A Facebook Argument about Gaza Gets Nasty

I’m not sure if there is much value in re-posting this, other than a desire to vent and a vain desire to hear what others think. But sometimes it’s helpful to share.

This started when a FB friend of mine posted a video make by a FB user named Ali, who also calls himself “Neat Man”. Ali lives in Gaza and I don’t doubt the distress that he must be in right now. Ali placed the following caption on his video:

My rage just shows that this is bad and that its what it is its a genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians..
Ali
Gaza, Palestine

I responded to my friend’s repost of the video.

Me: Israel’s goal is not genocide. Israel’s goal is to stop the attacks. While I don’t approve of the way Israel prevents the people of Gaza to live a normal life, I can’t blame Israel for every casualty when Hamas fires rockets from populated areas then tells people to remain in those areas to await the missiles.

L: Stop listening to the mainstream media Ben. Zionist have even stated that genocide is their agenda. The Jewish people (not Zionist) have also told the world that they do not support the Zionist hijacking their religion to further their political agenda. Zionist Israel is a terrorist organization who have used the media to advance their political goals. ANY country that locks people into an area where they cannot escape and then bombs them is trying to ethnically cleanse the population. The Zionist goal is to get rid of all Palestinians and they have said this numerous times. Don’t let the media convince you that human right violations are justified. It is never ok to kill innocent people and then to use power, money, corruption to cover up the crime…. GENOCIDE.

Me: I try to listen to a verity of media. I recommend that you occasionally hold your nose and visit news agencies that you find offensive because sometimes your enemies are telling the truth. It’s hard to learn when you decide that anyone telling you what you don’t already believe is lying. I don’t believe Ali is lying, for instance. But I believe he is being used as a pawn. Hamas fires rockets from populated areas and awaits Israel’s wrath. Israel is too happy to comply. The rockets won’t stop because too many Muslims want Arabia to be clean of Jews. And every time a terrorist attacks Israel, Israel attacks Palestinians like Ali. I don’t support everything Israel does, but they don’t want Genocide. They want the rockets to stop.

L: It seems Zionist supporters in the US are all watching their TVs cause all of you keep repeating the same Zionist spun media reports. Collectively you are some of the most hate filled people I have ever known. How you can justify mass murder of people held captive is beyond me. Ben no one can force you to care about human rights. This massacre in Gaza is NOT about rockets. Please refrain from telling anyone what they should do or not do to conform to your value system and thought process. Ben, ALL of Gaza is a populated area. Israel is now firing on Hospitals. Do you actually believe that Hamas is using the Hospital to hide a stash of rockets? Israel destroys Hospitals because that is what angry, hateful Terrorist do for revenge. The world’s Jewry has made it very clear that they too oppose Zionist Israel and the hijacking of their religion to further the Zionist political agenda. Part of which is to secure the Gas reserves off the coast of Gaza…. A multi billion dollar find that the greedy corrupt Israel wants all to itself. As I keep saying…. This massacre is not about rockets. Zionist always think about two things…. Money and Power. What is that saying? Money and Power always lead to…..

Me: Instead of addressing anything I’ve written, you dismissed all with a baseless implication that I get all of my news from watching Zionist spun media reports on TV, which is extremely false. It’s as if you barely read my post beyond discovering that I don’t agree with you 100 percent, and decided that I must be brainwashed or hateful.

Yes, I actually believe that Hamas is using hospitals to stash weapons. You see, I can believe that the Israelis are evil enough to destroy a hospital out of hate but I can also believe that Hamas is evil enough to turn a hospital into a target. You seem to be only capable of believing the Zionists are evil.

Even if the Zionists could be evil enough to destroy a hospital for no reason other than pure hate, how could they be so stupid? Not only did they fire upon a hospital, they broadcast their intentions well enough in advance to allow a large group of Palestinians to gather around and watch. “Hey look everyone, we’re about to destroy a hospital. Grab your smartphones, you won’t want to miss this!”

Hamas is not stupid either. Hiding weaponry in a hospital is a win win situation for them. They either get to store their weapons in a place that Israel won’t dare destroy, or, more likely and more lucrative, they get the publicity of showing Israel’s wanton destruction. So the the next question is if Hamas is willing to sacrifice Palestinians to further their goal of destroying Israel. Considering they used to train people to blow themselves up on buses and in markets, and only stopped because suicide bombers were bringing bad publicity, I have to think the answer is Yes.

