Sunday, December 31, 2023

What is "Antisemitism"?


At the same time that Israel is perpetuating a genocide on the Palestinians in Gaza, North American news media are almost equally transfixed with what they describe as an outbreak of "antisemitism" at pro-Palestinian rallies and, especially, on university campuses.  This division of resources would be problematic regardless, but it is infinitely more disgusting when the supposed "antisemitism" being discussed is nothing of the sort.  You see, IF the sight of Israel's genocidal barbarism against innocent Palestinians genuinely stirred the generalized hatred of all Jewish people (re: antisemitism) then news coverage of the resulting antisemitism would be obligated to report on the way Israel's behaviour was making things worse for Jewish people everywhere.  If people are gathering in the streets to protest what they quite naturally find to be the intolerably evil actions of a government subsidized and armed and treated as an ally by their own government, and then antisemites infilitrate these rallies and share their poisonous ideas with the people there, surely it would be a good idea to explain how Israel's sadism and cruelty has contributed to the crisis?

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The Connection Between "Unforgiven" and "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood."

 The biggest reason for the soft-spot in my heart for Clint Eastwood is the flawless masterpiece "Unforgiven."  So I was watching this lady's reaction to it:

When I suddenly realized that the groovy tale of "Unforgiven" is given to us by a writer.  None of it is real.  Or, at least, it's all been mediated by the screenplay.

Which was the point of Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."  You get sucked into the story, and it really belongs to Brad Pitt's character.  But then you start to care about DiCaprio/Dalton's acting career.  And when you see how he nailed it, ... DeCaprio, playing Dalton, playing the TV villain role to redeem his entire life, ... You are elated.  Mainly it's the stuntman who is involved in the main story, but Rick Dalton benefits from it.  Actors are people too!  Even if they're all a buncha phoney-baloneys trying to make you believe in SHITE that it is against your self-interest to fucking believe in.


Saturday, December 16, 2023

Review of "Einstein: His Space and Times"


Steven Gimbel's Einstein: His Space and Times, is an excellent book.  It's a slim little book, less than 200 pages and with a rather large font, but at the same time it provides some of the very best summaries of the physics concepts that late-19th and 20th-Century physicists were wrestling with.  For the first time I genuinely understood the "Ultraviolet Catastrophe" and what it meant; just how Einstein proved the existence of atoms; how Lise Meitner recognized the splitting of the atom and nuclear fission; Heisenberg's "Uncertainty Principle"; and how Einstein proposed the quandry of "spooky action at a distance."

He also has one of the best summaries of how the otherwise respectable scientists Philipp Lenard and Johannes Stark were warped by the crises of their times and by personal pique against Einstein to become (at least) nazi sympathizers and antisemites.

The book also became timely for me as it discussed Einstein's views about Zionism.  The book was written in 2015 and Einstein (obviously) was writing in the mid-20th Century, but this latest explosion of Zionist barbarism reflects the wisdom of Einstein's views.

Einstein saw himself as a citizen of the world.  In World War I he proposed a "United States of Europe."  He was born in Germany but loathed the militarism and chauvinism of Prussian-Germanism.  He was happy to move to Switzerland and he renounced his German citizenship.  He also renounced Judaism.  He'd been a fairly religious youth but science soon replaced the world of faith in miracles.

He moved back to Germany to take a prestigious post in Berlin where he would be free of teaching duties and able to pursue his theoretical investigations.  But the rise of antisemitism in the 1920's and 1930's disturbed him.  He did not see much of himself in the Eastern European Jewish refugees from pogroms in Russia, Ukraine and Poland.  But he did see them as his cousins.  He felt a kinship with them.  But at the same time he rejected the denial of Jewish heritage and the incorporation of antisemitic beliefs in those Jews who wanted to pursue assimilationism.  He came to believe there was a Jewish nation.  They were a people defined by their heritage.  He also believed that part of this heritage was a rejection of chauvinism.  A (perhaps self-interested but genuine nonetheless) devotion to justice and understanding.  As well as a respect for learning and creativity and industry based on being minorities trying to succeed in societies prejudiced against them.

