Can the Centre Hold?

 

I’m speaking in a Yeatsian, rather than a political, sense:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity–W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming

I’ve already mentioned the disgraceful performance of Sky News’s Kay Burley, who decided to put her spin on the question of proportionate equivalence with the following “question” for Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy:

I was speaking to a hostage negotiator this morning.  He made the comparison between the 50 hostages that Hamas has promised, promised to release, as opposed to the 150 prisoners that are Palestinians that Israel has said that it will release, and he made the comparison between the numbers and the fact that does Israel not think that Palestinian lives are valued as highly as Israeli lives…”

Just try diagramming that last sentence.  Even if your native-speaker-of-English bona fides are not entirely up-to-snuff, you’ll readily spot the clever trick at the end, in which she tries to connect the “F” word (as in: what comes next–no matter how I phrase it–is clearly a FACT) with her phony question for Mr. Levy: “Does Israel not think that Palestinian lives are valued as highly as Israeli lives?” She concatenates the two and then waits for Mr. Levy to (literally) drop the mic in defensive confusion.  What a disgusting display.  And how brilliantly he responded, calling it just that.

Then, we have Leo Varadkar, the Prime Minister of Ireland, who–while celebrating the return of 9-year-old hostage Emily Hand to her family–uttered these stirring words in a Tweet (or whatever they are called nowadays):

This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family. An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and we breathe a massive sigh of relief. Our prayers have been answered.

I can’t tell if he thinks the little girl wandered away from her family in a shopping mall, or if he’s trying out for the part of John Newton in the next church play.  (Unlikely, that second one, given the religious and political complications, methinks….)

Next, we have this headline from the New York Times, part of what’s turning into the daily reality show of hostage and Palestinian release drama:

Twitter’s community notes function went into overdrive, and eventually even the New York Times issued some context to the story, and admitted that this national heroine had disfigured herself by trying to drive a car laden with a propane bomb through an Israeli police checkpoint where it exploded and blew her up in the process.  That she’s alive at all today is–I expect–only the fault at the mercy of those same Israelis, although they reportedly refused her demands to do plastic surgery extensive enough for a complete facial reconstruction.

From everything I can see, her reasons for being convicted and in an Israeli jail are fairly typical of those Palestinian prisoners released in this “hostage deal.”  Ugh.

Today, we have the developing story of ten-month-old Kfir. He and his four-year-old brother were taken hostage, along with their parents Shiri and Yarden Bibas, on October 7.  None of them is on the list of hostages to be released during the current cease-fire, and they are believed to be held somewhere in Southern Gaza by a terrorist faction other than Hamas itself.  It’s unclear if they were taken from Israel by that faction, or if Hamas handed them over to that faction in order to disperse hostages throughout Gaza, to make it more difficult for Israel to continue military operations in the Strip once the current “pause” reaches its sell-by date.  According to the Telegraph (again):

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani [the Qatari Prime Minister] told the Financial Times that Hamas cannot agree an extension to the current ceasefire until it locates 40 women and children who are allegedly being held by civilians, gangs and other Islamist groups.

“We don’t yet have any clear information how many they can find because . . . one of the purposes [of the pause] is they [Hamas] will have time to search for the rest of the missing people,” he said.

Hamas has told Qatar that it did not capture any civilians on October 7, instead blaming it on other Islamist groups and opportunistic Palestinian civilians. [Emphasis mine]

Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will extend the current four-day ceasefire by one day for every 10 additional hostages that are released.

But the Qatari prime minister’s comments will cast doubt on whether Hamas can provide the hostages necessary to keep its side of the bargain.

I don’t know if you’ll find this level of detail anywhere else (although, to be fair, much of what I’ve read in the Telegraph turns up in the New York Post about 48 hours later).

I also don’t know any other way forward than to keep on pointing out the truth among the cowardly deflections and the outright lies that spew forth on a regular basis.  If we keep on doing that, and don’t give up, then maybe the centre can hold.  If not, I expect we’ll continue slouching towards…you know…the thing…, and all bets are off.

On a lighter note–because, by gum, sometimes it is possible to lose yourself in all this misery, and sometimes we need a little leavening in our lives, I give you what is possibly both the most sublime and the most ridiculous example of cultural memory-holing on record, in which the U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona (a Gen X-er), in what he probably thought was a praiseworthy stab at bipartisanship, invoked the memory of The Great Communicator.  It’s right at the beginning of the clip.

🤯

Here’s the dear man in 1986.

He was a great communicator. The fact that Miguel Cardona (or whichever nitwit wrote his speech) missed the point, buried the lede, or simply decided to ignore the facts tells you more about him/them than it does about Reagan.

