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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘people’

Shhh! Watch Out For Those ‘Ordinary People’

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

The day after the election of America’s 45th president, I flew to the UK to speak at one of the thousands of Shabbat events that took place on November 12.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews all over the world united in the celebration of a special Shabbat. The atmosphere in the shul where I spoke was typical of the rest. To use the Hebrew phrase, there was ahavah, shalom, v’reius – love, peace, and friendship.

Unfortunately, there was a shortage of precisely those qualities back in post-election America. Demonstrations erupted all over the country. The losers were not happy. But it was not just that they were not happy; they were literally in shock and experiencing all manner of psychological crises.

Before I flew out I’d heard WNYC’s Brian Lehrer tell his station’s left-wing New York listeners that in the wake of the Trump victory, the entire morning would be devoted to taking phone calls from people who were distressed about “what to tell their kids” and how to explain “fascism” [sic] to them.

A surreal and frankly silly pronouncement to be sure – but not in the least bit surreal and silly to Lehrer and his fan base. To them it was very real.

And about those “largely peaceful” demonstrations:

The same news media that failed to understand the mistake they made in running openly partisan and sometimes truth-stretching campaigns against Trump now continued manipulating the news just as they had before. This was despite the damning verdict on their bias delivered by tens of millions of Americans.

The anti-Trump demonstrators said they were protesting because they feared waves of racism, misogyny, and fascism were about to overtake the United States – although they saw not even the slightest irony in the fact they were on the streets challenging the American democratic system of government, which, if you ask me, seems like a rather fascist-like thing to do, as was the violence many of them perpetrated.

Mrs. Clinton’s media chums portrayed the demonstrators sympathetically. I heard one report claiming that the chants being heard across America were “Trump Has To Go” and “He’s Not My President,” when in fact the chants often employed different words – words I would not write and The Jewish Press would not publish.

“How did this happen?” wondered an anguished liberal establishment. “How could it be?” asked bewildered Democratic Party officials and voters.

I was almost certain I knew the answer they would come up with and I was not too far off the mark.

After the Brexit vote in the UK, similar bafflement erupted throughout the UK’s political establishment. The media had been mostly against leaving the EU. Dire consequences were predicted if it would come to pass, including financial collapse and a country more susceptible to terrorism.

The people simply didn’t believe the media hype and voted to leave. Naturally, those afflicted with political narcissism were baffled. Someone actually wrote on my Facebook page:

 

I know I’ll be criticized for arrogance, but I have to be honest.

If these early results are borne out, and the Leave Campaign wins, it will be held up as a prime example of two things:

1) “Ordinary people” are [expletive] idiots and should never be trusted with important decisions.

2) Britain is so preoccupied with blaming “the other” it can’t see what is in its clear self-interest. Scapegoating is alive and well and lives here in the UK.

 

To which I responded:

 

I am the author of ten books. I voted Leave. My son is about to start his Ph.D. in Oxford. He voted Leave. Another of my sons is an architectural technologist. He voted Leave. Yet another founded a company which designs software for market “Futures” prediction. He voted leave. I have friends who are professors and bankers who want Britain to Leave the EU.

This unacceptable word, democracy (unless ordinary folk vote your way), is roughly predicated on one person, one vote. The “Person” is by definition usually “ordinary” including of course most of the people on the other side who voted Remain.

Personally I have found ordinary people quite reliable, from juries to elections.

 

The losers in the U.S. presidential election have come up with an intriguing variation of this condemnation of the downright dangerousness of “Ordinary People.”

It is based on a very real challenge to the First Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.

Increasingly, the losing side has identified the real culprits responsible for Hillary’s defeat. It was not, of course, anything she did wrong. It was the FBI (previously adored for dismissing her e-mail scandal) and…Facebook! Let me repeat that in case your eyebrows traveled so far up your forehead they have embedded themselves in your hairline: Facebook.

Political experts were apparently not aware that Facebook allowed people to create…pro-Donald Trump pages!

The BBC (not a Trump fan) ran a piece titled “Donald Trump’s Hidden Army.” It said:

 

Donald Trump’s spectacular victory in the U.S. presidential election on 8 November took many by surprise.

