Home Friday Afternoon Roundup - I Am Not a Dictator
Home Friday Afternoon Roundup - I Am Not a Dictator

Friday Afternoon Roundup - I Am Not a Dictator


Politicians often seem to deny that one quality about them that everyone knows is true. Obama's "I Am Not a Dictator" deserves to join "I Am Not a Crook" in the annals of political denials.

Obama is finding a dozen different ways to say that he doesn't wield absolute power. "I am not a dictator". "I can't mind-meld Congress into making a deal." "Even though I have been doing anything I want with respect to everything else, when it comes to the sequester I can't take control of it, even though the Senate has offered me that opportunity."

I am not a dictator, except when I want to be.


Terrorism can never be defeated by fighting terrorists. Combine massive wealth in some parts of the Middle East with staggering poverty in other parts and the supply of mercenaries is nearly endless. Syrian Jihadists are being paid $150 a month by Qatar; a good salary for an unskilled laborer in a region where life is cheap and every family has plenty of surplus sons and mouths to feed. A barrel of oil can buy the services of a killer for a month and Qatar pumps out millions of barrels a day.

Terrorism is cheap for the sponsors, profitable for the participants and hideously expensive for the targets. A soldier in a First World nation can cost six figures. For that same amount, a backward oil tyranny can field a hundred men. When those hundred men kill a soldier, then his nation will be heartbroken and question the costs of war. When those hundred men die, their mothers will ceremonially wail and cry out for more martyrs to avenge them. And the terror will go on.

Islam makes the process easier. Like Palestinian nationalism, it is a war machine whose ideas lubricate the recruitment, rampages and replenishment of fresh cannon fodder for the wars of the old rich men of the region.

from my article this week, Terrorism Without End


Obama understands that the ability to set the agenda is what counts. He does not view the battle as procedural and cares very little for process even when it is enshrined in the Constitution. As a former community organizer, he understands that it is the power to set the agenda in the mind of the public that counts and that once that is done, legal procedures become a formality that can be swept aside. So long as he can determine what the urgent task that needs doing now is, all else becomes irrelevant.

The Republican Congress of 1994 understood that setting the public agenda mattered more than anything else. They were eventually outmaneuvered by Clinton, but only at the cost of making their agenda his. Our Republican Congress is determined to pull off the opposite maneuver; adopting Obama’s agenda and then trying to claim credit for it. Not only are their odds of getting centrist credit for amnesty or higher taxes utterly hopeless, but  wanting credit for either one is not a brilliant political maneuver; it’s a symptom of political decline.

Can Obama be stopped? He can, but it requires taking control of the public agenda.

from my other article this week, Can Obama Be Stopped?


Mickey Fearn was named the National Park Service Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance because the Park Service decided that it needed to reach out to minorities who weren’t visiting national parks often enough. Or as the NPS tactfully put it, the “revised title for the deputy position emphasizes a new focus on specific outreach and communications to groups currently underrepresented in parks.”

How a group can be underrepresented in parks is unclear. Parks are big spaces full of trees, waterfalls and bears. Bears might be underrepresented in parks because they live there. People can be underrepresented in the park service, but not in parks.

And then he visited Canada...

Mickey Fearn says the reasons run deeper than money and geography.

Here is one unexpected reason: The wilderness evokes some grisly images from American history — black slaves being hanged and lynched by their masters.

“African American people feel safe in cities and less safe in nature,” says Fearn, who is black. “Preserving wild places is a white concept, going back to Rome.”

National Park Service Deputy Director Claims Black People Don’t Like National Parks Because of Slavery


For Romney, as for John McCain before him, running for president is just something you do, win or lose — and if you lose, you can always go home to your beachside mansion in La Jolla or your sinecure Senate seat in Arizona. No harm, no foul.

Not for Democrats: They never stop, they never quit, they never sleep. Just think: The Clintons alone have been with us since 1992 and show absolutely no sign that they’ll disappear any time soon; why, Hillary 2016 is just getting rolling! Term-limited though he may be, Barack Obama still has his campaign organization operating full-time. 

Re: ‘The Ride’s Over


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – has issued a new report called Our Nutrient World

People in the rich world should become “demitarians” – eating half as much meat as usual, while stopping short of giving it up

The UN scientists said people in poor countries should be allowed to increase their consumption of animal protein, which billions of people are lacking. But if that is so as not to cause environmental harm, the move to meat in the developing world must be balanced with a reduction in the amount consumed in developed countries.

