Israelis Deliberately Slaughter Palestinian Civilians; Assad Cool!

As I write, the Israeli Air Force has killed almost twenty Gazans including an important terrorist leader. It did this as a part of its never-ending self-defense against terrorism emanating from Gaza. I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of Gazan dead rose to near one hundred in a short time.

In the past, Israel exchanged hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for one Israeli captive. Once it was against the corpse of an Israeli. The same sort of strange arithmetic prevails with respect to the civilian victims of Israeli military action, according to world-wide liberal opinion. Collateral killings of Arabs by Israeli Jews are unspeakable atrocities. When Arabs deliberately target and massacre Arabs though it’s not really so bad, not really. Mark my word, it will take only days, if not hours, for the liberal media to treat the twenty, or the hundred victims, of Israeli action as more reprehensible than President Assad 20,000 ( and counting).

Look again: 100/20,000.

It’s pretty clear anyway that Arabs killed by other Arabs just get up and dust themselves off when the cameras are gone.

I hope the new Islamist government of Egypt understands that any Israeli government will nuke parts of Egypt rather than see Israel, the state, and even more importantly, its population, seriously threatened. I am not confident that it does understand. Islamists are a parochial lot (ah, ah!) with feet firmly planted in the seventh century. I fear their ignorant, bellicose fantasies.

Hamas is the regularly elected government of the Gaza strip and a terrorist organization. There is no contradiction there. The fact that it’s legitimate makes ordinary Gazans more culpable of terrorism than would be the case if Hamas had been imposed on them from above and by force of arms. The way I see it, in my simplistic, crude moral way: If you bomb my house and I bomb your house back and your son is killed, it’s your fault, not mine.

There is a link to the Hamas Charter in English on this blog. Its correctness has never been contested in the several years it’s been there. The Charter’s several last pages explains in detail how Hamas plans to deal with Jews when it wins and destroys the Jewish state.

In case you are wondering (or certain), I am not Jewish, never have been, never will be. I am not married to a Jew. My children are not Jewish (as far as I know). I have no economic interest in the “Zionist entity.” I am not even one of the God-inspired Christian Zionists. I wish I could confess to being in the employ of rich Jews who often deposit large sums of money in my Swiss bank account. No such friking luck! I am just a dedicated rationalist who loves democracy in its full Western form, specifically.

UPdate 11/20/12: Every Arab spokesperson, and most Arab professors I have heard interviewed on American radio or television, or on the BBC in the past two days began lying within seconds. One major exception: Hussein Ibisch. You can always count on him to be candid and straightforward.


About Jacques Delacroix

I write short stories, current events comments, and sociopolitical essays, mostly in English, some in French. There are other people with the same first name and same last name on the Internet. I am the one who put up on Amazon in 2014: "I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography" and also: "Les pumas de grande-banlieue." To my knowledge, I am the only Jacques Delacroix with American and English scholarly publications. In a previous life, I was a teacher and a scholar in Organizational Theory and in the Sociology of Economic Development. (Go ahead, Google me!) I live in the People’s Green Socialist Republic of Santa Cruz, California.
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49 Responses to Israelis Deliberately Slaughter Palestinian Civilians; Assad Cool!

  1. Bruce says:

    Maybe our gifted and highly respected United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice could help broker a deal. It would give her some experience before she’s given the Secretary of State slot by her male lookalike Barack Hussein. Hillary has been paid retirement leave for three years.
    I still have a difficult time understanding how so many American Jews can support the elements determined to destroy Israel. It’s a self-loathing that is baffling. Their loyalty to the Democratic Party is not rational.
    I love going to the beach and always have, except when I was in Navy Dive School. Here’s how the folks in Gaza City look going to the beach. A picture is worth a thousand words.

  2. All my Jewish friends are conservatives so, I don’t know the answer to your question very well either. It seems to me that much attachment to the Democratic Party is irrational or non-rational. The attachment of blacks clearly is irrational. All their vote ever brings is a few high-level posts for undeserving upper-class blacks. I think American Jews are simply lying to themselves in large numbers about Obama’s determination to protect Israel.

    God picture of Gaza beach. Bless their hearts. I am glad they get to go to the beach. The beach is good for everyone’s soul.

  3. Terry Amburgey says:

    “I still have a difficult time understanding how so many American Jews can support the elements determined to destroy Israel.”

    I’m not surprised, teapublicans appear to have a difficult time understanding most things. Exactly who are these elements so many American Jews support? Here’s a fill-in-the-blank question for Jacques [he loves them] – who is the largest group of anti-zionists in Israel? I’ll even give a hint: they aren’t muslims or christians.

    The teapublican framing of the middle east is, as is typical, simplistic. The air raid sirens went off here in Jerusalem last night guarenteeing some lively conversation tomorrow at the institute. There will be a diversity of opinion, it’s already been expressed in previous political discussions. Thank goodness the people involved here aren’t teapublicans.

