My new Think Again column is called “The Terrible Power of Purposeful Ignorance.” It deals with the decision to invade Iraq together with arguments over the sequester and it’s here
I wrote (what is for me, an oddly) confessional piece about my career of being made to feel like an idiot by William F. Buckley Jr. for the Columbia Journalism Review. They called it “Aspiring Line,” and it’s here.
Also, I gave a talk on liberalism at All Souls Unitarian Church on the Upper East Side this past Sunday. They videotaped it and it’s here.
Whose reputation will this hurt the most? Victor Navasky and I had dinner with William Kristol last week after the latter’s Delacorte lecture at the Columbia Journalism School. It was pleasant, insofar as I could tell, for everyone concerned. I sense this would be impossible with anyone with the last name (or married to anyone with the last name) “Podhoretz,” but that has always been the Kristols’ secret, I think: self-confidence, which breeds good manners.
But speaking of Neocons, remember when that Josh Block fellow told Politico that what I had written was “borderline anti-Semitic” because I insisted that AIPAC and its allies were hoping for a US attack on Iran. This actually caused me a lot of trouble and led, ultimately, to my resigning my column from the Forward.
Well, as Ali Gharib noticed, Neocon pundit and newly minted anti-Semit, Max Boot just said the same thing regarding the approval vote for Chuck Hagel. Look here.
Boot writes: "This is a far cry from what Israel—and for that matter America’s Gulf Arab allies—would like to see, which is American air strikes to cripple the Iranian nuclear program." He then keeps digging, adding that "if the 'Zionist Lobby' actually ran American foreign policy—as so many seem to imagine—it is puzzling why such strikes have not yet been undertaken." I'm old enough to remember when saying that pro-Israel groups (and indeed Israel itself) want war with Iran was enough to get right-wingers to accuse you of anti-Semitism. Of course, AIPAC is busy itself pushing (non-binding) hawkish resolutions on Iran, but it's always helpful to have Max Boot clarifying the pro-Israel lobby's goals for us
The next stop on this train will be the attack on that anti-Semite Dick Cheney for using the term “Jewish lobby.”
In between Allman shows, I got out to the Iridium last weekend to see Nicholas Payton joined by Vicente Archer on bass and Lenny White on drums. I was happy to see White, who I first caught as a teenager in the Corea/Clarke iteration of “Return to Forever,” among my first jazz shows at the old Palladium. It was around that time that Miles Davis could be spotted playing trumpet and keyboards simultaneously, something that Payton is now doing on his Fender Rhodes. It was a pretty interesting evening with what felt to me like a decidedly “Bitches Brew” kind of vibe. Anyway, if you live in the city, Sunday nights are a great night to see jazz in the clubs because the bands are held over from the weekend but only the serious fans are out there seeing them. A place like the Irridium when it’s not crowded is almost ideal.