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Quote Of The Day.

Saturday, March 16, 2002

Gena’s on Nyquil Too. But at least I don’t post after I take it. For the record, Communism (the Left’s gift that kept on giving) was defeated due to the combined efforts of Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan, with an assist from Maggie Thatcher. The Pope’s vocal support for Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement undermined the East Bloc from within and opened the first great fissure in the Iron Curtain. Communism had lost its moral sway amongst the people, and His Holiness shrewdly maneuvered the pro-democracy movement into their political consciousness. Communism, imposed from above (by leftists), was overthrown from below (by conservatives). As goes Poland, so goes Eastern Europe. Enter Ronald Reagan. Reagan stepped up defense spending, forcing the Soviet Union to do the same. The Soviet economy was nowhere near as strong as ours, as Reagan knew, and the strain resulting from keeping up with the Americans broke the Soviets’ back. Who knew the fatal flaw to Communism is the fact that there’s no money in it? Thatcher kept the Europeans on the straight and narrow and shored up America’s allies. The Soviets cracked under the economic onslaught of American industry and the moral onslaught of Pope’s public support of the peaceful opposition movement. How many divisions has the Pope? Plenty.

posted by Lee Ann on Saturday, March 16, 2002 | link

One Should not Read

The last two potshots and think that I am somehow blind to the sizable crowd of idiots standing around my side of the ideological camp. I became personally acquainted with many of them during my wonderful and memorable years at UNC. There are substantive and important things wrong with the left, but its basic principles - respect for human rights, liberty and equality remain sound. Not all people on the left hold to these principles - think of the feminists of UNLV for example - but their left isn't my left, and I disown them all. Does this automatically mean the right is morally superior? I don't know. If my roof is leaking and my house is crumbling does it mean my neighbor's house is better? Perhaps. Unless of course my neighbor's house happens to be falling down.


posted by Gena on Saturday, March 16, 2002 | link

I'll admit my historical ignorance

If only I had paid more attention to my high school history teachers, I'd know that FDR was a conservative, and that the right dealt the death blow to Communism. More importantly I'd know what specifically this death blow was. And I'd know that Hitler was a leftist radical, and fascism a far left ideology. I'd certainly not be going around with vague and foggy notions about how FDR was despised by the right, Hitler was a member of the right, fascism was an ideology of the right, and Communism - at least in Eastern Europe and Russia - managed to defeat itself, with the help of WWII and the physical and financial damage it did.


posted by Gena on Saturday, March 16, 2002 | link

Ah, yes those lefties

Supporting segregation, the inequality of women, and the discrimination against Jews. No wonder they're morally bankrupt. Oh, wait. That was the right. No wonder one needs the ability to make moral distinctions.


posted by Gena on Saturday, March 16, 2002 | link

Over 1200 People who were

Detained in the US after September 11 had their civil rights violated according to Amnesty International. Among other things, they were deprived of counsel, held without charge or even being told what they were suspected of, kept in isolation, and chained up. Some people probably think that's just fine, but I don't and for two reasons.

1. This is my country and I'm proud of its Constitution and Bill of Rights, and more than that of the fact that these documents are enforced by the courts. In other words, I am proud to live in a nation of laws which first of all posits that all people have rights and secondly makes sure that they keep them. People who think they can toss the Constitution out the window for expediency's sake are an affront and a disgrace, and things like the above more than make me angry; they offend me. A few posts down Lee Ann accused me of being more outraged over America's treatment of the detainees, than I would be about the treatment meted out to an American pilot captured by Iraq. She might be right - though objectively speaking I think I would be equally outraged by the ill treatment of anyone. I would however be slightly more likely to post about the bad things this government does, and that for the simple reason that I don't live in Iraq and am not in any way responsible for its government or its laws - thank God. Given the fact, however, that this is a democracy, I am as a citizen at least partially responsible for what happens here, and the responsibility of criticism of the government is always one which should be taken more seriously than the responsibility of praise. And in this case the government deserves criticism of the harshest sort; for it has evinced its disrespect for the very principles upon which this nation was founded and which have made it great. To me that is an act of desecration far greater than any burning of the flag.

And

2. All hail the idiot test. Who is really ready to trust the government to do things like this? Who really thinks all the people rounded up and deprived of their liberty and their rights had actually done something? Who thinks the government should be able to arrest and detain people with impunity? We are after all talking about the people who just issued Mohammed Atta a student visa to go to flight school, an act of idiocy and incompetency which illustrates why we need Constitutional safeguards in the first place. The government is not infallible, and it does make mistakes; and putting your liberty and your life in its hands in the belief that it doesn't is
the equivalent of standing on a three legged chair with a noose around your neck. Maybe it won't fall, in which case you'll be lucky.

And just as a side note: Remember the nice thing I said about George Bush? Well, I take it back. Israel and foreign aide don't quite make up for this.


posted by Gena on Saturday, March 16, 2002 | link

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Friday, March 15, 2002

This Guy’s Wrecking the Grade Curve. The Warliberal is making the rest of us look foolish with his sharp analyses of his own political beliefs. Very Impressive. Mac’s a credit to the Axis of Weevil.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, March 15, 2002 | link

The Left Wakes Up. Michael Walzer writes an excellent article on the function of the left in the world’s only superpower. He clearly delineates the moral failings of the left and has many good ideas on how to rectify those failings. Quite frankly this is one of the most insightful articles to come from the left in some time. This may be a long post because there is so much of value in the essay. Off we go:

“It denies one of the most basic and best understood moral distinctions: between premeditated murder and unintended killing. And the denial isn’t accidental, as if the people making it just forgot about, or didn’t know about, the everyday moral world. The denial is willful: unintended killing by Americans in Afghanistan counts as murder. This can’t be true anywhere else, for anybody else.” See, even the leftists agree with me. There are moral distinctions to be made, and, no matter how difficult, they must be made.

“Many left intellectuals live in America like internal aliens, refusing to identify with their fellow citizens, regarding any hint of patriotic feeling as politically incorrect.” . . . “In fact, when we blame America, we also lift ourselves above the blameworthy (other) Americans. The left sets itself apart. Whatever America is doing in the world isn’t our doing. In some sense, of course, that is true. The defeat of fascism in the middle years of the twentieth century and of communism in the last years were not our doing.” This is one of the main problems facing the left. If you refuse to identify with your fellow man, how can you claim to be concerned for his welfare? How can you even know what his welfare is? The voluntary alienation of the left from mainstream society means that the left has lost a great deal of its relevance. Blaming America has become a status symbol in the eyes of the left, a sort of ideological SUV for the chattering classes. Until the left can view America and the rest of the world impartially, fairly, and honestly they will lack the moral integrity necessary to any “liberal” politics.

“Yes, we are entitled to blame the others whenever they are blameworthy; in fact, it is only when we do that, when we denounce, say, the authoritarianism of third world governments, that we will find our true comrades--the local opponents of the maximal leaders and military juntas, who are often waiting for our recognition and support. If we value democracy, we have to be prepared to defend it, at home, of course, but not only there.” The moral blindness of the left has been its Achilles’ Heel for some time. They will constantly point out the relatively minor failings of America and the West while ignoring the blatant atrocities committed by Third World leftists. Part of this tendency has been an unwillingness to criticize those belonging to the “oppressed” races. Well, it’s time to treat those people like thinking adult human beings and hold them accountable for their actions. Anything less is condescending and, yes, racist.

This concludes my short critique of Walzer’s essay. I know you have a choice of blogs and I thank you for flying Spinsters.com. Seriously, read this article. Read it several times. This should spark quite a lively debate amongst the lefties. If it doesn’t, there’s no hope for them.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, March 15, 2002 | link

YEEHAW!!! The clarion call of fourth wave feminism! Down with the ancien regime of repressive gender feminism! Arise ifeminism! What is “ifeminism”? It’s the belief that “every human being, simply by being human, had an equal right to his or her own body and the labor thereof. In short, they demanded equality under just law.” Individualist feminism is the way of the future, if “feminism” is to have a future. The current “feminist” mantra of victimhood, misandry, and leftist zealotry has isolated the movement not only from one half of the human species (men), but has also abandoned and now persecutes any woman who does not blindly follow their received agenda. There is no place in the current feminist movement for stay-at-home mothers, housewives, conservatives, or the traditionally religious. “Feminism” in its current manifestation promotes the political agenda of a self-appointed elite, which seeks to influence policy to augment their own power and to abridge the freedoms of the majority of women. The new feminism, “ifeminism”, is really a return to the original feminism. Ifeminism calls for equal treatment before the law. It calls for a law that is fair to both sexes. No discrimination, no special privileges. This is real feminism. This is a feminist movement based on the idea that women are equally rational, responsible human beings.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, March 15, 2002 | link

Win One for the Tipper Tipper Gore wants to run for senate. This is a bad move. First of all, one member of the “Bore” family is enough. Second, she has no political history, so this strikes me as a “Vote for Tipper and Let Al Do It” situation. (Ooh, gratuitous allusion to George Wallace, big time Bama points for me!) Third, the only thing she’s famous for is the infamous Parent’s Music Resource Center (PMRC). Somehow I don’t think a history of music censorship will fly in this day and age. I hope she doesn’t turn into Tennessee’s Hillary!

