Friday Open Mike Nite

Our friend Leon Hadar has an interesting take on a David Remnick piece describing a stream of consciousness ramble from Avraham Burg, the former Speaker of Israeli Knesset and the son of a renowned Zionist and religious-Orthodox figure. This continues the related dialogue by Philip Weiss in Amcon.

We Are Winning

Apart from these fine pieces (we don’t know Weiss), the Stiftung continues to express disappointment at the fear and yes, even cowardice, exhibited by so many of our allegedly stalwart cultural, intellectual and dare we say they believe it – genetic – sentinels of our great country, the so-called White Anglo Saxon Pundit (WASP). They still hide behind the Weisses and even the Hadars to say things that they believe but fear to say, dreading the 2:00 AM knock on the door by Abe Foxman et. al. That premature flinch says almost everything about 2001-07.

There are exceptions. Lind, Buchanan (naturally, for his own brown shirt reasons) and some of the anti-war.com group. But by and large, our so-called WASPs flee in terror from even the whiff of the label ‘anti-semite'; kryptonite to their Master of Universe branding (see last post). They see Tony Judt’s necklacing or Mearsheimer and Walt’s clumsy stumbling under velicoraptor attack. Their vow? ‘Never again’ (but meaning risking their own reputations and self image).

In many cases, ‘WASP’ cowardice and reliance on proxies permits a dialogue still to proceed from an Israeli-centric p.o.v. on AgitProp territory often chosen and prepared in advance by the Neocons, Likudists and Jabotinsky heirs. (This obersvation is explicity not about either gentleman referenced above or their works. Dr. Hadar hardly needs that carve out from the Stiftung — his breadth of global and strategic analysis is firmly on record for over 20 years).

Our support for Israel in the most inclusive sense remains undimmed. For cultural, political, strategic and moral reasons. Yet, until Americans can have the same kind of free and unfettered debate about the strategic choices and their ramifications in U.S.-Israeli relations that we would have regarding any other close ally — and that takes place daily in Israeli media — we will always be the semi-autistic GOLEM at the beck and call of others’ agenda. Yes, it’s nice to see the ‘reformation’ conversation occur within one subgroup. But afree and and unfettered debate will never occur until our White Anglo Saxon Pundit class and their various colleagues grow a pair.

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Next, our truly very good friend Jerry Pournelle has a long and interesting discussion with some service men about Ron Paul and the Legions. (Jerry thinks in these kinds of terms, in the best sense). Jerry thinks we can and should go the extra distance to make sure every option is exhausted before allowing an army to return in defeat and self doubt. A valid p.o.v. — and the Stiftung thinks in such historical structural terms often, too. Yet here we disagree. Jerry may be right that the Army on the ground thinks it is winning. Our own assessment is that if that is the case, the Army is doubly damned for stupidity. And after 20 something years of sometimes intense conversations with Jerry I do firmly believe him when he says but for the withdrawal he would be right behind Paul’s candidacy.

Dave Neiwart has a great item about the Fox/Movement new assault on the non-wingnut blogosphere. Perhaps it is a defect in our blogging skills, but we did not feel motivated to write about all that stuff. Not because it isn’t important. Just that we expect it from the Movement. And have enough faith in the netroots’ ability to rebuff the schwerpunkt. Too sanguine?

The Heretik, with its wonderful art, has a funny item about A.G.A.G.’s latest stumbles with an assist from his FBI Director.

What would you do if you were God for an hour? A day? Would you gather the most annoying people ever in say the Royal Albert Hall and vaporize them? That’s the question — and extra credit for those who show the math.

What comes to mind when you see the words “Cheney unleashed” put together? A half-assed air strike on Iran? Wolf Bltizer sent to Guantanomo for his last CNN interview? The NRO gives you the answer.

The Chinese are catching on the whole branding madness of Our Time. They are marketing the PLA anew, with comely women posing with visitors and weapons at a new exhibit at the Military Museum. It’s not quite the maid madness in Akihabara. Yet.

Another reason the Joe Kleins, Howie Kurtz and others are both doomed and incompetent. Yet again Newsweek trying to be ‘hip’ and relevant by writing on something its ageing dead tree mindset doesn’t understand — the (so-called) phenomenon of ‘Second Life’.

Second Life currently has a turn over rate of 90% – that is, 90% of people who try Second Life leave after 3 months. With this in mind, the cover of a Newsweek magazine we saw this week in Frankfurt airport left us wondering what the heck the staff there were reading – not the blogs obviously, probably other magazines. The cover says, “Why are millions of healthy people choosing to live their lives online? Welcome to second life.” Live? Or just try it out?

Exchanges of ignorance beamed into the vastness of space . . .

What is happening to our global cities? “Global Cities looks at the changing faces of ten dynamic international cities: Cairo, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Mumbai, São Paulo, Shanghai and Tokyo.” This site explores each city through five thematic lenses – speed, size, density, diversity and form.

Finally, does anyone care what ’24’ is up to anymore?

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Please feel free to add your preferred links and suggestions . . .