Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/14/19: Tlaib And Kavanaugh.

Good morning,

I hope…

1 Social Q’s ethics. I’m whomping the advice columnist in the Ethics Alarms poll regarding whether complimenting someone on weight loss can be reasonably taken as offensive by the object of praise. Looking at the same column, I have decided that Mr. Gallanes was just having a bad day. Another inquirer complained that he sleeps with her bedroom window open, and is often awakened in the morning when the next door neighbor takes his dog out for a 5 am walk, a ritual, she says, that is always preceded by his “disgusting” coughing. The advice columnist suggested that she ask him to do his disgusting coughing inside. Yeah, THAT will go over well. If you insist on leaving your window open, you have no standing to protest sounds that would not be heard if you kept it closed. Given the choice between waking one’s spouse with the morning hacking that most men of a certain age can identify with, and getting all the morning phlegm up while walking the dog, the latter is the wiser and more ethical choice.

2. Supreme Court ethics and pro-abortion fear-mongering.

a.) Somehow it was reported as news akin to squaring the circle that Justice Kavanaugh joined with the four typically liberal justices in a 5-4 ruling yesterday that left Thomas, Gorsuch, Roberts and Alito licking their wounds. This is non-news. It was a dishonest partisan smear on Kavanaugh to suggest that he would be a mindless puppet in lock-step with conservatives on every issue. Justices consider cases in good faith, and the fact that their judicial philosophies make some decisions predictable doesn’t mean, as non-lawyer, non-judge, political hacks seem to think, that they will not judge a case on its merits rather than which “side” favors a particular result.

b) Kavanaugh did join the conservative justices in a ruling that overturned a 1979 case in which the Court had allowed a citizen of one state to sue another state. This decision, being a reversal of an older case, immediately prompted the publication of fear-mongering op-ed pieces warning that the evil Court conservatives, having re-read and enjoyed “The Handmaiden’s Tale,” were slyly laying the ground for a Roe v. Wade reversal with a case that had nothing whatsoever to do with abortion. Don’t you see? Stare decisus is the SCOTUS tradition that older cases will generally not be overturned by later Courts, lest Constitutional law be seen as unstable and too fluid to rely on. Garbage. Stare decisus has never been an absolute bar to reversing a wrongly decided case, so no new affirmation of that fact is necessary. In addition, the case overturned yesterday was a relatively obscure case that seldom comes into play, exactly the kind of case in which a reversal is minimally disruptive. Roe, on the other hand, has become a foundation of supporting law and social policy. That doesn’t mean it can’t be overturned, but it does mean that the protection of stare decisus is strong.

3. And speaking of abortion…once again, a GOP administration—this one— has revived the unethical “conscience clause” rules, allowing medical workers to refuse to deliver services (like abortion) that they have a moral or religious objection to. I’ve written about this many times. If your job involves providing medical services that a patient has a legal right to receive, then your duty is to perform them. If you can’t perform them, work in another field. Individual vetoes of a patient’s right undermine the rule of law as well as society values and community health.

4. Res Ipsa Loquitur and anti-Semitism: The uproar over Rep. Tlaib’s comments about the Holocaust is entirely deserved, and those trying to spin her words as anything but dishonest (ignorant?) and anti-Semitic deserve to be shamed right along with her. In case you missed it, here is what she said,

I think two weeks ago or so we celebrated, or just took a moment I think in our country to remember the Holocaust. There’s always kind of a calming feeling I tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports… all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them. And so, when I think about a one-state, I think about the fact that why can’t we do it in a better way? And I don’t want people to do it in the name of Judaism, just like I don’t want people to use Islam in that way. It has to be done in a way of values around equality and around the fact that you shouldn’t oppress others so that you can feel free and safe. Why can’t we all be free and safe together?

Mentioning a “celebration” of the Holocaust and Tlaib’s “comfort” with it are both signature significance, and Tlaib’s outright false historical claims are exactly why the public, especially its younger members (and progressives), are so tragically ignorant about how the Israel-Palestinian conflict arrived at its present hopeless state. Republicans de-committeed Rep. Steve King for white supremacy-messaging remarks no more offensive than Tlaib’s anti-Semitism. This is another integrity test for Democrats, who haven’t passed one in a very long time.

 

68 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/14/19: Tlaib And Kavanaugh.

  1. 2B. I think this mostly has to do with Justice Breyer, dissenting. I saw on Althouse and in the WP (which in my opinion was surprisingly a non-partisan article). He makes the same comparisons. Having looked at the dissent, I see there is a lot more to the argument, but based on the articles, you would have thought this was only reason for it.

  2. 1. I have concluded that a lot of these “advice columnists” are either dumb as rocks, or write their own letters to respond to. BTW, of course he sided with the woman writer. These columns always side with woman over man (women are superior or happy wife, happy life), parent over child (it’s the younger generation’s responsibility to keep the older generation comfortable), and taking the path of least resistance between peers (go along to get along). The likelihood is high that if she asks her neighbor to cough inside before walking Fido he’s just going to give her a frank message about sex and travel anyway.

    2. Of course they’re fearmongering. Abortion is the Holy Grail of liberal sacraments and they’re going to pull out all the stops to defend it.

    3. If they’re going to let Muslim butchers refuse to handle ham, or Muslim cashiers refuse to ring up beer, or Muslim cab drivers to refuse to transport dogs, let Muslim cops and firemen refuse to salute or shave, or give Muslim assembly line workers extra breaks to pray during Ramadan, or allow Jews to never be scheduled to work on the Sabbath when the cycle would otherwise put them there, then they have to let Adventists also opt out on the Sabbath, allow Pentecostals to refuse to handle alcohol, and let Catholic medical workers opt out of abortions and birth control. It doesn’t work only for minorities.

    4. A far less intentional (in response to a question on the fly) and more excusable (the answerer was nearly 90 and nowhere near as sharp as she once was) comment than this destroyed Helen Thomas’ final career years and wiped out her reputation in 2010. However, Helen Thomas was also Christian (although she was technically Arab-Lebanese) and there was no need for a resistance then. Tlaib will get a pass because she is a Muslim and she is a strong voice in the resistance who wants to “impeach the motherfucker” and the Jews will just have to take one for the team.

    • For #1, there’s a reasonable compromise that is not possible if the issue of noise is never raised–the neighbor has to delay his noisemaking until further into the walk. I’m sure if he was aware of the open window he would be doing this anyway. Indoors or out is a false dichotomy.

      Sexism in advice columns is rampant, but I don’t think this is a good example… so frustrating reading the same question across the spectrum of several kinds of relationship issues that personally affected me answered with “Suck it up, buttercup!” and “You seriously need to consider leaving this relationship”, the only apparent differentiating factor being the gender of the asker.

  3. #3: Does your position also mean that doctors should be required to provide services that are medically unnecessary (or even harmful), if the patient requests it? Take abortion out of the equation, wouldn’t the same logic apply if someone with body dysmorphia came to the doctor and requested the amputation of a healthy arm or leg? Or demanded that the doctor take another patient’s liver out and put it in him (a closer parallel to abortion, since in an abortion, there are really two patients, and only one is consenting to the procedure). How do hypochondriacs fit into the equation?

