Monday, August 31, 2009

reparations for blacks?

Fred Reed writes a blog wherein he savages Prof Gates for talking about reparations to blacks for slavery. And makes all sorts of anti-black remarks.

Fred is either an idiot, a moron, or an imbecile--I'm not sure.

"I'm slow," he admits.


Anyway, the Jews got reparations from the Germans because the Nazis confiscated their property, their jewelry, their stores, their valuable paintings, whatever property they had. Maybe also because the Nazis killed 8,000,000 of them. Billions of dollars have been involved. Fair? I think so.

The Japanese interned in WW2 also got reparations. $20,000 apiece, I believe.

OK, let's imagine that black slaves in the US in the 19th century got paid. That they actually got money for their work instead of working for just food and a place to sleep.

They might have invested that money in real estate. Or in factories. Or opened stores.

Working for 40-50-60 years, you can make a lot of money--even if you're paid $10 a week.


But blacks over the years had nothing to inherit.

OK, Fred the imbecile-idiot-moron never owned a slave. But he benefits because the American economy benefited enormously from slave labor. How could countries compete with us when we didn't pay our black workers anything?

What if black workers had had money to buy houses? Or to go to college (assuming that they were allowed to)?

Black people in general would be much richer today --and more of them would be professionals. Fred might not have the cushy job he has today--he might be cleaning urinals in Omaha (a job perhaps not challenging his intelligence).

Blacks might own the house that Fred owns (assuming he owns one). It might have passed down from black family to black family. Or Fred might have paid much more for his house--and for everything else--if the demand for these things had been greater (because of blacks with money would have bid them up).

In other words, white people living right now benefited economically from black slavery in this country.


I don't think reparations for blacks are practical. They might make prejudiced people like Fred even more virulent.

As for whether Fred is an idiot, an imbecile, or a moron, the truth is...

he is an imbecile who arrogantly believes that he is a moron.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What someone told me

An older woman recently told me...

The Holocaust was an important message from God to all Jews everywhere.

The message was:

I do not exist.

In Praise of Israel

In Praise of Israel

Israel is actually one of the finest nations on earth, despite the ignorant, poisonous attacks that appear in the letters pages of this newspaper.
Israel repeatedly has shown restraint against its enemies. Remember the scud missiles that Iraq launched day after day into Israel? Israel did nothing in retaliation. And for seven years, from 2001 to 2008, some 8,165 rockets and mortars from Gaza terrorists landed in civilian areas of southern Israel, killing 15 people and seriously injuring 275.
In Sderot, the terrorists’ targets included kindergartens, hospitals, schools, day-care centers, playgrounds, and homes.
On Sept. 3, 2007, Hamas terrorists launched a barrage of rockets timed to hit just when parents were taking their children to school and day-care centers for the fall term. It was, said the terrorists, a “gift” for the first day of school.
In Sderot, 94% of the children are reported to suffer from post-traumatic stress, along with nightmares, bed-wetting, and severe anxiety.
Nat Dreyfus of Olivebridge writes that the rockets were merely “fireworks.” What a contemptible comment.
Was the Israeli attack on Gaza disproportionate? Hamas had its infrastructure deliberately embedded in civilian hospitals, schools, and apartment houses. And Israelis even phoned the apartment houses sheltering terrorists, urging the civilians to leave. Hamas cold-bloodedly urged them to return – to make anti-Israel propaganda from civilian casualties.
Even so, Israel reported that 80% to 85% of the dead were combatants.
And Israel even made special efforts to help the wounded.
A “proportionate” military response was one that would persuade Hamas to stop sending rockets into Israel. The barrage has virtually stopped; so Israel clearly made a proportionate response.
Israel, by the way, gets a 2 from Freedom House, which monitors freedom in countries around the world – the range is from 1 (best) to 7 (worst). The U.S. and the United Kingdom get 1s. Libya, Sudan, and Syria get 7s. Iran and Saudi Arabia get 6s. Considered were (1) free speech and assembly, (2) fair and open trials, and (3) protection of religious freedoms.
As for political rights (free and fair elections, opposition parties being legal, minority participation), Israel gets a 1. Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Syria get 7s.
Suzane Dunham of Woodstock, in a letter, objects that the number of dead, displaced, and homeless are mainly on the Palestinian side. The truth is that the Israelis are good at protecting their citizens – despite the rockets. Sderot built lots of bomb shelters and installed lots of air-raid sirens. And does she remember the terrorist bombings in Israel? It was mostly Israelis murdered on buses and in pizza parlors.
She praises me for acknowledging that Hamas was elected democratically. But Hamas remains a terrorist organization, devoted to “obliterating” Israel. It isn’t recognized by the U.S. or the European Union. In any case, Adolf Hitler was elected democratically. So was Sen. Joseph McCarthy and Gov. Theodore Bilbo. As the novelist E.M. Foster put it, two cheers for democracy.
Suzane Dunham also claims that Hamas has the right to “defend its citizens.” By launching rockets into Israel for seven straight years? Wasn’t that putting them in harm’s way?
She also argues that what we need in the Mideast is an agreement on policy. No, what we need is for Palestinians to accept the existence of Israel. When Egypt accepted Israel, Israel surrendered the entire Sinai peninsula. If Hamas seriously and sincerely accepted Israel’s existence, all sorts of accommodations would follow. Even the settlements issue could be worked out.
I think that Suzane Dunham is simply misinformed. But Nat Dreyfus is a true anti-Semite. To him, Israel is always in the wrong.
Dreyfus even brings up Hagana and the Stern gang from the 1940s! That justifies Arab terrorist attacks today?
He hints that Israel covets Gaza because of its natural gas reserves. I think that here we’re entering the realm of pure paranoia. Doesn’t he know that Israel voluntarily gave up Gaza in 2005? And even left its greenhouses intact – greenhouses that the Arabs stupidly proceeded to destroy, greenhouses that would have brought them prosperity instead of the poverty that their Hamas leaders exploit as propaganda.
Dreyfus suggests that I move to Israel. I suggest that he move to Iran. He and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad deserve each other.
Dreyfus might respond, triumphantly, that he’s Jewish. Proving, of course, that one can be Jewish and an anti-Semite.
After reading his letter, I felt that I needed a hot warm shower, to wash off the grime.
My theory is that confirmed anti-Semites are life’s losers, imprisoned in miserable marriages, stuck in joyless jobs, selling shoes in shoestores and waitressing in fast-food restaurants, with children who are bitter disappointments. Their profoundly unhappy lives lead them to look for outlets for their frustration and anger, and Jews — and Israel — are their usual targets.
But most Americans still support Israel. That says a lot about the basic decency and intelligence of most Americans.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

