Open Mic, Chapter 7

Atonement, Quotas and Self-Destruction

Looking back, we discover that most societies have at one time disadvantaged some of their constituent groups. This could happen by ignoring them, by denying their potential, or by active discrimination. If discrimination, negative, or positive is proven, then democratic principles demand rectification.



  1. 8)

  2. 8) 8)

  3. Finland ‘finds 69 Patriot missiles’ on China-bound ship The Thor Liberty docked in Kotka, Finland, 21 December

    The Finnish authorities have impounded an Isle of Man-flagged ship bound for China with undeclared missiles and explosives, officials say.

    Police are questioning the crew of the MS Thor Liberty after what were described as 69 Patriot anti-missile missiles were found aboard.

    Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen said the missiles were marked “fireworks”.

    The MS Thor Liberty had docked in the Finnish port of Kotka after leaving Germany last week.

    Dock workers became suspicious after finding explosives poorly stored on open pallets, and the missiles were then found in containers marked “fireworks”.

  4. 😐

  5. So in watching the national news I listen to the story of the bomb blasts all over Bagdad, killing and injuring many people.

    The news report (and no, it wasn’t Fox) points to political violence between Shiites and Sunnis. Isn’t it nice how we eradicated the hatred in Iraq and brought forth democracy?

    Didn’t take long after we departed to bring the house of cards collapsing.

  6. Interesting.

    There is US law that makes any war illegal.

  7. Excellent video bringing context to Iran

    • Common Man says:


      Interesting. It is amazing to learn indepth and detailed history. Wouldn’t it be nice if governments treated each other like they themselves would like to be treated. “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you”.

      Just picked up the book “Power, Faith and Fantasy” by Michael B. Oren. Have you read it, and if so what are your thoughts?


  8. Ray Hawkins says:

    Muslim Brotherhood conference Al Azhar Cairo

  9. Charlie is outraged over some things written in a newsletter 20 some years ago that Ron Paul supposedly endorsed after leaving congress. This would have been before the internet, so the only way to read it would be if it was mailed to you. Paul has bluntly stated he did not write it and does not agree with several things said in these “newsletters.” And isn’t it interesting the newsletters were found by the editor of “The New Republic” in a Kansas university library archive.

    I am not saying the newsletter was not written, nor that Paul did not lend his name to it years ago. I will state that I have never seen or heard him show any racial or sexual bias.
    Being libertarian does require accepting all others as equals, with equal rights. I think Paul is an easy target for several “out there” positions he’s taken, such as foreign policy. But this is beneath any ethical persons consideration. It may not be wrong to ask him to answer on this, but once he has, to keep asking/rephrasing, is blatant character assassination. And what is The New Republic?

    Domestically, the TNR as of 2011 supports a largely neo-liberal stance on fiscal and social issues, according to former editor Franklin Foer, who stated that it “invented the modern usage of the term ‘liberal’, and it’s one of our historical legacies and obligations to be involved in the ongoing debate over what exactly liberalism means and stands for.”[2] As of 2004, however, some, like Anne Kossedd and Steven Randall, contend that it is not as liberal as it was before 1974.[3] The magazine’s outlook is associated with the Democratic Leadership Council and “New Democrats” such as former President Bill Clinton and Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, who received the magazine’s endorsement in the 2004 Democratic primary; so did Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008.[4] Whilst defending federal programs, like Medicare and the EPA, it has advocated some policies that, while seeking to achieve the ends of traditional social welfare programs, often use market solutions as their means, and so are often called “business-friendly.”

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Ah yes, the kill the messenger tactic!

      Look, Paul has come out and said he does not condone what was written in these publications. I don’t believe he agrees with what was written, and I’ll buy that he didn’t know about it at the time. But how is this enough for you? These were a series of publications written over years that bore his name. At the very least I would expect some sort of outrage that this was done, not a simple shrug of the shoulders and walk off camera.

      • So what would get him out of the fryer? A public apology every year on the anniversary of publication? What’s in it to keep the story alive besides a convienient jab at an opposition candidate for president. Hey Buck..I’d like you to apologize for letting the kid cheat off you in 7th grade…

        • Hahah

          That’s a good one – and a much better analogy! Yeah, like apologizing that other kids cheated off of you….

        • Come here, Ron! It’s time for your annual public flogging!

          Listen, he says they weren’t him, he refutes the message, et cetera. I think it’s absurd to use it against him unless there’s something called “evidence” to suggest that he actually holds these opinions.


          So, decades ago, people think something happened. They have no evidence, but they militantly stand by their belief. They think that this thing which didn’t happen is sufficient to disqualify him from holding office. They demand he shows proof that he can’t show. Yet, other candidates and adversarial publications keep bringing it up. Even if he eventually does drag up evidence, these people will call it fake and demand more evidence. Even Donald Trump gets into it, using the non-issue as a wedge against him.

          Boy.. why is this all sounding so familiar to me..


          • Buck the Wala says:

            Disagree with you on this one — I believe something more than a shurg is required here.

            He knew of the publications in his name, he made money off these newsletters, he was quoted in the early to mid 1990s talking about the newsletters, he signed the direct mail solicitations for these newsletters. He probably remained somewhat uninvolved, and probably did not know of the exact content at the time (after all, no evidence I have seen that he knew of this content and I will take him at his word that he disavows such statements).

            • Yes.. I think he should issue an apology – not for the contents itself, because as Flag accurately pointed out, he did not author the offensive content – but for MISSING it, and permitting it to be published under his name.

              Not “I’m sorry for the statements,” but “I’m sorry I didn’t catch this.”

              Paul’s “offense” is really no worse than an editor who missed a spelling or factual error. He had a job to do, and didn’t do it well enough. Because some people were offended, he should apologize for his failure, and his failure alone. But there is no reason he should have to apologize for the opinions of someone else?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Agreed. But it was a bit worse than a spelling error.

              • How so?

                What did Paul do – himself – that was worse than missing a spelling error? Does that fact that the thing he missed was worse make the actions of Paul – himself – worse?

                In either scenario, he rubber stamped a newsletter – why does the fact that someone else made racist comments rather than a simple type change or worsen Paul’s own actions?

              • I wonder if the newsletter had the standard “we are not responsible for the opinions stated in this publication” 🙂

                I haven’t looked into this at all-so can someone tell me what the purpose of the publication itself was?

                I also wonder, with Paul’s stanch on individual freedoms, how much denying of freedom of speech-he would be comfortable with. So the purpose of the newsletters themselves seems important?

              • Grrrrr! Let’s make that stance-not stanch

              • Hmmm-before I leave for the day-I think I should clarify my point so no one will get the wrong impression.
                I see no difference in this being named Paul’s newsletter than I do this blog having USW’s name on it. Unless Paul’s publication was supposed to only represent Paul’s ideas-this seems doubtful-or Paul would have written every article his self.

                Now we get to the free speech part and censoring what is allowed. Should USW censor all remarks that he personally disagrees with. And when it comes to what should be censored based on unacceptable-what exactly does that include and should it be included.

                How we answer those questions is going to greatly effect what we would personally censor-but the censorship is not necessarily based on our personal beliefs about what is offensive-but more on what we believe the limits on free speech should be.

