The Israeli propaganda playbook

In January 2009, Israel took advantage of the period before Barack Obama’s inauguration to unleash a yet another massive assault on Gaza, killing over 1,400 Palestinians, again mostly civilians and children. Operation Cast Lead, as it was called by Israel, created a major worldwide outcry because of the sheer brutality of the Israeli bombardment, similar to what is happening again now, and even led to a UN commission to investigate.
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I will be on the radio tomorrow

The Cleveland public radio affiliate station WCPN 90.3 FM will be having Joe Puckett and me on their morning call-in talk show The Sound of Ideas that runs from 9:00-10:00 am tomorrow (Tuesday), with a break for national news from 9:01-9:06. We will be joined by Tim Beal, a professor of religious studies at my university, whom I have known for a long time and is a very thoughtful scholar, and a rabbi whom I do not know. The show was triggered by the debate I had with Joe Puckett but will not be devoted exclusively to the question of god’s existence but will be broader and look at the rapidly changing landscape of religious beliefs.

[Update: I have just been informed by WCPN that Tim Beal will not be on the show but Peter Haas, another thoughtful scholar of Judaic Studies from our department of religious studies, and Craig Bauman, President of the University of Akron’s Secular Student Alliance, who will be calling in.]
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Greenwald and his critics

Today is the anniversary of the first news report based on the Edward Snowden documents and it is interesting to look back at how perceptions have changed over that time about Snowden and the journalists he used as a conduit for that information. A fascinating aspect has been the reactions of the so-called ‘liberal’ media because they got squeezed between the principle that transparency about how government works is always to be preferred and their desire to protect president Obama and his administration who have been revealed to be liars and law-breakers when is comes to spying on people.
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Is this the secret to trolling?

Some people in the media, especially activists and pundits, feel a compulsion to stay visible in the public eye either because of ego or because that is how they make their living by giving talks and selling books and the like. The way they do that whenever they sense that they are being forgotten is to troll for attention. In an earlier post, I said that it was easy to be a conservative troll. All you had to do was say something outrageous or extreme that would anger or at least annoy and exasperate liberals who would then rise up and condemn you.
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