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, March 15, 2002 | link

You Are One of Us Now! Ha, ha, ha! I knew you couldn’t resist the awesome power of W. for long. So, he’s sharper than you thought, huh? Plus he has that mischievous twinkle in his eye, not to mention that sexy little butt.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, March 15, 2002 | link

I never thought I'd say this

But I'm actually starting to like to George Bush, although "like" might be a bit strong of a word. Let us simply say that I'm starting to slowly accommodate myself to the idea that Mr. Bush is not going to blow up the world, or cause other people to blow it up for him. Taking steps to end poverty is a positive move, both from a humanitarian and a practical standpoint, and for that reason Bush deserves to be commended for his plan to increase foreign aid, as well as for his proposal that half the loans the World Bank now makes be converted into grants.Poverty doesn't make people criminals or terrorists, but it certainly helps them along the way; and while eliminating poverty would not eliminate crime, it would make an exception of the criminal.


posted by Gena on Friday, March 15, 2002 | link

The Identities of the Prisoners

Held in US detention centers are being revealed. From the looks of things, Al Queda is a poster organization for the perils of foreign travel. Leave England to go to a wedding in Pakistan, wind up a terrorism suspect in Cuba. Call your travel agent now.


posted by Gena on Friday, March 15, 2002 | link

Hans Georg Gadamer

Died yesterday at the age of 102 in Heidelberg. As the faz points out, Gadamer was not only a great and highly orginal philosopher, but also the last representative of a world now, perhaps, irretrievably gone.


posted by Gena on Friday, March 15, 2002 |
link

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Thursday, March 14, 2002

Sowell Sister Number One, Reporting to Sick Bay. I have a nasty head cold, and am unable to be my wonderfully brilliant self. Therefore, Thomas Sowell, intellectual god, will have to be brilliant in my stead. The world keeps making these quarter turns to the right. I fear being flung off into outer space. I’m going to take medicine and hope I feel better tomorrow. Ah, Nyquil, is there any problem you can’t solve?

posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, March 14, 2002 | link

And in the name of democracy just look

What ICANN resolved. Or better yet just look at what it said: "The Board is not persuaded that global elections are the only or the best means of achieving meaningful public representation or the informed participation of Internet users in the ICANN process." Letting people choose their own representatives. Hah! How undemocratic is that? Of course, someone might pose the question as to why the Board wants to get rid of the publicly elected representatives. Now, let me see; what could the reason possibly be?


posted by Gena on Thursday, March 14, 2002 | link

Should Governments Control the Internet?

Let me think about that for a moment. Um, no. Do governments want to control the Internet? You bet they do. Are governments and corporations going to try to grab control of it. Well, let me see. A medium which puts a printing press with the power of world wide distribution in the hands of everyone, a medium where people say what they think, because there's no one looking over their shoulder quoting the party line, and where all those nasty little secrets certain people would rather hide can travel instantly around the world, let me think real hard about what the future actions of Big Brother might be. And while I'm trying to puzzle this out, you can read the Washington Post's condescending, snotty little article about the director of ICANN's modest proposal. Ah, if only it were satire.


posted by Gena on Thursday, March 14, 2002 | link

Hate to say it, but maybe even evil slime Osama had it right

About the Saudi government, that is. Any government which asserts that Jews use teenagers' blood for purim pastries deserves to fall right now. It should certainly not be propped up by the US, or worse yet described as our "friend." We support these people and then wonder why we have trouble in the Middle East. Maybe we should try supporting people who actually stand for democracy and democratic values, rather than those who simply state their willingness to jump on our bandwagon in return for cash.


posted by Gena on Thursday, March 14, 2002 | link

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Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Jesuits Delenda Est. I suppose it isn’t unheard of for Catholicism to be viciously suppressed, but it is unconscionable for the Jesuits to be doing it. The Jesuit order, once the faithful defenders of the Catholic Church, have of late become the strongest enemy of the Faith. The Jesuit order has become a den of liberation theology, sexual deviance, and disobedience from the Vatican. To make it worse, they are now actively destroying the nations best traditional Catholic Great Books program, the St. Ignatius Institute. They have even exiled the great Fr. Fessio to the Siberia of a tiny hospital chaplain post to prevent him from heading a new two-year Catholic humanist college. This is “liberal” tyranny at its worst. The marginalizing of traditional Catholics within the Church is a travesty, and will destroy the American Catholic Church from within if it isn’t stopped. I am a life-long Catholic and can’t remember the last time a priest preached real, traditional Catholic doctrine in his homily. I love God, His Church, and His Pope and Cardinals, but I am intellectually and morally frustrated by the Fr. Flapdoodles and Bishop Bunnyhops that keep plaguing my parish. The Jesuit order is merely the most prominent example of what is wrong with the Church in America. Either you are faithful to the Church’s teachings or you aren’t. There should be no place for Cafeteria Catholics in the Church hierarchy or in the Jesuits. If that means a Second Suppression is in order, then so be it. If the Jesuits think there is no place for the illustrious tradition of Catholic humanism in a university, the Jesuits ought to be stripped of their teaching authority. There is no place in academia for those who suppress intellectual dissent. This is why non-Catholics and atheists should be as angry about this as any Catholics. A university should expose students to the greatest achievements of mankind and foster open intellectual debate and dissent. Catholic humanism represents one of the greatest and most influential philosophical traditions in Western Civilization. Should students be denied exposure to it because it runs contrary to someone’s rigid political ideologies?

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 | link

Public Art. I hate public art. Don’t get me wrong, I love art. I love real art. I love art that is entrancing, uplifting, inspiring, or soul-enlarging. Heck, I even love art that is just plain beautiful. The human soul has a need for beauty and for aspiration. Too bad urban bureaucrats are determined that that need go unfulfilled. Public art is a hideous misuse of the word “art.” Public art is almost always pure dreck. The age of great public art is over. Now they will put up any old twisted hunk of steel, give it a name, and, voila, art. Here in the Magic City we have public art that is a big red steel thing that looks like a cigarette being stubbed out. Oh how the soul soars at that one. Public art is the half-thought out, over-priced, left-over hash of good intentions, art school pretensions, and self-important zoning boards. Is it a law that public art has to be designed by toddlers in a Nyquil trance? Seems like it. Rant inspired by Paul Greenberg.

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 | link

Israelis Denounce ID Numbers. An Israeli lawmaker decries the writing of identification numbers on the arms of Palestinians. Gee, the Israelis seem pretty vocal when they protest abuses of Palestinian civil rights. You never hear about the Palestinians being concerned with the rights (or lives) of Israelis.

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 | link

Wahoo! Praise the Lord God Almighty, His only Begotten Son, the Blessed Virgin and Dave! The Spinsters have finally figured out how to permanently link to other sites. Check out the sidebar. A hard won achievement from two techno-lazy pundettes.

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 | link

What The F---!!! Gena your reply was so incoherent and so oblivious to the points I was making as to be unworthy of a reply. Seriously, are you on crack?

posted by Lee Ann on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 | link

In Summation:

Targeting civilians and killing them is wrong, and for that the Palestinians should be condemned; but the things the Israelis have done to the Palestinians are also wrong, and for that the Israelis should be condemned. Apportioning moral superiority does not nothing to stop the violence; it only legitimates one side or the other in using it. I haven't argued that the Israelis are evil, because I don't think they are. I also haven't argued that because I want to see the violence stopped, and two groups each believing the other the incarnation of diabolical evil will go on killing each other forever. Israel's method of defending itself has so far only provoked more attacks. That is something to think about, before asserting the justice or necessity of a military response. Beating into submission is one thing. Revenge is another. And defense is something else; for defense implies a desire for the violence to end, and the best method of defense is therefore the one most likely to end the violence. And for that reason Sharon's method of "defense" sucks.


posted by Gena on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 | link

Israelis and Palestinians: A Philosophical Problem

If I walked up and hit you with a brick and you hit me back with a bat, then I would be at fault and bear full responsibility for both of our injuries, for the simple reason that I initiated the violence. Now there's an interesting philosophical proposition. I would argue, however, that the apportionment of responsibility would rest on three other things which you fail to mention.

1. Whether I acted without reason or provocation
2. Whether hitting me with a bat was the only means of defense you had.
And
3. Whether hitting me with the bat was likely to stop me from hitting you back with the brick.

This assumes, of course, that your wanting to hit me with the bat would be because you wanted to defend yourself and stop the violence. If you wanted revenge, that would be another matter. Of course when the police came to cart us both off, you would most likely claim self-defense, even if you had really only wanted to knock the living daylights out of me, because as you correctly point out, defending yourself is legitimate, whereas seeking revenge is not. It's the difference between freedom and jail. So, if in court you could prove that I just randomly walked up to you and hit you with a brick, that I showed no responsiveness to reason, but only a diabolical need to strike you again, and that you had every reason to believe that a well placed blow to the temple would knock me out and end the violence, you would not be held responsible for the incident.

