Settler Rabbi Endorses… Obama?

I know… not what you’d expect right? But here it is – Rabbi Menachem Frohman, one of the founders of the Zionist settler movement in Israel and the Chief Rabbi of the settlement of Tekoa stating that he believes Barack Obama is the only hope for peace in the Middle East…





 

PS: For those of you who do not read comments, please note that this was not posted as an endorsement of Obama. While the Rabbi in question is a settler – he lives in a settlement and is their Chief Rabbi, he is politically atypical in that he has met with Hamas members including Sheik Yassin the founder of Hamas and espouses political views that are extremely atypical of most settlers. OK? Now go read the comments.

After the bump, the full text of his open letter to the Democratic Presidential candidate:

With God’s Help

To the person who, with God’s help, will be the next President of the United States of America:

Dear Senator Barack Obama,

“May the Lord bless you from Zion, and may you gaze upon the goodness of Jerusalem all the days of your life.”

This letter from an elder Jewish Rabbi who lives in close proximity to Jerusalem, addressed to the young candidate for President of the United States, may be considered irregular and even reckless. With that said, the Creator of the Universe, blessed be He, granted us, with His grace, the privilege to live in a reckless world. Our grandmothers, from all nations and traditions, used to say that miracles are the fingerprints of the Creator in His creation. The fingers of the Divine hand are outstretched to us in peace. The American Dream that you speak of, about everyone fulfilling all their opportunities, is the manifestation of realizing God’s ability to make miracles for everyone in the world.

It is a fact that miracles happen in the world. To attest to that is this very letter that is being sent from a Rabbi, living in proximity to Jerusalem, to the candidate for President in order to discuss the question: Can the greatest miracle of all take place; can Barack Obama be elected President in less than two months time? This letter comes to let you know that I pray and await this very miracle because we need change.

Jerusalem awaits Barack Obama. The Holy land awaits Barack Obama. The Middle East awaits Barack Obama. The whole world awaits Barack Obama. Your being elected will be God’s outstretched hand for peace.

Not only America says ‘Enough’ along with you, the entire world says ‘Enough’. Not only the American soldiers in Iraq say ‘Enough’ along with you, but also the Israelis and the Palestinians say ‘Enough’. No more War! Also the Middle East needs change and the realization of new opportunities.

Realizing new opportunities in the Middle East is in fact the realization of new opportunities in the United states and around the world. Peace in Jerusalem and in the Holy Land is the key to peace in Baghdad, Afghanistan and the whole world. The Israelis and the Palestinians are two small nations, but there is a possibility that they will be the ones to build the bridge between Western Civilization and the Islamic world. Enough with words and promises about peace in the Middle East, it’s time for realization.

It is not enough to use new words or make new promises in order to achieve realization, what is needed is depth and seriousness. I am writing to you in order to reveal to you the depth of my heart. For me, the concept of God coincides with the concepts of depth and seriousness. The practical applications of being a believer are to be deep and serious. In order to be an instrument of God’s will, one has to be deep and serious. In order to implement the greatest miracle of all – the revelation of the will of God, God’s help is needed.

In our world, depth and seriousness are sometimes revealed by wisdom gained by years of experience. This is the reason that in Hebrew (and in Arabic) the Rabbi or the religious leader is called an Elder. That having been said, the Creator in His grace gave us the privilege to live in a wondrous world that also has other possibilities. Sometimes, the young gain not only the energy of the youth, but also the blessings of the Elders. That very blessing of the Elders is what helps the young realize the greatest miracle of all.

What can I do to help realize this great miracle? Three weeks ago I initiated the filming of a video, filmed in the Holy Land in which I, as a Rabbi expressed my awaiting Barack Obama in the Holy Land.

If the U.S.A. will choose the deep and serious meaning of the American Vision that will be a message of hope for everyone around the world.

We are waiting because on November 4 there is a new opportunity that everyone in the world in his home, or in his little village will get new opportunities for his life directly from America.

I will continue to pray for the greatest miracle of all. I believe that the proper words to express my prayer are ‘Lord, Help me guard against Pride and Despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will.’

Sincerely,

Rabbi Menachem Froman

Chief Rabbi of Tekoa

source: marcgopin.com with a hat tip to Dede and Yaakov

Founder of Jewlicious? Publisher? Man I hate titles. I coined the name Jewlicious and I slave over the site. I live in Jerusalem and I need to get some breakfast.

131 Comments

  1. The JIDF

    9/19/2008 at 7:13 am

    A bit irresponsible to post this and not mention the Rabbi’s ties

  2. The JIDF

    9/19/2008 at 7:13 am

    by ties i mean:

    jpost.com/serv...

  3. ck

    9/19/2008 at 8:00 am

    That’s why we have an unmoderated comment section JIDF. But that’s just a photo. Feel free to expand on that, eh? Shabbat Shalom!

  4. Aaron

    9/19/2008 at 8:27 am

    The picture is of Rabbi Froman with Ahmed Yassin. Draw your own conclusions.

  5. atl

    9/19/2008 at 8:40 am

    Obama is the one. Stop hating..

  6. Alex

    9/19/2008 at 11:12 am

    This blog gets worse every day. I’m convinced that as Democrats would rather lose a war to win an election, American Jews would rather give away Jerusalem than their loyalty to Democrats. It’s pathetic. For a smart American Jew’s take on The One, I suggest you read Mere Rhetoric. Here’s a snippet from today’s post:

    ——

    * The leader of Hamas, Ahmed Yousef, expressed support for Obama and hoped for Obama’s victory – true. * Obama’s political advisors are “pro-Palestinian” – true. They also have a habit of popping up in places like Syria, where they do things like promise Assad that the US will work to push Israel into a land-for-peace swap. * Obama once said “the Palestinians have suffered the most” – the quote was actually “nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people”, but true * The president of Iran also “endorsed Obama” – true. * Obama “supported a united Jerusalem and then switched his opinion and believed in a divided Jerusalem” – true. Which makes sense when you consider that his foreign policy advisers think Israel needs to put Jerusalem on the table. * Jimmy Carter’s “anti-Israel national security adviser is one of Barack Obama’s foreign policy advisers” – true. After the jump, all of the also demonstrably true Obama endorsements that these pollsters didn’t even have time to get to.

    Apparently there are so many anti-Semites surrounding Obama that push-pollers aren’t even bringing up that viciously anti-Semitic preacher who the mainstream media has decided isn’t an issue. And they also apparently ran out of time before they could bring up the warm words and/or explicit endorsements from Farrakhan and from Assad’s regime and from Ali Abunimah and from Hamas-supporting Gazans in general and from George Galloway and – most recently – from one Patrick Buchanan:

    Buchanan said on MSNBC: Let me say about Israel here. My position on Israel is frankly awful. It is like Mika [Brzezinski]‘s father’s, it’s a lot closer to Barack Obama’s than it is John McCain. This is quite a boomerang in the side of the head for Congressman Robert Wexler who was out earlier accusing Sarah Palin of supporting the “Nazi sympathizer” Buchanan.

    Now in fairness, the stuff about the PLO is probably only partially true. As near as anyone can tell, Obama merely funneled cash to a PLO-linked anti-Israel organization run by a PLO-linked terrorist sympathizer with whom Obama seems strikingly well-acquainted. So there’s that.

  7. Ben

    9/19/2008 at 11:38 am

    Well, you know. Obama secretly hates America. If he gets to the White House, he’ll take off his mask and nuke Israel. He already said so in speeches. And, and, he said he’ll ban Hebrew and make Arabic the official language of the US. He said so. Uh-huh.

  8. Alex

    9/19/2008 at 12:14 pm

    Ben,

    First of all, there is no secret about the Obamas’ disdain for contemporary America, but the rest of your assumed “Republican talking points” are so ridiculous that it makes you look dumb for possibly thinking others believe this drek. You could of at least tried to be funny but you failed at that too.

  9. Alex

    9/19/2008 at 12:16 pm

    Of course, American Jews never actually deal with the accusations posted above and would rather attack the messenger or launch an attack on his opponent. If you want to prove how Obama is a good choice for Americans and especially American Jews to vote for, start with refuting the points posted at Mererhetoric.com:

    mererhetoric.c...

    Until you do, I assume you agree with them.

  10. JIDF

    9/19/2008 at 12:17 pm

    Y’know Ben, I wouldn’t put it past him, considering the church he attended for over 20 years (which printed Hamas material and honored the antisemite Louis Farrakhan,) his terrorist ties, and the fact that he considers the anti-American, antisemitic, racist Rev. Wright his close friend and mentor. I’m just surprised that Jews are being so confident in Obama considering all these clear and present warning signs.

  11. Rabbi Yonah

    9/19/2008 at 12:20 pm

    Dear Alex,

    Do you mean worse, as in presents ideas that do not line up with your own?

    Rabbi Furhman is a serious peace activist, AND settler. He lives in Tekoa, and has been at the forefront of efforts to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians, byt working with local Muslim religious leaders.

    And your contention that Obama is a secret Jew hater is simply not true.

    And your quoting things out of context too.

    If the question is who is suffering more from the policies of the PA?
    and I were to say: nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people, that would be a fine answer.

    PLEASE show some evidence of your PLO-Obama Connection, or stop throwing mud. It is specifically a grave sin.

  12. Alex

    9/19/2008 at 12:25 pm

    JIDF, you join a few of us out there that are completely dumbstruck at the stupidity of many American Jews. But it wouldn’t be the first time a segment of the American Jewish population acted so stupidly as a group. Remember how they backed the Communists? Great move there! It would make me feel better in some way if I were a Gentile looking in, but sharing the same religion, tradition, and heritage as such a large number of either blind or narrow-minded fools brings about feelings of embarrassment and shame. Which is actually a nice alternative to guilt and neurosis. :)

  13. Alex

    9/19/2008 at 12:34 pm

    HA! I’m being accused of taking things out of context by someone who just took McCain’s referencing Latin America while speaking about the Prime Minister of Spain out of context and drew a correlation between that statement and the man’s intelligence. You have got to be kidding me. And where was your scathing critique of your new Messiah when his teleprompter went out and said kids with Asthma need to use a “breathalyzer”? Show me that at any time.

    But the stuff I posted came right from Omri Ceren’s Mererhetoric.com blog:
    mererhetoric.c...

    It shouldn’t be a problem getting you proof, as he cites everything in the references at the bottom of his posts. Certainly a standard Jewlicious can use to boost your own credibility.

  14. Alex

    9/19/2008 at 12:41 pm

    Once again, since I’m all excitable: I respect Rabbi Yonah as a person and think he’s probably a really righteous, nice guy, who would be great to hang out with. But his dispensing of (no offense) ignorant and misguided political analysis calls into question 1. the rest of his advice, and 2. whether it’s a good idea for spiritual leaders to mess with politics in the first place. Look how great it went for Pat Robertson, Jeremiah Wright, Robert Pfliger, and the rest of them.

