HACKS  4:55 pm August 8, 2012

WSJ Spews Bunch of Racist Garbage in Defense of Romney’s Racist Garbage

by Kris E. Benson

Don't know much about historyOh look, another asshat was given space in the Wall Street Journal Op-Ed section, and it seems fair to say that this asshat is even more ill-informed than the last one. What’s particularly surprising is that this particular asshat, Richard Landes, is a historian at Boston University and yet has absolutely no understanding of Middle Eastern, Arab, or  Ottoman history — it’s kind of fascinating, actually!

In making his brief case [that culture contributed to the respective success and failure of Israel and Palestine], Mr. Romney cited two books: “Guns, Germs and Steel,” by geographer Jared Diamond, and “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations,” by economist David Landes (my father). As in other fields of social “science,” economists argue about whether development derives from cultural advantages or from natural ones such as resistance to disease and access to primary resources. Prof. Diamond, whose book focuses on societies’ natural advantages, last week wrote an op-ed in the New York Times emphasizing both culture and nature and trying to draw Prof. Landes in with him.

Actually, Professor Jared Diamond  wrote an op-ed in the New York lamenting the fact that Romney had “misrepresented” and “simplified” his book and expressing doubt as to whether or not “Mr. Romney had read it.” But tomato, tomahto.

But Israel (which neither book examined) and the Arab world (which only the Landes book examined) illustrate the primacy of culture as both necessary and sufficient for economic development. Israel, a country with no natural resources, an economic backwater even in the Ottoman Empire, rose to the top of the developed world in a century on culture alone. The Arab nations, on the other hand, illustrate the necessity of a certain kind of culture: Even those with vast petrodollars still have among the least productive economies in the world.

No…Palestine was not an “economic backwater” in the Ottoman Empire, so there’s that. And here’s a fun fact for everyone: the idea that “vast petrodollars” are negatively correlated with economic productivity and even human rights is called the “rentier effect” or the “resource curse” and it is not just limited to Arab countries. So oil wealth in fact EXPLAINS the lack of productivity and social justice in Arab (as well as other) countries.

Americans tend to assume that everyone shares their cultural attitudes—that everyone strives to get to “yes,” to positive-sum, win-win, voluntary relations; that everyone holds productive work in high respect and prizes the principles of fairness embodied in the meritocratic principle of “equality before the law”; that everyone encourages criticism, treasures intellectual capital, promotes risk-taking, prizes transparency and fosters innovation. With institutions built on such values—with a culture dedicated to making, not taking, money—a society can make use of whatever primary products a land offers.

Oh Americans value all that stuff? We hadn’t noticed — we were busy watching Congress as they try to cut Pell Grants, NSF grants, and funding for NASA , as well as the White House as they try to clamp down on whistleblowers’ efforts to bring more transparency to the administration.

But there are cultures whose favored mode is not voluntary but coerced and zero-sum relations, where the principle of “rule or be ruled” dominates political and economic life. The elites in such cultures hold hard work in contempt, and they distrust intellectual openness and uncontrolled innovation as subversive. They emphasize rote learning and unquestioning respect for those in authority. Protection rackets rather than law enforcement assure the public order and bleed the economy. Public criticism brings sharp retaliation. Powerful actors acquire wealth by taking, rather than making.

Gosh, what’s that like? Someone go ask Jamie Dimon and Angelo Mozilo and Ina Drew and Leonard Blankfein and John Kanas and Paris Hilton real fast—we’ll wait right here.

Strikingly, Palestinian culture compares favorably with that of other Arabs. Palestinians have higher education, a strong work ethic and successful entrepreneurs. Much of that comes from their close association with the Zionists, who (unlike Western imperialists) settled the land without conquest, by dint of making everyone more prosperous.

See that guys? Palestinians would have no idea about hard work if they hadn’t learned it from Zionists. The oldest and most prestigious university in Africa is right next door in Egypt and was founded in the tenth century, but yeah, Palestinian higher education DEFINITELY comes from the post-Balfour Declaration era.  And even though Arabs  invented Algebra, preserved and translated ancient Greek manuscripts, and developed a sophisticated understanding of astronomy hundreds of years earlier (which you’d think a Richard Landes, Medieval historian, would know about) but yeah, that was also probably somehow due to close contact with Zionists.

In calling Mr. Romney’s remarks “racist” and blaming Palestinian economic difficulties on Israel’s “occupation,” Mr. Erekat illustrated one of David Landes’s major points: Blaming others for one’s own failures prolongs failure. Even though his own government daily chooses a culture of death, not life, Mr. Erekat wants to blame Israel for Palestine’s woes; no admission here that he and his colleagues might have some role in the suffering of their own people….Had Western observers criticized Mr. Erekat for his silly and dishonest response, they might have strengthened those Palestinians who could lead their people to the promised land of independence and prosperity. Instead, they threw the real progressives, the ones who could put an end to the occupation by good faith negotiations, under the bus.

Hey did David Landes invent “The Secret”? Because it sure sounds like it! Let this be a lesson to us all: Palestinians blaming the occupation and blockade for stagnant economic growth just PROLONGS the occupation, the blockade, and stagnant economic growth. Just tell them to think positive and that everything will be FINE.

[the Wall Street Journal]

 
Related video

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.

{ 259 comments }

actor212 August 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Judd Hirsch looks TERRIBLE!

Or wait. Is that General Zod in mufti?

DerrickWildcat August 8, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Kneel before Kolob.

James Michael Curley August 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Nah its not Judd Hirsch. Judd Hirsch has looked TERRIBLE for 35 years.

OneDollarJuana August 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Hmm. I thought it was Pete Townsend.

actor212 August 9, 2012 at 8:29 am

Needs moar little boyz

Not_So_Much August 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

There just aren't enough red-hot pokers to go around for today's stories.

Callyson August 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Or enough drinks.

MittBorg August 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Who you planning on poking, dood?

Not_So_Much August 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm

All these fuggers, red-hot pokers right up the wazoo.

(It's a quote from a bad 1977 movie starring Robbie Benson. Yes, that's just how hip and current I am.)

MittBorg August 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Oh, I'm totes cool with that.

Don't feel bad. I'm still looking around in the '30s and '40s.