He came to see Palestine as a place of safety for Jews as the situation became increasingly grim in Europe.  His vision though, was of Jews paying their way in that new land.  I guess we could see it as the "One-State Solution" proposed by anti-zionists today.  There was no need for animosity between Arabs and Jews if they lived together, worked together, respected one another.  Einstein did not call for the displacement of Arabs from the land.  Nor did he support exclusionist schemes that separated Jews from the Arab community.  He lost his faith in the whole zionist project with the rise of the Revisionist Zionist Party which he saw as nothing more than a Jewish version of fascism.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Más estupidez racista


Here's Part Six of my indepth investigation of some right-wing nut-job's unholy screed.  Last time I managed to demolish his moronic contention that socialism leads to national epidemics of laziness which then leads to moral degeneracy.  "The Devil finds work for idle hands."  Basically RWNT (Bob Bishop) said that socialists offer lazy people who have no pride the base of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and that's why North Koreans are starving.  Read the last post if you haven't already.  Here's a bit more:

At the same time, it ignores the human psyche that strives for psychological and self-actualization (top of Maslow’s pyramid), which creates a more vibrant and prosperous society.

I called this post "More racist stupidity" because at some point in his ravings, Bob Bishop starts in on immigrants.  That doesn't happen here obviously, but who gives a fuck.  The racism will come later.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Baseless Biden Impeachment Bullshit


So the Republicans are going through with the theatre of an impeachment process for Biden based on his crackhead son getting jobs based on who his daddy is and using those jobs to secure inside-deals for himself and the rest of the Biden clan.

"Today, the first year of MAGA Republicans' control of the House of Representatives ended just how it started: consumed by chaos and political stunts, with zero record of accomplishing anything for the American people," declared Christina Harvey, executive director of the progressive group Stand Up America.

"Rather than use their positions to improve the lives of everyday Americans, MAGA Republicans in the House are focused on using their power for political revenge," she charged. "That's bad for the American people, and it's a dangerous precedent for our democracy."

Harvey argued that "every second spent on this baseless inquiry is a waste of taxpayer dollars and a dereliction of duty by officials who were elected to represent the real needs of their constituents."

Says a member of a group which spent the entire Trump presidency pushing the bullshit "Russiagate" conspiracy theory.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Return to Cloud-Cuckoo Land


It's definitely not because of the quality of the ideas under discussion.  It's due to how widespread belief in such idiotic drivel exists in our society that I feel I have to engage with more of Bob Bishop's essay.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

A Healthy Society Wouldn't Be Afraid of Trump [with a couple of sentences added at the very end of the post]


Reading this article "Vermin" on CounterPunch this morning reminded me of something I've been thinking a fair bit on lately.  The article is about how Trump plans on imposing a fascist dictatorship and how his use of the word "vermin" exposes his dangerous nazi core, thereby reinforcing the danger of his authoritarian rhetoric.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Precious Liberals


As I've said elsewhere on this blog, I go to the Democratic Party cult-site "Daily Kos" for the comics. ("This Modern World," "Tom the Dancing Bug" and Jen Sorenson.  I haven't seen Brian McFadden in a while though.)  These stupid liberals have a regular page called "Russian Stuff Blowing Up" wherein they talk about real and imagined Russian losses in the war against Ukraine.  Because like good Democratic Party zombies they believe that Russia's invasion was unprovoked and that their glorious leader President Biden is helping Ukraine defend itself and its people and its democratic traditions because that's just the kind of awesome-sauce dude that Joe Biden is.

I could continue to explain why that's totally fucking stupid but I won't because I want to point out that their newest stupidity is that some of those idiots have taken to writing about Gaza as if, as US-Americans who fanatically support one of the two pro-Zionist ruling parties, in their case, the party of President Biden who is shipping weapons to Israel and doing everything he can to support Israel's GENOCIDE of the Palestinians, that they are anything but contributors to the nightmare.

