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Thursday, December 1. 2011
It is ironic that Jews are fighting the establishment on many college campuses, since Walt and Mearsheimer assert that Jews either are or control the establishment. However, an establishment has arisen at many colleges that tolerates, even supports, a leftist and pro-Palestinian alliance that attacks Israel and Jews and that undermines free speech and academic freedom.
The 1947 film produced by Darryl Zanuck, A Gentleman’s Agreement, stunned audiences with the exposure of upper-class bigotry toward Jews. It was elected the best movie of the year in the Oscars, won two more Oscars, and was nominated for five more.
This post, Jews Confront The Gentlemen’s Agreement On Campuses, is about two such groups that have been successful, and the depth of the gentlemen’s agreement on college campuses that is not only hateful or allows hate but is also inimical to free speech and academic freedom.
My deep felt thanks goes to one of the most prestigious publications, Arma Virumque of The New Criterion, and to its editor Roger Kimball, for posting an abridged version of Jews Confront The Gentlemen's Agreement On Campuses. As in all things, Kimball and The New Criterion stand up for the best of Western culture, under attack for its decency by those who would destroy it. (Just dive in to and savor The New Criterion's December 2011 issue, now online.)
In A Gentleman’s Agreement a reporter passes himself off as Jewish to explore anti-Semitism. He is shocked at how deep it runs among professional associates and friends, even his girlfriend. The gentleman’s agreement operated behind the scenes to discriminate against Jews despite laws or promises, while publicly denying its existence or that the perpetrators are bigots. Zanuck, not Jewish, decided to make the movie after he was rejected for membership in the Los Angeles Country Club who thought he was Jewish. Wikipedia continues: “Before filming commenced, Samuel Goldwyn and other Jewish film executives approached Darryl Zanuck and asked him not to make the film, fearing that it would "stir up trouble".”
Since then, American Jews have come to enjoy and expect successful acceptance in the United States. American Jews, also, took pride in the successes of Israel and Israel’s repeatedly almost-miraculous defensive wars against Arab invaders. Still, Israel and its bad neighborhood was thought of as far away. But, no longer.
Virulent pro-Palestinian groups ally with leftist groups that attack the US as they do Israel. Their demonstrations, their hate language toward Israel and Jews, their disruptions of pro-Israel speakers, their violence, have become all too common-place on US college campuses. Jews on campuses and outside have been shocked at this and have been even more shocked at the neutrality or support for these haters by some college administrators and faculty.
This post, Jews Confront The Gentlemen’s Agreement On Campuses, examines how Jewish groups are now fighting back against this new radical gentlemen’s agreement. Many Jews in “establishment” positions are as blind as the old Hollywood moguls, and complicit in not more forcefully confronting fellows in the establishment about this renewed anti-Semitism. Many Jews of the political Left are downright dismissive of the dangers of the excesses of the pro-Palestinian radicals they ally with.
Like Darryl Zanuck and the reporter in the film, the pro-Israel groups covered in my article are not afraid to “stir up trouble” to confront the hate culture that runs rampant on too many college campuses. More and more US Jews now know that Israel’s defense is no longer far away, and their own defense as Americans enjoying free speech, academic freedom, non-discrimination is under attack within academia, often looked away from or abetted by those in responsible positions who Jews once thought of as decent people.
For Internet posterity and additional guidance for those who may want to be more active, continue on to see “Jews Confront The Gentlemen’s Agreement On Campuses” in the much longer version of the article, which contains some differing views and lessons-learned/how-tos at the end.Today, there’s a new gentlemen’s agreement on many college campuses that tolerates and often supports anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. Shocked out of their comforts, many Jews are fighting back.
Jews Confront The Gentlemen’s Agreement On Campuses
The old “gentlemen’s agreement” worked sub rosa to discriminate in order to preserve the homogeneity of neighborhoods or work places. General indifference permitted this. The new “gentlemen’s agreement” works similarly on many campuses to preserve the homogeneity of leftist and pro-Palestinian thought, again permitted by indifferent administrators. As many of the campus left – particularly those who are mostly critical of the West -- have adopted pro-Palestinian sympathies or agreement, their union has placed Jews on campus in the position of having to fight back.
“Jews fighting the establishment” is ironic, since academics Walt and Mearsheimer assert Jews either are or control the establishment. Indeed, it is ironic that most Jews – who extol higher education -- are surprised when experiencing that on many campuses the establishment is neutral to the hostile environment toward Israel or Jews. This is, in effect, hostile to protecting the free speech of those who support Israel, and shirks responsibility for academically credible curriculum on the Middle East.