In the foreword to this report, Achim Steiner, the head of UNEP, says that “swift and collective action” is necessary

UN Proposes “Food Redistribution” from US and Europe through “Swift and Collective Action”


The Italian election has shown once again that the European Union is unworkable. Germany might prefer that Italy be governed by unelected IMF technocrats like Mario Monti, but that way lies open tyranny.

Given a choice in democratic elections, the Greeks, the French and now the Italians, have voted for extremist and populist parties promising them that the debts will never have to come due. And that’s only human nature. The problem isn’t with the citizenry who have been told that they can have the good life without having to work hard for it. It’s with the entire structure of the European Union which promised paradise for all.

The Greeks and the Italians have been all too willing to believe that they aren’t responsible for the economic mess, but that it can all be attributed to a conspiracy of banks. It’s the same cheap Paultard-OWS sentiment gone mainstream in bankrupt countries. And while the banks are not free from guilt, the banking infrastructure runs on top of the political infrastructure of the European Union.

Italian Election Proves European Union is Doomed


Ayatollah Ruhollah Qarehi, head of the Imam Mahdi seminary in Tehran, said: “The genocide of the Muslims in Myanmar is ostensibly being carried out by the Buddhists, but we are certain that Judaism and Global Zionism are [behind] the massacre and the genocide against the Muslims…"

"The tenets of Buddhism are derived from Judaism. The Buddhists are a tool [in the hands] of the Jews, and ‘Buddhism’ is a name behind which [hides] the hand of Judaism and Global Zionism."

"But, since the Jew knows that he is an [object of] derision throughout the world, he hides behind a pseudonym like ‘Buddhism.’ Lecturers at seminaries and universities, as well as the media, must [speak up] in various languages and in eloquent terms… and explain to the people and to our dear youth that behind [the term] ‘Buddhism’ there [hides] the Jew.”

The Jews are apparently the greatest hide and seek players in all of human history.


The mainstream media, that kindly reservoir of common sense, overseen by the modern embodiments of Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart, is very confused and disconcerted by the Republican obsession with Benghazi.

“McCain’s Benghazi Appetite Is Insatiable” complains The Atlantic. Why can’t Senator McCain have a reasonable Benghazi appetite for the non-optimal bumps in the road along the way to Obama’s Second Coronation?

Time Magazine rolls out a piece titled, “Understanding the GOP’s Benghazi Obsession”. Apparently wanting an investigation into the murder of four Americans, after a cover-up, is an obsession. An insatiable lust for facts.

Media Puzzled by Republican Obsession with Murder of 4 Americans


According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, child pornography, stealing children, rape in the 3rd degree, criminally negligent homicide and choking someone are lesser offenses than owning a high capacity magazine.

If your child is lured under the reign of Cuomo the Second, then you better hope the molester also did something “seriously wrong” like owning a high capacity magazine.

Governor Cuomo Makes High Capacity Magazines a Worse Offense Than Child Pornography


Farrakhan unveiled a plan to establish an independent Black Muslim country in America using “Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint: Ending Poverty and Want.” (That’s Elijah Muhammad who believed that white people were created by a mad scientist and that there were UFOs orbiting the earth, not the Muhammad who was a pedophile and mass murderer.)

Then Farrakhan called for all African-Americans to contribute to a united treasury and create a separate nation that would be protected by Chicago gangs.

“You are the natural warriors to defend,” Farrakhan said at the University of Illinois Chicago Pavilion. “And the science of war must be taught to us, so that we will protect whatever God allows us to buy or to build.”

Farrakhan Calls on Chicago Gangs to Protect Islamic State in America


There’s outrage over in Washington, the other Washington, because Governor Jay Inslee, who serves as Governor of Washington, was dubbed a “Lying Whore” by opponents of his tax hikes.

Governor Inslee’s spokesman has refused to respond to allegations that the governor is a lying whore. Tim Eyman, one of the men behind the letter, has refused to apologize for describing the lying governor as a “Lying Whore.”

The Seattles Times and the Spokesman Review have been working themselves into a fit, calling for more civility and denouncing the denunciation of Inslee as a “Lying Whore” as childish, vulgar and juvenile. They have not however responded with a factual argument proving that Governor Inslee is not in fact a lying whore.

Media Outraged as Lying Dem Governor dubbed a “Lying Whore”


Republicans seemed to do better among Latino voters the less open borders they were. The difference is not that huge, but the candidates who scored A grades from Numbers USA got 27 percent of the Latino vote, tying with those who got C grades and well above those who got D and F grades.