Now what if on cross examination, the following came out:

You and I had had a property dispute, at which time I attacked you and you took over my home by force. Many of my family members fled, and some of those who did not were forcibly expelled by you. You confiscated the property of these family members, did not compensate them for it, and refused to allow them to return. Those of us who stayed wound up living in the barn until you and I had another fight, which resulted in even more of my family members fleeing or being expelled, and the rest of us being exiled to the garden shed where we lived under your control. Conditions in the garden shed were crowded, and substandard; but parts it had potential, although this was compromised by the fact of the limited availability of beds and linens. Now it so happened that your house was getting overcrowded due to all the people who wanted to come and live with you. You therefore decided to encourage some of these people to settle the shed, where they forced many of my family members out of their beds - without compensating them - and siphoned off the best linens, leaving the dregs for us. When I decided to protest your continuing occupation of the shed by throwing rocks at you, you responded by shooting bullets at me. The situation continued for some time, but finally we decided to negotiate. I agreed to let you have the house and the barn, in return for the right to the shed and for the right of sovereignty over it. For this I acknowledged your right to be in the house, and you recognized my right to be in the shed.

Then almost a decade passed. You and I continued to negotiate, but somehow I never got the promised sovereignty over the shed, and somehow your forces within the shed failed to disappear, and the settlers kept coming, displacing more and more of my family members, and taking more and more linens, and my exiled family members never got to return. And you would do things too. Like use torture, or shoot us when we tried to cross the border between the shed and the house, or round us up, or even lure our children up to the border of certain sections of the shed by using racist taunts and then shoot them when they threw stones. If disputes broke out between us and the bed settlers you would take the settlers' side and assist them in engaging in bloody retaliations against us. You and I went to the negotiating table one more time, and once again you offered less than you had before, and this time I refused to accept. I staged a demonstration and you fired live ammunition into the crowd. Then one of your leaders, who would become your main leader, went to one of our holiest and most disputed sites, which he knew or at least should have known would be seen as an act of insult and provocation. And there you were standing in the doorway, and I saw you, and; I finally just "walked up and hit you with a brick," at which time you hit me with a bat, only your bat was much bigger than my brick, so where I knocked in your nose, you knocked in my skull. This only made me angrier and it made other people angry as well, so we kept hitting you with bricks, and you kept hitting us with bats. And when one of our neighbors, who had been hostile to you in the past, promised to recognize your legitimacy and normalize relations with you, if you would give us back the barn and end the fighting, we said we were willing to stop the violence and negotiate, but you said no. In fact, you said that the situation was all our fault and that we were hitting you with bricks simply because we hated you. You said this while giving lip service to our grievances, which somehow were not enough to give you any responsibility or role in ending the violence. Instead we were simply terrorists, reduced to the level of spoiled or willful children - negotiate with them now, and you'll teach them that acting this way is a way of getting what they want. And never mind that all during those years of negotiations, we didn't attack you, and that the current violence began at a concrete time and for concrete reasons. To you  we're morally repugnant scum, who may have grievances, but whose grievances don't dent your moral own superiority at all, and you hold up your own shining and free life in the manor house and on the estate as proof of your justness, and of our lack of it. And thus you sit back and pontificate about our taking responsibility, but you make no move to take it yourself. You say we could choose not to support terrorists. Well, that is true, but you could also choose not to support the things you support, and you could also acknowledge that our support of terrorists has a direct link to the things you support, and that stopping your support of such things would stop our support of terrorism. You could acknowledge all of that, but instead you paint yourself as "good" and us I suppose as "evil" and affirm your right to do nothing other than slaughter us with "precision" bats, which somehow kill parents, children, and foreign journalists, as well as the people you're supposedly aiming at.

And if I were on the jury, I would decide the following.

Gena is guilty of hitting Lee Ann with a brick, but Lee Ann is also guilty of hitting Gena with a bat. Both Gena and Lee Ann are wrong. Both Gena and Lee Ann could behave differently. Both Gena and Lee have the obligation to behave differently. Both Gena and Lee Ann have the obligation to take steps to stop the violence. And since this is a court of law, rather than an international incident, both Gena and Lee Ann are going to jail.


posted by Gena on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 | link

Wow just look at all the liberals

Left-wing radicals, peaceniks, and communists who agree with me about the Israelis and Palestinians. Oh, wait. It's the Bush Administration.


posted by Gena on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 | link

Woman's Dog Eats Neighbor, Woman Expresses Surprise

This story is why I have a dog exactly the size of a very large cat. Or maybe it's why I don't adopt white supremacist gang members and raise their dogs as my own. Or name the dogs "Bane" and "Hera" for that matter. Or testify in court that I am so very sorry that my dog ate my neighbor. Just random speculation, of course.


posted by Gena on Wednesday, March 13, 2002 | link

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Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Sowell Patrol. Thomas Sowell on political shibboleths. Sowell highlights the damage done to political thought and discourse when people rely on shibboleths, or “litmus tests.” Read it and think about your political ideas, and think about how many could qualify as shibboleths. I am, and it can be scary how easy it is to fall into unthinking rigidity. We develop opinions and forget to keep thinking about them. A lot of that is laziness, but that intellectual laziness takes a toll.

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 | link

Lee Ann’s Official Opinion on Israel and Palestine. They deserve each other, screw ‘em all. Just kidding. In response to your supremely confusing, and dead wrong, analysis of my alleged position, I will try to give my real position. I will use small words so you won’t be confused.

People who deliberately target civilians for death are morally inferior to those who target military, paramilitary and terrorist targets. Civilian deaths are tragic and should be avoided whenever humanly possible. The Israelis do this, the Palestinians do not. The Palestinians cannot simultaneously demand peace while supporting organizations that have declared war on Israeli civilians. Reign in Al Aqsa, take the revolving doors out of your prisons, and then we’ll talk.

Appeasing Terrorists only leads to more terror. If you give in to Palestinian demands because they are killing innocent people, you are clearly saying that if they want something else later, they just have to kill more innocent people. It’s the same as paying ransom for hostages; if you do it, the terrorists will take the money, buy more weapons, and take more hostages. If you reward the Palestinians for supporting terror, they will support more terror. If you doubt this, look at the illustrious history of peace through appeasement.

The Israelis are entitled to use limited, targeted force against terrorists and their supporters. They should avoid civilian casualties whenever possible, but they are not responsible for the fate those used as human shields by unscrupulous thugs. I never said the Israelis could use whatever force they wanted, but they are entitled to self-defense. What then do you propose that Israel do when it is the victim of a terrorist attack? If the Palestinians won’t reign in their terrorists, what recourse does Israel have? How many people have to die before Israel can respond with force?

Israel is not obliged to endanger its existence as a state, or the lives of its citizens to keep strictly to the dictates of a treaty. A treaty is in force so long as it is held to by its signatories. When one signatory has violated a treaty to the extent the Palestinians have, it is ridiculous to condemn the Israelis for responding to the reality on the ground. The Israelis signed a treaty guaranteeing the Palestinians their own state, territories, and the whole shebang on the condition that the Palestinians crack down on their terror organizations and end the murderous violence against Israeli citizens. Instead Arafat ratcheted up the violence. In 1921, the U.S., France, Germany and Britain signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, outlawing war. When Hitler invaded Poland, should the other Pact signatories have mindlessly held to the treaty they signed?

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 | link

Gena Lewis, Useful Idiot. After your quite moving deliberate misreading of my posts, I was flattered that you chose to attack me on positions I never took. I also delighted in your deriding me for not taking positions that I clearly DID take, several times. I several times condemned Israeli atrocities committed against Palestinians. I brought up several of their main grievances in the first place. I assumed that a thinking person would deduce that Israeli atrocities would be Palestinian grievances. Operative words “thinking person” and “deduce.” However, having a reason is not the same as having an excuse. Germany had legitimate grievances after WWI, but that doesn’t excuse the behavior that caused WWII. There is a difference between an aggressor and a defender. If I walked up and hit you with a brick and you hit me back with a bat, then I would be at fault and bear full responsibility for both of our injuries, for the simple reason that I initiated the violence. If I attack you, I can’t very well complain that you are defending yourself.

“Leaving the violence aside, the Palestinians do have legitimate grievances, which it is the responsibility of the Israelis, as the occupying force, and thus as the holder of the cards, to address.” Um, no. You can’t “leave the violence aside.” Many of the Palestinian grievances are the result of security measures that Israel was forced to adopt to defend itself from Palestinian violence. Take the road blocks and other travel restrictions. Yes, they are a hassle, but how else is Israel to prevent terrorists from entering heavily populated civilian areas? Maybe the Palestinian should take some responsibility and address some of Israel’s grievances. Like suicide bombers, for instance.

“There is a difference in reacting negatively to someone because you dislike them, and reacting that way because that person is doing concrete and harmful things to you.” Thank you Captain Obvious. This is actually Israel’s position. The Palestinians kill Israelis because they don’t like Jews. The Israelis enact repressive security measures because the Palestinians are killing them. I would think this would be self-evident.

“In other words, they're stuck with each other, and for that reason who's worse, or who's more guilty is about as important as a flea on a dying dog.” This is a nice way of avoiding tough questions. Questions like, how can there be permanent peace between a country (Israel) that wants peace and a people (the Palestinians) who don’t? If the Palestinians wanted peace, they would make real efforts to reign in the terrorists acting in their name. “What is important is that the two groups find a way of living with each other - fairly, equitably, and non-violently - and that they be willing to do so. The longer the violence continues, the less likely that is to happen.” Tell this to the Palestinians. Every Israeli action you complain about has been in direct response to a bloody Palestinian terror attack. The Israelis are not trying to expel the Palestinians from the region. They would be happy to live in peace with them. Palestinians can become Israeli citizens and enjoy full rights, just like any other citizen. It’s the Palestinians that want to drive every Jew out of the Levant.

