Thomas Friedman, why don't you break up?

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OK, so I read *From Beirut to Jerusalem* and thought it was pretty fair, but it was 10 years ago, and besides, what do I know? Haven't followed his career too closely but I noticed post911 he adopted a reactionary position, US uber alles. Just reminded of the fact by his latest editorial in the NYT where he tells China in a very pandering manner what they can do with themsleves. So, TF, was he ever good, and if so, when did he jump the shark? Thoughts? Side note: has Edward Said been at all vocal lately? I know that (unfortunately) he is ill. Does he have anything interesting and/or helpful to say about the world situation?

Mary (Mary), Wednesday, 19 February 2003 19:59 (seventeen years ago) link

He is the single most about the NYT. He is a nasty bigot and a vicious pro-apartheid zionist as well.

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 19 February 2003 20:05 (seventeen years ago) link

pro-apartheid zionist

Actually he seems to have become disillusioned with the current Israeli government (it took him a while, but...) and actually criticizes Sharon a fair bit in his recent columns.

Why do you call him a bigot? Perhaps there is evidence, but that's a strong accusation.

I wrote a negative review of From Beirut to Jerusalem in 10th grade. I still think he's a terrible writer.

Amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 19 February 2003 20:07 (seventeen years ago) link

did that peace deal he came up with with that Saudi prince really have as much momentum as was made of it at the time or was it just NY Times editorial board 'we matter, we get things done' hype a la Augusta National?

please quote some examples of his bigotry

James Blount (James Blount), Wednesday, 19 February 2003 20:08 (seventeen years ago) link

And what do you mean by Zionist in this context?

And can someone help me get this bag of worms open?

Amateurist (amateurist), Wednesday, 19 February 2003 20:10 (seventeen years ago) link

I'll dig up some quotes. I need to find his 12/9/01 article. That's when he really entered my conciousness.

He is very pro-Isreal both as a fact and concept.

I'm going out now.

Ed (dali), Wednesday, 19 February 2003 20:12 (seventeen years ago) link

I hate the feeling you get reading any of his columns that he KNOWS the situation is more complicated, nuanced, and painful than he's making out; but he's gliding past it all with whatever bullshit metaphor he's drummed up that week for that situation. "It's like shopping for eggs, you see..." (nb I made this one up).

(Said has been on point with the righteous anger and white-hot vituperation for the bush administration [I love it when he just cuts through and calls a bushadmin figure "stupid"] but sadly there's not much there other than "we should do something about all this.")

g.cannon (gcannon), Wednesday, 19 February 2003 20:19 (seventeen years ago) link

haha! "It's like shopping for eggs, you see..."!

James Blount (James Blount), Wednesday, 19 February 2003 20:26 (seventeen years ago) link

He needs a beating, badly. To me he represents the epitome of underinformed, overopinionated America--too many cocktails at a party, babbling about the "New Economy" and putting Norah Jones on the stereo.

adam (adam), Wednesday, 19 February 2003 20:27 (seventeen years ago) link

ilx in effect! Zionism to Norah Jones in 8 posts!!

g.cannon (gcannon), Wednesday, 19 February 2003 20:31 (seventeen years ago) link!!!

*dundun DUNNNNNN*

Grow up.

Girolamo Savonarola, Thursday, 20 February 2003 00:08 (seventeen years ago) link

Thanks, Girolamo. Would you like one?

Amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2003 00:33 (seventeen years ago) link

What I object to is th e fact that despite the good intentions of the founders of the state of Israel, the result is an aparteid state far more pernicious than south africa ever was.

suzy (suzy), Thursday, 20 February 2003 00:35 (seventeen years ago) link

Ed not suzy

Ed (dali), Thursday, 20 February 2003 00:42 (seventeen years ago) link

Like we couldn't tell, Ed! There were no good stories about Sharon.

I hope this statement won't bother anyone, but: I'm continually amazed that "Zionism" as a concept is given quite as much credit as it is parts of the Western world. It strikes me as strongly opposed to a lot of core "Western values" -- in a lot of senses it's sectarian or specifically religiously derived; nationalist and, in its vision, sort of bound to be segregationist; etc. In theory it should be at least somewhat incompatible with the supposed principles of mainstream western thought, if not radically so.

