When Is It Time to Fight, and When Is It Time to Realize That You’ve Lost?


As a Jew taking the long view of history, I have come to the conclusion that it’s not wise to fight for something that can’t be saved. Fight where you can, but retreat and regroup when you’ve been outflanked.  If my great-grandparents had gotten the notion in their heads that it was only a matter of time and people fighting for doing the right thing, they would have stayed in Europe, and they would have been killed. They would have lost. Forever. There’s a dignity and nobility in a Last Stand, but making a last stand where you don’t need to is pointless suicide.

Screenshot 2017-03-21 08.50.33

I’m not saying that there is a danger of a Holocaust here. I’m not saying that the problems now single out Jews. However, the lesson of history is that sometimes things don’t get better. Sometimes they do, but it takes lifetimes and generations. But sometimes,  it never happens. Civilizations fall. Societies crumble, and nothing worth living in springs from the ashes. Things go to hell and never come back.

One ray of hope is that Drumpf’s demographic skews older. One old fart funeral at a time, our country is probably getting better. I look at my kids in our and see how much more tolerant and accepting they are than we were at that age. This change is slow and it’s incremental, but it is positive.

But there are plenty of signs that we’re sunk.

There is still the conversion and indoctrination of the young to the selfish and jingoistic mindset of tRump, especially those who are seduced by the idea of American Exceptionalism. (Who wouldn’t want to be exceptional, especially if to be exceptional requires merely the luck to have been born in the right place at the right time?) We are far too militaristic, especially in a country where so few people serve. The pious sanctimony surrounding our armed forces prevents any useful discussion of how they should be used. We are far too religious. Religion as a double-edged sword that too often gets sharpened on only one side. We have denigrated science and research to the point where other countries will equal us and surpass us in the ability to do cutting edge innovation and investigation. This is a race where you can’t make up for lost time. The changes to our environment–caused by those who still subscribe to the antiquated idea that the highest and best good is determined solely by ascertaingin that which brings in the most money–have launched us down a dangerous road, and we can only slow that movement, not turn it back. We have large parts of the population who believe that gun ownership, not debate, not reason, not commitment to each other, is  the most important foundation of a society. The USA is not the Last Best Hope of the World. We can be a leader in the way forward, but not without a commitment to see where we’ve gone off course. Currently, those in power do not have that commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lazy Journalism Day: Aggregating stuff you prob’ly read anyway.


 

Bug_aggregation
Pentatomid bud nymphs aggregating on a plant in Bangalore, India. Photo by L. Shyamal and taken from Wikipedia

I’m occupied with other things today, but there’s always time to make it look like I’m  actually paying attention.

These things seemed worth reading today:

From the NY Times, on feminism’s embrace of anti-Zionism–which although they will scream to the heavens that it isn’t, indeed is actually a form of anti-Semitism–and the bind that it puts Jewish feminists in;

From the Atlantic, on why being poor in Bangladesh might be better than being poor in Mississippi;

This, from Vox.com on the Republicans’ plan to make us get sicker and die faster;

And this, about our increasing military involvement in Iraq and Syria.

 

(Social) Media Shabbat


kiddush-cup
Ein simcha ela b’yayin

 

My iPhone gave up the ghost yesterday, which will definitely aid in giving my weary psyche a rest. I bought a replacement plan, but the phone is back-ordered, so I’m phoneless for a few days. I’ll survive.

The kids are with their mother this weekend, and do I miss talking to them. In their teenage distraction, they do NOT miss talking to me. I’m OK with that. I hope that they’re having fun.

The craziness continues.

This weekend the Republican Jewish Coalition is meeting in Las Vegas, at Sheldon Adelson’s (Jews We Wish Were Gentile) Venetian Den of Iniquity and Gambling Hall. Among the assholes that the RJC wishes to honor are Dick Cheney, whose qualifications are  promoter of false intelligence, war profiteer, torture advocate and guilt-free accomplice in the death of over 4,000 American soldiers and marines and who knows how many civilians; Cheney’s evil homophobic spawn; and Mike Pence,champion of turning the United States into a Christian theocracy yet sell-out to perhaps the most un-Christian president in US history. FYI to Jewish Republicans: Christian theocracies have not been good to us. cf. Spanish Inquisition vs. Golden Age of Jewry in Spain.

 

Take a break, everyone. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

 

tRump’s “Condescending Crumbs”


In case you don’t think that Cheetolini has been dog-whistling the white supremacists, you now have proof ,courtesy of Haaretz.com.

