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Above email address currently deprecated! Use gary underscore farber at yahoodotcom, pliz! Sanely free of McCarthyite calling anyone a traitor since 2001!
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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?
I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.
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"The brain is wider than the sky, For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson
"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin
"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton
"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan
"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to
trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule --
and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt
"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley
"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss
"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire,
the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind;
and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise
the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his
expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were
respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon
"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify
the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority.
They show disrespect for elders and they
love to chatter instead of exercise.
Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They
no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize
"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook
"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook
"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization.
We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect
disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest
and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr
"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the
land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion
"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him
an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this
or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages
to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also
to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing,
with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess
and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion
and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson
"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices,
intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to
improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation;
a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most
tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition --
to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri
"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the
poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke
"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology;
it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to
understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit
and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant
"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is
but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest
winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville
"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon,
but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without
being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant
"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand
"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.
"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible,
and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and
man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and
after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus
"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814
"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort,
are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true,
the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated.
This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944
"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News
"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas
"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."
-- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson
"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example."
-- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance."
-- H. W. Fowler
"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place."
-- Kate Wilhelm
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein
"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms
"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).
"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128
"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)
"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days
"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs
"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden
"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit.
He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.
The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cutepanda. Don't you lovepandas?
Current Total # of Donations Since 2002: 1181
Subscribers to date at $5/month: 100 sign-ups; 91 cancellations; Total= 9
Supporter subscribers to date at $25/month: 16 sign-ups; 10 cancellation; Total= 6
Patron subscribers to date at $50/month: 20 sign-ups; 13 cancellations; Total= 7
...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow
I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber
Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow
One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.
Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's
face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged
We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott
Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal
If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.
Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks
I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes
Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this? -- Natalie Solent
People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost,
Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry,
Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny.
It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out.
And She of whom I must write someday.
THEY WOULDN'T BE SILENT. A tiny move to remind people of the Bergson Group, although they were just one small set of the people desperately shouting to the world that the Jews were being industrially exterminated, all of whom were essentially ignored.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has agreed to recast part of its permanent exhibition to include the story of the Bergson Group, a World War II citizens' group that called attention to the horrors facing European Jews and urged the American government to help.
The group was created in 1942 by a Lithuanian Jew who had immigrated to Palestine and taken the name Peter Bergson. He had come to Washington to represent a Zionist group and had visions of creating a Jewish army that would fight alongside the Allied armies. But on Nov. 25, 1942, he saw a story in The Washington Post reporting that the Nazis had killed 250,000 Polish Jews and planned the extermination of half of the Jewish population in that country by the end of the year.
The story ran on Page 6.
Bergson was so angry at the news and the placement of the story that he decided to start a massive lobbying effort.
Some of his tactics were considered divisive and controversial at the time. The group, formally called the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe, bought newspaper ads pointing to the failure of the government and other efforts to save the Jews. There were also demonstrations, including a march of 400 rabbis in Washington.
He enlisted celebrities, including writers Ben Hecht and Moss Hart and actors Edward G. Robinson and Paul Muni. They created a dramatic pageant called "We Will Never Die," with music by Kurt Weill and readings praising the achievements of Jews throughout history, as well as describing the horrific plight of victims of the Nazis. The pageant traveled the country, drawing 40,000 people to Madison Square Garden. When it was performed at Washington's Constitution Hall on April 12, 1943, Eleanor Roosevelt and dozens of politicians watched it. When Mrs. Roosevelt wrote her next newspaper column about the pageant, according to the Holocaust Museum, "it was the first time [millions of American newspaper readers] heard about the Nazi mass murders."
At one point, Bergson advocated the bombing of Auschwitz and other concentration camps.
Finally, the group won the support of Congress, which prepared resolutions asking President Roosevelt to take action. Before the vote, Roosevelt created the War Refugee Board in 1944.
Of course, that's all FDR did. The requests to bomb the railways and crematoria were ignored.
Bergson was, as the article says, a "nuisance." Nothing more. The millions were slaughtered with the knoweledge and acquiesence of the Allies.
What's important to remember is this: that people knew -- Germans, French, British, Americans: everyone who wanted to know, knew. And did nothing.
If you can point me to information about any actual bombing raids on the rail lines running to the camps, or bombing raids on the camps themselves, all of which the representatives of the Jews of Europe sent emissary after emissary to Churchill and Roosevelt begging for, get back to me. Meanwhile, I note that they did none of this: nothing.