Sometimes, the jokes just do, as Tomi Lahren says, write themselves.

Illegitimi non carborundum.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    She: I also don’t know any other way forward than to keep on pointing out the truth among the cowardly deflections and the outright lies that spew forth on a regular basis.  If we keep on doing that, and don’t give up, then maybe the centre can hold.  If not, I expect we’ll continue slouching towards…you know…the thing…, and all bets are off.

    The center can hold. It’ll be called “far-right” by all the Usual Suspects, who will be mercilessly mocked for so doing. We will hurt their feelings. There will be nothing “micro” about our aggressions.

    • #1
  2. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Things do not look promising. 

    • #3
  4. She Member
    She
    @She

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Things do not look promising.

    That is exactly when we do our best work.

    • #4
  5. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    She:

    Then, we have Leo Varadkar, the Prime Minister of Ireland, who–while celebrating the return of 9-year-old hostage Emily Hand to her family–uttered these stirring words in a Tweet (or whatever they are called nowadays):

    This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family. An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and we breathe a massive sigh of relief. Our prayers have been answered.

    I honestly think he vaguely recalled hearing the phrase, “my son who was lost is now found,” did not know it comes from the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and used it anyway.

    Mind you, I’m explaining, not excusing. There is no excuse.

    • #5
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    She (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Things do not look promising.

    That is exactly when we do our best work.

     

    • #6
  7. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Every now and then, there’s an encouraging sign.

     

    • #7
  8. She Member
    She
    @She

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    She:

    Then, we have Leo Varadkar, the Prime Minister of Ireland, who–while celebrating the return of 9-year-old hostage Emily Hand to her family–uttered these stirring words in a Tweet (or whatever they are called nowadays):

    This is a day of enormous joy and relief for Emily Hand and her family. An innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned, and we breathe a massive sigh of relief. Our prayers have been answered.

    I honestly think he vaguely recalled hearing the phrase, “my son who was lost is now found,” did not know it comes from the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and used it anyway.

    Mind you, I’m explaining, not excusing. There is no excuse.

    Yeah.  There are plenty of explanations, some of which I could even get behind in other circumstances. Where Varadkar–a man who was educated in an Irish Christian school, who says about himself that he’s not religious but that he finds religion “fascinating,” and who is the son of a Hindu father from Mumbai and an Irish Catholic mother falls on the scale, is anyone’s guess.  I just wish either he or his handlers were slightly more literate, as there is a rather significant religious dimension to the current crisis.

    • #8
  9. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    “concatenates”

    Concatenate is a Latin word meaning \”to link together in a series or chain.\”

    I had to look that one up. In 76 years I do not remember ever having heard or seen that word.

    What that woman did was very clever, but totally insincere questioning. She pulls the word, “FACT” out of the air, having never actually established any fact, and inserts it in front of an insulting assumption in an attempt to mislead her listeners. “Look over there…it’s a squirrel”. In simpler terms, the interviewer concatenates fact with fiction. 

    Very well done @she.

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    It’s so humorous to see someone so very, very far out on the pro-Zionist extreme viewing themselves as being in the “center.”

    • #10
  11. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    She: her phony question for Mr. Levy: “Does Israel not think that Palestinian lives are valued as highly as Israeli lives?”

    She ought to ask that question to Hamas, they are clearly the ones who think 3 Palestinians are only worth 1 Israeli.  I’m sure Israel would have no objection whatsoever to a 1-1 prisoner-for-hostage exchange rate.

    • #11
  12. She Member
    She
    @She

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    It’s so humorous to see someone so very, very far out on the pro-Zionist extreme viewing themselves as being in the “center.”

    🤣🤣🤣

    OH.  Hello Jerry.  Where’ve you been?

    If you had any sense, “empathy” or interest in a rational discussion, you’d have realized that my use of the word “centre,” and its meaning related specifically to the Yeats poem. (I think I made this explicitly clear in the opening sentence of the OP.  Apparently YMI.)

    That you somehow think the word “center” (your spelling) has something to with me, and is all about me and my determination to place myself on what you call the “pro-Zionist extreme” while I pretend to be in the political “center,” (your spelling) simply reinforces what I’ve repeatedly said about you.  You’re incapable of reading the room, and of relaying the truth.

    When you have something actually interesting to say, or something which extends beyond a comment which is just a fact-free disparagement of a person who disagrees with you, have at it.  Meanwhile, please bug off.  Go write your own post.  I promise (in this singular, one-and-only case) to ignore it.

    • #12
  13. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Inactive
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    She: her phony question for Mr. Levy: “Does Israel not think that Palestinian lives are valued as highly as Israeli lives?”

