Thursday, March 02, 2006

What rough beast

First, apologies for the lack of posts. Real life, finishing revisions on my novel, and all that stuff.

Anyone who visits here knows I'm a big fan of Jeff Wells and his Rigorous Intuition blog. I think Jeff is one of the most insightful and brave writers sailing the parapolitical waters. I don't always agree with him, but his viewpoints are always refreshing and his research is deep and comprehensive.

Jeff also hosts a discussion board, which is linked from his blog. It used to be a great place to visit. Being an open board, it drew its share of cranks and incoherent paranoiacs and trolls. That's inevitable when you discuss the darker strands of politics and history, and it's to be expected.

But things changed. In a very short period of time, a certain theme began creeping into the conversations. Sometimes it was overt, and other times it was only hinted at or implied. To anyone who has dug deeply into the streams that make up "alternative" political analysis, conspiracy theory, and parapolitics, the stuff that started rising to the top wouldn't be a surprise.

You've seen it, I'm sure. Conversations sprinkled with references to Zionists. International bankers. Defenses of Ernst Zundel. Links to antiwar and other articles hosted on sites with a blatant anti-Semitic bias.

Now, for the most part, when those posters were accused of having ulterior motives and using common codes, they shook their heads. "No, not us. We don't hate Jews. We're just criticizing the Israeli government/Mossad/Zionism. Jews, nah, it's not about Jews at all."

Unless it is, and they're lying.

I have no problem with people criticizing the Israeli government, or pointing out the excesses of Zionism, or posting articles about Israeli intelligence abuses. It's all fair, and I've given my share of criticism to all of the above.

But Jeff has used the phrase "connect the dots" more than once. The dots I see have a very familiar, ugly feel to them. Of course the increase on anti-Semitic material may be due to the general Rense-ification of the conspiracy milieu, the reassertion of an ugly streak that has always lain half-hidden in the more disenfranchised political communities. It may just be the way the wind is blowing.

Unless it's not.

Connect the dots and see what you think.


Anonymous Snowlion said...

My post on the RI board in December:

A Change in the weather

A few weeks ago, I became aware that that the RI season was changing. Like the self-deceit that refuses to ignore the signs of approching winter, I kept reassurring myself that surely the flaming, bitter tone on virtually all threads were not infectious, merely isolated. While some of the most articulate posters (some of whom I enthusiasticaly endorsed, others not so much) became obviously disillusioned and progressively frustrated, I hoped...believed...that they might walk away from the inarticulate and clumsy attacks rather than the entire community. It was not to be so.

I don't blame them, particularly. But as a writer, I had to acknowledge, at least and perhaps posthumoously, that I have seldom seen the quality of writing and depth of thought I've seen on this board over the past few months. These creative and beautiful minds will be...already are...missed. Perhaps some will return. Perhaps some already have. Either way, the weather here is different. Winter has set in. We can all only hope for an early spring.

The weather hasn't changed much, unfortunately. There is no denying the talent, rigorousness, or intuition of Jeff Wells, or that of many of RI's posters, including the proprietor here. For many of us, intellectual parrying and thrusting was an excercize in keeping our own selves rigorous and honest. But there is also no denying that in connecting the dots, the only conclusion one is left with is an unpleasant reality. Some folks are so caught up in there own agenda (evil or simply ignorant) that discussion is useless. And when the only solution is to ignore those folks, one is left with a placed where the difference between silence and acceptance is hard to decipher.

Aw, crap, I just miss the place and what it used to be. And I'm still hoping for a change in the weather.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Old Gary said...

I too read Rense fairly regularly and R.I. almost daily. There is a creeping tendency to point fingers at a certain group of bankers or a certain nation.

But as more and more inconsistencies are revealed of the 9/11 attacks, I too have come to disbelieve the official explanations. Things just don't add up.

After the towers collapsing in clouds of dust, the next most disturbing visual in my mind is the Israeli "moving company employees" clapping and cheering as they filmed the attacks.

Something about this whole mess just doesn't add up. So I can understand what people are saying when they say connect the dots.

If it sounds like a duck and walks like a duck, well then it's a f**king duck.

1:47 PM  
Blogger The Daily Heretic said...

