Sunday, June 30, 2024

Civilization and Its Discontents Summary

Despite Freud’s initial willingness to entertain the idea of religious feeling, here he takes a more hostile attitude towards exactly that religious belief. Freud admits to not understanding how it is that intelligent, rational, indeed “scientific” people are religious. Thus Freud admits to seeing religion and scientific objectivity as, effectively, opposites.

Reality versus spin

CNN Flash Poll: Majority of debate watchers say Trump outperformed Biden

An 81% majority of registered voters who watched the debate say it had no effect on their choice for president, with another 14% saying that it made them reconsider but didn’t change their mind. Just 5% say it changed their minds about whom to vote for.

Trump decries Biden’s poor debate performance overshadowed his ‘fantastic’ showing

Former President Trump took a victory lap Saturday after this week’s debate, but argued President Biden’s poor showing overshaded his own “fantastic” performance.

“As I walked off the stage on Thursday night, at the end of the highly anticipated ‘Debate,’ anchors, political reports and all screamed that I had had the greatest debate performance in the long and stories history of Presidential Debates,” Trump posted to his Truth Social site. “The all said, effectively, ‘Trump was fantastic!’”

“But by Friday evening it was all about the poor performance of Crooked Joe and now so much about how well I did,” he continued. “Oh well, that’s the way it is but, importantly the result is the same!!!”


In "The Disposition to Obsessional Neurosis: A Contribution to the Problem of Choice of Neurosis" (1913i), Freud defended the idea that the choice of this neurosis is linked to developmental inhibitions, and he stressed the role of fixation and regression to the anal-sadistic stage. He suggested "the possibility that a chronological outstripping of libidinal development by ego development should be included in the disposition to obsessional neurosis. A precocity of this kind would necessitate the choice of an object under the influence of the ego-instincts, at a time when the sexual instincts had not yet assumed their final shape, and a fixation at the stage of the pregenital sexual organization would thus be left" (p. 325). Thus, in the object relation, hate will precede love and "obsessional neurotics have to develop a super-morality in order to protect their object-love from the hostility lurking behind it" (p. 325). This opposition between love and hate for the object was underscored by Freud in the case of the "Rat Man," related in "Notes upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis" (1909d). He saw it as the source of the doubt, compulsions, and ambivalence that are characteristic of obsessional functioning.

Dying together: Why a happily married couple decided to stop living

Jan and Els were married for almost five decades. In early June, they died together after being given lethal medication by two doctors. In the Netherlands, this is known as duo-euthanasia. It’s legal, and it’s rare - but every year, more Dutch couples choose to end their lives this way.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

The pundit class turned on Biden. Does it matter?

Friday was a story of the D.C. class that chatters versus the D.C. class that matters. The pundits abandoned President Joe Biden in droves, while elected officials stayed silent or stuck with him.

It is surely more significant that Biden won support from Clinton and Obama Friday, that he delivered a well-received rally speech, that polls showed only minor movement in the race and that not a single Democratic elected official called for Biden to drop out of the race.

CNN's Daniel Dale fact checks Trump's and Biden's claims made in debate

Friday, June 28, 2024

Supreme Court Tosses Mayor’s Bribery Conviction, Again Raising Bar for Public-Corruption Prosecutions

In dissent, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote that “Snyder’s absurd and atextual reading of the statute is one only today’s Court could love.” Joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, she argued that by using the word “rewarded” Congress intended to cover past acts, and said that lawmakers excluded innocent courtesies from prosecution by specifying the measure applied only to gifts accepted “corruptly.” 

Jackson noted the evidence prosecutors presented against Snyder: He appointed a friend to oversee the bidding process, which was tailored to favor Great Lakes Peterbilt, a company owned by two brothers who Snyder was frequently calling and texting. Dealership employees “testified that Snyder never performed any consulting work” and no contract, invoice or other documentation was produced relating to any such work, Jackson wrote.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

The Supreme Court rules that state officials can engage in a little corruption, as a treat

Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the opinion in Snyder v. United States for the Court’s Republican-appointed majority. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote the dissent on behalf of the Court’s three Democratic appointees.

Snyder turns on a distinction between “bribes” and “gratuities.” As Kavanaugh writes, “bribes are payments made or agreed to before an official act in order to influence the official with respect to that future official act.” Gratuities, by contrast, “are typically payments made to an official after an official act as a token of appreciation.” (Emphasis added.)

The US supreme court just basically legalized bribery

The case concerns James Snyder, who in 2013 was serving as the mayor of small-town Portage, Indiana. Late that year, the city of Portage awarded a contract to Great Lakes Peterbilt, a trucking company, and bought five tow trucks from them; a few weeks later, Snyder asked for and accepted a check for $13,000 from the company. Snyder was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to 21 months in federal prison. He argued that the kickback was not illegal because it came after he awarded a contract to the company that ultimately paid him off, not before.

Absurdly the US supreme court agreed, classifying such payments as mere tokens of appreciation and claiming they are not illegal when they are not the product of an explicit agreement meant to influence official acts in exchange for money.

Bowman ouster underscores political danger for progressives

Bowman’s criticisms of Israel amid the ongoing war with the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks made his race a referendum on how palatable his stance is, especially since his district has a strong Jewish population. Now Democrats are trying to determine what the lessons from his race are for the party nationwide.

“You never can lose touch with your district,” said one Democratic lawmaker, speaking without attribution to express a critique of Bowman. “You’ve got to know who your voters are. And so when you lose touch with your voters, this is what happens.”

“Of course there was a ton of money put into the race, but I think primarily he lost touch with his district,” the lawmaker added.

Dems to Biden: You must out-populist Trump at the debate

Biden advisers contend that the president has increasingly leaned into his populist credentials. They also pointed to stepped-up efforts in recent months to portray Trump as out of touch with the working class and Biden — by contrast — as focused solely on policies that will make Americans’ lives better.

Trump suggests his mug shot and indictments appeal to Black voters

Former President Donald Trump suggested Friday that his criminal indictments and mug shot appeal to Black voters and claimed that “what’s happening to (him) happens to them.”

“I got indicted for nothing, for something that is nothing. They were doing it because it’s election interference and then I got indicted a second time, and a third time and a fourth time. And a lot of people said that that’s why the Black people like me because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against, and they actually viewed me as I’m being discriminated against,” Trump, who faces 91 criminal charges across the cases, told a gathering of Black conservatives here, on the eve of the state’s first-in-the-South Republican presidential primary.

IDF officer who secretly filmed female soldiers nude convicted of dozens of sex crimes

A former senior Israel Defense Forces officer accused of filming his female subordinates while nude without their knowledge was convicted on Wednesday by a military court of dozens of counts of sex offenses and invasion of privacy.