    “The attachment of blacks clearly is irrational. All their vote ever brings is a few high-level posts for undeserving upper-class blacks.”

    Keep denying racial bigotry. It won’t convince anyone that reads what you write but self denial must be comforting.

    • The largest anti-Zionist group in Israel are probably a variety of Orthodox Jews. I knew that without your hints. By the way, I am pretty sure Muslim and Christian Israelis are by and large not anti-Zionist. They can’t say this too loud because the Palestinian good souls who do not possess such citizenship would cut their throats. THe Orthodox Jews are anti-Zionist for reasons neither of us would consider valid.

      I think you confuse simplistic and simple. The latter is usually a virtue. The former denotes a lack of sophistication.

      Whys is it that liberals in general and liberal academics in particular don’t seem to be able to avoid being condescending? Or, is it just me?

      You are in a unique position to contribute some comment to the current crisis. Are you avoiding doing it?

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        From the Miami Herald.
        “America, you are an idiot.
        You are a moocher, a zombie, soulless, mouth-breathing, ignorant, greedy, self-indulgent, envious, shallow and lazy.
        The foregoing is a summation of “analysis” from conservative pundits and media figures — Cal Thomas, Ted Nugent, Bill O’Reilly and etcetera — seeking to explain Mitt Romney’s emphatic defeat. They seem to have settled on a strategy of blaming the voters for not being smart enough or good enough to vote as they should have. Because America wasn’t smart enough or good enough, say these conservatives, it shredded the constitution, bear hugged chaos, French kissed socialism, and died.
        In other words, the apocalypse is coming.”

        Sound familiar? Suspiciously like the teenagers have the keys to the car?
        To claim that liberals are condescending while arguing that the teapublicans lost the election because their opponents are corrupt and stupid takes real chutzpah.

  4. Pingback: Israelis Deliberately Slaughter Palestinian Civilians; Assad Cool! « Notes On Liberty

  5. Terry: I think you keep confusing me with famous pundits.
    And no, there is no chutzpah at all. Philosophers have been warning since Classical Greece that the existence of democracy is threatened whenever the takers outnumber the producers.

    The condescention I denounce is in your tone in addressing me and my readers. Other liberals who express themselves on this blog do the same. I hear the same in the Santa Cruz coffee shops. You used the term “simplistic,” a whole intellectual program, even though you know me well enough to avoid it. You and your more silent allies, and many media commentators,simply have trouble considering the possibility that conservatives arrive at their positions other than because they are misinformed or because they have low IQs. As you well know, I don’t have a low IQ (only a foreign accent), I tend to be well-informed in general. I earned my degree from eh same good university that you did. I performed the same kind of research and published it in the same competitive journals. A short tour of my vita will show that I have also non-academic accomplishments. This discussion is taking place in your native language, not in mine. Finally, I couldn’t avoid liberal viewpoints if I tried (I don’t try.) So, there is something that needs explaining that is well-announced by your choice of the pretend-polite word “simplistic.”

    I am not crying; it does not hurt, I am pointing out something related to my title about teenagers. And, I am only slapping you because you happen to be withing reach, nothing personal.

    In the meanwhile, Terry, you illustrate well the main point of my piece “The Disaster…” You have apparently nothing to say about my statement to the effect that Obama supporters rel-elected him with no discussion, no comment about the very big economic crisis we are in. As I suggested, rock star was re-elected ! Teeny-boppers flexed their little muscles! Wow!

  6. Re: “I am just a dedicated rationalist who loves democracy in its full Western form, specifically”

    That goes for me as well, and I am delighted to hear you saying so !

    This is what I wrote about myself in my latest blog-post, related to latest developments in Gaza / Israel:
    Basically, I am a Human Rights.. fundamentalist if you like, and I whole-heartedly support Freedom-loving people everywhere, anytime“.

    I am also a Liberal / Leftist – or, more specifically, a European-style / Danish Social-Liberal, – I am NOT, however, an apologetic of Islam, nor am I an Israel / Jew-hater, – quite the opposite, – figure that out if you can..

    Nevertheless, – how anyone would vote for Romney is beyond us Danes. 85 % of us would vote for Obama.. – He is not perfect, – and who is.. – I am critical of him in a number of ways, but he is no deluded “religulous” assh—

    • Dear Dane: I like Denmark, I like Danes; I know that many Danes understand English well. Yet, its’ very unlikely that many Danes understands what’s goin g on in the US because of a lack of sophisticated information.

      If you visit my blog even a little bit, it will help you understand why almost 50% of Americans who voted voted for him. Without much trouble, you will also see that this Romney supporter is reasonable intelligent and reasonably well educated.

      Here is a summary: Obama does not really exist. He is a figment of someone’s imagination who looks good in a suit. He inherited a big economic crisis and he made it worse in four years. This is not surprising because the man never achieved anything in his life except get elected.

