June 27th, 2006

Islamist totalitarianism

I’ve written before about the dilemma of choosing a term to describe our enemies in this war.

Islamofascists? No, not exact enough; and misleading, hearkening back to our World War II enemies who had different political ideologies and methods. Islamic fundamentalists? Incorrect as well; not all Islamic fundamentalists have adopted violence as a way of life. “Jihadis” is too inclusive and not specific enough.

Austin Bay has called attention to a recent article appearing in the London Times, written by Michael Gove. Well worth reading, it is a good summary of the aims and ideology of the enemy, as well as offering the useful and descriptive term “Islamist totalitarians” to refer to the movement.

The piece is an excerpt from Gove’s recently published book, Celsius 7/7. The thrust of Gove’s article is that the enemy we face is, first and foremost, our old nemesis: totalitarianism. The jihadis are at war not only with the West, but with most of their co-religionists, whose version of Islam they consider fatally compromised and in need of revision, violent if necessary (and they deem violence to be necessary).

“Islamist totalitarianism” may indeed be the very best name of all for those who adhere to this vision, since it places the movement firmly in the twentieth/twenty-first century context in which it belongs, which is one of world dominance through force, and the negation of human freedom. That is why all totalitarian movements are, in their dark hearts, a reaction to and a profound rejection of the Enlightenment. Islamist totalitariansim is no exeption to this rule.

As Gove writes:

Islamism is a twentieth-century phenomenon. Like its sibling ideologies, fascism and communism, it offers followers a form of redemption through violence. Like fascism, Islamism envisages the creation of a purified realm purged of toxic outside influences and internal corruption. Like communism, Islamism is not ethnically exclusive, it seeks to enlist new converts through proselytisation, political education and military advances. Like both, it reserves a special hatred for the West, for political freedom the separation of the public and private realms, dissent, sexual tolerance and a belief in the sanctity of individual life. And like both it finds a dark and furious energy in hatred towards the Jewish people.

Politically correct thinking dictates that we respect all religions. When Islamist totalitarianism is described as the enemy, many have a kneejerk response that such thinking as anti-Moslem or racist in some way. But it is not. Make no mistake about it. The war the Islamist totalitarians have decreed is every bit as much against the everyday, garden-variety Moslem as it is against all the rest of us.

192 Responses to “Islamist totalitarianism”

  1. confusedforeigner Says:

    Bogotry? Ooops.

    Kinda fits though somehow. :-)

  2. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sigh. That clearly isn’t what this is about at all. You are claiming moral superiority, not me. You are practising oppression and warfare on the basis of race, religion and perceived cultural superiority. Not me.

    And Sally, I’d punch the crap out of that guy again. Every time. There is no ‘unconditional support’ for anyone from me.

    In your world, the bullies would have been right on the basis of their nationality. Bogotry indeed.

  3. Sally Says:

    I’m not going to climb down into the slime pit with confud here, where we trade atrocity vignettes that are supposed to illustrate how “degenerate” or morally depraved are the ordinary people of this or that state, region, or ethnic group. He doesn’t see anything bigoted about such stories — provided they’re told about his particular hated group — and he never will. To the naive or impressionable, I’ll just point out the old lesson that “passionate intensity” can just as easily be an attribute of the worst amongst us as the best — a lesson that the bloody century just past should have drilled into us by now.

  4. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sally…………………………….

    1) Unlike Chavez (not to mention Hitler, Goebbels, and confud), I don’t attribute “all the troubles of the world”, and all your troubles in particular to a group — I attribute all the troubles regarding global islamist terrorists to, um, global islamist terrorists. Those troubles are quite serious, but also quite specific.

    Sally, I’ve explained my position a number of times on this. I do not blame all the world’s ills on the US or Israel.

    1) I point out that the hypocrisy of your/our (as the west) stance makes the stated goals look suspect. We can’t claim moral supremecy or expect to be viewed credibly ia a) we’ve been just as barbaric as the nastys we are trying to eradicate an db) we won’t own up to the obvious documented trangression in the recent past.

    2) US inability to treat the Israeli/Palestinian crisis with any sense of balance or fairness, and turning a blind eye to flagrant breaches of law and common human decency in the pursuit of a ‘final solution’ is a weeping sore that serves as an overwhelming example of western hypocrisy and a clear reference point to US disdain for islam and arabs at the behest of Judeochristian militancy.

    3) You have referred many times to islamic flaws and crazy beliefs yet your own president thinks that god told him to invade Iraq, and Israeli settlers have a belief system that says it is OK to steal arab land, kill muslims and christians and act as a master race under god’s will.

    Hypocrisy, credibility and law.

    You are under scrutiny because you are the aggressors and your false statements are discussed because you keep putting them out there to be shot down.

  5. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sally….

    No, if you really think that the problem is just a “comparitive handful of terrorist” (sic), then your really are wonderfully simpleminded. But I think, sadly, you’re not

    Prior to your invasion of Iraq, the number was quite small and probably containable with intelligent leadership and prosecution. Instead you/we attacked a traditionally secular arab state and strengthened ties to other militarists, butchers and gangsters.

    Brilliant.

  6. confusedforeigner Says:

    And Sally,

    Chavez is a democratically elected head of state. You can disagree with him all you like, but when you use hyperbole e.g “siezing power by whatever means” it only weakens your argument if you have one.

    He does have a point regarding world food , water and mineral resources though. There is no world food shortage, just a distribution problem that could be solved for less money than you spend on your military.

  7. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sally……..

    I don’t know what “when not responding to smear” is supposed to mean — is that supposed to excuse his obscene description of an “Israeli tourist” above, for example, or his gratuitous and irrelevant mention of a “Jewish intellectual” as a supposed founder of his hated “neocons”? Or are those instances, in your view, of his use of “quite specific examples to argue his case”?

    The reference to Leo Strauss, Sally, isn’t about his Jewishness at all. You are being paranoid and hyperbolic again. Strauss was Wolfowitz’s greatest influence and has had an impact on the Chicago school of politico/economic thought.

    It is about amoralism, power and manipulation. OK?
    It was a teaser which was clearly too subtle for you.

    What is obscene about my description of this particularly obnoxious racist Israeli Sally? And how would that indicate antisemitism on my part? If you want, I’ll tell you the whole story but I doubt that you’d want to know, because 9 of the 11 in the group were disgusting racist bullies, picking on a 14 or 15 year old Bolivian kid who’s crime was to be a bit simple and not an Israeli ‘master’. 1 Aussie and 1 Kiwi soon showed them how brave they were, and we were racially abused too.

    I’d have knocked his teeth out whatever nationality he was, but in my experience young Israelis are some of the worst of the worst when it comes to being obnoxious and disrespectful to other cultures and peoples. I’ve seen them in Egypt, Kenya, Bolivia and Peru and they ain’t pleasant in the main.

    I could tell you what IDF soldiers have done when an Irish woman I work with sometimes, takes personal mail to aid workers in the West Bank. They’ve kept her waiting for hours while they take the mail away and urinate and defecate in the bag. Just for fun. Heroic eh?

    Or, how about the settlers who shoot at the refugees and UN workers on the Syrian side of the green line from the land they stole from those very refugees. I’ve been shot at there. Just for sport.

    Or how about the arab christians and muslims within Israel who are treated as 3rd class citizens? I’ve posted links to credible reports on this. I doubt that you would allow yourself to read them though. You’d rather read Alexandra and her wingnut conspiracy rantings.

    This is no liberal democracy Sally. They make war, they steal land, they kill and they ethnically cleanse and they’re doing it right now.

    And they are doing it with YOUR MONEY and YOUR BLESSING.

    Hundreds of Palestinians will lose their homes in the West Bank TODAY. Some of these people are 3 and 4 times refugees. Where is that in your great left wing conspiracy MSM?

    And you want them (the Palestinians) to submit to eternal serfdom.

    It is nought to do with antisemitism, it is about taking them off this bizarre pedestal you’ve placed beneath them and making them and you accountable in the same way everyone should be. If you are wedded to freedom, democracy and the rule of law, some time soon you are going to have to prove it by living it.

  8. Sally Says:

    Let’s start from the end, and we might find we don’t have to go much further:

    Steve: So yes – I’d agree that ” reason and evidence are the tools that we use to distinguish them.” It’s probably good to remember too that bigotry exists because a good portion of the theories and positions are formed on obervable facts – i.e jews and money, black and unemployment etc – it it the conclusions that we draw from observable fact that constitute racial, cultural or religous hatred.

    No, it doesn’t — bigotry exists prior to observable facts and merely exploits what facts it can to provide a false cover for its hatred, and is quite happy inventing “facts” when it can’t find them. What is good to remember is that bigotry can appear in a variety of forms, one of which is a kind of patronizing, self-satisfied moral condescension, in which, for example, the bigot declares something like: “well, the jews have gotten hold of most of the money, it’s true, but we should forgive them for it rather than hate them”, etc. I would hope you’re not saying something like that.

    Incidently – I don’t draw much of a distinction between them either – but I wouldn’t think it should be a a matter of major contention..

    I have no idea what that means, but perhaps that’s just as well.

    Having said that – I’m still left wondering how you arrive at the conclusion that confud is an anti-semite based on what he has written.

    Here are a couple of comments in their entirety that confud posted and that might have come straight out of the pages of Der Sturmer:

    ” You filthy fucking little Indian shit”

    Israeli tourist (one of 11) to a simple but polite and cheerful 14 year old kid in a bar in Bolivia – March 17th 2006.

    “You broke my fucking tooth you fuck”

    Same Israeli tourist blubbing whilst getting up off the footpath before running away.
    March 17th, 2006

    Did you just miss those, Steve? Or do you think there’s nothing antisemitic about them?

    … but Confud and Chavez have not attributed all the troubles of the world to a particular group in the same way Hitler and co did.

    Here’s what Chavez actually said:
    The world has these things ["sufficient riches"] for all, sure, but because of some minorities, the decendents of those same people who killed[crucified] Christ, the decendents of the same people who fought Bolivar, and also those who crucified them in Santa Marta, over in Colombia. A minority that has seized the riches of the world, a minority that has seized the gold of the planet, the silver, the minerals, the water, the good land, the oil, all these riches, well, and they have concentrated the riches in only a few hands

    Did you miss that too, Steve? Or is that not quite “in the same way” as Hitler and co. did? How does it differ?

    Well, don’t worry about it too much. As I remember now, you tend to write from behind a certain faux-naive, diffident mask that you think protects you from having to make or defend much in the way of an argument of your own. But instead it just makes you lazy and sloppy — so, for example, your banal observation that “terrorism is found in many cultures” is simply irrelevant to my suggestion that a root of islamist terrorism might be found in Islamic culture.

    No, if you really think that the problem is just a “comparitive handful of terrorist” (sic), then your really are wonderfully simpleminded. But I think, sadly, you’re not. I think, “if I may be so bold”, and as I said last time, that you’ve picked your side, whether you know it or not — and a fake ingenuousness won’t hide the fact. I can’t say good luck with it.

  9. Steve Says:

    oops!

    Sorry, me.

    Yep.

  10. Steve Says:

    Steve: … only, I would offer, without any credible sources of evidence or a consistently logical analysis.

    Unlike, I suppose, nazi antisemites who DO provide “credible sources of evidence”, etc.?

    I don’t recall confud refering to any Nazi literature or known anti-semites(e.g Grundel etc) for his evidence – you’d have to be a little more specific for me to get your point.

    1) Unlike Chavez (not to mention Hitler, Goebbels, and confud), I don’t attribute “all the troubles of the world”, and all your troubles in particular to a group — I attribute all the troubles regarding global islamist terrorists to, um, global islamist terrorists. Those troubles are quite serious, but also quite specific.

    Fine – but Confud and Chavez have not attributed all the troubles of the world to a particular group in the same way Hitler and co did. It makes for sensational rhetorical affect – but very little substance. I don’t think I’m overstepping to say that you are a firm supporter of U.S/Israeli defined “Global War on Terror” – so I equally confident in claiming that you are attributing the troubles of the world on Islamic terrorismm as it appears you’ve so broadly defined it. Clearly if you believe that exterminating a comparitive handful of terrorist requires and justifies the invasion and destruction of two nations; the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians, the revoking of civil liberties and human rights etc – than you are not being very specific Sally.

    If I may be so bold.

    2) Unlike Chavez, Hitler & co., and a couple of our local trolls here, I don’t regard a culture as equivalent to a race, and hence I don’t see criticizing cultural aspects or features as having the same sort of consequences as criticizing racial features or aspects. Thus, even if the underlying or “root” cause of the upsurge in islamist terrorist activity is to be found in flawed aspects of Islamic culture, the logic would point to cultural change not to racial extermination.

    This doesn’t make any sense. “If” the root cause of terrorist activity is found in cultural deficiencies than we would quite logically have to look in other areas for the cause – you are well aware that it is an objective fact that terrorism is found in many cultures and the reasons are complex and cannot be narrowly defined explicitly to one culture. Unless we use bias.

    3) To my mind, however, the question about root causes in this sense is still open, as I indicated in this comment and this. I differ with neo on this, I think, who seems much more sanguine than I am about the viability of Islam in a modern world — but I’m quite willing to say my concerns on this may be wrong or exaggerated, and I hope that proves to be the case.

    Fair enough. Keeping an open mind never hurts.

    4) Last for now at least, but probably more important than anything else is the simple test of reasonableness. Compare the antisemite’s notion of a centuries-old conspiracy to steal the “riches of the world” (not to mention to drink the blood of gentile children, to target arab children, etc.), with a critique of a manifest current conspiracy and focused on particular cultural traits that may help explain it. Quite obviously, not all conspiracies are imaginary, but just as obviously some are

    Well I can’t really comment on this because you’ve only offered explict anti-semitic expressions and thought and offered only ‘current’ manifestations of anti-semitism as exhibited by conspiracy theorists – without any examples.

    So yes – I’d agree that ” reason and evidence are the tools that we use to distinguish them.” It’s probably good to remember too that bigotry exists because a good portion of the theories and positions are formed on obervable facts – i.e jews and money, black and unemployment etc – it it the conclusions that we draw from observable fact that constitute racial, cultural or religous hatred.

    Incidently – I don’t draw much of a distinction between them either – but I wouldn’t think it should be a a matter of major contention..

    Having said that – I’m still left wondering how you arrive at the conclusion that confud is an anti-semite based on what he has written.

    Unlike, I suppose, nazi antisemites who DO provide “credible sources of evidence”, etc.?

    No, Steve, there are a number of differences, and these differences are significant. Let’s look at a few:

    1) Unlike Chavez (not to mention Hitler, Goebbels, and confud), I don’t attribute “all the troubles of the world”, and all your troubles in particular to a group — I attribute all the troubles regarding global islamist terrorists to, um, global islamist terrorists. Those troubles are quite serious, but also quite specific.

    2) Unlike Chavez, Hitler & co., and a couple of our local trolls here, I don’t regard a culture as equivalent to a race, and hence I don’t see criticizing cultural aspects or features as having the same sort of consequences as criticizing racial features or aspects. Thus, even if the underlying or “root” cause of the upsurge in islamist terrorist activity is to be found in flawed aspects of Islamic culture, the logic would point to cultural change not to racial extermination.

    3) To my mind, however, the question about root causes in this sense is still open, as I indicated in this comment and this. I differ with neo on this, I think, who seems much more sanguine than I am about the viability of Islam in a modern world — but I’m quite willing to say my concerns on this may be wrong or exaggerated, and I hope that proves to be the case.

    4) Last for now at least, but probably more important than anything else is the simple test of reasonableness. Compare the antisemite’s notion of a centuries-old conspiracy to steal the “riches of the world” (not to mention to drink the blood of gentile children, to target arab children, etc.), with a critique of a manifest current conspiracy and focused on particular cultural traits that may help explain it. Quite obviously, not all conspiracies are imaginary, but just as obviously some are –Steve: … only, I would offer, without any credible sources of evidence or a consistently logical analysis.

    Unlike, I suppose, nazi antisemites who DO provide “credible sources of evidence”, etc.?

    No, Steve, there are a number of differences, and these differences are significant. Let’s look at a few:

    1) Unlike Chavez (not to mention Hitler, Goebbels, and confud), I don’t attribute “all the troubles of the world”, and all your troubles in particular to a group — I attribute all the troubles regarding global islamist terrorists to, um, global islamist terrorists. Those troubles are quite serious, but also quite specific.

    2) Unlike Chavez, Hitler & co., and a couple of our local trolls here, I don’t regard a culture as equivalent to a race, and hence I don’t see criticizing cultural aspects or features as having the same sort of consequences as criticizing racial features or aspects. Thus, even if the underlying or “root” cause of the upsurge in islamist terrorist activity is to be found in flawed aspects of Islamic culture, the logic would point to cultural change not to racial extermination.

    3) To my mind, however, the question about root causes in this sense is still open, as I indicated in this comment and this. I differ with neo on this, I think, who seems much more sanguine than I am about the viability of Islam in a modern world — but I’m quite willing to say my concerns on this may be wrong or exaggerated, and I hope that proves to be the case.

    4) Last for now at least, but probably more important than anything else is the simple test of reasonableness. Compare the antisemite’s notion of a centuries-old conspiracy to steal the “riches of the world” (not to mention to drink the blood of gentile children, to target arab children, etc.), with a critique of a manifest current conspiracy and focused on particular cultural traits that may help explain it. Quite obviously, not all conspiracies are imaginary, but just as obviously some are — reason and evidence are the tools that we use to distinguish them.

  11. Sally Says:

    Steve: If you are going to fall back on the argument of liberal democracy than Israel is in gross violation of those principles that characterize these systems.

    And what would be some examples of “those systems”, Steve? The US? Maybe not, hm? Canada? Australia? New Zealand? None of those either? “Liberal democracy” appears to have shrunk considerably, hasn’t it?

    On the other hand, if any of those countries qualify as liberal democracies, then it would seem as though such entities do indeed impose their will on “indigenous people of the land” such entities occupy. You can certainly make the claim that those indigenous people have rights, and Israel recognizes such rights — indeed, it’s ironic that, as a liberal democracy, Israel provides more such rights than the indigenous people had ever had, and more than the indigenous people of its neighboring states enjoy.

    Nevertheless, Israel is a specifically Jewish state, unquestionably — and this does set it apart from the secular versions of liberal democracy that otherwise predominate. This central fact of Israel has arisen for a number of reasons — historical, moral, practical, existential — and is the real source of the hostility toward it. Leaving aside the ravings of the nazi-like bigots, there are legitimate arguments over this. But those ongoing debates — as opposed to threat, slaughter and terror — are the only way the fact will ever change.

  12. confusedforeigner Says:

    Jason, I think Israel is a fait acompli, as do most Palestinians in my understanding. Hamas has indicated in a very arab way that they are prepared to accept and recognize Israel but to do that prior to negotiations would clearly break their mandate. This is the catch 22 designed by Israel/US. They cannot give away the right of return for the same reason plus the compensation claims that will inevitably fund any semblance of a viable state for Palestinian muslims and christians and others. They are nothing if not pragmatic.

    They have NOT said that they would expel or kill the Jews but would have a Palestinian state for all. That is the actual position, not the luny ravings of the rightwing US blogosphere.

    I think that a 2 state solution is only possible if Israel returns to its pre 1967 borders and stops killing people, stops collective punishment and stops the outrageous oppression which the US lets them get away with.

  13. Steve Says:

    Jayson wrote: “Speaking of democracy, Israel, a liberal democracy, has a right to exist. If we agree on this, then discussion about the appropriateness of the means Israel has chosen over the last few decades becomes academic.”

    My apologies for budding into the conversation.

    Jayson – Israel does exist. Why would you seek an affirmative on a fact?

    A better question would be – does Israel as a liberal democracy(your claim)have a right to impose by whatever means neccessary it’s will on the indigenous people of the land it occupies?

    You know the answer is no. If you are going to fall back on the argument of liberal democracy than Israel is in gross violation of those principles that characterize these systems.

    “Sometimes the responses have been appropriate, other times they have been questionable. But if someone believes that we must choose policies that result in the extermination of every Jew living in Israel, the “discussion” will go nowhere.”

    No, you don’t have to choose policies that would result in the “extermination of every Jew living in Israel” – but you’ve not offered any sound argument as to why such policies would do that. And until you can offer non-rhetorical substance to the claim when responding to facts and sound analysis, than I would agree – the discussion will go nowhere.