They are both capable of evil. I am not as pro-Zionist as you think. But the Israeli strike on the hospital would be completely against Israeli interests if there wasn’t a tactical reason for it, and creating a tactical reason is very advantageous to Hamas.

L: I know you personally Ben and I know what your other personal friends say about you…. It’s not something I would repeat on social media but I am well aware of your political agenda. Your lack of care and concern for the human rights of the Palestinian people and the internationals in Gaza suffering at the hands of Zionist Israel is deplorable.

Me: That is bizarre. We met twice. There is only one person who we know in common and I am sorry if I ever offended him. You know what my personal friends say about me? That’s hard to believe, since you have me characterized so incorrectly. You think I watch TV News. You think I’m repeating the same things as all the other Zionists. You think I have no compassion for the Palestinians.

I believe you are compassionate but I also think you are vengeful, stubborn, and sometimes out of control with your anger. And you don’t fight fair. But this is more important than how we feel about each other personally. I simply don’t believe that your characterization of Israel as genocidal is going to help ease the suffering in the Middle East. Your heart may be in the right place but your refusal to explore information that doesn’t comply with your beliefs is counter-productive. It may not be your intention but you are promoting hate. I believe that Hamas is at least as responsible for Palestinian suffering as Israel is, and I don’t think that anyone who refuses to explore that fact can help stop the carnage. I don’t expect you convince you here. But I ask that you explore points of view that differ from your preconceived notions.

I do not intend to reply to any more personal attacks.

L: You sure act just like a Zionist Benjamin Goldberg hateful, mean and nasty. You come to my house (my wall) and you attack me, my family and friends then just like a Zionist you want to spin it around as if I attacked you. You have a habit of doing this to people you disagree with and we have all seen you attack people and then pretend you are innocent. I didn’t ask for your comment on my wall posts so don’t think I am going to take your foul behavior and just shut up. You pull that on everyone. Attack Attack Attack and you never stop until you get the last word. Please go play your games elsewhere Benjamin.

A New FB User Asks Questions of Ella Ward

Last night, a Samantha, a new Facebook user appeared and immediately posted two pointed comments on the Ella Ward for Congress page. She has a large, eclectic group of likes for such a new user, and a beautiful profile picture, for which she credits a friend with a professional camera. Yet she seems to have no friends and no internet presence for such an attractive young lady with friends who have professional cameras.

The mysterious, friendless beauty had two things to say. First, she took issue with the grammar in some of the campaign’s posts.

Who runs your posts? You have horrible grammar and punctuation
on several posts. Yet you support education and want us to invest
in you? Doesn’t add up to me.

Second, she asked about Dr. Ward’s view on sequestration, and said that Randy Forbes has been clear about his views.

The comment about grammar contains at least three grammatical errors, but it can still be answered. Dr. Ward’s campaign team is a group of dedicated volunteers, and is not a staff of polished professionals. The campaign’s earliest posts were, indeed, filled with errors, but the cause of that problem has been fixed. I don’t believe there are any recent mistakes worthy of any fuss, but if there are, they reflect the roughness of Ella Ward’s grass-roots campaign team, and not any deficiency on the part of Dr. Ward herself. I ask those who vote on grammar not to hold it against her. Dr. Ward supports funding for public education and wants to improve early educational programs and job training programs. That fact is unchanged by any amount of poorly written Facebook posts.

The mysterious user hasn’t posted anything about Randy Forbes’s grammar, despite gems like:

Just arrived at the Romney 2012 rally in Chesapeake. Lamar is with Governor Romney and does a great job!

but since Randy Forbes doesn’t support public education, I suppose his writing is in keeping with his views.

Randy Forbes is one of the few Republicans who manages to stay on message about defense cuts. Unlike Americans for Tax Reform and Cross Roads GPS, who have been calling me several times a day, and other Republican politicians, Congressman Forbes remembers to mix his Keynesian hypocrisy with alarmist warnings about losses of defense capability. But the warnings can’t hide the fact that Forbes and other Republicans know that government spending does create jobs. If the sequestration results in nothing more than the closing of unnecessary commands, like JFCOM, and the reduction of the manufacture of unwanted assets, like the M1 tank, than it will result in no loss of military capabilities. We may actually be safer if the military is forced to make decisions based on defense necessities without being distracted by the requirement to distribute tax dollars to influential state politicians and defense companies. But the sequester will result in the loss of military jobs. Fortunately, those jobs can be replaced by government spending in other areas, such as transportation, scientific research, and of course, education. The problem with such spending is it gives too much advantage to the disadvantaged. With public transportation, poor in a city can compete for more jobs. With universal broadband, poor in the country have greater access to information. It’s counterproductive for Mr. Forbes and his peers to support such forms of spending. It’s better for them that we build tanks.