              • One other thing-USW has had to be absent for awhile-should he shut down his blog because someone might say something offensive while he has been busy-or be called bad names if someone says something offensive in his absence.

              • Until he does so (apologize), he’ll have the taint on him that he (at one time) didn’t mind that his rank and file were friggin’ nazi’s …

                Then again, some were present at one of Rick Perry’s debates and cheering on that imbecile’s take on capital punishment and his lack of concern regarding whether he might’ve killed someone innocent.

                Deers in the friggin’ headlights, that party is made up of …

                This payroll tax debacle was just another example of how stupid they can be when they try.

      • “Paul has said that he is not sure who wrote the articles that were published under his name. He has said the articles do not reflect his views, and noted that his public stances – supporting gays in the military for example – have run counter to the incendiary statements in the newsletters.

        In an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger on Wednesday, Paul said of the newsletter’s articles: “I didn’t write them. I didn’t read them at the time and I disavow them.”

        When Borger continued to pursue the subject, Paul removed his microphone and walked out of the interview.”

        “But how is this enough for you?” With a hostile media playing “gotcha” games, I’m not sure how to respond. Consider a poorly thought out statement could with Paul being sued.

        “At the very least I would expect some sort of outrage” Bachmann and Palin are attractive women, but we see photo’s of them all the time that are less than flattering. Paul has enough trouble as it is without doing a verbal postal moment with an interviewer looking to find or make some negative story here. You accept him at his word, but it’s not enough?
        Were you not a lot more forgiving with Obama and Rev. Wright?

        Sorry Buck, but you and Charlie seem to have already made up your minds. You don’t like him and will pounce on any reason to justify your bias. When they started in on Cain, I didn’t judge, just waited to see if anyone had a credible story. The first ones were pretty lame and to me, not what journalistic ethics would allow to publish. The last one with the phone logs, story broken by FOX, were convincing.

        Paul has proven his character. He has earned my respect as perhaps the most ethical person in DC. That does not mean I agree with him on many issues, but I would believe he will speak the truth as he see’s it and damned the consequences. He strongly supported the gays in military, yet you would believe he’s a homophobe?

        And consider another thing, this should be a minor story today. IF more substantial information come out, then it may be worth a look. But you and Charlie are letting a biased media decide for you what is newsworthy and what is true. Even when you accept he was innocent, you were still not satisfied. Is that perhaps because you news source kept on about their questions not being answered?

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Really at this stage I am much more curious as to how this could have happened. Personally, I would be bending over backwards to try to determine who was responsibile for placing my name on these vile publications. I would be interested in answering questions relating to the matter to demonstrate my innocence. This is the man’s name (and reputation) for crying out loud.

          I guess my surprise was his simple shrug to the whole fiasco. The questions being asked were not ‘gotcha’ questions. He had to know this was going to come up and he should have been ready, able and willing to answer questions pertaining to the publications. Who wrote them? Why was there no supervision? What steps were taken once he had learned of the content?

          • Buck

            I would be bending over backwards to try to determine who was responsibile for placing my name on these vile publications


            You’d be spinning your wheels, wasting time and energy and money trying to resolve a 20 years old article!

            Then you’d set a precedent that any article that quoted your name would now need to be vetted by you.

            Exactly what Paul said:
            To deal with this now brings it up now and makes it credible now. As it is now, its 20 years old and old news and not credible (except for those that have some bizarre need to rehash it).

            Secondly, it now implies that he must vet EVERYTHING in and out of his control, or else it will mean he agrees with it.

            He is playing this smart.

        • The SAGE hasn’t made up his mind … but when a guy walks away from an interview and specifically blames CNN for asking him the same questions over and over (it was the FIRST time I’d ever heard anything about Ron Paul … and I’ve defended Ron Paul’s positions (except his insane free market nonsense) to liberals many times … Ron Paul sounded a little like Herman Cain when he walked away from the interview and blamed CNN for asking questions.

          They are valid questions. He should have either taken responsibility for what appeared in his name and denounced it or apologized for it ever happening (when it happened). He doens’t get to “shrug” this one off (only to yous).

      • Buck,

        You are a strange cat.

        So, if I send out a newsletter on your letter head 20 years ago, that you did not write nor condone, you believe YOU should acknowledge and apologize for it.

        Paul has done nothing wrong.
        Why should he apologize for something he did not do?

        To apologize would admit he did something wrong – which would then be a lie.

        He is a very smart man and understands if you apologize for an action that you did not do, you just became guilty.

        • Buck the Wala says:


          This was a little more than someone stealing Paul’s letterhead and using it for his own nefarious purposes. If that were truly the case, I would completely agree – no apology of any sort necessary.

          Paul may not have been involved in the daily publication or content of these newsletters, but he knew they were being written, published and disseminated under his name. His signature is on the direct mail solicitations for subscriptions to the newsletter from that time period. I would argue this necessitates something more than a ‘shrug’.

          • Geez Louise Buck. Is it really THAT important to you. What exactly would you like him to do? You need a Dread Buck on your right!

          • Buck,

            but he knew they were being written, published and disseminated under his name

            This is not true.

            As he has repeated over and over again, he did not know it was published, nor did he read it at the time.

            However, the MSM will continue to lie about this to try to make mud stick. Paul will have none of it – and as he did, will leave the interview.

          • Buck,

            This is why I am always annoyed by the Righteous Leftists.

            They lie or create falsehoods or instigate problems where there is none.

            Paul did not shrug this off

            He addressed it.
            Explained it.
            Disavowed it.

            But you can’t let it go – you WANT him to say “Yeah, I wrote it, its mine, and I believe in what I wrote”…just so you can crucify him. You want him to make a mistake by doing or saying something and end up with this latched onto his back for it to injure him.

            Because that is what you want to do – destroy him.

            You and your ilk are terrified by him.
            He is going to end your gravy train.

            So, you want to burn him at the stake, and no matter what he does, you’ve got the wood, the gasoline and the match ready.

            • Black Flag,

              This is why I am always annoyed by the Righteous Leftists.

              They lie or create falsehoods or instigate problems where there is none.

              That’s funny, because it’s the Righteous Righties that annoy me – for the same reason…

              • Todd. BF said “end of story” many posts ago. That makes it right.

                I mean, it’s not like he ignores the facts (he just makes them up).

                Righteous lefties … plutonians … libtards …


                lunatics … morons … lemmings …

                Dickens (mankind is my business) vs. Rand (are there no prisons, are there no work houses?) …

                This Ron Paul thing is exactly what whackjobs like Mike Levin were waiting for … a reason to slay the most conservative economic thinking candidate on the right … they do it in the name of foreign policy (using Iran this go) because they know capitalism is dead in the water without the government the money owns. So what he might be an out and out racist …

              • Yeah, when Black Flag declares “end of story”, that’s a clue there’s something he doesn’t want to talk about! 😉

              • Todd,

                You are so funny.

                You think you make a big deal over what a guy did not write the “bad” stuff who for decades has acted in a manner opposite of what is written. Paul has hurt no one.


                You have no problem and support a bunch of other guys who do not do what the say and have acted in a manner that has killed thousands.

                You are strange.