OneDollarJuana August 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

"bad 1977 movie starring Robbie Benson"

Not to quibble, but that's redundant.

lulzmonger August 9, 2012 at 2:10 am

*unloads big-ass crate of red-hot pokers*

SorosBot August 8, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Romney: …So I think my insights into Mr. Diamond, well, have a great deal of validity!
America: Oh, do ya? Well, that's funny, because I happen to have Mr. Diamond right here, so, so, yeah, just let me… [pulls Diamond out from behind a nearby poster]… Come over here for a second… tell him!
Jared Diamond: I heard what you were saying! You know nothing of my work!…How you got to govern anything is totally amazing!

FlownOver August 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm

So – the medium of exchange is the message?

MittBorg August 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I've seen that movie …

AncienReggie August 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I haven't read the works of Daddy Landes, but that horseshit is definitely not what Jared Diamond has written. At all.

Now Mr. Diamond did have some really cool insights into why the oak tree has never been successfully domesticated; ditto the zebra. But that bit about those innovative Palestinians learning their chops from their Israeli mentors? Nah. That ain't in there.

emmelemm August 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Oh, the zebras. (I remember that part.)

Nothingisamiss August 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Yes.

Negropolis August 8, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Family Guy libel!

Fukui-sanYesOta August 8, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Why are you hitting yourselves, Palestinians?

actor212 August 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm

And here’s a fun fact for everyone: the idea that “vast petrodollars” are negatively correlated with economic productivity and even human rights is called the “rentier effect” or the “resource curse” and it is not just limited to Arab countries.

Indeed. Would we give a shit about Israel if it wasn't for Arab oil?

And yet, Israel benefits from outsized foreign assistance, largely from the US Government, because we value jackasses in a strip of desert near some oil countries more than we value people in our own nation. Rentier, indeed. Does anyone think Israel would be a vital, vibrant economy if it wasn't for our fucking military and our fucking tax dollars propping its ass up?

anniegetyerfun August 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

There are people who do, in fact, believe that Israel would survive because Jeebus. Not here, obviously, but you know – out there.

doloras August 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Well, they certainly know how to sell oranges and cater to fundie tourists who hate them.

Fraudulently_Joe August 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm

I love how we call them "America's Greatest Ally [in the region]", despite the fact that they aren't actually a part of any of our defensive alliances, (c.f. Turkey and NATO), have never provided personnel or material support for US combat missions in the region (contra Turkey, Saudia Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait), and have repeatedly conducted espionage against the US and its allies (including operations that would be causus belli, namely the state assassination of our NATO allies' nationals on their home soil).

sullivanst August 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm

But they did kick those browns' asses a couple of times.

MittBorg August 8, 2012 at 6:09 pm

The fact that they have killed American SERVICEMEN with impunity, not to mention other American citizens, ought to be a real issue for these AmericaFirst nutbags. How do their heads NOT explode from the dissonance?

Fraudulently_Joe August 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm

The only one of those incidents that I'm aware of, though, they totally apologized and said it was an accident, though! (Even though that didn't make much sense) (On the other hand there wasn't really a clear reason they sunk that ship in any case)

Also too, the most recent time the IDF killed an American citizen, that citizen was a brown, so whatevs.

wonkettkinkster August 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm

The ship was a signals intelligence ship. They were parked off the Gaza Strip and recorded radio traffic indicating there was a massacre occurring in Rafah. So Israel bombed them.

Pretty simple!

MittBorg August 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm

It's sad that we actually have to distinguish between the killings by the phrase "the most recent time."

Boojum August 8, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Jeebus?

MittBorg August 8, 2012 at 11:16 pm

You called?

LastGasp August 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm

The Arab nations, on the other hand, illustrate the necessity of a certain kind of culture: Even those with vast petrodollars still have among the least productive economies in the world.
This is from someone who obviously hasn't seen the riches of Qatar yet.

DerrickWildcat August 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm

“Guns, Germs and Steel,” was made into a PBS Special. You can find the whole thing on the utubes. It's interestingg and stuff. If you are super lazy like me, here it starts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgnmT-Y_rGQ

Tundra Grifter August 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm

There are two long National Geographic specials built around Prof. Diamond's books, and I learned a great deal from both of them.

BaldarTFlagass August 8, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Guns Germs etc is also available on Netflix streaming.

MittBorg August 8, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Man, ALL you guys are like a fucking TREASURE HOUSE of information. (runs off to check various sites)

DerrickWildcat August 8, 2012 at 11:17 pm

3 new pictures up.

MittBorg August 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm

(Big hug) Still so nervous with my camera, I haven't taken a single shot. I know, I know, I need to get off my ass. I actually used to go out shooting with my old SLR. For some reason, I think this new digital baby will fall apart if I drop it.

DerrickWildcat August 9, 2012 at 12:33 am

Get a good strap and practice in your yard until you get comfortable with it. You might not have the most interesting birds in your yard, but a good shot is a good shot even if it's a dumb old House Sparrow. Practice stalking up on them. You soon learn to read their body language and can get better shots.

elviouslyqueer August 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm

But there are cultures whose favored mode is not voluntary but coerced and zero-sum relations, where the principle of “rule or be ruled” dominates political and economic life. The elites in such cultures hold hard work in contempt, and they distrust intellectual openness and uncontrolled innovation as subversive. They emphasize rote learning and unquestioning respect for those in authority. Protection rackets rather than law enforcement assure the public order and bleed the economy. Public criticism brings sharp retaliation. Powerful actors acquire wealth by taking, rather than making.

But enough about the GOP.

anniegetyerfun August 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Oh, well played good sir.

AncienReggie August 8, 2012 at 6:40 pm

FTW

Slim_Pickins August 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm

and the Vatican.

Callyson August 8, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Jinx!

Negropolis August 8, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Oh, this is good, my friend. Reel gud.

Mittens Howell, III August 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Palestine is not a Kibbutz.

WhatTheHeck August 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Those who forget history are condemned to pee on it.

DustBowlBlues August 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Or didn't know it in the first place.

zippy_w_pinhead August 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm

maybe they were bit by a jellyfish

johnnyzhivago August 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm

When the British occupied America you didn't see a bunch of people getting crazy and shooting people or talking revolution – did you!!!!

Uncultured Palestinians are apparently just prone to violence!

MissTaken August 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm

For fuck's sake Wonkette, how can you expect a historian to actually know about history? That's like saying since I'm an accountant I should know how to count to 10 without using my fingers. As if!

johnnyzhivago August 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Hey speaking of accountants, we ended up owing like $2k on our 2010 taxes – which were done by an accountant. He's a right winger, who always likes to tell me about his political views while I'm sitting there like an idiot twiddling my thumbs as he punches numbers into his PC.

