Re: An Analogy We Can All Agree On

1

I guess some of my Israeli acquaintances would feel better about this analogy than with the usual one to apartheid, which they seem irrationally upset about.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:14 AM
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It's good to know that neither your extended time away nor the exhaustion resulting from child rearing have in any way diminished or dulled your "trolling your own blog" skills. Bravo, I say! Bravo!


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:17 AM
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In fairness, the apartheid analogy isn't a great one. If you squint just right you can make the West Bank look like a Bantustan, but apart from that the analogy is pretty poor.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:18 AM
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Honestly, ogged, your kids shouldn't have to poop outdoors.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:20 AM
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Actually, most of my Israeli acquaintances studiously avoid ever saying anything remotely political. It's mostly just the one guy who likes to give speeches about how Arabs don't love their children and Iran is the world's largest threat to peace and whatnot.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:21 AM
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Amazing. He's being trolled by his own flesh and blood.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:26 AM
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6: do you remember the stories about his mother? He's just the next in line. It's his turn.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:28 AM
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We haven't met, but for what it's worth, I don't sympathize with your kids!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:33 AM
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6: Said like a childless person. They're all trolls. (At least if raised properly.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:35 AM
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9 gets it. My son's first complete sentence was "Pee on the floor?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:36 AM
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I love the picture of Ogged huddling in the small region of his domicile where he's allowed to stay, as the children encroach on his territory with incursions of blocks and and gummy bits of discarded food.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:36 AM
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11: They start bringing over their friends to stay in his bedroom.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:38 AM
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So long as this is the anti-Semitism thread, did anyone else see this from the NYT about a suburban NY school district with a whole lot of swastikas and pelting Jewish kids with coins in the schools? If it's remotely accurate, it's really shocking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:40 AM
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It's mostly just the one guy who likes to give speeches about how Arabs don't love their children

But does he hope the Russians love their children too?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:51 AM
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Watch it.


Posted by: Opinionated Sting's Lawyers | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 10:53 AM
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You should be thankful! You were allowed access to a device with access to the internet! You were granted enough time to write this post!

I'm guessing that was probably it, and you will not be able to participate in this comment thread.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 11:00 AM
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Hey essear, is this kooky or legit?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 11:01 AM
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16: I know. Let us free, please.


Posted by: Opinionated Sting's Lawyers | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 11:01 AM
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Ogged, this analogy has more validity than you realize. When the kids reach college age, the Diaspora will begin. When they graduate (if you're lucky) and find themselves without jobs, they will claim the right to return to and establish a permanent state in their ancestral homeland. You will be unsuccessful in your attempt to drive them into the sea. From time to time you will discuss the possibility of a two-state solution, but those hopes will fade over time.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 11:23 AM
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17: not obvious at a quick glance.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 11:49 AM
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One opposes violence in most all cases, but people shouting "White power!" really ought to be socked in the face.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 12:08 PM
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3: If you squint just right you can make the West Bank look like a Bantustan

I'm not sure that's the point...


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 12:22 PM
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Maybe if you lobbed a few mortars into their rooms?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 1:43 PM
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Ogged is daddy-blogging!

That's a nice distraction. For some reason I find myself really upset and pissed off that freaking 60 Minutes aired a sensationalistic piece last week on freaking Benghazi that -- huge surprise -- turns out to be complete bullshit.

I swear, if 60 Minutes doesn't air a full, complete, extensive explanation to viewers on its next show that the previous show was utter bullshit, I will be pissed. A lot of mainstream Americans watch 60 Minutes, and they tend to believe what they hear. Absent a full and lengthy on-screen retraction, plus heads rolling (figuratively), apology is not accepted.

This makes me really mad. But ogged's kids may be poking him the eye or pinching his toe or yanking on his unibrow even as we speak.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 3:08 PM
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Clinging securely to his luxuriant back-hair?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 3:30 PM
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Like baby pangolins!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 3:41 PM
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This is weird.

Next week, former President George W. Bush is scheduled to keynote a fundraiser in Irving, Texas, for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group that trains people in the United States, Israel, and around the world to convince Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. The organization's goal: to "restore" Israel and the Jews and bring about about the second coming of Christ.

Huh. Carry on.

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Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 3:51 PM
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Say ogged, this return (to trolling) thing, is it permanent or will you just leave us again? And you haven't even brought cargo. Then on the other hand you didn't link to Camille Paglia.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite, Esq. | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 3:54 PM
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27: Not really that weird if you're familiar with the wacky evangelical end-times milieu Dubya comes out of. They are all about converting Jews so that Jesus will come back. IIRC the target is a third of all Jews, then the fun begins.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 3:59 PM
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29: Yeah, I know Dubya comes from that background, but I'd have thought he'd find it better to keep his distance now. He's a former president. Maybe "former" is the operative term, and he's happy and comfortable doing his own thing, without feeling any longer that his actions necessarily reflect on his party. That's the only conclusion I can draw.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 4:04 PM
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26: so, by the transitive property of analogies, Israel is baby pangolins?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 4:36 PM
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24: Yes. Dreadful and it goes well beyond the one "witness" to the whole motivation for the story and behavior afterward. And sadly Lara Logan has gone around the bend (speech she gave a few weeks prior).

Logan even called for retribution for the recent terrorist killings of Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three other officials. The event is a harbinger of our vulnerability, she said. Logan hopes that America will "exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil. That its ambassadors will not be murdered, and that the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 5:34 PM
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I guess we should have invaded a Caribbean island nation. I nominate the Caymans.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 5:34 PM
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34

And 24, 32 not entirely off-topic because Middle East.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 5:49 PM
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The $100k speaking fee probably doesn't hurt.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 6:09 PM
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Dude has a lot of paints to buy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 6:17 PM
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or will you just leave us again?

Have I ever really left you? It turns out that the answer is, it depends on whether I have something to procrastinate on.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 8:05 PM
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Whenever three or more are gathered in his name, there he is, or not, depending.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 8:08 PM
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Ogged is writing a book!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 8:16 PM
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Great, more competition.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 8:23 PM
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Ogged is writing a book!

No, I'll tell you later.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 8:29 PM
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Conqueror: How I beat a young man to market and destroyed his publishing dreams, by Ogged La Montoya De Manchego Ortiz.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-13 8:30 PM
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I was hoping I would open this and just see 42 comments of "Ogged!"


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 6:46 AM
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The closing line of Machado de Asis's book about Bras Cubas expresses gratitude for a life without offspring.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 7:43 AM
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45

Ogged!


Posted by: Opinionated Pointless Wish Granting Genie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:11 AM
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Ogged!


Posted by: Opinionated Pointless Wish Granting Genie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:11 AM
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Ogged!


Posted by: Opinionated Pointless Wish Granting Genie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:11 AM
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48

Ogged!


Posted by: Opinionated Pointless Wish Granting Genie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:11 AM
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Ogged!


Posted by: Opinionated Pointless Wish Granting Genie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:11 AM
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Ogged!


Posted by: Opinionated Pointless-Wish Granting Genie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:12 AM
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Ogged!


Posted by: Opinionated Pointless Wish-Granting Genie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:12 AM
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Ogged!


Posted by: Opinionated Pointless Wish Granting Genie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:13 AM
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Ogged!


Posted by: Opinionated Pointless Wish Granting Genie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:13 AM
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Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged! Ogged!


Posted by: Opinionated, Lazy, Pointless, Wish-Granting Genie | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:14 AM
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32: It's unfortunate that Lara Logan has gone 'round the bend. I'm struggling to find a way to frame this, but: I've just double-checked, and yes, she was -- and this is how I chiefly remember her name -- raped in Egypt, in Tehrir Square. There was a shocked and appalled reaction in the West to the news (white lady journalist raped), and one wondered whether she would return to journalism at all. There was a little fuss about the fact that a white lady western journalist's rape was a *big deal* while similar treatment of many other women, not of that kind, seemed less so.

I can't say whether Logan's experience in Egypt is a factor in her bend-going-'round, in her call for retribution against those who attacked the Benghazi facility. I find this really uncomfortable: I do not want to sound as though she's an unreliably emotional female who should, like, just get over it, because it may, or has, led to piss-poor reporting. Not sure how to traverse this territory.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 12:29 PM
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Ogged!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 12:56 PM
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Nearing the end of the VA canvass (not the recount yet)--Obershein still up 50-70 votes but Fairfax provisionals not in yet, which have potential to swing D by about that magnitude. Exciting twitter following!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 1:01 PM
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Emerson!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 1:16 PM
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55: Yes, that is a very sad aspect of the whole thing, and one that is lurking unsaid (in the media) around the edges of the coverage. CBS acted very poorly both as her employer and a news organization in letting her push what was clearly an agenda and an overall crap story (and it was not just the one egregious error, the rest of it was craptacular as well).