Lt. Col. Dan Sharoni was arrested in 2021 for his actions, which included collecting sexual images of soldiers and some civilians over the course of at least eight years. He was dismissed from duty that year.

A military court convicted Sharoni of 67 offenses in total: 23 counts of indecency, 39 counts of privacy violation, three counts of illegally hacking a computer, one count of attempted indecency — for a case in which he installed a hidden camera in someone’s room but ultimately only photographed them fully clothed — and one count of conduct unbecoming a soldier.

IDF: Slain Gazan named as Doctors Without Borders staffer was Islamic Jihad rocket maker 

A Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket expert, named by Doctors Without Borders as a staffer, was killed in an Israeli drone strike in Gaza City on Tuesday, the military said.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, reported on Tuesday morning that Fadi al-Wadiya was one of its staffers.

The organization said in a post on X that al-Wadiya was killed along with five other people, among them three children, while riding his bicycle to the MSF clinic where he worked.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

The rape allegation against Bill Clinton, explained

In their 2000 book The Hunting of the President, Joe Conason and Gene Lyons note that the FBI investigated the allegation for Kenneth Starr's Independent Counsel office, and found the evidence "inconclusive." There are no direct witnesses and no physical evidence to back up the accusation. "It’s important to note — and Broaddrick concedes — that aside from her, there are no witnesses and as far as we know, no one saw Clinton enter or leave Broaddrick’s room, or even the hotel," Myers said in the NBC broadcast. "She took no photos, kept no evidence and the hotel has no records to confirm that she stayed there." That said, there are plenty of rapes where the victim has no physical evidence or good witnesses with which to back up their story. The lack of those categories of evidence makes the key question in the case, "Do we believe Broaddrick, or do we believe Clinton?"

In his memoir The Clinton Wars, White House aide Sidney Blumenthal notes that when Paula Jones's lawyers first approached Broaddrick, she refused to cooperate, and upon being subpoenaed signed an affidavit saying, "I do not have any information to offer regarding a nonconsensual or unwelcome sexual advance by Mr. Clinton." Only after that did she file another affidavit insisting the assault did occur, at which point, Blumenthal argues, she "had no standing as a reliable witness." That's one interpretation. But it often takes a while for rape accusers to come forward, so Broaddrick's initial unwillingness to relay the allegation is hardly airtight proof she's lying.

No one besides Bill Clinton and Juanita Broaddrick knows the true story here — and ultimately, the matter comes down to which of their two accounts one believes. There is certainly not enough here to convict Clinton in a court of law, even if there weren't a statute of limitations. There's no physical evidence. There's just Broaddrick's and her friends' words against Clinton's.

Cures are Harmless but are prohibited

 Chinuch (231) And Rambam,  said  as the reason of the commandment that it is in order that the soul of the one that curses not be moved to vengeance and that he not become used to anger. And he wrote at further length about this in his book. And it appears to me from his words that, in his opinion, he does not see any injury to the one cursed from the curse, but rather that the Torah is distancing the matter from the perspective of the one that curses — that he not accustom himself to vengeance and anger and to lowly traits. And we shall accept all the words of our rabbis, though our hearts hold more of what we have written.

Amusing Ourselves to Death

Postman distinguishes the Orwellian vision of the future, in which totalitarian governments seize individual rights, from that offered by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World, where people medicate themselves into bliss, thereby voluntarily sacrificing their rights. Drawing an analogy with the latter scenario, Postman sees television's entertainment value as a present-day "soma", the fictitious pleasure drug in Brave New World, by means of which the citizens' rights are exchanged for consumers' entertainment.

Trump isn't a politician, he's an entertainer

Trump is unquestionably our worst president. Yet, in terms of air time and occupying mental space, he is our most successful entertainer ever. He doesn’t care about the first. He clearly obsesses over the second.

Trump’s address proved he is a genius entertainer. Democrats ought to worry.

Whatever else I think of President Trump, and almost none of it is favorable, I know this much is true: He is an incredibly gifted entertainer. And his skills have almost never been more effective than during his State of the Union address Tuesday night, when Trump’s flair for reality television met up with his penchant for stories of bloody violence, sentimental anecdotes and bromides. You don’t have to like it to acknowledge that it’s a powerful thing for a president to function as a one-man television network.

Trump’s endorsement is starting to show its limits

Mainstream GOP groups — who have spent big in primaries trying to cull hard-liners from the House Republican Conference — sought to block Williams and Burns. In those instances, Trump’s preferences clashed with Republicans’ desire to avoid adding to the group of rabble-rousers who have derailed their legislative agenda and ignited intraparty wars over the last two years.

Conservatives for American Excellence and America Leads Action, two super PACs that have played in safe-seat Republican primaries across the country this cycle in an attempt to thwart potential troublemakers, dropped about $2 million to boost Crank over Williams. Burns was also the target of more than $500,000 in outside spending from those two groups.

The loss of Williams and Burns is a huge relief to mainstream Republicans, as was attorney Jeff Hurd’s win in another Colorado district. He beat the far-right Ron Hanks, who proved so controversial that the top House GOP super PAC spent against him because it worried he could lose the red-leaning seat.

The Reason U.S. Arms Shipments to Israel Have Slowed

The current delivery pace is only a slowdown compared with the massive airlift of tens of thousands of weapons in the initial months after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks, a State Department official said, and is currently similar to or even higher than peacetime levels. 

“Our pace is normal, if not accelerated, but slow relative to the first few months of the war,” said a State Department official.  

Jewish parents join suit challenging Louisiana law requiring Ten Commandments in schools

The text of the Ten Commandments mandated by the law is a Christian version and “does not match any version or translation found in the Jewish tradition.”

Jews and different Christian denominations do number the commandments differently. The version prescribed by the bill omits part of the first commandment in Judaism, the section of the first verse about God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt.

Exasperated Biden Spokesperson Swats Away Trump’s ‘Silly’ Drug Test Demand

Trump, after setting the bar quite low for Biden by questioning his acuity, has recently reversed course by priming viewers to view the president as on some sort of stimulant. This about-face has been dutifully echoed on Fox News and other MAGA-friendly outlets. Similarly, Trump and his allies pushed the baseless narrative after Biden’s State of the Union address back in March.

Jamaal Bowman’s Defeat Is a Fatal Blow to the Anti-Israel Left

Democratic voters made their voices heard in New York’s 16th congressional district. Now all eyes will be on Missouri’s 1st, where another “Squad” member, Rep. Cori Bush, faces a competitive primary challenge.

And after that, the spotlight will be on the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August. There, we hope true progressives will stand up and stand strong for the values that reject hate, embrace justice, and can work to rebuild a truly inclusive movement that welcomes all who want to fight for progress—including Jews and Zionists.