He also has a glass case of assault rifles behind his desk as well, so I usually play along and agree with his latest Nobama conspiracy stories.

Anyway he made an obvious error – which I caught in about 10 second this morning re-reviewing the return. So much for wingnut accountants!

I told my wife we should have had dressage horses instead of kids – think of the savings!

MissTaken August 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I'm not a CPA (cut paste attach) for that reason. Instead I went into the ungodly field of finance, got disgruntled, and became a trainer. Accountants are horrible people. And auditors are Satan's army.

montreal_bruin August 8, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Upfist from a recovering auditor/accountant. Hail finance academia, the last refuge for a Marxist cursed with math skills !!

Boojum August 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm

What do you train? Dressage horses, I hope?

actor212 August 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm

You don't take your shoes off to carry the one?

You must be a CPA!

SorosBot August 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

But you're a girl, and math is hard!

actor212 August 9, 2012 at 8:31 am

Accounting is not math, it's magic. Math uses logic. Accounting uses "P-E-N-I-S goes in the anus".

BerkeleyBear August 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Well, expecting a medieval history prof (who probably focuses on bullshit like the sudden upswing in life expectancy post the plague era in Europe but claims it has to do with the re-emergence of learning and nothing to do with biological agents thinning the herd) to know anything about modern geopolitics in the Middle East is somewhat like asking a really smart fifth grader to do calculus without any prior training.

Never ever trust an academic who makes bold proclamations outside of their field of experience and research. They are worse than engineers when it comes to extrapolating from their narrow actual knowledge to broader subjects.

Angry_Marmot August 9, 2012 at 8:14 am

There's a tendency to believe that expertise in one field extends to skill in all other aspects of human activity. Con men / investment gurus love wealthy doctors for the same reason; their ability in one field makes them plump pigeons in another.

I learned that from a John D. MacDonald novel a long time ago, and observation seems to bear it out. In my travels, businessmen are the worst barroom offenders for telling someone else how to do their job.

Me, I warn the table when I'm about to pull something out of my butt, which explains my failure as a stage magician but modest success in Bangkok ping pong exhibitions.

actor212 August 9, 2012 at 8:33 am

I always attributed the upswing in life expectancy to the sudden surfeit of resources available to a smaller population.

Not correct? Cuz clean underwear saves lives. My mom told me so. She said, "always wear clean underwear in case of an accident."

Which is hard, because have you ever tried to change underwear after you've pooped them while a plane spirals to the ground? It's no wonder that thing crashed, I couldn't move fast enough.

Mumbly_Joe August 9, 2012 at 9:05 am

I remember my great-grandmother asking, "what if you get hit by a car?" re: the clean underwear thing.

I also remember responding, "won't my clothes be soiled from all the blood in that case?" I was six.

Chet Kincaid_ August 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

Boys can count to 21!

Callyson August 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Americans tend to assume that everyone who is elected to public office shares their cultural attitudes—that everyone strives to get to “yes,” to positive-sum, win-win, voluntary relations; that everyone holds productive work in high respect and prizes the principles of fairness embodied in the meritocratic principle of “equality before the law”; that everyone encourages criticism, treasures intellectual capital, promotes risk-taking, prizes transparency and fosters innovation…
But there are Republicans whose favored mode is not voluntary but coerced and zero-sum relations, where the principle of “rule or be ruled” dominates political and economic life. The elites in such political parties hold hard work in contempt, and they distrust intellectual openness and uncontrolled innovation as subversive. They emphasize rote learning and unquestioning respect for those in authority. Protection rackets rather than law enforcement assure the public order and bleed the economy. Public criticism brings sharp retaliation. Powerful actors acquire wealth by taking, rather than making.

/fixed

/asshole

littlebigdaddy August 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Does the "resource curse" explain Texas? And do you think Israel would want it?

bibliotequetress August 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Would it be rude if we return it to Mexico?

HistoriCat August 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Doesn't Mexico have enough problems right now?

Angry_Marmot August 9, 2012 at 8:18 am

They might welcome the distraction.

Dudleydidwrong August 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm

I don't care if Israel "wants" Texas or not. I say we make it a condition of our sending aid–military, financial, yarmulkes, whatever–to Israel. If they want our aid they have to take Texas. Otherwise, no deal.

MittBorg August 8, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I like this idea. Either they'll refuse our munnies, which means we can pay for our healthcare instead of theirs and the Iraqis'; or, they'll take Texas.

Win-win.

HistoriCat August 9, 2012 at 9:17 am

And if Israel takes Texas then they'll be part of the Mitt Romney approved Israeli health care system. It's a win-win there too!

Negropolis August 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Well, Texas does have a Palestine, so I'm not sure if the Israeli's could resist taking it.

actor212 August 9, 2012 at 10:02 am

I'm not sure "stupid" is a resource.

It's certainly unlimited, however.

Baconzgood August 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I'm impressed. Must be hard to type heavily medicated and with your nose because your in a straight jacket.

ProgressiveInga August 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm

But when will David Landes drunk-dial the Palestinians and ask them to apologize for the way they have behaved for the past 3,000 years? Or is this it?……

Baconzgood August 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Waiter. I ordered bacon with my word salad.

zippy_w_pinhead August 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Sorry, it's a kosher salad…

BaldarTFlagass August 8, 2012 at 6:40 pm

And halal, too also.

SigDeFlyinMonky August 9, 2012 at 2:19 am

But I ordered six degrees of bacon with my word salad!

Fraudulently_Joe August 8, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I love the part about "without conquest". That certainly explains where the 700,000 refugees came from.

Edit: Also I'm not sure how a terrorist campaign waged by multiple paramilitary groups counts as "making everyone more prosperous", either.

KeepFnThatChicken August 8, 2012 at 5:18 pm

It sounds like Mittbot webcrawled and indexed the book, but didn't parse it.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 8, 2012 at 5:21 pm

So, the Palestinians and the rest of the Middle East would be better if they would just band together, and through collective action and shared resources, work together with a strong, regulatory central government toward a veritable workers' paradise.

Just how long has the WSJ been a Marxist rag?

poorgradstudent August 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm

As a member of the historical profession (sort of, more or less…okay, my "office" is a desk in the middle of a hallway) I feel like I have to apologize.

But you have to admit it is kind of fascinating. Do they even *realize* deep in their hearts that their "research" on Islamic cultures in the Middle East might as well come from anti-Semitic pamphlets from 100 or so years ago?

