Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Hang Them All. Hang Them High.

Six Jews in custody and two Palestinians on the lam are child murderers. They committed their actions with the intent to inflame and incite and destroy. They knew the responses that would come from their actions. They knew that others would fight and die. They knew that children in Sderot and Gaza would find themselves ducking for cover. They knew that the consequences of their actions would be far beyond the four innocent lives taken by their own hands.

I am a passionate Zionist. 2,000 years of the history of my people have taught me one thing: We cannot trust our safety to others. The only way that we can be safe is to have our own country. Exiles and expulsions and forced conversions and blood libels and claims of deicide and pogroms and finally the Holocaust have taught us this lesson. A world without Israel is one that is not safe for the Jewish People.

It is folly to say that because of the actions of the six people an entire nation is to be condemned. It is folly to say that because certain current leaders are not ideal an entire nation is to be condemned. By that measure each and every nation in this world is to be condemned. The United States for what happened here during the Civil Rights Era; Israel for the murder of an innocent teen; the Palestinians never to have a state for the murder of three boys. The application of such logic is absolute madness.

The only logical solution is two states for two peoples. That, however, is a discussion for another day. Right now, I want to keep focus on the immediate issue – the child murderers that have started and sustained the current violence.

I do not care what their nationality or their ethnicity or their religion is. They have deliberately murdered children and they have done so with the absolute worst of intentions for they see these murders as a beginning. They wish to provoke exactly what has occurred. They have the blood of all those innocents that will be killed and injured on their hands. It does not matter who started it, for they all share in continuing the cycle of violence.

We all breathe the same air and we all bleed the same red blood. In the cases of these murders they have the same necks that will break and the same spinal cords that will sever. Yes, it is harsh, but this is exactly the punishment that all these child murderers deserve. Let them hang from the same gallows at the same time. Their crimes are the same side of the same coin and they deserve the same punishment. The world will be a much better place without the presence of such monsters (And for those of you that are anti-death penalty, I would be okay with a sentence of life without parole and a promise that they would never be released, including as part of any kind of prisoner exchange).

Ronald Reagan on the Separation of Religion and State. I Agree. Conservatives Might Not.

Those conservatives might try and seize his conservative card beyond the grave because he did not advocate for the merging of religion and state.  In fact, he advocated exactly the opposite.  This statement came during the 1984 presidential campaign.  It was made in a synagogue out on Long Island.

We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson, for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. (emphasis my own) All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.

Note that not only does he emphasize that “Church and state are, and must remain, separate,” but he also specifically mentions that persons are free to engage in belief or disbelief.  This stands in stark contrast with today’s Republican Party.

In today’s Republican Party, Christian fundamentalists and their social conservatism reign supreme.  All serious Republican candidates must align themselves with social conservatism.  No serious Republican leader can support a woman’s right to control her own body or support marriage equality or support equal pay for equal work.  All serious Republican leaders must emphasize their religion and their support for taking those religious beliefs and making them the law of the land.

To borrow from Reagan, today’s Republican Party seeks to mandate belief through their actions.  That is the exact opposite of the religious liberty they claim they seek to preserve.

Our Founding Fathers saw the danger of mandating religion.  They saw all the blood that was shed in Europe because of that mandate.  That is why we require no religious test for office.  That is why we have an establishment clause.  That is why we have free exercise.  They are there to protect the majority from imposing upon the conscience of the minority.

In the past, I have quoted Thomas Jefferson and his Letter to the Danbury Baptists and James Madison and his Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments.  Now, however, I thought it was time that I quoted Reagan to demonstrate to conservatives that even their beloved Ronald Reagan support the very separation that they oppose.

What’s to Prevent Segregation in the Post-Hobby Lobby World?

I am not talking just racial segregation here, but all forms of segregation.  So long as it is a sincerely-held religious belief and separate but equal facilities are provided, what is there to stop a closely-held corporation from imposing segregation post-Hobby Lobby?

Imagine there is an owner who believes, as a matter of sincerely-held religious beliefs, that the sexes should not mix, what is there to prevent that owner from establishing separate aisles in his or her store and separate checkout lines so long as the aisles are identical, there are an equal number of checkout lines and those checkout lines are always equally staffed.  What exists to prevent that owner from establishing that system?

What if the owner of such a closely-held corporation has such beliefs except that instead of the sexes mixing, he or she believes that it is whites and non-whites that should not mix?

What if the owner believes that members of his or her religion should not mix with members of another religion?

