QOTD: Culture of Idolatry

 

Our American idols are prestige, power, social acceptance, popularity, elite opinion, and the Ivy League—but I repeat myself. Our idols are the coveted board seat. The best tables. Relationships with the pretty people.

We put truth on the altar, as if it were a tithable commodity, to remain insiders, to have bragging rights.

We have been willing to sacrifice what is most precious to us—including our own children—for the sake of it.

Why are we doing this?

We are doing it because we are a tiny minority, and because we feel vulnerable and scared and alone. And because fitting in feels safer than standing apart.

We are doing it because we are human beings and so seek temporary pleasure and ease.

We are doing it because we feel anxious and unsure.

We are doing it because we tell ourselves that accommodation is the best route to safety.

We are doing it because we also live in a culture of idolatry, only this time the materials are pixels and diplomas, adherence to a particular ideology and an emergent social credit system based on likes and retweets.

We are doing it because maybe deep down we don’t believe we are capable of more.

We are doing it because freedom—real, true freedom—is so very hard.

Bari Weiss

Bari Weiss gave a powerful speech recently at the 92nd Street Y in New York. It was directed at Jews. Many Jews, she believes, have compromised our freedom to indulge ourselves at the feet of idolatry, through our cravings, desires and pursuits of pleasure. And we’ve abandoned our understanding of history, so that when we become complacent as Jews in the community, we set ourselves up to be victims.

Although Bari was speaking about the rise of anti-Semitism against the Jewish community, I believe her words spoke to the decadence and sense of entitlement held by the larger population. Instead of pursuing truth and morality, much of our culture focuses on buying the latest car, a bigger house, putting toxins into our systems to beautify ourselves, and having surgery to rid ourselves of the evidence of our indulgences. Even the people who attend their churches and synagogues may have lost sight of the ethics and practices that are important: pursuing truth, serving the community, being good parents and leaders.  Following a life of honor can require sacrifice and make demands of us. It asks us to be bigger than our animal selves, to elevate ourselves to be the kind of people who are respected and appreciated.

And as Bari says, it is so very hard to do.

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  1. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    What rise in anti-Semitism?  Do you have any actual evidence of this?

    The Jews and their allies regularly make claims about an increase in anti-Semitism.  Every time that I’ve investigated this in the past, those claims turned out to be bogus or, at a minimum, inflated.  It was actually a claim about this by Bethany Mandel, several years ago at Ricochet, that led to my first investigation of the empirical evidence on reported anti-Semitic violence, which turned out to be negligible.  This was one of the early events that opened my eyes about the propaganda of the Israel lobby.

    There is bound to be some hostility toward Jews, at least verbally, at a time when the Jewish State is carrying out an open campaign of mass-murder against Palestinian women and children.  As of last week, the reported death toll was about 11,000 children and 8,000 women.  I reported this to some Bible study friends over the weekend, and they doubted the figures because, apparently, they think that the Palestinians always lie.

    This week, I saw a clip in which our own Secretary of Defense stated, in Congressional testimony, that over 25,000 Palestinian women and children have been killed by Israel since October 7.  The latest figure that I’ve seen from October 7 is 695 Israeli civilians, total, including men.  Only 36 were children.

    Even assuming all 695 Israeli civilians were women or children, the Israeli kill ratio is around 35:1.  For children, in excess of 300:1.

    So this is pretty bad.  If you openly support it, you’re bound to get some criticism.

    Responding to such criticism by crying anti-Semitism is an attempt to stifle discussion.  I know that this discussion can be difficult.  I get very frustrated myself at the spectacle of so many people, generally on my political side, supporting the brutality of the Israeli response.

    It’s not the sort of thing that’s only directed at Jews when Israel does terrible things.  We saw a great deal of hostility directed against Russian people after the invasion of Ukraine — and the Russians haven’t been openly slaughtering civilians in huge numbers.

    • #1
  2. Fractad Coolidge
    Fractad
    @TWert

    The more I read and hear from Bari Weiss, the more I like her. I hope her University of Austin project is successful.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Fractad (View Comment):

    The more I read and hear from Bari Weiss, the more I like her. I hope her University of Austin project is successful.

    She is a Leftist but a sane one.

    • #3
  4. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    I’ll have to listen to the whole speech, if it’s available. I find her a very interesting and astute commentator, but if feel like I need more context for this quote. Who exactly is she talking about and how is she defining real freedom?

