CEO of global real estate empire tells others to host migrants

“In Christmas Day Message, Pope Francis Shines Light On Migrant Suffering” (NPR):

In his annual Christmas Day address, Pope Francis offered a message of hope and a call for kindness to migrants around the world.

“May the Son of God, come down to earth from heaven, protect and sustain all those who, due to these and other injustices, are forced to emigrate in the hope of a secure life,” the pontiff said from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

“It is injustice that makes them cross deserts and seas that become cemeteries,” he said. “It is injustice that turns them away from places where they might have hope for a dignified life, but instead find themselves before walls of indifference.”

Pope Francis runs an enterprise that owns roughly 177 million acres of land around the world (source). Is he offering to host migrants either in Vatican City or on other church-owned land?

Separately, why the emphasis on helping those who are young, healthy, and fit enough to migrate? If the goal is helping the unfortunate, shouldn’t priority be given to those who are too old, sick, or out of shape to trek across continents? Wouldn’t the true humanitarian send an Airbus A380 out to scoop up those whom migration would help the most?

Finally… Happy Kwanzaa!

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White men correctly perceive American Jews as their enemies?

The Jew-hater-in-Chief is back in the news for his purported Jew-hatred:

The existence of white men who express hostility to American Jews is cited as proof that Trump is responsible for this hostility (and all of this is additional evidence for Trump’s proven stupidity, since only the dumbest of Jew-haters would choose to live in Manhattan and Palm Beach; Wikipedia: “The population of Palm Beach County is 20% Jewish, which makes it by far the most Jewish county in the United States. ‘To find a more densely populated Jewish community, you’d have to go to Israel,’ says Richard Jacobs, vice president of community planning for the Boca-based Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County.”; NYC has the largest Jewish community outside of Israel).

But what if a white guy’s perception that American Jews are his enemies is accurate?

Suppose that a low-to-medium skill white man wants to earn money via working. This article by a Harvard economist says “The total wealth redistribution [due to low-skill immigration] from the native losers to the native winners is enormous, roughly a half-trillion dollars a year.” What political party promotes the low-skill immigration that will take money away from this white man via lower wages and higher rent and give it to rich Americans (they enjoy paying lower wages for their service workers and receiving higher rents for the apartment buildings that they own)? The Democrats. Although only 71 percent of Jews voted for Hillary Clinton (Wikipedia), groups that claim to be “Jewish” constantly remind Americans that adherence to the modern version of the Jewish faith compels them to vote for Democrats, support immigration, etc. (example: “The Jewish Case for Open Borders”, which notes “Jews have been especially active in this mobilization, driven by their social liberalism, their sense of religious duty, or both. Synagogue networks sprang up to offer aid to refugees, while groups like Jews United for Justice and Jewish Voice for Peace have been a visible presence at protest rallies.” (it would be interesting to run an experiment in which physicians and lawyers from around the globe show up and are immediately eligible to practice medicine/law in NYC, Los Angeles, DC, and Miami, then see whether “religious duty” compels Jews to support open borders!)).

An Orthodox friend expressed fears several years ago that the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (now “HIAS“) would lead to anti-Jewish sentiment in the U.S. The group started out by taking voluntary donations to help Jews settle in the U.S. Today they take taxpayer dollars (partly collected from low-to-medium-skill white men) to help “refugees” take up residence in corners of the U.S. that are far from the organization’s suburban Washington, D.C. and Manhattan offices. The organization also lobbies to demand that the government admit more refugees (which would translate into more revenue for HIAS). My friend pointed out that these refugees compete with natives for jobs and housing and that one day either a refugee or a child of a refugee brought in by HIAS might participate in a domestic jihad (see Omar Mateen, child of Aghan immigrants, Syed Rizwan Farook, child of Pakistani immigrants, and our local asylum winner: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev).