Those who got D grades scored markedly lower despite being nearly the friendliest possible politicians on immigration issues.

As has been noted before, immigration is not nearly as great a priority for Latino voters as the pro-amnesty gang likes to claim.

Do Anti-Immigration Republicans Get More Latino Votes Than Pro-Immigration Republicans?


The candlelight vigils actually took place yesterday on the anniversary of the day that Trayvon Martin got shot for wearing a hoodie, carrying Skittles and trying to beat a man’s head into the ground. Two out of three of these things are legal so it was clearly an unprovoked assault.

But every day is Trayvon Martin day. Trayvon Martin died for our sins and we remember his death by putting on a hoodie, getting some skittles and assaulting Latino men with German last names to provoke a confused racial incident. The latter is optional, but an important part of getting into the true spirit of Trayvon Martin’s legacy.

Remembering Trayvon Martin’s Death One Year Later


While MSNBC is claiming that the end of skiing is nigh, nearly 60 percent of the mainland United States is covered in the white stuff, with snow reaching the Mexican border. There might even be snow in Florida. What will Al Gore think?

60% of America Covered in Snow, Global Warming to Blame


For a mere $2.50, I will create a YouTube channel called Afghan Hope and Change that will feature anonymous people in Burkas explaining how their life is better now that Obama has decided to hand over Afghanistan to the Taliban.

For another 50 cents, I will get them to hold up an Obama poster and a Koran while chanting Obama Akbar.

(Note: Different people under Burka may actually be the same person. Afghan Hope and Change is indemnified for any street riots or wars that result from this video. YouTube Channel may actually consist of a playlist of cat jumps, beauty tips and Russian dashboard cams. Afghan Hope and Change Inc. bears no responsibility for YouTube comments on videos.)

State Department to Spend $250,000 on Afghan YouTube Channel, Had No $$$ for Benghazi Security


Under Gordillo, who’s been in her position for 24 years, the union controlled the hiring of teachers. In some parts of Mexico, teachers’ jobs have been bought and sold, and the union rakes off money from salaries of phantom teachers.

Gordillo, who holds the lofty title of “president for life” of the 1.5 million-member teachers’ union, was accused of misusing more than 2.6 billion pesos – the equivalent of slightly more than $200 million – in union money.

Some of the money was wired to accounts in Switzerland, he said, while other funds were used on plastic surgery. Some $2.1 million was spent at the Neiman Marcus store in San Diego, Calif.

Authorities arrested Gordillo, 68, when she arrived near Mexico City on private jet from San Diego.

Head of Mexican Teachers’ Union Arrested for Embezzling $200 Million


Somali Abdirahman Ajab wants £50,000 compensation for his “mental problems” after being held at an immigration centre for eight months while his case was considered.

He was jailed again for armed robbery but fought off another deportation bid last year and was given a flat in Tower Hamlets, East London.

When The Sun approached him at his home, he said: “The Government have been doing me bad for years. It’s giving me mental problems. It’s given me nightmares. They owe me, man.”

Muslim Armed Robber Sues Government for Giving Him Nightmares by Trying to Deport Him


At a Black History Month event held at a Trenton, N.J. church on Sunday, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez blamed conservatives for his ethics scandals, framing them as a racial attack on him because of his Hispanic heritage.

“And their smears are false. I have worked too hard and too long in the vineyards, too long with my hands, for the harvest to be soured.”

“I have my hand on the plough,” he said, “and I am going to continue to look forward and to work to make that plough lead us to the fulfillment of educational, economic and health care opportunity in this country.”

Bob has a point. Why isn’t Ron Wyden being accused of having sex with Guatemalan call girls? It’s because he’s white, isn’t it?

Senator Menendez Blames Racism for Sex Scandal


Forget Islam. There’s no Jihads to see here. Morsi is shooting protesters because of Global Warming. The protesters are protesting because of Global Warming. Obama is shipping jet planes and tanks to Morsi because of Global Warming.

It’s Global Warming all the way down. Global Warming created the world. It created man. And now it’s creating war, famine, pestilence and celebrity advocacy.

Center for American Progress Claims Global Warming Causes Arab Spring


George Galloway is getting a lot of attention for stomping out during a debate with a student. Galloway claimed that he did it because he has a boycott on all “normal contacts with individuals or organisations in Israel”. The debate wasn’t taking place in Israel, but for all anyone knows George was too drunk to know that.

