairly camouflaged or not.

German Propaganda Archive
Calvin College

Background: The following essay was published in Der Angriff, 21 January 1929. Goebbels founded the newspaper in Berlin in 1927 shortly after taking over as the party's leader there. This article is a typical attack on the Jews.

The source: "Der Jude," Der Angriff. Aufsätze aus der Kampfzeit (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., 1935), pp. 322-324.

The Jew

by Joseph Goebbels


Everything is discussed openly in Germany, and every German claims the right to have an opinion on any and all questions. One is Catholic, the other Protestant, one an employee, the other an employer, a capitalist, a socialist, a democrat, an aristocrat. There is nothing dishonorable about choosing one side or the other of a question. Discussions happen in public, and where matters are unclear or confused one settles it by argument and counter argument. But there is one problem that is not discussed publicly, one that it is delicate even to mention: the Jewish question. It is taboo in our republic.

The Jew is immunized against all dangers: one may call him a scoundrel, parasite, swindler, profiteer, it all runs off him like water off a raincoat. But call him a Jew and you will be astonished at how he recoils, how injured he is, how he suddenly shrinks back: "I've been found out."

One cannot defend himself against the Jew. He attacks with lightning speed from his position of safety and uses his abilities to crush any attempt at defense.

Quickly he turns the attacker's charges back on him, and the attacker becomes the liar, the troublemaker, the terrorist. Nothing could be more mistaken than to defend oneself. That is just what the Jew wants. He can invent a new lie every day for the enemy to respond to, and the result is that the enemy spends so much time defending himself that he has no time to do what the Jew really fears: to attack. The accused has become the accuser, and loudly he shoves the accuser into the dock. So it always was in the past when a person or a movement fought the Jew. That is what would happen to us as well were we not fully aware of his nature, and if we lacked the courage to draw the following radical conclusions:

1. One cannot fight the Jew by positive means. He is a negative, and this negative must be erased from the German system, or he will forever corrupt it.


2. One cannot discuss the Jewish question with the Jews. One can hardly prove to a person that one has the duty to render him harmless.

3. One cannot allow the Jew the same means one would give an honest opponent, for he is no honorable opponent. He will use generosity and nobility only to trap his enemy.

4. The Jew has nothing to say about German questions. He is a foreigner, an alien, who only enjoys the rights of a guest, rights that he always abuses.

5. The so-called religious morality of the Jews is no morality at all, rather an encouragement to betrayal. Therefore, they have no claim to protection from the state.

6. The Jew is not smarter than we are, rather only cleverer and craftier. His system cannot be defeated economically — he follows entirely different moral principles than we do. It can only be broken through political means.

7. A Jew cannot insult a German. Jewish slanders are but badges of honor for a German opponent of the Jews.

8. The more a German person or a German movement opposes the Jew, the more valuable it is. If someone is attacked by the Jews, that is a sure sign of his virtue. He who is not persecuted by the Jews, or who is praised by them, is useless and dangerous.

9. The Jew evaluates German questions from the Jewish standpoint. As a result, the opposite of what he says must be true.

10. One must either affirm or reject anti-Semitism. He who defends the Jews harms his own people. One can only be a Jewish lackey or a Jewish opponent. Opposing the Jews is a matter of personal hygiene.

These principles give the anti-Jewish movement a chance of success. Only such a movement will be taken seriously by the Jews, only such a movement will be feared by them.

The fact that he shouts and complains about such a movement therefore is only a sign that it is right. We are therefore delighted that we are constantly attacked in the Jewish gazettes. They may shout about terror. We answer with Mussolini's familiar words: "Terror? Never! It is social hygiene. We take these individuals out of circulation just as a doctor does to a bacterium.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Bspot,

Why do you think it was a good idea to create Israel in Palestine? Also, don't you feel it is at least a little racist to put the blame for Israeli aggression at the feet of Arab governments when clearly they were not the ones who created the problem?

Start with what we know for sure. First, the Palestinians were living on the land where Israel was later created. Second, they were forced at gunpoint to leave; many of them were killed, raped or otherwise hurt by Israeli aggression. Third, a state predicated at least partly on ideas of racial purity was created where they once lived. Fourth, they were prevented from returning to their homes because they were not Jewish.

Given that the four points above are all clearly correct; can you explain why the Arab governments should have wanted anything other than the destruction of Israel? Can one really blame them for supporting the Palestinians in their efforts to win back their lands?

There was some debate at the time Israel was created about putting the new state in the American West, Uganda, or even Germany. They actually considered taking African lands to compensate for a European crime. Why? Because they were arrogant enough to believe that they had the right to give someone else’s homes to the Jews to pay them off for the terrible crimes committed by the Germans. In the end they pushed the costs off on the Palestinians instead. That is why the creation of Israel was wrong and why we must now compensate the Palestinians for our arrogance.

One could also argue that creating Israel was neither necessary nor advisable. Clearly the Second World War showed that Jews were vulnerable, and that having a state might help protect them. However, we could say the same thing about scores of other peoples around the world, the Kurds, Tutsies the Gypsies etc. Why single out the most powerful minority for protection and forget the rest? Was what happened to the Jews in the Second World War really unique? Unfortunately, it was not.

However, all of this debate is meaningless, the error has been made. The state of Israel exists and thanks to our support has the bomb. Nothing can be done to remove Israel, nor do we have a solution for what to do with the Jews in Israel were the nation dissolved tomorrow. Therefore Israel is here to stay. Given this reality, we need to find a way to compensate the Palestinians for the crimes committed against them. Not because it’s the right thing to do morally, but simply because making friends is in the national interest of the United States. We need to put out the fire we created through our arrogance. I honestly believe that given the proper compensation, the Palestinians would be willing to accept the loss of their lands. However, the price we eventually pay will be lower if we accept the reality that we were wrong to create Israel and admit that to the world. It is very difficult to build trust based on lies. Unfortunately that is what our foreign policy has been attempting to do for five decades. We have tried to tell the Palestinians and the rest of the world that Israel had some primitive claim to the holy lands based some book. Nobody buys that shit, so we should stop trying to sell it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 7:58:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Bspot,

By the way, evidently our anti-Semetic friend is not actually anti-Sememtic, and is in fact Jewish. Does this change the way you feel about the threat of anti-Semetism, knowing that there is at least one less anti-Semite than you once imagined? I don't think it should necessarily since the views expressed are not all that unusual.