    She ought to ask that question to Hamas, they are clearly the ones who think 3 Palestinians are only worth 1 Israeli. I’m sure Israel would have no objection whatsoever to a 1-1 prisoner-for-hostage exchange rate.

    Yes, as I’ve said elsewhere, the Palestinians have a monopoly on the supply of hostages and are engaging in price gouging.

    (It ought to be illegal.)

    • #13
  14. She Member
    She
    @She

    cdor (View Comment):

    “concatenates”

    Concatenate is a Latin word meaning \”to link together in a series or chain.\”

    I had to look that one up. In 76 years I do not remember ever having heard or seen that word.

    What that woman did was very clever, but totally insincere questioning. She pulls the word, “FACT” out of the air, having never actually established any fact, and inserts it in front of an insulting assumption in an attempt to mislead her listeners. “Look over there…it’s a squirrel”. In simpler terms, the interviewer concatenates fact with fiction.

    Very well done @ she.

    Thanks.;  I’ve always loved words.  That’s all it is.

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I used “center” because my spellchecker doesn’t know from Yeats and thinks “centre” is radioactive or something.

    Ducking spellchecker.

    • #15
  16. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    It’s so humorous to see someone so very, very far out on the pro-Zionist extreme viewing themselves as being in the “center.”

    It’s more humorous that you think anyone on Ricochet would care that you think they are an extremist.

    • #16
  17. She Member
    She
    @She

    Percival (View Comment):
    I used “center” because my spellchecker doesn’t know from Yeats and thinks “centre” is radioactive or something.

    Many such think the same.  Unlike your good self, they can’t sort out us from them, here from there, right from wrong, and so on. 

    I don’t include you among the strugglers.

    • #17
  18. She Member
    She
    @She

    Just FTR, and in case any here have missed the challenge, I invite you, singularly or as a group, to engage in a discussion of any of the matters I mentioned in the OP.  Please–show me where I’ve gone wrong.  Where I’ve misstated.  

    I can wait.  But not forever.  And I won’t.

    • #18
  19. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    She: Can the Centre Hold?

    Yes, but it incurs a ten yard penalty.  

     

    • #19
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    It’s so humorous to see someone so very, very far out on the pro-Zionist extreme viewing themselves as being in the “center.”

    It’s more humorous that you think anyone on Ricochet would care that you think they are an extremist.

    • #20
  21. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    It’s so humorous to see someone so very, very far out on the pro-Zionist extreme viewing themselves as being in the “center.”

    • #21
  22. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    It would be amusing to see someone so morally obtuse as to be incapable of choosing sides in the conflict between Zionists (read Jews) and the Islamo-Nazi baby murderers and rapists of Hamas. . . if it wasn’t so repulsive.

    • #22
  23. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    It’s so humorous to see someone so very, very far out on the pro-Zionist extreme viewing themselves as being in the “center.”

    So you seem to be having a lot of fun with this terror, torture, rape, and mutilation visited by the Hamas animals upon peaceful Israeli citizens. The forces of darkness have enveloped you, Jerry. It will not bode well.

    • #23
  24. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    It would be amusing to see someone so morally obtuse as to be incapable of choosing sides in the conflict between Zionists (read Jews) and the Islamo-Nazi baby murderers and rapists of Hamas. . . if it wasn’t so repulsive.

    I’m not sure we haven’t all chosen sides.  A few years ago one of our members essentially said that he is neutral and if Israel has the military strength to hold it’s land, that’s OK.  If the Palestinians or others have the military strength to drive the Jews out, that’s OK.  But apparently he’s not OK with Israel using its military to hold onto their country.  None of his present statements look to be neutral.

    • #24
  25. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    It would be amusing to see someone so morally obtuse as to be incapable of choosing sides in the conflict between Zionists (read Jews) and the Islamo-Nazi baby murderers and rapists of Hamas. . . if it wasn’t so repulsive.

    I’m not sure we haven’t all chosen sides. A few years ago one of our members essentially said that he is neutral and if Israel has the military strength to hold it’s land, that’s OK. If the Palestinians or others have the military strength to drive the Jews out, that’s OK. But apparently he’s not OK with Israel using its military to hold onto their country. None of his present statements look to be neutral.

    They probably think it’s okay if Israel holds onto its land, as long as no “Palestinians” get hurt.

    • #25
  26. She Member
    She
    @She

    cdor (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    It’s so humorous to see someone so very, very far out on the pro-Zionist extreme viewing themselves as being in the “center.”

