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More fodder for future posts & posts that may be orphaned

Posted 08-08-2023 at 06:57 PM by jbgusa
Updated 05-16-2024 at 07:41 AM by jbgusa

The excellent analysis by Edward Luttwak in the August 1982 issue of Commentary Magazine (link), (which I will send a PDF copy of upon DM request) makes a case that defending a border is impossible, absent the threat of a nuclear response. Presumably a nuclear response is inappropriate where the fallout would affect Israel so a massive conventional response is required. That is what Israel has done. Gaza's border with Israel is simply too long to defend conventionally. Witness what happened with the Maginot Line in 1940 and the Bar-Lev Line in 1973. The attacker can choose where to punch through. The defender has the task of defending a thirty-seven mile border. That doesn't sound long but it would take an awful lot of troops, massed in depth, to repel a punch wherever Hamas chose to attack. Simply not possible.
I know you will likely respond with slogans or off-point videos but I will say what I have to say.
Our support of Israel's genocide in Gaza is making us less safe View Single Post
I thought for a few days about what I was going to write, and didn't just "jerk my knees," so to speak. The aid workers are selfless heroes, no doubt about that. Volunteerism is a large part of what makes the world a bearable place to live. We are all better off with volunteers.

Unfortunately, the volunteers are "dancing in the middle of a three lane highway." The area is exceptionally dangerous. Were international aid workers permitted to venture into Okinawa during the battle of Okinawa in World War II?

Hamas is doing his level best to increase the casualties among innocent people. Indeed, this war was started when Hamas decided to take a maximum number of innocent lives. They knew that even the most dovish Israeli government could not let an assault such as October 7, 2023 go unpunished. Indeed, that the October 7 massacre was of a variety that it had to be prevent it from recurring for all time. This necessitated a total war.

Why is there no such breathless coverage of the original atrocity? We do not hear the life stories of each of the 1200 people murdered on October 7th for no good reason. I propose that every single day, The New York Times should run, as a front page story, a biography of one of the 1200 victims of the massacre. Complete with pictures of their infant children, spouses, and close friends left behind. If the newspapers had a teary story about each of those victims, and the people injured or captured, and the front page on each day of the newspaper, this would be balanced and fair coverage. I would be dreaming if I ever expect such a thing to happen.

The world has spent years trying to avoid "escalat(ing) things in the Middle East. It has never worked.

During the 1930s, Britain pandered to the Arabs, seeking their permission to allow Jewish immigration. Of course, that was never forthcoming. When the Jews in the "yishuv" decided to start fighting the British, they got their state. They would not have gotten it otherwise. In 1948 The US and other countries tried to defer Israel's getting independence under the November 29, 1947 U.N. resolution because of the fear of Middle Eastern reaction. Middle Eastern reaction was going to be hostile regardless of what was done.

Right now I am reading First Strike: The Exclusive Story of How Israel Foiled Irag's Attempt to Get the Bomb by Shlomo Nakdimon about Israel's attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor. The book details how countries such as France and Italy caved to iraqi demands by exchanging nuclear technology in return for a promise of supply of oil. That od was going to be supplied regardless because Iraq has only one use of oil to sell it.

Appeasement never ends well.

Even forces within the Israeli government, surprisingly including Menachem Begin, argued against escalating Mideast tensions. That never works. When the attack happened, there was grumbling on the part of many world countries, and gratitude on the part of many others. Often, their gratitude was kept secret.
Israel has only been successful when going on the offensive. Negotiations only work when a country or group has lost, as had Egypt lost in the 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973 wars. Anwar Sadat did not come to Jerusalem to see the mount of olives. He came because his country was defeated.

It sucks to be on the losing side.
Well, Western civilization is supposed to be in mourning for climate change, abuse of natives, racism, genderism, ableism, sexism and doing well, so we lock down for Covid, adopt cashless bail, open our borders, grant migrants goodies and empty our museum. What is coming next? Maybe stopping music and theater performances since those have their patrimony in ancient forms of music and we don't have permission from long-gone tribes.

Unfortunately, I largely agree with the premise of the Bell Curve. Whether by sociology or genetics, certain groups are likely to succeed, and certain groups are not. For example, Jewish people succeed, in general, for some reason. I attribute that to the fact that Jews had to be nimble, and repeatedly get out of countries as storm clouds were distant but brooding. The ones that stayed, for example, the Chasidim in Poland, were murdered, first by the Cossacks and then more systematically by the Nazis. The smarter, such as many of my ancestors, and Menachem Begin fled, respectively, to America or Canada in the late 1800s and early 1900s or Palestine.