Neither did they engage in any of the multitude of diplomatic channels by which German authorities made various offers to release large numbers of Jews: can't negotiate with the enemy!
Again, if any of the deals were taken, get back to me about that "something," rather than the nothing that happened.
Neither FDR or Churchill even just made a speech outlining what was known of the death camps. They did not even that.
Have to go with you on this one, Gary. Very revealing discussion of the issue of what the Roosevelts knew when and what they could have done in the biography of Eleanor by Blanche Wiesen Cook.
Of course, the definitive study of what we knew and when -- revealing about media workings today as well as in the period in question -- is Deborah Lipstadt's Beyond Belief, which I'd include on my short list of books that changed my life.
Somewhat on-topic: Gary, on the subject of visas for Iraqi refugees, you may have seen this AP article pointing out that U.S. visas granted actually fell in July, making even the announced reduced goal of 2000 virtually impossible to be met.
It seems a bit unfair to castigate the British and French for failing to bomb rail lines, etc. The U.S. might have had the spare capacity to use its military in that way, although I'm not entirely certain that is the case; I suspect you are as familiar with the '90 division gamble' as I am. But the British and French certainly did not have the capability to exert themselves in such ways.
I'm grateful you can find a moment to come by, G'kar: thanks!
However: "It seems a bit unfair to castigate the British and French" and "the British and French certainly did not have...."
I'm afraid you were a bit hasty, as I never mentioned the French at all. (Although that gets us into the widespread French colloboration with rounding up Jews, and the many French war criminals, which I hadn't even alluded to, or considered in the same breath; and few French, after all, actively were in the Resistance, despite the post-war myth -- but the post-war cover-up of colloborators remained very strong until the 1980s and later. Maurice Papon was punished in 1998, for instance. Or look at Bousquet. And on and on. A bit tangential, though.)
As for the British, while their bombing capacity was quickly overtaken by the Americans, we're only talking about a handful of raids, at minimum, to make an enormous difference. Even a couple of attempts would have been something.
But they didn't even try once.
Neither did, as I said, Churchill even make a single dedicated speech.
But more to the point, we know what they were thinking: and if you go through the British military and diplomatic memos on the topic, you'll find them rife with anti-semitism and indifference towards the murder of Jews. Ditto many revealing American diplomatic memos.
They just didn't give much of a damn. And some individuals were simply outright anti-semitic, while many others were simply indifferent. This is also why various ships of Jewish refugees were turned away, and returned to Germany.
It wasn't lack of capacity, or accident. They didn't want more Jews in either America or Britain. Period.
And when it came to the Jews being murdered in Britain, well, that was too bad, but there were more important problems. Not everyone in American or British government was anti-semitic, or indifferent, of course, and there were Jewish cabinet ministers in both governments.
But what happened, happened, and some of it didn't have to have happened, and wouldn't have happened, if different choices had been made, and those choices could easily have been made if there was sufficient will at the top. There wasn't.
That's the bottom line.
I've been a big admirer of Lipstadt for decades, Nell. But, then, there's endless scholarship on these matters by now, as I'm sure you know.
I disagree entirely that doing nothing to bomb the rail lines to the camps, as requested, and doing nothing to bomb the crematoria and camps (knowing this would kill prisoners), wasn't doing nothing to bomb the rail links and doing nothing to bomb the camps.
I disagree that making no speeches on the topic wasn't doing nothing about making no speeches on the topic.
I disagree that doing nothing to take up German offers to bargin for prisoners wasn't doing nothing to take up German offers to bargin for prisoners.
I disagree that some bombing raids couldn't have been made. As to "winning the war," claiming that any given act was impossible because all possible acts were perfectly dedicated to "winning the war" in purely optimal fashion, and that there was no discretion in such decisions is utterly nonsensical and completely ahistorical. Decisions were made by individuals, and were frequently completely wrongheaded, based on misinformation, or just done out of stupidity; to believe that there was no flexibility possible because doing anything other than what was done historically would be to interfere with The Perfect Plan To Win The War seems nuts to me.
And being familiar with dozens and dozens of books on the topic of how the allies approached the holocaust, it's perfectly clear in the record how much anti-semitism was directly involved.
So we'll have to agree to disagree about all this.
"But I've avoided letting them diminish my gratitude and respect by reminding myself of what she's been through in the intervening years; it's not been an experience conducive to detachment."
