Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Shushan Purim 5783

Oh Yeah: It's Purim, Shushan Purim, and Albuquerque Purim all week! To start the celebration (or continue it) Abq Jew must (he must! he must!) share with you the latest escapade of Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.


When confronted by a senior NCO, now a MRFF client,
who was speaking for themselves and 112 junior enlisted personnel,
the “Officer in Charge” who came up with this clearly proselytizing
"Leadership Lessons of the Lord Jesus Christ” training
ludicrously claimed that it was not religious, but would
"only focus on Jesus the military leader.”


Jesus the military leader? What Bible is this guy reading?

As you, Abq Jew's loyal readers, most surely recall, Abq Jew has written about Mikey Weinstein and the MRFF before (see October 2019's When Christians Break Bad and March 2018's On Selecting Haberdashery).

And you must realize that Abq Jew could blog about Mikey's exploits every week. But then there would be no time or space (as Einstein has pointed out) for other gems appearing in our news media.

CNN (Zoe Sottile, March 4)

Brown Bear

Do not ‘push a slower friend down’ if you encounter a bear, National Park Service warns

The National Park Service has some bear-y important tips for what not to do if you – and a friend – encounter a bear in the wild.

“If you come across a bear, never push a slower friend down,” the agency wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, “even if you feel the friendship has run its course.”

On Twitter, users seemed more interested in soliciting further friendship advice from the National Park Service than learning more about bear safety.

One user, for instance, asked what they should do “if they consider me a friend, but I just consider them an acquaintance.”

“Friendships are special, but they don’t happen by chance,” the agency replied. “It takes effort and trust to build a lasting friendship. Good luck.”

Bear Wave

Park rangers are always advising hikers and campers in national parks to be alert for bears, and to take extra precautions to avoid an encounter.

They advise park visitors to wear little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking. The bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance, so they won’t be startled by a hiker accidentally sneaking up on them, which might cause a bear to charge.

Visitors are told they should also carry a pepper spray can just in case they encounter a bear. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear’s sensitive nose and it will run away.

It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for fresh bear droppings so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear scat.

Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells and smell of pepper.

The New Yorker (Andy Borowitz, March 2)

Disney Roundup

DeSantis Rounds Up Disney Characters and Puts Them on Bus to New York

In a major escalation of his war with Disney, Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, has rounded up several of the company’s characters at Walt Disney World and put them on a bus headed for New York City.

At least a dozen characters, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Elsa, were swept up in the shocking daytime raid, as children visiting the theme park screamed in horror.

A merciless DeSantis explained the seizure of the characters at a midday press conference, in which he claimed that “all of these characters, especially the mice, are card-carrying members of the wokerati.”

The Governor seemed indifferent to the fate of the Disney characters once they arrive in New York. “Let them wander Times Square with Elmo,” he said.


OK. Now Abq Jew has gone too far.

With the recent (?) rise in antisemitism all over the world - even in the United States - perhaps Abq Jew shouldn't joke about roundups and shocking daytime raids. 

Especially after reading this "riveting look at the story of World War II and the Holocaust through the diaries of Dutch citizens, firsthand accounts of ordinary people living through extraordinary times."

The Diary Keepers

About which Abq Jew promises (Billy Nader) to comment ... soon. Until then -

CNN (Frida Ghitis, March 3)

Frida Ghitis

The toxic brew poisoning American society
In what should be a shocking bit of news even in a country where antisemitism, violence and wild conspiracy theories are becoming all-too common, a man was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill all the Jews in the Michigan government, the FBI said. 
The news, which was an important one for some outlets, including CNN, seemed to be downplayed by other major media organizations.

The case, which was publicized by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who said the FBI confirmed she was one of the targets, contains a toxic brew of many of the ingredients poisoning American society: conspiracy theories, poorly moderated social media platforms and a country awash in weapons.

The result, as we have already seen, is not only a surge in antisemitic incidents and crimes – in keeping with a historic pattern of Jews becoming the central targets of all manner of phony fabrications – but also a red flag with a warning beyond one community. 
That American Jews now feel unsafe in a country where they thought that could not happen is sign of a society beginning to lose its moorings.

Continuing -

The explosion of antisemitic rhetoric and actions are evidence of the damage inflicted by conspiracy theories that spread on social media, attributing Jews to all sorts of nefarious powers and objectives. And in the Michigan case, the suspect was found in possession of a number of weapons, which underscores just how dangerous this growing trend is. 

Given how often we’ve seen other groups targeted as scapegoats, the spread of hate-filled rhetoric has wider implications.

This presents a serious challenge to the nation. Countering the threat will require people across society to refute these unfounded ideas, help safeguard the people who are targeted and call out those who promote their unhinged notions.

That’s why it was disappointing when the agenda for a recent House Democratic Caucus retreat included talks about defending Asian Americans and the LGBTQ community against hate crimes and other attacks, but somehow forgot about the minority that comprises by far the largest percentage of religion-based hate crimes, even when the statistics excluded some of the cities with the greatest numbers of Jews.

That a man was arrested after claiming he wanted to kill all the Jews in Michigan’s government should startle even a jaded country. 

That it doesn’t only highlights the depths of the problem.

Wait What

See how that happened? Abq Jew started with happy and funny, but ended up with antisemitism. And he hasn't even mentioned Dara Horn yet.

Back to Shushan

Gary Rosenblatt (Between the Lines) has finally posted a Purim Spoof for 2023/5783. FAKE, SHMAKE ... NEWS YOU WON'T FIND ANYPLACE ELSE. And NEWS BRIEFS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED. Like

Biden Orders Multiple Air Balloons Shot Down

Chaos ensues at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


World War III avoided (for now) when Chinese spy balloons (disguised as pumpkins) were shot down by U.S. jets.

Eh More

Meanwhile, T'ruah (the rabbinic call for human rights, of which Abq Jew is not and cannot be a member - see January 2015's About That Bush) - has launched Eh. More?: The Institute for (B)Old Jewish Thought.

Eh. More? brings together people from all corners of the Jewish community to ask big questions, study Jewish texts, and hold courageous conversations about today’s most important moral and political issues. And in that spirit offers their next webinar:

Ezekiel El Al

Shoeshine Purim

Abq Jew Substack

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