          • I am right now going back in the history of SUFA to find out if Buck was equally as outraged at Barack Obama’s sitting in the good Rev. Wright’s church for 20 years and hearing (and participating?) in the language that was used there. I’m afraid it might take me awhile but I’m sure it’s there, ’cause Buck certainly isn’t a hypocrite is he?

            • Yes, you do that Kathy, because it has nothing to do with whether or not an issue is valid or not, it just has to do with whether or not the republican party can point a finger back the other way. Nice set of rules to live by … very christian .., makes perfect sense.

        • I don’t think Paul is “at fault” here.. insofar as I don’t think that he held or stated such opinions. HOWEVER, as the editor in chief, ultimately, the buck stops at his desk. If his name is on the door and on the letter head, he has the ultimate responsibility for making sure that he supports and/or approves of the things that go out the door.

          That said, I feel an apology is in order. The apology should be this:

          “I missed this when I was editor in chief and wish I’d kept a closer eye one it, but my attention was focused elsewhere at the time and I did not personally read every article. As editor in chief, I am ultimately responsible for the messages conveyed in my letters and so I apologize for the offensive things were published under my name.

          I am also sorry that idiots in the media feel compelled to bring this us after twenty years to use without any real evidence as a way of manipulating people into thinking I hold views which I do not. I am sorry that the current media environment is so addicted to “controversy” that the 24hr news cycle mad this into an issue in the first place. I am sorry that you had to waste your time with this. I am sorry that I had to waste my time with this.

          And finally, I am sorry that the other candidates running for the Republican nomination, and their respective backers/boosters, are so afraid of me that they will try any desperate means to discredit me. Actually, I’m not sorry at all about last one. I’m glad they’re getting desperate. Let ’em sweat.

          Thank you and have a nice day.

          -Dr. Paul”

          I should be a speech writer.

          • Mathius,

            But that is what he has done already.

            He has stated, repeatedly, more or less the same thing.

            He did not write it.
            He completely disavows the article.

            It’s not like he has a time machine to go back and delete the thing, so all this is is merely a bunch of whiners, terrified that Paul will end their gravy train, trying to pollute the message.

            • Yes, I see that he did (see my more recent post below).

              I’m satisfied.

              Though I’d be happier if he also took the opportunity to call out the idiots who are making this non-issue into a “controversy” in order to fill their 24hr news cycle.

              Or, better still, he could pick any number of lies or racially insensitive comments told by Fox News (or any other station) and demand that the owner of that station personally apologize as well. Can’t you just see him demanding that Murdoch apologize for something that Glen Beck said?

              Absurd. Can we please move along?

          • Mathius

            When you apologize for something you DID NOT do, you are LYING to yourself and to others.

            When you allow OTHERS to dictate what is deserving of your apology based on their whim and not the truth they you are LYING to yourself and to others.

            This is an assault on key individual values and principles. Force someone to accept the “narrative” of others results in degrading the individual being attacked.

            Your and Buck’s comments today do accurately reflect the status of the American mindset and media’s role in Politics. That is truly unfortunate.

            • Mathius™ says:

              Have you been smoking whatever it is that Flag smokes?

              What have I suggested he MUST apologize? Huh? Or did I say he SHOULD?

              And further, what did I say he SHOULD apologize for?

              Go re-read what I wrote.

              • Mathius

                When you say “XYZ SHOULD” do something, YOU are placing an obligation on that person.

                The net effect, especially in Politics, is that you have said he MUST.

                Because otherwise they can not address the “should” to the accusers satisfaction or to those who now have doubts created by the accuser.

                YOU created a demand for an apology for a non action. Its nature is not relevant.

                While your birth certificate example was not very good, it does raise the legitimate point.

                BOTH political parties and their minions are guilty of this irrational behavior.

              • Mathius™ says:

                When you say “XYZ SHOULD” do something, YOU are placing an obligation on that person.
                Absolutely not!

                You should jump off of a bridge.

                Did you feel obligated to jump off of a bridge?


                When I say “XYZ SHOULD” do something, I am saying that it is my opinion that this is the correct behavior in the given situation.

                The net effect, especially in Politics, is that you have said he MUST.

                Regardless, he is asking me for a favor. He wants a job and he wants something from me – he wants my vote. There is nothing wrong with me placing an “obligation” on him in exchange for a favor. In fact, it might more clearly be considered to be a “condition” in order to gain my vote.

                If you ask to borrow $20 from me and I say “you should say please,” I am not creating an obligation on you to say please, I’m placing a condition on my acceptance of your request for a favor. This is a big difference.

                YOU created a demand for an apology for a non action. I most certainly did not. I suggested that if he wants my vote, he should apologize for his actions. When it became apparent that he had already apologized, I dropped my condition as it was no longer relevant.

                While your birth certificate example was not very good, it does raise the legitimate point.

                BOTH political parties and their minions are guilty of this irrational behavior.

                Agree, but I just thought it was amusing.

            • Mathius™ says:

              I decided to give a better response to your comment. My initial response was somewhat inadequate and may have come off as rude instead of (the intended) humorous.

              When you apologize for something you DID NOT do, you are LYING to yourself and to others.

              I generally agree. This is why I suggested he should apologize for what he did do – which is fail at his responsibility as editor in chief to catch such comments.

              This is also why I did not suggest that he should apologize for the comments themselves, as they are not his comments.

              When you allow OTHERS to dictate what is deserving of your apology based on their whim and not the truth they you are LYING to yourself and to others.

              I don’t know if I’d call it lying, unless the apology is insincere, but whatever, I don’t care. I would only add that I did not “dictate” anything. I suggested that he SHOULD apologize for failing at his job and publishing racists articles. But the key here is that he SHOULD. I dictated nothing and demanded nothing. It is my opinion, that the “right thing to do” is to offer an apology for his role (and again, only his role) in allowing this to happen.

              Force someone to accept the “narrative” of others results in degrading the individual being attacked. And what narrative am I forcing him to accept? That he was editor in chief while this happened (fact) and that this did happen (fact) and that it was his job to vet the newsletter (fact). So that’s the narrative I’m going with – it is, by the way, the narrative that he himself gives.

              The narrative I am NOT forcing him to accept is that he is personally responsible for or that he holds the views expressed in his newsletter.

              So you tell me? What am I forcing him to accept that results in degrading the individual?

              Your and Buck’s comments today do accurately reflect the status of the American mindset and media’s role in Politics. That is truly unfortunate. Buck and I are arguing different sides of this! He disagrees with me. I think it’s a non-issue. He thinks it is an issue (small issue?) deserving of a more extensive apology.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                To clarify my position a bit:

                I too had just learned of this the other day. I didn’t know it had been reported nor addressed by Paul in the past. Upon hearing of it, yes, I immediately felt Paul needed to address it (after all, I didn’t know it had been previously addressed) and that a shrug and walk-off was absurdly insufficient.

                Unlike Mathius, I feel it is a bit more serious then a spelling error — it demonstrates a complete abdication of his responsibility as the editor-in-chief of this publication during this time period. That being said, if he has apologized for this, he has apologized for this. But again, I do see the nature of the oversight as being more serious than a spelling error or on-time thing.

                With that brehind us now, bakc to work I go….I can’t get out of here until I finish up a few more things!

              • Mathius

                Failure to ACT is NOT ACTION.