Jamaal Bowman was a Democratic Trump. Now he’s gone

Bowman will soon be gone, and good riddance. There will inevitably be more like him; the right has no monopoly on bullies and demagogues. But it’s an encouraging sign that, at a time when the country is losing its collective mind, there is still a critical mass on the left who can say: Stop.

Israel critic Jamaal Bowman loses New York primary

New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a notorious critic of Israel, will lose his Democratic primary to Westchester County Executive George Latimer, CNN and multiple other networks projected on Tuesday night.

His defeat is a first for a member of the so-called “Squad” of progressive lawmakers who are known for their anti-Israel stance.

The result in New York’s 16th Congressional District is also a victory for pro-Israel groups, which backed Latimer with historic levels of spending during the campaign.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Trump presented plan to halt US military aid to Ukraine unless peace achieved with Moscow

Under the plan drawn up by Trump's former advisers, a ceasefire would be established based on prevailing battle lines during peace talks.

MAGA World Now Wonders Whether Biden’s Doped Up on Mountain Dew

After spending the past few weeks peddling so-called “cheap fake” videos to depict Biden as senile and setting expectations for the president’s debate performance extremely low, MAGA media and Trump himself are now reversing course and preemptively providing a built-in excuse. The ex-president has even gone so far as to claim that Biden would be using illegal drugs and steroids during the debate.

Key food security org finds no famine in Gaza, says previous assumptions wrong

There is currently no famine in Gaza, a new report by the key Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) organization has found, despite the IPC having predicted in March that a full-blown famine would break out in the territory between March and July 2024.

The study released on Tuesday stated that assumptions the previous projection had made about the amount of food that would enter the territory turned out to be wrong, and that the supply of food to Gaza has increased instead of decreased during recent months.

“In this context, the available evidence does not indicate that Famine is currently occurring,” the report said.

Attorney General: 3,000 haredim must be immediately drafted into IDF

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara published her position after the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the Draft Law stating that there is no legal basis to allow haredi yeshiva students to avoid being drafted into the IDF like other parts of Israeli society.

"The security system must act immediately to implement the Supreme Court's ruling om the recruitment of yeshiva students who are obligated to serve in the military, in accordance with the needs of the army and its capabilities. In accordance with this framework, the security system has already committed to act to recruit 3,000 yeshiva students in the current recruitment year, and this is in addition to the average number of recruits in recent years," Baharav-Miara wrote.

She clarified that "this is an initial number for immediate recruitment, which does not fully reflect the current needs of the army and the promotion of the principle of equality in the burden, and the defense system must act to present a recruitment plan that includes an increase in this number."

The attorney general also warned against continuing to provide funding to yeshivas or students who avoid conscription following the court ruling.

Israel's Own Religious War is Deepening as it Fights Hamas

The country's Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Ultra-Orthodox Jews known as Haredim must join the Israel Defense Forces for the first time. It also states that male Haredim will no longer receive government funding to study Jewish texts at schools called yeshivas and in adult study halls called kollels.

The ruling — and an immediate pledge by some Haredi Jews to defy it — underline Israel's internal battle between secular and religious forces as it wages war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip since the October 7 attacks and faces an intensifying conflict with Hezbollah guerrillas on its northern border.

Supreme Court: Draft haredim, end funding for yeshivas

The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning published its decision regarding the Draft Law.

In its decision, which was unanimous, the Supreme Court wrote that, "At this time, there is no legal framework which allows differentiation between yeshiva students and others who are eligible for enlistment."

MAGA Furious Over Donald Trump, Joe Biden Debate: 'Rigged'

Trump's daughter-in-law Lara said Wednesday on Fox News: "It's rigged so heavily in Joe Biden's favor but everything always is. You've got Hollywood against Donald Trump, you've got the music industry against Donald Trump, mainstream media and even the judicial system at this point."

Multiple other supporters have also made the allegation, including financial services professional @Pro__Trading, who often posts pro-Trump and pro-Conservative content online. He says on X, formerly Twitter: "The majority of the country already knows CNN is in the tank for Joe Biden and the debate will be rigged to favor him. But I think many people out there are underestimating how impressive it will be for Donald Trump to do the debate anyway."

Unmasked: The GOP Operative Making Those Viral Frozen Biden Videos

Just recently, Biden, 81, has been shown supposedly pooping himself (he did not); supposedly wandering away from other world leaders (fact-checkers and aides say he did not); supposedly “freezing” at a White House concert (aides said others stood still too); and supposedly “wandering” offstage at a fundraiser with Barack Obama (aides say he stopped to take in a cheering audience).

Steve Bannon Alleges Upcoming Presidential Debate '100 Percent Rigged'

Conservative media personality Steve Bannon alleged on Monday that this week's upcoming presidential debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump is "100 percent rigged."

"This Thursday debate is totally 100 percent rigged," Bannon claimed on his War Room podcast, hosted by Real America's Voice, on Monday. "The organizing principle of CNN is a hatred of Donald Trump and the MAGA [Make America Great Again] movement to the core of their being, they hate, not disagree, not have policy differences, they hate Donald J. Trump and they hate the MAGA movement."

Trump’s Wild Biden Debate Conspiracy Exposes His Own Hypocrisy

Presidential prescriptions aren’t exactly unusual: John F. Kennedy Jr. used his White House doctors to fight off back pain, and Richard Nixon relied on his doctors to treat bad moods. But no previous administration has matched the level of debauchery of Trump’s, when in-office pharmacists unquestioningly handed out highly addictive substances to staffers who needed pick-me-ups or energy boosts—no doctor’s exam, referral, or prescription required.

MAGA prepares for Biden Winning Debates

 Just as we saw before elections Trump world is laying the groundwork to explain a Trump defeat by a senile incompetent Biden.  

After a strong and dishonest campaign to convince the world that Biden is senile, they have succeeded in lowering the bar so that if Biden stays awake for the whole debate he will be the clear winner

However since Trump can't simply say the debate was stolen like he did for the election. They are claiming that Biden will take some mysterious drug that cures his "senility". Hence the bizarre demand for drug tests. Even the MAGa doctor Ronny Johnson can't identify it. Another strategy even before the debate starts is that the moderators are totally biased against Trump and that Trump is so heroic going into the lion's den of fake news to proclaim the "Truth"

In sum MAGA is anticipating a clear loss to Biden in the debates but that will give them the excuse to say he was crucified by the deep state so please donate generously so he can rise again and save the World

The Qur'an: Israel Is Not for the Jews:

Editors' preface: Who has rights to the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River? Zionists cite biblical passages in which God awarded them Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, in perpetuity in his covenant with the children of Israel. Muslims make a counter-claim based in part on verses of the Qur'an that describe the Jews in terms of contempt and in part on rulings in Muslim law that reject Muslims relinquishing rule over a territory under Muslim rule to nonbelievers. But other Muslims cite different Qur'anic verses in support of the Jewish claim. The conflict has a religious quality that makes it the more difficult to resolve.