Dr_Zoidberg August 8, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Thank god for Learned White Men who correct the rest of the world when they quote facts!

deanbooth August 8, 2012 at 5:26 pm

It's the same old bullshit: "Nothing can keep a good man down. You're down, so you aren't good." I'm having a hard time keeping a good lunch down.

doloras August 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

In fact, the "resource curse" is commonly as the "Dutch disease", after what happened when the Netherlands got oil-rich in the 60s. So Mr Landes is going to go to Amsterdam and chew them out for their inferior pot-smoking cheese-making culture, right?

FlownOver August 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I thought the Dutch disease was the one that makes it burn when you pee.

viennawoods13 August 8, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I thought it happened to elms.

Negropolis August 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm

I thought the "Dutch disease" was what happened when they got all infected with tulip spores and sold the bulbs for the price of mansions.

anniegetyerfun August 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm

No, my brain quit on this one. There's just too much stupid to counteract. Good on you, Kris, for taking a stab at it.

Kris E. Benson August 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm

It was rough, man. And there’s a lot of stupid I left out, believe it or not.

RadioBowels August 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm

GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL LIBEL!

SayItWithWookies August 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm

"…prizes the principles of fairness embodied in the meritocratic principle of “equality before the law”

Um — Mr. Dumbass, "equality before the law" is not a principle of meritocracy, wherein the government is run by those who (according to some scale of value) deserve to run it. "Equality before the law" is a principle of humanism, which professes that all humans are equal and the law applies as much to the lawmakers as it does to their subjects or citizens.

The two aren't necessarily incompatible, but they certainly aren't the same.

sullivanst August 8, 2012 at 5:42 pm

And they certainly aren't practiced by the GOP, least of all Mitt "shred everything, and buy the harddrives so you can them to me to dissolve in acid" Romney.

ChillBill August 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm

And the WSJ is supposed to be the "intellectual" conservative newspaper.

anniegetyerfun August 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Well, to be fair, this still bests the others by a long shot.

SayItWithWookies August 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm

That was the reputation that Rupert Murdoch wanted it to skate on while he destroyed said reputation advancing his noxious agenda.

Tundra Grifter August 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Just like Ole Newt is the genius of the GNoP.

thefrontpage August 8, 2012 at 6:59 pm

The Wall Street Journal sucks as a newspaper! There's no comics and no astrology column!

actor212 August 9, 2012 at 9:09 am

Sure there is! In fact, there's an entire section on the stock markets!

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 9, 2012 at 1:04 am

The Journal is a good newspaper, but it's editorial section sucks ass. It was bad enough, but under Murdoch has become a poor mix of FOX News and The Corner.

Chet Kincaid_ August 9, 2012 at 9:55 am

Back in the '80s, I had a hardcore Marxist graphic designer friend who read the WSJ religiously, because she said its news coverage was the best.

One_who_wanders August 9, 2012 at 10:00 am

I read WSJ for the pictures.

Actually Lionel and Chet are (as always) correct. I haven't read it for years (since I stopped getting it for free) but the editorials section always seemed like it was imported directly from the 1920's. The backward part of the 1920's.

outragedcitizen August 9, 2012 at 10:55 am

Intellectual and conservative do not belong in the same sentence.

doloras August 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Also, it's true that only inferior cultures who deserve conquering blame others for their own problems. In other news, US America's economy is taking because of the nigra communist in the White House, Mooslin terrists who hate our freedoms, gay marriage, and the dastardly Chinese manipulating their currency.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Really, how strong could either Palestine or Israel be if they were ruled by step stools for so long.

TribecaMike August 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm

When I hear the word culture I reach for my taser.

thefrontpage August 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Don't culture taser me, bro'!

smokefilledmeltdown August 8, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Brogurt!

lulzmonger August 9, 2012 at 2:27 am

Don't reify my contemporary paradigm, bro!!

Angry_Marmot August 9, 2012 at 8:23 am

There was a punk 'zine (sorry I don't remember the name) that said the trouble with liberals is that when someone mentions guns, they reach for their culture.

smokefilledmeltdown August 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Poor Kris. I would hate to be on Wall Street Urinal detail.

TribecaMike August 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Good grief, what's taking the construction of those death camps so long?

DustBowlBlues August 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Shit. I'm on the wonket because I'm avoiding shit that I don't want to do. I'm on this thread because all the others were so full of responses, but this one makes my headache worse because it's so hard–hard as the floor I fainted onto last night. (Not a health issue, just a poorly chosen combo of late-night herbs for the arthritis, Lunesta to sleep and an empty stomach after working outside, hard and vast, before it was too dark to see what I was doing. Lateness owing to the temps dropping to 102F and making it cool enough to leave the AC).

PS don't tell anyone in my family, lest I have to explain why they don't need to send me to a specialist for an MRI.

Sorry for the OT shit, but this is the most caring, nurturing group of friends I know. Because they won't turn me in for using herbal relief for pain nor condemn me for it. I hope.

anniegetyerfun August 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Oh, I'm so sorry! Hitting the floor must not help with the arthritis.

I fainted a couple of times recently – they're making me see a cardiologist today. So lame. It's obviously the fetus's fault.

emmelemm August 8, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Everything is the fetus' fault.

DustBowlBlues August 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm

You pregnant? Congrats, if you are happy about it. Or as someone who has also been through it, if you are happy about it most of time. Swollen ankles, an aching back and a ninth month without sleep, esp. if there is an old man next to you in bed and he snores blissfully, enjoying the sleep you so deserve, which only makes you angry and more awake. Or so I read in the books.

SayItWithWookies August 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm

You might get some condemnation for not sharing. And don't forget to eat and hydrate, okay?

MissTaken August 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Feel better soon!

Nothingisamiss August 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm

DBB, I look forward to your every missive. As someone who lives in the deep red states I always find the fact that you live in OK and are still human and humane something of an inspiration.

Don't combine those particular three things like that again.

Barrelhse August 8, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Easy on the Wolfbane and Foxglove, DBB, especially on an empty stomach (and I should know!)

DustBowlBlues August 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I've reformed. Imagine if I still drank, and had laced that milk I was putting in the nucelator with some Bailey's. Actually, it wouldn't have mattered, as I was lying in a puddle of hot milk. One of the cats was lapping it up, so I guess if I'd spiked it, the cat would have given me away when she began stumbling around the house.

emmelemm August 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Feel better! Rest, eat more.

DustBowlBlues August 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm

It's not so much a matter of volume as timing. I was already bummed out for unknown reason, probably poll numbers that sucked, so I'd made the ultimate comfort food–homemade mac and cheese– for dinner. It was great. Even had a little Velveeta in it. This is not an everyday dish if you desire to be either slim or healthy.

