Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Jesus said unto them [the Jews], If God were you Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. (John 8:41-45)Of course, that is Christian-confined New Testemant text - there is also text that is universal across Judaism and Christianity, in the Old Testemant.
If you hear that in one of the towns which Yahweh your God has given you for a home, there are men, scoundrels from your own stock, who have led their fellow-citizens astray, saying, "Let us go and serve other gods," hitherto unknown to you, it is your duty to look into the matter, examine it, and inquire most carefully. If it is proved and confirmed that such a hateful thing has taken place among you, you must put inhabitants of that town to the sword; you must lay it under the curse of destruction--the town and everything in it. You must pile up all its loot in the public square and burn the town and all its loot, offering it all to Yahweh and your God. It is to be a ruin for all time and never rebuilt. (Deuteronomy 13:12-16)This sort of dogma is not what encourages innovation, science, and progress. This sort of dogma is what encouraged the Middle Ages, ignorance, and persecution. So why is it that the West is worth saving? Simple. The West has had a Protestant Reformation and an Enlightenment, and religion, for all its faults, is left to the background of life, rather than at the very center of life that it currently holds in the Muslim world. In short, it is secularism that has made science, progress, and the Western way of life possible. It is this tradition that is worth saving. Why was India prevented from being an economic powerhouse all these years? I would argue that in India's case, it was the fact that it was conquered by the Muslims, and then the British, and in a colonial state for centuries on end. This is not proof of India's cultural inferiority, or the inferiority of Hinduism. Actually, as mentioned, India is currently booming. So what is it about Western culture that is worth saving? There is a good argument to be made that while many of the elements are certainly found within Judeo-Christian norms, many pillars in this foundation are also found further east, in the science and tolerance of Hinduism and in India. The West that produced Handel's Messiah also produced the Inquisition. The West that produced the ceiling of the Vatican also condemned Galileo as a heretic (and did not recant this condemnation until 1992). Certainly, it cannot be denied that some of the greatest works of art and music were commissioned by the Church. And yet, how many works were burned? How many works were declared heresies? Why is that always ignored, in the glorification of Western culture? How is it that the West currently embraces democracy and freedom? Where in the bible does it speak of democracy? Answer: nowhere. Certainly, there is the famous quote "Give unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's, give unto God that which is God's," HOWEVER, that is hardly a call for democratic/republican self-rule. It also hardly says "Thou shall not have a religious government." Rather, it says that if there is a non-Christian government, Christians should respect it. (and even this is absent in Islam!) Indeed, the very calls of eternal damnation to those who disobey the letter of the bibical law practically necessitate a Christian government that can act as mommy and daddy for the population, policing the souls of its inhabitants. So why are explicitly Christian governments generally absent from the West? Simple: the years of the Inquisition and Holy Wars have taken their toll, and for the most part, the West learned its lesson, and no longer seeks to impose the 'will of God' via the sword. I am a proponent of Western culture specifically because it was able to overcome its barbarous past, and embrace the values of tolerance and secularism. Such values are what are behind the very foundation of the United States - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof - and behind the modern advances in science, medicine, technology, and civil liberties. We are more free now than we ever have been, and yet this has less to do with any principles seen in the bible, much more to do with Greek tradition that was rediscovered by the West, as well as Solomonic principles of tolerance and government that are part of Jewish tradition and culture - but in many ways contradict the faith (Solomon allowed idols within the Holy Temple, and even built temples for other faiths!). Lest we forget, the founders of the United States were deists, as were the Enlightenment thinkers who were advocating democracy/republican rule. To sum this up: we are not fighting a war of Christianity v. Islam. That war was fought during the era of the Crusades, and in many ways led to a stalemate. The war being fought in the world right now is one of civilization against barbarism. Make no mistake about it: barbarism is not limited to Islam, however, the Christian world, unlike