    Which I would theorize is the way most of you ‘supporting’ Israel wish it to be.

    Am I correct?

  14. Sally Says:

    Steve: By the way Sally, how do you (personally) differeniate between anti-semitism and valid criticism of Israel?

    I haven’t read all of confud’s posts but for the most part it seems to me he uses quite specific examples to argue his case – when not responding to smear

    I don’t know what “when not responding to smear” is supposed to mean — is that supposed to excuse his obscene description of an “Israeli tourist” above, for example, or his gratuitous and irrelevant mention of a “Jewish intellectual” as a supposed founder of his hated “neocons”? Or are those instances, in your view, of his use of “quite specific examples to argue his case”?

    Whatever, it’s not that hard to distinguish between rational criticisms of Israel (which, like any other state, often enough deserves criticism), and the sort of irrational, hate-filled rants that issue from confud and his ilk. The former are targeted on particular issues without using them as mere springboards for verbal abuse; they make clear efforts to find the truth of the issue without assuming it; they provide a sense of context, proportion, and moral comparison, without imposing or assuming a manifestly unfair or unjust moral equivalency. To take the last point alone, for example, you don’t see legitimate critics of Israel painting the accidental deaths of Palestinian civilians at Israeli hands as the moral equivalent of the deliberate murder of Israeli civilians at Palestinian hands — but that’s exactly what you do see from Jew-haters who try to hide their bigotry behind anti-zionism.

  15. Sally Says:

    Steve: … only, I would offer, without any credible sources of evidence or a consistently logical analysis.

    Unlike, I suppose, nazi antisemites who DO provide “credible sources of evidence”, etc.?

    No, Steve, there are a number of differences, and these differences are significant. Let’s look at a few:

    1) Unlike Chavez (not to mention Hitler, Goebbels, and confud), I don’t attribute “all the troubles of the world”, and all your troubles in particular to a group — I attribute all the troubles regarding global islamist terrorists to, um, global islamist terrorists. Those troubles are quite serious, but also quite specific.

    2) Unlike Chavez, Hitler & co., and a couple of our local trolls here, I don’t regard a culture as equivalent to a race, and hence I don’t see criticizing cultural aspects or features as having the same sort of consequences as criticizing racial features or aspects. Thus, even if the underlying or “root” cause of the upsurge in islamist terrorist activity is to be found in flawed aspects of Islamic culture, the logic would point to cultural change not to racial extermination.

    3) To my mind, however, the question about root causes in this sense is still open, as I indicated in this comment and this. I differ with neo on this, I think, who seems much more sanguine than I am about the viability of Islam in a modern world — but I’m quite willing to say my concerns on this may be wrong or exaggerated, and I hope that proves to be the case.

    4) Last for now at least, but probably more important than anything else is the simple test of reasonableness. Compare the antisemite’s notion of a centuries-old conspiracy to steal the “riches of the world” (not to mention to drink the blood of gentile children, to target arab children, etc.), with a critique of a manifest current conspiracy and focused on particular cultural traits that may help explain it. Quite obviously, not all conspiracies are imaginary, but just as obviously some are — reason and evidence are the tools that we use to distinguish them.

  16. Jason H. Bowden Says:

    Confudd–

    With respect to Muslims, I agree with you completely. It is human nature for human beings to choose liberty when given the choice. Those here who have stated otherwise on this blog are not only bigoted against the few million Muslims living here in the United States, but undermine their position of keeping American forces in Iraq until its democracy can defend itself. If Islam is not compatible with democracy (Turkey? Indonesia? Bangladesh?), there is no reason for us to be in Iraq. I have faith that it is.

    Speaking of democracy, Israel, a liberal democracy, has a right to exist. If we agree on this, then discussion about the appropriateness of the means Israel has chosen over the last few decades becomes academic. Sometimes the responses have been appropriate, other times they have been questionable. But if someone believes that we must choose policies that result in the extermination of every Jew living in Israel, the “discussion” will go nowhere. Liberalism requires argument and persuasion, while members of anti-liberal movements that worship force will “discuss” things in an analogous manner. I’ve already dignified the charade more than I ought have.

  17. confusedforeigner Says:

    Any thoughts Sally, about the credible reports from Iraq about the rape and murder of an 11 year old girl, the murder of 3 of her family and the mutilation of their bodies by US troops. Apparently they belonged to the same group as the 2 kidnapped marines last week.

    I await your expression of outrage and your damning of JudeaoChristianity as a barbaric belief system. I’ll be dissecting all the “mays” and “is”s coming out of your little cowboy’s mouth for hypocrisy and bias. Habeas corpus you say?

    I don’t think you’ll be able to blame this on ‘Palliwood’.

    And there are more to come if my sources are correct. The (hush)money can’t be shovelled out fast enough I hear.

  18. Steve Says:

    By the way Sally, how do you (personally) differeniate between anti-semitism and valid criticism of Israel?

    I haven’t read all of confud’s posts but for the most part it seems to me he uses quite specific examples to argue his case – when not responding to smear – but you write quite well, you seem very intelligent – surely you can do better than having this pathetic dribble for debate…

  19. Steve Says:

    Sally wrote:

    ” On both wings there’s a very simple but very vicious strategy at work: to find a focus for the troubles of the world, and in particular for your troubles, in the machinations of an evil group — which then, logically and terribly, must be exterminated in order to “solve” those problems.”

    Fair enough(at least for the sake of argument)- but Sally, do you not
    employ a ‘vicious strategy’ yourself in your focus on the machinations of an ‘evil group’? – in your case, Muslims – which “logically and terribly must be exterminated in order to “solve” those problems.”

    You would probably say no – but I think it would be appropriate to consider that your own rants use the same methodology – only, I would offer, without any credible sources of evidence or a consistantly logical analysis.

  20. confusedforeigner Says:

    Me……

    Now tell me that neos friend’s blog “All things are beautiful” isn’t overt racist jewish supremecist claptrap.

    7:14 PM, June 30, 2006

    Ariel (I’m beginning to see the symbolism of the handle)…..

    Go home.

    No one’s running from you. You aren’t worth engaging.

    We are laughing at you. You’re comic relief. You’re an anti-semitic joke.

    Your insults have no impact, no meaning, nothing. They are schoolyard taunts. They don’t work.

    So……the blog isn’t overt racist jewish supremecist claptrap? Just so as I know your thoughts.

    I know you hate the word ‘racism’ and all. And ‘profanity’ is a deadly sin (when lying cheating and state sponsored murder-for-profit aren’t).

    But I just can’t see how that crap can not be racist. Fill us in, mate.

  21. confusedforeigner Says:

    .Sally……

    Behind confud’s reference to “chilling” views

    No, not my reference at all. From the Sydney Morning Herald. A right of centre respectable broadsheet quoting right of centre respected international figures.
    Their views coincide with mine and are opposite to yours. Go figure.

  22. Ariel Says:

    Elmer,

    Go home.

    No one’s running from you. You aren’t worth engaging.

    We are laughing at you. You’re comic relief. You’re an anti-semitic joke.

    Your insults have no impact, no meaning, nothing. They are schoolyard taunts. They don’t work.

    Can’t you get it?

    Go home. Quit making a fool of yourself.

  23. confusedforeigner Says:

    And even that much pretence is dispensed with by a thug like Chavez, who’s quite happy to use and sacrifice anyone or any group as a means of seizing and clinging to power.

    And that statement is proof positive of your utter inanity and inability to discern fact from rightwingnut fiction. He was democratically elected. You haven’t a clue about the world.

    Now tell me that neos friend’s blog “All things are beautiful” isn’t overt racist jewish supremecist claptrap.

  24. confusedforeigner Says:

    And even that much pretence is dispensed with by a thug like Chavez, who’s quite happy to use and sacrifice anyone or any group as a means of seizing and clinging to power.

    And that statement is proof positive of your utter inanity and inability to discern fact from rightwingnut fiction. You haven’t a clue about the world.

    Now tell me that neos friend’s blog “All things are beautiful” isn’t overt racist jewish supremecist claptrap.

  25. Sally Says:

    Just a further point about this. I agree with Ariel that much of confud’s ravings are indeed laughable in a sense — in the way that any belligerent jerk who merely fumes and rants impotently is comical (e.g., “the chief guttersnipe Sally”, which is an undeserved compliment but which I’ll take all the same). But I also think he represents something a great deal worse, and I think you make an interesting point, Jason, about an inherent tendency toward a crude antisemitism associated with the conspiratorial mindset on the extreme left, but of course on the extreme right as well. On both wings there’s a very simple but very vicious strategy at work: to find a focus for the troubles of the world, and in particular for your troubles, in the machinations of an evil group — which then, logically and terribly, must be exterminated in order to “solve” those problems.

    Confud himself is useful just as a present example of this very old temptation and evil, and of its workings. He knows enough, for example, (and just enough) to know that he must deny his motivations in polite company, hiding, as I say, behind the tissue-thin pretense of being merely anti-zionist. But put him under a little stress and out pops the underlying Jew-hating, like diseased pustules. And even that much pretence is dispensed with by a thug like Chavez, who’s quite happy to use and sacrifice anyone or any group as a means of seizing and clinging to power.

    Small and larg(er), these are the contemporary faces of an ancient malevolence — allied now to a resurgent totalitarionism. Behind confud’s reference to “chilling” views re: the “war on terror”, I think we can see a lurking grin.

  26. confusedforeigner Says:

    Head rests,
    a sore mind behind these
    red eyes.
    Watch the television,
    sweet escapism,
    game shows and racism.
    Headlines,
    war crimes behind disguised
    affection.

    All for a cause that
    never was.
    Call for a voice but all
    it does is sigh.
    Inside.
    Sigh.

    More or less,
    there abouts,
    a young man with so
    many doubts.
    I try to learn
    impersonating,
    the clever moves but I
    am facing,
    the always power-crazed,
    middle aged generation.

    All for a cause that
    never was.
    Call for a voice but
    all it does is sigh.
    Inside.
    Sigh.
    Inside.

    Blood and blame passed
    on to a neighbour.
    Continuing the chain.
    Deadly game of whispers.
    How am I to grow.
    The life I love I
    don’t know.

    Blood and blame passed
    on to a neighbour.
    Continuing the chain.
    Deadly game of whispers.
    How am I to grow.
    The life I love I
    don’t know.

    Blood and blame passed
    on to a neighbour.
    Continuing the chain.
    Deadly game of whispers.
    How am I to grow.
    The life I love I
    don’t know.

    The Means. Mattafix

  27. confusedforeigner Says:

    It was never his ideas, only his methods.

    Yeah right. You ran away at every turn because you can’t own up to the idea that your country has no credibility or moral capital. You’re as pathetic as neo.

    And now you’re palsy with the chief guttersnipe Sally. But hey, you can always claim that you manipulated the whole thing. Heehee. And you say I’m transparent.

  28. Ariel Says:

    Jason,

    No one was giggling at massacres. They aren’t something to giggle at, or laugh at in anyway. Ever.

    Frankly, we were laughing at the deranged fellow. I didn’t read past the Fisk by-line, as my only desire was to see how deranged he, I call him Elmer now, would become.

    He can’t see that everything he has called others is so much more applicable to him, with slight adjustment in the terms of course. Nor could he see that Sally and I found his insults, his ploys, his prejudices, etc., as simply laughable. His words have no impact because he has made such a fool of himself. It was never his ideas, only his methods.

    He has to win the argument so much that if his facts fail to convince he goes on by bullying, slamming, and intimidating. And we are all laughing at him because he is so transparent. He would have been better off to be gentlemanly and “agree-to-disagree”. But like the scorpion, it isn’t really in his nature. This isn’t psychoanalytic but experential.

    And yes he can’t see his own anti-semitism, seemingly burying it in the Palestinian-Israeli mess so he doesn’t have to face it. There is a lot of hate in him and it has spewed out on all of us.

    Go to the 06/27/06 “How to spot a Troll” post at http://latticesofbogosity.blogspot.com/. You’ll see him in every description.

  29. confusedforeigner Says:

    TO ADD to the pervading gloom there is the news that the West is, in all likelihood, losing the global war on terrorism. A US think tank, the Centre for American Progress, and the prestigious American Foreign Policy magazine recently asked 100 terrorism and global security experts to assess how the war was going.

    They questioned luminaries across the political spectrum, the likes of Lawrence Eagleburger, a secretary of state to the first George Bush; the historian Francis Fukuyama; James Woolsey, a former CIA director; retired US marine general Anthony Zinni, a former commander in the Middle East; Richard Clarke, counter-terrorism chief to Bill Clinton and Bush II, and so on at that high-powered level. Even our own Gareth Evans got a guernsey.

    The conclusions were chilling. To quote from the survey summary: “Fewer than two in 10 believe the United States is winning the war on terror. More than eight in 10 believe we are likely to face a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11 within the next 10 years.
    “Over half list Islamic animosity and the Iraq war as the main reasons why the world is becoming more dangerous. The experts put nuclear weapons and materials as the top threat, followed closely by weapons of mass destruction as a whole, and then terrorism.”

    Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, neatly summed up the situation for the US. On America’s current course, he said, “we are going to either commit suicide as a democracy or spend ourselves to death”.

    To read the horrible details, go to http://www.americanprogress.org. Have a great weekend.

    From the Sydney Morning Herald. (Hardly a left wing rag)

  30. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sigh.

    No Jason. It is to do with Israel and the hypocrisy of US ‘unconditional’ support for what is a rogue state of the very worst kind.

    Look at your two friends above giggling about massacres of innocents. Do you find this amusing?

    The calls for assassination of democratically elected people like Chavez by your rightwingnut friends and your support for crony capitalist despots, murderers and war criminals elsewhere only serves to prove their point. You are actually strengthening them and the resolve of their elecctorates to fight against your phony foreign policies.

    Chavez actually has a fair point about food and water you know. Do you have any idea how much misery US/Euro farm subsidies cause in the third world? Or the havoc that GM and the perversion of intellectual property rights (as sought by the US at the behest of companies like Monsanto) will cause to subsistence farmers and already struggling states?

    Probably not.

  31. Jason H. Bowden Says:

    The Jew-baiting by this deranged individual is unreal.

    Socialism, with its conspiratorial worldview, almost always leads to Jew-baiting, since the Jews symbolize everything that is capitalist, commercial, greedy, and materialist in their eyes. Take the recent ranting by socialist hero Hugo Chavez, for instance, remarked a few months ago that

    “You [the audience] didn’t have money, and where was that money? The money in Venezuela was concentrated with them…like it is in the world, for this is a worldwide phenomena, you know? I just finished reading early this morning the latest report from the United Nations about the world situation, and it’s alarming because it says that today more than ever before, 2005 years after they killed Jesus Christ, because the world, the world, is worsening every day, every day, the riches of the world, because God, nature provides, the world has sufficent water for those who need water, the world has sufficent riches, land sufficient to produce foodstuffs for the entire world population, the world has sufficient stone and minerals for construction, so that there is no shortage for anyone who is living. The world has these things for all, sure, but because of some minorities, the decendents of those same people who killed Christ, the decendents of the same people who fought Bolivar, and also those who crucified them in Santa Marta, over in Colombia. A minority that has seized the riches of the world, a minority that has seized the gold of the planet, the silver, the minerals, the water, the good land, the oil, all these riches, well, and they have concentrated the riches in only a few hands: less than 10 percent of the world population has more than half the riches of the entire world..and more than half the entire population of the planet is poor and each day there are more poor in the entire world.”

  32. confusedforeigner Says:

    Lebensraum for example. What does Israel call theft of Palestine?

    If you won’t explain re Fisk, I’ll take it that the joke exists in your little closeted rightwingnutworld only.

    You defend Malkin and claim Fisk is a joke. Wingnuts.

  33. Ariel Says:

    Sally,

    I am always charitable. Even when laughing at someone.

    I added that he is warped because he can’t actually see how absolutely, pathetically silly he gets. He seemingly never reads anything completely, nor ponders before writing. He goes off halfcocked with his prejudices. I tried to warn him that his words have no impact because they are simply too funny now. And he had no idea that Fisk has become a joke. Talk about a closed world.

    Oh, now he’s ranting about Fox News, our “only source of news”. I get all my news from reading various world newspapers. I’ve never watched Fox News. But of course, he knows…

    “bigot, certainly — blind and virulent hatred directed at entire nations and groups, an inability to look at himself and his own emotions objectively, an instinct to project his own failings and weaknesses upon the hated object, and an easy slide into malicious stereotyping…a belief that their ideology will somehow immunize them against the charge of bigotry, making them all the more careless in indulging the worst of their racial, physical, and sexual prejudices.”

    You hit it on the head, and he can’t help but keep proving it, time after time after time. Hatred twists the mind.

    He needs the last word, and he’s waiting, so, Sally, we should let him have it. I hope his petard doesn’t hit him on his way up.

    Good night and straight ahead.

    Good night, Elmer.

  34. confusedforeigner Says:

    Oh you neocons love your labels (like kids with shiny small objects). I’m happy with speaking English thanks.
    Fascism is fascism. It ain’t marxism or vaguely leftist. Hitler had his shiny labels too.

    Lebensraum for example. What does Israel call theft of Palestine?

    If you actually read Fisk, you wouldn’t laugh in your silly little girly manner. He is critical of all the butchers. He is everything that your Fox news screaming heads aren’t. And don’t give me that shit about not watching Fox. It seeps out of your every pore.

    I’ll believe someone who lives and works there everytime over someone who’s never dreamed of leaving North America, thanks.

  35. Sally Says:

    He’s an obsessed man, Ariel, and warped, certainly, but I’d seriously question the “intelligent” bit. He may have just enough native wit to realize, when his breathing subsides a little, that his Jew-baiting comments were a little too revealing, but that’s about it.

  36. Ariel Says:

    p.s. Elmer, read up on red fascism and black fascism.

  37. Ariel Says:

    Sally,

    I know I’ve said goodnight twice, but this is too funny for me to stop. Neo is going to be so mad.

    It’s a good idea to save some of his notable quotes because he does have to come to his senses eventually. He is an intelligent, if warped, man.

    Oohh, he just ranted about Fisk. I should pull the hook out before I throw him back. “Appeal to authority”, good, bad, or indifferent just never sinks in. And I got hit with “reading racist crap from your own wingnut world”, he jumps to so many conclusions. Actually, I’m back to reading John Dos Passos. Now there’s a right winger. Oh, this is just too funny for words.

    Got your goodnight, Sally. So…goodnight and straight ahead.

    Oh, and good night, Elmer.

  38. confusedforeigner Says:

    Go on, run away. As always. That’s what the gutless do after all.

    Toodle pip.

  39. confusedforeigner Says:

    So, a neo-nazi leftist. Heehee. The wingnuts are here.

    I don’t delete posts butcher girl. I leave that for dishonest lying scum like you.

  40. Sally Says:

    Confud, just let me know when you get to more stories about “Jewish tourists”, or “Jewish intellectuals”, or “Jewish bankers”, okay? They’re actually worth something. Or when you get around to saying that some of your best friends are Joos.

    Otherwise, take your meds, mate — you’re overheating.

    Oh, and goodnight, Ariel. It’s been fun, but all good things must come to an end, for now at least.

    (Yeah, Fisk — the only guy whose name’s become a verb meaning to demonstrate one’s own idiocy!)

    Oh, and another gem from the neo-nut: “Why would any god choose scum like you?”! Can’t you just imagine the little Austrian paper-hanger muttering that to his cronies in the beer-hall?

  41. confusedforeigner Says:

    ” God told me to invade Iraq”

    GWB

    “I am the decider”

    GWB

    Mobile weapons laboratories can be deployed in 45 minutes.

    Powell

    Iraq tried to acquire nukular(sic) weapons equipment from Niger.

    GWB

    We will be welcomed as liberators.

    Rumsfeld

    You’re doing a great job, Brownie!

    GWB

    Axis of evil

    GWB

  42. confusedforeigner Says:

    Ariel said…
    And he just quoted Fisk for godsake.

    It is scum like you that doesn’t read anything but the racist crap from your own wingnut world that makes illinfomed ignorant comments about people who you’ve clearly never read, because you’ve been ‘thinked’ by your bitchmasters.

    Robert Fisk the fairest of writers of middle eastern affairs.

    Why would any god choose scum like you?

