Dispatches from the Creation Wars

President Ford and Gay Rights

Former President Gerry Ford has died, as everyone surely knows. Over at House Blend, Pam has posted information on Ford’s laudable views on gay rights:

The former president was a member of the Republican Unity Coalition (RUC), a gay-straight board of heavy hitters, including former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson, which advocates “making homosexuality a ‘non-issue’ for the Republican Party.”

I did not know this. But there’s more:

In Gerald Ford’s case, in October 2001 he notably went on the record in support of gay rights issues, including full marriage equality at the federal level, in an interview with Deb Price of the Detroit News. (PNO):

“I think they (same-sex couples) should be treated equally. Period,” he said.

In addition, he stated support for a federal law banning workplace discrimination against gays: “That is a step in the right direction. I have a longstanding record in favor of legislation to do away with discrimination.”

Ford was the highest ranking Republican ever to make such a statement about civil equality, and it earned him the wrath of the homobigots like James Hartline, who said that Ford and his fellow members of the RUC would “turn the party into pacifists when it comes to dealing with the gay agenda,” and “these are liberal Republicans who are not strong advocates of Christian conservatism.”

I didn’t know those things about President Ford, but they make my respect for him go up enormously. Oh, and one more thing to like about Ford: in his time in office, about 2 1/2 years or so, he vetoed 51 spending bills. Our current profligate spender in chief, who hasn’t vetoed a single one as our budget has careened out of control, could learn much from him.

Comments

  1. #1 Rob Knop
    December 28, 2006

    If you think about it, the latter half of the 70′s had two presidents in the world who were honest and good people, if perhaps somewhat ineffectual. They were also not the sort of marketing experts who appeal to the masses at the expense of depth. I don’t know that we’ve had anybody like that since.

    -Rob

  2. #2 SLC
    December 28, 2006

    Re Rob Knop

    Unfortunately, assuming that the other president Mr. Knop was referring to was James Earl Carter, I can’t agree that the latter was either honest or a good person. Aside from being a total incompetent and the worst president in American history, James Earl Carter has proven himself with the publication of his latest book to be both a liar and a vicious anti-semite.

  3. #3 MJ Memphis
    December 28, 2006

    “Worst president in American history”? Surely you jest. Compared to Warren Harding, Andrew Johnson, Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon… to say nothing of the current resident of the Oval Office… Carter looks pretty good.

  4. #4 Raging Bee
    December 28, 2006

    SLC: I agree that Carter was one of the worst Presidents we’ve ever had, but your allegation that he was “both a liar and a vicious anti-semite” is a bit over the top. Care to back that up?

  5. #5 Craig Pennington
    December 28, 2006

    I remember a MAD Magazine caricature of Ford as a Frankenstein’s monster with VETO stamps on his boots (maybe Oct 75, maybe the rear inside cover — hey, I was 10.)

  6. #6 Keanus
    December 28, 2006

    Ford has always had a bum rap. In succeeding Nixon he was thrust into the middle of a nightmare, not of his making. Although he was tarred at the time for pardonning Nixon, both he and his senior staff later revealed that the residue of Nixon was consuming more than 25% of White House time, seriously handicapping his administration’s ability to function. In retrospect he did the right thing. And in looking at his successors, he stands head and shoulder above the lot as a man of integrity and principle.

    As for Carter, he was an incompetent manager, although vastly better than the current boob, who will take surely rate as our worst president for decades to come. Carter’s failing was his wanting to delve into every little detail of managing the government, something a top executive simply cannot do, without losing his/her effectiveness. Otherwise, Carter was/is a bright, intelligent (usually rated among the brightest who ever filled the office), and inquisitive man, but naive in the extreme. As for his recent book, he’s served the nation by publishing it. What he’s done is bring to North America arguments in which the Israelis are engaged on an on-going basis, but which Americans avoid lest they be called anti-semites. To question the policies of the Israeli goverment vis-a-vis the Palestinians is not anti-semitism; Carter’s questions are one’s raised by the Israeli opposition regularly. So like Raging Bee, I’d love to see SLC’s basis for making that claim.

  7. #7 Google
    December 28, 2006

    SLC wrote:

    James Earl Carter has proven himself with the publication of his latest book to be … a vicious anti-semite.

    And why would you say that? Perhaps because he wants us to deal with Israel as a country – a political entity – rather than as some kind of religious entity?

    Sounds like a good – and consistent – policy for us to adhere to, even though the Israel lobby is fighting it tooth-and-nail.

    The Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt

  8. #8 FishyFred
    December 28, 2006

    One other thing you might not know regarding Ford and gay people: He was saved from a potential assassin by a gay veteran. Imagine that.

    P.S. It looks like someone has been screwing with that Wikipedia article since I last visited. Those quotes before the Table of Contents weren’t there yesterday.

  9. #9 EBO
    December 28, 2006

    Probably the only serious ballot box regret I have is voting for Carter over Ford. I suspect there may be others out there with similar feelings.

  10. #10 c.tower
    December 28, 2006

    I also recall how the party brass were on Ford’s back about Betty a lot (she was always supporting causes like the ERA). They wanted him to “shut her up”, and he refused to even try.(I’ve always found it sort of sad that an adept athelete like Ford takes one public stumble, and gets forever labelled as a “klutz”. If there’s one good thing about his passing, it’s that it signifies the OFFICIAL end of Chevy Chase’s career).

  11. #11 SLC
    December 28, 2006

    Re Google, Bee, Keanus

    James Earl Carter is also a coward as he has refused to debate Alan Dershowitz concerning his latest book. See attached text below.