The “condescending crumbs” quote comes courtesy of the Anne Frank center.

trumpie-998x657

As for tRump finally saying anti-Semitism is a bad thing:

wow. gee-whiz.  Of course, the real news is that even if you are ultra-Orthodox that you’ve never met anyone that is as anti-Semitic as tRump. Who’da thunk?

To which we say:

Prove it. Fire Bannon.

NB: I’m not writing about Yiannopoulos. This is already too much recognition.

 

Jews Wish Were Gentile, Vol. II


Stephen Miller

stephen-millerSomebody tell him to go away. Put him on an ice floe with a polar bear. (Not that I want the bear to eat him or harm a single hair on his feet. I’m just hoping against hope that he will develop some empathy. Unlikely, but who knows. Even Chuck Colson found G-d).

(SOCIAL) MEDIA SHABBAT


sabbath_blessing_candles_and_challah
taken without permission from  www.helensiegler.org

my brain hurts… need rest… Shabbat Shalom to you Jake Turx, Twittler owes you an apology,jake-turxShabbat Shalom to you, Jared Kushner, in spite of all the evidence that you won’t do the right thing, we still hope you dokushner-shabbat

Shabbat Shalom to you, Sheldon Adelson,have a great time hosting the Cheneys next weekend, you embarrassment to the Tribe,

and well, Stephen Miller, I don’t really care what kind of Shabbat you have.

 stephen-miller

Netanyahu: Where was he on Holocaust Remembrance Day?


For a man who has made a career out of reminding the world that Jews are victims, he was unconscionably silent on the Trump Holocaust Remembrance Day statement.

trump-netanyahu

Remember that statement? The one that didn’t mention the 6 million Jews that were systematically murdered by the Third Reich? The one that dog-whistled to neonazis, white supremacists, and anti-Semites all over the nation? The one that Weasel Kushner was also unimaginably mute about?

I’m not sure Netanyahu has taken it to heart that most American Jews can’t stand Trump. That 76% of professed Jews, including Zionist Jews such as myself, voted against the nascent dictator.

I wonder how Bibi’s feeling today, now that, seemingly on whim, Trump has reversed himself on the matter of Israeli settlements.Maybe Trump’s getting back at the American Jewish community for opposing him.

I hope that the hawkish Jews who voted for Trump finally realize that they can’t count on his support of Israel’s right. After the events of recent days, I can’t see why any of our allies would feel that they can count on Der GropenFuehrer. He has no core principles, other than his narcissism, and toadying to that is not even a guarantee of a good outcome. Just ask Chris Christie.

Feeling betrayed, Mr. Prime Minister?

Jews We Wish Were Gentile: Jared Kushner


First of all, I want to explain the title of this and similar posts.

As Jews, we are instinctively defensive. History has given us plenty of cause to be wary. Current events, such as the President Drumpf’s failure to mention Jews in the Holocaust are not very reassuring. We have a general feeling of  being exposed and vulnerable. Remember the scene in “Annie Hall” where Woody Allen’s character goes to visit Diane Keaton’s family? If you don’t. . .

 

 

 

The corollary to this is the collective belief that, ultimately, that we are  responsible for our own survival and well-being. Assimilation with the dominant culture will not protect us. Institutions and laws will protect us, but only up to a limit.

Add to that the tendency of a minority to either feel collective guilt or feel that collective guilt is being put upon the entire minority. Do you worry whether or not your state was on the right side of the Civil War, even though your great-great grandparents were still stuck in European ghettos? When Bernie Madoff was arrested, did part of you say, “Aw shit, did he have to be Jewish?”

So no, it’s not my responsibility, it’s not my fault, it shouldn’t reflect anything on me or any other Jew that Jared Kushner is one of Drumpf’s closest advisors. It shouldn’t reflect on me that his multi-millionaire father engaged in fraud and witness intimidation. It shouldn’t say anything bad about any of us that Kushner had Chris Christie sacked for doing his job as New Jersey Attorney General and sending his dad to prison.

But we feel like it does. And in the minds of many others, it does. When a member of a minority does something we don’t like, there is a tendency of too many in the population to attribute collective blame to the entire group.

In any case, Kushner’s sycophantic silence on Drumpf’s Holocaust Memorial Day statement, a statement that purposefully fails to mention the Jewish victims of the “Final Solution,” shows how little he has learned from being Jewish, in spite of purportedly being Orthodox and observant. He is an embarrassment, and his presence in the White House should be upsetting to Jews who take seriously the commandment to improve the world.

kushner
How long till he grows a conscience, if ever? Does he have Bannon over for dinner?

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