The greatest tool that those on campus opposed to Israel have used is Americans and academics’ deep attachment to free speech. Although there are some legal restrictions to free speech, the anti-Israelites claim its armor in all cases, regardless of proper restrictions, and most academics either agree, stay silent rather than become embroiled, or are afraid to suffer career consequences. The companion tool of anti-Israelites is claiming academic freedom to shield any proper inspection of seriously biased coursework or professors’ conduct in the classroom. Lastly, any minority on campus perceived by liberals as downtrodden who perceive an indignity is quickly given loud vocal support by administrators and faculty, and punishment meted – often in star-chamber – on those accused of fault. Persistent verbal and physical attacks on Jews as purveyors of Middle East and US oppression are largely ignored or even actively supported.
By now, this is old hat to you. What may be surprising is the come from behind successes that pro-Israel groups are having on the campuses. There are some local organizations that have worked this field and ad hoc groupings to counter specific campus incidents, but two born in California stand out for their lasting national impacts, including emulation by others. There are lessons to be learned from their experience and useful guides to others.
Stand With Us
There are affluent Jewish Federations in most major US cities and Hillels on many campuses. But, ten years ago, Roz Rothstein was shocked at the misreporting of the Second Intifada, including support for it on college campuses. She was aghast at the relative ineffectiveness of major Jewish organizations to deal with it. She determined to fill the near vacuum in activism, and started Stand With Us in Los Angeles.
Desperate students at many campuses in the US reached out to Stand With Us to help them defend Israel. Again, Rothstein stepped into the breach. She found that students “are often caught off guard and unprepared for new anti-Israel ambushes” by trained, well-organized, well-funded local chapters of pro-Palestinian organizations, often working in alliance with far leftist groups and faculty on campus.
Stand With Us provides training for high school and college students in the issues and organizational skills to be effective and mobilize others, create constructive alliances with other campus students and groups, and carry that experience into the adult Jewish community after graduation. Stand With Us sponsors events and provides a plethora of literature, posters and handouts for students to distribute. (You just have to navigate around the Stand With Us website, StandWithUs.com, to be overwhelmed with the breadth of its activities and offerings, mostly all free to users, for campuses and for local communities.)
The emphasis is on the accomplishments in Israel, Israel’s humanitarian civil culture, aid and technology achievements that save or enrich lives, the comparison to the opposite in the surrounding Muslim lands, and the requirement for two-way civil discourse to find peace instead of denial of Israel’s right to exist, its demonization, and terror and state attacks. The appeal is to the liberal-leaning majority of non-politicized students and faculty who don’t have much information or context to evaluate pro-Palestinian charges. The videos that Stand With Us has produced with a comedian asking basic questions of students about Israel and Jews, the replies way off, are telling of the ignorance into which pro-Palestinian activists hurl big lies.
There have been many local successes, increasing in reach and frequency. Local students with Stand With Us support, for example, have defeated divestment resolutions at major campuses and at others have confronted “apartheid walls” with information walls. Pro-Palestinian speakers are countered with respected speakers. The vehemence of pro-Palestinian activists and street-theater is countered with calm students presenting facts that respect the intelligence of students. The one-sidedness by pro-Palestinian activists and quiescent or supportive administration and faculty are countered with demands for upholding the free speech, academic freedom, and personal safety that are fundamental to academia, its worth, and its self-image.
Stand With Us has grown to offices in a dozen US cities, England, France and Israel, with a current budget of over $4-million and a staff of over sixty. Stand With Us has a long way to catch up with the pervasiveness of the pro-Palestinian groups on campuses, but with more benefactors and activists joining up, and alliances with other Jewish and non-Jewish groups respecting Stand With Us works, reasonableness and successes, across the country pro-Israel campus activities are getting closer to providing an effective counter to pro-Palestinian campus activists and getting out the pro-Israel facts.