    Why won’t Carter debate his book?

    By Alan Dershowitz | December 21, 2006

    YOU CAN ALWAYS tell when a public figure has written an indefensible book: when he refuses to debate it in the court of public opinion. And you can always tell when he’s a hypocrite to boot: when he says he wrote a book in order to stimulate a debate, and then he refuses to participate in any such debate. I’m talking about former president Jimmy Carter and his new book “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.”

    Carter’s book has been condemned as “moronic” (Slate), “anti-historical” (The Washington Post), “laughable” (San Francisco Chronicle), and riddled with errors and bias in reviews across the country. Many of the reviews have been written by non-Jewish as well as Jewish critics, and not by “representatives of Jewish organizations” as Carter has claimed. Carter has gone even beyond the errors of his book in interviews, in which he has said that the situation in Israel is worse than the crimes committed in Apartheid South Africa. When asked whether he believed that Israel’s “persecution” of Palestinians was “[e]ven worse . . . than a place like Rwanda,” Carter answered, “Yes. I think — yes.”

    When Larry King referred to my review several times to challenge Carter, Carter first said I hadn’t read the book and then blustered, “You know, I think it’s a waste of my time and yours to quote professor Dershowitz. He’s so obviously biased, Larry, and it’s not worth my time to waste it on commenting on him.” (He never did answer King’s questions.)

    The next week Carter wrote a series of op-eds bemoaning the reception his book had received. He wrote that his “most troubling experience” had been “the rejection of [his] offers to speak” at “university campuses with high Jewish enrollment.” The fact is that Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz had invited Carter to come to Brandeis to debate me, and Carter refused. The reason Carter gave was this: “There is no need to for me to debate somebody who, in my opinion, knows nothing about the situation in Palestine.”

    As Carter knows, I’ve been to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, many times — certainly more times than Carter has been there — and I’ve written three books dealing with the subject of Middle Eastern history, politics, and the peace process. The real reason Carter won’t debate me is that I would correct his factual errors. It’s not that I know too little; it’s that I know too much.

    Nor is Carter the unbiased observer of the Middle East that he claims to be. He has accepted money and an award from Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan , saying in 2001: “This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.” This is the same Zayed, the long-time ruler of the United Arab Emirates, whose $2.5 million gift to the Harvard Divinity School was returned in 2004 due to Zayed’s rampant Jew-hatred. Zayed’s personal foundation, the Zayed Center, claims that it was Zionists, rather than Nazis, who “were the people who killed the Jews in Europe” during the Holocaust. It has held lectures on the blood libel and conspiracy theories about Jews and America perpetrating Sept. 11. Carter’s acceptance of money from this biased group casts real doubt on his objectivity and creates an obvious conflict of interest.

    Carter’s refusal to debate wouldn’t be so strange if it weren’t for the fact that he claims that he wrote the book precisely so as to start debate over the issue of the Israel-Palestine peace process. If that were really true, Carter would be thrilled to have the opportunity to debate. Authors should be accountable for their ideas and their facts. Books shouldn’t be like chapel, delivered from on high and believed on faith.

    What most rankles is Carter’s insistence that he is somehow brave for attacking Israel and highlighting the plight of the Palestinian people. No other conflict in the world — not even the genocides in Rwanda and Sudan — evokes more hand-wringing in the media, universities, and human rights organizations than the Israel-Palestine conflict.

    Jimmy Carter isn’t brave for beating up on Israel. He’s a bully. And like all school-yard bullies, underneath the tough talk and bravado, there’s a nagging insecurity and a fear that one day he’ll have to answer for himself in a fair fight.

    When Jimmy Carter’s ready to speak at Brandeis, or anywhere else, I’ll be there. If he refuses to debate, I will still be there — ready and willing to answer falsity with truth in the court of public opinion.

  12. #12 Coin
    December 28, 2006

    So you’re not going to respond to Raging Bee, then?

  13. #13 Keanus
    December 28, 2006

    I wouldn’t debate Dershowitz either, even if all the facts were on my side. He’s a courtroom professional, practiced in the art of dissembling and personal demolition, which isn’t to say he hasn’t accomplished much good in his life. He has. But for Carter to accept his challenge to a debate would be like entering a fencing contest with a prorfessional fencer. That’s not what Carter should do. And this is not addressing the merits of either man’s position. Carter would just be foolish to take on Dershowitz in Dershowitz’s specialty, courtroom fencing.

  14. #14 decrepitoldfool
    December 28, 2006

    Oh yeah, I remember that guy who saved Ford now. He slapped his hand down on top of the gun so the web of his thumb was cut by the descending hammer – cutting it really close. Wow! What a guy.

    Anyone who thinks Ford was ineffectual better read their history, what he accomplished in a very short time in office. He was definitely wrestling a lake full o’ gators.

    As for Carter, he said that energy independence was “the moral equivalent of war” in its importance to national security. Despite his other failings he was right on with that one. Imagine if we’d made energy independence a national priority, and stuck with it.

    What I cannot understand is the vitriolic hatred the Xtian right has for Carter when he is probably the most Christlike person to hold the office in the 20th century. He really tried to make peace with his enemies and those of America and Israel. He has since been the object of a smear campaign. Good president, no, but a good man.

    The current occupant is much worse than Nixon. At least Nixon was competent and could do math. At least Nixon tried to communicate with enemies and still keep allies on our side. Nixon’s appointees were for the most part people who knew how to do the job they were appointed to.

