26.01/ Week twenty-six, Jan. 9-15, 2021, begins here.

Last week's thread is here:
26.02/ Maggie H reports: "I asked for comment from the WH on the chants to hang Mike Pence. 'We strongly condemn all calls to violence, including those against any member of this administration,' said Judd Deere, a WH spokesman" & I love this response:
26.03/ Dr. Perry is right on the money here:
26.04/ One of my favorite posters, @OhNoSheTwitnt, is amazingly funny and she can just sling these zingers at an admirable rate (semi-spoilers for the #Mandalorian )
26.05/ Very good thread. In general, there's been very good commentary following the #AssaultOnDemocracy. As one of the 'I told you so' crew, I like hearing from others who told us so.
26.07/ This thread doesn't use the phrase "bad faith" but illustrates the whole process of recognizing when you're dealing with bad-faith antagonists.

I've said so many times: there needs to be vigorous punishment for cheaters, and bad faith qualifies.
26.08/ I used to read stories of Medal of Honor winners. Almost always they faced overwhelming odds and risked their lives to save dozens/hundreds. That's what happened here with this hero, #OfficerEugeneGoodman

26.09/ Prof. Cotlar is always a great read & his expertise in American history has been invaluable during the #TrumpCrisis.

He supports my reiterated point: we don't leave judgement to History b/c "Justice delayed is justice denied"
26.10/ Many people are saying good things about the offensive farce of the criminals begging for 'unity' after they've been caught with blood on their hands. Three good points here:



26.11/ Excellent point here, not only showing that Jan 6 was terrorism but how to explain how to respond to the fear & threat from the act. "Don't let the terrorists win" requires justice & rule of law

26.12/ It's going to be hard for the #Literalist thinkers to understand crimes of omission, but the "stand down" order of DOD responding for pleas for help in the Capitol, and what Hayes describes below: depraved neglect is part of the coup, as well.

26.13/ I agree with this (Olear is another writer I recommend): this is war-time, one political party has declared war against the republic, one front is active neglect in the pandemic, the other front violent insurrection. We need a wartime inauguration

26.14/ I trust I don't need to introduce Goldman. His point here is mine as well: the 25th should have been invoked a while ago; Trump (ym'sh) needs to be neutralized immediately but the GOP has removed too many options (because, ahem, they're complicit)

26.15/ The mysterious Southpaw (another key read for me) writes a thread about a common theme for me: Obama's grave failure not holding Bush to justice for the crimes of his admin. This cemented a culture of 'elite impunity' (cf. stealing 2000 election)
26.16/ Here we go: the Democrats will call on Pence to invoke the 25th and also start ahead with impeachment.

26.17/ I agree on the basic point but you need to see the deeper game: the GOP knows the Dems are going to impeach, so they are telegraphing which excuse they plan to claim in bad faith over the next 2 years for the obstruction they always planned to do
26.18/ Crucial thread here from people embedded in the mob, reporting on the demeanor of the crowd and how much (a) it was an old-time lynching & (b) how the mob expected the police to HELP them and got angry when it didn't happen
26.19/ Rozen is right; the 5th Avenue pledge has been made real, people have been murdered, including a cop, and gallows were set up for the VP. And the GOP? They're asking for unity and no repercussions

26.20/ Incredible thread here about the widespread involvement of police officers in the armed insurrection of Jan 6, 2021
26.21/ 100% agree. Which is why I've been implicating the GOP in everything I've been writing.
26.23/ Julius Goat is a great read, I highly recommend him. I read his threads every week and think many of his points are just brilliant.

