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White Sheet Republicans January 30, 2010

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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When I see the Obama Family on TV or see President Obama I  usually smile.  Almost every time.  Because I simply cannot believe I lived to see this nice looking brown-skinned family in the White House.  It makes me feel clean somehow  – as if our country has considered the  good of the people and the nation and gone for a youngish, smart and hard-working chief of state .  I don’t think I’m alone in this  either and I hope not because he needs time and support to unglue the mess we’re in and make things better.  After an eight year ordeal with Mr. Bush – you’d think the GOP and its many sects of adherents would get behind him, tell their own people to support him and start to go forward in these difficult times.  (Drum roll – enter Steve Martin) But nooooooooooo.  And not just noooooooo, Nasty no!  Vicious no!  Name calling no!
 
 
No respect for the man at all, but that also means no respect for the office.  Every speech, meeting, movement , gesture is derided and dismissed instantly as a sign of what?   Oh, wait. “He’s a communist, he’s a socialist, he’s an unnatural citizen, he wants to steal from the rich and share the wealth with the rest. He thinks Americans – across the board, should have health care.  His very name is a traitorous betrayal – Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.  Now that’s not right.  He must be a Muslim and since he’s named after his black African father – he must have been born there too. He  has absolutely no use for the Jews and he hates whites in secret.  His wife’s arms are too bare and she is far too fit;  she is too tall, how dare she wear nice outfits,  and to top it off they have the same kind of dog that Ted Kennedy had.  That really is  over the top.  How dare he, she, they and the dog”.
 
I have a name for these people; these disruptive, Constitution chewing, greedy, mad tea partying GOP members.  I call them White Sheet Republicans.  I do not believe a single one even listens to the policies of or direction this president wants to take us.  I don’t believe they would even reject of it if it were suggested by a moderate GOP member.  They might mumble and growl and not agree with parts  – but I suggest the name calling would be minimal.  We must keep in mind that, under their protective covers they will do whatever it takes to keep their ball rolling backward.  They are extremely sore losers.   They believe  Sarah, Glenn and Rush are truth-telling, extreme intellectuals.  They gloat over lies that are told to discredit the current administration.  I would  suggest – that beneath their 800 thread count uniforms they make even make faces.  This is a group of vicious, nasty people.  People I would not break bread with.
 
 
But why “White Sheet Republicans“?  Are they ashamed of their party? Their platform?  Naaaah.  It’s because of what slips out far too often.  Because they feel the need to preface almost every nasty crack with, “don’t get me wrong, it’s not because he’s black” and because we absolutely know that it is very much because he’s black. And the proffered apologies are sung to the tune of Dixie.  Is it because he is not a son of the Stolen, descended from slaves.  None of these people’s people even stole his forebears – he has symbolically not sat in the back of the bus. So,  as much as he is rightfully embraced by most African-Americans – he really does present a unique and estimable president who speaks to all of us.   
Under the sheets, however, this doesn’t even register.  “”Bananas, chimpanzees, zoos, thick lips, nappy hair, doesn’t act or sound black “. (I suppose a disappointment to many in Dixie)  all creep out from under their hems. Of course it’s because he’s black.  God knows what a White Sheet GOP kaukus sounds like. 
 
 
Somewhere these White Sheet Republicans assumed  (probably before the Civil War) they would never have to worry about some Darkie running for president.   Both the old and new money, the right schools, the stiffest upper lip, the right address would keep that from ever happening.  Damn it, the Founding Fathers owned stolen black folks and there isn’t anything in the Constitution that says a slave can be president.  They are chattel. And so even the ones way down South living in the kudzu believe it too.  They may have tolerated Affirmative Action, but that tolerance did not include any action that could allow you to be President of the United States.  So when you read the vitriol and angry, personalized attacks on Mr. Obama – picture those White Sheet Republicans spinning out of control watching  Birth of A Nation, Bamboozled and all taking notes.  And be very concerned about all of them because they are definitely out of control.

Junk Science. Gospel Truth. Down for the Long Count September 15, 2009

Posted by voolavex in global warming, Social Issues.
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The year 2012 is mentioned a lot lately and it makes me curious about a few things that should be more obvious – yet I have not seen anyone address them.  

Basically the Mayan calendar (followed only by Mayans until very recently) predicts that there will a huge change on this planet on 12/21/12 or 13.0.0.0.0. – depending on how you read it. Furthermore it seems this eventuality  is global theme from antiquity – not just Mayan antiquity.  It also appears that no matter how you crunch the numbers all of them are pretty close to this date (the former, not the latter). Scientifically, there will be an alignment of the planets in our solar system that occurs only every (26),000 years (give or take).  I wonder if the number (13).0.0.0.0. is special because it is half of 26?  I don’t know.   Then again, no one else has explained it very well  one way or another either.  I do know many that  many people – mainstream and fringe  –  seem to be cashing in on this entire phenomenon quite handsomely.  One man ( a scientific sort) has created an algorithm using game theory to make similar predictions for 2012.  So I am troubled because if even one of the many supposed events occur – it won’t be very pleasant for this world and this is the very thing that keeps doubt in my mind.  That and fear.

