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Saturday, April 03, 2004

Shavua Tov

Reading around the blogosphere
I had a great time reading around the blogosphere this evening. At Jane Galt's Assymetrical Information, reader Joseph Bryngelson posted this comment, which he doesn't mind sharing:
I would like to address specifically the people who really hate George Bush, rather that the people who, upon considered reflection, decide to vote for someone else.

I suspect the enormous difference that your collegues see between Bush and Gore or Kerry is largely cultural. By the term "cultural" I am not refering to stands on social issues, but rather to social identification. For example, for many of my well-off, educated neighbors in Brookline, MA, hating Republicans is something that is a part of their culture, of who they are and of why they feel good about themselves. They take this hatred (or at least dislike) as a mark of their intellegence, education, and good will. Bush pours gasoline onto this fire by his gestures to "middle America". Furthermore, unlike Gore, Kerry, and Clinton, Bush makes no similar gestures to my neighbors who think of themselves as part of America's moral and (especially) intellectual elite. A feeling of superiority to "middle America" is a substantial component of the self-esteem of all of the most vociferous Bush-haters that I know. Much of the antipathy of these people towards Bush arises from a feeling that he really is one of "them", not "our kind of people", or at least takes "them" seriously, which is almost as bad. Many people hate Bush not because of his policies but rather because Bush deeply offends their sense of superiority.

British journalist Melanie Phillips has an excellent series of posts on the moral bankruptcy of some UK MPs, Simon Jenkins of the Times, and the EU -- Banagor talks about Fallujah -- the Captain's log at USS Clueless has an important key point to remember, that the strategic goal of terrorism is to provoke reprisals:
It is not the terrorist act itself which helps advance the political goals of the terrorist group; it is rather the reprisal. Terrorism is a form of jiu-jitsu, a way of using an enemy's strength against himself. (In jiu-jitsu, you don't throw an opponent. You aid him in throwing himself.)
And Charles Johnson directs us to a petition to remove the abominable JewWatch website from Google. 50,000 signatures are needed; please help.