Respectful Insolence

The other day, in the midst of a discussion about one of my posts about Holocaust denial, an anti-Semite posting as “bernarda” demanded:

Then I read books like Norman Finkelstein’s Holocaust Industry and understood that it [the Holocaust] has just become a propaganda tool to create a permanent guilt complex, even on Americans who had nothing to do with it. Why are there several holocaust museums in the U.S. but no slavery museum?


The answer is pretty simple: Because the U.S. did not perpetrate the Holocaust. It helped to end the Holocaust. In contrast, the U.S. did perpetrate slavery. That’s probably why, and it’s just that simple. Because of that it’s easier to build political and financial support for opening a Holocaust museum than it is for opening a slavery museum. (Even so, I would point out, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was not without its controversy and indeed took over 15 years to be built from planning to opening). It’s also probably why there are slavery museums in nations like Senegal and Ghana, where slaves were captured to be taken to the U.S., but not the U.S. itself. Douglas Wilder, who has spearheaded a drive to build a slavery museum, has addressed this issue head on:

To Wilder, it’s striking that it seems easier for Americans to confront the shameful history of Nazi-sponsored genocide. “None of it ever happened here, none of it,” he says. “To the extent that Jews were persecuted here, they were persecuted along with African-Americans. There was anti-Semitism, anti-black, anti-Catholic, anti-anything in terms of people who weren’t the true bloods. I want to show that there aren’t any true bloods in America. I don’t want to talk about what was good and what was bad and who was right and who was wrong. I want to lay out the facts, so you can tell the story for yourself.”

After all, although slavery was a great evil, in some parts of the U.S. the Civil War is still to this day known as the War of Northern Aggression. In many parts of this nation, not all necessarily restricted to the Old South, Confederate flags are still displayed proudly. Such a museum would be a monument to one of the darkest chapters of U.S. history, a reminder of the evil that we as a nation perpetrated on the Africans captured or sold and then brought over to tend our farms and do other work as slaves. Building it would, in essence, involve delving deeply into a dark chapter of American history that many would prefer not to remember and particularly not to emphasize. As Louise Witt wrote three years ago discussing a planned slavery museum:

However harmless Wilder’s effort seems in the early 21st century, it is sure to provoke renewed controversy over the Civil War — and slavery’s legacy — in a place where the dominant culture views the past through a lens of romance and denial. There’s no dispute that slavery is a part of the history of the North and the South. But slavery cannot be discussed without delving into the antebellum South’s role in perpetuating and expanding it westward, and the Confederacy’s stalwart defense of it.

For some Southerners, especially the Sons of Confederate Veterans, whose modest membership of 35,000 belies its formidable political clout, that’s simply not acceptable.

“If Douglas Wilder plans on telling the whole story of slavery, then it’ll be good,” says Bragdon “Brag” Bowling, commander of the Virginia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. “If not, it’ll be more of the same: trying to demonize Southerners and leaving out Northern shipping merchants and the blacks who turned over other tribes to the Dutch and the English slaver traders. I’m concerned that the Southerner will be the bad guy in this and it was a whole lot more than that.”

In fact, the entire premise of bernarda’s question above will soon be incorrect, as there is finally actually a U.S. National Slavery Museum , slated to open in 2007. It even turns out, not surprisingly that Douglas Wilder is the founder, and Bill Cosby is a key supporter of the effort:

RICHMOND, Va. Sep 22, 2006 (AP)– Bill Cosby called Friday on each American to contribute $8 to help build a national slavery museum amid the battlefields of the Civil War. Cosby, who already has committed $1 million to the project, joined Richmond Mayor L. Douglas Wilder on Friday in launching a new campaign to raise $100 million toward the Fredericksburg museum’s $200 million price tag.

“The incentive is that they would join in with the rest of the United States of America in saying yes, as an American, I gave $8 to help build something that tells the story,” he said in a teleconference with Wilder.

In a nation of some 300 million people, even a tepid response would surpass the $100 million goal, Cosby said.

He admitted this kind of campaign “generally fails badly.”

“But I’m going to try again because I’m going to present this national slavery museum as a jewel that’s missing in a crown.”

The campaign marks the latest attempt at fundraising for the U.S. National Slavery Museum, a project in the works for more than a decade.

Wilder struggled to find a location before settling on a site near the Rappahannock River, a region where many Civil War battles were fought.

I. M. Pei has designed the buidling, which is to be located in Fredericksburg, VA. Contributions are accepted here, and it certainly sounds like a worthy project. The U.S. should be open about this chapter of its history and overcome the difficulties that acknowledging slavery causes.

Of course, “bernarda” almost certainly has no real interest in slavery in the U.S. The mention of the lack of a national slavery museum in the U.S. was merely an obvious red herring designed to distract readers from his anti-Semitism, to make it seem less like the blatant anti-Semitism that it is. Now that I’ve answered his red herring, I have to point out that bernarda’s praise of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, coupled with his evasiveness and undisguised anti-Semitism, has set my Holocaust denier detection antennae twitching. Look at the rhetoric that follows my challenging “bernarda”:

None of the things in Ahmadinejad’s interview are discussed and none of the things I discussed are debated. It is all personal insults. Is that how scientists now work?