Some of them pretend to be concerned about the slaughter while others (being more consistent in their partisan scuzziness) continue to find excuses for Israel while being completely blind or indifferent to how their excuses expose the hypocrisy of their condemnations of Hamas.

Because liberals are disgusting.  Conservatives are disgusting too, in their violent, fearful, paranoid lashing out.  But liberals are disgusting in their titanic hypocrisy and their nauseating sense of entitlement for praise for their empthy platitudes and their embarrasingly incoherent and ignorant analysis.

There's a reason that Canada's official policy is pro-genocide.  It's because, like Israel, we're a settler society.  We're stealing land and resources.  We aren't launching military raids or mass bombardments because we don't have to.  White people with swords, muskets and artillery imposed themselves upon the Stone-Age cultures of North America in the 16th Century and we've been immigrating here and having babies here for the subsequent four centuries.

But even with our vastly superior numbers and resources (stolen from them) we still get very defensive if they complain about our racist policies and behaviour.  Our police abuse them.  Our hospitals abuse them.  Our social workers abuse them.  Federal  bureaucrats abuse them.  When they go on a hunger-strike our "respectable" press calls it an act of terrorism.  When they blockade a railway ordinary Canucks call for the military to sweep them into prison.  When they protest oil or gas pipelines going through their territories we send the RCMP in to intimidate and abuse them.

So of course Canada sides with Israel in genocide.  Conservatives as well as liberals know that us imperialists have to stick together.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Sometimes They Write Themselves


Went to use a CIBC ATM today.  There was a bit of the bank's self-promotion on the screen.  Beside a picture of a smiling teenaged Black girl were words telling me how CIBC had raised $275 million for children's charities since ... Drum-roll please! ... duddle-dah-duddle-dah-duddle-dah-da! ... 



Are you fucking kidding?  

That's forty fucking years and Canadian bank profits have been around a billion dollars a year since the 1990's, so, you know, maybe $45,000,000,000.   What is that?  Six million a year? (Where do bank profits come from?  A lot of it comes out of our pockets.  Some of it comes from stock market gambling and investing in fossil fuels.)

Anyway, 45,000,000,000 minus 275,000,000 equals 44,725,000.  

Or 0.006111%.

You're welcome to check and correct my numbers since I'm shit at mathematics.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Choices, Part Two

In "Choices" I said that in the case of the latest iteration of the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians, while I would certainly not celebrate the Hamas attack on October 7th, 2023, nor would I unequivocally condemn it.  It was a choice, made by a brutally oppressed people, against an opponent who ... well, as I said above, and as Caitlin Johnstone demonstrates very clearly in this post, ... is trying to commit genocide against them.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Tony Blair on Henry Kissinger


Once in a while CounterPunch repays the effort of reading.  Often, sneering, juvenille preening Jeffrey St Clair's weekly column is worth a read because of the sheer mountain of remarkable factoids it contains.  The pictures above apparently led to a lawsuit from the pre-deceased Kissinger:

CounterPunch has been threatened with lawsuits from oil executives and oil kingdom sheiks, a timber baron, a homicidal governor of South Dakota, former CIA officers, a corrupt CEO of a major environmental group, killer cops, a prison warden, and numerous politicians of greater or lesser notoriety. But no legal notice was more gratifying than the one CounterPunch received when Ken Silverstein published these photos of Henry Kissinger picking his nose during a press conference on Brazil. As Ken noted at the time, “Kissinger was OK having his picture taken with murderers like Pinochet but upset when outed as a snot eater. A fucking monster.” When the photos were reprinted in Silverstein and Cockburn’s book, Washington Babylon, the caption read: “Henry the K.: a nose in every pie, a finger in every nose.”