For thin-skinned Trump, every week is Shark Week

Trump’s apologists will say that this is just shtick to entertain his audience. (These same apologists keep telling us that Trump’s rants should be taken “seriously, not literally,” but whatever.) If we’re supposed to judge him on his chops as a Borscht Belt comedian, Don Rickles was funnier.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Here’s what Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said about Donald Trump during his DA campaign

In the lead-up to his 2021 election to become Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg spoke often about his record, which included litigation against former President Donald Trump. He did not make any campaign promises to indict Trump.

Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr., in 2019 began investigating the Trump Organization’s role in hush money payments. 

Bragg said during his campaign that he would continue his predecessor's investigation and hold Trump “accountable by following the facts where they go.”

New Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg pledges to focus on Trump investigations

The next Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg Jr., says he plans to personally focus on the high-profile probe into former President Donald Trump’s business practices and may expand the investigative team while keeping at least one senior prosecutor on the case.

Bragg, who will be sworn into office on January 1, said he hasn’t been briefed on the facts of the Trump case, which is before a state grand jury. But he indicated he has no plans to disrupt the investigation he’s inheriting even as he also wants to focus on his own agenda.

“This is obviously a consequential case, one that merits the attention of the DA personally,” Bragg said in a recent interview over lunch in Harlem.

Did Alvin Bragg Campaign on a Promise To Prosecute Trump? What We Know

While campaigning, Bragg said: "I have investigated Trump and his children and held them accountable for their misconduct with the Trump Foundation. I also sued the Trump administration more than 100 times for the travel ban, the separation of children from their families at the border. So I know that work. I know how to follow the facts and hold people in power accountable."

He also said that he would continue with Vance's investigation and hold Trump "accountable by following the facts where they go."

US hasn’t withheld weapons for Israel, but it’s done fast-tracking them

 US hasn't withheld weapons for Israel, but it's done fast-tracking them — official | The Times of Israel

The Biden administration in recent months removed emergency procedures that were in place to fast-track weapons to Israel toward the beginning of the war, an American official familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel on Sunday.

The revelation helps explain the claim Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began making last week that the United States has been withholding weapons shipments to Israel. The US has denied the assertion, explaining that it has only withheld one shipment of heavy bombs it was concerned Israel would use in the densely populated southern Gaza city of Rafah.

All other shipments have continued at a normal pace, the White House explained.

I Was The Target Of Racial, Homophobic Harassment by MAGA. I'm Still Voting For Trump |

I am done thinking. Trump has my vote in 2024. No matter what I think about the fringes that are still very much active in the Republican Party, I cannot let my negative experience with a few color the larger issues that are facing America.

Trump claims he made peace in the Middle East with Abraham Accords. That’s False.

As the Israel-Hamas war continues, Donald Trump, who is campaigning for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said that when he was president, he brokered a deal to protect Israel.

"With the historic Abraham Accords, I even made peace in the Middle East, we're gonna have peace in the Middle East," Trump said at a Dec. 2 rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "So, for four straight years, I kept America safe. I kept Israel safe."

Trump has repeatedly said this since Hamas attacked Israel Oct. 7.

"In reality, the accords simply elevated and formalized relations between countries that already maintained backchannel ties," said Omar H. Rahman, a U.S.-based research fellow at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, a think tank in Qatar. "Moreover, none of the parties to the Abraham Accords were ever engaged in military conflict against each other, so framing normalization as peace is a gross misrepresentation of what the agreements actually achieved."

The Old Peace Treaties vs. the Abraham Accords

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Unlike Israel’s earlier peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, the Abraham Accords involved Arab countries that do not border Israel, have never fought it on the battlefield, and are relatively unburdened by the Palestinian question. Accordingly, they were able to implement a “people to people” peace that eluded their predecessors.

Forget 'peace,' did Abraham Accords set stage for Israel-Gaza conflict?

 The resulting Abraham Accords were, at least in the neoconservative world, considered a stroke of “genius.” Rather than finding a solution to the seemingly intractable question of Palestinian statehood, it simply sidelined it.

But the Palestinian issue could not simply be wished away, and the signing of the pacts created a set of contradictions that fueled the tensions that erupted October 7. The vast majority of the populations of Israel’s Arab neighbors opposed the accords, as did some leaders, like Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who charged that the signers had “lost their moral compass,” and Jordan’s King Abdullah, who declared that “no architecture for regional security and development can stand over the burning ashes of this conflict.”

So did Palestinians themselves, across opinion surveys, with both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas calling it a “betrayal,” a “treacherous stab,” and “grave harm.” Hamas also called for “an integrated plan to bring down normalization.” Protests against the accords erupted in Morocco, one of the signers.

Assessing the Abraham Accords, Three Years On

Given the domestic and regional effects, it is difficult to see how the Abraham Accords and their expansion can achieve peace or stability, even in the short term. A recent meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and his Libyan counterpart, Najla el-Mangoush, is a case in point; what were supposed to be under-the-table talks regarding normalization led to protests across Libya once they were exposed by the Israelis. Public outcry has even forced the Libyan government to accuse the foreign minister of grand treason.

The long term impacts of these dynamics are dangerous as well. Transnational repression does not remain confined to the region, and has already impacted activists and dissidents, even in the Global North. Internally, dynamics of domestic repression in Arab nations create unstable state-society relations, portending additional reactions in the future. The fact that these authoritarian dynamics are attached to ideas of “tolerance” and to Israel’s integration into the Arab world will be catastrophic for public opinion, making sustainable peace in the region even less likely.

Why incompetents become rich and powerful

 Sefer Chasidim (549) Sometimes you will find rulers and rich and not because of their good deeds but because others humiliated them or their ancestors and their family because of some characteristic they have and God does not want people to be shamed so He made then rich and powerful.

Argentina: Less inflation, more poverty under Milei

Economist Hernan Letcher, director of the Argentine Center for Economic Policy, takes a more critical view. He believes the victims of Milei's deregulation policy and austerity measures are ordinary people, not what Milei has described as the "caste."

Warning signs for Biden’s Jewish support as war in Gaza drags on and antisemitism rises

Israel has often proved to be a vexing topic for Trump to speak about during his comparatively brief political career. Trump’s support among Jewish voters in 2020, at 30% according to Associated Press exit polls, was the highest for a Republican presidential candidate in decades.

The former president is frustrated he didn’t get more support from Jewish voters for the long-sought moving of the American embassy to Jerusalem and has many times made comments like the ones he made in April, saying that “any Jewish person that votes for Biden does not love Israel, and frankly, should be spoken to.”

