Happy Good Friday!

Happy nail-God-incarnate-in-the-form-of-a-Jew-to-a-cross day. Good fun for the entire family!

As it turns out, getting nailed to a cross killed God dead, but don’t worry, he’ll be up and running again in three days’ time.

Holy fucking ghost,  Jesus was a chick magnet!

Jesus was a cjick magnet!

“Lying” By Sam Harris – A Quickie Review

Finally picked up Sam Harris’ “Kindle Single” (a short book/essay approx. 100 pages) “Lying” (not an affiliate link) and finished off the last few pages. I found the book to be unimpressive both in its main premise “Thou Shalt Not Lie”, and the reasoning for it.

A short quote: “Every lie is a direct assault upon the autonomy of those we lie to. And by lying to one person, we potentially spread falsehoods to many others – even entire societies.” Translated: “You should always tell the truth, not doing so might lead to dire consequences.”

Sort of like a butterfly effect of lies, almost; I tell a perfectly harmless white fib with the purest of intentions in Sandy Hook, CT, and a week later a textile sweatshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh comes crashing down killing hundreds.

The book is filled with silly examples and assertions that a bright 5th-grader could easily refute. Having watched a lot of Sam Harris on Youtube I had expected more. Considerably more.

Even assuming that people somehow have a reasonable expectation, or even a right, that I tell the the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth at any given time, this statement is nothing but hyperbolic dramaqueenery©. Denying me the right to lie whenever I’m in the mood is a direct assault on my autonomy (and also the 1st Amendment). Talk about a pompous bag of gas.Two thumbs down.

Hypothetical:
A German SS-Obersturmführer leads his entourage of armed soldiers, Schmeissers held tightly against their chests, from house to house in an Amsterdam neighborhood in November 1942. It’s dark, cold, and a steady drizzle of almost-freezing rain makes the cobblestone slippery under foot. The officer halts at a door and raps it with Aryan authority. A middle-aged woman eventually appears. “Entschuldigung for das inconvenience mein Frau, but hast du any illegal Juden hiding in your loft?” the officer demands.The woman, clearly afraid, stutters, but finally manages to reply in the negative: “No sir, no Jews here. No Jews at all.” The Obersturmführer bows stiffly at the waist as only SS officers do, tips his hat to the terrified woman, utters a polite “danke schön”, adjusts his eye patch, twirls around sharply on his heel and continues on to the next house in search for untermenschen to send off to the work camps in the East. Arbeit macht frei, usw., doncha know!

anne_frank

Lying, runaway Jewess. Picture credit: Bergen-Belsen work camp archives, from a production of “Glückliche Tage” (“Happy Days”) performed by the camp drama troupe.

What a fucking cunt that woman was, lying to the officer like that, knowing full well she had an entire family of Jew fugitives hiding upstairs. You just can’t trust anybody these days.

P.S. I find it much more interesting to read a review of a book, however short and incomplete and biased, thereby perhaps gaining some new insight, rather than just a statement that so-and-so has read such-and-such.

EDITED TO ADD: It appears that Anne Frank was posthumously baptized by the Mormons. Presumably this selfless act by the Latter Day Saints has led God to forgive her for lying and being a Jew, retrieved her from hell and put her in the Heavenly Witness Protection Program where she is now playing dodge ball with Jesus in an undisclosed Heavenly location (Heaven is a big place).

Jesus

I’ve been getting into a really bad habit lately of dropping books as soon as I think they’re boring, badly written, disingenuous, have too much of an axe to grind, or they write and cover a topic in a way I already agree with.

I’m about to take on Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus, made perhaps more famous (infamous?) than it deserves (remains to be seen) by this outrageous interview of the author Reza Aslan on Fox News by Lauren Green.

I’ll get back to you with a review of sorts in a few weeks’ time (I’m a slow reader) to see if all the hullabaloo is justified.

EDIT 10-14-15: Yeah, so I read the book and I thought it was OK. Just wanted to add that Reza Aslan may have overstated his scholarly credentials. I thought perhaps he doth protested too much.

Is Paula Deen The Subject Of A Witch Hunt?

The facts that I’m aware of (disclaimer, I haven’t followed the case very closely; I’m not big on food shows on TV and celebrity bashing):

During a legal deposition Paula Deen admitted to having used racial slurs (aka known as the n-word, or, more accurately, “nigger”) in the past.

She also said she wanted a “plantation-style” wedding with black waiting staff dressed as slaves.

Was it in poor taste? Yes. Should she have known better? Yes.