the Muslim world, underwent a Protestant Reformation, and more importantly, no longer is advocating bibical literalism. This is not a war of Christ v. Muhammad. The Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Daoists, Confuscists, atheists, and even secular Muslims are all in this fight together with Christians. This is a war of reason v. unreason, science v. dogma, progress v. regression. Religion may be motivating many to fight, and yet unless the Christian fundies succeed in recreating a modern Inquisition and religious state in the West, that ship has sailed. This war being fought is a very old war, and the war against Islamofascism (aka barbarism) is but a new front on the age old war of reason versus unreason. Make no mistake about it: many atheists are themselves quite unreasonable. Their hatred for Christianity obscures them to the threat of Islamofascism, and often causes them to aid and abet those who actually wishes to destroy them. (see: Chomsky, Michael Moore, etc) They are the modern useful idiots. But this war against reason is being fought on many fronts. Lest we forget, Pat Buchanan believes Western culture may not be worth saving as it is not religious enough (and admires the Muslims for their religiousity), as does Jimmy Carter. These are deeply religious Christians. Then there are the "Jesus Campers," who seek to replace the Constitution with the bible. All these people are aiding and abeting the war on reason in their own way. In this war on reason, it is clear that the #1 threat are Islamists. However, we cannot confuse this as a new Crusade, even if the religious right and certainly Islamists see it as such. This is rather a fight to save civilization from un-civilivizing effects of barbarism. Period.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Highlights of 2006...
- I started off 2006 in law school, and by now I have graduated law school and passed the bar exam. Surely this is a highlight!
- My entire political outlook changed. At the start of 2006, I was a regular Kos Kid, who thought Bush was the biggest threat to world peace. I have since had a total political awakening, probably most attributable to my ex-friend qrswave's paranoid antisemitic rantings, combined with the Danish cartoons. This inspired a few things...
- I started this blog, and have since met some wonderful new friends, some in person, such as Thomas, Irina, Sandmonkey, and Zeyad. I also have met many wonderful people online, including Steven, Shlemazl, Raccoon, BEAJ, GCL, Render, and many more.
- I became active in the American Jewish Committee.
- I have been reading books nonstop, to inform myself as much as possible about Islamofascism and general Middle Eastern history.
- I have taken Hebrew classes.
- I have a trip booked to go to Israel!
- I have actually been working out, as shocking as that is to imagine. I have toned down a bit, and I am getting more toned!
- I traveled to Europe, including to Stockholm for ONE DAY! I also traveled to Las Vegas, Michigan, and Florida. (last two were not exciting in the slightest, I assure you)
- I started a job - which I cannot go into detail about, as this is a public site!
Resolutions for 2007...
- I am going to continue exercising and get toned and fit.
- I am going to apply for a new job and GET ONE.
- I am going to learn more Hebrew.
- I hope to become more active in the community at large, with organizations such as AJC.
- I will maintain this website a bit better, and turn this into a more thriving community for like minded social liberals who are hit by the reality of Islamofascism.
- I obviously have a trip planned to go to Israel, but I hope also to go to Toronto again, and see the friends I saw in August, as well as possibly Shlemazl.
- I will continue my reading, and I hope to eventually have a vast and detailed knowledge of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian history. I think this is all so important and relevant to the current world.
- I need to get back into art - I have a wasted talent!
Those are my highlights of 2006 and resolution for 2007. Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
None of what you posted here actually shows hate speech. Rather, you have shown yourself to be an anti-free speech, pro-censorship hypocrite. I commend you for writing this post. Really, it warms the cockles of my heart. Please go on! This makes me warm and fuzzy inside!
I feel this is the greatest honor, to have a hater like curmudgiana devote a diary entry to me. It means I am getting to them. To have a diary on DKos devoted to hating yours truly is the most wonderful honor one can hope for on the internet. So thank you, Curmudgiana, from the bottom of my heart, thank you! You really are too kind! This is a greater honor than an Academy Award! EDIT: The tribute against Ibrahamav, BEAJ, Pipes, and CAMERA is right here, in a seperate post! HAPPY READING!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
- Most of the settlements are on land that was not even occupied by Palestinians.