  43. confusedforeigner Says:

    MASSACRE IN SANCTUARY; EYEWITNESS

    By Robert Fisk
    The Independent 4/19/96, page 1

    Qana, southern Lebanon – It was a massacre. Not since Sabra and
    Chatila had I seen the innocent slaughtered like this. The Lebanese
    refugee women and children and men lay in heaps, their hands or arms
    or legs missing, beheaded or disembowelled. There were well over a
    hundred of them. A baby lay without a head. The Israeli shells had
    scythed through them as they lay in the United Nations shelter,
    believing that they were safe under the world’s protection. Like the
    Muslims of Srebrenica, the Muslims of Qana were wrong.

    In front of a burning building of the UN’s Fijian battalion
    headquarters, a girl held a corpse in her arms, the body of a grey-
    haired man whose eyes were staring at her, and she rocked the corpse
    back and forth in her arms, keening and weeping and crying the same
    words over and over: “My father, my father.” A Fijian UN soldier
    stood amid a sea of bodies and, without saying a word, held aloft
    the body of a headless child.

    “The Israelis have just told us they’ll stop shelling the area,”
    a UN soldier said, shaking with anger. “Are we supposed to thank
    them?” In the remains of a burning building – the conference room of
    the Fijian UN headquarters – a pile of corpses was burning. The roof
    had crashed in flames onto their bodies, cremating them in front of
    my eyes. When I walked towards them, I slipped on a human hand…

    Israel’s slaughter of civilians in this terrible 10-day
    offensive – 206 by last night – has been so cavalier, so ferocious,
    that not a Lebanese will forgive this massacre. There had been the
    ambulance attacked on Saturday, the sisters killed in Yohmor the day
    before, the 2-year-old girl decapitated by an Israeli missile four
    days ago. And earlier yesterday, the Israelis had slaughtered a
    family of 12 – the youngest was a four- day-old baby – when Israeli
    helicopter pilots fired missiles into their home.

    Shortly afterwards, three Israeli jets dropped bombs only 250
    metres from a UN convoy on which I was travelling, blasting a house
    30 feet into the air in front of my eyes. Travelling back to Beirut
    to file my report on the Qana massacre to the Independent last
    night, I found two Israeli gunboats firing at the civilian cars on
    the river bridge north of Sidon.

    Every foreign army comes to grief in Lebanon. The Sabra and
    Chatila massacre of Palestinians by Israel’s militia allies in 1982
    doomed Israel’s 1982 invasion. Now the Israelis are stained again by
    the bloodbath at Qana, the scruffy little Lebanese hill town where
    the Lebanese believe Jesus turned water into wine.

    The Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres may now wish to end this
    war. But the Hizbollah are not likely to let him. Israel is back in
    the Lebanese quagmire. Nor will the Arab world forget yesterday’a
    terrible scenes.

    The blood of all the refugees ran quite literally in streams
    >from the shell-smashed UN compound restaurant in which the Shiite
    Muslims from the hill villages of southern Lebanon – who had heeded
    Israel’s order to leave their homes – had pathetically sought
    shelter. Fijian and French soldiers heaved another group of dead -
    they lay with their arms tightly wrapped around each other – into
    blankets.

    A French UN trooper muttered oaths to himself as he opened a bag
    in which he was dropping feet, fingers, pieces of people’s arms.

    And as we walked through this obscenity, a swarm of people burst
    into the compound. They had driven in wild convoys down from Tyre
    and began to pull the blankets off the mutilated corpses of their
    mothers and sons and daughters and to shriek “Allahu Akbar” (God is
    Great”) and to threaten the UN troops.

    We had suddenly become not UN troops and journalists but
    Westerners, Israel’s allies, an object of hatred and venom. One
    bearded man with fierce eyes stared at us, his face dark with fury.
    “You are Americans,” he screamed at us. “Americans are dogs. You did
    this. Americans are dogs.”

    President Bill Clinton has allied himself with Israel in its war
    against “terrorism” and the Lebanese, in their grief, had not
    forgotten this. Israel’s official expression of sorrow was rubbing
    salt in their wounds. “I would like to be made into a bomb and blow
    myself up amid the Israelis,” one old man said.

    As for the Hizbollah, which has repeatedly promised that
    Israelis will pay for their killing of Lebanese civilians, its
    revenge cannot be long in coming. Operation Grapes of Wrath may then
    turn out then to be all too aptly named.

    Well debunked Palestinian propaganda obviously.

  44. Ariel Says:

    And he just quoted Fisk for godsake. He’ll be waving Duranty next. Or quoting the Iraqi CNN bureau pre-war, you know, “we lied to you about Iraq, so we could report the news from Iraq”.

    This is too funny by far.

    Good night, and straight ahead.

    “The Jews are coming, the Jews are coming.”

  45. Sally Says:

    Well, Ariel, as I’ve said before, whacking trolls is a time-waster, but it beats crosswords. And whacking neo-nazi trolls like our precious Jew-baiter confud here even beats soduko. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the viciousness inherent in the left’s attempt to hide its antisemitism behind the tissue of anti-Zionism so transparently revealed as in his last little bit of venom — a reason I’ve saved the worst (so far) in case he tries to delete the posts once he gets the froth under control. It can a useful illustration in other contexts.

  46. confusedforeigner Says:

    In April 11, 1996, Israel unleashed “Operation Grapes of Wrath” in which more than 170 people, mostly women and children had been killed so far, including 102 refugees shelled at a U.N. base in the south.

  47. confusedforeigner Says:

    In July 1993, Israel unleashed “Operation Accountability,” of week-long air, artillery and naval blitz in which 130 people, mostly Lebanese civilians, died and 300,000 fled their homes. This was in response to killing seven Israeli soldiers by Hizbullah resistance.

  48. confusedforeigner Says:

    In 1968, Israeli commandos blew up 13 airliners at Beirut airport Israel said the attack on Beirut airport was a reprisal for an attack in Athens by Lebanese-trained Palestinian guerrillas.

  49. Ariel Says:

    Sally,

    He hasn’t caught on that his words have no impact whatsoever. I read all the Vincennes documents chronologically, he has a biased perspective that gets in the way of the full picture. And he isn’t worth the time..

    Have a good night. This was just to funny.

  50. confusedforeigner Says:

    By Robert Fisk
    The Independent

    Sana Sersawi speaks carefully, loudly but slowly, as she recalls the chaotic, dangerous, desperately tragic events that overwhelmed her just over 19 years ago, on 18 September 1982. As one of the survivors prepared to testify against the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon–who was then Israel’s defence minister–she stops to search her memory when she confronts the most terrible moments of her life. “The Lebanese Forces militia [Phalangists] had taken us from our homes and marched us up to the entrance to the camp where a large hole had been dug in the earth. The men were told to get into it. Then the militiamen shot a Palestinian. The women and children had climbed over bodies to reach this spot, but we were truly shocked by seeing this man killed in front of us and there was a roar of shouting and screams from the women. That’s when we heard the Israelis on loudspeakers shouting, ‘Give us the men, give us the men.’ We thought, ‘Thank God, they will save us.’” It was to prove a cruelly false hope.

    Mrs Sersawi, three months pregnant, saw her husband Hassan, 30, and her Egyptian brother-in-law Faraj el-Sayed Ahmed standing in the crowd of men. “We were told to walk up the road towards the Kuwaiti embassy, the women and children in front, the men behind. We had been separated. There were Phalangist militiamen and Israeli soldiers walking alongside us. I could still see Hassan and Faraj. It was like a parade. There were several hundred of us. When we got to the Cite Sportif, the Israelis put us women in a big concrete room and the men were taken to another side of the stadium. There were a lot of men from the camp and I could no longer see my husband. The Israelis went round saying ‘Sit, sit.’ It was 11am. An hour later, we were told to leave. But we stood around outside amid the Israeli soldiers, waiting for our men.”

    Sana Sersawi waited in the bright, sweltering sun for Hassan and Faraj to emerge. “Some men came out, none of them younger than 40, and they told us to be patient, that hundreds of men were still inside. Then about 4pm, an Israeli officer came out. He was wearing dark glasses and said in Arabic: ‘What are you all waiting for?’ He said there was nobody left, that everyone had gone. There were Israeli trucks moving out with tarpaulin over them. We couldn’t see inside. And there were jeeps and tanks and a bulldozer making a lot of noise. We stayed there as it got dark and the Israelis appeared to be leaving and we were very nervous. But then when the Israelis had moved away, we went inside. And there was no one there. Nobody. I had been only three years married. I never saw my husband again.”

    Today, a Belgian appeals court will begin a hearing to decide if Prime Minister Sharon should be prosecuted for the massacre of Palestinian civilians at the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Beirut in 1982. (Belgian laws allow courts to try foreigners for war crimes committed on foreign soil.) In working on this case, the prosecution believes that it has discovered shocking new evidence of Israel’s involvement.

    The evidence centres on the Camille Chamoun Sports Stadium– the “Cite Sportif”. Only two miles from Beirut airport, the damaged stadium was a natural holding centre for prisoners. It had been an ammunition dump for Yasser Arafat’s PLO and repeatedly bombed by Israeli jets during the 1982 siege of Beirut so that its giant, smashed exterior looked like a nightmare denture. The Palestinians had earlier mined its cavernous interior, but its vast, underground storage space and athletics changing-rooms remained intact. It was a familiar landmark to all of us who lived in Beirut. At mid-morning on 18 September 1982–about the time Sana Sersawi says she was brought to the stadium–I saw hundreds of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners, probably well over 1,000, sitting in its gloomy, dark interior, squatting in the dust, watched over by Israeli soldiers and plain-clothes Shin Beth (Israeli secret service) agents and men who I suspected were Lebanese collaborators. The men sat in silence, obviously in fear. From time to time, I noted, a few were taken away. They were put into Israeli army trucks or jeeps or Phalangist vehicles–for further “interrogation”.

    Nor did I doubt this. A few hundred metres away, inside the Sabra and Chatila Palestinian refugee camps, up to 600 massacre victims rotted in the sun, the stench of decomposition drifting over the prisoners and their captors alike. It was suffocatingly hot. Loren Jenkins of The Washington Post, Paul Eedle of Reuters and I had only got into the cells because the Israelis assumed–given our Western appearance–that we must have been members of Shin Beth. Many of the prisoners had their heads bowed. But Israel’s Phalangist militiamen–still raging at the murder of their leader and president elect Bashir Gemayel–had been withdrawn from the camps, their slaughter over, and at least the Israeli army was now in charge. So what did these men have to fear?

    Looking back–and listening to Sana Sersawi today–I shudder now at our innocence. My notes of the time, subsequently written into a book about Israel’s 1982 invasion and its war with the PLO, contain some ominous clues. We found a Lebanese employee of Reuters, Abdullah Mattar, among the prisoners and obtained his release, Paul leading him away with his arm around the man’s shoulders. “They take us away, one by one, for interrogation,” one of the prisoners muttered to me. “They are Haddad [Christian militia] men. Usually they bring the people back after interrogation, but not always. Sometimes the people do not return them.” Then an Israeli officer ordered me to leave. Why couldn’t the prisoners talk to me, I asked? “They can talk if they want,” he replied. “But they have nothing to say.”

    All the Israelis knew what had happened inside the camps. The smell of the corpses was now overpowering. Outside, a Phalangist jeep with the words “Military Police” painted on it–if so exotic an institution could be associated with this gang of murderers–drove by. A few television crews had turned up. One filmed the Lebanese Christian militiamen outside the Cite Sportif. He also filmed a woman pleading to an Israeli army colonel called “Yahya” for the release of her husband. (The colonel has now been positively identified by The Independent. Today, he is a general in the Israeli army.)

    Along the main road opposite the stadium there was a line of Israeli Merkava tanks, their crews sitting on the turrets, smoking, watching the men being led from the stadium in ones or twos, some being set free, others being led away by Shin Beth men or by Lebanese men in drab khaki overalls. All these soldiers knew what had happened inside the camps. One of the members of the tank crews, Lt Avi Grabovsky–he was later to testify to the Israeli Kahan commission–had even witnessed the murder of several civilians the previous day and had been told not to “interfere”.

    And in the days that followed, strange reports reached us. A girl had been dragged from a car in Damour by Phalangist militiamen and taken away, despite her appeals to a nearby Israeli soldier. Then the cleaning lady of a Lebanese woman who worked for a US television chain complained bitterly that Israelis had arrested her husband. He was never seen again. There were other vague rumours of “disappeared” people.

    I wrote in my notes at the time that “even after Chatila, Israel’s ‘terrorist’ enemies were being liquidated in West Beirut”. But I had not directly associated this dark conviction with the Cite Sportif. I had not even reflected on the fearful precedents of a sports stadium in time of war. Hadn’t there been a sports stadium in Santiago a few years before, packed with prisoners after Pinochet’s coup d’etat, a stadium from which many prisoners never returned?

    Among the testimonies gathered by lawyers seeking to indict Ariel Sharon for war crimes is that of Wadha al-Sabeq. On Friday, 17 September 1982, she said, while the massacre was still (unknown to her) underway inside Sabra and Chatila, she was in her home with her family in Bir Hassan, just opposite the camps. “Neighbours came and said the Israelis wanted to stamp our ID cards, so we went downstairs and we saw both Israelis and Lebanese Forces [Phalangists] on the road. The men were separated from the women.” This separation–with its awful shadow of similar separations at Srebrenica during the Bosnian war–were a common feature of these mass arrests. “We were told to go to the Cite Sportif. The men stayed put.” Among the men were Wadha’s two sons, 19-year-old Mohamed and 16-year-old Ali and her brother Mohamed. “We went to the Cite Sportif, as the Israelis told us,” she says. “I never saw my sons or brother again.”

    The survivors tell distressingly similar stories. Bahija Zrein says she was ordered by an Israeli patrol to go to the Cite Sportif and the men with her, including her 22-year-old brother, were taken away. Some militiamen–watched by the Israelis–loaded him into a car, blindfolded, she claims. “That’s how he disappeared,” she says in her official testimony, “and I have never seen him again since.”

    It was only a few days afterwards that we journalists began to notice a discrepancy in the figures of dead. While up to 600 bodies had been found inside Sabra and Chatila, 1,800 civilians had been reported as “missing”. We assumed–how easy assumptions are in war–that they had been killed in the three days between 16 September 1982 and the withdrawal of the Phalangist killers on the 18th, that their corpses had been secretly buried outside the camp. Beneath the golf course, we suspected. The idea that many of these young people had been murdered outside the camps or after the 18th, that the killings were still going on while we walked through the camps, never occurred to us.

    Why did we not think of this at the time? The following year, the Israeli Kahan commission published its report, condemning Sharon but ending its own inquiry of the atrocity on 18 September, with just a one-line hint–unexplained– that several hundred people may have “disappeared” at about the same time. The commission interviewed no Palestinian survivors but it was allowed to become the narrative of history. The idea that the Israelis went on handing over prisoners to their bloodthirsty militia allies never occurred to us. The Palestinians of Sabra and Chatila are now giving evidence that this is exactly what happened. One man, Abdel Nasser Alameh, believes his brother Ali was handed to the Phalange on the morning of the 18th. A Palestinian Christian woman called Milaneh Boutros has recorded how, in a truck-load of women and children, she was taken from the camps to the Christian town of Bikfaya, the home of the newly assassinated Christian president-elect Bashir Gemayel, where a grief-stricken Christian woman ordered the execution of a 13-year-old boy in the truck. He was shot. The truck must have passed at least four Israeli checkpoints on its way to Bikfaya. And heaven spare me, I realise now that I had even met the woman who ordered the boy’s execution.

    Even before the slaughter inside the camps had ended, Shahira Abu Rudeina says she was taken to the Cite Sportif where, in one of the underground “holding centres”, she saw a retarded man, watched by Israeli soldiers, burying bodies in a pit. Her evidence might be rejected were it not for the fact that she also expressed her gratitude for an Israeli soldier–inside the Chatila camp, against all the evidence given by the Israelis–who prevented the murder of her daughters by the Phalange.

    Long after the war, the ruins of the Cite Sportif were torn down and a brand new marble stadium was built in its place, partly by the British. Pavarotti has sung there. But the testimony of what may lie beneath its foundations–and its frightful implications–might give Ariel Sharon further reason to fear an indictment.

    Sally said : “well-debunked Palestinian propaganda over nonexistent massacres”

  51. Sally Says:

    Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do.
    I’m half crazyy, alll foorr the loovve of yoouuuuu…

    BTW, how’s it going with that IP switching gag, confud?

  52. confusedforeigner Says:

    Ariel said:
    The downing by the Vincinnes was a mistake and owned up to, as well as paid for. Reagan gave his apologies to all concerned.

  53. confusedforeigner Says:

    Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655) was a commercial flight operated by Iran Air that flew from Bandar Abbas, Iran to Dubai. the airplane flying IR655 was shot down by the U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes between Bandar Abbas and Dubai, killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 38 non-Iranians and 66 children.
    The plane, an Airbus A300B2, registered as EP-IBU and flown by captain Mohsen Rezaian, left Bandar Abbas at 10:17 am Iran time (UTC+0330), 27 minutes after its scheduled departure time of 9:50 am. It would have been a 28-minute flight. After takeoff, it was directed by the Bandar Abbas tower to turn on its transponder and proceed over the Persian Gulf. The flight was assigned routinely to commercial air corridor Amber 59, a twenty-mile-wide lane on a direct line to Dubai airport. The short distance made for a simple flight pattern: climb to 14,000 feet (about 4300 m), cruise for a short time, and descend into Dubai.
    At that same time, the Vincennes, under the command of Captain William C. Rogers III and fitted with the then-new AEGIS combat system, was nearby in the Strait of Hormuz.
    The Vincennes had been rushed to the area after the April 14 mining of the USS Samuel B. Roberts by Iranian forces. Iran had purchased Silkworm missiles from China, and an AEGIS cruiser was the only type of vessel that could counter the threat. Roberts had been operating in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Earnest Will, the effort to protect Kuwaiti oil tankers during the Iran-Iraq War.
    On the morning of July 3, the Vincennes crossed into Iranian territorial waters during clashes with Iranian gunboats. The USS Sides (FFG-14) and USS Elmer Montgomery (FF-1082) were nearby.

    NB On July 3, 1988,

  54. Ariel Says:

    Sally,

    If I were doing this, I’d be baiting you to get a predictable response. But the “Leo Strauss” short biography really calls for this no matter the authors intent….and, yes, its a guilty pleasure.

    “The Jews are coming, the Jews are coming”

  55. confusedforeigner Says:

    Medals awarded

    While issuing notes of regret over the loss of human life, the U.S. government has, to date, neither admitted any wrong-doing or responsibility in this tragedy, nor apologised, but continues to blame Iranian hostile actions for the incident. The men of the Vincennes were all awarded combat-action ribbons. Commander Lustig, the air-warfare co-ordinator, even won the navy’s Commendation Medal for “heroic achievement,” his “ability to maintain his poise and confidence under fire” having enabled him to “quickly and precisely complete the firing procedure.”[2] According to a 23 April 1990 article in The Washington Post, the Legion of Merit was presented to Captain Rogers and Lieutenant Commander Lustig on 3 July 1988. The citations did not mention the downing of the Iran Air flight at all. It should be noted that the Legion of Merit is often awarded to high-ranking officers upon successful completion of especially difficult duty assignments and/or last tours of duty before retirement.
    The incident continued to overshadow U.S.-Iran relations for many years. Following the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 six months later, the British and American governments initially blamed the PFLP-GC, a Palestinian militant group backed by Syria, with assumptions of assistance from Iran in retaliation for Iran Air Flight 655.[7] The cause of the crash was later determined to be a bomb associated with the Libyan intelligence service, though an Iranian group had claimed responsibility for it.[citation needed]
    The Flight 655 incident has often been compared to that of Korean Air Flight 007 interception by the Soviet Air Force in 1983.
    The Vice-President George H. W. Bush declared a month later, “I will never apologise for the United States of America, ever. I don’t care what it has done. I don’t care what the facts are.” [8][9][10][11]
    [edit]
    Compensation

    On February 22, 1996 the United States agreed to pay Iran US$ 61.8 million in compensation ($300,000 per wage-earning victim, $150,000 per non-wage-earner) for the 248 Iranians killed in the shootdown. This was an agreed settlement to discontinue a case brought by Iran in 1989 against the U.S. in the International Court of Justice.[12] The payment of compensation was explicitly characterised by the US as being on an ex gratia basis, and the U.S. denied having any responsibility or liability for the incident.
    The United States has not compensated Iran for the airplane itself, to date. The aircraft was worth more than $30 million.