      Last thought – probably a little difficult for many Europeans : If Obama were exactly the same man but without any African ancestry he would have never been elected to anything except, perhaps to some city council.

      • Thanks for kind words about us Danish ignoramuses and Obama-lovers : )
        I will not argue with you about right / wrong economic policies and who looks better in a suit, so just this: If many voted for Obama mainly because of his ancestry, – and I’m sure that is the case, – then, by the same token, it could explain at least to some extent why a big majority of whites voted for Romney ? – Surely, there is more to it than intelligence and a good education.. – It is a subject that interests me quite a bit, and I’ve read a number of articles on political bias, this for instance: – but then the author of that article is, no doubt, a Liberal, and biased, and proves nothing..
        Anyway, – I’ll see if I can find the time to try understand you better..

      • Frans: if you resort to self-insults and if you make both the questions and the answers, there is not much left for me to do.

        Not “ignoramuses.” I did not say that at all. It’s natural to not understand well the politics of a foreign country. I am an immigrant myself, from France. I am well-versed in the European habit of falsely thinking the US is simple. I suspect that the Danes are much better informed in general than the French, if for no other reason that they tend to understand English much better. Still, how in the world could you do your job of being a Dane and also do my job of being an American?

        You are the third European who wishes to enlighten me about the real meaning of the election in my own country. Frankly, just ask yourself: Why should I discuss the matter with any of you. What’s in in for me? What’s the probability that you will say anything useful that has not appeared many times in the liberal American media?

        Frankly again, you should listen to me lecture instead. It’s quite probable that you have never heard anything directly from an American conservative. Tell me if I am wrong on this specific point, please.

        Your response suggest that you have given no thought to my simple observation that nearly 50% of Americans who voted voted against OBama. Isn’t this fact worthy of your attention? Are they all stupid or uneducated (like me) or is there something there you are not beginning to understand?

        Here is another small item of food for thought: Pres. Obama’s university grades, his grades from when he was 19-20, are under lock and key. He will not divulge them. That’s his right, of course, but why ? I am a retired university professor and I can’t think of a reason. What do you think?

      • Easy now, – I AM listening, and I am not at all trying to lecture you, – sorry if I gave that impression. The article I linked to is relevant everywhere, including France and Denmark, so in a purely Academic perspective, it’s ok to point to it, right ?

        I don’t care about Obama’s grades when he was 20, and I don’t care about his University grades either. I listen to what he says NOW.

        Re: Are they all stupid or uneducated ? – No, – and did I not suggest there’s more to it ? – Also, this is what I wrote myself in an article: “twice as many self- identified Republicans have a 4-year college education”, – so no, I don’t view Americans as simple or stupid. – Believe me also: I’ve heard plenty from American Conservatives, even close family of my (Danish) wife, but also through discussions at IEET – Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, and a number of other places.
        Finally: Majority of ISRAELIS would vote for Romney, and Jews, as we all know, are NOT stupid, and very well educated.
        We Danes don’t have a habit of self-insulting, – rather, we have a habit of being “rude” and speak our minds..
        Trust me: I am listening.. 🙂

      • Jes., Frans, I am not getting through to you. Must be my fault. I did not say that you were trying to lecture me. I said that you should listen to me lecturing you.

        Since the election, my world has filled with European who want to discuss the election with me more or less on an equal footing. You seem to be one of them. Of course, that an equal footing is deserved is not impossible; it’s just very unlikely. Put yourself in my place. Or rather, imagine that a Papu from the center of the island of New Guinea wanted to discuss beer making with you. How eager would you be?

        What I said, I thought clearly, is that your are missing an opportunity to ask questions of an American conservative. I still think you don’t know any, have never had more than a one-minute verbal exchange with one.

        It’s quite possible you will raise issues that will prompt me to write a piece directed at well meaning but under-informed Europeans.

  7. Frans: In the full light of day, I am deeply ashamed of how I treated you. Please, wipe your tears. Remember that your ancestors terrified most of Europe, that they would swoop down on a French town and there, rape all the horses and overload the women with their booty.

    Are yo aware of the associated blog Notes On Liberty? I ask because they are kinder than I and have more diversified content. I hope you will keep reading me though.

  8. It’s a bit siily, really, that we should argue about U.S. politics / election, as that was never my intention. Had it been my intention, I’d be happy to ask you lots of questions, but my first comment was written basically to let you know how pleased I was with your article, and how pleased I was with your statement: “dedicated rationalist who loves democracy”.

