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Links With Your Coffee - Wednesday

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Two economics professors in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University have written an interesting piece about local food, titled The Locavore's Dilemma: Why Pineapples Shouldn't Be Grown in North Dakota. Jayson L. Lusk is Professor and Willard Sparks Endowed Chair of Agribusiness and F. Bailey Norwood is Associate Professor.

In short, the economists argue "there is a tradeoff between providing a larger quantity of more-nutritious non-local foods and a smaller quantity of more-nutritious local foods", particularly when it comes to school lunches. Individual consumers are free to make whatever shopping choices they wish, but, according to the authors, mandates for public spending on local food aren't economically sounds and don't actually provide benefits that promoters of local food say it has

-Want Tom In Prison -- No Delay!


 

Comments

The community does not benefit when we pay more for a local tomato instead of an identical non-local tomato because the savings realized from buying non-local tomatoes could have been used to purchase other things.

Unless of course, the other things are also not local...

Asking us to purchase local food is asking us to give up things we otherwise could have enjoyed—the very definition of wealth destruction.

Of course the pay recieved from the local farmer being much higher than the mexican or south american field hand is of course, wealth creation.

we cause the food not to be grown in the most productive, least-cost location.

Of course the search for the lowest cost production led us to calling ketchup a vegetable and turning all school lunches into a thaw, heat and serve industrial food line, that anyone that has looked into it knows isn't very nutricious.

To say nothing of the fact that "least cost" is caused by low labor costs, deflated cost of energy to transport, and lower standards of quality in some cases.

The "keep the dollars local" argument fails to recognize that a dollar sent out of the local economy by buying a non-local food must, eventually, return to the local economy in terms of dollars spent on exports.

Have these economists not looked at a single economic indicator in the free trade era? THis is either ignorance or a lie

Locavores seek to export goods without importing, which can happen only if the exports are given away for free—the equivalent of foreign aid. This cannot be the objective of the local-food movement, can it?

No, its a strawman, like for instance the absurdity of growing pineapple in North Dakota.

Moreover, fresh local foods often require more at-home preparation, where energy use is less efficient relative to that of large-scale processing facilities.

So we should all just eat hot pockets because of their short microwave time?

If someone cares about the plight of the poor, as we do, shouldn't we want them to be able to stretch their food dollars as far as possible?

They can because of cheap sugar and corn they get to drink lots of soda and kool-aid. The idea is to get them more nutricious food. Not just buying from their local soda factory.

But it doesn't make sense to cajole others into making the same choice you do, and it especially doesn't make sense to force others to do so.

This is the absurdity of all this. The Govt is doing the buying, so if a majority of voters/taxpayers decide through the democratic process to buy some % of the govt purchased foor from local sources, that is no more "force others" than our road constriction is an act to "force others" to drive on blacktop when they would rather drive on gravel.

Its a fucking democracy, we take cooperative action, sorry if our Government schools taught your chillins to read and made your roads safe Oklahomo...

But I digress...

"Oklahoma" That was a typo.

Palin Defends Vitriolic Rhetoric By Citing William F. Buckley's 'Firing Line'

Palin is a boob. Sure this kid more that likely got zero inspiration from her website, but what she did was the equivalent of publicly wishing someone would die of cancer every day and then when the person actually dies of cancer, quickly shouting from the rooftops that you had nothing to do with it.

Well its true, you can't wish cancer into being, but that doesn't mean its in really bad taste to do so, and really not clever in the way she thought it would was just a few days ago to talk about politicians like they were big game.

Palin is a boob.

What? A sexist comment??? Eeeeyaaaah!

kidding

I just heard about this: bloodlibel Blood lapel, invoking Reagan, and it's all about her.

There is a line that can be crossed by leaders in society. While the rhetorical and pictoral lines crossed by the likes of Palin and Boehner that suggest violence against candidates is not as extreme as say - Pakistan and the need to kill blasphemers. Yes, there are people who are nuts, and will murder because they are insane, or want to be famous. Why should anyone in a public service or media position give them a nudge? Why should any leader or leader wannabe provide any verbiage or pictures that suggest that life ending violence is OK?

There is no rational answer. Palin - on some level - gets this, or she wouldn't have taken here "rethink...and REload" and Crosshairs map down.

