Wednesday, January 7, 2009

READER COMMENTS

HOW CITIES AFFECT YOUR BRAIN

Why do you think artists and writers move to the country? We all need a Walden's Pond like Henry David Thoreau. I also find cities cause people to stop thinking because everything is manufactured and unnatural. No one even thinks twice where their food comes from or who will pick up the garbage if they cast it on the ground. One need not even give any thought to where one places one's feet as there is always a stair or concrete path. I find the urban environment entirely artificial and stifling. I would sooner live in hell than in a city. I find one of the most frightening things about cities is people's failure to make eye contact or to respect one another's personal space. It is dehumanizing. - Beth

One of the major ways cities harm us is by the constant noise level. It's just never-ending and practically impossible to escape. One good way to help reduce it would be electric vehicles. Imagine cities without the noise of traffic.

WHY REPUBLICANS WORRY ABOUT FDR

As a progressive Democrat, I have to disagree with this conclusion, which I find rather simplistic. If Obama continues with his plan to significantly increase the national deficits and national debt, he will essentially be handing the country over to the republicans. There's no way the Democrats can go to the American people with a $15-20 trillion dollar debt, and four years of trillion dollar-plus deficits, and expect to win. Sorry, not going to happen. Hope I'm wrong, though.

Actually, WWII spending alone wasn't enough to fix corporate capitalism's chronic over-accumulation and under-consumption problems. What really did the trick (at least for the u.s. economy) was when FDR (with the help of Hitler, Churchill and Stalin) blew up most of the plant and equipment in the world outside the US that postponed corporate capitalism's terminal crisis for a generation or so, until around 1970 when Europe and Japan had finally rebuilt their industrial capital. - Kevin Carson

DEMOCRATS READY TO PLAY GAMES WITH THE CAPITAL COLONY

"Statehood cannot be repealed."

What an extraordinary statement. Not correct though. Of course it can be repealed. The fact that the federal government has used violence to kill those who disagree doesn't change the facts. The supreme court hasn't ruled on the issue, because the lawyers know damn well that they would have no choice at all but to rule that it is legal for the voters of a state to go their own way, and so the lawyers won't let them rule. But you can't read the constitution and claim that there's any provision at all that prevents a state from doing what they want. No way. If so, show me the clause, please.

We were speaking of the federal government repealing statehood, not a state declaring its independence.

OBAMA AS A FOOD CRITIC

Why does the Review's staff seem to feel that this clip is pertinent to anything whatsoever? Explain, please.

The Review staff realizes that life would be truly dull if we only tended to the pertinent.

OBAMA SILENT ON ISRAEL'S ILLEGAL WAR

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies - but the silence of our friends." - Elder Lady

TIME TO STOP BEING AFRAID OF ISRAEL

"The Israelis" are not the bullies. A deeply flawed and misguided Israeli governmental policy and military are to blame here. As nearly always, it is the politicians--and their military arm-- who are at the root of the problem.

The piece is irresponsibly worded. In it, you continue to propagate the lack of distinction between Israeli political policy and the Jewish people--and Israeli citizenry--as an entirety. I foresee nothing from this but the encouragement toward more Jew-bashing posing as 'enlightened political commentary' from the more troglodytic members of your readership (who, unfortunately seem to be the quickest on the trigger to post responses). Stop and think about this for a moment is all that those of us ask who aren't cheering for the death and misery of the Palestinians, but who do tremble to see a very old, malignant and persistent demon being given an entryway through which to poke its ugly head, no matter the presumed rationale for permitting it. This solves absolutely nothing whatsoever.

When "the Israelis" keep voting for politicians who pursue genocidal policies, they are most definitely to blame for the situation. When they eventually elect a government that wants to pursue a peaceful solution, then, and only then, they will be off the hook for this.

Furthermore, we regularly apply a similar phrase to ourselves - i.e. "the Americans" refuse to leave Iraq. The reason for this is that Americans elect their leaders just as Israelis do.

Just want to thank you for bluntly stating the truth, and i'm sorry your posts don't elicit more intelligent replies. - mc

Why do you hate the Jews? - Chris Collins

Does criticizing the Bush administration imply that we hate Americans?

Actually it's the anti-Semites and Palestinian supporters who are bullies. They're the ones breaking the law and attacking civilians. Israel is just defending itself, hardly the thing bullies do.

It would be great for Israel if the us stopped selling its arms. They don't need them, and as a failing state the us is no longer a significant global power and doesn't have much to offer an ally. Israel has been able to defend itself for 3,000 years without American aid, and it will do fine without it.

But that won't happen, because the failing American economy is desperate for any jobs it can get, and its arms sales are one of its few bright prospects. So it will continue to sell arms to all sides in the Middle East, and then complain about how they fight all of the time.

Just imagine if America handled its "black problem" in the 1960s the way Israel has been handling its "Palestinian problem" the last 50 years. Israel will become a great and peaceful democracy only when it can elect a Palestinian as its president. I have often wondered why is there a Jewish state. The separation of church and state is a good thing. Aren't all people supposed to be treated equally? Isn't America supposed to be promoting democracy in the Middle East?

It's time to ban the word "anti-Semitic". It has been conflated inappropriately with the concept of Nazism to mean "someone who hates all Jews". Unfortunately, from an anthropological - biological standpoint, there are far more Semitic Palestinians in the modern world than there are Semitic Jews. I guess an academic-sounding word is easier to hide behind than the truth: Zionists just hate all Palestinians and anyone who thinks they deserve a homeland just as much as the Jews do.

Here is an interesting intellectual exercise. If you replace "Israel" and "Palestine" with "China" and "Tibet" and all else being the same, would people think it anti-Chinese bias to criticize China's actions. I think not.