Other and less successful groups, such as the Russians and certain Africans were better at consuming intoxicants, killing and enslaving each other. That is how the U.S. got its slaves; people didn't run into the rain forests and catch people. They were sold to the slave ships. The people that remained behind stagnated, and much of Africa, literally, is a hot mess, and not just climatologically.

Now, in the Americas, some of the slaves flourished, gained education and trusted positions and some of those performed splendidly. Google George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington, or more recently, Thomas Sowell. Thus, racial discrimination is not an answer; gifted student programs are. Such people as Mr. Sowell and Irwin Burgie flourished in spite of chaotic family lives. Racism and oppression are excuses for failure to try.

Originally Posted by Clown World View Post
A multitude did.

Many of them impeccably credentialed.

They were censored by the Media-Industrial complex apparatus.

If it had happened in 2024, with today's diffuse information habitat, it would never have succeeded.

Which is precisely why the "DEMOCRACY!" (tm) and "RACISM!" BS is also no longer working.
Originally Posted by Clown World View Post

Elon Musk didn't own Twitter (X), and the Supreme Court hadn't yet halted the Biden Administration's implementation of social media censorship.

Both those developments have been monumental.
What I recall was that what was then called "novel coronavirus" was skillfully introduced as a scare during February 2020. In early February 2020 the Diamond Princess (link embedded)was stranded at sea and the panic began in earnest. Emails began to go out from organized activities that things were normal "for now" but that they would "monitor" the situation. That was not reassuring at all. I personally felt awful for three days that month but in no way thought my life was in danger. Then, my synagogue shut down early, wen a tutor of one of the students "knew" patient zero in New Rochelle. They thought they would reopen for a scaled-down Purim celebration on March 9, but that was scratched. For a little while I was concerned that "this was hitting a bit close to home." A few days later I decided that there was a gross overreaction in progress. On March 12, 2020 theater in NYC shut down. The rest is history.

There was virtually no pushback. My views, among my peers, were not taken seriously. It was the fear-engendering lead-up to the lockdown that did it. It could happen again. People are infantilized these days. I call this the "Wussification of America." Other examples include:
Our society has lost a good deal of its willingness to take risks over the years. Examples include:

1) Removing most playground that’s any fun;
2) Requiring bicycle riders to wear helmets;
3) Children don’t play outside, unsupervised anymore;
4) Children get driven every where and don’t ride their bicycles; and
5) Cars have “passive restraints”

The costs of this excessive caution cannot be overestimated. Cars have been increasingly been put out of reach of mere mortals by “passive restraints” such as airbags, and other equipment that costs more than its worth to the average person. When it comes to the recent Covid “pandemic” society was locked down to no net benefit and egregious costs. The moneys saved could and should have been used to allow the vulnerable to be excused from work and having to go out.

My profession, the legal profession, gets some of the blame for this, particularly with regard to playgrounds. Still, common-sense legislation could have granted "safe-harbors" to companies abiding by 'UL" standards.

Now, the government is getting ready to make heating and air conditioning, as well as travel more cumbersome. We live in a democratic society. Is this what we want?

I’m not saying we should have no rules or regulations. But, some cost-benefit analysis please. With Covid, there was none of that.


I agree. See February 27, 1972 article, Mankind Warned on the Perils of Growth (link). In those days there was pushback. No more. Excerpt:
Originally Posted by New York Times
CAMBRIDGE. Mass., Feb. 26-A major computer study of world trends has concluded. as many have feared, that mankind probably faces an uncontrollable and disastrous collapse of its society within
100 years unless it moves speedily to establish a "global equilibrium" in which growth of population and industrial output are halted. Such is the urgency of the situation, the study\; sponsors say, that the slowing of growth constitutes the "primary task facing humanity" and will demand international cooperation "on a scale and scope without precedent." They concede such a task will require ''a Copernican revolution of the mind."

************* Letting nature take its course, the M.1.T. group says, will probably mean a precipitous drop in population before the year
2100, presumably through disease and starvation. The computer indicates that the following would happen:
Now, the panic is on "climate change" since honest discussion didn't work.