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    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    I’ll have to listen to the whole speech, if it’s available. I find her a very interesting and astute commentator, but if feel like I need more context for this quote. Who exactly is she talking about and how is she defining real freedom?

    *****

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    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    I’ll have to listen to the whole speech, if it’s available. I find her a very interesting and astute commentator, but if feel like I need more context for this quote. Who exactly is she talking about and how is she defining real freedom?

    *****

    This post is a part of the Quote of the Day project at Ricochet. Please signup here.

     

    She is addressing a Jewish organization, and I think in this context she is saying not to give up our values and beliefs just to fit in or make an impression, at least in part.

    • #6
  7. Chris Williamson Member
    Chris Williamson
    @ChrisWilliamson

    > What rise in anti-Semitism? Do you have any actual evidence of
    > this?

    Sure:

    https://www.voanews.com/a/antisemitism-islamophobia-surge-in-2023-watchdogs-say/7407451.html

    https://www.adl.org/resources/blog/bds-activists-are-refocused-attacking-israeli-jewish-businesses-and-individuals

    > The Jews and their allies regularly make claims about an increase in
    > anti-Semitism. Every time that I’ve investigated this in the past,
    > those claims turned out to be bogus or, at a minimum, inflated. It
    > was actually a claim about this by Bethany Mandel, several years ago
    > at Ricochet, that led to my first investigation of the empirical
    > evidence on reported anti-Semitic violence, which turned out to be
    > negligible. This was one of the early events that opened my eyes
    > about the propaganda of the Israel lobby.

    Six million murders of Jews under German rule would make a Jewish citizen of any country in these times a little skittish, wouldn’t you say? And if you have a specific instance of what you’re talking about regarding Bethany Mandel, I’d be interested in seeing that.

    I haven’t seen any over-the-top claims. I’ve seen Jews threatened for being Jewish: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/cornell-university-says-suspect-made-antisemitic-threats-police-custod-rcna123020.  A man was killed for being Jewish during a protest: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/man-dies-hitting-head-israel-palestinian-rallies-california-officials-rcna123942 .

    > There is bound to be some hostility toward Jews, at least verbally,
    > at a time when the Jewish State is carrying out an open campaign of
    > mass-murder against Palestinian women and children. As of last
    > week, the reported death toll was about 11,000 children and 8,000
    > women. I reported this to some Bible study friends over the
    > weekend, and they doubted the figures because, apparently, they
    > think that the Palestinians always lie.

    Let’s say those figures didn’t come from the Gaza Health Ministry — an arm of Hamas — running around making a count of bodies.  We’ll assume they’re legit. The reason ANY Palestinian is dying is because Hamas is using civilians as shields. There is no reason for Israel to be in the Gaza Strip except for what Hamas did.

    Israel is certainly waging an open campaign, but it’s not against any Palestinian civilians. The IDF is waging war against Hamas, a group that raped and murdered and tortured Israeli citizens, not only Israeli Jews, but also Arabs and Filipinos and Americans. Hamas also has hostages. These hostages are being held not in military prison camps but in tunnels under hospitals and schools, in houses of Palestinian civilians.

    By the way, what does a Hamas fighter look like?

    > This week, I saw a clip in which our own Secretary of Defense
    > stated, in Congressional testimony, that over 25,000 Palestinian
    > women and children have been killed by Israel since October 7. The
    > latest figure that I’ve seen from October 7 is 695 Israeli
    > civilians, total, including men. Only 36 were children.

    I saw that, too.  I wondered: Where did he get that number? https://www.thedailybeast.com/pentagon-backpedals-on-defense-sec-lloyd-austins-gaza-death-count .  It made me wonder why he said that.

    > Even assuming all 695 Israeli civilians were women or children, the
    > Israeli kill ratio is around 35:1. For children, in excess of
    > 300:1.

    War is hell. Civilians will die. Israel is doing its best to destroy Hamas as quickly and judiciously as possible, putting IDF soldiers at a lot of risk. There has never been war-waging of this kind that has been so careful to protect civilians.

    > So this is pretty bad. If you openly support it, you’re bound to
    > get some criticism.