    Now that we’ve opened up this “discussion”, however, I refuse your demand for humbleness, and if I come across with a “know better”-attitude, then so do you, that’s for sure, especially with your stubborn insistence than i don’t know anything about “the” Conservative mindset. I’ve been to the U.S. a couple of times, – I have even worked there in my younger days. I worked for a few dollars per hour for a company in Newport Beach – CA.. I was staying with a Danish / American family in a rich neighborhood close to where John Wayne used to live. I met and talked to lots of rich, white, well-educated, Conservative people. As a matter of fact, we used to have long discussions about everything from the meaning of life to economy, socialism, race, and what have we.. All this not to say I know that much about current politica affairs, and it is not one of my priorities either, – BUT.. I will be happy to grab this opportunity to LISTEN to you, and here’s a proposal: How about you either write that article, and I will be more than happy to post it on my site also, – or, I could interview you ? – If you think it is worth your time, – we’ll get on with it.

    Ps. My real name is Joern Pallensen

    • Frans/ Joern. I am sorry if I misconstrued your intention. It’s true that I have this policy: Shoot first; apologize later if it’s necessary.

      It’s probably also true that I am too quick to become irritated by Europeans and by their automatic condescension. Some Europeans are not condescending. I have to remember this.

      Knowing American conservatives is easy if you can read English. Reading the Wall Street Journal once in a while is enough. However, I have not heard of any Europeans who read it, not even journalists.

      What I had propose is simple. If you come up with a topic that I have not already written about that I think is interesting to a fair number of people, and if it appears to be within my purview, I will take it up on this blog.

      I will be glad to be interviewed but I think it’s fair that you should travel a little through my blog first so you don’t raise issues I have already covered ad nauseam.

      I am a surprisingly old guy with some physical limitations in my eyes and in my fingers. Every other part works very well. Thank you for asking!

  9. Terry Amburgey says:

    “I am a surprisingly old guy with some physical limitations in my eyes and in my fingers.”

    It’s not surprising to some of us 🙂

  10. I have no problem with your policy, – I even like it : )

    As I said, we Danes have a reputation for being “rude” ourselves, and some of us are proud of it, – including myself ! – I have no respect at all for political correctness and false politeness, so don’t you worry, and I understand perfectly why you get annoyed with European snobbery, if I may call it that. I especially can’t stand it when European Leftists are pointing their moralizing fingers at Israel, which is why I was so pleased with your article in the first place.

    I will try to read more of your articles, and also keep an eye on Notes-on-Liberty, – thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    It is still beyond me though, why people would vote for Romney, – .or maybe it isn’t.. – I just don’t approve.. – If you wish to know why, you can read this article that I wrote just recently:


    • Peace on you too, Frans. (That’s your name on this blog from now on.).

      I voted for Romney because he was the alternative to the ruinous Obama. It was an anti-Obama vote. The guy is a disaster for everything I love about America.

      In fifty years in this country, I have never had an electoral choice between Mother Teresa and a soccer star, for example. I have always voted for candidates about whom I felt no enthusiasm. Two-party systems tend to do this. The charismatic Obama is an exception. His skin color suspended the judgment of many. Not of all. Many who voted for him are just cynics who want more welfare benefits of all kinds. This includes some big corporate sponsors. This includes nearly all labor unions.

      As a conservative, I am not dismayed that I have no feeling toward the people I vote for. The number one underlying personality trait of conservatism is adulthood: We are not teenage girls who swoon, faint and throw their bras onto the stage!

      Much of this, our dialogue deserves to be an article on the blog in its own right.

      You might want to follow Prof. Terry Amburgey’s comments. He is my constant, faithful liberal-scum critic on this blog. He constitutes a good, intelligent representation of the girlie-man aspect of American liberalism.

      • Thanks – I’ll be following you and Prof. Amburgey, – good entertainment I’m sure..

        I’m fine with Frans, but Trans would be more logical though, as in TRANSHUMANISTEN, – Danish for The Transhumanist.

        Ok, – I’ll give you a break for a bit..

      • I am actually fairly perceptive. By calling you Frans, I hope to help free you from the baggage that goes with terms such as “transhumanism ” and also “ontology.”To the extent that I succeed, we might have a more civilized conversation. Yeah, I am a mean old man!

        Tell me what you do a living or if you are independently wealthy. Use my email if you prefer:

      • Frans it is then, “mean” old man, – love ya 🙂

        I wish you good luck with “freeing” me, but I’m afraid you’re in for a hard time.. – I am feeling ever more comfortable with defining myself as a Transhumanist, but I do know of course it is a term that scares the hell out of many, and to some extent they have good reasons, but that all depends..

        As for Ontology, – I suspect you may have read my profile already since you mention that term.. and if not, then here it is:

        I am deeply serious when I tell you there is nothing more important to me – apart from my family – than Ontology of Self, i.e. : Is there a ghost in / beyond the machine or not ?