If Congressman Forbes is concerned about military capabilities, it isn’t his biggest concern. Congressman Forbes voted against sequestration but was just as unwilling to compromise on tax cuts for the wealthy as those Republicans who voted for it. He may have been clear about where he stood, but clearly, he has higher priorities.

I sent a friend request to the new user. I await her response.

Boycott Facebook. ‘Share’ on Facebook if you Agree.

The irony of a Facebook page promoting a boycott of Facebook is so obvious I feel silly even pointing it out. But it illustrates a point. Facebook has become too important to boycott. I’d like to boycott Facebook but doing so would mean I couldn’t ‘Share’ a link to Thousand Kites project with my FB friends and I couldn’t ‘Like” the Western Tidewater Free Clinic‘s Facebook page. Facebook has become a powerful tool to help the advancement of important causes, and if progressives up and leave than this powerful tool will be left in the hands of the very people who gave us a reason to boycott it.

One of those reasons is Eduardo Saverin’s despicable decision to renounce his U.S. citizenship, thus avoiding taxes on Facebook’s initial public offering. He does this after earning billions thanks to the hard working people who support the infrastructure that helped him rise to his position of wealth and fame.

As the Pando Daily points out, Saverin owes the U.S. “Nearly Everything”.

Would Eduardo Saverin have been successful anywhere else? Maybe, but not as quickly, and not as spectacularly. It was only thanks to America—thanks to the American government’s direct and indirect investments in science and technology; thanks to the U.S. justice system; the relatively safe and fair investment climate made possible by that justice system; the education system that educated all of Facebook’s workers, and on and on—it was only thanks to all of this that you know anything at all about Eduardo Saverin today.

But Mr. Saverin doesn’t see it that way. He’s going to take his ball and go to Singapore; a ball he built with the help of hard working Americans.
According to The Atlantic, more and more wealthy are leaving America, balls and all. So what are we to do? Right wing tax reformers say we need to become more like the countries to which our ingrate billionaires are fleeing. Like Singapore.

Singapore is a nice place for billionaires. But for average workers, their hours have risen while their take-home pay has been falling, and many parents don’t have money for their children’s lunch.

As income inequality in the U.S. increases, we may soon catch up to Singapore in the CIA’s GINI index of family income distribution. Singapore’s a little worse than El Salvador, and we’re not far behind. This is the direction the right wing wants us to go in order to beg selfish, arrogant billionaires to stay with us. But it’s absurd to think we can compete with countries that disregard the needs of their poor. No matter how far we lower the tax rates for billionaires, there will always be nations with lower taxes. The right wants us to be more like those nations, even as they accuse Obama of wanting to be more like Western Europe.

They tell us that if we stop taking money from our “job creators” and stop coddling the non-working, our labor force will be more productive and we’ll all live better. But looking at Singapore tells us that our poorest laborers would work more hours for less pay and the income gap will be even greater than it is now.

So, our choice is to lose billionaires to tax havens or become more like the nations to which they’re so attracted. It’s a nasty choice, like continuing to use Facebook or relinquish a tool which is no longer optional in promoting important causes. Those are the choices that our fleeing billionaires have left us.

But it’s the silly protesters who are waging class warfare.

I Don’t Get Facebook or Myspace

I have to admit that I don’t understand why Facebook and Myspace are so popular. For a couple of months, I was addicted to Facebook, but it wore off. I never liked Myspace. It’s strange how they’re basically the same thing but so different. Anyway, I don’t get why so many people are so devoted. If you want to share your thoughts with the world, why not start a blog? If you want to play a game, you can join one of the many gaming sites for games that are worlds better than anything on Facebook. You can send messages by email and chat with messaging systems. Social networking sites are like internets within the internet, and offer basically the same services that can be found outside, except you have to do everything through a clunky interface. The only thing that they seem to offer is the ability to say to some people ,”you’re my friend” and by default, saying to everyone else, “you’re not my friend”. So is that it? Is petulant schoolyard politics what makes these social networking sites so popular?