  15. #15 kehrsam
    December 28, 2006

    Carter I have always admired for his idealism, although that has faded somewhat over time. When I was in college I admired Woodrow Wilson as well. Wilson was also famous in his time as a markedly Christian President.

    Carter was enormously popular in Latin America, both for the Canal Treaty and his sponsorship of food subsidies combined with tariff relief for S. American agriculture. Such political capital is a short-term commodity however.

    The peace between Israel and Egypt was a real triumph, and would almost certainly not have occurred without Carter. This, of course, was the one time Carter did not display idealism in his foreign policy, since there was no demand for Egypt to democatize.

    Ford, on the other hand, I misunderstood and have only come to appreciate in recent years. As a Congressman, he was your basic political hack, albeit one with a reputation for honesty (Dick Gephart is similar in many ways, or Henry Hyde on the Republican side).

    So I never looked at him as a statesman, but that is certainly the best description of his presidency in hindsight. He reigned in a foreign policy establishment used to getting its way by force, allowed the Church Commission to gut the CIA of its “black ops,” and worked hard to restore alliances that had been threatened by Nixon and Viet Nam.

    I have even come around on the pardon. As much as I would have liked to see Nixon get everything he had coming to him, the country had already been through the Watergate hearings, so I doubt a trial would have had much further cathartic effect.

    One final note is that Ford and Carter have been by far the most influential ex-presidents since J. Q. Adams. Jerry, we will miss thee. Ave atque vale.

  16. #16 SLC
    December 28, 2006

    Re Keanus

    Excuse me, James Earl Carter has declared over an over that the purpose of his book was to stir up debate on the subject of the US relationship with the State of Israel. However, no sooner is he challanged to put his money where his mouth is, like William Dumbski at the Dover trial, he is nowhere to be found. Mr. Keanus states that he too would be afraid to debate Alan Dershowitz. My position is, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

  17. #17 Robin Levett
    December 28, 2006

    SLC:

    You have accused Carter of being a “vicious anti-semite”. You have been asked to back up that allegation and have refused to do so. Don’t you think you’re in a somewhat precarious position to make allegations of refusal to debate?

  18. #18 Ed Brayton
    December 28, 2006

    As #11 on Karl Priest and Joseph Mastrapaolo’s “Debate Dodgers” list, I think it’s rather silly to claim that someone is a coward for refusing to participate in a debate. As much as I love debating, they don’t really settle anything nor are they any indication of someone’s courage. And so far, I’ve seen no evidence of Carter being a “vicious anti-semite”. Being highly critical of the state of Israel, as he certainly is, simply isn’t equivalent to being anti-semitic, vicious or otherwise.

  19. #19 Tyler DiPietro
    December 28, 2006

    Mr. Keanus states that he too would be afraid to debate Alan Dershowitz. My position is, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    And after being thoroughly exposed as a plagiarist and liar by Norman Finkelstein, leading up to the infamous debate on Democracy Now!, Dershowitz has been making a non-stop effort at destroying Finkelstein’s career. Keanus is right. Dershowitz is to be feared, but for the same reason you’d fear a mafia don. He’s an expert on political intimidation and character assassination.

  20. #20 MJ Memphis
    December 28, 2006

    Alan Dershowitz… isn’t that the fellow who thinks the US government should be in the business of issuing torture warrants? I wouldn’t debate him either. Anyone who advocates torture is scum.

  21. #21 Tyler DiPietro
    December 28, 2006

    Alan Dershowitz… isn’t that the fellow who thinks the US government should be in the business of issuing torture warrants? I wouldn’t debate him either. Anyone who advocates torture is scum.

    Dershowitz is basically in the business of justifying everything Israel does by waving a two-word catch phrase as a talisman against any criticism it might endure. Israel could bomb the Brooklyn Crown Heights and Dershowitz would claim it was a defensive action.

  22. #22 Brandon
    December 28, 2006

    I’m a student at Brandeis University, the school where Carter was supposed to debate Dershowitz but refused. The controversy here is that Dershowitz was allowed to speak freely whereas Carter was only allowed to come if he debated Dershowitz. It was another layer to the controversy started when the administration took down a pro-Palistinian art exhibit. As a primarily Jewish school, some pro-Israel bias is expected, but our president, Jehuda Reinharz, has fallen under quite a bit of fire recently.

    Carter apparently thinks the student body is full of sheep who would be swayed by big words and legal mumbo jumbo. Everybody knows Dershowitz is a nutcase. The administration may be biased against Carter but the students are not. Carter is just being a coward, plain and simple.

  23. #23 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 29, 2006

    I’m curious too as to how criticizing our policies with Israel make someone an Anti-Semite. I have not read the book so I just would like some clarification on the details of what he said that qualified him for this designation.

    I think it’s rather silly to claim that someone is a coward for refusing to participate in a debate. As much as I love debating, they don’t really settle anything nor are they any indication of someone’s courage.

    Agreed. Just look at that many “debates” that occur in the Evo-Creation “War”. Facts mean nothing when you can badger and bombard your opponent to the point where there isn’t enough time granted to throughly answer all allegations that have been made.

  24. #24 SLC
    December 29, 2006

    Re Tyler DiPietro

    1. Mr. DiPietro repeats the big lie about the alleged plagerism accusation against Prof. Dershowitz. The fact of the matter is that this matter was thoroughly investigated by his employer, Harvard University, and the accusation was found to be without merit. Now of course, like Mr. Packard of the Appletree blog, Mr. DiPietro will claim that the investigation was a whitewash. Utter rubbish.