I might add that the person pretending to be a racist is actually a racist, although a Jewish racist. While bragging that his racial purity allows him the ability to move to Israel any time he wants, he simultaneously states that my Palestinian friends shouldn't have the right-of-return to their parents' home. Why? Well because they are not Jewish, they are Palestinians. It's a little funny to argue for the continuation of policies that are on their face racist while complaining about other people's alledged racism towards you. Oh well, that's the reality, he's a funny guy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 8:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bspot --

You might want to actually read what I wrote on this blog for years on Israel, Palestine, Jews, "Jews," etc. Demo never really responded, except in the hurt tones of the besieged paladin of truth.

I knew him for almost 20 years, and I've known Paul for that length as well, and if you're who I think you are, we met in NYC at my birthday party when you came to the East Side with Paul.

Anyway, I find your struggle to make even the slightest of points to Andrew hilariously familiar. Do yourself a favor and read what I wrote, and what Andrew wrote in the past, and make up your own mind. Or not.

As far as going back to Israel, yeah, I'm technically a Jew (atheist, cosmopolitan sort), but moving to Israel now would be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire, politically, as I told Andrew on the phone a few months back. If I'm going to try to escape nascent facism, I'll try the EU or New Zealand.

As far as moving forward, I point you toward the Geneva Accord, a document Andrew refused to read, as far as I could tell. He never responded to it -- I mean, actual progress beyond having the US and EU pay off Palestinians after admitting the mistake of Israel isn't his first priority. The first idea was to pay off Israeli Jews to live elsewhere. Look it up on the blog, if Andrew isn't busy at the memory hole. In any event, Demo must have something to irk, and, oh does he like the moral crusade, especially if it's related to some kind of fantastical one-up-man's-ship. God forbid the words should end and action of any constructive kind begin on this issue. The Right of Return is dealt with in that document, ironed out by those diplomats, Palestinian and Israeli, who decided not to stop after Taba.

Tikkun is a good group, too, and the works of Noam Chomsky, Norman Finklestein, and Edward Said can't hurt in trying to understand what's up, and where to go.

I'm sure Andrew won't tell you, but pawlr and I were kicked off another blog for being "anti-Semitic" -- well, I had to be a "self-hating Jew" -- for daring to criticize the Israeli government. Despite repeated invitations, Andrew couldn't muster the courage to visit. Some paladin.

Epater le bourgeois -- it's a tactic of low pundits left and right, and is usually outgrown by early middle age. I only wish he'd find some actual bourgeois to shock, rather than the safe targets he chooses in between downloading music online and studying hard to become part of that bourgeois. He does have excellent taste in music.

In any event, if you have fiction or creative nonfiction, visit free--expression. If you have action-oriented environmental information to share, visit Achieving Sustainability.

Keep trying to knock some sense into the idio-demotic; I won't be back. I got my links, thank you very much, and I had my fun.

Sorry, Paul -- I knew you wouldn't fall for a bit of it.

I also should have known that Andrew wouldn't actually read the MacDonald stuff -- too long, you see -- but if anyone would like to, and then compare it to Despotiki's rhetoric, it'd be revealing. Especially part III on neocons.

Search out "Doug Israel" and see what you find. Do the same for "Demotiki Israel". You seem to have the time and industry.

See ya! (Hi, Mike -- hope you get your card game together...)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Doug,

Three words, "increase your medication."

Demo

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Paul,

I know that Doug is in "fiction" more these days than in the past but could you clue me into what this fantasy of his refers to. . .

"I'm sure Andrew won't tell you, but pawlr and I were kicked off another blog for being "anti-Semitic" -- well, I had to be a "self-hating Jew" -- for daring to criticize the Israeli government. Despite repeated invitations, Andrew couldn't muster the courage to visit. Some paladin."

Oh, and how many hit dice do Paladins get, or is that just another biggoted reference by Doug to my ethnicity and religion?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

To the General Public,

I just wanted to apologize on behalf of the cyberpols community for the racist parody of an Arab anti-Semite that was posted to this thread. We at cyberpols believe that intelligent discussion and rational thought matter and want to cut through this kind of bull-shit. I am sure I speak for all of us on the blogg when I say that making fun of those less fortunate and perpetuating racial stereotypes is truly reprehensible. I expect that Doug will apologize in time, but let’s not all hold our breath.

Demo

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 1:01:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Bspot,

As for your comments on Jewish media ownership . . .

I don’t have the time to recount the history of American media, but suffice it to say that the early history of television, movies and radio was dominated by Jewish Americas who were to a man Zionists. The current media landscape isn’t that much different. The New York Times is controlled by Zionists, a fact that isn’t missed by those of us who crave an even-handed reporting of the I/P problem. Just as one example, the New York Times ran the lie for years that there was “no such thing as the Palestinian people.” The fact that they would try to pass off as fictional the existence of the very people who were fighting for the lands taken by Israel is some indication of their editorial bias. There are too many other examples to catalog; suffice it to say that the New York Times has made many affirmative efforts to promote the state of Israel and has taken a racist approach when smearing Arabs or Palestinian enemies of Israel. The same can be said about the major television networks as well as NPR. With the rightwing Christians adding their two cents, the bandwidth of reasonable coverage has all but disappeared.

You may be right that Jews tend to be over-represented in high status jobs, but I don’t think it is particularly relevant to our discussion of the media. What matters is how the stories are covered. To a large and well documented extent, the coverage of the I/P debate in America has been unfair to the Ps. This fact should be common knowledge to anyone in their 30s, as should be the existence of a strong pro-Israel lobby in the United States.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 1:16:00 PM  
Blogger Palmer said...

so when are doug and andrew going quail-hunting?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 3:20:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Palmer,

As soon as Doug gets out of that Quail-suit, it's fuckin' rediculous looking.

Demo

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 3:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Re: the "Women On the Verge" blog situation, which I'm sure Paul remembers, and which Andrew has conveniently forgotten:
Here, from Cyberpols. I was thrown off, and then Paul quit in support.

Re: "Paladin":

(SOED): /"pal-schwa-dIn/ n.L16. [Fr., f. It. paladino, f. L palatinus: see PALATINE a.1 & n.1] Each of the Twelve bravest and most famous warriors of Charlemagne’s court. Also, a knight errant, a champion.

(Wikipedia) A paladin is the prototypical "knight in shining armour," a hero of sterling character and courage, who rights wrongs and defends the weak and oppressed. The word comes from the Latin word palatinus ("attached to the palace") - compare palatine. The original paladins of legend appeared as the Twelve Peers of the Chanson de Roland and of the other chansons de geste and romances that told of the legendary court of King Charlemagne.

How that is "another biggoted [sic] reference by Doug to my ethnicity and religion"?