As to this site, apparently there is some insolence which is not very well tolerated. So I am not PC on the shoah business. So what? 6 million jews were killed in WWII, and what about the other 50 to 60 million that were killed?

Maybe 20 to 30 million Chinese were killed by the Japanese, where is their lobby and their museum in the center of Washington? I know Chinese who were in the war or the children of them. They don’t bring up the holocaust there at a drop of a hat.

Typical of orc’s character assassination is attributing to me “Holocaust happened and the Jews deserved it” Where did I say anything like that? Why not say that I think the other 50-60 million people deserved it?

I just say that all that is now history and it is time for you to get over it. Have you ever heard one zionist express concern over the Chinese who were massacred or even the 4 million Indonesians that were massacred in WWII?

You seem to be saying that they deserved it.

Ding ding ding ding! We have a winner! Smells like a possible Holocaust denier to me. First, let’s recap where he gets denial points:

  • Whines about character assassination when I infer from his rants about Israel using the Holocaust as justification for their occupation of the West Bank and Gaza that he doesn’t like Jews and might even think they “deserved what they got” in the Holocaust. Check.
  • Seems to think that President Ahmadinejad of Iran’s statements are worthy of serious consideration and contemplation, even though Ahmadinejad frequently spews the most obvious and easily debunked denier rhetoric. Check.
  • Brings up a canard about either slavery or other atrocities and demands why more attention isn’t given to those atrocities? Check. (By the way, perhaps we should give those events more attention, but the fact that we don’t is largely irrelevant to the historicity of the Holocaust, nor does our failure to memorialize them more justify bernarda’s Jew-hatred. I’m guessing that in actuality bernarda probably doesn’t really give a rodent’s posterior about slavery, Japanese massacres in China, or the massacre of Indonesians. His harping on them is a blatant diversion from the topic at hand.)
  • Uses tortured “logic” (“Have you ever heard one zionist express concern over the Chinese who were massacred or even the 4 million Indonesians that were massacred in WWII? You seem to be saying that they deserved it”). Check. (By the way, bernarda is using another red herring here, as he did more than fail to express concern over the Holocaust. He actively dismissed it contemptuously as not important and implied that the Jews profit from it and use it to justify their occupation.)

So, is bernarda a Holocaust denier? I don’t have enough information yet, but indications are pretty good that he probably is. At the very least, he is an anti-Semite, for which ample evidence exists in a Google search and in discussion threads in blogs, including my own, sometimes pulling the “why no slavery museum?” gambit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. (Oh, and bernarda clearly knew before asking the question that started this post that there is indeed a slavery museum under construction. Make your own conclusions about bernarda’s truthfulness.) Otherwise, why would he so blatantly dodge the questions I posed? This is all that I asked:

  1. Did the Nazi regime implement a program to expel or exterminate European Jewry in Nazi-occupied territory, the fruits of which were the deaths of between five and six million Jews? Yes or no?
  2. Were there homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz? Yes or no?
  3. Do Jews exaggerate the number of deaths in the Holocaust? If so, how and by how much?

They’re fairly simple questions–if you’re not a Holocaust denier. Holocaust deniers, however, seem to have a lot of problems giving a straight answer to them, particularly the first two questions. (The third question might be answered yes by your run-of-the-mill anti-Semite.) Of course, even if bernarda surprises me and answers all of them without equivocation, that would just mean that he’s your basic anti-Semite, not a Holocaust denier.

Finally, I will admit that bernarda is correct about one thing. There is one form of insolence that I do not have any tolerance for on this blog, and I never claimed otherwise. I do not tolerate racism or bigotry here. Racists and anti-Semites should not expect the insolence that I direct at them to be in any way “respectful.” In fact, one reason that I do not simply delete such comments with extreme prejudice is that I want my readers to see how these people think. In any case, racists, bigots, and anti-Semites do not deserve my respect, nor will they get it.

Comments

  1. #1 Ruth
    October 4, 2006

    I remember there was a museum dedicated to slavery in Detroit when I lived there a few years ago. They were having financial issues about the time I moved away.

    I think the polarization on racism and anti-semitism have kept schools from teaching these issues as rigorously as they should. That leaves a vacuum the deniers can capitalize on.

  2. #2 quitter
    October 4, 2006

    The question is why let the deniers capitalize on this at all? It’s just another red herring. What does our acknowledgement of slavery have to do with the holocaust being real, unexaggerated, and a terrible crime?

    Just more distraction techniques from a denialist.

  3. #3 aoi cobalt
    October 4, 2006

    I wonder if you would consider the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center a “slavery” museum?

    http://www.cincinnatiusa.com/Attractions/detail.asp?AttractionID=23

  4. #4 Joseph Hertzlinger
    October 4, 2006

    They’ll start complaining about slavery museums next.

  5. #5 Dawn
    October 4, 2006

    Thanks for the tip about the slavery museum, Orac. I’ve always respected Doug Wilder, from the time he was the gov of VA. Just donated to the cause.

  6. #6 valhar2000
    October 4, 2006

    What about the show “Roots”?

    Eddie Griffin once remarked that it was a mistake on the part of white people to produce that show, since at that time no former slaves were alive, and no black person in the US had ever been a slave, so if it had not been for that show black peole would not know how bad slavery had been.

    Obviously, that was just a joke, but it does point to the undeniable fact that the World Jewish Conspiracy ™ has not succefully diverted the attention of curious and interested people from history.

