Flamesem and Japesem (on behalf of Hell-bound freaks)

Nyah – I think the Left loves Glenn Beck.  Or should.  If I were running the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, and playing to win, I’d wish him an even bigger audience.

***

Some seem to believe that concerns about conservatives making fools of themselves by publishing ludicrously alarmist statements about “creeping sharia,” or by letting themselves be duped by Islamophobic activists, are exaggerated. This post demonstrates, I think, the contrary.

***

If y’all would stop characterizing those things we find revolting (honor killings, “female circumcision,” terrorism?) as “Muslim practices,” maybe people would stop rightly accusing you of “defamation of religion.”

***

Did you ever hear anyone declare that the fate of Kyrgyzstan, say, touched on “something perduring and eternal”?

No, the support for Israel that is offered by me and like-minded people is based not on headline-devouring apocalypticism but on something perduring and eternal: a sense that the fate of the Jews implicates humanity, that a world that refuses to find a place for the Jews is engaged in a rejection of even more fundamental truths. This State of Israel is, yes, a state like all other states; that should go without saying. But how strange that, of all the 200 or so states-just-like-other-states in the world today, this one alone is treated increasingly as a pariah that’s on a deserved path to being wiped out.

Well, which is it?  Can a state be “just like other states” and at the same time a heartstring-plucking symbol of “more fundamental truths” that “implicate humanity”?

Forget the plucked strings:  Even the famous bell-tower striking the hours of high noon right next door may never penetrate the ears of Israel’s would-be best friends:  You shouldn’t declare Israel of “perduring and eternal” importance on the one hand, then be surprised when others, your enemies especially, fail to treat it “just like all other states.”  There is a perduring and near-eternal resonance here with a whole holy unholy heckuva lot of historical baggage, something about the downside of being “chosen.”

With unique and supreme importance comes unique and supreme scrutiny.  Sometimes unique and supreme myopia, too.

***

The far-right third party that Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle called home in the 1990s supported abolishing “the debt money system” and ran a vitriolic anti-gay insert in state newspapers that portrays LGBT people — or, as Angle’s party called them, “sodomites” — as child-molesting, HIV-carrying, Hell-bound freaks, according to documents obtained by TPM.

Hey, lefty, child-molesting, HIV-carrying, Hell-bound freaks are people, too!  Stop with the judgmental negativity, haters.


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63 comments on “Flamesem and Japesem (on behalf of Hell-bound freaks)

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  1. “I am not ashamed to say that some of my own support for Israel is based in religious motives, even if these motives are not those presented in caricature form by the cultured despisers. And I resent the caricature less than I otherwise would, because I view it as rooted in a deeper obtuseness, the one these despisers show in regard even to their own self-interest and to their own intellectual consistency. The only country in the region with liberal values — that lets, e.g., its religious minorities vote; that has, e.g., gay-pride parades — is the one they view as an embarrassment. This, again, is a level of obtuseness that cannot be explained on a purely rational basis.”
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NjA0YWYyZjYzMWUxZTFhMWQ2ZjVmNDM4M2Y2ZjI3NTQ=

    Criticizing Israel is not despising Israel. The opinion that Israel should join the club of Nuclear Powers and sign the appropriate treaties is not anti-semitism. We can admire all the admirable aspects of Israeli Culture,and attack the Government policies that resulted in using White Phosphorous on Gazans,and destroyed Lebanon’s infrastructure without any gains against their enemies. Everybody attacks the US without being accused of Anti-Americanism,why is a critic of the Israeli Government called an anti-semite?

  2. Rex Caruthers wrote:

    Everybody attacks the US without being accused of Anti-Americanism,why is a critic of the Israeli Government called an anti-semite?

    Actually, lots of the same people who call criticisms of the Israeli government anti-Semitic also accuse attackers of the U.S. of anti-Americanism. And sometimes they’re right both times.

  3. Also, I thought the white phosphorus thing was more an invasion of Lebanon anti-Israeli propaganda item from the ’80s. Considering how successful it was in its day – hopeless doctors treating innocent civilians with wounds that burned on and on unstoppably, that was the image – it wouldn’t surprise me if it was pulled out again, whether or not it was remotely justified.

  4. “—surprise me if it was pulled out again, whether or not it was remotely justified.”