Despite all protestations otherwise ("The Rather story involved the reputation of the news department and the political and economic viability of the company," he said. "The Logan story is just one incorrect article, and there is no cost to the news department or the company in saying sorry and moving on.") in pure journalistic terms this was actually bigger miss than the Rather story. That was a screw-up on a story that fit other details while this one was a single source (easily shown to have other motives) with details that contradicted other good sources.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 2:05 PM
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Not trying to see this was as consequential as the Rather one. Especially since apparently, the Guard story bumped a well-sourced report on the yellowcake forgery. But Rather and Maples used their clout to run theirs. Part of why they got almost no suppport from colleagues.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 2:18 PM
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59: I tend to agree.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 2:19 PM
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||
Anyone wanna suggest good songs for running? Songs under 2 minutes are great for playlists if you're doing couch 2 5k. So far my ideal running song is "Judy is a Punk."
|>


Posted by: Woodrow Wilson | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 7:11 PM
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The big difference, as I see it, is that Dan Rather was ratfucked, whereas Lara Logan was fucking the chicken.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 7:37 PM
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I've enjoyed running to Madonna's Ray of Lightand Blackalicious' Alphabet Aerobics, which gets really good around M.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 7:40 PM
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Red Shoes
Holiday in Cambodia
Devil Went Down to Georgia
Truckin'


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 7:42 PM
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63: Yes, well put.

I do think that the intent was to set up the Kerry campaign, but CBS were the dumbshits that fell for it. As example #2345 of the asymmetry of this kind of thing, it amazes me that the media showed so little interest in pursuing the other "mystery" which was how a "blogger" was so ready with the font knowledge. I know it came out that the pseud "Buckhead" (person who first posted the info) was an Atlanta lawyer/Repub operative who had been part of the Brooks Brothers riot, part of the getting Clinton disbarred, and was associated with Roger Stone who was suspected on the other end (slipping the docs to the idiot Dem in Texas who gave them to 60 Minutes).

Here it is, one of the biggest political stories of the year, and there was only the mildest curiousity expressed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 7:45 PM
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And one last bit iof stupid, pointless outrage on my part--the dickwad media can fool themselves that this was minor, but do the thought experiment of 60 Minutes had tried to pull something similar in the wake of one of the many embassy attacks during the Bush years. Hell yeah, heads would have rolled.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 7:47 PM
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Is a "couch 2 5 k"what I think it is?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 7:50 PM
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64: HA. "Alphabet Aerobics" has a time-honored place on my running playlist.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 7:56 PM
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Wait, people go presidential before admitting to running?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 7:57 PM
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From my C25K list, songs that roughly fit what you're looking for:

"Suspect Device" - Stiff Little Fingers
"Slack Motherfucker" - fIREHOSE
"Got the Time" - Anthrax
"Where Eagles Dare" - Misfits
"Boilermaker: - The Jesus Lizard
"Orgasm Addict" - Buzzcocks
"Touch Me I'm Sick" - Mudhoney
"1 2 X U" - Wire


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:13 PM
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70: Maybe it's because of Woodrow's musical taste and not the running.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:17 PM
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62: You want this.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:30 PM
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Other possibilities:

"No Control" - Bad Religion
"Was in der Zeitung steht" - D.O.C.H.
and just about anything by either Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Screeching Weasel, or Chixdiggit


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:40 PM
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73: That looks pretty awesome.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:42 PM
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68: Do you think it's a program in which people who had not been previously active train to compete in a race covering 5 kilometers?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:44 PM
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75: It's great. I don't know that I've ever listened to any of the songs on the second half of it, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 8:47 PM
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Yes, I feel sort of stupid about my half-assed attempts to get in shape and I tend to abandon things like this after any public admission I'm doing them and that's extra embarrassing.


Posted by: Woodrow Wilson | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 9:38 PM
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Holy shit. Pitt beat Notre Dame.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 9:50 PM
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You need two songs on repeat: "Man in Motion (Theme from St. Elmo's Fire)" and "You're The Best Around (Theme from Karate Kid)". Just speed them up so they come in at 2:00.

"Eye of the Tiger (Theme from Rocky III)" used to be on the list but it has been overused and resulted in training-resistance.


Posted by: K-sky | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 11:35 PM
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62: Here is my ultimate pop punk mix, most of which may be applicable, just in the order I thought of them:

Pretend that we're Dead >>> L7
Ever Fallen In Love >>> Buzzcocks
What Do I Get? >>> Buzzcocks
You're Not Blank >>>The Dils
God Save The Queen >>>Sex Pistols
EMI >>>Sex Pistols
Career Opportunities >>>The Clash
Complete Control >>>The Clash
California Uber Alles >>>Dead Kennedys
Holiday In Cambodia >>>Dead Kennedys
Chinese Rock >>>Johnny Thunders
53rd and 3rd >>>Ramones
I Wanna Be Sedated >>>Ramones
Everything Falls Apart >>>Husker Du
Bastards of Young >>>The Replacements
Ruby Soho >>> Rancid
Roots Radicals >>> Rancid
Story of my Life >>> Social Distortion
Gave My Punk Jacket to Rickie>>> Menstrual Tramps
You Can Forget It >>>The Strike
Kicking Ass for the Working Class >>>The Strike
Blister In The Sun >>>Violent Femmes
Prove My Love >>>Violent Femmes
Lola >>>The Raincoats
Do You Wanna Touch Me >>>Joan Jett
I Love Rock n Roll >>>Joan Jett
Can't Explain >>>The Who
Anytime, Anyhow, Anywhere >>>The Who
Dressed in Black >>>The Gossip
Boom Swagger Boom >>>Murder City Devils
Wasted Life >>> Stiff Little Fingers
Suspect Device >>> Stiff Little Fingers
Lexicon Devil >>>The Germs
Forming >>>The Germs


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 11:54 PM
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Oh, plus Young, Crazed, Peeling by The Distillers


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 11:55 PM
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And you could probably add
London Skinhead Crew by Booze & Glory
and
Rival Tribal Revel Revels, Greatest Working Class Ripoff, Big A Little A, and Do They Owe Us A Living by Crass


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11- 9-13 11:57 PM
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A thread for me! You shouldn't have, really. I'd like to address 5 but I'll do that later.

Anyway! On topic: I went out with a few friends yesterday, and we ended up sharing a table with an IDF soldier on weekend leave or something, who brought his automatic rifle to the bar. I'm not an expert but apparently the kind that identifies you as an active combatant. I don't know about the US (and you guys are a lot more gun-crazy than we are), but this does happen occasionally in Israel.

Two of my friends started saying it was disgusting in tones that were meant to be overheard by the guy, and one in particular kept saying he was going to give him a piece of his mind (knowing the friend, that would probably have included some version of "babykiller"). I got upset at this and said so, and we left shortly afterwards. I'll add that I felt my friend was being slightly racist by repeatedly mentioning the fact that said soldier was Russian. In general, I think it was a childish provocation on my friends' part, but I'm also worried that perhaps I was just being conflict-averse. I know this is going to come up soon with my friends. What does the Mineshaft think?


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 5:08 AM
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80: you can take it higher.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 6:12 AM
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84. This is just me (the Americans are all tucked up in their little beds), but I think your friends were being pointlessly passive-aggressive. Even when you disapprove profoundly of the goals and methods of some military action (and I probably share their views on those), taking it out on the grunts seems hugely self defeating, and that goes double in countries with conscription.

Back to you for your take on 5.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 6:53 AM
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86 seems right to me. (I mean, I wouldn't best love being in a bar next to someone's big ole gun -- but I would be just as unhappy if it belonged to, oh, a time-traveling member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigades.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 7:06 AM
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but I would be just as unhappy if it belonged to, oh, a time-traveling member of the Abraham Lincoln Brigades.)

That bar sounds awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 7:33 AM
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"You're The Best Around (Theme from Karate Kid)"

That's what I hear run my head when I run up a big hil.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 7:37 AM
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I'm trying to think who he would have come to the future to kill. Hilter, maybe, because they thought he was going to win everything. But when he finds out he's already dead he becomes an alcoholic bringing his gun to bars to impress the laydeez. Or along the lines of Bowie in A Man Who Fell to Earth.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 7:37 AM
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That bar is probably this one.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 7:43 AM
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For steep hills I would unleash my inner Libertarian and repetitively chant something like "No one but yourself. No one but you."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 7:48 AM
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Its pretty dickish to bring a gun into a bar. I appreciate pushback on that kind of militarism.

On the other hand, no need to be racist about it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 7:53 AM
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I should probably add that our waiter told the guy that bringing his weapon was offputting to the other people there. Soldier guy responded something along the lines of he had a weekend off and wasn't close to home so he didn't really have any other option apart from not going out (soldiers are supposed to either keep their weapon locked up securely or carry it on them).

