Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Quick "Thank You" to Fizziks

I want to thank "fizziks" for taking the time to address my piece entitled, The Fizziks Ostrich.

And while he did an admirable job explaining why it is that he prefers Democrats to Republicans, he did not actually address the question.

The question is this:
Is it true, or is it false, that the primary venues of BDS and anti-Semitic anti-Zionism in the West today primarily come from the progressive-left, including the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party?
What is the answer?


Who will give a clear and simple answer to an obvious question?


  1. #imadeaselfieholdingasignwithahashtagonit

    1. Hash tags?

      You're giving me hashtags?

      Dear G-d, just take me now!


  2. It's what I think of most of the BDStards. Like the joke "It's the least I can do....which is why I'm doing it!"

    Yes it's terribly frustrating listening to $60,000/yr 4th year international studies majors at Sarah Lawrence scream about the Jewish oppression of everyone - - especially them it seems what with their yelling to check my privilege and whatnot.

    But is that it? Most, nearly all these efforts fail badly. Not because the rest of the students are more enlightened but because they overplay their hand. They start sounding like The Onion making fun of them and if truth be told, most people simply do not care about Israel or the Arabs.

    The concern I have is that however the BDStard movement turns out, good or bad for us, we're looking at a generation of incurious dullards who can't fathom anything more than a tweet or a hashtag. And since they're ignorant and indifferent and wrong about this, what ELSE are they ignorant, indifferent and wrong about? And how long until they're running things?

    1. But, Trudy, here is the question:

      Is it true, or is it false, that the primary venues of BDS and anti-Semitic anti-Zionism in the West today primarily come from the progressive-left, including the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party?

      I am guessing that you do not have much of a problem answering that question.

      Prove me right.

    2. I would say this. The patina of colleges is leftist, generally. Or it sounds like it is. But the problem is that that aspect of the left is horribly warped. So warped in fact it's mostly an affect of the anarcho-right. A 'leftist' on a college campus could just as easily sound like Lyndon LaRouche or neo Nazis or an ayatollah. And if nothing else, Islamism IS a right wing fascist movement. It says it is.

      So technically yes, the BDS movement nominally comes from the mouths of useful idiots on the left schooled in the ways of the KGB which created it 40 years ago. But we should disabuse ourselves of the fiction that terms like left and right have any real meaning here. As a matter of logistics you are right. Ideologically I don't a material difference between them and fascists though.

      It's like this video of a meeting of anarchists, protesting THEMSELVES

      BTW is netroots still a thing? I thought they were over.

    3. I also think it's an outcome of how power is used. The leftists are in control of colleges for better or worse. So the college conservatives and Republicans don't have any real power to decide any of these things. It's the democracy of the mob I guess. The left is going to do what the left is going to do unless and until someone stops them. Which is true of ANY abuse of power.

  3. I will.

    It's true.

    Fuck BDS and fuck the antisemitic anti-ZIonists.

    But then... is it true, or is it false, that the primary venues of anti-labor, anti-urban, anti-public school, anti-equality measures and motivation, primarily come from the conservative-right, and especially and particularly the grassroots / netroots of the Republican Party?


    How's that for a hashtag?

    1. That sounds about right Jay. I'd also add that there is as much anti-Semitism on the right (does the name David Duke ring a bell?) and that those that want us to fulfill their apocalyptic fantasies are no friends of ours. How is it not anti-Semitic when they are busy telling us we should give truth to the dual loyalty meme by placing Israel first and above all else, including priorities here at home.

    2. So, both Jay and Reuven agree that the primary source of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism and BDS in the west derive from the progressive-left.

      Does fizziks also agree, do you suppose?

      Jay says that it is true (which, of course, it is) and Reuven agrees with Jay.

      Good, we're finally getting somewhere.

      The question now becomes, just what are we to make of the fact that the political movement that all of us come out of is also the primary political movement in the west that supports the enemies of the Jewish people?

      All I want is a discussion grounded in something that resembles reality and the fact of the matter, of course, is that BDS and anti-Semitic anti-Zionism is primarily coming at the Jewish people from the progressive-left... with the obvious exception of political Islam.

      All that I have really wanted for quite some time now is to acknowledge and discuss the obvious without people spitting in my face for daring to do so.

      David Duke is irrelevant. The European Union is not.

    3. David Duke is irrelevant, I agree. The Republican Party, and the conservative-right netroots here in the United States of America, are not.

      The antisemitic hate site Mondoweiss loves Thomas Massie, a Rand Paul-loving Republican US Congressman from Kentucky.

      He voted against the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act.

      Why would he have done that? Certainly not because he comes from the netroots / leftroots of the Democratic Party?

      I'm not saying his vote represents the right anymore than you're claiming that Democrats hate Israel.