Oh - for the record:

Blood libel: A false belief which has endured since the 1st century BCE. It states that members of a religious group kidnap, abuse, ritually murder and sometimes eat the body of a member of another religion. Groups creating this groundless fable include ancient Greek and Roman Pagans, Christians, Nazis, and Muslims. Innocent religious groups victimized by the fable include Jews, Christians, Wiccans, Druids and other Neopagans, and Roma (Gypsies). The hoax exists today mostly among some Muslims (against Jews) and some Fundamentalist Christians (against Wiccans, Satanists and other religious minorities).

from TranslationDictionary.com

I'll add Jews to the victims list, vis a vis a late night conversation.

I'll add Jews to the victims list, vis a vis a late night conversation.

well, thank the fsm for late nite conversations! as your (and many people's) "google based" understanding of the world may not make clear, the term "blood libel" was invented specifically in reference to the jews, and is still used this way mostly in some jewish connection, with all due respect to the exceptions you noted. which is why palin's misuse of the term was found so offensive by so many jewish organizations (mostly american). this you CAN google, to your heart's content, and find that i'm right.

making the jewish historical relationship to the term "blood libel" into some sort of afterthought is yet another example of the deterioration of education in the world i've been complaining about, and one which i of course forgive you for, relying on the internet for your info as you seem to, and having a good heart and good intentions, as you seem to. but as the jews say (and wrote over 2000 years ago): "scholars, be careful with your words."

please don't take this as personally offensive, g.s., i know you're an educator and probably a good one, and i have enjoyed your insicive comments over the years.

No offense taken. The reason I ended up including the definition is because it was different from the one employed in my late night conversation. In other words, my conversation was more in line with you jonathan. Since the term "blood libel" was new to me, I thought it might be new to others, so I looked it up and referenced it. I sorta said "huh" looking at the definitions I came across as they did NOT include Jews, which is why I added them to the group.

My friend was Catholic, and was relating the horrible relationship with Jews in terms of prosecuting them under the indictment of "blood libel." Since the stuff I found online didn't include them, I wondered if it were possible that her view was somewhat skewed by her association with her religious background (more backgound: she attended Catholic school only through grade school, then switched over to public school). Unless you get really nifty teachers, you don't always get the colorful history in your classes.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I'm bothering to explain all of this. I thought about it before, but felt that I had posted plenty the other day, so just provide info and get the freak home, you know?

oh, and to cut Mrs. P some slack, maybe she just had a problem saying "Bible lud." Like maybe the telepromter wasn't clear or something.

I'm not inclined to grant Mrs. Palin any slack. However, I am willing to contribute a pittance to buying her a pair of hunting slacks.

Stanley L. Becker

;~)

what, no Bible Luddite?

Down with metaphors!!

Syngas, I think I have the understanding of a metaphor and bad word choice down. I don't think Sarah Palin does. There's a difference in saying something like "When facing so and so in a competition, it's time to bring out the big guns" and naming names then putting gun-sights over corresponding districts with the "Rethink..and RELOAD" in the heading.

Boehner really isn't much better. I suppose you could day he's more in the grey area between actual metaphors and saying stupid things that condone violence (or maybe we can just classify it in the sub-set of hyperbole?), but this bit from Matt Taibbi's latest article doesn't show him at his best (or just maybe, it does):

Another Ohio Democrat, Steve Driehaus, clashed repeatedly with Boehner before losing his seat in the midterm elections. After Boehner suggested that by voting for Obamacare, Driehaus "may be a dead man" and "can't go home to the west side of Cincinnati" because "the Catholics will run him out of town," Driehaus began receiving death threats, and a right-wing website published directions to his house. Driehaus says he approached Boehner on the floor and confronted him.

"I didn't think it was funny at all," Driehaus says. "I've got three little kids and a wife. I said to him, 'John, this is bullshit, and way out of bounds. For you to say something like that is wildly irresponsible.'"

Driehaus is quick to point out that he doesn't think Boehner meant to urge anyone to violence. "But it's not about what he intended — it's about how the least rational person in my district takes it. We run into some crazy people in this line of work."