    I’m not trying to be a smartass, I’m genuinely curious where and how one draws the line, if you take conscience out of the equation and require medical personnel to provide any (legal) service that the patient requests. I tend to agree with the principle you laid out (if you know what the job is when you take it, you haven’t got much room to complain when you’re asked to do it [i.e., Kim Davis]), but I’m having a bit of trouble reconciling it with the physician’s oath to “do no harm”.

    I do think, if we were to allow services to be refused for conscience, it should be incumbent on the doctor to inform all new patients of any such conflicts before they are seen.

    • Your second example is a clear violation of human rights. It is why we don’t allow post birth abortion. It may not be made in bad faith, but it appears to be made in ignorance or in the devil’s advocate.

      • You might look at the comment more closely. We do allow post birth abortions. They have been performed for decades. Reagan tried to stop them and was blocked by the Supreme Court. Rewatch the Governor of Virginia talk about ‘what would happen’. `What happens when a child is born alive in an abortion attempt?
        Now we are starting to require doctors to sterilize preadolescents who ‘think they might be transgender’. The laws prohibit anyone from dissuading the child from this path, even though studies show that over 80% of children who feel this way will find that it is only temporary and it will pass in time and other studies that show that many are just following the social fad of transgenderism.

        Situations like these remind me of a joke. The FBI has a new, special, secret program. Only a few people are chosen. The training is rigorous. At the last stage, only 3 candidates are left. The first candidate is handed a gun and told “This is your final test of loyalty. Your wife is in the next room. To show you are completely committed to this program, go in the room and kill her”. The man goes in the room, raises the gun, and his wife begins to cry, he begins to cry and he can’t do it. Disappointed, they usher him out of the building. The next man is told the same thing with the same result. Finally, the third man is brought in and told of the test. He goes into the room and the supervisors here “blam, blam, blam, and then a lot of muffled noises. Their successful candidate exits the room furious stating “Good job, morons. Somebody put blanks in the gun. I had to beat her to death!”.

        If you insist on an immoral test for your field, you will only have immoral people in the field. A good example of this are the special drug squads that operated in the 1990’s (and may still operate in places like Houston). They would go in, without police marking, shoot any dogs with silenced pistols (hushpuppies), kick open doors with no warning, put a bag over the suspect’s head, hogtie them, and drive them away in and unmarked van in the middle of the night like a Chilean death squad. These squads ran up an impressive list of abuses of the public. However, what upstanding police officer would volunteer for such a squad?

        https://libertynewsnow.com/did-houston-pd-raid-the-wrong-home-kill-the-wrong-people-is-the-catholic-church-involved/article15305

        • Your latter point is a good one. At a time when the number of doctors per capita is shrinking, and the need for medical care is rising as our population’s average age increases, is it wise to run off otherwise qualified physicians because they have religious convictions that don’t allow them to kill?

          In any case, such “conscience” laws seem unnecessary to me, and are more about moral grandstanding than any practical effect. I would think that it is permissible for any doctor to refer you to another physician if she doesn’t feel she is adequately skilled to perform the procedure you want, right? If I don’t do abortions because I’m opposed to the practice, then I’m probably not qualified to do them, anyway. Wouldn’t a dermatologist (rightly) refuse to perform eye surgery on you, no matter how much you insisted, because he would likely botch the job?

    • I would not see some of those things as matters of conscience.

      It would come down more to medical ethics.

      Amputations are a medically sanctioned procedure, but they are only so for certain medical conditions.

      Similarly, lawyers are free to initiate lawsuits, but they are not permitted to initiate frivolous lawsuits.

      Like it or not (I don’t), abortion is a medically sanctioned procedure.

      I think when you identified the procedure as medically unnecessary, you answered your own question.

      -Jut

      • Isn’t “medically necessary” abortion a very rare occurrence, though? The vast majority of abortions are elective, for matters of convenience, finances, etc. How is it ethically different from an unnecessary, voluntary amputation (other than that the amputation affects the body and life of only one patient)?

        • Splitting hairs, but I did not use the phrase “medically necessary,” though I did use “medically unnecessary.”

          There are lots of medically unnecessary procedures (or elective procedures) that are medically sanctioned, by which I mean are approved within the profession (cosmetic plastic surgery being one of the most obvious, while reconstructive plastic surgery serves a medical purpose).

          -Jut

          • Just within the realm of elective procedures, then, let’s look at cosmetic plastic surgery. If someone comes to a surgeon and wants to have their face or body altered in a gruesome way, is there no room in medical ethics for the doctor to refuse? The same arguments could be made as are being made regarding abortion: you signed up for the job, Doc, now do the job. Sometimes making a rich middle-aged woman look like a cat is just part of the cosmetic surgeon’s job, and if you don’t want to permanently disfigure perfectly normal-looking people, find another line of work.

            I don’t think I like the idea that “approved within the profession” must mean “mandatory for all members of the profession”, provided that refusals of common procedures and treatments are disclosed up front, so the patient can make an informed decision.

            • I did not mean to suggest it is. ENT’s should not be required to do abortions. It is outside their board certification. However, any OBGYN has had to learn how to do them. However, I have heard that, even in those ranks, when you spend every day trying to bring new life into the world, you shy away from abortion. Yet, they will still DNE (dilation and evacuation?) when the baby dies in utero.

              I am not of the mindset that “all that is not forbidden is mandatory.”

              -Jut

      • You raise some good points. However, by Guttmacher’s own numbers, the vast majority of abortions are not medically necessary, either.

        Would it be ethical to force a stranger to donate a kidney without their consent if there was a match? At that point, the donor would absolutely need the kidney, so it would be necessary.

        Usually, that scenario is posited by people casting the unwilling donor as the mother, being forced against her will to host the child. I think it works quite well the other way, looking at abortion as a medical procedure being forced on someone without their consent. And they don’t even have the fact that it’s medically necessary to back up their argument. More than 90% of abortions are done because they dont want a kid right now, or can’t afford them (with their current lifestyle choices).

        At least the guy who wakes up in the bathtub full of ice, sans one kidney, lives to tell the tale.

  4. 4. Tlaib’s comments are reminiscent to me of Trayon White, the DC politician who famously said that he thought that Jews controlled the weather and were pummeling major cities to hurt black people; They are the kind of obviously wrong, self defeating and racist comments that one can only hold when you have spent a lifetime soaked in ignorance.

    White believed what he was saying. Other people had told him those things. Things he heard and saw and read led him to believe that those things were not just reasonably possible, but true. In her non-mea-culpa tour Tlaib is even channeling White’s non-apology your, where he toured a holocaust memorial and argued with the faculty over how a Jewish girl in a death camp looked like she was being protected.

