Another Tack: Verbal junk food

He punctuated his carefully enunciated phrases with frequent throat-clearings, hemmed a lot and hawed even more, yet among all the hems and haws, Barack Obama told the truth, even if maybe not only and certainly not all of it. Nevertheless, it’s a sure bet to take him at his word when he declared that “if someone was sending rockets into my house, where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that.” Continue reading

Another Tack: Put them to death

Preempting an opponent’s objection with an objection – thereby turning an argument on its head – is the bread-and-butter of polemics. The tactic is common everywhere – from ordinary conversation to the halls of academe and courtroom litigation. When used cunningly, counterarguments can become the demagogue’s most invaluable of tools, used to sway the intellectually indolent and apply populist pressure. Continue reading

Another Tack: Missionaries for dinner

How ironic that the one peeve which impelled Labor to foment a coalition crisis early this week had nothing to do with the government’s chronic ineptitude – not with its mismanaged war or with the corruption endemic in its ranks. What finally got Ehud Barak’s goat was the fact that his man didn’t get control of the clout-laden Knesset Finance Committee. Continue reading

Another Tack: Buried with Kalonymus

When US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was here last and reproved us with a sanctimonious schoolmarm’s sternness, she pro-forma professed to genuinely believe that Jews unlawfully seized “Arab Jerusalem.” To facilitate Washington’s self-serving cockamamie “two-state vision,” it’s therefore incumbent upon Jewish trespassers to renounce what isn’t theirs, and certainly not construct more housing for more unwanted Jews. Continue reading

Another Tack: A masjid grows in Brooklyn

I was Brooklyn bound – or so I thought. I took the subway to see a fellow alumna of New York’s High School of Music and Art (as today’s LaGuardia High School for the Arts was then called). I looked forward to the nostalgic reunion. I hadn’t been in NYC for ages, and catching up with an old classmate seemed an indispensable component of walking down memory lane. Continue reading