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« Grumpy Old Bookman on Short Stories | Main | Italy Album, 2007 »

October 17, 2007


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* National Review's David Frum congratulates neocon John Podhoretz on being appointed editor of Commentary magazine. Steve Sailer and visitors treat themselves to a lot of mockery at JPod's expense.

* Tikkun founder Rabbi Michael Lerner thinks that Walt and Mearsheimer's characterization of the Israel Lobby is pretty much on target. Don't miss the q&a at the bottom of the page with Congressman Jim Moran, who explains how much weight AIPAC swings in D.C. (Link thanks to FvBlowhard.)

* Jon Entine, whose courageous 2001 book "Taboo" dared to discuss racial differences in athletic gifts and achievements, has a new book coming out about the genetics of Jewishness. (Entine is Jewish himself.) Evo-bio expert Razib asks Entine "10 Questions." Entine's own website is here.



posted by Michael at October 17, 2007


Are you going to venture an opinion about the mockery of JPod or about the Israel Lobby and Michael Lerner, or are you just going to leer from the sidelines?

Posted by: Steven Diamond on October 17, 2007 6:02 PM

"Leer"? Why "leer"? Why not "observe"? Anyway, observing in this case suits me fine -- it's quite a show. Got any opinions on the issues and topics yourself?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 17, 2007 6:16 PM

My opinions? Briefly, Steve Sailer has a lot of interesting ideas, is fun to read most of the time, and for all I know is a great guy, but the neocon question brings out his worst tendencies, intellectual and human, and occasionally some ugliness. Michael Lerner is a discredited, dishonest radical who is ignorant about Judaism into the bargain. His criticisms of Israel and American Jews (and America, too, when he gets on the subject) come from the same place as Howard Zinn's and Noam Chomsky's criticisms of America.

I'm, not sure why, but your breeay attitude about all this bothers me.

Posted by: Steven Diamond on October 17, 2007 10:25 PM

Bottom line? No other People in the world has its right to exist challenged, regularly. All that is asked of the Palestinians and their Saudi etc. masters is that Israel's right to exist be acknowledged. Until that happens Jews don't want to hear about how less than perfect they are vis-a-vis their neighbors. Frankly, I gave up expecting gentiles to get it a long time ago. After all, if the house of the guy down the street is under constant assault by street people it isn't your house. And if, in order to repel them, he beats them with a stick, it's kind of an overreaction, wouldn't you say? After all, they have a right to aspire to property, don't they? Pah!

Posted by: ricpic on October 18, 2007 8:56 AM

Steven -- Interesting, tks for sharing the opinions. As for the breeziness -- yeah, some people get bugged by it, I can understand that. No disrespect meant, though. These linky postings are just my way of saying "Hey, did you see this? It's interesting!" Which, given that I have no personal experience let alone deep thoughts to share, is about the extent of my opinion. Hmm. Well, I guess my actual opinion (digging deep here, of course) goes this way: 1) interesting the way that, what with various cultural changes, certain topics that have been kept under wraps are now suddenly out in the sunlight, and 2) in many cases this seems (to me, anyway) like a generally good thing. Beyond that, though, I'm not really qualified to say much. Do you think Sailer and his crowd are unfair to the neocons, btw? It isn't as though the neocons haven't been pretty vicious towards those who disagree with them ... But already I'm getting into it further than I feel I should ...

Ricpic -- It'd be nice to see an "Israel has a right to exist" petition signed by all, wouldn't it? Seems like such a simple thing to ask ...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 18, 2007 11:27 AM


Its not a "people" whose right to exist is being challenged--its a country. BTW, there are other countries with basically homogeneous populations that are told they have no right to exist--Taiwan and Tibet for example.

What I say is that you either have a loyalty to the US or you have a loyalty to another country. If your loyalty is to another country, then why should other citizens ("gentiles" in your words) be expected to "get it" or support you? I don't consider jews in this regard any differently than Mexicans who are here whose primary loyalty is to Mexico, and organize for US government policies in that regard.

