Islam is more powerful than Rainbow Flagism?

An Islamic army has beaten the U.S. military’s proxy force in Afghanistan. The embassy that flew a rainbow flag in June was overrun in August. The U.S. military is nominally secular, but its focus for the past 10 years has been on all things LGBTQIA+ (See “Obama hails end of U.S. military restrictions on gays,” Reuters 2011, for example, and “With Transgender Military Ban Lifted, Obama Cements Historic LGBT Rights Legacy,” NBC 2016).

Given the enormous asymmetry in equipment and funding and the stunningly rapid victory of the Muslim faithful armed with basic rifles, is it now fair to say that Islam is more powerful than America’s current state religion?

Is Rainbow Flagism truly our military’s official religion? The U.S. Air Force:

Our Navy, in 2017:

Seventeen days later, they proudly rammed a cargo ship with a $1.8 billion destroyer and, two months later, smashed a different destroyer into a tanker.

Our Army:

(Trump had a West Point graduate and then a former Army Ranger in the role of Secretary of the Army; Biden appointed someone who had never served in the U.S. military.)

Recruiting new soldiers under the rainbow flag:

Separately, why was it only LGBTI that was celebrated by the U.S. Embassy Kabul? Why not LGBTQIA+?

Perhaps the above post is too negative. Maybe we should say that we’re proud of having spent 20 years and $4 trillion (counting PTSD disability pensions to veterans and all of the welfare that will need to be paid out to Afghan immigrants and their descendants) to transform a nation. When we started the war, Afghanistan was being governed by the Taliban. Now that two decades of war are over and we have run away, the Taliban are governing Afghanistan.


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The tenets of reform Judaism: Black Lives Matter, guns are only for the government, #FollowFauci

The street-facing wall of a Reform (Jewish) Temple in Washington, D.C.:

If “Black Lives Matter” and “We Support Gun Sense Reforms” are the two commandments worth posting on the wall most visible to the public, is it fair to say that these are the most important elements of American Reform Judaism?

The front door has some good news for anyone who wants to come in and carry out a repeat of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting (a white male who accurately perceived low-skill-immigration-supporting Jews as his enemies came into the temple rather than traveling to one of the organizations that is actually part of the immigration-industrial complex). Nobody inside is going to be armed.

While we can sometimes trust in Yahweh (but why did He allow the U.S. to have a Second Amendment?), right now it is more important to worship St. Fauci:

The building could have comfortably accommodated more than 500 people, but only about 15, including the rabbi, cantor, et al., had been allowed in for Saturday morning services. The main sanctuary:

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Keeping the faith, coronapanic edition

“They’re Vaccinated and Keeping Their Masks On, Maybe Forever” (NYT):

Whenever Joe Glickman heads out for groceries, he places an N95 mask over his face and tugs a cloth mask on top of it. He then pulls on a pair of goggles.

He has used this safety protocol for the past 14 months. It did not change after he contracted the coronavirus last November. It didn’t budge when, earlier this month, he became fully vaccinated. And even though President Biden said on Thursday that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear a mask, Mr. Glickman said he planned to stay the course.

In fact, he said, he plans to do his grocery run double-masked and goggled for at least the next five years.

He has direct personal evidence that his “safety protocol” does not deliver “safety” (since he actually got COVID-19 while wearing two masks and goggles).

The article reminds us that if you’re seeking financial safety, get a state or local government job:

Leni Cohen, 51, a retired kindergarten teacher from New York City who has a compromised immune system, said she planned to continue wearing a mask when she helped out as a substitute teacher. But what she would like more is for her students to stay masked.

“Kindergartners, while adorable, are quick to share their secretions,” Ms. Cohen wrote in an email listing the illnesses, including colds, strep throat, pneumonia, influenza and parvovirus, that she has caught from her students over the years.

“This year is so different!” she continued. “The kids are not sucking on their hair or putting classroom objects or thumbs in their mouths. Their mouths and noses are covered, so I’m (mostly) protected from their sneezes and coughs. I can see keeping up with masks. It is the safest I’ve ever felt in a classroom full of 5- and 6-year-olds.”

51 years old and retired; she was born after 1960 so if she’d chosen to work in the private sector she would reach standard Social Security retirement age at 67, or 16 years from now.

Is this more evidence that reactions to coronavirus are essentially religious in nature?


