Category Archives: duty

Sorry, Reb Margolin… You are (mostly) full of crap.

In the wake of the Islamic terrorist attacks on the French, culturally-leftist (Do I repeat myself, here?) publication, Charlie Hebdo, and the aligned slaughter at Hyper Cacher, Chabad Rabbi, and European Jewish Association Director, Menachem Margolin advised against mass emigration of his charges from France to Eretz Yisrael. In doing so, he directly disputed with many Jewish leaders, including Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, styling such “Aliya” (literally, “going up” or “ascending”) as an ill-advised “Pavlovian” response.

Currently, the estimated Jewish population in France is somewhere between 400,000 and 500,000 people, and falling fast. This represents perhaps 10% of the quickly growing Muslim population in France. Both nativist and Islamic attacks on Jews throughout Europe have been climbing steadily. The leader in this trend is France, followed, arguably by Britain and the Scandinavian countries.

In France, there are more than SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY neighborhoods classified officially as “sensitive”, or unofficially, as “No-Go” zones for the police. These areas have been effectively excised from the country, and are managed exclusively by the most radical (some say Islamically observant) Muslim individuals and groups. Nearly every horror seen in the international press associated with Islam happens also within these neighborhoods; “Honor” Killings, “Grooming” Gang-Rapes, Torture, Slavery, Violent and Racist Assaults, Child Marriages… on, and on, and on.

The rest of Europe dare not be smug, either. They all have their own, albeit, smaller variations. They have their “No-Go” zones, their “Honor” Killings, Rapes, etc. Each of their governments and lick-spittle press desperately tries to hide, mischaracterize, or deny what is happening. Their police and courts have been neutered by decades of politically correct policies aimed at maintaining their social(ist) welfare systems and industries in the face of declining native birthrates and the harsh mathematics that must implode any Ponzi Scheme. Europe is in a pickle… and the Jews will be the first victims (it is a tradition), but hardly the last.

I understand the problems Rabbi Margolin has to deal with.

First, as a shaliach (emissary) of the Rebbe, not unlike a captain on a sinking ship, he is duty-bound to serve the religious needs of every Jew within his reach. If every single other Jew has left France, save one, then he helps that one Jew. He should be literally the last one to leave.

Second, while a shaliach does this holy work, he must try to obtain critical cooperation from the civil authorities. Openly calling for mass “Aliya” frames France, or any other country similarly situated, as a “failed state”. Better to remain silent on the question, and quietly, but vigorously help anyone so inclined.

The ideal scenario would be one where soon, and much to everyone’s surprise, all the Jews are gone, and are learning Hebrew in their new, albeit modest, home, in the hills of Judea and Samaria.

Third, there is the belief that “Aliya” to the schizophrenic modern State of Israel need not be at the top of one’s priorities. That increasing observance of Torah and Mitzvot will hasten the coming of Moshiach. Upon his arrival, the stage is set for all the Jews of the world to (perhaps supernaturally) return home to Israel, anyway.

All well and good, but last I looked, at the Passover Seder, and many-many other times of prayer, we do not long for the return to ,  nor say “Next Year in Crown Heights” or “Next Year in Williamsburg”, or “…Monsey” or “…Lakewood”… or Paris. There is no avoiding the mitzvah of returning home… to the Land of Israel,  in order to do even more mitzvot, including those that can ONLY be done there.

Besides…dead Jews are very limited in the kind of mitzvot they can perform. Live ones, eh, not so much!

In his favor, Rabbi Margolin called on the government to “ease” the availability of gun permits (oh, how I bristle at the Idea of asking, nay, begging, government for permission to have the tools to stay alive). He also threw a bone to the general rectitude of “Aliyah”, but desperately tried to sever it from practical concerns like continuing to be alive.

All in all, he should have just shut up.

~~~~~

An afterthought…

Any Jews reading this from the U.S. or Canada and thinking it doesn’t apply equally to each and every one of YOU (and your kids… and grandkids) had better damned-well reconsider. The same issues are already here. Yes, you may have some time to get a little more for your house or business, than those poor slobs in Europe, but don’t dawdle. The last time we did, the price was very, very high.

And to those “Rabbis” and “Jewish Community Leaders” who openly oppose “Aliya” for any Jew, especially now, you should be profoundly ashamed of yourselves. What are you thinking?

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When Seconds Count…..

The Police are just minutes away, just minutes away. How long have we been told by people control via gun control politicians and advocates that firearms owned by private citizen/subjects make U.S. “less civilized” less “safe” as a country? It seems to me that such statements usually come from people with a plethora of body guards. Either paid for with our tax dollars or their own fine salaries often earned by the movies they make. Paid for by us, the great unwashed masses.

 

Let’s start with England. In an effort to prove that sometimes the slowest zebra does in fact survive and multiply rather than being eaten by the lion, they are in a worse self-defense condition than they were in WWII.

 

After WWI England enacted the Firearms Act of 1920. Its restrictions on the private ownership of firearms was partly accomplished by screeching about a surge in crime that might occur because of the large number of firearms available following the war, well and due to fears of working class unrest. And then there was the previous version of the modern U.N. Gun Control treaty, the 1919 Paris Arms Convention, they needed to be able to control the overseas arms trade and they had to comply with that, right?

 

So when WWII rolled around, and after the Battle of Dunkirk when the British retreated and left behind a large amount of very useful hardware, which we would call weapons, they were in a very vulnerable state to fend off the killing machine known as nazis headed their way. What to do? Well, they appealed to their American (and well armed) brethren for help. A program called “American Committee for Defense of British Homes” established in 1940 by a group of Americans (well armed people) and headed by C. Suydam Cutting. They appealed for shotguns, rifles, ammo, steel helmets, binoculars from American Citizens (a well armed people) Since  the people protecting the home front had pitchforks. Kid you not. Makes me think of the line in the movie “The Patriot” where Cornwallis called the militia “farmers with pitchforks”. And yet, fast forward a few hundred years and it’s the Americans (well armed people) helping out their English brethren (home front with pitchforks) in defense of their country. Here’s a really good column about this. The Hession Rifle. Admittedly we could have just sent Chuck Norris, but he was born in 1940. Well, then again, he IS Chuck Norris.

 

So, after having found out that a disarmed nation is a vulnerable nation, the British vowed never to let that happen again! Just kidding. Nope, they are in a far worse state now. Even the British Olympic pistol shooters can’t train in England, Scotland or Wales. England is a country covered with cameras, they carefully record every crime and give a good idea of what and who the perpetrators are. Very useful for prosecuting crime! Stopping crime? Huh? SQUIRREL! Never mind England is thinking “knife ban” now. I mean what with crime being down and al, uh, oh, never mind! SQUIRREL!

I’m pretty sure they were thinking about it before 25 year old Fusilier Lee Rigby was murdered on 22 May 2013.

Rigby was off duty and walking along Wellington Street when he was attacked. Two men ran him down with a car, then used knives and a cleaver to stab and hack him to death. The men dragged Rigby’s body into the road and remained at the scene until police arrived. They told passers-by that they had killed a soldier to avenge the killing of Muslims by the British armed forces. Unarmed police arrived at the scene nine minutes after an emergency call was received and set up a cordon. Armed police officers arrived five minutes later. The assailants, armed with a gun and cleaver, charged at the police, who fired shots that wounded them both. They were apprehended and taken to separate hospitals. Both are British of Nigerian descent, raised as Christians, who converted to Islam.Immediately after the attack, several passers-by stood over Rigby’s body to protect him from further injury.

On lookers were powerless to stop the attack, though one helpfully filmed it. You’re talking about almost a quarter of an hour response time.

 

Fast forward to France, 7 January 2015. Masked muslims showed up at Charlie Hebdo, a magazine that was apparently in business to see how many people and religions they could offend. They went after Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and muslims equally. It’s called “Free Speech”. The magazine office were firebombed in 2011 after publishing a satirical cartoon about Islam. They didn’t let up. And on 7 January, 2 masked muslims showed up with AK-47s and a rocket launcher. Seriously? How the heck did they get a permit in France for that? France has very strict gun control! Oh look! A SQUIRREL!

 

Naturally, the Police were called. But we’re talking France. So two officers showed up on bicycles…unarmed. And found it necessary to flee. Then, as in Britain, a “special” Police unit that is responsible enough to be armed showed up. Of course, by then, 10 people wounded and 12 people were reported dead. Including another police officer, there’s video of him wounded and pleading for his life before he is shot in the head, by a representative of the “Religion of Peace”. Not sure if that was the representative that yelled “the Prophet has been avenged” and “Allahu akbar” as he walked the halls of Charlie Hebdo. Little side note here, “Allahu akbar” does not mean “G-d is Great”. It means “Allah is Greater”. Meaning greater than the whimpy loving G-d of the Jews and Christians, which are “People of the Book”. Oh look, a SQUIRREL!

 

So, back to the unarmed officers that arrived first. The murderers completed their job and left. And proceeded to go on to a printing house in the small town of Dammartin-en-Goele. Where they took people hostage. They told police they wanted to die as martyrs, so they rushed out at the police who obliged them. My thought would be “Ok, bury their bodies at a pig farm” But maybe that’s just me?

 

In a similar incident another representative of the “Religion of Peace” and his girl friend killed a police woman, who was probably unarmed and then holed up at a Kosher Grocery Store. The representative told a French TV station he had “coordinated” with the suspected Charlie Hebdo attackers and he belonged to the Islamic State group. He killed four of the hostages and threatened more unless the police let the Hebdo killers go.

 

What does it say about a country when the frequent refrain of “You don’t need a gun, just call the Police” is pointless. They are as helpless as the unarmed victims are. They die just as quick. SQUIRREL!

 

But the ever astute MSLSD had a Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson on who explained how much worse this would have been had it occurred in the United States.

“Just to keep it in perspective,” Robinson told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “I don’t think we should imagine that the conditions and the threat are exactly the same in the United States as they are in France. They are different.”“In fact, one thing that’s different here is that weapons are universally available and so it is actually a very good thing that the tensions are not exactly the same because we would expect to have a lot more of that sort of carnage.”

Yeah, howdy! Was I ever shocked! #1 That armed citizens and armed police would just stand there and let themselves be shot. #2 Someone reads the WaPo? I thought it was just used for parrot cages and house training puppies, who knew? Somebody read it, because they had the columnist on TV to follow up. #3 MSLSD is still on the air? WOW, that is a devoted 12 bunch of people that are keeping them on the air! Oh look! A SQUIRREL!

But, to end on a positive note, since I’m so frustrated with the stupidity of countries that not only accept this kind of carnage, but enable it, I will share this tidbit of good news. Not all New York millionaires are idiots. Donald Trump made a statements that the gun control policies of France were enabling these types of massacres. WHAT? Gun control enables massacres? Oh look a SQUIRREL!

 

Running With The Squirrels

 

 

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The Politics of Power

I’m miffed at Bibi Netanyahu at the moment, AND Danny Dannon. In fact, I’m so miffed at them, I’m not going to answer their emails! Just on the off hand chance they have a clue who I am and they would actually email me in the first place. As you may be well aware, Bibi is the Prime Minister of Israel. He is from the Likud party, as is Danny. Danny is even more right wing than Bibi, This is not a bad thing to my way of thinking.

 

So right wing is good, right? Supporting actual Israelis against the likes of someone like Haneen Zoabi.

 

A couple of years ago I did an interview with a Navigation Unit Commander for a tank battalion. Of course the topic of Israeli politics came up. That’s one of the nice things about doing interviews, you get to ask what you want to know. I remember him saying that in the Knesset you will have some of the members saying things like Israel should be bombed off the face of the earth. I’m sure I looked appalled when I asked “WHY on earth would you let someone like that be in the Knesset? They should be arrested for treason!” He looked equally appalled and informed me “Everyone has a voice, everyone gets a say”. I remember thinking, with MK s like this, who needs to worry about obama or the other muslims? I understand what he’s saying, but yesh! One of those type of MK s is the Zoabi mentioned in the video. She has done such notable things as side with those on the illegal flotilla a few years ago, she also sided with the rioters on the Temple Mount, and the cowards that kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers in the summer of 2014. She stated “They are not terrorists, even if I do not agree with their actions, these people do not have any escape, any escape.” Precious isn’t she? In March 2009 she stated that she was not worried about the prospect of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. She suggested that a nuclear-armed Iran would act as a counter-power to Israel. Yep, a real peach.

 

I can well understand why Danny and Bibi wouldn’t want someone like Zoabi or her Balad Party (left wing) having a lot of influence in the Knesset. So Danny and Bibi are strong, conservative, pro-Israeli, right? Welllllll, that’s probably a loaded question, and here we go.

 

Ever heard of a political party called Manhigut Yehudit? It means “Jewish Leadership”. It would be the political party I would most wish to be a part of. The irony here, is they would most likely have nothing to do with the likes of me. I’m not Jewish or Israeli, at least by most people’s definition. Ever hear of Moshe Feiglin (hope your Hebrew is better than mine)? These guys are RADICALS! They believe in the Jewish state that Jews should be allowed to pray at the Holiest site in Judaism! Can’t you just hear the sound of air being sucked in through teeth? I know! They also believe things that are an anathema to left wingers, such as, gasp, religion in schools! Yes, Jewish education for Jewish children in a Jewish state! And a modern and open economy based on Jewish values, and transferring power to local governments, less taxes! Oh the shock and horror! But more astounding is Israel needs to defeat its enemies not to flee them. WHAT? Minorities Must Abide by the Law, why that’s RAAACIST! Why, folks, I believe what we have here is the Israeli version of the Tea Party. Well, except Manhigut Yehudit was formed in 1998.

So, it would seem natural that Manhigut Yehudit would fit right in with the Likud, wouldn’t it?

Well, imagine my shock and surprise to find out that Bibi and Danny Dannon along with some others conspired to keep Moshe from returning to the Knesset! Now is where I hit the deep water. I read that Moshe and another MK I really like, Tzipi Hotovely had been given unrealistic seats. Moshe at #27 and Tzipi at #26. People like me maybe shouldn’t have Israeli news feeds on their phones, I dunno. So when I read this

Hotovely is the only religious female MK on Likud’s roster. In any case, the Likud’s “leading woman” is shaping up to be Miri Regev – who is also an advocate for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount. Regev is in the fifth spot, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and ministers Gilad Erdan and Yisrael Katz. The former leading woman in the party, Limor Livnat, has bowed out of politics.Gila Gamliel, who is currently Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, is in the 10th spot.Meanwhile, Deputy Knesset Speaker Moshe Feiglin is out of the realistic zone for election to the 20th Knesset. Former MK Ayoub Kara has outflanked him and pushed him to the 36th spot.

My first thought was “huh?” What does this mean? So I did what I always do when I’m in over my head, and I know it, but I don’t want to back off. I picked up my phone. “Can we talk about Israeli politics and the elections? I’m confused and I don’t understand some of this stuff”. I think I heard a deep sigh, which wouldn’t be all that remarkable except I had sent a text message, not made a phone call. But the answer was “Of course”.

Some of my first questions were HOW can a person like Tzipi Hotovely not be wanted in the Knesset when she makes sensible statements in March 2011 about

Israeli Author Amos Oz being naive, after he sent a Hamas leader a copy of his auto-biography, writing that Oz would lack even the instinct to distinguish between Mordechai and Haman.In July 2011, Hotovely met with Glenn Beck. She told him that “this [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict isn’t territorial…This is a religious battle led by Islam. We can’t ignore this basic truth.”

Or Moshe Feiglin,

“Why should non-Jews have a say in the policy of a Jewish state?… For two thousand years, Jews dreamed of a Jewish state, not a democratic state. Democracy should serve the values of the state, not destroy them….””Israeli citizenship to Jews only [and] the immediate expulsion of any person of another people who claims any sort of sovereignty in the Land of Israel.””We are busy fighting for Yesha, and refuse to recognize the more dangerous front against the fifth column inside Israel.” “We established a state so that we could stop being different and start being normal. If only Jews can be Israelis, then we will never be normal. . . .The fundamental solution is leadership that is not looking for normalcy. The solution is leadership that emphasizes our Jewish identity. Paradoxically, it is only when the Arabs understand that the Israelis do not need them to help them to forget that they are Jews – will we be able to live here in peace with non-Jews who unequivocally accept the fact that Israel is a Jewish state.”It appears that the Israeli Arabs identify with our enemies. There are laws in this country that deal with treason and they should be applied when required. If Israeli Arabs are found helping our enemies, they should be stripped of their citizenship. In addition, if they are citizens, they should not be exempt from paying taxes; they should serve in the IDF, or at least in Sherut Le’umi, the National Service. . . . .If they are against us, we must make every effort to ensure that they leave. If they collaborate with our enemy, they must be removed.

WHO wouldn’t want him in the Knesset? Well, while I’m admitting right up front, I have an as yet imperfect understanding of Israeli politics, the short version is people don’t vote for a person after the primaries, they vote for the list the party puts up. Sometimes the party will change the list they publicized after they are elected. On top of that, to get a majority number of 61 seats, sometimes the party with the most seats will form collations with other parties to get the 61 out of 120 seats. To do this there are payoffs usually involved. You want the “Pirate party” (kid you not) to join your collation of “We are all Friends” or “Meretz” to make it to the magical 61 seats? You will probably promise their people posts. Now these are all Left Wingers. But what if someone from the Pirate Party is appointed to a position in finance. And what if the Pirate Party appointee turns out to be like Ragnar Danneskjöld from Atlas Shrugged and supports lower or no taxes and full unfettered capitalism. Think how betrayed the big government, more control, less Israel first voters are going to feel. And apparently there can be all kinds of machinations that take place. Reminds me of a caucus I went to a few years ago. The Ron Paul people had the 2nd most amount of people turn out, and yet that candidate received not a single delegate when the deals were done. The list appears to have been made up by Karl Rove types. Moshe & Tzipi would be a threat, they believe in Israel and Israelis first and foremost. They believe they should be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. So, since they (Likud leadership) view them as a threat to getting the votes of the “moderates” and “independents” they put those troublemakers further down the list. Much like in America when we see “Moderate” candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney put up as viable “conservative” candidates. And the Karl Rove, talking head types tell us they are the only type of candidates that can win. Similar to Republican attacks on the Tea Party.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/12/16/this-is-how-far-rush-limbaugh-thinks-the-republican-establishment-may-go-to-get-rid-of-the-tea-party/

http://news.firedoglake.com/2013/10/24/republican-establishment-planning-attack-on-tea-party-in-2014/

So, the Tea Party, like Moshe, who thought he could change Likud from within, are finding out, maybe not so much. Moshe is planning on forming a new political party. I think our Tea Party is going to have to begin to stand on their own. I don’t know that they can afford to keep trying to work from within to reform a party that elects John Bohner as speaker of the house. Bohner has proven time and again he will not fight barrry. He is lots of hot air, all hat and no cattle. Both Bibi and the Republican Party talk about being “inclusive” and the “big tent” and wanting to have more groups of people brought in, unless of course, they are true conservatives. Then, um, well, no. they want no part of that!

But this isn’t only a National problem, look at just a couple news stories out of Missouri in the last few days.

HB 188 which would be very harmful to grassroots issue based groups, say for example Second Amendment rights groups. This bill would require groups to disclose their membership lists. Kind of a lousy political environment for making a list of Second Amendment supporters available to the government isn’t it? Especially when you have a sort of Governor like Jay Nixon.

A bill introduced by Rep. Caleb Rowden to force more disclosure of political spending received a significant endorsement last week when incoming House Speaker John Diehl said it is a priority for inclusion in a package of changes to state ethics laws.Rowden’s bill would require corporations or other entities formed under state business laws to report the sources of their funds when spending to influence elections exceeds 25 percent of their annual budget. The bill, said Rowden, R-Columbia, is intended to exempt entities with a wide range of activities from disclosure while putting a spotlight on those with a primary purpose of influencing elections.

And this abomination is brought to you by freedom loving Repub, er RINOs.

Yep, the US and Missouri at least show a flair for the same nonsense.

But what about a Zoabi type character, is there such? Why, yes, yes there is! Missouri has State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal. Little Maria recently said on Twitter

“LET ME BE CLEAR. When you exercise your #WhitePrivilege, don’t think I’m not going to remember. I will use it for the future. Uncomfortable?”

No, she’s not the anti-gun Senator that was arrested for being drunk and carrying at the “peaceful” Michael Brown protest. That was Jamilah Nasheed.

 

Missouri sure has some “special” politicians. But I bet if you dig around and turn over some rocks you can find the same type of politicians in every state.

 

What is the end result of all the “specialness”? Well, you get laws that prohibit Jews from praying at the holiest site in Judaism in a Jewish state. You get laws that are horrid, and then the Police who are charged with enforcing the laws get stuck enforcing crap laws. Because these morons were elected by “We The People”. Although I will admit there could well be vote fraud.

These Politicians think theirs is the power, they believe in the Politics of Power. And that’s who they choose to represent. They have forgotten that they were elected to represent “We The People”. And as long as we continue to tolerate people that run on campaign promises of what the people are asking for and then sell out at the earliest opportunity, this is what we will have.

I’ll end with this music video of Moshe Feiglin, partly because I just like it. I love looking at the scenery and thinking did I walk down that street? And partly because I like the message, we need to stand together. Where politicians seems to be doing nothing but dividing us, we need to force them to unite to accomplish what “We The People” are telling them we want.

 

 

 

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The Thin Blue Line

We are beginning to see what I fear is the start of something that will evolve into something really, really ugly. The erosion of the “Thin Blue Line”.  There are some people that support the law enforcement community no matter what.  I am not one of those.  I think people like the officer (Kevin Dupre) from Cleburne Texas that called these dogs over to him by making kissing noises and then killed them need to rot in hell. I truly hope there is a special place in hell for people like him. Just so I’m clear on how I feel about this piece of scum. I’ll be honest, I can’t watch the whole video.

Just in case you are livid as well, there is a petition to have him terminated since the police chief decided he did nothing wrong. They want 150,000 signatures by 14 February 2015, they already have 148,985.

By the same token, I think the officers that used an illegal choke hold on Eric Garner needed to face legal consequences.   There are some nasty Law Enforcement types out there that crave power and abuse it.

That being said, the majority of the Law Enforcement Officers I’ve dealt with have been good people. Trying their best to carry out their calling. They have a genuine desire to protect the helpless, to stop crime, make their towns safer for good people. They are truly “Sheepdogs”.

The Thin Blue line refers to the line that police form between good people and predator thugs. It’s the same kind of mindset as the military, and to a lesser degree concealed carry holders. Speaking for myself, I did not get my concealed carry endorsement to protect society in general, but myself, and my family when I’m with them. The members of the Thin Blue Line willingly, on a daily basis, put themselves at risk in harms way to protect law abiding citizens, people they’ve never even met.

I know it well.  A few hundred years ago I was a member of the “Thin White Line” meaning Emergency Medical Services, airborne variety. We did search and rescue, emergency transport and “scene flights”. Those are usually “high drama” as you are landing at the scene of whatever, car crash, shooting, stabbing, heart attack, sudden infant death, ________ tragedy. If it’s a scene flight, it wasn’t good. Often at these scenes you would have very upset people, they could be family members, friends or just bystanders. Before we would land, the LZ (landing zone) would be secured usually by the Fire Department and law enforcement.  But for law enforcement the fun didn’t end there. Once we were on the ground, they also kept the crew and the helicopter safe. I’ve had upset family decide I was going to talk to them, RIGHT THEN, and unfortunately I was trying to stick a tube in an airway to ventilate the patient.  Law enforcement peeled the guy off me and I finished my job, upset family member was very determined though and previous law enforcement hero repeated heroic act and got him off me as we were loading the patient in the helicopter. This was also during a time when one of the local gang initiations was to “pop” someone in a jacket. Which meant us,  or the ambulance crews, fire or police. Securing a scene is not always easy I don’t suppose.

So through the years, most of my contact with law enforcement has been on the same team, apart from an odd ticket every 20 years or so. And I’m very supportive of our local law enforcement where I live, well, the Sheriff’s department anyway.

And this is where I differ from the “peaceful protesters” we’re seeing such a plethora of lately. For them, it doesn’t matter if the innocent child (read 300+ lb charging water buffalo) was committing a crime as Michael Brown was, on top of a “white hispanic” like Trayvon Martin pummeling the snot out of George Zimmerman or walking away as Eric Garner was, if the person that died was black, and the narrative can be exploited, get ready cause it’s going to be. Not far from Ferguson another young black man named Antionio Martin had made the choice more than once to commit armed robbery, assault and armed criminal action. Quite the list of accomplishments since he was 17. It ended badly as it often will when police who had been called about the theft have a gun pointed at them. They shot him. So far the Chief of that officer is standing behind him pointing out the choices Mr. Martin made had everything to do with the outcome of the situation.

I haven’t heard when the race pimps will arrive in town to foment it being burned to the ground yet.

The execution of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos I think is the beginning of a response to the attacks by politicians such as Warren Wilhelm (aka Bill diBlasio) Barry Sotero (aka Barak Obama), non-Govorner Jay Nixon, Eric Holder and flotsam and jetsam Sharpton and Jackson. Also getting into the act are the schools of higher “education” (chuckle, guffaw) colleges. Like the charming editorial in the CUNY by the editor in chief calling for armed war against the police. I think there is already plenty of hostility toward the LEO community. While I didn’t hear it in the American press, in an Israeli newspaper ran an article that the gun man that killed Liu and Ramos had invited bystanders to come, follow him and watch what he was going to do. Yet in that community it apparently didn’t even prompt a phone call from any of the people in the hood to the police to say something might be afoot.

Also in an Israeli paper is the opinion that US cops are probably feeling pretty Jewish about now.  The campus rabble are having to make decisions now.

For campus firebrands it must be quite a chore deciding who to hate more on any particular day.

If it’s Monday it must be the Jews and if it’s Tuesday it must be the cops. Is that how it works?

This we know about the darlings who have turned our universities into gulags against free thought and free speech. They want to boycott Israel and they want to divest from law and order and they want to sanction anyone who makes them feel “uncomfortable.”

Quite a good column that, worth the read. You can find out the direction the future of our country is being steered by the hallowed halls of higher education.

So what’s the endgame? I don’t know, I can’t find my crystal ball at the moment, but a conversation with a couple of co-workers one day was pretty interesting. One of them opined that the police would soon become afraid to intervene in anything involving one of the protected by politician class of people. I could well see how that could be possible. And since this protected class largely appears to be the criminal element this won’t go well for law abiding citizens. And since our law-breaker in chief doesn’t seem to think local police forces are up to the job of “fairly” applying the law, perhaps it is time for him to begin to implement the plan he first put forth in July 2008, of a “Civilian National Security Force” that would be “just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded as the US Military.” You can read about how helpful this type of security force has been in history, and how he has gone about starting to create it. Don’t remember him saying it?

And the idiots applaud on, never questioning “What the heck does THAT mean?” nor did the media jump on it.

But as Ronn Torossian points out, Hitler hired PR firms, the terrorists of today hire PR firms (which by the way ofter refuse Israeli business) but Obama and his left wing ideologues? They don’t need to hire PR firms, the media does it for free for him.

The current regime has done everything it can to divide this country, by race, economic class, religion and now law-abiding and LEO community vs. gangs that are becoming ever more violent in response to the encouragement.

Where does it all end, I don’t know. But I’d fasten my seatbelt, cause it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Additional thoughts, what will happen to a town when firefighters can’t fight the fires because they are taking incoming fire, from the “peaceful protesters for social justice?” As they did in Ferguson and had to pull back. When EMS, Emergency Medical Services can’t get in to help the injured for the same reason?

 

Another aspect that is coming into play. I found out today a large area mall was shut down the day after Christmas during the large shopping day due to fights breaking out in the mall. It was one of several malls across the country so attacked. Not spontaneous, planned. In the story one Mother says she TOOK her teenage daughters to the mall at a certain time due to a message the girls received on social media telling them what time to be there. WHO does that? I mean, really, did the Mother not know what was going to happen? Did she not ask her kids? Yesh! The economic impact of things like this is going to be awful. Whole shopping centers shut down because the police can’t protect them, even when calling in mutual aid.

Bumpy ride? Societal norms under attack? In the past, what has followed attacks on a culture? Yeah, buckle up.

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The Backstory of Chanukah: Clarity of Purpose Secured and then Lost

beit hamikdosh

Just who was this hotheaded man who just killed a fellow Jew and started a war, this Matityahu ben Yonatan?

First and foremost, he was a Kohen, a member of the priestly line, tracing his lineage all the way back to Pinchas, the third High Priest of Israel. Pinchas was grandson to Moses’ brother, Aaron, and whose painful devotion to principle, in order to stave off the anger of G-d, gave birth to the duties of a Kohen.

Since the Exodus from Egypt, and subsequent Revelation at Sinai, the job of a Kohen is to carefully and scrupulously conduct the prayer and sacrifices in adulation, praise, thanksgiving, and as pleas for the forgiveness of sin, before Hashem Elokeinu, the G-d of Israel.
Along with their tribal kinsmen, the Leviim (who are in charge of the facilities and ritual objects) these duties have been passed from father to son since the time of the Mishkan (the portable Tabernacle).

The Mishkan was, after Sinai, the special place where G-d dwelled on Earth with his Jewish People. It traveled with them in the desert and for nearly four hundred years sat at Tel Shiloh. King David then established his capitol at Yerushalayim, but the permission from G-d to build the Beit HaMikdash, a fixed and permanent Temple, was withheld from King David and given to his son, Shlomo (Solomon).
Although the obligations were great, and generally the Kohanim and Leviim earned the great respect accorded them, just as with Kings, they were subject to human frailties, and on occasion a Kohen was simply corrupt.

As an example, the Prophet Eli, High Priest at Shiloh, sadly concluded that both of his sons were such evil men, that they could not succeed him. They were so bad that when they led the Ark of the Covenant in a military campaign against the Philistines, G-d provided a harsh lesson and withdrew this favor in battle. Many died and the Ark was carried off by the enemy. Fortunately, G-d had provided a righteous young man, a Levi placed in Eli’s care and instruction, by his parents. He was Shmuel ben Elkanah (Samuel), the last of the Biblical Judges.

Up until this time, the Jews had lived as a confederacy, with spiritual leadership by the Kohanin / Leviim, and secular affairs run by the Tribal Elders. In time Samuel learned to his dismay that he too had two bad sons. Seeing this, the Elders, lacking in emuna (faith), and envious of the foreign nations, then begged Shmuel to anoint a King to judge (rule) over them. G-d plainly declared this as a rejection not of the Prophet but of G-d Himself. G-d told Shmuel to leave them to their folly (a very hard lesson from a stern, but loving father), but to warn them of what would come of it. He did so, saying:

“This will be the manner of the king who will reign over you; he will take your sons, and appoint them to him for his chariots and for his horsemen, and they will run before his chariots. And he will appoint them to him commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and to plow his plowing and to reap his harvest, and to make his weapons and the equipment for his chariots. And he will take your daughters for his perfumers, for cooks, and for bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive trees, and will give them to his slaves. And he will tithe your grain crops and your vineyards, and he will give them to his officers and his slaves. And he will take your male and female slaves, and your handsomest youths and your asses, and put them to his work. And he will tithe your flocks, and you will be slaves to him. And you will cry out on that day because of your king, whom you will have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not answer you on that day.”

The Tribal Elders, nevertheless insisted. Shmuel went to anoint Saul ben Kish as the first earthly King of Israel, and subsequently King David. All subsequent, legitimate, anointed Kings of Israel are from the House of David, as will be, it is believed, the final (earthly)King; Moshiach ben David (see 2 Shmuel, Chapter 7: Verses 3-29)

And therein lies the rub…

Initially, Matityahu ben Yonatan, High Priest at Modi’in, and his sons; Yehuda, Elazar, Shimon, Yochanan and Yonatan enjoyed the favor of G-d. They demonstrated pure faith in Him, and were rewarded with many truly amazing victories. Recapturing the Beit HaMikdosh, cleaning it of the filth and degradation, restoring it to its purpose was a tremendous victory. Matityahu died in battle in the first year. Driving out the Syrian-Greeks and their assimilationist Jewish allies from the immediate neighborhood took four years. Their true mission had been accomplished.

Then, Yehuda Maccabee’s brother Shimon assumed the throne as King. He was not of the Davidic Line. Neither was he of the tribe of Yehuda. The Hasmoneans could certainly continue their duties as Kohens, but Kingship was improper. Nonetheless, a reign of Hasmonean monarchs followed from 140 BCE to 27 BCE, concluding with Antigonus II Mattathias.

Jewish land was retaken. Other revolts against the Seleucid Empire as far away as Persia were inspired. Palace intrigues were executed. Alliances were made. The trappings of Kingship and Empire ate away at the nobles, the people, and even the land. A civil war was afoot. Once again, a very harsh lesson from G-d was brewing… at the hands of the Roman Empire.

And, this time the lesson would last two thousand years.

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Prelude to Rededication

Matisyahu

Once again the Children of Abraham were in peril… but not for the reasons you might think.

The king of Babylon had allowed their return to Israel, and even allowed the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. One empire defeated another and soon Alexander the Macedonian came. His visit foreshadowed things to come.

An apostate sect known as the Samaritans had long challenged a core element of Jewish belief; the three-part revelation of Torah (Mystical, Oral, and Written). They had come to the point of militating for the destruction of the Holy Temple and the wholesale murder of the Priests and Levites. Alexander, on his way to leveling Gaza and engaging the Egyptians, was about to do their bidding.

Learning of this, a High Priest donned garments reserved for the holiest event of the year; conducting ritual sacrifices, on behalf of the entire people on Yom Kippur. He and a group of dignitaries went out to meet Alexander in a small town.

Upon their approach, even Alexander’s commanders expected the great slaughter to commence, but instead Alexander dismounted and bowed down to the Priest. Alexander explained that before commencing his long series of campaigns a man came to him in his dreams, looking exactly as this man, and had advised him in ways critical to his subsequent success.

The High Priest told Alexander that they had no intent to undermine him and only asked that the Jewish people be allowed to worship G-d in the ways they were intended and to live in peace. Alexander agreed and was taken on a tour of the Holy Temple, and all of the functions explained. The Samaritans had failed.

But, then Alexander, believing the panoply of gods to be essentially meaningless and interchangeable, and more than a bit impressed with himself, declared that he wanted a giant statue of himself erected in the Temple.

Horrified, but wise, the High Priest gently explained that they could not do that within the Temple, as it would deny the fundamental precept that Hashem Elokeinu is G-d and that there is nothing and no one else. Instead, the High Priest suggested that every male child born in to the Priests’ families during the next year be named Alexander. That way Alexander’s name would live on and be known even better than by a mere statue.

As was the practice, Alexander left administrative control of his conquered lands to his generals. These Syrian-Greeks came to be known as the Seleucids. They, in turn sought out local leaders to act on their behalf in day-to-day affairs. In Israel, the Seleucid Generals worked through the High Priest. There were a series of appointed Seleucid Generals, and a series of High Priests.

Sadly, this dual-loyalty relationship corroded the integrity of the Priesthood. Likewise, the material wealth, power, and sophistication of the Syrian-Greeks seduced the Jewish People, away from their Covenant with G-d. They increasingly emulated the Syrian-Greek, culture, appearance, and even worship. When a High Priest who might oppose this evolution arose, he was replaced, and/or murdered.

Ultimately, in greed and power-lust, a true madman arose to rule. He was named Antiochus. He styled himself Antiochus Epiphanes, seeing himself as a god in the form of a man.

A series of edicts followed. Observing the Sabbath was prohibited.  Possession, much less study from, of a Torah Scroll was a capital offense. Brit Milah (ritual entry into the Covenant of the Jewish People with G-d) , aka circumcision was banned. If a circumcised male child was found, both the child and its parents were put to death.

Temple sacrifices; the focal point of communal interface with G-d at his “place” on Earth, was banned. The Temple itself was defiled and filled with idols. The monies used to support the Holy Temple services and the families whose job it was to conduct them, not to mention the destitute, and infirm, had been seized.

These things were entirely approved of by the vast majority of now thoroughly assimilated Jews. A Greek gymnasium had been erected in Jerusalem. Nude athletics were commonplace. The veneration of physical beauty was now elevated and the purification of the soul, in service to G-d, was despised.

At towns throughout the land Jews lived as Greeks and worshiped as Greeks. The G-d of Israel was for bumbling rustics and dying old people.

Once, a Syrian-Greek patrol was out looking for renegades who continued to worship at tiny rural altars to Hashem Elokeinu, the True G-d. They found such a place and demanded that they both stop and that instead they worship as the Greeks. A young man rushed to abide and started to sacrifice to the Greek gods.

Witnessing this was one of those “old rustics”, a Hasmonean named Matityahu ben Yonatan. The weight of his world upon him, in an uncontrollable rage, he drew his sword, slew the young man and many of the Syrian-Greek patrol. He loudly declared, “All those who stand for G-d, follow me.”

A revolt against one of the mightiest empires on earth, and more importantly, against the spiritual suicide of his people, had begun.

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The Ballot Box

 “There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo. Please use in that order.”

I listened to a radio show the other morning and the host was talking about how it seems like the mainstream media is downplaying the importance of this coming election. That is really won’t be all that important. This is not the case. It is very important. If it weren’t I don’t think we would be seeing the reports of touchscreen voting machines that seem to be changing Republican Votes to Democrat votes.  Interestingly, there don’t seem to be reports of it going the other way which is sort of shooting a hole in the stock reply from officials it’s a “calibration error”.

Here, here, and here.

So, my first bit of helpful advice for the upcoming ballot box trip, is carefully check your summary and make sure that the votes it shows are the ones you actually wanted to make.

Second tip. Who can you rely on to give you accurate suggestions when it comes to voting for pro-gun candidates?  While what I’m going to say may sound like heresy, it’s not. Nor am I “attacking” the NRA. But when those little orange cards come to your house, or that handy voter guide is in the magazine, please, please, please do not let that be your only source of information.