Where, exactly, will this all end?

There is a reason for generally-applicable laws.  There are reasons that in certain instances persons can receive religious exemptions.  Persons, however, are not for-profit corporations that are created with the primary purpose of making money.  If we were discussing religious employers here, then, yes, I could see why there can and should be a carve out.  However, we are discussing for-profit corporations.

The logic put forward today by the Supreme Court has no end.  Just as it easily justified the idea that men and women should be treated differently when it comes to the provision of their health care, it can be used to justify differential and/or separate treatment for all different groups.

A Humble Petition for Public Prayer in Light of Today’s Supreme Court Ruling

I humbly propose that the following invocation be given whenever a public meeting in the City of New York (and anywhere else that seeks to adopt it) is convened:

May Hashem’s wisdom guide us and may His laws guide us.  May we take on more mitzvot [commandments] and may we therefore merit the coming of Moshiach, bim’hera v’yameinu.  Amen.

After all, if this prayer:

Lord, God of all creation, we give you thanks and praise for your presence and action in the world. We look with anticipation to the celebration of Holy Week and Easter. It is in the solemn events of next week that we find the very heart and center of our Chris­ tian faith. We acknowledge the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. We draw strength, vitality, and confidence from his resurrection at Easter. . . . We pray for peace in the world, an end to terrorism, violence, conflict, and war. We pray for stability, de­ mocracy, and good government in those countries in which our armed forces are now serving, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. . . . Praise and glory be yours, O Lord, now and forever more. Amen.

meets constitutional scrutiny for public governmental meetings, then the prayer I so humbly propose should meet that scrutiny as well.

Of course, I somehow doubt that the five justices that effectively declared today it was okay to effectively establish Christianity as the religion of state simply because the majority of Americans practice it would find a prayer so overtly Jewish acceptable.  Similarly, a prayer overtly Muslim or of any other religion would also not meet their scrutiny.  And those that scream loudest in favor of the prayer offered by clerics at the public meetings of the Town of Greece, New York, would scream for the separation of religion and state the moment a sectarian non-Christian prayer was offered.

Oh, and one more thing.  Justice Thomas reiterated his belief today that the Establishment Clause protects state establishments of religion and merely prohibits the federal government from establishing a national religion.  I would love to see a state establish a non-Christian religion as its state religion and then see if Justice Thomas possesses the courage of his convictions or if those beliefs only apply when a state adopts some form of Christianity as its state religion.

Three Dead in Pre-Passover Shooting at Jewish Community Center

Three people are reported dead after a shooting at a Jewish Community Center and the Village Shalom retirement village in Overland Park, Kansas.  It is reported that police took a man into custody who was screaming “Heil Hitler” at reporters.  The Forward reports that the gunman “reportedly shouted Nazi slogans.”

This shooting occurred a day before Passover begins tomorrow night at sundown.  If the reports from The Forward are correct, then this represents an anti-Semitic murder as preparations for that upcoming holiday are well underway.

Michele Bachmann’s Words Encourage Anti-Semitism

Michele Bachmann’s words about the Jewish-American community selling out Israel simply because we strongly support President Obama and the Democratic Party do nothing less than encourage one of the oldest, and most dangerous, anti-Semitic memes – that of dual loyalty.

Of Jewish support for President Obama, Bachmann said:

The Jewish community gave him their votes, their support, their financial support and as recently as last week, forty-eight Jewish donors who are big contributors to the president wrote a letter to the Democrat [sic] senators in the US Senate to tell them to not advance sanctions against Iran. This is clearly against Israel’s best interest. What has been shocking has been seeing and observing Jewish organizations who it appears have made it their priority to support the political priority and the political ambitions of the president over the best interests of Israel. They sold out Israel.

This is nothing more than Congresswoman Bachmann telling us that our primary loyalty should be to Israel because we are Jews and Israel is the Jewish State and that we should vote accordingly.  Bachmann is not the first Republican to engage in such behavior and she will certainly not be the last as Republicans have long tried to use this as a wedge issue to win more Jewish votes; a plan that heretofore has failed miserably, as we remain one of the most reliably liberal and Democratic groups out there.

The fostering of this perception, however, is very dangerous to the Jewish community.  It encourages people to treat us as outsiders.  After all, if we’re not completely American because we all have this dual loyalty, then we shouldn’t be treated as full Americans many would then proceed to argue.  Our loyalty would become suspect and the haven, and home, that America has been to us would disappear.