Its not Americans' job to run the world, or solve Israel's problems. Fighting aggressive wars at the behest of another country is illegal and yet another threat to our sovereignty (just like illegal immigration), and probably just as expensive. The Iraq war has killed about a million Iraqi citizens, thousands of Americans, and cost one trillion dollars currently. We gentiles are tired of it.

Posted by: BIOH on October 18, 2007 2:42 PM

It's important to note that a majority of American Jews are liberals, even with regard to foreign policy and even half of Israelis would be considered "anti-Israel" by the American right.

Posted by: JewishAtheist on October 18, 2007 3:10 PM

BIOH - You know damn well that those who want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth want to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth. Either that or you're willfully blind.

For most gentiles the Jewish question or predicament or call it what you will is peripheral -- perfectly natural. I neither expect them to be concerned with nor particularly supportive of Jews qua Jews. By the same token an American citizen who is Jewish has the absolute right to lobby in every legal manner allowed for the interests of Israel as he sees those interests. At times the interests of the government of Israel and the government of the United States will coincide, at times they won't. Calling the efforts of American Jews to lobby their own government in order to bring it more in line with the position of the Israeli government, calling that dual loyalty is a smear, plain and simple.

Last I heard the Bush Administration went to war with Iraq to depose a dictator who the international intelligence community, not only the American intelligence services, believed to be in possession of WMD's and who represented a direct threat to the stability of the region and to the United States itself. But if you want to see the Iraq War as a Jewish conspiracy, be my guest.

Posted by: ricpic on October 18, 2007 5:01 PM

"Its not Americans' job to run the world, or solve Israel's problems."

or Taiwan's
or Saudi Arabia's
or Colombia's
or Liberia's
or ...

God, I wish more people in Washington understood that.

"You know damn well that those who want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth want to wipe the Jews off the face of the earth. Either that or you're willfully blind."

Ric, that is not what he said (if I understand him correctly).

Regardless of whether someone is Pro-Jewish, Anti-Jewish or indifferent, it is not our Job to fix Israel's problems. Or the problems of Mexico, or Taiwan or any other place.

How many Israel/Palestine debates do you think the leaders of Peru have?

"By the same token an American citizen who is Jewish has the absolute right to lobby in every legal manner allowed for the interests of Israel as he sees those interests."

The question is not whether a Jewish American has the right to Lobby in favor of this or that. Hopefully, our Constitution guarantees him that right. The question is whether our Government should be involved in Israels business any more than, say, Finland.

Posted by: Ian Lewis on October 18, 2007 8:40 PM


You're not going to get an argument from me that ther world is full of Jew-haters. Its filled with haters of all kinds. I don't hate Jews at all, but some other groups irk me an awful lot.

Problem is that Israel is more than equipped to deal with any military threat to their country. They've got a big stash of nukes, and the most advanced weaponry of any country in the region. I don't think any other country is going to attack them conventionally or with a nuke, period.

As far as Iraq goes, last I heard, Bush and Cheney (and all the rest of DC gang, both dem and repub) were liars on the issue. No WMD's, Saddam was deposed, captured, and executed long ago, and the most destabilizing country in the region is the US, who is now saber-rattling against Iran. The lie now is that Iran will get a nuke real soon and then immediatley bomb every Jew in sight. I don't believe one word this government (or mainstream press) says, and neither should you. Its preposterous that Iran would use The Bomb at all and somehow invite mass destruction of its own country, if they are even close to a nuke at all. Iraq was ground into the dirt and made to stay there long ago, after the first Gulf War. I know that now, but I fell into the same trap of believing the Pro-War Neo-Con game.

Help me out here--can you name any other ethnic group of any size in America that lobbies our government in the interests of another country besides Mexicans and Jews? FYI, I'm a Cathholic from Irish and German stock, and I can tell you that I'm not that concerned with Germany or Ireland. And before you make the point, American Irish support for Northern Ireland is really miniscule. The vast majority of us would rather have a beer.

So, two questions:

1) You naturally made the argument about where the US and Israel's interests coincide, but which do you pick if they don't? Where are your loyalties then?

