November 28, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

All men are frauds.  The only difference between them is that some admit it.  I myself deny it. 

H.L.Mencken

7 comments:

  1. All men exaggerate their own significance and discount that of others. Smart, self aware men and psychopaths allow for that.

    But that is different to saying all men are frauds.

    On a related subject , Caz could I get an independent opinion on whether this is antisemitism.

    It is a comment by a Christian cleric at the start of Pillar of Cloud when the IDF flash-fried the head ass hole in Gaza in what you got to admit was worthy of a 007 movie.

    "Personally, I think the Palestinians should be grateful for the generous humanitarian gesture of the Israeli minister that “the goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages.” Compared, say, to US General Curtis LeMay’s May 1964 message to the Vietnamese that “they’ve got to draw in their horns or we’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age.” I mean, the Stone Age ended between 4,ooo and 6,500 years ago, so a send-back to the Middle Ages, a mere few centuries, constitutes real moral progress, the war-plan of a truly civilised society.

    "I suppose it would be churlish to mention that, of course, LeMay lived to eat his words. Churlish too to mention that in Amos 1-2, the prophet pronounces judgement on the war-crimes of Israel’s neighbours — including Gaza! (1:6-8) — his hearers no doubt shouting in righteous triumph, until — what goes around, comes around — he pronounces that same judgement on the people of Israel themselves (2:6ff.).

    "By the way, on “just war” doctrine, Judaism has developed its own ethical norms. Interestingly, however, unlike traditional Christian jus in bello doctrine, these do not include “proportionality”. Hmm."

    This is not a religious question of course or any shit like that. I don't get into talk about theology. Like astrology it is not my field.

    The context is on my blog.

    Do you reckon that in that context that comment would come within the meaning of antisemitism, and therefore an acceptable bigotry like racism, as you understand the term?

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  2. I meant to say an unacceptable bigotry like racism but perhaps the slip was Freudian and closer to the mark.

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  3. Geoffff - that's like asking if it's unacceptable for me to buy the son-in-law Hitch's "God is Not Great" for Xmas.

    I did get a free glass of wine and a quarter of a ham sandwich for my shopping efforts.

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  4. I'm frequently baffled by commentary for and/or against Palestine and/or Israel. (You should know that by now.) Too often the commentary contains no internal let alone external logic. This, I think, is what the Christian cleric was aiming for, and succeeded. Either than or he was being a smart arse.

    Iraq was bombed into the Stone Ages, hence why the plausibility, probability and possibility of WMD was off the chart below zero. (How did I know that, but a whole world full of twats, including Andrew Bolt, religiously recited the WMD lie, happy to go on faith, like baa baa black sheep.)

    Back to the cleric: he's being a dick, but it doesn't make him anti-semetic.

    As for the lack of proportionality: that's as old as the dispute, surely? The problem is that it will never and can never be an even fight. One is effectively fighting with sticks and stones, the other with nuclear weapons. Yes, I'm exaggerating for the purpose of being extremely black and white about it, and so that we don't kid ourselves which one has modern weapons, grown up bombs, and a whopping big grown up army.

    In pure, simple, demonstrable measures, the death and damage to Palestinians is entirely out of whack with death and damage to Israelis - both in absolute and equalized terms - always has been and always will be. It's, well, superfluous to say that it's "disproportionate", because it could only ever be proportionate if Israel decided to fight back with sticks and stones. Any bugger with any sense is going to fight back with whatever they have, which is exactly what they do. Suggesting they shouldn't is dumb. What should they do; use the plastic cutlery?

    Judaism morality is open to question as much as anyone's, including Palestinian morality, terrorist morality - and hey, you know I have a real thing about Islamic morality.

    The problem for Israel and moral authority is that no other peoples has before, nor since, been given their own country. The bedrock always had an awful smell to it, and that sense of victim-hood and perpetual persecution has festered in that enclave ... true, it has, and how could it not, how could that be avoided?

    For all its modernity, Israel has declined to chuck of the persecution complex.

    The entire world is increasingly secular, a trend that will not reverse. Islam will look more and more ludicrous (no matter how many terrorists murder and maim, the damage will not create real fear, will not give them legitimacy, not ever, they WILL lose). Somewhere along the way, Israel has to move to a new paradigm, one in which they remember and respect the past, but keep chugging into the future. A secular world isn't going to understand or look too fondly on any peoples clinging to biblical stories and religious and ethnic claims of exception. It simply doesn't fit, it's incomprehensible that this is even a matter that still needs resolution.

    Palestinians: as bad as an any indigenous population claiming victim-hood from a couple of hundred years ago, and resorting to drink, drugs, rape, murder, suicide to appease the pain of their ancestors. Pull the fucking other one. Childish fucking excuse for being self-indulgent jerks.

    Where does that leave the Christian cleric? I think he was looking for someone to pay attention to him, and got what he wanted.

    Nothing he said is new, others have said it in far more intelligible ways, backed up with a bit of intellect and understanding.

    Perhaps he's one of those antisemitic Christians (of which there are a few), but if so, that's because he is, not because of, or deducible, from anything he has been quoted as saying.

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  5. Anonymous7:45 PM

    I'd thank god, any god, for a free glass of booze - and I reckon the ham would too, if it had the chance.

    j

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  6. So you reckon the Hitch book not a good Xmas choice?

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  7. Anonymous9:50 PM

    It is of course a delightfully ironic xmas gift - but I'd prefer a bottle of Black Label.

    Although I do think Geoffff needs it more than iJustin, the BL that is.

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