Polls seemed to significantly underestimate his support and few pundits gave him a chance.

But many Trump voters, it turned out, were hiding in plain sight – on Facebook.

Thousands of home-grown Trump support pages populate the social networking site. They are a mix of closed and open groups. Most have a few hundred members. But many have thousands. And a few, like American Patriots for Donald J. Trump, have hundreds of thousands of followers.

 

Do you hear that, America? Forget about alleged Russian interference in the presidential election and James Comey (the louse) turning on poor Hillary –the real culprits were ordinary people who actually talked to each other on Facebook and other such venues.

These ordinary people are no longer listening to what we in the media tell them to do. Our highly paid TV anchors, with Hollywood looks and fabulous dental work, no longer persuade them. They are actually speaking directly to each other without us! (Gasp, shriek, choke.)

And now there are serious intellectuals arguing that Mark Zuckerberg and his company have to be brought to heel. Such demands hide themselves under concern about the “fake news stories” that are claimed to abound on Facebook. Anyone making this argument must assume that ordinary people are so naive as not to notice that the mainstream media, both left and right, sometimes also circulate highly dubious and even false news stories.

Mark Twain, perhaps America’s greatest man of letters, is alleged to have once quipped, “If voting made any difference…they wouldn’t let us do it.”

In the wake of the most bitter and fractious American election in living memory, and despite the rights enshrined in the First Amendment, it may be worth tweaking that phrase to read: “If speaking to each other on social media made any difference…they wouldn’t let us do it.”

Keep an eye on those who in the wake of the election of America’s surprise 45th president are arguing for precisely that – and who will now try their best to make sure that ordinary people speaking to each other on social media won’t be tolerated.

Rabbi YY Rubinstein

Welcome to the Home of the Jewish People

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Video of the Day

The Jewish People: No Commonality with Indians

Friday, October 7th, 2016

Contrary to the ill-informed claims of so many self-appointed “hasbara indigenous rights activists,” “Native-Americans” have little (if any) commonality with the Jewish nation. The analogy is ridiculous, and only one devoid of knowledge of Jewish history and Torah would make the comparison.

There is a definite reason “Indian rights” activists align with Arabs and their war with Israel. They share an interest in living the fantasy of a revolution that will never happen. And they have embraced anti-Israel positions for self-interest:

 

  1. As Jews we have a legacy and a mandate of bringing the knowledge of the One True G-d to the world. The Torah is a treasure trove of knowledge and intellectualism. Native Americans were animistic pagans. In Judaism, prophecy represents the highest level of intellect coordinated with a mastery of the body, and the creative faculties. The Native American “vision quest” represented the total abandonment of the rational faculty to primitive imagination, spurred on both by deprivation and artificial stimulus induced by hallucinogens. From a Torah perspective, every shaman must be a fraud. And the fraud is the antithesis of the Torah leader.

 

  1. Jewish law is predicated on the sanctity of human life. Biblical wars (and halachic wars were necessarily brutal) offered the enemy an opportunity to repent. They had a limited window to do so and to extricate themselves from the fate of their people. Native Americans were masters of collective mass slaughter, torture, rape, all sorts of depredations, physical, sexual assault, etc. A code of barbarism and savagery. In fact, research shows that even the less violent tribes often retained a surprisingly rigid mastery of torture practices.

 

  1. Native Americans fled their origins in Siberia to find a new place to live- out of necessity. When necessary they displaced and killed other tribes. G-d GAVE us our land, and we were Divinely mandated to expel and kill. And Jews have always yearned for the one place sacred to us, Eretz Yisrael.

 

  1. Jewish tribes were mandated to maintain unity and brotherhood, despite the unfortunate reality of factionalism that existed throughout the history of the monarchies. Native Americans were defined by their brutal violence towards each other long before any European came to the land.

 

  1. Judaism appreciates nature as the creation of G-d. Native Americans venerated and worshiped nature. And contrary to the mythos of the ecological native, many tribes were destructive to nature. Judaism has a balance where man must conserve the world but still retain dominion over it. And worship of nature is what led early man to turn to the stars and planets as they descended into the abyss of idolatry.

 

  1. Native Americans society was cruel by any standard, and the violence they often meted out towards the ill and infirm was shocking. Judaism repudiates the cruel personality.