        What I do for a living ? – I have a young teacher wife who works her buts off to support me 🙂 – That is actually true, but I did work myself until a couple of months ago though. Truth is, I am turning 62, and in Denmark it is possible to stop working when you’re 60, provided you’ve been a paying member of a Labor Union for a good number of years. – I guess, as a Conservative.., you’d say I’m now living off Welfare.., and you’d have a point, but that is how things work over here, – for a while still, as things are getting tougher here too, financially. Last 10 years or so, I worked in a Warehouse, distributing goods for a big Supermarket Chain. I will probably work still during holidays, although I really am a lazy bum.., – prefer reading and writing.. – We are not wealthy, but certainly not poor either. Our lives are very comfortable, and I feel priviledged to be living in Scandinavia, even if Denmark can be somewhat boring..

        Was that civilized enough..

        Frans 🙂

      • Frans: I did try to read your profile but my Danish is kind of rusty. The word “ontology” did jump into my face. It and your brand of philosophy don’t scare anyone. I am only trying to cure you of using such words in civilized company. Whether I will succeed depends almost entirely on two things: a) How old you are and b) Whether you are a graduate student.

      • THIS profile:

        Going to copy it to that Gravatar.., – sloppyness on my part…

      • Can’t open it. Maybe tomorrow.

      • Now that you have hopefully read my last comment again, including the profile I linked to, you know my age and degree of education, so curious to hear your verdict: Will you succeed..

        It surprises me you say Transhumanism scares noone, and I’m sorry to say your dead wrong. I know from lots of – civilized – conversations, that it does scare many, and Francis Fukuyama even (in)famously called it “the World’s most dangerous idea”.

        This is what it basically is to me, in very simple terms, and I take it you can go along with as much: Making things better by promoting rational thinking


      • Frans: I am still not reaching you. I was not speaking about the philosophy but about the word itself.In any case, I don’t think there are many dangerous ideas at all. Fukuyama is a sort of drama queen, you know

        And I never expressed any curiosity at all about your degree of education. I just wanted to know if you were currently a graduate student. (That would explain the big words.)

        Pay attention or I will have to fly to Denmark and seduce your girlfriend (and if it’s a boyfriend, you are safe.)

      • Seducing my GIRL-friend will probably be “easier” for you than freeing me from the use of big words..

        Apropos – (french, eh..) – I am not overly pleased with the WORD Transhumanism either, but I’ll have to stick with it I guess, as “everyone” is using it these days..

        That link works fine when I click on it, but alternatively, you should now see the same when you mouse-over that Gravatar, as I have now updated it.

        I couldn’t care less about Fukuyama either..

      • Well, at least, I had guessed right about your girlfriend. Here is another request: Don’t use “quote” marks unless “you” are “quoting.” It looks gay (which is fine but only if you are “gay.”)

        Are you a graduate student, yes or no?

        I wouldn’t mind if we occasionally bounced off each other on topics of shared interest after I succeed in linking up. It’s difficult; I am not competent; my fingers are the weakest part of my anatomy (thanks again for asking). I am astonishingly busy for a retired person. I don’t really know how to explain it.

        Have you looked yet at Notes On Liberty? I only insist because I have a good record at sensing fruitful potential connections.

        I have fond memories of a long time ago about a small town in northern Jutland, a town with a ferry link to Gothenburg. Gee, I hope that wasn’t your aunt, or worse!

        PS Big words: A propos is two words in English as it is in French.

      • Sorry about your physical challenges, but you are certainly highly competent mentally,! – I’ll make it easy for you and post that profile below.

        Thanks for the advice about the use of “-” – but you’ll just have to accept my.. – huh.. BIG word here: idiosynchracies 🙂 – I don’t care in the least how people perceive me. Intelligent folks like you will easily see through the fog, – (I just followed your advice after all, and didn’t add quotation marks to fog..)

        If, by graduate student you mean did I go to College, the answer is yes, – read the rest in my profile.. – By the way, I could continue my studies tomorrow, should I wish to, as noone in Denmark pays to study at University, – in fact we are payed to do so. Also there is no age-limit / discrimination, and since I left High School with TOP marks in all subjects, I could even choose any subject of my choice. I have no such plans though, – it would be a complete waste of taxpayers money.., – You see, I am actually quite “conservative” – (sorry..).

        I only briefly looked at Notes On Liberty. Like you, I am really busy, and it has only gotten worse after I began using Facebook. I used to HATE Facebook, – and still do to some extent, but I’m already getting hooked.. damn’ it.

        So you’ve been around, eh ? – Yep, – Danish girls hard to resist, – but then so are.. Ukrainian, Venezuelan, Vietnamese, Israeli, etc. etc. etc. 🙂 That ferry-crossing was from Frederikshavn I believe.

        Ok, – time to walk the dog, – wife is in town, son out.., so here’s that profile: – So long…

        Yep, – that’s me alright on that photo, which was shot in Pokhara, Nepal. I am “a few” years older now.., but still looking good they tell me # ; – )

        Old hippie then ? – Well, – if so, then a somewhat conservative “hippie”, who never cheated on his wife, never gets drunk, don’t smoke, only swears occasionally, and what can I tell you..