    Who knows,those pesky cell phones and their cameras,but disinformation is omnipresent. So you’re saying that during the recent hit on Gaza to get Hamas,WP was not used as a weapon,or it was used but not misused.

    “And sometimes they’re right both times.”
    I agree,but what’s your bigger point?

  5. Rex Caruthers wrote:

    So you’re saying that during the recent hit on Gaza to get Hamas,WP was not used as a weapon,or it was used but not misused.

    Idunno. You’re the one who brought it up!

  6. It’s the same double standard applied to us, CK, we are so moral we must do everything perfectly, no matter how vile the adversary. No Israel is not Kirgizstan, or Georgia or Honduras for that matter. Hence
    we must be tolerant to those who would recruit for our destruction,
    No lo cre0 “I don’t think so”

  7. Israel–Like Other Countries:

    When you get off a plane in Israel, going through customs takes no longer than it does elsewhere.
    When you eat in a Chinese or Japanese restaurant in Israel, it is remarkably similar to doing so in America.
    When you walk down Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, people who are obviously Arabs are walking down the street the same way everybody else is.
    When you go to a shopping mall, it looks like malls in other countries.

    Israel–Different From Other Countries:

    When you get on a plane to leave Israel, you don’t have to take off your shoes.
    When America killed Zarqawi and everyone else in the house at that moment, the world did not complain. When Israel killed Mabhouh, with no innocent bystanders getting hurt, the world reacted in absolute horror because phony IDs were used. The world has not yet calmed down.
    The Spanish gay-pride parade banned Israeli participants. Gay-rights organizations everywhere are anti-Israel rather than being anti-Iran, where gay teens are hanged, or anti-Palestine, where gays in Gaza and the West Bank are subject to honor murders unless they can get political asylum in Israel.
    Israel has never had a seat on the Security Council.

  8. Israel has never had a seat on the Security Council.

    Isn’t Israel going to have to come clean about its Nuclear arsenal.just like everybody else,before taking its place among the established nations. Its secretivness and policy of “Ambiguity” places it in the company of North Korea in style. What does it hurt them to open up about their Nukes?

  9. Rex,
    If Israel came clean about its nukes, anti-Israel hatred around the world would zoom up. If Israel decided to give up its nukes, anti-Israel hatred would zoom up. If Israel increased the number of its nukes, anti-Israel hatred would zoom up.
    It doesn’t matter what Israel does or doesn’t do. Every day in every way, people hate Israel more and more.
    I am quite aware of the fact that I sound crazy. The reason nobody has said this earlier is because they are afraid of sounding crazy. Sometimes one can’t describe what’s really happening without sounding crazy.

  10. Rex Caruthers wrote:

    What does it hurt them to open up about their Nukes?

    That is actually a very interesting question – or, rather, the value of whatever remnant strategic “ambiguity” is interesting to consider. I think there are a number of superficial/diplomatic reasons – chiefly, “If we admit it, then people will conclude we’re willing to discuss it – in fact newly interested in opening the discussion. Or have some ulterior motive.”

    Anyway, why should the Israelis even bring it up? Who’s asking and why? What makes you think it has anything to do with the Security Council membership? (Serious question) Under what circumstances might it serve Israel’s interests to initiate such a conversation with “the world” or someone particular in the world?

    Anyway, this is something I haven’t read up on or thought about in a long time, and the world’s changed a bit.

  11. Who’s asking and why?

    Everyone interested in keeping Iran Nukeless realizes that the logical stumbling block is,WHY can Israel have Nukes and we can’t? And stating that Israel is Good and Iran is evil(Their Governments,Their Religion blah blah blah),doesn’t advance the logic. If Israel were Nukeless,we would have a clear logical path to Stop Iran(Balance of Power issues),but Israel’s “Ambiguity” is a roadblock. Which puts Israel into the role of “stopper” creating more international hate for Israel for daring to defend itself. In a way,it’s our fault. Had we acted like a GREAT power back in the Seventies by Neutering Opec’s stranglehold on Energy,maybe Israel wouldn’t be fighting the entire world today.

    And George,you’re perfectly sane,and I agree with you. Nobody is going to be happy until Israel is long gone.