 

  1. Judaism is intellectual. Our halachic system is based on logic. Native Americans were creatures of impulse, even if it was contrary to their best interests.

 

  1. Judaism has never shied from documenting our less than stellar moments in history. The Torah and Talmud often record events that portray as us sinful, ungrateful, and generally belligerent to Hashem. Truth is never sanitized. Indian history is defined by politically correct pseudo-history and her advocates all have one narrative. White, raping, exploitative, Europeans. Good noble Indians.

 

  1. While the Native-Americans certainly contributed to our knowledge of fauna, flora, agriculture, building, hunting, their contributions pale to the contributions of the Jewish people, both in the realm of the sacred knowledge of Torah and individual contributions of Jews in general to medicine, education, arts.

 

  1. The Native-Americans world is largely gone, save for the reconstructed false image which shapes the modern narrative. The Jewish people will live forever.

 

There is one important commonality. Neither Jews, nor Indians, nor any people’s, are indigenous to anywhere in the world, since people are not frogs or plants. People are not indigenous. People conquer or they are conquered. People migrate. Like “native Americans” who came from Siberia. In truth, the term “native American” is a misnomer. Arriving earlier doesn’t make one MORE native. “Earlier” is unrelated to “original.” And many tribes slaughtered and expelled weaker tribes from regions. Were these tribes colonizing earlier denizens, or did they get a pass because they were indigenous? As Jews we differ because our conquests of Eretz Yisrael were Divine mandated and that is our sole claim to Israel.

 

Some people get upset because religious arguments offend them. Some have made careers selling exotic stories of “indigenous Jewry”.  They never engage in discussion because theirs is not a rational claim. So they pout and scream and hurl obscenities in response to reasoned arguments. Too damn bad. Those self-serving arrogant hasbarites who don’t like it, can go beat on a tom-tom to mollify their frustration or take some peyote and go on a lonesome vision quest.

 

Many Native Americans suffered as a result of European conquest, but they surely gave it as good as they received it. At the end of the day, they were beaten by the same force that allowed the strongest among them to dominate and destroy the weaker. Superior force. Injustices and atrocities were not the sole domain of Europeans. Their own history was one of aggression, and a collective understanding that the strong dominated the weak.

 

Chalk up this perverse association to social media and 21st Century hasbara. Truth and integrity have no voice when popularity and political correctness is what brings in the money. And this is the root of the problem which explains the “hasbara machine’s” close ties with messianic missionaries who throw millions of dollars at them, as well as secular strains which eschew anything Jewish for contemporary liberalism.

 

If one wants truth, one turns to Torah. For falsehood and populist pandering, one turns to the well-oiled Jewish hasbara (public relations) machines whose true interest is contrary to Torah.

 

Indigenous rights activists have nothing to say to us Jews about our identity. They know nothing of Torah and thus they are irrelevant to any Jew who believes in Divine claims.  Jews who engage in this magical thinking betray an irrational approach to life that has zero commonality with rational Torah thinking. The essence of Judaism is the rejection of the primitive and the pagan. Native American culture embraced and cultivated these very things. The Am Kadosh has no commonality whatsoever with those who worshiped nature and readily resorted to wanton murder. And it is perverse to make this foolish comparison.

We have Torah, they have totems.

Donny Fuchs

‘Jerusalem 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven’ at the Met [video]

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Between the year 1000 and 1400, roughly the time of the crusades (1095-1291), the city of Jerusalem became the most significant place in the known world, an object of desire to people from as faraway as Britain and even Scandinavia and Iceland to India. This universal preoccupation with Jerusalem, ushered a most creative period in the city’s history, the subject of a new exhibition opening Tuesday, Sept. 26, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exhibition, “Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven” demonstrates the enormous influence of the city, sacred to the three monotheistic religions, on the art of that time.

“While Jerusalem is often described as a city of three faiths, that formulation underestimates its fascinating complexity,” says the exhibition’s web page. “In fact, the city was home to multiple cultures, faiths, and languages. History records harmonious and dissonant voices of people from many lands, passing in the narrow streets of a city not much larger than midtown Manhattan. This will be the first exhibition to unravel the various cultural traditions and aesthetic strands that enriched and enlivened the medieval city.”