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Why is there no repentance in the religion of diversity, equity, and inclusion?

A reader sent “Apple fires Antonio Garcia Martinez after employee backlash” (Apple Insider):

Apple has reportedly fired Antonio Garcia Martinez after an employee backlash over sexist comments that he made in his book “Chaos Monkeys.”

The newly hired engineer is “gone from Apple after employee backlash,” the company confirmed to Bloomberg on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Apple employees began circulating a petition that called for an investigation into Garcia Martinez’s hiring.

“At Apple, we have always strived to create an inclusive, welcoming workplace where everyone is respected and accepted. Behavior that demeans or discriminates against people for who they are has no place here,” Apple said in a statement to Bloomberg.

In their petition to Eddy Cue, the Apple employees said that Antonio Garcia’s hiring “calls into question parts of our system of inclusion at Apple, including hiring panels, background checks, and our process to ensure our existing culture of inclusion is strong enough to withstand individuals who don’t share our inclusive values.”

This is interesting first for revealing how little Apple employees must read. Garcia Martinez’s book was a big seller in 2016. If writing something 5-6 years previously is a disqualifying offense, why wouldn’t the folks hiring him, including in HR, pick up a copy before making the offer? Most of what they object to could be found right here in this blog, e.g., quoted in Chaos Monkeys: Relations between the sexes in Silicon Valley.

More interesting to me is that the religion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, at least as practiced by Apple, does not include Repentance:

Repentance is a stage in Christian salvation where the believer turns away from sin. As a distinct stage in the ordo salutis its position is disputed, with some theological traditions arguing it occurs prior to faith and the Reformed theological tradition arguing it occurs after faith. In Roman Catholic theology repentance is part of the larger theological concept of penance.

The most beloved Christians are those who previously succumbed to temptation and error. Why wouldn’t Garcia Martinez have been given the opportunity to repent? To say “I wrote that in 2015. After exposure to all of my neighbors’ ‘In this house we believe…’ signs, however, I realized that almost everything important in the world of computers and electronics was developed by women and LGBTQIA+ individuals. Please forgive me for my past sins.”

If the DEI religion accepts only those who have been pure in thought and deed since birth, what incentive is there for someone who has harbored wicked thoughts to come over to the side of Light?

(Considered and discarded headlines for this post: “Apple fires its Hispanic Employee”; “Not every Hispanic is a good Hispanic”)


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Should one stay off Facebook, Instagram, et al. following the death of a parent?

Judaism requires that one refrain from attending social gatherings for a year following the death of a parent. From “Shiva and Other Mourning Observances” (Chabad):

Even as the mourner resumes his or her everyday routine after the Shivah, certain mourning practices, such as not purchasing or wearing new clothes, cutting one’s hair, enjoying music or other form of entertainment, and participating in joyous events (weddings, etc.), are continued for a period of thirty days (beginning from the day of the burial).

In the case of a person mourning the passing of a parent, these mourning practices extend for a full year.

Other sites clarify that “purely social gatherings”, “parties”, or any event in which music is played are off limits.

How do we translate this into our modern world that was increasingly anti-social even before coronapanic? What are the best examples of frivolous social activities that are incompatible with the status of mourning a relative (for a month) or parent (for a year)? My vote: Facebook and similar social networks.

Prior to my father’s precipitous decline (perhaps coincidence, but it was a week after receiving Pfizer Covid vaccine shot #2), my own Facebook presence was certainly frivolous. Some examples:

If Facebook had been around in 1599, surely Hamlet would have reproached Gertrude for posting on Facebook so soon after the death of his father:

Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

might have been

Likes, Likes, Horatio! the funeral baked meats
Did go positively viral on Instagram.

Facebook makes people unhappy (New Yorker, 2013; and also a 2019 study), so we could perhaps argue that using it doesn’t violate the letter of the Jewish law against participating in joyous gatherings. I’m not an Orthodox Jew, but I think that the law makes sense and that social media is against the spirit of the law if not the letter.

Readers: What do you think? Should the mourner of a parent be on Facebook? If so, after how many months?


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Is the Passover story the original false victimhood narrative?

It’s still Passover and I hope that readers of the Jewish persuasion are enjoying their matzot! Nothing like a week of Matzah to make you appreciate Wonder Bread.

It’s also April Fools’ Day, in which we celebrate the credulous.