    If I need a political opinion from an intelligent Jew, I’ll go to Krauthhammer, Horowitz, or even occasionally Friedman.

    My suggestion, is that you guys do what Obama can’t, cross isles and write about issues that most Jews can agree on that affects Jews world wide, otherwise, this blog runs the risk of becoming yet another Jewish mouthpiece for the Obama campaign. Frankly, Scarlett Johansson and Barbara Streisand are enough of an embarrassment. How is this blog any more open minded than Jewschool at this point?

  15. Alex

    9/19/2008 at 1:02 pm

    Here’s the PLO-linked reference:

    avideditor.wor...

    I sure hope it’s not the first time you heard of Rashid Khalidi?

  16. Ephraim

    9/19/2008 at 2:00 pm

    Friedman?

    You mean he actually occasionaly says things that can be taken seriously?

    When was that? I must have missed it.

  17. Alex

    9/19/2008 at 2:06 pm

    Every now and then, Thomas Friedman actually says something that isn’t profoundly stupid. It’s usually when it has nothing to do with Judaism, America, Israel, the Middle East, etc. His perspective on the global economy was actually pretty objective. But that’s about it. Arafat loved the guy, what more do you need to know? :)

  18. Tom Morrissey

    9/19/2008 at 5:14 pm

    Krauthammer’s the best columnist in America. Tom Friedman may have permanently lost me when he said that Putin’s invasion of Georgia proved that NATO expansion to central Europe had been a bad idea.

  19. Ephraim

    9/19/2008 at 5:31 pm

    Krauthammer’s good, but I really like the pseudonymous Spengler of the Asia Times (not American, I know).

    A pessimist of the first order, but a hell of a writer, with erudition that should make soft and squishy CW dispensers like Friedman hang up his pen and go start flipping burgers, something for which he might actually be qualified.

  20. montana_urban_legend

    9/19/2008 at 6:16 pm

    I’m almost convinced that it’s better to entertain the belief that Jewish victims of terror are paying the price mandated by Heaven for not accepting Jesus Christ as their savior, than it is to have the slightest smidgen of sympathy for Palestinians as human beings, but not quite. I’m almost there though. Try a little harder, Alex.

  21. montana_urban_legend

    9/19/2008 at 6:40 pm

    The site took my info! Surprise. That’s the reason for my absence. Must have seemed like a faulty address.

    I’ll defend sitting through Wright’s jeremiads (and the most contentious one that Hannity loves Obama wasn’t even present for) over Brickner’s any day. Why? Jeremiads, named after the biblical prophet Jeremiah, established the precedent of speaking truth to power on a national level, with consequences implied for failing to live up to whichever precepts the person had in mind. And while I’ll not defend dogma here – whether it be Wright’s belief in blowback or Brickner’s belief in retribution towards Jews for their “unbelief” – Brickner’s is more dangerous. Wright’s references to chickens coming home to roost resonate with secular political theories with which one may or may not agree. But Brickner is going on about being punished simply on the basis of one’s beliefs – an idea that has no secular equivalent. Not only is this idea politically anathema in a secular republic such as America, it illustrates the utter intellectual corruption of the right. It’s one thing to have faith in certain questionable beliefs. It’s another to have faith in unproven beliefs that lack any secular equivalents. And it is utterly depraved to hold to the latter in such a way as to justify not only the widescale destruction of humanity, but of groups of human beings on the basis of what they think of the supposed divinity of an obscure Jewish preacher from 2,000 years ago.

    Until the Republicans realize that thumping bibles, waving flags and brandishing guns – for all the emotional resonance of these acts – reveal nothing about the thoughtful deliberation required for actually governing a powerful nation, then they will sink ever more into the decline and decadence that their reign has so far exemplified. They’re done, Alex. Face it. Toast. And the way they’re trying to spin the fact that they have nothing reassuring to say about the current economic meltdown, which they did absolutely nothing to stave off, seals the deal.

    The Democrats will now have their chance. And they could screw things up as badly, if for different reasons, as the Republicans have. But as for the here and now, the American people are in the mood for a political expulsion – and deservedly so. You’ll just have to sit through it and rejoin them after they decide to regroup and embrace new philosophies and talking points for you and their other followers to parrot. But that will take a while. Not everyone can come up with new and reasonable proposals overnight. Or newfound credibility either.

  22. Alex

    9/19/2008 at 10:53 pm

    MUL,

    1. Did I say something about Palestinians? Or do you want me to rifle through your eloquent metaphorical poetry until I’m smart enough to parse out the insult?

    2. Just wondering, but are you Jewish?

    3. I forgot that Congress was in Republican control, what with that 14% approval rating (up from 9%!). But seriously, I underestimated the president’s role to stave off this (still potential) collapse. Please enlighten me with what your mighty Democrats would have done if they controlled Congress AND the presidency?

  23. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 8:57 am

    1. Being sympathetic toward Palestinians on a human level is the most you can accuse, and are accusing Obama, of. You’ll have to parse your own comments to show where you are charging anything else, let alone anything more insidious in this regard.

    2. Being “pro-Israel” and disinterested in the U.S. having the lowest international standing it’s had in decades, if not ever, is not a tribal or political thing.

    3. Get bills signed and overcome filibuster. Not that I would expect to know things like that or anything.

  24. Tom Morrissey

    9/20/2008 at 10:45 am

    MUL shifts from Daily Kos once again to contend that a 20-plus year association with Rev. Wright by the candidate at the top of one ticket, exactly equals a one-time appearance at the church of the other ticket’s candidate for vice president. Right.

    One of the, uh, oddments of this site is its occasional foray into Christian exegesis…. I’ve really got to share my unique insights into the Talmud with you all.

    Ephraim, do you have a link to the Spengler material?

  25. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 11:03 am

    That’s some pretty hard-core dissuasion, Tom. Obama wasn’t even in the pews during the comment in question, repudiated it, and eventually Wright. Whereas Palin, according to Politico, couldn’t even do that much. Kroon, who we assume speaks for her, “cautioned against attributing his views to her”. If that’s the best your little lamb can do, then I’d say it’s woefully inadequate. But then again, we know how scary the media is. It actually takes note of what people say. How slimy. Palin’s shield against scrutiny by the media and all.

    On the other hand, if all you’ve got are length of “associations”, then I’d say that’s pretty unconvincing. We are getting into what ideas the candidates actually endorse, or are at least willing to entertain, and take with them into government. If that territory scares you, it should. After all, you’re defending the nutbar Palin. No candidate is claiming that God chose them to ascend to office to implement some of the stranger precepts of the Talmud into national life. Sorry.

    Apparently you’re in as much need of a remedial education on the American Constitution as Alex is. And not that your side of the aisle is particularly interested in avoiding cognitive dissonance these days, but just so you know, I’ll inform you of the fact that your innuendo is also a fallacy of basic logic.

    The American people are catching on. What’s the gap that McCain-Palin have fallen back to in the national polls? 10%? I suggest you stop trying to insult their intelligence. We already know how embarrassed the Republicans feel for insulting their superior morals.

  26. Ben-David

    9/20/2008 at 1:28 pm

    Back to the original post: it’s not really honest to present Rabbi F. as representative of the settler movement.

  27. froylein

    9/20/2008 at 3:27 pm

    Ha, Tom, right on. :) A few interfaith lessons definitely couldn’t hurt as I’ve already stated in another thread.

    Was Obama never ever in the pews during all those twenty plus years? (Way beyond a congregant of his, he considered Wright a friend.) Did he tape his postbox shut so as not to receive the church bulletin? C’mon, St Nicholas sees everything, and St Nicholas doesn’t believe that story. St Nicholas won’t be bringing MUL any gifts on 5th / 6th December.

    Prize questions:
    a) Why does St Nicholas look like a Lubavitcher?
    b) Who of the Jewlicious bloggers have been nice enough to deserve a gift?
    c) What is Tom’s profession? (I don’t think he really needs any lessons on US law by any of us…)

  28. ck

    9/20/2008 at 3:44 pm

    Alex wrote: “My suggestion, is that you guys do what Obama can’t, cross isles and write about issues that most Jews can agree on that affects Jews world wide, otherwise, this blog runs the risk of becoming yet another Jewish mouthpiece for the Obama campaign. Frankly, Scarlett Johansson and Barbara Streisand are enough of an embarrassment. How is this blog any more open minded than Jewschool at this point?”

    Uh… what? I think you’ve mistaken us for Jewcy. We’ve taken the piss out of both sides. And frankly, it’s not hard to do. What’s really important is that we provide you all with a place where you can engage in intelligent discussion. O how sad I am when I see the conversation devolve into silly talking points. As far as I am concerned, no matter what the outcome of the election is, I’m afraid I am going to have lots of “taking the piss” blog fodder.

    In brief (and absent any detailed analysis), McCain doesn’t seem that different from Bush. Palin doesn’t believe in dinosaurs and would refuse a victim of rape or incest the right to abort her fetus. Obama – well, I have no clear idea of how he stands on certain issues near and dear to my heart and Biden? I like Biden. But he’s just running for VP. Luckily, I am Canadian/Israeli and will not be voting. But as a resident of Jerusalem I feel a little uncomfortable with that big ol’ target sign I feel hovering above me wherever I go. Oh well.

    But getting back to tachlis – Alex, if you want to write a well thought out post about why you think McCain and Palin are the bees knees, let me know. I’ll post it. I have no problem with that, as long as you have no problem with folks disagreeing with you.

    And Rabbi Yonah is an awesome guy. If you’re ever in Long Beach or LA, let me know, I’ll hook you guys up.

  29. ck

    9/20/2008 at 3:48 pm

    BD: He’s definitely not a representative of the settler movement. But he is Chief Rabbi of a settlement. And he’s a Zionist. And please just bc I posted this with hardly any commentary, it does not mean that I am a breathless, bubble headed Obama supporter. I posted it bc I thought it was interesting and because I can. Yes I can!

  30. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 4:08 pm

    If Tom’s familiar with the First Amendment and freedom of association, then it would be nice to know that he actually values it enough to not use its antithesis as a cudgel against Obama for the purpose of mindless, bad-faith smears that aren’t having much of an impact anyway in the grand scheme of things.

    But I can understand why you’d want to let him do your arguing for you, Froylein. I mean, if I maintained that Ahmedinejad was as dangerous as you do, and then insisted that Ali Khamenei either didn’t exist or was a made-up entity, then I’d prefer to let someone else do my arguing for me, too.