  12. No there hasn’t been all out war, since ’73, only proxy engagement like Lebanon and Gaza, and Saddam’s scud shooting in a barrel, as well as the Two intifadas, which were more internal infiltrations of Salafi militancy.

  13. Rex Caruthers wrote:

    Nobody is going to be happy

    Nobody is going to be happy at all – whose happiness depends upon a public catastrophe…. well, except there’s this, while we’re talking crazy, and in light of some earlier discussions: When is it useful to wonder about the unconscious or repressed motivations of all participants, and whether what they’re advocating isn’t likelier to achieve the exact opposite of what they say they want?

    How the assorted religious dream symbolisms/wish fulfillments are realized in waking life is another question, and, anyway, as for your interesting conjecture about balance of power calculations, how would removal of remnant “ambiguity” change them? By now, it’s at most a rhetorical fig leaf. What would anybody gain from Israel removing its last pretenses on the subject? The roadblock in your description isn’t ambiguity, it’s the independent Israeli nuclear deterrent.

  14. As to the ostensible original point of this thread, where has Glenn gotten it wrong, with cooperation from Breitbart and Motley when appropriate, Van Jones, Mark Lloyd’s Minitrue vision, now coming from the FTC, Holdren’s eugenicism, Susstein’s whole panoply of behavior
    modification, the Chicago Climate Exchange behind Cap n Trade

  15. @ narciso:
    Been there done that explaining my differences with Beck, but Continetti did a nice wrap-up in the Weekly Standard piece linked to the word “should” in the top post, also linked in RecBrow, the major cover story of one of our two major conservative weeklies in the U.S. – but not the “point” of this thread, just the first item of five.

  16. Santelli’s prompting from the Tea Parties were good, but they didn’t provide a rationale for what was going on, The attempt to suppress
    the Tea Parties with the DISCLOSE act, the push toward cap n trade, with the CCX as the ultimate goal, the push for amnesty by executive fiar

    one would think Continetti of all people, would have noticed this is not incidental, after his work on ‘The Persecution of Sarah Palin” practically at this very moment, the Sinisphere, minus Weigel and other epistemically closed personages are spreading an undue insinuation about a Sowell columns she linked about the aggrandisement of federal power

  17. George Jochnowitz wrote:
    Rex,
    Has Ahmadinejad ever been among the people who mentioned Israel’s nukes?
    Has Ahmadinejad ever hinted that there is an aspect of Israel’s policy he objects to?

    No,But he’s really crazy

    “How the assorted religious dream symbolisms/wish fulfillments are realized in waking life is another question, and, anyway, as for your interesting conjecture about balance of power calculations, how would removal of remnant “ambiguity” change them? By now, it’s at most a rhetorical fig leaf. What would anybody gain from Israel removing its last pretenses on the subject? The roadblock in your description isn’t ambiguity, it’s the independent Israeli nuclear deterrent.”

    We had a policy during the entire Cold War,MAD,you might not agree with that policy,but everyone understood it,no ambiguity,and luckily,no Nuke War, Israel needs to join the club,and lay it out,what their Nuke Policy is, because that is in America’s best interest.

  18. Are we going back to that hoary chestnut, threaten total nuclear annihilation, possible destruction of the biosphere,, that sounds more rational to you.

  19. Narc,the Killing of a 2nd rate Prince in 1914 triggered two world wars over the next 31 years/60 million dead people. Anything can happen in this f—ed up world,there’s still plenty of Nukes available to do the job x 100,and let’s face it,things are very flakely right now,with the bad economics,and all the religious nuttiness.

  20. was it really Gavrilo Princip that did it, or was it this rickety framework of Alliances, the Kaiser’s armament buildup to challenge the Brits, the
    illusion that free trade, would foster peace

  21. narciso :

    All of the above,Serbia was only the Trigger.

    I believe there’s a trigger somewhere right now in the here and now,and there’s a world full of dry rotted matter looking for a spark.

  22. narciso wrote:

    one would think Continetti of all people, would have noticed this is not incidental,

    Unless Continetti thinks it’s… not to be taken very seriously.

    Incidentally, I don’t think “epistemically closed” was intended to mean what you, I assume borrowing from Karl at HA, are suggesting in re Weigel.