My friends were objecting to more than that, though - the guy seemed older than mandatory conscription age, which meant he willingly chose to sign on for more time in a military organization which engages in oppression (apartheid or no, and both my friends and I lean to the apartheid characterization). It's just that I hesitate to judge on the basis of that information alone - it's true that for many Russian immigrants, a good job in the army is a sure path to greater integration in Israeli society, and I wouldn't immediately deduce "babykiller" from his accepting the role of combatant. But I do agree that he is in some way complicit in policies I disapprove of very much, and quite possibly has done things which I would find horrendous if I actually knew any details. But I don't know any details, and disapprove of my friends' reaction. I agree with chris y regarding the "taking it out on the grunts". I might invite my friend to present his view here, but there's a possibility of a flame war resulting from that - he tends to be provocative and inflammatory in general.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 8:19 AM
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I think grunts - specifically volunteer grunts - need to be held accountable too. At some point they are choosing to make themselves into the tools of oppression, and i don't think "it was my best available option" does much to assuage culpability.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 8:32 AM
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It's not clear to me that being in the military as such makes one more culpable than just being a citizen. If you behave better than the average soldier then you're doing some good.

That said people shouldn't bring weapons into bars.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 8:51 AM
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I come down on all sides of that one. If an institution is going to exist, even if it has a history and practice of doing bad things, it can't be the right answer for decent people to refuse to participate in it. I never thought of being a prosecutor, because what I know of standard prosecutorial practices, when coupled with our largely insanely counterproductive criminal laws and corrections policies, seemed like something I couldn't tolerate being involved in. But that ends up with all (or at least more) of the actual prosecutors being people who aren't fundamentally disturbed by a terrible system, and nothing changes. Same with any army -- you don't want participants in it limited to people who think killing people is a great idea. I want my military staffed with fundamentally peaceable types with a strong emotional attachment to the law of war and humanitarian norms, which means that it's inconsistent of me to judge someone who joins any military as a bloodthirsty maniac unless they demonstrate themselves to be such.

OTOH, for someone who voluntarily joins a fucked up institution, they've assumed responsibility for being faced with hard moral choices and getting them right. A conscript who does something awful has the partial excuse of being put under more pressure than they could take; a volunteer put themselves in that position, and is completely responsible for what they do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 8:57 AM
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98

The bringing weapons into bars thing seems like a deliberate setup by the army. If the guy was off duty, surely a sane institution would have had some provision for him to check his weapon into storage securely so he didn't have to schlep it around with him. If the plan is for any offduty soldier away from home to have an automatic rifle on him at all times, it's because the army wants it that way, not because they couldn't manage to set up a secure storeroom at whatever the location where this guy went off-duty from.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 9:00 AM
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A pop punk mega mix with two Joan Jett tracks and nothing by the Undertones. You're killing me here mate.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 9:21 AM
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I mean, I can see the argument that Israel's policies are evil enough that anyone who can leave the country should. But I think it's a borderline case. So I can also see the argument for staying and trying to improve things. But unless you're actually a pacifist, I don't see the argument for its ok to be Israeli but not ok to serve in the army.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 9:32 AM
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99: Sorry. You looked like a Palestinian or Ogged.


Posted by: Opinionated IDF guy | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 9:35 AM
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There is no way that any sane army should be encouraging its soldiers to take their weapons with them when they are out for a drink. If the security situation is so dire that you need to be armed, then it's too dire for you to be drinking.
Also what LB said. Even if there's no armoury, he should have been able to leave it in the guardhouse, which is always manned and has a weapon rack.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 9:38 AM
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100: by this logic, shouldn't we all leave the US post-haste? (Is that even an expression anymore?)


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 9:39 AM
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I am really not sure whether I would think worse of someone who voluntarily joined the IDF or someone who voluntarily joined the priesthood of the Catholic Church.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 9:40 AM
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That said, guns don't belong in bars, even in Israel.


Posted by: vw | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 9:40 AM
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He might not have volunteered. He might have made aliyah recently, meaning the service might be mandatory.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 9:41 AM
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Yeah, I dunno, I mean, from what I know of the policies around guns & active-duty IDF (which is mostly just snippets from friends who've been over there doing ISM stuff) a lot of it sounds like it's at least somewhat designed to increase the whole militarization of society and the mystique around serving.

I wonder if comparisons to the US military really make sense though. Hardly anyone in the US military is ever going to even come close to *hearing* a weapon fired in anger, much less pulling the trigger/pushing the button themselves. Of course, you're still part of the machine, but it's easier to make a case that you're mostly supporting this huge weird bureaucracy. The vast majority of people I know who've served match up pretty well to LB's ideal service member definition, even the WWII vets. Of course, I live in a far-left neighborhood in a very liberal metroplex, so my experience is probably not universal.

I knew a Lincoln Brigade veteran. He was already pretty far gone by the time I met him, but he generally seemed more proud of coming from a far left family in Beantown ("Every payday my faahtha would send me down to the an-ah-chist centah with a five dollah donation.") than he did about having fought.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:05 AM
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103: Certainly as an American, I don't think I'm coming from a moral high ground where I can say people should leave Israel. I think one can make the same arguments on both sides about America. (I do think the argument to leave is stronger in reference to current Israel than current US, but not enough stronger that I feel I can judge Israelis.) If I were Canadian or Danish I might have stronger opinions on the matter.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:05 AM
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99: I should have clarified that this is a work in progress and other suggestions are definitely welcome.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:10 AM
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If you were Danish there would be absolutely no moral pressure on you to leave Denmark at all, rest assured.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:12 AM
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Hardly anyone in the US military is ever going to even come close to *hearing* a weapon fired in anger

Slight exaggeration, I think. If you spend 15 months in Afghanistan or Iraq, you're highly likely to hear weapons fired in anger. And what's the likelihood that someone in the US military is going to do a tour of duty? Again, high.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:13 AM
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107.2 Although the post-Vietnam pre-Afghanistan army was unlikely to be in potential shooting situations, I think that's no longer true in the past decade. I don't think the typical IDF soldier has more decisions of whether or not to shoot people than the typical US soldier in 2006 Iraq. (In fact, I'd say the stories from my US military friend were more harrowing than the ones from my Israeli military friend.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:13 AM
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Why should there be any pressure to leave a country (or, uh, state) that behaves despicably? How is that more ethical than staying?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:14 AM
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If I were Canadian or Danish I might have stronger opinions on the matter.

Only people from the major bacon-exporting nations are allowed to have opinions on Israel.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:14 AM
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111-112: Probably true for the height of deployments to SW Asia, although if you were joining up now it look like your chance of being in a war zone is pretty miniscule, especially if you include the Reserves/National Guard.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:24 AM
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||
If I was from the US I would want to leave before some nutter decided to shoot me while I was minding my own business. The fuck is the matter with you people, it never stops.
|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:25 AM
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116: Yeah, but at least none of them seem to have been shot again when banging on doors to ask neighbors to call an ambulance.

113 speaks to me, too. I'm really hoping we'll have enough people here to replace McConnell with someone decent, and that seems like it's a net benefit for the whole country if we can manage it. Plus regular thing about how it helps sway some red folks. I do know people who are okay with gay foster/adoptive parents because of us (more fools they, I suppose) and that sort of thing that trickles down marginally.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:41 AM
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Normally when people say "what the fuck is the matter with you people?" to a group that includes me, I feel hurt and offended. But in this case you are completely right to ask the question.

What the fuck is wrong with us people?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:44 AM
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118 also speaks to/for me, for whatever it's worth.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:49 AM
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116: It's pretty easy for me to be complacent. I live in a high-crime area, but as a middle-class white guy, there's still almost no chance of me being killed or seriously injured by gun violence. Thinking back over the last 5 years, the only people in my demographic who've been killed around here are a guy whose house was burgled by idiots who thought they were at the house of a major weed dealer (and he'd probably be alive today except that he brandished a knife at them), a college student who got stabbed for his iPhone, the fucking nazi scumbag who attacked Cece McDonald and got what he deserved, and a property manager who was beaten to death in some kind of queer sex murder thing (still not sure what the real details on that were.) Long periods of time go by without anyone like me coming to serious harm, so why worry?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:56 AM
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Overheard a report on TV about GOCE and thouht they were saying goatse.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:57 AM
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Further to 120: And only 1 of those deaths was due to gunshot.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 10:59 AM
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I don't think currently there are any state governments in the US that are doing evil to the degree that the US as a whole or Israel is doing. I mean unreasonable voter ID requirements are bad, but it's not bulldozing people's houses. There's a difference between choosing not to give people health care, and actually killing them.

Kentucky in particular I think has a lot to be proud about at the moment with Kynect. I don't know that there's a state in the union that's doing as much good for poor people right now than Kentucky.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 11:46 AM
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113 -- I'm not a fan of the whole passive complicity argument, but I think there is something to the idea that our society is responsible for certain things, and that even if we are/were not active participants, we share in blame and, more importantly, the collective obligation to help make amends. Even if you didn't want the particular thing. Are you off the hook if you move to New Zealand? Not for anything that came before you moved -- from the Great Swamp Massacre through slavery to My Lai and the invasion of Iraq -- but I suppose if you change polities, you can change which society's future sins you are answerable for.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 11:48 AM
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Maryland, Arkansas, Oregon, and Kentucky (in that order) seem to be the leaders in terms of medicaid expansion.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 11:55 AM
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The Kentucky phenomenon is interesting since only a small fraction of the Kentucky electorate (which mostly consists of poor people), and virtually none of its politicians, have any interest in doing good for poor people. It just so happens that the governor is an exception.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 12:03 PM
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bit of a drive by, but have you lot discussed this: http://www.tufts.edu/alumni/magazine/fall2013/features/up-in-arms.html

Seems like classic unfogged fodder.