Driehaus says Boehner was "taken aback" when confronted on the floor, but never actually said he was sorry: "He said something along the lines of, 'You know that's not what I meant.' But he didn't apologize."

Personally, I enjoy polemics, and would hate to see it die on either side.

Gosh, I should have thought more about who might read my violent post. Norm, if you wouldn't mind replacing the word 'hate' with 'be sad', and 'die' with 'vanish' in my previous post. Wouldn't want any blood on my hands!

I'ts all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

In all honesty, what if this kid was huge sarah palin fan? What if he had read her website and been to her rallies? That other T-party folks had encouraged him. It is essentually what happened to the Kansas abortion doctor.

How do you think the left would have reacted?

I would love to think we would just complain and have cable and internet blowhards yammer on about it.

But I bet there would have been retaliation. Either extreme pressure to bring her or her minions up on charges or some attempt to pull a Ruby.

I think either would likely lead to more retaliation and so on and so on.

So I guess I think that its absolutely the right thing to drown out the "lock and Load" political discourse in an ocean of you should be ashamed of yourself.

:) good points in your last post, red, and thanks, syngas, for the perspective-enhancing humor.

stuff like this gives me hope- something i'm in short supply of these days- and i'm glad to see it.

I hope things aren't too bad. I hate to see you not playing devil's advocate at every potential oppurtunity.

I hope things aren't too bad. I hate to see you not playing devil's advocate at every potential oppurtunity"

well, no things aren't too bad-for me at least, and looking up in a lot of ways. appreciate your question/concern.

living "without hope", in spite or because of the stupidity i see on web comment sections, and the educational/cultural deterioration in my country of birth (the usa) and the same in my current location/citizenship and its government (israel), and the same- and even worse- re: it's enemies, and our position in the "world community, are things i've kinda learned to live with and "help" where i can, finding "hope" in other areas.

re; devils advocate: i'm a jewish advocate, and a jb advocate, and a "lets all just try to get along" advocate.

if this makes me in someone's eyes (not your's, i understand what you meant and it's humorous/serious intent) a "devils advocate", well, i've learned to live with that too- and am fully prepared to defend myself, if need be. :)

but i'm ok, if you were concerned, don't worry. and actually getting "better" all the time (specifically physically, which is a biggie). and i still love and appreciate what's left of onegoodmove, and your contributions to it. so rock on, mah brothah. :)

Always concerned that our peeps are doing well out in the world. good to here it. Asa for the state of our country and the world. I think the general perception that things are getting worse and destroy our hope is that we seem to falsely believe things were once good. We are all just surviving inspite being a pack of morons. Which has always been the case and is why some folks believe in miracles (well bothe because they themself are morons and that we continue to survive as a species while continuously driving our collective car of the closest cliff we can find.

I think you may have a Devil's Advocate rep, at least in my mind, because the majority of your posts seem to be pointed to start a debate.

devils advocate dept.:

I think the general perception that things are getting worse and destroy our hope is that we seem to falsely believe things were once good.

i'm not sure what you mean by "things", though i think i understand in a general sense what you mean. and maybe i should have left out the word "cultural". but re: education:

there once was a time (not so long ago, and going back to the beginnings of the "grading system" which also was not so long ago, when there was what i believe was referred to as a "bell curve" regarding grades. meaning, an "a" was awarded for excellence, and an "f" was for total failure to comprehend/produce. the top of the bell curve was a "c", meaning, you passed, you did ok. and this is what made the curve look like a "bell", meaning MOST students fell into the c+/- range, and a few were either excellent or complete failures. in other words, an "a" meant something.

but parents (and not only in america, although the rest of the world followed americas lead) didn't like seeing "c's" on their kids report cards. and employers (now we're talking about university education) didn't like "average", they wanted "excellent".

so education itself was "dumbed down", and examinations were changed, and standards of excellence were lowered, in order to make parents/potential employers happy.

so now there is no more "bell curve", and "a's" are merely expected, and if not enough of them are turning up to suit the people who's money actually funds the educational system, than the schools make them even EASIER to attain- resulting in, as i said, the crumbling of the very concept of what education used to mean, and the huge numbers of morons you correctly referred to- not, as you pointed out, that there haven't always been huge numbers of morons, but that now they have diplomas with fabulous yet meaningless gpa's. these diplomas ard than leveraged (as has always been traditional) into positions of economic or political power. and don't get me started on doctors, and the effects of poorly trained doctors on the "moronic" population.