As wonderful as those pictures are, I for some reason think that this avalanche of nonsense from mercenary psychopath Tony Blair is equally noteworthy:

There is no one like Henry Kissinger. From the first time I met him as a new Labour Party Opposition Leader in 1994, struggling to form views on foreign policy, to the last occasion when I visited him in New York and, later, when he spoke at my Institute’s annual gathering, I was in awe of him. The range of his knowledge, the insights which would tumble out of him effortlessly, the lucidity, the mastery of the English language which made him a joy to listen to on any subject, and above all the ability to take all the different elements of the most complex diplomatic challenge and weave from them something astonishing in its coherence and completeness, and, most unusual of all, leading to an answer and not just an analysis: no one could do that like Henry. If it is possible for diplomacy, at its highest level, to be a form of art, Henry was an artist.

That was certainly pretty.  Given the man though, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that Blair stole it, if not from one eulogy by someone else for someone else, then bits and pieces of it from various writers.  It's also possible that a team of elite-institution(s) educated youngsters wrote it for him.  Or it's something that the Oxford educated Blair composed all by himself with several hours of quite time and the peace of mind of great wealth and the knowledge that important people were going to hear it.

Whatever its origins, it is truly astonishing at how it manipulates language to glorify a career that was only saved from mundanity by its monstrosity.  Kissinger wrote some books about diplomacy, he helped prolong the Vietnam War, he contributed to the destruction of Cambodia and the rise of Pol Pot, he backed the murderous racist dictatorship side in the war for the independence of Bangladesh, he cynically exploited the Iraqi Kurds, he supervised the murder of Chilean democracy and condemned that nation to decades of poverty and torture, he supported Indonesia's rape of East Timor, and he lied about a Soviet intervention in the 1973 Arab-Israeli Conflict, risking a world war.

But oh how Tony Blair uses words to try to turn shit into gold!

From the first time I met him as a new Labour Party Opposition Leader in 1994, struggling to form views on foreign policy

"Struggling."  Struggling and failing.  At least on your stated terms.  If your real goal had always been to provide a cover for thieves and murderers in return for a cut of the swag, then you succeeded.  But if you still genuinely think you're serving higher purposes, like "democracy" or "human rights" then you've failed utterly.

The range of his knowledge, the insights which would tumble out of him effortlessly,

I highly doubt that.  Kissinger studied history and diplomacy.  We've seen what he did with that education.  Nobody ever said he had anything to contribute in fields outside of his major interests.  The whole statement was unsubstantiated nonsense.

the lucidity, the mastery of the English language which made him a joy to listen to on any subject

I've heard he was a good writer.  He was probably an entertaining conversationalist. (If you forgot who you were talking to.) But would he cause you to ejaculate in your pants the way Blair describes it?  Probably not.

and above all the ability to take all the different elements of the most complex diplomatic challenge and weave from them something astonishing in its coherence and completeness

But look at his actual record as stated above.  Everything he touched became an even bigger disaster than before.  Even if that was the goal (given the selfishness, delusion and inhumanity of the system he served) and there was, therefore, a "coherence" to it, ... it was all in the name of garbage.

and, most unusual of all, leading to an answer and not just an analysis

What the fuck is that even supposed to mean?

If it is possible for diplomacy, at its highest level, to be a form of art, Henry was an artist.

Jesus Christ!  Let's pretend that Kissinger really believed in the stated ideals of US foreign policy of democracy promotion, human rights, economic prosperity and international peace.

Seven more needless years of war in Vietnam after which the US-backed side still lost.  The devastation of Cambodia.  Almost a further half-century of violence and misery in the Middle East which contributed to the terrorism of 9-11, 2001.  "2001" is to differentiate that 9-11 from the Chilean 9-11 that saw the rise of a military dictatorship and lost decades for that country.  The continued oppression of the Kurdish people.  Iranian and Iraqi democracy and freedom as remote as ever.

THIS was "artistry"????

No.  This was crap.  This was the handiwork of a pompous, mercenary psychopath.  A role-model for the piece of shit who presented that tribute.