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 | link

With a Ho Ho Ho and a Ha Ha Ha. “The point is that its editorial page is one of the most uniformly and identifiably conservative in the country, which means that it is made up of people who see the world a certain way and want to make damn certain that everyone else sees it that way too.” Actually, the WSJ commentary page is the ONLY mainstream newspaper Op-ed page that leans conservative. I hope this means that your skepticism is extended to the hard left New York Times, and the merely liberal papers like the Washington Post, L. A. Times, Boston Globe, and virtually every newspaper in the United States. Are you implying that liberals aren’t out to make everyone see things their way? Then why on earth do they purge conservatives from the news room? You do know that only about 4% of all journalist say they have are conservative. By the way, the WSJ’s news content is as left-liberal as any other paper’s in the country. Only their opinion page stands out as the ONLY conservative one. Comparing the WSJ opinion page to the Nation is to deliberately set up a straw man. The Nation is a political magazine on par with Frontpage or the Freepers. WSJ is like the New York Times. Unless, as I said before, you consider them to be ideologues too.

“And people who have an overt ideological agenda are not reliable because they tend to decide the facts on the basis of their opinions rather than deciding their opinions based on the facts, and they are furthermore oftentimes not above skewering or eliminating or even inventing facts in order to further their agenda.” You are preaching to the choir here. I don’t know how many times the NYT or some other liberal paper or news media has spiked, half-reported, slanted, or even made up a story. Check Smartertimes.com for a daily correction of NYT misinformation. Remember when NYT made up a story about the Boy Scouts losing funding over their stance on gays? Turns out they flat out made that up. You seem to think only a conservative paper could do this. I posted that WSJ opinion piece in the first place because the author gave a very good summation of the pro-Israel point of view, with excellent supporting evidence. Conservatives often have intelligent well-reasoned opinions, but you would never know because you discount them without considering their arguments. How do you know your liberal opinions are right if you don’t test them against conservative ones? Just because you are a conservative doesn’t mean you are a lying political zealot. Unless you believe in marginalizing political dissent. You’re right, this isn’t cute; it’s hypocrisy.

posted by Lee Ann on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 | link

Israeli/ Palestinian Conflict Part III: Brief Statement of My Position

In the interest of brevity and time, I'm just going to make a brief undefended statement of my position, and leave the actual argument for the day after tomorrow - after which time this side of the debate shall decamp.

I think what the Palestinians are doing is inexcusable. I also think the Israelis are responding to it with excessive force. And just as a side note. The point of the UN story about the school was that the police headquarters had been bombed into a shell, that there was no one inside it, and that there was no military purpose to be served by bombing it yet again. There was, however, a school right next to it, and there were children attending the school at the time the Israelis struck. According to the Amnesty story 300 Israelis have died, including 200 civilians and 50 children, and 1000 Palestinians have died, including 200 children - to see who those children are, I refer you to the Guardian story I cited earlier. I don't think the Palestinians are the "good guys" in this, but I don't think the Israelis are either, and I don't see what purpose apportioning such labels serves. And just for the record: I have defended the Palestinians and cited Israeli abuses because I was responding to what you said. Your position is that the Israelis are better, and I don't think that's true. In order to show that I have had to cite offenses by the Israelis, but that doesn't mean that I am glossing over the offenses of the Palestinians. If you ask my honest opinion, I think what has happened on both sides is reprehensible, but I also don't think that sitting back on one's heals in the comfort of one's living room and apportioning blame does a whole hell of a lot toward solving or even understanding the problem.

Leaving the violence aside, the Palestinians do have legitimate grievances, which it is the responsibility of the Israelis, as the occupying force, and thus as the holder of the cards, to address. The Israelis have done this, but they have also violated the terms of international treaties and of the agreements they signed with the Palestinians. There is a difference in reacting negatively to someone because you dislike them, and reacting that way because that person is doing concrete and harmful things to you. And that last statement is important, because at the moment the operative factor is that each side is responding to concrete and harmful things that have been done to it. However, as the bodies pile up the pendulum swings and concrete and harmful things get turned into abiding and irrational hatred. The situation then becomes a blood feud, in which each side really does want to destroy the other, and where no one is willing to negotiate. And this is bad, because neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis are going anywhere. And the truth is, that given the size of the population, the arability of the land, the fact that the entire country is the size of New Jersey, and that it is prima facie absurd to think that you can have a functioning state separated from itself by a hostile neighbor, the Israelis and Palestinians are going to have to learn to live together and that in the confines of the same state. In other words, they're stuck with each other, and for that reason who's worse, or who's more guilty is about as important as a flea on a dying dog. What is important is that the two groups find a way of living with each other - fairly, equitably, and non-violently - and that they be willing to do so. The longer the violence continues, the less likely that is to happen.

And that is something which is bad for us; for Israel has the possibility of becoming this century's Balkans - the place where World Wars start. The US is the country with the most influence over Israel and the one most likely to be able to steer it toward peace. It is incumbent upon the US to do that; just as it is incumbent upon the Arab countries to do the same with the Palestinians - in the interest of the Israelis, the Palestinians, and everybody else. And that isn't relativism; it's the hard-nosed acceptance of fact.


posted by Gena on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 | link

Israeli/ Palestinian Conflict Part II: Your Argument

Yes, Lee Ann I did fail to address your argument in its entirety, and my post was scattered, for the simple reason I was - as the title implied - addressing the individual claims you made. I didn't take on your argument, or clarify my position because my computer had crashed yet again and by the time I had rewritten everything it was 6 o'clock in the morning, and contrary to popular perception I am not a member of the X-Men, endowed with superhuman powers obviating the need for sleep. However, I am going to take on your argument, though this is made difficult by the fact that I don't really understand it, or more precisely I don't understand the ultimate conclusion you wish to draw. I don't want to strawman you, so I'm going to outline your premises, and give you the option of correcting me, if I am wrong. If you don't correct me, I'll address your argument tomorrow night.

Your central claims:

P1: The Palestinians are terrorists who target civilians.
P2: The Israelis are members of a functioning democracy, who only accidentally kill civilians.
C1: The Israelis are better than the Palestinians.

That this is your position seems relatively clear to me. What is really unclear to me is how you wish to relate this to the larger conflict. Based upon what you have written, the argument would seem to go something like the following:

P1: The Israelis are better than the Palestinians.
P2: The Palestinians have grievances against the Israelis.
C2: The grievances of the Palestinians don't matter.

P1: The grievances of the Palestinians don't matter.
P2: The Israelis have been attacked.
C3: The Israelis bear no responsibility for the fighting.

P1: The Israelis bear no responsibility for the fighting.
P2: The Israelis are defending themselves by using force.
P3: The Palestinians don't want to end the fighting.
P4: The Palestinians want to eliminate Israel.
P5: Israel is fighting for its existence
C3: Israel is entitled to use whatever force it wants.

P1: If some signatories of a treaty are violating it, other signatories may also violate it.
P2: If some people commit human rights abuses, other people are also entitled to commit them.
P3: Some signatories of the Geneva Convention have violated it.
P4: Some Arab states have committed human rights abuses.
C4: The Israelis may also violate the Geneva Convention and commit human rights abuses.

P1: The Israelis are better than the Palestinians.
P2: The grievances of the Palestinians don't matter.
P3: The Israelis bear no responsibility for the fighting.
P4: Israel is entitled to use whatever force it wants.
P5: The Israelis may violate the Geneva Convention and commit human rghts abuses.
Conclusion: ???????????

And it is here that I am absolutely at a loss; for there are several onclusions you could draw from this, including but not limited to the rght of the Israelis to liquidate the Palestinians. I don't think that's what you mean, but it's very unclear to me what exactly you do mean. What is the final conclusion here? What are the Israelis entitled to do? How are the Palestinians supposed to live? And how should the conflict end? Without knowing that, I can't address your argument - at least not fairly. Please repost tomorrow and let me know.


posted by Gena on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 | link

Ouch! I don't mean to scream unfair.

But, hey, unfair! Writing something like "Oops, the WSJ and a Jewish newspaper. I hope Gena can recover from the bias." is a willful misunderstanding of my argument. I don't give a rat's ass what sort of newspaper the WSJ is. Every single writer on its staff could belong to the Brotherhood of Believers in Descent from Pluto for all I care. The point is that its editorial page is one of the most uniformly and identifiably conservative in the country, which means that it is made up of people who see the world a certain way and want to make damn certain that everyone else sees it that way too. And people who have an overt ideological agenda are not reliable because they tend to decide the facts on the basis of their opinions rather than deciding their opinions based on the facts, and they are furthermore oftentimes not above skewering or eliminating or even inventing facts in order to further their agenda. That is the reason I don't trust them. I don't trust them on the left; I don't trust them on the center; and I sure as hell don't trust them on the right. If I want to read about Oblonsky, I'll bloody well read Tolstoy. And that is also the reason I don't trust a study done by the director of the World Zionist Organization (in Jerusalem for God's sake, which last time I checked is one of the main points of dispute); the same as I wouldn't trust a study of Israeli textbooks done by the director of the Pan Arab Liberation League, especially when I can't read the books and check the facts on my own. C'mon Lee Ann. How likely are you to trust an economic study done by the Secretary of the Communist Party? How about about a study of "the male gaze"  by the Association of Differance Feminists? Or one about Birmingham textbooks done by the Black Separatist Front? Surely you would question whether the study existed as a neutral scientific exploration of the subject or as an overt propaganda tool to sell you an ideological position sweetened by the saccharine of science. And if you didn't? Well, that sort of naiveté isn't cute; it marches people off at tyrants'' heals.