  56. Sally Says:

    ” You filthy fucking little Indian shit”

    Israeli tourist (one of 11) to a simple but polite and cheerful 14 year old kid in a bar in Bolivia – March 17th 2006.

    Now I know I’ve been kind of winding poor old confud up, and while I think he deserves it, I also recognize it as a guilty pleasure. But I think with his last couple of comments about the “Israeli tourist” in, where was it, Bolivia, a “bar in Bolivia”, we’ve actually got something worthwhile out of the exercise — this is good clinical material. It’s not just that he lies bare-facedly, and it’s not just that he reads, and gullibly believes what he reads, on Aryan Nation-type web sites — it’s that, when wound up even a bit, it’s this sort of Goebbels-like nazi swill that he reflexively spews. No wonder he resorts to calling others “nazi” and “racist” so readily — he worries he has to get it in before someone recognizes it in him.

  57. Ariel Says:

    Sally,
    I forgot did the probligo write the below about Fudd or Conned? This too went into my book of quotes. I like the “disgrace” build-up. And probligo really doesn’t fit the troll category, as someone called him, it’s just difficult on him/her to get beat up when so many disagree.

    “You have no redeeming feature that I can see.

    You are like the spoilt little five year-old brat who is so desperate for attention that you end up wrecking the afternoon tea and wake following the funeral of an elderly aunt. You disgrace yourself. You disgrace your parents. You disgrace your family and name.

    Grow up.”

  58. confusedforeigner Says:

    Leo Strauss (September 20, 1899 – October 18, 1973), was a German born Jew and naturalized American political philosopher, who specialized in the study of classical philosophy. He spent most of his career as a Political Science Professor at the University of Chicago, where he taught several generations of devoted students, as well as publishing fifteen books. Since his death, he has come to be regarded, although debatably, as a leading intellectual source of neoconservatism in the United States.

  59. Ariel Says:

    “bigot, certainly — blind and virulent hatred directed at entire nations and groups, an inability to look at himself and his own emotions objectively, an instinct to project his own failings and weaknesses upon the hated object, and an easy slide into malicious stereotyping…a belief that their ideology will somehow immunize them against the charge of bigotry, making them all the more careless in indulging the worst of their racial, physical, and sexual prejudices.”

    Sally,
    That was eloquently concise. I think I’ll save this in my book of quotes. None so blind, eh?

  60. confusedforeigner Says:

    Fascism: is a radical authoritarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, totalitarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-rationalism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.

    GWB and Beelzebub’s whacky white house to a T if you add islamonoia.

  61. confusedforeigner Says:

    “You broke my fucking tooth you fuck”

    Same Israeli tourist blubbing whilst getting up off the footpath before running away.
    March 17th, 2006

  62. confusedforeigner Says:

    ” You filthy fucking little Indian shit”

    Israeli tourist (one of 11) to a simple but polite and cheerful 14 year old kid in a bar in Bolivia – March 17th 2006.

  63. Sally Says:

    I blame it on the fat evangelical christian fruitloops, personally.

    Confud, even more recently.

  64. confusedforeigner Says:

    “I liken arabs to crabs in a bucket.”

    Decaying wasp – quite recently.

  65. Sally Says:

    Oh yes, I put my hand up to a dislike of fat people. I can’t take them seriously at all. Lazy and ignorant mostly.

    So whaddaya bet he’s fat?

  66. confusedforeigner Says:

    “And you can’t get a decent hamburger anywhere in this goddamned country.”

    Unidentified fat yank in checked trousers – Cairo 2005

  67. confusedforeigner Says:

    Little pond dwellers come out to play. How cute.

    Oh yes, I put my hand up to a dislike of fat people. I can’t take them seriously at all. Lazy and ignorant mostly.

    Any country that would have a debate about ‘intelligent design’ is laughable in a political sense. And any country that elected a buffoon like Reagan or Bush just once has to be suspect. Twice is unforgivable.

    I blame it on the fat evangelical christian fruitloops, personally.

  68. Sally Says:

    Well, Ariel, I really think he’s got some issues re: his mental health generally. But, yes, I think he fits the pattern of the bigot, certainly — blind and virulent hatred directed at entire nations and groups, an inability to look at himself and his own emotions objectively, an instinct to project his own failings and weaknesses upon the hated object, and an easy slide into malicious stereotyping.

    And one additional characteristic, associated with bigots on the left in particular: a belief that their ideology will somehow immunize them against the charge of bigotry, making them all the more careless in indulging the worst of their racial, physical, and sexual prejudices.

  69. Ariel Says:

    Sally,

    Do you think someone can hate Americans and Israelis so much without being a racist? Or is it just a critique of their cultures?

    Maybe he is just trying to protect all the gentile (non-jewess) women. Seeing him throw out that neo-nazi talmudic lie as real was sad.

    I never thought you wore glasses, and the plump comment, do you think he is biased against full-sized women too?

  70. Sally Says:

    I can’t help but picture you as the ugly plump unpopular teachers pet girl with glasses who could never quite connect and turned bitter as a result.

    With glasses!!? Aww, now that’s just mean.

    I know I said confud was nasty, stupid and somewhat deranged, but I didn’t say it to hurt him — I was just providing an objective description, as the above raving illustrates.

  71. Ariel Says:

    Sally,

    He also doesn’t understand the definitions of racist, fascist, or troll for that matter.

    It was never their ideas, but their manners and methods. The “frothing at the mouth” is laughable, the insults pathetic. The ploys don’t work. Any little boy can throw insults and call it argument.

    As I said, comic relief.

  72. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sally said…
    Just a point about the individual who terms himself “confud” above, for those new to the blog and/or its comments: he’s what’s commonly termed a troll, and is an unusually nasty, stupid, and somewhat deranged specimen of even that ugly species. He can keep himself under control for brief periods if he’s not challenged in any way, but quickly loses it if confronted with a rational argument not suited to his peculiar prejudices — as in this example of typical gibberish:
    But, the statement was made by Obersturmfeuhrer Ariel who hasn’t the balls to defend it. War, lies and videotape. Family values eh?

    Reasonable people might reasonably decide he’s just a waste of time and space.

    12:10 AM, June 30, 2006

    Reasonable people might come to the conclusion little butchergirl that you are a nasty little supremecist who advocates genocide against people that you have no understanding of or willingness to empathise with.

    I can’t help but picture you as the ugly plump unpopular teachers pet girl with glasses who could never quite connect and turned bitter as a result.

    Now toddle off, little racist pond dweller. Go and chat with your equally dim friend Ariel. Not an iota of intellectual courage or moral fibre between you.

  73. confusedforeigner Says:

    Why would they recognize Israel? A racially segregated state that militarily oppresses and murders on the basis of race and the very religion they believe in. If Israel went back to its legally mandated borders and stopped the killing, their attitudes would change I think.

    I’ve been to many countries throughout the world and I find moderate muslims no more or less offensive than any other religion. I’ve found americans to be the most likely to try to shove their religious beliefs at me (and worse my kids). Seriously.

    To lump secular muslims in with the extremists is quite wrong, and that would account for the overwhelming majority in my experience.

    I find zealots of any type offensive. Sally for example thinks of herself as being part of the chosen race. That is nazi like. I don’t see too much of that in the islamic world.

    You do meet plenty of arrogant supremicist Americans and Israelis though.

  74. Sally Says:

    Just a point about the individual who terms himself “confud” above, for those new to the blog and/or its comments: he’s what’s commonly termed a troll, and is an unusually nasty, stupid, and somewhat deranged specimen of even that ugly species. He can keep himself under control for brief periods if he’s not challenged in any way, but quickly loses it if confronted with a rational argument not suited to his peculiar prejudices — as in this example of typical gibberish:
    But, the statement was made by Obersturmfeuhrer Ariel who hasn’t the balls to defend it. War, lies and videotape. Family values eh?

    Reasonable people might reasonably decide he’s just a waste of time and space.

  75. Taumarunui Says:

    Wogs, huh. My father fought with the 8th Army in North Africa and Italy. He called the locals “wogs” and had a very low opinion of them. With good reason, because they sympathized with the Nazis. They soon learned to call the wogs “yehudi fon dook” (phonetic), which apparently meant “Jewish Bastard”. It sure pissed them off. He loved the Italians and learnt Italian even though he spent much of his time stuck at the notorious Monte Cassino.

    More recently, my wife and I did the Nile cruise and Ancient Egyptian monuments tour (1989). For some of our trip we were hosted by an Egyptian professor whom we’d met through a mutual professional friend. He was a great host and showed us his home, introduced us to his family, took us to his holiday home on the Suez canal. He even showed us where the Israelis had crossed the canal in the Yom Kippur war (1973). He assigned one of his students to show us around the Cairo museum and lots of Mosques. Nice young fellow, but VERY proud of his religion. We stayed in touch with the professor and his student over the years. Since 9/11 we have heard not a peep from either of them. Neither have our mutual friends.

    We have tried to figure out what the problem was. Shame? Solidarity with their co-religionists? Censorship? We doubt censorship because various email viruses communicate with us through his email account. Who knows?

    I look at some of the polls done on Muslim attitudes and I read about the anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, anti-West propaganda that pervades the Muslim world. I also look at the policies of the governments that have been elected in Afghanistan and Iraq. Recognize Israel? No. Religious freedom? No.

    I think the problem with Islam goes much deeper than dealing with a radical fringe. Knock off the fringe and a new one grows in its place. Maybe there isn’t a moderate Islam. Certainly, the Koran is not a source of moderation. Maybe the masses serve as a reservoir of radicalism.

    Our Leftie friends seem to think that Islam is just another religion on a par with Methodism. I’m afraid that is a fiction.

    So, what to call the enemy? “yehudi fon dook” works for me.

  76. confusedforeigner Says:

    Well whilst I find the terms a little confusing, I do actually speak in English terminology, unlike Ariel.

    It seems a classical liberal in his mind is a racist reactionary militarist antidemocratic bigot. Hitler called himself a socialist after all. Ariel borrows the concept. To Ariel a spade is what sounds best at the time. An ‘apology’ could mean an insulting denial of responsibility for instance. Compensation could mean lying through your teeth for years to avoid paying money to families of murdered muslims. You know how it goes.

    I’ve never been all that interested in US politics but GWB and his crazy band of crooks thieves and liars make it impossible to ignore. I will never vote there but the policies of military expansionism and his war against Islam are making my world a dangerous uncomfortable place.

    Most western people IMO have viewed your politics as superficial argument over what you term moral issues that have long since passed in most western societies except on the relligious fruitloop fringes. All the hoopla around the conventions that we see would and does turn most people off. I find it distasteful and ugly, but it’s your right and I wouldn’t try to deny you it. Why are you trying to introduce this rubbish to us though.

    The corruption in your politics is self evident but you all defend it as being utopian democracy. It clearly isn’t and needs a serious overhaul.

    I don’t see a) how the antiglobalists can be called fascists (or indeed how antiglobalists can be defined as a political grouping apart from the one issue) or b) how the neocons differ from fascists.

    Don’t be fooled by the extreme antiglobalists. there are many many people in the middle who would like to see free trade but don’t want the current global push to go ahead in the WTO image. Many want a moritorium because what is proposed now is not free trade at all, it is imperialism.

    The US and the Europeans both practice socialism for the wealthy, but the US more so, and Bush is the crony capitalist to end all crony capitalists.

  77. Sally Says:

    slore: The left and old right are all fans of the Hegel type notion of the whole ‘spirit of the people’ being expressed via the state nonsense.

    Good point — and note also the influence of Rousseau’s notion of the “General Will” as a quasi-mystical phenomenon that drowns the individual will. Your point about being able to opt out of a bad business as opposed to a bad government program is also good, but is often balanced by the observation that in a democracy at least you have a say in selecting the people who design the programs but not in business (the balance is sometimes called “exit” vs. “voice”, taken from a book by Albert Hirschman).

    A further consideration, though, in contrasting the position of the individual vis-a-vis market and state, is to contrast the notions that lie at their respective foundations: “trade” and “law”. By definition, a trade can only occur when it’s to the conscious benefit of both parties involved, whereas a law must be applied to everyone without regard to their opinions of it, by force if necessary. That is, voluntary, mutually beneficial behavior is at the basis of the market; coercion, backed up by violence, is at the basis of the state. This is not to say, as with anarchism, that the state is inherently a bad thing — it’s not, it’s a necessary thing, in fact. But it is reason to say that the role of the state should be minimized in favor of the market wherever possible.

  78. Ariel Says:

    sIOre,

    Confud doesn’t have the organic understanding of our politics. Libertarian, classical liberal, conservative, neo-con, right, left, liberal, etc., doesn’t matter. This may be from the superficial understanding through news reports, limited time living here, reading the wrong books, whatever. He also kneejerks if you don’t agree with him, you immediately become a rightwing nut neo-con.

    He really doesn’t understand that the word is not the thing.

  79. Sl0re Says:

    At 3:38 AM, June 28, 2006, confudeforeigner said…

    “Is anyone to the right of you? No.”

    You perhaps. I’m a libertarian. When I debate actual right wingers and am often called a progressive materialist (i.e., a step away from a Marxist in their lexicon).

    Actually, my views on the state are a hop skip and jump away from Marx. I’d like it to mostly whither away.

    Remember your talking points, neo cons are ex lefties. American conservativism was mostly founded by ex communists (even before this neo con nonsense… the intellectuals that worked with William F. Buckley to get his movement going were mostly ex leftists and communists)… I find the Euro (i.e., old) and Buchanan paleo con right repellent. From my POV, they’re almost indistinguishable from some parts of the left… Especially the anti-globo ‘left’ (a group that has little, if anything, ideologically distinguishable from Mussolini and the fascists)…

    It’s probably mostly historical happenstance we are called conservatives at all. The US progressives took on the name liberal in the 20s and 30s because progressive was becoming associated with socialist. Actual liberals then took on the name ‘libertarian’ since their label was being co opted. A book, by a leftist BTW, called conservatism revisited (I believe) came out in the 50s and various rebels against the progressive socialists took on the name as they melded into a coalition (they were often slapped with it by the media due to the book.. they figured why fight it)… This is probably part of the reason we can’t get along with Euro continental conservatives… we really are not a conservative movement… We’d be called liberals on the continent…

  80. Ariel Says:

    The 89 stats are au.gov, the other CIA Worldbook I believe.

  81. Sl0re Says:

    At 4:35 PM, June 29, 2006, Ariel said…
    SIOre,

    “In 1989, Australia was almost 95% European White (75% Anglo-celt).”

    If those stats are correct your overall point is correct.

    Even ‘white’ Americans (with their mix of native and often African thrown in) tend not be Anglo-Celt. Brits and English have always been a small minority of the white population. We have more people of German descent here.

  82. Ariel Says:

    SIOre,

    In 1989, Australia was almost 95% European White (75% Anglo-celt). By 2001, approx. 92% European white. It has probably gone down another percent or two, but I haven’t dug deeper. No desire.

    Obviously, most of the data being looked at applies to a near lily-white Australia. I believe you would have to go back to the 40′s or earlier to find anything comparable in the US, and it still wouldn’t as the Anglo-celt would not be as high. I doubt that a fair part of their population has aboriginal ancestry, while a fair part of white Americans do. A much smaller number of whites have black ancestry also, something I doubt you’ll find in Australia.The two countries are not comparable in racial terms whatsoever.

  83. Sl0re Says:

    confudeforeigner said…

    “And Australia or the UK or Canada aren’t?”

    No, I’d say they are just not the same (ie, mix).

  84. Sl0re Says:

    confudeforeigner said…

    “Oh and BTW, HMOs are the model nobody wants (except maybe the drug companies). They are absolutely 100% opposed to working toward the notion of universal healthcare and they don’t work.”

    I agree they are terrible. I don’t agree that they are substantially different than public run healthcare. IMO they share key similarities.

    The point of managed HMO care is to allow experts to craft a healthcare ‘plan’ so that costs can be controlled. It’s essentially a private version of the public care in other countries. Part of the reason public care is argued for is that it is less expensive (ie, because you have a healthcare policy or ‘plan’…).

    I, on the other hand, want nothing of a plan that may deny me the ability to make my own healthcare choices. Give me a simple insurance policy that says I have 2 million (or so) in healthcare claims I can make based on whatever my doctor (chosen by me) recommends… If I have cancer and a $400 a pill drug might give me a 20% extra chance of living… give me the pills… in the Euro public system, the expert / planners often decide this is a poor use of resources… Public good and all. Must think of the collective. To bad for you.

  85. Sl0re Says:

    At 1:06 AM, June 29, 2006, confudeforeigner said…
    sl0re…

    ”Market forces are amoral.”

    They are amoral, not immoral. So true.

    “People in general want a fair system and an amoral system will leave behind those who are the greatest risks to profit.”

    State run systems are no less amoral. State beauraucrats do not care about people any more than corporations. One difference is competition creates an environment that permits choice (between competitors) and their products (which they need to try to improve in order to win your patronage). Better run companies I’ve done work for provide competition even within their own corporation… A phone company I worked with had four IT support providers (three internal / company owned and one external contract service provider) a department manager could take bids from and hire (or fire for poor service)… Another company had something similar in that for hardware repairs you could send broken items to any repair center the company owned (ie, everyone was part of the same company, customer and repair centers)… poorly done repairs from one? Use another center, eventually the manager of the bad center is demoted since no one uses their center and you can try them again…

    As to leaving people behind, this is why the state should subside the poor so that insurance can be purchased for them comparable to what the middle class can buy on their own.

    ”The most successful societies are those with elements of market and state forces acting in concert with clearly defined roles. Not cronyism (what I call socialism for the wealthy) between government and big business.”

    I think your going call any actual competition crony capitalism and then claim actual real corporatism / crony capitalism good..

    ”Some regulation by government is necessary.”

    Of course. Especially when it increases transparency, safety, or the system’s stablity.

    “No.1 economic rule. Deregulation does not competition create.”

    Not in all cases no. In many cases it can.

    ”No. 2 economic rule. Countries are not businesses.”

    Ahhh, I think you romanticize the state. The left and old right are all fans of the Hegel type notion of the whole ‘spirit of the people’ being expressed via the state nonsense. They are run like businesses. They have managers, and beauraucrats (who don’t care at all about the public), and budgets, and internal politics, and structural issues that help create the results they provide… much like businesses… the only difference is some businesses are better run than most government public services providers.. I can opt out of a bad business, a bad government program… not so much…

  86. Jason H. Bowden Says:

    On health care:

    One, no one has addressed the inevitable rationing in socialist systems. They’re supposed to be more fair, but they also get the deleterious results predicted by the classical model. For instance,

    “Rationing of health care occurs in the U.S. too, especially in public hospitals that provide care for the uninsured, and for those on Medicare and Medicaid. In spite of this, average wait times in the U.S. are far shorter than in countries with national health care systems.

    For example, 27 percent of Canadian patients and 36 percent of British patients must wait more than four months for elective, non-emergency surgery. By contrast, only about 5 percent of American patients wait that long.”

    Secondly, no one addressed how socialist systems retard the development of new technology, as seen in the link of my June 28, 1059Pm post.

    Third, here is an article about how programs like Medicare are driving up prices in the United States. Also, there is the explosion of cost to the taxpayer. Again, this is what is predicted by the classical model, not the socialist model.

    These are real costs inherent to socialist systems. My health care is great, and I don’t want rationing or high premiums simply because a lot of people have bad diets. You guys have to come up with a reason better than that.

  87. Charlemagne Says:

    Synova,

    Emory University’s health policy expert Thorpe seems to disagree with what you posted.

    This is how he is quoted in this article in USA Today, from the Associated Press:

    While the gaps for infants and mothers contrast sharply with the nation’s [USA's] image as a world leader, Emory University health policy expert Kenneth Thorpe said the numbers are not surprising.

    “Our [the USA's] health care system focuses on providing high-tech services for complicated cases. We do this very well,” Thorpe said. “What we do not do is provide basic primary and preventive health care services. We do not pay for these services, and do not have a delivery system that is designed to provide either primary prevention, or adequately treat patients with chronic diseases.”

    Source: USA Today, “U.S. newborn survival rate ranks low”

    Read the full article by clicking here.

  88. confusedforeigner Says:

    sl0re….

    The US is a diverse country… Genetically, diet, et cetera. It is hard to ‘average’ it.

    And Australia or the UK or Canada aren’t?