Posted by: soup | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 12:05 PM
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120: And there's gigantic screwing-over of poor people on other fronts (daycare stipends, funds for kinship caregivers, etc.) that I'm not sure is mitigated by healthcare coverage since all of it should be available to everyone and isn't.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 12:35 PM
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Thinking about it more prison policy and drug policy are done at the state level and are pretty evil.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 12:54 PM
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124: yes but if you live somewhere and are trying to change things, it can't be the case that its obviously morally superior to jet.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 12:58 PM
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What I'm saying is that living somewhere isn't sufficient to be labeled as passive complicity. That implies you're indifferent or unaware of the problems.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 1:00 PM
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Well right, as I said, there are good arguments in both directions. But I think that if you're staying and trying to change things, it can't be that being in the military is wrong. Serving non-evil-y in the IDF is a real opportunity to do good.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 1:05 PM
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123: I don't think currently there are any state governments in the US that are doing evil to the degree that the US as a whole or Israel is doing. I mean unreasonable voter ID requirements are bad, but it's not bulldozing people's houses. There's a difference between choosing not to give people health care, and actually killing them.

This has been bothering me for an hour. Bulldozing people's houses is a high bar for comparison (which is why analogy ban). But certainly voter ID requirements are not the worst of policies to come out of state houses in recent years. Closing of abortion clinics is pretty dire.

And frankly, choosing not to give people health coverage actually does wind up killing them, as well as irreparably harming their children's development. But no, that's not bulldozing people's houses. At least those people had houses (once). It comes to this: the poverty rate in the US is shockingly high. State level policies are as much if not more responsible for that as federal policies. States that are particularly callous should be called out and shamed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 1:11 PM
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Yes, if only Texas felt like a scapegoat, they'd be sure to come around.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 1:14 PM
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I agree with 130 and 131. The problem with 132 is that being a member of a military force requires fairly extensive (although not complete) surrender of agency. Yes, a soldier can refuse an illegal order, but there's a lot of orders that might be legal but nonetheless fuck shit up for ordinary people.

I can imagine circumstances where leaving just might be morally superior, but most of the time it's not going to be any better than passive complicity, and almost never better than staying and working, in whatever way, to improve things. (Teaching young Texans [even if we're only talking about 3 of them] about right and wrong and social justice is morally better for Texas, and for the world, than moving to New Zealand. Living in an 'illegal' settlement on the West Bank may make one a pawn in a bigger game, and may not be morally superior to flight, all things considered.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 1:35 PM
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Yeah, if you point out Texas' shitty policies, they might have their feelings hurt and then have to go pout in their room.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 1:38 PM
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134: Yes, if only Texas felt like a scapegoat, they'd be sure to come around.

Scapegoat? A scapegoat is blamed for something that's not necessarily his or her fault. I don't see how Texas can make that claim.

Anyway, if you know what would or could make Texas come around, let us know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 1:49 PM
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124: Are you off the hook if you move to New Zealand?

I suspect there are some Maori folx who would answer decidedly in the negative to that question.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 1:53 PM
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Happily, since I live in Massachusetts, I can pretty much take credit for not only the good parts of the ACA but also gay marriage. You're fucking welcome!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 2:28 PM
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127: soup! I haven't read that article (though I've seen it linked elsewhere), but the map looks pretty accurate to me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 2:37 PM
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soup!

I don't know how you knew, but I am making onion soup. I'm going to use cider instead of wine because of the combination of lazy, PA liquor laws, and what's near my house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 2:43 PM
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Up here in New England the city, state, and federal governments all work together to bulldoze your house.
Do people citing this case ever note that Pfizer, for whom the site was bulldozed, ended up closing the site a few years later, so it really was just knocking down people's houses and replacing them with nothing. "In the aftermath of 2011's Hurricane Irene, the now-closed New London redevelopment area was turned into a dump for storm debris such as tree branches and other vegetation."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 2:47 PM
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141: I made French onion soup (MtAoFC recipe) on Friday. There's like 2 cups of wine in it. Then some cognac at the end.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 2:49 PM
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Soupy!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 2:53 PM
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MtAoFC

I think I know what this actually stands for, but the first thing that came to mind was Master the Art of Fucking Cooking.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 2:56 PM
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Quite.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:10 PM
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Alternately.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:16 PM
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I made French onion soup (MtAoFC recipe) on Friday

I thought you were a vegetarian.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:22 PM
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148: And the winner is nosflow! (I was waiting for someone to say that.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:26 PM
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Maybe she replaced beef stock with vegetable stock and felt that she was still using the same basic recipe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:27 PM
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I was thinking she replaced it with wine.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:29 PM
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"French onions" is a culinary term for testicles.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:32 PM
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I think I am going to bake a carnival squash, and then fill it with leftover mushroom-sausage risotto.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:33 PM
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"mushroom-sausage"
I won't even bother translating that one.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:35 PM
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I'm gonna keep this huge chunk of beef in the oven until it's nice and hot.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:44 PM
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I just made onion jam. (Actually, Newt just brought a new friend over, timed so that I was making not only onion jam but bread, the house was clean, and I could offer homemade pie as a snack. I felt fraudulently domestic.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:46 PM
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What's fraudulent about that?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:47 PM
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Presumably there's nothing fraudulent about it in itself, but rather in any impression that that's a normal state of affairs it may have created.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:48 PM
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Nosflow has it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:50 PM
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Ah.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:50 PM
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I often do.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:52 PM
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I'm substituting thyme flakes (or whatever you call them) for thyme sprigs. Because it seemed weird to pay more for the herb in the soup than the onions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 3:52 PM
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I'm waiting to board a flight to Dallas. I feel like I've authentically partied hardy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 4:22 PM
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Not "hearty"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 4:25 PM
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I meant pardy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 4:29 PM
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For what it's worth, french onion soup really shouldn't be made with beef stock, that's a shortcut used by those who don't want to caramelize onions for 6 hours. The "real" stuff is really good though.

Good to see you all, albeit briefly.


Posted by: soup | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 4:31 PM
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Hang on, soupy! Soupy, hang on.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 4:33 PM
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Ok you can go now.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 4:44 PM
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WTF is DHS doing involved in this?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 5:07 PM
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I'm done with the soup. It was good, even though I didn't caramelize the onions for six hours. I did two hours. Rest of the family aside, that's about as long as I could have possibly gone without just eating the bread and gruyère while drinking from the rest of the case of cider I bought because it was easier to buy a case of cider than a bottle of wine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 5:09 PM
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I'm making chili in the slow cooker, and I made cornbread to go with it. Last time I made this recipe, someone told me it didn't qualify as chili because it didn't have any meat.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 5:26 PM
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Chili sin carne is what they call it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 5:32 PM
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Or "bean salsa" in English.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 5:43 PM
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Of course it doesn't count as chili. Enjoy your loser sauce.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 5:44 PM
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The post has the same title as this song I like. Mrs. K-sky shazamed it off the radio and we keep it in a playlist called "Graduation Music." Give it a play and feel like the world still has more in store for you than cruel jokes.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 6:01 PM
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Oops. Sorry. The other post. Although a song called "An Analogy We Can All Agree Upon" could totally work.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 6:01 PM
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169: Well, if they send FBI agents out to investigate reports of old pick-up trucks being stolen, this seems proportional.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 6:09 PM
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Enjoy your loser sauce

Mmm. Loser sauce with a side of delicious death loaf.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 6:23 PM
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We had enchiladas with our onion soup. And pepperoni. We've been eating based on what will spoil if we don't eat it. Except for the pepperoni, which I didn't tell anybody else about and have been eating because I like pepperoni.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 7:44 PM
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62/64 (couch 2 5k remix): Nike / Crystal Method was made for this. Alas, the rockist overlords who rated Ray of Light the 21st best album now predict the edmise of EDM.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 11-10-13 11:58 PM
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Onion jam sounds like something from the weird and cookery-obsessed children's book "Grimble" by Clement Freud. (Actually I think Grimble tries to make onion fudge at one point, reasoning that it sounds right, like "bacon sandwich".)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 2:30 AM
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If I was from the US I would want to leave before some nutter decided to shoot me while I was minding my own business.

I feel this frequently. Then I remember I have left the US, and the possibility of being gunned down in an airport or shopping mall are nonexistent and I feel a wave of relief wash over me.

I can imagine circumstances where leaving just might be morally superior, but most of the time it's not going to be any better than passive complicity, and almost never better than staying and working, in whatever way, to improve things.

Yeah, this is something that is hard to think through. On the one hand, leaving doesn't really solve anything. We look back more kindly on Germans who fled Hitler's regime,* but they didn't have any more effect on preventing or stopping what happened than your average German citizen who wasn't an active supporter of the Third Reich and didn't fight in the army. There's something to making a moral stance that's admirable, but it really is about personal absolution on some level. On the other hand, leaving is a bit like voting: it's less than meaningful on an individual level, but if enough people do it it has meaning. If even 20% of healthy young men had fled Germany, then it might have had a real effect on the ability to invade other countries and commit large-scale genocide.

