Friday, September 12, 2014

College for All

I would like to see free college for all in the USA.  Free college in all public universities, including the best.  Free college along with the expectation that most will go to college, much as we have that expectation for High School today.

College should not be understood as job training, but as general education, "liberal arts" education to help train people to think and become self-educating, to become familiar with the arts and sciences of their civilization as they actually are, and not filtered through a private slant.  The word is complicated enough that schooling should continue to the 16th grade because people need that much education and they need to reach that age before education stops.  And industry is productive enough that we can get by without people in that age range having to work.  Having them not work also helps maintain good wages for labor.  There should not be workers for every possible job, but only enough workers to do what most needs to be done, and needs doing enough to command a high wage without question (even though there is never any guarantee that any wages will ever come close to the social value of work, and they especially don't for lower paying work, because wages are not set by a mythical free market but by conservative traditions).

But as long as college is not free, there should be no expectation that everyone should attend college, AND there should be no stigma or loss of the possibility of having a good career without attending college.  And no family should be so poor that kids or young adults of college age are unable to attend college because income is needed from the young adults to sustain the family.

Thus I would sort of agree with the kinds of things that Robert Reich says here, in the world as it exists today.  I remember Hedrick Smith making these arguments in the 1980's.

But we should remember that the better solution would be to have free college for all and a far more equal society.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Jews are active citizens

Regulars of my discussion group didn't at all agree with the idea the Israel promoted the Muslim Brotherhood, in order to keep it's neighboring states weak.  Weak is one thing, they already were weak, collapsing chaos is another, and that's not what a settler colonial states need.

I didn't find that argument very believable either, and, btw, I employ the least amount of self censorship here, in order to cover the deepest depths, though sometimes off target, and I apologize for some clearly anti-semitic concepts in earlier posts.  As a clarification, I believe it would be impossible for any religious group to create a settler state as zionists did and then have it become peaceful and democratic. It's a miracle Jews have done as well as they have in Israel.  As I claim below, Jews are good at making civilization.  However the concept, plan, and timing, and location were fundamentally flawed, and for that reason Israel cannot succeed.  It turns out also that the best nation is the one not tied to the baggage of state, etc.

One idea approaching anti-semitism, is a sort of superiority concept.  Jews culturally teach their children to be active citizens, resisting oppression (and the deepest judiasm also calls on Jews to fight the oppression of others…the basic deep rule of Judiasm is to do more for others than self…but I digress), and so on.  That makes them more politically effective than their numbers would suggest.  In the US they are 2% of the population, but most people believe they collectively have much more influence than that.  Maybe more like 10%.  And that's enough to have great impact on a centrist majoritarian government such as the USA.  And of course the military giveaways to Israel are really giveaways to US military equipment makers anyway, so Israel becomes to the US Congress an excuse for another exchange of gifts and bribes, an automatic 100% vote is assured.

Is it anti-semitic to say that Jews are excellent citizens?  The above argument doesn't relate to shadowy underground mafias and the like…just the ordinary rules of democratic political participation, which, sadly, many minorities and the poor generally don't take advantage of--though I am not saying that all the problems of the poor can be laid on their own doorstep for this or any other reason…but active political participation and better organization could help them.

Now, to be clear, there are also very effective lobbying/bribing organizations such as AIPAC, rich bribers, and so on, maybe even mafias as there are for other nations, and I don't approve of those things, though they are also a given in US politics, and Jews will have more impact than Palestinians due to lobbying clout rather than justice or public opinion.

Jews are smart (it isn't antisemitic to say that is it?) so AIPAC is an unusually effective organization.  The problem is not with AIPAC and it's Jews (well, necessarily) but rather that lobbying like that should be illegal, elections should be publically funded, anything else should be considered bribery.

Anyway, back to the argument that Jews are active citizens...

This also means that a fair settlement of the future of Palestine--including full right of return for all Palestinian refugees--wouldn't necessarily make IP (Israel/Palestine) unlivable for the Jews.  I think much Israeli/Jewish fear about this is unwarranted…I believe the Jews would ensure at minimum an IP state fair to them but probably even more profitable than the current one…as has happened in South Africa…though one does imagine in the wake of a Fair Settlement (which itself can be hardly imagined) many Jews would choose to leave IP, not necessarily allowing this fair multicultural state to be tested.  But in fact Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived in peace together under Muslim rule in Palestine for most of more than a millennium, notably the Ottoman empire.  So in fact the belief that this is impossible, that Arabs can't run a reasonable multicultural state is itself antisemitism toward arabs.