Here's from two years ago about what "unity" should look like:
26.24/ I've mentioned often, see one example below, about how America under Trump (ym'sh) follows the dynamic of spouse abuse

There's good work on this especially now, like the following thread
26.25/ He calls this mentality childish - and I agree - but it's also what I've labeled #Literalist thinking. It's also borne from aggressive ignorance
26.26/ Again, this is language abusers - and enablers - use. "Don't impeach because then we'll get really violent!" should be absurd on it's face, but the press corps seems optimized for this enabling/acceptance of abuse
26.28/ I know Trump (ym'sh) supporters; they either don't know of this pettiness or they rationalize it away. But I won't forget. Not the actions they accept nor how easily they explain away terrible things because they like the ends and justify the means
26.29/ Said this at the time, that not only was the difference between how they treated #BlackLivesMatter protests & the anti-maskers, but also how they allowed the gun-toter to go unpunished. But this is on Barr/DOJ & the overlooked crimes of omission.
26.33/ Well, when you put it that way:


Yes, the cries of being "silenced" is really just complaining they don't get to face consequences, or get everything they want at all times, and/or harass victims
26.34/ I missed this the first time around but I'm totally not surprised. The whole executive branch needs an audit (as @joshtpm often points out) and a deep investigation.
26.35/ I took a quasi-vow that if the Democrats won back the Senate, I would show my devotion and priorities by not getting upset if the #Steelers didn't win a playoff game. God took my vow and rubbed in hard in my face and all I can say is "thank you, God for the pain. We won."
26.36/ More good responses about the cries of unity by the bad-faith GOP:

a. Sounds right

b. Agree with the thread:

c. Perfectly said:
26.37/ Another thread about the discourse coming from the GOP and the MSM about 'unity' is enabling abuse
26.38/ BTW, my quasi-vow did not extend to having a nightmare Superbowl of the Ravens vs. Tom Brady's Buccaneers (with AB mixed in). Nope. Nope nope nope. That's not part of the deal. I'm actually rooting for the Browns in a weird way. Why? Because 2020
26.39/ This piece by a good friend is just so good. Dr. Shani Bechhofer is addressing many of the wackadoodle (my word) conspiracy theories running around the frum conservative political world, and says so in her well-crafted, respectful yet firm way.

blogs.timesofisrael.com/january-6-a-fe…
26.42/ Informative thread, dovetails with what I've been reading from other scholars/experts about the WEP militant ideology via @C_Stroop and @JYSexton (and others).
26.43/ I want this to be true so I'm not going to fact-check it.

I've been in many situations, often as leader, when the whiny egoists demand to take over because they know everything will be great with no rules. It's the RBG umbrella metaphor every time.
26.44a/ I keep voluminous hard & computer files on the parsha as part of my life's work (I taught Tanakh at Stern, many years a parsha class, hope to publish one of these days), and over Shabbas I read a xerox of a letter I sent to a visiting scholar in 1997. Very glad I did.
26.44b/ I'm glad because, sprinkled in with long-forgotten (by me) insights on the parsha were other assertions I made about a number of topics that made me blush with deep shame that I said them to someone of her stature.

What inexcusable chutzpah I had!
26.44c/ The shame has lain in my head for days & I hope to keep it with me when I write anything in the future: just how confident I was in my 20s and just how stupid I actually was, in my 40+ year old eyes

This memory will be like a kippah in my mind, a reminder to be humble
26.45/ Great line here about the #Steelers

BTW, I said earlier this season that I felt a 2015 CIN vibe to this team; CIN started 8-0, stumbled at the end but won the division, then lost to PIT in humiliating fashion

It was *their* year... til it wasn't

26.46/ This is a constant refrain to abuse cultures and the structure of enabling that sustains it (maintained by strategically placed #Literalist thinkers who see every case on it's own and nullify them one by one, losing the forest)
26.47/ Just wrote a runaway thread about our moment. It's about how to understand why things looked planned when they aren't and it led into a #DvarTorah about the #Exodus

Liberation, struggle, slavery & inhumanity are always topical, but esp. this week
26.47b/ Right after I finished the thread above, I thought of some new connection, so here's another thread about parshat ha-shavua
26.48/ Mini-thread here on one of my themes of the week - the absurd call for 'unity' by the insurrectionists - combined with another theme: that the plea only makes sense in a society designed to coddle & enable abusers

26.49/ One of the saving graces of Trump's (ym'sh) evil is that he's so lazy - and so frightened of 'blame' & consequences - that he expects other people to do all of his dirty work.