HempDogbane August 8, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Sounds like someone has a culture problem !

DustBowlBlues August 8, 2012 at 10:46 pm

A big one, like the bump on the back of my head.

Boojum August 9, 2012 at 5:23 am

Do the herbs work? I mean, for pain relief, not as a way of lying down unexpectedly.

Angry_Marmot August 9, 2012 at 8:26 am

This bunch is more likely to condemn you for not doing it more often.

actor212 August 9, 2012 at 8:35 am

102 is cool?????

DHarcavy August 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Too snarky and wrong in many places. Who knows what Romney actually meant in his remarks. But the big difference between Israel and the Arab states is government. Israel's government is secular, even though Judaism is the state religion. It's really a western social democracy — an open society — the only one in the Middle East. Yes, the Arabs preserved much of Greco-Roman knowledge and established fine universities. Then came Islam, and it all disappeared (you could look it up). Why read Ptolemy or Aristarchus when the Q'uran has all the answers? With a population of 7.7 million, Israel has ten Nobel laureates; 110 Nobel laureates are Jewish. The Islamic states? Eleven. Total. And I don't count Arafat. Most Islamic states are oppressive medieval throwbacks run absolutely by the immams and mullahs, with all the economic power at the top and grinding poverty at the bottom. The contrast with Israel is striking.

anniegetyerfun August 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Oh, seriously? You don't think that US support of both oppressive Islamist regimes AND the Israeli government has anything to do with it? It's really all about how smart the Jews are?

"Yes, the Arabs preserved much of Greco-Roman knowledge and established fine universities. Then came Islam, and it all disappeared (you could look it up)."

I have – I studied it in college. Islam occurred around 623AD – all the GOOD stuff happened AFTER that. They don't call it The Golden Age of Islam for nothing.

Fraudulently_Joe August 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm

They also invented modern medicine, developed germ theory 600 years before the whole thing with the well water and cholera in 19th-century London, and were practicing a form of vaccination for nearly 100 years before Louis Pasteur "discovered" acquired immunity also in the 19th century (in that one factor that led to this 'discovery' was that a form of smallpox innoculation was already in vogue in Istanbul at the time).

But, that all happened before Islam ruined everything, I'm sure. Islam was invented in the 1800's, right?

sullivanst August 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm

You're even more ignorant than the Journal's hack, aren't you? Suddenly I miss the downfist button that I never even saw…

TribecaMike August 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Israel may have been a secular state for many years, but it's become more and more of a religious state since the eighties.

doloras August 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm

What massive freakin' ignorance. The Arabs ONLY STARTED translating Greek philosophy and culture in the Islamic era. Before Islam they did nothing but live in the desert, have feuds, write poetry and bury the girl babies alive.

kakotechnia August 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I am a professor, and I have never seen a student in my classroom literate in Ptolemy, but my Muslim students rule pretty hard anyway. Unfortunately for your argument, the reason I'm able to work so closely with Greek philosophy myself is because Islamic scholars protected Greek texts while the Medieval church destroyed these "Pagan works." And we've spent the past century having to strip the scholasticism and religious Platonism out of anything left over.

(Not snarky enough, but right in many places)

BaldarTFlagass August 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm

And El Cid was an enlightened liberator, right?

MosesInvests August 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Some of your points are correct, mainly the one about Israel being a largely secular democracy (though the religious parties in the Knesset need to be eliminated, and the democracy made completely secular). However, your assertions about Islam are completely off-base. Arab *Islamic* culture (along with Jews in the Muslim world) preserved Greco-Roman knowledge. The problems came when Islamic *fundamentalism* took over, and the answer to any scientific question became "because it is the will of Allah".
The big problem that the Palestinians (and indeed, most of the Middle East) has, is that first the Soviets and then the Saudis and Iran have been pumping billions of dollars into extremist movements. The Soviets did so to try to cause enough chaos to take control of the Middle East, and the Saudis/Iranians do so because unrest in the Middle East causes oil prices to rise.
Greed and extremism feed off each other, in the Middle East as well as other places. And that includes Israel, BTW.

LetUsBray August 8, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Hey, be nice, people; how often does Senator Lieberman visit wonkette?

thefrontpage August 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm

I hear that Joe's moniker on Wonkette is OrthodoxIndependentGuy.

Fraudulently_Joe August 8, 2012 at 7:28 pm

You rang?

Blueb4sinrise August 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm

OH YEAH?!!!!!!!! Well I read Collapse
So THERE!!!!!!!!!
Harumph.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse:_How_Societ

BaldarTFlagass August 8, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Oh yeah? I'll see your Collapse and raise you a Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Cliff's Notes counts, right?).

Blueb4sinrise August 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm
mlle_derp August 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Good, yes, you've done well
Here is a small prize
The history of the world:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4IU2UPkqMU

Fox n Fiends August 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm

The Voice of Murdoch is strong in this one.

sullivanst August 8, 2012 at 5:41 pm

If Israel's development was achieved purely through their culture, why the fuck have we been showering billions of dollars per annum on them since forever?

anniegetyerfun August 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Because Jesus.

thefrontpage August 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Because Moses!

Boojum August 9, 2012 at 5:30 am

Because yogurt? (Culture joke).

Chichikovovich August 9, 2012 at 8:04 am

Oh, for petri's sake.

viennawoods13 August 8, 2012 at 5:41 pm

"Much of that comes from their close association with the Zionists, who (unlike Western imperialists) settled the land without conquest, "
Without conquest. Really. Yeah, because without the constant presence of heavily-armed Israeli troops, those illegal West Bank settlements would totally be ok. Because moving people onto land that DOESN'T BELONG TO THEM with military support is in no way a conquest.
Quick googled definition: Conquest: "The subjugation and assumption of control of a place or people by use of military force." Yeah, that was what I thought.

anniegetyerfun August 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm

It's incredible how no one seems to know how horrifically the "original" Zionist settlers behaved toward the Arabs in the land they took over.
http://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/essays/rokach….

BoatOfVelociraptors August 8, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Sanctions, blockades, and an occupying militia limits investment and growth? Who could have known?

Nostrildamus August 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Speaking of germs …

rickmaci August 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Seems the phrase "Republican intellectual" is an oxymoron.

Extemporanus August 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm

The sins of the father shall be revisited by the son.

[c.f. Krystol, Kagan, Goldberg, Podheretz, Landes, et al.]

anniegetyerfun August 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Bush libel!

