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Life imitates bumper sticker

Life imitates bumper sticker

The right to be offended is the foundation of our democracy. And the blogosphere.

Thanks to reader Amy, who writes:

I’m vacationing in Washington state, but here in the agricultural area of the Yakima valley, people are more conservative than the liberal coast–and it shows.

Love your blog! Especially the bumper stickers. Keep up the good work.

And thanks to this “reader” for showing me yesterday that life does imitate bumper stickers:

Dear Mr. Jacobson:

A right wing friend forwarded to me your imbecilic bile about how Jews “must” vote for Romney.

Despite your resume, I think your political thinking is fourth rate and fifth grade.

I’m Jewish and I’m voting for Obama. So are all of my Jewish friends and relatives and my sister is too—and she voted for Bush twice and is now represented by Dr. Strangelove Allen West. He’s been a “bad will ambassador” for her, to all that is mentally defective on the right.

I promise you I have more trees planted in Israel than do you. I hardly need a lecture from you about Israel. Your opener about how I “must” vote for Romney is offensive.

-Michael Fremer
Cornell Class of 1968

Actually, I never said that Jews must vote for Romney.  I realize that there are plenty of leftist Jews who support what Obama has in store for Israel in a second term, or who are so blinded by misplaced guilt that they cannot see what is before their eyes.

What I said was not directed specifically at Jews:

Let me be as clear as I can be.  Anyone who supports Israel must vote for Romney.  Obama, in complete control of foreign and military policy, will be unrestrained by electoral considerations in a second term, and will impose his vision of a Middle East settlement on the Israelis.  There won’t be a thing Congress or public opinion will be able to do about it.

I stand by that commentary, and it is correct.

So be offended.  It’s your right.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Thank You.
Read this right after hearing the local NBC comment on
“Another Romney Gaffe” on his Palistinian comment.

Samuel Keck | July 31, 2012 at 7:38 am

Rest assured, professor, that you’re not the first person on the Internet at which odious Mr. Fremer has directed his poison pen.

For a college graduate, he’s a pro at elementary school insults.

…I think your political thinking is fourth rate and fifth grade.

I bet he had a nice chuckle with himself when he wrote that line. “Oh Mikey, you are soooo clever” as he looked in the mirror.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to K. | July 31, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Whenever anyone over the age of 30 makes a big deal about having attended an Ivy League school I automatically suspect two things. They didn’t learn very much while there and probably haven’t done jack with their life since graduation.

      TrooperJohnSmith in reply to NC Mountain Girl. | July 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      If Fremer is Class of ’68, did he ever go to class? Or was his time spent protesting, ‘sitting in’ and trying to sack the ROTC building?

      Seriously, ‘Donald’. Seriously? Grade-school insults?

    Cassandra Lite in reply to K. | July 31, 2012 at 9:53 am

    It is a truism that when a liberal accuses a conservative of being “imbecilic,” his reasoning, syntax, and reading comprehension will reveal himself to be an imbecile.

    I will say this, though, for Mr. Cornell 1968: He has thoroughly assimilated George Lakoff’s message to “never repeat ideas that you don’t believe in, even if you are arguing against them.”

Mr. Fremer

“imbecilic (adjective): having a mental age of three to seven years.”
“bile (noun): Old Physiology – either of two humors associated with anger and gloominess.”

Starting off your screed with ignorance on full display is not the way to make your case. It just means you’re not any better than the despicable politician you claim to support. What a poor spokesman for Judaism. You’ve even violated the first ex-communicable offense in the Talmud … “insulting a learned man.” Herem is probably too good for you … expulsion from the human race would be more appropriate. If stupidity and philistinism were criminal offenses, you’d be in for life. Israel deserves better. Lama ma? Simply explained, you’re merely a cultural Jew. Well that explains everything.

Doug Wright | July 31, 2012 at 8:18 am

Just love that “Victory Dance” and hopefully it shall be blaring throughout all the land on November 7th this year. However, could someone else, anyone else, sing those wonderful lyrics other than Tiny Tim?

Wonder what Mr. Fremer said after the 1972 national election?