Last I heard, Andrew was Greek, so that doesn't enter into it, not to mention that I've never said anything negative about that ethnicity. Also, I understand, as everyone else on this blog does, that Andrew is not only an atheist but also anti-religious. Not that I ever said anything about his religion or lack thereof. So, I'm not sure what this refers to, either.

"Another" is also puzzling -- when was the first time I said anything negative about Andrew's ethnicity (however defined; Greek could be only one facet, of course) or religion, even assuming he followed one?

Re: "The racist parody of an Arab anti-Semite."

1. Since when is Joseph Goebbels an Arab? I expect you either didn't bother to read it, or must see anti-Arab racism no matter what.

2. How can a "sting" like this, which aims to uncover (call it unconscious, subconscious, what-have-you) prejudice be itself racist? I note that Andrew loves to call others racist, as in his recent comment about Kristoff -- to which, as of yet, he has not responded to Paul's query for, well, data or an argument beyond "my professor said so."

3. The only person I was making fun of was you, Andrew, so you can't wrap yourself in the downtroddenness of others. I hold you, and only you, responsible for what you've written, done, and said. No group affiliation obtains -- just your words and actions. I realize this is a difficult concept for you to absorb.

4. Unless you're going to try to argue that I meant to agree with Goebbels, which would be not only silly on the face of it, but self-refuting, as you called it a "parody," I don't know how I'm perpetrating truly reprehensible stereotypes.

However, your heartfelt apologia pro mea scriptum to "the General Public," who await your bull with baited breath (puns intended) does underline your need to be, well, a paladin, in your own eyes, at least. Perhaps that partially explains why you focus your rage the way you do.

As far as "getting along" in the blogosphere, I quote from our former partners, the Thornbloggers, on Despotiki's M.O.:

"[Note: As always, you'll want to ignore Demotiki's eruptions ... in this instance I am described as "autistic," "a brainwashed moron," "dead weight," and "a nasty little brat." Unbelievable. Why Pawlr and Doug - both smart thinkers with keen debating skills - keep this guy around is beyond my comprehension.]"

These are the rightwing evangelical folks I got to visit our site in order to attempt a red-blue dialog. We didn't agree much, but Andrew's love of demos doesn't extend to those who disagree, no matter how narcissistically small the difference. His guest-post on Thornblog.

Mine.

Pawl's.

This entire brou-ha-ha came from my refusal to ascribe ALL causation for Iraq to "Zionists," "Jewish-American Zionists," or whatever other label, increasingly specific, Andrew was forced to adopt. If Andrew is not busy deleting posts, anyone who cares to will find ample evidence of that. I suggest searchng this blog via the toolbar for "Demotiki Israel", "Demotiki Zionist", and "Demotiki Jew" and see what you come up with. You may do the same with me -- substitute "Doug" and read away.

But Andrew's counting on you not doing that; pawlr's been there; Mike's got other things to do; and I'm not sure b-spot needs to or wants to. As for other readers, well, they'll do what they want. It's all a tempest in a teapot, but, given my buddy's distaste with Andrew's post -- which he knew to be false, as he's been reading for years (till I left) -- and what I noticed when I came looking for some links pawlr and I had assembled for another blog, it seemed like fruit too low-hanging not to pluck.

Plus, I got over some deadlines and have a lull.

I don't get the bird-suit joke -- some reference to my insanity? -- but I do find it funny that Cheney is the first VP to shoot someone since Aaron Burr.

So, I've said my peace. Enjoy your blogging!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 6:48:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Doug,

As far as I know, Goebbels never visited this site. He's been dead for years.

If you patterned your Arab-racist character on Goebbels all the more shame on you. There is no need for this kind of behavior. Don't you realize that the stereotypes you are helping to perpetuate have lead to the war in Iraq, a war that has cost the lives of over 100,000 people?

This is not a joke. You have to be more careful about what you say and what you write and not perpetuate these sorts of beliefs. No matter how deeply held your own racist views are, you have to think about the effect this sort of hateful speech has on society at large.

Obviously you should apologize to the readers of this blogg and to the Arab and Islamic peoples who you brutally insulted in your hateful parody. Stop pretending that you were not making fun of Arabs or Islamic people. Accept that what you wrote was racist and that you intended to make fun of Arabs and Islamic people. Tell the truth for once.

For your own good you have to come to terms with the hate inside you. You have to learn to accept that all people, no matter how different they are from you, are equally deserving of our love and respect. There are no “chosen people” in this world, we are all equal, even the Arabs you mocked with your little diatribe.

Demo

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 8:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

ROTFLMFAO!

The piece I "parodied," points of which you found so apropos, was WRITTEN by JOSEPH GOEBBELS and has NOTHING TO DO WITH ARABS! It was titled "The Jew," and it was designed, along with the MacDonald links, to show what bspot was trying to point out: how close to the surface feelings of anti-Semitism (subconscious or otherwise) lie.

This is of course true for any racism, "groupism," or, as Vonnegut would put it, "granfaloonism."

How you manage to continue to twist this into my supposed Arab- or Muslim-hatred is continually amazing to me, and shows how successful this little experiment was in outing you.

And now my parody has slid into my racist character -- which is somehow directed at Arabs. Show one shred of proof of that -- and check this blog for starters.

Finally, who claimed to be "chosen" as you accuse me of? "The chosen people"...who could that refer to? Hmmmm?

Dude, my West Hartford friends were right about you. And my Kaplan friends. And my other Cornell friends.

Keep responding; I really couldn't script this any better!

What WILL he think of next?

Check. Mate.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger Bspot said...

Dear Andrew and Doug,

Aside from bickering furiously with each other, both of you have addressed several of your comments to me, each telling me what I ought to know about the other.

Some might see this as vying for my approval, or trying to get me to respect one of you more than the other. Some might think, now that you two have a new audience (me) watching you continue the longstanding antagonism between you, that you want me to take sides.

But I don't see it that way. I figure neither of you is that much concerned about my opinion of you. Both obviously care mainly about debating these issues and insulting each other.

Nevertheless, I'm going to tell you what I think of you. By doing this, I am indulging in getting personal. There are reasons to avoid doing so, of course, since, by joining the two of you in personalizing this whole interaction, I help you cause it to decrease in value.

On the other hand, I have led much of this debate over the past few days. I am departing from it now, having watched it degenerate absurdly. And before I leave, I feel like letting you know my personal view of our interactions.

My self-assigned task of proclaiming what I think of your contributions, Doug, will come second, because it's easier to do it with respect to Andrew, and I like getting easier things out of the way first.

Andrew, for all that I disagree with him, seems like an earnest, caring person. To me he seems misguided, but honestly intent on championing the cause of an oppressed people, versus a group he sees as wielding disproportionate power.