so, now we not only have a populace of morons, but a leadership of morons. and THAT, my friend, is something relatively new- not that the world, historically speaking, hasn't had it's share of moronic leaders, but that now we can almost EXPECT it.

it all goes back to education, and this is my jaundiced view of the situation, and if this makes me a "devils advocate" than so be it.

one more thing: in the "old days", it was possible- and frequent- for a leader to take power/be elected with very little "education" at all, and this was not necessarily a bad thing. there have been, historically, especially in the usa, many great leaders who barely made it through what we would call today "high school". yet they had wisdom, and vision, and "sand", and they were good leaders, at least some of them.

now, however, you MUST have that diploma- a piece of fake sheepskin which, more and more, in terms of what it says about a persons actual "education" (or god forbid, qualification to lead) might as well be used, imo, as toilet paper.

jaundiced enough for you? off topic enough for you? do you disagree with anything i've said, though?

OOoo - the crumbling of our education system - this is a hot topic with me and a few of my friends lately.

Steve Allen's Dumbth is one of the places to start in the big need to revamp our basic method of education. In the book (and I'm referencing the original 1990 edition), he also suggests that we've been in this conundrum before, and things did get better. Still, I've been intrugued by Ken Robinson's talks as well as the ones I've been having on a personal level.

Grades are BS in so many ways, at this point. Willingness to learn and work are the grand markers for progress and success.

Willingness to learn and work are the grand markers for (the possibility of) progress and success.-fixed/jb

agreed. but, with the "grading system" crumbling and becoming worthless, as i explained (or tried to) above, how will these things be quantified/rewarded/expressed/"marked", or even RECOGNIZED by parents and employers? and do they (parents, emplyers and even, frankly, modern "students") really care? and if so, in what way?

before the intitution of the grading system, the mere fact of having attended, and graduated university meant something. but now, with college/university "education" merely EXPECTED (along with those previously mentioned meaninless high gpa's), we can't go back to those days. so what can we do?

i'll check out that book you linked to anyway, but i'm not expecting to find any answers- because if there were any, you probably already would have mentioned them. :)

thanks for the correction ;~). I'll add an "s" and a "g" to your post if you'd like - teehee.

As for Steve Allen's book, it's actually pretty good. It's mostly rooted in the Socratic method, but there are other suggestions.

In terms of what people will accept in lieu of a meaningless grading system: good question! And will they care? I can't tell you. I think at the moment, there is so much competition for jobs that colleges and employers feel free to play the numbers game, because it's a low-effort medium for weeding out potential students hires. I've mentioned the experimental college evaluation system in a post about a month ago: professors wrote about students in their classes (attendance, work ethic, quality of work) rather than grading them. All of this went into transcripts. However, this was seen as unwieldy, and as far as I know, this system has been abandoned.

So we're in this rut of a system that hires people based on numbers and a quick interview, then if things don't wok out, try try again. Our thinking public still has some hangers-on, but so many in the world are motivated by fear now that those who don't swallow that pill have a tough road to hoe.

I will say again that Steve Allen does offer some good suggestions. In its current form, our educational system and all of the testing that goes with it is not conducive to many of his numerous thoughts. A friend of mine were discussing his way cool and effective high school education (students were greatly involved in their education choices and the learning processes) on Friday, and I'm thinking he needs to quit the construction biz and open up a school for those who want to attend. I'll be the music geek on staff and he can direct the teaching. You can come over and help select the faculty, and pick whatever you want to teach, and your dad can contribute as well!

thanks for the response, sistah. your comments are one of the reasons i keep reading this blog. as for the job offer...thanks, but there are geographical issues involve and i have no plans to move.

and it's "row to hoe", not road. :)

and btw, i can't "teach" anything, except for some basic guitar and how to become seen as an asshole on web comment sections- something i've apparently become quite the expert at. :)

and it's "row to hoe", not road. :)

Heh - thanks. You'd think I'd type better than this, seeing as how I had to wrote a dissertation and all - not tom mention that gardening is a personal pastime!

pre-emptive:

"to mention"

don't worry, i'm not pedantsareus, and he does a fine job at this sort of thing- though i think even he realizes that correcting minor typos on web comments is a pointless waste of time. :)

Red Seven: what you said.