  23. They live in a bubble, or in a cave, reality is very distorted there, the attitudes of the formerly MSM, now quite nearly SRM are classic, they
    way they actually Obama had anything of note to say on profound
    issues, this has subsided for a while, but not nearly enough, the way
    Pew reflects energy and foreign policy are his strong suits, how is that even possible, pick not just Afghanistan, but the shameful capitulation
    to Russia, the betrayal of the Iranian freedom movement et al

  24. Long ago a princely son,
    Came to grief upon a day,
    Mad Gavrilo Princip put him away,
    Which led to tragic World War One,
    Millions dead before it was done.

    In this day there are those who wince,
    And surmise Iran may be like that prince,
    If Israel attacks they say they figure,
    That act could serve as a tragic trigger,
    Setting off nuclear World War Three,
    Leaving plains of glass from sea to sea.

  25. The truth is that in 1914 governments and their citizens all over Europe were spoiling for a good fight in the style of 1870. They saw war as a quick and sharp solution to problems, and they saw it as glorious. Once into the war and bearing the cost they didn’t know how to get back out

    The other nuclear powers do not see nuclear war as glorious or winnable. If Israel and Iran, or India and Pakistan, get into it and start blowing sizable parts of one another back into the stone age the rest of the nuclear powers are not going to start lobbing ICBMS at one another.

  26. @ CK MacLeod:

    Israel gains nothing in the discussion and the admission would likely lead to questions being raised about the origins of the program. Answers to such questions might be embarrassing to other countries that supplied technical and/or material assistance.

  27. @ Parson Logic T ReFog:
    Norman Stone’s theory was very persuasive: Of course, the various governments all gravely underestimated what war would mean, especially the initiators. Germany, according to a reasonable strategic calculation, believed that the window for action was closing, and that, if nothing else happened, within a few short years it would either be forced into war on much worse terms, or forced to accept second-class status and what came with it in perpetuity. The ongoing development of the Russian rail system was one critical factor in the minds of German strategists, since it would enable Russia to utilize its material preponderance in any conflict. The conclusion of WW2 in the East – though obviously under different technological circumstances – tends to confirm that calculation.

  28. The Krauts were aghast,
    That Russia so vast,
    Was building up trains,
    To beat in their brains,
    Or deck them with reins,
    So they went for the gun,
    And had quite a run,
    But Schlieffen went sour,
    At the very last hour,
    When the frogs used the car,
    To take Paris to war.

    Thus Germany’s fears,
    Of borscht fed engineers,
    Led to the cheers,
    Of French boulevardiers,
    Who survived at the Somme,
    To toast in Dom Perignon
    A son gout tout chacun.

  29. @ CK MacLeod:

    That has a lovely review. I noticed that the Poet-formerly-known-as Sully had a trenchant (seems to be an appropriate, if not exact, word) comment lauding your prose.

    Have ordered the book.

  30. @ Parson Logic T ReFog:
    Cool! Think of it. I’d need only two or three thousand more of you a month, and I could retire from the poster-selling business, pay off my debts, and blog full-time with a clear conscience!

    I’m on my way!

    Assuming you used the Amazon link…

  31. (1) If Israel and Iran, or India and Pakistan, get into it and start blowing sizable parts of one another back into the stone age the rest of the nuclear powers are not going to start lobbing ICBMS at one another.
    (2) Israel gains nothing in the discussion

    It would be wonderful if the rest had the character not to get sucked into the whirlpool,I Wonder. However, the fact that Israel gains nothing from the discusstion is meaningless because it’s up to us,as THE GREAT POWER,to persuade/leverage Israel to play the Nuke Game by the same rules as the rest of us are playing. And here’s where the leverage resides.looking at Foreign Policy through the eyes* of a Jim Baker/Kissinger,Israel is a liability,while the assets over there have oil. From their eyes there is no “Special” Relationship.
    So,not everything that we,in our best interests,require from Israel will be,in their opinion,in their best interests,but nobody gets 100% of what they want,not us,not Israel.

    * Looking at Foreign Policy without consideration for anything except what is to our advantage.

  32. @ CK MacLeod:

    Poor deluded Tsar.

    I live in in NYC. Beside the world-class NYPL, the Brookyn PL, and the CUNY Library all will get the book to me in 3 or 4 days. I’ll be walking over and picking it up on Tuesday.