letter defending Israel

In Defense of Israel

The anti-Israel letter from William De Voe of Woodstock (July 30) puzzles me. Has he given up reading the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? Has his subscription to Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent lapsed? Hasn’t he been able to translate Das Judenthum in der Musik?
I mean, using that wacko and weirdo “Jewish Voice for Peace” as a source for criticizing Israel! This is the nutty anti-Semitic group that claimed that Jews had never lived in the Holy Land, and that the First Temple and the Exodus from Egypt were myths. This is the group that has aligned itself with the American Nazi Party and a group that supports Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza.
Lee Kaplan, an investigative journalist, reports that Cecilie Surasky of Voice for Peace has been outted as a shill for anti-Semites and pro-Nazis.
As for our favorite schmuck, Bill Campion of Mt. Tremper, he writes and rants about how Israel “mercilessly” slaughtered Palestinians in Gaza. Doesn’t Campion know that it’s not nice to fire thousands of rockets from Gaza into cities in southern Israel? That the Israeli government was obliged to finally do something to defend its citizens? That the Israeli army warned the people of Gaza before the attack, but during the attack the Hamas terrorists used civilians as human shields? Anyway, since that well-warranted attack, there have been far fewer rockets launched into Israel. And now maybe the poor, suffering citizens of Gaza will vote Hamas out of office – and get on with the business of creating a viable state.
I wonder why Campion doesn’t rant and rave against such anti-democracies as North Korea…Iran…and Saudi Arabia. Could it be…is it possible…that he simply hates Jews?
Anyway, Israel has had Arabs in its Knesset and Arabs on its Supreme Court. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that "Arab Israelis are citizens of Israel with equal rights" and that "The only legal distinction between Arab and Jewish citizens is not one of rights, but rather of civic duty. Since Israel's establishment, Arab citizens have been exempted from compulsory service in the Israel Defense Forces ."
I’ve been to Israel and have never witnessed any discrimination against non-Jews.
And, honestly, Campion, we Jews have never used the blood of Christian children to make matzoh. And, although it may come as a revelation to you, Alfred Dreyfus was innocent.

Warren Boroson
Chairman, Peace in the Mideast

Monday, August 03, 2009


I interviewed Leon Botstein recently--about the Wagner music festival at Bard.
Brilliant man.

At one point, I couldn't open the little box containing a new tape for my recorder.

He asked to look at it--and opened it by using a different tactic. Thinking outside the box.

Some people just have damn high IQs.

The Artist as Scoundrel

Rainier Maria Rilke, one critic has written, “was not merely a selfish snob; he was also an anti-Semite, a coward, a psychic vampire, a crybaby. He was a son who refused to go to his dying father's bedside, a husband who exploited and abandoned his wife, a father who almost never saw his daughter and who even stole from a special fund for her education to pay for his first-class hotel rooms. He was a seducer of other men's wives, a pampered intellectual gigolo, and a virtual parody of the soulful artiste who deems himself superior to ordinary people because he is so tenderly sensitive, a delicate blossom easily punished by a passing breeze or sudden frost…. Once, in the midst of a love affair, Rilke actually persuaded the wronged husband to underwrite the rent for his errant wife's studio-love nest.”

Bertolt Brecht, according to critic Clive James, “emerged as an ice-cold, ruthless, self-serving egomaniac contemptuous of all decencies, and especially pitiless to the women who made the mistake of paying him allegiance. Even people who admired his work have given pen-portraits that turn the stomach. Yet somewhere in between the thoroughgoing con man Brecht was in real life and the hollow prophet he was as a man of the didactic theatre, Brecht was a great poet.”