    In America we don’t have much of a problem respecting the right of people to believe whatever silliness they want to believe. We just don’t think that someone who believes that dinosaurs walked with humans 4,000 years ago should be that high up taking the reins of the federal government. Ditto for someone who thinks that their election to governor of a corrupt and unpopulated outpost is a part of G-d’s literal plans, or that cataclysmic events in the Near East are (or should be considered) a part of the same calculus either. Leave that cockamamie crap to whoever you’d elect in your own dystopian fantasy sequence.

  31. froylein

    9/20/2008 at 4:30 pm

    But I can understand why you’d want to let him do your arguing for you, Froylein.

    Well, certainly, he agreed to being my lawyer. So if I ever get arrested, I’ll be able to “call my lawyer”. Isn’t that nice of him?

    I mean, if I maintained that Ahmedinejad was as dangerous as you do, and then insisted that Ali Khamenei either didn’t exist or was a made-up entity, then I’d prefer to let someone else do my arguing for me, too.

    Could you please point out to me where I did that? But if you must know, my Persian students and their families consider Ahmadinejad one of the greatest and most dangerous loons ever. BTW, a Muslim that has converted out of faith is considered an animal in Islam. Muslim students of mine made me aware that people like Ahmadinejad won’t feel tied to keep the word they gave a person they don’t even consider human. Just a little inter-cultural understanding for your consideration.

    Leave that cockamamie crap to whoever you’d elect in your own dystopian fantasy sequence.

    Newspeak wasn’t my invention.

  32. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 4:33 pm

    On a lighter note, the Blues Brothers also spoke with extremely annoying Upper Midwestern accents and claimed that they were on a mission “from Gahd”.

  33. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 4:52 pm

    It’s nice of anyone to represent their friend, as any one of my lawyer friends or family members would also surely do. Of course, making ridiculous arguments about how it’s unfair to make judgement calls on an anti-empirical end-times fantasist who aspires to become VP isn’t against any law, so far as I know. But then again, it’s generally not against any law to make illogical, unserious statements.

    You remember conversation, F. I don’t have to (and don’t have time to now, maybe later) search the archives for that conversation. It’s the one where you make the same assertions you do here. Ahmedinejad, like Palin, is a loon. Whether or not he’s “one of the greatest and most dangerous loons ever”, however, is certainly debateable – regardless of whatever your Persian students and families have to say about him. They do not consitute some kind of authority on the geopolitical significance of Ahmedinejad by virtue of being from his country and speaking his language. It is utterly fallacious to imply otherwise.

    You’re confusing me with the last statement. I hope it’s not derived from not understanding the discussion.

    Reminder: Ali Khamenei is known as the “Supreme Leader”. What do your students think of him? Do they know who he is? Do you? Do we have to poll them on all things Iranian that affect U.S. interests before understanding their meaning and determining their significance?

  34. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 5:08 pm

    Froylein, I must say… the most striking thing about how you are approaching this disussion is your willingness to dismiss real gaps in Palin’s understanding of the world as it is, while entertaining gaps that are just as bizarre when it comes to Ahmedinejad’s understanding of the world. Ahmedinejad’s weird beliefs, it seems you would argue, are part of what make him “one of the greatest and most dangerous loons ever”, while Palin’s do not seem to merit your consideration. Part of “inter-cultural understanding”, as you put it, might warrant the idea that American leaders can make judgments just as irrational and dangerous based on things that are condoned in their culture as can Persian leaders. That someone would think that Ahmedinejad’s beliefs are dangerously irrational, but that Palin’s aren’t, smacks of cultural chauvinism – which only detracts from that understanding you advocate, if you really want to know.

  35. froylein

    9/20/2008 at 5:28 pm

    MUL, I’m not quite sure we speak the same language… I said it was sexist to belittle Palin for her good looks, particularly by those that had previously delighted in Obama’s handsomeness. That has nothing to do at all with either’s political agenda but the way standards are applied. BTW, end-times fantasies, messianic hopeful-thinking and their particular eschatology is likely shared by all of the Evangelical candidates. Note, I haven’t officially “endorsed” anyone, but seeing how cranky Obama supporters get when certain topics get mentioned, I wonder whether it’s even in Obama’s as well as the USA’s best interest for him to get conventionalised into a sacrosanct poster boy.

    You might consider it utterly fallacious to ignore the views of Iranian refugees (of which there are plenty in the US, too), but I consider it utterly fallacious to have someone with obviously such scaringly little insight into the cultural settings of those parts do the talking.

    I know who Khameini is; nobody needs to be polled. But I can expect an aspiring political leader, particularly one of a world power, to get a clue about politics, foreign affairs and foreign cultures, not just about self-dramatisation.

  36. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 6:00 pm

    Oh, ok. You’re scared by me talking. I’m not scared of you talking or of other Evangelicals talking because: 1. I think better arguments can be made when it comes to the worldviews that inform their philosophy of governing, and 2. I think there are a sufficient number of individuals rational enough to listen to those better arguments.

    I don’t know why you’re bringing up Palin’s supposed “good looks” here. I haven’t said anything about them on this thread, nor did anyone else that I’m aware of. It’s certainly not the topic of conversation today, is it?

    “I know who Khameini is; nobody needs to be polled.”

    Now you claim you know who Khameini is. When you said “who is this supposed Supreme Leader” before either you didn’t, or you didn’t know that was his title. In any event, congratulations on learning more about Iranian politics.

    “But I can expect an aspiring political leader, particularly one of a world power, to get a clue about politics, foreign affairs and foreign cultures, not just about self-dramatisation.”

    Ah. I’m glad to see that you approve of Obama, then. Palin wouldn’t pass that test. And every time she deigns to step outside of her bubble of protection from the media, Palin doesn’t pass that test.

    BTW, there are no “other Evangelical candidates”. They were all wiped out by the time McCain was left. Only Palin, whom he later nominated, remains (I’m including entire tickets here, including VP). But hopefully not for long! ;-)

  37. Tom Morrissey

    9/20/2008 at 6:26 pm

    When Palin calls for the destruction of Israel or starts executing gay people, we’ll entertain your latest comparison, MUL.

  38. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 6:46 pm

    Of course, you’ll wait until then, Tom. The rest of us silly empiricists can deduce that given her statement that it was part of G-d’s plan for her to become governor, that she hopes that we are doing G-d’s will in Iraq and her insistence on the likelihood that dinosaurs and humans roamed the earth together, that she believes silly things and doesn’t have a problem letting those things get in the way of a rational approach to governing. These aren’t isolated statements or thoughts, they seem to form a large part of her worldview. Not all of them constitute specific plans, but her penchant for secrecy and vindictiveness lead one to believe that the non-Godly portions of her decision-making processes don’t do much more justice for her as a statesman, either. So I have no problem believing that she will exercise the political discretion to not proclaim outright everything that she may believe.

    In any event, she was in the audience when her religious friend spoke of Jews dying as part of God’s plan. You/i> might think that such views are acceptable, mainstream, or require no denunciations – (she hasn’t denounced them or made clear her ostensible rejection of them, by the way). I do not. I also compare this to the fact that Obama, who was forced to denounce what Wright said, wasn’t present when Wright said what he said.

    Your standard of absolute evidence required of Palin and her beliefs is a stark contrast to the innuendo and smear you’re willing to entertain when it comes to Obama and his mere “associations”. Maybe that makes for acceptable politics in your book. But I’ll have no problem calling them out. Just so you know.

    And until those tactics stop, I look forward to your clarification that Obama has never called for the destruction of America, either… assuming you’re honest enough to hold to a single standard.

  39. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 6:48 pm

    Of course, you’ll wait until then, Tom. The rest of us silly empiricists can deduce that given her statement that it was part of G-d’s plan for her to become governor, that she hopes that we are doing G-d’s will in Iraq and her insistence on the likelihood that dinosaurs and humans roamed the earth together, that she believes silly things and doesn’t have a problem letting those things get in the way of a rational approach to governing. These aren’t isolated statements or thoughts, they seem to form a large part of her worldview. Not all of them constitute specific plans, but her penchant for secrecy and vindictiveness lead one to believe that the non-Godly portions of her decision-making processes don’t do much more justice for her as a statesman, either. So I have no problem believing that she will exercise the political discretion to not proclaim outright everything that she may believe.

    In any event, she was in the audience when her religious friend spoke of Jews dying as part of God’s plan. You might think that such views are acceptable, mainstream, or require no denunciations – (she hasn’t denounced them or made clear her ostensible rejection of them, by the way). I do not. I also compare this to the fact that Obama, who was forced to denounce what Wright said, wasn’t present when Wright said what he said.

    Your standard of absolute evidence required of Palin and her beliefs is a stark contrast to the innuendo and smear you’re willing to entertain when it comes to Obama and his mere “associations”. Maybe that makes for acceptable politics in your book. But I’ll have no problem calling them out. Just so you know.

    And until those tactics stop, I look forward to your clarification that Obama has never called for the destruction of America, either… assuming you’re honest enough to hold to a single standard.

    Moderator: Hope this comment doesn’t duplicate. But the running italics on the last version of the comment was really bothering me. I had to fix it.

  40. themiddle

    9/20/2008 at 6:55 pm

    This dumb Jew would like somebody to explain – as we watch the Republican led destruction of the financial markets (“Regulation? That’s for wussy Democrats”), and sudden ideological flip flop where the largest and richest get a $700 billion bailout that the same politicians refused to provide to households and individuals over the previous months – why anybody should vote for Republicans. Ever again.

    Give it your best shot, Alex. Keep Israel out of it and explain why anybody should vote for a Republican president again.

  41. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 7:04 pm

    It will require the abandonment of much rational thought, but that’s what anyone sticking with the Repubs in 2008 is unfortunately reduced to – as much in this matter as in many others. But he may give it a shot. Or not. I think this is a difficult matter to overcome politically and the Rs know their goose is cooked because of it. As do many of their supporters. McCain has been looking mighty distressed lately – as the journalists in his “Straight Talk Express” will attest to.

  42. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 7:16 pm

    It’s part of their effort to destroy America on two fronts, Middle: through foreign policy as understood solely through the lens of religious war and economically. Don’t you understand, it’s part of G-d’s plan to bail out the financial markets that they didn’t want to minimally regulate in the first place? It sure makes for the kind of drama they seem to thrive on. The “Oops, we didn’t mean it”/”what an awesome disaster” spectacle is very theatrical!

    Americans are now scared shitless of the prospect of voting for these utterly irrational frauds.