His mistaken views are not character flaws, but stem simply from lack of knowledge of history in two areas: one, the history of anti-semitism, a history that clearly reveals the obvious anti-semitic roots of many of the views influencing Andrew; and two, the Jewish version of the history of Palestine, from the late 1800's onward.

I am not being facetious when I say Andrew's motives seem to me well-intentioned. I think he - like many leftists in this country and others, and both leftists and rightists across much of Europe - is honestly unaware that his perspectives echo, with great specificity and detail, anti-semitic ideas about Jews that existed long before we were born, long before the creation of Israel, and long before the 19th century roots of Zionism.

When he talks about Jews' purposefully engaging in a collective strategy to dominate a particular industry (media) in America, he doesn't seem aware that this accusation against Jews has been leveled in many countries, in many centuries, and with regard to many different industries .... all usually for sinister purposes. (It may be I should give him more credit, if he realizes there's no sinister, collective strategy; but still, the paranoia about the consequences of many Jews being involved in any industry is such an obvious echo.) He doesn't realize the exact same provocative ideas were spread in Russia in the late 19th century, and by the French and Germans in the early 20th. He probably doesn't know that the majority of Poles, TODAY, deludedly decry inappropriate Jewish influence over their current government and economy(?!), in total denial of the fact that there are virtually zero Jews left in Poland.

And in every one of these cases except France, the paranoia led to mass murder. (Though Vichy France, in contrast to its grudging cooperation with the Nazis on all other matters, was enthusiastic about helping to round up Jews.)

He is unaware that the whole ridiculous freaking out about pro-Israeli lobbyists in Washington, as if this is somehow surprising or sinister, is a perfect echo of the bugaboo of secret Jewish political influence in Czarist Russia, in Communist Russia under Lenin, in the U.S.S.R. under Stalin; and in Poland, France and Germany. (It is equally a bugaboo in the modern American context because those lobbyists have only some marginal effect on America's Mideast policies: separately, there are many, many obvious reasons, good and bad, why the U.S. is allied with Israel, having nothing to do with Jewish lobbyists.)

He is unaware that this suspicion of such sinister Jewish influence, whether economic or political, has been so common and widespread, across countries and centuries, precisely because it was used by the Roman Empire and later the Church, all over Europe, for more than a millenium and a half, to help advance the concept that Christ was divine -- demonizing those who could possibly believe otherwise (Jews). Pagans were less threatening because they were outsiders. Jews were traitorous members of the same Judeo-Christian family, who had the subversive nerve to doubt Christ.

Most Jews know this history, and recognize the anti-semitism in its modern American, European and Arabic incarnations.

Most Jews know that Jews are disproportionately successful not only in the media but also in many other fields in America; and were, also, in Germany, as soon as they were allowed into the mainstream (increasingly throughout the 19th century). Most know that Jews' success has had no sinister purpose; and we explain it as a cultural phenomenon, having to do with an intense cultural focus on education, the life of the mind, and a drive to escape abject poverty in Europe's ghettoes.

(An interesting hypothesis could be that most of the culture surrounding what we now know as the Mediterranean and Europe originally had this intense intellectual focus, until it was damped for about 1,000 years by the Church's anti-science, "be-passive-before-the-Lord" ideology ... leaving the Jews, who were excluded, as among the few not damped. I am not trying to put down Christian people here .... but only trying to figure out the cultural origins of the phenomenon that Demotiki points out: Jews being disporportionately represented among Christian peers at high levels of so many professions.)

Finally, Andrew doesn't realize that his entire "knowledge" of the "facts" of what happened in Palestine in the late 1800's, early 1900's, and on through the 1930's, 40's, and on through the present, is filled with outright (unintentional) falsehoods in many cases, and in highly debatable views of facts in other cases. He has not been exposed to the facts as described in the Jewish perspective on this history, and thinks, for example, that we all agree with statements such as "There were Palestinians living there," "There was ANYONE living there in any significant numbers," "Jews were not there," "Jews migrated in, resulting in Palestinians being pushed out," or even that U.S./European guilt about the holocaust played anything but a subsidiary role, in the latter part of the chain of events leading to Israel's creation, most of which occurred before World War II.

Doug, I want to try hard to be tactful here, because there may yet be some possibility of being on perfectly friendly terms, if and when we meet again in a social context; there may yet be a possibility of compartmentalizing our impressions from this blog debate and, who knows, even becoming friends on other levels.

But I have to say that my impression of the way this debate was going was more positive before you joined in -- even if my efforts to persuade Andrew or other readers of my views have been futile. I could feel frustrated at that; but at no time did I feel that he was disrespectful of me, or that he was putting energy into the debate because he found it so enjoyable to be provocative for the fun of being provocative.

Paul will attest that I myself like being light-heartedly provocative in light-hearted situations.

He will also attest that, in much more serious situations, I do argue and debate; often feeling that each side in a debate tends to have some merit that the other side is glossing over, or overlooking. I'll often try to persuade whichever side I'm dealing with that, even while I agree with much of their perspective, I think they're wrong to see no merit at all to the other side. (Unless I also can't see any.)

Thus, I'll come off unintentionally as contrarian, and I'll seem quite vehement.

But the cause of my vehemence seems more similar to Demotiki's: I genuinely feel strongly about what I'm saying.

In your case, it has felt to me that there is an added element. It seems like you genuinely feel strongly about the issue .... but also relish the fight, for the sake of the fight, even as your opponent is feeling upset; and at some point it seems like there has ended up being more focus on flaunting one's intelligence than on remembering how much one cares about the content of the issue.

(I am sure you care as deeply, if not more so, than anyone; I'm just saying it feels like there's an added, competitive, intelligence-flaunting element.)

I like competition, even rough competition, but to me it didn't feel good the way it played out here. On some level your posing as anonymous and copying in Goebbels' stuff can seem to some people like a funny practical joke; and apparently you thought it somehow helped reveal biases that hadn't already been revealed anyway.

But fundamentally it felt gratuitously manipulative, and at the same time, a kind of clever, competitive playfulness that's only possible if you're forgetting how much you actually care about the suffering of Israelis and Palestinians.

It's like any humor in a context where there are serious issues and some suffering in the picture: sometimes people can get some distance and laugh (sometimes it's even helpful for the sufferers to do so); sometimes people can say, "hey, lighten up, this is funny;" but sometimes it's just not cool.

I didn't like it. It wasn't funny. I would say this even if it hadn't had emotional impact on me. But in fact it did. It literally made me feel aghast and personally at risk, as a Jew, in America, where I'm supposed to feel safe, to be faced with someone, who I assumed was American, writing that way.

