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Court Terminates National Day of Prayer

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Last week a federal court in Wisconsin ruled that the National Day of Prayer was a violation of the First Amendment separation of church and state, ending a more than 50 year tradition of government sanctioned promotion of non-denominational prayer on a designated day each May.

President Obama declared that he will continue the tradition of designating a day as the National Day of Prayer despite the court’s ruling that such an observance is unconstitutional. Although he issued such a proclamation last year he did not hold any observances or services at the White House in recognition of the National Day of Prayer, unlike all of his predecessors going back to Harry Truman.

The ruling came as a result of a case filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin. Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the government cannot call for people to engage in a specific religious activity, saying that the National Day of Prayer’s “sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context,” and that “the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience.”

President Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said that the ruling “shows the brooding hostility toward religion that exists at some levels of federal, state and local government in this country.”

Critics of the National Day of Prayer have been concerned that it has been transformed from a simple observance of the tradition of non-denominational prayer to an opportunity for aggressive proselytizing by extreme evangelical churches, particularly targeting the public schools.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • Les Slater

    During the height of the McCarthy witch hunt:

    1952-APR-17: A bill proclaiming an annual National Day of Prayer (NDP) was unanimously passed by both houses of congress. President Truman signed it into law. It required the President to select a day for national prayer each year.

  • Baronius

    The current law states:

    The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.

    I’m somewhat sympathetic to this decision, even though I don’t see how a reasonable nonbeliever could feel that this law pressures him. I’d have no problem with Congress or the president declaring a National Day of Prayer, but there is something odd about Congress mandating that the president declare it. That’s kind of “establishmenty”. Congress could easily sign a resolution expressing the sense of Congress in support of a National Day of Prayer, and rephrase “turn to God” into something more innocuous.

  • Note that “under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. At the time, I bet there was little or no controversy about either that or the National Day of Prayer. A more innocent era, or a more brainwashed one?

    I would also note that Mr. Obama continues to participate in the National Prayer Breakfast sponsored by that mysterious, vaguely pro-totalitarian [or just pro-power] religious group The Fellowship aka The Family of “C Street House” infamy.

  • Les Slater

    While we’re at it, from Wikipedia:

    “Legislation approved July 11, 1955, made the appearance of ‘In God We Trust’ mandatory on all coins and paper currency of the United States. This was influenced by the Red Scare sentiment of the time, reacting to the threat posed by ‘godless Communism’.”

  • I pretty much agree with Baronius here. Having the President designate a National Day of Prayer as a sort of tradition is one thing; Congress passing a law forcing him to do it is another.

    The whole idea is pretty daft anyway. People pray every day and whenever and wherever they want to without needing an endorsement from the White House. It makes about as much sense as having a “National Go to Work Day”.

    I will say, though, that it is something of a stretch to call a National Day of Prayer an “establishment of religion”.

  • Baronius

    Les, not to tread on tired ground, but you do realize that Communist spies had infiltrated the US government and committed treason, right? I mean, it’s not a “witch hunt” if the witches are real; it’s a “hunt”.

  • Baronius

    Dread, the president had been designating a National Day of Prayer for years; Congress passed the law to make it the same day every year. Which is the kind of thing you could do by asking.

  • Les Slater

    Baronius 6,

    What are you talking about? Are you implying the U.S. was, or is, innocent with regards to espionage? Or is it, ‘our’ espionage, but not ‘theirs’, justified?

  • Les, I think he’s just saying that there was some substance to the allegations that there were communists in the government. Which has nothing at all to do with the topic of this article.

    As for the National Day of Prayer, I think the key to it is in the last paragraph of this article which addresses an aspect of this issue which most coverage of the NDAP does not address. Specifically the efforts in the last few years of James Dobson and his wife and their ministry and organizations to take over the event and use it as the basis for aggressive proselytizing activities in the public schools. I think THAT is the best argument against the NDAP.


  • Baronius

    Les, it’s funny that you write off 20th-century communism as “totalitarianism” but still get very protective of the people involved in it.

  • John Wilson

    Perhaps it is the case that one of the reasons the US and USSR did not lightoff a nuke war to destroy the world was because each side had sufficient spies in each others systems to see and understand real policy and not be deceived by political saber rattling.

    Sometimes it’s useful to have enemy spies in your system.

  • Cindy

    I mean, it’s not a “witch hunt” if the witches are real; it’s a “hunt”.

    It is if the people you are continually going after are NOT communist spies!

  • Cindy

    During the post-World War II era of McCarthyism, many thousands of Americans were accused of being Communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person’s real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment, destruction of their careers, and even imprisonment. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned,[1] laws that would be declared unconstitutional,[2] dismissals for reasons later declared illegal[3] or actionable,[4] or extra-legal procedures that would come into general disrepute.


    How can you be defending that? I thought you said you were a libertarian? Is it because McCarthyism mostly hurt leftists that made a govt sponsored witch hunt against citizens okay?

  • zingzing

    catching all the real communist spies in the world (how many did they really catch?) couldn’t possibly justify the lives that mccarthyism destroyed. it was a pathetic moment in american history. an absolutely disgusting display of tyranny from the right and cowardice from the left.

  • It is not dissimilar to the Cheneyite view that locking up hundreds of innocent [or at least non-terrorist] detainees at Guantanamo was worth it because in that huge [immoral, illegal] net we possibly also caught a few actual terrorists.

  • Sarah Palin has had a few words of wisdom to add to this issue:

    “I beg you, Women of Joy, to bring light and be involved, loving America and praying for her. Really, it is our solemn duty. Praying for true spiritual awakening to overcome deterioration. That is where God wants us to be.

    “Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state, our Founding Fathers, they were believers. And George Washington, he saw faith in God as basic to life.”

    She denounced this week’s Wisconsin federal court ruling that government observance of a National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional – which the crowd joined in booing. She asserted that America needs to get back to its Christian roots and rejected any notion that “God should be separated from the state.”

    “Hearing any leader declare that America isn’t a Christian nation and poking at allies like Israel in the eye – it is mind-boggling to see some of our nation’s actions recently, but politics truly is a topic for another day,” Palin said.

    A topic for another day, and, we pray, a different speaker. She’s always good for some eye rolling and sputtering laughter of disbelief, though

  • “In his provocative paper on ‘The Uses of Diversity,’ Professor Geertz asserts that ethnocentrism relegates gaps and asymmetries between individuals or groups to ‘a realm of repressible or ignorable difference, mere unlikeness.’ This is a good description of how we treat people whom we think not worth understanding: those whom we regard as irredeemably crazy, stupid, base, or sinful. Such people are not viewed as possible conversational partners . . . . We think we have nothing to learn from such people, for we would rather die than share the beliefs which we assume are central to their self-identities. Some people think of Jews or atheists in these terms. Others think this way about Nazis or religious fundamentalists. [Others yet might think this way about Baronius.]”

    Richard Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth, p. 203

  • Les Slater


    “Which has nothing at all to do with the topic of this article.”

    But it does. The passing of the bill in question certainly had much to do the political climate at the time.


    “Is it because McCarthyism mostly hurt leftists that made a govt sponsored witch hunt against citizens okay?”

    McCarthyism was instrument of attack on the vast majority of the population, most of whom were not leftists of any sort. The attack was aimed at intimidating any who’d dare question any aspects of society in general and government in particular.

    It hurt the majority, not just leftists. Any celebration of that is just plain disgusting.

  • Les Slater

    [Others yet might think this way about Baronius.]

    Not me.

  • I am not there yet either.

  • Baronius

    I’m not defending every action from the McCarthy era, or even most actions. But for someone like Les to hide behind the phrase “witch hunt” really raises my hackles.

    I know it’s the internet’s most overused analogy, but it would be like someone coming on these boards, espousing Nazism, and complaining about the Nuremberg trials. You know what, there probably were injustices at those trials, but that doesn’t make Nazism any less repulsive. It offends me just as much that Les expects to be treated like civilized company.

  • Les Slater


    The Nazis, they were just caretakers for German capitalist imperialism. They, including Hitler, were not enemies of the U.S. capitalist class. Many a serious U.S. capitalist cheered the regime on, e.g. Ford, Rockefeller, Kennedy and others. They were only embarrassed when the Hitler regime interfered with their colonial prerogatives. Nuremburg? It was a show trial; The U.S. and other imperialist powers found safe havens for many a notorious Nazi.

  • Yet, Les extended his courtesy to you, Baronius, to treat you in a civilized way.

    Besides, to compare the Nuremberg trials to McCarthyism is but a Jedi mind trick. Whatever communists sympathizers there were, aside from the hard-core spies, they could rightly be viewed as patriotic Americans objecting to the brutality of the capitalist machine against the workers, labor unions, Negroes, women – backed by the powers of the state. It was a dark period of American history, yet you seem to be defending it.

    Which is precisely why I’m far less tolerant of your views than Les, bless his heart, happens to be. You deserve to be ostracized from the civil community, made to stand in the corner and administered lashes, in order to bring you around.

    Keep on talking, and soon you’ll be the majority of one.

  • zingzing

    nuremburg also wasn’t a case of one’s own country terrorizing the populace. and mccarthyism was similar to a witch hunt in many cases. the mere innuendo that you might be a communist, or you participated in communist gatherings 30 years prior could be enough to destroy your life. people would denounce political and personal enemies.

    it’s disturbing that anyone would defend any of it. that’s the kind of thinking that allows these things to happen in the first place.

  • Cindy

    18 – Les,

    Thanks. That makes sense.

  • Exactly. Witch hunts specialize in extracting false confessions. [The only thing torture is useful for, and was used for that in Salem, and during the Inquisition — another connection to Bagram and Guantanamo.]

  • Cindy

    Whatever communists sympathizers there were, aside from the hard-core spies, they could rightly be viewed as patriotic Americans objecting to the brutality of the capitalist machine against the workers, labor unions, Negroes, women – backed by the powers of the state.

    Good post, Roger. That sort of captures about what I was thinking too.

    24 – what zing said…

  • No accident that Arthur Miller, in The Crucible, chose the Salem witch hysteria as his allegory.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I strongly agree with the court’s decision. I am a strong Christian – but our beliefs differ strongly from over 90% of those who are part of mainstream “Christianity”. It’s wonderful for people to pray…but when a time is set aside for prayer by, say, a school principal or a boss on the job, there IS pressure for those who believe as we do to join those who do NOT believe as we do.

    We do not force our beliefs on others, and we appreciate it if others have a little less of an opportunity to force their beliefs upon us.

  • Anastasia

    Please don’t quote Wikipedia like it’s actually a reliable source. I could go there right now and type that right-wing conservative Christians have proven themselves to be insane, brainwashed morons and you could post that and try to claim it’s fact. As a right-wing conservative Christian, I can assure you that I am not insane, brainwashed or moronic. Have a nice day.

  • Les Slater

    When I quoted from Wikipedia I also used other sources but found Wikipedia to be the most concise in what I wanted to say at the moment.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Anastasia –

    When one uses Wikipedia, one should check the sources quoted in each Wiki entry. When I reference the Wiki, it’s usually only after I check the sources quoted in the Wiki. In other words, the Wikipedia CAN be a good reference as long as one is careful.

    Come to think of it, in a sense, the Wikipedia is a little like the Bible, since there’s not a single version of the Bible extant that doesn’t include significant translational errors…and we do not know who all the authors are of the books of the Bible, either. Like I said, one has to be careful.

    And as for being a “right-wing conservative Christian”, I used to be like you. Then I joined the Navy, saw the world, and found out that things ain’t what my Southern Baptist upbringing would’ve had me believe. I also finally realized that by the standards of today’s conservatives, Jesus would’ve been called a socialist liberal. So I don’t feel too bad being a strong liberal.

    If you want to talk Scripture as it applies to politics, I’m willing and quite able to do that.

  • Anastasia — like all princesses, a tad sensitive. She could probably detect a pea under her mattress.

  • Who’s supposed to have committed the cardinal sin of citing Wikipedia here, anyway? I see no such references.

  • Cindy

    I quoted Wikipedia, Dr.D.


    I generally find it a great source. Of course there are passionate topics that can have problems (like whether Mother Teresa is a saint or a deplorable fraud). I never trust any one source no matter how authoritative it is supposed to be. And I love an open-source sort of project. I think it’s more valuable because the community can participate.

    But, I recommend anyone do their own due diligence.