In response to criticism from boycotters who oppose Israel and expect Galloway to debate Israelis, George declared that he will define what a boycott is.

So now George has declared that he will boycott debates about Israel with people who support “the existence of the racist Apartheid creed of Zionism.” That’s a handy way of never finding himself in a debate again. Perhaps from now on George will limit himself to debating people who agree with him. That should significantly improve his chances of winning one of these things

Is George Galloway the Dumbest Politician in the UK?.


Disposable Income Suffers Biggest Drop in 50 Years

Faith in Global Warming Hits 20 Year Low

Kerry Vows Outreach to Entirely New Country He Just Made Up

Energy Company That Got $700 Mil From Obama, Gives Dem Party $10 Mil

Duke Energy got the maximum allowable amount in taxpayer money under the stimulus program. And they gave the maximum allowable amount to the Democratic Party of Thieves and Criminals.

Obama: Sequester Will Kill Your Dog, Then It Will Kill You and Then It Will Laugh

Bankrupt Egypt Considers Renting Out Pyramids

This could be another episode of Qatar looting Egypt after taking it over, but Islamists also have issues with pre-Islamic artifacts and temples. Some would like to destroy them. And Qatar has been funding Islamists across the region.

The Saudis are notorious for destroying or obstructing archeology in their territory. Qatar has been more open to archeologists but its growing Salafi backing should raise some questions about its real intentions for Egypt’s antiquities. While even most Egyptian Islamists are unwilling to trash the pyramids now, because they bring in lucrative revenues, Qatar would have considerably less investment in Egypt’s national treasures.

Mayor Bloomberg Claims America Can Owe “Infinite Amount of Money”

"We are spending money we don’t have,” Mr. Bloomberg explained. “It’s not like your household. In your household, people are saying, ‘Oh, you can’t spend money you don’t have.’ That is true for your household because nobody is going to lend you an infinite amount of money. When it comes to the United States federal government, people do seem willing to lend us an infinite amount of money. … Our debt is so big and so many people own it that it’s preposterous to think that they would stop selling us more."

 Democrat-Funded Muslim Terrorists Honor School Shooter

 Kerry to Meet W/Syrian Rebel Leader Who Supports Al Qaeda

Muslim Who Murdered 2 Women Complains Court is Treating Him Like a Christian


American Thinker ran an article by Fay Voshell accusing Mayor Bloomberg of turning New York "into the progressive version of a gigantic kosher kitchen" and "seeks to apply his politically-correct orthodoxy to the entire city, forcing his transmogrified politico/religious sensibilities on the masses."

Fay Voshell goes on to write, "Such is his fevered zealousness that he has banned charitable organizations devoted to feeding the hungry homeless from distributing loaves and fishes" and "In the end, Bloomberg is the modern day version of the Pharisees."

This quickly turns into a general attack on traditional Judaism and wraps up with, "The average New Yorker might want to take a look at the Pharisees presently ruling the city and ask if he or she wants to continue to have someone else's religion forced down his/her throat."

Mayor Bloomberg is not an Orthodox Jew. Attacking his policies by conflating them with Orthodox Judaism is just as offensive as criticizing Cuomo or Pelosi's legislative activities in terms of Catholic doctrine.

Cuomo is not a Pope and Bloomberg is not a Rabbi. They're both liberals following leftist ideologies. And using Judaism as a metaphor for the left is the sort of thing that I would expect from TakiMag or Vdare, not from American Thinker.


Lisa Graas of Catholic Bandita is experiencing some financial problems and needs help.

The situation is that our furnace went out, as well as the electricity in two rooms. We had to shut off the main power switch due to the risk of fire, and turn off the water to prevent the water pipes from freezing. Technically, we are homeless. One of my brothers (Brother A) who was living with us, is also now left to find another place to stay. Technically, he is also homeless.


We must remember the historical lesson of Leon Trotsky, and how he sought to impede the implementation of Socialism in the Soviet Union in the name of ‘pure communism.’ He broke loyalty with the Party as Comrade Joseph Stalin successfully established the revolutionary principles of V. I. Lenin in the USSR.

Now, as Comrade Obama does the same for the USSA, it is only natural that some traitors would surface like scum on a pristine lake.