Secondly, I feel like one of the interesting ways we as non-Germans have rewritten our own WW2 narrative that has had long-lasting repercussions is this idea that we didn't know about the Holocaust, and if only we'd have known, we would have done something about it. However, we did know, or we knew we could know, and we chose not to know more or engage on any real manner because it is easier just to not think about terrible things than to think about them and do something or live with the realization we weren't doing anything. The Holocaust wasn't actually kept a secret, which I feel like has been written out of history books because it makes everyone feel better about themselves. This idea that awareness => action, even among sympathetic people, seems to repeatedly be shown as false. E.g. I know that horrible things are being done at Guantanamo and through extrajudicial extradition, but 1) I am not doing my utmost to end them, even though I think and know that it is the moral and right thing to do, and 2) I choose not to learn as much as possible about them, because I find it horrendous and upsetting. I am prepared for history to judge me harshly for this, and I recognize I am complicit. This gets to another point, which is that we are all complicit to varying degrees (as Westerners, or global elites, or white people, or however the varying commenters identify as), and we should be held responsible for this, yet I'm not sure what that should actually look like on the individual, interpersonal level. Obviously, all of us commenting here aren't out risking our lives to prevent genocide in Darfur or Guatemala or the torture of suspected terrorists, as we should be, yet what does it mean to hold us responsible? Should other people insult us until we become full-time activists? Is it enough to demand better behavior and reparations or public acknowledgement from governments and not from individual citizens, or should we hold individuals to a higher standard too?

Finally (final chapter of this novel). We have a family friend whose parents were resistance heros in Germany and spent the war smuggling Jews out of Germany. They saved the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. He said that after the war they never talked about what they did, and resisted any efforts for people to laud them. At one point his father said something like, "when you get to the point in a society that individual acts of heroism are necessary, you have already collectively failed as a society, and therefore I am just as guilty as any other German for letting society get to that point." This always has struck me as a very profound statement, and I try to keep it in mind when I think about the contemporary US. It also is a sobering reminder that personally doing a good thing doesn't really absolve you of the crimes of your society.

*ignoring German Jews who fled for safety reasons


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 3:12 AM
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We look back more kindly on Germans who fled Hitler's regime,* but they didn't have any more effect on preventing or stopping what happened than your average German citizen who wasn't an active supporter of the Third Reich and didn't fight in the army.

Quite a few of them ended up joining the British Army. About 10,000. They, at least, did something worth while. A few more ended up working for the war effort in other ways (unfortunately the first one that comes to mind is Klaus Fuchs but there were others...)

we did know, or we knew we could know, and we chose not to know more or engage on any real manner

If there's one thing you can say about the 1939-45 period, it's that no one in Europe was really willing to do anything about the Third Reich.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 3:21 AM
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I've never worried about polonium or blockades, but I have spent a lot of time arguing with my daughter about which one of us is the boss.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 3:28 AM
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Slatepitch: Klaus Fuchs did more than any other person in the 20th century to prevent World War 3.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 3:39 AM
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183

Yeah, like accepting Jewish refugees fleeing genocide with open arms. Oh, wait...


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 3:53 AM
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187

Well, I'd like to think that accepting 110,000 German Jewish refugees including 10,000 unaccompanied children, liberating Belsen, and more generally wiping the Nazi regime off the face of the earth at massive cost in blood and treasure counts as "doing something", even if maybe they didn't do everything that we think in retrospect they could have done. But, wait, a lot of those Jewish refugees actually ended up in British Mandate Palestine, which was a Bad Thing because it was the cause of Israel. Presumably they should have been sent back to Germany once the war was over. They wouldn't have wanted to go.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 4:20 AM
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If I was from the US I would want to leave before some nutter decided to shoot me while I was minding my own business.
And yet, strangely enough, most of us here in the US actually spend very little time, if any, worrying that we'll get shot while minding our own business. As horrific as gun violence is in this country, it's still something that is statistically unlikely to affect the vast majority of us.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 5:57 AM
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I mostly worry about getting hit by a car.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:04 AM
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And heart disease. Stupid esophagus making chest pains.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:07 AM
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183

But, less flippantly, doing anything isn't doing everything. I think we can agree that the Allies did their best to defeat Nazi Germany, but not to prevent or stop the Holocaust. The two are related, but had we made our focus stopping genocide, we probably could have saved the lives of millions of people. Most of our heroic efforts WRT the Holocaust came after the fact.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:12 AM
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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria and hospital-acquired infections.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:15 AM
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I'm in and out of hospitals and the later doesn't much worry me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:17 AM
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Ogged is a father with children speaking age!

My head is reeling, but rock on angry, irrational father. Me too, and my kids don't seem _completely_ ruined.


Posted by: simulated annealing | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:23 AM
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Getting hit by a car, chest pains, and completely ruining my kid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:24 AM
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191 is extremely debatable (and this probably isn't the best place to debate it) but three points: the actual genocide, as opposed simply to mistreatment and persecution, was temporally limited. Really, just from late 1941 to late 1944. The Allies only learned about it in the second half of 1942. (That's in the history books; it hasn't been written out or covered up.) It was also spatially limited. It happened, overwhelmingly, in the occupied territories of the East - Poland, Hungary, the USSR - which were out of direct Allied reach for most of that time. The Allies took the view that the best thing they could do for the non-Jewish and Jewish citizens of the occupied territories was to help the Soviets beat Germany as quickly as possible, and this is exactly what they did.
Second, the change you suggest isn't cost-free - if you make the focus "stopping genocide" rather than "winning the war", that by definition means that the war is going to take longer. How many more people are going to die as a result of the war dragging on into, say, 1946 or 1947?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:26 AM
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Getting hit by a car, chest pains, completely ruining my kid, and a "Boys from Brazil"-style Hitler 2.0.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:36 AM
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Many of the camps were possible bombing targets, certainly by 1944. and yet a conscious western allied decision was reached not to bomb them. Given the range of what else was gleefully bombed by Bomber Command, the notion that e.g. bombing Aushwitz would have meaningfully prolonged the war is specious. Whether or not that would have "stopped" the genocide is another story but it certainly could have slowed it and, you know, how about a little effort over here.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:43 AM
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My understanding from reading previous debates on this exact topic is that bombing Auschwitz would have been pretty difficult. Not impossible, but well outside normal bomber range, certainly until very late in the war.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:45 AM
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Also, I just had a bizarre dream in which Nate Silver had become a Crossfit instructor. He was super jacked. he was running some kind of elaborate workout which was somehow designed to test statistically whether it was a good idea to go to Vet school. Also, JRoth was there and super jacked Nate Silver was yelling in his face.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:46 AM
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And, for what it's worth, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_bombing_debate#The_Allies.27_considerations

N.B.: Churchill was allegedly in favour of bombing [although it wasn't carried out for operational reasons] but Ben-Gurion and others _opposed_ it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:50 AM
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Let's all just read the Wikipedia page instead of uninformed lay hashing it out here.

Kidding! Kidding!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:51 AM
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Pwned, but I added dickishness.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 6:52 AM
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I must say that particular Wikipedia page looks bad ("monday-morning quarterbacking")even by the standards of similar WWii Wikipedia pages. I have a copy of Overy's The Bombing War at home so I'll check in a bit what he has to say.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:03 AM
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Oddly enough, I've cited Rudolf Vrba in some of my academic work. As he wrote a couple of papers that overlap with some of the philosophy work I used to do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Vrba

I assume it's the same Vrba.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:06 AM
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193 I didn't either until I got one. And then I read all the things and realized we are all doomed. Doomed.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:12 AM
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I'm going to choose to believe that having watched the required powerpoint slides on MRSA, I'm protected.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:15 AM
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Getting hit by a car, chest pains, completely ruining my kid, antibiotic resistant bacteria, crossfit and Wikipedia.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:15 AM
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Ah, but did you check out the slides on c diff?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:16 AM
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I did not. I guess everybody is too worried about the Legionella in the water supply to worry about that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:24 AM
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I assume I'm immune to Legionella because I'm not in a legion.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:30 AM
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I had a coworker who did her PhD work on Legionella. Major risk factors: smoking, age, and hot tub usage. She learned the hard way not to do an image search for all three together.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:32 AM
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I hadn't known there were so many non-institutional cases. If one guy gets it from his hot tub, Congress doesn't get involved.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:38 AM
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I assume I'm immune to Legionella because I'm not in a legion.