While the TZP (The Zelman Partisans) are NOT making political endorsements, I do have a suggestion along those lines. I would suggest you go to Gunowners of America and check out their voter guide.

Why you ask? Well, let’s take this one race. In West Va. The NRA has endorsed Nick Rahall. They have given him an “A”. He is the incumbent. The endorsed him over Evan Jenkins, who has his own voting record.  GOA gave Rahall a D- and gave his opponent Evan Jenkins an “A” rating.

That’s a pretty big difference. But also remember the NRA gave anti-gun Harry Reid a “A” rating and it cost Nevada and America a solid Second Amendment Senator, we could have had Sharon Angle.

Arkansas too had problems with the NRA ratings.

I know there were some problems in Missouri when the NRA endorsed the late Ike Skelton who at the time had been voting WITH Nancy Pelosi 98% of the time. I’m not sure how that managed an A rating, but it did.

I can only guess at why they rate candidates the way they do. I’ve heard they prefer to endorse a candidate they think will win, so that their endorsement win level appears high. That probably explains their preference for endorsing incumbents.  Another thing to consider is what kind of “gun legislation” does the NRA consider important. If you want state sovereignty gun legislation, know that the NRA does not.  Missouri and Florida have both tried to pass a state version of a “Second Amendment Protection Act” only to see it sabotaged by the NRA. Wyoming has also had fights with the NRA on expanded background checks, but Wyoming has a very strong grassroots Second Amendment group, Wyoming Gun Owners,  and it seems they win some of their fights. Wyoming does have a Firearms Freedom Act.

So am I trashing the NRA? No, but if I’m going to urge you to check other sources for voting guidelines, I should give you a few reasons for that statement.  Yes, the NRA does some good things. I love the Eddie Eagle program. But if you are an activist that wants a version of a Firearms Freedom Act or a Second Amendment Protection Act, then understand the high grade that you see on the orange card may not actually mean what you think it means!

Our country is in a very pecarious postion, we can not afford to make mistakes. I think the GOA voting guide will be your best source for accurate guidence on the candidates.

Please, this coming Tuesday, utilize the ballot box, we do not ever want to be in a position to have to utilize the cartridge box.

.

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A Video to Make You Tear Up

It’s Tuesday morning, and I ran across this video that I felt I needed to share with you. There’s not much left to say that Aaron Weiss didn’t say in this flawless 3-minute speech.

It’s eloquent and true. Those of us who volunteered to serve in the Armed Forces know why we did so – and it’s not for that generous $1800 per month you receive as a PFC.

I graduated Johns Hopkins with a degree in International Relations, and there was little doubt in my mind about what I wanted to do. I gave it some thought for a few months, but in the end I joined the Army.

I joined, because I understood what it’s like to live in a tyrannical state where rights matter about as little as human beings do.

I joined, because I wanted to defend the freedoms and opportunities this nation afforded me – freedoms the former USSR, Nazi Germany, and every other statist hellhole has destroyed.

I joined, because when I came to this country as a kid, I realized that I had opportunities here to live, achieve, and succeed that I would have never had as a Jew in the USSR.

And I was grateful. I was grateful enough to put on that uniform and swear an oath to defend our Constitution and those freedoms with my blood and my life.

Regardless of who resides in that White House at 20220, that oath and that promise remains the same. Politicians come and go. We may agree with them, nor not. But our oath and our promise remains: should any enemy threaten our country, our Constitution, or our people we will be there.

The young man in this video understands this. He served to protect those rights we hold dear. He continues to do so on a local level as a law enforcement officer. And he let those statist swine in New York know that he – as a veteran and law enforcement officer – will actively oppose their efforts to destroy everything he swore to protect…

…and do so by hypocritically using the deaths of children at Newtown to do it.

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Dreidels & Hedgerows

Imagine you lived in a country where the ability to worship G-d was being outlawed, where your language and culture was disappearing. Where Preachers were jailed or killed for preaching the Bible or Tanakh? You think I’m talking about America, now? Maybe. Because football players are made to remove Crosses from their helmets, because for a time the Navy was told to remove the little Gideon Bibles from the rooms of their guest lodges? Because courts rule a Cross or the 10 commandments can’t be displayed? Maybe. But it’s not the first time in history. Let’s take a little trip back to Ireland.

In Ireland in the late 1600-till the later part of the 1700 there were a set of laws called “The Penal Laws”. The final bits were repealed in 1920. They affected Catholics and other dissidents. They entailed things like:

  • Exclusion of Catholics from most public offices (since 1607), Presbyterians were also barred from public office from 1707.
  • Ban on intermarriage with Protestants.
  • Presbyterian marriages were not legally recognized by the state
  • Catholics barred from owing firearms or serving in the armed forces.
  • Prohibition on Catholics owning a horse valued at over £5
  • ‘No person of the Catholic religion shall publicly or in private houses teach school, or instruct youth in learning within this realm’ upon pain of twenty pounds fine and three months in prison for every such offense.

And this is only part of them. But here’s a couple questions for you to mull over. WHY did they want to prohibit the Catholics from owning weapons? Who got to determine what the horse was worth?

The harsh rules gave rise to the hedgerow schools. Parents who were determined to save their children from being indoctrinated with beliefs other than what they held, and what they wanted their children to learn began to form and utilize “Hedgerow Schools”. This was forbidden because England wanted all the children to be taught the way they wanted them to be taught and what they wanted them to be taught. The Hedgerow Schools thrived. They were sometimes held in barns, homes but often in Hedgerows, with one child acting as a lookout. And they needed a lookout. If they were caught there were fines and imprisonment for all. There was a lot to lose. But the parents wanted their children to learn, the teachers wanted to teach and would travel around conducting these early forms of “home schooling” in defiance of the state mandated education.

Their language, culture and faith were under attack, and this is what they had to do to preserve it. They did it.

Now let’s go even further back in time. Achshav Annachnu b’Ysrael. NOW we are in Israel.

Let’s go back to the time of Antiochus, he liked to be called Epiphanes, although the Jews often called him Epimanes, the mad one. While Antiochus reigned Jews were forbidden to practice their religion, own a Torah, let alone read it, or observe festivals,or even the Sabbath. The people could not even admit they were Jewish. 40,000 were killed and 40,000 sold into slavery when Jerusalem was sacked and the temple was defiled. Animals that were forbidden to Jews were sacrificed on it’s alter. Now, during this time there were observant Jews and Hellanized Jews. Meaning Jews that were fine with what Antiochus was doing. Mainly urban upper crust, they wanted to dispense with Jewish law and adopt the Greek lifestyle. As I understand it for political and economic reasons.