Extemporanus August 8, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Are you saying that I should've been more Gentile in my criticism?

TribecaMike August 9, 2012 at 12:03 am

Murdoch libel!

Extemporanus August 9, 2012 at 1:52 am

That's redundant!

Boojum August 9, 2012 at 5:31 am

Romney li…..oh fuck, never mind.

Angry_Marmot August 9, 2012 at 8:28 am

Now that you mention it, I revisit the sins more often than I visit the father.

cheetojeebus August 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm

oh crap, more shit to read about another dumb ass who thinks he's smart. i can't wait.

ttommyunger August 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Guns, Jews and Gentiles. Shem, Ham and Japeth: same mom and dad. Killing and maiming within the same family for at least 5,000 years. Toss all the words you want at the problem, it will never go away. BTW, how long can the tail (Israel) wag the dog (USA)? Just another one of Truman's good intentions gone bad.

TribecaMike August 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Ham saw his dad drunk and naked, which quite logically calls for his descendants to be cursed forever. Spoiler Alert: I've seen my dad drunk but never naked, so my spawn needn't have any worries and will just have to settle for being cursed the old-fashioned way, by earning it.

ttommyunger August 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm

See you there, T.

kakotechnia August 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm

If I have to hear one more dipshit mouth the "SOME people don't believe in hard work" strawman argument, I will lose my goddamn mind.

Name them. Name the people–worse, "the culture" that expressly denigrates hard work. And you better be ready to prove it. I'm not talking cultural rejection of aimless busyness, or refusal to be alienated from labor, or an appreciation for taking time, or a balancing of ones public and one's private labor. I mean an entire group of people who think that engaging in labor is expressly worthless and should be shamed. I'll wait forever.

sullivanst August 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Every racist knows Arabs are lazy.

BerkeleyBear August 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm

There is a group of Wall Street Superheroes – Titans of the Universe – who do seem to think working hard, in the sense of fair play and sweat of your brow, is pretty stupid when you can gamble with other people's money and extract fees either way. And they generally seem surrounded by spouses and children who don't exactly prize work for work's sake. But I'm not sure if they qualify as a culture, as opposed to typical lazy rich fucks.

mwittier August 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Walmart cashiers.
Based on observation of their posture, speed of gum-chewing, and inability to hand me a bag filled with cheap, thoughtlessly produced, eventual landfill.

Please tell me I won a $5 Walmart gift card, redeemable only for expired Kraft or Pepsi products.

Mumbly_Joe August 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Millionaires. They need continual tax cuts, constantly, or else they lose all will to do any work whatsoever, for no other reason.

vulpes82 August 9, 2012 at 8:41 am

Aristocratic cultures tend to denigrate manual labor and heavy work as the domain of peasants and slaves and such, but that's really not quite the same thing. The peasants and slaves and such still need to work hard (lest they starve, if nothing else).

CthuNHu August 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm

What is Southern antebellum upper-class society, Alex?

In other news, that is exactly the historic model most idealized by modern poor white southern rednecks, who are now just what they were 150 years ago, some of the hardest-working and least-rewarded people around, except now they look fondly back on the racist aristocracy their forefathers loathed, resented and were screwed by.

metamarcisf August 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm

A whole empire based on putting your feet up.

bibliotequetress August 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm

My life as a crypto archivist/libraryperson has been a total waste. If some dumb fuck with an advanced degree, a TEACHING position, and enough wastable time to be pud pulling in the WSJ can't be bothered to do primary source research– especially when those primary sources are now available in square tonnage mutliple places online– why not just burn our carefully preserved originals of the McMahon Agreement and the Balfour Declaration and etc et al and let everyone make history the fuck up? Mr. Peabody and Sherman are more reliable than Richard Landis.

HistoriCat August 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Bear in mind that the primary sources don't really support Landis's pre-conceived conclusion. He has absolutely no incentive to partake of research.

bibliotequetress August 11, 2012 at 10:33 am

Sad, Historicat, sad but true.

Antispandex August 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm

…"culture as both necessary and sufficient for economic development. "

Well, it MIGHT be true. I've been to Kansas, and there isn't much of either there.

sullivanst August 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Of course, to prove it as stated, you'd have to demonstrate both that there are no nations that have succeeded economically despite inferior culture, and that there are none who have failed economically despite superior culture.

More likely, if you're a WSJ hack, you'd just stick your head up your own ass and define superior cultures as those that have succeeded economically, give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, cash your wingnut welfare check from Mr. Murdoch, and go drink scotch with the other old white assholes at your country club.

thefrontpage August 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Kansas does have the Kansas City Royals, The Crop Circles Museum, and the Topeka Museum of Corn.

Does that count as culture?

BaldarTFlagass August 8, 2012 at 7:02 pm

The best thing Kansas has is I-70 West to Denver. Not THAT big an improvement, but at least there's some vertical relief.

Tundra Grifter August 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm

After Spain tossed out the Moors, it enjoyed the remarkable political combination of a strong monarchy with the spirit of a much more representative government.

It proceeded to plunder the New World, bringing back each year more gold than existed in all of Europe. It didn't take long to move on to silver and other resources.

How did Spain spend this untold wealth? It did manage to import massive inflation and that was about it. Spain, by the calcuation of most people, is a Western European nation with the culture to match.

Chet Kincaid_ August 8, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Oh no they ain't! Africa begins at the Pyrenees!

thefrontpage August 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm

I'm Spanish, and I did not approve this post.

vulpes82 August 9, 2012 at 8:43 am

It's all wogs after Calais.

TribecaMike August 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm

They shoulda bought US Savings Bonds.

Misty Malarky August 9, 2012 at 10:17 am

It's the MOOPS!

pinkocommi August 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm

"Much of that comes from their [Palestinians'] close association with the Zionists, who . . . settled the land without conquest"

Wow. Maybe the asshat should ask a Palestinian if the 1947-1949 War, the 1967 War, the military checkpoints and enormous "security" wall and the many, many bulldozers are indicators of Zionist settlement of Palestinian land "without conquest."

BaldarTFlagass August 8, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Let's not forget 1956 and 1973. They may not have started those, but they sure reaped some land.

James Michael Curley August 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm

There are five Trader Vics in the UAE. They all claim to have invented the Mai Tai.

arihaya August 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm

The reason Middle East has struggling since late Ottoman period are complicated. BUT mainly -in my opinion; due to changes in trade route from inland route through Middle East into sea route via Atlantic that was dominated by Western nations.