More than 200 works of art have been gathered from some 60 lenders worldwide, with a quarter of the objects arriving from Jerusalem, including key loans from the city’s religious communities, some of which have never before shared their treasures outside their walls. “Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven” bears witness to the crucial role that the city has played in shaping world culture, a lesson vital to our common history.

The following are notes from the museum’s website, accompanying the exhibition.

“Beginning in about the year 1000, Jerusalem captivated the world’s attention as never before. Why did it hold that focus for the next four centuries?

“A kind of Jerusalem fever gripped much of the world from about 1000 to 1400. Across three continents, thousands made their way to the Holy City—from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions alike. Generals and their armies fought over it. Merchants profited from it. Patrons, artists, pilgrims, poets, and scholars drew inspiration from it. Focusing their attention on this singular spot, they praised its magic, endowed its sacred buildings, and created luxury goods for residents and visitors. As a result, the Holy City shaped the art of this period in significant ways.

“Dramatic circumstances, including natural disasters, political turmoil, intense religious fervor, and an uptick in world travel, brought new attention to the city. In the 1030s, the Fatimid caliph who ruled over Jerusalem forged an agreement with the Byzantine emperor to rebuild the Holy City after a series of earthquakes and the malfeasance of his predecessor. In 1099 European Christians achieved their improbable dream of conquering Jerusalem. In the wake of their bloody victory, they created glorious buildings and works of art for nearly a century. In 1187, the military leader Saladin (1137/38–1193) retook the city and rededicated its Islamic sanctuaries. In the late 1200s through the 1300s, Mamluk sultans blessed with stable reigns promoted the city as a spiritual and scholarly center.

“Throughout these years, the city was home to more cultures, faiths, and languages than ever before. As the site of both conflict and coexistence, it inspired art of great beauty and fascinating complexity.”

One of the exhibition’s many galleries is named “The Absent Temple.” It cites instructions from an early 11th century guidebook for Jewish pilgrims regarding a visit to the Temple Mount: “If you are worthy to go up to Jerusalem you should observe the following procedure: If you are riding on a donkey, step down; if you are on foot, take off your sandals, then rending your garment say: ‘This our sanctuary was destroyed.'”

But even with no Temple to visit, Jewish pilgrims flocked to medieval Jerusalem. They came to mourn the destruction of the Temple and pray that it would one day be rebuilt. Their prayers largely took place not within the city but around its walls. They made a circuit of the city’s gates—a custom that was revived after the liberation of Old Jerusalem in 1967—concluding at the eastern Gates of Mercy, built over an ancient gateway to the Temple. There they might scratch their names and prayers into the stone. They then ascended the Mount of Olives, the historic site where it is believed that the Divine Spirit will return at the time of Redemption. This significant spot east of the city afforded the best vantage point from which to gaze upon the Temple platform.

The installation features specially commissioned videos that provide subtle glimpses, as through windows, of the varied and colorful panorama of Jerusalem with its ever-present medieval monuments. Complementing the videos are short interviews with some of the fascinating men and women who maintain the city’s medieval legacy.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 899, September 26, 2016–January 8, 2017

JNi.Media

We The Jewish People

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

The stirring words of democracy in the preamble to the United States Constitution – “We the People” – comprise one of the most iconic expressions of freedom in human history, as powerful in their emphatic proclamation as they are meaningful in their eloquent brevity.

The words gallantly symbolize love of liberty, hatred of tyranny, and the governing of a free and fair society by honorable jurisprudence. Perhaps no other phrase has come to define the embrace of liberty and what it means to stand together as a collective group to ensure the interests of the commonality.

That illustrious phrase is so ingrained in the public mind that it is part of the popular vernacular. Indeed, “We the people” can be utilized by any group as a statement of principle and purpose. Applied to the Jewish people it would go something like this:

We the Jewish People are a proud people, a righteous people, a humane people, who have survived thousands of years of persecution and suffering to carry on our wondrous heritage and pass on the inextinguishable torch of Judaism to the future children of Israel.

Being Jewish is in our bone and marrow, our heart and soul, and our bond to our Jewish religion is everlasting and indestructible.