First they infected the legionnaires, but I did not speak up because I was not a legionnaire.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:45 AM
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I just had a long dream tonight about Nosflow having made up a series of laminated charts that showed all the relationships between various participants and themes in the blog. Like who was first to make a particular joke, who had met IRL before Unfogged, or after, etc. -- and some of the relationships between people were denoted by tiny hats representing each person being placed next to the charts. Also, we all lived in a gigantic house and ogged was sort of the unofficial, but widely acknowledged, house-mother. Then people from my old job who have nothing to do with the blog started popping up, and it segued into being a dream about astronomy and cosmology. There was also some witchcraft/animist religion component.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:51 AM
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I had a dream the other night that revealed I can't do fairly simple math while I'm asleep -- for some reason I had to find the square root of 60 (might have been for a job interview doing beach maintenance), and the obviously correct answer in the dream was six times the square root of two. My subconscious bores the living crap out of me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:58 AM
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tiny hats representing each person

We can make your dream a reality. Just tell us which hat matched which person.

If one guy gets it from his hot tub, Congress doesn't get involved.

Really you need two people in the hot tub for there to be any possibility of congress being involved.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 7:59 AM
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Interesting Israel fact that I didn't know until recently. Prior to the recent wave of Russian immigrants, a significant majority of Israeli Jews were not European. Currently it's almost exactly half and half with almost as many Jews from Morocco as from Russia. I really hadn't realized that, and I have to say it made me much more sympathetic to Zionism.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:01 AM
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I PUT ON MY ROBE AND APOSTROPHER HAT


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:01 AM
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217.1: There was a grey-patterned miniature trilby that represented J, Robot I believe. Most of the hats were tiny trilbies of one color or another.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:09 AM
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218: Why? I could see being affected if it turned out that a large portion of the Jewish population of Israel had been living in the area that is now Israel before Zionist settlement started. But what's the difference between an Israeli Jew of German origin and an Israeli Jew of Moroccan origin?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:11 AM
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I'd better the first makes better latkes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:12 AM
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But the latter make better hummus.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:16 AM
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Everybody raised in Germany is a huge asshole. It isn't the European Jews fault that they were born in Europe and had to leave.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:18 AM
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224 to 223 if it read "humans" as I initially thought instead of "hummus".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:19 AM
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Colonization and partition are different things. It seems more reasonable to me that middle eastern Jews should have a country in the Middle East. Also, it was presumably much harder for middle eastern Jews to move anywhere else (e.g. the US).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:29 AM
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It seems more reasonable to me that middle eastern Jews should have a country in the Middle East.

Morocco is a) not in the Middle East and b) actually further away from Israel than Germany is.

if it read "humans" as I initially thought instead of "hummus".

IT'S A COOKBOOK!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:43 AM
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This seems wrong to me -- that is, Morocco is two thousand miles away from Israel, we're not talking about a neighboring country with maybe an arbitrarily drawn political boundary dividing a continuous population. Thinking of Moroccan Jews as having an importantly different and better justification for moving to Israel than German Jews seems to me to put a lot of weight on ethnicity if the ethnicity is "Middle Eastern-ness", and none if it's "Jewishness". I lean toward putting very little weight on ethnicity at all, but if you're going to consider it significantly, your weighting seems odd to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:46 AM
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Now we are worried.


Posted by: LEGION | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:50 AM
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Wherever the people-without-land came from doesn't change the fact that their destination wasn't a land-without-people to begin with.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:52 AM
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It makes Israel seem less like South Africa to me and more like Pakistan or Kurdistan or Lebanon. I know that's an analogy and so not a good argument, but still the breakdown of the South Africa analogy affected my feelings.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:54 AM
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There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:57 AM
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230: I never said learning that fact made me less sympathetic towards Palestinians. Only that it made me more sympathetic towards Zionism.

Morocco is a bit of an unusual case among the middle east, as is Russia among Europe. A better example is that there are slightly more Israeli Jews from Iraq and Iran than from Poland.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 8:59 AM
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OK, I just checked with Overy who says that there's no doubt that Auschwitz was a feasible target by 1944 if it had been an allied priority. It's possible it could have been reached as early as 1941 (there was a request to bomb it when it was a camp for Polish POWs). By 1944, the RAF was bombing a nearby camp where Jews were being forced to walk on foot from Auschwitz. Churchill was interested but the RAF bomber command found a bunch of reasons to not make it a priority, which seem to have had as much to do with a general reluctance to political bombing as anything else. The Americans were asked to look at the issue but had already preemptively shelved it (even though, again, it was clearly operationally possible) largely because John McCloy decided it shouldn't be a priority. I haven't seen any discussion yet of bombing the other camps.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 9:03 AM
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Thinking about Britta's footnote, it's not clear to me how many people actually fled Germany who weren't Jews, communists, etc at direct risk. I would think numbers would be pretty low.

My mother-in-law, who turned 15 just after VE Day, was supposed to go with a group of girls to dig trenches just before the American Army arrived in her county. She overslept and missed the bus. Only years later did she learn that her father had gone to the local authorities the night before and told them he wasn't letting his daughter go -- having lost both sons (who were serving as cannon fodder [the older died at Stalingrad]) -- and they let it slide.

Then as now most people live ordinary lives, and I don't think there's much to be gained by getting all judgmental about what my mother-in-law could have done to stop Auschwitz (or her father, a small town butcher), or what Britta could have done to stop the attack on Falluja.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 9:10 AM
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Fair enough, but it might be more reasonable to get all judgy about, say, FDR, John McCloy, or Gens. Harris and Spaatz.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 9:19 AM
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234, 236 -- And Ben Gurion?

Do you really think the merits are clear enough on this one that being judgmental is anything but preening?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 9:32 AM
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Let he with really pretty feathers cast the first stone.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 9:34 AM
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237.last gets it right.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 9:35 AM
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Not sure that it's preening to point out that the Western Allies had the opportunity to take specific anti-genocide steps but that this was an extremely low priority for them. It's not like people were all "oh hey Ben Gurion says no so let's not do it" the actual history is that it just wasn't something the Wrstern allied leaders cared about greatly at the time. That's the factual record. Now, one can understand why this wasn't a top allied priority -- and there's certainly a case to be made about the limited effectiveness of, eg, bombing camps or rail lines in stopping genicide -- but not all of that understanding need lead one to a point of sympathy.

Is it also preening to say that John McCloy probably shouldn't have helped to intern thousands of Japanese Amerricans because hey the focus had to be on winning the war? I am guessing your answer is "no."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 9:39 AM
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re: 240

That's the factual record.

I don't that's by any means that factual record.

As you say yourself, I think it assumes rather a lot to believe that they could have taken substantive anti-genocide steps [other than the already on-going all out massive war to beat the Axis powers] that really would have stopped the genocide. Rather than just some token stuff that would have slowed things down by a few days or weeks, and done very little to hasten the winning of the war.

I think there's also rather a lot of post-WWII hindsight at work here.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 9:44 AM
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I mean, George McGovern -- who actually served on a bomber that dropped bombs over occupied Poland not far from Auschwitz -- said later that failing to bomb the camps was a horrific mistake, but I'm sure he was just preening and you know we can't judge the past.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 9:45 AM
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237.2: I think the point is that we are all as bad as the Nazis. This is a theme that's come up before, and with similarly wobbly historical background.
http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_12914.html


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 9:47 AM
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Ttam, what evidence do you have that genocide prevention was ever even seriously considered as an operational priority by the Western Allies? To my knowledge, there is no such evidence. To the contrary, the general policy of the services, especially the bombing services, was that attempts to prevent genocide should affirmatively not be pressed because that would be in the service of "aiding refugees." There was a bureaucratic decision made to not undertake anti-genocide activities generally and bombing specifically. Indeed, the Western allies didn't even use their knowledge of the extermination camps significantly for propaganda purposes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 9:50 AM
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re: 244

Honestly, I don't know. Should it have been? I don't mean that as a dumb question. The war had already been going for several years before they were even aware that genocide was in progress, and it was several years into the war before there was any genocidal apparatus that they could have targeted. And, for all their horror, the death camps were not remotely the major cause of death in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (in general) or of deaths of those singled out for genocide either.

I think it's pretty glib to describe some of the decisions as 'bureaucratic'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 9:57 AM
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I'm not saying it wasn't a mistake. And I wish the people running the war had had more McGovernite sensibilities (I've commented before, more than once probably, on the talk I heard McGovern give on bombing an Austrian farmhouse). That still doesn't mean that making the mistake is immoral.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:00 AM
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The most immediate result of bombing the concentration camps would be the death of thousands of internees. I would hesitate under those conditions as well.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:04 AM
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I think while it might be right, with the benefit of hindsight, that some of the genocidal infrastructure could or should have been targeted, I don't think the 'We are going to concentrate on killing* as many Germans as possible' position was morally indefensible, and there's a great deal of moral, and operational ambiguity involved.

* and/or 'helping the Red Army to engage in killing'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:06 AM
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Because the war wasn't being waged by a bureaucracy?

I mean, the allies undoubtedly had the capacity to bomb, and also likely substantially incapacitate, Auschwitz in the summer and fall of 1944, at a time when (IIRC) about 20,000 people per day were being killed there. This was in the context of an overall bombing campaign in which an overwhelming number of cities throughout occupied Europe had been or would be bombed, so the argument that there somehow just wasn't capacity to do so had doing so even been a subsidiary war priority, doesn't really work. Of course there's hindsight involved in saying that undertaking such a campaign would have been a good thing but it's really the hindsight of "why on earth didnt you care about this more" and I think we're reasonably allowed to use that kind of hindsight in judging the past.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:06 AM
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Is the argument here that death camps were unique among German industrial installations in that they could actually have been stopped from functioning, permanently, by a few bombing raids? Because that really wasn't true of oil refineries or railway nets or steel works or armament factories or anything like that.