26.50/ Great comment.

See also: every structural problem wrongfully considered an individual's responsibility

26.51/ So, the slavish stenographers at the NYT report about Trump (ym'sh): "He’s angry about impeachment, people who have spoken to him say. But the reaction to the PGA decision was different order of magnitude."

As to why? Well, see this:
26.52/ Re: the fur-clad, horned-head N*zi insurrectionist:
26.53/ Part of me wanted Belichick to accept the award - 5 mo. ago I'm sure he would've - but my wife reminds me "it's never too late to stop making things worse." So I will accept that even the guy who broke the NFL with his cheating can do a right thing
26.54/ OK, what? This feels like a trap. He leaks this as a head-fake, then when the Democrats move forward, he slams the door and acts as the GOP savior

I trust #MoscowMitch as much as I can throw his vampiric, seditious husk

nytimes.com/2021/01/12/us/…
26.55/ This is a great thread about a key flaw in the, yes again, #Literalist mentality seen in a lot of the bigoted plutocrats: that they basically think of other people as machines/objects and yet want to enjoy the fruits of their free-will action
26.56/ Now *this* I understand. Cheney is #3 in conference and the 2 above her were all in on insurrection, so she gets to have a Goldwater to Nixon moment and seize control of minority leader.

Greedy people are easier to predict, whew.
26.57/ We're living through sobering times, and the reassurance that the military is not backing the insurrection comes as a great relief. As I've said, the scariest day for me was June 1, 2020 what that was actually in doubt.

washingtonpost.com/national-secur…
26.58/ Fascinating thread here about the complicity of the German bureaucracy in the Shoah. Banality of evil, indeed.

26.59/ Pence refuses to stop the man who tried to kill him - despite having the power to do so - so now it's up to the Democrats
26.60/ I propose the impeachment and removal would have more support if we replaced the word "remove" with "yeet" as in "Donald John Tr*mp has been yeeted from the White House by the Senate"
26.63/ Just clocking down all the things I wish I had said:

"“I’m sure he’s learned his lesson” say the people who refuse to teach him one"
26.64/ I've said many times that Trump (ym'sh) acts like a 80s movie villain but now we see how many in the GOP helped with the insurrection, which helps give credence to the stupid "Hail Hydra" plotline in the MCU.

26.65/ Another thread (what a week!) about the idea that we wouldn't have survived 4 more years of Trump (ym'sh). My point is that this was the tail end of the Reagan-Gingrich Revolution, so it's been a longer assault & needs a longer repair.

26.66/ Ironically, white supremacy is an economic argument: it perpetuates by force an unjust caste-system of one-directional theft of resources, prestige, and access. Its adherents know or feel this & are panicked by the potential loss of their advantage
26.67/ As a wise man said earlier in the #TrumpCrisis, I deserve to be gaslit by smarter people

26.68/ Another great line:

"It was never Blue Lives Matter.

It was always Black Lives Don’t."

26.69/ What I'm seeing now is that 2018 the Dem's had the "justice Democrats" who saw the fracture of the nation and entered Congress to expand the social safety net.

In 2020 the GOP had that mirror image: young Reps who ran in order to overturn the gov.
26.70/ The Chinese and Jews are used this idea but the rest of America has been introduced to a staggered calendar, i.e. it was 5781 while still in 2020. In this case it says "2021" but 2020 won't actually end until Biden takes office.
26.71/ I've been waiting to hear this language used for Trump (ym'sh) for a while. The Speaker of the House describing the President as engaging in "insurrection .... sedition and treason"

There's a straight line from 2016 to now. But we're here.
26.72/ Just thinking: if the GOP actually removes him in the Senate, then Pence's refusal to invoke the 25th may have been coordinated with Mitch and thus give him the ability to assume the office with a façade of reluctance.