  7. #7 Markk
    October 4, 2006

    There is a “Black Holocaust” Museum in Milwaukee that many schoolkids visit as part of class projects. I suspect there are others around the country on a small scale in urban areas that the writer probably doesn’t frequent….

  8. #8 John
    October 4, 2006

    In addition to the slavery museum in Virginia, there is a museum dedicated to African-American history due to be built on the National Mall in the near future. The site has been chosen (just west of the American history museum), and it is due to open in 2016. I am sure that construction delays and politics will delay that date a bit. While this museum will cover much more than slavery, it will have to address the slavery issue in all its aspects. So the complaint about slavery not having a presence on the Mall will be nullified, and the Holocaust deniers will have to move on to something else.

  9. #9 David Godfrey
    October 4, 2006

    The UK, as probably the largest participant in the slave trade has several galleries in local museums, and the International Slavery Museum is due to open next year.

    There does not appear to be a dedicated Holocaust Museum in the UK, but the Imperial War Museum does have the Holocaust Exhibition.

  10. #10 James Taylor
    October 4, 2006

    Here in Memphis is the National Civil Rights museum at the old Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assasinated. Granted, it isn’t a ‘slavery’ museum per se, but it does try to cover the history that led up to the civil rights movement and ultimatly the assasination of Rev King. The Fontaine house is also historically significant to the underground railroad. I am glad that a national museum will address the American history of slavery, but it is disingenuous to state that there are no memorials and no cultural centers dedicated to preserving the dark history of the American slave trade. They just aren’t widely publicized. At one point, the NCRM was slated to close due to lack of public interest.

  11. #11 Coin
    October 4, 2006

    I’d also like to remind that there are (and have been, I’m quite sure, since even before the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was founded in 1996) former plantations all over the south which have been preserved as historic sites or converted into museums, and many of these are effectively museums about slavery even if they aren’t named “Slavery Museum”. Some of these are well worth visiting if you get the opportunity.

  12. #12 bernarda
    October 4, 2006

    orac is listed as a science blog, but all he has to offer is personal insults. Anyone who opposes his fanatic zionism is obviously an anti-semite to him.

    I have always stuck to historical arguments. Until the statement above, I have never stuck a “label” on him. But he has continuously attacked me personally rather than dealing with the issues. Now he makes a sad sad attempt. I welcome anyone to read any of my posts and make their own decisions.

    I suppose he thinks these people are also anti-semites.

    http://www.al-bushra.org/jerusalem1/statement.htm

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/17/AR2006071701154.html

    http://workingtv.com/next.html (scroll down to Finkelstein’s lecture “Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semite”.)

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4718.htm

    Or this,

    “Foremost among Jewish critics was Sir Edwin Montagu, Secretary of State for India and the only Jewish member of the British Cabinet. His dissent from the political nature of Zionist aims stemmed from conviction that Judaism was a universal faith, distinct from nationality, and that in the era of the modern nation-State the Jewish people did not constitute a nation. He questioned the credentials of the Zionist Organization to speak for all Jews. In secret memoranda (later made public) he wrote:

    “Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom … I have always understood that those who indulged in this creed were largely animated by the restrictions upon and refusal of liberty to Jews in Russia. But at the very time when these Jews have been acknowledged as Jewish Russians and given all liberties, it seems to be inconceivable that zionism should be officially recognized by the British Government, and that Mr. Balfour should be authorized to say that Palestine was to be reconstituted as the ‘national home of the Jewish people’. I do not know what this involves, but I assume that it means that Mohammedans and Christians are to make way for the Jews, and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France with the French, that Turks and other Mohammedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners, just in the same way as Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine … When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants, taking all the best in the country …

    “I deny that Palestine is today associated with the Jews or properly to be regarded as a fit place for them to live in. The Ten Commandments were delivered to the Jews on Sinai. It is quite true that Palestine plays a large part in Jewish history, but so it does in modern Mohammedan history, and, after the time of the Jews, surely it plays a larger part than any other country in Christian history …

    “… When the Jew has a national home, surely it follows that the impetus to deprive us of the rights of British citizenship must be enormously increased. Palestine will become the world’s ghetto. Why should the Russian give the Jew equal rights? His national home is Palestine”. 36/

    This was very much a minority view in the British Government whose policy was summed up by Prime Minister Lloyd George”

    http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/561c6ee353d740fb8525607d00581829/aeac80e740c782e4852561150071fdb0!OpenDocument

    For a scientist, orac should remember to stick to factual arguments rather than making emotional charges against those who contest his version. His methods rather remind me of the creationists’ ones.

  13. #13 Dianne
    October 4, 2006

    The answer is pretty simple: Because the U.S. did not perpetrate the Holocaust. It helped to end the Holocaust. In contrast, the U.S. did perpetrate slavery. That’s probably why, and it’s just that simple.

    The US didn’t perpetrate the Holocaust, but was friendly with the Nazis for a rather embarrassingly long time. And the respected American industrialist Henry Ford did contribute to the Nazi party when they were just another fringe party, which might have had some influence on their future success. Or not. Not sure where that gets one except that if the US tries to play the “but we ended the Holocaust therefore we’re the good guys forever” card one might want to point out these little inconvenient details.