  • zingzing

    so did les. it’s apparent that anastasia has no real argument. not that she really made one… it’s hard to make out what she’s objecting to. no one said “right-wing conservative Christians have proven themselves to be insane, brainwashed morons,” but she felt the need to defend them from such claims… although it is pretty hard to defend christian faith sometimes.

    i’ll quote the simpsons, another of my favorite sources, in saying “you only need faith in things that aren’t real.”

  • Christian female

    i agree w/glenn’s 3:37 remark,probably in toto……as for mccarthyism,it trickled down into local areas alarmingly….we’re still left with a lot of thinking that feathers come from the sun because they’re light.

  • Looking at #22 I don’t see how it’s possible to even hold a discussion with Les. His view of reality is so skewed by ideology that there’s no common ground for discussion.


  • Pot; kettle… well, you know the rest.

  • zingzing

    of course, you could just dismiss everyone who disagrees with you.

    it is a bit conspiracy theoryish, but i’m sure there’s more going into your putdown than that. do you discuss things with pablo or ruvy? they’re just as bad (although this is the only example of something so conspiracy-like i can think of out of les).

    les may be very far to the left, but your comment up there is just a copout. to some degree, all of us have our view of reality skewed by our ideology, but you’re just making excuses.

  • “As a right-wing conservative Christian, I can assure you that I am not insane, brainwashed or moronic.”

    Please don’t quote yourself as a reliable source. Have a good evening.

  • this has turned into a rather stange and entertaining little thread

  • Doc, 39:
    Right on.

  • Les Slater


    doth protest too much, me thinks.

    And which part(s) of 22 do you dispute?

  • Actually, #22 is not as “conspiracy theoryish” as it might appear. It probably expresses true sentiment on the part of the good ole boys – especially Joe Kennedy.

  • zingzing

    well, i don’t mean that part particularly… more the bit about hiding nazis. kennedy, ford, etc, were well-known to be sympathizers.

  • Quite, Rog. There’s actually not much in Les’s remarks in #22 that isn’t a matter of historical record. Nuremburg as a show trial is the most contentious: even so, since most of the leading Nazis were dead, it was more symbolic than serving of any concrete legal purpose.

  • Les Slater

    Not just true sentiment, but complicity as well.

  • If you mean during the pre-war era, Les, definitely so; doubt however that it would have continued once England was attacked.

    And as to their scientists, we certainly didn’t ask any questions, zing.

  • Les Slater

    “…doubt however that it would have continued once England was attacked.”

    From my 22:

    “They were only embarrassed when the Hitler regime interfered with their colonial prerogatives.”

  • zingzing

    “And as to their scientists, we certainly didn’t ask any questions, zing.”

    and quite right, most of the time. they were scientists. but i’m not sure how dave took (or les intended) “The U.S. and other imperialist powers found safe havens for many a notorious Nazi.” i don’t think either was thinking about scientists exclusively.

  • STM

    Every day is a national day of paryer in the US, as folks go on their never-ending quest for the Almighty Dollar.

    Look at the national motto and what it says on the greenback: “In God We Trust”.

    I have heard – on the quiet – that it was originally proposed by the New England fishermen of Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, and was meant to have read “In Cod We Trust”, but they buggered it up in Washington.

    It shows quite clearly that when you are creating national symbols, a lit can be every bit as dangerous as a dangling participle.

  • STM

    Yes, people in glass houses and all that.

    Make that “national day of prayer”.

  • Jim Johnson

    Take God out of schools, take God out of government and you have destroyed this country. Guess it is time to start voting some of these politicians and judges out of office.

  • Glenn Contrarian


    We do NOT have dangling participles! If you were to talk about dangling verbs, well then, that would depend on what the meaning of ‘is’, is.

    All kidding aside, when we hear about a ‘dangling participles’, most Americans don’t even know what to look out for!

    (and yes, I’m gritting my teeth on that last sentence….)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jim Johnson –

    I refer you to my comment #29 above. I believe in a person’s right to worship as they will…BUT keeping religion in schools and in government is pushing religion on people – and on CHILDREN!

    FREEDOM OF RELIGION, Mr. Johnson. Which means we and our kids should be FREE from you and yours using our taxpayer dollars to push YOUR religion on us.

    NO ONE – and especially not the U.S. government – has a right to push religion on MY sons. And if you’ll recall, at NO time did Jesus command us to use government to spread Christianity. In fact, there were some who did at the time – they were called Pharisees.

    If you’ll recall, Jesus Himself did not demand that Christianity be a part of government. He said, “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” – and while He was referring to taxes, the context clearly showed that the apostles (and all Christians) are supposed to follow the law of the land – even if that law has NOTHING to do with Christianity.

    Our nation has something similar – a tradition of separation of Church and state.

  • STM

    Glenn, the 2nd amendment is built around a dangling participle, one of the great grammatical sins, which renders the meaning of thing virtuaally unintelligable and thus making it near impossible to discern the genuine intent of the founders.

    It can be interpreted any number of ways.

    This why the whole thing’s such a drama.

  • STM

    Make that “unintelligible”. Doing well today … taking the piss out of you guys, it came back to haunt me.

  • Les Slater

    Even in popular culture:

    “It’s no longer a blue world, Max. Where could we go?”


  • Dave,


    an opportunity for aggressive proselytizing by extreme evangelical churches, particularly targeting the public schools.

    is merely the offensive hustling of an offensive message.

    All in all, this was an insignificant article about an insignificant event in flyoverland. Why any of you even bother over this shit is beyond me.

    But this was not. This was the attempt to publicize the face of the new Obama fascism making its presence known in America.

    The aide to Governor Jindal was beaten up by leftists with murder on their minds, and everybody – including Bobby Jindal – is doing his best to look the other way.

    Most of you at Blogcritics are too blind to see the fascist state developing under The One; you’ll only pay attention when some government thug tells you to mind your own business and move on when you see an obvious violation of civil liberties. By that time, it will be too late.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Gee, Ruvy –

    You mean that the attack on Jindal’s aide and her boyfriend was POLITICALLY MOTIVATED?

    Hm. So I checked your reference…and then I checked the reference used by YOUR reference. I found out that the story was originally taken from a CBS News affiliate down in NOLA.

    And you know what the news story ACTUALLY says? “Bautsch’s companion, 29-year-old Joseph Brown, told police he heard nothing suggesting the attack was politically motivated.”

    So let me see – YOU (and your right-wing reference) say the attack was politically-motivated, an attack by “leftists with murder on their minds” who were busy “publicizing the face of the new Obama fascism”.

    Whereas the VICTIM’S BOYFRIEND who was there at the time and who ALSO was injured in the attack said that there was NOTHING to indicate the attack was politically-motivated.

    So should I believe you and your right-wing reference? Or should I believe the guy who was THERE and who was injured in the same attack?


    Ruvy, this is a bit below the belt, but I remember reading that back in Germany in the 1930’s, whenever there was any violent act where a Jew was present, the Fascists tried to make it seem that it was proof of the Jews’ plan to take over Germany and then the world.

    Your accusation against Obama and the left wing (of which I am a part) is the SAME thing as the Nazis’ accusations against the Jews…and just as false.

    You know I really do consider it very rude to compare the actions of any Jew to that of the Nazis, and I do sincerely apologize for having to use this example. Please understand, though, that someone needs to show you the magnitude of your error, and where your rhetoric can lead.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Harry –

    Read my comment #29 above. Your ‘national day of prayer’ can and has been used by those who follow mainstream ‘Christianity’ to put religious pressure those who do not hold the same trinitarian beliefs.

    The below is written not to offend, but to help you understand how many feel who do not share your particular religious beliefs. Please read objectively and do not be offended.

    I am a strong Christian – you’ll probably disagree, since I do not share the trinitarian beliefs of ‘mainstream Christianity’. But the point is, if there’s a national day of prayer, then people who believe as I do are pressured to join with those who do NOT share our religious beliefs. Compare it to you being pressured to join in prayer with Muslims – you yourself might not mind, but most ‘mainstream Christians’ certainly would.

    The idea of organized school prayer is even more egregious, because it doesn’t matter how much the teachers and school staff try to treat everyone the same, the kids themselves would pressure and even persecute the other kids who don’t share the same beliefs. My own sons went through the same kind of thing every year when Christmas and Easter rolled around.

    Harry, I’ve got no problem with you worshiping as you will (though I’d much prefer that you join us in what we consider the true worship of God). BUT I feel it is morally wrong for MY tax dollars to go to pay for supporting the religious efforts of those who are not members of the Church of which I am a member.

    We have a national tradition supported by law of “separation of church and state”. This idea is usually somewhat offensive to those who are strong trinitarians…but to those of us who were once trinitarian and who now are not (like myself), we see the very real wisdom of “separation of church and state”…because it prevents state-sponsored (or at least -allowed) persecution of those who are not part of the majority religion.

  • Al

    If this decree stands, you might as well tear down 2/3rds of Washington, D.C. because there is that much reference to the Bible having influence on the creation of this nation. Therefore if you are going to separate all ref to God you might as well tear down our nation and let the politically correct go ahead an run the country as they are moving at lightning speed toward destroying our past now which is documented at every turn in our Capital.

  • Les Slater


    Removing all references to God on or in all government structures would not be destructive of those structures nor constitute a suppression of religion. Neither would the removal of all reference in formalities of governance or of currencies.


  • Glenn,

    Obviously, you missed the point of the whole blog-story. Originally, that is what the boyfriend said. This has been a developing story and the facts have been unfolding in spite of the mainstream media’s attempts to cover it up. The anarcho-communists protesting the Republican event were politically motivated – do you think they were there to barbecue hot-dogs? And it follows that the attack on Jindal’s aide and her boyfriend was similarly motivated.

    The boyfriend was likely in a state of shock after the beating he and his girlfriend suffered. Such a thing where the victim barely can collect his thoughts after an attack is rather common, and even several days later, the victim might still be confused about events. But you are free to believe who and what you want.

    The Fascist state that emerged in Italy after Mussolini was chosen prime minister in 1922 took several years to emerge. It was only by 1925 that one could say that Italy was a dictatorship. This dictatorship, backed up by the thuggery of the Fascist blackshirts, emerged only gradually – and that is exactly what you are REFUSING TO SEE occurring in the United States. Your willful blindness will cost you big-time, Glenn. You are the one stuck in America, not me.

    But what scares me is not that it will cost you – what scares me is that it will cost all those Jews in the States who are just as willfully blind as you – if not moreso. I have family who worship the ground Obama walks on and refuse to consider any other point of view. It is likely that they will die in detention camps in the United States, labeled as the Yids on the wrong side of history who brought your country down.

    I don’t give a damn about “right-wing” sources or “left-wing” sources, Glenn. I don’t give a shit about your laws and traditions. I care about my family. I care about the Jewish people and the other Children of Israel. Blood is thicker than the thin and tepid water of pagan “law and tradition”.

  • Les Slater

    Ruvy 60,

    “This was the attempt to publicize the face of the new Obama fascism making its presence known in America.”

    How on earth do you think any interpretation of this incident leads you or anyone else to the conclusion that Obama is fascist or is heading that way?

    Fascism is a danger and is reflected in politics including within currents of the two mainstream parties. But Obama is the chief executive of a capitalist state in crisis who’s capitalists in their majority do not feel compelled at this time to resort to a fascist movement to gain and/or hold governmental power.


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy –

    IIRC, the attack took place two hours after the protest was done, after those who had participated in the protest had gone home. Furthermore, anyone with any investigative experience will tell you that statements made by a victim immediately following an attack are FAR more valuable than statements made days after said attack…and that after a day or more, a victim will start adding in details that he or she didn’t see before – details that are FALSE. This isn’t a deliberate attempt by the victim to give false testimony, but a proven human psychological tendency by one’s brain to fill in blank spots in one’s memory. THAT is why one should trust immediate on-the-scene testimony FAR more than different testimony given days later.

    Ruvy, I do have some investigative experience, and I can tell you that no investigator in his right mind would see a probable connection between the protest and the attack that happened two hours after the protest was done. The investigator would tell you there’s a possible connection…but NOTHING strong enough to make a positive connection between the two.

    What you’re claiming is like linking a gunshot murder in Washington D.C. to the pro-gun-nut on the Mall that ended two hours before. That would make no sense, just as your accusation makes no sense.