And the degeneration of the interactions between you and Demotiki seemed bizarrely mean-spirited. What is this about "... my friends were right about you..."? I guess that stuff between you is none of my business, but at our age I feel like such statements are more unflattering to the state-er than the state-ee.

Anyway, enough said, at least from me. I am sooooo done with this. It has become ridiculous and I'm not going to have anything more to say.

I'm sure that comes as a great relief to both of you and others.

Love and smooches, Ben

Thursday, February 16, 2006 4:21:00 AM  
Blogger Bspot said...

Just skimmed over my comment and realized I should clarify: It's not that Doug's contributions seemed disrespectful of me at any point (except maybe by posing as a Nazi) ... it's that at times they seemed disrespectful of Andrew.

That said, I'm still happy to keep these blog interactions separate from any other aspects of our acquaintance.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 4:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You're right, b-spot, I have no respect for Andrew's politics, among other things, such as the completely internally guided, self-serving "advice" he doles out to people in serious need.

And there is indeed a history -- not that you should care about any of that.

He does have good taste in music, though, and likes Kurosawa, so he ain't all bad. No one is.

Paul and Mike are friends of mine. They are also friends of Andrew's, which is as it should be. You I met once, so I haven't really formed an opinion, but you'll note that when we did talk, I was anything but the pro-Zionist or racist I've been made out to be. In fact, quite the contrary: I think we disagreed on I/P (unrancorously) and you and Paul retired to the kitchen to continue. Which was fine -- no worries.

None of this was directed at anyone but Andrew, nor am I trying to get anyone's approval. Nor am I trying to upset you. You should be concerned about folks like MacDonald and Irving, et al; they're around. Not that worry over any other groups' mistreatment is somehow crowded out by worry over anti-Semitism, or that anti-Semitism somehow short-circuits any I/P solution, or obviates the influence of neoconservatives, etc, &c.

You make a lot of excuses for what Andrew should know but doesn't. Keep pointing it out and see how well your excuses for his accidental benightedness hold up. I did the same for four years (yahoo group to last year on cyberpols) -- but maybe you're more patient. By the way, it was on that yahoo group that my West Hartford friends, all but two as progressive as you like -- yes, even though they're Jewish -- on the I/P conflict were accused of being part of an anti-Andrew cabal when we were all simply making the same independent point. LOL. Ya shoulda been there.

Or, even better, try reading what each of us has said in the past, right here on the blog. Or even just limit yourself to what Andrew accused me of in this one exchange, and how much that corresponds to the words written.

Or don't bother -- 'tis your choice.

Oh, re: the "my friends" comment -- I should have been more precise. It's not that they don't "like" Andrew in some junior-high-school sense, it's just that they think he's, well, a bit cracked in the head when it comes to Israel, Jews, and anything else that takes his, well, not "fancy," but ire. Such as calling a friend of mine a "boxchecker" for having called himself "Hispanic" when he only had a Puerto Rican father (not FULL Hispanic, with his Italian mother, you see). So, I've spent a lot of time defending him over the years.

Having hired Andrew twice when he needed (and deserved) a job, which I don't think any other friend of his can say, and having tried to help him out emotionally (and while having a lot of fun and learning from him, especially about Japanese film), I think I've done my share. Not that he owes me anything -- nothing but respect, which, again, if you read this blog, you'll see in small evidence when I dare to disagree.

But keep this helpful point in mind re: sincerity from Harry Frankfurt's excellent book On Bullshit, pp.64-67, original emphases. It applies even to self-proclaimed philosophical realists; well, you'll get it:

"The contemporary proliferation of bullshit also has deeper sources, in various forms of skepticism which deny that we can have any reliable access to an objective reality, and which therefore reject the possibility of knowing how things truly are. These "antirealist" doctrines undermine confidence in the value of disinterested efforts to determine what is true and what is false, and even in the intelligibiity of the notion of objective inquiry. One response to this loss of confidence has been a retreat from the discipline required by dedication to the ideal of correctness to a quite different sort of discipline, which is imposed by the pursuit of an alternative ideal of sincerity. Rather than seeking primarily to arrive at accurate representations of a common world, the individual turns toward trying to provide honest representations of himself. Convinced that reality has no inherent nature, which he might hope to identify as the truth about things, he devotes himself to being true to his own nature. It is as though he deicdes that since it makes no sense to try to be true to the facts, he must therefore try instead to be true to himself.

"But it is preposterous to imagine that we ourselves our determinate, and hence susceptible both to correct and to incorrect descriptions, while supposing that the ascription of determinancy to anything else has beenexposed as a mistake. As conscious beings, we exist only in response to other things, and we cannot know ourselves without knowing them. Moreover, there is nothing in theory, and certainly nothing in experience, to support the extraordinary judgment that it is the truth about himself that is the easiest for a person to know. Facts about ourselves are not peculiarly solid and resistant to skeptical dissolution. Our natures are, indeed, elusively insubstantial -- notoriously less stable and less inherent than the natures of other things. And insofar as thisis the case, sincerity itself is bullshit."

Or, as the line in Lawrence of Arabia goes: "A man who lies merely hides the truth. A man who tells half-lies has forgotten where he put it." Andrew lies only in petty, ass-covering fashion. It's the half-lies he tells himself that explain away all that nagging self-doubt that really is the problem.

Anyway, I promised my wife I wouldn't waste any more time on this, so I'll have to leave the last word to someone else.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Doug,

Not only are you a racist, you are also a very unpleasant person. Don't take my word for it, your violent temper is well known to many, and the irrational rage and personalization you exhibit when someone has the audacity to disagree with you has been observed by many of your "friends," including those "friends" of yours who you insist think I am somehow a "bad person." The very fact that you would bring up something like that to defend your racist views is indicative of your vindictive nasty temperment, which no doubt provides much of the the hate that inspires racist diatribes like your black-face portrayal of a racist Arab.

One only has to remember a wild eyed Doug racing around ranting about how G. had slept with his girlfriend (something that was clearly a lie) and that he would never speak to him again to understand the particularly nasty aspect of your insanity. Or one could look at the time where you blew up because I had the temerity to suguest that a delayed indictment against Rove was actually a good thing rather than a bad thing. Or one can remember that time when the protector of the Constitution Doug Keen wouldn't stand up for his friend's 4th Amendment rights because . . . oh, because his friend wasn't a "one of us" and therefore his "friends'" Constitutional rights were really not rights at all.

