To discuss issues relevant to the large and growing world of young Frum families and singles who are fully engaged in the Olam HaTorah and Olam HaZeh. You take your career, learning, family (or dating) and play seriously (not necessarily in that order.) You are nervous about the anti-intellectual trends that you see in your community while being proud of being part of the Torah renaissance in our generation.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

For those of you who don't get Newsweek; George F. Will on Bush

As a public service to those who do not get Newsweek, I would like to quote George F. Will's column in this week's edition where he discusses Bush's performance this past year. This is important for all my Bush/Republican apologist readers out there - for George F. Will is one of the country's leading conservative intellectuals and writers. I quote:

"At home, the president's and the nation's disagreeable year can be summarized by three female names: Terri Schiavo, Harriet Miers and Katrina. The first (Schiavo) involved grotesque overreaching by the federal government, undertaken by self-described conservatives whose action refuted their description. The second (Miers) involved indifference to competence. The third (Katrina) displayed the consequences of incompetence. Abroad, Iraq illustrated one, two and three."

Period, end of story.

Frum Jews - stop being apologists for Bush. Be thankful for his support for Sharon, but don't follow him blindly, as our grandparents did FDR. Keep your eyes and minds open and watch your back, as "Ein Lonu LeHishaen Elah al Avinu SheBashamaim"


  • At 12/14/2005 10:19 AM, Blogger CM said…

    " Period, end of story."
    You state that people should have their own opinions and not be apologists. You then state I'm correct because George will agrees with me. And if George will says something, all republicans should blindly agree!!Bring specific criticism to debate about not someone elses opinion.

    Schaivo: Will is both right and wrong. He is right that states rights supporters should not have used congress. But he is also ignores that many conservatives aren't conservatives because they read toucville or the anti-federalist papers. Their conservative for religious reasons, and states rights doesn't mean that much to them.

    Miers: Will is absolutely right.
    Katrina: He is right again.

    Iraq: He is wrong in my opinion. But again you need to bring specific arguments.

    The main thing Jews defend about Bush is his Foreign Policy. That is where people are "apologists"( see definition). i don't think you will find any when it comes to domestic policy. There people draw their own conclusions. If you want Jews to stop championing Bush on FP than critique with specific examples.

    apologist: A person who argues in defense or justification of something, such as a doctrine, policy, or institution. (AHD)

  • At 12/14/2005 3:23 PM, Blogger CM said…

    Here is the opposing point of view on Iraq from a senator liberman. According to your logic Since he is a democrat and liberal on social issues it should be "end of story." since he supports the war and says that things are getting better and the mistakes have been corrected.

    In reality the only thing it proves is that the war is not a simple issue. Just because someone believes the war is going well does not mean that he is one of the shock troops for the rep party.

  • At 12/19/2005 10:55 PM, Blogger J said…

    My I don't doubt that there are many sides to an issue. But u must admit that there are lots of Repub loyalist ditto heads who buy into the war because a Republican started it. And had Clinton started it, they would oppose it (as they did all of Clinton's moral crusade/nation building wars.)
    I am fighting a war against what I used to be - a ditto head mindless sheep follower of a party - who was always right and just and moral - and 'they' (the libs) where always wrong, immoral and corrupt. I remember even defending REagan for his trip to Bitburg (are u old enough to remember that?) Why did I defend it? Because he was 'on my team'.
    Boruch Hashem, I have been cured. Does that mean that I am right about my opinions regarding Iraq? Of course not. But at least they are my opinions - and I have the ability to have an open mind about it - something the Limbaugh/Hannities/Levin and their brainwashed minions do not have. As they must defend their 'teamate'.
    So, Mr. CM, I hope that you are NOT one of the strawmen that I put up in my post just to knock down. I sincerely do hope so (and have no reason not to believe so!:)


  • At 12/19/2005 10:59 PM, Blogger J said…

    Your first post was very interesting and proves what I hoped in my last post - that you have an open mind and are not a mindless Republican 'team player'. Boruch Hashem!

    As for apologist - my understanding of the word is "one who has to explain and defend a position - regardless of the circumstances or merits of the case." e.g. Avi Shafran and until recently Yonasan Rosenblum (who has lately started shedding some of his rose colored glasses, b'h) will always be required to defend the Chareidi position on each and every issue. They are apologists.

  • At 12/20/2005 9:53 AM, Blogger CM said…

    You will never convince people to stop being apologists or anything else until you bring logical arguments.

    To quote from a post on hirhurim " Maharal, The truth is the best defense against the barbs and criticism of your enemies. Producing clear evidence is the necessary and sufficient refutation of your adversary's position."