      I am, however, pointing out that here we have a right-wing Republican voting against Israel in obvious and very real terms, and in response to that we hear... crickets?

    4. Jay, why are you misrepresenting my argument? I never said "Democrats hate Israel."

      What I have argued, and you have agreed, is that the primary sources of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism in the west today derives from the progressive-left and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party.

      Now, this statement is either true or it is false and it has nothing to do with whether I am a Democrat, a Republican, a Democratic-Republican, or a Rastafarian. It has nothing to do with whether fizziks prefers Democrats because he considered them better on the environment or social issues or the economy.

      None of that is relevant to the truthfulness of the claim.

      Now, it could be that I am entirely wrong and that anti-Semitic anti-Zionism in the west today is primarily driven by the conservative movement and the grassroots / netroots of the Republican Party.

      Are you prepared to make that claim?

    5. I get the feeling that writings like this are more about trashing the left, than they are about fighting the Jew haters. I think it's a mistake to turn Israel advocacy into a partisan issue, or to make it seem like one.

      The answer to the question in your post is yes. Of course you know I do not shy away from calling leftists out on their antisemitism when warranted.

      But beyond that, the question to you then becomes, what do we do about it then? Are we all supposed to become Republicans? Take up with the right on social issues? I'm never going to do that. And I'm also never going to stop fighting for Israel.

      My ultimate point, I guess, is that you focus too much on a dead end question, which seems like a pretty serious tactical mistake to me.

    6. Also note, that I have never trashed Republicans or conservatives, and I am not doing that here. I disagree with them on a lot (I also agree with them on some things), but I take my allies where I find them, issue by issue. I seem to post on more right wing than left wing sites these days, and that's fine with me.

      I guess my point is that I'm not going to throw the baby out with the antisemitic bathwater.

    7. And you needn't throw the baby out with the antisemitic bathwater, Jay.

      I know it must seem to people with some loyalty to the Democratic Party or to the progressive movement that I am gratuitously trashing the left. That is not my intention. I am not simply throwing rocks. I have a fairly well organized series of connected criticisms of the left and of the Jewish left.

      What to do about those criticisms is an individual matter. My choice was to leave the Democratic Party and become an independent, which I could not be happier about. Others, such as yourself, may choose to stay and fight and I admire that. But it can only bring about change if the pro-Israel people who stay in the Democratic Party, and who remain allied and supportive of the progressive-movement, acknowledge the obvious fact that they are supporting a movement from whence anti-Semitic anti-Zionism largely derives in the west today.

      See, you guys cannot reform the party or the movement until you are willing to acknowledge just what it is that is in need of reformation. Someone like fizziks needs to be able to stand up with his fellow leftists, Jewish and otherwise, and say something like, "My political movement has become the home of anti-Semitic anti-Zionists and we are simply not going to put up with it."

      You guys do not need to leave the left, but you cannot change it until you are willing to make the initial claim and the initial claim is that the progressive-left and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party represent the primary source of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism in the west today.

      I know that I could not be more repetitive, but that's the issue, and you guys will never reform the movement until that rolls easily from your lips.

  4. It could be as simple as it's not entirely acceptable again or yet to yell about 'the Jews'. The right wing learned that lesson. So the same people simply swapped out their nouns and everyone thinks it's fine. Again, this is straight out of the Soviet playbook - turn fascist civil wars into 'people's revolutions'

    1. Precisely. The alleged problem is never Jews, merely "Zionists."

      Y'know, when I was a kid we almost never used that word in my family. It was a more or less average middle class suburban household, and we were supportive of Israel, of course, but it was never that big a deal and we certainly never referred to ourselves as "Zionists."

      Zionists wore short pants and cleared the swamps outside of Tel Aviv.

      My old man wore a tie and looked at numbers all day in Connecticut.

  5. Don't necessarily agree in the primacy view, unless you also consider Muslim antisemitism of the Left.

    That does not mean there is a lack of antisemitism among progressives, which is foolish to deny.

    I wrote a comment to that post, but never sent it. Why bother trying to get people to acknowledge things anyway?

    What I said was that I saw more than “mostly” agreeing and that the only extremism was by anti-Zionists, yet Republican were seen as extremists generally.

    Perhaps because Democrats only know about Republicans by what other Democrats say. The only hypocrites are Republican, who want bad things to happen, those "creationists, climate deniers, (beholden to) the extraction industries, sexual moralists, and pseudo-anarchists." When those are the stakes, does anything go, even antisemitism by illiberals that put up a front?

    Following the scientific method as the basis to determine knowledge and social affairs seems no less fundamentalist. It permits illiberalism in the name of “progress” and erodes individual liberty for a “social justice” defined by elites who impose theories on the collective, often without personal cost of the consequences themselves.

    1. You're generalizing about Democrats right here, too.

      Here's one of them who doesn't fit into any of those slots.

