Jots with dots March 26

Israel week continues here….http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/24/opinion/david-brooks-how-to-fight-anti-semitism.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fdavid-brooks&_r=0 Brooks puts his finger on something I think apropos. Ya know I’m kind of obtuse and naïve right, in a way that can be a flattering attribute… or not.. and in a way that I thought was somewhat uniquely Minnesotan…. but it’s probably not, but then it’s somewhat flattering to America maybe. Thing is, I don’t think I knew that Jewishness was an ethnicity as well as a faith / culture until I was about 25…This despite, in the 70’s my parents were raising us in a house in Mac / Groveland in St. Paul, and there was a Jewish family across the street. Which was mentioned because the rest of the block was so uniformly Catholic. I think my mother’s response was merely ‘Jews don’t believe in Jesus’, which was wholly without value judgment and I think just an attempt to explain the distinction between monotheistic faiths to a child. And then, I’ve had Jewish relatives by marriage since the early 1980’s. But I still didn’t grasp much meaning of the distinction until well into my adulthood. It wasn’t covered meaningfully in my public school, and I actually didn’t grow up in a family where people were obsessed with ethnicities… our own Euro-Caucasian heritage such as it is a bit indistinct and blurry, we never glommed on to one and wore it on our sleeves. So… Brooks…. I’m led not to a dilettante observation about anti-Semitism…I think I can do better than that as kind of an anthropology / history guy. But to a dilettante observation about “Zionism” in a similar vein, so far as it concerns Americans, this after having a light bulb go off in my head while reading about West Bank settlement. See, I said before you can scarcely ever go wrong siding with Israel, its enemies being consistently loathsome. I still think that’s good advice in general. But I would imagine Americans with remedial understanding approve of “Zionism” so far as it merely stands for the existence of Israel. Which is a phenomenon as Brooks describes, of American’s being a bit detached from Jewish / Israeli issues in the world. And specifically here, not understanding the policy of settlement over those post-67 conquered lands as ‘Zionism’. Which does seem provocative when you give it the contemplation it requires….

Chait stains: I wanna say its fallacious the way the climate people go about branding contrarians as whores. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/03/why-is-a-liberal-professor-helping-coal.html Generally, I don’t think any of these big minds… lefties, righties… takes on the advocacy they do because people pay them. I think they advocate, institutions / entities see that, and they want to have those voices in their corner…and pay them to get more quality arguments. Chait gives Tribe more credit than that, but can’t help goading him about the size of his retainer.

Conservative outrage du jour: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/25/everything-the-white-house-told-you-about-bowe-bergdahl-was-wrong.html Me, I have a real tendency to mellow out about things. I look at it now like, ya know, the President thought it was meaningful engagement, and there’s wisdom in engagement. But the constant lying is grating.

Would seem to disqualify the narrative… http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/did-you-know-obama-just-took-new-executive-action-on-immigration/article/2562053

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