              • Mathius™ says:

                Failure to ACT is NOT ACTION. With regards to what? Where are you going with this one?

          • as the editor in chief, ultimately, the buck stops at his desk

            Interesting, the buck stops at his desk. Does that mean then that the buck stops at Holder’s desk for the Fast & Furious program? Or does it go all the way to Obama’s? Who do we hold responsible of the two?

      • And I do suspect the timing of this by the New Republic. Paul is poised to win Iowa.

      • Why not shrug over Ron Paul? They shrug over slavery. paraphrasing: “The founding fathers were busy founding a country and couldn’t be concerned with slavery.”

        And yous think I’m from Pluto?

        LOI is suspicious of the timing of TNR article … ah, so there it is, the vast left wing conspiracy all over again.

        Like I said, Ron Paul has some ‘splainin’ to do …

        • Charlie,

          This was outed by The New Republic, a very LIBERAL organization, and proud of it. With the Iowa primary so close, yes, I am suspicious of TNW and CNN jumping on the bandwagon without researching Pauls side. Posted above, this was reported by Newsweek years ago and their investigation showed Paul innocent of your charges.

          “ah, so there it is, the vast left wing conspiracy all over again.” No, but some left wingers want to drive the news cycle and pick stories unfavorable to conservatives. And some bloggers want to harp on the same stories, almost like they have a bias or agenda. Myself, I’ve found other interesting stories more worthy of my attention.

          Oh, and Merry Christmas Chuckles!!!

          • Merry Christmas to you, LOI!!!!!

            But you speak without thinking, my friend. LIberals would like nothing more than Ron Paul to either win the nomination and/or split the GOP further. Obama has major holiday wood right now thinking that’s a possibility; nothing could be better for Obama and his so-called liberal following (anyone who votes democrat over socialist/communist/green party can’t be very liberal).

            I once took Viagra and slept like a baby … the wife insisted I take it every night thereafter …

  10. Lie of the Year 2011: ‘Republicans voted to end Medicare’

    By Bill Adair, Angie Drobnic Holan
    Published on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 12:05 a.m.

    Republicans muscled a budget through the House of Representatives in April that they said would take an important step toward reducing the federal deficit. Introduced by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the plan kept Medicare intact for people 55 or older, but dramatically changed the program for everyone else by privatizing it and providing government subsidies.

    Democrats pounced. Just four days after the party-line vote, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a Web ad that said seniors will have to pay $12,500 more for health care “because Republicans voted to end Medicare.”

    Rep. Steve Israel of New York, head of the DCCC, appeared on cable news shows and declared that Republicans voted to “terminate Medicare.” A Web video from the Agenda Project, a liberal group, said the plan would leave the country “without Medicare” and showed a Ryan look-alike pushing an old woman in a wheelchair off a cliff. And just last month, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a fundraising appeal that said: “House Republicans’ vote to end Medicare is a shameful act of betrayal.”

    After two years of being pounded by Republicans with often false charges about the 2010 health care law, the Democrats were turning the tables.

    PolitiFact debunked the Medicare charge in nine separate fact-checks rated False or Pants on Fire, most often in attacks leveled against Republican House members.

    Now, PolitiFact has chosen the Democrats’ claim as the 2011 Lie of the Year.

    • LOI,
      Currently, Medicare is a single payer system. The government pays all the bills.

      As you posted, Ryan’s plan kept Medicare intact for people 55 or older, but dramatically changed the program for everyone else by privatizing it and providing government subsidies.

      Here’s the best analogy I’ve seen about this:

      If you take a can of Coke, pour the Coke out, and refill it with milk, it’s still a Coke can, but it’s no longer a can of Coke.

      And that’s what happened when ‘Republicans voted to end Medicare’. They “poured out” Medicare as we know it – and replace it with a different system for providing healthcare to senior citizens.

      They put it in the same “can” called “Medicare”, but inside it’s completely different.

      • Inside it is state sponsored capitalism … because that’s the only capitalism you’ll find these days.

        Why? Because the basis of capitalism (greed), cannot survive without protection (or it would have). It didn’t … because the best and only way for the wealthy to protect their interests is to use government to do so (create corporations/dismantle a social program and replace it with “privatization” … (don’t forget those subsidies) … a rigged deck that both parties support heart and soul

      • Toddster,

        That MAY be an accurate analogy, but it does not change the Democrats “Lie of the Year”. Ryan’s plan did not end insurance for the elderly and the commercial of pushing granny off a cliff was pure fear-mongering. You know, what liberals accuse conservatives of doing. In your “coke” analogy, the Democrats would be accusing the Repugs of replacing it with water, meaning they wouldn’t die of thirst, but would starve to death. And the truth, milk is better for you than Coke (ask Michelle O). Oh, and the Ryan plan offers an alternative to milk for those who are lactose intolerant….

        • LOI,

          Ryan’s plan did not end insurance for the elderly

          Actually, it did end Government Insurance for the elderly. That’s the point.

          PS – I agree “the commercial pushing granny off a cliff was pure fear-mongering”. I do not approve.

  11. Forty years ago, when the Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded, the original charter made no claims to the lands of Israel. The Palestinian leadership emphasized its status as part of the greater Arab struggle against Israel, and any spoils acquired from a conquered Israel would be given to Jordan and Egypt.

    Later decades saw several break-ups of the original Palestinian founders. Many joined Baathist Syria, a government that claims all of Israel — and Jordan — as part of Greater Syria. Never has a Syrian leader recognized a Palestinian nation independent of Syria. Others disappeared, fled to Israel, or completely abandoned the Palestinian government. The civil war in Lebanon decimated the PLO and forced Arafat into exile in Africa.

    Meanwhile, the Jordanian government remained firm in its position toward Palestine. For nearly thirty years, the West Bank was considered sovereign Jordanian territory. Jordan unilaterally annexed the land, granted all Arab residents citizenship, and conquered East Jerusalem. Unrecognized by the international community, but not challenged. Not the Arab League, the U.N., Israel, nor the Palestinians themselves considered the land “occupied” Palestinian territory. The Palestinian movement delegated all authority to the reigning Arab nations.

    Beginning in the 1970s, the Palestinian leadership initiated a campaign to reframe the conflict and invent a local narrative. Riding on the coattails of globalized media, the Palestinians became a post-Soviet Union third-world victim. The alliances the Palestinians made with nations not interested in the creation of a unique Palestinian state were washed from history. Within the halls of the United Nations General Assembly, inflammatory rhetoric comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and South Africa became a defining activity of the organization. The U.N. General Assembly has since passed more resolutions against Israel than all other nations combined.

    Read more:

  12. Oh, wouldya look at that:

    “He totally disavows what was said and disagrees with it totally,” Mr. Kesari [Paul’s deputy campaign manager] said. “The only responsibility he takes is for not paying closer attention.”

    Good enough for me. Alright, let’s move along, shall we?

    • Mathius

      The flaw in your whole commentary on this is that the same thing was done years ago. Paul in fact recently referenced a Newspaper investigation into the matter that found he had nothing to do with it. This is an OLD STORY. It was not just discovered by New Republic.

      Yet ONLY because New Republic brings it up NOW, you think he must apologize NOW, once again.