What if we combine these celebrations? Wikipedia:

The consensus of modern scholars is that the Bible does not give an accurate account of the origins of the Israelites. There is no indication that the Israelites ever lived in Ancient Egypt, and the Sinai Peninsula shows almost no sign of any occupation for the entire 2nd millennium BCE (even Kadesh-Barnea, where the Israelites are said to have spent 38 years, was uninhabited prior to the establishment of the Israelite monarchy). In contrast to the absence of evidence for the Egyptian captivity and wilderness wanderings, there are ample signs of Israel’s evolution within Canaan from native Canaanite roots. …

The biblical narrative contains some details which are authentically Egyptian, but such details are scant, and the story frequently does not reflect Egypt of the Late Bronze Age or even Egypt at all (it is unlikely, for example, that a mother would place a baby in the reeds of the Nile, where it would be in danger from crocodiles). Such elements of the narrative as can be fitted into the 2nd millennium could equally belong to the 1st, consistent with a 1st millennium BCE writer trying to set an old story in Egypt. (The name of Moses, for example, belongs to 1st millennium Egyptian, and would have been Mase in the 2nd).

A century of research by archaeologists and Egyptologists has found no evidence which can be directly related to the Exodus captivity and the escape and travels through the wilderness.

We Jews say that we were enslaved and forced to labor for the Egyptians, whose pay records of voluntary laborers (farmers in the off season) are well-preserved and for whom “slavery” meant subjecting non-Egyptians to a 20 percent income tax. We Jews say that we weren’t permitted to leave Egypt, but there is no record of Ancient Egypt having any controls or restrictions on emigration (as the richest and most advanced civilization in the region, why would substantial numbers of people have wanted to leave it?).

When proffering a tale of victimhood, details add credibility. Example from a Haggadah:

This Pharaoh made the Israelites slaves. He forced them to do hard labor, building cities with bricks made from clay and straw. The people knew neither peace nor rest, only misery and pain. The cruelest decree of all was Pharaoh’s order that every baby boy born to an Israelite woman be drowned in the River Nile.

In contemporary western nations, where the most valuable coin is victimhood, should Jews be credited with having developed the first false victimhood narrative?

And what about a contemporary victimhood narrative that is fit for April Fools’ Day? On a collective basis, maybe immigrants to the U.S. could get the prize. From “Immigrants May Be Fed False Stories to Bolster Asylum Pleas” (New York Times, 2011):

Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s accuser said in her 2004 asylum bid that she was gang-raped, and that soldiers destroyed her home, beating her and her husband, who she said died in jail. She recently admitted to prosecutors that she had been lying. Her lawyer, Kenneth P. Thompson, said she was desperate to leave Guinea, and had been encouraged to exaggerate her claims. She told Manhattan prosecutors that a man had given her a recording of the asylum story to memorize.

Whether here legally or illegally, immigrants can apply for asylum within one year of arriving. To qualify, they must show a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group — which could cover gays or abused women.

Immigration courts across the country granted 51 percent of asylum claims last year, government statistics show. Such courts in New York City, which heard more cases than in any other city, approved 76 percent, among the highest rate in the nation.

How about in the individual category? For fans of the TV show The Good Place, the actor Jameela Jamil should be a candidate. Insects are three of the ten plagues in Exodus: lice, flies, and locusts; from Wikipedia:

In interviews, Jamil has mentioned several bee attacks in her life, including being hit by a car at age 17 when running away from a bee. In 2015, Jameela claimed that while she was interviewing musician Mark Ronson in the Hollywood Hills, the ‘biggest swarm of killer bees’ she had ever seen made them retreat. Ronson contradicted Jamil’s version of events, describing ‘one or two individual bees’ and walking ‘slowly inside’ in response. Jamil related that while filming the first season of The Good Place in 2016, she was chased by a dark swarm of bees and again got hit by a car. In 2019, Jamil states she ran away from bees while crossing the road to the UN headquarters to give a speech.

