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Comments by George Jochnowitz

On “How Stux’d up are Iran’s nukes? 2 years looks like… at least…

Iran is a threat to Israel, of course. That is the raison d'etre of the Khamenei regime. But a country that is devoting its energy to the attempted destruction of a state with which it has no quarrel is crazy. And a crazy nation is a threat to the whole world.
If Israel is the source of the Stuxnet virus, the whole world should be grateful. Needless to say, it won't be. It doesn't matter what Israel does. It is simply the most hated country on earth and that's all there is to it.

On “cool b/w photos

Wow! Beauty! Skin depth!

On “Zombie Contentions Year in Review

Thanks, Colin. I had been wondering what Zombie Contentions was about.

On “Sought/found

God could create the world, in all its wonder and complexity. Yet He didn't have the power simply to forgive sin. Punishment has to go somewhere.

Here is a paragraph of my review of CONSTANTINE'S SWORD:

Crucifixion had been a Roman method of execution for centuries. A cross, to the Romans of Constantine's day, must have had the same symbolism as a noose or an electric chair. It is entirely logical that "as Constantine was elevating the cross to the realm of the sacred, he was abolishing crucifixion as the Roman form of capital punishment" (p. 193). Crucifixion was no longer to be thought of as the way tens of thousands had suffered and died; since Constantine it has been associated only with Jesus — and perhaps with the two criminals who perished at the same time. Crucifixion, a viciously cruel form of execution, is a blot on the history of the Roman Empire. The fate of every person who died this way was as horrifying as the death of Jesus. Then why shouldn't the agony of each of these individuals be part of God's plan to save humanity from sin? Constantine's decision to end crucifixion had the effect of making the suffering of Jesus seem to be unique.

The complere review can be found here:
http://www.jochnowitz.net/Essays/Constantine.html

On “Martin Peretz: “Muslim life is cheap, and I mean it.”

9/11 served no political purpose. It served no strategic purpose. It was a totally selfless act.

On “Flamesem & Japesem (Operation American Freedom)

@ fuster:
Sentence--
The reason Iran is tempting the world to impose sanctions against it is that any risk is worthwhile if you are trying to nuke Israel.

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@ fuster:
Since their revolution requires export and delegitimizing the Saudis and the Egyptians, I guess that makes it OK.

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@ fuster:
That little idiot is developing nuclear technology. As I have said countless times, Iran has no tangible quarrel with Israel. Iran has provoked the world to impose sanctions upon it so that it can build bombs. Israel is not responsible for the threats of Koran burning. If you make threats, especially if they're not veiled, they may be taken seriously.
Castro warned him not to do things like that.

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Some threats are veiled. Others aren't. Ahmadinejad is saying Israel will be destroyed if copies of the Koran are burned.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/ahmadinejad-koran-burning-will-bring-about-israel-s-annihilation-1.313189

On “Bonfire of the Islamophobic Vanities – Updated after Breaking News

The Golden Goose is alive and well, albeit a bit obese.

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@ Rex Caruthers:
Marx didn't understand that there is more to economics than products. He didn't know about services. He didn't know about the importance of office work. He thought shopkeepers were parasites who served no purpose.

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Voting is not simply a mechanism. It is a recognition of the fact that all human beings deserve respect. It is a way to enable individuals to participate in the government.
Monarchy is the heritage of dictatorship. The Kim Dynasty is showing is, right now, how monarchies come into existence. As for the powerless monarchies of Europe, they are relics and serve no purpose except to provide an extra source of scandal for the press to jump on.
Morality is not merely good; it is also logical and practical. The United States is the richest and most powerful country on earth because democracy is moral.
Marx hated democracy because he linked it with civil society, which, as we know, constantly excretes the Jew from its intestines. He knew that when the final stage of communism arrived, everybody would think alike--how can there possibly be disagreement of there are no economic differences?--and the state would wither away. People who admire Marx hate democracy.

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@ CK MacLeod:

Voting is moral. Saying a country is the property of a family (monarchy) or belongs to whatever brute took it over (dictaorship) is not moral.
Although the Civil War was a revolution of sorts, the United States has remained in existence since 1776. That's pretty stable.

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Thank you, Rex, for your kind words.
And thank you for reminding us about Pinochet. Nixon and Kissinger were following in the footsteps of Eisenhower, who overthrew Mossadegh--admittedly, not a good guy--and ended democracy in Iran, paving the way for Khomeini and Ahmadinejad.
Eisenhower, Nixon, and Kissinger feared democracy, because they thought that outside of the United States and Europe, people would inevitably vote for communism.
They didn't know that democracy is the only system of government that is inherently moral. They didn't know that with its built-in elections, democracy is the least unstable of all political structures.