Do I think  Ms. Deen is a bonafide racist with a white supremacy bent, blacks being an inferior race? I strongly doubt it.

Will I give someone who was brought up in the South in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s some leeway? Yes. Meaning I understand how she got to be that way, but still demand that she self-corrects.

Have I myself on occasion used racial slurs (not for quite some time now), either because I didn’t know better or was in a pissy mood and wanted to poke somebody where it hurt the most (and regretted it later)? Yes.

Do I consider myself a racist due to the previous point? Not really, but we all have a seed of something in us. The object is to suppress that seed and see people for what they are, i.e. judge them by the content of their character, not their appearance. I could throw in a little anecdote here:

Some years back I went on a business trip to Philadelphia, PA. I needed a room for  the night and picked a hotel at random that was close to the place I had dealings the next day. After entering the hotel I noticed right away that I was the only white person there. Different shades of black and brown every where, except for me. All black staff, all black guests. Not a single one raised a curious eyebrow at my appearance, but I must admit that it was a totally alien experience for me and I felt a tad bit uncomfortable. Not because the place was seedy or I felt unsafe, but because it was different from anything I had felt before. Now I have some semblance of understanding of what it must feel like for a black person to exist in a mostly white world.

Does the above make me a racist? To some small extent, perhaps, yes, but certainly not in the KKK/Aryan Brotherhood league. It was a wake up call for me and I have since strengthened an already acute sense for racism and civil rights issues of all varieties in our society and around the world.

Do I have any black friends? No. Hardly even acquaintances, it’s just the way things worked out, but I do have a casual association with a couple of Jews. They seem like nice people, though, despite having murdered Jesus.

Do I think black people, especially young ones, use the words nigger/nigga loosely and without repercussion, partly as a term of endearment, partly in pop culture/music (if you can call that hip-hop shit music!) and partly to take ownage of the words and declare every white person who uses it a racist? Yes.

Do I believe that some blacks were insulted by Paula Deen’s remarks? Yes, and justifiably so, but being angry and vindictive doesn’t do anything to fix the problem.

And YES, I do understand that in the vast majority of cases there’s a big difference between a white person saying “nigger” and a black person doing the same. However, understanding isn’t necessarily agreeing.

Do I think everybody should stop using the word and any other racial epithets? Yes.

Do I think anybody over the age of 10 who claims to never have let a racial slur of any kind pass through their lips is a liar? Yes.

Was it right of the Food Network to fire Ms Deen over the “incident”? It was a business decision, I have no opinion. She’ll land on her feet.

Do I think the media is overreacting on this case, willing and eager to throw Paula Deen under the bus for the single purpose of increasing ratings? Yes. I have a strong feeling many reporters over the past few weeks have acted very hypercritical.

Should there be some kind of repercussions for Ms Deen? I don’t know, but in my not so humble opinion I think she has learned her lesson and we should give her a break.

What would a suitable punishment be in case you’re hellbent on her having to suffer some consequence for her ill thought-out behavior? Give her a slight rap on the knuckles with a ruler and get on with your life.

Do I think Paula Deen is at heart a decent person? Yes!

Finally, America suffered though 250+ years of slavery, followed by a century of Jim Crow and organized discrimination. We can’t wipe the slate clean within a few generations. If we all don’t step up to fix the problems, men and women of all races, we’re looking at hard times ahead.

The Jewish Tradition Of Genital Mutilation Kills Children In Bizarre Ritual

Here’s the real deal on how some of these religious freaks molest and infect baby boys. I would like to know anyone besides old, bearded Jews who would be allowed to walk free after cutting off a baby’s foreskin and sucking it off. This is sick and disgusting and it’s disturbing that the practice is allowed. It’s time we stop the protection religion gives to all sorts of bizarre and anti-social behavior.

A baby being genitally mutilated.

Does this kid look like he's having fun? Does it make you feel uncomfortable to watch a perfectly healthy boy being genitally mutilated in the name of Yahweh? No? Then imagine a dirty old, bearded geezer with bad breath, a rusty blade and a herpes infected mouth sucking on what's left of the poor child's penis!

City Questions Circumcision Ritual After Baby Dies – New York Times.

 By ANDY NEWMAN

Published: August 26, 2005

A circumcision ritual practiced by some Orthodox Jews has alarmed city health officials, who say it may have led to three cases of herpes – one of them fatal – in infants. But after months of meetings with Orthodox leaders, city officials have been unable to persuade them to abandon the practice.

The city’s intervention has angered many Orthodox leaders, and the issue has left the city struggling to balance its mandate to protect public health with the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.

“This is a very delicate area, so to speak,” said Health Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden.