How generous of you to allow people to criticize only the "excesses" of zionism. So those of us who criticize all of zionism are to be accused of ant-semitism (even when the victims of zionism are semites, the Palestinians)?

Why can't we criticise the notion that a group of people who were victimized on one continent are allowed to steal land and commit genocide on another continent against another people? All because someone claims to have heard voices a few thousand years ago from some entity "giving" that land to them.

Why is it anti-semitic to oppose a state based on racialism and one particular religion, a state that makes another people second class citizens, flaunts international law and agressively expands beyond its borders and tortures and murders people as a matter of policy?

I don't get it, Professor Pan.

3:54 PM  
Blogger Professor Pan said...


You raise good points. Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my post.

I do not endorse Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. Nor do I endorse Palestinians blowing up Israeli citizens. I do believe in Israel's right to exist as a nation, but I think there needs to be a Palestinian state and Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied territories.

I'm an equal opportunity critic. I don't focus on the misdeeds of Israel and ignore some Palestinian calls for the eradication of Israel, nor do I criticize Israeli religious zealots and ignore Muslim zealots. Zealots are zealots, and oppression is oppression.

What happened at the Rigorous Intuition board is something I've seen elsewhere, and it has nothing to do with Zionism or freedom of speech. It has to do with Holocaust revisionism, which I find repugnant. And before anyone criticizes me for not knowing what I'm talking about, I have read the revisionist arguments and data -- and they are rubbish.

The Holocaust is incredibly well documented. The revisionist material is full of holes and fabrications. And revisionist ideas are used as a wedge to push harder, neonazi ideology.

Jeff Wells didn't want that subject to be discussed on his forum, and that's his right -- he set up and pays for the board. As I stated there, if he doesn't like NASCAR, and declares it verboten, then shut up about Dale Earnhardt's fast car.

If someone has an unremitting desire to discuss Holocaust revisionism, there are plenty of places to do it. But continually forcing the issue, when you've been told it's not welcome, is equivalent to being invited into a friend's house and telling him what to watch on TV. You're a guest, and you should be respectful of your host.

4:40 PM  
Blogger The Daily Heretic said...

Thanks, Pan, for the reply.

Let me just say that I agree that the holocaust happened. I am no revisionist. But I am very bothered that it is a crime in some European countries to deny that it happened. Also, while I have given up on the two-state solution, it still is the best way to go forward from where we are now with the least amount of bloodshed.

But because I am against Zionism, I am frankly afraid of the criminalization of other anti-Zionist speech. I am also afraid of being pegged an anti-semite for opposing Israel (honestly that's the main reason I blog anonymously, so the intimidation is real and it works), so I hope you'll forgive my vehemence.

I am really the opposite of an anti-semite, I am a philo-semite and was brought up in a philo-semitic family. And, like you, am equal opportunity opposer of repression and oppression. Also, I am getting fed up with all three monotheistic religions.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you choose to call it 'revisionism', thats up to you, I didn't see anybody that you attacked on the boards trying to "revise" anything, but simply trying to discuss a subject.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Tlachtga said...

Just briefly, yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head. I don't even go near that board anymore (I was always just a lurker, like here, but that's besides the point), because of the overwhelming Antisemetism. It's unfortunately endemic to any group which tries to see the underside of politics and history. Go back 200 years, and you'll still find people blaming everything on the Jews. Go back 2000 years, read the Gospel of John, and the Jews get blamed for everything (despite the fact that its a Roman execution). It's a sad part of our culture, but it gets magnified in these circumstances.

And I'm just really glad to see someone say Rense is a racist idiot. (Maybe not your words, but that's how I read it, and how I want to read it--we all have our filters).

4:17 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

"It has to do with Holocaust revisionism, which I find repugnant."

Ditto. But I still remember holding hands with my cute little catholic girlfriend in the 4th grade and going to see a "school movie" that depicted -in detail-
graphic movie pictures of dead bodies being shoved in mass graves.
At 9 years old??? WTF?

I agree that there is evidence for the horror of what happened, as there was in Stalin's reign, Po Pots reign, ect.

But this was shoved in our face a little too much to be just a coincidence, professor.

That said, I do not enjoy talking or writing about it.

4:58 PM  

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