On “Last Testament: Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt

What would Judt have thought about Castro's reversal on homosexuality?
http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/fidel-castro-apologizes-for-sending-cuban-gays-to-labor-camps-foreign-policy-says-he-deserves-plaudits-101977708.html
What would Judt have thought about Castro's statement that Israel has the right to live?
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/09/fidel-to-ahmadinejad-stop-slandering-the-jews/62566/
We'll never know.

On “Summer Snow

@ Bob:
I believe faith is inherently wrong. The world is an enormously complicated place, and we are constantly trying to learn more about it. We learn through exploration, experimentation, reconsideration, and hearing what others tell us. When we close our minds, however, and simply accept something because our doctrine tells us to do so, we stop learning.
As far as Augustine is concerned, we can believe in order to understand if we read or hear something that seems to be reasonable or researched. We can't believe in order to understand becuase we accept an idea as given by a higher power. If we do, believing is inhibiting our understanding.
God gave us brains so we could use them.
Accepting the word of God as true is spitting in God's face.

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@ bob:
Islam and Marxism, as I always say, are the only two doctrines nowadays that people accept with blind faith. Despite what the Bible tells us, Jews and Christians have no desire to execute witches and homosexuals. Faith no longer rules Judaism and Christianity, although some people think it does. If faith still ruled, Christianity would be as bad as it was during the Inquisition and the religious wars of the 16th century. Judaism would be as bad as in the world described in the Book of Leviticus. Our faith has fizzled out--thank God.

On “A voice in the rightwing wilderness

@ CK MacLeod:

Accusing the CIA and/or AIPAC of being responsible for the stabbings.

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@ CK MacLeod:
@ Fuster:
Neither the CIA nor AIPAC had anything to do with this case. Accusations should be taken seriously. They're not funny, even if they're acronyms.

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@ miguel cervantes:

According to this Wikipedia article
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramla#Demographics
there doesn't seem to be a Druze population in Ramle, where the suspect is from.

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Elias Abuelazam has been arrested for a series of stabbings. Since he has an Arabic-sounding name, some people may consider this case a reason to oppose building a mosque near Ground Zero, or may look upon it as a reason to oppose Islam. Since he is an Israeli citizen, other people may consider this a reason to oppose Israeli policies or even to consider Jews murderous.
According to information in this news item in Haaretz,
http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/police-israeli-man-arrested-in-u-s-also-suspect-in-israel-stabbing-attack-1.307924
it seems that the suspect is a Christian.
Whatever his background, the most relevant information about him so far is that he's a murderous nut.

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@ Fuster:
I see a problem. Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely that a deal with a Palestinian state--already unlikely--would be possible with Jews living there. A Palestinian state would no doubt turn out to be as judenrein as Saudi Arabia.
The Ground Zero question is entirely theoretical. There is no movement to exclude Jews from there. There are no restrictions against Muslims living in the area, and I assume there are some Muslims in Battery Park City. As for the mosque, I understand why there should be no restrictions on religious sites, and I also understand why there are people who would be shaken by a large, highly visible mosque near Ground Zero. Individuals, of course, are free to worship openly in the neighborhood. America is a free country.

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@ Fuster:
Limited numbers and limited locations--to be worked out in negotiations.
If ever the day comes when Palestinians are willing to accept a state, the deal will probably involve the evacuation of all Jews from Hebron. A Palestinian state, however, would be a recognition of Israel's legitimacy, and since "virtue" always triumphs over need, I am not optimistic.

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@ fuster:
I think that Jews should understand that living and worshipping in Hebron offends the other folks living there. Compromise is the answer. I also know that Jews living anywhere in Israel offends Hamas, as is written in the Hamas Charter. I think compromise is the answer.
Israel and its founders comromised by accepting the UN Partition Resolution of 1947, by accepting the Taba Agreement in 2001, by creating an independent state in Gaza (now run by Hamas), and by creating an autonomous state on the West Bank (now ruled by Fatah).

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New York's Governor Paterson has proposed giving state land to build the controversial mosque at a less controversial location. His proposal seems to have gotten nowhere.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/10/paterson-would-offer-new-site-to-mosque-near-ground-zero/

Compromise is generally ideologically inconsistent. Yes, you have freedom to build a mosque anywhere. Yes, you ought to respect the sensibilities of those--especially relatives of victims--who find the proposed location an affront.

It seems that those who chose the site have the upper hand, at least at the moment. They don't have to compromise. Of course, one might choose to compromise even if one doesn't have to, in order not to make more enemies than necessary. But compromise is not in the air.

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