He has offered no substantive alternative proposals for getting to a deal or long-term post conflict plan. He has not condemned antisemitic incidents, and often talks about hostages in reference to the January 6, 2021, Capitol rioters in prison, not the estimated 120 Israelis (including five American citizens) still being held by Hamas.

The unintended effect of the anti-Israel protests

Here’s a secret that many of the protesters in university encampments and on city streets don’t seem to be in on: The more they demonize Israel, the more they reawaken Jewish identity and strengthen Zionism.

Netanyahu: 'Dramatic decrease in US munitions shipments in last 4 months'

"But four months ago, there was a dramatic decrease in the munitions coming to Israel from the US. For long weeks, we turned to our American friends and requested that the shipments be expedited. We did this time and again. We did so at the highest levels, and at all levels, and I want to emphasize – we did so behind closed doors. We received all sorts of explanations, but one thing we did not receive; the basic situation did not change. Certain items arrived sporadically but the munitions at large remained behind," he said.

Charges dropped for most of Columbia University protesters arrested at Hamilton Hall

In calling for the dismissal of charges Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Stephen Millan cited what he called "extremely limited video," adding that "the security cameras were immediately covered by certain defendants," who prosecutors have been unable to identify.

The available video evidence "fails to establish or prove" the 31 people participated in damaging university property or causing harm to anyone, making it difficult for prosecutors to prove anything other than trespassing at trial, the DA's office said.

Columbia University on Thursday declined to comment on the court proceedings when contacted by CNN.

Fourteen of the defendants still facing charges - 12 of whom were neither staff nor students at Columbia - have been offered Adjournments in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD), the Manhattan DA's office said. An ACD allows a court to defer a defendant's case - with the potential that the defendant's charge will be dismissed - if the defendant does not engage in additional criminal conduct.

Republican Fact-Checked on Accusation Against Joe Biden During Interview

 Republican Fact-Checked on Accusation Against Joe Biden During Interview

Collins pushed back, pointing out that Trump had actually signed more executive orders than Biden. She also said that Biden's recent executive action related to immigration came after the urging of GOP House Speaker Mike Johnson.

"Well, I counted, Trump signed 220 executive orders when he was in office, President Biden so far has only assigned 139, the same time span. And on executive action on immigration, it was Speaker Mike Johnson, who was calling on President Biden to take executive action saying it wasn't Congress' responsibility was his," the CNN host said.

According to the Federal Register, an official journal of the U.S. government, Biden has signed 139 executive orders so far, while Trump signed 220 during his tenure. Meanwhile, former President Barack Obama signed 277 executive orders and former President George W. Bush signed 291.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Honoring Parents vs Torah Study

 Kli Yakar (Devarim 33:9):Who said to his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; nor did he acknowledge his brothers, nor knew his own children; for they have observed your word, and kept your covenant. That is because our Sages  said that whoever is involved in Torah study is exempt from honoring his parents. The proof of this is Yaakov who was not punished for the 14 years that he remained with Shem and Ever and did not fulfill the mitzva of honoring his father and mother. This is what the verse is saying that “He says to his father and mother that he hasn’t seen him” because he is not required to look after them and surely he doesn’t not have to pay attention to what his brother is doing. Furthermore the verse says He doesn’t know his own children. This is stated in Eiruvin. “What is the meaning of the verse, “black as a crow.” Rava says it is referring to talmid chachim because of the necessity for him to be cruel to his children as a crow in order to be proficient in his studies. An example is Rav Adda who when he was leaving to study in the beis hamedrash his wife asked him where his children would get food. He responded that there were herbs in the marsh that they could eat.” This that it says in this verse that “he doesn’t know his own children” it also means that his children act as if they don’t know their father. That is because they also are studying Torah and thus don’t know him.


The way we as parents deal with conflict exposes our underlying concept of the parent-child relationship. That’s when we see either a gut reaction — which means that we’re viewing the child as one of our belongings — or an intelligent response guided by the Torah.

Ex-RNC Chair Confronts Republican on Project 2025 Plan to Gut Government

Project 2025 has become a consistent talking point amid the 2024 election as House Democrats have warned against it, recently launching a task force to start fighting the proposal and stop it from becoming a reality if Trump is reelected.

Trump cranks up false, inflammatory messages to rake in campaign cash

The fundraising pitch from Donald Trump was neither accurate nor subtle.


“Rhetorical gimmicks like this poison the well for every other Republican trying to raise money online,” one GOP consultant said, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal. “It burns out small-dollar donors. The Trump campaign is printing money on this, but when you’re already talking about the death penalty in June, what are you going to say in October?”

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Bannon makes chilling threat about a second Trump presidency


We’ve all been laboring under the delusion that vaping is somehow safer than smoking cigarettes. Our ignorance on the subject exposes our children to the greatest dangers involved with vaping. We owe it to ourselves and our children to get educated. It is my view, after fighting against these devices for the past six years, that we all — Jewish educators and parents — need to take a much more aggressive stance against this growing problem.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Let’s Just Say It: The Republicans are the Problem

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

Cheapfakes get an indefensible boost from powerful GOP partisans

It was ugly, but it wasn’t unusual. The right creates low-cost “cheapfakes“ like these all the time. Indeed, within days of the deceitful video out of Italy, a similar video made the rounds among conservatives showing Biden purportedly freezing onstage at a fundraiser. In the full context, it was clear the president simply paused to take in some applause. In another recent instance, a similarly deceptive clip circulated that seemed to show the president reaching for a non-existent chair, though in reality, there was a chair.

‘Cheapfake’ Biden videos enrapture right-wing media, but deeply mislead

The use of these clips is an especially pernicious couple of examples of manipulated video — what we label “isolation” under our guide to manipulated video — because it’s intended to create a false narrative that doesn’t reflect the event as it occurred. The RNC and its avid followers in the conservative media earn Four Pinocchios.

Video edited to make it appear Biden tried to sit down when there wasn’t a chair

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video, in which Biden’s chair is for the most part clearly visible, is cut before the president sits down. Full footage of the ceremony shows the president looking over his shoulder for his chair and pausing before taking a seat.

THE TRUMP VERDICT: What If President Trump Had Been Adjudicated By A Bais Din? - Purim Torah

We have thus arrived at the lehavdil bein Yisroel l’amim. Yes, it is true that Alvin Bragg, Juan Merchan and Michael Cohen hate Donald Trump and should not have any hand in his verdict. But if true tzaddikim are acting as judges or witnesses and have only a righteous enmity toward someone because he has transgressed one of Hashem’s laws, they may testify and make decisions because their intentions are pure and no personal enmity will enter into their deliberations.

Trump lashes out at Fox News over latest poll: ‘TRASH!’

Former President Trump blasted Fox News on Thursday after the network published a poll showing him trailing President Biden nationally for the first time this year.