    The problem with the criticism that I see is that it’s mindless. There’s no answer to the fact that the IDF is being careful about targets, or that the US, in other wars, has had lots of civilians casualties when fighting ‘enemy combatants’, especially when they blend in with the population. Those who cry “genocide” just aren’t thinking very hard. The case that South Africa brought to the ICJ was just scurrilous. The ICJ should have charged South Africa the expense of bringing that case.

    > Responding to such criticism by crying anti-Semitism is an attempt
    > to stifle discussion. I know that this discussion can be difficult.
    > I get very frustrated myself at the spectacle of so many people,
    > generally on my political side, supporting the brutality of the
    > Israeli response.

    Again, there used to be a lot more Jews on the earth, and less than 100 years ago a Western power overtaken by a dictator made sure to lessen their population — with blessings of the Palestinian Mufti.  A little skittishness would be healthy, don’t you think?

    > It’s not the sort of thing that’s only directed at Jews when Israel
    > does terrible things. We saw a great deal of hostility directed
    > against Russian people after the invasion of Ukraine — and the
    > Russians haven’t been openly slaughtering civilians in huge numbers.

    As far as people shutting down Russian concerts and ballet performances, yeah, that was stupid. Russia is a dictatorship, and blaming a ballet troop for Putin’s invasion, well. That’s like someone locking up loyal Japanese-American citizens when the war is against the nation of Japan. Those things (should) never happen.

    • #7
  8. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Bari has become a go-to source for me.

    • #8
  9. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    I find it fascinating that those who are blinded by hatred of Jews, in the very same post, will say:

    1: It isn’t true that people act against Jews.

    AND

    2: The Jews have it coming.

    It reminds me of the old adage:

    I never heard of it. 

    I certainly never borrowed it.

    I gave it back anyway.

    It was broken when I got it.

    Hamas’ defenders simultaneously state that Hamas did nothing wrong on 7 October, but anything they did do was justified anyway because the Joos deserve it. So there.

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    iWe (View Comment):

    I find it fascinating that those who are blinded by hatred of Jews, in the very same post, will say:

    1: It isn’t true that people act against Jews.

    AND

    2: The Jews have it coming.

    It reminds me of the old adage:

    I never heard of it.

    I certainly never borrowed it.

    I gave it back anyway.

    It was broken when I got it.

    Hamas’ defenders simultaneously state that Hamas did nothing wrong on 7 October, but anything they did do was justified anyway because the Joos deserve it. So there.

    Love it! Double like!

    • #10
  11. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The Church of Baal or Worshipping Golden Calf could probably make a comeback. 

    Every very political issue has to be a cult. 

    Josef Pieper, the Thomistic philosopher characterized the excesses and extravagance of the Versailles in-crowd in the 18th century as driven by their shared horror vacui rather than a celebration of life.  A lot of that is still going on.

    Fear, narcissism, and sensuality are the new virtues.  Our “identity” is to be defined by our preferred sexual entertainments.  

    Freedom is for people who have a purpose or mission shaped by a love of truth.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Freedom is for people who have a purpose or mission shaped by a love of truth.

    So very true. It is a blessing to practice freedom in this way and to know it.

    • #12
  13. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    What rise in anti-Semitism? Do you have any actual evidence of this?

    The Jews and their allies regularly make claims about an increase in anti-Semitism. Every time that I’ve investigated this in the past, those claims turned out to be bogus or, at a minimum, inflated. It was actually a claim about this by Bethany Mandel, several years ago at Ricochet, that led to my first investigation of the empirical evidence on reported anti-Semitic violence, which turned out to be negligible. This was one of the early events that opened my eyes about the propaganda of the Israel lobby.

    There is bound to be some hostility toward Jews, at least verbally, at a time when the Jewish State is carrying out an open campaign of mass-murder against Palestinian women and children. As of last week, the reported death toll was about 11,000 children and 8,000 women. I reported this to some Bible study friends over the weekend, and they doubted the figures because, apparently, they think that the Palestinians always lie.

    This week, I saw a clip in which our own Secretary of Defense stated, in Congressional testimony, that over 25,000 Palestinian women and children have been killed by Israel since October 7. The latest figure that I’ve seen from October 7 is 695 Israeli civilians, total, including men. Only 36 were children.

    Even assuming all 695 Israeli civilians were women or children, the Israeli kill ratio is around 35:1. For children, in excess of 300:1.

    So this is pretty bad. If you openly support it, you’re bound to get some criticism.