Cheers and support Israel this fall. 🙂

You were associated, if oddly, with the estimable Allen West. I would wear that as a badge of honor, Prof!

Wish we had a lot more of his mettle.

    Cassandra Lite in reply to Ragspierre. | July 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    I’m always intrigued by what earns a “dislike” vote here at L.I. Right now, on this thread, there are only two dislikes, both for this comment. Now, given that it’s right in the wheelhouse with everything else being said, and most of us appreciate Allen West, I’d love to know who pushed the no button. Please, identify yourselves and explain your thinking. We won’t bite.

      LukeHandCool in reply to Cassandra Lite. | July 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      I nominate Ms. Cassandra Lite to be the LI dislike monitor!

      (If for no other reason that it tickles my funny bone when he asks people to identify themselves.)

      All those in favor, please “like” this.

Mr Fremer and his 2 Jewish Friends and sister are voting for Obama? Well, good for them. I hope his “change” makes them happy.

There is a very good chance that Mr. Fremer’s trees will end up as Hamas firewood if “blind guides” such as he keep voting for Obama.

    Along the same line..

    What if the “trees” are MORE seriously threatened by the Jew-Hater regions, surrounding Israel, Mr. Fremer?

    What if YOUR “trees” are destroyed, Mr. Fremer?

    What then, Mr. Fremer? Cast Blame on Republican’s, Mr. Fremer? Conservatives, Mr. Fremer?

    Ahh by jove I think I’ve got it, just as your revered leader, former President, George W. Bush.

    You are in need of MORE than just a “lecture”, Mr. Fremer.

Dear Mr. Jacobson:

A right wing friend forwarded to me your awesome article about how those who support israel ”must” vote for Romney.

given your impressive resume, it’s no wonder that your political thinking is spot on.

I’m Jewish and I’m voting for Romney. So are all of my Jewish friends and co-workers. Unfortunately, we live in the not so great state of Illinois, so our calls for more conservative governance generally tends to fall on deaf ears. Even worse most of our elected officials generally seem to end up in Jail or are suspected of bad ie chicago politics.

While i cannot vouch for whether I have more trees planted in israel than you do, I have enjoyed your wonderful articles.

-Jeffrey Levin
UIUC Class of 1992

David Yotham | July 31, 2012 at 8:54 am

” There won’t be a thing Congress or public opinion will be able to do about it. — So be offended. It’s your right.”

Well stated Sir! Very well stated – and yes, I completely agree with you. Obama is a ‘world war’ waiting to happen, in my opinion.

Again, thank you for your point blank statement of the truth.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to David Yotham. | July 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Beware, folks. At the rate we’re going, we’ll end up like our friends in the UK, Canada and Europe with officially-approved ‘speech’.

    Oh, it will start out innocuous enough, as a way to enforce ‘civility’ with the objective of ‘changing the tone of discourse’ in the nation as a whole and in politics specifically. Then, like hate crimes laws, they will be applied unevenly and, yes, eventually punitively. Like in the aforementioned places, hate speech will officially be a malady of the white, mostly Judeo-Christian majority.

    It can’t happen here? That’s what they want you to believe. Check out your tent, friends, I’ll wager there’s a herd of camels with their noses inside. And yes, in the UK, that little metaphor has been judged, racist.

“I have more trees planted in Israel than you do”
Sounds like the old, “mine is bigger than yours” argument.

I’m afraid that Mr. Fremer is the fourth grader.

Juba Doobai! | July 31, 2012 at 8:59 am

Sounds like a guy with a death wish. Has he looked at the guys in the caliphate Obama’s been helping usher in?

let him go live there then see how he feels.

At some point, and I realize that it is stirring up a very intense hornets nest, we need to ask why the rest of us should be so pro-Israel when the American-Jewish community seems to dominate efforts to abandon Israel.

My response is that we need to defend Israel because it is the most efficient and effective means to protect our national interests. It doesn’t hurt that Israel is the only free country in the ME. But the American Jewish community really needs to be confronted. Has being a self-loathing Jew become terminal? Yes, that is an offensive question but I stand by it. The numbers don’t lie and they beg the question.

