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JBG





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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
Rabbi Gunter Plaut was, in the past, a respected local figure.
From what I can tell he still is in Jewish circles.
JBG





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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Bugs"[]Sorry, I am writing from a Toronto-centric point of view. I never meant to imply that Holy Blossom was the least bit pathetic. Quite the opposite. Rabbi Gunter Plaut was, in the past, a respected local figure.[/quote]During hte intervening years Rabbi Plaut had died, after a lengthy period of dementia. Thus you're right, that was in the past.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, five years later ...

That thread held a nice conversation. I just re-read it, since your reappearance. I hope you come again. I'd be fascinated to know your feelings about Obama and his diplomacy regarding Iran, Syria, and Israel.
JBG





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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
Wow, five years later ...

That thread held a nice conversation. I just re-read it, since your reappearance. I hope you come again. I'd be fascinated to know your feelings about Obama and his diplomacy regarding Iran, Syria, and Israel.
Thanks for the welcome, though you may not like to hear what I have to say on that topic.

Sleepwalking Through Hell

I picked this title out as a random, catchy title.

Thais is my survey of the Obama Administration's foreign policy accomplishments. He started off his Presidency in a somewhat promising manner, where he bowed down to foreign potentates. Then there was the "apology" tour, where he apologized for what a horrible, overbearing and mean country the U.S. is. The world has countless lands where the governments are kind, leading examples being Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria and Russia.

To his credit he did establish "red lines." Those lines were designed to protect people from such atrocities as being gassed by their government's military. His verbal condemnations of the crossing of those lines was most impressive.

Next up was his withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. The country is well on its way to peace and prosperity. Rival militias from Iran and ISIS are merely stabilizing forces that protect the populations they control from the baneful effects of Zionism, colonialism and U.S. imperialism.

Obama's accomplishments indeed are so impressive that his most serious problems are Canada and Israel. In the case of Canada it wants to build a pipeline. Obama fears the environmental degradation of Canada's boreal forests. By contrast, oil production in other parts of the world, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela is benign and beneficent. Saddam Huseein was trying to light up the night sky over Kuwait by setting their wells ablaze. Francis Scott Key could have written quite the memorial song to that event. Obama is seeking to ensure that we continue to transfer revenue to those leaders, who of course will lavish wealth on their poor.

Back on the home front, though, Obama's nemesis is, surprisingly, Benjamin Netanyahu. His speech is far more inflammatory than Khamemi's yelling "death to America" while his negotiators studiously try to negotiate nuclear "peace in our times." Obama, to his credit, wants to expand his coterie of personal friends to include Khamemi and, just last night, Raul Castro.

His friendship with Raul Castro is likely to see Joanne Chesimard returned to face justice in the U.S. Her "crime" was the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster during a shootout on the Jersey Turnpike. Again, however, perhaps Obama wants to equalize the opportunities for people to disagree with police officers.

How Obama's sleepwalk advances U.S. interests is another topic for another day. I'm quite sure he has some mad, grand scheme as to how this benefits the country to whom he took an oath of office.

Well, I started writing this thread with more of a dreamy image of somnambulating through hell and then returning to reality when awakened. Maybe I've strayed too far from my dream to the real world.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I gather your view is pretty negative. Me too, for what it's worth.

I can't see what's to be gained! When a great power withdraws from a region, it starts struggles for the vacated power. Does Obama think he can switch the USA's chief alliance in the region from the Saudis to the Iranians without setting off huge disruptions in the region?

I worry that the USA look on the chief remaining value of Israel is as a bargaining chip with Iran is, essentially, carte blanche permission to attack Israel without facing retaliation.

The Ukraine is just as bad. I don't know how we expect the Russians to react when the West overthrows the Ukrainian government, and is now arming an Ukrainian army and flying air sorties. The Ukraine is being integrated into Europe, and being used as a forward military base only 300 miles from Moscow!

How did the US react when the Russians were putting missiles in Cuba? This is a comparable thing. The Russians feel they cannot tolerate it. Yet Obama's foreign policy seems to be goofily unaware of the possible consequences ...

I don't care if Obama is a Democrat or a Republican, and I don't care if he's black or white ... my sad conclusion that Obama is the worst President since FDR, and maybe as bad as Buchanan, my previous nomination for the 'goat' amongst the American presidents.

And I am sad. The first black President should have been a Magic Johnson of politics. He should have brought reconciliation, at least in some degree. Instead, he has fomented animosity, and his foreign policy vision increasingly looks like magic thinking. I think that will be the judgement of History.
mrsocko





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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of Hell have you studied anything about it in your Judaism classes? Our church has been having a debate about it for a couple of years.
JBG





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
I gather your view is pretty negative. Me too, for what it's worth.

I can't see what's to be gained! When a great power withdraws from a region, it starts struggles for the vacated power. Does Obama think he can switch the USA's chief alliance in the region from the Saudis to the Iranians without setting off huge disruptions in the region?

I worry that the USA look on the chief remaining value of Israel is as a bargaining chip with Iran is, essentially, carte blanche permission to attack Israel without facing retaliation.
Thank G-d Obama's image has been "trumped." (Pun intended)
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in a lull but I have been reading the Bible. I am still in the old testament, as we call it. You could say that Ezekiel overthrew me. It hasn't been the experience that I expected, not exactly a confirmation of the old values, tried and true. G-d doesn't seem to give a fig about sexual morality, as long as you're procreating fruitfully for example. David had concubines galore. And so it goes. If anything, it makes me aware of how temporal values are.

I don't say this from a hostile point of view. It's just my reaction. On the other hand I have been attending a local church that takes every word of the scripture as the inspired word of G-d (except when I point out that it's about a deal with the chosen people, and nowhere does G-d make a deal with any of the rest of us). Reading the Bible literally, rather than allegorically, makes it more serious, in my mind.
JBG





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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
I am in a lull but I have been reading the Bible. I am still in the old testament, as we call it. You could say that Ezekiel overthrew me. It hasn't been the experience that I expected, not exactly a confirmation of the old values, tried and true. G-d doesn't seem to give a fig about sexual morality, as long as you're procreating fruitfully for example. David had concubines galore. And so it goes. If anything, it makes me aware of how temporal values are.

I don't say this from a hostile point of view. It's just my reaction. On the other hand I have been attending a local church that takes every word of the scripture as the inspired word of G-d (except when I point out that it's about a deal with the chosen people, and nowhere does G-d make a deal with any of the rest of us). Reading the Bible literally, rather than allegorically, makes it more serious, in my mind.
I actually take the Bible as a fairly, though not fully, accurate history of Jewish development. Where we've been, where we're going.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What strikes me: It's hard to discern the conversation about morality, etc. that takes place within the Jewish society from scripture -- there is a general theme that G-d punishes sin, generally in a collective way, and when the Jews go back to G-d, they again prosper. So the sins and redemption occur at a civilizational level.
JBG





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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
What strikes me: It's hard to discern the conversation about morality, etc. that takes place within the Jewish society from scripture -- there is a general theme that G-d punishes sin, generally in a collective way, and when the Jews go back to G-d, they again prosper. So the sins and redemption occur at a civilizational level.
That's mostly in Deuteronomy. The stuff about protection of the handicapped and general ethics are sprinkled through Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
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