The hypocrisy of Orthodox Jews

This article struck me as a case of Earth’s core irony:

http://news.yahoo.com/orthodox-nyc-jews-protest-proposed-israeli-draft-173200761.html

Orthodox NYC Jews protest proposed Israeli draft
Associated PressBy VERENA DOBNIK

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews filled the streets in lower Manhattan on Sunday to protest Israel’s proposal to draft strictly religious citizens into its army.

The gathering took up a stretch of 10 blocks, with dark-clothed demonstrators standing behind police barricades amid tight security. Organizers kept to tradition, with men and women in separate groups as they are at religious events.

Shmuel Gruis, 18, a rabbinical student from Phoenix studying at a Long Island yeshiva, was clutching two tomes of Jewish prayers as he hurried to the male section of the rally.

Of the Israeli Orthodox young men who would be affected by a mandatory draft, he said, “These kids, a lot of them don’t know how to hold a gun. They don’t know what physical warfare is.”

“Their whole world and their whole lifestyle is peace and love and in doing mitzvahs,” he said, using the Yiddish word for good deeds. “And you take a bunch of kids out of the environment where they come from — in my eyes, it’s wrong.”

Sunday’s prayer event brought together a community of New York’s most Orthodox Jews, based in Brooklyn and in the town of Kiryas Joel in Orange County, north of the city.

“We’re all united against military service for religious men in Israel because it doesn’t allow for religious learning,” said Peggy Blier, an interior designer from Brooklyn. “The Israeli government is looking to destroy religious society and make the country into a secular melting pot.”

A week ago, hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews rallied in the streets of Jerusalem, blocking roads and paralyzing the city in a massive show of force against plans to require them to serve in the Israeli military.

The widespread opposition to the draft poses a challenge to the country, which is grappling with a cultural war over the place of the ultra-Orthodox in Israeli society.

The issue of army service is at the core of that struggle. Since Israel’s founding in 1948, the ultra-Orthodox, who make up about 8 percent of Israel’s 8 million citizens, largely have been allowed to avoid military service, compulsory for most Jewish men, to pursue their religious studies. Older men often don’t work and collect welfare stipends while continuing to study full time.

The ultra-Orthodox insist their young men serve the nation through prayer and study, thus preserving Jewish learning and heritage, and by maintaining a pious way of life that has kept Jewish culture alive through centuries of persecution.

But the exemption has enraged secular Israelis who say the ultra-Orthodox are not doing their fair share. The issue featured prominently in last year’s election, which led to the establishment of a center-right government that has been pushing for reforms that will require ultra-Orthodox to serve in the army. Parliament is expected to vote on the conscription bill later this month.

Let me get this straight; Israel was founded in 1948 as an expression of Jewish nationalism, yet the very ones known as the most devout Jews refuse to accept the responsibility to defend the Jewish state, but expect others to?

Either Orthodox Jews in Israel accept the draft, or they work to abolish the draft for all Israeli citizens. There should be no exemption for religious reasons, because anyone can claim to be an ultra-Orthodox Jew to avoid military service in Israel. And drafting anyone, even in wartime, is a violation of a citizen’s civil rights.

And you can preserve Jewish culture even while serving in the Israeli military in your younger years or even most of your life.  Even the U S military has Jewish chaplains.

Wayne Christian and Todd Staples, libeled!

Texas politicians are overwhelmingly Conservative and Republican, which as a liberal often makes me feel like an alien in my own state, despite being born and raised here. In looking at the candidates running for office in Texas, I stumbled upon some propaganda against them. Specifically, Wayne Christian and Todd Staples. Continue reading

Is this Justice?

Consider the following scenario:

An African-American restaurant owner in New York City learns that one of his white employees was born in Alabama.  He calls that employee to his office.

Owner: “Is it true you came from Alabama, a southern state?”

Employee:  “Yes. But I moved to New York four years ago.”

Owner:  “Then you are FIRED!  I won’t have racists working for me. More than half of our customers are African-American and I won’t risk you offending them with racist remarks.”

Employee: “What?! But have I done anything wrong?  If I was a racist, I would not be here!”

Owner:  “I used to live in the south. And virtually every white person I dealt with there was racist, constantly looking down on me and other black kids. I finally got out of that situation, and I’ll be damned if the bigotry follows me up here.”

Employee: “Well, don’t you think I am also sick of the bigotry of my fellow whites? I also left the south to live here because of the culture. YOU are the one being racist against ME because of both my skin color and where I was born.  I’m not responsible for either of those things!”

Owner: “You still benefited from the racism you grew up in, just as I suffered from it. Now you are going to learn how it feels to be discriminated against!  GET OUT!”

Introducing Magickalmari

Magickalmari is the WordPress screen name of the second user on this blog, who I have added today. She is someone I have known since 2005 when we were both on Care2, and she is so close to me that I consider her a sister. Like me, she is a Unitarian Universalist and is highly focused on science as well as liberal in politics. She and I have fought many battles together and she is someone I would trust with my life….so I decided to trust her with my blog.

This is her Facebook profile:  https://www.facebook.com/maryezaher

This is her Care2 profile: http://www.care2.com/c2c/people/profile.html?pid=577339509

And here she is on the Ning version of Gaia Community: http://anewgaia.ning.com/profile/Mari

Please congratulate her on this new position.

Rape Apologists!