    I do for purely biblical reasons.
    the other items you mention are icing on the cake to me.
    Israel is only country I would always support and it is due to religion.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to dmacleo. | July 31, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      I do cuz I read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich when I was a kid, and I promised myself never again. Plus, I do cuz I’m Christian and openly admit that the Jews are an essential stone of Christianity. We who are grafted in are in the happy position of defending the elder brother through whom came the Source of our faith.

    LukeHandCool in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 31, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I do because it’s the right thing to do, pure and simple.

    Whether most American Jews think along the same lines or not has no bearing on my reasoning. They are free to reason as they see fit.

    I think it’s human nature for gentiles such as myself to sigh, “Come on, you’re a Jew, so you should be more pro-Israel than me,” but, like numerous instances of human nature and instinct, it’s wrong and should be resisted.

    Cassandra Lite in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 31, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    It’s a fair question, one many Jews–including, I should think, most who read this site–ask themselves. Often.

    There are two explanations that I think are plausible. One is that, after 2,500 really bad years, there is a kind of gene mutation among those clever enough to have survived repeated onslaughts; and that, now that we’ve found the first country in our long history where we’re safe and welcomed (thanks, George Washington), we suffer from a form of survivor’s guilt.

    The second explanation is that success and affluence have made us increasingly secular; it’s part of “passing”. And because so few of us, relatively speaking, now understand what Judaism actually stands for, we believe that liberalism is the religion that Judaism should be. Ergo, no need to have a “homeland” when we can disappear into society at large, eat bagels and bacon with our friends. Jews who don’t “support” Israel as you do are, frankly, embarrassed–embarrassed at being Jewish, embarrassed that they’re no longer victims, embarrassed that two-tenths of one percent of the world’s population (Jews) is responsible for so much news.

Professor, thanks for all you do here! Making class of ’68 crazies climb out of their caves is a public service, because without letters like Mr. Fremer’s we’d forget exactly how looney these folks often were.

    walls in reply to MTF. | July 31, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Thanks for the interesting link on the Straight takeover. I am a Cornell graduate – and can neither understand the thinking process nor justify the decisions that Cornell President Perkins made during the crisis that allowed these ‘Afro-American thugs’ to take over the main student union by armed force – and ultimately escape without any form of consequence or punishment.

    If I were in Perkins’ shoes at the time – I would have given these craven thugs 24-hours to vacate the union – and with their failure to comply with this order, would have requested that the Governor send in the National Guard.

You are quite correct about Jews who support Israel. But I know a number of J Street types–by the way, without exception personally decent and bright people–who will be able to explain away fervent support of Obama with his Israel policy.

Some of it is based on the idea that Obama’s policies are really good for Israel, i.e. that an approach which, within the margin for error, no one is Israel supports, is what the Israelis need.

So there are people who will say they support Israel who will also be laboring mightily for Obama. I’m not one of them–I am a former Democrat. And not just nominally–dues paying, county committee, elected precinct delegate several times, deputy director of a state presidential primary campaign (Scoop Jackson), etc. And I’ll be voting for Romney.

Alex Bensky
Oakland (“where’s that?”) U., class of 1969.

“I promise you I have more trees planted in Israel than do you.”
Is this from the book on how to be a moronic wussy?
How dare you lecture me, I planted trees!!!

Mickey, your sister lives in a district represented by COL Allen West and what have you done? Plant trees
When your ancestral homeland was in dire straights and was in need of her sons what did you do? Go to Cornell and plant trees.
How many veterans did you personally spit on Mickey?

LukeHandCool | July 31, 2012 at 11:14 am

I find life too short to be offended, and the only thing that ever offends me are the precious things who go through life becoming offended so easily.

They say youth is wasted on the young.

As a staunchly pro-Israel gentile, it seems to me that being Jewish is wasted on some Jews.

Dear Mr. Fremer, you are a schmuck. What does planting trees in Israel have to do with anything? I have a Grove of 1,000 trees in Israel. What does that make me?
Vote for Obama if you want. That is a right that has been given to you with the blood of Patriots, Patriots who have fought and died for your right to live free. As for me, I’ll take FREEDOM over being a slave in Obama’s world. All I want from the federal government is a strong defense and to keep out of my way so that I and my family can live free and prosper.