    Personally, I don’t care what they think is true, or how good their intentions are, I think it’s dangerous to let that kind of ignorance soaked rhetoric go unchecked, and I think that the Democratic Party is actively carrying water for ignoramuses like these because of a mixture of melanin and “muh party politics”. This is why I refuse to be scolded by left-leaning ,hand-wringing schoolmarms about antisemitism on the right.. It exists, and we have to deal with it, but how about they clean their own house first? How about at least providing lip service to those stated ideals when it’s minimally politically inconvenient?

    Because otherwise it’s just a power play. And that’s my take away: Democrats don’t care about sex or sexuality, morals, racism, or disenfranchisement… They care about winning elections, and will scorch the earth representing the principles they say they held so dearly only minutes ago and salt it for good measure the moment they find abandoning those principles convenient.

    • “Democrats don’t care about sex or sexuality, morals, racism, or disenfranchisement… They care about winning elections, and will scorch the earth representing the principles they say they held so dearly only minutes ago and salt it for good measure the moment they find abandoning those principles convenient.”

      Bullseye. It’s not by accident the Catholic Church stopped being the Democratic Party at prayer after abortion became the wave of the future, and it’s no accident they are now pushing even more radical approaches to destroying early human life to produce sex without consequences.

    • 4. Tlaib’s comments are reminiscent to me of Trayon White, the DC politician who famously said that he thought that Jews controlled the weather and were pummelling major cities to hurt black people; They are the kind of obviously wrong, self defeating and racist comments that one can only hold when you have spent a lifetime soaked in ignorance.

      I would say, in extreme humility, that this is a very unintelligent comment. Her comments have nothing at all in common with a paranoid nut who thinks Jews control the weather.

      Her comments make sense, and they make sense to many many people, because they are rational. Thus, a rational person would and could say what she has said.

      Among irrational people, who are invested in a set of lies and distortions, yes, it is true, what she said could be spun as ‘anti-Semitism’. But if this were done it would be done because irrationality had crept in.

      There has been, and indeed there cannot be, rational and fair conversation here about Israel because all opinion here is irrational and bound up in the standard lies.

      Simple, eh? Telling the truth is really not that hard after all!

      See, the issue here is Who really is steeped in ignorance. Willed ignorance. Ignorance achieved through dubious means.

      Let the examination lens be turned around.

      • “Her comments have nothing at all in common with a paranoid nut who thinks Jews control the weather.”

        “Her comments make sense, and they make sense to many many people, because they are rational. Thus, a rational person would and could say what she has said.”

        Well, except for the historically revisionist Muslim head-cannon she’s spouting. I mean, saying she’s celebrating the holocaust, or feels calm when she considers it might be mistakes that one could brush aside, but once you push past those, it gets worse:

        “I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports…all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them. ”

        Let’s be really clear here: During this time in history, “Palestinians” took the opportunity afforded by WWII to collaborate with Nazis and slaughter Jews. Those Palestinians she’s talking about? They didn’t “lose their lives” fighting alongside, or even parallel to, the Allies. I’m just saying. What this amounts to is holocaust denial. During WW2, such a large proportion of Jews died that even 70 years later their population is not at the same level it was, globally, in 1940. That, while the population of Earth has doubled twice.

        I would say, in amazingly, exceptional, boundless, wondrous, exemplary, extreme humility that I don’t think very much of you either, and that *Rational* people don’t say that word salad ahistorical nonsense like Tlaib’s verbal diarrhea makes sense.

          • You have, in my amazingly, exceptional, boundless, wondrous, exemplary, extremely humble opinion, a boundless amount of patience towards people making cheap potshots at you. I, to my eternal shame, have much, much less.

            • You are devious! Your comment is an attempt to drive a web. Very womanish if I may say so myself!

              I do not make ‘cheap shots’ at Jack (or anyone). This is a blog dedicated to ETHICS, and that (for me) also involves moral concerns: the most important things that one can be concerned about. You have just slandered me. And you have done this unfairly. You are one of about 5 people who do this. You should have shame.

              I may disagree with Jack, and I may disagree with him on substantial issues, but I do not engage in ‘cheap-shots’. I assume Jack can deal with my disagreements.

              I have substantial disagreements with the present American-Conservative position, and this is largely where Jack locates himself, if I have understood correctly. And as a result of years of careful work in relation to the topics discussed here, I have different ideas and opinions. And I am now and will continue to be adamant about expressing them. Because that is what ethical concerns should ask of everyone: moral involvement with the questions.

              What else would you ask for?

              It is not wrong to differ with him or with anyone. It is not wrong for anyone to deal with ethical and moral issues according to their own sensibilities. What else would you ask that a person do?

          • Let’s be really clear here: During this time in history, “Palestinians” took the opportunity afforded by WWII to collaborate with Nazis and slaughter Jews…

            No. Look at the history: during that time of crisis, the Arabs actually cut back on the level of violence that they had delivered earlier, e.g. in the Arab Revolt of 1936, for self-interested reasons. On the other hand, it was the more extreme Zionist elements (not the more moderate ones), like the Stern Gang, that took advantage of that opportunity to increase their level of violence. Just see who was giving the British war effort the most trouble just then. It’s all on record.

            The likes of the Mufti of Jerusalem – of whom there were few – did go to Germany and try to arrange a working relationship, but to little effect and with no link to slaughtering Jews (the aim was to assist the German war effort in general, e.g. by helping recruiting in the Balkans, in exchange for post-victory assistance in Palestine which never materialised).

            Harsh but eloquent, and fair.

            No: harsh but eloquent, though historically unsupported.

            • That’s really sophistry defined, PM, and as your nitpicking too often is, pointless except as a “gotcha!” Yes, the Arabs weren’t actively engaged in slaughtering Jews—there weren’t any around to slaughter. If you support the German war effort, you support the entity slaughtering Jews, and you’re an accessory, in criminal law terms. And, of course, even partitioning the non-partitionable, supporting tne war effort is damning enough.

              • Who’s being sophistical and nitpicking? That looks like projection to me. Consider:-

                – “Yes, the Arabs weren’t actively engaged in slaughtering Jews—there weren’t any around to slaughter” simply isn’t true. There were a lot of Jews around, e.g. in the transport area, as the pre-war Mandate reports to the League of Nations show.

                – “If you support the German war effort, you support the entity slaughtering Jews, and you’re an accessory, in criminal law terms” may be – if you must be sophistical and nitpicking – accurate in terms of U.S. criminal law (which, of course, did not apply – local law was based on the Ottoman approach). But … drum roll … even in terms of U.S. criminal law, none of that makes the Palestinians in Palestine guilty of any of that. The Mufti of Jerusalem doing that as a mere private actor has no bearing on them (unless, of course, you resile from your earlier claim elsewhere that they never had a state to represent them, and switch to claiming that he was acting in that capacity). And even he has as much claim, under the laws of war, to be exonerated of that as any soldier in the Wehrmacht (or the whole of Germany would have been fit for Nuremberg Trials). Also, do you see that all that is moving the goalposts away from the charge I was rebutting?

                – “And, of course, even partitioning the non-partitionable, supporting tne war effort is damning enough”. Do you see that that is moving the goalposts too? It’s “never mind whether the first charge was wrongly based, they are vicariously guilty of other things through the Mufti of Jerusalem et al, so it’s sophistical and nitpicking to point out that both the facts and the charge didn’t hold that first time”.

                But facts are stubborn things, and I will hold commenters to them when I can, no matter how sophistical and nitpicking that may strike those who don’t like where that takes them. And that’s not ‘pointless except as a “gotcha!”’, it’s holding you and your ilk to standards of intellectual honesty.

                One might as well argue that Trump must be guilty of colluding with Russians, because Russians would do that sort of thing and it’s only sophistical and nitpicking to query – let alone deny – whether that ever actually happened.

                • You know, you argue like the campus radicals in the Sixties, in which the objective was to throw up so much dust and rhetoric that it made legitimate discourse impossible. The Palestinians didn’t have a state–so what? They lined up on the side of the Nazis. There is no controversy about that. Could technical accessory status be proved in court? Don’t know, don’t care. The point is, they cannot claim that they were anything but enemies of the Jews, and, by favoring the Nazis, humanity, and civilization. Pull out all the technical cavils and “buts” you want….it is just obfuscation. If you don’t know that, you should.

                  • To say he ‘argues like the campus radicals’ is a way to discredit his presentation of facts. You say this is throwing up rhetoric and dust which makes ‘legitimate discourse impossible’. I suggest this is a false assertion and unfair. One does not have to be a ‘campus radical’ to have issues with the ‘established narratives’.

                    For example there were Hindu Nationalists in India who, to oppose British rule, favored the Nazis to some extent. Strategically perhaps. And in politics it is simply realpolitik fact that a given power will ‘side’ with another against some real or perceived enemy. Therefore, if some Palestinians, and some Arabs, sided with Germany against Jews, the specifics must be examined. They likely had their self-interest to consider. And most of politics occurs under this paradigm: self-interest.

                    Any sane citizen of any Arab country, in my view, if they even glossarily reviewed Israel’s actions since 1948 in the region, would have an array of reasons to feel alarm and to have distaste and even contempt and hatred for Israel. That is a very simple fact. Not hard to understand at all.

                    The point is, they cannot claim that they were anything but enemies of the Jews, and, by favoring the Nazis, humanity, and civilization.

                    Well, today, there are many people who are developing counter-Jewish narratives. They define themselves in various ways and they have interesting and considerable things to say. Are all who criticize Jews therefore ‘enemies of the Jews’?

                    The above is an ‘absolutist’ statement, and a strange one if it is examined. It is the stuff of ‘war propaganda’ but not of real history nor of truth. One cannot respond against it because if one does one immediately appears to be on the side of ‘the enemies of civilization’ and of humanity, too. Absurd.

                    In this sense — and to be fair — it is you who are throwing up ‘rhetoric’ and ‘dust’ and making ‘legitimate discourse impossible’. I see your position as ur-American. It is the stuff of the State Department. It is unreal. It obscures. It does not clarify.

                    There is nothing wrong, in any sense, with opposing Jews. One can legitimately oppose them as interlopers in one’s state or community. And as long as they identify as a group and define themselves as a group and as a people, one can fairly speak of them in this sense. They are a people with a certain historical cohesion. It is part-and-parcel of Jewish fate to have to live in the Diaspora, and Jews often speak of ‘diaspora pathology’, and though Jews are creative and skilled people, they have always run into problems in every situation in which they have found themselves. That is just a fact. Is this so because those who opposed them disfavor civilization? Or human-kind? That is a doubtful assertion, and it is outrageously fallacious!

                    Put another way, there is no state or circumstance in which Jews have not been defined as ‘problematic’. It is part of their fate, and part of their being. To understand this, and to openly discuss it, would be making ‘legitimate discourse possible’.

                    Once again … and all over again … it is Jewish problems that become problems for everyone. Now, that issue seems to revolve around Israel. What a strange twist of fate. To have had such horrifying experiences in the Diaspora and to then be ‘forced’ to adopt Zionism, and as a result of that to have wound up in a dangerous and a bad situation.

                    That is my view. Doesn’t have to be anyone else’s. And I have said nothing remotely controversial and certainly nothing ‘unethical’.

                    For more information on the Arab world vis-a-vis Germany and the National Socialists see Wiki: “Relations between Nazi Germany and the Arab world”.

        • “Let’s be really clear here” and then you launch into your established ‘talking points’, as if clarity were your object. Clarity is not your object, obfuscation is. Yours are the basic talking points that are common, and especially in America, which seems unnaturally under their sway. Those views do not help one to arrive at the ‘clarity’ you say you seek, but are used for a group of nefarious reasons, to obscure and confuse. Therefore, to deconstruct the skewed view that you offer, in typical tones of self-righteousness and moral indignation, is what is needed.

          The history is more complex, more difficult, that the simple binary narratives you work with. But the Palestinians of that area have a very good, and even a clear case, and their grievances against Israel as an occupational force are, in my view and that of many others, valid and considerable. You-plural twist the facts to support your skewed version, and this version has done harm and will continue to do harm. I question your moral and ethical fibre.

          I read a great deal of critical material, and of the sort that borders into what you would have no choice but to describe as ‘anti-Semitic’, so I am aware of criticism of Jews and also of Zionism. But when I desire to get clear about *what is really happening* I find that I get the better critical position from critical Israelis. And they cannot, for obvious reasons, be anti-Semitic. And with this in view I see it through a more fair lens.

          You, and also Jack, are dogmatic American ‘jingoists’, and your pro-Zionism is not reasoned, nor even properly historical, because your grasp of history is skewed, so arriving at a fair picture, in the climate of today, is super-hard. There is nothing, or little, useful in your view. But you are sure that you have such a ‘fair’ position.

          In point of fact: you nor no one of you, if your lives depended on it, could tell the truth about the Jewish invasion and occupation of Israel. The version you have, and employ, is one that is bound up at so many points with lies and deceptions that disentangling the truth from out of the mess is really hard.

          What I have just said is more genuinely ‘harsh but eloquent, and fair’.

          I would let her speak for herself and define for herself whether she is, or is not, a Holocaust denier. From what I have read I doubt that she is. But she notes, properly I might add, that her people, the Palestinians, have paid a large part of the price, and that is certainly wrong. And with he, on that and possible other points too, I agree.

          Your-plural investment in lies and distortions needs to be confronted and exposed for what it is. It has led your nation — our nation — to make grave errors that will have to be rectified at one time or another.

          • My “established talking points” are history, and you don’t really engage with that.

            Were the Palestinians Nazi collaborators, yes or no?
            Did they use WWII as an opportunity to slaughter Jews, yes or no?

            I’m not going to comment on Israeli legitimacy, or whether the Palestinians had some kind of legitimate grievance, I have thoughts on the subject, and I’m sure they’re different from yours, but I don’t have to, my point isn’t a judgement on the legitimacy of Israel… It’s that Talib’s account of the events surrounding WWII are ahistorical, self serving, anti-Semitic claptrap, and the kind of garbage one might expect of a fundamentally ignorant person. The fact that a fundamentally ignorant person chose the Holocaust as a segway into why Israel is bad is just icing on the cake.

            Your failure to understand that is your own issue, and I refuse to let you hoist your inadequacies on me.

            • No, I do understand. I understand quite well. Your *question* is a stupid one and is rhetorical anyway.

              To understand the entire situation, and to talk fairly about it, is what is needed. Your approach and your orientation will not allow this.

              Turn the lens of examination around.

                • What I am saying is what I have clearly said. You and others on this Blog have a distorted version of Israeli history and the conflict in general. You have a list of ‘talking points’ that are those, more or less, of the American State Department. The views that you have are not accurate, nor are they helpful, and they are tightly bound up in ‘lies & deceptions’ that are very hard to sort through.

                  I have suggested, and I do suggest and I will continue to suggest, that Israeli interests, and some powerful Jewish figures, control and determine the ‘narrative’ about Israel, and that American foreign policy is determined not through a clear enunciation of ‘American interests’ but by something closer to ‘devious usurpation’, and that Israel is a manipulative player in this framing of the issue toward its advantage. How it does this, and how it has been allowed to do this, requires careful study.

                  In order to see whether what I suggest, and lots of other concerned people suggest, is true, there is required an unprejudiced examination of the issues. My impression is that you and others who operate from such *talking points* do not do this and cannot do this. And your basic position is to label anyone who does not share your silly, binary view as an anti-Semite. You use exactly the same tactics as a classic SJW when they use the terms “Nazi”. In this sense you are non-different.

                  You should look more closely into the events this, but you don’t. In that I discern an ethical failure. Your ethical failure has far larger implications than you seem to understand. But in fact, I think that you do not really care. You pretend to care though and your ego gets involved, not your reason.

                  How this has come about (how the general view expressed by most Americans and the one that is coerced), has has it come to be so biased and binary? that is an entire endeavor to understand. It is not simple. I also notice that the views that you have, have a connection to other, wider machinations, and these are concerning to me and should be of concern to all of us.

                  For example, now, today, the ‘sabre rattling’ and the amazing threats issues against Iran as one more stage in a destabilization project undertaken over 20 years as neoconservative Americans, in alliance with Israel, have carried out destructive policies. Therefore, I say that your entire view requires revision. I further state that you should add to your list of Shakespeare quotes and perhaps consider a few from MacBeth. There is, in my mind, something bordering on evil in your subservience to an established view that is bound up in lies & deceptions. And when I notice this characteristic, I must honestly report that it leads me to doubt your moral & ethical fibre. The lesson here, for me, is that we can be bound up with significant mis-truths and self-deceptions while still being ‘ethical people’ or people who desire to be ethical and to ‘do good’. But that we are duty-bound to keep pushing forward, somehow, and that we cannot stop when a coercive, insisted view is forced upon us.

                  • Again… I’m not commenting on Israel’s legitimacy, or whether or not Palestinians have a legitimate grievance, because I don’t have to to prove that Tlaib was wrong. And not just wrong; So spectacularly wrong that believing what she said was not only correct, but reasonable required a deep-seated fundamental lack of understanding. I chose to call that ignorance. I stand by that.

                    What Tlaib said was factually incorrect, and as the old adage goes; “‘Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” And it’s *completely* coincidental, I suppose, that the same Congresswoman who took pictures of a world map in her office that had a sticky note with “Palestine” written on it over the place of Israel, is now making historically inaccurate, Palestinian biased statements about the history of the region.

                    All of this prevarication is just noise. Engage with what I said, or I’m going to go back to my old stand in of replying to you with pictures of deranged women throwing cats at people.

                    • What Tlaib said was factually incorrect, and as the old adage goes; “‘Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

                      If you genuinely do believe that, why don’t you go and look at the record* so you can check which of the two of you, or both, is saying factually incorrect things? At this point, you are just repeating that it was factually incorrect. And if you don’t believe that, you show by your actions that you believe that you are entitled to have and to push your own facts.

                      * U.S. news reports in matters like this, where there is an agenda, are not facts but aggregates of repeated assertion, though they do show the meta-fact that people are hearing a lot of that sort of thing.

                    • John Burger pointed out below is a response to Alizia, that she hasn’t actually made an statement of fact yet; she just insulted me, said I was wrong, and told me to educate myself. You actually did less than her, because you didn’t even bother to insult me.

                      The fact is that during World War II, Grand Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini traveled to Germany and met with Hitler and Heimrich, the fact is that their correspondence has been found with Husseini asking for Hitler to exterminate the Jews in Israel, and offering assistance, the fact is that Germany did conduct some small operations in Israel (operation Atlas, for example), and while they were small, and while they were failed, they were conducted with Palestinian support.

                      Like I said, I don’t need to comment on Israel’s right to exist, or whether of not the Palestinians had legitimate grievances, in order to prove that Tlaib’s comments were ahistorical Muslim head-cannon.

                      What I find amazing, right now, more than a week after this newest boondoggle dropped, is that literally no one is defending her the way you are. Literally no one is saying that what she said was anything better than “misguided, and historically inaccurate.”

                      And I just want to point out, yet again, how creamy the crops of Minnesota and Michigan. I’ve seen people like Shaun King lament that the first two Arab women in Congress have been the target of so much Islamophobia…. That’s insane, frankly. Look, this was a Jackie Robinson situation, where it may not have been fair, but there is a whole lot of baggage associated with Islam, so these two, in order to succeed, for both them and people like them, needed to set a near pristine example, because anything less would devolve into the situation we had. I wish that Omar and Tlaib had represented their states with dignity, but it’s 2019, I suppose, and between the two of them, they’ve managed to average one Jew-related SNAFU an every 15 days since their election. Reset that clock! How hard would it have been to just not be narrowly hyper-focused on a very small, only tangentially related to current politics, area of the world and instead focus on literally anything else? I mean, focusing on Russian collusion would have been just as intelligent, but at least if would be more in line with our expectations of current Democratic talking points.

                  • You know, Alizia, your comments tend toward the obtuse. You make broad proclamations that “one must understand the real truths about ______” to form a deeper understanding of what is going on at the moment, but you never actually state what those “real truths” are, as if to let them hang in the air for all to grasp. Then, you criticize other commenters for not being aware of the deeper truths and merely spouting talking points. It is tedious and incoherent writing and argumentation. State your positions more clearly so that we Intellectual Neanderthals can wrap out feeble minds around them. Otherwise, it is just boring to read how aware you are.

                    jvb

                    • Hello there.

                      It sounds like you are open to a more complete understanding, and you might be able to grasp that providing that understanding in a short blog-post simply does not — cannot — work. Therefore, I present to you a way to view and to review the situation, presented from the angle of a man who has deep ties to the military structure that conquered Palestine (his father) and who came to see and understand things in a different way.

                      You are attempting a strange form of insult here, John Burger, and I do not appreciate it. Yet there are many here like you who use this tactic. Let me explain. You set up a false example in which you pretend that I called you ‘Neanderthals’ and that I deprecate ‘you-plural’. This entire sentence is devious:

                      “State your positions more clearly so that we Intellectual Neanderthals can wrap out feeble minds around them.”

                      Please refrain from inventing insults, casting them at yourself and yourselves, and pretending that I have said this. Stop being insulting. It is unnecessary in addition to being simply unethical.

                      If this issue is really important to you, and if you are really serious about understanding it in greater depth, then take a small amount of time to examine the general argument that I present (and can only allude to in blog posts).

                      Let me know your thoughts:

                  • State your positions more clearly so that we Intellectual Neanderthals can wrap our feeble minds around them.

                    Did you learn of your Neanderthal heritage after taking a DNA test? Was it CRI Genetics, or Family Tree DNA?

                    Many people are learning that they are in fact Neanderthals!

                    Can you talk about your ‘experience’ in the oppressive world of Homo sapiens? 🙂

                    • Why, yes I did. My meemaw, the matriarch of the clan, always told us that the slopes of our foreheads and protruding eye brows were a distinguishing and distinguished feature of our heritage. She would give us great recipes for Saber-Tooth a la Orange Soup – clearly, her’s was the best. Every Saturday evening, we would sit around the camp fire in our animal skins, grunting stories about the latest hunt and talk about whether the Cro-Magnons next door were of the proper breeding stock.

                      jvb

                • Here:

                  “Look like the innocent flower,
                  But be the serpent under it.”

                  “What’s done cannot be undone.”

                  “False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”

                  “Sometimes when we are labeled, when we are branded our brand becomes our calling.”

            • My “established talking points” are history, and you don’t really engage with that.

              Actually, she does and you don’t. We can see this because your “established talking points” are not history, just repeated assertion – established talking points – and are not what the record shows. Don’t take my word for it (I don’t want to do repeated assertion myself), go and look at what the British accounts show they had to face then: Zionist disruption, e.g. sabotage, strikes and assassinations.

              Were the Palestinians Nazi collaborators, yes or no?
              Did they use WWII as an opportunity to slaughter Jews, yes or no?

              No, of course, to both, if we are just talking about what happened in Palestine. However, a very few Palestinians did collaborate with the Nazis in Europe, though never with slaughtering Jews. Again, review the accounts.

              It’s that Talib’s account of the events surrounding WWII are ahistorical, self serving, anti-Semitic claptrap, and the kind of garbage one might expect of a fundamentally ignorant person.

              As the records show, it is not ahistorical; analysis shows that, though it is consistent with being antisemitic it is also consistent with other motivations, so we would need other grounds to establish that; and, although yours is the kind of garbage one might expect of a fundamentally ignorant person (though it, too, might arise from other reasons), hers is not a view that could arise from simply being unthinking, a fundamentally ignorant person – not when surrounded by an ambience that shouts it down so much.

              Your failure to understand that is your own issue, and I refuse to let you hoist your inadequacies on me.

              Please consider the possibility that there may be a beam of that sort in your own eye.

              • “My “established talking points” are history, and you don’t really engage with that.”

                “Actually, she does and you don’t.”

                First off, that’s a grade school retort, and self defeating… I made the statements of fact that Palestinians collaborated with Nazis, you say I’m wrong, except for a way you think I’m right, and then you say I’m not engaging with my own point. You’re a mess, I can’t even think of a way to interpret that intelligently. I disagree with your characterization of Palestinian corroboration, and I said how in my last comment, and will rehash it below, but the fact remains that Alizia literally doesn’t engage with it, and you asserting differently will not make it true. I’ll always admit that it’s possible that I’m wrong though, perhaps this is a reading comprehension problem, so I’m going to give you the opportunity to prove me wrong. Quote her. Quote her engaging with my point that Tlaib was historically wrong, with her making an actual statement of fact. I have the feeling I’ll be waiting.

                “Were the Palestinians Nazi collaborators, yes or no?
                Did they use WWII as an opportunity to slaughter Jews, yes or no?”

                “No, of course, to both, if we are just talking about what happened in Palestine. However, a very few Palestinians did collaborate with the Nazis in Europe, though never with slaughtering Jews. Again, review the accounts.”

                From my comment above: “[D]uring World War II, Grand Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini traveled to Germany and met with Hitler and Heimrich, […] their correspondence has been found with Husseini asking for Hitler to exterminate the Jews in Israel, and offering assistance, […] Germany did conduct some small operations in Israel (operation Atlas, for example), and while they were small, and while they were failed, they were conducted with Palestinian support.”

                The one point you might have is that the Germans and Arabs weren’t particularly good at what they wanted to do (At least not in Israel, Northern Africa, and particularly Egypt was a different story), I suppose I could settle for “Took the opportunity to fail at slaughtering Jews” but that seems more than a little semantic.

                “It’s that Talib’s account of the events surrounding WWII are ahistorical, self serving, anti-Semitic claptrap, and the kind of garbage one might expect of a fundamentally ignorant person.”

                “As the records show, it is not ahistorical; analysis shows that, though it is consistent with being antisemitic it is also consistent with other motivations, so we would need other grounds to establish that; and, although yours is the kind of garbage one might expect of a fundamentally ignorant person (though it, too, might arise from other reasons), hers is not a view that could arise from simply being unthinking, a fundamentally ignorant person – not when surrounded by an ambience that shouts it down so much.”

                Oh for the love of… Explain it to me, PM, because I would love for you to try. Take that excerpt that Jack has provided above, and parse it. Fact check it for truth, tell me where I’m wrong, explain your points. Because, believe it or not, I know of you, and I’m not going to take your word for it. “aS tHe ReCoRdS sHoW”

                “Your failure to understand that is your own issue, and I refuse to let you hoist your inadequacies on me.”

                “Please consider the possibility that there may be a beam of that sort in your own eye.”

                Please consider a post-birth abortion.

          • … the Jewish invasion and occupation of Israel.

            In all sorts of contexts, I have tried to make it clear why it is important to distinguish between invasion, infiltration and incursion. For one thing, they need different counter-measures, just as different diseases do. This is another such case: there was no Jewish invasion, there was a Jewish infiltration.

        • I read it . . . rather quickly. If it is true that ‘propaganda will always be with us’, it seems to me that the first order of business is *the deconstruction of propaganda’. If there is such a thing as ‘media studies’: a discipline of looking carefully at the creations of media, or ‘reading’ them as ‘texts’, then there should be a discipline of ‘dismantling propaganda’. But what is it? Or, where does it begin and where end? In my own researches I have been alarmed and disconcerted by my findings. Lies & deceptions are ‘part-and-parcel’ of the System(s) that we live in.

          She puts it:

          “Ultimately, the point of propaganda is to shift our perceptions to get people to conform to an agenda.”

          I broaden the term ‘propaganda’ to include persuasion more generally. If there is a necessity to persuade, there is often found the ‘tricks’ that persuasion resorts to. I think these operate in many many different areas. And I also think that our ‘Systems’ have become so complex, so interwoven in their complexity, that it is difficult to perform the world of ‘sorting out the lies intermingled with the truth.

          “To grasp the mechanics behind of some of today’s psychological warfare, let’s take as an example the resurgence of anti-Semitism, a hateful sentiment that goes hand in hand with attacking Israel’s right to exist.”

          OK! Right there she has demonstrated how these ‘tricks’ work, and that they are necessary. If you merely accept that statement (I assume that you do) she has you. I do not accept that statement, and she has me not.

          Now, I can say that I honestly know something about “the resurgence of anti-Semitism”, and I really do understand what she means because I have studied the issue. I am nearly certain that you have not. I know what certain notable figures on the ‘extreme right’ (as it is called, when in truth it is more akin to the America’s ‘original right’, but let’s not get bogged down here) because I have read what they write. Say Kevin MacDonald, or Richard Spencer, or Greg Johnson, or E. Michael Jones. I have read all of them (and numerous others) and I can assure you of one thing: their discourse is anti-Jewish or counter-Jewish (as they might say) and certainly Jewish-critical, or another way to put it is in reverse: a deliberate, reasoned turn against ‘philo-Semitism’. It is also deconstructive of Jewish-established and upheld ‘narratives’ that are common in our present. In and of itself I cannot find anything *wrong* or immoral in it. Take Kevin MacDonald and his 3-volume study. Try to understand it this way: Kevin MacDonald defines a Jewish-critical position that offers ‘defensive tools’ to Gentiles and Gentile culture which is very definitely needed in our present.

          Now, if there is a ‘resurgence’ of anti-Semitism, first one has to understand what it is, and why it is ‘resurgent’. I accept the term “Judenhass” (Jew hatred). There is such a thing. And it is blind, aggressive and unreasonable. But I distinguish Judenhass from a Jewish-critical stance. And there are many shades of variation. Take E. Michael Jones. Jewish critical, but not a Jew-hater. And to understand him you’d actually have to read him, and that you likely never will! You won’t — and why is it that you won’t?

          Ah, that is where ‘propaganda’ and ‘social coercion’ and ‘peer pressure’ show themselves. You cannot even allow the term ‘Jewish critical’ into your discourse. Now imagine if that term were possible to use in our Media. The very notion is unthinkable thought. Now how did that come about?

          Well, I assert that it stems from (what this silly author means when she refers to) propaganda.

          “Israel’s right to exist” is a complex term. I referred you to Miko Peled. You (most likely) did not hear his discourse. If you did you might see European Jew’s conquest of Palestine in a different light. That is, of completely unrelated peoples, separated from the soil of Israel for 1,500 years, returning (inflitrating if you will!) the lands of Palestine, and then completely taking over while simultaneously displacing the Palestinian population. Don’t refer to what I say, refer to what he says. Consider the terms that he considers. The picture will look different.

          My position is odd. I know that the whole thing is bound up in lies and misrepresentations, and that it only has to do with Power. European Jews, having suffered the greatest blow of the Diaspora, conquered Palestine by sheer force. That is, as a manifestation of Power. Power makes its play, and then it seeks to justify itself! So, I say: Drop the deceptions. If you are going to use the Thrasymachus formula (“justice as the advantage of the stronger”), then really state it as it is.

          But since it cannot be stated openly, naturally! then resort to lies & deceptions.

          European Jews conquered Palestine, and will not let it go, and will broaden its power in the region through any means, because this is an extension of the tsoris of Jewish exile. That is my view. This is a rare historical moment within the Diaspora in the larger sense. Nothing like it had ever happened. It all — all! — hinges on the Jewish position in America. And that is why America is so interwoven with this problem. (If you knew Jewish history, you would know about this.)

          Christian Zionism preceded Jewish Zionism. Christian Zionism is an error. A severe one.

    • Democrats don’t care about sex or sexuality, morals, racism, or disenfranchisement…

      Republicans and other ‘conservatives’ stand almost equally behind sexual liberation, Gaye rights, and state intervention to achieve those rights: to mold culture to conform to a progressive ideal.

      It is simply absurd to suggest that Republicans are concerned about ‘morals’. That statement is really a joke and nothing more. Both Republicans and Democrats — and Americans generally — are profoundly confused about ‘moral’ questions and do not know what to support or condemn.

      And Democrats and Republicans are more or less equal in their stated condemnation of racism. Indeed, that is one primary tenet of State-Americanism. How could the New America be the New America if it were not anti-racist and pro-multicultural? As well as essentially pro-feminism? These are the very terms of the Nation. This is the ‘product’ that America sells. And if you don’t ‘buy’ it the next step is invasion or something to that effect.

      So many layers of interconnected lies and deceptions about what America is!

      America has become a radically progressive nation from top to bottom. You cannot put forward any other ideological program and were you to do so, you’d be destroyed. There may be slight differences between Democrat and Republican but their essential and basic platform is quite similar.

      • “It is simply absurd to suggest that Republicans are concerned about ‘morals’. That statement is really a joke and nothing more.”

        Whew. Good thing I didn’t say that then, that might have been embarrassing. Do you actually want to respond to what I said, or is this you taking the opportunity to have a special kind of crazy conversation with yourself?

  5. 3. And speaking of abortion…once again, a GOP administration—this one— has revived the unethical “conscience clause” rules, allowing medical workers to refuse to deliver services (like abortion) that they have a moral or religious objection to. I’ve written about this many times. If your job involves providing medical services that a patient has a legal right to receive, then your duty is to perform them. If you can’t perform them, work in another field. Individual vetoes of a patient’s right undermine the rule of law as well as society values and community health.

    You can not blame the Administration, as they are merely enforcing a law passed by Congress.

    https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/10-22-15b.cfm

    A federal jury in Peoria, Ill., has awarded $240,000 to two Somalian-American Muslims who were fired from their jobs as truck drivers at Star Transport, an over-the-road trucking company, when they refused to transport alcohol because it violated their religious beliefs, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which brought the case. The trial started on Oct. 19, and the jury returned its verdict the next day after 45 minutes of deliberation.

    You can blame Trump for vetoing a bill that would abolish the EEOC. But to blame him for enforcing a law that he or you do not like?

    That would be unethical.

  6. 3. Who exactly does the conscience clause apply to in the case of abortion? Not to doctors: A doctor can simply say, “I’ve never done an abortion and it would be malpractice for me to do one on you.” So we’re not really talking about anybody vetoing a woman’s right to an abortion. We’re really talking about whether nurses and other employees must take part in an abortion upon demand of the doctor, or whether they can inconvenience the doctor by making him find somebody else to assist him.

    • We’re really talking about whether nurses and other employees must take part in an abortion upon demand of the doctor, or whether they can inconvenience the doctor by making him find somebody else to assist him.

      The law is fairly clear on this.

      https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/10-22-15b.cfm

      A federal jury in Peoria, Ill., has awarded $240,000 to two Somalian-American Muslims who were fired from their jobs as truck drivers at Star Transport, an over-the-road trucking company, when they refused to transport alcohol because it violated their religious beliefs, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which brought the case. The trial started on Oct. 19, and the jury returned its verdict the next day after 45 minutes of deliberation.

      • That case was about a failure to accommodate the employees’ religious beliefs. In the absence of the conscience clauses, would this apply to moral but non-religious beliefs? Would it cover health care providers? I assume that the conscience clause add something to these general civil rights protections, but I’m not sure I understand what that something is. Does it give employees an absolute right to refuse and keep their jobs even when it impossible for an employee to make reasonable accommodation?

        • In the absence of the conscience clauses, would this apply to moral but non-religious beliefs? Would it cover health care providers?

          Yes to both.

          . Does it give employees an absolute right to refuse and keep their jobs even when it impossible for an employee to make reasonable accommodation?

          No.

          EEOC also alleged that Star Transport could have but failed to accommodate the truckers’ religious beliefs, as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Star Transport, Inc., No. 13-cv-1240) in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in Peoria in May 2013.

          In this context, truckers are no different than health care providers.

  7. I think two weeks ago or so we celebrated, or just took a moment I think in our country to remember the Holocaust.

    It’s unfair to characterize this as Tlaib “celebrating the Holocaust.” It’s clear, especially if you see the video, that she had started to say, “celebrated Holocaust Remembrance Day,” or something similar, then realized that “celebrate” wasn’t the right word, so she backed up and said, “took a moment to remember the Holocaust,” which was correct and unobjectionable.

    Also, in the second part of the passage, when she used the phrase, “calming feeling,” it also seemed clear to me, especially watching the video instead of reading the transcript, that she did not mean she feels good when she thinks about the Holocaust. She meant that when she gets angry about the injustice that she believes was done to the Palestinians, she feels calmer when she reflects on the fact that it was done “to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time.”

    It’s certainly fair to disagree strongly with Tlaib’s belief that an injustice was done to the Palestinians or with her belief that Israel should adopt a one-state solution to remedy that injustice. But the over-the-top accusations that she endorses and celebrates the Holocaust are not fair.

    • I did not see her comments, but had the same reaction you did about the “celebrate” line. We don’t have many of those in the U.S. (Pearl Harbor Day, 9/11 maybe). So, it would not surprise me if she was just inarticulate.

      The “calming” remark was a bit strange too. Not sure what she meant by that, but inferred the sense of calm one feels when observing a solemn event. But, she does connect it back to the creation of Israel, so I can’t say I really know for sure what she was getting at.

      -Jut

    • She was just trying to reframe the creation of a small reservation for Jews on some of their ancestral homeland as a cruel injustice done to innocent Arabs. Which is wrong to the point of being maddeningly cruel. She’s assuming a few internalized lies:

      1. Arabs weren’t generally allied with Hitler and the Nazis against Jews and the Allies.
      2. Arabs and Muslims didn’t immediately respond to the creation of Israel with massacres and mass persecution of Jews.
      3. Many Jews weren’t already living as second-class citizens in historical Israel continually up to that point.
      4. Muslims peacefully suffered for the sins of the world by sacrificing themselves so that those sheltered, pampered Jews could live fat and happy in a safe place.

      To have this phony version of well-known history living in your head, you’d have to be more than just “partisan.” You’d be firmly in “I want the streets to run red with the blood of my enemies” territory.

      • No. 1 is no lie the way you wrote it, with the word “generally”. Algerian and Moroccan Arabs served with the Free French in Italy, the Senussi helped the British and Commonwealth forces in Libya (because they didn’t like the Italians by then), the Palestinians wound back their struggle for the duration (unlike the Stern Gang and other Zionist extremists), and Egypt and the Persian Gulf stayed quiet. Only Rashid Ali’s group among the Iraqis lined up with the Axis, as did some Syrians (not many of the latter, though, because the Vichy French controlled Syria until it was conquered).

        Oh, you didn’t mean those other Arabs? Then “generally” was wrong, and we are only left with the Palestinian counter-example. Palestinians in Germany refute that about as much as William Joyce, “Lord Haw Haw”, refutes Irish neutrality.

  8. Re: No. 4; Rep. Tlaib:

    Let’s give Rep. Tlaib the benefit of the doubt and not take her words as “anti-semitic” Let’s assume she meant to be considerate and understanding of the Holocaust. Based on that, and the assumption she was being considerate, her statement is even more galling. She intended to share the plight of Holocaust survivors and victims by comparing what happened in Western Europe to Jews to what happened in the Middle East in 1947, in the sense of, “Given what the Jews went through, I feel less enraged and, indeed, even a little ‘calmed’ when I think of the evil they did to my people—my people, who welcomed and helped them! They took my people’s land, heritage, culture, and history and we generously shared it with them. Now, look at how they treat us.” Her comments were not bound by fact, history, or anything else, and ring with sneers and snark, just like calling someone evil and patting them on the back and saying, “good job.”

    jvb

      • The bigger issue is that the Democrat leadership has backed itself into a corner and does not have a coherent solution to this problem. Rep. Pelosi capitulated to the Radical Mob when she allowed her party to issue a lukewarm rebuke of Rep. Omar’s idiocy, meekly condemning “all hatred” of any kind, any where. Now, Rep. Tlaib comments with some kind of off-the-cuff remark about the moral equivalence between Palestine and Israel, and the Democrat leadership can’t respond with anything other than saying that the Republicans are twisting her words and taking them out of context. Rep. Pelosi and the Democrat leadership have lost control of the radical element of the party. Make no mistake, the Rep. Omars and Tlaibs and Keith Ellisons of the DNC are well-funded by the hard Left, anti-Israeli wing of the Democrat party that will not be silenced. They are sent to Washington to stir up controversy.

        jvb

  9. Bit of a non Sequitur:

    https://www.cbc.ca/sports/golf/tiger-woods-lawsuit-drunken-driver-death-1.5135054

    tldr: Tiger Woods owns a bar in Florida, his girlfriend, Erika, is the location manager. They hired a man to be a bartender, the family of the man contends that Woods knew the man was an alcoholic. Someone, and no one is really clear on whether this was self-inflicted, apparently over-served the man, who then attempted to drive home drunk and died in the accident. The family of the man is suing.

    • I would be interested to see what evidence they have that his employers knew he was an alcoholic. It seems like it would be a very bad business decision to hire such a person as a bartender. Somewhat akin to hiring a kleptomaniac to manage your jewelry store, no?

      One wonders if this lawsuit would exist if the bar owner was just some random schmoe struggling to make a go of it in the restaurant business, with no fame or money involved. One shouldn’t wonder long, though, as the answer is pretty easy to arrive at…

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