My great-grandparents fled Latvia and Poland so that they could escape the pogroms and the violence and the systematic oppression from the government.  Encourage dual loyalty on our parts, and then create that perception in the minds of our fellow Americans, and all that nastiness could quickly come back.  None of this, however, comes to mind to these Republicans because they don’t really care so much about Jewish-Americans or the safety and welfare of Jews in general.

In the end, Jewish safety and welfare is completely irrelevant to Bachmann because we’re just pawns in her desire to see the realization of the end times postulated in the Book of Revelation.  That is what Bachmann and her ilk are concerned with.  We are only here to help bring about the second coming of Jesus and the end of the world.  While it is not hatred of the Jews that we have seen in other corners of the world, it is certainly not love for the Jews that we see here.

What Bachmann, in her apocalyptic fervor fails to understand is that Jewish-Americans do not wish to be part of her schemes.  We vote on the issues that are most important to us.  All one needs to do is look at the various social and economic issues.  On pretty much each and every one of them the overwhelming majority of Jews come down on the liberal side.  That is why every Democratic presidential candidate has won the Jewish vote for nearly 90 years running.

Congresswoman Bachmann, I think I can speak for the vast majority of Jewish-Americans when I say I can’t wait until you’re back home in Minnesota for good at the conclusion of this Congress.

Russian Men’s Ski Jumping Coach Stakes Out Claim for GOP Presidential Nomination

Despite not being constitutionally eligible to seek the office of President of the United States, Alexander Arefyev, the coach of the Russian men’s ski jumping team, staked out a position that would certainly give him a claim on the nomination.  Explaining his opposition to women’s ski jumping, an event being added to the Olympic program for the first time this year, Arefyev said:

“I admit, I do not advocate women’s ski jumping,” he said in Russian. “It is quite heavy and traumatic sport. If a man were seriously injured, it is not fatal, but for all women may end up far worse. If I had a daughter, never would give in jumping – it’s too hard work. Women have a different purpose – to have children, do housework, to create a family home. (emphasis my own)

I guess that means women should be off to pop out the babies, cook dinner, wash the dishes and clean the floor?  Given the high level of social conservatism in Russia, is it any surprise that he would feel so free to make this statement about women’s “different purpose,” by which it’s really meant that women shouldn’t stray from their “proper place?”

I don’t know about what other people might think, but that sounds a lot like what many Republicans would like given the degree to which they want to regulate women’s bodies.  The only difference is that very few of them are that explicit about it.  And if a Republican candidate was explicit about it, I sadly have no doubt that he would immediately shoot to the top of the polls for saying what so many were already thinking.

They’re all wrong about the fact that a woman’s place is in the house.  Nope, a woman’s place is in the House (and, hopefully come 2016, the White House too).

Nugent: President Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” “gangster” and “chimpanzee”

We’re now more than a year into President Obama’s second term and Ted Nugent is still a free man and free to spew crap such as this (h/t Bob Cesca):

I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist raised communist educated communist nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama (emphasis partially Cesca’s and partially my own) to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America. I am heartbroken but I am not giving up. I think America will be America again when Barack Obama, [Attorney General] Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, [Sen.] Dick Durbin, [former New York City Mayor] Michael Bloomberg and all of the liberal Democrats are in jail facing the just due punishment that their treasonous acts are clearly apparent.

So a lot of people would call that inflammatory speech. Well I would call it inflammatory speech when it’s your job to protect Americans and you look into the television camera and say what difference does it make that I failed in my job to provide security and we have four dead Americans. What difference does that make? Not to a chimpanzee or Hillary Clinton, I guess it doesn’t matter. (emphasis Cesca’s)

Chief Justice Roberts Intervenes to Influence FISA Reform and Seeks to Preserve His Power

The New York Times reports that the liaison of Chief Justice John Roberts, Judge John Bates, penned a letter to Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein:

In a letter made public on Tuesday, Judge John D. Bates urged Congress and President Obama to not alter Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s unilateral power to select which judges will sit on the court, or to create a public advocate with “independent authority to intervene at will” in the court’s cases to provide adversarial views to the Justice Department’s briefs.

Perhaps the most chilling aspect of the letter, beyond the clear desire to keep power in the hands of the chief justice, is the argument that the primary concern should be the ability of the court to function with ease rather than preserve rights and raise constitutional issues.  On the idea of a public advocate The Times notes:

Giving such an official freestanding ability to intervene at will, [Bates] wrote, even when the judges are not interested in hearing from him, could be disruptive to their work.