posted by Gena on Tuesday, March 12, 2002 | link

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Monday, March 11, 2002

Offense vs. Defense. I’ve been thinking and I think I have finally isolated what so galled me about your earlier post. It’s that you spent the entire time sneering at the Israelis without once condemning Palestinian atrocities. You gloss over Black September, Sbarro, the Dolphinium, and every other deliberate targeting of civilians in order to focus on military strikes, as if they were the same thing. The Palestinians slaughter Israeli civilians, Israel carries out precision military attacks against terrorists known to have ordered those attacks, and you blame Israel for “continuing the cycle of violence!” You harped on Israeli atrocities that I mentioned (and condemned) in the first place, but never can bring yourself to condemn the terrorist atrocities I mentioned. You snipe about Sharon and his tangential involvement with Sabre and Shatila, while ignoring Yasser Arafat’s direct involvement in 40 years worth of terror attacks against civilians, including personally ordering the murder of American diplomat Cleo Noel! You never once addressed the many incidents I mentioned of Palestinian attacks against Israelis. You are beginning to sound like Dr. Carrington from The Thing: It is the Israelis duty to stand here and die, in the interest of peace. Well, no it isn’t. If the Palestinians want to declare war against Israel, why shouldn’t Israel defend itself?

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, March 11, 2002 | link

Internet Censorship. Thanks to the mighty Possumblogger (he’s big, he’s bad, he’s a marsupial) for the heads up on this vile bit of censorship. An Internet ad firm that effects over 85% of the ‘net won’t run ads for Kurt Wilson, of Survival Enterprises, one of the country’s most respected gun merchants. No other site gets refused ads on the basis of content, but some anti-gun lefty thinks rights are not for certain people. As a future gun owner, I am quite furious about this attack on my rights. Heck, as an American, I am furious. You should be too.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, March 11, 2002 | link

Sowell Patrol. I love Thomas Sowell. He is one of the most brilliant, most original, and most lucid thinkers I have ever encountered. Here’s is one of his “Random Thoughts” columns, on growing old. It’s just a blog-like peek into the mind of genius. I would eagerly recommend all his books, especially his Basic Economics, The Vision of the Anointed, and the “Cultures” trilogy. If there is a support group for rabid Sowell fans, I want to join. Just call me Sowell Sister Number 1.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, March 11, 2002 | link

Relativize This! Here is a story detailing how the Palestinians whooped it up celebrating the latest suicide bombing in Israel. They partied hearty because a bomber walked into a café and murdered 11 civilians. Boy I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read about the Israelis dancing for joy at the deaths of Arab civilians. Yes, I can. None. That’s how many times. Here’s a moving first person account of the atrocity from Ha’aretz.

“Outside, the televised scenes of ambulances and police have begun. But inside, it is deathly still. Only the smell of burning. Of charred human flesh. A young man at the counter, burned. A young girl wearing black, blasted to the ground. Human hands, human thighs, a human skull. A handsome young man in a t-shirt sprawled backwards on a high barstool. Absolutely still.”

Thanks to Opinionjournal for this excerpt. Oops, the WSJ and a Jewish newspaper. I hope Gena can recover from the bias.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, March 11, 2002 | link

Confusing, Yet Wrong. Your post is so scattered I don’t know where to start. You harp on the failings of the Israelis until the cows come home, but you ignore those of the Palestinians. It is easy to criticize Israel, because they act like a civilized nation. The Israelis foster a free and open democracy while the Palestinians are devoted to their kleptocracy. You are holding Israel to a standard that you don’t hold the Palestinians to. The cycle of violence you complain about has, in every instance, been started by the Palestinians. By the way, don’t start a post highlighting my admission of Israeli human rights failings, then end by implying I said the Palestinians had no grievances. It makes you sound like you’ve been spiking your whiskey.

You refused to address my response to yours. I acknowledged the failure of the Israelis. You keep defending those of the Palestinians. Sharon may was indeed involved with the Phalangist militia, but there is no proof he knew of or condoned the massacres. I notice you did not mention that camps like Sabre or Shatilla were used as bases for Hezbollah guerrillas. Which doesn't excuse the massacre, but is important background information. You don’t mention that the Muslim refugees and the Christian phalangists had been engaged in bloody warfare ever since the Syrians started funding Muslim terror campaigns in the (mostly Christian) Lebanon. Do know the extent of the atrocities committed against the Christian community by the Muslim Arabs? You know, 77% of Arab Americans are Christians. Ever wonder why? Maybe because they were driven out of their homelands by Islamofascists.

You revile the fact that Israel strikes at terrorists in civilian areas, but you don’t mention that those terrorists attack Israelis using civilians as shields. Should terrorists get a free hand because they are willing to endanger women and children? Israel is not trying to kill civilians! They use ultra-sophisticated tracking missiles that can take a man’s head off without damaging the pictures on his wall. If they had the same disregard for civilian life that the Palestinians do, they would just use a tomahawk missile and blow up the whole neighborhood. Israel has always tried to minimize civilian casualties; the Palestinians have always tried to maximize them. I post examples of the Palestinians targetting civilians; you post examples of the Israelis striking paramilitary targets. Yeah, just exactly the same thing. Palestinian police headquarters double as headquarters for Al Aqsa terrorists. The Israelis didn’t put those orphans 200 meters from a legitimate military target, the Palestinians did. Heck, you even admit the Israelis didn’t hit the orphanage. They do this because they expect that the Israelis don’t want to kill civilians and that they will be safe from air strikes. The orphans were used by the PA as human shields. Arafat uses Red Crescent ambulances to transport weapons and gunmen across Israeli checkpoints. Why aren’t you condemning the Palestinians who base their terror operations in civilian areas, in order to make Israel look bad when they retaliate? Maybe the Palestinians shouldn’t use human shields. Maybe you should read both sides of the story.

“Aren't you worried that there might not be just a tad bit of ideological bias there? Perhaps this doesn't bother you, but it certainly bothers me. This is why I don't post stuff from the Nation or Dissent or anything else that I think might have an agenda to push.” You are so cute when you are naïve. The Spiegel doesn’t have an agenda? The Washington Post, which broke Watergate but spiked every Democratic scandal for 30 years, has no agenda? The New York Times is neutral? I hope you don’t watch CNN. The Wall Street Journal is one of the most respected papers in the country and gets some of the most insightful people in the country to write for its editorial page. All papers have a bias; some are just up front and honest about it. According to your logic, no news sites at all can be posted because they all have biases. It’s not what papers print; it’s what they spike. WSJ has published many pro-Palestinian articles too. When have you seen pro-Israel articles in the Euro press?

Speaking of bias, you do realize that those PA textbooks, the ones that don’t show Israel’s existence, are published by the U. N.? The U. N. puts Syria on its Human Rights panel. Remember the Dunbar conference on racism? The one that blamed the West for all the problems in the world and defined Zionism as racism? You complain of bias and then link to the U. N.? Guffaw!

You cite Amnesty International saying that 1000 Palestinians, 200 of them children, were killed. How many of those were shooting at the Israelis at the time of their deaths? How do they define child? Are they equating a toddler caught in the crossfire with a teenage suicide bomber? Are 19-year-old gunmen considered children? How many Israelis were killed during the same time period? How many were children? How many were civilians? Certainly Amnesty keeps track of that. You bring up several well known failings of the Israelis, but you never mention the constant terror attacks by the Palestinians. Why doesn’t Amnesty investigate the plethora of allegations of Palestinian human rights violations? Why don’t you condemn Palestinian terrorists with the same vehemence that you condemn Israeli ones?

The Palestinians talk out of both sides of their mouths. They recognize Israel to the West, and then declare that they will exterminate the Jews in their own media. They are just saying what we want to hear. The Palestinians are not a fully functioning state through their own fault. They get billions from America and other western nations every year. Do they set up an educational system or try to create a functioning economy? No, they funnel the money to terror groups and to Arafat’s personal bank accounts. The Palestinians are as responsible for their conduct as the Israelis are. They are human beings and can be treated as such. Making excuses for them reduces them to the level of children, or of lesser beings. They are supporting terrorists because they have chosen to, not because the Israelis didn’t ‘bring them up right.” Don’t reduce the Palestinians to subhuman status by denying their status as rational, thinking humans. They choose to support Hamas and Hezbollah. They could choose not to. They are fully functioning humans and can be held responsible for their actions.