- Many of the OTHER settlements are on land where Jews lived since recorded history - until they were kicked out by Palestinians (1929, Hebron massacre), or Jordan in 1948.
- The West Bank is of strategic importance, and Israel otherwise does not have defensible borders.
- Absolutely the West Bank (Judea/Samaria) and PARTICULARLY Jerusalem are places where Jews have long historical land ties and a deep emotional connection. You cannot compare this to anywhere else, save possibly Mecca/Medina.
- In any case, any argument that the settlements are a block to peace is lost - since Israel is willing to give up the settlements.
Sorry I have not been posting. I have been busy, busy, busy.
Last week, I attended an American Jewish Committee event at the Polish Embassy in NYC. The event was a candle lighting ceremony, and I was able to meet diplomats from around the world. The diplomat from Finland was particularly sweet. She gave me her card and told me to keep in touch. At this event, I also met Rabbi Mark Wilde, of the "Manhattan Jewish Experience." He is a young and 'cool' rabbi. Actually, he resembled a Backstreet Boy. He spoke of the story of Chanukah at the Embassy (a BEAUTIFUL building, by the way!), and I was struck by how the story has been buried. In case you all forgot, I am an atheist, but I strongly identify with my Jewish background, and Jewish history, philosophy, and culture. I was struck by this story of a struggle against Hellenism (so appropriate today, as Jews face assimilation), and a battle against greatly superior forces. I think the story of the Maccabees is a truly inspiring tale that gets hidden behind the story of oil lasting for eight days.
At this event, I bumped into someone I knew from college, but had not seen since college. It's funny how small a world it is in the NYC Jewish scene, huh? I also met a representative from AIPAC, and I told him I was interested in joining AIPAC because I wanted to be part of the vast Zionist conspiracy that rules the world. I also asked him if he receives his weekly Zionist conspiracy checks. He said that the checks are late arriving in the mail. DAMN, huh??
The Polish Ambassador spoke at the Chanukah party, and said moving and encouraging words of support for world Jewry, and noted Poland's long (and rocky) history with the Jews. Rabbi Wilde also spoke words of ecumenicism with other faiths - words of cooperation and inclusion. I marvelled at the fact that this event was occurring while Iran was holding a Holocaust denial conference across the world. Surreal, isn't it?
On Saturday, I got together with friends and saw a wonderful movie I highly recommend - The Queen. This movie stars Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, after Diana's death. She was simply phenomenal in the role - every facial muscle so perfectly evoking her inner thoughts. I also was struck by the way the movie portrayed Tony Blair. It was a complex portrait that one could take in two ways. One can look at the movie and say he simply basks in the glow of tradition and power, and aims to preserve both. On the other hand, one could say that he is an independent thinker who realizes the value of certain institutions, and is able to see through the politicking of the press and the glorified portrait that they showed of Diana. I would like to see him as the latter. The movie also has a complex picture of Prince Charles. I despise this man, who kisses up to Islamists around the world. (source) One can say that he bravely attempted to stand up to his mother, the Queen. Or, one could say, as I do, that he simply attempted to throw his mother to the coals so that HE could look good. Finally, there is the portrait of the Queen. One could say she is emotionally stunted and cold, or one could say that she values tradition and had to deal with a British public who valued the cult of the celebrity.
I will admit that I was sobbing in 1997 when Diana died. I know that is funny to say now, because in retrospect, she was a silly but deeply troubled woman who I never met. Yet somehow I did sob - probably because I too did worship the cult of the celebrity. But in some ways she did bring on her troubles herself. She knew about Camilla when she married Charles, and anyone with half a brain would expect a royal to keep a mistress - this is just standard history. Moreover, she had her own affairs - yet Charles came off looking like the bad guy. (let me say that I despise him for other reasons) Then there is the courting of the press she did - Diana absolutely had a love/hate relationship with the press and did not live a discreet life. Finally, there was her affair with Dodi Al-Fayed. He was an Egyptian billionaire whose family was into arms dealings. Imagine if she married him, and the step-grandfather (Mohammed Al-Fayed) of the future king of England was the man involved in the 'cash for questions' scandal?? This somehow is never discussed and/or brushed under the rug. Yet the Queen knew all about ALL OF THIS, and I am sure this affected the way she saw Diana.