      You say that is good enough, but watch now what happens with the media play.

      • And I’ll continue to consider the media as idiots for dragging up a dead non-controversy.

        In fact, I had never heard of this before a few days ago. If I had known that it had already been addressed in this manner (I assume it has been), I would have been quicker to call out the media.

        you think he must apologize NOW

        No. I think he SHOULD apologize when it was first pointed out to him.

        Then, I think he SHOULD move on with his life.

        And I think anyone who insists on bringing this up – again – without any new evidence linking him to writing or knowing about the articles should be criticized.

        • Mathius

          The point that BF and I are making is that he DID address this directly, YEARS AGO.

          It has come up every time he runs for President. It came up again a couple of weeks ago in an interview with Sean Hannity. Paul’s response? “That was addressed years ago and the entire story was covered by the ?????? newspaper (sorry can’t remember the name.). If you want the truth then I suggest you read their article.”

          The article in question was done years ago.

          Our bigger point was that because YOU hadn’t heard of it, you placed a burden on him to address it…….AGAIN.

          So next week somebody else comes along and makes the same demand AGAIN because they never heard about it.

          Now I will add this. While I think he handled it correctly from a purely ethical and principled viewpoint, sound principles do not make for good politics.

          And that is the “reality” of the “political” world in which we currently live.

          • Mathius™ says:

            The point that BF and I are making is that he DID address this directly, YEARS AGO.

            Elsewhere on this page, I noted the that he has already addressed this and that I was satisfied and wished to move along. I was previously unaware of this issue and therefore of his apology. I should have remained unaware because this is not an issue. But once it was brought up, I though an apology was due. I see that an apology was issued at some point in the past. That’s good enough for me.

            I further specified that people who keep bringing this up are hacks.

            Our bigger point was that because YOU hadn’t heard of it, you placed a burden on him to address it…….AGAIN. NO! Because I hadn’t heard of it, I placed no burden on anyone. Because I hadn’t heard of it, I went and checked and – look at that! – he’s already apologized. Why should I need him to apologize again?

            If you do something wrong and you apologize once, what is making you do it every four years going to contribute to anything?

            So next week somebody else comes along and makes the same demand AGAIN because they never heard about it. So next week, Paul should do exactly what he did – refer him back to his original apology and move along with his life.


            That said, the main fault for this lies with the media – the way they are conveying this, it is clear about the article, but they do not many any sincere effort to bring up his prior apology – I had to go looking for it. If you’re going to drag up ancient history, you should tell the whole story.

            • Citing medical condition, Edwards seeks delay in trial

     archive: John Edwards investigation

              Raleigh, N.C. — Former Democratic presidential contender John Edwards asked Thursday for a two-month delay in his trial on alleged campaign finance violations, citing an undisclosed medical condition among other reasons.

              Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, faces six felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from the nearly $1 million paid by two donors to help hide and care for his pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, during his 2008 run for the White House.

              The trial is set to begin Jan. 30, but Edwards’ attorneys said in a motion that they don’t have enough time to prepare for such a complex case and that failure to delay the trial “would be likely to result in a miscarriage of justice.”

              Information about the medical condition was provided to the court under seal, according to the motion.

              Defense attorneys won a small victory in the case last week when U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles denied prosecutors’ attempts to prevent two potential defense witnesses from testifying.

              Edwards’ lawyers want Scott Thomas and Robert Lenhard, two former commissioners of the Federal Election Commission, to testify about their doubts that the donations to help Hunter violated campaign finance laws.

              Federal prosecutors argued that witnesses shouldn’t be allowed to offer their opinions on election law, saying the judge is responsible for interpreting the law in the case. Eagles said she wants to hear the government’s case against Edwards before deciding whether to allow Thomas and Lenhard to testify.

  13. Jail officers working for Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio handed in their federal credentials during a news conference in Phoenix Wednesday, a day before civil rights attorneys will be in federal court to seek a ruling in a lawsuit that alleges Arpaio systematically discriminated against Latino residents in conducting traffic patrols and so-called “crime suppression sweeps.”.

    Arpaio’s office organized the public turning-in of the badges after ICE rescinded their authority to run immigration checks on inmates. Speaking at the news conference, Arpaio said he was holding the federal government to its promise to send 50 federal agents to do such screening in his jail, but predicted that there will be undocumented immigrants in jail who won’t be deported and will be put back on streets.

    “I want to see how many agents are going to be coming to our jail,” the sheriff said. “I want to see how long it will take for 50 agents from across the country to work in our jails.”

    The Department of Homeland Security announced Dec. 15 that more than 90 of Arpaio’s Maricopa County jail officers could no longer check whether inmates were undocumented immigrants.

    Read more:

    • Would be interested in Buck’s take on what is going on here.

      Seems to me that DOJ is trying an end run around Arizona’s law on checking illegal immigrants.

      I think the Sheriff should have stood tall under Arizona Law and told the Feds to butt out.

      By what authority does the DOJ have to TELL a State Law officer they CAN NOT enforce the Federal Law???

      • JAC,

        You aren’t paying attention. Obama reducing troops on the Mexican border is not newsworthy. The fed/Holder evading his responsibility in Fast & Furious, not newsworthy.
        Filing a lawsuit against a sheriff for enforcing federal law, not newsworthy.

        Did said sheriff violate inmates rights by checking their immigration status…..rewright
        Did said sheriff violate inmates rights? yhea, leading story
        Is Ron Paul a racist and homophobe? another headline! Gonna be a great news day!

      • Buck the Wala says:

        I need to look into this more but it seems that if ICE had the authority to rescind this order, and exercised that authority, Arpaio would be estopped from doing this. But again, would need to take a closer look and I am swamped at the moment trying to finish up so I can get out of here.

  14. And remember Obama talking about cutting government spending, vowing to trim the WH budget? May be a new record for presidential vacations set by our first lady, but it’s not newsworthy, at least not in the US….

  15. Okay, I had to go through 3 pages of comments to get caught up-Don’t want to sound bossy-just a request-Please 🙂 make future answers to past pages on this page.

  16. Mathius™ says:
    December 23, 2011 at 10:55 am
    They never do the top ten Hanukkah songs though, do they?


    Then again, that could be because there are only four Hanukkah songs and three of them are by Adam Sandler…

    Might I ask who “they” are-is it the government or individual people?

    And if you want someone to do the top four Hanukkah songs-why don’t you do it?

    Just like “they” did it.

    I’m absolutely certain it isn’t outlawed. 🙂

    Which it would be if the government had established a religion we must follow.

  17. We are celebrating Christmas with my family tonight because of work conflicts-so I must leave and finish all the last minute details. But can’t go without wishing everyone a Merry Christmas-to those who reject Christmas as a secular or religious holiday-Happy Whatever-but I do wish you Happiness!!!!

    I kinda want to know-who among us- that is Christian-considers Santa Claus-a religious figure? I just never have!

    • Or even if you aren’t Christian?

    • Santa Claus? No, but he may be linked to a religious figure. Just last night my 9yr old was telling me St. Nick was a real person that gave to the poor. He learned that in school……

      • Okay, I see that there is a link-but I still don’t think this link makes it impossible for the non-religious to celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday-people of other religions, I understand why they wouldn’t want to-although I think some do-but they have their own holidays they can celebrate.