Still, Stand With Us is not an academics organization, as is Scholars For Peace in the Middle East. Most faculty are liberal, or disinterested, or busy elsewhere, or afraid to rock the dominant boat. SPME has about 50,000 members around the country and world. SPME prepares and distributes respected academic research and papers on issues Jewish, Israel, and of general academic interest. Its scholars are often looked to for commentary in the media. Yet, SPME is a small minority of faculty on campuses. (Interestingly it doesn’t have a chapter at C.U.N.Y., New York a center of Jews, though there may be one forming.) The major booster to pro-Palestinian activities on campuses is the faculty and administrators’ neglect, inexperience or support of excesses by pro-Palestinian campus activists or faculty. SPME is valiant in speaking out, but is largely isolated on campus, and most professors who are friendly are too busy or too afraid to join with SPME. Additional coordination by SPME and other pro-Israel professors with pro-Israel students would increase the reach and effectiveness of both.
In 2007, a member of the faculty at University of California, Santa Cruz, was “alarmed by the rising incidence of anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism in classrooms and at departmentally-sponsored events at UC Santa Cruz.” She, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, and a few other faculty sent a letter to the UCSC Chancellor, a UCSC Dean, and the UCSC Faculty Senate detailing abuses of academic freedom affecting Jewish students and others supportive of Israel. They asked for an investigation and addressing violations. There was no action taken by these responsible for defending all’s academic freedom.
Meanwhile, largely through the efforts of Ken Marcus at the US Department of Education, in 2004 Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was made to include discrimination or hostile atmosphere against Jewish students, affirmed by the US Commission on Civil Rights. The consequences could include loss of federal funding to the college. (Marcus discusses the legal course and justification in an article in William & Mary Bill of Rights journal.)
In 2009, Rossman-Benjamin filed a Title VI complaint against UCSC, detailing her many failed attempts to have UCSC administration enforce their federal and UC legal responsibilities. In March 2010, a letter from a coalition of 13 national and international organizations -- including International Hillel, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and the Orthodox Union -- was sent to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, urging him to ensure that Jewish students were protected under Title VI from anti-Semitic harassment that impinged their safety and ability to be educated. Their letter was followed a few months later by a similar letter to Secretary Duncan which reinforced the organizations’ concerns, this one signed by 38 U.S. congressmen. That October, the DOE issued a statement saying that its Office of Civil Rights would enforce Title VI applicable to discrimination and hostile atmosphere against Jewish students.
The free speech excesses by Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine attacking Jews as vile, etc. and harassment of and physical attacks on Jewish students continued at UCSC and other campuses. (The Muslim Students Association co-founder is a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was prominently identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 trial conviction of The Holy Land Foundation for aiding, abetting and providing material support to designated terrorist organizations.)
In 2010 these pro-Palestinian campus groups and allies launched a major delegitimization campaign, BDS, to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. Incidents of harassment and violence against Jewish students increased. Rossman-Benjamin assembled a coalition of 12 major Jewish groups to write to University of California President Mark Yudof, with examples, asking he promulgate guidelines to prevent such behavior when beyond the laws. Press attention in major newspapers was favorable to the Jewish letter as it had such wide establishment Jewry support.
My good friend and very liberal Rabbi angered some in the congregation several years ago in a High Holiday sermon which asked that we properly have a more open mind to legitimate Palestinian grievances. His son, a student at UC Davis, sent him photos of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations there. My Rabbi was moved to dedicate his High Holiday sermon last year to his usual moderate and well-thought out examination of “Criticism, Yes; Delegitimization, No!” It caught attention leading to wide distribution at many web sites. Many others in liberal Jewry have similarly become aroused.
But, President Yudof, himself an observant Jew, largely dismissed the coalition of major Jewish organizations letter’s evidence. He did, in kicking the can down the road, form a UC Advisory Council “to identify some of the best practices in place in communities and institutions that can be adapted to both implement and then measure climate for tolerance at the University of California for the long term.”
In March 2011, the US Office of Civil Rights finally opened an investigation into Rossman-Benjamin’s Title VI complaint. There’s also a pending legal complaint against UC Berkeley for allowing harassment of Jewish students, and a weak court sentence, later further reduced, was levied against UC Irvine and UC Riverside students who illegally disrupted Israel Ambassador Oren’s speech at UC Irvine. Other legal challenges to colleges in other states allowing across-the-line infringements on laws and academic freedom are in process or development. Fear of threats and violent or illegal actions by pro-Palestinian activists on campuses continue to silence many pro-Israel speakers from being allowed a peaceful campus stage. Freedom of speech is being violated, in contradiction to tenets of academic freedom.