    Your conscience is on its own, sadly.

  33. @ fuster:
    Well, after you love it to death, you can buy copies for all of your friends and tadpoles (always using the Amazon link), then you can all get together and set up a luxury cruise with the author (who is based in Turkey and may have many interesting things to say about the situation there)… and hire me to moderate… and criticize people…

    That ought to work!

  34. CK MacLeod wrote:

    Well, after you love it to death, you can buy copies for all of your friends and tadpoles

    My tadpole is home for his mother’s b’day and found your Dialogue with John post open on the screen.

    He was impressed with the quality of your thought and writing.

    (you’re getting flattery, CK, not kickbacks. keep rolling them posters.)

  35. Yes Rex, we understand they have oil, how much is unclear, the problem of course is the rapacious faux nobility that rules many of
    these statelets or their retainers in the clerical class, the kind who underwrite the defamation of our fighting men and women, and the
    canonization of their own fighting kinsman

  36. NARC,

    I realize that you understand that what is in our best interests is not 100% in allingment with the opinions of the current Israeli government as to what their best interests are.
    AND If George J is correct,it doesn’t matter what Israel does,they’re F—ed.
    Furthermore,it too often APPEARS that the “CHRISTIAN RIGHT”*
    wants to use Israel as the pawn to leverage us to destroy Islamism.

    *Were they not Spoiled senseless by having a Christian Right President for 8 years to inflate their hopes? And,what a letdown,with Humanist,Secularist, Internationalist, pro-Islam,very pro Black Islam,Obama with a pinch of Jeremiah Wrightism thrown into the mix.

  37. @ Rex Caruthers:
    Part of the problem is that no one knows for sure – or if they are they aren’t telling – what capabilities Pakistan and India, and for that matter Israel, really possess.

    Nuclear weapons are incredibly fearsome and awesome. Some say that any leader who thinks about using them or risking using them would only need to be taken to a live above-ground test. But others, including people who have been intimately familiar with such tests back in the day, were “undeterred.” If Pakistan and India restricted themselves to military uses, people might be kind of “disappointed” with the results, even assuming the weapons worked as advertised, and blew away only small pieces of territory that hardly anyone but the residents cared about previously or is likely to care much about thereafter.

    The end result, after a week or so of fascinating TV, might be a lowering of the nuclear threshold, and an escalating arms race to build bigger and better nukes, especially thermonuclear ones, among the aspiring powers.

    Now the Israelis probably, but not certainly, have the technical capacity to turn even reasonably powerful, but not thermonuclear, warheads into something inescapably fearsome – with 200 warheads the ability to put, say, Persian civilization for a generation, at risk, with major deterrent left over.

    Except I don’t think the Israelis have it in them to adopt a counter-population strategy. I think they’d stick to counterforce, rather than contemplate becoming the authors of a Second Holocaust. They’d be willing to risk the deaths of many thousands of Iranian civilians only if justified by a demonstrable capacity and intention of the Iranians to do it to them first. However, by the time that capacity became demonstrable to them, it would also be demonstrable to others. The ability to deliver a sizable nuclear warhead or bomb accurately from Iranian territory to Israeli territory – likely years away assuming all goes well and no one intervenes – is also the ability to threaten Istanbul, Moscow, Beijing, and several other capitals – eventually all other capitals and suburbs, too. The odds are that everyone won’t sit idly by all of that time, but there are disadvantages and high uncertainties to being the one forced to act, especially if forced to act militarily. The measures taken to head off the unacceptable situation are more likely to be political/economic, and to involve establishing veto power over Iranian ambitions from the inside.

    The above is part of what’s inherent in Friedman’s geo-strategic take – that Iran’s situation is very probably too central, but not quite central enough, for it even to achieve and consolidate its full regional ambitions, much less take a position as an equal Great Power in a competitive world. In that sense its predicament is superficially similar to Germany’s ahead of WW1. It can be seen as playing a low-odds, likely losing game and attempting to maximize opportunities while the window looks as open as it likely will ever be.