In October 2018, a 46-year-old white guy killed 11 mostly elderly Jews in Pittsburgh after their synagogue promoted its support for HIAS. The organization’s web site shows numerous recent articles doubling down on the idea that bringing more migrants to the U.S. is a specifically Jewish mission, e.g., “Jewish Groups Rally to #CloseTheCamps” (“Jewish groups across the country marked Tisha b’Av, the traditional Jewish day of mourning, on August 10-11 with vigils and protests to demand an end to the mistreatment of immigrants and refugees.”), “More Than 1500 Jewish Clergy Sign Petition to Protect Asylum” (“‘This country is a nation of immigrants, our story is one of immigration and travel from one place to another,’ said Rabbi Elyse Wechterman” (#SoBrave, but how many Hondurans are qualified to take her job?)), and “The Pittsburgh Attack: One Year Later” (“We cannot disentangle white nationalism, anti-Semitism, and anti-immigration sentiment because they are all bound together by hate” — but what if it was HIAS itself that bound together anti-Semitism and anti-immigration sentiment?).

Suppose that a white man is in between jobs. What political party advocates the continued legality of discrimination in employment such that he will be hired only if no acceptable applicants identifying as “women” or non-white are available? Again, the Democrats and again, publicly supported by people who call themselves “Jews.” (See also, the Anti-Defamation League supporting race-based college admissions; the 2018 “Reform Jewish Movement Condemns Decision to Roll Back Federal Affirmative Action Guidance”; a 2017 article noting that “Most mainstream Jewish organizations still support affirmative action.”)

American Jews are more likely than non-Jews to benefit from a larger government. Jews are over-represented in medicine by 7X (source, a bit misleading since I don’t think this is adjusted for the fact that median age among Jews is older than the U.S. median and an older person is more likely to have completed medical school). For anyone working in health care, the river of government cash that started flowing in the 1960s (Medicare and Medicaid) has been wonderful. Jews have more years of education than the average American (Pew) and therefore are more likely to get jobs at universities, which have been supported by federal student loan subsidies (and soon, loan forgiveness in Queen Elizabeth Warren’s jubilee year!), tuition grants, and research grants. Jews living in larger cities (that may be 97 percent of us) have benefited from the fact that a big government builds most of its lavish facilities in big cities. I don’t want to take the risk of being lumped in with the Jew-haters by implying that there are Jews who work in finance, but if there are indeed any Jews in this sector of the economy they’ve been advantaged by government policies favoring Wall Street. Jews tend to hold the credentials that qualify them for unionized government work, e.g., school teacher, social worker, etc. So they benefit when government payrolls are fattened and expanded.

Jewish Democrats will tell you that they’re voting for a bigger government not in order to line their own pockets, but because of their commitment to social justice, which they say may be inspired by their Jewish faith and identity. But what stops a white man who can’t access these rivers of government cash from resenting these Jews and disbelieving their claims of altruism? (When queried, my coastal-dwelling Jewish friends simply dismiss the possibility that there is anyone who could have voted against the Democrats for reasons of rational self-interest; in their view, Trump voters, for example, are stupid and short-sighted, and fail to realize that they are stupidly voting against their own self-interest, e.g., because Planet Earth will be destroyed by climate change without the Democrats in charge of the federal government.)

Hypothetical: Suppose that the coastal elites forgot to take away the right of the non-elite non-welfare-collecting Americans to vote. And then a candidate who promised to advocate for the interests of those who weren’t poor enough to collect welfare and weren’t credentialed enough to get on the government payroll actually became President of the United States? Then a bunch of Jews simultaneously showed up to Congress to try to get rid of this person? Would a non-elite white guy then be irrational to perceive Jews as his enemies?

Reality: “Three of the impeachment witness lawyers were Jewish, and it matters”:

And while the officials who appeared before Schiff’s committee were fact witnesses who described the events surrounding the Ukraine scandal, Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., brought three witnesses — all constitutional scholars — that he hoped would outline a theory of impeachment.

All three witnesses are Jewish: Noah Feldman of Harvard, Pamela Karlan of Stanford and Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina. So are Schiff and Nadler, and so was the Democrats’ counsel who directed the first 45 minutes of questioning, Norm Eisen.