We are a people of many voices but we are a people of one family. We want nothing more than to live in peace and to be friend and ally to those who accept us as such and to join amicably with other peaceful nations to help make the world a better place.

We wish not only to enrich the world as a people but to join with others in helping those in need everywhere. Sadly, the loathsome filament of hatred continues to encircle the globe and much work is needed to dissolve its coarse threads.

There are those who would like to see our demise. To them we say:

History shows you can stifle us, ostracize us, expel us, torture us, even murder us in incomprehensible numbers, but we always surmount tragedies to revivify and come back more determined and steadfast than ever to practice our beloved faith and enjoy basic inalienable human rights while acting as a light unto the nations – the light being the teachings and doctrines of our eternal Torah.

We the Jewish People shall never be shackled in pursuing our faith and in our continuous worship of the Creator of the universe. Our Jewish light will only glow brighter and brighter over time.

We are the Hebrew nation, strong and resilient, vibrant and compassionate, moral and fair. To us, life is our most precious gift from God. We try to always be compassionate and empathetic, charitable and benevolent. We endeavor to follow our sacred commandments, to lead righteous lives, to be a beacon of rectitude unto others.

Of course, we are not a perfect people. As humans we have faults and foibles, follies and flaws, just as all other mere mortals, but we always strive to be the best Jews and citizens we can possibly be.

We are of a people of God that reaches back over 3,000 years. We are the children of the Israelites – of our ancestors who settled in the land of Canaan, now Israel; of those who received the Torah on Mount Sinai; of the brave Maccabees; of those who were slaughtered at Betar and in the Inquisition and the Holocaust; of those who valiantly fought for the modern state of Israel.

Our Jewish history is a history that is at once magnificent and tragic, but after all the years, after all the persecutions, massacres, and near annihilations of our ancestors, We the Jewish People are still here, which is no small miracle just as the modern state of Israel is no small miracle.

We are a people who, though scattered around the world, love and support the Jewish homeland. For those of us who do not live there, Israel is – and always will be – our spiritual home.

We the Jewish People are one people under one God Who lights the path we walk on. And with all of the above in mind we know our epic journey will end in triumph, and that before that grand and glorious time there will be many more heroic stories of We the Jewish People.

Harvey Rachlin

Why Do People Invest in the Airline Industry?

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

If you’re thinking of investing in the airline industry, what do you need to know? Seth Kaplan, managing partner of Airline Weekly and author of Glory Lost and Found: How Delta Climbed from Despair to Dominance in the Post-9/11 Era, explains how Delta Airlines reinvented itself and came back from its 2005 bankruptcy declaration. Find out the factors you should take into account if you are considering investing in an airline and what it takes for an airline to be profitable.

What are the secrets of long-term investing? On today’s show, Doug Goldstein, CFP® talks about long-term investing and whether it’s worthwhile taking advantage of your 401(k) plan in spite of the annual administration fees.

The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Colin Powell Says Clinton’s ‘People Have Been Trying to Pin’ Email Scandal on Him

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, The Lid}

It is the Clinton way, when in doubt blame someone else.  But they forget most people would trust former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s word over that of Hillary Clinton. Powell says team Clinton is trying to throw him under the bus for the email scandal.

According to reports Hillary Clinton told FBI officials that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had advised her to use a personal email account while she held the Secretary of State office herself.

In an statement on Friday, Powell said he didn’t remember the dinner conversation where he supposedly told her to use a private email but, “He did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department.” Notice the word unclassified.

People Magazine saw Colin Powell Saturday night and the former Sec of State complained that team Clinton was trying to throw him under the bus.

“Her people have been trying to pin it on me,” Powell, 79, told PEOPLE Saturday night at the Apollo in the Hamptons 2016 Night of Legends fête in East Hampton, New York.

“The truth is, she was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did,” Powell added.
Why does the former diplomat believe this to be the case?

“Why do you think?” he said. “It doesn’t bother me. But it’s okay; I’m free.”

Let me ask, which former Secretary of State do you believe?

Jeff Dunetz

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/the-lid-jeffdunetz/colin-powell-says-clintons-people-have-been-trying-to-pin-email-scandal-on-him/2016/08/23/

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