Monday, February 04, 2008

Blue Moon

1. Just in time for the New Moon of Adar comes a New Moon! And because it
was so cold this week, I think it may have been a Blue Moon!

Yes, at long last, after bungling the war against the Hezbollers in Lebanon,
the Israeli army is doing something we can all really be proud of!! It is
MOONING the Pestilinians - rather than appeasing them with land concessions and
money a la Olmert.

As you can imagine, the Left is very upset. It gets far more upset at soldiers
doing a Bart Simpson than it does at hundreds of Qassam rockets landing on
homes and schools in Sderot, or at suicide bombers inside buses full of

Read more here:

I certainly hope the story turns out to be for real and that the soldiers were
not simply having a morning potty in a field after reading the Haaretz
editorial page!

2. Candidates for faculty positions at Ben Gurion University:

3. Three cheers for Neocons:

4. Shmoozing with terrorists:

5. British Asslibs:

6. The Problem with Post-Zionism:

7. Jimmy Carter's Lust and North Korea:

8. Debunking Chamishism and its demented ilk:

February 2, 2008

Five Best
These works help untangle
the mysterious popularity
of conspiracy theories

February 2, 2008; Page W8
1. The Paranoid Style in American Politics
By Richard Hofstadter
Knopf, 1965
First conceived as a university lecture, Richard Hofstadter's seminal essay --
the title work in this collection -- remains the place to begin any discussion
of conspiracy theories. "Heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and
conspiratorial fantasy" are hallmarks of the paranoid style, writes Hofstadter
(1916-70). To paranoia's purveyors, "history is a conspiracy, set in motion by
demonic forces of almost transcendent power." Hofstadter was writing about
extreme right-wing groups, such as the John Birch Society, that flourished in
the early 1960s. It's a pity that he is not here to analyze today's extreme
leftists who promote the line that the Bush administration was behind the 9/11
terror attacks.
2. Enemies Within
By Robert Alan Goldberg
Yale, 2001
Of the nearly dozen books that have been published in the past decade about the
rise of conspiracism, historian Robert Alan Goldberg's "Enemies Within" is
unrivaled. He explores five conspiracy theories that have gained popularity in
the past half-century: the cover-up of a UFO incident in Roswell, N.M.; the
plot against black America; the rise of the anti-Christ; the establishment of
the New World Order; and, of course, the assassination of JFK. Goldberg
expertly illuminates the political and social conditions that have allowed
conspiracy-mongers, once consigned to the lunatic fringe, to creep into the
3. The Lincoln Murder Conspiracies
By William Hanchett
University of Illinois, 1983
To understand conspiratorial thinking, it is instructive to study how
explanations for a historical event evolve over time. No work is more useful in
this regard than William Hanchett's "The Lincoln Murder Conspiracies."
Lincoln's assassination was, of course, part of a real conspiracy aimed at
decapitating the federal government. Most of the schemers were caught and
executed. But the chief mover, John Wilkes Booth, was killed before he could be
arrested, denying the country the catharsis of a courtroom drama and a
definitive account of what occurred. Thus competing theories about the
assassination began to appear. By tracing them during the century following
Lincoln's death, Hanchett illustrates an immutable truth: Ultimately,
conspiracy theories tell us more about their authors and about human nature
than they do about the event itself.
4. Praise From a Future Generation
By John Kelin
Wings Press, 2007
This work deserves to be read -- but not for the purpose the author intended.
According to John Kelin, a few hardy souls in the late 1960s dared speak truth
to power and turned the American public against the government's "unacceptable"
Warren Report of 1964 investigating JFK's assassination. The real history is
more complicated, and large chunks of it are missing from this book. You will
not learn from Kelin, for instance, that Mark Lane -- a New York lawyer who was
Lee Harvey Oswald's self-appointed chief defender -- was secretly subsidized by
the KGB. Yet because Kelin draws heavily from primary sources -- mostly private
letters between "assassination buffs," as writer Calvin Trillin dubbed them
back then -- this book is a fascinating portrait of how conspiracy theories
about JFK's death were nurtured mostly by liberals desperate to find an
alternate explanation for the murder of President Kennedy by an avowed Marxist.
5. Presidential Commissions & National Security
By Kenneth Kitts
Lynne Rienner, 2006
When a monumental event occurs that transcends the power of the courts to
uncover the truth, the U.S. government turns to special commissions -- most
recently for the investigation into the 9/11 terror attacks. The findings are
usually well received, but over time the authority of these efforts often
wanes. In "Presidential Commissions & National Security," Kenneth Kitts shows
why federal panels are imperfect and why they often inadvertently spur the
conspiracy thinking they are designed to minimize. The Roberts Commission
report on Pearl Harbor, for instance, begot countless books alleging that
President Roosevelt knew in advance about the attack. No matter how lofty their
aims, Kitts says, government-commission reports are inevitably political
documents and will come to be seen as such.
Mr. Holland is the author of "The Kennedy Assassination Tapes" (Knopf, 2004).
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