I.e., if you were a Trump voter watching the above on TV and someone called from the kitchen to ask what was going on, you would be literally correct in saying that “a bunch of Jews are trying to undo my vote”. Of course, it wouldn’t be correct to say that “all Jews are trying to undo my vote,” but that’s a logical correction, not an emotional one.

Maybe the majority of American Jews do wish to continue their efforts to harm the interests and undo the votes of roughly 25 percent of Americans (i.e., the white men who voted for Trump). But is it then reasonable to cry “anti-Semitism” if the non-elite white men object to being harmed and disenfranchised?

Readers: What do you think? Given the increased power of government, the dramatic effect of government policies, and the tendency of American Jews to support a particular party/platform, is it possible that the irrational anti-Jewish sentiment of the 19th century has been replaced by rational anti-Jewish sentiment, motivated by anger at the reported actions of Americans who identify as Jews (and are willing to go to any length, short of practicing Judaism, to maintain that identity!).

Separately, could the relationship between Jews and those who currently experience anti-Jewish feelings be repaired? I think so. After 56 years and 50 states (see Travels with Samantha for some of these conversations), I can’t remember meeting anyone in the U.S. who hated Jews as individuals, even those who expressed negative views about the actions of Jews in politics, Jews in media, and/or Jews in finance. Suppose, for example, that in response to any question on low-skill immigration, upper-income degree-holding Jews said “We don’t have any special insight into migration-into-a-cradle-to-grave-welfare-state issues as a consequence of our Jewish heritage and therefore we should let the low-wage native workers who will bear the cost decide policy.” Suppose that Jews quietly voted their self-interest by voting for bigger government, but didn’t use Jewish-owned media (NYT!) to broadcast “anyone who disagrees that the government needs to be bigger is a moron and/or immoral.” Suppose that Jews who are passionate about social justice used their own money to fund private efforts to accomplish social justice goals, e.g., building homes for the homeless, rather than using the political process to try to force people who don’t agree that these goals are appropriate targets of government efforts to pay higher taxes. Given that lobbying the government is the most lucrative investment an American can make (Heritage Foundation), it is a big ask to request that Jews with political connections do something other than politics, but maybe they could try to avoid all showing up at the same time to the same hearing as they did recently?

Related:

  • this Showtime clip (“Look at that fine-looking Jew” (towards end))
  • “Donald Trump Is Bad for the Jews” (Paul Krugman): “this particular anti-Semitic cliché — that Jews are greedy, and that their political behavior is especially driven by their financial interests — is empirically dead wrong.” The brilliant economist notes that some high-income Jews vote for Democrats, which he credits as altruistic due to the potential for higher tax rates, but never considers that these Jews may derive their income from government spending programs and/or regulatory regimes that Democrats promise to maintain and expand. A physician earning $300,000/year from Medicare and Obamacare may have different interests than the owner of an aircraft repair business who earns the same $300,000/year (see also “Paul Krugman: The Economic Fallout” from 2016: “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”).
  • “The epidemic of bomb threats against
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Believing in both a benevolent God and Trump in the White House

A virtuous Facebook friend posted “Have We No Decency? A Response to President Trump” from three reverends (Right, Very, and Plain) at the National Cathedral.

The content is conventional:

The escalation of racialized rhetoric from the President of the United States has evoked responses from all sides of the political spectrum. On one side, African American leaders have led the way in rightfully expressing outrage. On the other, those aligned with the President seek to downplay the racial overtones of his attacks, or remain silent.

But the authors are presumably believers in a benevolent and omnipotent God. Here was my response:

If God hates Trump (and why wouldn’t she?), why did God allow Trump to be elected?

I’m wondering how it is possible for this trio of reverends to simultaneously believe in their powerful and benevolent God and also in the existence of President Trump.