    So you seem to be having a lot of fun with this terror, torture, rape, and mutilation visited by the Hamas animals upon peaceful Israeli citizens. The forces of darkness have enveloped you, Jerry. It will not bode well.

    I don’t try to read Jerry’s mind and discern its state, or even just his intent, anymore.  Life is too short and I can’t be bothered to argue, either with Jerry or with  the very few folks here who are still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt based on their own reading of his mind at any given point.

    I do observe what Jerry does, and the way that he regularly–seemingly at random–inserts himself into a conversation and insults those participating, either by completely dismissing the arguments of others and strongly implying that everyone else on the thread is too stupid to have an opinion; or that they are incapable of following a thread to its logical conclusion; or that they are emotional nutjobs; or by directly offering what he imagines is the dispositive final word which should shut down all discussion on the matter, as he did here:  Jerry has spoken.  @she is clearly a fool.  What else is there to say?

    My better self, on the rare occasions that it manifests, hopes that Jerry doesn’t run his law practice this way, and that he occasionally does something besides descending from on high arbitrarily into any particular case so that he can begin immediately insulting his client, or the witness, or the opposing counsel, or the judge, all the while refusing to look into the evidence presented to see if any of it is actually true.

    Much beyond that, and I’m afraid we’re in Casablanca territory:

    • #26
  27. She Member
    She
    @She

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    It would be amusing to see someone so morally obtuse as to be incapable of choosing sides in the conflict between Zionists (read Jews) and the Islamo-Nazi baby murderers and rapists of Hamas. . . if it wasn’t so repulsive.

    I’m not sure we haven’t all chosen sides. A few years ago one of our members essentially said that he is neutral and if Israel has the military strength to hold it’s land, that’s OK. If the Palestinians or others have the military strength to drive the Jews out, that’s OK. But apparently he’s not OK with Israel using its military to hold onto their country. None of his present statements look to be neutral.

    I’m very sure we have all chosen sides.

    • #27
  28. Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist Inactive
    Globalitarian Lower Order Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    She (View Comment):
    he regularly–seemingly at random–inserts himself into a conversation and insults those participating, either by completely dismissing the arguments of others and strongly implying that everyone else on the thread is too stupid to have an opinion; or that they are incapable of following a thread to its logical conclusion; or that they are emotional nutjobs; or by directly offering what he imagines is the dispositive final word which should shut down all discussion on the matter

    Yes, but other than that what’s he done wrong.  Nothing.  And besides, nothing says you have to be a good lawyer.

    • #28
  29. She Member
    She
    @She

    Globalitarian Lower Order Misa… (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    he regularly–seemingly at random–inserts himself into a conversation and insults those participating, either by completely dismissing the arguments of others and strongly implying that everyone else on the thread is too stupid to have an opinion; or that they are incapable of following a thread to its logical conclusion; or that they are emotional nutjobs; or by directly offering what he imagines is the dispositive final word which should shut down all discussion on the matter

    Yes, but other than that what’s he done wrong. Nothing. And besides, nothing says you have to be a good lawyer.

    Yeah.  What, if anything, he’s done wrong isn’t the point.  I don’t care what he’s done wrong.  I don’t even care if he’s a good lawyer. He isn’t (I thank God) my lawyer. Jerry can shout his abortion, his love of terroristic behavior (or whatever distasteful slice of a reprehensible set of what he believes to be values are).  I don’t care.  That’s what you get when you disassociate yourself from a connection with the rest of humanity and when you are determined to present yourself in oppositional defiance to anyone who thinks differently.

    It’s a childish disorder.  Imagine my surprise.

     

    • #29
  30. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    She (View Comment):

    Globalitarian Lower Order Misa… (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    he regularly–seemingly at random–inserts himself into a conversation and insults those participating, either by completely dismissing the arguments of others and strongly implying that everyone else on the thread is too stupid to have an opinion; or that they are incapable of following a thread to its logical conclusion; or that they are emotional nutjobs; or by directly offering what he imagines is the dispositive final word which should shut down all discussion on the matter

    Yes, but other than that what’s he done wrong. Nothing. And besides, nothing says you have to be a good lawyer.

    Yeah. What, if anything, he’s done wrong isn’t the point. I don’t care what he’s done wrong. I don’t even care if he’s a good lawyer. He isn’t (I thank God) my lawyer. Jerry can shout his abortion, his love of terroristic behavior (or whatever distasteful slice of a reprehensible set of what he believes to be values are). I don’t care. That’s what you get when you disassociate yourself from a connection with the rest of humanity and when you are determined to present yourself in oppositional defiance to anyone who thinks differently.

    It’s a childish disorder. Imagine my surprise.

     

    You’re welcome to use this if you like:

     

    • #30
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