    2. Mr. DiPietros’ hero, Norman Finkelstein, has a long history of association with anti-semites and holocaust deniers (he apparently attended the recent holocaust denial conference in Tehran). His writings are featured on neo-nazi and holocaust denial web sites. The fact of the matter is that Prof. Finkelstein is sore at Deshowitz because, during a debate which they had, Finkelstein was totally discredited as a liar and a fraud.

    3. I have to say that I am disappointed in Mr. DiPietro whose intelligent contributions I have read on several blogs, including this one. My impression of him was that he was too sharp an individual to fall for a phoney like Finkelstein.

    Re Brayton

    When one states that the purpose of writing a book is to stimulate debate and then one refuses to debate, it is fair to label one as a coward.

    Re Brandon

    Referring to Prof. Dershowitz as a nutjob is nothing but character assassination. The fact is that he is one of the most brilliant appellate lawyers in the US with a long history of arguing, pro bono, the cases of indigent clients before appellate courts.

    Re Levette

    Mr. Levette may be correct. It is possible that former President James Earl Carter is not anti-semetic; he is just a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabian financiers. See article below.

    Carter’s Arab financiers
    By Rachel Ehrenfeld December 22, 2006

    Bookmark to del.icio.usDigg!Digg This Story

    To understand what feeds former president Jimmy Carter’s anti-Israeli frenzy, look at his early links to Arab business.

    Between 1976-1977, the Carter family peanut business received a bailout in the form of a $4.6 million, “poorly managed” and highly irregular loan from the National Bank of Georgia (NBG). According to a July 29, 1980 Jack Anderson expose in The Washington Post, the bank’s biggest borrower was Mr. Carter, and its chairman at that time was Mr. Carter’s confidant, and later his director of the Office of Management and Budget, Bert Lance.

    At that time, Mr. Lance’s mismanagement of the NBG got him and the bank into trouble. Agha Hasan Abedi, the Pakistani founder of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), known as the bank “which would bribe God,” came to Mr. Lance’s rescue making him a $100,000-a-year consultant. Abedi then declared: “we would never talk about exploiting his relationship with the president.” Next, he introduced Mr. Lance to Saudi billionaire Gaith Pharaon, who fronted for BCCI and the Saudi royal family. In January 1978, Abedi paid off Mr. Lance’s $3.5 million debt to the NBG, and Pharaon secretly gained control over the bank.

    Mr. Anderson wrote: “Of course, the Saudis remained discretely silent… kept quiet about Carter’s irregularities… [and] renegotiated the loan to Carter’s advantage.”

    There is no evidence that the former president received direct payment from the Saudis. But “according to… the bank files, [it] renegotiated the repayment terms… savings… $60,000 for the Carter family… The President owned 62% of the business and therefore was the largest beneficiary.” Pharaon later contributed generously to the former president’s library and center.

    When Mr. Lance introduced Mr. Carter to Abedi, the latter gave $500,000 to help the former president establish his center at Emory University. Later, Abedi contributed more than $10 million to Mr. Carter’s different projects. Even after BCCI was indicted ? and convicted -? for drug money laundering, Mr. Carter accepted $1.5 million from Abedi, his “good friend.”

    A quick survey of the major contributors to the Carter Center reveals hundreds of millions of dollars from Saudi and Gulf contributors. But it was BCCI that helped Mr. Carter established his center.

    BCCI’s origins were primarily ideological. Abedi wanted the bank to reflect the supra-national Muslim credo and “the best bridge to help the world of Islam, and the best way to fight the evil influence of the Zionists.”

    Shortly after assuming office, in March 1977, Mr. Carter made his first public statement regarding a Palestinian “homeland.” Since then, he has devoted much of his time to denouncing Israel’s self-defense against Palestinian terrorism, which he claims is not only “abominable oppression and persecution” of the Palestinians, but also damages U.S. interests in the region.

    By the time BCCI was shut down in July1991, it operated in 73 countries with a deficit of $12 billion, which it had managed to hide with wealthy Arab shareholders and Western luminaries. Among them Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan of Abu Dhabi, who gave hundreds of millions of dollars to Yasser Arafat and Palestinian terrorist groups, and who branded the United States: “our enemy number one”; Former head of Saudi foreign intelligence service, and King Faisal’s brother-in-law, Kamal Adham ? who with another Saudi, the banker of the royal family, Khaled bin Mahfouz, staged BCCI’s attempt to illegally purchase the Washington-based First American bank, in the early 1980s.

    True to its agenda, BCCI assisted in spreading and strengthening the Islamic message; they enabled Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions, and helped the Palestinian leadership to amass a $10 billion-plus fortune, used to further terrorist activities and to buy more influence in the West.

    BCCI founders also supported the Islamic fundamentalist opposition to the Shah of Iran, and saw it as an opportunity to undermine Western influence in the Gulf. They assisted the revolution financially, reinforcing their position within the leadership of the Iranian revolution. Ironically, the success of that revolution cost Mr. Carter his presidency.

    BCCI’s money also facilitated the Saudi agenda to force Israel to recognize Palestinians “rights,” convincing Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to sign the Camp David Accords in September 1978. Since then, Mr. Carter repeatedly provided legitimacy to Arafat’s corrupt regime, and now, like the Saudis, he even sides with homicidal Hamas as the “legitimate” representative of the Palestinian people.

    In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Carter again laid responsibility for U.S. bias against the destitute, depressed and (consequently) violent Palestinians on American policy makers’ helplessness, over the last 30 years, against the menacing tactics of the powerful American-Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC).