Yes, the failures of Israel highlight its better moral position. Kind of like “man bites dog.” Their existence highlights their rarity. Israel also has a record of redressing its wrongs. Israel’s human rights violations are openly criticized and often eliminated at the behest of the Israelis themselves. The Israelis have always responded publicly to any allegation of impropriety. When Amnesty International makes accusations against Israel, the Israelis investigate them. Amnesty can travel and work freely in Israel. Can you say the same of PA controlled areas? The Palestinians are determined to keep killing civilians until Israel gives up; the Israelis are determined to keep killing terrorists until the terrorists give up. There is a world of difference between the two positions.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, March 11, 2002 | link

American POW in Iraq. The Washington Times has broken a story that an American pilot believed killed in the Gulf war is alive and being held prisoner in Iraq. God only knows what condition Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Scott Speicher is in. Any bets that the Iraqis are treating him in accordance with the Geneva Convention? Then again, Americans have never been treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention. Ask John McCain and the boys from the Hanoi Hilton. Come on Gena, you hyperventilated about the Gitmo prisoners, now where’s your outrage? The Geneva Conventions say he should have been released at the end of the war. OK, let’s have a big, long Gena-post reviling at length the cruel treatment this American has been subject to. I dare you.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, March 11, 2002 | link

Mommy’s Little Publicity Stunt. Yippee! Another photo-op adoption in La-la-land. Angelina and Billy Bob adopted a Cambodian baby boy. I’m sure the kid will have the best nanny money can buy. I suppose I should give them the benefit of the doubt. Especially as Gena likes Billy Bob so much.

posted by Lee Ann on Monday, March 11, 2002 | link

Paranoia or Censorship?

Paranoia. I used the computers in the UT library today and had no problem bringing Spinsters up. I think Instapundit is probably right: it was a DNS problem or some other system fluke. On the other hand, I do think filtering is something to be angry about, and when it happens at a publicly funded institution, it violates the First Amendment. I would explain why, but the Israelis and Palestinians have fried my brain for the evening (morning), and I'm retiring from the front.


posted by Gena on Monday, March 11, 2002 | link

Israeli/ Palestinian Conflict: Individual Claims

The Israelis Are Here to Stay

I have no doubt they are. Nor do I think they shouldn't be.

There have been instances in the past where the Israelis have committed, funded, or been closely allied with organizations that have committed massacres and atrocities against the Palestinians.

Funny you should mention the Sabra and Shatilla Massacre. "Sharon authorized entry of what were presumed to be members of Gemayel's Lebanese Forces (a Phalangist milita) and Saad Haddad's South Lebanon Army into the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps...For the next 38 hours, aided by Israeli flares at night, the militiamen raped, tortured, mutilated and massacred civilians." Wow. Sharon. Now there's a name which sounds awfully familiar.

Yes, children have been killed on both sides, but the difference is that the Palestinians are aiming at the children and the Israelis are not.

Yes, well not aiming at the children might be the operative term. At 9 am on March 7, 2002 "an Israeli F16 dropped a large bomb on the Palestinian Police Headquarters compound in Gaza City. The bomb exploded within 200 metres of 3,100 refugee children, aged between six and 15 years old, who were attending three schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees...Mr Peter Hansen, UNRWA's Commissioner General said today: 'The police headquarters targeted today has been bombed five times already and is little more than an empty shell. It is difficult to fathom just what military or strategic purpose is being served by bombing it for a sixth time. What is clear is that by bombing a crowded city centre at 9am on a weekday morning the innocent children at our schools have been severely traumatised.'"

The Israelis are trying to end the violence and the Palestinians are devoted to increasing it.

And your source for this is a Wall Street Journal Op ed piece? Aren't you worried that there might not be just a tad bit of ideological bias there? Perhaps this doesn't bother you, but it certainly bothers me. This is why I don't post stuff from the Nation or Dissent or anything else that I think might have an agenda to push. And if the Israelis are trying to end the violence why have they repeatedly blocked and even shot at ambulances, entered refugee camps leaving large numbers of dead and injured persons, indiscriminately fired into civilian populations from helicopter gun ships, and systematically destroyed Palestinian towns and villages? This certainly doesn't seem like particularly peaceful or reconciliatory behavior. Nor does the statement in the Amnesty report you linked that: "The number of Palestinians killed since the beginning of the current intifada in September 2000 has now reached more than 1000. The great majority of those killed, who include more than 200 children, were killed unlawfully when no lives were in danger." Perhaps you and I simply disagree as to what the term "end the violence" actually means. Your WSJ editorialist seems to think it means "ratchet up the damage until the Palestinians are ready for real negotiations." To me this is a strategy for increasing the violence - as Palestinian reprisals and the hardening of views on both sides seem to demonstrate, - unless of course Mr. WSJ means "ratchet up the damage" to the point where the Palestinians cease to exist. This would certainly be a final solution to the problem.

The Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

And the proof of this is a study of Palestinian text books which was authored by "the director and chief editor of the World Zionist Organization publishing house in Jerusalem?" Don't you remember Oslo: "On 10 September 1993, Israel and the PLO exchanged letters of mutual recognition. The PLO recognized Israel's right to exist." I don't dispute that some Palestinians refuse to accept facts, but officially the Palestinians have recognized Israel, and they haven't withdrawn that recognition either.

In the same way, the human rights failings of Israel serve to highlight that they are the good guys

I won't even attempt to understand the logic behind that statement. Presumably it is obvious to someone.

we expect better of them than of the PA.

Yes, because Israel is a well organized functioning state which is therefore responsible for its conduct, and for the conduct of its military and intelligence services, and which happens to be a party to the Geneva Conventions.

It has still treated the Palestinians better than the Arab nations have.

Which is wholly irrelevant. Someone else's bad conduct is no excuse for your own.

I used to equate the Palestinians and Israelis too, but that was in high school.

I don't understand what you mean by "equate." Are you saying the Palestinians have no grievances? You admit that "Israel has got problems up the wazoo." Does saying that both sides bear responsibility for the situation, equate them? And if it is equating them, I fail to see why this is a horrible, awful, radical position.


posted by Gena on Monday, March 11, 2002 | link

Israeli/ Palestinian Conflict: Preface

Lee Ann, since I don't think what you've written on the Palestinian/ Israeli conflict has much to do with what I actually think about it, I'm going to split my response into a discussion of your argument and a clarification and defense of my own evidently poorly expressed position. First up: Individual claims.


posted by Gena on Monday, March 11, 2002 | link

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Sunday, March 10, 2002

Protocols of the Elders of Riyadh. Here’s an update on the preferred TV viewing of the Arab world. Funny, I must have missed the dramatic interpretation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion when it aired on PBS. You know, that whole “blood libel” thing sounds so familiar. Where could I have heard of it? I guess I just don’t watch the right TV pogroms.

posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, March 10, 2002 | link

Goober's Revenge! The anti-peanut hysteria has reached Britain! I do realize that some people are allergic to peanuts, but that doesn’t give them the right to deprive me of the luscious legumes. Many of our modern allergies are self-induced by our over-sterilized, hermetically sealed hygiene-fetish lives. Having no real germs to fight, our bodies fight anything that happens into them. Open the windows, ditch the anti-bacterial soap, and read the ingredient list. Just get off my culinary back. In fact, here’s a wonderful work by George Washington Carver that gives lots of great peanut recipes.

posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, March 10, 2002 | link

The Israelis Are Here to Stay. I have not canonized the Israelis. I’m not saying that Israel hasn’t got major human rights problems. They have done and still do awful things. They need to stop, right now. They have legalized torture in some instances, using the “the guy knows where the bomb is” scenario as justification. Any use of torture is unacceptable, reprehensible, and any other word you’d care to throw in. There have been instances in the past where the Israelis have committed, funded, or been closely allied with organizations that have committed massacres and atrocities against the Palestinians. The entire history of the region has been one long got-you-got-you-back of violence. During WWII the Palestinians slaughtered untold numbers of Levant Jews; Palestinian families also braved the wrath of their neighbors to protect the Hebron Jews from massacre. This is not a simple, black and white issue. Israel has got problems up the wazoo.

The fact remains that Israel is still the good guy in this fight. Yes, children have been killed on both sides, but the difference is that the Palestinians are aiming at the children and the Israelis are not. The Israelis are trying to end the violence and the Palestinians are devoted to increasing it. You’ll notice that Amnesty doesn’t go around squawking about the Palestinian Authority’s abysmal human rights record nearly as much as they do Israel’s. Why? Because Israel is the only one of the two that cares about human rights. The Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. The bombing of Dresden was a war crime and violation of human rights, but the Allies are still the good guys. The Dresden atrocity serves to highlight that fact; it is so horrible because of its rarity. In the same way, the human rights failings of Israel serve to highlight that they are the good guys; we expect better of them than of the PA.

Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It has still treated the Palestinians better than the Arab nations have. Know how Jordan deals with Palestinian insurgency? By killing 25,000 of its Palestinians. Funny, Israel hasn’t tried to exterminate anybody. Palestinians can get Israeli citizenship; Jews are driven out of PA controlled areas. In your research, look up how the Palestinians have treated the Jews, even the Sephardic ones who have always lived in the Levant. Check out Arafat’s history of terrorism. You know, his buddies the Black September. Try finding out about a guy named Cleo Noel. I have taken classes in Mideast History, have read Teodor Hertzl and the other seminal Zionist texts, taken Arabic with a semi-fundamentalist Saudi, and regularly read the Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs. The WRMEA is as pro-Palestine as it gets. I headed my college chapter of Amnesty International, for cryin' out loud. I used to equate the Palestinians and Israelis too, but that was in high school. I grew up, learned about history, morality, ethics, and humanity. And, Shoshanna, wherever you are, you were right, I was wrong.

posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, March 10, 2002 | link

Paranoia Actually. More accurately, the amazing lag time between a phenomena in the real world and a university responding to it. If you can access big time political sites, you are not being politically censored. I used to work in a university computer lab, so here’s my take. They have certain sites filtered out, usually porn sites or psycho KKK type sites, and they have blogspot mistakenly listed as one of those. They probably think it's porn. I don’t know whether they have the same censorship rights as a private institution, but as a university they have more than you’d think. A university has a lot more leeway on the First Amendment than other publicly funded entities. The filter programs work by blocking sites with certain key words, and blogspot likely has one or two of those words. Samford blocked all sites, porn, gay/lesbian, even the White House (the site described the Clintons as “partners” or some such word), that didn’t jibe with its religious mission, which it has every right to do. It’s a private university and the servers are a privilege extended by the university. Not so with UTK. Just complain to the university lab department and they should unblock the sites. Never attribute to malice what you can attribute to stupidity. Especially in a university setting.

posted by Lee Ann on Sunday, March 10, 2002 | link

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Saturday, March 09, 2002

Paranoia or Censorship?