You are an arrogant coward, blowhard, racist and fool. Just so you know, I don't bother reading your posts because there's enough hatful illogic in the world without reading the rantings of an insain racist freek like yourself. Fuck off and die Doug.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

B-spot:

"G." was the guy's apartment you and I met at, b-spot. So, we clearly don't get along at all -- and the issue Andrew points out was definitely a mistake on my part, because it didn't matter whether G did or didn't do that. I don't think he did, anyway. But the woman involved found it useful to insinuate it for her own reasons. I should have known better, and it all blew over with a full, public apology by me within a week.

I did not "blow up" about Rove -- just disagreed.

And as for not helping Andrew and his sister lie to Philly's Department of Licensing and Inspection for not getting the proper approval to make changes to a building they owned -- they were actually painting a wall to look old, rather than new (which they might have pulled off as Andrew's sister is an amazingly talented painter) -- because my then-wife felt uncomfortable about it led to Andrew calling me "a 'good German'" and "pussywhipped" in front of said ex-wife.

How camouflaging a Nazi tract on Jews for obvious and openly stated reasons is acting in a minstrel-show fashion like an Arab is simply illogical and obviously wrong, so one must come to one's own conclusions on that insistence.

Lowering the amount of bad feeling (as well as bad spelling) in the world by calling me "an insain racist freek" who should "[f]uck off and die" seems self-contradictory.

So, as for my own temper, yes, it's been an issue. Mike could tell you my exit from our former company could have been done more gracefully, even though the anger really kicked in when said company retaliated against my then-girlfriend, now-wife.

Paul could tell you that my own anger at Andrew during a former blowup over his "I/P issue" -- as well as the degree of anger about and especially almost compulsive preoccupation with the obviously awful Bush regime -- actually led me to think through a lot about myself that had little to do, ultimately, with Andrew or Bush. The fault lies not in the stars but in ourselves, whether we put those faults there or not. We are responsible for them, regardless of provenance.

As for my high-school friends, I don't think Andrew could know what they think of me, as he has no contact with them. As for our mutual Cornell friends, aside from Paul, who does a great job being friends with both of us -- and always will, I'm sure, regardless of how we deal with each other -- I'm not sure who he's referring to, as I'm in touch with them, and he, as far as I know, is not.

As for the "meadow" friends (Sheep Meadow, in NYC), yes, G knows Andrew, but Andrew doesn't know that I was told not to bring him around -- not by G, who could get along with anyone -- but by others who shall remain nameless. Since I'm in touch with them, too, I'm not sure who Andrew means. I'm not aware that any of them are in touch with Andrew.

As you'll note, I've not only hooked Andrew up with jobs at two different companies, but have also integrated him with my own sets of friends. I do that with all my friends, but Andrew was isolated. He'll take this as an insult, but he's had some difficult times over the past decade or so. We all go through stuff, inevitably. So, my disgust comes from what I should have known was coming -- I'm getting blowback for whatever reasons that no one we collectively know have been able to explain.

I was wrong about one thing: politically, Andrew and I are extremely close. I don't dig Lakoff, but that doesn't cause a problem with Paul, who does. It's a minor point. I'm against the current (and much of the past) Israeli government's treatment of the Palestinians. A Chomskyite, remember. My only problem is how Andrew approaches the issue, which lines up with what you've brought up, b-spot (and Paul, too).

As for controlling anger, and other irrationalities, that's a challenge for us all. I've worked on my own share of that for a long, long time, and I'm sure it's not perfect. But it is better than it once was. I don't think Andrew should "fuck off and die," but I definitely enjoyed having some fun with him over the past coupla days.

Objectively, it was mean, but given the tip-off by a now ex-reader of this blog mentioned earlier, and finding, when I came to get some links and see what was up, yet another iteration of the same banging-head-against-wall phenomenon (which is in no way a gambit to "get you on my side," b-spot -- I really don't know you at all), I thought it was well deserved and instructive.

I know, I know, I gotta stop coming back -- this is one reason I left this blog (among other reasons) and this must be boring everyone, and I have yet another deadline coming up.

B-spot, if we meet again, we can speak not of this at all, unless you want to. With one exception, any friend of Paul's is at least a provisional friend of mine. But if you no like me now, ah well!

In any event, I'd like to say I've made my point, but I really have to give Andrew the lion's share of credit. It was like shooting fish in a barrel (where did that phrase come from?). So, I PROMISE that I won't repond to anything else, and will busy myself with my own stuff.

Keep cyberpols going -- and try to get some rightwingers on it, again, as you're doing, I see.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 1:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 4:07:00 PM  
Blogger Palmer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 4:08:00 PM  
Blogger Barbara From California said...

Hello again Doug. A friend of mine, who knows I felt conflicted about asking you to stop posting to our site, suggested I take a look at this debate you and your friends (?) are having about Israel. I must say your role in this debate has helped me feel better about the decision I made last year.

Of course my views may be closer to those of Bspot than to yours. And my views may be closer to yours than to those of Demotiki. But your manner of engaging in these debates truly stands out from the others.

It does seem as if there is a great deal of anger in you, of which you only seem to be partly aware. I am sure you would readily say you do feel anger toward your friend Demotiki for the many reasons you describe, and you do go on to mention that you recognize having some temper issues in general. But then you continue, even after saying these things, to fill your comments with vicious, spiteful statements that are obviously meant to inflict emotional hurt on Demotiki.

It seems to go on and on this way, with an almost unending exertion of hostility on your part. People sometimes feel anger and then vent it rather than holding it in. But usually once or twice is enough.

To me it seems your ongoing emotional assault on Demotiki suggests that you are not dealing with the full extent of your own personal difficulties with anger.

I am sorry all of you are having personal interactions filled with so much rancor, through your blog. I felt this was beginning to spill into my blog last year. However, I harbor no ill feelings anymore, and I sincerely hope these things work out for you.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 4:32:00 PM  
Blogger Palmer said...

Wow. Wicked Barb of the West returns. This time she has a point though.

It's true we're all mutual friends Doug, but I have to tell you, Andrew did start off focusing on Israel. The trick playing, name calling and hurt slinging started with you, and each level of escalation came from you too. Woah boy.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 4:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Barbara, what an amazing coincidence that you showed up at just this precise moment! And what a memory you have! Perhaps the mention of your blog's name helped you find it; perhaps you'd like to tell me who turned you onto this string? Nah, I doubt it. Perhaps you just kept reading long after the brou-ha-ha.

Well, we all have our little grudges. Barbara thinks I'm a self-hating anti-Semitic Jew, but that doesn't keep her from settling a score and ignoring what supposedly was her primary concern; Demo thinks I'm an Arab-hating hate-spewing racist, but that doesn't stop him from spewing racist hatred ("chosen people").

Ego usually trumps supposedly deeply held positions.

Funny, I haven't had a problem with anyone else in the whole wide blogosphere.

For anyone who is interested in the debate that took place on Barbara's blog, check here, and here, and I think here's where I started to get into "trouble." Note pawlr's involvement; the one and the same.

Here's the post on something else right in the midst of that debate, where you'll see me contributing to the discussion. I know I should be foaming at the mouth, but you'll see I'm not.

And here I am, right around the same time, being thanked by Barbara for trying to ease her anxiety.

And here I am joshing with Barbara about penises.

And consoling her on her father's death.

Here I console her about someone's lame-ass use of her tagname; check her response to me.

Here I defend her from an obnoxious commenter.

And here, finally, I defend her against some really scary wacko-right-wing Jewish attacks.

Yeah, all this happened and was welcomed until my supposed anti-Semitic, self-hating-Jewishness, whatever (?) "came out." And Andrew thinks I'm a hyper-Zionist Arab-hating racist! It is to laugh.

I'm great when I agree, I guess, but when I don't, no matter what the issue, or the distance between positions on the issue (the smaller, the more pitched as both Kissinger and Freud pointed out), the more savage the narcissistic response, I guess.

It all depends on whether you want to hear what others have to say, to face your own beliefs, or not. Sure, we all get our dander up. I got a little hot under the collar on Lakoff, as I felt that the issue was one of the epistemological basis for democracy. Probably over-reacted, but it never descended to name-calling.

Andrew definitely got under my skin, mostly, I'm sure, because 1. I'd known him so long, and 2. because it's so obviously messed up, and that's distrubing.

So, I broke my promise, but only because I was surprised to see Barbara commenting here, so coincidentally. Mostly, I was coming back to see what other vitriol Andrew had in store...how deep can one dig one's own grave?

Anyway, I hope it's been at least mildly amusing -- the spectacle of seeing Barbara, who threw me off her blog (and pawlr, too) for daring to criticize the Israeli government (as you can see in the links above) is now "taking the side" of Andrew, who would like me to fuck off and die because I'm a hate-spewing hyper-Zionist racist who despises Arabs -- exactly the kind of politics that Barbara would normally dive on guns ablazing -- has really wrapped the only two "blog-wars" I've ever had in years of blogging up in a nice final package.

Barbara, if you'd like to tell me who turned you on to this debate, feel free to e-mail me. And I hope you're doing well.

PS: Those who admit their fallible humanity are usually more together, so it was very lawyerly of you to use my honest admissions against me, but in the real world, that's what leads to greater self-knowledge.

Peace

Thursday, February 16, 2006 5:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, Mike:

I hear ya, but you might want to read the earlier posts, before you were active on the site. This wasn't out of the blue.

Or not.

True, there are other issues behind this that don't relate to the manifest content, but they are private (and neither related to me or to Andrew), so I can see why you'd see it this way.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 5:37:00 PM  
Blogger Goebbels said...

Heil,

I'd say those of you who aren't Jewish vermin seem nevertheless to be insidious leftists, or, at the very least, soft, naive, almost spongiform liberals.

I was just doing a Google search of my own name and came across your debate here. I can't remember: am I already dead, or am I still rotting in some prison somewhere? I'm fairly sure I'm long dead, but it doesn't matter really. There's internet access in prison as well as hell, I'm sure.

It occurs to me that your excerpt from my writings, Doug, when you were disguised as anonymous, seemed to have prompted a very impassioned reply from Bspot. He seemed stirred up and a bit upset, and seems to have spent a lot of time on that. And now, the comments from Barbara From California and Palmer seem to have had the same effect on you, though to a lesser degree. You don't seem upset. And you haven't spent as much time on your reply as Bspot did. But you certainly put a lot of work into copying in all those links to your past writings and debates.

Given all this, it occurs to me, do you think there's any possibility that these more recent comments from "Barbara from California" and "Palmer" might actually be from Bspot, first diguised as Barbara and then disguised as Mike?

Hmmmm. In any event, even if it is indeed the case that an oversensitive Bspot attempted to exact some sort of stupid revenge, by engaging in some sort of "tricking you back," I imagine he'd still hold to that dictum both of you have been asserting to each other: willingness to be open to some form of friendship separate from all this jousting.

As for you Demotiki, maybe even I, an aging and/or possibly dead and decaying Nazi, will manage to achieve the noble feat apparently being accomplished by these fellows Doug mentions, Mike and Paul, who, according to Doug, maintain friendship with both him and you.

P.S. Barbara, Palmer, if a crazed and combative Bspot actually did all this, he probably realizes it was unjust, or worse, to take over the use of your screen names and pose as you. I imagine he would apologize, but explain that it just had to be done.

P.P.S. Hold on. My Nazi-mind may have been wrong to come up with this whole theory. If one clicks on those latter comments by Barbara and Palmer, arriving at their profiles, one seems to find the exact same profiles as those to which one arrives by clicking on their screen names in much earlier postings. Hmmmmm. Bspot would need to apologize yet more profusely to Barbara and Palmer, and assure them that any copied profiles he may have constructed will be deleted forthwith.

Love and, once again, smooches,
Goebbels

(just call me joe)

Thursday, February 16, 2006 6:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Joe:

On Paul's advice, I came back to check this out.

I get it now; better late than never!

I should have checked for Barb's picture-icon, which seems missing, and also forgot her one-word version, "barbfromcalifornia," but it's been a long time since I blogged there.

And palmer's icon doesn't lead to his actual blog, which seems new. I should have checked.

It takes a lot less time to put in links if you use "search this blog," and the html, "less-than a href equals sign "http://URL" greater than TEXT "less than" "slash" a (which can only be shown in this way to show up) and keep that in a text file for easy copying.

As for the vitriol you see only in my comments, well, so much seems to be in the eye of the beholder. Who told whom to "fuck off and die?"

Anyway, was it "enjoyable to be provocative for the fun of being provocative" for you? Was it "gratuitously manipulative"? Did it somehow dishonor the Holocaust? Or was it satire to make a point? I think Swift didn't really want the Irish to eat their excess babies.

As for "flaunting intelligence," I'll take it as a compliment. I do the best with what I got, such as it is.

Does the ability to argue, equally, both sides of a debate in a contrarian manner turn into intellectual jousting for its own sake, or is it the wide-open search for truth? Your call.

Questions:

1. Do you think I'm a racist? On what evidence?

2. Should I "fuck off and die"? Related, do you really mean that my method of debating "truly stands out from the others"?