    However, it seems that AIPAC’s real fault was its failure to outdo the Saudi’s purchases of the former president’s loyalty. “There has not been any nation in the world that has been more cooperative than Saudi Arabia,” the New York Times quoted Mr. Carter June 1977, thus making the Saudis a major factor in U. S. foreign policy.

    Evidently, the millions in Arab petrodollars feeding Mr. Carter’s global endeavors, often in conflict with U.S. government policies, also ensure his loyalty.

  25. #25 Brandon
    December 29, 2006

    Criticizing Israel or our relations with them does not make you anti-Semetic. Both Israel and the Arab world have committed horrendous atrocities in recent years. Criticizing Israel while completely ignoring or rationalizing the crimes of her neighbors, or questioning Israel’s right to exist, is what makes you anti-Semetic. I don’t know if Carter does this in his book; I just thought I’d clarify.

    Of course, the opposite is true as well. Any rational view of the conflict must acknowledge that all sides involved have committed terrible crimes in recent history. Like I said, I haven’t read the book, but I have a hunch that Carter, if he compares Israel to Rwanda, does not do this.

  26. #26 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 29, 2006

    SLC, thanks for the articles. While it does claim many ties to the Arabs, the same can be said about the Bush’s and other high power players in Washington. I guess I need more clarification on this statement you made.

    Aside from being a total incompetent and the worst president in American history, James Earl Carter has proven himself with the publication of his latest book to be both a liar and a vicious anti-semite.

    thanks

  27. #27 Ed Brayton
    December 29, 2006

    SLC wrote:

    When one states that the purpose of writing a book is to stimulate debate and then one refuses to debate, it is fair to label one as a coward.

    Nonsense. Stimulating “debate” is not the same thing as stimulating “debates” in which one participates. Debates, in the sense you are talking about, and as much as I enjoy them, are essentially meaningless. They prove nothing, they settle nothing, and the “winner” is determined primarily by one’s speaking ability not by anything related to truth or accuracy. “Debate”, in the much broader sense that Carter is talking about, putting his ideas out there and having people react to them so that people begin to think seriously about the issues, is an entirely different thing.

    Let me say this: I disagree with those above who casually dismiss Alan Dershowitz in the same manner that you are casually dismissing Carter. I think both sides are engaging in the use of cognitive shortcuts. You’ve decided that Carter is a “vicious anti-semite” (a charge, by the way, that you have still not even attempted to support despite multiple requests that you do so), therefore there is no need to actually engage his position; they’ve decided that Dershowitz is a shill for Israel and a bad person, so there is no need to actually engage his position either. Both are kneejerk reactions rather than serious positions. Dershowitz may well be wrong on this issue, but if he’s wrong it has nothing to do with whether he once plagiarized another scholar in something completely unrelated. And Carter may well be wrong on this issue, but if he’s wrong then show why he is wrong, don’t just make nasty accusations that you aren’t even going to attempt to try and support.

  28. #28 Raging Bee
    December 29, 2006

    I have not read Carter’s book, but I just read a review of that book in the Washington Post. Assuming the reviewer has not grossly misrepresented the book, it appears that Carter’s book is, in the reviewer’s words, “anti-historical,” as in misrepresenting history by blaming Israel for the entire Mideast mess, and assigning no responsibility to the Arab states or Palestinians. Carter completely ignores Yasser Arafat’s refusal to accept peace with Israel in 2000, after Israel had offered unprecedented and substantial concessions, and belittles Clinton’s efforts to broker that peace. In his eagerness to trash Israel for building that border-fence, Carter completely ignores the fact that the fence was built to prevent suicide-bombers getting into Israel, and that suicide-bombings have, in fact, decreased since the fence was built.

    This may not prove that Carter is an “anti-Semite,” but it does at least prove him to be a naive, gullible and simplistic man who has swallowed the radical left’s pro-terrorist, Israel-bashing kool-aid, without really thinking anything through.

    PS to Coin and Levitt: SLC has indeed answered my request, although I haven’t yet read all of it.

  29. #29 SLC
    December 29, 2006

    Re Brayton

    1. In a response to Mr. Levettes’ criticism, I backed off from my charge of anti-semitism on the part of James Earl Carter. It is possible that his obvious dislike of Israel is independent of his attitude toward Jews. However, considering that his antagonism toward toward Israel is so over the top, one is temped to repeat the old saw that if it quacks like a duck and it waddles like a duck, its a duck. By the way, I am certainly prepared to back up the charge of over the top antagonism toward Israel. Below, I supply a couple of links supporting this charge.

    http://web.israelinsider.com/Views/9997.htm

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/07/AR2006120701835.html?referrer=emailarticle

    2. Mr. Brayton has supported Carter in his refusal to debate Alan Dershowitz. Does he also support William Dembskis’ backing out of a debate on ID with Ken Miller at Case Western Reserve University last year?

    3. I didn’t bring up the issue of the plagarism charge against Dershowitz, Mr. DiPietro did. I was only responding to his assertion.

  30. #30 Ed Brayton
    December 29, 2006

    SLC wrote:

    2. Mr. Brayton has supported Carter in his refusal to debate Alan Dershowitz. Does he also support William Dembskis’ backing out of a debate on ID with Ken Miller at Case Western Reserve University last year?

    I have not “supported Carter” in his refusal to debate Dershowitz; I’ve said that claiming he’s a coward because of that refusal is absurd. Whether he should or should not debate him is an entirely different question. Did you see me post anything calling Dembski a coward for not debating Miller? Nope. I’ve been put on a “debate dodgers” list for refusing to debate Joe Mastrapaolo from the Institute for Creation Research and called a coward repeatedly by his little minion, Karl Priest. I think that’s laughably ridiculous. I can’t very well accuse others of the same thing I laugh at when the accusation is aimed at me.