The practice is known as oral suction, or in Hebrew, metzitzah b’peh: after removing the foreskin of the penis, the practitioner, or mohel, sucks the blood from the wound to clean it.

It became a health issue after a boy in Staten Island and twins in Brooklyn, circumcised by the same mohel in 2003 and 2004, contracted Type-1 herpes. Most adults carry the disease, which causes the common cold sore, but it can be life-threatening for infants. One of the twins died.

Since February, the mohel, Rabbi Yitzchok Fischer, 57, has been under court order not to perform the ritual in New York City while the health department is investigating whether he spread the infection to the infants.

Pressure from Orthodox leaders on the issue led Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and health officials to meet with them on Aug. 11. The mayor’s comments on his radio program the next day seemed meant to soothe all parties and not upset a group that can be a formidable voting bloc: “We’re going to do a study, and make sure that everybody is safe and at the same time, it is not the government’s business to tell people how to practice their religion.”

The health department, after the meeting, reiterated that it did not intend to ban or regulate oral suction. But Dr. Frieden has said that the city is taking this approach partly because any broad rule would be virtually unenforceable. Circumcision generally takes place in private homes.

Dr. Frieden said the department regarded herpes transmission via oral suction as “somewhat inevitable to occur as long as this practice continues, if at a very low rate.”

The use of suction to stop bleeding dates back centuries and is mentioned in the Talmud. The safety of direct oral contact has been questioned since the 19th century, and many Orthodox and nearly all non-Orthodox Jews have abandoned it. Dr. Frieden said he hoped the rabbis would voluntarily switch to suctioning the blood through a tube, an alternative endorsed by the Rabbinical Council of America, the largest group of Orthodox rabbis.

But the most traditionalist groups, including many Hasidic sects in New York, consider oral suction integral to God’s covenant with the Jews requiring circumcision, and they have no intention of stopping.

“The Orthodox Jewish community will continue the practice that has been practiced for over 5,000 years,” said Rabbi David Niederman of the United Jewish Organization in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, after the meeting with the mayor. “We do not change. And we will not change.”

David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel, an umbrella organization of Orthodox Jews, said that metzitzah b’peh is probably performed more than 2,000 times a year in New York City.

The potential risks of oral suction, however, are not confined to Orthodox communities. Dr. Frieden said in March that the health department had fielded several calls from panicked non-Orthodox parents who had hired Hasidic mohels unaware of what their services entailed.

Defenders of oral suction say there is no proof that it spreads herpes at all. They say that mohels use antiseptic mouthwash before performing oral suction, and that the known incidence of herpes among infants who have undergone it is minuscule. (The city’s health department recorded cases in 1988 and 1998, though doctors in New York, as in most states, are not required to report neonatal herpes.)

Dr. Kenneth I. Glassberg, past president of the New York section of the American Urological Association and director of pediatric urology at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, said that while he found oral suction “personally displeasing,” he did not recommend that rabbis stop using it.

“If I knew something caused a problem from a medical point of view,” said Dr. Glassberg, whose private practice includes many Hasidic families, “I would recommend against it.”

But Rabbi Moshe Tendler, a microbiologist and professor of Talmud and medical ethics at Yeshiva University, said that metzitzah b’peh violates Jewish law.

“The rule that’s above all rules in the Torah is that you cannot expose or accept a risk to health unless there is true justification for it,” said Dr. Tendler, co-author of a 2004 article in the journal Pediatrics that said direct contact posed a serious risk of infection.

“Now there have been several cases of herpes in the metro area,” he said. “Whether it can be directly associated with this mohel nobody knows. All we’re talking about now is presumptive evidence, and on that alone it would be improper according to Jewish law to do oral suction.”

The inconsistent treatment of Rabbi Fischer himself indicates the confusion metzitzah b’peh has sown among health authorities, who typically regulate circumcisions by doctors but not religious practitioners.

In Rockland County, where Rabbi Fischer lives in the Hasidic community of Monsey, he has been barred from performing oral suction. But the state health department retracted a request it had made to Rabbi Fischer to stop the practice. And in New Jersey, where Rabbi Fischer has done some of his 12,000 circumcisions, the health authorities have been silent.

Rabbi Fischer’s lawyer, Mark J. Kurzmann, said that absent conclusive proof that the rabbi had spread herpes, he should be allowed to continue the practice. Rabbi Fischer said through Mr. Kurzmann that the twin who died and the Staten Island boy both had herpes-like rashes before they were circumcised and were seen by a pediatrician who approved their circumcision. The health department declined to comment on its investigation.