You know all those nice things I said about the University of Tennessee, well I may just have to take them back. I was in the University library today, and a curious thing happened when I tried to bring up Spinsters - nothing. I could load Yahoo, Google, the Washington Post, the NY Times, even 2600, but not Spinsters and not Instapundit, Quasipundit, War Liberal, or any other site with "blogspot" in the URL. Coincidence? Or filtering?For the University's sake, it better be coincidence, because if it's filtering, it's political censorship by a publicly funded institution and therefore a violation of the First Amendment. Something makes me think this isn't limited to UT, which really makes me think that someone should sue - but not UT because it's too poor and basically friendly.


posted by Gena on Saturday, March 09, 2002 | link

Takes Two to Tango

I'm not going to wade in on the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict tonight - too tired. Plus the complexity of the issue demands a trip outside the net and into the library. Yes, the big guns are coming out. Fortify now or forever hold your peace. And while you're heating the hot oil, and digging the trenches, you might want to look at the State Department's Human Rights Report on Israel. Not to mention. Since you cited the Guardian, here's a catalog of children killed in the conflict. Maybe I'm dyslexic, but it sure looks to me like civilians are being killed on both sides.


posted by Gena on Saturday, March 09, 2002 | link

Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other, NOT. I was hoping that your earlier outburst of moral equivalence was just something you ate. Nope, you posted the same relativism twice and are now officially demented. The Palestinian suicide bombers and the Israeli retaliation are NOT morally equivalent! The Palestinians bombers are terrorists who deliberately target unarmed civilians for death; the Israelis are using precision strikes against known terrorist leaders. There is a big difference between the two. The Palestinian bombers have targeted unarmed teenagers at a disco, killing 17. One bomber got in line at a Sbarro, right behind an 8 months pregnant woman, and killed 15. A gunman attacked a 13-year-old girl’s Bat Mitzvah, killing 6. A bomber stood next to a line of strollers and women in an anti-zionist, pacifist, ultra Orthodox neighborhood, killing 9. There was also the Haifa bus bombing that killed 15 civilians. The Israelis have sent precision missiles into terrorist headquarters, killing admitted leaders of groups like Al Aqsa, Hamas and Hezbollah. Each group admits targeting Israeli civilians and is linked to Arafat’s Fatah movement.

You might not have noticed, but the Palestinian Authority does not want peace. In 1993 Arafat was offered a recognized homeland in the West Bank and Gaza, and half of Jerusalem. He refused it. The Palestinians will never accept the existence of the Jewish state and are determined to exterminate the Israelis. Palestinian schools teach with textbooks that omit the existence of Israel. Young children are given fake explosives and trained to be suicide bombers in their schools. Arafat pays a bounty to the family of each suicide bomber. The terrorists are lauded as martyrs. The Israelis have repeatedly offered peace and statehood, but the Palestinians want blood. As for the U.S stepping in to solve the problem, who do you think has been restraining the Israelis from massive military retaliation against the entire Palestinian people? That’s right, America. If America wasn’t restraining the Israelis, they would have taken over the whole West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and solved the terror problem with more blood than the Fatah ever dreamed of.

There is a profound difference between the victim of a crime and the perpetrator of that crime, between attack and self-defense. Equating the two glosses over the evil of the murderer and mocks the suffering of his victim.

posted by Lee Ann on Saturday, March 09, 2002 | link

Capitalists Defended. Although I would gladly have torched my personal copy of the Scarlet Letter, I despise book burnings. One thing though, the capitalists would have sold the books on E-bay. The “historically inevitable stupidity” resulted from Marx meets legalistic bureaucrats.

posted by Lee Ann on Saturday, March 09, 2002 | link

Good For George But Not Enough

This is ridiculous and it makes me mad. It is perfectly reasonable for Sharon to demand that the Palestinians make a serious effort to stop the violence, but it is a trifle hypocritical to say that while doing this. Both sides should stop the killing. The Arab states seem to be leaning on the Palestinians to do that and the US should positively sit on the Israelis. Sharon is Andrew Jackson in the Middle East and we need to make it quite clear that now is not the century to be playing Kill the Indians.


posted by Gena on Saturday, March 09, 2002 | link

Book Burning

As a bibliophile and former Russian major I don't know whether to be sad or angry about this. Probably both. Haven't these people heard of E-Bay? You could auction the books for God's sake. Don't incinerate them. This is what happens when capitalism meets Karl Marx - historically inevitable stupidity.


posted by Gena on Saturday, March 09, 2002 | link

Racialism and Anglo American Philosophy

Lee Ann, I thought your response to my defense of Peter Singer quite good, but I didn't understand your last paragraph at all. Why is "Anglo American philosophy" a "racialist" term? Is it that you object to British and American philosophy being lumped together? Despite their differences, I do think this a standard practice, and I don't understand how it involves race. Granted it defines philosophy along national lines, but I don't think you can say that there is at the moment, at least, one world philosophy, or more precisely one philosophical school which is dominant the world over. And why is it racialist to assert that British/ American philosophy is distinct from say Continental philosophy? Perhaps, you mean that the term "Anglo American philosophy" ignores the presence of Continental philosophy within the American academy and in a filtered down version in American society. This is a valid criticism, but I still don't understand how it involves race. Are the French now a race? The Brits?   Maybe I just don't understand race or how people think about it. In my quest for enlightenment I've been reading Lingua Franca.


posted by Gena on Saturday, March 09, 2002 | link

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Friday, March 08, 2002

Speaking of Evil. If this woman doesn’t qualify, nobody does. She hits a homeless man with her car, drives home with him still in her windshield, and leaves him in the garage until he bleeds to death several days later. I was hoping this was an Internet legend or a bad initial reporting of facts, but this is the real, evil deal. Aaargh! Read this and get enraged.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, March 08, 2002 | link

Beelzabarbie! Mark Steyn again. This time he’s going after Big Bimbo.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, March 08, 2002 | link

Who You Callin' Special? First off, in the South “special” means “retarded.” This gave an unexpected giggle to your otherwise very well reasoned article. I would like to take issue with, or further explain my positions on, a few things.

“Consider for example the people who criticize the courts and the use that is made of them for being 'undemocratic.' The argument here is essentially that if the majority wants something, it must by definition right, even if it squashes the minority.” You forget that the courts are often criticized for being undemocratic when they are used by interest groups to squash the majority. Majorities have rights too. Minority activists like to use the courts as a quasi-legislature to push an agenda that has been democratically rejected. Sometimes this is good, i.e. civil rights legislation. Often it is the tyranny of a self-appointed elite who wish to dictate to those they see as inferior, i.e. bilingual education (rejected by popular vote, including by virtually all Hispanics). Of course, there is the ruling in some Yankee state that all new housing had to be “accessible” thus granting “visitability” rights to other people’s houses.

“Prove for example that you are not a brain in a vat, or a simulation in a very sophisticated virtual reality machine.” I don’t have to prove that I’m not a brain in a vat, any more than I have to “prove” gravity. It just is; don’t believe me, try floating. There is such a thing as a stupid question and philosophers are prone to asking them. Philosophers have stupid-questioned themselves into virtual irrelevance. If you are wondering whether you are a product of a virtual reality machine, you are severely underemployed. By the way, who runs this virtual reality machine? Is this a backdoor way of positing God?

“ . . . it does give moral standing to Dante, someone who would almost certainly be excluded by other ethical systems, and it does claim that Dante's existence is important, and should enter into the sphere of our concern.” I do in fact give a modified moral standing to Dante. Most ethical systems do give great thought to the treatment of animals. Religious systems view animals through the prism of “creature of God” and view respect for animals as respect for God. Secular systems think of animals as living things and deserving of respect on that score. Dante’s moral standing is modified because Dante is not a “moral actor.” Do animals act “morally?” Do they grant other creatures moral status? Think cats and mice.

“To me, however, ‘special’ usually means someone's head being justifiably lopped off, and for that reason, I'm all for kicking ‘special’ out of the vocabulary - white folks are special, Germans are special, gentiles are special, men are special, humans are special, and somebody screams.” Special just means different from others. Dante is special amongst Malteses, for example. You are grievously overreacting to the reality of difference. Different means just that, different. Not “superior,” not “freak,” not even “retarded.” Humans are at a higher moral and ethical plane than animals because they have minds, and have developed things like “ethics” and “morality.” Humans even consider other people and even animals to be covered by those categories.

