Saturday, March 21, 2015

The New Vaudeville


(hat tip to kcnyc )


  1. "Press Statement

    John Kerry

    Secretary of State

    Washington, DC

    March 20, 2015

    We extend our deepest condolences to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dr. Hassan Rouhani and his family on the passing of his mother, Mrs. Sakineh Peivandi. Such a loss is especially hard coming on the eve of Nowruz, traditionally a time when families gather together in joy and hope. We share in his grief and that of his brother, Presidential Special Advisor Hossein Fereydoun, who has been participating in the talks in Lausanne, and we keep their family in our thoughts."

    " the State Department did not extend condolences to Prime Minister Netanyahu on the death of his father Benzion almost three years ago."


    1. We need to know what this Iran deal is.

      The administration is being secretive.

    2. While it seems that the U.S. State Department may not have sent condolences, President Obama DID send his in a personal phone call to PM Netanyahu while in flight on Air Force One:

      WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama sent his condolences to Benjamin Netanyahu over the death of the Israeli prime minister’s father.

      A statement Wednesday from the White House said Obama called Netanyahu from Air Force One to express his personal condolences on the passing of Benzion Netanyahu.

      "In the call, the president noted Benzion Netanyahu’s remarkable legacy of service to the Jewish people and deep friendship with the United States," the statement said.

    3. Thanks for that Volley. Always good to have the correct info.

    4. That's a fair point, VB.

      Beautiful day, today, eh?

      They say it may rain, but whenever they talk about "rain" in the Bay Area these days, they mean hours of light fog punctuated by moments of drizzle.

      I forget. Do you come from back east? I am Connecticut via New York and when it rained it actually rained. There were drops and everything.

      Anyways, you should also know that I read Going Left to Center – A personal journey.

      I took a few notes and I will be responding to it tomorrow, here on the fp.

      I do want you to understand, again, that none of this is personal.

      And I also want you to understand that I know that you think that we are being unfair to President Obama.

      But I would ask you to understand that this has been building up for a long time.

      There seem to be a growing number of Jewish Democrats who are not happy with the President, but these are very often people, such as myself, that were initially among his supporters. We are not hard-line, right-wing, Republican partisans. In fact, we are a motley bunch of people from all across the spectrum and all across the globe.

      I also understand... if I may say so... that from a personal-political standpoint this must be a difficult moment for you.

      You are asking yourself fundamental questions.

      I am in no position to recommend anything to you, but sometimes crucial moments bring us to new insights.

    5. Well Mike.. and this is going to sound weird, but I can't say it was a "beautiful day" because I was really hoping for some rain to relieve the drought, and when the forecast didn't live up... well. I love our weather but I could use a bit of rain and snow so that we are not in such dire straits.

      On another note, glad you read my piece at TOI, I think it puts some things in perspective on what I think. My thinking has changed on some matters away from a "Meretz" P.O.V. - Like I said, I was firmly behind the Z.U. in the last election but I also am ok with Lapid and Kahalon. I am kind of a Left of Center on domestic issues both there and here.

      Mike, whether we agree or disagree - it is immaterial because really no once cares what either one of us thinks. All these things are just our opinions. The world will still be spinning away whether you and I agree or disagree, we can only go with what we agree with or disagree with. And as such, I think we take the good with the bad and that is that. To the anti-Semites we are all just a bunch of "Jew Filth" (as I was called by some so called "human rights activist" when I was ragging on the #AskHamas folks on Twitter.

      Part 1/2

    6. Do I think you are being "unfair" to President Obama? That is an interesting thing. I don't think it matters. He is a big man.. he can take care of himself. I am a believer (or at least I try to think in starkly honest terms) in getting to the bare truth of things. I think you and I have come to very different conclusions about the President and to be honest (and please don't be offended because no offense is meant) nothing that you or anyone else has presented here really convinces me that I am wrong (as you say there is nothing personal in that statement).

      That said to be honest, I am not in a tough place. I disagree with some things the President is doing and has done. In fact, I am planning an open letter to him (that of course he won't ever see or know about) on the TOI blog regarding potentially not "giving cover" at the U.N. But all that said, I would still vote for him (if I could) or most any other Democrat in 2016 because I think the Republicans are just that bad and I really can't think of anything I agree with them on, on a policy basis.

      Israel is NOT my first issue as a voter. I think it is around priority four or five for me. Oh it's important to me, and it's very interesting for me, but, I think the Israelis can handle themselves without my help. When I vote, I vote on American economic, social, and environmental issues first. AND besides the fact that I think the Republicans are just awful on all of those, I don't really think they are better on Israel. I don't subscribe to the Right Wing version of Israel as being "Pro-Israel".