And into this hot mess comes The Maccabees. I adore the Maccabees! It all started when Jews were ordered to offer sacrifices to Greek idols. A rural Jew know as Mattathias Maccabee refused. Not only did he refuse, but he killed the Hellenized Jew that stepped forward to offer a sacrifice to the idol in his name. Mattathias REFUSED to allow his name to be put on the offer of a sacrifice to an idol. From there the Maccabees took flight to the Judean wilderness. After Mattathias’ death about one year later in 166 BC, his son Judah Maccabee led an army of Jewish dissidents to victory over the Seleucid dynasty in guerrilla warfare, which at first was directed against Hellenizing Jews, of whom there were many. Judah Maccabee is noted as one of the greatest warriors in Jewish History, alongside David, Gideon and Joshua! So that’s how the Maccabean Revolt began. The Maccabees retook the city of Jerusalem. Judah ordered the Temple to be cleansed, a new altar to be built in place of the polluted one and new holy vessels to be made. According to the Talmud, unadulterated and undefiled pure olive oil with the seal of the Kohen Gadol (high priest) was needed for the menorah in the Temple, which was required to burn throughout the night every night. The story goes that one flask was found with only enough oil to burn for one day, yet it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of kosher oil for the menorah. A great miracle, nachon (right)?

Which brings us to this, a Dreidel/Savivon. Remember the Hedgerow Schools of Ireland? Well, while Jews were forbidden to study their Bible/Tanakh, forbidden to pass their faith onto their children they would go up into caves and hide. They would begin to teach the children, and they themselves would study. When they heard the Greek soldiers approaching they would put their Torah away and whip out the Savivon/Dreidel and begin to play. It could be a childrens game, or a gambling game. So it would appear to to the soldiers they were merely hiding and gambling. This is what they had to do to hold on to their faith, to pass it on to their children. To retain their culture and customs, they were willing to hide in caves, risk being caught by the soldiers and pay the penalty, death. Like the Irish, they found a way, and they did it.

If you look at what lengths the Irish and Jews went to back then to ensure the survival of their culture and religion it seems pretty sad now that some voices can be shut down by screeches of “racism” or “intolerance” or “hater”, simply for wanting to discuss an issue, preach from the Bible or Tanakh doesn’t it?

We are losing our culture so fast. When I was young, you saw rifles in racks in pick-up trucks everywhere. No one really thought anything of kids getting a .22 rifle. My Grandpa taught my cousin and me how to shoot his. My sisters and I all knew where Dad kept his revolver and shotgun. We KNEW if someone tried to break in and harm us either he or my Mom would do whatever needed to be done to keep the children they brought into this world safe. We knew not to mess with them when we put the clean clothes away, and we didn’t. It baffles me that I am more willing to protect my pet chickens (my little feather darlings) than some people are their flesh and blood children. I look at it as I bought the chickens, I’m responsible for them. I have no idea how they look at it, but I suspect they have bought into the culture shift of “no one is safe with a gun around”. If you get in trouble you just call the Police. Then they will come with guns and if you’re still alive, they’ll help you with their guns. Following their logic, I hope they forgo a smoke detector or fire extinguisher. After all, they can call the Fire Department and wait for them to come.

If you don’t think Hollywood has had an effect on this country, watch the following clip!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evSC-WZFw1c

Can you imagine Gwynth Paltrow or Ben Affleck singing something like this? NO! Ben Affleck still thinks ISIS is peaceful and no threat. Obviously, I see very few movies as I have no desire to put money in the pockets of people someone like Paltrow who thinks Mr. Obama should be given all the power he wants.

Now if a child’s picture is posted on Facebook proudly posing with a new gun it may merit a visit from the Police. Gnaw your pop tart into what a teacher decides is a gun shape and you would think the world was ending. Now we aren’t just talking about consequences of real crime, but consequences of “thought crime”.

This is an actual ad from 1961.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMoLdjFWd2s

Can you imagine such a toy being advertised today? I had a hard time finding a cap pistol when I wanted to start getting my horse used to gunfire.

For those of us raised in a culture of freedom, responsibility, and self-defense, the changes we see are not only disgusting, but alarming. Think about what you can do, to preserve the culture. To recognize the threats, and push back. I used to work gun shows with a man who gave out pocket copies of “The Citizens Rule Book”. It had the Bill of Rights, a Jury Handbook and The Constitution. On the back is a warning, “This Document May Be Hazardous To Bad Laws.” and II Chronicles 7:14.

If My people which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.

I personally carry a Dreidel/Savivon in my purse. All the time. It reminds me to be vigilant and committed to doing everything I can to ensure freedom.

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Sukkot, Ushpizin and the duty to protect

We are now in the midst of Sukkot, the ancient Jewish harvest festival.

In English, it would be called the Festival of Booths or Festival of Tabernacles after the huts (Sukkah) observant Jews build for this time. Participants are supposed to dwell in the Sukkah in memory of ancestors who spent 40 years in the desert and in thanks for G-d’s blessings. In modern reality, that means serving meals and observing rituals in the Sukkah though you don’t have to sleep there. This is a happy time when people feast and share hospitality.

One part of Sukkot involves the Ushpizin or holy guests. The holy guests are traditionally the biblical characters of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David. The biblical Ushpizin are honored in various ways during Sukkot to get people thinking about their positive attributes and the lessons they can teach, but as portrayed in the wonderful 2004 Israeli movie “Ushpizin,” even some unlikeable living human beings can serve as Ushpizin. Sukkot is definitely a time of guests and socializing.

In Judiasm, hospitality has always been taken very seriously. This is true in all three Abrahamic religions, although some take it more seriously than others. Hosts owe very important duties to their guests, which teachers have often said are more important than any actual religious observances or proscriptions. One of those duties is a duty to protect. It’s not just one duty. Preserving life is the most important duty a Jew can perform.

In the case of hosts and guests, hosts must protect their guests from any danger or threat, even if the guests are complete strangers. Scriptures contain some harsh examples of this, like Lot offering his virgin daughters to a lustful mob rather than turning over to the mob a pair of strangers he was hosting. Ugly as some biblical examples are, they serve to show how important the duty to protect was and still is.

Today there are better ways than offering to throw girls to a mob. Effective arms are available to all who care enough to learn to use them and care enough about the duty to protect life to be prepared to use them. I ask Jewish antigunners, “How can you consider yourself prepared to protect anybody’s life if you are unprepared and unwilling to use best self defense tools available to you?”

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