The Germans in 1943-45 had two key national priorities: 1) making weapons and 2) killing Jews. The RAF and USAAF devoted literally hundreds of thousands of bomber sorties in 1943-4 to interfering with priority 1, and the result was that by 1944 they were cranking out more tanks and more artillery pieces and more warplanes than ever before. Why shouldn't the same be true for German national priority number 2?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:07 AM
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How necessary was the infrastructure of Auschwitz to killing people, though? I mean, would bombing it have been terribly likely to have slowed down the slaughter, or would it have continued in a somewhat less tidy and efficient manner?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:08 AM
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I hate it when I get pwned by a comment that says what I meant at greater length and with more detail.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:09 AM
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251: exactly. In fact priority 2 is much more amenable to being decentralised in response to air attack, Speer-1944-style, than priority 1. You just can't build tanks without a fairly big factory somewhere close to the rail net, but you can murder people en masse pretty much anywhere.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:12 AM
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247 -- the allies at the time were killing not only thousands upon thousands of German civilians (duh) but also thousands of civilians in occupied countries, notably France, so it's not like collateral damage to innocent populations on the service of broader goals was being weighed very heavily at the time.

250 -- well, destroying oil refineries and the like (which did have some impact) was a consistent priority of the RAF despite knowledge at the time that it wasn't working that well -- bombing the camps was never even tried or very seriously considered. So there's that.

We'll never know what the impact would have been of the hypothetical, but certainly slowing or seriously interrupting the killings -- given the rate at which they were happening by 1944, and given difficulties in siting and setting up extermination camps -- could have saved hundreds of thousands, just because of the extreme speed with which killing was occurring at undisturbed camps.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:15 AM
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I think this discussion is somewhat overemphasizing the importance of camps, as though if only you could destroy the camps you could stop the genocide. The record of the Nazis in the Western Soviet Union demonstrates that you don't actually need camps in order to kill lots of people.

Also, the camps weren't exactly high tech or difficult to construct. The Germans rebuilt munitions factories repeatedly and pretty quickly after they were bombed. I don't see why the would have any difficulty rebuilding concentration camps.


Posted by: AcacemicLurker | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:18 AM
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re: 251.last

Well, a very significant percentage of the people who died in the Holocaust died in exactly that sort of less tidy inefficient manner. German police battalions killed a million or more, for example.

Looking at the numbers via Wiki, the camps killed a higher percentage of Jewish victims of the Nazis than I thought -- about 1/2, roughly, whereas I thought it was more like 1/3 -- but they were still only a part of the process. Many millions of non-Jewish victims of the Nazis were, of course, killed by other means.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:18 AM
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I don't see why "stopping genocide entirely" and "doing nothing to even attempt disrupting known extermination camps" were the only two alternatives. Obviously the Western Allies couldn't have done anything about the early Wehrmacht killings on the Eastern Front, but that doesn't mean they couldn't have done anything at all.

Again, in the summer and fall of 1944 the camps were being used to kill specific populations, notably Hungarian Jews, at a terrifically fast rate -- up to about 20,000/day at Auschwitz alone, I think. If that rate had been substantially slowed for a few months, as it would have been -- remember, the German army had lots of other operational problems at that time -- the rate could have been substantially slowed and tens or hundreds of thousands of lives saved from that operation alone.

But, it wasn't even tried, and not based on a calculation of effectiveness in preventing genocide, but because preventing genocide itself wasn't a war priority.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:26 AM
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This really sounds like Appleby's Fallacy in hindsight -- something should have been done, this was something, therefore it should have been done. It doesn't seem as though there was any very solid reason to think that bombing the camps would have slowed down the slaughter much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:29 AM
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How accurately did the Allies know the scale of the killings?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:31 AM
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258: I didn't know that had a name!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:32 AM
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I think it does now.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:32 AM
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I guess I'm willing to walk back on "preening" a bit. It is true that stopping genocide wasn't a key war aim, and I don't think anyone would argue that if the Japanese had not attacked Hawai'i and conquered the Philippines, the US might not have even gotten directly involved in the war. The Brits would have settled on terms of some kind, and Hitler would have been free to pursue his genocide to the end in areas that Red Army didn't take.

So, yes, if we're going to apply the standards of our time, we can say that not making ending genocide a higher priority was immoral.

(I forget, Halford, which side you were on when we discussed Rwanda recently).

I think the operational situation was ambiguous enough, though, that even if they had made stopping genocide a higher priority, it's not clear they could have done much. We'll never know what the Germans would have done if their crematoria had been shut down for a time. Mass execution in a less efficient way, would be my guess, but maybe -- probably -- some individuals would have survived who, in the event, didn't. On the other hand, some individuals who did survive maybe would have been killed in bombing raids.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:33 AM
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260: I'm trying to make "fetch" happen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:34 AM
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And, as I say, it's notable that the arguments about the effectiveness of bombing camps and railways seem to come from the same sort of people who argue in other contexts that strategic bombing was useless and wasteful.
The Germans didn't need camps to murder thousands of people a day. Look at what happened at Babi Yar. With the order having gone out to murder the Hungarian Jews, they would have found a way.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:35 AM
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Isn't there an actual term for the genocide-by-bullet that the Einsatzgruppen carried out? It's right on the tip of my tongue but I can't even figure out the best way to search for it.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:37 AM
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I forget which Soviet city it was (Kiev?, Kharkov?) where the Nazis killed 35,000 mostly Jewish citizens in one day using old fashioned bullets.

Maybe they couldn't have kept up that kind of pace day after day in Eastern Europe, but all the evidence seems to indicate that the Germans were going to devote intense effort and significant resources to genocide right up to the bitter end.

Also, what LB said in 258.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:42 AM
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259 -- by summer 1944, very well.

Is the argument really that the allies shouldn't even have tried to bomb Auschwitz because we don't know whether it would have saved just a few tens of thousands or more lives? Mass shootings had huge operational problems for the German army, which is why they were stopped and the camps begun. Again, there's no question that bombing couldnt have "prevented" the genocide but that's a completely unreasonable standard -- the question of whether a campaign could reasonably have slowed it and saved substantial lives wasn't even seriously considered by the allies.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:43 AM
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I wish people cared more about stopping the ongoing conflicts in the DRC. If we want to talk about moral culpability for not intervening to stop genocide or whatever, how much do the governments of the US, PRC, Belgium, France, Russia, the UK and other major weapon-exporting nations bear for the horrendous death toll in various central African wars?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:44 AM
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+ South Africa, pre- and post-democratic elections.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:45 AM
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Kiev. Babi Yar, in fact. September 1941. The Romanians did something similar at Odessa the next month.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:50 AM
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268: not many UK, US, French or Belgian weapons in use in central African wars. Those guys are AK all the way.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:51 AM
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On a lighter note, the fact that a post nominally about parenting has led to a debate about the Holocaust 200+ comments into the resulting thread reminds me of the glory days of unfogged.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:51 AM
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Is the argument really that the allies shouldn't even have tried to bomb Auschwitz because we don't know whether it would have saved just a few tens of thousands or more lives?

It would definitely have killed hundreds or thousands. Balancing that against a possible extra few weeks or months of life or even a chance of surviving the war for a few thousands or tens of thousands is the kind of decision I would not like to have to make.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:53 AM
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235

Yeah, this is kind of where I come down, and it clashes uncomfortably with the moral rhetoric in the United States a lot of the time. I also vacillate on how much to beat myself up about letting Fallujah happen, though.*

For the Holocaust, it's pretty unequivocal that stopping genocide wasn't our** priority. Aside from actual targeting of camps, there were things we could have done which would have cost nothing or very little, and which some Jewish groups begged the US and UK governments to do, which we refused to do. Namely, 1) formally denouncing genocide and vowing to hold the Germans responsible, and 2) not turning away boatloads of refugees who had already arrived on our shores. One can plausibly argue it would have done little, but the only country to formally denounce genocide at the time and hold Germany accountable for the treatment of its Jewish citizens had striking success,*** so who knows. Anyways, these were actions with almost zero cost to the war effort and potential to help reduce genocide, but we weren't willing to do them.