    Responding to such criticism by crying anti-Semitism is an attempt to stifle discussion. I know that this discussion can be difficult. I get very frustrated myself at the spectacle of so many people, generally on my political side, supporting the brutality of the Israeli response.

    It’s not the sort of thing that’s only directed at Jews when Israel does terrible things. We saw a great deal of hostility directed against Russian people after the invasion of Ukraine — and the Russians haven’t been openly slaughtering civilians in huge numbers.

    But when people live inside of a bubble, re-enforced by AIPAC, and the influence that outfit holds over all politicians, be they of Jewish religion or not,  by the Mossad-led sex honey pot traps, which has compromised our judiciary, and many elected office holders, both Federal and many more on the  local level, then nothing else matters.

    Even over the deadly sinister matter of how  in June 1967,   the Israeli air force took out a US vessel, slamming the men aboard with napalm, mortars and sniper fire, killing 34 and wounding 170 plus, Americans have been so carefully  instructed about the need to always avoid “anti-semitism” that no criticism is made. To this day, apologies are  made to Israel, by normal everyday Americans, for our nation having a ship over in those waters, a ship whose spy technologies which are then pointed to as having  brought about “a fate those aboard deserved.”

    Just as progressives now refuse to seek any bail monies or prison time for those perps who are POC, because of the instilled belief that doing so would be racist, so too on the conservative side of things there exists a glaring blind spot that Israel can do no wrong.

    Recently, a graphic representing a popular meme went out:

    Who do Democrats care about? Then there was an arrow pointing from the 48 states to the area south below the border.

    The other panel showed the same 48 states, with the query: Who do Republicans care about?

    And the arrow pointed from the USA to Israel. ####

    Israel at the very least has demonstrated its ability to take care of itself. Why our monies still need to go over to them when they have committed what to many of us, including some 15% of all Republicans, could be considered war crimes, remains beyond bewildering.

    We lost 1500 Americans in the “wild fires” in  Lahaina Hawaii. For many many people the fact that now those people are forgotten seems to also be an atrocity. Our  priorities are upside down. (Of course helping out the citizens of Lahaina who have lost everything will not benefit the MIC/Surveillance State, so I guess this is part of the answer as to how and why things are as they are.)

    Conveniently the practical  demand that our priorities focus on Americans and not Israelis can be labelled as “anti-semiticism” so that the mad cap policies and expensive policies of taking care of a nation that fully can defend itself  will continue most likely on til infinity.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    so too on the conservative side of things there exists a glaring blind spot that Israel can do no wrong.

    I know no single person who believes that Israel can do no harm, nor anyone who has stated that, CarolJoy.

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Recently, a graphic representing a popular meme went out:

    Who do Democrats care about? Then there was an arrow pointing from the 48 states to the area south below the border.

    The other panel showed the same 48 states, with the query: Who do Republicans care about?

    And the arrow pointed from the USA to Israel. ####

    I would call this graphic anti-Semitic–aside from the fact that it’s not true.

    So let’s blame Israel for the oversights of Lahaina. Makes sense to me.

    • #14
  15. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    iWe (View Comment):

    I find it fascinating that those who are blinded by hatred of Jews, in the very same post, will say:

    1: It isn’t true that people act against Jews.

    AND

    2: The Jews have it coming.

    It reminds me of the old adage:

    I never heard of it.

    I certainly never borrowed it.

    I gave it back anyway.

    It was broken when I got it.

    Hamas’ defenders simultaneously state that Hamas did nothing wrong on 7 October, but anything they did do was justified anyway because the Joos deserve it. So there.

    It futile to argue with those who are immune to the facts. At one time, such persons were called idiots; there’s probably a euphemism for that now.

    • #15
  16. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    On the topic of American idols I am reminded of this passage from H. Beam Piper’s novel Lord Kalvin of Otherwhen:

    “What gods did your people worship?”

    “Oh, my people had many gods. There was Conformity, and Authority, and Expense Account, and Opinion. And there was Status, whose symbols were many, and who rode in the great chariot Cadillac, which was almost a god itself. And there was Atombomb, the dread destroyer, who would some day come to end the world. None were very good gods, and I worshipped none of them.” 

    Worth a read, especially with all his work in the public domain.