    As far as Holocaust and slavery museums, they strike me as complementary, not conflicting. The more we remember all past injustices, whether perpetrated by “us” or “them” the more we can recognize future injustices before they get to the level of slavery or the Holocaust. At least, that’s my hope.

  14. #14 bernarda
    October 4, 2006

    On a second point, the slavery museum, “In fact, the entire premise of bernarda’s question above will soon be incorrect, as there is finally actually a U.S. National Slavery Museum , slated to open in 2007.”

    Gee, imagine that, “slated to open in 2007″. I already knew that but didn’t mention it so as not to embarrass orac. Remind me, how long has the Holocaust Museum been open? It seems to me that slavery ended in the U.S. 140 years ago and there is finally going to be a national museum about it.

    Of course it is out in the sticks and not in the center of Washington. But after all, the slaves were out in the sticks weren’t they? It is only fitting. Well, not exactly, slaves built the Capitol Building, the White House, and other government buildings.

    The holocaust has absolutely nothing to do with America. There is no need to have a holocaust museum in the U.S., much less in DC. The U.S. could have a Philippines Colonization Museum though to atone for its genocide against the Philippinos in 1900.

  15. #15 bernarda
    October 4, 2006

    orac is listed as a science blog, but all he has to offer is personal insults. Anyone who opposes his fanatic zionism is obviously an anti-semite to him.

    I have always stuck to historical arguments. Until the statement above, I have never stuck a “label” on him. But he has continuously attacked me personally rather than dealing with the issues. Now he makes a sad sad attempt. I welcome anyone to read any of my posts and make their own decisions.

    I suppose he thinks these people are also anti-semites.

    http://www.al-bushra.org/jerusalem1/statement.htm

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/17/AR2006071701154.html

    http://workingtv.com/next.html (scroll down to Finkelstein’s lecture “Is Criticism of Israel Anti-Semite”.)

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4718.htm

    Or this,

    “Foremost among Jewish critics was Sir Edwin Montagu, Secretary of State for India and the only Jewish member of the British Cabinet. His dissent from the political nature of Zionist aims stemmed from conviction that Judaism was a universal faith, distinct from nationality, and that in the era of the modern nation-State the Jewish people did not constitute a nation. He questioned the credentials of the Zionist Organization to speak for all Jews. In secret memoranda (later made public) he wrote:

    “Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom … I have always understood that those who indulged in this creed were largely animated by the restrictions upon and refusal of liberty to Jews in Russia. But at the very time when these Jews have been acknowledged as Jewish Russians and given all liberties, it seems to be inconceivable that zionism should be officially recognized by the British Government, and that Mr. Balfour should be authorized to say that Palestine was to be reconstituted as the ‘national home of the Jewish people’. I do not know what this involves, but I assume that it means that Mohammedans and Christians are to make way for the Jews, and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France with the French, that Turks and other Mohammedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners, just in the same way as Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine … When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants, taking all the best in the country …

    “I deny that Palestine is today associated with the Jews or properly to be regarded as a fit place for them to live in. The Ten Commandments were delivered to the Jews on Sinai. It is quite true that Palestine plays a large part in Jewish history, but so it does in modern Mohammedan history, and, after the time of the Jews, surely it plays a larger part than any other country in Christian history …

    “… When the Jew has a national home, surely it follows that the impetus to deprive us of the rights of British citizenship must be enormously increased. Palestine will become the world’s ghetto. Why should the Russian give the Jew equal rights? His national home is Palestine”. 36/

    This was very much a minority view in the British Government whose policy was summed up by Prime Minister Lloyd George”

    http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/561c6ee353d740fb8525607d00581829/aeac80e740c782e4852561150071fdb0!OpenDocument

    For a scientist, orac should remember to stick to factual arguments rather than making emotional charges against those who contest his version. His methods rather remind me of the creationists’ ones.

  16. #16 bernarda
    October 4, 2006

    You may notice that my last post spoke of a “second point” which was published immediately. That is because I posted a response to orac’s charges against me and he is considering them.

    “Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.”

    You can see how free debate operates on this science blog.

  17. #17 Orac
    October 4, 2006

    Gee, imagine that, “slated to open in 2007″. I already knew that but didn’t mention it so as not to embarrass orac.

    ROTFLMAO! That’s really very funny. Maybe bernarda does have a sense of humor after all.

  18. #18 Orac
    October 4, 2006

    For a scientist, orac should remember to stick to factual arguments rather than making emotional charges against those who contest his version. His methods rather remind me of the creationists’ ones.

    Perhaps, bernarda thinks this will rile me up.

    bernarda apparently doesn’t know that I spent 7 years on alt.revisionism sparring with anti-Semites just like him (some of them far more clever) before I ever started a blog. I’ve seen all the lame attempts by anti-Semites to cloak their Jew hatred as seemingly legitimate criticisms of “Zionism” over and over and over again. I’ve been there, done that, on all the substantive issues regarding Holocaust denial, racism, white nationalism, and anti-Semitism. Nothing bernarda has posted is in any way anything I haven’t seen dozens, if not hundreds of times, before, so much so that it’s tiresome.