My discussion friends don't believe the full Chomsky argument, that Israel is mainly a US project, and it's incredible history of support in the USA stems from its importance to US military planners, and he discounts the usual conspiracy arguments and "unbelievable" effectiveness of Zionist lobbying on that.

My retired military friend didn't agree with that at all.  He said the US State Department has long been hostile to Israel, as have probably a majority of the US military establishment.  US Military do not see Israel as a dependable ally or client.  Previous Israeli actions, such as attacking a US ship, have reinforced that feeling.  He felt that Israel's success in maintaining US support had to come entirely from Zionist success in politics, as well as military industrial self-interest.

I think there may be more going on in the military than my friend concedes, but largely it is Zionist effectiveness in politics which has led to their success, as he says.  And it is not antisemitic to say that Jews are active citizens, as more others should be.  Nor that AIPAC is an effective briber, and there shouldn't be such things.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

ISIS--created by Saudi Arabia

Article in The Atlantic explains how the Saudis created ISIS and Qatar funded Jabhat al-Nusra with encouragement from the US while it supported the soon-to-be-doomed Free Syrian Army.  The reporter here, Steve Clemons, is a totally reliable source.

But why oh why was the US so committed to destroying the Assad regime in Syria?

One word: Israel.

And it gets crazier still in less substantiated but still believable comments.  Though it has predictably gotten out of hand, this was the US-Israel plan all along, to destabilize secular nationalist governments in the Arab peninsula with balkanized weak war lord states. As blogger Sarastro92 says in the comments to the article, this was part of Operation Clean Break to secure the realm for Israel by burning down the Arab neighborhood. Other comments go farther back, claiming Israel secretly promoted the Muslim Brotherhood to destabilize Arab states, as well as promoting Hamas to destabilize the PLO (which has been very well established).  It was the Assad regime's dedication to destroying the Brotherhood (Israel's secret weapon) which made Israel so dedicated to destroying Assad.  Further, Israel has long had secret cooperation with Saudi Arabia to foster radical Islam.  From Israel's standpoint, this serves to discredit and weaken all its neighboring Arab states.  Elsewhere I've heard that Israel wanted Iraq broken up into 3 states all along, and has long promoted a largely untrue narrative about Iraq's Maliki being a terrible sectarian.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Nobody says this

And for good reason.  We don't discount human lives lost.

But Israel's brutal Protective Edge assault on Gaza has destroyed far more homes than lives.  Something like 10,000 homes so far.

So here we have Jewish Efficiency, as contrasted with the Nazi version of Efficiency in which the number of lives lost were maximized.

(This is not to deny the deliberate inefficiencies either…shooting down children on the beach and so on.  Still, in a War (which this hardly is), more homes than lives lost is at one end of the spectrum.)

If the end achieved is genocide and dispossession, that matters more than the means.  We are not supposed to say this either.

 But is it genocide yet?  Have the Zionists and Israeli's killed enough for us to call this genocide?

What's their ultimate vision?  It's at best the total dispossession of a national homeland for the originals and the destruction of their society.  Social genocide.

And, incidentally, lives will continue to be lost until resistance is crushed.

It's at minimum an intent to commit genocide if necessary and likely.  Therefore: Intent to commit genocide, while struggling to convince oneself one is not doing this, is just as much intent to commit genocide.  The failure of people to resist the theft of their homeland is not to be presumed in determining one's innocence.

It's certainly more genocidal in character than South African Apartheid.

So Genocide is a pretty high bar for moral inequity, and Israel/US are at least at Intent.  There are many others huge crimes already committed and being committed by Israel/US.


That's my new name for Israel-Palestine, the state that finally grants full right of return to 1948 and since Palestinian refugees and their families and restoration of their property and full rights and citizenship.  We know the State of Israel has chosen that goal, the beginning of justice, to be inimical to it's existence.  So be it.  IP is an optimistic outcome for Israelis.

Both Israel and Palestine are three syllable words.  IP is like UK, US.

Of course, it might well just be Palestine.  Should there be protected religious rights for present Israelis?  Should there even be, as I suggested previously, a unique continued "right of return" for Jews to the "Land of Israel"?  Clever ideas, I have mostly thought, but I can't say they are the correct ones, nor what the people most involved would choose.

Many would say, in view of the facts, all the participants in Israel should face war crimes trials, and pay reparations for damages, and permanently lose right-to-citizenship in Palestine forever.

So IP is an optimistic future, from a Israeli perspective, and some Jews elsewhere.  I think I'm an optimist sometimes, maybe more than that.