(Since this might just turn into a discussion of "What is Zionism" I'll note that before posting that paragraph I looked at the Zionism entry at the Jewish Virtual Library, which reduces to: "the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the resumption of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.")

nabisco (nabisco), Thursday, 20 February 2003 00:44 (seventeen years ago) link

I mean, this is an argument about a particular ethnic-religious group laying both spiritual and sovereign, political claim over a piece of land. How, intellectually, do we distinguish that from, let's say, white-supremacy arguments that make the same sort of claim elsewhere? (I am not necessarily trying to equate the two: I'm honestly wondering what sorts of tools we can use to separate the two.)

nabisco (nabisco), Thursday, 20 February 2003 00:50 (seventeen years ago) link

I have no in herent objection to Jewish immigration to the Levant but theyhave to respect the fact that dispite the historical attachemnt there was a population there before the Jews or at least between 60 and 1948 CE

Ed (dali), Thursday, 20 February 2003 00:52 (seventeen years ago) link

Perhaps we can speak of Zionisms. This may be dodging the subject, but Zionism was around for a while before it was universally understood to mean a nationalism that favored a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Some early Zionists looked elsewhere. Also, not all Zionisms wanted Jewish sovereignty over the Holy Land. Some just encouraged emigration (and coexistence), as much for the reason of Jewish persecution in Europe as any virtues of the Holy Land as related in the Torah and elsewhere.

However I'm not prepared to defend a state wherein a majority is privileged in law as they are in Israel. Apartheid is the appropriate term, although not of much use when trying to mend fences or make peace treaties. One big problem for me is that the state of Israel--dedicated as it is to Jewish sovereignty over an (increasingly large) part of the Holy Land--has sort of coopted Zionism and a large chuck of Jewish identity along with it. In fact c. 1948 there were many Jews in Palestine, Europe, and the United States who were opposed to the "war of independence."

Amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2003 01:09 (seventeen years ago) link

The inherent problem with the term is that it is used interchangably with anyone who has any ties or supports Israel in any way at all. And if you're gonna use it today at the same standards it was used when Herzl was writing about it, it's quite obvious how absurd such usage is. Does everyone who lives in America, especially the west and midwest, consider themselves a "Manifest Destinist"? We're beyond that concept now. It has historical relevance, but it can't be applied to Americans today in regards to land that has already been the locus of a migration.

Umberto Eco wrote a wonderful essay regarding geographic demographics and migration; I believe it's the fifth one in "Five Moral Pieces".

The point is, whether or not you agree with the fundamental philosophy which fostered Zionism, the migration already happened, the people are there now. It's been fifty years since the state was established. To call them Zionists still would be like calling Andrew Jackson a revolutionary and traitor to the British.

Girolamo Savonarola, Thursday, 20 February 2003 01:20 (seventeen years ago) link

This actually reminds me a touch about how one of the stupidest slogans of the eighties was 'Whites Out of South Africa.' Where the hell did people think they were supposed to go, the Netherlands?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 20 February 2003 01:42 (seventeen years ago) link

Ned is right, but I still love 'We hate you white South African bastards' as an album title.

N. (nickdastoor), Thursday, 20 February 2003 01:49 (seventeen years ago) link

Where the hell did people think they were supposed to go, the Netherlands?

Actually, many white farmers in Zimbabwe are leaving for the UK, so it's not inconceivable, although it should be.

Amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2003 02:02 (seventeen years ago) link

I know a whole bunch who have gone to Cork. They don't even have Irish roots! They just thought it looked nice.

(btw. there is no 'white' in that Microdisney album title, but I always add in my head)

N. (nickdastoor), Thursday, 20 February 2003 02:05 (seventeen years ago) link

friedman has criticized Sharon, yes, and that's nice as far as that goes. in the minds of the hardcore Likudniks, it's probably enough to earn him the epithet "self-hating Jew" but Likudniks are assholes anyway.

his position towards goyim criticizing Israel, however, isn't that far removed from an ipso facto assumption that any non-Jew that criticizes Israel is an anti-Semite. friedman's position seems to be, "if you feel you must criticize Israel, then you should list every other country in the Mideast that abuses human rights." i hope that i don't have to explain precisely why this argument is a classic red herring (i will anyway -- we aren't pissing off Muslim extremists because we turn a blind eye to, say, Syrian human rights abuses; not to mention the fact that it's no excuse that it's no excuse to Israeli human rights abuses that Syria or any other Mideast country also abuses human rights). at any rate, this position isn't much of an improvement on the usual "if you criticize Israel you're an anti-Semite" bullshit.