  43. grandmuffti

    9/20/2008 at 8:25 pm

    It’s nice at least to know how one can guarantee being rich forever:

    1) open a business
    2) follow any measure to get rich through giving out money no matter how irresponsibly and taken on massively risky policies, thus bullshitting yourself to a wonderful looking balance sheet and forcing your competitors to do the same so that their investors don’t flee to you. Don’t follow any responsible patterns since otherwise you won’t be able to make good on (4) below.
    3) Pay yourself REALLY well while the getting is good.
    4) Point out when things go wrong that you are indispensable and that it’s partly the fault of all the schmucks who were taking your ridiculous loans in the first place.

    You gotta love an industry which can’t fail.

  44. grandmuffti

    9/20/2008 at 8:35 pm

    By the way, is this:

    Can the greatest miracle of all take place; can Barack Obama be elected President in less than two months time? This letter comes to let you know that I pray and await this very miracle because we need change.

    really the greatest miracle of all? Is Obama’s election really hinging on divine intervention?

  45. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 9:00 pm

    given how much the reptiblicans have screwed/are screwing up, perhaps a divine intervention/deliverance metaphor is approriate

  46. Yosef

    9/20/2008 at 9:17 pm

    The Jewish Internet Defense Force did a good breakdown of this “piece” here:

    “Jewlicious” and their Irresponsible Blogging
    thejidf.org/20...

  47. Alex

    9/20/2008 at 9:30 pm

    TM,

    I’ll be happy to take my best shot as soon as you an prove how how it was a specifically “Republican led destruction of the financial markets”. You can’t just pop up a straw man like that, I expect more than that from you.

    From what I remember, plenty of rich liberals both lent ridiculous amounts of money without oversight, helped over-inflate the prices of houses, and borrowed more than they could afford and you are going to blame the collapse of these irrational business models on the entire party? I don’t understand how you guys keep forgetting that Congress has been in the Democrats for almost two years now, and they haven’t done a damn thing to stave off this collapse except threaten to natinalize the oil companies, sheesh.

    I’ll give you a hint, no one will or would. Markets correct themselves, generally learn from their mistakes, and increase “market efficiency”. Furthermore, it’s absolutely not a conservative quality to nationalize and bail out companies. In fact, it’s the anti-thesis to conservatism. Nor is it a conservative quality to rake up national debt and create more programs and increase the size of the government. I will most definitely admit, that the Republicans in the last 10 + years have stopped being the counterweight to Democratic waste and played right along, at everyone’s expense. If you are so concerned with lowering debt, you should vote McCain. He’s taken less earmarks than your guy and he even warned against the coming market bubble several times, while Biden wanted to throw 200 million at Iran “with no strings attached” a few days after 911. And don’t get me started about Obama’s earmarks. Lastly, your “uniter” has never crossed party lines or the isle, nor even fought against his party for anything. He barely has a record. McCain has on numerous occasions, done so, and Palin has too, in her small amount of time. Why would you think someone who only faces one direction (left) be the best person for a country composed of a full spectrum. Isn’t that kinda selfish?

    Sorry to imply you specifically are a Dumb Jew. I did not mean to, but there are people I feel that term strongly applies to.

  48. Alex

    9/20/2008 at 9:41 pm

    Yosef,

    Love that site!

    MUL,

    I thought I was talking to someone rational but then I read through your comments. Yeah….

    You don’t have to support Armed Terrorist groups and baby killers to have compassion for what the Palestinians have and do go through. Nice spin for your loved hero though. Try to appear a bit less infatuated with the guy, will you? He’s a married man for g-d’s sake. And I take it you aren’t Jewish. Thanks for being straight.

  49. Tom Morrissey

    9/20/2008 at 10:08 pm

    Middle, the financial industry has been operating in a less regulated environment for years. Bob Rubin and Bill Clinton were fully on board with Republicans in repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, enabling Citibank, Bear Stearns and the rest to pursue subprime lending and trade in mortgage-backed securities in a manner free from meaningful regulation. So pinning this on Republicans exclusively won’t wash.

    Fittingly, George W. Bush and Barney Frank seem agreed on the fix, a new-fangled RTC.

  50. montana_urban_legend

    9/20/2008 at 10:55 pm

    Name a single thing I uttered which can’t be defended on a rational basis. (The things you don’t understand don’t count).

    If you had a rational defense for St. Sarah and Company’s agenda, you’d have made it. Talk about infatuation! You don’t even have a single defense to make of her or her friends!

    I’ve got a newsflash for you, Alex. Your being Jewish doesn’t matter to her. Nor does it matter to her that I am. But is the only remaining appeal you can make to… tribalism? And I’m the one who isn’t being rational? Talk about desperation!

  51. froylein

    9/20/2008 at 11:45 pm

    MUL, Obama’s branch of Christianity is a type of Evangelicalism FYI. I’ve explained the Evangelical view on Judaism and Israel in another thread. I’ll blame my academic studies of religion for actually understanding the different eschatological views of Christian denominations.

    I mentioned Palin’s “supposed good looks” because you were complaining above about the silly-tone criticism Obama was receiving on here. I pointed out double standards being applied. BTW, did it ever make it the US news what he’d stated on his trip to Germany?

    Just because we don’t call Khameini “Supreme Leader” in German doesn’t mean I’d never heard of him. But that doesn’t mean either that I’d ignore the reality confirmed by those that really know what’s going on in Iran; a little knowledge of Islam couldn’t hurt you either. BTW, even Neturei Karta considers Ahmadinejad the decisive figure.

    And please, if you want to insult people on their alleged lack of intelligence, do it in style.

  52. froylein

    9/21/2008 at 12:02 am

    BTW, it was your beloved, soooo educated on foreign cultures Obama that, in absolute ignorance of the German political protocol and the possibility of the existence of such, wanted to hold his Berlin speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate, which protocol mandates only heads-of-state may do. He also ignored the need and wish of many German citizens to see that he’d visit injured US military (afterall, while in Germany, he announced that he’d extend the Afghanistan ticket for those chaps), largely also because a huge part of Germans, regardless of their own take on any bellicose conflicts the US is involved in, feel sympathies for the US military as it has been doing Germany great favours for more than sixty years now and a lot of German families have friends and / or relatives in the US military. But I suppose Obama had better things to do apart from going shopping in Berlin rather than to visit those young people whose life might eventually depend on decisiosions made by him. Was he already trying to pose like JFK?

  53. ck

    9/21/2008 at 1:57 am

    Yosef: Good breakdown? Hardly. The comments already noted the Rabbi’s meeting with Sheik Yassin over 10 years ago. Also, I didn’t post this as an endorsement of Obama. I let people make up their own minds. Finally, how is a post on a Jewish blog that, unlike your site, allows pretty much unmoderated comments, how is that a matter for the Jewish Internet Defense Forces? Are we attacking Judaism? How is that fulfilling your mandate of promoting Jewish unity? You know, you could have just asked me to clarify the post… which I did by the way. But then you wouldn’t have been able to put up a self congratulatory post up on your site.

    What a bad ass you are!

  54. themiddle

    9/21/2008 at 5:10 am

    Last night Obama quoted McCain:

    “Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”

    blogs.abcnews....

    Tom, forgive me for using Wikipedia but here goes:
    en.wikipedia.o...

    The bill that ultimately repealed the Act was introduced in the Senate by Phil Gramm (R-TX) and in the House of Representatives by James Leach (R-IA) in 1999. The bills were passed by a 54-44 vote along party lines with Republican support in the Senate[8] and by a 343-86 vote in the House of Representatives[9]. Nov 4, 1999: After passing both the Senate and House the bill was moved to a conference committee to work out the differences between the Senate and House versions. The final bill resolving the differences was passed in the Senate 90-8-1 and in the House: 362-57-15. This veto proof legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 12, 1999. [10]

    The banking industry had been seeking the repeal of Glass-Steagall since at least the 1980s. In 1987 the Congressional Research Service prepared a report which explored the case for preserving Glass-Steagall and the case against preserving the act.[11]

    The repeal enabled commercial lenders such as Citigroup, the largest U.S. bank by assets, to underwrite and trade instruments such as mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations and establish so-called structured investment vehicles, or SIVs, that bought those securities. Citigroup played a major part in the repeal. Then called Citicorp, the company merged with Travelers Insurance company the year before using loopholes in Glass-Steagall that allowed for temporary exemptions. With lobbying led by Roger Levy, the “finance, insurance and real estate industries together are regularly the largest campaign contributors and biggest spenders on lobbying of all business sectors [in 1999]. They laid out more than $200 million for lobbying in 1998, according to the Center for Responsive Politics…” These industries succeeded in their two decades long effort to repeal the act.[12]

    Notice the party line vote at the beginning? Republicans controlled both Houses and they were pushing through a bill that forces the Dems to choose to stick to their guns and lose all the campaign money or to vote along. It was also out of Clinton’s hands. Veto-proof.

    en.wikipedia.o...

    “Democrats agreed to support the bill only after Republicans agreed to strengthen provisions of the Community Reinvestment Act and address certain privacy concerns”

    Who was running the Houses again? Republicans. Remember those dark old days?

    The White House opposed the bill and these were Summers’ days in office, not Rubin’s:

    “http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-630698.html”

    And according to the NY Times, the WH fought hard to include provisions to protect the public and attempt to restrain the banks, at least somewhat. It should be noted that the negotiations were held with Gramm who was co-sponsor along with Leach, another Republican.

    partners.nytim...

    The Times also blames Schumer, but at least Wall Street is his constituency.

  55. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 10:44 am

    You know Froylein, we might both come to these conversations with what we already know — you seem to have some type of issue with you or other people wanting to not feel insulted on that score — but I think the deeper issue is what’s actually relevant. I’m not coming on here spouting off about how I know this or that to satisfy some ego-based need or proclaiming that anyone else is the personification of lesser knowledge. Sure, there are times for intellectual enlightenment, or edification, or whatever one wants to call it. But when there are disagreements, say about the implications of Obama’s calls to meet with foreign leaders instead of thinking that shunning them is always an effective posture, then what ensues are arguments by the proponents and detractors of that approach to attempt a resolution between both sides’ respective case. It’s not always pretty. Nor is it supposed to be. But it can be, and that all depends on what either side is willing to entertain.

    I don’t have some set agenda (as Middle once accused me of). Nor do I have a fixed set of beliefs on these sort of things (although I’ve come to the point that in this election year, some stances can be more easily and consistently defended than others). But I’m always willing to change my mind as the facts or arguments change. Here you spend an entire paragraph cataloguing Obama’s supposed mis-steps and/or gaffes in Germany. I’m not sure I see the point or relevance in it. If you posted that just for the purpose of interesting small talk and to prove to me that you know things about Germany vis a vis Obama (which I never denied), I suppose I appreciate that. But I hardly see what the relevance is. You’re trying to say that Obama isn’t perfect. When did I ever say that he was?