If found guilty of calling the President ‘mad’ and accusing him of dishonesty in his representations of the State’s financial situation, citizen Woodward faces 15 years of therapeutic incarceration for insulting the President, and an additional 20 years of hard labor for divulging State secrets. 

from the People's Cube blog

and another....

As negotiations for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan have once again come to a halt, the Taliban Supreme Council has offered to level the playing field by sending a group of 400 battle-hardened Taliban peacekeepers to the U.S. city of Chicago, to help pacify one of the most violent regions in the Great Plains area of the North American continent.

Ramadullah, a concerned Taliban chieftain from the Swat Valley in Afghanistan, who follows the local tradition of only having one name, said that his people are "very troubled by the social problems in Chicago and simply want to help."

"We read the war stories coming out of Chicago and we ask ourselves, 'Why are they still fighting when their tribal chief has been elected President in 2007 and then also in 2012?'" Ramadullah said. "In our own country, we stop killing each other once we win elections. Well, mostly."


It was hard to imagine that the new guy at State, John Kerry, could make himself look even more stupid than he has done by his science-denying belief that the planet is about to fry through man-made climate change. Well, he has indeed now exceeded such expectations.

First, he invented a new country. In trying to praise diplomats who were working on behalf of the United States in the Central Asian region, he thanked them for their work in ‘Kyrzakhstan,’ according to various media reports, and credited their efforts in ‘support [of] democratic institutions in Kyrzakhstan and Georgia’ – apparently muddling up America’s major ally in the war on terrorism, Kyrgyzstan with its neighbor to the north, Kazakhstan.

Oh dear. Well it could happen to anyone. But a US Secretary of State?

Then in Berlin, he bragged to students that in America, freedom of speech was such an absolute that

‘you have a right to be stupid if you want to be.’

...from Melanie Philips' piece, The Mutt and Jeff of the Obama administration


It now seems to be the case that the food fetish factories of the world, in an effort to separate the American rich from their extra money, have pushed the pedal to the metal now that it is clear the American dollar is about to go the way of the Zimbabwe dollar. Just last month I noticed the store in my neighborhood was selling bags of crispy kelp flakes. That's right. Kelp aka "Seaweed." A bag of these unfrosted flakes weighing in at less than an ounce was being offered up "on sale" for $4.99. A quick bit of grocery store math tells you that some company in collusion with the store seemed to feel it could retail its product for $60 a pound. Sixty smackers a pound. For.... Kelp aka "Seaweed." Weed from the sea..... An offer beyond bogglement.

But I only wandered in that brave new kelpflaked world beyond bogglement for a bit before I came across, just this afternoon, a new product that offered me even less food for more money. It was something called "Crispibread" and its selling points were proudly displayed on the box:

There you have it. To say this food is "vegan" (as it does) is to underestimate its nothingness. Free of nuts. Free of soy. Free of gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, and that evil life form, yeast. Free of it all. Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free of food at last!

...from American Digest's latest shopping trip.

Melissa of 6 Foot 2 is organizing a Freedom on the Sea Cruise, there's more information about it here

Freedom On The Sea is not your typical Conservative cruise. It’s a 7-day Caribbean getaway that will provide savvy Conservative activists with the tools and time necessary to connect, collaborate, and create practical initiatives in a convivial and stimulating atmosphere.

On the beautiful Nieuw Amsterdam, guests will enjoy the company of like-minded individuals, and enjoy a variety of exclusive parties, panels, workshops and discussions with pundits, trainers, and leaders from across the country. If you’re interested in the general direction of the movement, want specific training, or just like to hang out with amazing people, this is the cruise for you.


A group of EU diplomats have identified the single greatest threat to Mideast peace.

It’s not the war in Syria.

It’s not the lawlessness in Libya.

It’s not the Islamists in Egypt.

... I think you can guess the answer


In June 2010 ~ David Axelrod was quoted at Politico:

"This summer will be the most active Recovery Act season yet, with thousands of highly-visible road, bridge, water and other infrastructure projects breaking ground across the country, giving the American people a first-hand look at the Recovery Act in their own backyards..."

Two years later, The Axe denied ever touting a "recovery summer" -


  1. Anonymous1/3/13

    Did any of you ?so must know somehow that blacks aren't visiting them because of past slavery. How? Is there a survey they sent to all blacks? To me, this is very disturbing. I don't recall ever being asked my race when visiting a national park so they must have a cladenstine way of finding it out.


  2. Anonymous1/3/13

    Sorry. Had trouble with my computer.