        These days I like to think of myself as a writer. You will discover what kind of writer if you explore this blog..
        Since 2011, I have also written a few articles for “Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies”,

        My Bio says:

        “Joern Pallensen studied psychology at University of Copenhagen and has had a lifelong interest in philosophy of mind, in particular ontology of self. He was introduced to IEET when he was interviewed for the 2011 article, “Happiness, Freedom, Equality, Rudeness – welcome to Denmark!”

        True, true.., but.. between you and me, that bio was written to make it sound as if I was at least not a complete “nobody”. Truth is, I never graduated.. , but what the heck: Make up your own mind about who and what I am by reading what I have to say !

      • I don’t care whether you graduated or not. I just wanted to know if you were currently studying for a doctorate or for a Masters’ degree.

        And you Europeans can’t stop yourselves from bragging idly. If the Danish university situation is so great, where is your micro Silicon Valley? And why is Denmark -like other European countries/ societies – disappearing?

        I am a little enervated this evning because I spent the afternoon at the beach with my grand-daughter splashing in the waves. Ah, ah!

        Thanks for reminding me of the name of that Jutland town. There may be a bunch of young people there who strangely, speak Danish with a faint French accent!

      • Splashing in the wawes with your grand-daughter, – now, THAT is life ! – and from the impression you give me.. TU LE VAUX BIEN !

        Re: “bragging” – Did you have a look at my article – “Equality matters” – – In it, I state: ” NO ! – Scandinavians, or the Japanese, are not better, they are homogeneous”, – and may I suggest homogeneity is the small-nation-magic, you mentioned yourself.. – Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating racism or anything like it, just pointing out the fact, – and you like facts – right.., – that homogenous countries have a higher degree of trust, which translates to higher willingness to share, – but I am digressing..

        Re: where is your micro Silicon Valley?

        Well, – even with free education, the average IQ probably sets a limit.., and as for elite Universities, we can’t quite compete with the best in the US – or should I say California.. – Nevertheless, we are doing pretty good:

        Going out this afternoon with a friend / colleague of mine, – a beautiful Vietnamese lady 🙂

      • Hi, Frans. Yes, I read it. I am interested in the homogeneity argument but I find it unconvincing. Trust is in principle a credible mechanism for many good things but it’s not obvious that is is sort of mechanically associated with such things as “95% lukewarm Lutheran plus speakers of the same language.” The latter, by the way, is common also in many other nation-states that don’t have any of the other features of success Denmark has.

        Besides, free college and such seemingly good things supported by taxes don’t appear to me to be a product of a willingness to share,as you say. If the issue were willingness to share, the costly and morally offensive taxation link would be by-passed altogether. The sharing could be achieved through voluntary associations and voluntary gifts and donations.

        The question about where is the micro Danish Silicon Valley was originally formulated out of meanness, just to play with your mind. It turns out that it may stand for something important:
        Why doesn’t a rich, well-educated , free, peaceful society such as Denmark generate some sort of Silicon Valley? I mean nodules of inventiveness that change life. As I ask, I am well aware of the issues of scale. I have in mind something like “inventiveness per capita.”

        This discussion does not belong in a series of comments to the Gaza event. I have to think of something.

        I often mention the beach and the sea when I talk to Europeans in the fall and winter seasons. It’s just another case of old man gratuitous cruelty. The warm weather northern California is experiencing in the closing days of November may be a sign of the “global” warming about which I am skeptical. I hope it is. Beach weather with shirts off is in fact not common in this season at this latitude. If its’ global warming, I salute it!

      • This comment will also relate to Israel..

        “95% lukewarm Lutheran “ – LOL – a very accurate description, but apart from homegeneity, which is of course not the only explanation for willingness to share, I’d suggest that percentage of atheists plays a big role also, contrary to what the “religulous” would have us believe, but that is another story.. – Willingness to share hinges also on people’s perception of fairness of the taxation system, i.e. does everyone pay a reasonable amount, and that is just one of many problems with voluntary donations.

        Re: Silicon Valley Well, – although the “Medicon Valley” of Copenhagen / Malmö area has maybe not quite lived up to expectations, it does account for more than 20% of the total GDP of Denmark and Sweden combined. – What I hear very often, is that Danish entrepreneurs in general have trouble getting sufficient financial support / investment locally. I guess the country is simply too small for really big business.

        One Danish / Swedish invention I could mention, is SKYPE, which was sold to Ebay for $ x billions, and later to Microsoft for ?… My guess is that Denmark is among top 10 in per capita inventions, – Sweden probably in top 5..

        I was asked in this interview: if I considered Denmark a role-model for Techno-progressiveness. My answer was:

        Judging from a list of the top 50 universities for engineering and technology,technoprogressiveness appears to have little to do with equality. It is the size and strength of a country’s elite, in terms of science, that is the determining factor for techno-progressiveness.