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Immigrant-Employing, Gay-Loving, Muslim-Respecting

From a July trip to Washington, D.C.:

This particular outlet of Nando’s Peri-Peri is in Chinatown. Note that while Christianity and Judaism are respected to a lesser degree (smaller font) than Islam, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Buddhism are not respected at all.

If Bernie Sanders makes the 15-block trek from the Capitol, he will be pleased to see that the restaurant promises to pay equally, regardless of “ability”.

Related:

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Happy Mother’s Day to the Virgins

I’ve been listening to (excellent) lectures on Classical mythology by Professor Kathryn McClymond. One thing that I learned is that Remus and Romulus were described in some Roman sources as having been born to a virgin who was miraculously impregnated by a god (Mars). There may also have been a solar eclipse on the day of their birth. It turns out that the story of a virgin birth is older than the New Testament. Signs from the stars and a virgin birth were markers of future greatness for a variety of young heroes in the ancient world.

(The full course is “Great Mythologies of the World”, available from Audible.)

So Happy Mother’s Day to all of the readers who identify as mothers, including the virgins!

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Was there a golden age of religious coexistence?

“Religious Minorities Across Asia Suffer Amid Surge in Sectarian Politics” (nytimes), first three paragraphs:

The deadly attacks in Sri Lanka on Sunday highlighted how easily religious coexistence can be ripped apart in a region where secularism is weakening amid the growing appeal of a politics based on ethnic and sectarian identity.

In India, the country’s governing right-wing Hindu party is exploiting faith for votes, pushing an us-versus-them philosophy that has left Muslims fearing they will be lynched if they walk alone.

In Myanmar, the country’s Buddhist generals have orchestrated a terrifying campaign of ethnic cleansing against the country’s Rohingya Muslims.

(the reader who did not scroll to read the entire article would infer that Muslims were the victims of the recent sad events in Sri Lanka, according to the NYT.)

This is the “news” section of the paper, not “opinion.” There is an implicit factual assertion that there were some good old days of religious coexistence. Everyone in Asia had one of those “coexist” bumper stickers:

Is this assertion true? The “two-nation theory” that led to the partition of India (millions killed and/or displaced) started in the 19th century.

Has secularism “weakened” in the region since 1947 when 14 million people were displaced on the theory that Muslims should not have to live among Hindus?

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Passover thoughts on slavery in Egypt

From lectures that I’ve heard by scholars of Ancient Egypt, U.S.-style plantation slavery was not common in that society. A person referred to as a “slave” in Ancient Egypt may simply have been subject to paying a 20 percent income tax, for example, that “free” citizens were not subject to.

As noted in Wikipedia, there is minimal support for the historical truth of the Exodus story in the (otherwise excellent) written records of Ancient Egypt.

Suppose that Jews were indeed once “slaves” in Egypt, i.e., subject to higher-than-usual taxes. How would they be doing in modern times? PwC says that Egypt has a personal income tax rate that tops out at 22.5 percent. Compare to Israel at 50 percent and the U.S. at potentially over 50 percent (broken up into 37 percent federal and 13.3 California state income tax, for example).

Is this sort of like the founding myth of the U.S.? We tell K-12 children in our government-run schools that we started at war against Great Britain because of cruel and high taxation yet now the UK has lower taxes than the U.S. in a lot of areas, e.g., for entrepreneurs whose total tax bill of 10 percent in the UK will be lower than their state tax bill alone in California.

Oh yes, as long as we’re talking about Britain and Passover, as the Labour Party would say… “Happy Passover to readers who are practicing Jewcraft!”

[Separately, what about creating a Shmura Cheez-It Matzah cracker? Everyone likes Cheez-Its, right? And they’re not all that bread-like.]

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New York Times tells Muslims how to be Muslim

“Brunei’s Royal Barbarity and Hypocrisy” is from the New York Times Editorial Board:

The oil-rich sultanate imposes harsh Shariah law on its subjects, while members of the royal family enjoy lives of conspicuous luxury.