  • Ruvy could watch a leaf fall and link it to America’s Imminent Fascist Doom.

  • zingzing

    doesn’t fascism usually begin with a militaristic desire for order and uniformity? that’s something that seems to be at the root of whatever makes fascism happen. i don’t really see that in obama. and the ideas inherent in fascism just don’t fly here. can you imagine a “one” united state(s)? there just isn’t that level of cohesion here. we couldn’t get everyone to agree on anything if we tried.

    now… israel… military-lead (check), fairly homogenous (check), unified by common goals (check)… that’s a good spot for some fascism. ruvy should be looking over his shoulder rather than sifting through our scat.

  • Not just looking over his shoulders, zing. He’s the prime candidate for the position of Herr Fuhrer.

    If you don’t believe in Ruvy’s god and the impending vengeance, you’re an infidel dog and Ruvy’s sword will administer the justice.

    Want a better recipe for fascism?

  • zingzing

    yeah, his “israel for the jews” schtick and his “bomb arabs and slit american/european throats” thing is rather fascist-like… it’s time he look in the mirror.

  • Baronius

    There’s nothing in the law that compels a National Day of Prayer toward evangelical Christianity. Seems like that’s just mismanagement.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger, Zing –

    While I did recently link Ruvy’s assumptions to the attitude of the Nazis towards the Jews in the 1930’s, I also admitted that such a comparison is indeed quite rude and I apologized for it in advance.

    Please bear this in mind before we start throwing any f-bombs (fascism/fuehrer) at Ruvy, for such are truly rude towards any Jew.

  • Who are all those people [Anastasia, Harry O, etc] who dive in, make one hostile comment and then never return? These “traffic builder” articles that Dave posts [the last one was on Birthers] draw them like flies.

  • Les Slater

    …recipe for fascism?

    It is neither ideology nor suppression of democracy that defines fascism. Any of various forms of state rule can suppress democracy without resorting to fascism. All forms of fascism that we have witnessed have involved a capitalist state in an extreme state of crisis. The fascist is supported by the capitalist state only when it is unable to crush resistance to this crisis. The only way for resistance to make headway is when the working class gets sufficient strength to resist in an organized way. In such a crisis it is necessary for the working class to increase its strength and take power from the capitalists. It is when the working class fails under these conditions that the ruling class will opt for the fascist mob to break all organized resistance of the working class.

    In the U.S. at the present time the working class is not sufficiently organized and any repression can be carried out, legally or extra legally, by a government that does not come to power by mob violence.

  • Les Slater


    I did not find Harry O’s comments hostile. He has concerns that are held quite broadly. We shouldn’t discourage him or others presenting their views here.

  • They may be rude, Glenn, but if the shoe fits . . .

    So by your estimate, Les, it’s better for the underclass to remain divided, as exemplified by the teapartiers, for example, the unwitting victims of the same malaise that afflicts the marginally-employed and the unemployed. Because under different circumstances, fascist solutions will suggest themselves and we must avoid fascism at all costs.

    Ain’t that your drift?

  • zingzing

    glenn, as ruvy would say, the hard truth hurts. it wasn’t meant to be rude, just going by what he says.

  • Les, yes, they should fire away, presenting their views. I just don’t understand the rationale for posting one-offs and never following up. Are some of these pseudonyms for regular posters?

  • Baronius

    Handy, I think some people find a link to an article, read it, comment, and move on. I’ve done that. I’ve also found sites that weren’t really worth revisiting due to cliquish or hostile behaviour. Let’s be honest, we’re like that sometimes.

  • Les Slater


    The point is not that you shoudn’t resist but that the resistance go all the way, take power.

  • Gotcha. The final battle to end all battles.

  • Les Slater

    Not to end all battles but to get the capitalist class out from running things. We’ll still have much to battle.

  • Well, somebody is gonna have to run things. If not the capitalist class, then who?

    On a small scale and in isolated cases, we could say a co-operative composed of the workers. But nationally or globally?

    We’re back to a socialist solution – economic plans from top down.

  • …recipe for fascism? It is neither ideology nor suppression of democracy that defines fascism….

    You really don’t get it, Les. Obama is the bankers “dancing boy”. He has done their bidding even more so than Bush did. And the bankers are greedy enough to leave you naked while they live in comfort and warmth. And what he has erected is an unholy alliance between the government and big business – in a word, fascism. All that you write in your comment is so laden with ancient Marxist ideas as to be fit for a mummy’s tomb.

    The story that I referred to is about the left wing thuggery that is slowly taking over your country, turning it into a dictatorship. But if Glenn wants to dismiss it, that’s his loss, not mine.


  • zingzing

    ruvy, i know about the splits in both germany and italy. before the rise of fascism in both nations, they were ruled by ineffectual gov’ts made up of coalitions coming from all sorts of different angles, but were eventually united when one party took over using sneaky forms of nationalism and racism.

    my knowledge of the past, however good or bad, is infinitely better than your knowledge of the future, as you have shown countless times.

  • Good idea.

    I certainly don’t want to contribute to death on the net.

  • Les Slater

    “And what he has erected is an unholy alliance between the government and big business – in a word, fascism.”

    Yet we can have meetings that aren’t broken up by goons. We can run candidates for office. We can organize. We can discuss freely here on BC? If this is fascism…

    You are guilty of looking at things way too simplistically.

  • Do I detect a sense of hopefulness, Les, about the institutions of bourgeoise liberalism?

    Totally unlike you!

  • Les Slater

    Liberalism itself is dead.

  • Les Slater

    No hope for those institutions in the long run but we can use them to our advantage at times in the mean time.

  • I concur.

  • To my mind, Ruvy – and he’s far from being the only BC regular who’s guilty of this – tends to expect politics to unfold the way it does in fiction rather than the way it does in real life.

  • Les Slater

    Anyway, the idea that we are currently living under fascsim is total horsehit. One should not take such views seriously.

  • To be fair, however, it’s not too far-fetched to imagine that politics may – in the not too distant future – unfold the way it does in fiction.

    I’d be willing to bet that we’ll hardly recognize the countours of the world thirty years from now. Too bad I won’t be around to collect on it.

  • Les Slater

    “Too bad I won’t be around to collect on it.”

    How so?

  • Thirty years . . .

    Sorry, Les, don’t expect to live that long, not unless re-equipped with computer parts.

  • STM

    I’ve got an idea … why not have a “national day of prayer” and only those who want to join in do so.

    The ones who want to pray can do so, while every other bastard can just go about their business as usual.

    Voila …

  • Les Slater

    Roger, are you around 70 years old? I never would have suspected it.

  • Not quite, but time ain’t waiting.

    I suppose I could bring my body to half the shape my mind is at and I’d be OK.

  • @ #100.

    That’s just fine, Stan.

    I’ve got another idea, though: why not just have it be the President’s initiative, as a pious private citizen who just happens to be the President, rather than let a bunch of old farts in the Capitol waste time and taxpayers’ money making a law of it?

  • Baronius

    STM, that’s actually the way it works.

  • STM

    Yeah, shouldn’t be a law Doc and Baron.

    Just have some poor gibberer whose opinion counts for diddly squat stand up and say: “Hey, next Friday is a national day of prayer”.

  • STM

    Shouldn’t have anything to do with any politicians or any government state or federal, except the local council who can throw open the doors of the Boondock City community hall so all those who want to go in and have themselves “a pray” can do so while everyone else just gets on with whatever else they want to do.

    Why does any government feel the need to legislate for a national day of prayer? Not every bastard wants to pray. Yanks are STILL a strange bunch.

  • What kind of fiction should our politics emulate? Ayn Rand? Robert Heinlein? James Thurbur?


  • What kind of fiction should our politics emulate? Ayn Rand? Robert Heinlein? James Thurbur?


  • zingzing

    stm: “Yanks are STILL a strange bunch.”

    did you read the headline? yeah, we’re a strange bunch, as are most nations, but we’re not strange for this reason anymore.

  • Like I said earlier, guys. This whole article is a pack of shit. And the comments appended to arguing over the phony issues it raises over something so stupid as a “national day of prayer” is even more a pack of shit. I won’t go into what that says about you all.

    If you don’t want to see the left wing fascism and thuggery slowly taking over your country – between the Obama-grab laws, ACORN, SEIU, the anarcho-commies and the rest of the Obamanation – it’s no skin off my ass. It is YOU, and not ME stuck in the Obama shit-bucket on the way to oblivion.

    Have a good trip, boys! And make sure you wear clothespins on your noses!

  • STM

    Zing: “did you read the headline?”

    Yup … did you read my comments?

    Just the fact that you’ve even had a national day of prayer – ever – and some people are now jumping up and down because you don’t makes you a strange bunch, still.

    I fully expect it to be back on the agenda when the republicans get back in.

    You guys just can’t shake off that puritan DNA, can youse??

  • STM

    What’s going on with Ruve here regarding this … mate, been sitting for an extended period on a shark rock in the Sinai … again???

  • STM

    Now wait ’til those federal courts start ruling on gun laws …

  • Stan,

    What’s going on with Ruve here regarding this

    When you get insulted the way I have been here, Stan – and see the comments editor remove your responses – you will get at least as nasty as I am. And you’ll go to your own blog and shout from the roof-tops what idiot Seppos inhabit Blogcritics.

    And speaking of Sinai, you do not understand the Bible you say you believe in. In the Book of Exodus, G-d makes it utterly clear to Moses that He is going to do a setup job on the Pharaoh. He sets up the Pharaoh so He can execute Judgment upon Egypt. That should teach you that the Living G-d of Israel Is quite willing to pull such a stunt again.

    OUR sages have been telling us for centuries that the Final Redemption will mirror the exodus from Egypt. And that is precisely what is going on now. G-d is setting up the American “Pharaoh” – whether he be Bush or Obama – the same way He set up the Pharaoh in Egypt, so that He can execute Judgment on America.

    Our sages have always understood the Bible better than you Catholics do. That is why the late Karol Wojtyla had the modesty to call us Jews “elder brothers in Faith”. Learn from the man. He was no dummy.

  • STM

    Ruve: “Wojtyla had the modesty to call us Jews “elder brothers in Faith”.”

    I accept that entirely Ruve. You’re singing to the choir here old boy on that score.

  • zingzing

    stm: “Just the fact that you’ve even had a national day of prayer – ever – and some people are now jumping up and down because you don’t makes you a strange bunch, still.”

    like i said on the other thread (about travel), there’s no accounting for conservatives. don’t confuse them with regular americans. they’re a special strain of strange.

  • zingzing

    ruvy, why is it that you just pick certain articles, call them inane and then try to talk about something else? why is it that you pick multiple articles and write the same off-topic message over and over again? i’m not saying you can’t write about what you want, but your highjacking has become rather egregious lately. used to be you’d just take over, but now you feel the need to insult every story before you do. we talk about this because we want to talk about this. we don’t talk about what you want to talk about because we’re not you. get it?

    and comments editors remove your responses because you violate the fucking comments policy. nothing to do with politics. and the editors don’t decide who comes here. you should see the idiots they let into israel. woof!

  • ruvy, why is it….blah blah blah….?


  • zingzing


  • Baronius

    Ruvy, that’s just messed up.

  • What’s messed up, Baronius? I’m not the messiah – I can’t read your mind.

  • Baronius

    Ruvy, I don’t know if you’re making me say this for clarity, or for the shock value of me saying “Zing’s right”, but Zing’s right, and your comment #116 makes me wonder if you even care what you’re saying any more.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Apparently Ruvy’s here because the company of a half dozen or so regular faces he believes hate him and everything he stands for is better than the company of…anyone else.


  • Ruvy’s an actor in need of an audience, a shepherd without a flock, a character in search of an author.

  • Frankly, Baronius, I said what I’ve wanted to say on this thread. I’m done. zing’s whining doesn’t impress me – it puts me to sleep. If it impresses you, so much the worse for you. You have my sympathy.

    I thought you had something substantive to say. Agreeing with zing is well, not bothering with.

    As for caring about what I say, when there is an intelligent interlocutor, I care. When there isn’t, why should I bother?

  • You’re running out of intelligent interlocutors, Ruvy. They’re dropping like flies.

    Does it ever occur to you that it’s more your own doing than anyone else’s?