    • Mathius™ says:

      By the way, based off a real religious figure is only part of the story. St. Nick is credited in some cultures with resurrecting the dead, and was a Bishop in the church. Even today, he’s a widely revered patron saint of, amongst other things, sailors and (if memory serves) prostitutes.

      Santa is a bastardization of St. Nick.. so is he a religious figure? Kinda sorta.. He sure isn’t secular. I’ve never heard of Santa bringing presents to any Jews.

      • Tsk, tsk, Mathius

        Of course Santa has delivered gifts to Jews.

        AKA — Mom and Dad

      • “I’ve never heard of Santa bringing presents to any Jews.” Saying Merry Christmas is offensive but these words are okay 😦

        • Mathius™ says:

          For the 487th time. I don’t find it offensive to be wished a merry Christmas. I find the assumption that I celebrate your holiday to be OBNOXIOUS and INCONSIDERATE and ANNOYING. Not offensive.

          That said, what about the fact that Santa doesn’t bring presents to Jews do you find offensive? Have you ever seen a “holiday” special where Santa makes a point of visiting the kid with the yarmulke? Maybe they showed his workshop and there’s a menorah there? Maybe Tim Allen spinning a dreidel and eating Latkes?

  18. Babies are such a nice way to start people.
    – Don Herrold

    Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.
    -Marshall McLuhan

    People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.
    – Leo J. Burke.

  19. I find it interesting how so many of you are trying to downplay the significance of Ron Paul’s investing and political newsletters (kind of reminds me of Herman Cain!).

    If Ron Paul wrote them, that’s a problem for obvious reasons.

    If he didn’t write them, but lent his name to them, that’s a problem too. He let someone use his name, and earn him money, without knowing what was being written in his name. This shows a profound lack or judgment, leadership, and managerial skills. Not very “Presidential”.

    But the really interesting part of this to me is Black Flag’s unending defense of Ron Paul. Why? He’s just another politician? Hasn’t he said many times you can’t change the system from within, so why does he care about Ron Paul?

    I suppose because he’s the one politician closest to Black Flag’s views. But still, he’s a politician working within the system. Isn’t that a waste of time?

    So why the defense of Ron Paul? Reading this letter promoting Paul’s newsletters, that looks like it came from Ron Paul and has his “signature”, gave me a clue:

    First: Thursday, Ron Paul’s Iowa chairman, Drew Ivers said, Paul does not deny or retract material that Paul has written under his own signature, such as the letter promoting Paul’s newsletters.

    Then: Friday, Ron Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said in an e-mail “Dr. Paul did not write that solicitation. It does not reflect his thoughts and is out of step with the message he has espoused for 40 years.”

    So at the very least, Ron Paul’s campaign needs to get their message straight.

    But the interesting part is what’s in the 8 page letter, and it doesn’t matter if Ron Paul wrote it or not. It’s a long scary story about how the government is going to take away your freedom, from IRS agents with AK-47’s to the “New Money” with the SCA – Suspicious Cash Audit (I’m not making this up!).

    And this “will only be the beginning”!! The New Money – “totalitarian bills are tinted pink and blue and brown, and blighted with holograms, diffraction gratings, metal and plastic threads, and chemical alarms.” All this to allow the feds to keep track of American cash, and American citizens.

    Take a look in your wallet – he’s talking about the new 5, 10, and 20 dollar bills with the bigger portraits and funny colors. I think they’re kind of cool – I didn’t know it was a government conspiracy to steal my money! I thought it was my wife who’s always stealing my cash!

    The letter goes on (and on…and on…) about all kinds of conspiracy theories, and that’s the interesting part. It sounds just like Black Flag!

    That’s why Black Flag doesn’t want you to read the letter or newsletters!

    Ron Paul (or someone using his name) was promoting the same crazy conspiracy theories 20 years ago that Black Flag is promoting now. The weren’t true – and didn’t happen – 20 years ago. And they aren’t true and won’t happen now.

    And that is Black Flag’s biggest worry. Not that he’ll be shown to be wrong, but that he’ll be shown to be irrelevant.

    And that’s what Ron Paul’s 20+ year old letters show…

    • suppose because he’s the one politician closest to Black Flag’s views.

      Yes, and it also proves that BF is as much an anarchist as I am a “disciple of Karl Rove” (or is it Carl)?

      What sticks in my craw about this Ron Paul situation is a) I’d never heard of it before and b) his walking away from the interview AND claiming CNN “always” asks him the same thing “over and over” … really? How come I’d never heard of this scandal before?

  20. Ooops – I forgot to check the little box. I don’t want to miss any of the FUN replies I’m sure I’ll get!! 😉

    • You have a strange definition of FUN 🙂

      • VH,
        Yes, I do have a strange definition of FUN. But that keeps me sane here at SUFA!

        And thanks – I don’t know why, but your comment just really made me smile!

        Hope you had a Merry “early” Christmas last night!!

        • Thank you, Todd-I did have a nice celebration last night and tonight I will have a nice celebration with my hubby and then tomorrow morning I’ll celebrate with hubby and kids. Then a celebration with my hubby’s family tomorrow afternoon. 🙂 I so love Christmas-Hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas too.

          • Two days down – a few more to go. The “Official” Christmas celebrations are done. Now the FUN ones start!

    • Todd

      You seem to be connecting a person’s actions of around 20 yrs ago to his “Presidential Qualities”.

      Putting aside the baggage of Paul, I am curious about this notion in itself.

      I can’t think of a single President where it could be said that they displayed “Presidential Qualities” twenty years before they were elected. Heck, some didn’t even ten years before.

      It seems you are applying a criteria here that is unworkable for the majority of people who would qualify for political office.

      • JAC,
        Romney uses Bain Capital. Gingrich his time in Congress. Many people here want to see Obama’s records from college. All of these are from the same time period (or older) as Paul’s newsletters.

        It’s not a deciding factor, but it’s certainly something worth looking into. And Paul needs to respond to that.

        • Todd

          You did not address my question.

          I would like to see Mr. Obama’s college records as well. Mostly the papers he wrote. However, that does not mean that he should be held responsible Today for his writings then. Unless of course his past seems to support his present.

          • JAC,
            I tried to address your comments, but I didn’t see a specific question! 😉 😉

            So what’s your question?

            And if Obama’s writings were all Socialist, Communist, and Fascist, you would be Ok with that?
            And do you think the conservative media would be too?

            • Todd

              My question was whether you are establishing an unattainable criteria when you use 20 year old stuff to determine Presidential Timber.

              In your first comment you stated that at a minimum Paul was suspect as a President because of his poor management of the newsletter.

              As I said, very few Presidents could have been seen as qualified 20 years before they ran.

              This is not about his views, but your criteria regarding management skills, etc. Although their views should be considered in context with the evidence of their actual life.

              Paul’s problem as I see it is his lack of Administrative Experience in recent times. Romney has it. Gary Johnson has it. Rick Perry has it.

              Gingrich, Bachmann, Santorum, and Paul DO NOT have it.

              This is not a complete deal breaker but it seems a President should display some evidence of having the skill to Manage a large and complex staff. To focus and organization’s mission and achieve goals.