This change effectively isolated Middle East from commerce and innovation flows, while giving Western nations growing advantage in economy, technology and military.

But for wingnuts its all about Jesus , Jesus, and Jesus.

Billmatic August 8, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I agree that Americans hold productive work in high respect, as long as it's coming from someone else.

azeyote August 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm

that whole settled without conquest thing and their culture bringing them wealth is hard to choke down, in fact it's making it hard to type. i'm too lazy to get the hard facts but don't we send like a boatload of cash to isreal every year, like the equivilent of 50 large per person., and i must have missed something but aren't the palestinians refugees after getting the boot when isreal didn't do the conquest thingy?

Angry_Marmot August 9, 2012 at 8:33 am

And booted onto land with the shittiest water supply this side of an Indian reservation.

Billmatic August 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm

All those who collaborated on Mozillo's tan should be tried at the Hague.

BlueStateLibel August 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm

OK, so Mitt Rmoney sucks at history, economics, politics, foreign affairs, behaving like a normal human being, and running a campaign for president. But he's real good at firing people, working the Excel and hitting bad people up for money, what more do you want?

James Michael Curley August 8, 2012 at 6:40 pm

"How did Spain spend this untold wealth?"

Oo! Oo! Oo! I know. Three plagues in the 16th Century?

MinAgain August 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm

I really hope he isn't a teacher at Boston University, because his tests would be murder for anyone who actually read something other than the Wall Street Journal.

LetUsBray August 8, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Bay State wonketteers help me out here: Is Boston U. or Boston College the wingnutty one?

starfanglednut August 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Neither, really. They're both primarily a bunch of drunk, overprivileged teenagers. But BC is nominally Catholic, Jesuit, so maybe they're a little more wingnutty.

Mumbly_Joe August 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Aren't Jesuits supposed to be the "good" Catholics? I mean, at least, that's what I heard from my friend, who's taught at a few Catholic schools over the years (the one she teaches at now isn't Jesuit, so she's a lot more secretive about the fact that she's a pagan and cohabitates with her boyfriend, who makes a living playing poker, I wonder if I should be spreading this story around as much as I do)

johnnyzhivago August 8, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I know Jesuits don't take a vow of poverty….

TribecaMike August 9, 2012 at 11:23 am

Never heard that they were the "good" Catholics, but supposedly they're the smart ones.

mosjef August 8, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I'll never forgive Richard "Shemp" Landes for replacing Curly in The 3 Stooges.

thefrontpage August 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Two developments:

1. According to documents filed with the FEC, Richard Landes is the campaign manager for Mindy Meyer for New York State Senate.

2. According to The Boston University History Department and Faculty Senate, Landes has been officially referred to the University Psychologist, the University Psychiatrist, the University Judicial Board, and the University Committee to Investigate Stupid Faculty (UCISF).

Slim_Pickins August 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm

I tried to read the elder Landes' book, but it was a "just-so" story. He shot at a blank target and drew the bulls eye around the hole.

Graham Cracker August 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm

You know what the Arab culture gave us?

Zero, Nothing!!!

biraweeyaz August 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I see what you did there.

TribecaMike August 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm

They got it from India, which got the basic concept from the Babylonians, but I see what you did there.

docterry6973 August 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm

See? Palestinian poverty has nothing to do with what Israel inflicts on them; it is their own damn fault for having a bad culture.

barto August 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm

and of course $6 billion plus in US aid to Israel every year hasn't had any impact either…

Estproph August 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Until now, I wasn't aware that someone could become an authority on history and cultures simply by reading Reader's Digest.

TribecaMike August 8, 2012 at 8:42 pm

If Randy Travis is an example of our own culture, we're up shit creek without an auto-tuner…
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/08/drunk-and-n

C_R_Eature August 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm

"Nude, Drunk and Stupid is no way to go through life, Son."

not that Dewey August 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm

He managed to get the Kwicky Mart clerk to sell him a pack of cigarettes while he was naked, so he must have been doing something right.

TribecaMike August 9, 2012 at 12:04 am

That's star power.

HistoriCat August 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Off topic – I appreciate the female form as much as the next person but can we move on from beach volleyball?

johnnyzhivago August 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm

How about some sailing, with commentary by Irish Television:
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=510_1344196881

Callyson August 9, 2012 at 12:02 am

I am impatiently waiting for the women's 200M race, now that you mention it. But it will be historic to see if Misty and Kerri can three – peat (it's on in the background as I type this…)

DerrickWildcat August 9, 2012 at 12:41 am

I know dude. I saw that the Dutch Women Field Hockey Team were playing and I was like YES! Know what was on? Fucking Beach Volleyball…AGAIN!
They spent a Billion or so dollars for the rights to show the Olympics…then show the fucking Olympics already. There are things going on at 3:00 a.m my time…then show the fucking things. Use Bravo or the NBC Business channel for crying out loud.
Thank God for the Internet! I've been about 40% successful in finding ok streams of live events.

DerrickWildcat August 9, 2012 at 1:56 am

Oh for fuck's sake, they're showing fucking Beach Fucking Volley Ball again!

HistoriCat August 9, 2012 at 9:21 am

But what does Ryan Seacrest have to say about it?

johnnyzhivago August 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Gotta love this: Oregon Dems – "Democrats don't want your guns, we've got our own"
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1015202804

johnnyzhivago August 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Just sent this to tips… hopefully someone still reads it???

Ann Romney named as Ambassador to vagina owners…. Others include such capable female Americans like Carly Fiorina:
http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/rom

- Johnny Zhivago (commenter)

LetUsBray August 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Well, that'll get people to stop talking about his tax returns, not to mention his campaign's politically disastrous endorsement of his own health care plan.

sullivanst August 9, 2012 at 8:26 am

I mentioned elsewhere, but the best part of Andrea Saul's endorsement of Romneycare was that she did it in such a way that highlighted precisely why states can't fix healthcare on their own, because when one state forges ahead, their savings from reform are cancelled out by the inward migration of sick people.

TribecaMike August 9, 2012 at 12:49 am

That crowd sounds way to tight for me.

Angry_Marmot August 9, 2012 at 8:39 am

Wouldn't that make them over qualified?

Negropolis August 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm

OT, but it looks like election fraudster Thad McCotter in Michigan's 11th congressional district may be indicted along with some other lackeys, tomorrow. Oh god, let this be true.