“Singer is important for having turned Anglo American moral philosophy away from the analysis of "moral language" and to the realm of actual ethical dilemmas and moral choices.” Read more Anglo American moral philosophers. They all deal with the practical application of moral language, i.e. real life and real situations. It seems that you are reacting to “morality” not as an ethical system, but as a religious phenomenon. Do you categorically reject philosophical insights merely because of their religious origins? I can think of no other reason why you accuse American philosophers of being pie-in-the-sky idealists. What’s with the "Anglo American" schtick anyway? Are they philosophers or ethnic representatives? This is unnecessary racialism and should be avoided.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, March 08, 2002 | link

That Old Thing? The Bush documentary is old news. Apparently he tells lame jokes, makes a few profound statements, and basically puts up with a bus full of reporters for a year and a half. The people who’ve seen the film say Bush comes off quite well. They say the film may push his popularity rating even higher, if that’s possible. Here’s a witty review. The elite opinion on Bush is that he never watches Sex and the City and doesn’t know who Leonardo DiCaprio is, and is thus a moronic rube. Well, I have never (and will never) watch SATC and only wish I didn’t know who Leo is. If that makes me a low-brow rube, then praise the Lord and pass the cheese doodles.

posted by Lee Ann on Friday, March 08, 2002 | link

Ubi ubi sub ubi, where oh where is your underwear

Buy your tickets and reserve your copy now; for we're about to get a book and film on our president's sophisticated and urbane sense of humor.


posted by Gena on Friday, March 08, 2002 | link

I'm Not a Utilitarian, but I'm Going to Defend Peter Singer Anyway

Given all that's going on in the world at the moment, there are probably more important things to be talking about than Peter Singer. However. Yes, Singer is a utilitarian, and yes, anyone who read my post on women in the military can probably figure out that I am not one. The temptation of utilitarianism is that it looks like an objective way to answer questions which are almost impossible to answer - for instance why should we be good, and how do you define good in the first place? Well, most people would rather be happy than sad, and if you equate happiness with goodness, then you place goodness in the sphere of interest of most people. Thus, being good is not only in the interest of most people, it is the interest of most people, and if not everybody can be happy, then the next best thing is for as many people as possible to be happy; and doing good is essentially giving the people what they want. You see variations of this thinking all over the place. Consider for example the people who criticize the courts and the use that is made of them for being "undemocratic." The argument here is essentially that if the majority wants something, it must by definition right, even if it squashes the minority. This is fine unless you happen to be one of the minority getting squashed. And although there are numerous other objections one could raise to utilitarianism, this is the first and most important place where we part ways; for I'm not so sure that any good no matter how great is worth the expedient sacrifice of any one person, and I certainly object most strenuously to the fang and cloak "utilitarianism" expounded by Alan Dershowitz and others. Any moral system which leaves anyone dashed upon the rocks is suspect, and I certainly think that we can do better than one which when it comes right down to brass tacks is essentially predicated upon interest.

To read philosophy is usually to be horrified, and that for the simple reason that once you really start to examine things, you automatically fall down the rabbit hole. Prove for example that you are not a brain in a vat, or a simulation in a very sophisticated virtual reality machine. To my knowledge no one has been able to absolutely convincingly knock skepticism aside, and if you can't even rationally prove to yourself the existence of a world you literally trip over, how much harder is it to answer questions such as: Is life sacred? If so, why? And  whose life are we talking about anyway? Singer's answer to those questions is more complicated than this, but it is essentially that life is sacred when it is conscious and can form the desire to go on living. By this definition the lives of Lee Ann, Dante, and a senile grandmother would all be sacred, since Lee Ann, Dante, and a senile grandmother all have some awareness of self and all have the desire not to see that self terminated. The good thing about this, in my opinion, is that it does give moral standing to Dante, someone who would almost certainly be excluded by other ethical systems, and it does claim that Dante's existence is important, and should enter into the sphere of our concern. Giving animals equivalent moral standing with humans doesn't sit well with a lot of people, especially those like your National Review columnist who want to believe that humans are something special. To me, however, "special" usually means someone's head being justifiably lopped off, and for that reason, I'm all for kicking "special" out of the vocabulary - white folks are special, Germans are special, gentiles are special, men are special, humans are special, and somebody screams. There is a trap here, of course, and being a philosopher, and an analytic philosopher at that, and thus an avatar of logical consistency, Singer falls into it. If you define moral standing on the basis of consciousness, then it follows that things which are not conscious have no moral standing. Thus, a fetus has no moral standing, and neither does a baby, unless of course you can prove that the baby is conscious. You can modify this to say that moral standing should be extended to things which are or may become conscious, in which case both the baby and the fetus have standing. In other words, you wind up faced with the choice of saying either that abortion is wrong or infanticide is right, neither of which appeals to me, but one of which appeals to Singer more than the other.

Singer does have some freaky, freaky ideas - bestiality being one, infanticide, and euthanasia being two others - although I do question whether Singer supports "involuntary" euthanasia as you claim, but here I must plead ignorance, not having read his writings on the subject. On the other hand, Singer has some very good ideas as well - extending moral standing to animals, for instance, or enlarging our ethical obligation to include distant people and the poor. If nothing else, Singer is important for having turned Anglo American moral philosophy away from the analysis of "moral language" and to the realm of actual ethical dilemmas and moral choices. And finally given the choice of living in a world consistent with the principles of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Nietzsche, Marx, or Singer, I would hands down choose Singer; for although there would be beasts and monsters in it too, there would be substantially fewer than in choices A-E, and they would be substantially less likely to bite me.


posted by Gena on Friday, March 08, 2002 | link

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Thursday, March 07, 2002

Dare I? I Dare! This article from the CIA is a long but fascinating read on the topic of JFK’s assassination. It traces the history of KGB disinformation on the Garrison and other conspiracy theories. It’s fascinating really. I personally think the KGB had JFK assassinated. Think about it. Oswald defects to the Soviet Union, but isn’t arrested, interrogated, or otherwise inconvenienced while there. This is very out of character for the Communists of the 50’s and 60’s. He then marries and defects back to the U.S. He even gets to take his wife with him. Nobody got out of the Soviet Union back then; they held families hostage for years, but not Oswald’s. His wife’s family doesn’t get arrested or harassed by the Soviets either. That’s very unusual. I think Oswald was KBG and killed Kennedy on their orders. Any help he had was Russian. I wonder though, by posting this, do we get on some CIA list? Do we get a “file” of our very own? I wonder what the Spook will think of the CIA moving in on his turf.

posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, March 07, 2002 | link

Women in the Military. Here’s a better explanation of whether women belong in combat. Mr. Babbin, a former deputy undersecretary of defense, presents his case much more clearly than I did.

posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, March 07, 2002 | link

Peter Singer?!? Dear God, I thought you said you respected the sanctity of human life! That guy is a Benthamite nightmare. He’s a proponent of involuntary euthanasia, infanticide, and radical wealth redistribution. This is on top of advocating bestiality. He believes humans and animals are morally equivalent. He believes that only fully sentient, reasoning creatures have full rights, which is why you should be able to kill your child any time before its first birthday. Junior a bit of a drag on the social life? Paging Dr. Kevorkian. Grandma got Alzheimer’s? Just pull a Mengele and your inheritance stays intact. This is not a system of ethics, but a system of selfishness, taken to the extreme. Singer’s entire “ethics” is based on whatever is most convenient for the acting subject. The Other is reduced to an object whose value is determined to be whatever the subject decides it to be. The subject/object relation between humans is inherently evil. All humans, whether infants, elderly, disabled, or fully sentient are subjects of equal intrinsic value. Reducing people, even the senile, to the status of objects means the value of those people is determined by an external subject, a subject that could devalue those people on the basis of their own prejudices, avarice, or malice. You see a waste of resources, I see my grandmother. Caring for the disabled is inconvenient, messy, expensive, and requires incredible sacrifice of self. You can get rid of this inconvenience by deciding that the disabled are objects with no beneficial value and thus expendable. Singer places the temporary convenience of the self over the very lives of other people. I thought you said you disapproved of this kind of “calculus.”

posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, March 07, 2002 | link

PETA Revealed. Here’s the 411 on PETA for you. It’s from Activistcash.com, a group devoted to unveiling the truth behind our favorite anti-consumer organizations. ALF members have been arrested and are under indictment. Some have been convicted. Just google ALF. For the record, I am in favor of animal welfare and despise cruelty to animals. All animals, even those destined for my dinner table, should be treated with kindness, respect, and humanity. However, use of animals for food, clothing, and other consumer goods is a good thing. It benefits both man and beast. Man gets the goods he needs; the animals get a continued existence on this planet. If humans couldn’t use them, cows would be extinct. Ever seen one in the wild? Want one as a pet? I also approve of hunting, and would gladly kill my food myself. Hunting is necessary. Here in Alabama, if we didn’t hunt deer, we would have a major environmental collapse. Deer are overpopulated and are eating themselves, and every other critter, out of house and home. Ever hear a herd of deer starve to death? Ever seen scavengers eat a deer’s eyes when it’s still alive? Humans are part of the natural world. I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to eat tofu.

posted by Lee Ann on Thursday, March 07, 2002 | link

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Contact Spinster Lee Ann at calhounista_at_hotmail

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Two Babes and a Bob! Opinion, insight, commentary, sarcasm, scathing polemic, and wit by Lee Ann, Carol, and Robert. Featuring the spectral presence of Gena.
Contact the Spinsters at: brodskii@yahoo.com (Gena) calhounista@hotmail.com (Lee Ann)

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