  • zingzing

    ruvy’s seemed more unstable than usual lately. he’s full of anger (not unusual) and quick to site-wide and nationwide insults, he overreacts with alarming frequency and he issues a near-constant stream of death threats (mostly against non-specific targets, except cities and nations)… he’s like an animal with rabies, caught in an antagonistic world he no longer understands. like any rabid animal, it’s just best to stay away. even as all this has gone on, his writing has gone down to nil. what, 1 or 2 articles in the last couple months (here or at his own website)? he used to be one of the most prolific around here. troublesome. (it’s possible he’s writing somewhere else, granted.)

    however, it’s true that he lives in a very unstable part of the world that he obviously cares for deeply. it’s no surprise that would affect someone. maybe israel just isn’t good for him.

    he picks the wrong targets… his allies and the working stiffs of the arab world. it’s those few ridiculous evil clerics he should be targeting, and while he does that as well, he should look at his own religious thinking so he can understand just how it is a person gets to that despicable place.

  • zingzing

    “Agreeing with zing is well, not bothering with.”

    couldn’t have said it better myself…

  • Unstable world, no question, zing. But he’s more unstable than the very world he lives in. As Harry Truman had said, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    An Odysseus without Odyssey, an Achilles without the tortoise and the Iliad, a character in search of a play.

  • A door without a doorknob, a cart without a wheel, a horse without a cart, a horseman without a whip.

  • It’s OK, Roger, you can stop now.

    And sit down and drink some water. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a human being turn that particular shade of fuchsia.


  • I just thought I’d run with a bunch of similes since I was on a roll, to gratify my fancy.

    But you’re right, I suppose. All good things must come to an end.

  • Ruvy’s is the voice of one crying in the wilderness, saying, “Has anyone seen my camel?”


  • STM

    Nah, Ruve’s got a bunion or something.

  • Hemorrhoids more like it, from riding a one-hump camel bare ass.

  • zingzing

    (now guys… don’t gang up on him… i feel kinda bad about 125. this may be his only outlet…

    so… i went to check, and no, this is not his only outlet. unless there’s another “ruvy in jerusalem,” and i’m not denying that possibility, but that will be up to ruvy to confirm or deny… i don’t really want to start no shit, but if this is ruvy, he’s as ridiculous as the iranian clerics claiming cleavage caused the volcano eruptions in iceland (that is an apt conclusion to make, as i’m sure that the clerics had “eruptions” in their pants)…

    read this. comments 1, 7 and 15-20 (the kicker being the last line of 15) are particularly… something. like i said, don’t know for sure that’s our ruvy, but the style is very, very familiar… full of insults and fecal freakery. what’s strange is the view (in 15) he takes, which is not known of him here… it’s very disappointing, but not very surprising in the end…

    like i said earlier, i was just looking to see if he’s got other outlets for his anger, and this showed up as #6 on the google search for “ruvy in jerusalem.” i hope it’s not him, which is why i didn’t quote. either way, i didn’t go looking for what i found.

    if it’s not him, i apologize for even suggesting it. but if it is, i no longer feel bad about #125.

  • Ruvy used to post on BC as “Ruvy in Jerusalem,” so it’s unlikely that those comments are not his.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Zing –

    I looked at the reference, and while the language might sound similar, the style of the language is different enough for me to doubt that they’re the same person. For instance, “Ruvy in Jerusalem” uses quotation marks to point out things more than our Ruvy does. Also, “Ruvy in Jerusalem” uses “Yeshiva” whereas our Ruvy uses quotation marks in place of the “iv”: Yesh”a.

    Now they could easily be one and the same man…but I’m just presenting some reasonable doubt.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    But considering what Handy says (and he does have that annoying habit of being right), I’m probably seeing differences where there are none.

  • zingzing

    yeah, glenn… when he moved outside of jerusalem, he changed his posting name here. sorry if i didn’t make that clear. it’s a common enough name, and a common enough idea for a posting name that i thought there could be a chance it wasn’t him. there’s always that chance.

    but “You’re not worth even spitting at” and “I’m done here – time to get some toilet paper to wipe myself from your filth…” sound like our man. the sentiment at the end of #15, however… i’ve never heard him say anything like that. nor have i heard him broach the subject much at all.

  • zingzing

    it’s him. look here. go about 4/5ths of the way down the page and you’ll find ruvy’s comment (and a link to his blogger profile, complete with the same picture he uses here).

    in response to a “straight, married, religious Jew,” who is “disgusted by the homophobia and hatred (and violence!) espoused by those who oppose the gay parade,” ruvy comments as follows:

    “Every Jew who lives here is threatened by any such provocation that takes place in Israel (ANYWHERE FROM TEL AVIV TO NETANYA TO METULLA), and at some point, Hashem will extract payment for the pagan provocation that this parade really is.”

    we’ve got a regular fred phelps in our midst, and we didn’t even know it. sigh. i don’t like it any more than anyone else, i can assure you. if he seriously thinks god hates homosexuals (pagans? really?) so much that he’ll call down his vengeance upon israel for letting them exist, i don’t know what to say.

  • The fucker just disabled the page.

  • Mark

    Ruvy made this clear years ago — as he understands it, religious law requires that one keeps one’s homosexuality private. He wrote about this 2006 parade here on BC iirc.

  • zingzing

    oh my… this is from desicritics and blogcritics itself, written by ruvy, in an article titled “news analysis from israel-the evil will come from the north: part 3: the imminence of war”*:

    “There is another act of spitting in G-d’s face, a pagan provocation painted up as a “gay pride parade”. An event like this has historic significance in New York; there it commemorates an actual occurrence where homosexuals refused to tolerate police harassment. But in Jerusalem, it is merely spitting in G-d’s face, purposely pursuing the kind of event that would take place in a pagan temple in His holy city. Briefly, what I am getting at (and this is a very controversial assertion to make) is that it was normal to have sexual orgies of various kinds in pagan temples in Canaan, and it was this behavior that was targeted in the Torah. The mentality of the secular Israeli elite that ru(i)ns this country is such that not only do they have to pour contempt on their religious brothers, they have to stick their middle finger up at G-d, too. What goes on in the rest of the world is one thing. Here, in the Land gifted to the Children of Israel by the Creator of the Universe, showing off homosexual relations where it can be witnessed is an abomination (Vayikr?/Leviticus 18:22) that has consequences for those who do it and for those who allow it done (Vayikr?/Leviticus 18:24-28).

    This parade is scheduled for 10 November, the day that the Nazis destroyed synagogues and homes in Germany in 1938 (Kristallnacht), and began serious and violent persecution of Jews in there. So not only is G-d’s face being spat into by these fools, the memory of the Jews who died on 9-10 November 1938, is also being defaced.”

    *i do note that that second sentence seems to somewhat localize his homophobia only to israel. i also note that that’s a really long title.

    i guess it’s also worth noting that ruvy isn’t afraid to present his homophobia here either. i guess i just never got through that 7-page article to find that gem. and although the idea of god calling down hellfire on israel because there are gay people there is ludicrous and disgusting, that second sentence, while it doesn’t make it better, does put it in a context, silly though it may be.

  • zingzing

    mark beat me to it.

  • zingzing

    roger, i doubt ruvy has the power to shut down that blog. he was only commenting there. it might have been my mistake. i’ll try again?

    yeah, looks like it was my fault.

  • zingzing

    alright, i’m done snooping around now. i don’t like dragging anyone’s name through the mud, even if ruvy might not consider it a bad thing. (pigs like it as well…)

    but it’s something i won’t forget.

  • Same here. It’s his life.

  • Mark

    zing, as Ruvy points out in his moments, dragging anyone’s name through the mud is a breach of religious protocol, as well.

  • Baronius

    Hey, I’ve got no problem with odd and opinionated. It’s off-topic and predictable that’s been bothering me lately.

  • zingzing

    mark, i wasn’t looking to go and do that. but i found what i found, and if he has no problem displaying it (as the blogcritics article shows,) then he shouldn’t have any problem with me displaying his homophobia either. i was surprised is all. i’d never seen anything like that out of him. and like i said, it is tempered, to a small and ridiculous degree, by his localization of it. (that said, i’m sure he just thinks the rest of the world is damned anyway, so whatever.)

    as barnoius states, it was the predictable nature of his posts that were/are starting to grate on me. his arrogance and myopia is annoying.

  • Back to the court decision. I’m in agreement with the ruling. The environment surrounding the original passage was quite different.

    In this new so-called era, I see Government as the referee. It should lay down the ground rules which give each citizen equal footing at the political table. Religion has no place at that table. While politics may be discussed within Churches, it is completely inappropriate to invoke God, Jesus or Muhammad in official government business. Therefore, I do support removing “In God We Trust” from our currency. Not because I reject God — quite the contrary. It’s quite unseemly to place those words on instruments of such evil.

    We have this romantic notion that the United States was created as a refuge for the believers who were persecuted in Europe. Oh, for the love of Christ, the poor and downtrodden came to these shores. They raped, pillaged and slaughtered the “savage” natives because they were non-believers. Go figure.

  • Mark, Silas,

    Thank you, both.

  • Les Slater

    The topic of this thread is about the separation of church and state. Ruvy’s main thrust on BC as long as I can remember has been the total support for a state based on religious arguments. He also insists that that state be totally subservient to his interpretation of the scriptures. But looking at this as the essence of where he’s coming from would be wrong.

    Ruvy here is a victim of the logic of his and other’s support of that state. When one sincerely and consistently defends the indefensible you will find what we have witnessed here with Ruvy.

    Warning: Defending the United States of America has the same logic.

  • What’s wrong with Ruvy’s argument is that it’s 2000 years out of date.

    There may have been a time when theocracy was a workable proposition. Of course, on Ruvy’s contention, such a time is nearing with the coming of the Messiah.

  • “Defending the United States of America has the same logic.”

    For example, by strict interpretation of the Constitution? Is this one of your analogies?

  • Les Slater

    The reactionaries do not call for a strict interpretation of the constitution, only what suits them.

  • Les Slater

    “What’s wrong with Ruvy’s argument is that it’s 2000 years out of date.”

    Not just those, but all of the justifications for the existence of the state of Israel are just rationales for the true reason it exists, another prop for imperial capitalism. A junior partner in crime if you wish.

  • BTW, Les,

    In response to Stephen L. Carter’s The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion,
    Rorty makes a pretty convincing argument for adopting Jeffersonian principle of tolerance with respect to such matters as religion (reinforced by Dewey and William James). The gist isn’t so much that “believers somehow have no right to base their political views on their religious faith,” only that they must “restructure the arguments in purely secular terms [which] means ‘dropping reference to the source of the premises of the arguments’ [i.e. omit appeals to ‘ultimate authority]” – and that, Rorty concludes, is a reasonable price to pay for religious liberty (which is a matter of private practice).

    See Philosophy and Social Hope, Articles #10 and #11.

  • Not that I’m entirely agreeing with Rorty: he happens to think we can do no better than “the tolerance principle” – especially as regards “the public square.” But these are the limitations which come from his wholesale acceptance of the norms and ideals of liberal democracies. He appears unable to think outside that box.

  • And BTW, it was an astute observation on your part, Les – so diagnosing Rovy’s obsolescence. It’s good you took it beyond “the personal.”

  • We can continue later. Bye for now.

  • Mark

    Separation of church and state…

    The notion that arguments from ‘revelatory knowledge’ are obsolete misses the (albeit constructed/contrived) reality of billions — who aren’t going anywhere and who will be part of whatever communities develop in response to the crisis of capitalism. The question is more that of Habermas – to avoid excluding the religious masses, secularists must acknowledge that, “…religious utterances can make a meaningful contribution to clarifying controversial questions of principle.” p.22 But how can one do this and maintain the stance (self-deception, imo) — that we are reasonable men?

  • Les Slater

    Reasonable men? I wouldn’t begin to contend that our reason is superior to all ‘religious utterances’.

  • Les Slater

    My fovorite song at the moment is religious themed: ‘Make You Sin” by Angelspit. Wouldn’t be the same if it were purely secular. If you listen to it please play it loud on a system with clean base.

  • Les Slater

    That’s ‘bass’ of course. I listen with headphones, Sennheiser HD 595. Cranking through speakers wouldn’t be considerate of neighbors. My car speakers don’t do such music justice either.

  • “.. religious utterances can make a meaningful contribution to clarifying controversial questions of principle.”

    1) No argument there – but the problem is due to the fundamentalist/fanatical nature of the appeal to authority, which represents a formidable/insurmountable obstacle (admittedly psychological, albeit no less real for the fact) to reaching a consensus. The abortion “debate” has all the characteristics.