Jews and by definition Israel (a nation for the Jewish people) are subject the same standards as everyone else. When they violate those standards they are to be criticized.

3 Comments:

At January 8, 2009 6:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are, unfortunately, readers and commenters here (and elsewhere) who are going to use the Israel/Palestine hostilities as fodder for their own problems with the Jewish people as a whole. Generally speaking, in reading the comments in the Review, I find this type pretty easy to spot, and I imagine most other readers do too. I don't especially like the degree of editorial tolerance their views seem to be given here, but I guess that's one of the drawbacks of running a site where free expression is given full play. To the person who's posted the remarks dealing with his/her efforts to get readers to make some distinction between the Israeli gov. and the Israeli/Jewish people, I agree to a certain extent with your points, and I agree that the views of those here who do seem to be expressing an agenda that's driven by something a little other than simple dislike of ugly territorial wars are troubling. I want to see the Review continue its' level of coverage of this story, but I can also understand where it could help clear up some, likely unwarranted, impressions some of the readership may be carrying away with them if Sam were to adress this poster's points a little more explicitly. I don't want to tell you how to run your business, Sam; but it's always better to make allies than enemies, if the enmity is unecessary and could be avoided just by giving some expression to their not unentirely legitimate concerns.

 
At January 8, 2009 5:18 PM, Anonymous piss off, murderer! said...

What Kind of Security Will This Barbarism Bring Israel?
By SAREE MAKDISI

Israel has killed and wounded almost four thousand men, women and children so far in its assault on Gaza; it has entombed whole families together in the ruins of their homes. As I write these words, news is breaking that Israeli bombs have killed at least 40 civilians huddling in a UN school which they mistakenly thought would be safer than the homes from which Israel’s relentless barrage—and its deliberately terrorizing “warning” leaflets and prerecorded phone calls—had already driven them. (I still have one of the leaflets the Israelis dropped on besieged Beirut in 1982 and the language is exactly the same—“flee, flee for your lives!”). Mosques, schools, houses, apartment buildings, have all been brought down on the heads of those inside.

All this death and destruction comes supposedly in retaliation for rocket attacks that had not inflicted a single fatality inside Israel in over a year. What happened to “an eye for an eye?”

As horrific as the toll of dead and injured already is, the scale of Israel’s bombing, and its targeting of ambulances and medical and rescue crews—several doctors and paramedics have been killed or wounded so far—means that the true totals are actually unknown. Countless numbers of victims have bled to death in the streets or in the ruins of their smashed homes. Calls for help aren’t getting through Gaza’s phone networks, battered to pieces along with the rest of the civilian infrastructure—its water, sewage, electricity systems, all already crumbling as a result of the years of siege. The victims that are evacuated—as often, these days, in civilian cars as in the remaining ambulances—make it to hospitals that are overwhelmed; many will die that might have otherwise been saved.

Any hospital would be overwhelmed under the circumstances: how then for a hospital that has already been cut off by the three year old Israeli blockade of Gaza from urgently needed supplies, medicines, drugs, anesthetics, spare parts, fuel for generators? In fact, the true story of what Israel is doing to the people of Gaza is to be seen in the besieged territory’s hospitals: the smashed, burned, dusty bodies of children being carried in on makeshift blankets (there aren’t enough stretchers to go around); the morgue drawers full of bodies; the emergency rooms with badly hurt, crying people scattered on stretchers, on beds, on the blood-washed floors, as the doctors run from one to another trying to figure out who can be saved and who must be attended to first—the boy with his feet blown off? the old woman with the huge gash in her head? the young man with his guts hanging out of his stomach? the anguished little girl thrashing about in pain, in fear, in agony and begging for her mother who vanished in some monstrous explosion? And outside, on the crowded sidewalks, the other side of the human suffering that Israel has chosen to inflict on an entire population: the wailing mothers, fathers and children; the weeping young men; the panicked people rushing around trying to find loved ones after each new Israeli bombing.

All this to make Israelis feel secure? What security is this kind of barbarism ever likely to gain them?

These are the scenes that every Palestinian and every Arab around the world sees every single day on the uncensored, unedited, unfiltered and relentlessly, brutally honest coverage broadcast on the Arabic Al-Jazeera channel. Unlike the US and UK networks, Al-Jazeera has correspondents and camera crews all over Gaza; they are Arabs, some of them are Palestinians, and they all live among the people whose suffering they record for the whole world to see; they can communicate with them in their own language and in the language of the audience as well. The coverage continues continuously 24 hours a day.

Ordinary people around the rest of the world are seeing the version of events that gets filtered through the editing suites, the cutting rooms, the editorializing of foreign media, and that, in the case of the US, finally makes it to their living room largely (if not entirely) sanitized, and packaged to them in two-minute sound bites by correspondents posted safely outside of Gaza and inside Israel. The coverage broadcast from Israel is heavily monitored, controlled and censored. The Israeli army found in 2006 that its panicked soldiers in Lebanon were using cell phones to call home for help; this time it made sure to inspect all of its soldiers to make sure that none takes a phone with him into Gaza. The army imposes a smothering control over the flow of information; nothing that is reported from or datelined Israel can be read at face value or taken for granted.

If you get your news from an American television network, no matter how horrible you think what’s happening in Gaza is, the reality that you are not seeing is much, much, much worse. (Perhaps that’s why the English-language Al-Jazeera channel, widely followed in the rest of the world, is unofficially banned here—not a single cable or satellite provider carries it).

 
At January 11, 2009 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the Chinese do consider it "anti-Chinese" to criticize their Tibet policy. Has everyone forgotten all the Olympic nonsense related to that issue?

 

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