        My keyword for the creation of any Silicon Valey equivalent would be RATIONALITY, – or 1. Average IQ’s 2. Percentage of Atheists 3. Community cohesion / homogeneity. Enter ISRAEL: Ashkenazi Jews have World’s highest average IQ’s, – Israel has a surprisingly high percentage of Atheists, and besides, the Jewish religion, unlike Islam and Christianity, embraces science and higher education. Add to this the “homogeneity”: Jews are a diverse bunch, but can best be described as a FAMILY. – Not surprising, Israel is callled the little Silicon Wadi. – A pity however, that both Israel and the U.S. have issues with religious no-brains..

        Ps. If I was forced to choose between techno-progressiveness and Egalitarianism, – what would I choose ??…

      • Frans: The soup you offer is too rich for me. Three comments: 1 Skype is a good response to my challenge. It corresponds to my ideal description of an invention that changes life; 2 Number of patents is a good approximation of inventiveness. Book titles published is another (but quickly losing its value because of Internet publications). You might use those to estimate the Denmark-Sweden inventiveness issue. 3 US studies in the US regularly show that church-goers are more generous than the non-practicing and self-declared believers than atheists and agnostics. Might be different elsewhere.

        4 Calling Israel a homogenous country beggars the imagination; it would even if you ignored the 20% population who are not Jewish either by faith or ancestry. Israel is a land of immigration, like Canada or, more accurately, like, Singapore. Don’t try to pull a fast one on me; I am quite alert. I am one of those old guys who pretends to sleep on a bench under a blanket. Let a silly, insouciant skateboarder swoop by however, and out comes the hooked cane, in a flash!

      • Hi, – I am out today, but have good answers in store.. 🙂

      • Hi, – I am well aware of how alert you are, but it makes two of us, and I won’t be fooled either, and this soup will do you good 🙂

        I’ve spent all day with a close Danish / Jewish friend and several family members, so I’ll comment in reverse order:

        4. Not implying age equals authority / truth, I asked the oldest of them, if he thought Jews were homogeneous. His answer was a clear NO, but my theory still holds though. Essentially, Jews are a FAMILY, and that is also how they’d describe themselves, rather than a race, ethnic group, culture, or religion. In other words, they care / share because of KINSHIP, less so when it comes to the 20 % Israeli Arabs, who are still, however, far better off than their fellow Arabs in neighboring countries.

        3. Hard to keep this short, but a couple of thoughts below, and I have sent you the full text of an interesting article to your email:

        – Foreign aid as percentage of GNP is clearly correlated with percentage of atheists

        – welfare programs are strongest in nations where atheists are more common

        – how much of donations given to religious organizations should be counted as charity ? – What about selling cookies at the bake sale after Mass ? – Hint: Catholic Church, for instance, is stinking rich, so are Mormons, so are…

        – Altruistic and moral behavior is somewhat negated when you think big brother or an imaginary sky daddy is watching your every move..

        – Top three American Philanthropists : Warren Buffett, Bill & Melinda Gates , George Soros, – all atheists, excluding Melinda Gates I’ve heard.

        1 & 2: I already linked to – according to which Denmark takes top spot in terms of innovation contributing to OVERALL wellness. I’ve studied such figures extensively, and Denmark scores high on nearly all parameters, – sorry about the bragging – he-he.

        Don’t forget, however, that I do not consider equality a prerequisite for technoprogressiveness. I could perhaps take the third ingredient – homogeneity – out of the soup to make it tastier for you.., and I’ll admit that ingredient belongs perhaps, more to an “Soup Egalitarian”..

      • FRans: Too much: Your informal inquiry reveals that we have major methodological differences. Your Jewish friends say that I am right but what they say does not matter: How did they become experts? Or objective?

        Do an old man a favor: Give me one or two per capita figures that express Danish superior inventiveness/ creativity as a probable function of quality of Danish universities. (I have nothing against the thesis, in any case; just curious.)

      • You sure are quick on the trigger, even for a “mean” old man 🙂 – I am not aware of attributing expertise and objectivity to my Jewish friend. Even a quick search reveals the homogeneity of the Jewish people to be controversial, apart from Ashkenazi Jews perhaps. What remains, and what counts, is the feeling of belonging to the Jewish family.

        I don’t believe the data I am about to present shows any (superior) inventiveness, – and certainly not as a function of the quality of our Universities, and as I said earlier, average IQ’s most likely sets a natural limit. In other words, even with very impressive scores on a number of parameters, Danes / Scandinavians should not be expected to be better scientists / entrepreneurs, but it is something I am debating with myself, because somehow, even taking the IQ-barrier into account, societies with the best overall wellbeing would seem to be well equipped for life-changing inventions as well..- and personally, it is overall wellbeing that concerns me the most, not the elite as such, and I am saying so as a Franshumanist..