 

Let’s all agree, for the sake of this piece. that religion is based on predictions, prophets, amazing events, celestial signs. These happen by the hand of God – any God or many Gods – so we should take this theme very seriously.  The idea of  “the end of days” seems to be part of many religions and is signified by wars, fire, floods, explosions and bad behavior among the citizens of Earth.  And then redemption or hell, fire and brimstone. Or some here and some there. While the term “junk science” covers many of these catastrophic events in the mainstream –  no one ever seems to use the term “junk religion” or ask why this silly idea is a thread through so many cultures who have no use for one another now nor a long time ago. Consider this:  In Eastern countries the astrological charts of two people marrying, for example, are very important – yet astrology – in the West is considered a pseudo science with no real meaning. Yet it relies on celestial measurements to predict compatibility. What makes it junk?  Why has it been so important for so many millions of people on Earth. Why is it still? And why were a people such as the Mayans so concerned with dates and calendars and the heavens when they possessed no technical or scientific basis for their observations.  Was it faith or advice? Is it some accident or coincidence that the idea of religious monuments  at  precise astronomical intersections is farfetched, yet we can consider climate change a fact? Why is the idea of Armageddon a religious myth? And why must we reject as junk, one,  but  not the other? Who makes these decisions and why?  If anyone knew this all to be true and inevitable – just as billions believe that Christ is the Son of God, that Allah is the only God and Mohammed is his Prophet, that Moses delivered the Jew out of Egypt and brought us the 10 Commandments, that this is the Age of Kali – all this faith is accepted as gospel – why do we doubt 2012 – for example? And assuming for a second we take a flight and accept it as a possibility. Then what? If Eastern  thought and Western science has seen these changes coming for ages – theoretically and/or metaphysically – what are they going to do about it? In two years? Aside from money being made on the whole business, I can’t see what we possibly possess on our planet that would stop any of it from occurring – even if we knew what “it” was.

 

So do we attach any credence to The Long Count or is it wild conjecture?  And if we do believe it, then what?  And if we don’t and something  does happen who will be around to claim bragging rights?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions.  I’ m  not sure what parts I consider reasonable and what parts I hope are wild and impossible theories, if any.   Are we a failed experiment? A final exam gone bad.  Or is this just good sci-fi.  You choose your ending.  Or is something about to come true.  And did we blow it?  Maybe we should all plan to meet on  1-1-13 and see what the outcome is – if anyone is left to care.  I miss Arthur C. Clarke.

Dayenu January 1, 2009

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They wanted Gaza.  They got Gaza. Dayenu.  Every shred of Israeli everything destroyed by Israel for Gaza.  Chaos in Gaza ensued.  Election time and the Gazans went for Hamas.  No government was formed.  No diplomatic exchanges took place.  Israel denied Gazans access to Israel. Gazans were upset. Hamas went berserk.  Shots were fired. Egypt sealed its border.  Dayenu. They built tunnels to Egypt.  But they wanted Gaza.  They got Gaza.  They got Hamas.  Hamas’ mandate is to kills Jews.  The citizens of Gazan can starve, die and go to hell. Killing Jews is the purpose of Hamas.  Why doesn’t anyone see why Israel and IDF are defending themselves against mass murderers, terrorists and religious fanatics with arms.  Do you think 9/11 was okay?  Then you need to defend Hamas.  A leader was killed – too bad; so sad – he killed Jews and went to Paradise.  He must be soooo happy.  I know I am.

The Sarah Palin Chronicles – The Final Exam September 11, 2008

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The Sarah Palin Chronicles  – The Pop Quiz
 
The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.”    Henry Louis Mencken
 
Time’s up – Sarah has dazzled them with her charm, wit and wacky views on reality.  Now it’s time for the Dems to stop the grinnin’ and drop the linen.  Find a way to defuse an out of control reaction to a pure wack job and win the election.  Aren’t you sick of her?  I am and therefore I am hoping to end the SP Chronicles today (if it’s possible) by requesting answers from her to the following questions:
 
If you do not believe in abortion for any reason – how do you propose that women made mothers by force or apathy will support and raise their children with less social programs and no support system in place?  What is your response to a doctor insisting it must be done for the life of the mother or both will die?
 