Or I may just be shoehorning coherence onto nonsense.
26.73/ Trump's (ym'sh) loathsome behavior was never going to affect my decision to support him (I'm a Democrat and I also lived in NY for decades), but his every terrible action did affect my decision to condemn those who *did* support him
26.74/ Another line I'd wish I'd said:

Everyone tweeting "1776" and "1984" is really tweeting "1861."

26.75/ Yes, the GOP operates in bad faith. Yes it's a double standard. But in another way it's a single standard, that of caste & supremacy. The rules are created solely to hurt their enemies & allow them to operate with impunity.

26.76/ Very interesting thread that dovetails nicely with what I wrote this morning () about the mission of the current GOP and it's historical roots.

26.77/ Please God when the Big Dummy is out of power we can really look back at all the trans-fictional insanity of this horrible excuse for a human and I assume there will be a bracket somewhere of the bonkers-banana-pants incidents. Here's a good start:
26.78/ So well put and even more than the genre of "how American politics would be described if it were a foreign country" because THIS ACTUALLY IS HOW IT NEEDS TO NEEDS TO BE DESCRIBED
26.79/ Another great line:

"Everyone getting arrested and losing their job for storming the Capitol building are realizing why their grandparents wore hoods."

26.80/ One week ago was the insurrection and invasion of the House. Just watching it, I could see that it must have had inside help because of how easily the walls were breached. The reports trickling in, like from AOC, support my initial observation.

26.81/ I gave my 'strategist who actually knows nothing' theory above (26.54) but here's a true expert in the GOP explaining the situation. Mitch is all about the dollars and CYA, that's it. He's the very definition of conservation of energy (see 26.65)
26.81b/ And here you have it. Mitch #MoscowMitch" McConnell wants to have it both ways. He's leaking that he's open to removal, but also leaks that he won't allow a vote to remove. He's the Gravedigger of Democracy and shouldn't escape justice.

26.82/ Thread about the presence of National Guard troops with many stirring pictures of the bivouacking in the hallways of the Capitol in order to protect Democrats and other non-traitors from the president's violent co-conspirators
26.83/ Thread about how we've under-educated about Reconstruction. IMO it's not from neglect, it's malice aforethought by the LostCause traitors & associated white supremacists. Slavery is our country's original sin and we must repair it to move forward
26.84/ Yes, it's terrorism, but the GOP also uses ready excuses to paper over their actual desires. They've actively, eagerly, supported the undermining of the faith in the election - not to mention neglecting the pandemic, so it's multi-factored here.
26.85/ Another picture of the National Guard but with an incredible historical note: "That plaque on the right commemorates the troops that were quartered in the US Capitol during the Civil War (companies from MA, NY, PA, and DC)"
26.86/ Looking for logic in the bad faith yawping of the GOP is futile, I know, but Nwanevu's point is astute: if these fake tough guys strut around with their guns for 'personal defense' then their claims (fear of reprisals) undermine the whole rationale
26.87/ I hope it's not the 'sleeper story' because it's the actual story. Part of it comes from the mentality of those who enter the job, much from the inherent cultural bigotry of America, but there has been an actual operation to infiltrate by N*zis.
26.88/ Jan 13, 2021: He's been impeached twice, both for national security threats and violations. The story is both that 10 GOP supported removing him as well as how 197 supported insurrection
26.89/ And it's going to be a trick trivia question, like the Grover Cleveland two term thing. And, given what we're likely to find out over the next year, it will seem titanically inadequate for his actions/crimes
26.90/ And there ya go, McConnell leaked he would support removal but refuses to bring it to a vote to actually remove. He'll never do the right thing; it's against his nature. He's also betting on short memories. We must remember & bring down the law.
26.92/ One of the best responses to the Pelosi outfit discourse:
26.93/ Works for the mask too:

"Members of Congress who feel they have to carry a gun to protect their colleagues but won’t wear a mask to protect their colleagues, don’t want to protect their colleagues. They’re just hoping they get to kill someone."