    2) “Reasonable” should be in scare quotes: on the pragmatists’ view, reason is the servant of the sentiments/passion, after Hume).

    3) #163 touches upon one of the major objections by Carter (see #157), in that the “Jeffersonian requirement” of “reformulating [the religion’s] moral conscience . . . in order to gain the right to participate in the dialogue alongside other citizens” [by way of making it fit for “the public square”] would have the effect of “destroy[ing] a vital aspect of the self.” p. 173

    4) All of the above raises the problem of the practical difficulties of implementing the Jeffersonian principle of toleration – and more importantly, for my purposes, the inherent difficulties of adopting the principles of bourgeois liberalism (as though they were realizable given the existing political/economic conditions) [One of Rorty’s blindspots, IMO.]

  • BTW, I can resist pointing to the obvious “reasonableness” of this discussion once the hotheads are excluded from participation.

    But again, that’s the tall order.

  • Nalle, why don’t you jump in?

    I would be interested in your views since the discussion took the right kind of turn.

  • Les Slater

    It’s not all reason though. At least not from me.

  • Speak up then.

  • Les Slater

    I’m pretty spiritual.

  • Well, Hegelian undertones (I thought you were merely flirting with it.)

    Well, so am I. The question is, how much of it belongs in public/political discourse?

    Reformulating the argument without appeal to authority is still a good idea; is it always doable? that’s another question.

    Ultimately, all such arguments are at bottom, arguments about values. So here’s a question for you: if appeals of religious nature are “verbotten” in the public square, what about appeals of “moral nature.”

    Can we argue intelligently (or “reasonably”) about values without bringing in the notion of “the ultimate authority”?

  • I think it is Jefferson’s (and William James’s and Rorty’s) conclusion that we can’t – which is why the principle of toleration is posited as the highest possible achievement of the liberal democracy: i.e., that we can do no better.

    Hence the exclusion of the religious/moral sentiment from “the public square” – as far as the source of appeal goes – and the underlying dichotomy involving pursuit of moral/religious perfection as a matter of private activity, on the one hand, and what counts as acceptable public discourse concerning the matters of the state and the notion of procedural justice.

  • I’m going to Starbucks to do some reading. Back later.

  • Les Slater

    How much belongs in public discourse? Well, I wouldn’t deny a politician’s reference to a deity of some sort. I might be suspicious on some occasions, not on others. I am certain that it has been man that created God, not the other way around. The more that understand that the better. The real point is that religion and private property are mutual props with the economic base being, in the last analysis, primary. Presently both are in crisis and staggering. Those who believe actually have little faith. They are looking for assurances and support. The problem is that they turn to Satan himself for that assurance and comfort.

  • “I wouldn’t deny a politician’s reference to a deity of some sort.”

    No problem with reference; the problem lies with using argumentation to the effect that it comes from “the highest authority.”

    Ergo: abortions are unconditionally wrong because they violate the law of God.

  • Les Slater

    Back in the middle of the 19th century God, through his spokesmen came down decisively for and against slavery. It really had nothing to do with God.

  • Les Slater

    Since man invented God and wrote all scripture it follows that religious utterances are nothing more than man uttering his own views. The actual authority is that of a ruling class or a class that aspires to rule.

  • Well, such arguments were acceptable then and could therefore pass the test of consensus. They’re no longer so today; we’ve become a much more secularized society since.

    What concerns me, though, is the status of appeal on moral grounds. Grounded, it’s a more inclusive principle than one accorded by religion. Still, if it’s to hold water, the appeal much have elements of universality and ahistoricity (whether by derivation an unnatural or natural source (such as appeal to essence of human nature). And this kind of grounding is becoming more and more difficult to do.

    Ultimately, it still comes down to the basic question: how do we argue on behalf of (human) values?

  • by derivation from . . .

  • Granted, it’s a more . . .

    Shoot, I had better slow down. My thoughts are running ahead of me.

  • This turns out to be an interesting discussion and we could use other minds. Mark has always been a hit-and-run kind of guy, and Cindy. Well, Cindy . . .

    I suppose it’s too philosophical for the average taste. I’m almost aching for Ruvy to come in with his usual spiel.

  • I find Les’ 176 and 177 right on the money.

    Do you think that 177 is no longer applicable, Roger? Is that what you mean here?

    Well, such arguments were acceptable then and could therefore pass the test of consensus. They’re no longer so today; we’ve become a much more secularized society since.

    I would argue that the same holds true in the secularized society…just exchange god’s edicts (written by humans) with knowledge and discourse as produced by authority (power).

  • Les Slater

    There is not one set of ‘human values’. They vary by class interest. See my 376 in the health care thread.

  • Not “no longer applicable,” only that they’ve lost currency when it comes to obtaining consensus. Both Les and Mark speak to the value of “religious utterances” when it comes to illuminating the subject matter, and I don’t disagree.

    The accepted configurations of power and authority may have changed, but not the form of the general appeal. There’s still the thorny matter of justifying one’s values.

  • “There is not one set of ‘human values’. They vary by class interest.”

    Of course not. If that were the case, there would be no philosophical or existential problem.

    So what are you saying, in effect?

  • Les Slater

    I am saying when you argue from a value perspective it must be clear what class your perspective represents.

    None of this is easy but being thoroughly grounded and careful goes a lot further than confused utterances.

  • My ultimate question is – where is Ruvy, where is Dave Nalle, his own thread for Christ’s sake, where are the brightest lights of the BC community?

    Have they no taste for real discussion? Am I so over their heads?

  • Les, my view is that human values transcend class-membership, don’t you think?

  • Les Slater


  • Since you disagree, then the whole idea of value goes out the window. It’s nothing more than an expression of interest.

  • Les Slater

    The Russian Revolution, The Struggle Against Corruption – Rosa Luxemburg, 1918

    The Lumpenproletariat element is deeply imbedded in bourgeois society. It is not merely a special section, a sort of social wastage which grows enormously when the walls of the social order are falling down, but rather an integral part of the social whole. Events in Germany – and more or less in other countries – have shown how easily all sections of bourgeois society are subject to such degeneration. The gradations between commercial profiteering, fictitious deals, adulteration of foodstuffs, cheating, official embezzlement, theft, burglary and robbery, flow into one another in such fashion that the boundary line between honorable citizenry and the penitentiary has disappeared. In this the same phenomenon is repeated as in the regular and rapid degeneration of bourgeois dignitaries when they are transplanted to an alien social soil in an overseas colonial setting. With the stripping off of conventional barriers and props for morality and law, bourgeois society itself falls victim to direct and limitless degeneration [Verlumpung], for its innermost law of life is the profoundest of immoralities, namely, the exploitation of man by man.

  • We’re still talking about justice, a value.

  • Baronius

    Roger, I don’t know where the brightest lights are, but what makes you think this is “real discussion”?

  • zingzing

    well, it’s better than yesterday’s poop jokes and smear campaigns… shit, i just made a poop. joke.

  • Les Slater

    Values have evolved over the years. Some alleged Biblical values would not be held by many these days. Not many would even defend the Ten Commandments except in vague terms. Some say they believe in a literal translation of the Bible but would be hard pressed to be convincing to anyone but a small minority.

    Some values, customs have disappeared. There are new ones but they did not come ready made all at once. They have evolved. Again, during slavery in the United States values were quite differentiated between Northerners, Southerners, slave and slave holders, even between what Malcolm X described as ‘house’ and ‘field’ Negros. Slavery is gone but we still live in a class divided society. Why would you think that values would be any more universal today than in past history?

  • Baronius

    Hmmm…poop jokes versus Marxism…well, neither one sounds appealing, but poop jokes have killed a lot less people, and sometimes you can hear an original idea in a poop joke.

  • @193,

    Since you’re asking, I need no better proof than the stupidity of your contribution.

  • Les Slater

    Baronius, my 195 does not depend on Marxism. I would expect that most but the dullest would acknowledge its general outlines.

  • zingzing

    baronius, i thought this was about religion. which has killed a lot more people than either of those other two, AND it hasn’t had an original idea in 2,000 years! horrible!

  • zingzing

    baronius. if you think marxism is so bad, i’d think you’d want to talk about it…

    doctor: “i’m sorry, mr. baronius, but i have to tell you you have terminal ca–”


  • lol zingster.

    i suspect if les kissed his dog, baronius would say it was only a marxist kiss and make the sign of the cross.

  • Baronius

    Les, I was replying to comment #194.

    Zing, a lot of people have been killed in the name of religion. It’s had a lot of ideas, good and bad. It’s possible to read a history book and argue for or against religion. Marxism has done nothing but kill people, and I find it pretty repulsive that anyone would argue in favor of it.

    Cindy, read Les’s comments. Show me where they depart from a 1930’s pamphlet, and I’ll treat them like something other than dog-kissing communism.

  • zingzing

    “Marxism has done nothing but kill people.”

    you know that’s bullshit.

    baronius, marxism is based on a good idea. an ideal, more like. the idea behind it is good, but it ignores basic human nature. marxism has proved that humans are not good to each other.


    in a limited scale, it does work. this is proved by so many nations throughout the world.

    pure marxism won’t work. it’s a shame, but that’s the truth. the idea behind it, however, is valid. and finding where it works, wherever that may be, only betters mankind.

    like any other social system, marxism only works in certain circumstances. capitalism has the same problems. it fucks certain people over.

    our best bet is to combine the two, see where certain parts of this work, where certain parts of that work, etc.

    i’m not at all sure what the answer is, but pure capitalism fucks the poor and pure marxism fucks everyone in the end, so find the middle ground where the poor and the rest aren’t fucked. capitalism won’t do it. neither will marxism. it’s somewhere in between. but where is that?

    political thought is such a game of poles. “if that doesn’t work, maybe the opposite will.” but it doesn’t. same thing happens in america. there’s such a split these days because of (#1) political rhetoric and (#2) because we think we’re right, and they’re wrong. that’s probably not the case, but don’t tell me that. i think the right wing is totally backwards. you think the same of me.

    unfortunately, for you, the world is moving left. the american right is the last real right wing on the planet, other than hardline religious groups. people are recognizing that we need each other. you’re going to find people “like you” more scarce as your generation dies off.

    the hybrid of what is real american culture and what is european-style socialism (not that it’s really socialism,) will be more and more prevalent during your last days, when you’ll be taken care of.

    good evening, sir. hope you have a good sleep. sssssssss. sssaid the ssssnake in the grasssssss.

  • Les Slater


    “pure marxism won’t work.”

    Marxism is not a form of government. It is a body of theory and guide to action.

    From the Communist Manifesto: “[communists] have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.”

    Marxist theory has evolved and has been practiced by all sorts. Marx himself when confronted with some interpretations replied, paraphrasing, “If that’s what Marxism is then I am not a Marxist.”

    From my perspective, it is the interest of the working class that guides me. It is clear that what the ruling capitalist class has in store for us is not in our interest. Their system is unstable and destructive and the action of such must be ended.


  • STM

    I don’t know if anywhere has seen pure marxism. It’s always been tainted from what I can gather.

    Perhaps it would work if those implementing it could make a binding agreement not to white-ant each other and bastardise what they are trying to do.

  • Les Slater

    I don’t think it’s possible to have pure Marxism. I would be suspicious of any pure Marxism. Maybe a pure Marx, that is his writings. But even there Marx contradicted himself at times and some of those included errors. Marx himself would be in the forefront of scorning the concept of a ‘pure Marxism’.

  • Jordan Richardson

    A pure Marxist knows that there can never be pure Marxism.

  • Mark

    Mr. Russell, Mr. Russell! Clean-up on aisle 207.

  • Les # 195:

    I am not arguing that values are necessarily universal or ahistorical; that’s another topic. Still, they have to be argued for in every historical period and context: for example, by those who were for and against slavery. So either you’re being disingenuous or genuinely confused by changing the subject on me.

    All I stated was that they still have to be argued for – on however shaky moral grounds.

    If you don’t want to address this proposition, no problem, but don’t pretend that you’re doing it when you’re not even close.

  • Les Slater


    My 195 goes back to your 188:

    “…my view is that human values transcend class-membership, don’t you think?”

    I answered ‘no’. Then in your 190:

    “…then the whole idea of value goes out the window. It’s nothing more than an expression of interest.”