    The Cohen piece, for example, merely cautions the Israeli government not to go too far in Lebanon, lest again become embroiled in an occupation that will drain it. He even points out the other anti-Jewish pogroms that occurred before the Holocaust. That’s very different from bernarda’s rants about how the Jews supposedly use the Holocaust to justify keeping the Palestinians down.

    In any case, I note that bernarda has still not answered a single one of my three questions, thus further reinforcing my speculation about his being a Holocaust denier. We should take a vote to see who agrees.

  19. #19 shot_info
    October 4, 2006

    “You can see how free debate operates on this science blog.”

    Ahh, the ever present cry of the anti-science denialist.

    Rather than having some cheese with that whine, have a go at answering some questions:

    1/ Did the Nazi regime implement a program to expel or exterminate European Jewry in Nazi-occupied territory, the fruits of which were the deaths of between five and six million Jews? Yes or no?

    2/ Were there homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz? Yes or no?

    3/ Do Jews exaggerate the number of deaths in the Holocaust? If so, how and by how much?

  20. #20 Orac
    October 4, 2006

    You may notice that my last post spoke of a “second point” which was published immediately. That is because I posted a response to orac’s charges against me and he is considering them.

    “Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.”

    You can see how free debate operates on this science blog.

    Give me a freakin’ break.

    Your comment got held up because it had too many links in it. It’s called a spam filter, and it holds up posts with more than a certain threshold number of links (among other things), because comment spammers tend to put several links in their spam.

    Nothing nefarious. In fact, I’m letting you spout off because with each successive post you look like worse and worse of an anti-Semite.

    Now perhaps bernarda would like to give a straight answer to my three questions. I can add more if three aren’t enough.

  21. #21 Chance
    October 4, 2006

    Just lurking and thought I’d say this anent those three questions:

    one and two, yes and yes. irrefutable. no denier me.

    as for three: possibly, though i wouldn’t ascribe any hypothetical number inflation to nameless “jews,” but rather historians, and only because large numbers of humans are always controversial (cf recent million-man march on DC, debate over number of amerinds in new world pre-columbus, number of chinese killed by japanese in nanking). also, i think i remember reading an actual survivor — was it primo levi? — talking about jews he’d met who claimed to be in the camps when they weren’t. it’s human nature, sadly, to get attention by claiming extreme things, even at the expense of tragedy. (cf lots of people claiming to have fought in vietnam in past decades or so)

  22. #22 Lucas McCarty
    October 4, 2006

    Bernarda, please familiarise yourself with the definition of a Red Herring fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring_%28fallacy%29

    Orac correctly pointed out that the bulk of your comments focused on distracting attention towards irrelevent issues, personal attacks were quite minimal. You’re continuing to use red herrings by pointing to other articlesn and saying ‘Orac thinks this about them’ when Orac has not said anything about any of them because what they say is irrelevent to what you say, even if they are on the same topic.

    Others have pointed out that there are slavery museums in the US, parts of museums dedicated to informing on slavery and there are more to be opened. You seem to have skipped a lot of posts.

    I oppose Zionism, but I don’t see what Zionism has to do with Jews: people I know who I didn’t even realise were Jewish for a long time don’t seem to care about it. I’ve read Orac’s articles for about a year now and not noticed any overt Zionism, though I have made it clear that I don’t like it and was never called an anti-semite.

    You’re quick to assume the worst when it’s logical for free-post blogs like this that let anyone post to have spam protection. You just used too many links.

  23. #23 epador
    October 4, 2006

    My, its so quiet you could hear a bernarda drop…

  24. #24 Porlock Junior
    October 5, 2006

    One side issue here: I don’t think it’s correct to say that in the South they still talk about the War of Northern Aggression. When was the first time you heard that expression?

    I’ve heard and sneered at the War Between The States all my life, or all my politically aware life, starting with, say, Brown vs Board of Education. And I don’t believe I ever heard the Northern Agression thing before the 21st century.

    Maybe they’ve been saying it for a long time and it just recently leaked out into the civilized world? My bet is on its being a terribly clever new coinage.

    To be perfectly frank, some of us are facing the fact that we just didn’t get the outcome we’d hoped for from Operation Southern Freedom.

  25. #25 bernarda
    October 5, 2006

    Well orac, I have experience with israel lobbyists like you. It is their usual tactic to try to change the frame of reference. Like you, they try to transmogrify criticism of Israel into your bogeyman “anti-semitism”.

    Instead of dealing with my criticism of the current political uses of the holocaust, you create a thread calling me an anti-semite. Is that your logical method? You further take the time to look up my posts from elsewhere–and I thank you for linking them–which were not part of my criticism, which appeared in posts here. Once again, a real debate would have focused on that, but you detoured to where the thread is now.

    You further try to divert attention from the original question by posing (mis)leading questions which are in fact the actual red herring, not what Lucas erroneously comes up with. I said, “6 million jews were killed in WWII, and what about the other 50 to 60 million that were killed?” That is clear enough. I also said, “The fact is that the holocaust is history, like the inquisition,” How these guys find “denial” in these statements is beyond me. Am I also an inquisition denier?

    Lucas also writes, “I oppose Zionism, but I don’t see what Zionism has to do with Jews” I never said it did. I made one point in the previous thread. There is a difference between the history of the holocaust and the political use of it today. I never said anything about Jews in my first two posts that caused all the storm. I didn’t even use the word, though it was in the quote I gave from Ahmadinejad. In fact, I looked back at the previous thread and find that I never used the word.