      Mike, please forgive me but I think in many cases most of you ARE "hard-line, right wing Republican partisans" (not Jay or Pitt) and I do see a lot of their memes repeated here on a daily basis which is why I say that. BUT Mike, I think that is what it is. As I said previously, and I apologized for my rhetoric here to you and others because, if that is something you or others believe.. so be it, that is how you guys see the world. No biggie there. I have many friends who are hard-line, right wing Republicans, I just don't agree with OR argue politics with them.

      I think what I am apologizing for, is that whatever you may believe, you didn't need some guy rolling through mocking and ridiculing your beliefs on your site. I think that was not the right thing to do.

      Anyway Mike, one other thing about me is that I am results oriented. I have come to really disdain criticism without solutions offered. I mean that is one of the reasons I dislike the Useful Idiot so much. All he does is whine about Israel but he offers no concrete solutions to get to where he wants to go. He offers no explanation of his thoughts, just criticism. Honestly, that annoys me more than most things. Why? Because it doesn't do anything but goad people into hating. It doesn't offer a positive message.

      Taking positions beyond simple vague criticisms and statements is hard. One opens themselves up to criticism for doing that, but, so what... no position is going to make everyone happy. You just gotta believe what you believe and screw the rest. ;-)

      Part 2/2

  2. "In the most educated and progressive circles, who is considered to be the archfiend of the Middle East, the person who most imperils life and freedom and the safety of the world?
    Bashar Assad, perhaps, the butcher of Syria? Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the psychotic Islamic State terrorist group? Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who threatens a second genocide against the Jewish people? None of the above. Among progressives, the accolade from hell is bestowed instead on the prime minister of the only democracy in the Middle East, Benjamin Netanyahu.
    Shocked and appalled by their failure to finish him off politically – only to see him reelected stronger than ever – the Left immediately intensified its campaign of distortion and demonization against him. Its “aha” moment was that he was said to have reversed himself and come out against a two-state solution.
    The Obama administration pounced and started hurling threats. It let it be known that, now that Netanyahu had opposed the creation of a separate Palestinian state, it would need to “reevaluate” the best way of bringing that about. It suggested the US might now fail to oppose the Palestinian initiative to get the UN Security Council to declare the establishment of such a state."

    Bibi the beast. lol

  3. " The latest trend among leftists who were shocked by their defeat at the polls Tuesday is an apparently spontaneous campaign called “Don't Give,” which calls on people to stop donating to the poorer Israelis and the socio-economically weaker regions known as “the periphery,” because these Israelis insist on voting for Likud, in election after election.

    The campaign's name in Hebrew, Lo Latet, is a reference to Latet (“To Give”), a major charity group that collects donations for the needy.

    The campaign started as a Facebook trend, which gathered steam after it was reported about in the news, and has turned into a Facebook page with over 3,000 likes.

    "As the holiday of Pesach approaches, I would like to remind you that there are hundreds of people who have no way of celebrating,” wrote one Lo Latet poster. “It's important that you do not give them a single shekel.”

    He added sarcastically: “After all, elected a government that will change their situation, so why interfere and ruin things? Happy holiday!”

    "From now on, I want peace of mind,” wrote another poster. “From now on, it's every one for himself. Don't tell me about minimum wages and people whose salary doesn't carry them through the month. I don't want to hear about hungry children or single mothers in distress, about distressed contract workers, or eroded pensions. Don't preach to me about 'the people's choice and majority rule', I understand what democracy is, but from now on, let every person take care of himself.”

    1. It's probably a fringe of a fringe who support these kinds of campaigns, but yeah, it's at least nice to see the dictatorially-minded elitists amongst the far left drop the mask once in a while, and admit that they don't give a shit about the working poor either, unless they're voting their way, any more than their equivalents on the right do.

      This is the very same mindset we see from people at places like Daily Kos, who take out their frustrations after electoral losses by mocking Southerners, working class whites, people between the coasts, etc.

      And they wonder why nobody takes them seriously, or likes them, even on our side.

    2. Yeah, I would not tend to take this kind of thing seriously, either.

      But what the hell do I know?

      I am sitting in an Oak tree, on a hillside, looking at the world through binoculars.

    3. I hope they have good liverwurst there on that hillside. Everybody needs good liverwurst.

      On rye, with onions and brown mustard.

  4. One reason you see right wing memes presented here Volley is because, unfortunately the right wing seems to own the pro-Israel position. Very few "left wing," sites have that kind of support for Israel except to say something along the lines of they support Israel "IF." If being whatever changes their ideology requires. For me, leftist support of Israel is wishy washy, tepid and temperamental.

    1. They are pro-Israel memes, not right wing memes.

      You are right that you cannot find these pro-Israel memes on left wing sites.

      It's convenient because it allows the left wingers, in response to a pro-Israel meme, to call you a right winger, even when it's false.

    2. Fair enough Doodad.. there are very few "left wing" sites that support Israel and almost none (if indeed any) that support the Right Wing version of Israel. In fact, I have been thinking of starting a Center Left / Left site that supports the Democrats (and left) here at home and supports the Zionist Union vision / Labor Zionist vision for Israel.