  89. confusedforeigner Says:

    Oh and BTW, HMOs are the model nobody wants (except maybe the drug companies). They are absolutely 100% opposed to working toward the notion of universal healthcare and they don’t work.

    New Zealand proved it in the 90s. They dicked a goodish system by following the US model when they had the best model right beside them in Australia. now Howard is trying to dick that for ‘ideological’ reasons. (Most probably at the behest of Swiss and US drug company interests).

  90. confusedforeigner Says:

    sl0re…

    No, no and no. It has nothing to do with propaganda. Most people want more and better systems oftentimes in spite of political pressure (a la Thatcherbitchmother and Howard) to the contrary.

    I think you suffer a little paranoia regarding socialism or state control. In all these countries it is not an either/or situation. You can still go private if you want, you can still have private insurance if you want. We have MORE choice than you and nobody is not covered!

    Market forces are amoral. People in general want a fair system and an amoral system will leave behind those who are the greatest risks to profit.

    The most successful societies are those with elements of market and state forces acting in concert with clearly defined roles. Not cronyism (what I call socialism for the wealthy) between government and big business.

    Some regulation by government is necessary.

    No.1 economic rule. Deregulation does not competition create.

    No. 2 economic rule. Countries are not businesses.

  91. Synova Says:

    I didn’t notice if anyone adressed the infant mortality issue.

    Firstly, any report that doesn’t cover how *exactly* infant mortality is measured in each country is going to be lying to you with statistics.

    We count births and deaths differently from other countries. One example…

    “According to the World Health Organization (WHO) definition, all babies showing any signs of life, such as muscle activity, a gasp for breath or a heartbeat, should be included as a live birth. The U.S. strictly follows this definition. But many other countries do not.

    Switzerland, for instance, doesn’t count the deaths of babies shorter than 30 cm, because they are not counted as live births, according to Nicholas Eberstadt, Ph.D., Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute and formerly a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard University Center for Population and Developmental Studies. So, comparing the 1998 infant mortality rates for Switzerland and the U.S., 4.8 and 7.2 per 1,000 births, respectively, is comparing apples and oranges.”

    That’s one example.

    So… lets compare infant mortality why don’t we.

  92. Sl0re Says:

    confudeforeigner said…

    “Re health insurance. The cost of your monthly payments is irrelevant when 40 to 50 million people don’t have it. With a national health care system everyone contributes via taxation and everyone benefits. People who can afford private care can still get it. What’s the problem? “

    Setting aside the 40-50 million figure is a distortion… No problem… I support universal healthcare coverage… via market mechanisms. The state can purchase private insurance for those who cannot afford it imo… at my / the public’s expense. I know that in many other countries the US system is attacked relentlessly to show you how great theirs are (i.e., stifle dissent / build consensus… very straussian no?) but few people leave the US for healthcare treatment. Anecdotally, I’ve never known anyone to go wanting for healthcare service (i.e., ever wait for anything other than organs… which is not a market driven process.. the surgeon is available, within hours, if you can find the organ)… Our system is one of the worlds best. Those [US citizens] with the worst health care tend to be in HMO plans… those that structurally most closely resemble the socialized healthcare systems of other western countries… One (i.e., the HMO system/s) that had to have special legislative protection (i.e., exemptions) provided in order to be legally viable (re: without which they would have been sued out of existence by customers for their poor care)…

    I think the evidence points to efficiencies to be gained from keeping market mechanisms. If you listen to some sources, of course, it is just corporatism and [neocon] conspiracies… I say it is projection from those sources…. By and large, the power of nightmares crowd/s, the ‘leftwing’ Euro critics, and those that attack the ‘neo conservatives’ are projecting. They use the US, and [Jewish] ‘neo cons’, to do the very things they accuse them of. Use fear, enemies, et cetera… to build consensus… in this case in favor of statism…

  93. confusedforeigner Says:

    jason,

    Nobody is saying that any system is perfect. There are many problems with health systems yes, but not in the conception.

    The Australian model was the absolute best in the world until the Howard govt neocons started tinkering with it, and in the UK, the NHS was fine until that BSD riddled cow Thatcher got her destructive nincompoops involved.

    The fact is, I’d rather be sick in Oz or the UK than in the US.

    The fact that Canadians travel to the US for elective treatment isn’t an argument for your system. Kiwis and wealthy Asians go to Australia for treatment as well. It is an indication of the quality of paid doctors and facilities. That is more down to the money on offer via a wealthy population.

    The data speaks for itself. All countries with socialized medicine have better cross-population outcomes than those without.

    Survey after survey suggests that people want better systems and are prepared to forgo tax cuts for them. That is a huge vote of confidence.

  94. Sl0re Says:

    Charlemagne said…

    “You have convinced yourself that socialized health care does not work, period. Because this is a theological belief for you, you will refuse to look at any and all data that contradicts your theological belief”

    No, I can think critically and find all the logic errors in the arguments presented…

    The US is a diverse country… Genetically, diet, et cetera. It is hard to ‘average’ it. Heck, my best friend’s family hails to a village in Russia where most everyone lives to 90 (including his family here)… regardless of smoking (yes) or drinking (yes) or [poor] diet. My line (Hungarian) dies in their early 60s (also regardless of [good] diet, [lack of] drinking, or [lack of] smoking… It’s a diverse place. Your averages are not scientific and/or apples to apples. But, there will be no convincing you.

  95. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sl0re said…

    Exactly. You don’t know where the center is ergo you are on the fringe of either the left or right…

    10:42 PM, June 28, 2006

    Well, when I look around me, I can see people way to my left and way to my right. I can’t see too many to the right of your faction, if any. Ymar, Wasp, Sally, Goesh are violent right wing militarist extremists who propose entirely undemocratic solutions in the furtherance of their ‘policies’. Hmmmm. And you think you are a centrist. And you think that any policy which borrows from social democracy is ideologically dangerous.

    Help me out here.

    Re health insurance. The cost of your monthly payments is irrelevant when 40 to 50 million people don’t have it. With a national health care system everyone contributes via taxation and everyone benefits. People who can afford private care can still get it. What’s the problem?

  96. Jason H. Bowden Says:

    Charle, confude–

    My position is principled. I do not considere that a bad thing, since it is backed up by mountains of evidence.

    I explained the problems of socialized medicine. The evidence is out there if you’re willing to look. If I supply the evidence here, it will be dismissed as a capitalist or a right wing source, so it is important to understand the principles of each theory and the predictions they make.

    A lot of the problems socialist systems have are predicted by the classical model– the rationing, the runaway costs for the government, the lack of innovation, and the increased costs of not using the government system. Furthermore, if the socialist model is correct, health care access should be progressively getting better in countries with socialized medicine, but it is progressively getting worse in these respects.

    I don’t find the correlation between socialism and life-expectancy convincing. In the United States, there are cultural aspects that make people unhealthy, especially food and exercise. But when it comes to access to technology, for example, the United States is clearly superior. Here is a comparison between the American and the Canadian system leftists here in the United States worship so frequently.

  97. Sl0re Says:

    confudeforeigner said…

    “The fact that HMOs rarely bankrupt people is obfuscation on your part and doesn’t change my original statement. “Rarely”, is a very unspecific term anyway. It does happen, and generally to elderly asset rich, cash flow poor people. “

    Actually it is not. Rarely means your picking the worst examples possible to try to make your point. I.e., not a fair representation.

    It’s why I mentioned hard cases making bad law. If I picked the rare cases of institutional / structurally caused horrors about something in your preferred system you’d reject them as bad policy-making material too. I can find such examples from any country with socialized medicine…

    The bottom line, we live next to a country with ‘free’ socialized medicine. Their citizens come here for treatment (i.e., vote with their feet) and not vice versa.

  98. Sl0re Says:

    sven86 said…

    “The actual number is 45 million people in 2004, that’s the most recent data that I could find, also that the percentage rose from 15.2% in 2002 to 15.6% in 2003 to 15.7% in 2004”

    Yes, the actual number with the flawed methodology I already explained…

    ” When you have to add in other factors like food, housing, taxes, etc, something has to give. I know quite a few people who aren’t poor enough for medicare but aren’t rich enough to affort health care.”

    Ever live in Europe? Our cost of living is lower too. The whole point is to be responsible and to purchase insurance before you develop health problems. It’s like $50 a month for a 20 something… $59 in your 30s…

    ”On my 2 cents on Islamist totalitarianism. I’m not for Islamic totalitarianism but I’m not for corporate totalitarianism either. In both cases democracy won’t exist.”

    I’ve read that a few times before from both both the far right and left…

    ”Right now with the COPE act which pretty much ends Net Neutrality, the fact that there are people in congress who oppose something trivial like flag burning, and the Patriot Act 1 & 2, it makes me wonder if we are heading to totalitarianism. I hope not. “

    Fascism descending indeed…

  99. Sl0re Says:

    At 3:38 AM, June 28, 2006, confudeforeigner said…
    Sl0re said…
    confudeforeigner said…

    “You are descibing the Bush Cheney republican party. Hmmm.”

    Extremists, whether left or right, often regard the center as fascist.

    1:20 AM, June 28, 2006

    “So, the neocons are centrists? I think not.”

    Exactly. You don’t know where the center is ergo you are on the fringe of either the left or right…

  100. Charlemagne Says:

    Ariel wrote:

    And what do they specifically attribute it [the US's second-worst position within the developed world with regard to infant mortality] to?

    CNN doesn’t attribute it to anything, just reports it.

    However, the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) offers an explanation. They say:

    “Many industrialized countries offer free health care to all pregnant women and young children. In the United States, by contrast, many women don’t get prenatal care and more than 11 percent of all children do not even have health insurance, let alone free health care.”

    Citations: http://www.progressive.org/media_mpminer051706
    http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/parenting/05/08/mothers.index/

  101. Ariel Says:

    Charles,

    And what do they specifically attribute it to?

  102. Ymarsakar Says:

    People can trust Charles’ and CNN’s interpretation of the facts, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

  103. Charlemagne Says:

    Ariel wrote:

    > Nowhere did anyone site diet and
    > obesity, a number one problem in
    > the US v the rest of the West,
    > as well as automotive and violent
    > deaths.

    Ariel makes a good point here, definitely. Differences in life expectancy can’t be entirely attributed to the health care system on account of varying rates of homicides and car accident deaths in different countries. Canada has much less violent crime and homicides per capita than in the USA. Quite true.

    Let us take a look, then, at infant mortality, which is a better indicator of the health care system in a country (as infants don’t drive cars and are usually not involved in violent shootouts, things that might skew the statistics for adults).

    CNN.com reports:

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    (CNN) — [T]he United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world, according to a new report.

    American babies are three times more likely to die in their first month as children born in Japan, and newborn mortality is 2.5 times higher in the United States than in Finland, Iceland or Norway, Save the Children researchers found.

    [..]

    Only Latvia, with six deaths per 1,000 live births, has a higher death rate for newborns than the United States, which is tied near the bottom of industrialized nations with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia with five deaths per 1,000 births.

    Source: CNN.com,
    http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/parenting/05/08/mothers.index/

  104. Ymarsakar Says:

    You people actually believe Ymar is reading your stuff? Man he just shipped it to me, and I (Sakar) sees no evil, hears no evil, and speaks no evil baby.

    I don’t know what you guys wrote or said or heard or have fjorded out here. It’s called compartamentalization. Drastic, but effective.

  105. confusedforeigner Says:

    Unfair perhaps, they did show those nasty Grenadines who was boss.

  106. neoneoconned Says:

    His country hasn’t been on the winning side of a war for 60 years but they are unbeatable. sounds a bit harsh…..which wars have they lost?

    …apart from the one on their waistlines

  107. confusedforeigner Says:

    Nncd,

    Y feels that he is going to defend the constitution by limiting free speech and gaoling/killing political opposition to his rightwingnut faction.

    His country hasn’t been on the winning side of a war for 60 years but they are unbeatable.

    Wasp demonstrates the perfection of the US system by admission that democracy is breaking down to the point where armed militias are planning to take the congress hostage, and defends his countries purity of purpose by pointing out police and political corruption as the cause of military intervention in a major US city.

    Welcome to the world of the centrist pragmatist.

    The crack must be good over there.

  108. neoneoconned Says:

    its called drug abuse yrdwnkr….what on earth are you on about?

  109. Ymarsakar Says:

    Islamic totalitarianism, to Charles market totalitarianism, to the superiority of socialism vs totalitarianism, to back to what is real totalitarianism.

    It’s called setting the terrain for the battle.

  110. Ariel Says:

    Steve,

    I’m not going to argue the WHO but I would point you to the “Canadian and American health care systems compared” to give you an idea that the simplistic analysis that has gone on here has really been a “nyaa, nyaa we are better” than a realistic look at the strengths and weakness of the systems as well as the data. It explains how in one case, Canada v. US, the per capita expenditure data can be skewed by lack of awareness of a multiplicity of factors.

    A few examples: where CT scanners were sited as being fewer in the US, a metric for diagnostic care, MRIs in the US are 30 to 50% higher in number than other western countries and seem to be the currently prefered method. Nowhere did anyone site diet and obesity, a number one problem in the US v the rest of the West, as well as automotive and violent deaths. Also, the 45-47 million uninsured, if you look deeper is considered an unreliable number, also no mention of the use of Emergency Room care by the uninsured.

    The socialized systems have shortages as shown by the waiting periods, or the denial of certain procedures by age group. The free market system has a problem of allocation of services, and over allocation of capital (why I could have an MRI in 2 days had I wanted it that soon for a monor rotator cuff issue).

    Eventually, both systems are going to be stressed by the inherent flaws and by demographics. Look at current European, Canadian, and Australian birth rates and what that will mean to socialized systems within 2 generations. We’ll talk then.

    Finally, this is so far off the original topic. Amazing how “conversations” can go so far a field.

  111. neoneoconned Says:

    yeah well steve what you have to remember is that neo likes some extremists but not others….depends if she agrees with them or not.

    if you wanna laugh read “yrmar” and “wasp”….seriously deranged friends of neo

  112. Steve Says:

    Neo-con wrote:

    “Politically correct thinking dictates that we respect all religions. When Islamist totalitarianism is described as the enemy, many have a kneejerk response that such thinking as anti-Moslem or racist in some way. But it is not. Make no mistake about it. The war the Islamist totalitarians have decreed is every bit as much against the everyday, garden-variety Moslem as it is against all the rest of us.”

    That, unfortunately, is not the problem. The problem is that these ‘garden-variety Moselms)suffer more than anybody else in this war against ‘the enemey’. Ask the Muslims in the middle east whether they think this is a war against Islamic extremism – especially the one’s in Iraq and the occupied territories….

    The real war, regarding the issue of how to fight against extremism of all kinds – Jewish, nationalistic, Christian etc – is being fought right here in the West- the ideological war; the war for truth and justice and the values we claim to uphold….

  113. Steve Says:

    “The overall United States health care performance is ranked 37th by the World Health Organization (WHO), far below the average of developed nations.[2] Health level in the United States is ranked 72nd in the world by WHO,[3] worse than China and comparable to Iraq.”

    -from Wilkopedia,online…

  114. confusedforeigner Says:

    Mary…

    * pacifism will bring peace

    * military strength=fascism

    * nationalism=fascism

    * state regulated economic equality=security and happiness

    * tolerance of crime reduces crime

    * ..and, of course, the idea that capitalism leads to oppression and failure.

    There is no state that has this philosophy. You are fantasizing again with regard to Europe.

    NATO was as much about US defence as European defence. Germany’s military capability was/is limited by internal and international law. As a state that practised military expansionism and came to terms with the consequences, they may be able to tell you militarists a thing or two.

    The Hirsi Ali reference is irrelevant nutty extremist bs. The case in itself demonstrates the hypocrisy of her defender neocons.

  115. confusedforeigner Says:

    At 10:16 AM, June 28, 2006, Jason H. Bowden said…
    Many on the left refuse to acknowledge that there is a cost to everything. They deny that we make economic choices, a very theological belief indeed.

    Sure, we can have free government health care. But there is a cost.

    One, the runaway price tag for the taxpayer. When we give stuff away for free, there is always runaway demand.

    Two, increased prices for everyone else. Increased demand will raise tuition, insurance premiums, and wherever the government gets involved.

    Three, socialism inhibits innovation. Less competition means less development of new treatments which only the rich can initially purchase before economies of scale are developed.

    Four, what the government pays for, the government controls. This means rationing– without markets, the government will have to decide what’s best for individuals.

    Socialism is the *cause* of these problems, not the cure. And socialist programs are like economic black holes, because they suck up more and more resources, raise the prices for everyone else making more people dependent upon the system, and the cycle continues.

    That’s the tradeoff one has to accept to get everyone health care coverage. The irony is that health care will be easier for everyone to obtain it if the government would just butt out.

    Those insisting on applying what the Marxists, or the “third way” of the National Socialists advocated to today’s economy are definitely theological in the sense that they maintain their beliefs in the face of all evidence confirming what classical economics implies.

    Excuse me but who is being ‘theological’ here? All these broad brush statements without any specific evidence sounds like an ideological position.

    Your theoretical assumptions on health care can be easily dispelled if you open your eyes and look around the western world.

    Like all amateur supply side driven economics pundits you are only looking at a very small part of the equasion.

    There are aspects to ‘socialism’ that make a lot of sense when you look at outcomes and consider programmes on a cost cost/benefit basis.

    Of course, that requires long term thinking and acknowledgement of a broad societal benefit as being a worthwhile goal.

    Not the neocons’ long suit.

  116. Ymarsakar Says:

    Germany’s bureacracy actually has some redeeming qualities. Simply because the people who run them, place such importance on timeliness and punctuality, part of the German culture of Alles in Ordnung, Order and Efficiency.

    Change the people that run the bureacracy, and the efficiency drops.

  117. Senescent Wasp Says:

    When you’ve only got a hammer, everything is a nail.

  118. maryatexitzero Says:

    This mindset leads to totalitarianism, the very thing you oppose.

    Charlemagne, I’m not opposed to some sort of state-aided health care program, as long as it’s based on a workable model (Germany’s works pretty well, France’s model doesn’t)

    However, calling anyone who disagrees with you ‘totalitarian’ doesn’t help your argument.

  119. Ymarsakar Says:

    When facts do not fit theological beliefs, the believers stretch the facts to fit the beliefs, rather than altering the beliefs.

    This mindset leads to totalitarianism, the very thing you oppose.

    12:50 PM, June 28, 2006

    Here we have Ymar’s interpretation of how totalitarianism is applied compared to Charles’ interpretation of totalitarianism as applied by free market forces.

    My interpretation is that while there are only one set of facts, there are many many bad and good interpretations of those facts, existing in the same plane of existence.

    Charles’ interpretation that he, and only he, has the one true set of interpretations for the one true set of facts, is indicative of the differences that we see outlined.

    And, in spite of so much spending, life expectancy in the USA ranks only 29th in the world.

    Clearly, the model is not working.

    is it a fact that the USA ranks 29th on an arbitrarily conducted computer and statistics analysis? Yes.

    Is it a fact that clearly this means the model is not working? No, that’s an interpretation.

    And people who try and make their interpretations into fact, are not called classical liberals. They’re something else.

    Charles’ position is basically that you can’t argue against his interpretation that the US is failing, why? Simply because. For you to argue against his position, that means you are “denying the facts”.

    The problem is not with the facts, the problem is with the human mind, like Charles’, that are forming the facts into supports for the positions that they believe in.

  120. Ymarsakar Says:

    Again, you’re cherry-picking details that fit your case.

    Again, ignoring the facts is called “bias”. If you got 500,000 that died in the US, to buffet your claims, go ahead.

    (Notice that I could have replied, saying that “the USA let x number of its citizens die in the hurricane Katrina”, but I would not stoop so low.

    Right, if you did do that, that’d be called debating via the evidence and the facts, which can be proven true or not. My claims can be proven true, your claims are also true, which basically means Socialist Democrat governance in France and New Orleans is the problem. Ah, but just because the facts say one thing, doesn’t mean your interpretation of them are correct. You would have thought that Katrina proved the US system wrong in this debate.

    You don’t want to provide the evidence because I am able to not only verify the truth or falsity of that evidence, but I can tell you whether your interpretation is correct or not, as well. If your interpretation rests upon a bad premise, I’ll provide an alternate, better, interpretation of the facts.

    The fact is, Ymarsakar, there’s no substitute for hard data when discussing.