That all said, I will not give a one-sided attack of the dead - Diana was also a humanitarian who worked for MANY children's charities, was a big advocate for AIDS research, and also tirelessly worked against land mines. She also appeared to have been a good mother who deeply loved her boys. Diana was complex - you take the good with the bad.
On Sunday night, I attended a really fun Chanukah party at a friend of mine's residence. I sang karaoke, which is not a Chanukah tradition, BUT IT SHOULD BE! Of course, I sang my signature song - "I will survive." I need to work on breath support, because my voice is not where it should be, in terms of the power behind it.
Last night, I attended a "Manhattan Jewish Experience" Chanukah party that was overwhelming. Why did I go? Rabbi Wilde talked me into it, hehehehe. Hundreds of people attended, and it was hard to breathe. I nearly had a panic attack, just from the claustrophobia. There was someone there who asked the women "Who wants to get married tomorrow?" I was HORRIFIED by that question. MARRIED TOMORROW??? I don't even know if I BELIEVE in marriage, let alone tomorrow! (remember that I am Jason's fag hag and an evil atheist, out to destroy families and terrorize little children, hardy har har) In fact, I think this is part of the problem with the modern social scene. There is too much pressure on getting married. Stereotypical Jewish mom: "When are you getting married?" This RUINS relationships by putting way too much pressure too soon upon them. I mean, I have a friend whose girlfriend started talking marriage two weeks into the relationship - this quickly broke them up. What is wrong with simply enjoying the company of the other person? Is everyone else taking crazy pills? Why this pressure to get married ASAP? Why not enjoy a relationship like a fine wine, taking long, slow sips and savouring every second of it?
Thoughts/questions/concerns about any of what I just wrote about?
Monday, December 18, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Iran launches a 'Holocaust conferece;' bans dissenting voices; PM of the Palestinian Authority in Iran; Israeli MKs show rare sign of unity
Monday, December 11, 2006
Must read! I already posited why Carter wrote this abomination book on my law school Democrats list serv. I stated: "I am left with three horrifying options. 1) Carter simply does not know the facts (in which case he never should have been president!). 2) Carter knew the facts at one point, but since has gone senile. (possible, though unlikely given the fact that he has been touring the world for countless years, preaching against Israel) 3) Carter knows the truth, and is purposely spouting lies against the one Jewish nation in the world, in the attempt to spread an anti-Israel attitude amongst Democrats. This would make him an antisemite."
I believe option three is the most likely.
Carter exemplifies what Jeane Kirkpatrick (RIP, she died recently) characterized as the "blame America first crowd."
UPDATE: Dersh wrote a great column on HuffPo, noting that Carter actually claimed Israel's actions are worse than the Hutus in Rwanda! He explains how this sets back human rights in this excerpt:
Indeed it is.
There are real world consequences to Carter's - and the far left's - obsessive focus on Israel. What happens is that, when those entrusted with identifying and combating human rights violations around the world choose to focus largely or exclusively in on Israel, the real human rights violators, war criminals, and despots get away with murder. Indeed, the Rwandan genocide is a perfect example of what happens when the United Nations refuses to condemn any country but Israel, and the so-called international human rights organizations put so much of their energy and resources into a country with one tenth of one percent of the world's population (6 million Israelis out of the world's current population of 6 billion people) while ignoring the real and devastating atrocities happening elsewhere.