    But what is in orac’s first reply? A personal attack, in this case guilt by association, instead of responding to my critique with a reasoned argument, “I rather suspect that Bernarda, Michael Hoffman, and Apollonian (not to mention Hutton Gibson) would find broad agreement on many issues.”

    I don’t even know who those people he mentions with me are. On what basis does he “suspect”? Then orac continues, “I particularly like the truly conspiratorialist touch at the end: The Jews encourage Holocaust denial in a nefarious plot to make themselves look like victims.” In fact, those are solely his words, not mine. I said Israel, not Jews. Nice misrepresentation.

    orac is applauded by poster quitter, “good tactic orac”. quitter already used the red herring metaphore, “There are types of arguments which are generally accepted to be invalid, and the use of red herrings or these conspiratorial beliefs are classic examples of bullshit arguments.”

    Is that a reasoned argument against the one point I made in the original post? The red herrings are on quitter’s side, or on sergey romanov’s. He writes, “Bernarda, the Holocaust is not used as a pretext for discrimination against the Palestinians. So Ahmadinejad is full of it. Why do you quote him, then?” I suppose he thinks that just saying it makes it so, as he doesn’t give any information to support his statements. Why can’t one quote Ahmadinejad? If you think he is wrong, explain why. Saying he “is full of it” is not an argument.

    Finally, it is orac who labels–he is good with labels–my posts as “rants”. If he remembered his debating classes, he would remember that using charged words adds nothing to the validity of one’s argument. It is simply an attempt to discredit the opponent, not the opponent’s argument. I forget the word for this fallacy.

    Of the several links and sources that I listed, only one was mentioned, and that conveniently left out mention of the main historical point Cohen made. I linked historical and contemporary statements by anti-zionist Jews, but these are blithely ignored.

  26. #26 bernarda
    October 5, 2006

    A little, correction, on re-reading, I did use the word jews once, in connection to their actually being victims, “6 million jews were killed in WWII” I didn’t use it in the sense that orac and others try to attribute to me.

  27. #27 Orac
    October 5, 2006

    Well orac, I have experience with israel lobbyists like you. It is their usual tactic to try to change the frame of reference. Like you, they try to transmogrify criticism of Israel into your bogeyman “anti-semitism”.

    And I have lots of experience with anti-Semites like you. Their usual tactic is to try to change the frame of reference. Like you, they try to transmorgify their Jew hatred into a “anti-Zionism” or criticism of Israel and label anyone who calls them on their anti-Semitism as an “agent of Israel.”

    Your schtick is old and tired.

  28. #28 bernarda
    October 5, 2006

    Thank you for proving my point, orac. Now you can go back to your Israeli friends at ADL and discover/invent more “new forms” of anti-semitism. It is a thriving business.

  29. #29 Orac
    October 5, 2006

    bernarda is soooo predictable, isn’t he?

    As for the ADL, you obviously haven’t been reading this blog very long if you think I’m a fan of the ADL. Of course, you can’t imagine anything more complex than, “Orac doesn’t like anti-Semites; therefore he must be an Israeli agent and a friend of the ADL.”

    Your stuff isn’t even all that original.

  30. #30 Dale Austin
    October 5, 2006

    One side issue here: I don’t think it’s correct to say that in the South they still talk about the War of Northern Aggression. When was the first time you heard that expression?

    Yeah. I suspect that’s pretty much a modern usage. Which is why I respond with a modern usage of my own (which I read somewhere) calling it “The War of Southern Treason”. Tends to put the brakes on any further claim of victimhood.

  31. #31 Orac
    October 5, 2006

    Actually, a lot of the time it’s phrased as simply “the War Between the States.” I saw that term in a couple of tourist pamphlets when I was in Chapel Hill a couple of weeks ago. Abel and I joked that in the more border states, like North Carolina, it’s the “War Between the States,” but as you head South you start to hear “War of Northern Aggression.”

    In any case, remember that, until recently, Confederate flags or state flags based on the Confederate flag still hung over some state houses, and there were big controversies when legislators proposed removing them or redesigning them.

  32. #32 anonymous coward
    October 5, 2006

    I linked historical and contemporary statements by anti-zionist Jews, but these are blithely ignored.

    That’s because until you specifically answer those three questions, as a gesture of intellectual honesty, nobody should pay you any attention at all.

  33. #33 anonimouse
    October 5, 2006

    Bernarda is the either the “common sense” or the “kevin champagne” of the Holocaust deniers. I can’t decide which, but the same tactics apply. (changing the subject, not answering the original question, ascribing beliefs to the author that don’t exist, not backing up any of his warped views with evidence)

    The least he could be is perversely interesting in a John Best sort of way…

  34. #34 bernarda
    October 5, 2006

    “changing the subject, not answering the original question, ascribing beliefs to the author that don’t exist, not backing up any of his warped views with evidence”

    You are obviously describing orac.

    orac, I would suggest that you combine the two threads and send them off for peer review among your scientist colleagues, who have to me more logical than you, to get some feed back. It will be instructive for you.

  35. #35 Dianne
    October 5, 2006

    I don’t think it’s correct to say that in the South they still talk about the War of Northern Aggression. When was the first time you heard that expression?