26.94/ Great way to put it:

"Trumpism isn’t a refuge for the white poor. It’s a nationalist, race-conscious movement of economically comfortable white Americans who are enraged about demographic change..."

26.95/ Moving vans in front of the soiled White House. They better get paid up front.
26.95b/ One of these days I'll tell the story of my time in a sukkah in Jerusalem twenty years ago when Bibi showed up and a friend of mine joked - to his face - that Bibi stole the silverware out of the house he was staying in. Political humor about corrupt politicians, heh.
26.96/ Ah yes, the ol' "they're after your sacred heritage!" dog whistle.

The venerated observances and rituals from "O Brother"

26.97/ Truly, if there's anyone who demonstrates Greek tragedy level oblivious hubris that has led to near worldwide destruction, it's Comey.

Not sure what his path of repentance can look like, but it's obvious he's learned nothing as of now.
26.98/ Part of Murphy's Law training is to have, as part of your planning, a response for the eventuality that a person/company you hired says "Yes, we lied about that"

e.g. companies who say they won't sell your data. And if they lied? Now they own it.
26.99/ #RoshChodesh Shevat everyone. Halakhic note, if you voted for Trump (ym'sh) and/or congressional GOP you should probably add "u'le-khaparat pasha" in mussaf even though it's not a leap year, because you need all the kapara you can get.
26.100/ There's an ongoing discourse about civil/nice versus kind. That civility and it's partners "polite" and "nice" are often covers for terrible ethics. The key IMO is that polite cruelty is a con/ruse; in halakha it's prohibited as "geneivat da'at" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneivat_…
26.101/ This thread is getting so long, I expect it will be difficult to render on Friday, so I'm experimenting by asking for an unroll mid-week to see if it helps (this is almost as long as Election Week, flashback warning)

@threadreaderapp please unroll.
26.102a/ One thing we learned after 9/11 is that the creation of DHS was a big porky placebo for the real problem which is human free will. "Everything is in the hands of God except fear of God" - if the agencies don't want to work together, they won't
26.102b/ So we see on Jan 6: we have plenty of system sin place, as well as many civil-liberty depriving laws, that would have prevented the insurrection. But through omission & commission, the authorities were OK with it happening. You can't legislate those decisions.
26.103/ When the GOP engage in 'whataboutism' is it bad-faith arguing or from their adherents neurological #Literalist mentality that can't see distinctions (all tree no forest)?

Most likely both: bad-faith arguing that relies on MSM #Literalism to accomplish it's dirty goal
26.104/ My wife gave a "tiny Bach concert" (that's the name of the, pandemic specific, series!) that just came out. 15 minutes of Bachy goodness on an original 1780 square piano.

Check it out and enjoy.
26.105/ As a teen, I remember the debates over whether people are inherently bad or good. Putting aside the nature-nurture issue, the real issue IMO is how many bad people can there be before it ruins the society. Bad apples, flies in the ointment etc
sefaria.org/Ecclesiastes.1…
26.106/ Shabbas is nigh. Please God by next week, we'll have regained control of our democracy and expelled Trump (ym'sh) from power. May we merit having Shabbatot of peace. #ShabbatShalom

@threadreaderapp please unroll.

@threader_app please compile.