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 20 February 2003 03:30 (seventeen years ago) link

(n.b.: the real hardcore Likudnik asshole on the NYT editorial pages is Bill Safire -- who seems to have lately devoted his columns to memos to Sharon as to how nastily he can treat the Palestinians. maybe it's because Safire is such a skin-crawling creep [his stance on Israel notwithstanding] and people religiously avoid reading his columns therefor that he doesn't get his own thread bashing him?)

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 20 February 2003 03:40 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, it's probably not worth wasting a lot of spleen on Safire, since he's unredeemable. Interestingly some of the most fervent supporters of Sharon (or worse, of Netanyahu) come not from the Jewish community but from the hard right--or worse, the Christian right (a very funny phenomenon in itself).

I haven't noticed the anti-Semite-baiting specifically in Friedman's columns, but that's because I've ignored them lately. That attitude--and the red herring you mention--is certainly prevalent on the op ed pages of American newspapers. The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) is particularly good at couching this lame argument in terms that don't seem as outrageous as they should.

There was a forum at the University of Chicago which was attended by Jews and Palestinians and others, meant to address the very issue you mention--it was called "On the Difference Between Anti-Semitism and Criticism of Israeli Policy." It was largely organized in response to this odious organization (see this page for a glaring series of misrepresentations of Israel-Palestian politics on the U of C campus). Unfortunately in my opinion the event was very poorly organized and degenerated into a screaming match.

There are groups around the country trying to widen the range of acceptable discourse among Jews -- such as Not in My Name. A few prominent local Jews in Chicago have tried to blackball this and other groups, temporarily keeping them from having speakers at certain colleges and synagogues, but in general the trend has been for previously wary congregations to accept speakers from NIMN, Yesh Gvul, etc.

I think it's very promising. The problem you identify still remains, but steps have been taken. The gulf between Jewish and other critics of Israel was once very large; I could sense that from attending both NIMN events and Palestinian-American political events. But increasingly I see dialogue happening, between the Jewish community (and not just the Jewish left) and other critics of Israel.

Sorry to go on so long. It's an issue I feel strongly about. Hopefully the ADL won't come up again, because my skin will boil.

Amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2003 03:50 (seventeen years ago) link

Regarding my first graf: some of the strangest political bedfellows of recent years have been the formerly liberal ADL and the Christian right, taking out ads together damning NIMN and promoting the hard line in Israeli politics (they appear in the NYT every so often, and probably other places). Just one more reason the ADL can su--

Amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2003 03:52 (seventeen years ago) link

Haha ... that is too much. What is with those people? They really have a vendetta against Said and Khalidi. I used to work for Khalidi, and really, he's a teddy bear.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Thursday, 20 February 2003 04:01 (seventeen years ago) link

If you contact them (not easy to do, since they don't post an email address on their web site), they'll deny that they have any political agenda whatever; they'll tell you that they are just trying to keep political discourse on campus open, etc. When in fact they are doing just the opposite. They also claim to verify the information submitted to their website, but it's obvious they do no such thing--there's no accountability for the slander they post day in and day out. To their credit, however, when an article or letter comes out in another publication that pertains to Campus Watch, they'll link to it, even if it's not favorable.

I remember hanging out with Khalidi's daughter when I was little, while my mom and her dad were at political meetings. They had Free Palestine stickers and I remember being taken a little aback, having been given the standard "Palestinians are evil" line in the first few years of Hebrew school. (The racist things that would come out of my Hebrew school teachers' mouths are not fit to print, in some cases.)

Amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2003 04:06 (seventeen years ago) link

some of the strangest political bedfellows of recent years have been the formerly liberal ADL and the Christian right, taking out ads together damning NIMN and promoting the hard line in Israeli politics

yeah, didn't the ADL use to monitor the Christian right? it is sad to see how they've degenerated, and how otherwise-OK folks affiliated with them have been tainted both by the ADL and defending the Likud (Dershowitz comes immediately to mind, but I digress).

it is good that some Jewish people realize that the Christian Right really aren't their friends, or true friends of Israel. the Jesus Freaks only "support" Israel because Israel has to exist (and the Temple has to be rebuilt) for the End Times -- and when that happens, any Jews who don't convert will die (who needs Hitler when Jesus is going to do the dirty work)? the real crime is that these religious fanatic wackos are driving foreign policy.