    I’ve heard the term used, but never seriously. Mostly by minority southerners being sarcastic, actually. On the other hand, if the Civil War didn’t matter any more in American politics, how come a presidential slate (Pres+VP) must have “geographic balance”, which usually means “contain at least one southerner” in order to win?

  36. #36 valhar2000
    October 5, 2006

    Orac is right in saying that cleverer anti-semites than Bernarda; his anti-semitism shines through in every quote, even right after his having said that he is not. Frankly, I have seen many people making a much better case against the actions of Israel without dripping Jew-hatred in such quantities.

    And, talking about changing the point of reference, who shifted the protrayal of a rabidly proud antisemite into a circuitous debate about Israel, Holocaust remembrance, Russian History and god knows what else?

    You are taller than I remember you, Bernarda. Have you been stacking Red Herring on top of Red Herring under your seat?

  37. #37 shot_info
    October 5, 2006

    “Orac is right in saying that cleverer anti-semites than Bernarda;”

    Bernarda isn’t an anti-Semite…he just hates Jooz…

  38. #38 Sergey Romanov
    October 6, 2006

    bernarda is one of those dumb deniers that doesn’t read what is written to them.

    E.g., I wrote earlier:

    “Bernarda, the Holocaust is not used as a pretext for discrimination against the Palestinians. So Ahmadinejad is full of it. Why do you quote him, then?”

    This is a discussion of Ahmoonbat’s point, isn’t it?

    But bernarda has a gall to write:

    “None of the things in Ahmadinejad’s interview are discussed and none of the things I discussed are debated. It is all personal insults. Is that how scientists now work?”

  39. #39 Sergey Romanov
    October 6, 2006

    Silly bernarda tries to tackle the Ahmoonbat issue:

    “Is that a reasoned argument against the one point I made in the original post? The red herrings are on quitter’s side, or on sergey romanov’s. He writes, “Bernarda, the Holocaust is not used as a pretext for discrimination against the Palestinians. So Ahmadinejad is full of it. Why do you quote him, then?” I suppose he thinks that just saying it makes it so, as he doesn’t give any information to support his statements. Why can’t one quote Ahmadinejad? If you think he is wrong, explain why. Saying he “is full of it” is not an argument.”

    Bwahahaha! Sorry, the burden of proof is on you. YOU claim that the Holocaust is somehow related to the discrimination of the Palestinians. YOU quote Ahmoonbat, who doesn’t substantiate his claims in any way. YOU seem to think that YOUR (or Ahmoonbat’s) saying so makes it so.

    Nice try, moonbat!

    PS: As for arguments, as I said, the burden of proof is on you, but here they are:

    http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2006/04/ahmadinejad-is-at-it-again.html

  40. #40 Sergey Romanov
    October 6, 2006

    I see that bernarda claims that (s)he is not a denier. If it is true, then I apologize for calling him/her that.

    But I strongly doubt it is true.

    “As many non-jews as jews were killed at Auschwitz, including Soviet soldiers”

    http://www.atheists.org/nogodblog/index.php/2006/05/16/move_to_include_christian_a_8220_miracle

    That’ basically denial. About 100,000+ non-Jews died in Auschwitz (cf. http://www.hdot.org/evidence/vanii.asp ). About 900,000 Jews died there. 100,000 is not “as many as” 900,000.

  41. #41 bernarda
    October 6, 2006

    The whole racist terrorist Israel-First squad has descended. Of course all they have to offer is personal insults, thus I respond in kind. Not one of them has had anything to say about the point I made which is that there are actually two holocausts: the historical one and the political one.

    None of the Israeli or other zionist terrorists care about the historical one. They only care about how they can profit from the political one. So whenever anyone criticizes apartheid terrorist Israel, they whine and moan about the holocaust.

  42. #42 Sergey Romanov
    October 7, 2006

    As I said, idiotic rambler bernarda doesn’t read what is written to him. He didn’t answer a single point in my comments, thus proving that he doesn’t deserve any consideration. He accuses others of ignoring arguments, but all he does is ignoring arguments.

  43. #43 Orac
    October 7, 2006

    Indeed, Sergey. bernarda just regurgitates the same anti-Semitic rants about Israel and, as you pointed out, flirts with denial territory with false assertions about Auschwitz while holding up the Iranian President’s own rants as “evidence” that Israel is using the Holocaust as justification for persecuting the Palestinians.

    Oh, and bernarda is still very cagey about answering these questions explicitly. Given that, I think I’ll ask them again:

    1. Did the Nazi regime implement a program to expel or exterminate European Jewry in Nazi-occupied territory, the fruits of which were the deaths of between five and six million Jews? Yes or no?

    2. Were there homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz? Yes or no?

    3. Do Jews exaggerate the number of deaths in the Holocaust? If so, how and by how much?

  44. #44 bernarda
    October 7, 2006

    I thought that I was finished with this thread, but you guys make me laugh too much. Not one of you knows how to make an argument in a debate.

    Now Israeli sergey also has to look up my posts from elsewhere to change the subject. None of these racist zionist(a pleonasm)fanatics really wants to discuss my original point, the holocaust doesn’t mean anything today except for its propaganda value for terrorist apartheid Israel.