    There’s no substitute for a bad miscelaneous interpretation either, except a better interpretation.

    “Those who refuse to do arithmetic are doomed to keep on talking nonsense”.

    Did they check which Base Math they were doing arithmetic on, or did your friend assume everyone was using base 10 and that anyone using base 2 arithmetic was not doing his arithmetic? Again, facts are not a substitute for bad interpretations.

    What do the figures show?

    What does Charles’ interpretations of the figures show? Bad logic, from my perspective.

    France with its socialized medicine ranks 11th in the world in life expectancy,

    You got your expectancy vs the reality of thousands dieing in France’s heatwave. Does France get hurricanes? How many died in Katrina’s hurricane? Was the Democrats in charge, in favor of socialized healthcare? All these “facts” are not in your interpretation, charles. Which makes it a bad interpretation.

    Again, here’s the life expectancy of France compared to your example of Chicago.

    1995 July 12th. to 16th. – USA, Illinois, Chicago: heat wave with unusually high maximum daily temperatures, ranging from 93 F to 104 F (33.9 C to 40.0 C). On July 13, the heat index* peaked at 119 F (48.3 C) — a record high for the city. Deaths classified as heat-related by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office met one of the following three criteria:

    1) core body temperature of the decedent greater than or equal to 105 F (greater than or equal to 40.6 C) at the time of or immediately after death,

    2) substantial environmental or circumstantial evidence of heat as a contributor to death (e.g., decedent found in a room without air conditioning, all windows closed, and a high ambient temperature), or

    3) decedent in a decomposed condition without evidence of other cause of death and with evidence that the decedent was last seen alive during the heat wave period.
    During July 11-27, a total of 465 deaths were certified as heat-related; during July 4-10, no deaths were certified as heat-related. The number of heat-related deaths peaked 2 days after the heat index peaked. Deaths increased from 49 (July 14) to a maximum of 162 (July 15). Of the 465 decedents, 257 (55%) were male. Based on race-specific data, 229 (49%) decedents were black; 215 (46%), white; and 21 (5%), other racial/ethnic groups. Within racial categories, 128 (56%) blacks were male, and 114 (53%) whites were male. Of the 437 decedents for whom age could be determined, age ranged from 3 years to 103 years (median: 75 years, mean: 72 years); 222 (51%) were aged greater than or equal to 75 years.
    During July 13-21 (when most heat-related deaths were certified), a total of 1177 deaths occurred in Chicago — an 85% increase over the same period in 1994 (637 deaths).

    http://www.emergency-management.net/chicago_di.htm

    Your solution is to make sure people aren’t alone. Well, France agrees.

    The bulk of the victims — many of them elderly — died during the height of the heat wave, which brought suffocating temperatures of up to 104 degrees in a country where air conditioning is rare. Others apparently were greatly weakened during the peak temperatures but did not die until days later

    Remember, socialized healthcare is about providing air conditioning, and that means power, which means socialized healthcare is about the Power Infrastructure as well. And on it spreads.

    France heat wave death toll set at 14,802
    PARIS (AP) — The death toll in France from August’s blistering heat wave has reached nearly 15,000, according to a government-commissioned report released Thursday, surpassing a prior tally by more than 3,000.
    A funeral home worker in Saint-Maur-des-Fosses, southeast of Paris, prepares coffins for heat victims last month.
    AP

    Scientists at INSERM, the National Institute of Health and Medical Research, deduced the toll by determining that France had experienced 14,802 more deaths than expected for the month of August.

    The toll exceeds the prior government count of 11,435, a figure that was based only on deaths in the first two weeks of the month.

    The new estimate includes deaths from the second half of August, after the record-breaking temperatures of the first half of the month had abated.

    The bulk of the victims — many of them elderly — died during the height of the heat wave, which brought suffocating temperatures of up to 104 degrees in a country where air conditioning is rare. Others apparently were greatly weakened during the peak temperatures but did not die until days later.

    The new estimate comes a day after the French Parliament released a harshly worded report blaming the deaths on a complex health system, widespread failure among agencies and health services to coordinate efforts, and chronically insufficient care for the elderly.

    Two INSERM researchers who delivered the report were to continue their analysis of deaths to determine what the actual cause was for the spike in mortality, the Health Ministry said.

    The researchers, Denis Hemon and Eric Jougla, were also to recommend ways of improving France’s warnings system to better manage such heat-related crises in the future.

    The heat wave swept across much of Europe, but the death toll was far higher in France than in any other country.

    Health Minister Jean-Francois Mattei has ordered a separate special study this month to look into a possible link with vacation schedules after doctors strongly denied allegations their absence put the elderly in danger. The heat wave hit during the August vacation period, when doctors, hospital staff and many others take leave. The results of that study are expected in November.

    The role of vacations is a touchy subject. The National General Practitioners Union says that only about 20% of general practitioners were away during the heat wave.

    Other European countries hit by the heat have been slower than France to come out with death tolls, but it’s clear they also suffered thousands of deaths.

    Environmental experts warn that because of climate change, such heat waves are expected to increase in number in coming years, meaning Europe — a continent that historically has enjoyed a temperate climate — will have to make adjustments.
    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/2003-09-25-france-heat_x.htm
    Charles likes to point to the 700+ deaths in Chicago and say “let’s do it France’s way”. I doubt 10,000 is a particularly good reason for me to do it France’s way

    Heh,

    • As many as half the deaths were at nursing homes, which were short-staffed because many aides and doctors were on vacation and were overcrowded because many families had checked in elderly relatives and also headed off to beaches and mountains. During August, much of the nation goes on vacation, and it is common for elderly relatives to be left at nursing homes. Most nursing homes and hospitals lack air conditioning because of health laws. French authorities have long believed air-conditioning systems do more harm, by spreading germs, than good.
    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/2003-08-26-france-death_x.htm
    Ja, let’s do it France’s way, nobody will be left in their homes like Chicago elderly were. Let’s just put them in a concentration camp called an elderly home, have everyone go on vacation, and watch the deaths skyrocket. Not particularly smart.

    Charles interpretation that “France’s care” is superior to “Chicago’s 1995 free market care” is um…. a bad interpretation, to say the least. Even assuming Charles got Chicago’s “care” rightly labeled as “free market”. I doubt that given Chicago’s political machine.

    I got a belly-laugh out of that remark, but it is quite thought-provoking, actually, that they consider facts a waste when facts interfere with their pet beliefs.

    Again, I’ve demonstrated the hardcore ignorancy and willfull blindness of people like you, Charles, when it comes to making bad interpretations of the facts and trying to pass off this divinely inspired creation of yours as if it was something reasonable. The Chicago vs France heat waves and the Katrina vs France heatwaves Charles has ridiculously attempted to fabricate as evidence for his cause, is just the tip of the iceberg. Until Charles titanic starts sinking anyways.

    The totalitarian belief that there is one, and only one true, interpretation upon one set of facts, is the example of an extremely closed minded mental flexibility.

  121. Charlemagne Says:

    Jason H. Bowden wrote:

    > Sure, we can have free government
    > health care. But there is a cost.

    > One, the runaway price tag for the
    > taxpayer. When we give stuff away for
    > free, there is always runaway demand.

    You didn’t read what I posted. In the US, money spent per capita on health care actually amounts to the highest in the world, more than in the countries with socialized health care.

    You don’t have to take my word for it.
    In their paper “Health Spending in the United States and the Rest of the Industrialized World” (published in the journal Health Affairs, July/August 2005), Gerald F. Anderson, Peter S. Hussey, Bianca K. Frogner, and Hugh R. Waters of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, report that, in 2002, in the USA $5,267 per capita was spent on health care — 53 percent more than in Switzerland, the next-highest-spending country.

    You can verify this information at the following website:

    http://www.cmwf.org/Publications/Publications_show.htm?doc_id=283969

    Thus, runaway cost increase is occurring the USA much more than in other countries.

    And, in spite of so much spending, life expectancy in the USA ranks only 29th in the world.

    Clearly, the model is not working.

    However, I realize that no data I post is ever going to convince you. Let me tell you why.

    You have convinced yourself that socialized health care does not work, period. Because this is a theological belief for you, you will refuse to look at any and all data that contradicts your theological belief, or try to find some way to create an interpretation of reality that fits your theological belief that market-driven health care is superior to socialized health care. Such is the nature of theological beliefs.

    When facts do not fit theological beliefs, the believers stretch the facts to fit the beliefs, rather than altering the beliefs.

    This mindset leads to totalitarianism, the very thing you oppose.

  122. maryatexitzero Says:

    So……”That means socialism is wrong too”……is wrong, outdated and simplistic naivety. Many people don’t want your version of democracy or capitalism. That is niether socialism or totalitarianism, it is just a differing system of priorities and values.

    Some risk-averse people don’t want our version of democracy or capitalism, but they have, for decades, demanded that our military, fueled by our evil capitalist dollars, manned by our evil capitalist troops – protect them from Soviets, North Koreans, the Chinese and various other bad guys. If it wasn’t for American military might, would European ‘social democracies’ have survived the Cold War? Would South Korea be a viable state? No. Would Japan and Taiwan have survived? No.

    Do we get any thanks for it? No.

    Most of the ‘social democracies’ out there (other than Britain, Australia and maybe France..) are weak states that aren’t capable of defending themselves. They could if they tried, but they don’t try. They just expect the UN, with US help, of course, to defend them. When their politicians, like Hirsi Ali, are threatened by Islamist states or local Islamist paramilitaries, these states are incapable of providing real protection. States that can’t defend themselves are not really viable states. They’re like, protectorates or something.

    Many disproven theories of socialism have created these non-viable states. Those failed states are based on bad philosophies, like:

    * pacifism will bring peace

    * military strength=fascism

    * nationalism=fascism

    * state regulated economic equality=security and happiness

    * tolerance of crime reduces crime

    * ..and, of course, the idea that capitalism leads to oppression and failure.

    These bad philosophies have been proven wrong many times, but you still believe them. That’s “simplistic naivety”.

    Exreme ends of either don’t/won’t achieve that and they are undemocratic. Neoconservatism will bankrupt you before you think.

    I’m not a neo-con. I don’t agree with the rationale for the Iraq war, war shouldn’t be used as a means to ‘reform’ anyone. We should use war to defend ourselves and to win victory over our enemies.

    I don’t think America should take responsibility for protecting the world. Neither should the UN. ‘Social democracies’ need to grow up and learn to take care of their own problems. They can’t do that until they abandon their bad philosophies.

  123. Weary G Says:

    Many on the left refuse to acknowledge that there is a cost to everything. They deny that we make economic choices, a very theological belief indeed.

    Excellent point, and timely.

    Those insisting on applying what the Marxists, or the “third way” of the National Socialists advocated to today’s economy are definitely theological in the sense that they maintain their beliefs in the face of all evidence confirming what classical economics implies.

    They are theological along a great many more lines than that, as we’ve seen. Your point in regards to their lack of understanding, or caring, about tradeoffs can be applied to a great many things. Take this from Belmont Club:

    “There would be no problem with the NYT’s leaks, or acceding to demands that every enemy combatant be provided with the full panoply of procedural protections, requiring that captured terrorists only be asked their name, rank and serial number — if they have any of those — and insisting that gentlemen don’t read other people’s mail for so long as one was willing to pay the price. The problem is that many of the very same persons who want to restrict society’s ability to make war also want casualty free wars, no collateral damage to enemy targets and a guarantee of safety not only to the population of the US and Allied Countries, but even to civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is not principled behavior. It is infantile behavior.

    http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/2006/06/childhoods-end.html

    It is quite easy to declare support for a better world, the environment, peace, human rights, economic prosperity for the impoverished, etc. It is much harder to accept both the costs necessary to bring these about, and the limitations on all of them that human existence entails. Indeed, some of them may be contradictory.

    Want human rights? You may need to fight to secure them, either for yourself or someone else.

    Want to spread economic prosperity? Certain nations may need to cut down some trees to allow that to happen. Oh, and, total economic equality would require equal output from everyone. Good luck with that.

    Its okay to dream of a better world. Just acknowledge the reality you live in.

  124. Jason H. Bowden Says:

    Many on the left refuse to acknowledge that there is a cost to everything. They deny that we make economic choices, a very theological belief indeed.

    Sure, we can have free government health care. But there is a cost.

    One, the runaway price tag for the taxpayer. When we give stuff away for free, there is always runaway demand.

    Two, increased prices for everyone else. Increased demand will raise tuition, insurance premiums, and wherever the government gets involved.

    Three, socialism inhibits innovation. Less competition means less development of new treatments which only the rich can initially purchase before economies of scale are developed.

    Four, what the government pays for, the government controls. This means rationing– without markets, the government will have to decide what’s best for individuals.

    Socialism is the *cause* of these problems, not the cure. And socialist programs are like economic black holes, because they suck up more and more resources, raise the prices for everyone else making more people dependent upon the system, and the cycle continues.

    That’s the tradeoff one has to accept to get everyone health care coverage. The irony is that health care will be easier for everyone to obtain it if the government would just butt out.

    Those insisting on applying what the Marxists, or the “third way” of the National Socialists advocated to today’s economy are definitely theological in the sense that they maintain their beliefs in the face of all evidence confirming what classical economics implies.

  125. Senescent Wasp Says:

    At the end of the day, the puppy pack can yap and nip at pants cuffs, but there is only one world super power.

    The US will do as it pleases, when it pleases and were it pleases, subject only to the resources available to achieve its national goals and political will.

    And, as regards the oppostion party, they are busily engaged in chewing off its own hindquarters.

    The moving finger writes, and, having writ,
    Moves on: not all thy piety nor wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
    nor all thy tears wash out a word of it

  126. sven86 Says:

    “Tens of millions of Americans? Relatively few citizens are not either insured or covered by a government program that is retroactively available (i.e., you can sign up after you become ill if your eligible). Our domestic left chooses to inflate the numbers by including illegals and those eligible for government programs. Foreign critics choose to use their flawed numbers for their own purposes….”

    The actual number is 45 million people in 2004, that’s the most recent data that I could find, also that the percentage rose from 15.2% in 2002 to 15.6% in 2003 to 15.7% in 2004
    http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=\Nation\archive\200408\NAT20040827a.html

    “I see. No service is preferable to paying a high cost for service right now.. got it… ”

    When you have to add in other factors like food, housing, taxes, etc, something has to give. I know quite a few people who aren’t poor enough for medicare but aren’t rich enough to affort health care.

    On my 2 cents on Islamist totalitarianism. I’m not for Islamic totalitarianism but I’m not for corporate totalitarianism either. In both cases democracy won’t exist.

    Right now with the COPE act which pretty much ends Net Neutrality, the fact that there are people in congress who oppose something trivial like flag burning, and the Patriot Act 1 & 2, it makes me wonder if we are heading to totalitarianism. I hope not.

  127. confusedforeigner Says:

    Charlemagne said….

    Their theological belief in the free market is one such example

    Even that is a misnomer. The term “Free market” in the US lexicon is anything but a free market. It is a slogan covering the real goal.

    The battle over intellectual property ‘rights’ will be the making or breaking of genuine freedom and democracy IMO.

    I am a free trader but I am 100% against the US/EU’s plans for the WTO. Pause is needed while the argument runs its course.

    On Murtha. I’m sure old Beelzeb….sorry Dick Cheney has a dossier compiled and will soon be releasing Ymar and the sick insect to clean up the congressman’s act (so to speak). Sally will write a damning psychological profile in her school journal and Obersturmfiuehrer Ariel will prove to one and all that it can’t be termed ‘murder’ as that would be an overused and unrabbinical term (with direct quotes from the oh-so-mainstream and unbiased Michelle Malkin’s website as scholarly evidence).

    Ymar could be the new Lee Harvey Oswald. Who’d be the new Jack Ruby d’yareckon?

    :-)

    BTW, don’t feed me, I’m a troll.

  128. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sl0re said…
    confudeforeigner said…

    Tens of millions of Americans? Relatively few citizens are not either insured or covered by a government program that is retroactively available (i.e., you can sign up after you become ill if your eligible). Our domestic left chooses to inflate the numbers by including illegals and those eligible for government programs. Foreign critics choose to use their flawed numbers for their own purposes….

    http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/005647.html

    47,000,000 would qualify as ‘tens of millions’ in any rational mind.

    Sl0re again…..

    I see. No service is preferable to paying a high cost for service right now.. got it… Also, this is a common law country with bankruptcy laws that allow you to protect your assets under certain conditions. It is not common for people to loose their homes over illness. It is the exception. Hard cases make bad law. We should not destroy our health system in the name of equality. Hospitals, like other creditors, would rather negotiate a payment plan than loose everything by pushing someone to declare bankruptcy (which they will if the debtor files for the right type)…

    Being on a waiting list isn’t no service. Having no insurance and without the liquid assets to pay for overpriced healthcare is ‘no service. Right?

    The fact that HMOs rarely bankrupt people is obfuscation on your part and doesn’t change my original statement. “Rarely”, is a very unspecific term anyway. It does happen, and generally to elderly asset rich, cash flow poor people.

  129. Charlemagne Says:

    confudeforeigner wrote:

    After 30 odd years of looking at these things I think the best systems are a mixture of both. Equal opportunity should be the goal IMO.

    Exreme ends of either don’t/won’t achieve that and they are undemocratic. Neoconservatism will bankrupt you before you think.

    That’s precisely the problem with (most of) the neocon crowd, confudeforeigner. They are extremists. They have some theological beliefs, and, just like religious extremists, they don’t let facts stand in the way of their beliefs.

    Their theological belief in the free market is one such example. Did you notice that Ymarsakar wrote “thers can waste energy on the facts…”. I got a belly-laugh out of that remark, but it is quite thought-provoking, actually, that they consider facts a waste when facts interfere with their pet beliefs.

    We can see the disastrous consequences of this in their theological belief (in spite of all the facts then available) that, in Iraq, the US soldiers would be greeted as liberators. We can also see the disastrous consequences of their theological belief in their pet theories, in the willingness of some of them to believe in the discredited WMD hypothesis so thoroughly.

    Religious totalitarians of any kind, whether their religion is “holy war” or “holy free market”, are highly dangerous.

    This is why Rep. John Murtha said a couple of days ago that the US (which is led by neocons currently) poses a top threat to world peace.

    Murtha Says US Poses Top Threat to World Peace

    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel

    Sunday 25 June 2006

    Miami – American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than
    nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said to
    an audience of more than 200 in North Miami Saturday afternoon.

  130. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sl0re said…
    confudeforeigner said…

    “You are descibing the Bush Cheney republican party. Hmmm.”

    Extremists, whether left or right, often regard the center as fascist.

    1:20 AM, June 28, 2006

    So, the neocons are centrists? I think not.

    Is anyone to the right of you? No.

  131. Charlemagne Says:

    Ymarsakar wrote:

    Dude, France let 10,000 something French citizens die in the heat wave. I’m pretty sure their higher “life expectancy” really really calmed down those dehydrating.

    Again, you’re cherry-picking details that fit your case. (Notice that I could have replied, saying that “the USA let x number of its citizens die in the hurricane Katrina”, but I would not stoop so low.)

    The fact is, Ymarsakar, there’s no substitute for hard data when discussing. As a friend of mine once said, “Those who refuse to do arithmetic are doomed to keep on talking nonsense”. What do the figures show? Well, according to the CIA World Factbook data (no less), France with its socialized medicine ranks 11th in the world in life expectancy, while the USA, with its oh-so-vaunted free-market in health care, ranks 29th. And France achieves this result even though it spends only a small fraction of the cost per capita on health care as the US does. (So much for the wonders of the so-called “free market in health care”!) You can verify this for yourself at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

    Until a few years ago, it used to be easy for propagandists to push their pet theories because facts and figures were not widely available and were difficult to obtain. With the Internet, fortunately, there is no longer any excuse for not looking up the data, which gives the lie to propaganda.

    And, oh, by the way, I hope you haven’t forgotten about the 1995 heat wave in Chicago. Take a look at the book “Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago” by Eric Klinenberg (publisher: Univ of Chicago Press).

    From the review of the book in American Prospect, available online at:

    http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewPrint&articleId=6589 :

    “Under centrist Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago has been the exemplar of the fiscally responsible, business-friendly new metropolis. Long before Bill Clinton declared big government dead, Daley was reinventing city government and outsourcing thousands of municipal jobs. Throughout the 1990s, Daley worked tirelessly to promote private investment, using an array of tax breaks and subsidies to help build dozens of new hotels, apartment buildings and office towers.