    Anyway, keeping in mind the ultimate purpose of reasoned discourse, I realize that ad hominems are distractions that generally detract from the meaning of such discussions. And when I use them I suppose I’ll try to be wittier in constructing them. But when it’s evident that someone is immune to give-and-take, merely toeing a line and intellectually impervious to legitimate challenges to that stance (I’m not talking about you here, but about someone else who is obsessed with doing the same thing, only more clumsily), then I take the Nietzschean exception and ask what kind of a person would do that. Like with the arguments, it’s not about dressing them up to make them look pretty and witty — at least that’s not the primary point, it can be fun to do so — but to make sure they’re effective. A surgeon’s scalpel isn’t always necessary or called for. Sometimes a blunt object will do.

  56. themiddle

    9/21/2008 at 10:48 am

    I only accused you of having a pro-Obama agenda once?

  57. froylein

    9/21/2008 at 11:02 am

    Middle, we shouldn’t mock somebody who once prided himself in having had more than 10,000 online debates…

  58. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 11:10 am

    Alex’s comment from last night was held for moderation so long that I couldn’t read it until now. Some of the points may be legit, some not, it’s hard to tell without doing a significant amount of background research right now on it — and I don’t have time, nor am I the best qualified to do so. But I think Tom’s comment misses the point entirely. Regardless of who went along with what, and what party they were from, the Republicans will reap the blame in all this – rightly or wrongly. It’s an election year and whoever’s party is in charge of the executive branch gets the credit or blame for how the economy’s doing. That’s just how it goes.

    The only economist I’ve heard from so far is Krugman. He’s pretty damn partisan, and was pretty much in Hillary’s camp (why wouldn’t he be, he’s familiar with everything that went right during the nineties). His take on it is that there are “no atheists in a foxhole and no libertarians in financial crises”. So he was referring primarily to the bail-out but also to how the event was the culmination of Bush’s ownership society in practice. I’m not sure which of what he said was for partisan point-scoring or not, but the honest answer he gave was that he’d not seen anything that bad in his life and they’re all (economists) trying to sort it out now. Perhaps short-selling exacerbated everything. I’ve heard both sides of the aisle go on about how Clinton made lending easier and how Bush neglected to regulate it. This is all moot in terms of solutions; despite credit or blame in an election year, bipartisan correctives will now occur.

    Two things are for certain though: 1. The hyper-polarization, which Bush/Rove is responsible for, didn’t help us avoid this crisis and his disinterest in preventing things generally only exacerbates that perception, and 2. Whether or not his libertarian “Ownership Society” would have been a good or bad thing will never be known now. A more significant, non-partisan narrative of the events that led to this will now take priority and it’s unlikely that Bush’s and Greenspan’s and other libertarians’ ideas will or would have received a fair hearing de-coupled from the crisis that followed their implementation.

    We need someone in power with a more comprehensive and well though-out philosophy to government and the economy. Regardless of whose ideas you think are better or more attractive, once someone’s in power, they’re getting paid at taxpayer (my) expense, and should do a minimally competent job at preventing crises and facilitating the kind of environment in which individuals can thrive. If they can’t, or if they won’t, then they can take a pay-cut or work for free – cause that’s not the job I’m paying them to do – especially if their mantra is that government does nothing useful and should be shrunk. If they’re going to implement that approach they can start with themselves. McCain hit on this theme pretty well at the RNC. Let’s see if he believes it.

  59. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 11:12 am

    I’m pretty sure you accused me of working for Obama. Which is untrue. A one-time $100 contribution means I own more of a chunk of him than he owns of me as an “employee”, knucklehead.

  60. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 11:21 am

    Now you’re being snide, Froylein. Maybe you think you’re being cute. I gave you a comprehensive response. If Middle’s response wasn’t serious, I didn’t perceive it as mocking me. Besides, unless he votes for McCain, and continues defending the Democrats, his agenda is pro-Obama too now, so the joke’s on him if that’s how it was meant.

    I never said 10,000. That’s you pulling things out of your ass. I might have said “thousands”, in which case it was probably a bit of an exaggeration or rough figure to prove the point… I’m not sure. I don’t have a meter and I don’t keep count. In any event, my on-line discussions aren’t so extensive that they get in the way of having an off-line life in which I can engage in the mindless banter and academic sophistry that you evidently think more highly of.

  61. froylein

    9/21/2008 at 11:25 am

    knucklehead

    That’s you pulling things out of your ass.

    mindless banter and academic sophistry that you evidently think more highly of

    ck, since when has scum been permitted on here?

  62. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 11:35 am

    “knucklehead” was meant in jest

    “pulling things out of your ass” is not an insult

    “mindless banter and academic sophistry” is you proving that one’s perception of your intelligence is more important to you than whether or not someone actually had something intelligent and topical to say

    “scum” is your own whining, tattle-tail concession that you can’t take the heat – even if light-hearted. And as far as insults go, it’s a pathetic one. Give me a break! Do you really want to regulate speech as if you were a monarch!

  63. ck

    9/21/2008 at 11:41 am

    uh… knucklehead? Ass? Sophistry? If that’s scum then I am lord god king ruler of all scum, and all my fellow scums are welcome here.

    I’m being sorta disingenuous … froylein can explain …

  64. ck

    9/21/2008 at 11:44 am

    Heh. Let’s all chill out here… I just know that this wek I’ve been called both rabidly pro Obama and an anti-Obama racist.

    You don’t see me freaking out?

  65. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 11:47 am

    Thanks for the clarification, ck. I appreciate it, and I mean that sincerely.

    I’m not here to hurt anyone’s feelings. In on-line discussions you never know what someone will take offense to personally, which is why I think it makes sense to err on the side of assuming good faith. I’ve posted at least a few in-depth, detailed and generally impersonal analyses here. If that’s not enough of a demonstration of good faith then I don’t know what is.

    In any event, if you want me to say that I believe you’re really intelligent, Froylein, then there, you have it: You’re really intelligent and knowledgeable. But if that’s the case, then why you take offense so easily to words that seem about as harmless as they go as far as jabs are concerned is an utter mystery to me. Especially when I’m being poked fun at. Perhaps you might want to explain. I’m really not getting it, nor do I understand the point…

  66. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 11:54 am

    ck, I think you’re absolutely right. The fact that different people would level diametrically opposed accusations at you regarding the exact same topic just goes to show the degree to which people take their own preconceived understandings with them into an interaction.

    Everyone is liable to doing this. I’ll even assume that I am too. But that’s why I appreciate and listen to criticism, even if I don’t necessarily agree with it. Can we agree on a ground-rule that anyone willing to criticize is doing it in good faith if they’re at least willing to be criticized back? Doesn’t that sound reasonable? Surely there must be a decent way for reasonable people to prevent misunderstandings from getting in the way of turning potentially contentious discussions into something else entirely…

  67. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 12:01 pm

    In any event, I’m off to attend to my off-line life and get some bagels. I really hope this works out and that you either don’t remain offended, Froylein, or can explain to me what it is that seems to have got you so upset. I’ll admit that it really took me off-guard. Anyway, no hard feelings to anyone else — (except Alex. I’ll give him points for being able to roll with anyone’s punches pretty well. And Lord knows I’ve given him a few – and vice versa). ;-)

  68. ck

    9/21/2008 at 12:19 pm

    Well, I kind of enjoy the back and forth until names are used and then people get offended. I’m not here to be a referee. All I am saying is the discussion was a good one, and then poof. I miss the discussion. I want it back. Fix it you guys.

  69. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 1:08 pm

    Well I can definitely respect a moderator who prefers the discussions to be as free-wheeling and unmoderated as possible. So in my effort to carry out your request, ck, I will appeal to Froylein, as I perceive that the moment(s?) at which she offense was where it all went wrong. In that spirit, I will concede that Middle is not a knucklehead, that Froylein has no ass – or at least, she has no ass of which I may speak or from which she pulls no made-up numbers (how about “thin air”, is it acceptable to charge someone with pulling something out of “thin air”?), that we all value what we can learn from discussions regardless of whether or not those discussions reflect impressively on our respective intelligences, and that, while I love the water, lakes, the ocean and the like, I am not scum. In fact, when I get my marine aquarium I will outfit it with a protein skimmer in order to reduce the build-up of scum. I pledge to use scum-reducing products in my shower and swear that my love of biology will be pursued in such a way as to ensure that the production of scum throughout all natural and man-made environments is limited and shunned. I will pursue cleanliness in all its forms, and that includes efforts to make a “War on Scum” one of my top priorities. If my enemies won’t bring their scum to me, I will find their scum and fling it back at them, until all scum everywhere is obliterated. In short, a thorough de-scumming will be done.

    Does that sound about right?

  70. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 1:16 pm

    Sorry – “the moment at which….took offense”

  71. ck

    9/21/2008 at 2:47 pm

    “Well I can definitely respect a moderator who prefers the discussions to be as free-wheeling and unmoderated as possible.”

    That’s bc i am not a moderator! I don’t have time for that. Who does? And that freedom of speech thing. That too.

    But we should always try to be nice to each other, unless complete and total undeniable douchebaggery is involved. This is not a hang out for the doucheoisie.

  72. Howard

    9/21/2008 at 2:57 pm

    OBAMA = BETRAYAL
    Obama supporters are foolish to think that he will never betray them.
    Obama was a close friend of Pastor Wright for TWENTY YEARS.
    Obama threw Wright under the bus for personal ambition.
    McCain would not betray his country even after 5 years of torture.
    You can put lipstick on a traitor, but he’s still a traitor.

  73. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 4:41 pm

    A useful maxim to live by, no doubt, ck – especially when it comes to the art of blogging.

  74. themiddle

    9/21/2008 at 4:51 pm

    I didn’t accuse you of working for their campaign but of being an operative of the campaign. What I meant was that you weren’t doing it for pay but were/are an enthusiastic supporter who volunteers time and energy spreading whatever message needs spreading. You don’t have to be directly affiliated with the campaign to be an operative, but at the time I think you were getting talking points from them.

  75. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 6:28 pm

    Honestly there’s only a few things Obama’s said that really resonated with me – but they were good enough points and ones that got me thinking. Most of the memes I myself ran with, however, originated with Andrew Sullivan. But surely I embellished or elaborated on them and made them my own within the context of discussions occurring on a Jewish website whose pro-Hillary stances I could relate to and/or understand or at least identify the reasons behind, but could no longer agree with.