    I feel sorry for orac if he does science in the same way he does debate. That is why I suggested that he send these exchanges to some rational scientists that he may even know to find out about his errors in logic. He undoubtedly has peer review of anything scientific he might write.

    You guys are so dumb that you don’t understand the difference between countering an argument and using character assassination. Simply put, even if I were one or all the things you accuse me of being, that does not change anything about the arguments I put forward.

    The arguments are valid or invalid independent of the motivations or beliefs of the person who presents them.

  45. #45 Sergey Romanov
    October 7, 2006

    “I thought that I was finished with this thread, but you guys make me laugh too much. Not one of you knows how to make an argument in a debate.”

    But bernarda does!

    Will he teach us?

    Lesson 1:

    Quote Iranian President on some topic. Demand to address his points. When seeing complaints about lack of evidentiary value of Iranian President’s factless assertions, claim that your opponent ignores points and try to shift your burden of proof on him.

    Shall we continue?

  46. #46 Orac
    October 8, 2006

    Don’t hold your breath waiting, Sergey.

    bernarda may or may not be a Holocaust denier (although, given his waffling on answering my three questions, I strongly suspect that he is), but he uses many of the rhetorical techniques, such as the appeal to false authority (namely, the President of Iran), straw men (claiming that I somehow thought that other victims of atrocities “deserved it”), and red herring (the whole “why no slavery museum?” thing; too bad for him he left behind a post that showed that he knew beforehand that a National Slavery Museum was under construction, thus revealing that it was nothing more than a deceptive rhetorical technique).

    bernarda also totally ignored everything you posted regarding the lack of evidenciary value of the Iranian President’s ravings and simply whined about your supposedly not addressing his points. Having seen anti-Semites like bernarda engage in such deceptions time and time again since I became active in countering Holocaust denial in 1998, I no longer have the patience for it that I once did. Their crap never changes, and no matter how many times you shoot down their fallacious arguments, they’re like Whack-A-Moles, always popping up elsewhere with the very same fallacious arguments.

    bernarda can also spare me his faux pity. He’s the one who requires it more, given the level of hatred that drips from every word he types on this topic.

  47. #47 Kiwiwriter
    October 10, 2006

    I don’t think Bernarda’s a “denier.” I think he believes the Holocaust happened, but the Jews merely got what they deserved, given what they did later to the Palestinians.

    So the Jews were punished in advance for the crime they committed later, by that…uh, reasoning.

  48. #48 Sergey Romanov
    October 10, 2006

    BTW, I am no fan of Israel, but not an Israel-basher either. I see positive and negative in Israel. And I’m not Jewish. To call me a “racist terrorist Israel-First”-er is ridiculous to the extreme.

    bernarda’s implicit claim to be a reasoned critic of Israel is thus exposed as a lie or a delusion.

  49. #49 Orac
    October 11, 2006

    Indeed it is, Sergey. bernarda’s “criticisms” of “Israel” go far beyond reasonable concerns. Every word he types drips of Jew hatred.

  50. #50 Kelso
    October 11, 2006

    Bernarda,

    You are doing fine. These folks know the truth, they, for whatever reason, just don’t want to admit it. And I genuinely don’t know why unless they really believe it. Who knows.

    Concerning the insults etc, remember this is the same ilk that has David Irving (and others) sitting in a prison cell and and are completely sanguine about it.

    It has always been the stereotype that “deniers” are red-neck, uneducated, anti-semitic Nazi scum (did I leave anything out Sergey?) but judging by the caliber of posts I see here, it seems that the education deficit is with the believers.

    Keep up the good work.

    Kelso

  51. #51 Bronze Dog
    October 11, 2006

    Kelso obviously never read anything ever written by us ‘folks.’ Kind of like Donkey.

    Anti-speech laws that ban Holocaust denial are wrong because pretty much all anti-speech laws are inherently wrong. Also, wasn’t Orac against David Irving’s incarceration?

    Insults don’t enter into this: it’s benarda’s complete and utter evasion of the discussion. This post is about one of his evasions, so please stop trying to distract people from that.

  52. #52 Kiwiwriter
    October 11, 2006

    …And now pitching…for the Deniers, number 88…Kelso … number 88.

    …And that’ll do it for Bernarda, who couldn’t find his location or velocity this inning, and was chased off the mound by six straight hits…so Kelso’s the next pitcher coming on here to face the truth…

  53. #53 The Atheist Jew
    October 11, 2006

    Bernarda is well known to many Atheist bloggers. She gets called out as the anti-semite she is, and then says it is impossible for an Atheist to support Israel.
    She has done this to many posters including me.
    I’m speculating but I think Bernarda is a former Muslim who turned Atheist and I also think she is an Arab. But she always ducks the questions of her ethnicity.

  54. #54 Orac
    October 11, 2006

    Oh great, another Larry Darby.

  55. #55 Sergey Romanov
    December 4, 2006

    “It has always been the stereotype that “deniers” are red-neck, uneducated, anti-semitic Nazi scum (did I leave anything out Sergey?)”

    Not necessarily uneducated or red-neck, but mostly anti-semitic Nazi scum, yes.

    “but judging by the caliber of posts I see here, it seems that the education deficit is with the believers.”

    Not that you’ve shown it. Here we see ignorant comments by deniers and/or antisemites, and logical replies by anti-deniers and anti-Nazis. So there ;-)

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