BZ1 August 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm

One of the wingnuts responding to the WSJ article succinctly put it: "… we object to helping the less fortunate, becoming a way of life for those recipiants <sic>, who can and should eventually make their own way." Pretty much says it all.

Negropolis August 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Much of that comes from their close association with the Zionists, who (unlike Western imperialists) settled the land without conquest…

Ummm, excuse my French, but what the fuck?! I think a group of people would argue otherwise. I can't believe I just read that. I've seen plenty of stupid shit from the right, but this ranks right up at the top in either its gross revisionism or rank stupidity.

BTW, it's only welfare and depdency when the Palestinians get it.

mlle_derp August 9, 2012 at 12:05 am

Crikey, didn't any of you folks read 'Exodus'? Arabs are bad, Israelis are awesome. The end.

TribecaMike August 9, 2012 at 12:17 am

Well, the old guard Zionists were socialists, so like d-yuh.

Negropolis August 9, 2012 at 3:07 am

You see, because Ishmael was a little, brown bastard….

TribecaMike August 9, 2012 at 12:06 am

Chaim Weizmann is spritzing in his grave.

mlle_derp August 9, 2012 at 12:32 am

And speaking of revisionism, have any of y'all read "The Yiddish Policemen's Union"? Apparently the Coen Bros are/were thinking about making a film based on the novel.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Yiddish_Policeme

TribecaMike August 9, 2012 at 12:42 am

Haven't read the novel (I've only read Chabon's two collections of essays), but am looking forward to the Coen's Dave Van Ronk flick.

mlle_derp August 9, 2012 at 12:49 am

Yes, that should be good.

I liked TYPU- it's funny, but pretty dark…

bobbert August 9, 2012 at 2:01 am

Wow, that would be pretty ambitious. Like Blade Runner, but more complicated.

mlle_derp August 9, 2012 at 2:43 am

OT, but it's Mark Fiore being hi-larious again: http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/fiore/

viennawoods13 August 9, 2012 at 10:32 am

Nice one.

lulzmonger August 9, 2012 at 3:13 am

Wow, someone's cultural imperialism is showing … I'm kind of a dolt when it comes to Mideast history but even my tiny brain knows that them Ay-Rabs were writing awesome literature & doing serious science while my ancestors were fucking their sisters & livestock while worshipping thunderstorms. There was also that whole "Cedars of Lebanon" thing that made the region one of the richest places on Earth for a very long time, with nary an OPEC in sight. Good land in abundance will trump any amount of "work ethic" ten times out of ten … unless you're dim enough to seriously think that Bangladeshis or Ethiopians or Mauritanians are lazy.

Israel does wonders in high-tech because it's their heritage – but not by choice: most formal trades that paid well were strictly off-limits for Teh Chosen Peeps, so the only things they had any chance to make a decent living from were literature, the arts, moneylending & inventing. Also, their intellectual elite – the clergy – were allowed to marry & spawn, unlike certain other Abrahamic religions.

As for Landes' buggery-sans-lube of modern Mideast history, it ill behooves me to bomb the rubble left by my distinguished fellow Wonkeratti, thus I shall refrain … other than to remark upon the magical process of spontaneous inflation that Israel has enjoyed (albeit with the odd setback) since its inception, all of which was surely a joyous gift from its Arab neighbours. The Palestinians in particular seem utterly overjoyed with their gentle tutelage, to the point of being packed together arse-over-teakettle in the Gaza Strip in their eagerness to share the delights of their company.

Angry_Marmot August 9, 2012 at 8:43 am

My ancestors worshiped their livestock and tried fucking thunderstorms, which may explain our low numbers. Great-Uncle Fodbgen-mac-Asafoetida wrapped tinfoil around his maypole; a partial success, but he died without issue.

worrierqueen August 9, 2012 at 3:54 am

The entire point of Guns Germs and Steel is to trash Romney's "the arabs deserve it" nonsense. Perhaps Romney's horse read Diamond's book to him and it lost something in the translation from horsey to evil.

bflrtsplk August 9, 2012 at 5:04 am

Racist garbage in, racist garbage out.

dennis1943 August 9, 2012 at 6:08 am

Since opinions are possessed by those who possess assholes,what,pray tell,is possessed by those who are ALL asshole………….

Angry_Marmot August 9, 2012 at 8:53 am

It's like the old Borden milk can showing a cow with a milk can showing a cow with a milk can– it's assholes all the way down.

lulzmonger August 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Piles.

DahBoner August 9, 2012 at 6:37 am

Israel, a country with no natural resources

Best Money Handlers in the World?

Mumbly_Joe August 9, 2012 at 9:20 am

Is it just me, or does this part:

But there are cultures whose favored mode is not voluntary but coerced and zero-sum relations, where the principle of “rule or be ruled” dominates political and economic life

read an awful lot like those defenses of Bush's torture programs who claimed that torturing detainees was just a "culturally sensitive" way of interrogating them?

johnnie_utah August 9, 2012 at 10:48 am

Ha ha, without conquest. That guy is HILARIOUS.

Rhiphopopotamus August 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I had this professor at BU. For a class entitled "History of Heresy and Persecution in the 11th and 12th centuries [in the French languedoc region]'. I can confirm he is, in deed, an asshat.

(Who did offer a make up class at an inconvenient time once, but he totally offered to bring wine, which resulted in the one time he was not an asshat)

Lazy Media August 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm

The only thing I know for true about Arab culture is that their armies suck. But lovely people once you get to know them (spent a year in Iraq working closely with 10 Iraqi translators).

Negropolis August 9, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Blackwater?

Fraudulently_Joe August 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Oh, come on. That was nearly a year ago. Way to hold a grudge, guy!

MittBorg August 8, 2012 at 10:51 pm

When you're wry, you're funny, you know that?

MittBorg August 9, 2012 at 12:58 am

Thanks, that's good advice. We actually have a ton of interesting birds because of all the land around (in the middle of some big beautiful parks and wild land). I tried pishing a bluejay the other day and she came REALLY close. (Hugs you) Thanks for not scolding me about it. I scold myself a lot, as it is.

DerrickWildcat August 9, 2012 at 1:12 am

Yeah, pishing can work surprising well. It doesn't always work. Some birds don't respond to it and if a bird pops up to see what the heck that noise is, more often then not, they're all like, "Oh, it's just a dumb person." and they go back to hiding. I occasionally will play recorded bird calls on an old Palm Pilot (If I'm looking for specific bird) to draw them out. Like pishing, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It is important not to play calls too much because it can confuse birds. Ie…the Boy who cried Wolf

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: