Sunday, August 17, 2008

Random Thoughts on Race, Religion, & Marriage

According to the American Heritage dictionary, the word discriminate is defined primarily as, "to make a clear distinction" and "to make sensible decisions; judge wisely." But there's little doubt the word discrimination has a negative connotation, usually related to racial discrimination and racism. According to the same dictionary, a racist is defined as, "The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others." So if you are making a clear distinction, or even a sensible judgment, based on the belief that your race is superior, you are racially discriminating, and, therefore, you are a racist. This may seem like a overly broad definition of a racist, and yes, it sort of makes everyone a racist. But I think my friend once said it best, "The issue is not whether you're racist, but to what degree." Well, what about discriminating based on a belief that one's religion is better than another? Or discriminating based on a lack of religion?

Let's use the context of marriage to illustrate the two types of discrimination here. What if I refuse to marry a person who is not Christian. Or, what if I won't marry a person who is not Korean? The first is discrimination based on religion, and the latter based on race. At first blush, the latter seems somewhat more nefarious than the first (Or maybe neither are nefarious at all). But why? Is race more fundamental to the person than his religion? I don't think so. It seems to me that one's religion (or lack thereof) defines a person as much as his race and ethnicity. (Well, that's my opinion. I guess it depends on each person and how they define themselves). Both concepts seem equally fundamental to our uniqueness as individuals and is why being discriminated against based on either you race or religion is offensive (or not). And our laws certainly treat them equally fundamental as violations against one's right to practice his religion and discrimination based on race are both afforded strict scrutiny, the highest standard of review by the courts.

Well, if the degree of fundamentality fails to explain the difference in the degree of negativity, than perhaps the answer lies in the results of such discrimination. For example, an employer refusing to give a job to a qualified candidate because he is black would certainly qualify as a nefarious result of racial discrimination. But if an employer refuses based on the qualified candidate's religious views, well, whats the difference? They both seem very troubling and a practice we should avoid. What about history? Does racial discrimination invoke visceral reactions because of our country's dark past with enslaving blacks? But religious persecution is the reason why our country was founded. Certainly our race troubles are more recent, but both types of discrimination/persecution have been central to our country's history. So I don't think history is a good explanation.

Or is this endeavor simply fruitless? Because, let's think about it. Shouldn't we give FULL freedom to individuals so they can make rational choices for who they want as their life partner and who they want to populate the world with (Ok, boorish way to put it, but it's true folks)? Marriage is sacrosanct. And perhaps the sacro-sanctity makes marriage one of those exceptional circumstances that justifies discrimination. For instance, many Korean women who grow up and live in Korea may consider dating non-Koreans, but probably would not marry one. Koreans are a very homogeneous people. So it seems reasonable that Koreans want to marry fellow Koreans. And the same reasoning goes, I think, with not wanting to marry someone who does not share the same level of religious faith. You want to ensure that the strong tradition of faith is carried out through the lineage.

Ultimately, I think as long as you have a "good" reason for your exclusivity rule, it's more than justified, and therefore, completely rational. And is probably why we have not seen marriage lawsuits claiming racial or religious discrimination (at least from what I know) . I would hope, however, that rules are made to be broken.

Slimeball Lawyer

So I've been on a quest since early summer to convince a good friend and his girlfriend why they need to seriously start thinking about voting for Conservatives, and this year particularly, for Senator McCain. I am using what I think is the best tactic - I am focusing on their self-interest. My friends are Jewish and currently fourth year medical students. They've done well enough the past three years to have a serious shot at becoming surgeons. That means easy six-figures once they finish residency in three years. Knowing only this about them, it is clear they make up a demographic that really should not be voting Democrat. Currently, we find that Democrats appease anti-Semitic states and their tax policies target the "rich" (doctors definitely included). So why the heck would these two insist on voting for Hussein Obama? And I thought people voted for policies that benefit, not hurt.