(n.b.: i agree that the smear job done to Said -- not to mention Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky -- has been truly disgusting. which doesn't mean that i agree 100% with any of the foregoing, but i do dislike the endless character assassinations that they have had to put up with from the Israel-über-alles claque.)

Tad (llamasfur), Thursday, 20 February 2003 04:12 (seventeen years ago) link

The ADL is a tough organization to criticize, because their rooted in B'nai Brith (never the most liberal of Jewish organizations, but its done a lot of good work over the past 150 years) and because their stated aim is to identify and squelch anti-Semitism worldwide. The problem is that (1) they identify it all out of proportion with its actual existence in the world, helping to entrench the pervasive -- and mostly false -- sense of righteous victimhood in the American Jewish community (2) when identifying they fail to distinguish two forms of anti-Semitism, the kind rooted in prewar European anti-Semitism, and the kind inspired and fanned by the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Broadly speaking this is ingrained-cultural vs. political-situational anti-S. Obviously there are overlaps (witness the Egyptian TV show which incorporated scenes from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion), but I really think they are two phenomena. This deliberate obscuring of the realities serves their interest of crying "anti-Semitism" whenever a critic of the Israeli right pops up.

They also have those "diversity workshops" (is it "Teaching Tolerance"?) in high schools--I attended one such--which are totally banal and useless.

Amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2003 04:24 (seventeen years ago) link

Sorry for overposting and getting off-topic to boot.

Amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2003 05:20 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah they publish these random articles from people I've never heard of denouncing those guys, sprinked with unattributed quotes (I mean to say no citation for the quote; i forget the correct term and I'm tired), and expect it to look unbiased? Since when is it wrong for a professor to have a political opinion anyway? The way some of those articles make it sound, Khalidi is going around brainwashing students and suppressing dissenting opinions. Heck, I don't even know if he teaches anymore, I thought he just ran the center for international studies.

Yeah Dershowitz. I used to be a big fan of his, oh well. Safire isn't half as smart as he thinks he is. Friedman I'd like to read but more often than not I just skip over, which is really too bad. It's sad because even with some of my friends I've gotten this 'criticism of israel'=anti-semitism vibe. I was sort of thinking about how this might play into that "Ireland/Italy and America" thread that was going a while back. Obviously in this case there are way more complicated issues in play; the binding tie of religion, the establishment of Israel being a recent historical occurance, etc. I guess what in one case is a romanticization, in another becomes a protectiveness, a defensiveness.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Thursday, 20 February 2003 05:29 (seventeen years ago) link

My smart-ass little sister says "I think if they can't live together nicely, then we should make them all move to Utah so we can go and see Israel and all of the historical stuff and they can continue squabbling out of the way." The scary thing is that I can see her point.

I am not anti-Semitic, in any sense, but I do have difficulties with the treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli government, and how such actions are either outright condoned or conveniently overlooked by the U.S. Government. I do think that Apartheid is the correct concept in this situation - and I can see both sides, to some extent. I can understand the anger and frustration of the Palestinians and I can understand the fear of the Israelis. What I cannot understand is why it is that two groups, with damn identical ancestors back in Biblical times, can't grow-up and quit acting like hot-headed adolescents squabbling and going-off half-cocked and all (er, sorry for that wording).

Basically, lots of shitty things have been done on both sides - hell, on all sides if you look at the actions of other countries in support of either side. But at some point we people need to get past this finger-pointing and name-calling and "let's just keep killing each other a fostering a sense of hatred and fear and anger" and say "Okay, here we are. And none of us are remotely happy with the situation. Now what can we do to rectify things so that we can at least live without being in fear 24/7?"

Yes, I know that the Israeli's say that they can't trust Arafat, and I think they're right - he is proving to be fairly ineffectual (though that doesn't mean that he's not trustworthy, just that he's not really helpful right now) and the Palestinian's say they don't trust Sharon, and they're right, too - he should be tried on crimes against humanity for what happened in the camps. So the people need to get new, sane leaders into office and agree that they (the people) will accept and work within a framework of peace.
Right now, though, I think that the two populations are so angry and scared that they cannot see any possible way of rectifing the situation. And that they're not being offered leaders that might be able to get the peace-talks moving, again. And this is horrible, and unacceptable. And I don't know what to suggest doing to make things better.