What do you think has caused Global Warming if not the presence of man and man-made problems.  If you believe that God has done it – why do you think he has chosen now to do it?
 
Do you think that the Middle East War is equivalent to the Crusades?
Why does God want this if the Muslims also believe in one God.
Why do you pray that there is a plan as if you are doubtful?
 
Would you allow anyone’s creationism (basically the religious basis for the presence of man on earth) to be taught in public schools?  There are many different theories in religious belief of the Creation.  Would you be all inclusive and also allow Darwin to be taught. Would you allow Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, Inuit, Santeria, Voudou and all the others to be explored.  If not, why?
 
How would you feel if you were not allowed to marry the person you loved?
 
What if you had Gay children and they did not “change”?
 
Do you agree with David Brickner that terrorism in Israel is punishment for the Jews?  If so, why?
Where do the Jews fit in your beliefs?
Where do the Catholics fit?
 
Since the “Bible” was written centuries ago in Aramaic and other languages – how do you justify that the words in an English bible are literally the spoken word of God? 
Do you believe in the Rapture?
 
Why does your sect think that this country is a Christian nation?
Who has said this and is in a position of authority to make this a statement not an opinion?
 
Do you think the Founding Fathers were heathens?
 
Do you think that God speaks to you directly?
 
If intelligent design should turn out to be extraterrestrial in origin and not God given – will that be okay with you?
 
Where do you think Polar Bears will live without their necessary environment? How will they thrive and increase their numbers?
 
If we are trying to redeem the earth, why not put our energy into better energy than anyone’s oil?
 
I think these are salient points that she should answer them without a script.
Immediately after they are all answered clearly  I think we should step back and reassess how she fits into the running of this country.  There is still time to make changes and those with courage should be able to decide if changes are in order.
 
Missionary work has shown to be very detrimental to the non-believers who are converted by the “do it or else” method.  Christianity in its extremist incarnations has ruined many fine civilizations and methods of government.  Inasmuch as Christianity – no matter how the believers spin it – is not even monotheistic – we might have done far better with more, rather than less deities.
Whatever you believe, believe this – Sarah Palin is a bad choice for Vice President and she needs to be available to answer my questions and anyone else’s before we all find ourselves rolling on the floor and speaking in tongues.
 
I don’t seem to get any comments on these posts – I welcome them and I would really like to hear comments on this one.

The Jewish Presidential Q&A August 19, 2008

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Again I was going to write part two of the previous post and move on to other things  but other things moved on me instead and I find myself asking questions about why Rick Warren felt he had the right or need to pit the two candidates against his God in this presidential election in public.  Life is imitating art too often for my taste – the current world situation has the qualities of a reality show writ large.  The political stage in this country is part of it and I have to remind myself – at least – that this is real life – not reality TV.
 
Suppose the head of the RCA – Rabbinical Council  of America –  invited the candidates to a religious inquisition at a very large synagogue?  Why not?  Jews vote from far left to far right.  What do you suppose the outcry from the general public would be “How dare they?  By what right?  It’s not their place?  Pushy Jews”.  I suspect the Jews who vote in this country realize that they have no business being in the business of Inquisition and quite frankly – in many ways – that’s exactly what Saddleback was about – a religious inquisition to see who is Godlier  (to their standards) and thus more fit to run our country.  Even the American RC Cardinals haven’t pulled this one – yet 
 
“The First Amendment ensures that “if there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein,” as Justice Robert Jackson wrote in the 1943 case West Virginia v. Barnette.”  The 1st Amendment guarantees us the right to religion of any kind.  It does not allow religion of any kind to be used as an influence on politics if I read this decision correctly.  Why must our elected officials be asked to satisfy the needs of one group – no matter how influential they are?  (And for believers in the Almighty – keep in mind he did NOT ask any questions at Saddleback.) 
 
To put it another way – I do not consider myself a heathen  because I am not a Christian.  And I have no interest in being saved.  Jesus seemed to believe he was divine – read The Book of John – nonetheless my sins are not his to forgive – that rests with me and my God and is personal or shared within my faith with others.  Asking Jesus to be your personal savior seems like a blanket deal with far too much finger pointing involved.  If Jesus elected to die for the sins of others – he has not proven to me that it was at God’s behest.  Nor do I think it is at God’s behest that the leaders of this country have Christian bona fides.  I think it should be personal. 
 