In May 2011, Rossman-Benjamin and another faculty member at UCLA launched AMCHA (its website AmchaInitiative.org), which in Hebrew connotes “grassroots”. Its first effort was a letter signed by 5200 Jewish academics, students, parents of students, UC benefactors, clergy, and others in California to UC President Yudof, copying UC Regents, the 10 UC campus Chancellors, and the Governor, asking him to address the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry on campuses forcefully and immediately. President Yudof’s reply appears restrained by the liberal atmosphere at UC, and is friendlier than his prior reply, but still holds out the benefits of his Advisory Council on campus culture.
On October 31, AMCHA answered that according to reports of students a visit to several campuses by an Advisory Council member, from the NAACP, was replete with her ignorance of the issues facing Jews on campuses and veiled anti-semitic comments. AMCHA again details the many ongoing incidents of harassment, violence and breaking of federal and UC laws by pro-Palestinian students, often aided by faculty support and administrative inaction.
Some prominent academics, with Jewish background, are not unified on this issue. Liberal sociologist, professor emeritus at Harvard, Nathan Glazer reviewed at The New Republic the book written by Ken Marcus about his experiences with enlarging Title VI. Glazer has criticisms of the book. Yet, Glazer concludes, “There is no question that Marcus has nailed the case, certainly to my satisfaction, that Jews are covered under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.” The liberal Dean of the law school at Irvine, Erwin Chemerinsky, wrote a rebuttal at the same journal as Marcus’ criticisms of the situation at UC Irvine, acknowledging excesses by pro-Palestinian students but arguing that they didn’t cross the line. Chemerinsky’s title, “Unpleasant Speech on Campus, Even Hate Speech, Is a First Amendment Issue”, describes his argument in which he dismisses that some excesses actually do cross that line, reduce academic freedom, break college or civil laws, or imperil the safety of students and their ability to pursue their education without fear or harassment. Glazer ends his review of Marcus’ book by raising a key question: “What is more doubtful was whether what was happening at Irvine and at other campuses was discrimination against Jews, if simply and directly understood, and what should or could have been done about it.” Part of the answer is the court conviction of the pro-Palestinian students who illegally disrupted Ambassador Oren’s speech.
AMCHA, in its response of October 31 to President Yudof, ends with four eminently sensible and should be unobjectionable bullets for UC action that go far toward answering Glazer’s question:
1.Establish a knowledgeable Working Group to focus on “investigating the problem of anti-Jewish bigotry on UC campuses”;
2. Adopt an official definition of anti-semitism based on the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia and US State Department’s Working Definitions as a necessary tool to evaluation;
3. “Set a policy in which the administration systematically identifies and condemns antisemitic incidents on campus as vigorously as they do other kinds of bigotry, such as racism”;
4. “Institute educational programs on antisemitism for faculty, staff, and students that identify manifestations and provide guidelines for behavior, consistent with best practices for addressing other forms of discrimination, e.g. sexual harassment.”
In a conversation with Rossman-Benjamin, she is not optimistic that President Yudoff will take these reasonable and responsible actions.
In September, Rossman-Benjamin and a UCLA faculty member launched the Investigative Taskforce on Campus Antisemitism to send research teams to campuses in California and other states “in order to investigate and report on incidents of antisemitic harassment, to document their effect on students, faculty, and staff, and to make recommendations about how to remedy the problem. As part of our investigation on each campus, we intend to pay careful attention to manifestations of antisemitism that could be in violation of university policy, of Title VI or of other federal or state laws, and which therefore would allow for follow-up efforts to address the problems through administrative and/or legal means.”
1. It only takes one or a few determined people to start a successful local or national activist organization.
2. Knowledgeability and reasonableness in argument and actions is essential to creating alliances with other otherwise dormant influential individuals and organizations. Further, the involvement of influential benefactors to colleges sure raises the awareness of college administrators and government funders.
3. Today’s issues open new terrain to explore on the landscape of free speech and academic freedom. Confusion or dispute to direction is natural. But, adherence to the standards and laws of free speech and academic freedom is a winning course.
4. Most of the work by the two organizations highlighted above is within the Jewish community and publications. That is natural but also because many Jews and their organizations are unaware of what’s happening on campuses or comfortable in established academic and political alliances. Patient arousal has changed that. Further, by creating alliances among influential Jewish organizations, the messages and impact of these activist pro-Israel groups has widened into the non-Jewish communities and publications.
5. Most of the success of these Jewish activist groups is due to their reliance on Jewish and American values of free speech and academic freedom, and upholding those standards. It may be luring to mirror the excesses of pro-Palestinian groups. However, the arguments and reach of these pro-Israel groups has come from observers seeing their sharply evident contrast that is more mainstream American and evidently fair.