  76. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 6:37 pm

    Also, I wasn’t aware that Obama for America has the sort of internet-based advocacy program that McCain had attempted – where supporters are urged to go out on the web, talk up McCain, and return for points or credits (now dubbed “McBling”, etc. by certain leftie sites like Crooks and Liars). Once I found out McCain was doing this I realized how farcical and funny it was. I’m not 100% certain but I assume Obama relies on a different sort of outreach than messages on the comment boards of various websites – regardless of how much more adept they’re considered when it comes to understanding the netroots, the uses of YouTube, etc., for political advocacy.

    I’m sure I’ve inadvertently ruffled enough feathers here to say that anything pro-Obama that I’ve posted wouldn’t qualify as competent advocacy ;-) I just accede that a good conversation can often be a contentious one, especially when it comes to political matters.

  77. montana_urban_legend

    9/21/2008 at 6:49 pm

    Btw, Middle – I’m assuming you’ve read Frank Rich’s column from yesterday but if you haven’t, it’s really, really good. A lot of McCain’s expectations of the press are coming back to bite him in the ass as they realize the extent to which he’d wanted them to write such a dishonest, self-serving and not at all probative narrative.

  78. Steve

    9/21/2008 at 7:52 pm

    Americans get really mad when foreigners tell them who they should vote for. Every foreign endorsement of Obama hurts him and is seen as a conformation that he isn’t really one of us and will not work in our interests.

    I have said this on foreign blog after foreign blog – keep your nose out of our internal business which of course choosing our leader falls under.

    And yeah it is ironic that this guy would endorse Obama since Obama has so much in common with Hitler (which was only highlighted on his Germany trip) and since Obama could spell the end of the Jewish State of Israel.

  79. Tom Morrissey

    9/21/2008 at 8:00 pm

    I suspect both MUL and Middle are Daily Kossacks. Settle down, guys, same team.

  80. Ephraim

    9/21/2008 at 10:48 pm

    Tom, here’s the link for Spengler. Bleak and merciless, but a POV that is utterly unique. If you’re looking for comfort, avoid him, but if you want hard-headed staring-into-the-abyss analysis, Spengler’s your man.

    atimes.com/ati...

  81. themiddle

    9/21/2008 at 11:52 pm

    Tom, those are fighting words. I had my fill of anti-Israel and anti-Zionist and the whole-hearted slide into smarmy Walt and Mearsheimeresque territory on Daily Kos years ago. Between Daily Kos and Little Green Footballs, I’ll take the latter. And no, that doesn’t make me the Right Of Center Middle, that still leaves me The Middle.

  82. Ben-David

    9/22/2008 at 12:44 am

    middle:
    And no, that doesn’t make me the Right Of Center Middle, that still leaves me The Middle.
    - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
    Very good point. The Dems have shifted away from true liberalism to rigidly defined marxist class warfare – and marxist squelching of true dialogue.

    Clinton got elected by cramming the loony-left wing of the party into the closet and running/governing from the center. Kerry and even Obama are candidates of a Dem party where the loony left has taken control. And it shows.

    Lotta people walking around quoting Ronald Reagan: I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.

    On the other hand – Obama MUST be the messiah, because he got me to agree with middle. Hallelujah!

  83. Rabbi Yonah

    9/22/2008 at 12:59 am

    Alex -

    I checked out your supposed source for Obama funneling money to the PLO.

    This is absolute libel. Obama sat on the board of a foundation that gave a grant to a local Arab community organization.

  84. Rabbi Yonah

    9/22/2008 at 1:01 am

    Howard- Have you failed to notice that McCain has flipflopped on every major issue in the last 2 years? That is called loyalty? Well, yes he is loyal to his political future, which seems to be everlasting.

  85. Steve

    9/22/2008 at 3:25 am

    Rabbi Yonah,

    McCain is not liked by a good deal of the Republican Party. It seemed like a lot of non-party people (and perhaps even democrats) got involved in our primaries and voted him in for us).

    I know he isn’t a loyal man so no I don’t want him to win. In a perverse way I do want Obama to win, I do want America to suffer the pain of his administration because I know that like with Carter, America will come out stronger and elect a Reagan the next time around.

    In many ways, Obama is the last hope of the Conservative movement. It is strange and indeed sick how sometimes these strange political situations develop that that’s the reality of the situation.

    I do believe that although it will be hard America will survive Obama just like we survived Carter. As for Israel though, I give Obama a 50/50 chance that he will be successful in destroying you. Just like Carter lost Iran Obama might be remembered for losing Israel.

  86. montana_urban_legend

    9/22/2008 at 7:41 am

    Yes. Interest in the middle class and focusing on tax relief for them is the true sign of a “loony” leftist. Because it was exactly “centrist” Bill Clinton’s economic focus. Whatever.

    I’ve only ever been on Daily Kos two or three times – and that was through links from other websites. But Middle’s right. It’s a silly place generally. I don’t hang out there. But come on, Tom. Branding people that way is a bit silly. Besides, it’s the Republicans’ brand that’s in the gutter these days. And my only real political advocacy at this time is limited to working on behalf of true political prisoners. This cuts across party lines. We must work together to FREE LEVI!

  87. John H.

    9/22/2008 at 9:47 am

    Hi,

    I have been reading about Marc Gopin for years now– especially the peacebuilding work he has been doing with his partners in Israel and Syria. You know what I like best about this guy? He will actually (in fact I think he likes to) engage with his critics online. He’s not one of the Professors who sits in their ivory tower and doesn’t engage with people. He is real.

    I dare the staunch critics of the article to leave comments directly on *his blog*. Do you have the skills to take on the man, the Rabbi, himself? I doubt it.

    PEACE

    Link to article:
    marcgopin.com/...

  88. Greg

    9/22/2008 at 1:00 pm

    What I think is so odd is that this Rabbi can’t see the most obvious Historical comparison to Obama.

    When I talk to lots of my fellow Americans they see it so clearly.

    It was so obvious when he visited Germany. The crowds he got there. They took to Obama just like their grandparents and great grandparents took to someone else. Just like Obama this man could enthrall the masses. Women fainted at his feet just like they did with Obama. He attracted lots of young people with his talk of hope and change. He was seen as larger than life.

    He used his oratory skills in a way where people were almost in a trance and would bend to his will. And unlike Obama he didn’t need a teleprompter.

    He was connected just like Obama is with all kinds of anti-semitic people and organizations.

    When I saw Obama speak in front of all these Germans my mind couldn’t help but flash back to images of another time, and another speaker who Obama so much emulated that day with his rhetoric and the way he seemed to capture the masses in Berlin.

    That man of course was Adolf Hitler and with his message of hope and change did being about lots of change. He proved to the German people and the world “Yes we Can” and the world was set ablaze!

  89. Greg

    9/22/2008 at 1:04 pm

    Hitler spoke of change to and he actually delivered.

    I have seen video clips of Hitler speaking to the masses of Berlin and if you put those clips side by side with the video of the masses in Berlin when Obama spoke and the similarity was just to close to not be worried.

  90. montana_urban_legend

    9/22/2008 at 5:31 pm

    It’s also the most idiotic comparison to Obama that’s ever been made. Don’t forget that Hitler was also a vegetarian who made the trains run on time. So beware punctual conductors and put all vegetarians on notice: If you aren’t with us you are against us.

    This is a Jewish website, Greg. The people here aren’t as dumb as you must have hoped they’d be.

  91. Greg

    9/22/2008 at 6:13 pm

    I am not alone in making this comparison.

    Thomas Sowell makes the same comparison.

    washingtontime...

  92. montana_urban_legend

    9/22/2008 at 7:46 pm

    So your defense is that… two idiots are better than one? And you have the presence of mind to claim that Obama supporters are entranced crowd followers?

    What a crock.

    It doesn’t matter. Republican un-regulation has melted down the financial markets and they are strong-arming a socialization of the losses, despite having privatized the profits. Plus there’s that whole global war minus allies whose long-term strategy they never thought through. Obama will win not only for the votes of those who realize he’s more rational and steady, but due to the fact that his opponent’s party hasn’t a shred of credibility left. Once we see who’s better at ensuring that there’s food on the American plate, then you can blather on about whose candidate is creating conditions more favorable to autocracy and genocide. Until then, Sowell can STFU – which I suppose would provide you with one less talking head to parrot.

    Greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression and you’re going on about how to visually place generic crowds in Weimar Republic era political rallies through storybook allegories, simply because Obama is cursed with the talent of being incapable of replicating Bush’s bad case of congenital mushmouth. Un-fucking-believable!

  93. Alex

    9/22/2008 at 10:23 pm

    MUL, as far as I remember, you are not a Jew, so please don’t speak for them. Thanks.

    Speaking about failed markets and Democrats:

    hotair.com/arc...

    Rabbi, just saw your message. I will follow up.

  94. montana_urban_legend

    9/22/2008 at 10:38 pm

    You don’t remember anything of the sort, Alex. That’s just another one of those witless libels you excel at. You really ought to see someone about that – as well as for your “all Jews need to think the same way about everything” problem. Actually, the latter sort of disqualifies you from being Jewish. Groupthink is for retards and the sort of people who would bail out the government for the depredations they helped it facilitate. Maybe you’re not Jewish, come to think of it – no Jew would act like that.

    Ok, so basically you’re pissed at me for thoroughly excoriating the ridiculous “Obama is Hitler” meme. Anything else you want to protest? Let me know soon. I need to get a good night’s sleep and we know that infants are horrible at keeping to their bedtimes. Don’t be upset for the Republicans. They’ve got their own mommies to go crying to.

  95. Alex

    9/23/2008 at 1:49 am

    Got Unhinged?

  96. ck

    9/23/2008 at 3:10 am

    Hitler / Obama comparisons? Greg… welcome to the doucheoisie.

    Alex… the article you linked to was kind of sad. The government is bailing out the financial markets to the tune of $700 billion, the Dems want $50 billion for infrastructure and other programs and they compare that to the useless effect of the $600 refund everyone got a few weeks back? It was a bad article…

    And yes, Judaism is not a monolith. That’s how two Rabbis can have totally opposite opinions and both are equally valid – look up Hillel and Shamai some time.

  97. montana_urban_legend

    9/23/2008 at 7:44 am

    Got Libel?

    The saddest development of this saga over the last 8 years is the idea that people can’t even figure out what’s worth getting upset about anymore. Here’s a hint: libelling others. You feel it’s your place to label and define “who is a Jew”, Alex? That’s nice. It’s also not relevant. But don’t expect to not be dressed down for attempting your own little excommunications. The barrier you’re erecting is not around Judaism or around being Jewish but around a narrow little concept of loyalty to bad ideas that you think Jews should, by definition, swear allegiance to. That’s more fascist than Jewish, really. Don’t expect a lot of adherents.

  98. Tom Morrissey

    9/23/2008 at 9:11 am

    I have exclusive authority to perform excommunications on this site. I’ll take it all under advisement.