Anyway, (I'm veering off topic here), we've been talking about John Edwards recently. And during one of these protracted discussions, I told him, to his surprise, how Edwards sued almost every single obstetrician in his county in North Carolina, which, in turn, forced most of the smaller OB/GYN clinics to eventually shut down. My friend did not believe me so apparently he went home, did a little research, and bless his heart, he emailed me today concluding that John Edwards is a douchbag. He found out that Edwards won the seminal case that erroneously tied cerebral palsy to malpractice by doctors. But as an aspiring doctor, he also was aware that the science behind that correlation (or causation) was junk. Well, of course, I couldn't stop there. I had to finish the job and connect Edwards to the entire Democratic party. Here's what I followed up with:

"I've heard the same thing - that the conventional wisdom establishing a correlation between obstetrician medical care during pregnancy and cerebral palsy in children is "junk science." To my knowledge, this correlation, much less causation, has been obliterated in the medical academia. Yet, as long as we have douchbag lawyers like Edwards (the trial bar is an extremely powerful lobby group for Democrats), the premiums will stay sky high. Edwards really set the national precedent of obstetrician liability for cerebral palsy in children. But this precedent was set based on people's emotions, not based on legitimate science. (Tugging the heart strings is the greatest most powerful weapon in a liberal's arsenal).

His first case set the precedent forcing insurers to raise premiums, which, in turn, forced the doctors to perform perhaps unnecessary C-sections. Correct me if I'm wrong, but OBs are so paranoid now and a "cover your ass" mentality is not quite conducive to maximum quality medical care.

And after Edwards won his first precedent-setting case in his hometown, he gained notoriety which enabled him to sue almost every OB in his county. Every Joe with a less-than-normal (not just cerebral palsy) child asked Edwards to sue their doctors. And since these lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, there are no up front costs for the plaintiffs. And usually, the mere threat of litigation is enough to compel the hospitals and physicians to settle. But when you go after the smaller clinics with smaller budgets, well, it gets to a point where the clinics just have to shut down.

Lastly, check out Edwards' voting record in Congress, especially the ones relating to malpractice reform. You will see that Republicans are the ones pressing for money caps on judgments while democrats like Edwards, when he was a Senator, fought tooth and nail against it. And you're about to vote for another lawyer, abeit with different vices. But be assured, Hussein Obama WILL pander to the trial lobby, and NONE of his policies toward the medical profession will be beneficial for doctors. Don't forget he'll take nearly 40% of your six figure income. You're Hussein Obama's biggest target."

I feel he's coming around.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Friend in Korea Opines on the Idiocy of the Mad-cow Madness

For a little context, South Korean President Lee, as part of a larger trade deal with the United States, agreed to lift the ban on U.S. beef imports, which was placed five years ago when a cow (yes, one cow) with mad-cow disease was discovered in Washington (this one mad-cow was Canadian import). But the powerful Korean domestic beef lobby waged a fear-mongering campaign in order to maintain the ban. It was highly effective, reminiscent of the 2002 Korean Presidential elections where the liberal candidate, Roh, surged ahead of the conservative candidate, last minute, on an anti-American platform after an American tank inadvertently ran over two Korean girls near a U.S. military base in Korea. Here, again, the young generation of Koreans, mostly in their 20s and 30s, impulsive, fickle, and in reaction to the demagogic anti-U.S. campaign, began holding protests en masse everyday against the trade deal, and, alternatively, demanding stricter food safety regulations. (Check out every picture you can find of the protests and you'll see that they're all young people). I personally thought the protests were reationary and laughable, particularly given that it was in reaction to ONE cow. But I asked my friend what she thought about the issue and the daily protests. My friend is a 28 year old female and works in the jewelry design industry in Korea. She had this to say.