    Telling people "you are a brainwashed fool" will never get you anywhere.

  • At 12/20/2005 10:38 AM, Blogger J said…

    You are correct when arguing an issue (e.g. should we leave Iraq now). But my polemic is against an emotional mindset prevelant in red-state America of viewing the Republicans/Conservatives as 'our team' and defending them and identifying with them emotionally. No amount of 'logic' will change this emotion. By pointing out the bias and poitning out the symptoms of this malady, those infected (as I was) might come to see the error of their ways - and THEN can make logical arguments for or against the war in Iraq, tax cuts for the rich, etc. , etc.

    Since you are clearly not in this camp, we can have logical give and take on these any many other issues. I would encourage you to join my crusade against the 'ditto-heads' who are poisening the political climate in America, by making every single issue and event into an 'us vs them' (e.g. Jim Wright was a crook! Bill Clinton was guily, But Tom DeLay is a victim of a liberal activist prosecutor! - {but Ken Starr was an unbiased truth seeking prosecutor :)

    KT, J

  • At 12/20/2005 10:39 AM, Blogger J said…

    One more question for you, Mr. CM, how did you find this blog and any ideas on how to get more people to post here?


  • At 12/20/2005 1:34 PM, Blogger CM said…

    It was linked from another blog. If you want more people to post I guess you would have to have blog linked to more blogs and post commentary in those blogs.(Also you might want to allow posts to go directly to the page and not wait for approval, it slows everything down.)

    As far as convincing people to stop being mindless supporters of an issue the only way is to show them facts.

    Say you want to get people to stop favoring the war or stop supporting it blindly.The propoganda for the war and against the war has already been well publicized. People who support the war have chosen one sound bite over the other.

    Simply telling them you are a mindless boor is not very productive. Think about what you are telling people.

    "You are stupid because you don't think about the issues.You are all just a bunch of blind sheep. I, on the other hand think for myself. Be like me"

    Although you are saying it in a much nicer way, it will sound like that to most people. If you want to get a person to change his mind challenge him on facts. State if the war is such a good thing how about x,y, and z. This would force the person to think about the issue
    and not dismiss you like they would dismiss a Chomsky or Moore.

    BTW, what caused you to change. Was it because someone came and told you Think! or was it because you were introduced to opposing viewpoints and you realized the world is not so simple.

    One question, is there a way to post a link in the comments section. Is it regular Href=....

  • At 12/20/2005 11:59 PM, Blogger J said…

    1. I turned off the monitoring. As of today I started linking my posts on other blogs back to here and takeh some new people have posted. Thanks!

    2. You make a valid point about how people will take such arguments. i will try not to make it sound like i think that everyone else is an idiot. :)

    3. What caused me to chang? Great question. I will be posting shortly on Talk Radio addiction in our community. I will address this question there stay tuned.

    4. yes you can. just type in the a href syntax in the place where you want the hyperlinks as if you where creating a web page. It works! PrideComethBeforeTheFall

  • At 12/22/2005 1:12 AM, Anonymous observingjew said…

    Another thought re talk radio and the frum - we are told not to listen to the regular music on the radio (kol isha, problematic lyrics, tunes, etc.), so what is left if you want to listen to something ? Either talk or all news, I guess. I guess the talk is thought of as more relaxing and/or more entertaining than the all news format, so some people tend to it as the least problematic choice (though it may not actually be so). Then some of them get hooked. But there is also the general dynamic of the talk format, and why it's so popular in general. People feel part of it more than with other formats, there's a chance for audience participation, it's somwhat unpredictable, there is a give and take. Frum people feel those human reactions as well, even if it's only subsconsiously.

    Also, the fact is that some of the hosts have been speakers and honorees at Jewish functions, so I guess that sort of 'kashered them' in the eyes of some people. Additionally, some of the NYC area ones backed us at times like the Crown Heights pogrom and in other things before the big drop in crime, and people were and are grateful about that. So it's more than just an on-air reltionship - it has extended to off-the-air at times as well. I reckon that some frum think of them as honorary Yidden of sorts.

  • At 12/24/2005 9:21 PM, Blogger J said…

    Once again, right on the money on all your points.

    All that being said, the influence from talk show hosts who seem very similar to us can be even more insidious then dangers which are more obvious - that have been condemned by our Religious Leaders. One could argue that the damage done to a Jew's sensitivity, caring and loving kindness by listening to talk radio thinking that it is kosher is greater then seeing 'prust' pictures or being exposed to things on the internet that they no to be wrong.

    I am not saying that I agree with this line of thinking, but one could make such an argument.


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