              In Mr. Obama’s case, I expect there is a lot of Pro Marxist stuff and more than likely stuff that would qualify as Fascist. I would be OK with his papers alone if he had also not lived a life that followed these view. The man is a Fascist Progressive. I would find his papers interesting as I would expect to find some idea of what informed him of his political views.

              Personally, I would also like to know WHO put this guy together and WHO propped him up in the political arena. I think there are more WHO’s than Emanuel and Axelrod. But his college papers would probably not reveal that information so it is a topic for another time.

              I am positive that the “conservative” talking heads would have a great time vilifying him. But they do that anyway.

              Another issue though is why is it OK with so many that this guy did not get the vetting by the MSM????

              • JAC,
                I’m not using 20 year old stuff as the only measure of “Presidential Timber.”

                But I think a person’s history matters. How that history has evolved and changed over time matters too. Everything has to be taken in the context of a person who is learning and growing.

                If someone was “Presidential” 20 years ago and nothing has changed, I’d be concerned that person is too “set in their ways”.

                If someone was “wild and crazy” 20 years ago and now seems “Presidential,” I’d want to make sure there was a process or progression to that change (they didn’t change just for political “convenience”).

                As far as “not get the vetting by the MSM” – I think most conservatives are comparing the MSM’s coverage of Palin vs Obama. But they forget that Obama had been on the national stage (or at least “in the wings”) since the 2004 election, and he went thru 18 months of bashing by Hilary Clinton’s campaign before the convention.

                Palin was a virtual unknown before the convention, so the MSM only had two months to vet her.

            • I would not be OK with that. It would point towards a fundamental belief system that does not jibe with what America is supposed to be, and would concern me given his actions thus far.

              The real question, Todd, is would YOU be OK with that?

              • USWeapon,

                The real question, Todd, is would YOU be OK with that?

                If they were “really bad”, no I would not be OK with that.

                However, I think you’re hoping/assuming they’d be much worse than they actually are.

              • I have no idea what they would or would not be. However, reading his books showed a glimpse of a man who believes in social justice at the point of a gun (through legislation of course). If his college writings are being kept under lock and key, away from the public, I think it is safe to say that they probably contain some stuff that the President believes would harm his reputation. So why wouldn’t I think that they would be bad? HE obviously thinks so.

              • USWeapon,

                HE obviously thinks so.

                No, YOU obviously think so. I doubt you know what Obama is thinking.

  21. What the heck is up-with almost all of the republican candidates not being on the Virginia ballot? This is just wayyyyy to convenient. From what I’ve read all but Romney, Paul and Gingrich are already out and Gingrich looks doubtful.

  22. Matt, Buck- anyone else-I have no idea what to think about this article-your opinions would be appreciated.

    December 24, 2011
    Jews Need ‘Christ’ Put Back in ‘Christmas,’ Too
    By Mark Cantora

    This Jew thinks that American Christians should put Christ back into Christmas.
    It seems as if every year the same pattern happens again over and over, in some solipsistic historical cycle of intellectual lunacy and laziness.
    First, some parents — inevitably ones who put political machinations before modesty — complain about a child having to sing a Christmas song in school. Alternatively, some whiner with nothing better to do makes waves about the nativity crèche in his or her little town square. Oftentimes it’s a Christmas decoration which has been placed there for decades.
    The politically correct pols, after breathless apologies and massive mea culpas, respond to these ridiculous complaints by removing any semblance of religious connotation from their respective Christmas traditions. The overreactions are so hyperbolic and so overzealous that the end result is not merely “Christ” being removed from “Christmas.”
    In response to these complaints, Christmas itself is removed from Christmas
    And this is to everybody’s detriment — Christians, Jews, and all Americans alike.
    “All right, all right,” the skeptic will say. “Of course I understand that putting Christ back in Christmas is good for Christians. But how in the world could this be good for the Jews?”
    The answer is clear if only you look.
    Since time immemorial, Jews have dealt with two problems — either one or the other, but almost never simultaneously: anti-Semitism and assimilation.
    For countless years in countless places, the major problem was blatant and unapologetic public anti-Semitism. Always of the vicious type and often very violent, institutional and popular anti-Semitism has had a traumatic effect on the collective psyche of the Jews. Until the miraculous (for Jews especially) founding of the American Republic on Terra Nova, Jews existed in countries where at best, they were barely tolerated and at worst, they were persecuted and killed.
    And no matter where on the continuum of hate a particular Jewish community fell, the one common denominator of all these experiences was that they took place in countries with institutionally established religions. Whether Christian or Muslim, for thousands of years, Jews barely survived and frequently perished under the direction of the Church or the Mosque.
    So when the United States — the Goldena Medina — became the first country in the history of the world to accept Jews as citizens like anyone else, no more and no less, the Jews took this opportunity and ran with it. It was a minor miracle. Whereas their cousins in Russia were being herded into the Pale of Settlement, and their kinsmen in Prussia were only a few decades away from the Hep-Hep massacres, the Jews of the new American Republic were feeling something they had never felt before: Freedom.
    When President Washington wrote to the Jews of Touro Synagogue in Rhode Island that in the United States, “[i]t is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent national gifts,” it was nothing short of a minor Second Revelation from the New Mount Sinai. Providence had bestowed upon the Jews a place where they could live as Jews without fearing for their livelihoods or their lives.
    In the minds of these Jews, it was the lack of an institutional religion — the absence of the Church or the Mosque to rule over them — which was the major factor in their newfound freedom. And who could blame them for thinking so? Before that time, if the rulers were Christian and you were a Jew, there was no other option but to be ruled or to die. Now, for the first time, Jews, being just another part of the People, were the Rulers themselves.
    Over time, while anti-Semitism in the rest of the world continued its regular ebb and flow (more flowing than ebbing), it continued its slow march into oblivion here in the U.S. — until the present day, where there is no institutional anti-Semitism in the U.S. to speak of, and popular Jew-hatred, where it exists at all, is relegated to the fringes of American society.
    However, while the nonexistence of anti-Semitism is an obvious moral good, the pendulum, in many cases, has swung too far the other way, to the point where American Jews, more than Jews anywhere else, struggle with their second-biggest problem: Jewish assimilation.
    To American Jews, assimilation has a more ominous tone. Assimilation means disappearance. It is sometimes called the “silent Holocaust.” Already, some liberal strains of Judaism have, in the name of assimilation into American culture, expanded the concept of Judaism out of existence — for if to be Jewish is to be everything and everyone, then to be Jewish is to be nothing and no one.
    While the impetus behind this assimilation has perplexed scholars for decades, there is one uncontroversial fact about it: when Jews live in a culture which embraces the “melting pot,” they, like everyone else, end up with more and more children shedding their identity in favor of the generic “culture” of the moment.
    But as intractable as this problem seems at first glance, the solution is simple: reinforce the idea that Jews are, in fact, different.
    The history of Jewishness is a history of separation, and not just separation by anti-Semitic fiat. Believing Jews have always lived as a People apart, because being a People apart is the foundation of Jewish identity. Kosher Laws separate Jews from non-Jews at meal times. Sabbath observance separate Jews from non-Jews on weekends. Even yarmulkes act as a physical separation, and as a reminder that Jews are supposed to embrace the brute fact that they are “a little different.”
    However, today, with the assimilationist impulse so strong, and “progressive” Jews champing at the bit for ever more dilution of what it means to be “Jewish,” large segments of the American Jewish population have abandoned those observances and, in the process, have lost much of their understanding of their own culture as a People Apart. One need not observe the Kosher Laws to understand one’s Jewishness, but a thrice-daily reminder sure does make it easier.
    So, of course, the solution to this problem must be a reinforcement of Jewish identity as a People Apart. But instead of relying on the negativity of anti-Semitism — which, for all its evils, had the one positive effect of reminding Jews, every day, that they are meant to be different — the Jews of the United States can help bring themselves back from the brink of destruction by assimilation by supporting one simple concept:
    Put “Christ” back in Christmas.
    This solution requires only that Christians act as proud Christians and take back their holiday as a Holy Day. Christmas as Coke-Can Santa and Rudolf the Reindeer is a lose-lose for everyone. Christians lose centuries of religiously significant traditions. And the sanitized, commercialized “modern” Christmas has been “Americanized” just enough to make Jewish children feel improperly “American” if they don’t celebrate the holiday, and improperly Jewish if they take part.
    Christmas as a Christian Holy Day, however, poses no such problem for Jews whatsoever. Every year, “Americanized Christmas” forces Jewish children to navigate the treacherous path between feeling American and feeling Jewish when talking to their friends about Santa, reindeer, and Christmas trees. But no Jewish child has ever had social difficulty or mixed feelings around the time of Ash Wednesday or Palm Sunday. The reason is simple. When Christian holidays are observed by Christians as Christian Holy Days, neither Christians nor Jews (nor anyone else, for that matter) question why Jews are not celebrating. They don’t celebrate because it’s a Christian religious holiday. Obviously.
    On Christian holidays observed religiously, believing Christians feel the power of their ancient religious tradition, and Jews feel distinct. On Christian holidays observed in a modern, secular fashion, believing Christians feel culturally neutered, and Jews feel disadvantaged.
    Thus, putting “Christ” back into “Christmas” should be the perfect occasion for Christians to proudly reclaim their religious identity from the generic not-a-culture culture of “winter holiday” materialism. And, just as important, putting “Christ” back into “Christmas” should be a time for Jews to be reminded and to remind themselves that although they are fully and equally citizens of the United States of America, they are also a proud and separate people, with a distinct tradition and history of their own. There is nothing wrong with Jews, young and old, being given a real-life lesson as to their unique place as equal citizens, but a People Apart, in the United States and the whole world over.
    Bringing the religious element back into the public observance of Christmas is not insidious discrimination. It’s benign differentiation — a differentiation of the sort that is central to the very concept of Jewishness by Judaism’s own traditions.
    So please, keep putting up the crèches in town squares, and keep singing the carols in public schools.
    Put “Christ” back into “Christmas” — if not for the Christians, then for the Jews. Do it to help prevent Jews from disappearing, through assimilation, off the face of the Earth as a unique, proud, and distinct People Apart.