      This is I think an honest P.O.V. Doodad and you are right, generally at least the Likud / Rightist vision for Israel is owned by the Right at this point.

      So here is the thing.. Let's say it is true that The Right owns the "Pro Right Wing Likud Vision of Israel" (and I would say that is true), but, others here claim to be Center or Center / Left on all other issues. THEN couldn't sources be found from the Center or Center / Left be found to back up their points.

      Take me for instance. You know that I support Israel (but not the Rightist vision of Israel - still I support Israel) but you will notice, I generally never use Right Wing sources like NewsMax, Breitbart, or Fox, and if I do run into those I always "fact check" them because most of the time they are only partially true (remember {Politifact found that FOX only reports the total truth 18% of the time). .

      Just in this article alone, all it took was thirty seconds for me to fact check the implication that this Administration sent condolences to Iran but not to Israel. So while a Rightist source will make that point, an honest source will say.. "The State Dept. did not send condolences BUT it should be very important to note that President Obama DID send personal condolences for both himself and the Nation". Of course that sort of ruins "the narrative" on President Obama... BUT.. it is more honest.

      HENCE, that is why I believe you guys are Rightists. NOW... frankly Doodad, that is fine in my mind (not that you need or seek my approval), I am cool with that. But, I see this time and time again. Repeating Rightist / Republican talking points. I mean Mike links to NewsMax, that is a Right Wing / Republican "News" source.

      Anyway, as I said, I think my point is valid here.

      In my opinion,.If you support the Republicans here at home, and you support Likud, Betainu, Yachad, Bayit Yehudi there and your vote is for the Republicans here then you are a Rightist. That is not a good or bad thing... It just is what it is.

      I may not agree with you but so what. Who really cares what I may or may not agree with.

      So that is why I say what I said, and why even Shirlee said that she thought despite Mike's protestations that he was "Right Wing". I think she is correct.

  5. Volley, several of us have over the years discussed the fact that many of us here have "transcended," the left/right thing. I firmly believe that. I certainly would never vote Republican but I'm happy to see them being Pro-Israel (except the crazy end of times guys of course.)

    As far as Israel, I am too ignorant of their politics to understand any of it given the gazillion parties they have and the need for coalitions. Frankly though I just don't see Bibi as a raging Satanic far right winger. He's kinda center right, no?

    Now, linking to right wing sources. Well, info IS info in my mind (except for Nazis shit.) And if something gets posted that is BS, it's good when someone like yourself corrects that. Of course the message of condolence thing WAS correct in that it concerned the State Dep't NOT Obama. But it's good to know that Obama did the right thing. They have BTW updated to include your point.

    At any rate it's good to have your POV here. You know I always liked your stuff at dKos and no matter what differences of opinion we might have, I respect what you think and also thing having your voice here can only be a positive thing. (Too bad it wasn't us negotiating the peace thing, right?)

  6. I agree Doodad... I feel the same way about you. I have never really been at odds with you regarding Israel at least at DKos. I certainly appreciate you saying this:

    I firmly believe that. I certainly would never vote Republican but I'm happy to see them being Pro-Israel (except the crazy end of times guys of course).

    because it puts your criticism's in a certain perspective.

    For the record, I don't see Bibi as a "raging Satanic far-right winger" but I would not call him "Center-Right" either. I think that would be Moshe Kahalon (Kulanu). Rather, I would call him a "Firm Rightist", but more than that I would call him a greedy politician who is most interested in himself and his friends (as I would call many other pols. both left and right as well).

    I just find that both Right and Left partisan sources and opinion pieces leave a lot to be desired. While they provide for relatively easy ways to support a P.O.V., they often time leave out important facts in order to support that P.O.V. Let me give you an example...

    Today at DKos a new favorite of theirs, "subir" writes a piece supporting the One State Solution. Now on the face of it.. it is a good piece. On first read it is reasonable and if you didn't know anything about the Israelis or the Palestinians and the conflict it might be compelling. It is written to draw Liberals and Progressives into the "One State Orbit".

    BUT really it is a prime piece of misinformation. First of all, it rarely if ever mentions the Palestinians actual Point of View. It certainly doesn't mention that only 29% of the Palestinian Polity believe in a state of equal rights. And of course he doesn't mention that 65.2% of respondents support attacks on Israeli civilians, including 79% who support running down Israelis in the West Bank and Jerusalem

    But also, he doesn't understand what Israel means to the Jewish people and just why we support its continued existence. He (and the some of the more useful idiots) treats Israel like it were a State founded under the same principles as the U.S. BUT that is not the case. Israel was NOT founded under those principles. It was founded as the National Homeland and State of the Jewish people. That is a far different reason for establishment than the U.S. and thus cannot be judged in U.S. terms.

    Anyway that is important information to not include in a diary pushing for the One State solution. And hence it renders his point moot. But it does serve his partisan means.

    Just my $ .02