But I do think about making Jerusalem an "International" city - run by the U.N., with peace-keepers and such - basically "if you two kids can't quit squabbling over this toy (Jerusalem) then we're going to take it away and neither of you can have it until you learn to share." Isn't that what our parents and teachers told us? And didn't it, in most cases, work?

I'm Passing Open Windows (Ms Laura), Thursday, 20 February 2003 05:54 (seventeen years ago) link

On the march I saw a pro-Palestine banner saying something like "Original Canaanites"!

BTW is the "From the sea to the river - Palestine forever" slogan the Muslim Association of Britain had on its banners just a coded way of calling for the destruction of Israel? It disturbed me a bit.

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 20 February 2003 10:18 (seventeen years ago) link

Wow, I didn't know Friedman was such an easy target. Consensus, I am happy.

Mary (Mary), Thursday, 20 February 2003 14:15 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm surprised my one statement meant to start an argument, didn't:

One big problem for me is that the state of Israel--dedicated as it is to Jewish sovereignty over an (increasingly large) part of the Holy Land--has sort of coopted Zionism and a large chuck of Jewish identity along with it.

Amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2003 15:28 (seventeen years ago) link

It'd be hard for me to argue with that statement because, as an American athiest, I don't really dig any state that's not secular.

Safire is such an idiot. He's still apologizing for Tricky Dick's anti-Semitism. We know he got you the speechwritin' job, Bill, but that doesn't make him not an asshole!

hstencil, Thursday, 20 February 2003 15:40 (seventeen years ago) link

Bad Amateurist, trying to start arguments on my one happy consensus thread.

Safire is beyond the pale.

Mary (Mary), Thursday, 20 February 2003 15:43 (seventeen years ago) link

I still read him, and Friedman too. I guess it's for the same reason I read the Wall Street Journal op-ed page.

hstencil, Thursday, 20 February 2003 15:44 (seventeen years ago) link


Mary (Mary), Thursday, 20 February 2003 15:46 (seventeen years ago) link

But Mr. Stencil, Israel is a secular state; just one that privileges a certain nationality. (Like the US, there has been a rightward drift in recent years accompanied by lots of pandering to the religious fundamentalists, but that doesn't make it a theocracy by any means. Israeli law is based on American-European models, not the Torah.)

Amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2003 15:50 (seventeen years ago) link

You got it, Mary.

Amateurist, if non-Jewish Israelis (and by this I don't mean the Palestinians in the occupied territories, although they support my argument as well) were treated as well as Jewish Israelis, I'd agree with you. Codified or not, there is a major difference between both, which is good enough for me for it to qualify as a non-secular state.

hstencil, Thursday, 20 February 2003 15:53 (seventeen years ago) link

Anyone who's against 'Manifest Destiny' is a self-hating American

dave q, Thursday, 20 February 2003 15:56 (seventeen years ago) link

B-but the definition of Jewishness per Israeli law is not religious, it's national. I don't know if it makes a moral difference, but it's not the same thing in fact.

The mistreatment of Arab Israelis has always gone on, but it's gotten much worse since the recent intifada. Which has had the effect of radicalizing the Arab Israeli population. I believe we saw the first such suicide bomber a few months ago.

Amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2003 15:57 (seventeen years ago) link

Which is funny 'cause most 'Mericans couldn't even tell you under which president's administration did America annex the most territory via bloodshed.

(Answer: James K. Polk)

hstencil, Thursday, 20 February 2003 15:58 (seventeen years ago) link

In other words: chauvinist, yes - theocratic, no.

(But Mr. Stencil, he has a salad named after him!)

Amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2003 15:59 (seventeen years ago) link

"Are you ready for some Polk Salad Surgery?"

Tony Joe Emerson, Thursday, 20 February 2003 16:02 (seventeen years ago) link

B-but the definition of Jewishness per Israeli law is not religious, it's national.

Could you explain what that means? I'm not sure I get it.

The government condoning, as well as paying for, Jewish Israelis building settlements on the land of non-Jewish Israelis or even technically non-Israelis (i.e. those in the "Occupied Territories") seems to be a pretty blatant action based around being non-secular.

(So how does Polk Salad Annie figure into all this?)

hstencil, Thursday, 20 February 2003 16:02 (seventeen years ago) link

Ha, this discussion is exactly why I just said something vague about its having sectarian "premises" or "impulses" or whatever.