I think Rick Warren and his ilk should concentrate on fixing what’s broken in their own lives and interfering less in the lives of other tax-payers who don’t have or want Jesus in theirs.   And I think this should revert to being a government of all the people with equal justice under the law.    Read history – anyone’s history and you will learn that religion – any religion obfuscates and makes worse almost any political situation it touches.  Politics make for strange bedfellows indeed. As Momma Gertrude used to say -“Lie down with dogs – get up with fleas”.  I reckon there were some itchy folks after Rick’s tent show.
http://www.rabbis.org/about_us.cfm 

Baby Shopping with Leviticus November 11, 2007

Posted by voolavex in baby gifts, chasids, evil eye, Jews, kosher, leviticus, Lubavitch, talmud, teddy bears, torah.
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I have very close friends who are Lubavitch Chasids.  I have known them for years and this year they welcomed their first grandchild – a lovely little girl. Usually when one goes to visit a new baby it’s fairly simple.  Pink or blue, high end or tacky?  Toys or clothes? Stocks or bonds?   Usually. 

To start, most Jewish folks do not have baby showers.  It is considered bad luck to purchase anything for the baby before it is safely delivered from the womb.  I tend to agree with this idea.  By extension, however, Chasidic Jews do not even discuss names or gender.  The basis for this is called kinahora – although it is spelled many ways.  Ritualwell.org has this to say: “Jews have long believed that to call attention to a good thing-like overpraising a child-is to tempt the evil eye, a faux pas that demands the immediate recitation of “keyn eyn harah”, or kinahora, meaning “no evil eye” in Yiddish.  This is also, in part, the basis for the little red string or bead that many observant Jews wear.  Having this in mind I prepared to visit the new baby and her ecstatic family laden with gifts. But this was not just any baby; she was a Chasidic babe and if you want to do to the right thing for your friends’ joyous occasion (called a simcha), respecting their faith and tradition is the right thing to do and righter still if it’s your own  faith as well. 

Let me say this right away, shopping for babies is better than being pregnant and for little little girls it’s even better.  Nowadays there are so many wonderful things to buy and knit and look for, that it boggles the mind. There seem to be endless sources of clothes and toys in every price range for boys and girls.  Pale pastels, bright primaries and a world of amazing animals and soft things that shout “buy me!”.  Except for the very observant. This is not to say that the very observant don’t go wild over their babies – they just don’t go hog-wild. Fortunately as I was tucking lions and tigers and bears, oh my, into my gift bags, I realized that these stuffies might not work for this little girl and her family.  Now is when the concept of Tum’ah enters the picture.  Tum’ah is a form of ritual impurity which can be expressed in several ways.  For my purposes the most important consideration was in the representation of the stuffed animals.  Wikipedia tells me that one may become tum’ah by coming in contact with certain animals; including some insects and lizards (enumerated in Leviticus, Chapter 11, verses 29 – 32).   Leviticus is where we get the list of what’s kosher and what’s not and this includes animals. (I am still monumentally confused about Noah and the Ark – but that is another whole story.)  And come on, who gets a baby bugs or lizards anway? I had also thought this restriction meant animals one ate – not house pets certainly, but apparently I was incorrect.  I called my friend, the Bubbe (grandmother) who told me that ” you think a teddy bear is just a teddy bear – but it’s not”.  I gather it’s a big, unkosher maneater.  I started to point out that most Jews in Brooklyn don’t go out  and run into bears but before I could mention this,  she started to include other warm, fuzzy creatures that were treif (this is Yiddish for unclean) while I started to toss the poor, hapless stuffies from the bags.  Pigs were out – no Olivia for this baby; no cats, no dogs, nothing with scales, no shellfish (Spongebob’s friends were totally a no-no – but the Sponge himself – not sure – isn’t he a kitchen sponge?), no crocodiles or alligators,  no bunnies and presumably no mice or squirrels.  The list is sort of narrow but I saw it as a challenge and one that I welcomed because domestic fowl are okay as are cows and goats and lambs.  Ducklings!!! Chicks!!! And what could be more wonderful than a fuzzy, woolly little lamb? Could it be that simple? Not so fast.  Nothing is wrong with a lamb unless the sheep wool is mixed with linen (and with things as they are in China you really cannot know).  This is called “sha’atnez”. And is also covered in Leviticus and in the Talmud.  Companies exist only to examine garments to guard against this admixture.  So, in the end, the bags that went to visit this lovely little sheina maidele (beautiful girl) were filled with cotton onesies, little cotton tights, smocked cotton dresses, a Got Milk outfit in pink and androgynous little dolls that turned out to be perfect.  I think I even worked in a little lamb too.  Next time, though,  I will go for duckies. The baby herself was adorable and just as sweet as she could be and the entire event was made even better because everything was, well, kosher.  And when the next one arrives, I will be way ahead of the game.  As soon as I know the gender I may even knit something – but not with sheep wool or spun flax; no, no, no – more likely it will be cashmere or cotton. Pareve, in kosher speak,   neutral.   Not that there’s anything wrong with that.