Originally Posted by WaikikiWaves View Post
They don't want it year round, just during the longer day periods.
I have suggested this before, but no new agency needed. Have the IPCC have an annual COJ spectacular to find effective solutions, to the beat of Elton John and Bon Jovi. In 2023, not on the list below, see Conference of the Parties (COP) - UNFCCC, the COP was held in Dubai. These have all been extremely effective. Also not on list was 1992, which IIRC was held in Lima. 2020 was not held, presumably, because of Covid, that year's cause. The point remains, the organization structure to tackle the need for longer day periods remains.
  1. Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt COP 27 Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference - November 2022
  2. Glasgow,United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland COP 26 Glasgow Climate Change Conference – October-November 2021
  3. Madrid, Spain COP 25 UN Climate Change Conference - December 2019
  4. Katowice,Poland COP 24 Katowice Climate Change Conference – December 2018
  5. Bonn,Germany COP 23 UN Climate Change Conference - November 2017
  6. Marrakech,Morocco COP 22 Marrakech Climate Change Conference - November 2016
  7. Paris,France COP 21 Paris Climate Change Conference - November 2015 Gave us Paris Climate Accords, without which we'd be dead since 2020
  8. Lima,Peru COP 20 Lima Climate Change Conference - December 2014
  9. Warsaw,Poland COP 19 Warsaw Climate Change Conference - November 2013
  10. Doha,Qatar COP 18 Doha Climate Change Conference - November 2012
  11. Durban,South Africa COP 17 Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011
  12. Cancun,Mexico COP 16 Cancún Climate Change Conference - November 2010
  13. Copenhagen,Denmark COP 15 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference - December 2009 Previous ones must have worked since if I recall correctly Obama had to fly home early to avoid DC blizzard
  14. Poznan,Poland COP 14 Poznan Climate Change Conference - December 2008
  15. Bali,Indonesia COP 13 Bali Climate Change Conference - December 2007 Nice location to fly into with private jets
  16. Nairobi,Kenya COP 12 Nairobi Climate Change Conference - November 2006
  17. Montreal,Canada COP 11 Montreal Climate Change Conference - December 2005 Host country, Canada, after writ drop and with election call which led to Conservative government in January 2006 elections
  18. Buenos Aires, Argentina COP 10 Buenos Aires Climate Change Conference - December 2004
  19. Milan,Italy COP 9 Milan Climate Change Conference - December 2003
  20. New Delhi,India COP 8 New Delhi Climate Change Conference - October 2002
  21. Marrakech,Morocco COP 7 Marrakech Climate Change Conference - October 2001
  22. Bonn,Germany COP 6-2 Bonn Climate Change Conference - July 2001
  23. The Hague,Netherlands COP 6 The Hague Climate Change Conference - November 2000
  24. Bonn,Germany COP 5 Bonn Climate Change Conference - October 1999
  25. Buenos Aires,Argentina COP 4 Buenos Aires Climate Change Conference - November 1998
  26. Kyoto,Japan COP 3 Kyoto Climate Change Conference - December 1997 gave us Kyoto Treaty, without which we'd be dead since, I don't remember, 2010.


Part of the philosophy of the Democratic Party (unfortunately I have to be a Democrat), at the political level since Jimmy Carter, is that affluence is a bad thing in need of punishment.
  1. The Carter Administration, for example, arbitrarily decided that only limited amounts of oil and gas were available for extraction in the Lower 48, and devised "Rube Goldberg" allocation mechanisms and continued price controls. These did not work well in the 1979 shortage. Reagan ended price controls in 1981, which has lead to the ending of shortages and, with fracking, abundant supplies.
  2. The Obama administration did allow fracking. However, it entered the "Paris Climate Accords," another Rube Goldberg scheme to redistribute billions from productive Western economies to Third World kleptocrats;
  3. While this happened on Trump's watch, the Democratic "health" establishment stampeded the U.S. into a lockdown, with restrictions such as the closure of tennis courts that could only have been for punitive purposes;
  4. The Biden Administration has continued the pattern of punishing America by mandating a switch to EV's that mostly moves the location of GHG generation from individual cars to electrical production, where it is easier to regulate the people's ability to consume.
At the cultural level this advocacy of purposeless self-abnegation started much earlier. It's very easy for actors, actresses and politicians to preach self-abnegation. The day Xi Jinping self-abnegates is the day that I will. It is very easy for politicians to have visionary schemes that don't don't work very well. Their long gone from the scene when there's absolutely no gain from the sacrifices they are demanding.

