Guide to haters

About a month ago I published a lengthy discourse, doomed to obscurity, in which in my somewhat pedantic way I tried to tutor my Dean’s World buddy, the often open-minded Aziz Poonawala, on what he should and should not be sensitive to–in his role as Islam’s ambassador to the rest of us, I suppose–in terms of what we Juice Jews consider a “blood libel.”  It came up in the context of Charles Johnson, Aziz himself and a tale he later regretted passing on that the Israelis were preparing biological weapons:

My point is this: Antisemitism is an important element of gentile anti-Zionism. They are not the same, but those who claim that they are unrelated are, well, antisemites, actually. And when Israel is accused of committing war crimes, or preparing to; and these war crimes are redolent of medieval accusations of well-poisoning as well as the classic blood libel, you can see a certain similarity: The Jews are claimed to be agents of not only mayhem but bearers of malefaction, poision, offal into the otherwise pure nature of things. This, then, is not such a nutty analogy.

You’ve got to understand these things.  In fact, the real dedicated anti-Semites do come in all sorts of sizes and varieties, much like a can of mixed nuts left out in the August sun for a couple of weeks.  And now, thanks to Meryl Yourish, they bloggy kind have been thoroughly categorized in a new taxonomy of online little Hitlers:

Eight years ago this spring, at the height of the suicide bombings of Yasser Arafat’s terror war known as the second intifada, I started blogging about Jewish and Israeli issues. This, of course, brought out the anti-Israel crazies. I came up with a corollary to Godwin’s Law to describe these trolls: “In any internet discussion area concerning Israel, politics, or religion, the probability of anti-Semitic comments approaches one.” (In fact, I’ve seen comments threads that have absolutely nothing to do with Israel, politics, or religion still devolve into anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing, but that’s a post for another time.)

And so, based on the thousands of comments and emails I’ve read over the years, both here and on other blogs and media sites, I present The Blogger’s Guide to Anti-Semitic Comments Trolls. Below are the some of the types of anti-Israel commenters I’ve identified over the years, but the list is by no means complete.

Bloggers:  Consider yourself guided!

Candy canes, unicorns could not be reached for comment

New York Times:

U.S. Encounters Limits of Iran Engagement Policy

Well, let’s be sure and learn all this stuff from scratch.  Each time.

The wrong message

One of the things I found so frustrating about “hanging out” online with conservatives is that so many of them didn’t realize that whatever it is that’s going to happen next that’s good for conservatives has little or nothing to do with the GOP leadership.  Conservatives and even old and discarded Republicans such as myself have and had every reason in the world to be pretty much disgusted with the political and ethical ineptitude of the party over the last ten years.

Unsurprisingly, given his “Army of Davids” theme, Glenn Reynolds gets this exactly right:

[W]hat the GOP apparat does is less important nowadays than it was. As I noted before, there’s a whole lot of disintermediation going on here — Scott Brown got money and volunteers via the Internet and the Tea Party movement, to a much greater degree than he got them from the RNC. Smart candidates will realize that, too.

As will the entrenched Republican leaders.  They will make every attempt to co-op this energy and this source of hope (not that I don’t remain skeptical about “tea party” meetups per se), and ultimately they will succeed on one level or another.  The question is, will independent, principled conservatives at least extract an appropriate price — not platform planks or sops, but fundamental change in how the party works on an ongoing basis?

It’s hard to be hopeful.  John McCain was so wrong in how he went about trying to unhinge money and politics, but he was so right about the scope and profundity of the problem.  Here Brown won in no small measure because he took everyone, including the GOP leadership, by surprise, and he may have a bit of fun for a while because he owes them very little (did you see the musical “Fiorello”?).

In the long run, history has never shown such a dynamic to be sustainable.  And yet, while we may dispair of completing the work, we are not free to abstain from it, either.  So let’s roll!

Best of 2009: “Social notworking”

This was first posted on March 3, 2009:

I liked this Business Week article about certain social networking myths, sent to me by Ben Rothke (my computer security maven friend whom I also linked to last week on the other blog). Two passages deserve to be excerpted. The first one is about the gigantic baloney factor out and about there right now:

A surfeit of whiz kids and more experienced marketers are claiming to be social media experts and even social media gurus. Search the bios of Robert Scoble’s 56,838 Twitter followers using Tweepsearch (, an index of the bios of Twitter users, and you’ll find:

• 4,273 Internet marketers

• 1,652 social media marketers

• 513 social media consultants

• 272 social media strategists

• 180 social media experts

• 98 social media gurus

• 58 Internet marketing gurus

How many of them have actually created a successful campaign for clients using social media tools? I bet you’d be hard-pressed to find half a dozen with real track records.

I think you’d also be hard-pressed to call at least half of these characters any kind of “kids,” much less whizzes. “Social media consulting” is about as accurate a term for most of these wizened hustlers really have to sell as “coaching” (another racket we’ll have to talk about one of these days).

Here’s the second excerpt I liked:

Social media is great if you’re already a star, but that doesn’t happen overnight. . . .

Zappos Chief Executive Tony Hsieh, whose company has millions of customers who are evangelists for the great service that built the brand, quickly became a Twitter star, with more than 32,000 followers. When Dell, JetBlue Airways, the Chicago Bulls, and other love-’em-or-hate-’em brands joined Twitter, they immediately developed huge followings.

Tweets can be used to drive traffic to articles, Web sites, contests, videos, and so on—if people already care about your brand, or if you have a truly original idea that people will want to share with their followers.

The focus, really, in the second excerpt should be on the last sentence.

Read the rest of this entry »

Peace in our time

Iran’s nuclear arsenal is a problem for which the blame can be shared across all Western regimes.  And I don’t blame Russia, China or North Korea, really, because they’re doing exactly what Russia, China and North Korea will do.  But this is not a Republican or a Democrat thing; it’s a disaster thing and a lack of guts thing and a collective-action-dilemma thing.

So here’s the thing:

The international community can give Iran “as many deadlines as they want, we don’t care,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech to thousands of supporters in the southern city of Shiraz.

Ahmadinejad dismissed the threat of sanctions, saying Iran wants talks “under just conditions where there is mutual respect.”

“We told you that we are not afraid of sanctions against us, and we are not intimidated,” he said, addressing the West. “If Iran wanted to make a bomb, we would be brave enough to tell you.”

As the crowd cheered: “We love you, Ahmadinejad,” the Iranian leader lashed out at Washington, vowing Iran will stand up against U.S. attempts to “dominate the Middle East.”

If you wanted to make up a scenario where a modern-day, psychologically dented, ideologically bizarre and, natch, antisemitic regime vaulted itself into great power status and the ability to threaten the whole world with (small H) holocaust … and said all the leader of that country had to do was follow the Hitler-at-Munich playbook to a T … in what possible respect would it look any different from how Iran looks right now?

Cross-posted on Right Wing News.

Now you’re really going to make them angy!

The AP demonstrates that classic obtuseness:

The seizure in Thailand of some 35 tons of war weaponry from North Korea and the arrest of five foreigners charged with illegal possession of arms may prove a blow to efforts by the United States to negotiate a halt to Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, observers said Sunday.

In other news, Patton’s victory at the Battle of the Bulge is now interpreted by historians as “the last straw” that “only increased Germany’s defiance in World War II and led to an unending cycle of violence.”

Et cetera.

Attorney Ronald D. Coleman