I'm pretty sure that the economic 'benefits' of free trade,depending as they do, on secure transport with heavily subsidized cheap fuel, are due for reassessment. The era of cheap fuel is come to an end. As transportation costs increase, they place more and more pressure on creating cheaper and cheaper product - at the expense of workers, environment, and consumers.

In addition, with respect to food, total reliance on a global trade and distribution systems for all the food we need is just plain scary to me.

A few years back, we had a summer of terrible forest fires here. They raged from June through September, taking two dozen lives in their wake. The county fairgrounds was transformed into a tent city for firefighters, the park in town became a livestock refuge, the Vets Hall a shelter for those living in fire's path. More to the point, fire blocked all roads leading into our area more than once and for days at a time with no egress to the coast or to the valley. Air support (even fire helicopters) was grounded by smoke conditions.

Though air quality was really terrible, the Farmer's Market in town was well attended (to say the least). Farmers and Gardeners some in surgical masks, brought product into town as residents sought local produce, meat,and eggs to refill their larders despite the empty produce section in the supermarket.

It's OK with ME for the government to use tax dollars to encourage the tax supported schools to administer their food programs in a way that ALLOWS many local small farms to ALSO benefit from some of the tax dollars spent on kid food programs. Alternative local food distribution systems like farmer's markets, like school food programs that support local agriculture are really good things. A policy aimed at opening the market of school lunch programs to local small farm product is a really good way to contribute to our Country's and Communities food security.

Oh wait. Someone already said that: "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."

re: Ms. Palin. So... her reality show was not renewed for next year. I read somewhere that it was because someone thought the network might be forced to provide equal time to another candidate should she run for President. But I know the real reason. I watched the show. Yes I did. Well, not all the episodes, but enough to see why it was dropped.

The problem with Sarah, which her show so painfully illuminated, is that she is a really unpleasant person with a family of kids who're sullen with resentment at being used as props in her fantasy of herself.

And here I thought that reality shows weren't really real.

user-pic

The assassin lives, lived rather, in the same sprawling housing development as I do. (Estes "homes"). The word at the local "high" school (Mt. View) is that he was more into Heavy Metal than drinking the Tea.

Was.

(His father might have blared Beck or Savage from the radio though. Maybe he wanted to pleases his Dad.)

Also there is the stifling social atomization of these suburbs, where neighbours are as likely to slip into non-verbal mode with one another as not can nudge one over the edge.

The loonie bins are where we stored our prophets and artists. Until we decided to dump them into Gun-burbia.

The question for today's Heavy metallers/meddlers (and our new breed of Punk Politicians) (e.g. Palin) is now:

"how does it play in Paranoia?"

ditto.

with one caveat re: the comment you and i are responding to by "the guy who always makes his screen name as difficult to refer to as possible, who used to call himself by many other names and continues to modify/change it (for fun i guess) but we know we're talking about the same guy, as his writing "style" is easily identifiable- and much appreciated by me, for one, though i (like many of you) have a hard time figuring out what he's talking about much of the time. but tht's ok- i enjoy the challange. :))

The loonie bins are where we stored our prophets and artists. Until we decided to dump them into Gun-burbia

this is not what actually happened. i think our learned and eccentric friend may be thinking of more rural areas, rather than "suburbia" proper.

true suburbanites are not usually gun-toting loonies, they are much more boring than that. it works like this: they make their money in the cities (which, themselves, exist as money-making centers), and then they have kids. realizing that true cities are not really great places to raise kids, when they have them they move to "suburbia". they themselves remain the same people they were before: heartless vessels of personal ambition, and furthrmore often continue to work in the cities, by commute, hoping their kids will be spared the dangers of city life. meanwhile, their kids, looking for some excitement/stimulation, which cities provide (along with the attendant "dangers" their parents are trying to shield them from) get into their own "stuff", creating their own "dangers" (which teenagers seem to need in order to "prove themselves" as tough as their parents, and, frankly, often just for amusement), creating filthy little "danger societies" that horrify their parents, etc. etc.