That's one of the reasons why, after the Depression, conservative politics and policies were out of style because the ministrations of hard work and sacrifice accomplished little but "comforting the comfortable" and "afflicting the afflicted." The great nation-building projects of the 1950's and early 1960's were led by liberals or center-left Republicans, such as Dwight Eisenhower. It was generally a sunny, optimistic period. This period was not without its clouds, such as Sputnik, Vietnam, Cuba, and the Cold War. But there was no constant doomsday talk of New York City being under water. The problems were always "somewhere else."

Nowadays, the constant screeches of "doom", combined with shared car ownership, universal EV's and no gas ranges seem to promise a self-inflicted lowering of living standards.

In hindsight there was some seepage into intellectual life. As the OP mentions, this philosophy of life was expressed in the U.S. via books such as the 1950's classic by John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society. This was foreshadowed by other authors and thinkers, such as Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck. In Travels Steinbeck rails against conspicuous consumption and other signs of affluence. One of the opening paragraphs of The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford reads:
Originally Posted by Jessica Mitford, American Way of Death
Much has been written of late about the affluent society in which we live, and much fun poked at some of the irrational "status symbols" set out like golden snares to trap the unwary consumer at every turn. Until recently, little has been said about the most irrational and weirdest of the lot, lying in ambush for all of us at the end of the road- -the modern American funeral.
There was also the Club of Rome report, written over a period between 1968 and 1972, affiliated with MIT (link). Still, during the 1960's highways were constructed and widened. Speed limits were generally raised. It was mostly a "let the good times roll" era, until it wasn't. The "Arab Oil Embargo" was seized upon as an excuse to limit highway speeds to 55 m.p.h. That was the point, culturally, where the good times were over.

I don't know how you can "cease-fire" with an enemy that significantly violated the last one with a horrific massacre. One cannot have a First-World country subject to indiscriminate mass-murder by marauders. It's really as simple as that. Suddenly, rules of engagement that applied in no war in history are applied, in a one-sided matter against Israel. Humanitarian crises of Hamas' own making are blamed on Israel. See Sanitation Crisis in Gaza Spreads Disease (link). What did Hamas expect Israel would do? Or worse, Hamas just doesn't care about their civilians. That is perhaps the more reasonable explanation.

Sorry, this suffering is on Hamas, and the civilians for not giving Hamas the boot.


Originally Posted by Babe_Ruth View Post
I'm curious to hear your take on the subject..
And yeah, modern Zionism was consistent with the growing, nationalist zeitgeist within late 1800s/early 1900s Europe.

As far as the diaspora's perspective on Zionist Nationalism, it was divided because many (especially
Western European) Jews believed assimilation was a wiser strategy for success & survival. I think this is always a common divide within any diaspora. Ultimately, is assimilation, or insulation, the best strategy for self-interests?
I can reference some of the unique aspects of the Jewish diaspora tho..
The "rest of my post" was intended to say as follows: One of those reasons was that the granting of civil and professional rights to the Jews, in many ways backfired. Active antisemitism developed in France, the nascent German nation and Austria-Hungary. The Dreyfus Affair was the most prominent of those. Most disturbingly it occurred in the country that originated liberation of the Jews on the Continent.

One of the results was the empowerment of the then-feeble Zionist originated by Theodore Herzl, then an obscure newsman and pamphleteer. The Kisinev Pogrom of April 1903 poured gasoline on that fire. While the expression that the purpose of Zionism was to give “A Land without a People for a People without a Land” was an overstatement, it is true that in all expansions of Europeans prior to Zionism, the more advanced Europeans prevailed over relatively primitive people in the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The Europeans also generally prevailed in Africa and Asia. There was never an objection until, magically, the Jews were the protagonists. Then, it suddenly became necessary to ensure that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" (from the Balfour Declaration).