    • #16
  17. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    Israel at the very least has demonstrated its ability to take care of itself. Why our monies still need to go over to them when they have committed what to many of us, including some 15% of all Republicans, could be considered war crimes, remains beyond bewildering.

    They keep “tolerating”  ***psychos***  ***right by them***  that won’t let them live. I don’t know what the exact figure is, but 65% to 85% of the “Palestinians” just want the Jews they live next to, ***dead.***  ***What are you talking about?***

    They have all of these tunnels, and they, the Palestinians,  are going all out on warfare, what are they, the Israelis,  supposed to do about “war crimes”?

    This is just my opinion, but the big moral problem is what you do about Iran. The people in Iran don’t like the leadership at all.

    • #17
  18. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    On the topic of American idols I am reminded of this passage from H. Beam Piper’s novel Lord Kalvin of Otherwhen:

    “What gods did your people worship?”

    “Oh, my people had many gods. There was Conformity, and Authority, and Expense Account, and Opinion. And there was Status, whose symbols were many, and who rode in the great chariot Cadillac, which was almost a god itself. And there was Atombomb, the dread destroyer, who would some day come to end the world. None were very good gods, and I worshipped none of them.”

    Worth a read, especially with all his work in the public domain.

    I like this, but I would buy it more fully if there was GENUINELY no inflation, and the government stuck to actual “public goods”.

    Government Is How We Steal From Each Other™

    • #18
  19. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    This is just my opinion, but the big moral problem is what you do about Iran. The people in Iran don’t like the leadership at all.

    We should drop small arms across all population centers, and let the Iranian people sort it out.

    • #19
  20. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    iWe (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    This is just my opinion, but the big moral problem is what you do about Iran. The people in Iran don’t like the leadership at all.

    We should drop small arms across all population centers, and let the Iranian people sort it out.

    LOL, pure, simple,  genius. 

    I hate those SOB’s. All they do is cause grief everywhere.

    • #20
  21. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Fractad (View Comment):

    The more I read and hear from Bari Weiss, the more I like her. I hope her University of Austin project is successful.

    She is a Leftist but a sane one.

    Susan, serious question. What is the difference between a Democrat and a leftist?

    I am sick of central planning. It is a proven joke. Then throw in all of the trans people crap and I’m not intolerant of homosexuals.

    We don’t need inflation. It doesn’t do any aggregate good, outside of some exceptions that nobody cares about. We don’t need anything beyond public goods. Public goods has an actual definition.  Look it up. Social Security and Medicare are disasters.

    Why do legal tender laws advance human flourishing? I’m seriously asking.

    I don’t see the point of tolerating Democrats or inflation anymore. They can’t even measure inflation. It’s just a scam to centralize power.

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Fractad (View Comment):

    The more I read and hear from Bari Weiss, the more I like her. I hope her University of Austin project is successful.

    She is a Leftist but a sane one.

    Susan, serious question. What is the difference between a Democrat and a leftist?

    I am sick of central planning. It is a proven joke. Then throw in all of the trans people crap and I’m not intolerant of homosexuals.

    We don’t need inflation. It doesn’t do any aggregate good, outside of some exceptions that nobody cares about. We don’t need anything beyond public goods. Public goods has an actual definition look it up. Social Security and Medicare are disasters.

    Why do legal tender laws advance human flourishing? I’m seriously asking.

    I don’t see the point of tolerating Democrats or inflation anymore. They can’t even measure inflation. It’s just a scam to centralize power.

    I don’t think there are moderate Dems anymore. They all vote the Progressive line. For most purposes, they all vote Left. Most of the their policies are anti-American.

    • #22
  23. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Fractad (View Comment):

    The more I read and hear from Bari Weiss, the more I like her. I hope her University of Austin project is successful.

    She is a Leftist but a sane one.

    Susan, serious question. What is the difference between a Democrat and a leftist?

    I am sick of central planning. It is a proven joke. Then throw in all of the trans people crap and I’m not intolerant of homosexuals.

    We don’t need inflation. It doesn’t do any aggregate good, outside of some exceptions that nobody cares about. We don’t need anything beyond public goods. Public goods has an actual definition look it up. Social Security and Medicare are disasters.

    Why do legal tender laws advance human flourishing? I’m seriously asking.

    I don’t see the point of tolerating Democrats or inflation anymore. They can’t even measure inflation. It’s just a scam to centralize power.