    They are expressions, often distorted, of interest but that certainly does not mean the concept goes ‘out the window’.

    In your 209 you present that “I am not arguing that values are necessarily universal or ahistorical…” but “…transcend(ing) class-membership” from your 188 is a definite form of universality. That universality I disagree with and apparently you do also. That was the entirety of the meaning of my ‘no’ of my 189.


  • “I am not a Marxist.” –Karl Marx

  • Baronius

    Zing, with all due respect, Les isn’t arguing for fairer tax rates or some “third way” between capitalism and socialism. He’s talking about communism. Communism has a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature, and inevitably leads to a power grab by the worst people.

  • Les Slater

    Baronius either has trouble reading or understanding or both. See my 204.

  • Is the quality of empathy always and necessarily class-related and restricted to any particular group-membership? Is it always and expression of our self-centeredness and group-identity? I should think that precisely the opposite is the case if the notion of empathy is to have any force – which is precisely to be able to transcend original ties of kinship, tribalism and functionality. But according to your picture, transcendence is a myth; and so is our ability to look beyond our immediate interests so as to include an increasingly greater and greater chunk of humanity under the more and more comprehensive rubric of “we.” In fact, the argument can be made is not so much that our values have changed and progressed over the years (I am no denying the process of growth in the individual case – when it comes to moral perfection – or in any historical sense when applicable to cultures or nations) but rather, our ability to see beyond our immediate circle and extend those values to all and all alike. But then again, if that’s your picture of values – as merely an expression of your immediate interests – how can you claim any spirituality?

    (And secondarily, has Christ’s notion and example of love been improved upon over the last two thousand years?)

  • 211 – ooops, I should have read Les’ 204 myself.


    Where do you get your ideas about human nature?

  • Mark

    #209 It’s going to be difficult to ‘argue’ if you’ve excluded the particular irrationality of revealed knowledge from the public square … more like preaching to the choir.

    Didn’t Jesus say: ‘the metaphysicians will always be with you’?

    Baronius, I agree. ‘Marxism’ brands a particularly violent politics.

  • #216:

    Exactly my point. If appeals to a “higher authority” are disallowed from the public square as regards religion, appeals to morality are equally debilitated.

  • Classes share commonalities with cultures, imo, Roger. Empathy is wasted when there is no real means of understanding.

    I can have all the empathy I want for school children in a classroom, if I am a teacher, but as long as I am in the power culture there is a hierarchy that generally prevents my seeing their needs as they see them. That is, I would be examining them and deciding what I thought their needs are.

    This is the same with social work. The social worker in the dominant culture studies the poor. They are already considered to be subordinate to the dominant culture. In other words, the question does not really arise whether the culture itself are producing the poor, the drug addicted, the depressed, the violent and amoral. These people are seen as if they are not adapted to the ‘reasonable culture’.

    Though small modifications occur to favor better treatment of people, change is couched in terms of morality–we should treat people better…i.e. we should not plunge sharp objects into their brains…etc. Change is not really aimed at questioning the whole of the system altogether.

    This is why I consider Pratt extremely important. One culture cannot see very well the needs and reasons of another culture. No matter whether they try to empathize, the dominating culture member will always be injuring the subordinate because she is blinded by being a member of a culture with a different reality.

    Thus, only through contact zones are myths dispelled and can real empathy be achieved. This creates respect for the viewpoint of the other–that viewpoint gains equal footing over time. Otherwise the other’s viewpoint is marginalized–no matter how ‘good’ the intention.

    So, classes explain each other to themselves differently. The poor and the disenfranchised are often scorned in the story the dominant culture tells.

  • Baronius

    Les (#213) – Yes, I saw your comment about Marxist development. But I’ve also read other comments of yours. They use the old Marxist words in the same old way. You can’t just say you’ve developed and expect it to carry any weight.

  • “No matter whether they try to empathize, the dominating culture member will always be injuring the subordinate because she is blinded by being a member of a culture with a different reality.”

    I should have added, “…and is in a position to dominate.”

    Clearly only the dominating part causes the injury. merely having different realities is just how things are.

  • Baronius

    “Where do you get your ideas about human nature?”

    The playground, cartoons…the usual places.

  • Sorry,

    There have been plenty of whites who took up the cause of Civil Rights. Where they all deluded? Soldiers of fortune? Just going for a ride?

    In a sense, it is more difficult for a white person to imagine being a black, or for a male to put themselves in the shoes of a female. It has got to do whether we regard others as humans, same as ourselves.

    Slaves weren’t regarded as humans; women only as half-humans. Jews were cockroaches to Hitler.

    Dehumanizing a person excludes them from your community and allows for differential treatment. Regarding them as full-fledged humans, no different than ourselves, does away with all the barriers. That’s what transcendence is about.

  • 221 It was a serious question, Bar. I realize it sounded sarcastic. But, I was trying to find out why you believe that about human nature.

  • Roger,

    I don’t think that explains everything. It doesn’t explain how we fail to see through the eyes of another culture even when there is no domination involved.

    There have been plenty of whites who took up the cause of Civil Rights. Where they all deluded? Soldiers of fortune? Just going for a ride?

    I already explained this in my post. Perhaps you missed it.

  • “It doesn’t explain how we fail to see through the eyes of another culture.”

    What do you need to see?

  • Does’t what you are presume that we all have the same reality? Wouldn’t we also all have to execute that reality perfectly? A smothering parent feels love for his children and considers their humanity just as another parent who is more balanced in his treatment of them. Yet neither may be able to really understand the child’s perspective or needs from the child’s POV.

  • Les Slater

    Roger, my 195 stated that values were quite differentiated. That does not at all say that the groupings were homogeneous or that such differentiation is not useful.

  • Also, if what you say is true, would we even have to have this conversation? Wouldn’t you, simply by respecting my humaness just understand me?

  • 226 Correction: Does’t what you are [saying] presume that we all have the same reality?

  • Jeff Forsythe

    “Tradition” is one of those hanus words Americans use to signal that they are uber-conservative isn’t it? It makes the hair stand up on my neck when I read it more than two or three times in the first rounds of a piece.

    You fellows really must learn from other’s mistakes and divorce religion from your politics or it will be your undoing.

    Mr. Forsythe

  • 225 If we saw what we needed to see we would create a moral society that worked. Your consideration of others as ‘human’ has caused the left to create charities to hand out things to the needy.

    If the left could see what they needed to see, then they would stop feeling so good about themselves for their charity and they would see that they are supporting the system that creates the poor and needy.

  • Also, please have a look at what began ny comments. You discussed ’empathy’. I suggest empathy is more than a kind predisposition toward someone. I am sure those dominating males cherished their little ladies even as they owned them.

  • “Doesn’t what you are [saying] presume that we all have the same reality?”

    No it doesn’t. Each individual is individuated to the point that you’ll never be them. Even long term relationships/marriages will never bridge that gap. So what? I can live with this fact.

    So the point is, you’re harping on insurmountable differences, as though somehow they were surmountable. The emphasis ought to be on points of commonality, the fact we’re all members of the same species, the same form of life. And making that kind of identification – identification as regards common membership – is certainly the first step.

    I just don’t see what’s so objectionable about this idea.

  • Instead of empathy, let’s talk of identification.

  • David; do you own a photo of you smiling?

  • #227,

    So how does that impact against my point? And what aspect of my argument do you specifically object to?

  • 233 Than you can live with the fact of domination.

  • How you smuggle in domination into the discussion, by the back door, is beyond me.

    I thought the focus was merely on cultural differences.

  • Les Slater

    Roger -222

    “Dehumanizing a person excludes them from your community and allows for differential treatment. Regarding them as full-fledged humans, no different than ourselves, does away with all the barriers. That’s what transcendence is about.”

    I have met many capitalists. I’m happy to report, at least from casual observation, that they are indeed human. As I have previously stated, a few are, or have been my friends. I must also state that some sincerely try to see the perspective of their workers. The friends also know that I’m a communist. At least they know that’s what I say. I don’t expect any to fully understand. That has not only not been a barrier to communications but more of an opening.

    I think what you are getting at is the question of whether there is more of a common ground than we are willing to find and/or acknowledge. Let’s take a pretty obvious one, the desire not to destroy ourselves. The problem is that the internal laws of capitalism do not accommodate for that at its highest stage, imperialism. There is a logic leading to that destruction. The laws of capitalism will propel it in that direction as long as it exists as the dominate mode of production. I doubt any members of the capitalist class desire this but they have no choice.

    Not only is it on a path to destroy us all but it has built a considerable defense of its ability to do so. We are not going to be able to talk them out of it. We have to find a way of destroying it before it destroys us, including its capitalists. We have to transcend class rule.


  • Let me try a different way. Identification only takes place when seeing through the other’s POV. In a dominating culture, the fact of domination itself precludes this to the extent necessary to change the problem–domination.

    The culture works to serve a domination elite by a certain, I’ll call it, operation. If that operation were not in effect we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    We ca still be good, caring people and still be serving the domination of one culture over another. Adults have done this to children, for example, in all dominating cultures.

    If anything I’m saying sheds any light on what I am trying o get across, let me know.

  • How you smuggle in domination into the discussion, by the back door, is beyond me.

    I thought the focus was merely on cultural differences.

    Cultural differences are not the problem. Domination is the problem. Can you see that without domination, cultural differences are no problem?

  • The dominating culture forces itself upon the community. As each person is born all must fall in step.

    The people can be the nicest and kindest, but they are collaborating to support a system that is destructive and evil.

  • #240:

    Wrong. All that is necessary is to realize that others are equally human – in each and every respect – as you are. In fact, it may even partake of the recognition of whatever individual differences there may exist, whether or not they’re bridged or understood.

  • Roger,

    I’m sorry. We should chat on the phone a bit. I think we must see Foucault awfully differently. You seem to be able to forget about the power structure this society is designed to serve. You seem to disagree with me that , for the most part, that takes cooperation to prop up. It doesn’t stay propped up without cooperation of the people any more than it can without the dissemination of manufactured knowledge by authority (the dominating culture).

  • #241

    If you mean that cultural or ethnic differences provide a pretext for domination, then I agree. But they don’t offer an excuse.

    You’re still off topic, though. The discussion between me and Les pertained to the “nature” of human values.

  • Les Slater

    Roger 243

    The capitalist system requires domination of the majority by a minority. Recognizing one’s humanity is not going to alter that one bit. It is necessary to end that system. That is the only basis for the beginning of all of us treating ouselves as human to the fullest extent.

  • #244, OK.

  • Why would you think I’d disagree with anything you said in #246?

  • Jeff Forsythe

    This is becoming close in scope to listening to one of those intellectual BBC broadcasts concerning the size and number of nose hairs on an Aftican white rhino

    and just as boring
    Mr. Forsythe

  • Les Slater

    re 248 – Cindy, can you try? Thanks, Les

  • That means just seeing others as human and trying to be nice is not necessarily opposing that power structure and can actually be aiding it.

    There are very nice people in the dominating culture.

  • oops sorry 251 was an afterthought to 244…

  • Les Slater

    252 – I thought it was a beginning to my request of 250:)

  • Jeff Forsythe

    I Am leaving before some catholic yells out BINGO!

  • The notion of identification was posited against Les’s claim that empathy, solidarity, etc., are necessarily determined by class membership. So yes, Cindy, you are taking my remarks out of context.

  • Baronius

    I wasn’t being facetious, Cindy. My understanding of human nature comes from the same places everyone else’s does. Observation of others, observation of myself, and reading a fair amount of history.

  • Les Slater

    re 255,

    They are more correlated than determined in a direct and immediate sense. Interests are determined but not necessarily expressed. The expressions of empathy, solidarity, etc. are distorted by the pervasiveness of ruling class ideology.

  • You should be able to speak for yourself, Les. Cindy is coming in with her own agenda, and it only complicates things by taking the argument to another level.

    I’m certain you don’t want to discuss Foucault; if if you did, you would have accepted earlier invitation. So let’s keep it at the present level – nice and simple.

  • “The expressions of empathy, solidarity, etc. are distorted by the pervasiveness of ruling class ideology.”

    In each and every individual instance? In that case, what’s the way out? Overturning the ruling class ideology and replacing it with the new, workers’ ideology?

    It seems you can’t think your way outside the box. And so the world turns, according to Les.

  • 253 Les, lol, it could work as that, but probably won’t I fear.

