Friday, June 09, 2006

An apology to AIPAC

mark kleiman's crew at the "The Reality-Based Community" is always a fascinating read - although they often go into cloud-cuckoo-land when discussing israeli issues and they appear to blow the sanity-gasket. James Wimberley has what seems to be a good post there - oddly called "An apology to AIPAC" - although it seems to be nothing of the sort. Trying to describe the Lobby he writes:
"I toyed with Menshevik and Bolshevik as the labels, which would be true, but Leninism had other characteristics; notably a messianic ruthlessness of which the Corporation of Harvard University (say) has shown little evidence. However, AIPAC's multitier structure of token participation is indeed reminiscent of the Soviet constitution.

It's obvious that effective NGOs can be of either sort, and there's no reason to declare oligarchies illegitimate in general. But deviant NGOs are I think always oligarchic; democracy is an effective check on abuse. We should I suggest be suspicious of lobbying NGOs organised as oligarchies - especially when they claim to speak for a wider community, as AIPAC does. Sadly, the NRA probably does speak for the large number of American gun nuts."
i think he's arguing against AIPAC, and for the Lobby thesis here (he quotes Massing's nyrb piece). if so, look out for the righteous smackdown he'll likely receive from his own fellow-bloggers

Kleiman's place is also interesting for a) its contribution on drug policy b) game theory c) incentivization d) teaching.

check out this and this post about teaching and grading

and check out this post called "A parable on the death of Al-Zarqawi" - trippy.

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