"난 우리나라 사람들의 소문제에 대해 시위하는거반대에 백만표! 정말 다들 미쳤다고 생각해! 내가 학원이 광화문이라 매주 학원가면서 시위하는 사람들을 봤는데 정말로 할일없는 사람들의 놀이거리. 남일 참견하고 말많은 사람들의 놀잇감 한총련의 놀잇감 권력있는 사람들의 장난이라고 생각해! 정말 생각이 있고 자기 의견이 뚜렷한 사람들이라면 뭐라고 안하겠지만 그곳에 나온 사람들의 대부분은 그렇치 않타는것도 기분나쁘지만 모르고 먹으면 약이고 알고 먹으면 독약이라고 솔직히 자기네들이 여태껏 먹어와놓고 이슈화되고 알고나니깐 먹으면 죽는 독약취급을 한다는거 자체가 너무 웃기다고 생각해! 여태껏 입이 즐겁고 배가 행복해지게 먹고 즐겨놓고선 이제와선 그게 가장 안좋은거고 절대론 먹어서는 안된다는게 말이되냐고!! 먹으면 죽는다고 하는 미국소. 그렇게 따지면 지금 다 죽었어야 하는거 아냐? 안먹어도 죽고 먹어도 죽는거라면 왜 그렇게들 하면서 먹어야 하는지 모르겠어... 얼마전에 미국소 들여왔잖아.. 그전까지는 그렇게 말많고 탈많턴 사람들 지금은 한마디도 없잖아... 싫으면 안먹으면 되고 먹고 싶으면 먹으면 되는거잖아.. 어차피 자기네들도 다 먹을꺼면서 왜 그렇게 한심한 짓들을 하는지.. 내가 봐도 그 사람들이 참으로 한심하고 광화문에서 외국사람들과 마주치면 창피한데 넌 오죽하겠지.."

"I'm completely against all this protesting. I think they're all crazy! I pass by them every time I go to work, and, I think to myself, don't these people work? Don't they have better things to do? Don't they have a life? I don't feel that these protesters are sincere. They just do it because they can, because it's the cool thing to do, because it's what they're privileged friends do, not because they really believe in the cause. And as far as the issue is concerned, I think it's laughable that it's such a big issue. It's a non-issue for me. I mean, all this fear about mad-cow, it's completely irrational! We've been eating U.S. beef for many many years and not one, not one Korean has gotten ill from eating U.S. beef. There's never been one instance, at least from what I know, where mad-cow tainted U.S. beef was discovered in Korea. Plus, it's really simple. If you don't want to eat U.S. beef, don't buy it, don't eat it! It's not as if Korean beef is somehow going to disappear from the market. And it's interesting how easily and quickly everyone just settled down in anticipation of the Olympics. The population seems to have ADHD - they can't maintain interest in one issue for too long."

A Conservative Cafe is . . . Coffee Served Right.

Crown Point, Indiana is the home of the Conservative Cafe. Yes, it's the next great coffee chain competitor to Starbucks. Or, maybe not. But I love the idea, so much so that I would definitely consider franchise opportunities. It's a simple, yet great idea, particularly for attracting people who view all facets of life through their warped and jaundiced political lens, like me of course. I have two boxes: conservative or liberal. I'll put you in one or the other.

Beckham, the owner, may be onto something here. He also has the advantage of being situated in a relatively conservative neigborhood of Indiana. He sells four different flavors of coffee and the funny part is he designates a "strength" range from 1 through 4, 1 being the weakest and 4 being the strongest. So going from weakest to strongest, he serves, "The Liberal Blend," "The Moderate Blend," "The Conservative Blend," and the "Radical Right Blend." He also serves food-stuff like classic breakfast meals, sandwiches, and wraps.

Also, probably my favorite part, he sells conservative T-shirts. You can check them out here.

Best of luck to Beckham and his wife.

Tyson Foods is Dog Meat! (Metaphorically Speaking)

Tyson foods decided that the labor struggle and legacy of the 20th century of this country is not worth honoring anymore. Labor laws have been established through relentless struggle over the last century. Minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay for women, and equal pay for minorities are examples of triumphs achieved and now honored (not really celebrated) by the Labor Day holiday. Instead, the holiday Eid al-Fitr was more important to Tyson Foods and the risk of having these two coincide would be a political correctness fiasco. The Retail, Wholesale, And Department Store Union was responsible for causing the mayhem on the behalf of the Muslim workers at Tyson foods. It has been estimated that nearly half of the workers at Tyson Foods are Muslim (approximately 1100 workers). On the Union's website, the organization proudly declares when negotiating contracts, the" rich cultural diversity" of its members is always a high priority. One would think an organization founded on the purpose of creating a desirable working condition and ethic in the workplace would be putting the highest esteem on honoring a holiday like Labor Day. To the chagrin of Tyson Foods, the backlash surmounted by groups like Act for America and World Net Daily news created a necessary retraction. While every worker should be able to work in a respectful and safe environment, is the employer mandated to conform to every employee's background. Tyson Foods and the union concluded negotiations with a new contract that gives the workers:

1) A paid holiday now recognized for Muslim workers. A holiday that falls on a different holiday every year but happened to fall on Labor Day this year and left itself open to "political correctness" terrorist attack.
2) Now a special area has been prepared for Muslim prayers meeting the need for their religious rituals. I hope Tyson Foods doesn't attempt to apply for tax exemption status 501(C)(3), which recognizes a religious institution tax exempt.
3) Any worker who does not celebrate Eid al-Fitr (the end of Ramadan), gets the option of selecting any day as a paid personal day. I beseech all of you to go to the following links immediately!! And tell them you read it here!
Act for america article
Tyson Replaces Labor Day with Muslim Holiday World Net Daily

Recommendation # Point Plan for Saving India and America

I would like the Indian readers of this website to come up with a comparable plan to deal with the Muslim-Kashmir problem. Reading the prior post will dramatically help direct bullet points. I look forward to all comments.

Mandatory Platform For Saving America and Israel: The Jewish Task Force 7-Point Plan

This is THE protocol for dealing with Sharia Law and Islamic Fundamentalism. Written by the JTF, this plan has been preached by the brainchild of the Kahanist movement, Chain Ben Pesach. I haven't seen this posted anywhere since they dedicated their site to
fighting the Obama Campaign. Here are the bullets:

#1 A ferocious retaliation against all Muslim nations which have in any way aided or abetted against American citizens.

#2 The immediate destruction by the American or Israeli military of all Muslim nuclear reactors, plants, and laboratories developing nuclear, chemical and/or biological weapons of mass destruction.

#3 Total energy independence for America through a crash development program funded in the defense budget as a vital national security priorty.

#4 An immediate end to all US aid, even to a genuine friend and ally like Israel, which is harmed rather than helped by her counterproductive dependency on America's addictive welfare handouts.

#5 An immediate end to all foreign immigration into the United States, combined with the complete expulsion of America's millions of illegal aliens and the stringent removal of her legal ones at the expiration of their work or residency visas.

#6 An immediate recognition by the United States of little Israel's G-d given right and obligation to assert full and permanent sovereign control over all sacred Jewish Biblical lands, including Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza District, the Golan Heights and Eastern Jerusalem.

#7 An immediate withdrawal from the frantically anti-American United Nations and all organizations directly and indirectly affiliated with it, and the immediate banning of all UN-related activities on American soil.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Israeli Election Posters

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This is a picture of a short book printed with articles published in Israeli newspapers and magazines. The articles were Pro-Likud and usually made reference to some failed policy passed or implimented by the opposite party. In order to receive this book, one needed to make a considerable donation to the party..

Israeli Election Posters

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This is the poster used by Ariel Sharon when he was running for Prime Minister. His poster presented him as tough and confident. He would prove to be less than feared by the enemy when he finally made it. Who knows how much worse it would be if the Left had gotten in. Ba-ruch Marzel was the only true hard Right candidate. I only hope he runs in the future with Ehud Olmert stepping down next month.

Israeli Election Poster

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This post is leading to several posts in a row about a prior election in Israel. With Ehud Olmert stepping down next month, early elections are underway. If corruption isn't a problem, or promiscuity, or a weak compromising candidate, then Israel wouldn't have any candidates at all. Ehud Barak and BIbi Netanyahu (in this Poster) are the forerunners in the coming election. How the Iranian policy is going to be dealt with may ride on this election. And how are the US election and the Israeli election going to intertwine. The Left are going to team up in both countries in order to control Middle East policy for the next several years. This poster is Netanyahu's with bumper stickers and a flag flown on a plastic pole for the window. I have a 10 ft canvas of the same picture too big to post.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Joseph Lieberman: Former Democrat Liberal Learns Not All Jews Are Whinning Liberals, But Serious Conservatives