Yes. And I've seen what I believe is a relevant dynamic at work here in other fellow Jews that I started to write an explanation of here, but which I've decided is too long and complex (and touchy) to go into in a comment -- and I don't feel quite up to working it out sufficiently for a post just now, either.
But a terribly simple and inadequate version would be that -- and I believe this to be exceedingly unfortunate -- there are threads both admirable and disgusting in the contemporary right that both attack anti-semitism (usually, though not always, rightfully), and defend Israel (sometimes rightfully, sometimes outrageously -- it just depends), and this is a huge change from the right of, say, pre-1960, and one for the better, greatly flawed as it is, and much though it also is sometimes used nowadays to make unjustified attacks on questionable or non-existent anti-semitism, and even more to sometimes justify Israeli actions that shouldn't be justified.
And while Israel was once a cause purely of the left -- once one of the most leftist, socialist, nations on Earth -- it is now treated on the left in a chaotic mix of both justice and injustice, criticism both utterly valid and which I share, and that which is not so much, and that which is quite appalling: it's all in the mix, where once Israel was a rightous leftist cause. (And obviously a considerable amount of the fault of that is Israel's, of course -- but that's not always the case, either, and that's one area where it gets exceedingly complicated, and usually overheated until the sun goes nova.)
Anyway, this can result in a dynamic of someone primarily focused on, say, anti-semitism, taking support from some folks, and tending to overlook other, more disagreeable, areas of their beliefs and activities, and worse, starting to find such views plausible, due to reiteration and not otherwise focusing on these other areas, which are out of the person's area of primary interest.
I'm not defending this dynamic; I'm just saying I've seen it before.
"And thanks for the question about those books; I might answer it on my blog soon."
I hope you do; it could be fascinating.
I suppose I might think about whether I could do such a post, as well, although my problem is hardly lack of topics (instead it's inability to focus for more than a few moments, and lack of energy to make myself do so, and the like; I have literally hundreds of links filed that would make good posts, if I could push myself to be able to write coherently about them).
But it's a good topic/meme, nonetheless.
Sorry to hear about your own depression; there's a lot around; it would be easy to blame it on the state of the world, or politics, or other externalities, but that's really not the problem -- the world is always filled with tragedy and horror and stupidity, but it's also always filled with love and beauty and insight and empathy; it's what we are able to see, and how we respond, that matters. As you know, of course; I'm just babbling to myself now....
I think she made some even better points about Holocaust-denial, and the proposed laws in Britain and Germany on genocide-denial in general here.
I don't have a problem with Germany and Austria's denial laws, because of the unique historical circumstances, but my position is simple neutrality: I won't presume to tell them what to do on this matter (or many others, for that matter), either way.
But as she points out, when discussing genocides-in-general, it's usually legitimate to debate the distinctions between “Was this a genocide, or was it a horrendous massacre?,” and it's difficult to see how one could have a law against "denial" that doesn't pre-empt such discussions, unless the law incorporates a long list of True Genocides, and that itself would seem to demonstrate the inherent problem.
Plus the other reasons for generally being for free speech, not making people martyrs, not pushing views underground, not creating "forbidden fruit," and so on.
I did mention the French: you're correct, and thank you for pointing that out.
However, I did not mention them in the context of "castigat[ing the] French for failing to bomb rail lines, etc.," which is what you disagreed with.
I simply included them -- and the Germans -- and I'd add all the other countries the Germans occupied, for that matter -- as people who "knew" (meaning that the Germans were engaged in mass murder of the Jews) and were included in "everyone who wanted to know, knew."
My last paragraph -- "What's important to remember is this" -- was intended to be, as a separate paragraph, a separate thought from discussion of aerial bombing, which obviously the French were incapable of doing after June, 1940, and the Germans were unlikely to do to themselves.
Incidentally, I saw "Babylon 5 - The Lost Tales" a couple of nights ago, and it wasn't bad; I suppose I should write a brief review; some nice extras, too, with nice tributes to Katsulas and Richard Biggs, among other stuff. You'd probably like it.
You changed the sense of "doing nothing" by restricting it - substantially. You dropped the acquiescing. It doesn't appear like we completely disagree. Would you be satisfied with a few bombs on rail lines or camps - I doubt it, so your point about some resources could have been diverted is a little fishy too, You'd want substantial resources put into the bombing. Which, who knows whether it would have had any real efficacy. There are legitimate criticisms - the no bombing one is a little kooky. Also, your anti-semitism accusations are over the top. Refugees should have been permitted - were Jews barred from entering the country as a general matter? Obviously not.