6. There is natural or politicized resistance among many Jews, observant or not, and among academics, liberal or not, to the challenges by these pro-Israel groups to their established and establishment thoughts and behaviors. It is a long, uphill path to establishing an updated paradigm, as always in all matters, but progress is being made. The existing paradigm’s failures further the openness to its reform to ensure freedom of speech and academic freedom to all on campuses.
7. One can bemoan that most students and faculty, Jewish or not, choose not to become involved, while larger numbers are involved or supportive of the pro-Palestinian groups. However, the overwhelming majority of students and faculty, Jewish or not, have interests other than Israel or political activism. This is also true among those favorable toward Israel, who pursue career and social paths that are not political. However, the excesses by the pro-Palestinian activists has aroused many more to opposing them, constructively, and influences the uninformed as well as the formerly passive. Open campus elections on divestment demonstrate this.
8. Legal actions, whether in courts or via Title VI, are and should be a last recourse. The lines are still hazy and there are legitimate restraints in evidence and interpretations. Plus, excessive legal recourse actions can reduce the strength of reasonable and correct legal actions. Excess always causes a reaction among the moderate. Still, the enablement and use of these tools have increased the attention to pro-Israel grievances and spurred some nascent corrective actions by college administrators. Those who value the First Amendment and academic freedom, whether pro-Israel or not or indifferent, are becoming engaged in defining clearer lines, of benefit to all Americans regardless of personal beliefs.
9. There’s a long row to hoe, and the crop is in doubt of flowering and spreading its produce, but the seeds have been planted by these highlighted organizations and individuals. This should be a community garden to forestall the starving of free speech and academic freedom on campuses.
Tracked: Dec 04, 09:20
Kesler in City Journal: Hypocritical CalState OKs Anti-Semitism
A California State University, Northridge, economics professor maintains a website devoted to promoting sex-tourism in Thailand. The loud denunciations on campus pressured him to take the off-campus website down. Meanwhile, a vile anti-Semitic website is
Weblog: Maggie's Farm
Tracked: Dec 29, 17:49
Tracked: Dec 30, 06:35
Tracked: Dec 30, 06:35
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This may seem tangential or even off topic from your post, Bruce, but I don't believe it is. It has come to be my understanding and thought over the last few years that America's foundational concept, the Constitution, will lead to our eventual undoing. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech, specifically. In the sense that there are many, now, who are using those rights, or freedoms, to undermine our country. As it has all become relative.
Then there is 'academic freedom'. A freedom not enumerated specifically but implied or necessary for valuing the first.
That is an obvious request, one which shouldn't even have to be made, really. But that horse is long gone from the barn. As the the situation is that we've allowed too much 'academic freedom' over the years. I mean, Bill Ayers, Norm Chomsky, etc. We give them 'freedom', and they seek, favorably so far, to destroy us.
And please understand, I stand firmly behind both of those notions, freedom of religion and academic freedom.
But right now it is destroying this country. I don't have answers.
The answer is simple: drown them out and expose them by using our free speech.
Our voice isn't that loud anymore, by volume. Or, if it is, it is being attenuated, greatly, to but a whisper in the cacophony of insanity we're surrounded by.
Alan Dershowitz was on Fox Biz News earlier tonight --on Judge Napolitano's show iirc --tho Dershowitz was so hot under the collar i honestly don't recall which of the Fox stable ran the interview. What he was angry about was that Univ of Chicago (what in the world is going on in Chicago, anyway? Why are the Zetas there in such force?) professor Mearsheimer and his crusade to delegitimize the USA/Israel alliance (well, at least that's what he would admit to, Mearsheimer i mean).
Anyhoo, Dershowitz had no remedy any different than BK's here --the answer to free speech is free speech.
i recall having read some time ago a good WSJ article on Mearsheimer --searched it, found it still behind the subscription wall --but here it is, someone --looks like the author --has posted it:
XRay is right about the academic veneer being particularly nasty --without it, without the Mearsheimers, it's just more ignernt bigotry. The kaffiyeh professors dress it up and introduce it --i suppose re-introduce it --into a society trying to evolve away from the low form of Rule 13.
You're right of course, but that only works when true free speech, unfettered by any restriction with respect to ethnicity, race, politics or money, is allowed by those who strive to control the narrative.