The sad problem with the impulse Laura points out is that even then there's so much work to be done: even if we imagine both leaderships at the table in full good faith, it still has to be decided what really constitutes a valid and workable compromise. And it's daunting to think this can even be done, because it's impossible to think of the situation as really having two equal "sides." You have (a) a Palestinian leadership that doesn't even have much authority to make agreements on behalf of its people, as plenty of them are in open opposition to it, and (b) an slanted bargaining table, on which Israel holds 54 cards to begin with, and the only one Palestine holds are the really sad joker of terrorism (which everyone frowns on and affords Israel a "legitimate" right to exercise more of their might) and international sympathy, which is about as helpful as a 2 of spades.

nabisco (nabisco), Thursday, 20 February 2003 16:06 (seventeen years ago) link

mookieproof, Wednesday, 5 June 2019 03:07 (eleven months ago) link

Team building exercise at Dave & Busters.

brownie, Wednesday, 5 June 2019 10:28 (eleven months ago) link

one month passes...

classic tom

mookieproof, Wednesday, 17 July 2019 19:02 (ten months ago) link

growing the pie

this man has been a professional writer for decades

the public eating of beans (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 17 July 2019 19:10 (ten months ago) link

a growing pie lifts all boats

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Wednesday, 17 July 2019 19:22 (ten months ago) link

not only that, but he is DISTURBED that no one else is talking about growing the pie

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 17 July 2019 19:26 (ten months ago) link

enriching the soil by cannibalizing entrepreneurs and risk takers

mookieproof, Wednesday, 17 July 2019 19:32 (ten months ago) link

grrr was just taking an old friend of mine to task as gently as I could for posting that damn NYT piece and agreeing with it

"if only Democrats catered to Republicans" part LXVIII

sleeve, Wednesday, 17 July 2019 19:35 (ten months ago) link

pretty sure Bernie was talking about how his policies were going to grow the economy and another NYT columnist took him to task for it

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Wednesday, 17 July 2019 19:35 (ten months ago) link

omar little, Wednesday, 17 July 2019 20:11 (ten months ago) link

This is real plague on both your houses material.

— Doug Henwood (@DougHenwood) July 19, 2019

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 19 July 2019 19:28 (ten months ago) link

"the chin". week burn. calling mayor pete alfred e neumann - top drawer stuff.

bookmarkflaglink (jim in vancouver), Friday, 19 July 2019 19:30 (ten months ago) link

I prefer not to call myself a "centrist." That label implies someone whose views are mush, situated between two clearly defined poles of left and right. My views are not mush. They just emerge from a different approach to politics.

This era calls for a different approach -- one best articulated by Linton Wells, the defense analyst and expert on resilience. Wells argues that to find the solutions to today's wicked problems you should "never think in the box and never think out of the box. You have to think without a box."

Trump just threw complexity out the window and went full dog whistle on race to hold and expand his base. Democratic candidates are being more serious, but their need to win primaries tugs them back to the old binary checklist -- even though the real solutions require a left-wing wrench, a right-wing hammer and all sorts of new tools and combinations we've never imagined.

The right question on education is not whether college should be "free." It's what should be taught there and who should teach it.

Leave your rigid right-left grid on the hook outside the door. That's actually happening locally. But taking that national is really hard.

For Democrats who want to be serious: How do they think without a box against an incumbent president who speaks without a box -- without any restraints?

I don't have the answer, but I'm working on it! We all should be.

mookieproof, Wednesday, 24 July 2019 16:44 (ten months ago) link

I hate him

president of deluded fruitcakes anonymous (silby), Wednesday, 24 July 2019 16:58 (ten months ago) link

clearly a Buttigieg endorsement in his future

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 24 July 2019 18:00 (ten months ago) link

^ sad lol

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 24 July 2019 18:08 (ten months ago) link

Wait that’s a real Friedman quote and not some simulator or parody?

the public eating of beans (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 24 July 2019 18:17 (ten months ago) link

it's the emmis Tom

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 24 July 2019 18:18 (ten months ago) link

that is the real thing (and the italics is in the original)

mookieproof, Wednesday, 24 July 2019 18:42 (ten months ago) link

to quote John Houseman in his signature role, TF has "a skull full of mush"

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 24 July 2019 19:22 (ten months ago) link

three months pass...


Why I LIke Mike

By Thomas L. Friedman

I have a pet theory about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — that it is to wider trends in world affairs what Off Broadway is to Broadway.