Carter's comparison can be explained in only two ways: extraordinary ignorance or a bigotry so deep-seated that it blinds one to reality. The burden is on him to explain.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Saturday, December 9, 2006
Friday, December 8, 2006
Thursday, December 7, 2006
We are taught in the Talmud that "whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world." Today a life is at risk in a Bangladeshi court. The man's name is Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. He is a journalist and editor of Blitz, an English-language weekly newspaper. He is on trial for sedition, punishable by death in Bangladesh. His alleged "crime"? In the words of the presiding judge: "By praising the Jews and Christians, by attempting to travel to Israel, and by predicting the so-called rise of Islamist militancy in the country and expressing such through writings inside the country and abroad, you have tried to damage the image and relations of Bangladesh with the outside world." In other words, Mr. Choudhury believes in interfaith dialogue and respect, normalized ties between Bangladesh and Israel, and opposition to Islamic radicalism. Those views could cost him his life. His difficulties began in 2003 when he became interested in Israel and initiated correspondence with a Jerusalem Post editor. That led to an article he wrote for the paper advocating the establishment of peaceful relations between his country and Israel. The piece caught the attention of an Israeli scholar, who invited him to give a lecture in Israel at the International Forum for Literature and Culture of Peace. He accepted, but never made it. As Mr. Choudhury was about to board a plane in Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital, for the long, circuitous journey, he was arrested and his passport was confiscated. He was accused of espionage and charged with sedition. He spent the next 17 months in hellish prison conditions, including torture, denial of medical attention and isolation. He was released in April 2005, largely because of the determined efforts of two individuals—Dr. Richard Benkin, a Jewish community activist from Chicago, and Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk. But that release was followed by more harassment, threats on his life, attacks on his newspaper's offices, and the looming trial. When the American Jewish Committee sought to present Mr. Choudhury with its Moral Courage Award in May 2006, Bangladeshi authorities once again prevented him from leaving the country. Instead, he spoke movingly via video hook-up, while Dr. Benkin came to Washington to accept the AJC tribute on behalf of a man he refers to as his brother. The trial has now begun. The judge in the case is widely known for his link to Islamic radicals. The chances of Mr. Choudhury receiving a fair hearing are slim. Remarkably, throughout this three-year ordeal, Mr. Choudhury has stood unbowed and unbent. He has faced his accusers with remarkable courage, stoicism and equanimity. As outside lifelines, Dr. Benkin and Rep. Kirk have remained tenacious, constantly reminding the Bangladeshi government that this case is being monitored carefully and urging others to join with them in defense of Mr. Choudhury. The State Department, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, PEN USA, some individual Members of Congress and a few newspapers have spoken out. Most recently, Rep. Kirk, a Republican, and Rep. Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat, introduced a resolution calling on the Bangladeshi government to drop all pending charges against Mr. Choudhury, return his confiscated possessions, stop "harassment and intimidation," and hold "accountable those responsible for attacks against" him. (To urge Members of Congress to support this initiative, visit www.ajc.org). In a world where radical Islam is on the march, threatening moderate Muslims and non-Muslims alike, outspoken and fearless individuals like Mr. Choudhury deserve our full support. It is they, after all, who are on the front lines. The goal should be to send an unmistakable signal to the Bangladeshi government, a recipient of U.S. aid, that the case is being watched and its outcome could affect bilateral ties. Other countries committed to freedom of speech, human dignity and mutual respect should also be heard from—and their diplomats seen in the Bangladeshi courtroom to demonstrate tangible concern. To date, regrettably, too few have been either heard or seen. At the risk of stating the obvious, this is by no means an exclusively American or Jewish issue; rather, it is a matter of fundamental human rights. The history of the human rights struggle, whether behind the Iron Curtain or in South Africa during the apartheid era, underscores the need to focus the spotlight on offending nations, depict the plight of individuals, and urge democratic countries to include human rights concerns high on their agenda when dealing with the offending nations. For those concerned about the outcome of the titanic clash in the Muslim world between radicals and moderates, and who wish the latter to know they do not stand alone in their valiant struggle, Mr. Choudhury's case demands our attention—and now. David A. Harris is executive director of the American Jewish Committee. Special To The Jewish Week
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Tuesday, December 5, 2006
However, there are worthy organizations to donate money to. Please consider donating to Oxfam or Doctors Without Borders. The poor Filippinos have suffered so much through the years, with a long war and economic devastation. (see the history of the Phillipines) They are one of the few dependable allies in the war against Islamofascism, and these people are suffering. If you have a few extra dollars, think of donating to the above two organizations.