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More from @JoshuaCypess

19 Sep
62.01/ Week sixty-two, Sept. 18-25, 2021, thread begins there.

Week 61 below
62.02/ A custom on #YomKippur is to wear a kittel, an all white garment that has ambivalent symbolism: men wear one under their wedding canopy and they are also buried in it. I mentioned to a physician friend that it can also be seen as "Jewish scrubs."
62.03/ "But life is ironic" is just boss-level shade. I mean, I have my theological differences with the pontiff, but I can imagine we see eye-to-eye about anti-vaxxers.(h.t. @dick_nixon)

Read 41 tweets
17 Sep
1/ Nearly every Shabbat & Yom Tov since I left the pulpit I've prepared a drasha & shiur that I know I won't be able to deliver. I've described that for many artists the need to produce the art overwhelms an actual audience. The art compels them.
2/ I define art broadly to encompass every creative faculty that arises from the multiple intelligences, talents & perceptions in human capability. We know singers or painters are artists, but so is a teacher or philosopher. IMO society doesn't define an art, humanity does.
3/ Not everyone who has artistic talent or drive or vocation needs to have a feeling of compulsion. My chiddush (intellectual innovation) is to say everyone with that need to create has the soul of an artist whether they are recognized or not.
Read 26 tweets
17 Sep
1/ Since the beginning of the #TrumpCrisis, I've had ever increasingly difficult #YomKippur davening because of the burden I feel to act as a 'sanegor' (defender) for my community and for the Jewish world at large.

(This is in addition to the vast ways I need to improve myself)
2/ I'm not a gadol, a posek, or anything close to a tzadik. But after seeing so many rebbeim & gedolim openly support Trump (ym'sh), erase women from Jewish life, and encourage anti-vax shtuyot, I considered the tenuous possibility that I would need to act as a communal sanegor.
3/ With the established leadership descending into avoda-zara (DJT), shefichat-damim (COVID denial) & arayot (dehumanizing women), I needed to step up - out of safek-nefashot - and use all of my halakhic, rhetorical & philosophical ability to devise kappara for the Am Kadosh.
Read 17 tweets
15 Sep
1/ One more #NFL thing before the Day of Atonement. Last night's #MNF was very satisfying as a #Steelers fan. The ending of the game was nuts and I want to reproduce the nutty live-texts I sent to my sleeping son, not expecting it to become a saga of silliness.
2/ [11:31 PM] 55 yard FG to send it into overtime!

{Little did I know that this would be the least surprising thing of overtime. I should also add that many people expected BAL to go to the Superbowl and the Raiders to get a top 5 pick in the 2022 draft} Screencap from the ESPN app, score 27-27.
3/ [11:40 PM]: RAIDERS WIN
[11:41 PM]: wait hold up
[11:42 PM]: CORRECTION. will be at the half yard-line

{It was so exciting to think LV would get the ball and then just drive down the field and score. Of course, it couldn't be that simple. TD taken back.} ESPN screencap. 7:22 in OT, score still 27-27, LV in red zon
Read 8 tweets
14 Sep
1/ MacDonald died? Oh man.

First of all, I wish there was a website to find out if I'm allowed to publicly like a dead guy. Like a list of crimes so I know how to calibrate the right mix of sad, or happy, that he's dead.

[Please do that in Norm's voice]
2/ Certain people who're called "an [artist]'s artist" usually are extremists in that craft, and often unrecognized by all but a niche audience. In comedy, one of my areas of expertise, that doesn't always yield someone I personally enjoy.
3/ E.g. I detest Andy Kaufman's comedy because, for me, the barely disguised intend was cruelty. Other comedians work for "their time" like Lenny Bruce who I wish I found funnier than I do.

MacDonald was in that category.

(and this comment is great)
Read 8 tweets
14 Sep
1/ My son, new freshman at his high school, got the cover article in the weekly Torah journal, which was an awesome piece of nachas over #RoshHashanah

A few comments I feel I should make (and download available at this BE"H static link):
parshasheets.com/newsletter/bko…
2/ I did not help him directly in any way. Despite my eager offer to discuss and/or proofread, he successfully shielded himself from my relentless, avid desire to help him with a D'var Torah.

I say this because (1) it's a really good piece & (2) all the language is his.
3/ However, as a gift to me, he did say that he learned "tautological" from our many conversations (yes!) and from my meta-perspective, I see he followed the advice I give to all my homiletics students based on my decades of speeches, articles, classes & other media.
Read 9 tweets

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