    “As in other cities, Chicago progressives criticized this business-driven development, questioning how broadly its benefits would be shared. But their criticism was badly out of step with the times. If on the federal level government was stepping aside to let companies such as Enron and WorldCom work their magic, the popular thinking ran, then clearly municipal governments, too, should be doing everything possible to unleash the energies of the private sector.

    “Of course, in the post-Enron era, this laissez-faire argument carries a little less weight. Seeing what the business revolution of the 1990s has wrought, one can’t help but wonder whether the 1990s urban renaissance was also less robust than advertised. Those serious about gauging the current health of America’s cities should look at two new books about Chicago, Heat Wave and Garbage Wars. They offer unique and powerful evidence that America’s brave new cities may turn out to be just as fragile as our once-vaunted new economy.

    “For one terrible week in July 1995, daytime temperatures in Chicago soared above 100 degrees; even at night the mercury barely dipped below that. Public-health officials knew the prolonged heat would be deadly, especially for frail seniors, but they were stunned by the final death toll. Altogether, the heat wave killed more than 700 Chicagoans, more than double the number who died in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. As New York University sociologist Eric Klinenberg writes in Heat Wave, his remarkable book about the tragedy, “The proportional death toll … in Chicago has no equal in the record of U.S. heat disasters.”

    “Ever since the heat wave, epidemiologists have struggled — and failed — to explain why so many people died. Epidemiological models derived from previous heat waves show that the conditions in Chicago, though severe, should never have killed so many. Because medical and meteorological factors alone haven’t been able to explain the scope of the disaster, Klinenberg has conducted a “social autopsy” to see whether problems in the city’s “social, political and institutional organs” can.

    “Klinenberg’s immediate aim is to explain the heat wave’s unprecedented death toll, and he does so with chilling precision. But his ultimate achievement is far more significant. In exploring what made Chicago so vulnerable to disaster in 1995, Klinenberg provides a riveting account of the changes that reshaped urban America during the 1990s and, indeed, throughout the postwar era.

    “The autopsy begins, appropriately enough, with a close look at the heat wave’s victims. Three-quarters were over 65 years old, and they were disproportionately poor and black. Hundreds of them died alone in shabby apartments and rented rooms, without comfort from family, friends or social workers. And though their fate was extreme, it is also the case that more and more Americans find themselves alone at the end of their lives. The number of all Americans living alone more than doubled between 1970 and 1996, and 40 percent of the total are 65 or older. Given these trends, the need for social services, especially for the elderly, seems greater than ever. And yet in the years before the 1995 heat wave, social services for Chicago seniors were under assault.

    “From 1991 to 1995, the Daley administration cut back or outsourced nearly 30 percent of the permanent positions in the city’s health, human-services and housing agencies. The Department on Aging was particularly aggressive in contracting out work to private agencies. Free-market theorists might see this as an unalloyed good, but Klinenberg points out the downside: “The competitive market for gaining city contracts provides perverse incentives for agencies to underestimate the costs of services and overestimate their capacity to provide them.”

    The market certainly worked its magic in Chicago. As part of his fieldwork for Heat Wave, Klinenberg shadowed caseworkers for the elderly who were supposed to visit their clients at least twice a year. Most admitted that they were getting to clients “once annually at best.” Research like this makes Klinenberg’s book a powerful corrective to David Osborne and Ted Gaebler’s Reinventing Government, that urtext of 1990s public policy that urged state-sector bureaucrats to embrace the “entrepreneurial spirit.” It may be all right to insist on ruthless efficiency from the Department of Motor Vehicles, but demanding it from social-service agencies poses grave risks.

    Those risks would become particularly evident when the heat wave hit Chicago on Thursday, July 13, 1995. By Saturday, hundreds of corpses had piled up at the county morgue and the chief medical examiner warned that hundreds more people could die. But the fire department didn’t put extra paramedics into the field until late Sunday, long after crews had been overwhelmed by the crush of heat-related calls. Klinenberg, who conducted extensive interviews with emergency workers, quotes a mid-level fire department official who pleaded with his superiors early in the crisis to put more ambulances on the street. He was told to “stop being so paranoid” and to manage with the people he had.

  132. Sl0re Says:

    confudeforeigner said…

    “But the people on the waiting lists in OutsidetheUSistan are the people who have no health care in the US and either mortgage their house or go without and live with considerably reduced quality of life or loss of life. That is the reality for tens of millions of americans.”

    Tens of millions of Americans? Relatively few citizens are not either insured or covered by a government program that is retroactively available (i.e., you can sign up after you become ill if your eligible). Our domestic left chooses to inflate the numbers by including illegals and those eligible for government programs. Foreign critics choose to use their flawed numbers for their own purposes….

    “Being on a waiting list is not ideal, but it certainly is preferable.”

    I see. No service is preferable to paying a high cost for service right now.. got it… Also, this is a common law country with bankruptcy laws that allow you to protect your assets under certain conditions. It is not common for people to loose their homes over illness. It is the exception. Hard cases make bad law. We should not destroy our health system in the name of equality. Hospitals, like other creditors, would rather negotiate a payment plan than loose everything by pushing someone to declare bankruptcy (which they will if the debtor files for the right type)…

    “When the coming diabetes epidemic hits, the US will rethink this IMO. The system you have is driven by corporate greed and ideology, not results.”

    The US covered dialysis treatment while countries like Britain was letting thousands die every year without treatment… From my point of view and my understanding of the word, your shaping up to be ideologue.

  133. Sl0re Says:

    confudeforeigner said…

    “You are descibing the Bush Cheney republican party. Hmmm.”

    Extremists, whether left or right, often regard the center as fascist.

  134. Steve Matson Says:

    Mozi is another possibility.
    If we dont name it correctly we wont be able to fight it. The success of the war on terror could be in the clarity of the concept.

  135. Steve Matson Says:

    Jadzi
    It’s quick and it commemerates the side they took in WW2. The term shouldnt be chosen to have any affect on the Jadzis because it wont. It shoud be chosen to shed light on our liberal underminers. To shame them and give support to the war effort.

  136. confusedforeigner Says:

    Marxism is wrong as is lassez faire capitalism. Neither works as an ideal or pure form, but one may not be better than the other.

    So……”That means socialism is wrong too”……is wrong, outdated and simplistic naivety. Many people don’t want your version of democracy or capitalism. That is niether socialism or totalitarianism, it is just a differing system of priorities and values.

    After 30 odd years of looking at these things I think the best systems are a mixture of both. Equal opportunity should be the goal IMO.

    Exreme ends of either don’t/won’t achieve that and they are undemocratic. Neoconservatism will bankrupt you before you think.

    Your stuck in a time warp as you are stuck in a class war with islam of your own imagination.

  137. maryatexitzero Says:

    Marxism is just an economic theory after all

    Yes, and it’s been proven wrong, something that communists and socialists fail to understand.

    I remember a survey back in the 80s where a huge majority thought that Marxism meant the opposite of democracy.

    Right. Back to economic theory, we’re still waiting for that mythical falling rate of profit. Kind of like waiting for Godot.

    Think Marx might have been wrong? That means socialism is wrong too.

  138. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sl0re said…
    Charlemagne said…

    Nonsense. Read between the lines, we still have no waiting list. The number of ‘beds’ is irrelevant (it is a verbal trick called misdirection to mention it and then allude to wait times). Wait times and wait lists = waits… not the number of Beds.. which equals non sequitur..

    Want to rate recovery rates for the procedures? Or which procedures are or are not available? I doubt you do….

    8:02 PM, June 27, 2006

    But the people on the waiting lists in OutsidetheUSistan are the people who have no health care in the US and either mortgage their house or go without and live with considerably reduced quality of life or loss of life. That is the reality for tens of millions of americans.

    Being on a waiting list is not ideal, but it certainly is preferable.

    When the coming diabetes epidemic hits, the US will rethink this IMO. The system you have is driven by corporate greed and ideology, not results.

    To whover said “socialism in medicine”, oh come on. It is socialised medicine.

  139. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sl0re said…
    confudeforeigner said…
    At 4:04 PM, June 27, 2006,

    “I’m pretty sure Charlemagne will leap on that statement and run with it as proof of his argument. West German economic power was a triumph of liberal social democracy of a kind that is diametrically opposed to lassez faire capitalism.”

    Probably. But that is more of an expression of German xenophobia than a coherent argument about an economic system. The German ‘social democratic’ model is a regulated free market with a social safety net… exactly the same as the US has (the US progressive movement, which many consider at least as socialist as the euro social democrats, dominated US politics long enough to make major structural changes to our system.. changes that have not been rolled back, rather expanded). You’ll never get a German to admit it but none the less…. it is the bottom line fact… That they need to try to point out differences (even if they have to be invented) is again, probably a cultural need.

    7:16 PM, June 27, 2006

    Xenophobia? The Germans? Wow.

    Actually German social democracy was nothing like your version of capitalism in most macroeconomic respects. The federal government was responsible for all infrastructure and social security.

    The changes to western economies over the past 20 years of introducing private capital to infrastructure projects and corporatising public services and governments has, in the main, decreased services and increased taxation as a percentage of GDP.

    Neoconservatism doesn’t work as an economic model except for the major holders of capital. Everyone else loses.

  140. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sl0re said…
    confudeforeigner said…

    “Eh??????? Fascism is all about economic power and materialism. Quite a lot like neoconservatism. The acquisition and furtherance of power and money by whatever means are available e.g. military expansionism.”

    All movements that allow small groups (or single individuals) to gain power devolve into that (same with international socialism). But, fascism has a doctrine and the doctrine claims to be anti-materialistic. It claims [classical] liberalism and Marxism are both materialistic philosophies and it claims to want to oppose them in order to bring forth a spiritual revolution, a more organic economic system transcending class motivated conflict (ie, liberal capitalism and Marxism), and a new man. Part of its ‘right wing-ness’ is that this type of man is reminiscent of the Euro aristocratic ideal of being above concern for loss or gain, valorous, willful, and active

    You are descibing the Bush Cheney republican party. Hmmm.

  141. Ymarsakar Says:

    Oh ya, slore’s reasoning is also why big business contributes to Democrats. Great way to get rid of the competition.

  142. Ymarsakar Says:

    One reason not to deal with oily French socialistic merchants.

  143. confusedforeigner Says:

    At 5:54 PM, June 27, 2006, maryatexitzero said…
    Which school of economics did you go to? Don’t tell me. You can quote from Adam Smith at will

    I grew up in a family of leftists and liberals who quoted from Mao’s red book and thought anyone to the right of George McGovern was a fascist warmonger pig. Yours is a familiar routine.

    Well it has clearly coloured your world view. Comparing a social democrat with a communist is just plain silly.

    Marxism is just an economic theory after all. Half the dimwits here will call a naysayer a fascist and a marxist in the same sentence.

    I remember a survey back in the 80s where a huge majority thought that Marxism meant the opposite of democracy.

  144. Sl0re Says:

    At 4:04 PM, June 27, 2006, Ymarsakar said…

    “The merchants would prefer to not only have a free market, but they’d also like to have stable currencies and a good non corrupt police force.”

    Not always. Often the business interests and class prefer the cozy regulated business and government relationships the [old or Euro style] right and left offer. Being a regulated utility or partner with the government sure beats competition… Sometimes companies go out of business with competition.….

  145. Ymarsakar Says:

    My above comment reads, funny because there should be like a **** break line between

    produce very high marks.

    As we can see, the agent

    And patience.

    They’re Islamic Jihad,

    But it still certainly says something true if you read it without the subject breaks.

  146. Ymarsakar Says:

    Paul Krugman in the New York Times. 4/11/05:

    Uh oh, charles is bringing out the heavy artillery. Better be prepared and dig in!

    Dude, France let 10,000 something French citizens die in the heat wave. I’m pretty sure their higher “life expectancy” really really calmed down those dehydrating.

    Charles can quibble over 3 something odd years in statistics, but I’ll tell ya, I’m not going to be one of those that France euthanizes nor am I going to be there in a heat wave waiting for help from the French socialized medicine.

    You can, of course, prefer to ignore the data, or claim that it’s biased, but that will be hard to do since the data is from the CIA World Factbook. See for yourself — no need to take my word for it.

    Others can waste energy on the facts, but my analysis of charles’ argument does not produce very high marks.

    As we can see, the agent provocateurs don’t care about you responding, the very fact that they know you are reading them is enough to stoke their passions. THey have infinite patience, in the knowledge that those who they harass have finite patience.

    They’re Islamic Jihad, and they’ll get their jihad.

    Revolutionaries might do well remember how often revolutions devour their own.

    Well, if they devour you, then that’s a net positive for them.

    The problem with racism-culture is because classical liberals are likely to exterminate people who really can’t reform themselves into liberal democracies or just a civilization that respects human rights and the rules of war.

  147. Ariel Says:

    Sally,

    Seems like no argument is finished, doesn’t it?
    While I’d disagree with you that there are no “races”, since that is what taxonimists do, group by “racial” characteristics, I do agree that racism=culture is a false proposition.

    The racialist propostition is that race and culture are tied, thus making culture immutable, which is why racialist concepts are so easily refuted. The interesting thing about racism=culture is that it is often used unidirectional, if I criticize the culture of “colored” people I am racist. They of course are not if they criticize European and European-derived culture. Also, if Americans make blanket statements about other cultures we are racist, yet the same kind of statement about Americans is, well you know, just the truth.

    Separate out the racialist tie, and cultures are free to be criticized and critiqued. The barbaric practice of FGM has been justified as a cultural artifact, that only a racist would criticize. I am sure suttee would be justified today in the same manner. That is part of the problem with racism=culture.

  148. Weary G Says:

    I read this today as well, and I intend to pick up the book. One quote stuck out to me:

    “Islamism appeals to that part of the human soul which has always been capable of being drawn to revolution, violence and the exaltation of the self through membership of the elect. There are aspects to Islamism which lend it the same appeal which seduced young men into the Red Guards or the Waffen SS, but there are also specific aspects to the ideology which attune it to the discontents and yearnings of young men in our time.”

    This is not an entirely Islamism related phenomenom nowadays. I think many of our “young revolutionaries” today who think they are entitled to bust up cities, start fires and spread mayhem for their “causes” are summed up well here. I think that the part regarding how they feel “exalted” by being one of the “elect” is key.

    They feel they are part of a special group, and as such are entitled to their own rules, their own logic and their own facts. Of course, all of these are so flexible as to be meaningless because the “cause” is the only thing that matters. Frequently, that cause turns out to be nothing more than perpetuating this special status for themselves.

    I think there are quite a large number of discontents who wish to justify their destructive, selfish and morally vapid behavior. They seek to cloak in some lofty cause fighting against nebulous or imagined threats rather than dealing with the very real ones.

    Doing the former is easy and fun, and entails no risk.

    Doing the latter is dangerous and hard.

    Of course, there may come a time when there is no longer a choice between the two, and ugly reality will come crashing down.

    Revolutionaries might do well remember how often revolutions devour their own.

  149. Sl0re Says:

    Charlemagne said…

    Nonsense. Read between the lines, we still have no waiting list. The number of ‘beds’ is irrelevant (it is a verbal trick called misdirection to mention it and then allude to wait times). Wait times and wait lists = waits… not the number of Beds.. which equals non sequitur..

    Want to rate recovery rates for the procedures? Or which procedures are or are not available? I doubt you do….

  150. Sally Says:

    You are racist because you make dumb arguments that all Islamic people are…(insert one of your ill informed comments at this point).

    This isn’t a reply to conned, on whom it would be lost in any case — but rather a reply to anyone (and they are many) who think along such lines:

    When you think that a belief system, or any other aspect of culture, or culture itself, is racial, you’re believing that that system or aspect is an immutable feature of the individuals it characterizes, just as “race” itself was and is supposed to be. But culture isn’t immutable — it’s learned and can be changed, both broadly and individually. And people who say or insinuate that that’s not the case are simply imposing a race-like grid of their own devising upon cultural reality — typically for reasons of political advantage. Their slur — to the extent thay believe it’s anything more than a slur — has become an ironic verbal boomerang: they are the ones who’ve made a political ideology out of a twist to an already twisted concept, and in doing so have become the real racists.

    (“Race” itself, of course, doesn’t really exist, except as ever changing gene pools. But it races do exist in the imagination not only of the fascist right, but — again with considerable irony — of the PC left as well, because for the latter it’s become the inspiration and source of their version of Original Sin.)

  151. Charlemagne Says:

    sl0re wrote:


    I won’t ignore anything. I’ll just say it is selection bias. You can pick a fact or two to support your point… but that doesn’t mean your point is a fact.

    I’m confident I can obtain better care, quicker, with fewer economic considerations than in most European states with socialized medicine

    Your points are refuted below:

    From the Commonwealth Fund website,

    The Commonwealth Fund 1 East 75th Street, New York, NY 10021 Phone: 212.606.3800 Fax: 212.606.3500 E-mail: cmwf@cmwf.org

    http://www.cmwf.org/Publications/Publications_show.htm?doc_id=283969

    “In “Health Spending in the United States and the Rest of the Industrialized World” (Health Affairs, July/August 2005), Gerald F. Anderson, Peter S. Hussey, Bianca K. Frogner, and Hugh R. Waters of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, analyze the OECD data in an effort to determine why U.S. health spending is so much greater than that of other countries.

    “Using U.S. survey data, they calculated the amount spent in the U.S. on the 15 procedures that represent the largest share of the waiting lists in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Total spending for these procedures was $21.9 billion, or only 3 percent of U.S. health spending in that year.

    “The authors also compared health spending in OECD countries with waiting lists to spending in those without lists. “Health spending in the twelve countries with waiting lists averaged $2,366 per capita,” the authors say, “while in the seven countries without waiting lists, it averaged $2,696 —- both much less than U.S. spending of $5,267 per capita.

    [..]

    “In a surprising finding, the authors discovered that, despite the lack of waiting lists, Americans do not have access to a greater supply of health care resources than people in most other OECD countries. In fact, the U.S. has fewer per capita hospital beds, physicians, nurses, and CT scanners than the OECD median.”

    [..]

    * In 2002, the United States spent $5,267 per capita on health care — 53 percent more than Switzerland, the next-highest-spending country, and 140 percent more than the median OECD country.

    * The number of hospital beds per capita in the U.S. was in the bottom quartile of OECD countries in 2002.

    Source:

    The Commonwealth Fund website,
    http://www.cmwf.org/Publications/Publications_show.htm?doc_id=283969

  152. Jason H. Bowden Says:

    Wasp–

    Establishing liberal democracy in Iraq is part of the mission. We don’t need to be in Iraq to destroy Iran’s bomb program, for instance. Infact, being in Iraq makes that more difficult since attacking Iran would likely inflame more violence against our servicemen on the ground in Iraq.

  153. Senescent Wasp Says:

    We’re in the initial stages of the Long War and the number of non state actors and the asymmetrical nature makes it hard for traditional categorizations. I’ll go with Islamo Fascist or Islamist Totalitarians or whatever.

    What is important is that we now have some space in the Middle East to begin the task of cleaning the Augean stables. Iraq will never ever resemble a liberal democracy and will always have a high level of default violence. That’s just the tribal nature.

    The first tasks, reducing the threats of the state actors has been started. And, using the bases we will gain and supporting the government in power, puppet or not, we have given ourselves some breathing space before we go about the next task.

    We have a wonderful opportunity, presented us by the predictable irrationality of the Iranian power structure to reduce that state as a threat. In it’s turn Saudi Arabia with get our attentions, but this will have to wait for a little while.

    The Saudi’s have been busily engaged in trying to find a capital refuge but have not succeeded thus we will still have a firm grip on their vitals and have nothing but their money to keep their corpse from being picked clean.

    Iraq was never about their oil. It was about getting the space to eventually deal with the orther threats in the region including the Saudi’s.

    The Saudi’s are the elephant in the living room of the world’s oil habit that nobody really wants to talk about. Take them down, along with Iran as the paymasters of the jhihad and the task becomes much more manageable.

    It’s understandable that people want to know and name the enemy and identify where he lives. But, it isn’t that easy and never will be. We are going to have to put up with a certain amount of amibiguity and having hands waved in our face as we set up to take our shots on the basket. No question, that Iraq was a three pointer from the top of the key. But the game has just started.