  38. Leave it to REAL CONTENTIONS;they never let me down. Sitting here on a boring Saturday,looking for Adventure,I find the stupidist posting of the week. I’ll leave it to others to deconstruct,but for those of you that know me,well,you know that this kind of thinking makes me happy,I love Entertainment.

    “The interesting point is that it is often in those enlightened societies that reject patriotism as outdated and pernicious on philosophical grounds — Western Europe being a primary location, the newsroom of NPR a secondary one — that the World Cup unleashes patriotism in a way that no other sport competition in the world ever does, not even the Olympics. This raises an interesting question, first and foremost for those left-wing promoters of flower power who think nationalism is both pernicious and on the wane. The World Cup awakens the sentiment where leftists think there is none left (or there should not be, i.e., even in their own newsroom). And that, to me, is a good thing — it highlights the fallacy of the post-national, postmodern worldview, especially because all it takes is 22 men in shorts chasing a football to demonstrate this fine point of political philosophy.
    As for the U.S., my point is even less ambitious. To see it join the big league as a serious contender to me is refreshing not because a victory for the United States (unlikely this time, by the way) would bring pride and prestige to democracy, or because of what it may or may not demonstrate about American nationalism or America’s sudden abandonment of its exceptionalism. In fact, I think it proves American exceptionalism. Given how late America comes to football and how quickly it rises from obscurity to success, it would be yet another sign of certain characteristics that make America so unique. It would prove how fast and successful America is in mastering all things foreign and seamlessly integrating them in its own unique national fabric; it would offer yet another proof of immigrants becoming the standard bearers of American patriotism — just look at who plays for the national team and you’ll see my point; and of sport being a ticket for them into the pantheon of all American heroes.”
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/ottolenghi/320536

  39. CK MacLeod wrote:
    @ Rex Caruthers:
    Part of the problem is that no one knows for sure – or if they are they aren’t telling – what capabilities Pakistan and India, and for that matter Israel, really possess

    Well,it’s up to us as a great power to know these things or why spend a Trillion a year on Intelligence,might as well spend that Trillion on Healthcare,like treating the masses for Nuclear Burning/Radiation Sickness.

  40. @ Rex Caruthers:
    Oh, c’mon, there’ve been far stupider posts at NZ Contentions this week. We know you hate the familiar poetry of American exceptionalism – are determined to see the world without even a smidgen of comfort in faith – but what the Contender points to corresponds to real things in the real world, of proven material significance, even if you believe that other material factors are more important.

  41. @ Rex Caruthers:
    By “no one” I meant none of us. We don’t know that the Guv doesn’t know, or think it knows, all sorts of interesting things it prefers not to broadcast widely or confirm when broadcast or, best of all, is disbelieved about when it does effectively confirm – and that very few people even are aware are of interest. (I think that sentence makes sense, got a little grammatically complicated – hopefully you get the gist.) If Joe Bureaucrat says, “look, it’s not that big a deal,” then all he does is put his own job in jeopardy or set himself up for major embarrassment if he turns out to be wrong after all. So they all nod wisely and save it for secret session, and even then play it close to the vest except when seeking funding, at which point the barbarians are at the gate. It could be that the decision-makers are fully aware of the boring truths on some of these matters – dirty bombs and “suitcase” nukes aren’t a meaningful threat, Pakistan and India are under reasonable control, Iran won’t be a survival threat even to Israel much less to us for years if ever – and that it explains much of their decision-making quite adequately.

  42. CK MacLeod wrote:
    @ Rex Caruthers:
    Oh, c’mon, there’ve been far stupider posts at NZ Contentions this week.

    If one of them is mine,and it’s quite possible,I’ll take it like a man,which is very manly compared to Real Contentions who quiver in their Boots about a potential ZC counterattack on the RCs. When we reconquer Commentary we will call it PARADISE REGAINED. Opps,I forgot,no JC allowed in Commentary Paradise.

  43. CK MacLeod wrote:
    @ Rex Caruthers:
    By “no one” I meant none of us. We don’t know that the Guv doesn’t know, or think it knows, all sorts of interesting things it prefers not to broadcast widely or confirm when broadcast or, best of all, is disbelieved when it does effectively confirm – and that very few people even are aware are of interest. If Joe Bureaucrat says, “look, it’s not that big a deal,” then all he does is put his own job in jeopardy or set himself up for major embarrassment if he turns out to be wrong after all. So they all nod wisely and save it for secret session, and even then play it close to the vest except when seeking funding, at which point the barbarians are at the gate. It could be that the decision-makers are fully aware of the boring truths on some of these matters – dirty bombs and “suitcase” nukes aren’t a meaningful threat, Pakistan and India are under reasonable control, Iran won’t be a survival threat even to Israel much less to us for years if ever – and that it explains much of their decision-making quite adequately.