      Are you seriously claiming that following the scientific method is something we should not do?

      I'm sorry if some may seem to believe that science is inherently bigoted against them, but I don't quite get your point here?

      No, following science to determine knowledge is not 'fundamentalist,' in any way whatsoever, because the scientific method itself relies upon basically everyone who can do so, challenging something, and if they end up not being able to? Well then, the scientific method has won the day, and not because Al Gore or a professor at Princeton has determined that this is what we must adhere to.

    2. Commented, but the comment was eaten.

      Belief that scientific method can solve ALL problems, including human problems, is a core tenet of progressives, and is no less fundamentalist as a matter of faith, not to mention that there is an intolerant illiberalism to force the dogma on to others.

      That does not mean, nor did I say or imply, that "the scientific method is something we should not do."

      I do not subscribe that most Republicans believe that science is inherently bigoted against them.

      As to where Democrats get their perceptions of Republicans, in editing the remark addressed to the original post, I omitted words that limited the breadth. But when one hears how Republicans are "creationists, climate deniers, (beholden to) the extraction industries, sexual moralists, and pseudo-anarchists," then the notion appears applicable.

    3. I did not claim anything about "all" problems being solved, but you can definitely put me on record as being in favor of the scientific method whenever possible.

      I don't think this makes me a 'fundamentalist' of any sort. But if it does, then what does it make those who argue for some other form of settling our debates these days?

      What other method should we use?

      Nancy Reagan reading tarot cards? Dionne Warwick and her psychic friends network?

      I'm sorry, School, but I'm not at all getting what you're saying.

      I don't automatically subscribe to those cartoonish beliefs about Republicans, either. It would be nice if would some would prove my skepticism correct.

    4. Antisemitism is an opportunistic infection. It flourishes wherever it is permitted to. The right, the left, the Martians. It's where they have a common ground.

    5. Without belaboring, the comments are addressed to a mindset that we see all the time, from people who claim to know more and to act in the name of morality. This permits intolerant behavior, especially against the immoral. There is no shortage of this mindset among Democrats.

      The progressive mindset worships quantitative science as the indisputable authority to right decision making. The scientific method helps make knowledge, but some big things obviously escape such explanation in hard and social science, and proponents seem too oblivious or otherwise interested to acknowledge this fact of science. The ideas and behavior involved feels similar in scope to what they criticize about fundamentalist ideology.

      Not to mention that scientific research is hard and social in nature, with large difference, and is probably no less whoorish or more cross-cutting than in many other realms.

      Hope that helps somewhat. Like most everyone else, the message conveyed is just a broken record with lyrics that change slightly day to day.

    6. I want to add just a touch of historical context to this debate around the nature of the objective method as a social regime that can sometimes display authoritarian elements.

      In the 1960s, as all of you guys know, there was a terrific backlash, particularly among young, left counterculture types.

      One of the very first and most influential books outlining this backlash was Theodore Roszak's The Making of a Counter Culture. (1969), but an even better discussion of the idea is in Where the Wasteland Ends: Politics and Transcendence in Postidustrial Society (1972) by the same author.

      I suppose that my point is that whereas now the challenge to the Objective Method as a social and political regime comes from the religious right, it was not all that long ago that it came from the counterculture left.

      Fascinating stuff, actually, and suddenly I want to go back and reread Theodore Roszak!

    7. Oh, and for an absolutely brilliant synthesis of the Classical Inclination (Objective-Scientific) with the Romantic Inclination (Subjective-Emotive) check out Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

      He wrote around the same time as Roszak and struggled with similar questions, although in a different way.

      He also lost his mind.

  6. Don't we Liberal types kinda expect bad behavior from the right? That's probably why it is so upsetting when it comes from our side. Course, Commies were never my side and ultimately that's where the far left and Progressives get a lot of their ideology. And red brown alliances are nothing new. Nor is their Jew hatred in all its various forms.

  7. Oh and there's little we can do about the right if we are on the left but we can and should purge those elements from any moral left we might support. Everyone here seems to agree with that as far as I can see.

  8. A half century ago Richard Hofstadter wrote "The Paranoid Style of American Politics" as a critique of the 'new' right or Goldwater right as it acted in the 1964 election. His use of the word paranoid is very specific and not meant in a clinical sense. None the less, if you re read it today you will begin to see how it now applies to both the far right AND a great swath of the left as well. American politics is driven by populism, extremism and fear all of which ultimately end if unchecked in fascism.

    1. And we should also note that it was Hofstadter's thesis that inspired Arthur Miller to write The Crucible, thereby delivering the Salem Witch Hunts into the popular imagination.

      btw, around the poker table one night a buddy of mine said something like, "Yeah, the hippies at Columbia gave Hofstadter leukemia."