  154. Sl0re Says:

    confudeforeigner said…
    At 4:04 PM, June 27, 2006,

    “I’m pretty sure Charlemagne will leap on that statement and run with it as proof of his argument. West German economic power was a triumph of liberal social democracy of a kind that is diametrically opposed to lassez faire capitalism.”

    Probably. But that is more of an expression of German xenophobia than a coherent argument about an economic system. The German ‘social democratic’ model is a regulated free market with a social safety net… exactly the same as the US has (the US progressive movement, which many consider at least as socialist as the euro social democrats, dominated US politics long enough to make major structural changes to our system.. changes that have not been rolled back, rather expanded). You’ll never get a German to admit it but none the less…. it is the bottom line fact… That they need to try to point out differences (even if they have to be invented) is again, probably a cultural need.

  155. Sl0re Says:

    Jason H. Bowden said…

    “There is no such thing as market totalitarianism.”

    I agree. The term market is meant to go with free as in Free Market.

    Capitalism can be any system with money and private ownership. There can be oppressive and unfair capitalist systems but to be a free market you must have the entire classical liberal set of rules. Binding contracts, fairly negotiated, equal treatment under the law, rule of law, et cetera…

    So, I agree. Market totalitarianism (as in oppressive vs. the old meaning of holistic) is an oxymoron.

  156. Sl0re Says:

    confudeforeigner said…

    “Eh??????? Fascism is all about economic power and materialism. Quite a lot like neoconservatism. The acquisition and furtherance of power and money by whatever means are available e.g. military expansionism.”

    All movements that allow small groups (or single individuals) to gain power devolve into that (same with international socialism). But, fascism has a doctrine and the doctrine claims to be anti-materialistic. It claims [classical] liberalism and Marxism are both materialistic philosophies and it claims to want to oppose them in order to bring forth a spiritual revolution, a more organic economic system transcending class motivated conflict (ie, liberal capitalism and Marxism), and a new man. Part of its ‘right wing-ness’ is that this type of man is reminiscent of the Euro aristocratic ideal of being above concern for loss or gain, valorous, willful, and active. As a liberal I think it is crap BTW… don’t mistake my knowledge for admiration. It’s about as stupid as left wing collectivist / socialist fantasies of a new world and new man…IMO…

  157. Jason H. Bowden Says:

    There is no such thing as market totalitarianism. One can have totalitarian systems with markets (China), totalitarian systems without markets (Rhmer Rouge), free systems with markets (Japan), and free systems without markets (barter in ancient tribal Arabia).

    That being said, does it make sense to continue to push for more socialism in industries like medicine?

    Nope. More socialist health care, by increasing demand, will push costs for those not using the system through the roof. Doing so would feed a socialist black hole that consumes more and more resources, driving up costs for everyone and making more and more people dependent upon a crappy system that rations, inhibits development, and finally collapses upon itself. Like Medicare.

    This basic supply and demand. Don’t drink the Communist Kool-Aid.

  158. Sl0re Says:

    At 5:15 PM, June 27, 2006, Charlemagne said…

    I won’t ignore anything. I’ll just say it is selection bias. You can pick a fact or two to support your point… but that doesn’t mean your point is a fact.

    I’m confident I can obtain better care, quicker, with fewer economic considerations than in most European states with socialized medicine (my contract with my insurance company stipulates a maximum cap on outlays, but before it is met I can elect to have virtually any procedure a medical doctor is willing to prescribe). This has something to do with why our healthcare costs more. Again my point, it has upsides and downsides… Krugman’s point about inefficiencies is also valid.. Up until a point. It is a false cause IMO as to why the entire system is more expensive but it is a factor in its expense.

    I also point out that domestically Krugman is a widely debunked partisan hack along Coulter lines… except on the other side… I’d expect most of his arguments to have logic flaws.

  159. gcotharn Says:

    “Islatarians”(?)

    Also, I once liked this word to describe the stagnation present in the melding of Islam with tribal cultures: “Islagnation”.

    So, our dual problems = Islatarians + Islagnation!

  160. maryatexitzero Says:

    I think that’s why so many of them admire Islam which touts its anti capitalist bias right in in its scriptures.

    The suicide-bombing “insurgents” they praise are funded and inspired by the Running dogs of Saudi capitalism. Terrorism is a billion-dollar empire, and we all know Hamas is in it for the money.

    But yes, they do think Islamism is some kind of grass-roots ‘revolution’, proving that socialists are, as they have always been, the most gullible people on the planet.

  161. stumbley Says:

    Sally specifically mentioned “belief systems” as opposed to individuals. “Race” is not culture; it is genetic in nature, therefore, criticism of a culture (or religion) is not “racist”, but a critique of culture, which Sally pointed out.

    We can discuss the shortcomings of cultures apart from the individuals who make up that culture without denigrating the individuals. You seem to have no problem denigrating American culture (capitalism, materialism, etc.), yet no one calls you “racist.” That’s the difference. That’s what I meant by “reading, thinking and understanding.” Sorry if you thought it was cheesy, but, really, you missed the whole point in your haste to criticize.

  162. maryatexitzero Says:

    Which school of economics did you go to? Don’t tell me. You can quote from Adam Smith at will

    I grew up in a family of leftists and liberals who quoted from Mao’s red book and thought anyone to the right of George McGovern was a fascist warmonger pig. Yours is a familiar routine.

  163. neoneoconned Says:

    oh come on that is the crappiest comment you have ever made and i generally rate your stuff. Admit it that is cheesy and cheap

  164. stumbley Says:

    conned:

    Objectivity requires actually reading, thinking, and understanding. Something you clearly have not done in this case.

  165. neoneoconned Says:

    At 5:38 PM, June 27, 2006, stumbley said…
    “United Kingdom ranked 25th (at 78.54 years)”

    Dang! If I moved to Blighty I’d live a whole 6/10 years longer?

    not if i see you first

    (humour! – just in case you decide to visit armed like quartermaster putrescent wasp0

  166. stumbley Says:

    …okay, .69 years longer, for the nit-pickers.

  167. neoneoconned Says:

    - e.g., we can criticize Islam per se without being “anti-moslem” on a personal basis. And, in any case, it would require that we reject the spurious and frankly racist attempt to make a “race” out of culture, and thereby treat every cultural critique as “racism”.

    hmm ok then silly you are trying to define away racism.

    what differences exist between people apart from culture? You are racist because you make dumb arguments that all Islamic people are…(insert one of your ill informed comments at this point).

    But actually corrct thinking requires that we be capable of judging some belief systems as better or worse than others, based on their objective effects.

    so on what basis do you objectively do this?…seems to me on how like american culture they are.

    …….objective

    funny word that

    …subjective….hmmmm

    but you dont have to worry love because i am a “troll” and that saves you having to think

  168. stumbley Says:

    “United Kingdom ranked 25th (at 78.54 years)”

    Dang! If I moved to Blighty I’d live a whole 6/10 years longer? Pack my bags!!

    …but have you seen the teeth in the UK?

    Owen Wilson in Shanghai Knights (after seeing a lovely girl’s rotten teeth): “This country blows!”

  169. Sally Says:

    Neo: Politically correct thinking dictates that we respect all religions.

    But actually corrct thinking requires that we be capable of judging some belief systems as better or worse than others, based on their objective effects. It would also require that we distinguish between the person and the belief, so that we could and should be able to criticize belief systems that are harmful, or that have harmful aspects, from the people who, at any one time, may espouse those beliefs — e.g., we can criticize Islam per se without being “anti-moslem” on a personal basis. And, in any case, it would require that we reject the spurious and frankly racist attempt to make a “race” out of culture, and thereby treat every cultural critique as “racism”.

  170. neoneoconned Says:

    ….right hang on i have lost track a bit here..

    which of these neo con retards called the muslims wogs?

    which one was showing off about what gun he wore in public private etc? (when the old man dont work have to get yourselve a bigger weapon i imagine)

    who was it said germany was a decadent society?

    ok then neo. Now tell they are not all racist, violence obsessed, keyboard warriors..

    oh shit

    but i am a “troll”

    says you thinking..

    …two dead British Soldiers today. But you real warriors probably think they were leftie euro trash. My what heros you are.

    Glory of Women

    You love us when we’re heroes, home on leave,
    Or wounded in a mentionable place.
    You worship decorations; you believe
    That chivalry redeems the war’s disgrace.
    You make us shells. You listen with delight,
    By tales of dirt and danger fondly thrilled.
    You crown our distant ardours while we fight,
    And mourn our laurelled memories when we’re killed.
    You can’t believe that British troops ‘retire’
    When hell’s last horror breaks them, and they run,
    Trampling the terrible corpses–blind with blood.
    O German mother dreaming by the fire,
    While you are knitting socks to send your son
    His face is trodden deeper in the mud.

    Siegfried Sassoon

  171. Charlemagne Says:

    slOre wrote:

    Well, I suppose point of view comes into play. Your starting from the point that we ‘under perform’ states with socialized medicine. I don’t accept that as fact.

    Paul Krugman in the New York Times. 4/11/05:

    “The U.S. health care system is wildly inefficient. Americans tend to believe that we have the best health care system in the world. (I’ve encountered members of the journalistic elite who flatly refuse to believe that France ranks much better on most measures of health care quality than the United States.) But it isn’t true. We spend far more per person on health care than any other country – 75 percent more than Canada or France – yet rank near the bottom among industrial countries in indicators from life expectancy to infant mortality.”

    Krugman isn’t lying. Take a look at the life expectancy data from the 2005 CIA World Factbook at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

    As you can see from the data, in 2005 the USA ranked 29th in the world in life expectancy (77.85 years) while Canada ranked 9th (80.22 years) and the United Kingdom ranked 25th (at 78.54 years). Thus, both these countries, with socialized medicine and vastly lower per capita health care spending than the US, performed better than the US in terms of life expectancy.

    You can, of course, prefer to ignore the data, or claim that it’s biased, but that will be hard to do since the data is from the CIA World Factbook. See for yourself — no need to take my word for it.

  172. confusedforeigner Says:

    Way to go, Buzzybee. Hide your ignorance of the subject by throwing unsubstantiated abuse and misinterpretationof the opposition, at the opposition.

    It works a treat if you are happy to just preach to the ‘converted’ and happy to remain ignorant of the range of points of view available.

  173. Senescent Wasp Says:

    maryatexitzero,
    They are endless entertainment aren’t they? They do know their faith’s original sin though, don’t they? I think that’s why so many of them admire Islam which touts its anti capitalist bias right in in its scriptures. Now if Marx had only brought Kapital off a mountain top… Too many tablets I guess.

    My goodness, Mary, condescending little tosser ain’t he.

  174. confusedforeigner Says:

    Mary…

    ….ah, the old ‘if it ain’t black it must be white’ argument. If it ain’t lassez faire capitalism it must be marxism. Sigh.

    Which school of economics did you go to? Don’t tell me. You can quote from Adam Smith at will.

    It really is a far more complex world these days Mary.

  175. maryatexitzero Says:

    “Fascism is all about economic power and materialism.”

    See above response.

  176. maryatexitzero Says:

    for lack of a better name, we can call it “market totalitarianism”. It is the totalitarian belief — held on to, as with totalitarian beliefs, in spite of presentation of evidence to the contrary — that market forces can solve every conceivable problem in the most efficient way.

    Oh, heavens! How can we save ourselves from the scourge of “market totalitarianism”??

    Why, we must re-establish the diktatorship of the proletariat! Only then can we be free from the heatbreak of Market Totalitarianism.

    Market Totalitarianism. LOL Marxist propaganda never dies, it just keeps creating ever-stupider slogans.

  177. confusedforeigner Says:

    Sl0re said…
    I still think it has quite a bit in common with everyday fascism. The emphasis on an anti-materialism ‘revolution’ to create a new order is right out of Euro fascism…

    2:49 PM, June 27, 2006

    Eh??????? Fascism is all about economic power and materialism. Quite a lot like neoconservatism. The acquisition and furtherance of power and money by whatever means are available e.g. military expansionism.

  178. confusedforeigner Says:

    At 4:04 PM, June 27, 2006, Ymarsakar said…
    Charles doesn’t like mentioning the economic difference between the wonder economy of Western Germany to Eastern Germany. He also won’t mention the Japanese economic revival.

    I’m pretty sure Charlemagne will leap on that statement and run with it as proof of his argument. West German economic power was a triumph of liberal social democracy of a kind that is diametrically opposed to lassez faire capitalism.

    You really are a goose sometimes Ymar.

  179. Ymarsakar Says:

    Partial birth abortion.

  180. stumbley Says:

    For Charlemagne:

    When I was in Britain in 1980, the stock phrase about National Health was, “Any woman in Britain can get an abortion…it just takes 11 months.”

  181. Ymarsakar Says:

    Charles doesn’t like mentioning the economic difference between the wonder economy of Western Germany to Eastern Germany. He also won’t mention the Japanese economic revival.

    The merchants would prefer to not only have a free market, but they’d also like to have stable currencies and a good non corrupt police force. The countries without those things, like South America, won’t exactly shine in economic terms.

    There’s nothing total (totalitarian) about guaranteeing human liberties and rights, the lawful contract binding agreements between two consenting individuals. Nothing total about it, except totally justified.

  182. Ariel Says:

    Charles,

    Market-driven systems are anarchic in nature, controlled market systems are totalitarian. All western democracies fall in the middle.

    Let’s not play Mad Hatter with words. That some ideologies are dogmatic, have myths, etc., does not make an ideology a religion either, the one part of Gentile’s quote that I really didn’t like.

    As for the Islamototalitarians, I think Gove commits a “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” fallacy in calling the ITs a 20th century phenomenum. The movement draws directly from some of the militaristic and supremiscist language of the Quran, the sword verses they like to quote. Also, the shock that the Arab Islamic world has suffered the last 300 years as they watched the unclean, the kaffir(sp), world leave them behind, this from Bernard Lewis.

  183. Sl0re Says:

    Charlemagne said…

    “Fetishization of “the market” functions exactly as a “political religion”. If you re-read the definition you posted, you will see that it is consistent, word-for-word, with what I wrote. “

    Well, I suppose point of view comes into play. Your starting from the point that we ‘under perform’ states with socialized medicine. I don’t accept that as fact. We pay more AND we receive better care. Your state managed care controls costs by creating shortages, wait times, and outright denying some expensive services. If we want to talk political religion, the failure of adherents of socialized medicine to concede it’s various and quite obvious shortcomings (i.e., failures) is reminiscent of religious faith. The dichotomies of the world, the trade offs of costs and benefits have been transcended to create a universal [health care] bliss (and the seas have changed to lemonade, and lions and zebras live together in peace).  Its nonsense of course. You still live in an economic world (unlimited wants and needs with limited resources) and any system (including universal health care) has both benefits and short comings. The failure to own up to them is political-religious in nature IMO…. On any side that is guilty of it… that would be, including you. Maybe your ‘market religion’ is simply projection.

  184. Senescent Wasp Says:

    goesh, I much prefer a customized Colt Officers Model for everyday carry. It’s a technology I grew up with and am throughly familiar. For open carry, I like my Wilson’s.

    The Islamist Totalitarians half way expect us to off our nuts from multiple provocations. It’s part of their long range planning. They are convinced that our reliance on the technology of war indicates no stomach for the berserker mêlée. No Islamic army in history has ever had anything that could be called discipline.

    By keeping to sustained, controlled, scalar violence they are ground down so that losses are not replaced by recruitment until they have driven new groups of acolytes insane. I believe we can keep doing what we do longer than they can continue to do what they do.

    Remember, revenge is a dish best eaten cold. We can be the avenging angels but we need to keep our emphasis on the angel part. It is our cold, mechanical methods of doing violence that unnerves them the most. With the advent of more robotic weapons we will really become Shaitan, the devil, in their eyes.

  185. Sl0re Says:

    I still think it has quite a bit in common with everyday fascism. The emphasis on an anti-materialism ‘revolution’ to create a new order is right out of Euro fascism…

  186. Charlemagne Says:

    Ariel,

    Fetishization of “the market” functions exactly as a “political religion”. If you re-read the definition you posted, you will see that it is consistent, word-for-word, with what I wrote.

  187. Goesh Says:

    -sort of like gook I suppose, or nip or kraut – I like the idea of calling enemies names that won’t be offensive to them, makes alot of sense. And as far as looking at the nature of the threat and how to deal with it, may I suggest a Charter Arms 44 spl ? Weighing in at only 22 oz. the recoil is surprisingly managable and with a 200g semi-wadcutter HP, it leaves the question of appropriate names illrelevant what with large hunks of skull blown out of the back of the head. After all, that is what war is all about, assuming one believes there are real enemies and there is a real war on terrorism going on. Enjoy your tea, wasp, and in the meantime let’s hope the troops in afghanistan and Iraq keep blowing them away, oops, I mean taking decisive action against totalitarian individuals who really would prefer to torture them before beheading them and making a nice al-jazeera video instead of just sniping them or hitting them with an IED. I’ve heard the totalitarians have private videos of those captured in ideological opposition to their cause having their balls cut off prior to beheading. My! Wouldn’t that generate a lively debate at the Barnes & Noble coffee shop??

  188. Ariel Says:

    “an experiment in political domination undertaken by a revolutionary movement that aspires towards a monopoly of power. It seeks the subordination, integration and homogenisation of the governed on the basis of the politicisation of existence interpreted according to the myths and the values of a political religion. (It) aims to shape the individual and the masses through a revolution in order to regenerate the human being and create the new man. The ultimate goal is to create a new civilisation along expansionist lines beyond the nation state”

    Charles, you’re off topic and you really stretched the word “totalitarian” into meaninglessness. The above quote is from Emilio Gentile per Gove. Perhaps it would be better to save the argument for elsewhere.

  189. Charlemagne Says:

    Neo-neocon,

    No quarrel with your characterization of totalitarianism, and your characterization of Islamic totalitarianism.

    I would add, though, that religious totalitarianism is not the only totalitarianism of the twenty-first century, and, dangerous as it certainly is, it may not even be the most dangerous of the totalitarianisms that we currently face. Consider, for example, another form of totalitarianism that is currently running amok in the world: for lack of a better name, we can call it “market totalitarianism”. It is the totalitarian belief — held on to, as with totalitarian beliefs, in spite of presentation of evidence to the contrary — that market forces can solve every conceivable problem in the most efficient way.

    What are the consequences of such dangerous “market totalitarianism”? Consider the US health care system. As a result of “market-totalitarian”, the US continues to perform almost at the bottom among industrialized nations in terms of health per health care dollars spent, whereas industrial countries which have a less market-driven form of health-care delivery get quite better bang-for-the-buck in many cases.

    Another example of market totalitarianism is what happened to Russia post-1989. Driven by market-totalitarianism, everything was quickly privatized in the blind (and totalitarian) hope that the market will put everything right. The result — massive declines in life expectancy and in almost every other metric of well-being in Russia in the 1990s. Yet another example was the so-called “Washington Consensus”, which Latin American countries were forced by the IMF to swallow: massive privatizations, reduced social spending. It was hoped that would lead to economic miracles (miracles: ring a bell?) which never happened. Instead, median real wages declined through the 1990s all over Latin America, in every country that had been forced to swallow this market-totalitarian pill. The result? The left is back in power in country after country in Latin America: Lula in Brazil, Kirchner in Argentina, Morales in Bolivia, Vasquez in Uruguay, Garcia in Peru — and next week, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico.

  190. Senescent Wasp Says:

    Goesh, the pejorative “Wog” is found offensive by many, me among them.

    Chiefly British Offensive Slang.
    Used as a disparaging term for a person of color, especially a person from northern Africa or western or southern Asia

    See here for a fuller definition and etymology

  191. Jason H. Bowden Says:

    Thanks for the heads up about Gove.

    Paul Berman’s Terror and Liberalism is also a great look at the nature of the threat we face, and how to deal with it. I’d also recommend Natan Sharansky’s The Case for Democracy for the interested reader.

  192. Goesh Says:

    “Wog” works wonders for me, though I’ve never been one to quibble on what to call people out to kill me, my children and way of life. Your point about these jihadis being violent to their own moderate kind is well taken, though such folks are further down the ol’ priority list of whom to kill. Aren’t we all just a bit too smug and confident that we can invest time and energy in a debate of this nature when we are in agreement that cessation on their part depends on many of them being killed? I think it is a tea party approach to not wanting to look too closely at their dead bodies any more than we have to, which is understandable but not necessarily practical.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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