I would occasionally see the term “rape apologist” thrown around by feminists and I assumed for a long time that this was merely hyperbole. What man, in his right mind, would publicly defend the act of forcing a woman to have sex with him? Instead, I figured the only proper definition of a rape apology would be a rapist saying to his victim months or years later, “I’m sorry that I violated your dignity as a fellow human being and I promise I will never do that again to anyone.”

Boy was I mistaken! Continue reading

Celebrating Black History Month, Stupidly

Read this embarrassing article:

http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/black-history-month-inspired-school-lunch-menu-cau/ndGPD/
Black History Month inspired school lunch menu causes outcry

menuNoelle Walker and KTVU.com

CONCORD, Calif. —

A student effort to come up with a special menu for Black History Month backfired at Carondelet High School in Concord.

Interim President, Sister Ann Bernard, said students who were members of the Black Student Union club at neighboring De La Salle High School planned a special lunch to celebrate the month.  The menu included fried chicken, corn bread and watermelon.

“They thought this was a very clever way, in their own way, of celebrating Black History Month. It was as simple, and naive as that,” Sister Bernard explained.

On Thursday Bernard publicly apologized for the event she said was planned without following procedures to get staff approval.

“It was the parents who thought, rightfully so, we were being insensitive to African American culture, which is not who we are or what we profess,” Bernard said, shaking her head.

The first staff or administration heard of the proposed menu was when it was announced over the loudspeaker Monday morning.

“Most people were laughing, but they were laughing nervously because they knew it wasn’t right,” said sophomore, Dom Carpenello.

While Carpenello admitted the menu sounded tasty, she admitted, “The menu really doesn’t have anything to do with black history.”

The chief curator at Oakland’s African American Museum and Library, Rick Moss, agreed.

“I guess there’s an impression that all black people eat this kind of food, which of course is false,” Moss said.

He said the menu came from a place of ignorance about what Black History Month means, but says the reaction to the students’ misstep was also wrong.

“So this is wonderful opportunity to actually inform people, not something to react to,” Moss said.

Carondelet High School is using the incident as a “teachable moment,” Sister Bernard said there will be teacher sensitivity training and a student assembly this month.

“There’s education needed on every single level, not just for students, but also for faculty and staff,” she said.

As for the menu, Bernard said, “I can assure you that fried chicken and the rest of it is not part of it.”

I cannot believe the sheer ignorance being displayed here! This issue is about misrepresenting the culture of an entire race. Fried chicken, corn bread. and watermelon are not and have never been “black” foods, but were among the cheap foods served to the enslaved ancestors of most African-Americans by slaveowners. It would be like showing pictures of Nazi concentration camps as part of celebrating Jewish History Month!

For more details on the incredible stupidity of it all, read this:

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/02/07/fried-chicken-lunch-black-history-month-really/

Economic Abuse of a Little Girl

Read this article:

http://gma.yahoo.com/cupcake-business-run-11-old-shuttered-illinois-health-202621307–abc-news-topstories.html

HT_cupcake_girl_1_jtm_140205_16x9_992
Cupcake Business Run By 11-Year-Old Shuttered By Illinois Health Officials

By ALYSSA NEWCOMB

The cupcake empire Chloe Stirling built out of her home kitchen has come crumbling down after Illinois health officials said the sixth-grader wasn’t in compliance with local laws.

Chloe, 11, said she was told by health officials in Madison County, Ill., that if she wants to continue selling cupcakes she will need to buy a bakery or build a separate kitchen.

“It bummed me out because I wanted to keep baking,” Chloe told ABCNews.com. “I had a bunch of orders and they said I had to cancel them all.”

Stirling, who is in sixth grade, has operated “Hey Cupcake” out of her family’s kitchen in Troy, Ill., for the past two years. And it appears her success may have invited the scrutiny of regulators.

The cupcake mogul said she’s raked in some serious dough for a kid her age, charging $10 for a dozen cupcakes and $2 each for the more elaborate treats, such as cakes that look like high heel shoes.

“It felt good because with all my money I could buy stuff I wanted and didn’t have to wait until my birthday or Christmas,” Chloe said, adding that she was also saving money for a car.

Her mother, Heather Stirling, told ABCNews.com she’s meeting with officials from the health department and the state attorney next week in hopes of finding a way to help Chloe re-open Hey Cupcake.

“This is her niche. You have kids who are good at baseball and soccer and this is what they pursue,” Stirling said. “Chloe is one of a kind. No one else does this at her age. There are a lot of hoops we’re going to have to jump through.”

Toni Corona, a spokeswoman for the Madison County Department of Health, told ABCNews.com in a statement that the laws are “applied uniformly and without discrimination.”

She said the department “applauds the entrepreneurial spirit” of Chloe and “joins with her many fans in hoping she will find a location for her cupcake enterprise that complies with state laws.”

Do you see something missing in this article?  How about any evidence that anyone was sickened by any of the products produced by this girl’s baking business?

Shutting down her business for failing to comply with state health regulations even with no complaint from customers about her products serves one purpose:  Eliminating competition with the corporations that dominate our economy and both force people to work for them instead of working for themselves and force them to buy their products instead of creating their own. This is bullying of the worst sort and it goes against our legal standard of “innocent until proven guilty”. The State of Illinois and the officials of Madison County should be ashamed of themselves!