Hebrew Union College to admit and ordain rabbinical students in interfaith relationships

Hebrew Union College, the Reform movement’s rabbinical seminary, will begin admitting and ordaining students who are in relationships with non-Jews, following a decision by its board to drop a longstanding ban on interfaith relationships for rabbinical students.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Trump’s Final Foreign-Policy Report Card

It’s worth recalling what he promised to do. Like most of his political platform, Trump’s foreign policy sprang from a sense of grievance. He thought the rest of the world was taking advantage of the United States; he was going to put “America first” instead. Allies would pay full price for U.S. protection, adversaries would be confronted and vanquished, and the United States would pursue its own self-interest with scant regard for diplomatic niceties. He’d stop China from “stealing” American jobs and take the United States out of “bad deals” like the Paris climate accord and the nuclear agreement with Iran. Portraying himself as a master negotiator, he promised to reach “beautiful” new trade deals that would restore U.S. manufacturing and usher in a new era of prosperity. The United States would play the sucker no longer: It would get “out of the nation-building business,” crack down on immigration, rebuild a supposedly weak defense establishment, and get Mexico to pay for a wall on the southern border.

But it was more than a missed opportunity, because Trump’s blunders have left the United States in much worse shape than when he took office. For President-elect Joe Biden and his team, the bad news is that they have an enormous amount of repair work to do. The good news, such as it is, is that it won’t be hard to do better than the people they are succeeding

Trump’s better deal with Iran looks a lot like Obama’s

“Trump got rid of the Iran nuclear deal because it was Barack Obama’s agreement,” said Jarrett Blanc, a former State Department official who helped oversee the 2015 deal’s implementation. “If you were to present to Trump the same deal and call it Trump’s deal, he’d be thrilled.”

Killing the Iran nuclear deal was one of Trump's biggest failures

Six years after former President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, the disastrous consequences of this decision are still adding up.

In addition to Iran being closer than ever to a nuclear weapons capability, now we must consider how the declining security situation in the Middle East has raised the stakes significantly. Trump promised a “better deal” but instead we got an increasingly costly blunder that may be impossible to fix

President Trump's Policy Towards Iran Was A Disaster

Murphy laid out the failures of the Trump administration’s Iran policy: “Here's the facts. When Donald Trump came into office, Iran was over a year from being able to achieve a nuclear weapon. By the time President Trump left office, that breakout time had dropped to months. When President Trump came to office, proxies of Iran were strong. When he left office, they were just as strong, if not stronger. This idea that Iran stopped sending money to Hezbollah during Trump's presidency is just wrong. $700 million was the annual amount of support delivered from Iran in the middle of Trump's presidency; [and] that's what was being delivered at the end of his presidency. There were no attacks on US forces in Iraq when Donald Trump became president. From 2019 to 2020, attacks on US forces in Iraq increased by 400%. It got so bad that Secretary Pompeo started to close down the embassy in Baghdad because it had become so dangerous. Attacks on US forces raised to epidemic levels from the beginning of Trump's presidency to the end. The anti-Iran coalition wasn't strengthened, it was shattered. We had Russia and China on board with the JCPOA. By the end of the Trump presidency, Europe wasn't supporting our Trump politics, our Iran policy, they were undermining it.”

As few as 50 hostages may still be alive

Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, mediators in the talks and a US official familiar with the latest US intelligence have placed the number of hostages still alive as potentially just 50.

Trump's War on the Truth Has Officially Gone Full Orwell

 It has long been clear that the president is attempting to build a genuine authoritarian movement over which only his word has any power, and which he can use to ride roughshod over the institutions of democracy. So far, this attempt has been an unmitigated success, as his supporters inhabit the same infotainment vortex he does and other members of the Republican Party—which controls both Houses of Congress and has a constitutional duty to provide a check on the Executive Branch—bow to him out of craven fealty.

Radical skepticism Permission to believe only what you want to believe,certainty%20is%20therefore%20never%20justified.

Radical skeptics hold that doubt exists as to the veracity of every belief and that certainty is therefore never justified. 

Or to quote Trump - Don't believe your lying eyes or fake news only believe me. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Choose Life: A Documentary about Leah Kaufman

Biden and Trump: How the two classified documents investigations came to different endings

Trump is accused of not only hoarding classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, but trying to hide them from investigators and working to block the government from clawing them back. Prosecutors have alleged that Trump showed off the documents to people who did not have security clearances to review them and enlisted others to help him hide records demanded by authorities.

Tzadik and Time

 Sfas Emes (Chaye Sara 641) G-d knows the days of innocence... and just as the righteous break the power of nature and cancel their physicality for the sake of the Creator's commandments, so it is in their power to alter nature and elevate  time to attach it  to the highest source, that is why it says about Abraham “he comes in the days”, that indicates he elevated all his days to exist forever... 

Tzadikim will be called by G-d's Name

 Shelah (Toldos Adam Ben Dovid 73) Tzadikim will in the future called by G-d’s Name as it is said  Everything that is called in My Name and for My Honor, I created it, even I made it. And those who adhere to it are called tzadik by His Name, because they bind and unite the Heavens with the Earth. And He said that they are made like the image of G-d, because G-d has creation, formation, and action in Him. Even the tzaddik below has included in him all of these, to establish the Divine Honor below.

Bava Basra (075b) Tzadikim will in time to come be called by the name of G-d; for it is said: Every one that is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory. I have formed him, yea, I have made him.   R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Johanan: Three were called by the name of G-d, and they are the following: The righteous, the Messiah and Jerusalem. 

Bava Basra (075b) There will come a time when ‘Holy’ will be said before the righteous as it is said before G-d; for it is said: And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem, ‘shall be called Holy.

Marhasha (Bava Basra 75b) 3 things are called on the name of G-d. Seeing that it does not say with the name of G-d, but they were called on the name of G-d.  This means the name of G-d  will be  associated with them - the Messiah, meaning the Lord's Messiah, Jerusalem, meaning the city of G-d, as well the tzaddik, meaning,  a tzaddik to G-d. In other words  all their actions  are for the sake of Heaven. This as also true for Messiah that all his deeds are for the sake of Heaven. Also concerning Jerusalem the only ones allowed there will be those whose deeds are only for the sake of Heaven. 

Ben Shapiro and Piers Morgan on guns

Piers Morgan vs Ben Shapiro on Facts

Seeing Tzadikim and Gedolim

 Rav Eibschitz (Yaaras HaDevash 01:12) Meeting Sages – There are two benefits. The first is receiving beracha. Shefa and Tov  merely by seeing him. While seeing an evil person causes spiritual damage, seeing a saintly man is beneficial since the light of the Shechina is on him. This is indicated by the gemora (Eiruvin 13b) which notes that those scholars who benefitted from seeing Rabbi Meir’s back would have benefitted even more if they saw his front . 