  99. montana_urban_legend

    9/23/2008 at 11:03 am

    In that case Tom, a list of tenets to abide by would be helpful. And beware, Alex might want to ascertain your own creeds first. I use “creeds” in the plural, because apparently he arbitrarily thinks that some of them get in the way of others.

  100. Alex

    9/23/2008 at 12:27 pm

    MUL,

    So you are not a Jew. Just say so. It’s easy and shhh, it’s not bad either. CK created a whole post called “I am a Jew”. I can say it fondly myself: “I am a Jew”. A dumb Jew like Sandra Bernhard can say “I am a Jew” and I won’t argue with her. Never in my life have I said Jews have to agree on anything. My mere presence here shows that Jews aren’t a monolith. I hate echo chambers, and that;s why I participate. I asked MUL, a simple question, “Are you a Jew”, and he gave me an Obamaesque run around type answer that I could not parse through. It’s really a simple question, but I’ll continue the dance with you or your psychosis as long as you like.

    Who’d I libel by the way?

  101. montana_urban_legend

    9/23/2008 at 1:44 pm

    You obviously have some weird ulterior motive in proclaiming something about me which is patently false.. (what’s your reasoning for that, anyway? Oh yeah, I’m not sure you do that whole “reasoning” thing). In any event, I gave what would have sufficed as enough of an answer to anyone with a brain, declared it irrelevant, it’s contrary to your proclamations, and that should be enough. I’m not into declarations. I understand that perhaps in Europe there is a not so glorious history of checking for evidence of circumcision, and perhaps the fealty thing is still heavy on your mind as another remnant of old-country virtues, Alex. But we don’t do that here, and no, I’m not pulling down my pants or anything else for you. No birth certificates, no mother’s maiden name or genealogy records, no bar mitzvah pictures, nothing of that nature will be forthcoming. Just you denying aspects of the identity of a pseudonym in cyberspace, which is about as pointless an exercise as they come. But hey, you’ve got good role models in that regard.

    This is not a papacy. Jews do not speak for each other – (as you claimed earlier) – or follow the stipulations of a specific authority in order to be deemed “authentic”. We think for ourselves. Maybe you don’t. But the rest of us do.

    Is this some Russian identity exercise: cf. “Prove who you are right now!” – so the communist authorities could define which ethnic group they were a part of? We don’t do that here. I’ve told you it’s rude. Nothing to do with “psychosis”. Get over it.

    As someone more famous than you once said: “I am who I am. Tell him I am sent you.” Now go away.

    Alex is paranoid enough to presume to state, “you are not a Jew, so please don’t speak for them”, and I’m the one with a psychosis? That’s rich.

  102. ck

    9/23/2008 at 2:01 pm

    Who cares? {seesmic_video:{“url_thumbnail”:{“value”:”http://t.seesmic.com/thumbnail/OIGj8lXdKK_th1.jpg”}”title”:{“value”:”Who cares? “}”videoUri”:{“value”:”http://www.seesmic.com/video/WSZpMVqSdE”}}}

  103. savana

    9/23/2008 at 2:04 pm

    Glad to see Rav Fromen believes this strongly in Obama. It just might get me to the polls.
    As far as this “I am a jew” argument above, I’d like to put in my 2 cents. What really matters is who is “Israel” because Israel is a spiritual state which means “straight to God” And you don’t have to be officially Jewish to be part of the nation of Israel. As a jew you have been born with the advantage of having access to the Torah and the Kabbalah. But if you “don’t use it, you lose it” So technically anyone who cares is “Israel” and can help propel the world forward in the correct way— inshallah! lol

  104. montana_urban_legend

    9/23/2008 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks for the re-direction, ck. That video was a cool way of putting it across, too.

    That diversion started to remind me of a particular Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, where Larry David is waiting in line outside of a theater and starts whistling a tune composed by Wagner. The man next to him, (I believe he was obviously Jewish, perhaps wearing a kippah or something), starts berating David. The dialogue proceeds approximately as follows:

    Jewish Man: “How can you do that!”

    David: “What? What’s the matter?”

    Jewish Man: “Wagner! How can you listen to that man?”

    David: “Because I like his music.”

    Jewish Man: “How dare you! Where’s your Judaism?”

    David: (Dumbstruck). “Where’s my Judaism? What kind of a question is that, ‘where’s my Judaism?’”(Pretending to look around). I’m not sure. Perhaps it went somewhere. Oh Judaism,…. Judaism…. where are you?”

    Good scene.

  105. Alex

    9/23/2008 at 3:50 pm

    I like that scene myself, but our situation is not the same. If you could be more clear about practically everything you say, rather than beating around some rhetorical bush, we wouldn’t be in this situation. You are excellent at writing a ton and saying very little, I’ll give you that. I’m ending it here, since I see that you can’t answer a straight forward question and somehow think I hate Palestinians or something because I think Jews are dumb to vote for Obama.

    Furthermore, while I think CK is a nice guy, I’m not interested in a Candian’s opinions on the US presidential race nor what some faux settler Rabbi says. Don’t bother responding, as I see that posting here is really a waste of time, as this blog (with the exception of Froylein) is in the tank for Obama and will go to the ends of this earth to defend every obnoxious thing he and the Democrats do. I’ll go to blogs like Mererhetoric.com and the other two blogs posters linked to for a more sensible and objective view of our elections from a Jewish perspective. You do what you do best MUL, talking in fluff, being presumptuous and riding Obama’s jock.

  106. ck

    9/23/2008 at 4:36 pm

    Alex! Really! You know I just had an email discussion with some guy in Brooklyn who accused me of being an anti-Obama racist. Rav Frohman is a settler and a Rabbi any way you want to look at it. He lives in Tekoa which is behind the green line.

    I respect your opinions Alex. I dare say I even appreciate them. I offered to let you write a post about why you like McCain or whatever. I’m trying very hard to be balanced but you’re right – if you want to just have people uncritically agree with you then this isn’t the place to be.

    I don’t care who you support. I just care that the conversation be civil – to a certain extent… I mean I’ve called people names, I’ve been called names, I don’t mind. See I want to focus on substance. I really want you to try and convince me that the McCain/Palin ticket is better than the Obama/Biden ticket.

    Conversely, I also want to know why I should trust Obama. There are some pretty retarded objections to him, but there are also some very valid ones. The valid ones make me uncomfortable – and I don’t care about the color of Obama’s skin or his religious beliefs.

    I’m trying hard to make you feel welcome here. But you have to relax and realize that when I posted this, it wasn’t an endorsement of Obama! And I hate commies. I have hated them all my life. Don’t sit there and trivialize my opinion and that of others who write and comment here by calling us a think tank for Obama. That would be Jewcy or Jewschool. Not us. We’re a little more nuanced than that.

    At least I think so…

  107. Alex

    9/23/2008 at 5:09 pm

    Thanks for the assurance. Once again, I will state, I do not like McCain/Palin. I’m not “pro” for them. I wouldn’t waste my time doing what they pay people in their campaign to do. I don’t have a sign on my lawn nor a bumper sticker. Hell, I don’t wear any clothes with logos or insignias on them because I don’t believe in free advertising. If McCain’s people find me and want to put me on their payroll, I would gladly spend my time writing up why they are better. At this point you will have to live with this: “They’re not Obama/Biden” and that’s plenty for me or anyone that has honestly researched and considered their candidacy.

    If Obama’s people offer me the job, I’ll turn it down on principle. I do not associate with people who associate with unrepentant domestic terrorists and anti-semites. It’s really that black and white for me. I have not been brought up as a lifelong Democrat so I have no reason to deny and whitewash his associations so that his candidacy fits in my worldview. I am not a Republican either. I have no loyalty to any party and unlike my Democrat friends, if and when Obama is elected, I will continue to criticize his policies but I will not have the equivalent of BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome). I will not for 8 years down the road believe that the “election was stolen or rigged” nor will I don an Obama mask and go to futile monthly protests to talk about how much I hate him. Like an individual and an American, I will respect the people’s choice, the presidency and not work to undermine it like my Democrat friends do. But we will all suffer under the looter socialist mentality and policies he will bring. I appreciate that you are trying to keep it balanced in here, but it’s hard to do when the majority of the bloggers here express knee-jerk reactions to any Republicans and continously whitewash all Democrats’ actions.

    A perfect example of this is Palin being disinvited to the Arm-in-a-Dinner-jacket protest. Democrats brought serious pressure on the organizers and threatened to investigate them for violations of their 501 status. It’s not the first time Democrats have worked in tandem with the MSM to stomp out free speech, such as the time they got ABC to pull “Path to 911″ the movie from being shown. The fact that all these objective yet liberal Jew Democrats here didn’t denounce these actions is proof that you guys have a long way to go.

  108. Alex

    9/23/2008 at 5:10 pm

    damn, stupid spam filter again.

  109. montana_urban_legend

    9/23/2008 at 5:54 pm

    No one said that you hate Palestinians, Alex. I just went back to the original quote, which reads like this:

    I’m almost convinced that it’s better to entertain the belief that Jewish victims of terror are paying the price mandated by Heaven for not accepting Jesus Christ as their savior, than it is to have the slightest smidgen of sympathy for Palestinians as human beings, but not quite.

    And so, in the quote, what I’m saying is that you come down hard on Obama for having any sympathy at all for Palestinians. Note: I’m not even judging you for ostensibly feeling more sympathetic to Israelis than to Palestinians. I myself do as well. But it’s obvious that I’m not saying anything closely resembling the idea that you hate Palestinians.

    You know, I feel really bad for ck. He’s doing his best trying to hold together differing points of view. I think he’s doing a damn good job. The thread is already 107 comments long, by last count. How much more work do you want someone to do to clarify their positions for you? I’m not even going to flat-out charge that the need to do so reflects a sense of discomfort or incoherence over one’s own positions – although it usually does – but seriously, how far does one have to go to bend over backward to accomodate a differing opinion? We’ve heard them, and we’re analyzing them, thinking critically about them, and responding. We appreciate that they exist and can be referred to. That’s all. It’s no conspiracy. It’s merely that to debate them is the way a good number of people in the world prefer to learn about what’s going on from differing perspectives and how to make conclusions from all of them in a way that ultimately makes sense.

    Everyone’s got their preferences, Alex. And those are nice to hear about. But this is the blogosphere. Literacy and critical thinking not required. But it does help things go a lot smoother if it’s brought along for the ride. As I explained to Froylein (who speaks German as I understand and so I see that there might be a bit of a language barrier between me and her), it’s not a personal thing to have a stronger defense of what you think than of what someone else thinks. You can choose to take it personally – (or dismiss it by calling it “fluff”) – but walking away is just a concession that you couldn’t defend your point as well. Most people here are open to some criticism. I certainly am. But I’m not going to feel any better about not being open to having my mind changed by a better argument. And the other option is always to agree to disagree. That’s how it works, for the most part. The only other option is to mandate agreement between everyone at all times on all things. And I don’t possibly see how you could sympathize with that sort of an approach.