    CK,I surrender,this is the Best/Most Intelligent Posting of the Month.

  44. No the reverse is more often true, consider 9/11, the Cole bombing,
    Ft. Hood, Christmas Flight, Times Square, et al, they often ignore what’s right in front of their face

  45. narciso wrote:
    No the reverse is more often true, consider 9/11, the Cole bombing,
    Ft. Hood, Christmas Flight, Times Square, et al, they often ignore what’s right in front of their face

    Including Colombine and Virginia Tech,opps My apologies,different story.

  46. The Cole bombing – a few unfortunate casualties and a damaged ship. 9/11, two buildings and 3,000 civilians. Ft. Hood, more unfortunate casualties. Two additional failed and completely amateurish attacks. If either had somehow succeeded (which is a stretch), another infinitesimal material impact – to be answered, in all likelihood, by orders of magnitude larger casualties on the “other side,” though more among the uninvolved than among the responsible. From a materalistic perspective, setting emotionalism and symbolism aside, it’s a measure of how well things are in hand overall that such threats and events loom large in our calculations, which have more to do with public relations and the desirability of avoiding escalated confrontation than any threat to a vital area. We have the luxury of indulging imaginary tribalistic reaction to affronts, our extension of moral significance only to members of our pseudo-tribe, allowing numerous otherwise reasonable people to talk up genocidal retaliation and world-historical social and moral self-disfigurement.

    If we really had the war that some seem to want, all of that stuff would amount to negligible friction. No one would be “terrorized” by it who wasn’t directly on hand.

  47. The point. dear Czar is that much of this was known in some fashion, yet it happened because of bureaucratic incompetence

  48. Terrorist attacks are not and will never be the main danger. Those conducting them are, in fact, doing us a favor by making it impossible for us to ignore the main and real danger which is militant Islam subverting from within.

  49. @ False Witness: Or the main danger might be allowing demagogic politicians to curtail our freedom and consolidate power into their own Cheneyesque hands by calling for extreme measures to combat an external danger that is relatively small.

  50. You know considering that there is one political figure, who considers
    ‘information to be a distraction’ has a cadre of supporters who long for him to assume dictatorial powers, believes freedom of speech, is a ‘negative liberty’ along with others who believe that freedom of speech
    stands in the way of ‘redistribution of wealth’ and community organizing, I think Cheney, either fils or daughter is the least of your
    problems

  51. @ Parson Logic T ReFog:

    I’ve noticed that Hopey Hussein Changey and his party’s fully controlled congress have repealed the Patriot Act, closed Guantanamo and ended all the other civil liberties threats implemented by that bad guy Cheyney.

  52. And I’m still eagerly awaiting the scrupulously fair trial of the bearded freak that Cheyney and his minions were holding illegally.

    Whatever happened to the highly ethical and totally outraged politically disinterested terrorist lawyers who used to make a big stink about trampling on the rights of all those Gitmo guys? Did Cheyney and his minions round them up in the middle of the night and silence them?

  53. You might as well be asking about heroic unperson Ogilvy’s efforts on the Malabar Front, Sully, we have always been at War with EastAsia

  54. @ Parson Logic T ReFog:

    Unringing the Patriot Act ain’t hard at all, it’s just a bit politically unpopular. I’m beginning to harbor just a hint of a smidgeon of a vague suspicion that the motives of the outraged anti-Bush and Cheyney “civil libertarians” were not pure.

    And as for that bearded KSM dude; I’m very confident there are tens of thousands who would be very glad to ring, or unring, his bell quite smartly if given the opportunity.

  55. CK MacLeod wrote:
    @ Rex Caruthers:
    Oh, c’mon, there’ve been far stupider posts at NZ Contentions this week.

    I told you, so,our team was cursed by CONTENTIONS

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TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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