About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Saturday, September 09, 2006

What State is Legitimate: Israel or Jordan? United States?

Among the unreconstructed physiocrats, we ask What Gives the State Legitimacy? L'Etat ce moi without the Sun King. Should "the problem" of Israel be resolved, like "the problem" of Jews? Many have tried this -- solve the real problems by creating a scapegoat which can be, successfully, bullied. Of course, a light scan of history will reveal that the scapegoat technique is at best a temporary patch. Real problems will not be solved by scapegoating, by blaming a minority group, by stealing from the weak, or...by destroying Israel. There is no Arab problem which can be solved by destroying Israel or Jews.
And yet, this idea that Israel is "a problem", continues to be a popular invocation in virtually all "Islamic" textbooks, mosques, newspapers, and websites pronouncing Arab interests. It is an "anti-semitic" perspective from the other great Semitic group.
In the previous generation, Jews who came to America changed their tribal names to try to avoid the prejudice against them in virtually all private clubs and societies. For example, I just read the obituary of Gerald "Condon", the lawyer who wrote the leading estate planning practice book that we use in California. I discovered that his family arrived from Wales, where they were not so troubled to bear the name "Cohen" for generations. But when they came to Santa Monica, the family changed its name because of the prejudice against Jews.
Now Dr. Maher Hathout, the 70 year old chairman of the Islamic Center of Southern California, has been nominated by Salam Al-Marayati, director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, to receive a "prestigious" human rights award -- from the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. (Commissioner Donna Bojarsky.) Hathout is a man "on record" claiming to be proud of his opinions and entitlements. His opinions include referring to Hamas and Hezbollah as freedom fighters, and Israel as an "illegal apartheit entity".
Curiously, Al-Marayati claimed that Supervisors Antonovich and Yarolslavsky supported the nomination, although both supervisors denied making the endorsements.
Is Hathout entitled to his "opinions"? Of course. Is it possible to disagree with his opinions? Not really. It is impossible to oppose racism in any effective way. Extremist opinions cannot be "opposed" without growing them on both sides. Tolerance insures more of them; opposition strengthens them, and drives them to make scapegoats. Here it is again. The scapegoat. Just scratch the surface, and there it is. Right here.
How do you deal with a person who "solves" his own problems by blaming others? How do you deal with a tribe that has only learned that it must hate its cousins? Is there enough Science to do this job? Is the First Amendment enough of a solution?
Neither Science nor a First Amendment was much help to the family of Gerald Condon. They changed their name because of people who hated their tribe, blamed their tribe for everything. And the hatred is still right here. How can we free people from oppression, so that they can lead the productive lives they really want to live?
The State of Israel is more legitimate, using any historical criterion, even using the Quoranic criterian of "conquest", than the "United States", which is now run by a President who stole two elections. Our Founders warned us about the power of factions, and the loss of liberty which will result when the "checks and balances" are compromised by a takeover by One Party.
The legitimacy of all States is at issue. The "entitlement" of anyone to a racist "opinion" is not at issue: It is scientific falsity and the basis for an action sounding in a species of fraud.