I had the privilege of seeing the Senator yesterday in the Palm Beach Synagogue. I have been to the synagogue on several occasions and learned a few things about the Rabbi and its members. The Rabbi is a young, charismatic, powerful individual who has influence far beyond the walls of the Temple. He is a Conservative (Ba Ruch HaShem!), a quiet Kahane admirer (I have been told), and an intellectual. His speaking ability would have Obama shaking in his boots! I only wish I knew him on a more personal basis. As a Jew with family in Israel and as a Jewish Conservative, I find I have more in common with his views than any other Rabbi in the Palm Beach area. The temple has had some high profile lecturers, to its credit, and appears to be politically active and motivated. The Republicans were represented by a young upstart in Adam Hasner. He is approx 40 years old and very friendly. I am sorry to say I know little more than that. I hope he has taken it upon himself to get their message across to the liberal constituency groups of the Jewish Left, which Democrats always assume they can count on. The Democrats are notorious for making national news media coverage in south Florida because they had issues involving the 2000 election, the 2004 election and will absolutely complicate the 2008 election. They already have done damage to the electoral process for this election where they were disqualified from participation in the primaries.
My initial impression of the Senator was of confidence and approachable. He was introduced by the Rabbi who MCed the meeting, and by a colleague from Harvard 1964 Class. The Rabbi was about as charming as one could hope for. His anecdotal short stories profoundly press important issues in a unique manner which make the listener appreciate and remember them. After the introductions, the Senator proceeded to make the point that after some internal overview, his future of independent party or non affiliation politics is the choice for the future. That America has lost confidence in partisan politics and the real CHANGE is the politician who is willing to change parties if necessary. Sticking to party line should no longer dictate a politician's views. The Senator stated he was a Democrat when they had the right message. He went independent when he could not follow anyone. Now, McCain is the only pathway forward for America and Israel.
He mentioned McCain and He were in Israel together at The Wall. He spent sometime talking about Iran and what problems they hold. No time was spent on Obama talking him down with negative comments. He was asked a few questions about McCain's VP pick. He said he didn't know yet. The only major point he mentioned was 2 fold: Iran has turned down every negotiation for stopping of nuclear ambitions and 2) the US will has an office of some kind in Iran to try some persuasion at any juncture should more trying issues come up (such as a military strike).

Lieberman showed up in a McCain bus so his support is clear. I remember him saying he was an Orthodox Jew but much of his behavior doesn't prove it. He doesn't wear a skull cap or Yarmulka for instance. He says he puts on Tsfilllin which is a traditional practice of the religious. He ended the night with answering a few questions. Nothing terribly difficult and nothing overtly clear what is to come in Congress..He made one thing clear to me: He DOES support Israel openly. Hearing him with my own ears say it clear in Temple. My mind wanders in question as I ponder something I remember JTF or the Jewish Task Force said a few years back. Chaim Ben Pesach said Senator Lieberman never VOTES Pro-Israel, he always has to put some stipulation in for the Palestinians. Chaim's argument was based on how the Senator responded to the bombing that took place after Passover either in 2002 or 2004. The country was in mourning because many people were killed and maimed. When a bill went before the Congress to help the Israeli economy by injecting the county with a stimulation package for 100 million dollars. 2 Senators threatened to filibuster unless a provision was inserted to give the Palestinians a 50 million dollar incentive for their economy. Who were the 2 Senators: Lieberman ans "SCHMUCK" Schumer. The argument was any stimulation package for the perpetrators was victimizing the Israelis a second time. Also, why should the passage of one bill for Israel have any bearing on Palestinians. It was also legitimizing their ad hock government. Also, where are the punishments for the non compliance of the Oslo Agreements (Disagreements). By giving them anything and continuing their resent for the Agreement, they spit in the face of America too. Why should Saddam have negotiated when we never followed through on any non compliance with him, or why should Ahmedinajad negotiate when he knows he can win economic lifting on policy from the West if he waits long enough for us to get desperate. He also can continue nuclear experiments in secret and eventually openly because he will get no repercussion. Nobody wants war, everyone expects us to do it anyway. Lifting any embargo is the same as rewarding Iran win a stimulus package. And anyone who knows the behavior of past Middle Eastern leaders can easily predict a secret nuclear program continuing unabated behind closed doors.
I hope for the sake of Israel, the Senator clearly sees any appeasement discussed in Congress and puts it to rest. I hesitated to get in line quickly enough to ask questions. I believe my questions would have been a more perplexing scene than what had taken place. Questions like: If Ehud Olmert, the current PM of Israel is stepping down in September, how do you see the Israeli election and the Israeli election affecting one another? Do you think either election will determine the Israeli response time frame and what do you think Israel will do in both instances? I enjoyed his time and thank him and especially the Rabbi but next time the questions come up at the microphone.........!