In other words, nationalism became objectionable when it was the Jewish people that asserted it.
I left the "to be completed" tag in their, but I forgot to complete the post. In a sense that topic is always "to be completed." Notwithstanding what I wrote above, I think assimilation has largely worked in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, at least so far. Recent events are disturbing, however. This article, "California’s Push for Ethnic Studies Runs Into the Israel-Hamas War" (link, no paywall, excerpts below) in yesterday’s New York Times lays out some of these issues, though the problems surfaced in my area with the 1968 New York teacher's strike:
Originally Posted by February 16, 2024 New York Times
While the name “ethnic studies” might bring to mind a broad exploration of how ethnicity and race shape the human experience, the discipline, as taught in universities, is narrower — and more ideological.
Ethnic studies focuses on four groups: Black Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans. It aims to critique various forms of oppression and spur students to take action, often drawing analogies across disparate expanses of time and geography. The Palestinian experience of displacement is central to that exercise, and has been compared by some scholars to the Native American experience.


And some ethnic studies scholars have argued that the 1948 founding of Israel, in the immediate wake of the Holocaust, was part of the same general pattern of settler colonialism that brought white Europeans to the Americas and led to the displacement and genocide of Native Americans.
The problem is that antisemitism if metastasizing to U.S. education, as is the "exploitation" narrative. This is typically a Marxist perspective and was discussed thoroughly in The 1619 Project. While I did not, and will not read it, its premise is that America succeeded largely on the backs of slave labor.

In other words assimilation works well is a society which is by identity a diverse but united society.

Your post is excellent but I am not sure what "insulation" is.


Originally Posted by AntonioR View Post
Recently I stumble on this video about a wave of African Americans that are rejecting that term and simply say they are Americans. This isn't an attempt of "racial denying" or even denying they consider themselves black, but rather the basis is:

- Most blacks have been in the United States since colonial times just like most whites.*************
PS. I don't follow the "rule" of always writing a non-white "race" with a capital initial.
I am trying to write a thoughtful, sensitive post and I apologize in advance if anyone is offended. This is unfortunately, especially after recent events in the Middle East and around college campuses. a delicate topic.

My own ethnicity is Jewish. I use the capitalized term as it has been used for a long time by religions as opposed to races. I think that to see a lot of society through racial lenses is tragically wrong. The law firm with which I am associated was the first firm to have a minority equity partner, and one of the first to have a female equity partner. That person became an equity partner, I believe, in 2004. Black people as well as Jewish, Czech, Hungarian, English, French, Scandinavian, Italian, Asian and South Asian have all brought their heritage to the table in ways that have made the U.S. an invigorating, stimulating place to live and work. The overall identity, for all of those groups, should be "American." The blacks came largely but not entirely involuntarily as slaves. The Caribbean blacks came largely through voluntary migration. The incentives for other groups to come may have been economic inducements verging on extortion, such as railway workers, rank fraud, or may have been entirely voluntary. Yet all have contributed cuisine, music, and words to the English language as spoken in the U.S.

We should not, as a country, "Balkanize" ourselves by voluntary/involuntary or by the identity of origin. We should not encourage people to "play victim." There is a lot here for everyone, and the more, the harder we work, the larger the pie for everyone. As far as "Balkanization" I have a Jewish friend who married a woman who hails from Singapore. Their daughter attended a prestigious university and is married to a white person from Texas. Is their daughter Singaporean or, as is my friend, Jewish? Are their children Texan/Singaporean/Jewish? Or Texan/Singaporean/Russian? Russia is the place of origin for many of my friend's parents. Does it matter? Is even thinking of this ridiculous to the point of absurdity.

One of my work colleague's parents is Jewish, the other of French derivation. Same question. Does either affect what professional or life choices they made? Or what they bring to the table?

P.S. - My (mostly vinyl) record collection includes music from Africa (Babunte Olatunji's "Drums of Passion," including the Santana song performed at Woodstock Jingo), lots of Caribbean calypso, including Lord Byron, Duke of Iron, Macbeth the Great and some "Americanized" calypso such as Harry Belafonte), Irving Burgie (author of Dayo, Island in the Sun), and some reggae, including Toots and the Maytals and or course Bob Marley), Canadian and Newfoundland Music, etc. As for food, my older son and I outcompete each other for "exotic" food such as deeply Latino food, Russian food, Israeli and Mid-Eastern food, etc. Maybe not typical for Americans but we do exist. This is what I mean by the enrichment of America.