(see the “bee on my arm” at about 1:15 into the “Solar Panel Guy” recording at

Exodus talks about boils. Jamil:

In 2015, Jamil mentioned that she left the BBC Radio 1 Official Chart Show because of a breast cancer scare in 2014, and had lumpectomies on both breasts, in which she says she lost a ‘large chunk’ of breast tissue. However, in the 3 October 2019 Hardtalk interview, she concurs with the interviewer that she had a breast cancer scare ‘in 2016’, and that this precipitated an immediate move to Los Angeles after ‘a week’ waiting for test results that showed it to be a single ‘benign lump’.[105] Separately in a segment recorded in 2016 for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, she instead describes having ‘recently’ experienced ‘a lump in her breast that showed signs of precancerous cells’. Also in October 2019 in the same month as the HardTalk interview but not in the interview itself, she stated she suffered from actual cancer twice, having cervical cancer in 2016 and 2019.

In 2020, a social media user accused Jamil of having Munchausen syndrome and falsifying or exaggerating specific public claims of health issues. For instance, Jamil claimed to have had a peanut allergy at birth and had recently posted an image of a peanut snack, ….

What if you search for “children’s haggadah”? One of the first results is from JewishBoston. The document fails to disclose that the Ancient Egyptians who purportedly oppressed the Jews are not the same people (except for a few Copts who have survived) as the people who live in Egypt today (i.e., even if we believe the story we should not hold a grudge against a modern person who says “I am Egyptian.”). It also fails to disclose that scholars doubt the historicity of the tale and that the Ancient Egyptians may not have been bad people. So the false victimhood narrative lives on!

(Separately, this Haggadah devotes roughly 1/10th of a page to telling us that “Nearly 50 Million Americans suffer the oppression of hunger.” So… our neighbors are starving. By contrast, “feminism and women’s rights … gay and lesbian Jews … spit out the seeds in their orange segment to reject homophobia and hatred” is a full page story:

More about the Good Orange Woman from the Jewish Women’s Archive.)

Whether or not you’ve Jewish… Happy April Fools’ Day!

Related, from the Labor Seder put on by a temple in Falls Church, Virginia (median household income $125,000 per year):

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Passover 2021: Would Pharaoh have allowed Israelites to travel with a vaccine passport?

Happy Passover, starting tonight, for readers who are practicing Jewcraft. We celebrate G*d facilitating our travel from Egypt to Israel, which Pharaoh had purportedly obstructed. “Once We Were Slaves, Now We Are Free” is the conventional sentiment to express.

I wonder if Passover 2021 should be modified. Jews in most parts of the world are not, in fact, free to travel. Borders are closed (except to the undocumented coming to the U.S.; read what Obama’s Border Patrol chief has to say) or obstructed via administrative requirements. In many parts of the world, people (including Jews) are not free to leave their apartments, work at their trade, teach children, gather with friends, etc. If they can do any of these things at the moment, that’s by permission of the local rulers and the freedoms can be revoked at any time. (66 governor’s orders so far here in Maskachusetts; see Freedom to travel, Maskachusetts $500/day edition)

For American Jews, “Once We Were Slaves, Now We Are Free” should be replaced during this year’s Seder with “Once We Were Slaves, Now We Are as Free as Our Governor Wants Us To Be”? Jews in Ireland could say “Once We Were Slaves, Now We Are Free to Wait Another Few Months Before Going More Than 5 km From the House” (pubs are still closed too!) Those Jews in the Czech Republic who survived the animosity of some of their neighbors and the Germans can say “Once We Were Slaves, Now We Are Free to Watch TV at Home” (Euronews: “the government is set to limit the free movement of people by not allowing them to travel to other counties”)?

(Note that historical “slavery” in Ancient Egypt may simply have been the requirement to pay 20 percent of one’s income in tax. See Passover thoughts on slavery in Egypt and Passover Tax Day thoughts. So it might be more accurate to say “Once we paid 20 percent tax. Now we pay 90 percent and vote for Elizabeth Warren who promises to raise that to 98 percent.” Note also that the “Egyptians” who purportedly enslaved (or taxed) the Israelites have been mostly replaced by Arabs via conquest and immigration; the “Egyptians” of the Torah survive as today’s Coptics. Note further that the dramatic events of Exodus cannot be confirmed by scholars reading the excellent records that Ancient Egyptians kept. When a Swiss friend asked what she should bring to the (potentially legal depending on how you read the 66 Maskachusetts Governor’s executive orders) Seder we are hosting, I replied “Häagen-Dazs because the academics tell us that the Jews were never in Egypt so we should eat the Bronx-based ice cream that was never in Denmark“.)