Rav Eibschitz (Yaaras HaDevash 01:12) And there is another benefit to meeting the tzaddik and Sage , as they say, the sight of a tzaddik is a blessing, because while from some people who have an Evil Eye like Bilaam rays of light that come out of their eyes are harmful, so the rays of light that come out of a tzaddik is a blessing and their seeing us is good. Therefore there are two benefits from the tzadik -  one comes from seeing him and the other comes that he sees us. 

Eiruvin (13b) Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi  declared: The only reason why I am keener than my colleagues is that I saw the back of R. Meir, but had I had a front view of him I would have been keener still, for it is written in Scripture: But thine eyes shall see thy teacher

The Wall Street Journal’s story about Biden’s mental acuity suffers from glaring problems

The New York Times’ Katie Rogers and Annie Karni even reported last year that McCarthy had praised Biden’s mental faculties when speaking amongst confidantes — a starkly different tune than the one he is now singing in public. “Privately, Mr. McCarthy has told allies that he has found Mr. Biden to be mentally sharp in meetings,” Rogers and Karni reported in March 2023. Rogers re-upped that reporting on Wednesday in the wake of The Journal’s story.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Piers Morgan -Objective observer of Trump?!

Morgan was the winner of the U.S. celebrity version of The Apprentice in 2008. He was eventually the overall winner, being named Celebrity Apprentice by host Donald Trump on 27 March, ahead of fellow finalist, American country music star Trace Adkins,[119][120] and having raised substantially more cash than all the other contestants combined.[121] Morgan was called "ruthless, arrogant, evil and obnoxious" by Trump in the final.[122] Morgan stated he personally would not vote for Trump in the 2016 United States presidential election (though as a permanent resident of the United States, not a citizen, he is not qualified to vote).[123] He predicted Trump's election as President of the United States and described himself as a close friend.[124] 

People worldwide are disconnecting from the news

And how much do people believe the news itself? 40 percent of the survey participants said that "they believe the news," a figure that remained stable in comparison to the previous study. The survey included 94,943 people from 47 countries around the world and was held in January and February 2024.

What research actually says about social media and kids’ health

There is no clear scientific evidence that social media is causing mental health issues among young people. Public health officials are pushing for regulation anyway.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy on Monday called for social media platforms to add warnings reminding parents and kids that the apps might not be safe, citing rising rates of mental health problems among children and teens. It follows an advisory Murthy issued last year about the health threat of loneliness for Americans, in which he named social media as a potential driver of social isolation.

White House slams 'bad faith' viral clips of Biden

The newspaper last week reported that the president had "started to wander off during a skydiving demonstration" in Italy on Thursday, with other G7 leaders "needing to pull him back to focus".

But British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the Telegraph the US president was simply "being very polite and went over to talk to all of [the parachute jumpers] individually", before Italian PM Giorgia Meloni told him they would all line up for handshakes.

Magician Uri Geller: 'I helped stop the Iranian UAV attack'

Geller has in the past taken credit for other major events in the Middle East, including freeing a cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal in 2021.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Donald Trump: Family Medical History

Trump's father died with Alzheimer disease at age 93. His mental status was in decline for at least seven years before then. Mary Trump describes him as "a high-functioning sociopath" 1a.

Shadowing Trump’s attacks on mental fitness — his own father’s dementia

Ziad Nasreddine, the neurologist who created the test, said in an interview that if an individual in their 70s had not taken the Montreal test since 2018, the results would not be valid to cite today.

Trump’s long fixation on mental fitness followed years of watching his father’s worsening dementia — a formative period that some associates said has been a defining and little-mentioned factor in his life, and which left him with an abiding concern that he might someday inherit the condition. While much remains unknown about Alzheimer’s, experts say there is an increased risk of inheriting a gene associated with the disease from a parent.

Biden knows ‘exactly what he is doing’ and will likely win election, says German chancellor

 In an interview with Axel Springer media outlets on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy on Saturday, Scholz made assurances that Biden “knows exactly what he is doing,” and can provide critical leadership as the group of global leaders faces a complex web of issues, including multiple conflagrations and hotly-contested elections that threaten to upend the international status quo. POLITICO is owned by Axel Springer.

Biden allies say president is ‘sharp,’ special counsel criticism is ‘B.S.’

“I’ve been knowing him for 30 years. I have met with him personally. I’ve met with him with two people, five people, 10 people. I have been on trips with him, crisscrossing the country, rebuilding America based on this incredible infrastructure bill that was passed. And I’m telling you, this guy is tough. He’s smart. He’s on his game,” Landrieu said.

Michael Douglas defends Biden mental acuity: ‘Sharp as a tack’

Douglas said “everybody” in Biden’s orbit who he’s consulted with says the president is “fine.”

“His entire Cabinet, including his vice president, everybody that’s in his Cabinet would be more than happy to work with him again on a next term,” Douglas said, before knocking Trump, without mentioning the former president by name.

Haredi leader on army draft: ‘You don’t want us and you don’t need us’

/Citing a tweet by former politician Haim Ramon, Goldknopf claimed that “four thousand Haredim asked to enlist since the beginning of the year — though that’s not good to hear — but you ruled out 3,300 of them. You don’t want us and you don’t need us. Why do you abuse us?” (Ramon in his tweet cited data from the Knesset, though he later acknowledged that some individuals had challenged the data as problematic.)

Are animals conscious? How new research is changing minds

"The field is replete with weasel words and unfortunately one of those is consciousness," says Prof Stevan Harnad of Quebec University.

"It is a word that is confidently used by a lot of people, but they all mean something different, and so it is not clear at all what it means."

He says that a better, less weasley, word is "sentience", which is more tightly defined as the capacity to feel. "To feel everything, a pinch, to see the colour red, to feel tired and hungry, those are all things you feel," says Prof Harnad.

Hamas threatens: We will continue the terrorism until we reach Jerusalem

Hamas releases a video clip in which it stresses its commitment to continue the Jihad until the destruction of the State of Israel.

White House, Obama team dispute characterization of fundraiser video

The White House and former President Obama’s team disputed the characterization that President Biden froze up on stage at a Los Angeles fundraiser and had to be led off the stage by the former president.

The New York Post wrote about the video of Biden under the headline “Biden appears to freeze up, has to be led off stage by Obama at mega-bucks LA fundraiser.”