Originally Posted by AntonioR View Post
PS2. I also see this as black Americans still struggling to get recognition as the full fledge Americans that they are. I find it kind of ridiculous that at more than 200 years this is still an issue of a segment of its population that has been in the USA since before it was the USA. When you think about, the black American struggle regarding this is simply summarized with a group of people that simply wanted to be part of the USA on equal terms and their own country denied them that. I see this as an extension of that, sort of saying "you are not the 'real' Americans" when they have been in Georgia, in South Carolina, in Louisiana, etc since "ever."
The acceptance should run in both directions. And, correctly, this has the force of law.
Originally Posted by Ice_Major View Post
I don't think melting pot is a good analogy for America. A melting pot applies all the ingredients come together for form a new mixture. America is more like a salad. Distinct pieces all jumbled up, but something good is made in the process.

Originally Posted by TaxPhd View Post
Good thing that Israel isn’t killing everyone that despises them, or else they’d be actively at war with the entire Muslim world. Instead, they’re only killing those that are trying to remove Israel from the map.
The signatories to the Abraham Accords know better

Originally Posted by SickofJersey View Post
You sound very peace loving and nice Stormgal and 7 Wishes. I commend both of you for that, especially in a very ugly, angry, violent world. And I'm sure each of you are right that there probably are some (I would say few) Palestinians that don't wish harm to Israelites. But the bottom line is that there are too many that do. Israel leaders have said they are doing their best to limit the death of innocents, but the scourges of war always end up with "collateral damages"... basically a nice way of saying the death of those they didn't want to kill. That is what comes with war.

With that said, I want to be nice here and have a conversation with the two of you. What do you think Israel should do? They were attacked in the most brutal way imaginable on Oct 7th (it will go down in their history as their own 9/11). The planning was in the works for possibly years, tunnels painstakingly created for this very operation, drills and training... all this to kill/rape/butcher Israelites.

With that said, at this very moment, there are reports that Israel engineers are hearing more underground sounds in the West Bank, possibly meaning another attack is in the works. There are still hostages that aren't returned and are being used as both human shields and cards to gain the best return of their fighters... imagine that, Israel willing to trade those who want to kill them for hostages who were nothing more than residents living a peaceful life in Southern Israel.

Again I ask, what do you think Israel should do given these facts? Given the fact that many in the Muslim world still want them removed from the earth. Given the fact that since their creation in 1948 alone there has been at least 7 declarations of war by full countries trying to destroy their way of life. That if it wasn't for the US being a supporter of their existence they would've been massacred and taken over.

If you were Benjamin Netanyahu, what would you do? An honest and serious question open for discussion.
You won't get an honest and serious discussion from "the two of (them) or for that matter most of the academics and "leaders" of the world. There a a few cascading and underlying "real" issues:
  1. The world's "love-hate" relationship with the Jews, even among people that have never met a Jew, seeAnti-Judaism: The Western Tradition by David Nirenberg;
  2. The birth of Israel after WW II, when the world's bias shifted against countries seen as "white," even though Israelis are a complicated mix;
  3. The love of many for a "underdog" regardless of the merits; and
  4. The domination of media by academic rather than pragmatic people, combined with the degradation of paid legacy media over the last thirty years.
David Nirenberg, in Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition dates Jew-hatred to the time of the pyramids and Pharaoh. None satisfactorily explain why Anti-Semitism is a persistent problem. This exists even and especially among people that have never met or interacted with an actual Jewish person. I posit that it's not as much of a problem in "new world" countries, where the focus is what a person brings to the table, not who they are. All of these books, though, hint at the problem is "who" in the cradle of European "civilization."

Israel had the bad luck to come into existence after WW II, amid the great wave of "nation" forming in Africa and Asia. The countries, with few exceptions such as Singapore, are failed states, though some such as India are a mixed bag. Israel is seen as "white" and thus, in effect, as a colony. Facts don't matter to people with an inherent prejudice.

As for "underdog" status Israel was the darling oft he Left during the 1950's and 1960's. Many folk albums had covers of "Tzena Tzena" and other Israeli hora songs. Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie are examples. That fell away gradually during the years after the 1967 War, to the point that the condemnations of the Olympic Massacre were almost as tepid as those of university presidents during recent Congressional testimony. Now, "idealistic" butcher states such as Iran and Gaza are exalted over imperfect democracies such as Israel. Modi in India receives similar though less vehement condemnation.

The domination of the media by these types cannot go unmentioned. Bari Weiss had a very short half-life at the New York Times. She was brought in to show their tolerance of diversity but she was too much for them, even though she had the attribute of a favorable, for them, gender preference.

Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
Post WWII long distance passenger rail was attempting to hold its own and on some routes succeeding to a point. Once air travel however moved from prop planes to jets it was all over for passenger rail. Instead of taking three days to get between Chicago and Los Angeles by train a jet could get you there in about three hours.
And it is that degree of affluence that infuriates "greenies."

There is a school of thought, which Biden and Obama personify, which believes that Americans have acted in a “privileged” and “entitled” manner, simply by being affluent and enjoying the “good life.“ They are seeking to punish us by welcoming an unlimited stream of migrants, and by “green“ policies that imply a massive transfer of wealth to the dictators of the “developing world.” I choose my words carefully, because very little of this wealth transfer will benefit actual poor people. As for migrants, the aim is to overwhelm any opposition to unlimited migration by sheer numbers. If a more restrictive administration is elected, it will be physically impossible to enforce policy. All kinds of litigation hurdles will be imposed. As we saw with the last election, in one way or another, they will create chaos and make the country ungovernable. Take Black Lives Matter and the Covid lockdowns.

An example is the fact that early in the Obama administration, when faced with a similar nascent pandemic, Obama declined to oppose lockdowns because he was not going to make himself unable to be reelected. Lockdowns, utopian “green” policies, and uncontrolled immigration are methods by which the elites punish largely helpless middle classes. The policies are rendered not open for discussion since anyone who poses them wants to “kill millions“ (lockdowns), cause “climate catastrophe” and/or are “racist.” Thus there is no discussion or debate about destructive policies.
================================================== ======================

Metropolitan Museum of Art Set to "Return" Art Objects, Sets Course to Self-Destruction
I consider myself lucky to have been born in 1957. I believe I was first taken to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the "Met") when I was eleven or twelve years old, in the late 1960's. The works of art, from ancient Greece, Egypt and Africa were awe-inspiring. Now, the powers that be plan to "return" much of this art tot he Third-World governments of lands that produced them. See New York Times article (link). Part of the program, to return stolen works, are unobjectionable. Excerpt (link):
Originally Posted by New York Times
The moves come as the Met — one of the largest museums in the world, with more than 1.5 million works from the past 5,000 years in its holdings — has been buffeted in recent years by increasing calls to repatriate works that law enforcement officials and foreign governments say it has no right to.
Other parts are almost open-ended. Excerpt:
Originally Posted by New York Times
Some critics want museums to do far more than simply ensure that ancient objects were not stolen. Even when no laws were broken, they want museums to place a greater emphasis on social justice, ensuring that objects were not obtained by exploiting societies weakened by poverty, colonialism, war or political instability — and to return them if they were.
Here's the problem; most of the world, except for a few select First-World countries, have been part of "societies weakened by poverty, colonialism, war or political instability." Basically, this means emptying of the great museums of the world.


I think the original strain was deadly. Even Delta, by the time it reached our shores, was a shadow of the original Covid. Most people, I think, were exposed during the original wave but thankfully (except for being spreaders) gained some immunity.
Take myself for an example. I think I had a moderate case of Covid in February 2020. I rode the same train line to work as "Patient Zero" rode from New Rochelle and worshiped at a synagogue three miles away, and studied at a synagogue two blocks away, from "Patient Zero's" synagogue. I had a nasty flu in mid-February, followed by a foul smell in my nose for another three-four weeks. I told my doctor of this last year and she said "you're lucky to be alive" though at no time did I think my life was in danger.

While I think there was overreaction to Covid, I am no right-wing anti-vaxxer. I vaxxed on March 2 and 23, 2021, boosted on October 27, 2021, May 27, 2022 and January 27, 2023. I had non-symptomatic Covid in September 2022, accounting for the gap between boosts. I think one of the reasons that the disease became milder were the vaccines, as well as the initial wave exposure. I think that initial wave, between the end of January 2020 and the start of lockdowns and/or people just simply freezing in place, between March 9, 2020, a Monday, and March 13, 2020, a Friday, hit a lot of people, most asymptomatically or mildly.

I think for us now to be "doing Covid" creates the risk incurred by "the boy who cried 'wolf'." Next time around, when there is a real threat, people will just laugh it off. Could even happen 100 years from now, the interval between the Spanish Flu (1917-1920) and Covid. People remember the Spanish Flu for its deadliness. I hope people don't remember Covid for the "Chicken Little" reaction.


This is for my upcoming "review" of Origin Stores, Francisco Ayala, Biologist and Defender of Evolution, Dies at 88
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