    255 Roger,

    I agree with Les. I was trying to explain it in my own terms. I had hoped that you would notice that what he is saying is about the same as what I have said, only in a different context. I use the context of cultures. He uses the context of classes. What I have said about cultures regards classes just the same. A class being a sort of culture.

    I don’t think he was suggesting that ALL empathy whatsoever rested on class. I am thinking he means POV, ability to see things the same way, to see the same reality.

    What does a white guy from Beverley Hills KNOW about why minorities in a ghetto do not ‘succeed’ in the society. He will usually LEARN from the dominant culture why the minorities FAIL. He will learn the POV from the dominant culture. He will not live in a ghetto he will not learn first hand how the system effects life there. He will not be exposed to the narratives of that local culture.

    He may go to college, become a social worker. But his POV will be to analyse THEM. He will not know what he does not know.

  • I don’t think he was suggesting that ALL empathy whatsoever rested on class. I am thinking he means POV, ability to see things the same way, to see the same reality. (me)

    The expressions of empathy, solidarity, etc. are distorted by the pervasiveness of ruling class ideology. (Les)

    There, Roger. That confirms it.

  • It still commits Les to a form of solipsism from which there is no kind of escape.

    We’re all doomed.

  • Les Slater

    Roger – 259,

    “Overturning the ruling class ideology and replacing it with the new, workers’ ideology?”

    Definitely not. The task of the working class is to rid the world of the capitalist system. After the economy is out of the hands of the capitalists there will be a need to suppress any tendencies for the rule of the market to reassert itself. To the extent that that is successful and without internal or external threat, we will begin to relate to each other as human beings and not as a class. The identity of a class is only in its relationship to other classes. There would be no objective basis for a ‘worker’ ideology’.

  • 262

    Domination is a fact of life. So far it hasn’t gone away. No matter how many nice people are around.

    Therefore it must be held in place by something very powerful.

    I don’t want to suggest that there is no way out (and I don’t think Les is), but look around you Roger. Look at the history of domination. Who do you see in all this time creating a new way? For black slaves to become wage slaves…progress? For women to become competitive and edging onward toward psychopathy…progress?

    If I was going to enslave people, I wouldn’t lock them in prisons, I would teach them to enslave themselves and call it freedom.

  • That’s fine with me. I may not be part of the working class, but I am just as intent on overturning the capitalist system. Are my intentions less pure and more distorted for the fact? Was the same true of Marx? And what about you?

    Aren’t you relating to people as human beings even now, while capitalism is still going strong? And what about Mark and Cindy?

    I haven’t noticed any false notes in any of their comments, even though they may suspect themselves of being false and less than genuine, the best representatives they may be of “distorted” consciousness and “distorted” sense of allegiance and solidarity

  • Cindy,

    Why do you insist on burdening me with a naive view and then expect me to respond to you.

    You are capable of much greater sophistication that your remarks indicate.

    To discuss some of the issues you raise, we need a proper context. In the absence of the requisite kind of context, your remarks indeed appear trite. You’re not speaking to Baronius or to Archie. You don’t have to convince me of the culture of domination. So get of the cross. Somebody else needs the wood.

  • Les Slater

    We very much DO NOT relate to each other as human beings. Just the simple use of money is in reality a social relationship reflecting our class position in society.

  • In any society, Les, there’s going to be a “social relationship.” So in that sense yes, some of our relationships are “impersonal” in that respect. Not necessarily a bad thing: imagine a life in which every single interaction was personal.

    Somehow, however, it doesn’t mean that my picture of you is pre-emptied by that of a Walmart consumer.

    On the flip side of things, I don’t think it’s all that desirable to model ourselves after a society of ants. If that’s your kind of utopia then no, thank you.

  • Les Slater

    “In any society, Les, there’s going to be a ‘social relationship’.”

    I like what Engels had to say about sex:

    “What we can now conjecture about the way in which sexual relations will be ordered after the impending overthrow of capitalist production is mainly of a negative character, limited for the most part to what will disappear. But what will there be new? That will be answered when a new generation has grown up: a generation of men who never in their lives have known what it is to buy a woman’s surrender with money or any other social instrument of power; a generation of women who have never known what it is to give themselves to a man from any other considerations than real love or to refuse to give themselves to their lover from fear of the economic consequences. When these people are in the world, they will care precious little what anybody today thinks they ought to do; they will make their own practice and their corresponding public opinion about the practice of each individual – and that will be the end of it.”

  • Les Slater

    Marriage is primarily an economic relationship.

  • #240:

    Wrong. All that is necessary is to realize that others are equally human – in each and every respect – as you are. In fact, it may even partake of the recognition of whatever individual differences there may exist, whether or not they’re bridged or understood.

    How does this differ then from the standard liberal conceptualization? How does it explain my objections?

    I wish you would address some of my points directly–substantiate them by means other than I have used or repudiate them. To not address them, I don’t know whether you disagree or are just not acknowledging them.

    #269 That’s excellent.

  • See 231 Roger, for example. You restated your position without accounting for what I said there. Did you disagree? Is this explained by some other means they way you see it?

  • You’re putting a cart before the horse, Les. The immediate problem is one dealing with the system which refuses to go away – of developing alternative strategies.

  • I really don’t understand, Cindy, what point you’re making.

  • ??? Now I am confused. Do you mean at all? In general? Is there some part you don’t understand? Shall I break it down?

    Roger: Al we need to do is see others as fully human.

    Cindy: No, I think we need much more to overcome our dominant culture conditioning.

    The rest was my arguments in support of that.

    What’s not to understand?

  • Les Slater

    Resigning one’s self to a system that ‘refuses to go away’ is not an answer. It must go. The sooner the better. It is the next step. All else is a diversion that ultimately gives the system more breathing room to further its poison.

  • Do you not recognize anything in what I am saying? Maybe that is the problem. Do you not see how the teacher or the social worker or the parent or the cultural anthropologist or the colonial conquerer fail to be ABLE to see reality the same way as the culture that has less power in the hierarchy–the culture they dominate?

    What do you make of the dominant culture practically, not just in the abstract? By what operation or process do you see it holding the status quo in place?

  • 277 is an afterthought to 275

  • Mark

    #273 – I agree.

    The time for naming and describing the bad old days is about over, I guess. Les, when you occupy corporate offices and factories, I’ll grow veggies for you.

  • Les Slater

    Cindy 275, 277, 278,

    Regardless what Roger sees and agrees with in the abstract he is blind to and fears the necessity to actually take power out of the hands of the capitalist class.

  • What I’m suggesting, perhaps, is that if you and Les had less of an ax to grind, all of us could stay on topic – see how this discussion started with Les’s rather astute observation which turned the thread away from “”Ruvy bashing” – rather then turning into regurgitating of stale thinking.

    There is plenty of up-to-day writing on the present state of social theory, and therefore plenty of opportunity to discuss whatever relevant issues in the context of those writings. Indeed, in the absence of some such context, which provides the discussion with a definite point of focus and guides it, it’s an exercise in futility. And I don’t want to be engaged in the abstract. Find it a waste of time.

  • That’s your conception, Les. I’ve got less to lose than you.

  • Les Slater

    I have nothing to lose.

  • Why would you think that I do?

  • Les Slater

    Does this have anything to do with you not expecting to experience 30 years down the road?

  • Not really. I’ve had a full life, true. And for that reason, perhaps, yes – I’ve got nothing to lose. And yes, for that same reason, I can speak how I see it. No need to pretend.

  • Les Slater

    But you are having a problem seeing the significance of some of Cindy’s points. I see it as a block of some sort.

  • 240 (quoted in my 271) – I want to say this after rethinking, Roger. It may clear things up. I do think that is much of what is necessary.

    We don’t really need to see through another POV at all in the end…we can and have to live with differences we don’t understand and here is the caveat…as long as we are not dominating another, we don’t really have to understand them. We just have to treat them with respect and acknowledge their value as a human. What we need to do is stop dominating.

    Now, will it help if I say that I think we can only get to the point of becoming non-dominating IF we can see through the POV of the other? That is the real empathy that causes the dominator to question the problem–domination itself.

  • “Resigning one’s self to a system that ‘refuses to go away’ is not an answer. It must go. The sooner the better. It is the next step.”

    The sooner the better – not necessarily. It might be premature and the movement aborted. No wine before it’s time. Just as the taking of Bastille was but an icing on the cake – a culmination of events. Same here. The system hasn’t inflicted yet the full extent of misery. Give it time and it surely will. Then it will become toppled of its own accord.

  • “We don’t really need to see through another POV at all in the end…we can and have to live with differences we don’t understand and here is the caveat…as long as we are not dominating another, we don’t really have to understand them. We just have to treat them with respect and acknowledge their value as a human. What we need to do is stop dominating.”

    But that’s exactly what I’ve been saying, Cindy. Couldn’t you see that? Identifying ourselves with the rest of humanity does away with domination.

  • “Now, will it help if I say that I think we can only get to the point of becoming non-dominating IF we can see through the POV of the other?”

    Why is that the necessary condition? Identification with “the other” will do the job.

  • It hasn’t done the job.

  • What job is that?

  • 293 –

    What job is that?

    The job you mentioned in 291.


    Capitalism IS domination. Liberals, some of whom are the most loving and lovely and respectful humans I have ever met, support and work within capitalism.

    I don’t think that domination just disappears through respecting people. But, let me give you an example that might work.

    Lets assume I am a good liberal. I respect the homeless as humans.I wan’t to end homelessness. My work could entail two choices which come from very different POVs. One comes from understanding the homeless as taught by the dominating culture (likely even my liberal brethren). The other comes from attempting to understand the homeless from their own POV. How they see themselves is different from how dominating culture (in its most empathetic form) sees them.

    I could become a social worker or a charity worker who tries to ‘help’ the homeless often by attempts to ‘convert’ them into ‘functioning’ members of the society or I could recognize that there is something wrong with the society for creating homelessness in the first place. I might recognize that and reject the society. I might help them occupy unused spaces, for example.

    These are both things I could do if I valued humans and wanted to help the homeless. Can you see that the dominating culture allows outlets for our feelings of brotherhood that are false choices? That are not in the interest of those we want to help at all? That actually serve to keep the dominating system of capitalism in place? We are taught to see the homeless as flawed or disadvantaged in a ‘reasonable system’ rather than seeing the craziness of the system that creates homelessness.

    So, just having that respect, can you see how that is not enough? Can you see how you could make a wrong choice based on the right intentions. can you also see that if you could live the life of a homeless person you ‘d have a different understanding of the world? And that being able to see what is really going on (through the POV of the other), people could then potentially empathize and reject the dominating system?

  • Cindy,

    You’re building a strawman, but that’s OK. Do what you will to try to convince yourself. Join the convent, become homeless if you must, buy an Uzi and start shooting every capitalist pig in sight. As Mark said, it’s too late for talk. So act if you must, and good luck.

  • I’m not building a strawman, Roger. I am trying to build a bridge from what you see to what I see so that you can understand.

    I’m not saying anything different that I’ve said 1001 times. I will give up for now.

  • Good idea. Indeed, that fact you’re saying what you have been saying for 1001 times is proof enough that you’re standing still.

    What I understand is that you’re impatient and angry and that it takes the better of you. You’re not detached enough from the battlefield to think clearly, which is why you’re being combative and contrary every step of the way. The bridges you ought to be building is with me, and then the ideas and understanding would take care of themselves. So yes, I’ll check out from this conversation for a while until cooler heads prevail. Meanwhile, good luck with more congenial partners.

  • You think I am being combative? You’re wrong. The only non-cool head here is your own. I actually put some things down rather clearly, I thought. I’m not angry or upset. It’s hard to imagine I sounded so. But I can see you are. Sorry you have to be hostile.

    When you figure out why let me know and I’ll try to help.

  • Last night I observed a group of Armenians in a public prayer service commemorating the 95th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. It wasn’t a government sanctioned prayer event. President Obama’s failure to use the word “genocide” is a very sore point within the Armenian community — as it should be. Where am I going with this? Well, it’s a two fold answer.

    There’s nothing wrong with public prayer observances. And there certainly is nothing wrong with public officials participating in public prayer services provided that the service is not funded with public money or sanctioned by an act of Congress. In saying “The Court terminates National Day of Prayer” I see buzz words. “Terminate” is the key word as it usually is a thinly veiled reference to abortion. It’s amazing to me how buzz words are used so much these days in the attempt by political factions to inform the masses. The Court didn’t terminate, folks, they validated that document which contains the framework of our governmental system. Were it not for that document on hemp paper, the extreme right would not have the freedom to attempt to control the masses with their misinformation of the Good News.