    Read more:

  23. Merry Christmas SUFA!

    Unfortunately not much of a white one here in southern WI with such a light covering that grass is still showing through. No skiing tomorrow for us!

    Enjoy your celebrations~

    • Kathy

      Merry Christmas to you as well.

      P.S. I am thinking of putting up a jar of Huckleberry Jam or bottle of Huckleberry Syrup as my wager on the Rose Bowl.

      What have you got to put in the pot?

  24. A Puritan Descendant says:
  25. Opinions

    EDITORIAL: Being Christian is a death sentence
    America needs to give shelter to persecuted believers from Muslim lands
    By THE WASHINGTON TIMES-The Washington Times Thursday, December 22, 2011

    Persecuted Christians are fleeing from the Middle East in increasing numbers. The United States should open its doors to them as a guaranteed safe haven.

    America has long been a beacon of hope for the world’s refugees, and members of religious minorities in the Middle East are in increasing need of relief. They have never had things easy, facing both official and popular intolerance from the Muslim majorities among whom they live. But as the region becomes less stable, intolerance has turned to active persecution and violence.

    The Christian population in Iraq is one of the most at risk. Around half of Iraqi Christians have fled the country since 2003, and those who remain expect growing challenges, given the U.S. military pullout. Christians have suffered periodic waves of violence, including bombings, assassinations and church burnings. When Iraq’s government said in 2010 it would issue a license to carry firearms to any Christian family that wanted one, it was simply acknowledging the reality that followers of the faith had to arm or die.

    Many Iraqi Christians have fled over the border to Syria, but the situation there is growing perilous. Syrian Christians, who make up 10 percent of the population, have tried for the most part to stay out of the politics of the rebellion. They worry that a victory by the protesters will usher in a new era of Islamist oppression, but they cannot side openly with dictator Bashar Assad for fear of reprisal should the regime be overthrown.

    In Egypt, violence against the Coptic Christian minority is on the rise. Copts fear that should Islamists take power, they will see significant erosion in whatever rights they still have. The Muslim Brotherhood has attempted to ease these fears but has admitted that Copts would face a series of new restrictions under their prospective rule.

    Pakistan’s 20 million Christians face a variety of threats, including forced conversion and attacks on churches and worshippers. The Pakistan Christian Congress has appealed to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to award them refugee status, but the U.N. so far has been reluctant to recognize there is a crisis. In Afghanistan, the situation is even worse. Kabul refuses to admit the existence of the few thousand Christians in the country. An Afghan Christian named Aman Ali was forced to flee to India with his family after he received numerous threats on his life. He applied for refugee status but was told by an official of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that his case didn’t fit its criteria. His is one of a large number of cases of UNHCR unwillingness to acknowledge that being a Christian is tantamount to being under a death sentence.

    Christian refugees from Muslim-majority countries who can reach the United States should be given the same special status that asylum-seekers from communist countries were accorded during the Cold War. Precedent exists: The definition of a “refugee-escapee” in the 1957 Immigration and Nationality Act included not only those who had fled “from any Communist-dominated, or Communist-occupied area” but also those “from any country within the general area of the Middle East, and who cannot return to such area, or to such country, on account of race, religion or political opinion.” Christians and other religious minorities are increasingly unwelcome in the Muslim world; they should be given sanctuary in America.

  26. Let’s not forget the reason for the celebrations. I’ll be at Midnight Mass
    Merry Christmas Friends

  27. And just for Fun-

  28. Just finished dinner and wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas.

    My lamb roast came out perfectly. Accompanied by Wild Rice, roasted green beans, and a light Italian bread. And of course, a fine Merlot from Canoe Ridge.

    Pecan Pie on tap for later.

    Then off to bed so we don’t scare Santa off.

    Best and Warmest Wishes to Everyone Who Hangs Here, and Those That Just Linger in the Eaves.

    May God Bless you all and may the sun always shine upon your path.

  29. has acted in a manner

    Ah, and therein lies the rub … was he “acting” for the sake of politics or “acting” with deeds?

    His Scrooge-like attitude toward his fellow human beings may “suggest” it’s the former acting we’d have to worry about … at least those of us who don’t prescribe to the “are there no prisons? are there no workhouses?” school of thought …

%d bloggers like this: