What is a Week?

Six days and Shabbat: the many in the midst of the One.

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Richard Nixon Sabotaged Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam Peace Talks

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Would people view President Johnson more favorably if they knew this story?

In spite of the Vietnam mess of which Johnson was obviously a major player, I think he was a great president and am disappointed in the low esteem in which many hold him. I despised Vietnam as a kid and still do, but there is more to a man than that disaster. How about civil rights, voting rights, fair housing, Medicare, anti-poverty legislation like Medicaid, Head Start, food stamps, and work study, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, the Public Broadcasting Service, promotion of science including our first trip to the moon (started by Kennedy, finished by Johnson), immigration reform/liberalization, massive aid for education, among others?

That’s quite a list.  However, this sordid tale of Nixon’s misdeeds makes Johnson even more appealing.

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/02/16/does-nixons-treason-boost-lbjs-legacy/

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Global Surveillance Apparatus Largely Independent of National Politicians

SurveillanceGlobal1

Like many multi-national corporations, the international surveillance apparatus apparently operates globally without any meaningful checks and balances. National leaders do not even know the extent to which their own intelligence agencies are or are not cooperating with the NSA. This is tantamount to a kind of international shadow government.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/13/nsa-elected-officials-foreign-countries-unaware-countries-cooperation-us/

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The NSA is Hacking Systems Administrators

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The U.S. is Using Solitary Confinement in its Prisons at a much higher rate than other Countries

SolitaryConfinementPrisons1

This is a troubling trend that betrays the fundamental values of a free society: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/20/solitary-confinement-psychological-effects-sarah-shourd/print

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Woman who Rescued her Husband from Dachau Dies at 111

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NSA Can Record an Entire Nation’s Telephone Calls: Surveillance Unleashed

To say the least, this is disturbing. The NSA now has the capability of recording not only metadata, but also the content of telephone calls across an entire country. When can we start saying that we live in a police state? http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-surveillance-program-reaches-into-the-past-to-retrieve-replay-phone-calls/2014/03/18/226d2646-ade9-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html

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The Story of Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands

Here is a video that discusses the history of Jewish refugees from Arab lands. This review is pertinent, given recent, false claims by Presbyterian leadership about Jewish history in the Middle East, which I discussed briefly in a previous post yesterday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTo0BLG9R8s

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PC-USA/Presbyterians Assault on Zionism and Judaism

The Presbyterian Church/PCUSA has recently promoted as a congregational resource a booklet called “Zionism Unsettled.” This has caused an enormous amount of controversy in the Jewish community (from the left to the right), as it essentially denies the legitimacy of Jewish aspirations and questions the right of Jews to have their own state.The attack on Zionism is not a critique of particular Israeli policies, but rather an assault on Israel as a Jewish state and an attack on Jewish history. It is nothing less than open and unapologetic antisemitism. Among other things, it claims that European Zionism ruined the lives of Middle Eastern Jews and that blame for the suffering of those Jews (the Mizrahi) should fall on European Jews who are colonialist usurpers. According to this narrative, European Jews have duped poor, benighted Middle Eastern Jews who were living blissful lives until those nasty Euro-Jews came along. This is a lie, pure and simple. Middle Eastern Judaism has a long history of love for Israel and hope for a return to their homeland, as do all Jews everywhere on the globe. And Jewish history in the Middle East is complex and often harsh. For example, in Yemen, Jews faced vicious persecution and lived lives of abject poverty and constant harassment and intimidation. They were not even allowed to own musical instruments, and the men were relegated to working in sewers. And, although there were times when Jewish life flourished in the Middle East, Jews throughout the Middle East also faced regular pogroms and persecution for centuries.

Many Presbyterians (if not most at the local levels) do not support this antisemitic position, but a small group of advocates and ideologues have hijacked their church. I wish the challengers all blessings and offer my support in whatever way I can be of use.

For these reasons, I am giving you links to a series of articles that Middle Eastern Jews have themselves written on this topic. I hope you find them of interest.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lyn-julius/presbyterians-have-it-bac_b_4896724.html

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/open-letter-to-the-presbyterian-church-from-an-iraqi-jew/

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/presbyterian-churchs-guide-is-dead-wrong-about-iranian-jewry/

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The NSA Installs Malware Globally: The Outer Limits of Surveillance

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Though not surprising, this is appalling. It’s another indication how close we are to totalitarianism.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/12/nsa-plans-infect-millions-computers-malware/


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How the Koch Brothers Money System Works

KochBrothersNobleSean1

A troubling tale about how money moves in the world of the Koch Brothers. We talk about the oligarchs in Russia. How different are we from them? http://www.propublica.org/article/the-dark-money-man-how-sean-noble-moved-the-kochs-cash-into-politics-and-ma

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Reincarnation is a Jewish Thing

ReincarnationJewish1

Many people–including many Jews–don’t realize this, but it’s a fact (as the website below demonstrates). It’s actually the Orthodox who emphasize reincarnation, not liberal Jews.

tp://www.aish.com/sp/ph/Why-Reincarnation.html

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Massive License Plate Surveillance: Another Assault on the Fourth Amendment

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The Prison Gulag in Idaho: Another Horror Story of Private Prison Management

Ada County Republican Caucus in Boise, Idaho

When will we learn? Make sure to see the video.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/07/1282972/-

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