    Fine. I’m a “shmuck” and you are a douche bag. There. Now we’ve called each other names. But I won’t lecture you about how I have the right to vote for Obama because blah blah blah. That’s because while I might be a “shmuck” you are a self-righteous douche bag.

Today’s Union-Tribune is carrying a letter referring to Romney’s recent “gaffes.” Like this one, the writer is long on invective and short on facts.

Phillep Harding | July 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm

So, Mr Fremer, if having trees planted in Israel is important to you, you should be able to tell us how many trees Obama has planted in Israel?

If indeed the “enlightened” Mr. Fremer is Jewish, he lacks the intellectual insight and common sense to recognize B.Hussein.Ubama is a marxist-muslum and the MOST ANTI-ISRAEL president Ameica has ever elected.

To continue to support such an anti-Semite certainly is lacking any sense of Jewishness but speaks volumes of his own marxist & racist core beliefs.

Re the Jewish Allen West district inexplicables: people do get angry when they are beset with cognitive dissonance.

JackRussellTerrierist | July 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Maybe Mr. Fremer isn’t really Jewish. Maybe he’s a fraud, like Warren.

I really enjoyed reading all of the right wingers’ fantasies about who I am, what I did when I was at Cornell and the rest of the nonsense of those who hold the patent on being “pro-Israel.”

And of course Bill is correct: he didn’t say “Jews” must vote for Romney, he said “anyone who supports Israel” must vote for Mitt which in his obviously demented point of view means that since the majority of American Jews WILL vote for Obama, the majority of American Jews do NOT support Israel!

Wow! Now believing that takes real “Chutspah” as the even more demented Michelle Bachmann might pronounce it.

Obviously it takes a real crackpot to believe that the vast majority of Jews do not support Israel (because they suffer from “misplaced guilt”), but apparently that’s what Bill believes.

It’s not as if there might be varied viewpoints here as to American policy towards Israel, which of course there is, even in Israel among actual Israelis, there’s only one valid point of view when it comes to Israel and that is Bill Jacobson’s.

And since he’s attracted an equally unattractive crew of sycophants who hold all of the cards when it comes to what’s in Israel’s best interests, they’ve spewed their odious bile in my direction. Trust me, I’m not offended! I am amused.

By the way: when I was at Cornell I was a member of the Young Americans for Freedom and sported a Barry Goldwater button. I even traveled to D.C. and met the man and I worked for him that Fall.

But yes, it’s also true by the time I left Cornell my views had changed somewhat—not to what some of you fantasized in your ridiculous comments—I was hardly a campus “radical” though you all got your rocks off mentally picturing me that way (and I mean MENTAL), but to a more moderate point of view (not that any of you would understand moderation).

So yes, by the time I left Cornell, like my acne, my right wing political condition had cleared up!

-Michael Fremer
Class of ’68

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to BarryG. | July 31, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Seriously, Michael, what changed your worldview in four short years at one of America’s finest institutions of higher education? Was it the professors? The latent white guilt that afflicts so many north-easterners? What kind of business are you in today?

    I’m not trying to be sycophantic. On the contrary, you can call me curious. My experience was just the opposite; the continual political haranguing and agenda-setting by the institutional elites made me wonder what they were hiding. After my undergrad experience, life, work in the real world and a total randomness of events pushed me to the right-of-center, though my family and peers are to varying degrees, left of me.

    In the interests of self-disclosure, I was a jock who got a nice ride to a school much better than my humble parents could’ve afforded to send me.

    Just wondering.

    Cassandra Lite in reply to BarryG. | July 31, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I’m calling b.s. on your Goldwater claim. It lacks what you educated Ivies refer to as verisimilitude. The odds that, as an incoming freshman, you walked around with a Goldwater button among thousands of students who were, for the most part, still grieving over JFK and who still considered LBJ to be carrying the baton is ludicrous. What else did you have, sport, a straw hat?

    But even if we take you at your word, you understand, don’t you, that in the months following passage of the Civil Rights Act (passed that summer), your (alleged) support of Goldwater put you on the wrong side of history? Which means you were wrong then, and you’re wrong now.

