Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wednesday digest

- A self-professed Chomsky-loving academic from Nova Scotia is pleading ignorance after having been caught attending the Iranian Holocaust denial conference.

I'm not buying it. How could he have NOT known what this was all about?

As this editorial states, "(l)ast year, Ahmadinejad said Israel should be wiped off the map. He said the Holocaust was a ''myth'' that is used to justify the state of Israel and called for a conference of like-minded people who deny the horrors and inhumanity of the Holocaust."

Moral of the story? Most social scientists are best treated with suspicion.

- Don't want to wait in line for a daycare space in Quebec?

Too bad.

The government knows what's best for you.

- Here's an interesting look at ten trends in modern journalism that ought to concern the informed citizen.


At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Moral of the story? Most social scientists are best treated with suspicion."

Unlike policy hacks?

At 3:47 PM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

Yes, frankly.

You won't see any respectable "policy hacks" (whatever that means) declaring their admiration for the likes of Chomsky and friends - who far more regularly i) truck in trade with and/or ii) make apologies for Holocaust deniers, as the (admittedly anecdotal) evidence above indicates - whereas in social science faculties, it's basically a condition of employment.

At 4:05 PM, Blogger Greenchief said...

What are you talking about?

Chomsky and friends more regularly deny and make apologies for Holocaust deniers?

More likely than who? Right wing white supremicists? Crazy people like Ahmadinejad? Come on man!

At 4:19 PM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

More likely than "policy hacks" as Anonymous pointed out.

In point of fact, in the late 1970s, Chomsky came to the defence of French academic Robert Faurisson, a professor of history whose research led him to question the existence of gas chambers in Nazi Germany and to doubt the Holocaust in a series of letters to Le Monde. Chomsky, who later wrote the introduction to a Faurisson book, stated at the time, "I see no anti-Semitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers or even denial of the Holocaust. Nor would there be anti-Semitic implications, per se, in the claim that the Holocaust (whether one believes it took place or not) is being exploited, viciously so, by apologists for Israeli repression and violence. I see no hint of anti-Semitic implications in Faurisson's work." He also referred to Faurisson as "a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort".

If that's not trucking in trade or making apologies for a Holocaust denier, I'd like to know what is.

Do you really think I pull this stuff out of thin air?

Look it up.

Is it any wonder that an attendee of the Iranian holocaust conference professes his love for Noam?

At 4:30 PM, Blogger Greenchief said...

I just get sick of your oversimplification and condemnation of everything left and Chomsky. Digging up opinions of Chomsky from 30 years ago is a little weak also.

My brother in law and sister both work in social science faculties as professors (Ph. Ds) of Sociology and (gasp) Women's Studies, respectively.

Neither one of them professes any love for Chomsky. Calling a proclamation of admiration for Chomsky a condition of employment is ridiculous. That's the kind of shit that I think you pull out of midair.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

Take it for what it is, man.

It's sarcastic commentary on an Internet weblog, not some kind of scholarly peer-reviewed journal, the House of Commons or a court of law.

It's simplistic by its very nature.

No need to get unhinged over it.

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Greenchief said...

I guess the point is words have consequences, be there in cyberspace or elsewhere.

When I read flippant, unfair, unjust and irresponsible generalizations about family members and friends, it gets my ire.

I know you, as a standup guy, would defend the people closest to you in a similar situation.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Cubá libre said...

Hitchens supports denier David Irving's right to free speech. Its akin to Chomsky's support for Faurisson. Not sure I would link the latter to Noam's anti-Zionism, though he is vocal in that matter.

Did you David Duke get interviewd by Wolf Blitzer on CNN? Fireworks!

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Road Hammer said...

Cuba, you're right, because like Chomsky, Hitchens not only defends the right to free speech, which, in and of itself, is a perfectly acceptable argument, but also downplays his defendant's hateful position to the point of near endorsement, which is perfectly unacceptable in my view.

It should also be noted that this took place well before Hitchens left "The Nation" post-9/11.

Although I link to the guy's writings from time to time, he's a self-abusing alcoholic who should always be taken with a grain of salt - even though I think he's right most of the time when commenting on terror issues, which explains why he'll never reach the iconic status of a Chomsky.

At 3:04 PM, Blogger William E. Demers said...

I study at Dalhousie University and you come to expect this sort of propaganda from Haligonian professors.


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