  31. #31 Raging Bee
    December 29, 2006

    SLC: Why do you keep on calling him “James Earl Carter?” He was always known as “Jimmy Carter,” and I don’t think any confusion will result from calling him “Carter.” Is there a “James Bob Carter” you don’t want us to confuse with the former President?

  32. #32 DuWayne
    December 29, 2006

    SLC -

    Actually, I waddle and quack like the same duck and it has nothing to do with anti-sematism. I have profound dissagreement with Israels treatment of the Palistinians and Lebanon. I have issues with their treatment of Arab Jews as second class citizens and non-Jewish Arabs as third class citizens. I also get really pissed at the ADL for not coming out strongly against genocides and ethnic cleansings that don’t involve Jews – apparently they believe that genocide should never happen again – to them, screw everyone else.

    None of this makes me an anti-semite. I have a few Jewish friends, some of my favorite bloggers are Jewish. But while I sympathise with Israel’s precarious position in the Middle East, I find their actions to “protect” themselves reprehensible. I do not look at this to mean Jews are bad, or always do bad things. I look at this as a country behaving very badly. Just as when I criticise the ADL, I am not doing so because their Jewish, I do so because they do not actually come out against genocide and ethnic cleansing, though the whole point of the organisation is to prevent future genocide.

    I know very little about Carter, excepting a couple of times hearing him on the radio. I rather enjoy listening to him, but am unsurprised that he acts like a politician. I do find it unfortunate that he has been insinuated into this thread. I was really impressed to discover that Ford was so pro-gay rights, and would love to learn more about him. I would love to hear more about him, as I had always assumed he was just a republican hack

    And for the record, I am anything but, pro-terrorist. It is entirely possible to dissagree with more than one side of a conflict. The people I support and pray for, in this, are the civilians on every side – Palestinian, Israli, Lebanese.

  33. #33 SLC
    December 29, 2006

    Re Raging Bee

    1. His given full name is James Earl Carter.

    2. My use of his full name is a measure of my disdain for the man.

    Re Brayton

    I think that there is a fundamental difference between refusing to debate whackjobs like the clowns from the ICR and the refusal to debate serious opponents like Ken Miller and Alan Dershowitz. Mr. Carters’ refusal to debate Dershowitz is of a kind with the refusal of Mearsheimer and Walt to debate him. The fact is that all three of these gentleman have made serious charges in their articles and books and should be prepared to defend them. If a debate is not the proper forum, they should allow themselves to undergo cross-examination by Prof. Dershowitz. There refusal to confront him can only lead one to believe that they are afraid to subject their claims to rigorous opposition. By the way, I am in complete agreement with Mr. Brayton as to his refusal to debate creationists. In this, we both agree with the late Stephen Jay Gould who famously advised Richard Dawkins not to engage in a debate with Duane Gish.

  34. #34 Raging Bee
    December 29, 2006

    SLC: First, you’re sure wasting a lot of keystrokes demonstrating your disdain for Carter. I’ll bet you’re relieved not to have to show similar disdain for Bush Sr. or Winston Churchill.

    Second, I share at least some of your disdain for Carter; but why is Carter, or anyone else, obligated to debate Dershowitz about Israel? Since when was Dershowitz the test that everyone else’s opinions about Israel must pass in order to be considered valid?

    Besides, quite apart from the validity of his opinions, Carter would be a crappy debater. He’s such a dirt-poor speaker that I find it physically painful to listen to him, even when I agree with him.

  35. #35 Ed Brayton
    December 29, 2006

    SLC wrote:

    The fact is that all three of these gentleman have made serious charges in their articles and books and should be prepared to defend them. If a debate is not the proper forum, they should allow themselves to undergo cross-examination by Prof. Dershowitz. There refusal to confront him can only lead one to believe that they are afraid to subject their claims to rigorous opposition.

    And I still say that’s nonsense. You are still laboring under the delusion that oral debates actually have something to do with determining what is true, accurate, well supported, etc. Believe me, I’ve participated in lots and lots of these things, I’ve coached debate, I’ve lectured on argumentation theory, I’ve judged thousands of them: they have nothing at all to do with discerning which side is right. He has put his views out there, so have those who oppose those views, and intelligent people can decide for themselves which side they think is right. Putting them side by side on stage will do absolutely nothing to help that process along.

    By the way, I am in complete agreement with Mr. Brayton as to his refusal to debate creationists. In this, we both agree with the late Stephen Jay Gould who famously advised Richard Dawkins not to engage in a debate with Duane Gish.

    For the record, I didn’t say that I refuse to debate creationists, I just said I refused to debate JoMo. I was, in fact, negotiating to debate Stephen Meyer a few months ago until Paul Nelson got involved and they suddenly stopped talking to me. I don’t have a blanket opposition to debating creationists. In general, I think written debates are far more useful than oral debates. If I choose to take part in an oral debate, it would not be because I think such debates actually mean much of anything but only because I think it would be fun, interesting, or useful to me in some other way.

  36. #36 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 29, 2006

    I’m still curious about this:\

    Aside from being a total incompetent and the worst president in American history, James Earl Carter has proven himself with the publication of his latest book to be both a liar and a vicious anti-Semite.

    Can you enlighten me as to what part of his book now requites us to define him as an Anti-Semite?

