Brainwash si, skinny-dip no!


Our culture’s long walk through the desert: Finally, we read Politico’s report about the skinny-dip in the Galilee.

At the end, we came upon the funniest formal correction in journalistic history:
CORRECTION: The Sea of Galilee is a lake. An earlier version of this story mischaracterized it.
The Sea of Galilee is a lake. That’s what the correction said!

(We know. The correction is accurate.)

That said, there’s almost always a laugh to be found as our culture sinks into the sea. Before we hit that amusing correction, we marveled at the values defined in Politico’s report.

In his rather lengthy report, Jake Sherman described the kind of organized bribery which rules our political culture. Good news! The tax-payer didn’t have to pay for this “congressional fact-finding trip!”

Barely batting an eye, Sherman explained the trip’s provenance:
SHERMAN (8/20/12): The American Israel Educational Foundation, a group related to AIPAC, the prominent pro-Israel advocacy group, sponsored the trip, which ran from Aug. 13 to Aug. 21, 2011. The trip cost AIEF upwards of $10,000 per person, according to records filed with the House Ethics Committee. More than 60 people took part in this AIEF trip.

These trips to the Holy Land are a rite of passage for members of Congress, as they visit the most sacred sites in the Jewish and Christian faiths–while their Israeli government hosts drive home the huge importance of U.S. support of Israel.


On the Israel trip that included the late night swim, the group of lawmakers on Aug. 18 departed the posh David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem for Tiberias, a historic seaside town located on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. On the night in question, the GOP group checked into Scots Hotel, where rooms could run up to $1,000 each night. At 8:45 p.m., they headed to Decks, a popular restaurant located on the sea, according to an itinerary filed with the House Ethics Committee.
Forget your particular view of AIPAC. You may agree with their policy views. You may think they too are all wet.

Forget whether AIPAC is right or wrong; this isn’t all about AIPAC. In those passages, Sherman was describing an obvious form of bribery, in which a private entity spends oodles of money on members of Congress and their grasping families.

Other entities run junkets too. But in this particular instance, AIPAC was spending giant sums to brainwash members of Congress. (If we may use the old George Romney term.) Sherman was describing obvious bribery. But the point which has caused the concern is the lack of one congressman’s swim suit!

Needless to say, Rachel was clowning about this last night. Truly, our brains are thoroughly fried. Our culture is thoroughly lost.


  1. Yeah, Yeah. And the Caspian is not really a sea but a lake. And the East River is not really a river but a continental strait or something. And Europe is not really a proper continent. Greenland and not Australia is the world's biggest island. Is there a Supreme Geography Court somewhere that decides these things for the rest of us? We read this stuff in Wikipedia and then parrot it to others as if we're smart.

    Anyone care to pick on Pluto some more?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Why is it descriptions of the Sea of Galilee more than a few days old don't mention it as "holy water"?

    Because the media is following a script, that's why.

    To be sure, Christian pilgrims go there to see where Jesus walked, on land and water.

    The Sea of Galilee has been the site of an annual long-distance swim meet for some 50 years, and no-one has cried sacrilege!

  4. "Three years I waited patiently till he returned
    with the Harp from the Sea of Galilee,
    he said There is one more thing I must ask,
    but not of personal greed..."
    But I wouldn't listen I just grabbed the Harp
    and said "take what you may need."

  5. "Forget your particular view of AIPAC. You may agree with their policy views. You may think they too are all wet.

    Forget whether AIPAC is right or wrong; this isn’t all about AIPAC. "

    Notice what you're doing here Bob. The stance we adopt towards Israel is a very important element and AIPAC is a very important lobby--this is all tied in with whether we go to war against Iran. But you don't want to get into it. You have every right to avoid the issue--we all pick and choose which battles we want to fight. But it's not a right that you grant anyone else. Everyone else has to have an opinion on the press, and specifically what the press did in the 2000 campaign and focus on it in the way that you do. Everyone else has to have an opinion on education. What Bob thinks is central is what everyone should think is central.

    I even agree with you on those issues for the most part--for that matter, most people are born press critics. You're right about the 2000 campaign and how it was covered and the significance of it. But a lot of us think AIPAC has had a poisonous influence on our policy in the Mideast. And where are you on this issue? Hiding, it seems.

    To repeat, I think that's your right and maybe you shouldn't spread yourself too thin. But you don't grant anyone else that right.

    1. "is a very important element "

      Should read "is a very important element of our Mideast policy"