The extent that Carter goes in propping up an extreme version of the Palestinian narrative, and in burying and devaluing any trace of the Israeli and American versions of events, is deeply disappointing. In accepting the Palestinian narrative, Carter has conveniently revised history, excused the Palestinians for their tragic failure to come to terms with Israel each time the chance presented itself, and blithely ignored Israel's very legitimate security concerns. Many Israelis, including those that once greatly admired his role in fostering peace with Egypt, may never again trust Carter's diplomacy, including his vaunted role as an election monitor. He can no longer claim to be an honest broker. This book will not help the cause of peace, and with its publication, the world has lost a statesman at a time when one is most needed.Alan Dershowitz at HuffPost: Excerpt:
His bias against Israel shows by his selection of the book's title: "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid." The suggestion that without peace Israel is an apartheid state analogous to South Africa is simply wrong. The basic evil of South African apartheid, against which I and so many other Jews fought, was the absolute control over a majority of blacks by a small minority of whites. It was the opposite of democracy. In Israel majority rules; it is a vibrant secular democracy, which just today recognized gay marriages performed abroad. Arabs serve in the Knesset, on the Supreme Court and get to vote for their representatives, many of whom strongly oppose Israeli policies. Israel has repeatedly offered to end its occupation of areas it captured in a defensive war in exchange for peace and full recognition. The reality is that other Arab and Muslim nations do in fact practice apartheid. In Jordan, no Jew can be a citizen or own land. The same is true in Saudi Arabia, which has separate roads for Muslims and non-Muslims. Even in the Palestinian authority, the increasing influence of Hamas threatens to create Islamic hegemony over non-Muslims. Arab Christians are leaving in droves. Why then would Jimmy Carter invoke the concept of apartheid in his attack on Israel? Even he acknowledges--though he buries this toward the end of his book--that what is going on in Israel today "is unlike that in South Africa--not racism, but the acquisition of land." But Israel's motive for holding on to this land is the prevention of terrorism. It has repeatedly offered to exchange land for peace and did so in Gaza and southern Lebanon only to have the returned land used for terrorism, kidnappings and rocket launchings.Read the whole thing of both! Must reads! It is sad and inexcusable that an ex-president would stoop so low. He is an abomination, as is his book. He should be ashamed of himself, except I have come to believe that he has no shame. UPDATE! I sent out this post, full text, to my law school Democrats list serv. One of the responses I got back was particularly disgusting. It is so bad as to be comical, and a must read for C4A readers:
This is saying that I couldn't possibly be informed and clear headed about Israel, because I am Jewish. It is the old canard - saying Jews cannot be trusted in public office, because they care about Israel first above all else, against American interests. What a load of bull caca. And guess what? I read the intro to this book - and that was enough. It had so many glaring lies and distortions, I started to feel like I was ready to vomit, and had to stop reading, for my own health! Jimmah should be ashamed of himself, as should that Dem lawyer, who evidently cannot clearly look at facts, and rather, must engage in character assassination instead.
I usually don't respond to e-mails like this, but I was saddened at thedisgraceful propaganda send by a democrat (this is usually a republicantactic). Don't you think that a jewish student, a jewish lawyer, and the Jerusalempost might have its own bias?
You wanna put out an excerpt you should put one in from the book itself,not from some bias filter. Although I'm willing to bet that the senderof this e-mail didn't even read Carter's book.