    Now back to the genocide. I’ve said many times that the road to achieving dialog between enemy camps is to recognize that the sins of our fathers do not necessarily have to be visited upon us and our children. The age old divides which have served to perpetuate this hatred need to be recognized, discussed and put to rest once and for all. Our children need to be taught history as it was, not some romanticized version which places the advantage on one side vs. another. The Ottomans slaughtered Armenians. That’s genocide. Spanish Christians slaughtered Native Americans. That’s genocide. Nazi Germany slaughtered Jews and Catholics. That’s genocide. Are we to punish today’s Turks, Spaniards and Germans for the sins of old? That’s stupid.

  • Cindy,

    I haven’t said you’re angry with me. And I’m certainly not angry with you because your heart is in the right place. Still, we’ve got no conversation going, that’s all.

    Later perhaps.

  • Gil

    Every President says “and may God bless the United States of America” at the end of every speach and US dollar notes have “In God we trust”
    So what’s the problem in having a National Day of Prayer. Nobody is forced into praying.

  • Now, zing, [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    I took the prohibition on male homosexual acts in Leviticus – something that stupid Christians (and a lot of stupid and bigoted Jews) use to scream, “kill the fags!” – and put in context with the punishment prescribed – death – and the requirements in Deuteronomy that a death penalty could not be imposed without two to three witnesses.

    And then I pinpointed the issue that was being dealt with – which was not homosexual behavior in private between consenting males – but public orgies in pagan temples where people could see the behavior. The “gay pride” parades in Israel are akin to these public orgies, and therefore akin to the pagan temples where foreign values – like the bullshit liberalism of your sick and perverted society – is worshiped. THAT is why they put us in Israel in mortal danger. It is obvious that you are too stupid to see any of that.

    You don’t think like someone accusing somebody under a set of rules, indicting him, and then bringing him to justice using rules of evidence and proof. I do. That is what going to law school did for you, and you obviously didn’t attend. Your reasoning powers in applying rules are all too lacking from the postings you write here.

    The boys at the Ford Foundation who underwrite “Open House”, the alleged gay rights organization in Israel, do whatever they can to bring us in Israel in mortal danger. They are a lot smarter than beer-swillers like you who think you know – AND DON’T.

    The Ford Foundation – founded by that ultra-rich Jew-hater, Henry Ford – funds a traitorous left-wing organization that whines about how Israel treats gay people – but which is absolutely silent about the persecution gay people suffer in Arab controlled areas of Israel – or in Arab countries. “People” like you haven’t got the sense to ask why. Other “people” like Roger Novosielski are too arrogant and think that they need to bother to ask.

    My respect for you and Roger both has hit the shitpile in the sewage plant – and that is likely where it will stay. “Doctor Dreadful” is just a few millimeters on top of the two of you.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Let’s do it again, zing. At least it kept his mouth shut for a couple of days, and that alone is worth it.

  • zingzing

    ruvy: “The “gay pride” parades in Israel are akin to these public orgies…”

    that’s the crux of your argument, and it’s false. it’s a pride parade, not a public sex act. that’s plain silly.

    and no one is wasting their time trying to bring down israel by funding public orgies. it’s just not a smart investment. to do so would be totally moronic.

    sorry, ruvy, but your argument is based on a stupid assumption.

  • Ruvy pretends all of a sudden to sound like a rational person, citing line and verse in support of his “balanced” position.

    All one needs to do to quickly dispel this false image is to quote some more of his raving comments on any number of blogsites.

    Indeed, “Ruvy of Jerusalem” is a well-known persona, recognized by all and sundry for polluting blogosphere with his characteristic poison and hatred. Just google him up if you don’t believe.

  • “Doctor Dreadful” is just a few millimeters on top of the two of you.


    Nah, Chris is just going to delete it anyway.

  • I was wondering whether you were going to notice Ruvy’s gem.

  • You want to go after my hide, DD, I’ll go after yours. I don’t give what Chris does or says.

  • Let’s make that clear. I don’t give a damn what Chris does or says. Full stop.

  • Yes, well, Roger, truth stinks.

    If you think about it, Ruvy lives in an environment that’s as wild and unreal as anything in modern human experience. It’s certainly affected his worldview, particularly in the last couple of years.

    The question is whether, as he insists, we’re all living in a bubble and refusing to acknowledge reality; or – which seems more likely to me – he’s the one in the bubble.

    He’s always been something of a conspiracy theorist, but they’ve come to dominate his thinking recently.

    His repeated assertion that the US is in an inescapable financial hole makes some sense – the deficit/debt/upshitcreekness quotient is sometimes quoted in so many trillions that I have to wonder if enough money even exists in the world for it to be possible.

    But I’m reminded of a quote from a screenplay by another sharp-thinking Jew:

    BUTTERCUP: We’ll never get out alive.
    WESTLEY: Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no-one ever has.

  • zing [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] zing wrote, and no one is wasting their time trying to bring down israel by funding public orgies. it’s just not a smart investment. to do so would be totally moronic.

    You haven’t seen the “pride parades” in Tel Aviv, dude. I have. So, like usual, you are just shootin’ shit out of your mouth.

    Dumb Americans like you, who are totally ignorant about this planet, assume that what is moronic to them is moronic to everyone. The world just doesn’t work that way. You are not the cultural arbiters for the world. You live in a sick perverted, pornographic society where a good half of you are bastards by OUR standards.

    And you are learning to pay the price for your sickness and obscene mentality.

    Arabs kill you en masse, like at Fort Hood, and you say nothing because you quake in fear from their violence. They kill their own women in honor killings, and you politically correct idiots say nothing – out of fear of their violence. They spit at your culture and you say nothing out of fear of their violence. Soon they will gang-rape your women, and you will say nothing and do nothing – out of fear for their violence.

    Forget the ethnic violence that is beginning to plague you. When the Wahhabi kick your butts in your own homes, you will quake with cowardice.

    That is the level you are descending to.

    You have no idea what a healthy society looks like anymore, that you can judge societies overseas.

  • No one is denying that the West is in a heap of trouble, Dreadful. It’s his tone that’s objectionable if not downright annoying – preaching from the mountaintop as though he himself was above the fray, the same old doomsday message time and again, no original idea in his head.

    After a while it gets stale.

  • Don’t bother trying to talk up to me [Edited], Roger. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    My ticker ain’t in the best of shape, but my mind is plenty healthier than yours.

  • DD,

    I don’t live in any kind of bubble. I live in a war zone run by a traitorous government. But the bubble you live in in America is beginning to burst. I hope you notice in time so that you or your wife are not damaged….

  • my mind is plenty healthier than yours.

    Unquestioningly swallowing the fantasies of that idiot Sitchin and regurgitating them as gospel truth is not a symptom of a healthy mind.

    (To give just one example.)

  • “… so that you or your wife are not damaged….”

    So now we’re moving from prophecies to threats – a natural progression for the likes of Ruvy.

    I had thought that your concern is with the recalcitrant Jewish population rather than the goyim at large.

    Have you changed your tune of late or has the prophetic impulse gotten the better of you?

  • Is this the basis for Ruvy’s new-found belief? What happened to the good old Yahweh?

  • Mark

    Read Ruvy as a third world ‘revolutionary’ looking to unify his people by appeal to national destiny using vilification (not without cause) of the other — in this case the wannabe wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    Fannon with tzitzis…

  • As of this minute, Ruvy, I am as sober as a judge, but guess what: my opinion of you wouldn’t change one way or another.

    As for going after you, it’s not really necessary. You’ve been disqualifying yourself of late every time you open your mouth. So yes, I’ve joined the bandwagon, and why not?

    You’re an easy target of ridicule, and I’m just enjoying myself. Can you blame me?

  • OK, Mark, I’ll rid myself of the venom. It doesn’t work anyway.

  • I’ve been reluctant to raise Sitchin’s ideas because they raise lots of thorny questions that Sitchin himself is only beginning to answer. But having seen proof that the central item in his book The Twelfth Planet does in fact exist, and is coming closer to the center of the solar system, I’m willing to point them up. The Ramba”m did point out (I’m paraphrasing here) that the story of creation was hidden and what we see in the Torah is for children and fools to draw moral lessons from. “The fantasies of that idiot Sitchin” answer a lot of questions that both scientists and theologians have not had an answer for. If they had, Sitchin would never have even bothered to write his books.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger and Ruvy –

    Will you two just kiss (or at least fist-bum) and make up?

  • But if you’re right, Mark, he should be preaching to his own people. So perhaps he’s merely honing his skills on BC by way of practice.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Sorry – I meant “fist-bump”.

    And NO, there was no Freudian slip of the English meaning of “bum” following “kiss and make up”.

  • A kiss of Judas, Glenn? Just kidding.

    But Ruvy should learn that his constant bashing style is not going to go unnoticed.

  • I’m done with Ruvy-bashing for today. Got it out of my system. So yes, I’m ready to kiss and make up.

  • zingzing

    “Dumb Americans like you, who are totally ignorant about this planet, assume that what is moronic to them is moronic to everyone. The world just doesn’t work that way. You are not the cultural arbiters for the world. You live in a sick perverted, pornographic society where a good half of you are bastards by OUR standards.”

    ruvy, i wish our society was a little more perverse. it’s ridiculously puritan in certain ways.

    and unless there’s a bunch of people fucking in the streets, i don’t think you can consider the gay pride marches “orgies.” i’ve looked at pictures and videos of it, and it’s totally tame. ridiculously tame. there’s kissing (not a problem) and marching (that’s why they call it a march), maybe some nudity (come on, get over yourself), but no sex. i wouldn’t doubt there might be some back alley shenanigans, but that’s no orgy.

    “And you are learning to pay the price for your sickness and obscene mentality.”

    aww, ruvy get his widdle moralities hurt? it’s pretty clear that you’re the one who’s imagining all these sick, twisted things. your mind’s in a gutter full of penises. we’re no more perverse than anyone else. go take a look at the japanese if you’d like a shock.

    “Arabs kill you en masse, like at Fort Hood, and you say nothing because you quake in fear from their violence.”

    yeah, i’m quaking in fear. not really. i’m fine. it’s you who seems very, very afraid.

    “They kill their own women in honor killings, and you politically correct idiots say nothing…”

    now you’re just making shit up. honor killings have been continually condemned (by both sides of the political spectrum). you must be kidding yourself. go look something up. like “lying.”

    “You have no idea what a healthy society looks like anymore, that you can judge societies overseas.”

    and why are you able to judge? sitting in smug judgment of everyone who is not like you isn’t the healthiest position to hold.

  • If it will make you happy, Ruvy, I will.

    And yes, we all enjoy getting on somebody case when they’re down. Human nature.
    I’m not proud of it but I admit it.

    Now I’m ready to administer the sacrament, but wash up first.

  • zingzing

    ruvy, it was your beliefs and words that dragged you down.

  • Ruvy,

    It would never occur to me to google you up until zing brought it up. But once he did, of course I followed through and yes – to my dismay I discovered that you’re quite a persona on any number of diverse sites.

    So why don’t you recant now and it will all be forgotten. Just say that you spoke out on an impulse or from immaturity, and we’ll let it ride.

  • But having seen proof that the central item in his book The Twelfth Planet does in fact exist

    Proof which you don’t bother to cite. Proof, perhaps, with about the same soundness as your Bible codes?

    , and is coming closer to the center of the solar system

    Any amateur astronomer with a pen and paper can show you that it’s simply not possible for a planet to be in the orbit Sitchin’s theories require.

    “The fantasies of that idiot Sitchin” answer a lot of questions that both scientists and theologians have not had an answer for.

    Probably because he made most of the questions up himself.

    I can’t speak to theology, but for Sitchin to be right, most of the sciences of astronomy, archaeology and linguistics would have to be wrong.

    He’s an arrogant fool.

  • Roger,

    You’re going to insult me – and I should recant? [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • I wasn’t being serious, Ruvy. Lighten up.

  • Hilty

    Read Benjamin Franklin’s speech addressed to the congress. Prayer is leading function of the order of the day on the floor in congress. Franklin had it right.

  • Why?