    MTF in reply to BarryG. | August 1, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Professor Jacobson rightly says you have every right to object to views with which you don’t agree, even to take offense if you so wish. Why you are offended to such a degree as you express in both your email and your comment you never explain, but “no worries” (as my Aussie colleague says), because I don’t care what you think about Prof. Jacobson’s wonderful blog , just as i don’t give a damn your old people socialist era buddies think about politics generally. Your ilk are the idiots who brought progressivism back to life in this country, like Frankenstein from the grave yard.

    You had your say, fifty years ago, and should let other people have theirs now. Don’t worry! You can thank us later, after we’ve fixed the country you so thoroughly screwed up. When we are done, you’ll have the benefit of solvency and virtuous public life again. That’ll give you something to rail against in your declining years.

    So, while you are free to object and even to be offensive, you should understand that i, perhaps we, and (I hope!) the voters of this country have had it with the unemployment, cronyism, hopelessness, top down social policies only Orwell could recognize and the ridiculous ideoloy dominating the Democrat party. Thanks, but no thanks Mr. Fremer, but your views are yesterday’s news.

I’ve always been puzzled by the way so many intelligent, educated people are so committed to the far leftist principles in defiance of all logic and experience.

They do tend to exclude dissent from their circles because they simply have no answers. Beginning with Clinton’s apologists, leftists have just adopted a policy of “spin” to lie away the facts which are inconvenient – but it is far more difficult to do this face to face with someone who knows you.

Perhaps this is why the left is always so angry. Deep inside, they know they are wrong, but cannot bring themselves to admit it.

    barbara in reply to Estragon. | July 31, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    “I’ve always been puzzled by the way so many intelligent, educated people are so committed to the far leftist principles in defiance of all logic and experience.”

    Maybe because they’re NOT intelligent – they just talk a good game. And they’re NOT educated, just credentialed.

      I respectfully disagree with you Barbara, liberals can be very intelligent. I happen to know liberal doctors who are incredibly intelligent in their field. I also know many liberal engineers who are incredibly intelligent in their field. These are very smart people.

      It’s when it comes to politics that they seem to lose it, as Estragon puts it, “in defiance of all logic and experience”. Yuri Bezmenov would say it’s because they have become demoralized. Evan Sayet says it’s because they believe to discriminate is evil. I think it’s a little (or a lot) of both.

Dear Mr. Fremer:

This is from someone whose tree count in Israel is unknown but whose kids have served in the Israeli army and who knows somewhat more than you do about the distances between Israeli homes/schools and terrorist rocket launching pads (Hint: the distances from the rocket launching locations in Gaza, for example, to Sderot and Ashkelon are shorter than the distances Obama’s two daughters would travel for playdates in Alexandria, Virginia).

“I haven’t been in the US for a presidential election since Johnson/Nixon in 1968. Since making Aliya in 1980, I felt uncomfortable about voting when not living there, and only requested an absentee ballot once. It arrived late.
It seems that many of the estimated 160,000 American Israelis felt the same. Until this year. Even many of our Israeli born kids, who never considered voting before, are being encouraged to register and vote. While our addresses in the Old Country may not be in the most critical states, in the balance states, I expect that this year the turnout will be very high, and will be a landslide vote against Obama.”

Maybe it’s because I’m just a dub college droupout… but can someone explain to me how Lt. Col. West is allegedly like Dr. Strangelove?

LukeHandCool | July 31, 2012 at 8:45 pm

One can’t see the forest for the trees,

The other can’t see the traffic for the bumper stickers,

And if by chance they meet,

It’s beautiful.

yourmamatoo | July 31, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Voting for the wrong guy shows you’re not as smart as you think you are Mr Fremer.

Whenever I’m confronted by someone who claims to be offended (normally by calling me an ___ist of some flavor) I always attempt to reply in a positive manner. Ex: “I’m so glad you are expressing your feelings on this matter, and I love being in a country where we each have the right to say what we feel about each others opinions. Please keep it up, I really appreciate the feedback.” Then I watch them go nuts. It’s funny.

It works better than “Your arguement is without logic, so here is a picture of a bunny with a pancake on its head.”