i'm sure you, and our friend "20throot" or whatever, are aware of the psychological/social dynamics at play here. i have no love for the suburbs, "Paranoia" or any other, but this is how it works/doesn't work.

true rural life is another matter entirely, and one which i feel qualified to pontificate upon another time, but it is this population that bears much of the brunt of 1gmoov's vitriol, and often perceived as the real, core base of the "tea party", and the purely fake hubris of sarah palin and her ilk is based on this false self-identification.

it is, imo, purely fantasy on the part of the main body of "tea partiers", including palin, to make this self-identification, and this (imo) gives truly rural people a bad name, but i wanted to point out what may have been one of the few (albiet innocent) "mistakes" i've seen in "20throotetc's." (or whatever) posts over the years.

the suburbs, people, much as i may despise them, are not the cause of the problem (columbine, this new guy, whatever) but a symptom.

re: cities, and the one in particular i am most connected to, something by some musical partners/buddies/friends of mine.

http://www.youtube.com/user/thebandholler#p/f

I absolutely reject your 'bet'. In the first few days, much of the reportage was exactly that this was a Tea Party/Palin supporter, and there was no retaliation that took the form of violence. What did happen? We had a bunch of cable and internet blowhards yammer on about it (oh and Krugman).

I wouldn't expect the outrage and reaction to happen before we had some evidence.

We didn't declare war on a middle eastern state after the oklahoma city bombing even though that was a lot of the speculation

As a retired teacher, I must commend Jonathan Becker on his astute evaluation of modern education. Jonathan is my son and I appreciate his expressed wisdom as a reflection upon his upbringing. I must add, however, that he has far surpassed me in his debating skills. I love it!

Dr. Stanley L. Becker

syngas, if this clip is your "commentary" on the treatment of s. palin (from, of course, one of my favorite movies of all time, and that probably goes for many of us here) then, well, i guess i see your point but would like you to see mine, vis-a-vis the clip in question: notice the woman's first (and honest) response to the crowd's accusation ("she's dressed like one!" which is something like "i didn't dress myself like this, they did!"

i'm sorry if i've got it wrong and you're not referring to palin, but if you are, know this: palin cannot (honestly, at least) make this defence. even if the "they" referred to are the republican party (a far stretch in terms of the analogy), she willingly "dressed herself like this" in order to achieve her ambitions.

perhaps you were referring to the recent shooting of the senator from arizona, who, of her own free will, "dressed herself" as a jew, making herself a target. however, i have seen no evidence, despite the efforts of some of the more "ott" jewish blogs, to support the claim that she was targeted for "dressing as a jew", as it were, and have vehemently argued with some of these jewish paranoiacs to stop bandying about their unsubstantiated bullshit.

so, unless you were referring to someone other than these two, you would be wrong in either case, sorry.

and dad- thanks for your kind words and support. the people who read and comment on this blog regularly, however, are well aware of both my abilities and shortcomings in "debate", and their opinions, positive or negative, will certainly not be swayed by the encouraging words of my own dad. but i want you to know that i appreciate it, especially knowing that commenting on blogs is not one of the things you generally do, and i am humbled and honored, and proud to "represent" the beckers on the internet, and will continue to do so while vigorously attempting to speak truth to...i guess power wouldn't be the right word here, but speak the truth, anyway, on this public forum, and try not to embarrass our family too much in my sometimes overzealous/profane attempts to do so. i know how you don't like profanity, or zealots. :) thanks for contributing, although such clear support from a close family member can be a bit embarrassing "out here in the wild". you know i love you, and i know you have better things to do. thanks again.

She (Palin) was 'dressed' as a murderer. When the facts came out, Red screamed 'burn her anyway!'

The fact the left has completely ignored the cause of this shooting (schizophrenia) and continues to talk about Palin as if she had something to do with it is disgusting and something I hoped this blog was immune to considering the regular discussions about fallacies. I guess I should take heart that Norm has yet to say anything about it other than the link which I have learned over the years doesn't necessarily reflect his opinion.

This whole 'blood libel' feigning offense is especially lame considering how often the left revels in attacking Israel at every possible opportunity. Which is more offensive to Jews: Using a parallel to the false charges of murder leveled at Jews 1000 years ago, or reading New Testament scripture at the memorial service of two Jewish people?