Read this before you answer:

"Doug,

Not only are you a racist I'll count the number of times I've been called this, without proof, just in this post, and just bold the other well-thought-out points: 1, you are also a very unpleasant person. Don't take my word for it, your violent temper is well known to many, and the irrational rage and personalization [I think he means ad hominem attacks] you exhibit when someone has the audacity to disagree with you has been observed by many second many -- who? of your "friends," including those "friends" that's twice my friends have been "postmodernized" out of existence of yours who you insist think I am somehow a "bad person."Of course, I never said they didn't like him, just thought he was a bit cracked in the head on certain issues. The very fact that you would bring up something like that to defend your racist 3. views is indicative of your vindictive nasty temperment, which no doubt provides much of the the hate that inspires racist 4 diatribes like your black-face Goebbels would be surprised to hear this described as "black-face" -- "brown-shirt-face"? portrayal of a racist 5 Arab.Ben, if nothing else, please explain how parodying Goebbels's rhetoric, aside from what you thought of it, is somehow the portrayal of "a racist Arab." Then explain why Andrew insists that it is.

"One only has to remember a wild eyed Doug racing around ranting about how G. had slept with his girlfriend (something that was clearly a lie) and that he would never speak to him again to understand the particularly nasty aspect of your insanity. Or one could look at the time where you blew up because I had the temerity to suguest that a delayed indictment against Rove was actually a good thing rather than a bad thing. Or one can remember that time when the protector of the Constitution Doug Keen wouldn't stand up for his friend's 4th Amendment rights because . . . oh, because his friend wasn't a "one of us" [bspot, how is THIS not racist speech by Andrew, along with that "chosen people" reference"? Is that due to Andrew's tragic miseducation, too? Or my unfair baiting? Bait me till the cows come home: I won't slip into racist speech] and therefore his "friends'" Constitutional rights were really not rights at all.

"You are an arrogant coward, blowhard, racist6 and fool. Just so you know, I don't bother reading your posts because there's enough hatful illogic in the world without reading the rantings of an insain racist7 freek like yourself. Fuck off and die Doug."

I know: I made him write all of that. None of the above is "bizzarely mean-spirited" as "I started it!" (Check the blog, Ben -- and quick before it's edited!)

3. Was I making fun of, "brutally mocking," or "insulting" Arabs and Muslims somehow in my faux-Goebbels post? How?

4. Is there any sense -- aside from your disapproval of my ghosting-outing method, which I freely admit was "mean" -- in which I mocked anyone BUT Andrew? I did already apologize for upsetting you -- which wasn't the point. And, furthermore, you do know the reality of antisemitism, Goebbels aside, so even though Palestinians (and everyone else, depending on individual behavior, not group identification) deserve not to be treated in a racist fashion, that doesn't obviate anti-Semitism in some ridiculous zero-sum ethical universe in no way corresponding to social reality.

Anyway, you seem to be creative, a fast typist, and smart (and you get good press from Paul, who did tell me you like to argue both sides after I wondered whether you really meant what you were saying re: I/P at my b/day soiree).

So, if you'd like to move on to more fruitful territory, come on over to free--expression.blogspot.com to write some fiction (warning: very satirical piece on American Jews is on there now), or, if you lean that way, come to Achieving Sustainability to share knowledge about ways to save energy RIGHT NOW, or to learn the same.

Hermann "I am NOT fat" Goering

Friday, February 17, 2006 1:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Move to..." meaning, in addition to cyberpols, not instead of -- just to be clear.

But let me know, as I only allow member comments -- for obvious reasons, I think! LOL

Palmer, you, too -- and I'll pretend I didn't find your new blog. ;)

Friday, February 17, 2006 2:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Actually, I just turned on comment moderation -- why limit people?

Friday, February 17, 2006 2:07:00 AM  
Blogger Bspot said...

Hola Doug,

Sorry to rile you. Actually it's better not to take what "Barbara from California" said, or what "Palmer" said, as my own opinions.

Just like Goebbels' views aren't your views, though you posed as him, Barbara's views (as I construed them) aren't mine, though I posed as her. I focused being tricky back at you; not focused on conveying any balanced perspective in Barbara's words.

Obviously some of my own view is mixed in there. But I don't want to get in the middle of the history between you and Andrew, which obviously extends far back before my time (and possibly before life on Earth). Something that seems to me to have been started by one side, on this blog, may actually have been started by the other side eight years ago.

It's not nice to bring up upsetting personal history on a blog - and often it's not worth doing it in any context. It's not nice using people's vulnerabilities against them; it's not nice calling anyone racist; and so on and so on. But let's just drop it all. I'm definitely not a good couples counselor.

Personally, I don't hold anything against you or Andrew and hope the same is true vice versa.

All this would be much better pursued when we're all drunk, in the same room, in person, with lots of sharp objects within reach.

=========================

I do want to explain that I'm NOT contrarian purely for the joy of being contrarian, and I don't take stands that I don't really believe in, just to argue them for fun.

Poor me, I feel widely misunderstood. I know I have a contrarian way of thinking - I like to think of it as dialectical, how about that? But I know I convey it in unclear and counter-productive ways so often that many people in my life remark on it.

Usually it's like, I'm talking with a fellow leftist, who thinks conservatives are all full of shit, and I'm focusing on the conservative point or points that I think we ought to be conceding are true. Why don't I focus on the 95% my fellow lefty and I agree on? Because there's no progress to be made there. I feel like it's progress to persuade my friend that, on some complex issue, it's in our own interest to understand the other side and recognize whatever merit (5%) there is in their perspective.

But the result is that, whether you're a conservative (with whom I disagree 95%) or a fellow leftist (with whom I focus intently on the 5% where we disagree), you get fed up with my constant contrarianism.

I think my brain has this natural (involuntary) tendency to try to figure things out by considering the devil's advocate position. But by the time there are words coming out of my mouth in a discussion with someone, I am trying to present the integrated outcome that I believe in. And I struggle to explain how I think this integrated perspective is consistent, even if it's 95% blue and 5% red. (Quite pretty actually.)

So there. I am sooooo outta here.

Ben

Friday, February 17, 2006 1:00:00 PM  
Blogger Bspot said...

P.S. Doug, I forgot to answer the two questions you posed to me.

Re 1.:
No.

Re 2.:
No. And no.

Friday, February 17, 2006 1:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I ain't riled -- I invited you to my other blogs.

And this comment is mostly to make a clean round 50.

It's interesting what people see -- which is usually what they want to see.

Friday, February 17, 2006 1:14:00 PM  

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