        Anyway – I may have been cherry-picking here, but judge for yourself:

        Apart from the study I’ve linked to already twice, showing Denmark to be the most innovative nation in the world, – in terms of “contributions to the general advancement of mankind’s wellbeing”, Denmark is also
        best in terms of work-life balance:

        Judged by impact of Scientific / Technological Research– (citations per paper) – Denmark again takes top spot, although I think Switzerland is the true champion here, as they produce many more papers per capita, with an impact comparable to Denmark’s.

        The 2012 Global Innovation Index rankings: Denmark # 7 – (U.S. # 9)

        Add to this Forbes latest list of Best Countries for doing Business: Denmark # 2 – “on the strength of its technology, trade freedom and property rights”

        I could go on, but hope this will satisfy you.

      • FRans: I am overwhelmed as usual reading you. The discussion of inventiveness between us began with my off-handed comment about how it seemed that tuition-free Danish universities did not seem to spawn anything like Silicon Valley (even on a micro scale). I am educable but please, please, single out the ONE reference that best addresses this narrow topic.

        The comment comes from my strong impression that big government societies are largely sterile. The impression comes from close observation of France, and more distant observation of Spain and Germany. If Denmark ( and /or Sweden) is both a big government/high taxation country and nevertheless an inventive society, it’s worth knowing, obviously. That’s a narrow concern. Other than that, I don’t doubt that Denmark is a good country. I began our exchanges by stating just that. Incidentally, your affirmation of Switzerland as very productive re-inforces my impression since that country nearly invented small government.

        In brief: Give me (and our readers) fewer reading assignments but make them pointed.

        nN the issue of homogeneity: I don’t know what you mean about Israelis, even Israeli Jews being a homogenous group because they feel like a family. The Mafia also feels like a family (“Nostra famiglia”) Yet, it’s not an especially inventive group: Same old shoot them in the back of the head; same old blow him up in his car!

        What yo says about IQs also does not make much sense to me. As far as I know IQ distributions look the same for all large populations of speakers of European languages. A fairly small population like the Danish could be skewed a little one way or the other. I don’t know; it’s interesting. Perhaps the seventh century Danish Vikings who went home were smarter than those who staid behind in Normandy or in Dublin!

        Please, give us limited reading assignments compatible with holding a job or even being retired (like me).

      • Frans I have composed a response twice and twice it has disappeared into places hidden for me. I give up for the time being.

      • No worries, and don’t forget to enjoy the good weather if you still have it. Just saw the forecast for Denmark: First snow this winter in a couple of days, but we don’t mind, and our dog loves snow.

      • So your response didn’t disappear after all. Good, – and I’ll make this (relatively) short then, but I don’t think there is ONE best reference, it is really not that simple. That said, two points to address the Silicon Valley topic:

        1. Scandinavians cooperate, e.g. workers and employers TALK to each other, – public institutions and private enterprises are not adversaries. CONSENSUS is a virtue, and it is worth checking out the Danish Consensus Conference Model, invented by the Danish Board of Technology. When this model was introduced in France, it had no succes, because of French Elitism / lack of respect for laypersons.. . The central idea of the model is to use ALL human resources, including common folks..

        It is my theory, that cooperation, consensus, sharing has a lot to do with homogeneity / family / tribe / small nation.

        2. As mentioned, we do have our socalled Medicon Valley, a cluster of Pharmaceutical companies, Universities and Hospitals, that accounts for more than 20% of the total GDP of Denmark and Sweden combined.

        Re: Switzerland – Small Government, or Autonomy and Direct Democracy..

  11. ‘Ps. Wall Street Journal ? – Wrong again, – I’ve read lots of articles, and it is linked to constantly on Danish blogs I happen to read, – so there 🙂 – Yes, you really must be carefull with your own prejudices..

    • Well, good for you. I am very glad you read the WSJ. It’s not a prejudice to say that I did not know any single European who read the WSJ, it’s a fact. Thanks to you, I now know one (cybernetically speaking, that is). I am glad, there is one.I understand that if there is one, there are probably two or more. My point has not changed much, and thanks to you, I am able to make it more forcefully than before: I keep bumping into European intellectuals
      who are both obsessed with the US and astonishingly misinformed about this wide open society.

      “Bumping” includes encounters on the Internet and reading, of course, as well as my formerly frequent trips inside Europe. (I don’t feel like going there anymore. Much of the reason is that I don’t have the patience, another story.)

      I hope I am even more wrong than you suggest. Yet, of course, it will take some evidence to destroy a lifetime of experience coming from many different sources.

      I want to make one thing more specific: I have accumulated reasons to think that Scandinavians and Finns are usually better informed than other Europeans. There may be some sort of magic of small societies at work there. It’s an interesting possibility I have not yet explored.

      Finally, there is something I should have said earlier: My quasi-certitude of European ignorance about American conservatives does not apply to the Brits. There are conservatives in the UK that are a lot like us. For one thing, they have the same primary sources, historically speaking.

  12. Pingback: Inventiveness: United States versus Denmark.. | Transhumanisten

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