  37. #37 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 29, 2006

    requites = requires

  38. #38 MJ Memphis
    December 29, 2006

    Wow, I never would have guessed I was expressing disdain for FDR everytime I refer to him as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or for MLK Jr by referring to him as Martin Luther King, Jr. I guess I should start saying Frankie Roosevelt and Marty King instead.

  39. #39 Roman Werpachowski
    December 29, 2006

    “I also get really pissed at the ADL for not coming out strongly against genocides and ethnic cleansings that don’t involve Jews”

    Why should they, and why especially they? Why don’t you get pissed off at the British RSPCA, for the same reason?

    BTW, two years ago I watched the 60th anniversary celebrations in Auschwitz and there was a Jew speaking who mentioned Darfur as an example of what the phrase “Never again” should mean to us.

  40. #40 Roman Werpachowski
    December 29, 2006

    DuWayne: “I also get really pissed at the ADL for not coming out strongly against genocides and ethnic cleansings that don’t involve Jews”

    Why should they, and why especially they? Why don’t you get pissed off at the British RSPCA, for the same reason?

    BTW, two years ago I watched the 60th anniversary celebrations in Auschwitz and there was a Jew speaking who mentioned Darfur as an example of what the phrase “Never again” should mean to us.

  41. #41 DuWayne
    December 29, 2006

    Roman -
    Why should they, and why especially they? Why don’t you get pissed off at the British RSPCA, for the same reason?

    One would think that any organisation that specificaly formed to ensure that genocide never happens again. I have no idea what the RSPCA is, but if they do the same thing the ADL does, I am.

    BTW, two years ago I watched the 60th anniversary celebrations in Auschwitz and there was a Jew speaking who mentioned Darfur as an example of what the phrase “Never again” should mean to us.

    And I have a number of friends who are Jewish, who speak out soundly against the genocide in Darfur. One has family members that were killed by the Nazis. He gets positively enraged when the world community allows these atrocities to happen. I have nothing against Jews, which I thought I made clear. I have issues with organizations that claim to be against genocide, yet don’t speak out against it when it happens to other people.

  42. #42 mess
    December 29, 2006

    SLC Wrote:

    I think that there is a fundamental difference between refusing to debate whackjobs like the clowns from the ICR and the refusal to debate serious opponents like Ken Miller and Alan Dershowitz.

    I’m sure the people who consider the ICR ‘serious opponents’ and I am sure that there are people who consider Miller and Dershowitz ‘wackjobs’. It seams to me that the definition of a serious opponent and a wackjob is largey a function of the perspective of the person making the assessment. Carter, obviously feels that Dershwoitz falls into the ‘wackjob’ catagory (I am drawing the conclusion based on the initial article you posted). You disagree with this.

    I see your anger as no different from a supporter of the ICR blasting someone like Ed (Ed – I’m only using you as an example – I have no idea about your history with the ICR) for not debating them.

    In the end, getting bent out of shape because someone will not debate a topic seams kind of pointless to me. You dislike Cater, great. Personally, I have no real opinion of him. But who really cares if he will not debate someone?

  43. #43 SLC
    December 29, 2006

    I suspect that the blogmaster is probably deciding that this topic has been beaten to death by this time. However, once more into the breach.

    Re Rev BigDumbChimp

    Earlier on in this thread, I had already backed off of the characterization of James Earl Carter as an anti-semite. In my disdain for the man, I went a little over the top. In fact, not even Alan Dershowitz claims that the former president is an anti-semite.

    Re mess

    I have no doubt that there are those who do not consider the ICR folks whackjobs, just as there are those who do not consider flat earthers whackjobs. However, I think that the term is well warrented for folks whose minds are made up and to whom the facts are irrelevent.

    Re DuWayne

    I don’t have any problem with someone critizing the Isreali Government. Probably nobody has been more critical of the incompetent schmucks currently running that government then I have been. However, James Earl Carter has gone far beyond criticising the Israeli Government in that his latest book perpetrates lies about the responsibility for the failure of the Wye conference. How do I know that? Because former President Clinton and his lead negotiator, Dennis Ross, who unlike Carter were there, have described what went on and their descriptions are 180 degrees at variance with Carters’ book. Quite frankly, I consider Dennis Ross and Bill Clinton far more reliable sources then James Earl Carter.

    Re Mr. Brayton

    I apologize for hijacking this thread, which after all started out as a complementary comment about former President Ford. As for Mr. Braytons’ low opinion of debates, how about Carter allowing himself to be cross-examined as to the claims he makes in his book. Cross examination is considered one of the most powerful tools for getting at the truth in a courtroom. If Mr. Brayton doesn’t think so, consider the number that was done on Michael Behe during the Dover trial.

  44. #44 Roman Werpachowski
    December 29, 2006

    DuWayne: “One would think that any organisation that specificaly formed to ensure that genocide never happens again.”

    ADL was founded in 1913.

  45. #45 Ed Brayton
    December 29, 2006

    SLC wrote:

    I apologize for hijacking this thread, which after all started out as a complementary comment about former President Ford. As for Mr. Braytons’ low opinion of debates, how about Carter allowing himself to be cross-examined as to the claims he makes in his book. Cross examination is considered one of the most powerful tools for getting at the truth in a courtroom. If Mr. Brayton doesn’t think so, consider the number that was done on Michael Behe during the Dover trial.

    If he was on trial for something, sure. But he’s not. And you don’t get to put him on trial just because you don’t like his opinions. And declaring him a coward for not putting himself on trial is still quite silly.