Would you be offended if she used the word 'scapegoat'? That originated with the Jews ya know!

syngas: points taken, and respect. but i still say she "dressed herself", and cannot claim, as the "witch" in your clip, that others "did it to her, against her will".

the other points in your comments are telling, and well put, and, if i may say so, a bit on the emotional side for you, but no less "true" in spite of this fact. and no, i don't consider the american left to be any better "friends" to israel than the american right, in spite of the fact that most american jews identify with it (the left)- but for reasons other than "frienship for israel"- rather the left's more moral/forgiving/accepting stance vis-a-vis minorities in general, which certainly include jews. the minority of jews who identify with the right do so out of concern for israel, which they perceive wrongly as more "sympathetic" to israel's internal problems, which they (both right-wing jews and the americn right in general) have almost no understanding of.

there is no "friendship for israel", on the american right or left- rather, as i've pointed out many times here, a "business relationship" which can, and will, change with the "tides and winds" of economic and military realities- just as it did with russia, and france, and britian, and chekoslovakia and hungary and egypt and jordan and the list goes on. israel's "friendship" with the usa is based on it's "usefulnesss"- which is fair enough, but i wish the americans-and, specifically, american jews (both left and right)would quit pretending otherwise.

soon enough, we may prove ourselves "useful" to china, or russia (again), and they may make us a better offer. and the usa will suffer if this becomes the case, believe me, more than israel will suffer. as i have pointed out here many times before.

i LIKE americans- i AM an american/israeli. but in terms of realpolitik, and globalization, and history repeating itself, and all this shit i've tried to educate you all on over the years: america is the new rome, and by this i mean rome in it's final days.

and if you guys don't wake up pretty damn quick to this fact, than i'm real glad to be just where i am- and sad for my friends and family in america.

Thanks for that education. Good luck with Russia.

well, like i said, i'd prefer for america to just wake up- and the israel gov't too. business relationships are always better if there's some friendship involved- real or pretend, and i won't be expecting either from russia.

but business without lies, and unreliable partners who think they're doing you a favor, also has it's advantages, and we've had to deal with both types over the years. one thing i'll say for the israelis, realpolitik-wise: their memories are much longer, and their historical (at least locally) understanding much better, than the americans in general, people and gov't.

we've had to live with it both ways, and i don't like either of them. but america should realize she's not the only boat on the sea and, while realizing we (tiny as we are) need a boat,, the usa isn't the only one, and looking leakier and leakier. this gives me no joy and i'm sorry if i sound a little harsh. and i sure don't mean it personally- i know we have real friends out there. how much help they can actually be is the question. can you actually see huckabee (or palin) as prez? and, put yourself in our shoes, given the makeup of the american gov't- could they really be of any help to us?

I guess I should take heart that Norm has yet to say anything about it other than the link which I have learned over the years doesn't necessarily reflect his opinion.

norm has had little to say about anything lately, frankly, except birds and gmo's. but the blog is still an interesting one, thanks in large part to you and red- and i agree with you about what he said. "burn her anyway" was not one of the smarter statements he's made, but he's made other, smarter ones over the years, and ones that certain others (not you) were afraid, or too ignorant of the realities, or simply too uninterested to make. so i cut him some slack, and i see he cuts me some too. we could ALL use a little slack these days.

Which is more offensive to Jews: Using a parallel to the false charges of murder leveled at Jews 1000 years ago, or reading New Testament scripture at the memorial service of two Jewish people?

well, i can only tell you which is more "offensive" (and i am not easily offeded) to THIS jew, and that would clearly be the former.

especially since, in gifford's case, and in spite of her self-identification with jews or even "being jewish", she is not, actually, a jew according to traditional jewish definitions/requirements. although i myself, fwiw, am much more "liberal" in my acceptance of people's self-identification as jews, no matter how it's percieved by the (again, self-identified) "gaurdians" of the "jewish traditions".

and, as i said before, despite the paranoid ravings of some jewish bloggers, i don't see any evidence that she was targeted as a jew. as far as i can tell, she was targeted as a "liberal", which is where palin and her blog come into this, much as you seem to want to deny the connection.

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