2) Is it possible that American Jews are being played by the elites and the leaders of Israel about the threat to Isreal by other countries in the region for other, less noble goals than self-defense? Is Holocaust again being raised, and a "new Hitler" being created to whip American Jews into a fervor to attack Iran, though its nothing but a pack of lies? Remember that American Jews do have great deal of influence in politics and the press. Conning you would be of great benefit to the elites.

Saddam Hussein was also compared constantly to Hitler to whip up support fo the now un-ending Iraq War. One million Iraqis are now dead, and Iraq is now and utterly weak and divided country. That's ONE MILLION dead. Under America's name, under the name of spreading democracy. It makes me sick. Divide and conquer, classic example. They lied all the way.

One of the reasons I've pulled back my rhetoric on the race/ethnicity issue here is that I can see that the elites are pushing race conflicts of all types--unending illegal immigration, mysterious nooses turning up everywhere, now the Mearshiemer and Walt book--they are trying to turn all of us against one another--Jew against gentile, white against black, whites and blacks against hispanics, etc., so that we are all so divided and weak we can't stop the North American Union or truly oppose a new round of war against Iran, and then maybe Venezuela or North Korea. Divide and conquer--has afamiliar ring to it, doesn't it? The problem with split loyalties is that those loyalties can be played against you as an American if you aren't paying attention--you can be used to destroy yourself. We are all at a very critical juncture in our nation's history, and we have to be Americans first, and stand for our Constitution and freedoms. Think about that for a bit. Look around you. Do you feel the strings being pulled Rick?

Posted by: BIOH on October 18, 2007 11:20 PM

"Remember that American Jews do have great deal of influence in politics and the press. Conning you [American Jews] would be of great benefit to the elites."

So BIOH, American Jews are elites - "a great deal of influence in politics and the press" - and the target of the elites con?

Having answered the dual loyalty canard thoroughly in my first post, I'm not going to revisit the issue.

I think the best way to end my part in this discussion is to refer to Jewish Atheist's post. JA and I probably disagree on just about every subject under the sun, and that's the point of his post. Jews are the most politically fractious people imaginable (with the possible exception of The Irish). To see Jewish influence everywhere you look is to see a chimera. There are Jews who support Israel and Jews who vociferously deny its legitimacy. There are Jewish socialists and communists and there are Jews who see capitalism as the best hope for prosperity and freedom for themselves and for everyone else. I could go on and on. Anyway, I think you get my point. And if you don't?...I tried.

Posted by: ricpic on October 19, 2007 11:39 AM


I understand what you are saying. Nobody wants to be singled out, especially regular joes, as being nefarious insiders who are "the enemy". Nobody wants to be a target or scapegoat for everything that is going wrong. I don't think the Jews run everything. I just think that as a group they are very influential, thus a valuable demographic to be manipulated by the true elites. And if you have an allegiance outside of the laws and sovereignty of this country, that will be played upon by these elites who are destroying both.

Is it really relevant if Jews cover a broad political spectrum if the vast majoirity agree on the importance of one issue, Israel? Probably not. Its like any family that fights amongst itself all the time that is suddenly threatened by an outsider--woe to that outsider!

I'm going to say this one more time to those who do have dual loyalties of any stripe--your split loyalties are going to be played upon by these elites as they try to take away American sovereignty and engage in more foreign wars. And it doesn't matter what the other loyalty is--race, religion, politics, sex, etc. I expect more, a lot more, rather than less of this, and it will be stoked by the Powers That Be. whether you are black, white, Jewish, Mexican, muslim, Christian, etc. Just you watch. Be an American first, your own group later, or we are all going down the tubes. And believe me, we will all be going down together then.

Posted by: BIOH on October 19, 2007 2:21 PM

The debate about the degree of Israel's influence over US foreign policy has acquired particular force ever since the end of the Cold War. As a passionate supporter of Israel, I have nonetheless reluctantly concluded that with the CW over, Israel is no longer, on balance, a strategic asset to the United States. And yet, US obsession with Israel continues unabated. It's in this new strategic context that the question of whether this obsession is healthy--for America!--becomes more urgent to consider.

Posted by: PatrickH on October 20, 2007 5:31 PM

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