  46. #46 DuWayne
    December 29, 2006

    Roman -

    My mistake, I did not realize that they were that old. I just searched their site for their mission and discovered that they do not talk about genocide. I was given my mis-impression of their mission by one of my Jewish friends and assumed that she knew what she was talking about. I have had this mistaken belief for a long time now, thank you for sorting that out. Mind she didn’t tell me that they formed in response to the holocaust, that was my assumption based on what she had explained to me.

    Thanks again, I hate saying things that are not true. As I’ve gotten older, I have gotten better about making sure that things I learn are correct. But I do still have mistaken impressions and appreciate being disabused of erronious notions.

  47. #47 AndyS
    December 29, 2006

    Ed, thanks for the heads up about Ford and gay rights. It’s remendously refreshing to find that out.

  48. #48 Roman Werpachowski
    December 29, 2006

    DuWayne,

    even if they were founded just for the purpose of defending Jews against another Holocaust, there would be nothing wrong in that. None of us is under obligation to fight all possible kinds of evil in this world.

  49. #49 DuWayne
    December 29, 2006

    Roman -

    No, but any organisation that espouses serious objection to genocide, should be against all genocide and vocal about fighting it. I am not talking about “all kinds of evil,” I am talking about the same atrocities that were committed against one group being committed against other groups. I have absolutely no respect for anyone who would object to an evil being committed against them, but not against anyone else.

    I was mistaken about the ADL, and I appreciate your setting me straight. But I would still carry that disdain if they were what I had been led to believe they were. And it even comes down to their own self interest. Tolerating any sort of genocide, makes it more acceptable to the world as a whole. Numbing the population to accept such atrocities as simple human nature.

  50. #50 Roman Werpachowski
    December 29, 2006

    “No, but any organisation that espouses serious objection to genocide, should be against all genocide and vocal about fighting it.”

    Why? Consider a small organisation with limited resources. It makes sense for them to be vocal about their main area of interest only. Of course, if asked, they would condemn other similar misbehavings. ADL would be a bunch of hypocrites if they didn’t condemn Darfur genocide *given an opportunity to do so*. But I won’t condemn them for not paying Darfur as much attention as the Holocaust or other persecution of Jews. They are a Jewish organization, after all.

    You argument makes as much sense as “if you’re a scientist and are looking for the cure for AIDS, you should also be looking for a cure for malaria”.

    “I have absolutely no respect for anyone who would object to an evil being committed against them, but not against anyone else.”

    I am sure they do object to Darfur and other genocides.

    If you’re so critical of them for not being vocal about Darfur, then pray tell me: what did YOU do to stop Darfur?

    “And it even comes down to their own self interest. Tolerating any sort of genocide, makes it more acceptable to the world as a whole.”

    This is true. But then, it comes down to how ably does the ADL pursue their own goals, not to you and me decidings for them what their goals should include.

  51. #51 Roman Werpachowski
    December 29, 2006

    This discussion it pointless: http://www.adl.org/sudan/

  52. #52 Roman Werpachowski
    December 29, 2006

    I consider ADL to be a somewhat hypocritical organization, but for a different reason. Namely, they celebrate the First Amendment in the USA ( http://www.adl.org/civil_rights/ ), but expect from Poland ( http://www.adl.org/main_International_Affairs/poland_challenge_of_extremism.htm ) to implement laws which would violate the First Amendment if they were implemented in the USA:

    The provisions of the Polish Constitution and Penal Code which deal with racism and anti-Semitism should be fully implemented. Radio Maryja, which has consistently violated these provisions by broadcasting hate speech, should be held to account in a court of law. The station should not receive funds from individuals whose racist and anti-Semitic activities are in breach of Polish law.

  53. #53 DuWayne
    December 29, 2006

    Roman –

    Why? Consider a small organisation with limited resources. It makes sense for them to be vocal about their main area of interest only. Of course, if asked, they would condemn other similar misbehavings

    It costs very little to add it to a website. If the main interest of an organisation (I’ve already admitted my ignorance of the ADL) is to fight genocide, then the genocide in Darfur would fit the bill.

    If you’re so critical of them for not being vocal about Darfur, then pray tell me: what did YOU do to stop Darfur?

    I personaly gave fifty dollars to help the refugees (keep in mind that is far beyond my means – I went hungry for a couple days so I could afford it). I also convinced my employer and several friends to give more than I was able. I also wrote snail mail to my representatives, both state and federal, and wrote to my governor and president – also encouraging others to do so as well. Then, when my (now ex) girlfreind told me that she was having trouble explaining to our son why papa was so anxious and unhappy, I tried to put it out of my mind. I have serious problems with internalising the suffering of others, that I am powerless to stop. When I say serious, I mean breaking down weeping at random, not sleeping for days at a time, pucking blood, kind of serious. Suffice, that I did everything I could imagine to help.

    This is true. But then, it comes down to how ably does the ADL pursue their own goals, not to you and me decidings for them what their goals should include.

    No, but I can criticise organizations that espouse a belief, but fail to act on them.

    This discussion it pointless: http://www.adl.org/sudan/

    It has been over a year since I searched their site for references to Darfur. The whole internalising thing.

    The provisions of the Polish Constitution and Penal Code which deal with racism and anti-Semitism should be fully implemented. Radio Maryja, which has consistently violated these provisions by broadcasting hate speech, should be held to account in a court of law. The station should not receive funds from individuals whose racist and anti-Semitic activities are in breach of Polish law.

    Wow, that really is serious hypocracy. But I seem to recall my dad going off about the ADL pushing certain speech restrictions in the U.S. at one time. I might have mis-understood, I was young, but I’m pretty sure that it was the ADL that he was talking about. I know it pissed him off to no end.

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