*Not that I am delusional enough to think I could have stopped it, but sometimes I do think I should feel intensely awful about it. If people in 50 years consider me a moral monster for passively going along with it, I won't argue too much.
**US and UK, mainly
***Of the 450 Danish Jews deported to Germany, about 420 survived the war. Danish Jews were sent to Thierenstadt rather than an extermination camp and received care packages from the Danish government. My more general point is that while the Nazis collectively and certainly key leaders (Hitler included) were probably beyond moral pressure, lots of people weren't, and those people could slow up or halt parts of the killing apparatus in ways that counted.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:54 AM
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The German army simply could not have sustained mass shooting executions at anything resembling concentration camps while retaining operational efficiency. The capacity to set up new camps is unknown, but the mass shooting argument is just a bad one -- there's a reason why they set up the camps in the first place, despite Babi Yar.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:55 AM
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Also, this is from the Vrby wiki article:

Material from the Vrba-Wetzler and earlier reports appeared in newspapers and radio broadcasts in the United States and Europe, particularly in Switzerland, throughout June and into July 1944, prompting world leaders to appeal to Hungarian regent Miklós Horthy to halt the deportations.[6] He ordered them to be stopped on 7 July, possibly fearing he would be held personally responsible after the war. By then 437,000 Jews had already been deported, constituting almost the entire Jewish population of the Hungarian countryside, but another 200,000 living in Budapest itself were saved.

Imagine if this sort of pressure had been more widely applied.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:56 AM
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235.2 is a separate issue, but also correct. Again, the Western Allies, despite knowledge, didn't even use the extermination camps for propaganda purposes.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:57 AM
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sb 274.


Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 10:59 AM
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On a lighter note, the fact that a post nominally about parenting has led to a debate about the Holocaust 200+ comments into the resulting thread reminds me of the glory days of unfogged.

Moreso than the fact that it was posted by Ogged?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:01 AM
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Could the western allies in fact have reached Auschwitz much before the evacuation? B-29s might have done, but they were only introduced in May 1944, and there probably weren't a lot of them to start with. The previous generation of bombers had ranges of 2,000 - 2,500 miles, which would have made a flight to Southern Poland and back quite tight from western bases.

The Russians could have done it of course, but there are different variables in play there.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:02 AM
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This really sounds like Appleby's Fallacy in hindsight -- something should have been done, this was something, therefore it should have been done.

I don't read Halford as arguing that. More: "something should have been done, for example maybe this. But something." After all, he's made clear that he's not really harping on the specific fact that Auschwitz wasn't bombed, but that preventing genocide itself wasn't an Allied war priority.

And you're saying: no, it's not clear that anything should have been done. Because it's not clear what could have been.

Some evidence that various options were considered and rejected for being likely ineffective, counterproductive, etc. would be useful for your argument. Because I think you're the one looking back with 20/20 hindsight and saying "there's nothing that could have been done." The people on the ground at the time weren't saying it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:08 AM
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The Russians could have done it of course, but there are different variables in play there.

Yeah. The sad fact we're all kind of dancing around is that the Germans killed so many people in large part because they had enthusiastic help from governments and ordinary citizens in occupied countries and some Allied countries. I believe there's pretty solid evidence the Russians could have arrived in time to help out the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, but sat on the sidelines instead to let the Germans "finish their job."


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:11 AM
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No, that's not what I meant. Halford's arguing that not bombing the camps is per se proof that the Allies didn't take preventing genocide seriously, and I think that's not well supported. Britta's argument in 274 -- that the Allies should have opened their borders to refugees and should have denounced genocide and used it as propaganda as soon as it was known -- is much stronger, and that I do pretty much agree with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:12 AM
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I didn't say it's "per se" proof. The fact is that preventing genocide was not a primary or even secondary goal of the Western Allies; the decision not to bomb Auschwitz or the other camps even seriously consider doing so, despite requests to do so, is one piece of evidence of their overall war policy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:15 AM
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282: You've confused the Warsaw Ghetto uprising with the Warsaw Uprising of a year later.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:15 AM
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280 -- Richard Overy says they could, which is certainly good enough for me. Auschwitz was well in range of the Allied base at Foggia, Italy; the allies captured Foggia in late 1943.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:19 AM
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285

You're right. Mentally put a strike through through 'ghetto' in the final sentence.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:22 AM
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not turning away boatloads of refugees who had already arrived on our shores

If this is a reference to the MV St Louis, it is very important to realise that those weren't at the time people fleeing genocide. It was 1939: there was no genocide going on. (There wasn't even a war going on.) You can't retrospectively use that as an example of not caring about genocide. There weren't boatloads of Jews sailing from Hamburg to New York and being turned away in 1944.

Not using the stories of the camps as propaganda is more defensible. Everyone had been very badly burned by the false Allied atrocity propaganda from the first world war. Some people (like Britta) still believe, even today, that it was all propaganda - that there were no German atrocities in WW1 at all. Given that, it's understandable that the Allies would have been wary of coming out with horrendous stories about death camps. After all, lots of people don't believe even today that the Holocaust actually happened at all, and nowadays you can actually go and look at the gas chambers.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:26 AM
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286: Distance isn't the only issue. On some missions in 1943, the Allies were losing 25% of the bombers. German air defenses were much weaker later in the war. Given the circumstances of even late 1943 (needing to build for D-Day and the Soviets had just recently started winning), I don't think the mere fact that the distance problem was solved is anywhere near to settling the issue.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:31 AM
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It was 1939: there was no genocide going on. (There wasn't even a war going on.)

In Europe.


Posted by: Opinionated China | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:34 AM
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289 -- well, we know for certain that they could have bombed by August 1944, since they were bombing within 5 miles of Auschwitz at that point. Before then you had years of strategic bombing against a wide range of Gean civilian industry targets (almost all of which had little to do with D-Day). After March 1944 much of the German air defense was heavily weakened. Obviously a strike or multiple strikes on Auschwitz wouldn't have been a no-risk affair but it was certainly feasible if it had been prioritized by the allies and could have been undertaken without a significant strategic transfer of resources from other tasks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:51 AM
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"Gean" s/b "German"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 11:53 AM
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Not using the stories of the camps as propaganda is more defensible. Everyone had been very badly burned by the false Allied atrocity propaganda from the first world war.

I think you get the thinking at the time mostly right but the fact remains that this was a bad decision as well as being a morally terrible one -- there were specific steps that could have been undertaken at the time, through publicity alone, that could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and that were largely shrugged off by British and American officials who, basically, didn't want to have to worry about that. On the broader points I'm generally very much in favor of the Allies and their leaders (I still plan to name my hypothetical male son Roosevelt) but I don't see why that requires suspending all moral judgment as to their actions from the vantage of 2013.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 12:05 PM
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Primo Levi devotes quite a bit of several of his books to the experience of being bombed by the USAF*, in Auschwitz.

Anyone who has read into even loosely recent Holocaust historiography knows that Auschwitz was a very broad geographical concept, with about 100 sub-camps reporting (mostly in name, not in fact) to the standortältester in the old Austrian cavalry barracks*. Levi was probably in the chemical works at the time when he was bombed rather than the camp he was confined in. But then, RAF Bomber Command had trouble hitting Germany at times.

It's kind of weird the way a lot of people who think (rightly) that Harris was the aerial version of a WW1 chateau general whose forces could, on the top of their game, set fire to random civilians while losing the pick of the nation's youth in droves and not measurably beat the Germans also think he could have turned off the Holocaust like that FB-111A guy in GW1 did to the big oil valve.

By August 1944, well, it might have been doable but it would also have been more than a bit late. The Hungarians are the last big group of victims, and after that they're actively looking at destroying the evidence, redeploying the SS to go get conveniently killed in Yugoslavia, settling some rubes from God knows where on the site.

One thing I don't know is how well the camp organisation was understood at the time. We know it now in forensic detail. The idea of a precision raid on Birkenau, like the RAF Mosquito strikes on the Beauvais jail and the Copenhagen Gestapo HQ, implies knowing it's that specific building. British photorecce interpretation was quite awesome, but Constance Babington Smith* would have had to imagine what a murder factory looks like. She managed with a jet engine test site, but then she was able to observe RAF Boscombe Down for hints.

*he thought it was the RAF, but it was in daylight and too far for the Mosquito, so much more likely the 8th AF or 12th AF from Italy. but we'll spot the guy, who after all had other concerns at the time, a slip in aircraft recognition.
*there are architecture historians who work on the place as a building. I don't know how they get up in the morning
*look her up, she's cool


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 12:36 PM
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also think he could have turned off the Holocaust like that FB-111A guy in GW1 did to the big oil valve

Please point to the place where I made that argument.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 12:41 PM
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Or, again -- sure, bombing was imprecise and couldn't have "stopped the holocaust." But, given the range of strategic targets selected by the RAF/USAF hitting many of the camps was something that (a) they could have done and (b) might well have saved many, many lives but (c) wasn't even considered and rejected, not because of careful cost-benefit consideration but rather because genocide prevention just plain wasn't an allied priority.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 12:44 PM
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282: not the Ghetto Uprising, no. You probably mean the Warsaw Uprising, which happened a bit more (Or maybe less? I can check my lectures if you care.) than a year later.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 1:12 PM
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Oh look: 285.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 1:12 PM
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And 287! Shutting up now.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 1:13 PM
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Failed political scientists are like historians, but without so much to occupy their time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 1:14 PM
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It also is a sobering reminder that personally doing a good thing doesn't really absolve you of the crimes of your society.

What if you really, really went all out?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-11-13 2:48 PM
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