    I don’t think there are moderate Dems anymore. They all vote the Progressive line. For most purposes, they all vote Left. Most of the their policies are anti-American.

    A very large proportion of Democrats don’t understand this. 

    Central planning is worthless. Sometimes you don’t have any other option, but leave it at that for God sakes. 

    All of the silly crap that the left invents is worthless.

    • #23
  24. Chris Williamson Member
    Chris Williamson
    @ChrisWilliamson

    > But when people live inside of a bubble, re-enforced by AIPAC, and
    > the influence that outfit holds over all politicians, be they of
    > Jewish religion or not, by the Mossad-led sex honey pot traps, which
    > has compromised our judiciary, and many elected office holders, both
    > Federal and many more on the local level, then nothing else matters.

    That’s a lot of qualifiers to get to ‘nothing else matters.’ Try again.

    > Even over the deadly sinister matter of how in June 1967, the
    > Israeli air force took out a US vessel, slamming the men aboard with
    > napalm, mortars and sniper fire, killing 34 and wounding 170 plus,
    > Americans have been so carefully instructed about the need to always
    > avoid “anti-semitism” that no criticism is made. To this day,
    > apologies are made to Israel, by normal everyday Americans, for our
    > nation having a ship over in those waters, a ship whose spy
    > technologies which are then pointed to as having brought about “a
    > fate those aboard deserved.”

    To this day, Israel made an apology. They were in the middle of a war,
    they made a mistake, and they provided recompense for what they
    did. Sure, people can say that Israel did it on purpose, but people
    say that FDR knew that Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor. Doesn’t
    make it true.

    > Just as progressives now refuse to seek any bail monies or prison
    > time for those perps who are POC, because of the instilled belief
    > that doing so would be racist, so too on the conservative side of
    > things there exists a glaring blind spot that Israel can do no
    > wrong.

    Israel can certainly do wrong. No blind spot anywhere. The leadership
    of Israel was incredibly arrogant, thinking that technology could take
    care of defending against Hamas, and then dismissing women soldiers
    who were raising the alarm. That’s hutzpa to say that we have a blind
    spot to the wrongs of Israel.

    But let me tell you what’s right about Israel: They are “an island of
    democracy in a sea of authoritarianism” (Guiliani). Try being a free
    society in a neighborhood like that, and you’ll inevitably have
    trouble figuring out how it works. And you’ll make mistakes.

    > Recently, a graphic representing a popular meme went out:

    > Who do Democrats care about? Then there was an arrow pointing from
    > the 48 states to the area south below the border.

    > The other panel showed the same 48 states, with the query: Who do
    > Republicans care about?

    > And the arrow pointed from the USA to Israel. ####

    Recently chimpanzees have been mistaken as tame pets, too. A meme is
    just someone’s opinion, and it can be as wrong as the chimpanzee mistake.

    As far as Republicans’ — and Democrats’ — respect for Israel, Israel
    deserves it. God blessed them not with oil leaking out of the ground
    but the ability to think and invent and develop and create something
    beautiful and admirable in a dry land. We need more Israels.

    > Israel at the very least has demonstrated its ability to take care
    > of itself. Why our monies still need to go over to them when they
    > have committed what to many of us, including some 15% of all
    > Republicans, could be considered war crimes, remains beyond
    > bewildering.

    I’ve heard Israeli Jews say the same thing. But the reason they get
    the money is because EGYPT GETS THE MONEY, TOO.

    https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Washington-Watch-What-does-aid-to-Egypt-get-us-316326

    > We lost 1500 Americans in the “wild fires” in Lahaina Hawaii. For
    > many many people the fact that now those people are forgotten seems
    > to also be an atrocity.

    It is a terrible thing, for sure.

    > Our priorities are upside down. (Of course helping out the citizens
    > of Lahaina who have lost everything will not benefit the
    > MIC/Surveillance State, so I guess this is part of the answer as to
    > how and why things are as they are.)

    The fire in Lahaina points to why you shouldn’t trust the authorities
    to be your savior. These clowns in the local government there were the
    worst types of government service you can get. And that same kind of
    service is all around the United States. Expect Lahaina-like incidents
    to occur elsewhere because sleepy government servants weren’t doing
    there jobs. (There are admirable public servants, but there are a lot
    of grifters out there, too.)