The Hostages Next Door: Inside a Notable Gaza Family’s Dark Secret

Many hostages have been held in tunnels, but a number have been held in apartments, potentially reflecting the challenge of moving around so many captives in an active war zone.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Balancing Bitachon and Hishstadlus is Not Easy

 Michtav M’Eliyahu (01 page 187) And those who think that everything they strive for almost all their days is truly for heaven's sake, they should examine themselves, to see if a spiritual thought comes to them in the middle of their troubles in their business, or rather it is the thought of their business which comes to them in the middle of prayer? ... From two sides the evil inclination attacks. If he increases his efforts entirely according to the demands of his business then he is a heretic since he is lacking in bitachon but if he absolutely minimizes the amount of effort for parnossa he is rebelling against the words of our Sages. Finding the proper balance of effort and bitachon is not easy or clear since it depends on his free-will. It is impossible to find the true balance without properly utilizing pure Fear of Heaven free of biases. The correct point was not even revealed to Moshe

Trump's former doctor says Biden is "juiced" on a drug

Fox Host Skeptical of Joe Biden Drug Use Claim: 'We're Not Doctors'

Bartiromo responded: "These are obviously very serious charges that he is jacked up, we don't know. We're not doctors. We have no idea."

Trump Mocks Biden for Gaffes While Making a Big One of His Own

He then went on to repeat his now infamous story about how he “got every question right” for the crowd at a conservative conference in Detroit, bragging about how the former White House doctor administering the test had “never seen” such an impressive result before. But with that same doctor sitting in the audience, Trump proceeded to butcher his name—twice. “Doc Ronny! Doc Ronny Johnson! Does everyone know Ronny Johnson? Congressman from Texas,” he excitedly declared. He was referring, of course, to Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), the former physician and Republican ally who has repeatedly talked up Trump’s “incredible genes.”

Shavuos became the time of the giving of Torah - When?

 There is no description in the Torah or Talmud that states Shavuous is celebrated as the time of the giving of the Torah. Nor could I find such a description in the Rambam

However Shulchan Aruch (OC 494)The fiftieth day of the count of the Omer is the holiday of Shavuot. The prayer service is like the holiday of Passover, rather we say "the Holiday of Shavuot, the time of the giving of our Torah". We say full Hallel. We take out two Torah scrolls and read in the first one of five [sections] from "The third month" until the end of the order. The Maftir is read in the second scroll, "On the day of the first fruits". As Haftorah we read the chariot of Ezekiel, and end with the verse "and the wind took me up."

The Magen Avraham asks that since everyone agrees that the Torah was given on the 51st day of the Omer - why do we celebrate Shavuous on the 5oth day?


Pesachim (68b) Rabbi Elazar said: All agree with regard to Atzeret, the holiday of Shavuot, that we require that it be also “for you,” meaning that it is a mitzva to eat, drink, and rejoice on that day. What is the reason? It is the day on which the Torah was given, and one must celebrate the fact that the Torah was given to the Jewish people. 

However this contradicts two other gemoras as well as the Magen Avraham.

Saturday, June 15, 2024


Trump Couldn’t Stop Gibbering in Front of Nation’s Biggest CEOs

Trump’s proclivity for gibberish has come under increased scrutiny recently, particularly after he went on a completely nonsensical rant about sharks and electrocution at a recent campaign rally.

Jewish Students Told 'Go Back to Poland' at Campus Rallies

Jewish students studying at prominent American universities have told Newsweek they and their classmates have faced antisemitic abuse and harassment on campus. There was also open support for acts of violence against Israel, following the October 7, 2023 attacks on the country and subsequent invasion of Gaza.

Lies Damned lies and false claims about what Rav Moshe said

 In the latest edition of Binah an ad claimed that Rav Moshe said that a wig that women don't recognize as being a wig is prohibited

This is contrary to what he says in Igros Moshe EH2 12

Friday, June 14, 2024

Power to Resurrect the Dead

 Ramchal (Mesilas Yesharim 26)  When one separates himself from others, remaining in solitude, and preparing himself for the receiving of His holiness, in the way he wishes to go, he will be led, and with the divine help G-d will give him, his soul will strengthen within him and defeat the corporeal, cling to His holiness and be rendered whole through Him. From there, he may ascend to a higher level, namely, Holy Spirit, then his thinking will ascend beyond the bounds of human limits. His clinging may reach such high levels that the key to revival of the dead will be given to him, as it was given to Eliyahu and Elisha. This will reveal how intensely is his clinging to G-d. For in His being the source of life, who bestows life to all living things, as our sages of blessed memory, said: "three keys the Holy One, blessed be He, has retained in His own hands and not entrusted into the hand of any emissary: the Key of the Revival of the Dead...". Behold, one who clings to the blessed G-d completely will be able to draw down even the flow of life itself from Him, which is, what is attributed to G-d more than anything else as I wrote. This is what the Beraitha concludes: "Holiness brings to the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit brings to the Revival of the Dead".

In the search for hostages, U.S. is Israel’s key intelligence partner

The daring and deadly hostage rescue that Israeli military forces mounted in Gaza last Saturday relied on a massive intelligence-gathering operation in which the United States has been Israel’s most important partner.

Tzadik without Sin is like G-d?

 Sanhedrin (65b) Raba said: If the righteous desired it, they could [by living a life of absolute purity] be creators, for it is written, But your iniquities have distinguished between etc. Rabbah created a man, and sent him to R. Zera. R. Zera spoke to him, but received no answer. Thereupon he said unto him: ‘Thou art a creature of the magicians. Return to thy dust.’R. Hanina and R. Oshaia spent every Sabbath eve in studying the ‘Book of Creation’, by means of which they created a third-grown calf and ate it.

Yad Ramah (65b) Raba said, If the righteous desired it they could create a world. These are the Tsadikim who if they wanted to be freed from all iniquity they could create a world by their merit Because G-d fulfills their decrees. It is said that Your sins distinguish between you and your God, So if they didn’t sin There would be no difference between the servant and his Master, but the Master  fulfills his decrees as He does His own.

Half a million in damages | Man who broke into shop and ruined 'immodest' wigs indicted

Chief Superintendent Lior Ben-Shalom, the investigations and intelligence officer at the Lev Habira station, said of the case: "This suspect acted through ideological motives that he believes in which prohibit the use of wigs by haredi women, and carried out criminal acts by breaking into a business and causing substantial damage. Our investigation efforts, which began immediately after receiving the report about the incident, bore fruit after we carried out various investigatory actions to locate and arrest him. The detectives from the Lev Habira station arrested the suspect and the station investigators managed to gather an evidential basis which led to the indictment against him."

Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Jewish problem with Trump supporters saying his guilty verdict was ‘rigged’

Namely, that delegitimizing American courts out of personal or partisan sentiment is pulling not just the rug but the very floor out from under the republic. Just as the results of elections — whoever wins — must be respected by the citizenry, the decisions of courts, especially when there is the option of appealing to higher courts for proper redress, are, or should be, sacrosanct.

It might be too much to ask of any of us to not feel upset at losing a court case. The Talmud asking a losing litigant to sing happily is describing only an ideal, after all. But disappointment in any particular verdict is mere bathwater. It’s essential to hold the baby tight.