Cairo, 1992:

Also, what would be the Facebook fact check if someone in a locked down country were to post “Let My People Go”? How about this: “Science proves that travel restrictions are an effective means of fighting Covid.”

Original post:

When Israel was in Egypt’s land
Let my people go
Oppress’d so hard they could not stand
Let my people go

Go down, Moses
Way down in Egypt’s land
Tell old Pharaoh
Let my people go

Facebook Fact Karens:

Dr. Fauci and the CDC recommend that Americans avoid Passover gatherings and travel.


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Traveling to scold the COVID sinners

A Maskachusetts resident who has achieved Super Karen status when it comes to advocacy of masks and shutdown (daily Facebook postings for our full year (so far) of “14 days to flatten the curve”) went down to Wicked Florida for the February school break that we have here. He hung his phone out of a car window and made a video of people mixing in various open-to-the-street venues on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, captioned

Wonder what happens if you party like it’s 1999…you get the highest virus transmission rate in the country. Looks like fun though I think I’ll just keep on driving!

Among the various comments, one from a Floridian:

in your statement above, “because these folks ignore the rules they are going to cause a problem and creat a backlash that will cause shutdowns and restrictions”. Aren’t you also doing that by out of state travel?

My answer to her:

I think [he] is working in an established literary tradition. Devout Christians, for example, used to go to whorehouses, strip clubs, and gay bars so that they could then write about the awful sins that were taking place.

Now that Christianity is on the wane here in the U.S., are posts like this guy’s evidence that Shutdown Karenhood is one of the replacements?

From a club in Miami, end of January:

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Should we follow the Pope’s advice and make it illegal to drive to church?

“Pope Francis: A Crisis Reveals What Is in Our Hearts” (NYT):

With some exceptions [here’s looking at you, Sweden!], governments have made great efforts to put the well-being of their people first, acting decisively to protect health and to save lives. The exceptions have been some governments that shrugged off the painful evidence of mounting deaths, with inevitable, grievous consequences. But most governments acted responsibly, imposing strict measures to contain the outbreak.

Yet some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions — as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom!

(Imagine a healthy 21-year-old believing that being locked into his/her/zir/their apartment is a reduction in his/her/zir/their personal freedom! He/she/ze/they is free to sit in any room in the apartment, watch any TV show, and eat anything/everything from the fridge.)

If we take the Pope at his/her/zir/their word, after coronaplague is a distant memory shouldn’t it be illegal for people to drive to a Catholic church? When it is quite easy for people to participate via Zoom, if “protecting health and saving lives” is the #1 goal, why let anyone subject themselves and others to the risk of an accident on the roads? A person killed from a car accident is just as dead as a person killed by COVID-19 (and, in fact, the loss of life-years is likely to be much higher due to the much younger age and better health of the average car accident victim).

God is everywhere, according to the Catholic religion. If we #FollowThePope, why shouldn’t the government protect health and save lives by forbidding anyone from driving to church in order to find God?


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When someone pleads ignorance regarding the Holocaust, fire him twice!

“Florida Principal Who Wouldn’t Call Holocaust ‘Factual’ Is Fired Again” (NYT):

A high school principal in Florida whose refusal to acknowledge the Holocaust as a “factual, historical event” in an email led to a national backlash, his firing and then his rehiring has been fired for a second time.

The Palm Beach County school board on Tuesday voted 7 to 0 to fire the principal, William Latson, who was removed from his post last year at Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton, Fla., after a 2018 email exchange with a student’s parent became public.

What did the guy say?

“I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a school district employee,” Mr. Latson stated in one of the emails, which were obtained by The Palm Beach Post. Mr. Latson said he had to stay “politically neutral” and separate his personal views about the Holocaust from his job as a public school official.

“I do allow information about the Holocaust to be presented and allow students and parents to make decisions about it accordingly,” he wrote. “I do the same with information about slavery.”

His answer would have been perfect for a deposition. He wasn’t alive in the 1940s. He is not a historian. He doesn’t have any better information regarding what happened during the 1940s than anyone else. Being a school system administrator does not qualify him to offer a history lesson. Also, he did clarify his personal beliefs regarding this period of history:

“I am not a Holocaust denier,” he says in the video. “I have never been a Holocaust denier. I am sorry that my comments caused people to think that.”

What was the point of firing this guy (twice!)? Just to show that even a hint of dissent cannot be tolerated?

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