That is really what the issue is. As one example showed, you can have a strident and open resistance speaking freely and truthfully only to have that speech completely ignored by those who hold the political and fiscal power.
It also complicates matters when you have opposing views from the judiciary in which one judge sees an issue one way and another sees it differently. This drags it from the free speech arena into the courtroom with all its attendant frippery, orders and wrangling over who's right to free speech is paramount thus legal.
How can free speech be declared more valid for one group than another - the logic train doesn't follow common sense, it follows legal sense and thus we all lose.
Come on Xray...re: "I mean, Bill Ayers, Norm Chomsky, etc. We give them 'freedom', and they seek, favorably so far, to destroy us."
These men are NOT out to destroy America or you. You rightwing conservatives nutcases are deranged and paranoid. Wake up and smell reality sir. Nobody is out to destroy america except some dudes overseas in China and Terrorville.
Biko, you must have ear plugs on and a bag over your head. And objecting to Ayres, Chomsky, etc. does not make one a rightwing, conservative nutcase, thank you very much.
So in your mind, changing the individualistic nature of our society to the collectivist model is not destroying the very fabric of what made our nation great.
Uh, you guys are missing something here. Biks said "destroy" America, and he's entirely correct. Nobody -- outside of China and those lovable Muslims -- is trying to "destroy" America, just change it. Change it for the worse, to be sure, but "change" isn't "destroy".
If the intent is to make America unrecognizable as compared to its past, then change, as proffered by Obama, Ayers, Chomsky, is to destroy what presently exists. Nit-pic that meaningless distinction all you like.
Dr. Mercury, thank you for READING what i wrote. Right, they are not out to destroy.....good parsing, thanks!
"These men are NOT out to destroy America or you. You rightwing conservatives nutcases are deranged and paranoid. Wake up and smell reality sir. Nobody is out to destroy america except some dudes overseas in China and Terrorville."
Larsen aligned the point I think. Your sentence speaks of a certain literal physicality. I'm not worried about that aspect, at least not yet. I'm worried about heart and soul. Core values that, no matter digressions, have raised the entire world to a different and higher plane of living.
Which, despite, Obama, Ayers, Chomsky and many another believer of socialist/communist bullshit is the better way to go, in my opinion.
I was going to ignore your ad hominem's...
"You rightwing conservatives nutcases are deranged and paranoid. Wake up and smell reality sir. Nobody is out to destroy america except some dudes overseas in China and Terrorville."
But I can't.
I'm neither 'rightwing' nor 'conservative, nor a 'nutcase', nor 'deranged', nor 'paranoid'.
I'm just your (I like to think) average American. One who has experienced more in life than you've even had time to yet fantasize about.
I agree, PacRim. But you should also sue the hell out of the National Education Association, which so signally failed to teach several generations of our children how to spell, construct a sentence, carry out relatively simple math calculations, lose gracefully at games like Arthur Ashe did, accept deserved criticism from their elders, and most of all, not need propping up all the time so that they can face reality, "suck it up, buttercup" and try again.
Those people --from Obama to Biks, from Ayres to Air America --are employing a rhetorical trick when they wax eloquent over their love of country, their patriotism, their benign desires for the national future.
They're talking about the real estate --the geography, terrain, topography, improvements included, fixed infrastructure, mountains, rivers, farms and ranches, highways and harbors, and so forth.
Obama even said so. During the campaign, somewhere around the Joe-the-Plumber period.
It hit me like Thor's hammer but the media never picked it up.
He was back n forthing with a few reporters in some outdoor venue, small talk, when one of the not-very-ink-stained wretches repeated, by way of asking for a comment, some McCain camp jab about Obama's feelings about America.
Obama replied something like the usual, that of course he loves his country, and apparently in the moment could not resist adding by way of bedding the comment that 'America has lots of nice real estate'.
The add-on was delivered in the secret winky smile code to his signals insiders --he didn't mean to give away the code element, but he did, to those who noticed.
Come to think of it. What key words in my post drew Biko to make a comment here, attempting to ridicule my thoughts. I've not seen his nic here before, why did he just show up?
--i'd guess the names --Chomsky most likely. The ongoing academic hothouse effect; ardent undergrads high on the lexicon.
XRay, you ARE paranoid, see? re: "Come to think of it. What key words in my post drew Biko to make a comment here, attempting to ridicule my thoughts. I've not seen his nic here before, why did he just show up?''
Is there a rule against just showing up?