  110. Steve

    9/23/2008 at 8:12 pm

    As for the Palestinians there is nothing about hating them. After all on September 11th, 2001 while most the world were mourning they were dancing in the streets. Never forget that!

    I hate the Nazis too. Is that wrong? I say no. It is not wrong to hate a whole group of people when they act as a group.

    As for Obama, or for that matter McCain, if you aren’t an American please Shut the Hell Up. I don’t tell you who Israelis should elect as their leaders, and I should expect the same in return. It is just plain rude! This is OUR ELECTION to decide who we believe will act in the best interests of OUR COUNTRY, so butt the hell out!

  111. Steve

    9/24/2008 at 12:03 am

    There is nothing wrong with hating the Palestinians. They danced on 9-11. The fact Obama does have sympathies to them proves he is evil.

  112. montana_urban_legend

    9/24/2008 at 7:27 am

    Steve, I have no problem with countries being told to butt out of other countries’ elections and other internal affairs. But that advice sort of goes out the window when your country is as intervention-driven as the U.S. is and when its financial markets determine the economic course of events all over the world, etc. If we could keep our incompetence to ourselves then that would be one thing. But we don’t. When the CEO of your company is a raging alcoholic, and an outright intervention is not possible, I would suppose that voicing indignation at those expressing concerns or interest in the company’s health – just because they do business with that company – should be the lowest priority.

  113. ck

    9/24/2008 at 11:09 am

    Steve: I’m entitled to my opinion and I am entitled to express my opinion. And I will. God knows I will! Never mind the fact that a sizable chunk of the residents of Tekoa are American citizens who retain the right to vote. Imagine that…

  114. Steve

    9/24/2008 at 3:12 pm

    “…a sizable chunk of the residents of Tekoa are American citizens”

    And you wonder why there is so much mistrust of Jews out there. Be Israeli or be American, whatever, but by all means CHOOSE!

    In their hearts the choice has already been made so they are being dishonest by keeping one of their citizenships.

  115. ck

    9/24/2008 at 3:49 pm

    Steve? Are you retarded? Dual citizenship is not an invention of the Jews. There are dual citizens of every nationality imaginable. If you don’t like it, lobby the US govt. to outlaw dual citizenship – like in say… Saudi Arabia. You’d be in good company.

    Dishonest??? Seriously, are you learning impaired? Because if you are I ought to apologize.

  116. themiddle

    9/24/2008 at 3:52 pm

    …feeding the Jew-hating troll…

  117. Steve

    9/24/2008 at 4:03 pm

    Dual citizenship isn’t the invention of the Jews, but in most cases dual citizenship results out of one parent being of one citizenship and one of the other. Now I believe that should be outlawed too and a person should be forced to choose by age 18 or 21 which citizenship to take on.

    But Israel is one of the few countries that don’t have a person revoke their own citizenship when becoming a citizen of their own country.

    I am strongly in favor of ending all dual citizenship. For it isn’t only about the Jews. But it does seem to come up about Israelis more often than it does with others but certainly it is a much larger problem in play here as we saw with that treasonous female basketball player in this year’s Olympics.

  118. Steve

    9/24/2008 at 4:06 pm

    It is dishonest to keep a citizenship that you don’t feel as being in your heart and soul. If people want to be Israelis – GREAT. But just leave your US citizenship at the door when you do!

  119. montana_urban_legend

    9/24/2008 at 7:44 pm

    I’m a citizen to the principles of honesty, freedom, rule of law and competently run government. Should nationalism be more important than any of that?

    I’ll gladly be the citizen of as many countries that hold to those principles as I can. Apparently such libertarian options distress Steve, as they would any good authoritarian.

    Meanwhile, the only candidate the authoritarians can pretend to support is going into meltdown and suspending his campaign, as the economy collapses under the backdrop of a proposed Wall Street bailout. Way to go, Steve!

  120. montana_urban_legend

    9/24/2008 at 7:52 pm

    I should revise my comment to take note of the fact that McCain has also called upon Obama to suspend his campaign. Heck, at that rate, why not just suspend the elections!

    That would really be putting country first, wouldn’t it, Steve?

    How empty the shell of vapid nationalism that remains when the authoritarians have nothing left to do and no trust left on the part of the American people to regain. It’s quite pitiful.

  121. Tom Morrissey

    9/24/2008 at 10:01 pm

    McCain’s had a couple of bad polls emerge today– and now, to make matters worse, Ahmadinejad’s endorsed Obama.

    Per the Boston Globe:

    “In response to a question from an American student about whether he supports Democratic nominee Barack Obama or Republican John McCain, Ahmadinejad did not explicitly name Obama but said: ‘The American government 28 years ago decided on its own to cut its ties with Iran . . .We do prefer to have relations, whereas one of the candidates in this election would prefer that.’”

    Who’s next, Chavez?

  122. themiddle

    9/24/2008 at 10:09 pm

    Endorsements That Go Ouch!

  123. montana_urban_legend

    9/24/2008 at 10:35 pm

    No one cares. Ahmedinejad also supports nuclear power and oil, as does McCain. Where do these retarded associations end? The guy suspended his presidential campaign (guess he can’t chew gum and walk at the same time. Can he suspend his presidency when there’s a crisis, too?); he’s been caught paying a $15,000/month retainer to a pretend consultant to Freddie Mac – likely in exchange for access in the future to a McCain White House (gulp) until as late as last month (and likely lied about it), and basically wants to hide from the fact that he doesn’t know shit about economics. He’s ducking the debate out of fear and trying to pretend to look more serious in the process for doing it. And you two are concerned about what a third-rate spokesperson for the Iranian government thinks about the election? Pathetic.

    But that must be an easy sell to the American public, who now give Obama a 10-point lead. Nice way to be concerned about the country, guys!

    In any event, here’s at least one advantage that Ahmedinejad has over McCain’s lightweight pick of a lightweight VP nominee:

    “Since Sarah Palin was selected for the vice-presidential nomination, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has given more press conferences than she has. That’s the country John McCain believes in.”

    Hahahahahaha. Palin is more afraid of her country’s own free press than the dictator of Iran is. But we’re supposed to believe she’ll be able to stare him down in a conflict. Right.

    But keep fighting the good fight guys – by which I must mean your badly lost and highly irrelevant guilt-by-the-flimsiest-of-associations propaganda war.

    I sure hope Israel has gotten better PR people by now than anyone as addicted to go-nowhere tactics as the likes of y’all. They need it. Or, they would have needed that had attention not been shifted by the force of gravity to throwing our country down the economic hole in the meantime.

  124. montana_urban_legend

    9/24/2008 at 10:57 pm

    And it’s not an endorsement anyway, Tom. Are you really that behind the eight-ball on foreign affairs? Iran says they want diplomatic ties. So what if he supposedly intimates some backhanded suggestion that Obama is more likely to restore them? By your twisted logic this might as well mean that Ahmedinejad works for McCain – assuming that revelation were to result in bad propaganda for Obama. And before you go about analyzing who’s leading whom in that scenario, just consider all we know about McCain’s associations and how they were supposedly really in America’s interests: all the way from Charles Keating to Rick Davis.

    You really aren’t even bothering to follow the election campaign, are you Tom?

    Here’s a hint: Try to figure out which candidate’s scared shitless of being exposed for his actually guilty associations with people who in their own fecklessness have or are bringing the country down from within, and then go on a propaganda hunt for who wants to be on the record as looking favorably on that candidate from abroad. And no points if most leaders abroad already look more favorably upon that one candidate anyway. You can’t mandate that your enemies hate you.

    Ahmedinejad also likes Corn Flakes. And milk. And pancakes. There go half our breakfast options.

    If Ahmedinejad said he read Jewlicious then you would have to boycott this too, I suppose.

    You come up with reasoning like this and you’re a lawyer?

    Greg, come back with your reductio ad Hitlerum stuff. Tom is trying to one-up you with his endlessly repetitive exercise in Reductio ad Ahmedinejad. Our culture is still trying to establish the kookiness of the former. Tom’s ahead of that by trying to apply the same approach in novel and interesting ways that are no less ridiculous.

  125. Greg

    9/25/2008 at 12:59 am

    Obama has been endorsed by many anti-American foreign leaders.

    Ahmedinejad is just the latest.

    And about him being Hitler.

    Even his hand salute indicates it.

    moonbattery.co...

  126. ck

    9/25/2008 at 3:57 am

    A new low in partisan discourse has been reached.

  127. montana_urban_legend

    9/25/2008 at 8:19 am

    Think of it like the lending and financial markets crisis, ck. Sometimes the bottom has to be reached before people realize how ridiculous and short-sighted their approach has been.

    Greg, the fringe website you link to shows a symbol that is eerily like that used by the Cohanim, Jewish priests. Maybe Hitler was a secret Jew too?

    I got rid of Greg and Steve the first time, ck. Give me a chance and I can do it again.

    The trick is not to play their game on their own terms, as Tom was starting to do.

    This is not about partisanship but about lunatic conspiracy theories — which always start with someone being willing to entertain a huge stretch in the guilt by irrelevant association department.

  128. Alex

    9/25/2008 at 12:35 pm

    Today CODEPINK founders met with Ahmadinejad and talked about building peace parks and kittens. They cozied up to him to say the least. I would have them tried for treason personally. The sad part is that this group has promised to donate 50,000 to the Obama campaign and are considered bundlers for his campaign. When do they get thrown under the bus with the other 15 or so people or groups Obama used to consider close? Countdown has begun.

  129. Tom Morrissey

    9/25/2008 at 8:03 pm

    Middle, this one’s for you. Our former president appears to have imbibed some sort of truth serum over the past day or so:

    CHRIS CUOMO, ABC NEWS: A little surprising for you to hear the Democrats saying, “This came out of nowhere, this is all about the Republicans. We had nothing to do with this.” Nancy Pelosi saying it. She signed the ’99 Gramm Bill. She knew what was going on with the SEC. They’re all sophisticated people. Is that playing politics in this situation?

    BILL CLINTON: Well, maybe everybody does that a little bit. I think the responsibility the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  130. Alex

    9/25/2008 at 8:47 pm

    Freddie and Fanny: the Affirmative Action of Lending

    The looters won.

  131. Pingback: Mixed Multitudes - My Jewish Learning: Exploring Judaism & Jewish Life » Blog Archive » Obama: the Orthodox Reaction

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