    Once at dinner with Catherine Wolkonsky one of my fellow students
    told her he was going to work in government. “Oh, no, don’t do that”,
    she said “It’s such a waste. Go into business.”

    > Conveniently the practical demand that our priorities focus on
    > Americans and not Israelis can be labelled as “anti-semiticism” so
    > that the mad cap policies and expensive policies of taking care of a
    > nation that fully can defend itself will continue most likely on til
    > infinity.

    Not at all. We regularly focus on our own domain here in the United
    States. If I see a pothole on the dirt road that I live on, the county
    comes out and fills it. They don’t send the funds to Israel.

    I agree that Israel is at a point that it can defend itself. In 1967
    it defended itself against an enemy much larger than Hamas. But,
    again, the aid that goes to Israel also goes to Egypt. (Notice that
    Egypt isn’t attacking Israel anymore. They’re just denying Arabs in
    the Gaza Strip a chance at a respite in Egypt.)

    • #24
  25. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    Israel at the very least has demonstrated its ability to take care of itself. Why our monies still need to go over to them when they have committed what to many of us, including some 15% of all Republicans, could be considered war crimes, remains beyond bewildering.

    They keep “tolerating” ***psychos*** ***right by them*** that won’t let them live. I don’t know what the exact figure is, but 65% to 85% of the “Palestinians” just want the Jews they live next to, ***dead.*** ***What are you talking about?***

    They have all of these tunnels, and they, the Palestinians, are going all out on warfare, what are they, the Israelis, supposed to do about “war crimes”?

    This is just my opinion, but the big moral problem is what you do about Iran. The people in Iran don’t like the leadership at all.

    Did you see the report on their latest election? 8% voter participation.

    • #25
  26. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    I’ll have to listen to the whole speech, if it’s available. I find her a very interesting and astute commentator, but if feel like I need more context for this quote. Who exactly is she talking about and how is she defining real freedom?

    *****

    This post is a part of the Quote of the Day project at Ricochet. Please signup here.

     

    I am watching this right now, and so far so good, but she just said that some “rightists” are for some authoritarian character to take over everything. It would really be helpful if she named names.

    • #26
  27. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Fractad (View Comment):

    The more I read and hear from Bari Weiss, the more I like her. I hope her University of Austin project is successful.

    She is a Leftist but a sane one.

    Susan, serious question. What is the difference between a Democrat and a leftist?

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    I’ll have to listen to the whole speech, if it’s available. I find her a very interesting and astute commentator, but if feel like I need more context for this quote. Who exactly is she talking about and how is she defining real freedom?

    *****

    This post is a part of the Quote of the Day project at Ricochet. Please signup here.

     

    I am watching this right now, and so far so good, but she just said that some “rightists” are for some authoritarian character to take over everything. It would really be helpful if she named names.

    Bari is a woman of the historical left, but not the current left. There are many contradictions in our political lexicon. Let me pose the following:

    ordered|liberty

    liberty|ordered

    Note that in the first formulation “ordered” is on the left and “liberty” is on the right. In the second formulation “liberty” is on the left and “ordered” is on the right. To an historical leftist it is the second formulation that dominates their thinking. To the current leftist it is the first formulation that dominates. That is why people who were “free speechers” in the 1960s and up until the 21st Century tended to identify as “leftists”. Whereas current leftists seek control, “order”, over free speech et al, “liberty”, today.

    The “|” symbol represents the border, or the line, between. Jordan Peterson often speaks of walking the line between chaos and order as the challenge of humanity. Chaos (liberty) is  the source of creativity, chance, joy, and disaster. Order is the source of security, safety, predictability but also depression and stultification. You want neither at the extreme and danger increases as one has less influence on the other.

    Central control is neither a right or left concept. It is “ordered” whether it appears before or after “liberty”. That is why I tend to think of political thinking as a circle rather than a linear spectrum. At the poles the poles are Complete Central Control and Complete Individual Control. The circle can have left and right “halves” or upper and lower “halves”. When you think of it as left and right you disguise the  common ground between people who occupy the upper or lower halves.

    Bari finds herself at odds with people on the “left” who are moving rapidly toward the central control pole and in alliance with people on the “right” who are close to the individual control pole. Are there “rightists” who favor the central control pole? Yes, of course, there are. Just as there are “leftists” that do.

    The Great Awakening is that people are starting to sort themselves into upper and lower rather than left and right. 

    • #27
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