Brunei’s cruel, inhuman and degrading penalties are not a relic of history, like the sodomy laws that stayed on the books of American states well into the 20th century, but the whim of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, 72, who has ruled the Lilliputian nation since 1967 and ranks among the most ludicrously wealthy people on earth. He has long pushed his predominantly Muslim nation toward a conservative and restrictive form of Islam, and he first announced the new penalties — which, in addition to death by stoning for gay male sex, include amputation for theft and 40 lashes for lesbian sex — six years ago.

Besides the barbarity of the penalties, there is the danger that the law could nudge neighboring Islamic giants Malaysia and Indonesia toward tightening their own national or regional versions of Shariah laws targeting homosexuals.

The biographies of the authors do not suggest any expert knowledge of Islam or Shariah law. What qualifies these folks to tell Muslims in Brunei how to organize their lives in accordance with Islam? Is this “Amerisplaining”?

Also interesting… “The U.S. Immigration System May Have Reached a Breaking Point” (nytimes), from the same newspaper that said, three months ago, Donald Trump had manufactured a crisis. Now it seems that the “crisis” started five years ago:

The very nature of immigration to America changed after 2014, when families first began showing up in large numbers. The resulting crisis has overwhelmed a system unable to detain, care for and quickly decide the fate of tens of thousands of people who claim to be fleeing for their lives. … The country is now unable to provide either the necessary humanitarian relief for desperate migrants or even basic controls on the number and nature of who is entering the United States.

Trump is on the wrong track, as usual:

Mr. Trump has insisted on simply trying to stop people from getting into the country in the first place — a policy of deterrence that not only has failed but has made the problem worse.

Only a rookie would try to stop people from crossing the border into the U.S. by trying to stop them from crossing the border!

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Bulletin board at the Lutheran chuch

From University Lutheran Church in Harvard Square. Small sign to fit small window:

Why don’t black lives matter enough for a big banner down the side of the building?

Ever wonder about the difference between “use” and “utilize”? This sign should help:

Concerned about starving Venezuelans? It is the “hundreds of thousands of federal workers” whose paychecks are delayed for whom you should worry. Also that “this President [has made] numerous statements disparaging our fellow human beings, fellow people of the faith, and all of them children of God.”

Turns out that the God’s Jewish children living in Israel (perpetrators of “colonialism”) might need to be disparaged…

[Martin Luther himself proposed “First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools … This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians …Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. …” It seems that the majority of Lutherans were supporters of Hitler and National Socialism (not to be confused with the Democratic Socialism espoused by Bernie Sanders and AOC). This church is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which periodically makes the news for its anti-Israel positions (example). Maybe they can’t forgive Israel for executing fellow Lutheran Adolf Eichmann?]

Need help changing your gender so that you can qualify as an LGBTQ (but not “IA”?) minister?

Some final notes:

Related:

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Can any migrant from an Islamic country obtain citizenship in a Western country by saying “I renounce Islam”?

“Saudi teen lands in Canada after fleeing family” (CNN):

A Saudi teen who fled to Thailand to escape her allegedly abusive family has arrived in Canada after being offered asylum there. … Qunun had flown to Thailand from Kuwait to escape her family, saying she feared they would kill her because she renounced Islam.

Could this work for anyone willing to say to a Western official “I don’t think that there is a God”?

The U.S., Canada, Australia, or the European nations are required to offer asylum to anyone with a reasonable fear of persecution, right?

A lot of countries do not allow residents to commit blasphemy or apostasy. See Wikipedia on Freedom of Religion in Saudi Arabia, for example, or this page on how anyone who questions a major religion can be imprisoned for five years in Indonesia. Why couldn’t any of the 264 million folks who live in Indonesia move to Canada or the U.S. tomorrow, saying “I question the truth of all six recognized religions and I could be imprisoned for this if I were to be returned to Indonesia.”? How could a government official in Canada, for example, ever prove that such a declaration of disbelief was false?

Why would anyone from a country in which denying the truth of Islam is punishable bother with any other strategy for obtaining legal residency in a Western welfare state?

Related:

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