    My post should have said: Did any of you know the National Park Service keeps track of one's race? They must somehow otherwise how would they know blacks don't visit them? And how do they know blacks don't visit them because of past slavery?


  3. Common 'tater2/3/13

    Daniel, where in the world do you find some of this stuff? It is too much for words. Regarding Louis F and the revival of the old Elijah M black separatist state, I am sure that Mr. F will be more than happy to "safeguard" the money raised for the project, just like her highness the president for life of Mexico's teachers union. As for the unlimited supply of terrorists, as a famous physicist once said, e=mc2. PS. You may want to dump the posts that are including links to other sites, I suspect they are not legit.

  4. Daniel: Love the cartoon. But how many people remember the video of the Jersey school kids chanting the same thing? MMM, MMM, MMM. Barack...Hussein....Obama and etc. Perfect dig at the MSM over Woodward, one of their own. Are Americans' memories so short? You should've included a brief reminder, or perhaps a link to the video.

  5. Anonymous2/3/13

    Great Roundup. Love your site.

  6. "Cuomo is not a Pope and Bloomberg is not a Rabbi. They're both liberals following leftist ideologies. And using Judaism as a metaphor for the left is the sort of thing that I would expect from TakiMag or Vdare, not from American Thinker."
    This wasn't surprising to me.

    I stopped reading AT years ago when they ran a particularly vile piece that celebrated some leftist cretin of a Jewess who "saw the light" and found Jesus (and republicanism)

    Recommendation to all Jews who still haven't seen the handwriting on the wall:


  7. Anonymous2/3/13

    "Recommendation to all Jews who still haven't seen the handwriting on the wall: Run For Your lives"
    To where? To What?
    Jews need to stand their ground, not run like rabbits.

  8. Anonymous3/3/13

    American Thinker ran an article by Fay Voshell accusing Mayor Bloomberg of turning New York "into the progressive version of a gigantic kosher kitchen" and "seeks to apply his politically-correct orthodoxy to the entire city, forcing his transmogrified politico/religious sensibilities on the masses."

    Fay Voshell goes on to write, "Such is his fevered zealousness that he has banned charitable organizations devoted to feeding the hungry homeless from distributing loaves and fishes" and "In the end, Bloomberg is the modern day version of the Pharisees."

    This quickly turns into a general attack on traditional Judaism and wraps up with, "The average New Yorker might want to take a look at the Pharisees presently ruling the city and ask if he or she wants to continue to have someone else's religion forced down his/her throat."

    I've read that several times and it still makes no sense at all to me. Is this magazine saying that your mayor is Orthodox and Progressive at the same time and wants everyone in NYC or perhaps the rest of NYS to eat kosher??

    American Thinker seems about as clear as mud. I've never read it and I don't think I want to.



  9. American Thinker seems about as clear as mud. I've never read it and I don't think I want to.

    American Thinker happens to be full of excellent, well-written material as well as the occasional off-the-wall piece, like this one seems to be (I haven't read it.)

    As an Orthodox Jew living in the much-vaunted "Jewish State" (no, not New York), I have never expected goyim to love us for being Jews. Let's just try to give Ms. Voshell the facts and move on.

  10. I think the main point of the American Thinker article is summed by this quote:

    "In the end, Bloomberg is the modern day version of the Pharisees, who like him, believed laws regulating every aspect of human life were the way to achieve righteousness and purity."

    Given the historical understanding of who the Pharisees were, I don't see how anyone would be offended by the analogy unless they personally identify with Bloomberg, on the one hand, or the Pharisees, on the other.

    I haven't considered the possibility. The Gospels clearly portray the Pharisees as the biggest enemies to true religion, for being too caught up in extrapolating rules from the Mosaic Law and neglecting the purpose for why they were given.

    As examples:
    1. Jesus told them that "the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath"
    2. Jesus criticized their attention to detail because they "neglected the weightier matters of the law" such as justice, goodness, etc. in favor of keeping up appearances by tithing out of their spice-rack--literally.
    3. They were, in general, hypocrites.

    I'm not sure how familiar you are with the New Testament, Daniel, but I've done my best to give a condensed background, here, to explain why the Pharisees are generally conceived as bad guys.

    If I may ask, did you register offense because modern Orthodox Judaism closely mirrors the religion the Pharisees practiced, or is derived from it? I don't know enough about Judaism post-100 AD to know for sure, so your answer would be enlightening and informative.

    After reading the whole article, I assure you there's nothing anti-Semitic in it. You can argue that it's anti-the_religion_of_Judaism, but that should come as no surprise as you surely understand that Christians--those who read their Bible--love Jews and stand for their religious freedoms, but can't accept religious Judaism because frankly, Christianity -- like Judaism -- is exclusive. If you don't believe it, you're wrong. In a saved-by-grace Christian, this never translates into an expressed hatred of Jews.

    The article is simply criticizing Bloomberg for committing the same error that, in Christian tradition, the Pharisees were guilty of -- a competitive self-righteousness that manifests itself in man-made religiosity and micromanaging rules that diverge from the original purpose of the law and become a burden on their constituents, rather than something that frees them, as was originally intended.

    I hope this has been helpful. I assure you there is no Jew-hatred from me, and I strongly suspect there's none from Voshell, either. But just to be clear, there are stark theological differences between Christianity and Judaism, despite the common heritage, and it would be irresponsible for any Christian to gloss over those differences. At the end of the day, we want all Jews to be saved, and -- much as we like you guys -- this requires the abandonment of what is, in reality, a false religious system that leads its adherents to hell. Seeing as if I truly believe this, I would be terribly cold-hearted to ignore these differences and never bother to broach the issue with my Jewish friends.

    I really hope you won't see that as condescending. I've done my best to shed some light on this issue. Take what's helpful to you, and leave the rest.

    Thanks for reading.

  11. Since Orthodox Jews are "Pharisees", it shouldn't be that hard to see why they might be offended.

    Christians have their own understanding of that period, however the article applies that understanding to modern times by using Kosher and other Jewish practices as a metaphor for the left.

    The connection is drawn using a secular Jewish mayor, who is it implied is imposing some version of Jewish practice on the people as a whole.

    I don't expect Christians to accept Judaism. No more than Jews are going to become Christians.

    However in our common struggles for traditional values in a secular society, it might be a good idea to focus our fire against secularists, rather than each other.

    I am not going to get into the anti-semitism debate as I don't claim to know what is in another person's heart, but an article that uses religious doctrine as a metaphor for the left is a needless insult.

    That applies to a Protestant author using transubstantiation or prayers to saints as a metaphor for liberalism.

    Or anything of the sort.

    We're members of different religions so obviously we're not going to agree on theology, but we can agree to be respectful of one another.

  12. Rachel3/3/13

    @ Erik:

    SCREW The gospels Erik.
    Orthodox Jews of today are in the tradition of the Perushim or as the english crap calls them Pharisees.
    God was willing to destroy Israel because in the entire tanakh 1 person transgressed the sabbath. ONE PERSON IN 40 years!! I think that makes enforcing the law imperative actually.

  13. I wrote too long of a post. *I feel sheepish*

    I'll try to cut it in half and hope the software doesn't stop me from double-posting.

    Ah, that would be the connection I was missing. I did not actually consider that the Orthodox Judaism of today is essentially (or at least connected to) the Pharisees of Biblical times. The personal offense makes much more sense in light of that.

    Note: Another American Thinker author has 'reported' on your criticism, and I think the criticism/defense you're receiving in the article and comments is fairly balanced. You might already be aware of it.

    As far as the validity of using Kosher as an analogy, I think the author of that article does a good job of defending its reasonableness and so I'll defer to it. Again, it's not an attack on the concept of Kosher food. Colossians 2 and Romans 14 are two chapters in the New Testament that give Christians leeway to decide whether to adopt certain dietary practices for the purpose of worshiping God -- it becomes a matter of conscience and preference, for us. I don't think Christians can have anything against Kosher food, although there is a verse that says "do not eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols," which would certainly exclude halal meat, if the consumer happens to be aware (ignorance is excusable). Anyway, I'm rambling a bit, so I'll move on.

    I want to underscore that I -highly- doubt Voshell was attacking Bloomberg for being Jewish. I certainly didn't know he was Jewish, and I wonder if it isn't the case that that was unknown to the author as well. Anyway, from the context, it's abundantly clear that he's being attacked for his "Pharisaical" -- synonymous with "legalistic" -- governing practices, i.e. his leftism, and not for any personal connection to Judaism. Respectfully, I think you're reaching on that point, quite a bit. I can understand the concern, though--but it's an easy matter to ask the author whether they were comparing Bloomberg to Pharisees because he's Jewish. That would clear that up.

    I agree that we should focus fire on secularists, especially radical leftist ones, and avoid 'friendly fire.' I don't think this means we are forbidden from criticizing each other, however, despite that the article in question isn't actually a criticism of Judaism -- or should I say, intentionally written as one (if the author is likewise unaware, as I was, that Orthodox Jews associate themselves with the ancient Pharisees). While I am no fan of ignorant or vulgar mockery directed toward my faith, my experience teaches me that allowing a totally-free exchange of ideas is essential to both the freedom of a society but also the moral development of its individuals. I acknowledge that my perspective may be different than yours, here, as Christianity is a 'missionary religion,' that spreads through persuasion rather than coercion (Islam) or, as in Judaism, being largely hereditary. If we start to say that some things should never be said, then we open the door for what eventually becomes the real-world version of Orwell's "crime-think." It's a gradual process but it's inexorable. You've written many times about this sort of thing, so I think you understand. In summary, I respectfully disagree with the idea that we should tiptoe around each other's beliefs -- not to say that we should be rude or unnecessarily antagonistic, either.

    I therefore don't agree that using religious analogies that cast a different denomination/religion/cult in a bad light for the sake of making an illustration is something that should be avoided.

  14. (continued)

    Catholics will proudly proclaim that they are the authentic Mother Church, and I'll happily tell them why that isn't so. :) Since you can't say anything without potentially offending SOMEONE's religious beliefs, you'd logically be excluded from saying anything, if you took the reasoning far enough. You can't avoid it. You yourself inevitably say things that will strike a theologically astute Christian as incorrect (a recent thing I remember is an article where you said that people are basically good -- I think you meant it in a political sense, that people are more responsible individually, but on a spiritual level, people are basically bad because of sin, and so a culture will only be good if the people are good (saved) -- a technicality, but I won't cry persecution over you expressing the logical conclusion of your beliefs. No, I think it's very important for everyone to be able to "talk it out" and not be hyper-sensitive to perceived slights. Otherwise we risk becoming far too much like touchy PC liberals or the ever-offended muslims who cry "blasphemy" because you dare to believe differently. Again, far from accusing you of doing so, I'm just appealing to the slippery slope to justify why I'd much rather have us occasionally offend one another than to walk on eggshells to the point where it's taboo to point out obvious differences.

    To your final statement, I think it's a very different thing to be respectful or disrespectful of a person versus their religion. Religions are ultimately ideologies. They are beliefs that have truth value. They can be analyzed apart from a person having faith in them. They are not passed down genetically and they are not physical, or in any way indelible characteristics. They are ultimately choices, and not something we're born with. That includes atheism, despite that those guys are fond of not including themselves in such criticisms. You can criticize a belief without criticizing a person.

    I might as well approach this from a Christian perspective, since my cards are already on the table, after all. Since we are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1 and 2), every human being has value and dignity, and is worthy of respect. Beliefs are abstract concepts and are not accorded the same value. If I criticize a belief because it is false (or at least, because I believe it to be), then even if it offends the person I'm speaking to, because the idea that they were wrong is insulting, it is not truly an insult because telling someone the truth is an eminently respectful thing to do. Withholding truth, on the other hand, is disrespectful, and frankly spiteful, if you believe someone will be hurt for not knowing it. Clearly this does not consider whether people actually speak the truth but only whether they speak what they believe is true. They take the risk of offending someone in order to respect them by being straightforward with their beliefs.

    In conclusion, then, to offend someone is not necessarily to be disrespectful. So when you say that we should be respectful of one another, I heartily agree, but I do not agree, if it was your meaning, that this means that we should avoid offending one another.

    This was a very long post, but I think I finally expressed the point I was trying to make. Hopefully I've been able to communicate my ideas in a way that makes me understood, rather than confusing the reader. :)

  15. Discussing or debating religious differences is fine for those who care to do that sort of thing. In a free country, everyone is also free to insult the religions of others. And that insult will naturally lead to responses.

    The least of such responses is to point out that a piece is needlessly insulting and to express disappointment in an outlet for running it.

    Using Judaism as a metaphor for the left's obesity program is needlessly insulting and creates a fight on a topic that there should be agreement on.

    Christians have the right and are offended by mockery of their religious beliefs. I recall a good deal of anger over the recent SNL skit, Djesus.

    I don't question their right to be offended or describe it as political correctness.

  16. Anonymous5/3/13

    Very interesting comments. Perhaps the author of the article should have just state that the mayor can be dictatorial in some of his policies and left it at that.



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