Suggest Banshee (Hadrian VIII), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 12:54 (six months ago) link

you don't say

Suggest Banshee (Hadrian VIII), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 12:54 (six months ago) link

footlights! curtain! genocide!

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 12:58 (six months ago) link

Tom Friedman and his traveling menagerie, touring the rust belt in his box truck, dazzling americans with his extensive collection of pet theories

Suggest Banshee (Hadrian VIII), Wednesday, 13 November 2019 13:10 (six months ago) link

two months pass...

omg his Bloomberg endorsement column is the laugh riot of the season! Five stars!

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 15:20 (three months ago) link

Don't miss the disclaimer! Greatest exit line since Some Like It Hot!

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 15:20 (three months ago) link

the only more expected thing than this would be Friedman endorsing a TED Talk for president

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 15:21 (three months ago) link

it's the first column of his i've all the way through in several years. a laugh a minute, seriously fucking hilarious.

But guess what? Nobody gives a toot!😂 (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 15:48 (three months ago) link

"a moderate progressive with a heart of gold but the toughness of a rattlesnake"

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 15:48 (three months ago) link

and then the reveaal of the donation to Mrs Friedman's literacy museum

nothing sez "heart of gold" like "gift of gold"

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 15:49 (three months ago) link


cuz Tom's fellow Bloombito supporters must read this

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Friday, 14 February 2020 04:38 (three months ago) link

Was someone supporting Bloomberg on this messageboard?

Sanpaku doesn’t count

Swilling Ambergris, Esq. (silby), Friday, 14 February 2020 05:03 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

Effectively, we’d ‘reboot’ our society in two or perhaps more weeks from now. “The rejuvenating effect on spirits, and the economy, of knowing where there’s light at the end of this tunnel would be hard to overstate. Risk will not be zero, but the risk of some bad outcome for any of us on any given day is never zero.’’

you go first, asshole

Webcam Du Bois (Hadrian VIII), Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:36 (two months ago) link

So, can we make lemonade out of this lemon — and not destroy our economy?

mookieproof, Sunday, 22 March 2020 21:59 (two months ago) link

one for the annals

Webcam Du Bois (Hadrian VIII), Sunday, 22 March 2020 22:12 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

jesus h christ

mookieproof, Tuesday, 7 April 2020 12:04 (one month ago) link


Yanni Xenakis (Hadrian VIII), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 12:28 (one month ago) link

A fantasy, you say? No, no. I’ll give you fantasy.

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 12:44 (one month ago) link

now what

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 14:20 (one month ago) link

quiz: identify the one good word in his opening paragraph:

In the last Democratic debate, Joe Biden declared that he would nominate a woman as his vice-presidential running mate. That felt right at the time. But times have changed. Biden needs to go much, much further: At the Democratic convention he needs to name not just his vice president, but his entire cabinet. And it needs to be a totally different kind of cabinet — a national unity cabinet — from Democrats on the Bernie Sanders left to Republicans on the Mitt Romney right. Why?

let me be your friend on the other end! (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 15:01 (one month ago) link

has the coronavirus made the world more or less flat?

mookieproof, Tuesday, 7 April 2020 15:03 (one month ago) link

That is a vmic Thomas Friedman Bold Idea (tm). It is strong, forthright, fresh and new, also unnecessary, unworkable and so self-important as to be faintly insane.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 16:37 (one month ago) link

the important thing is that the GOP and republicans would really notice the pre-emptive compromise by Biden and the Democratic party, and realize that they, too, should act in a bi-partisan way from now on. we could look forward to a new era of total partnership between the parties, wow!

let me be your friend on the other end! (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 16:39 (one month ago) link

i never thought anything would get through to mitch mcconnell's cold heart, but i think a cabinet made up of half republicans and half democrats would really change him, i do!!

let me be your friend on the other end! (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 16:40 (one month ago) link

Tom is just as dumb when he works remotely

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 17:21 (one month ago) link

If I Told You My Idea Was a Robot That Harasses Chickens, You Wouldn’t Believe Me. But That’s My Best Idea. By Thomas Friedman

— Hamilton Nolan (@hamiltonnolan) April 15, 2020

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 15 April 2020 20:06 (one month ago) link

"It patrols the poultry house for dead birds" passes without comment

silby, Wednesday, 15 April 2020 20:17 (one month ago) link

Buffalo Bill's most chilling line

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Wednesday, 15 April 2020 20:41 (one month ago) link

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