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Covering the waterfront

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday November 29, 2011 06:47 PM

This is certainly the silliest post I have ever committed here, but I can't resist.

My indefatigable email correspondent, the damp and clammy Rabbi Michael Lerner, just deposited this in my inbox:

New on Tikkun Nov. 23:

Should circumcision still be practiced? ... We are also featuring perspectives on the Occupy movement and its future. And don't forget to order Rabbi Lerner's new book "Embracing Israel/Palestine," which makes a great holiday gift!

Comment seems not only superfluous but impossible. It's not even a question of where do you start; but having started, where could you go, and where might you end up? Just the series of participles -- circumcising, embracing, occupying -- is a sort of I Ching Lite. Arrange them in any of the three-factorial possible orders and you end up with six different tractates -- or novels, for that matter.

Comments (27)

That book in your stocking would be a sure sign that you had been extra naughty. Do people read such a thing for enjoyment? I think it's more as a way of accumulating moral coin to be used against others. No one actually retains any of it, but they get the pleasure of prefacing their arguments with, "I read a book by the Rabbi Michael Lerner..." I'd rather be circumcised...again.


It's code. The rabbi wants OWS castrated by the holidays.

Should...circumcision still be practiced?

Fuck if I know, Rabbi... there's questions more important, y'know -- like, should I hang my toilet paper so it rolls off from the back or the front?

But, anyway... yeah... circumcise, occupy, and embrace. Sounds like a rejected Microsoft business strategy.

Happy Jack:

Should circumcision still be practiced?

Practiced? Like batting practice or violin lessons?


Lerner is a relic from another era. Time to go after bigger game such as one of the "great bombastic frauds" of our time.


Friedman has come in for a brickbat or two here.

The guy I really want to shear, and then flay, is that creep Stephen Pinker, but that would require reading his book.

Please find the strength MJS because Pinker really deserves one in the stinker.



"Protect IP is legislation that would -- no exaggeration -- destroy the social web as we know it."

markus mutation

what ever happened to this sites
kos-hive watch ???


as a rock ribbed
pythagorian -mandelian genetic determinist

like noam chomsky

i loathe no socio biologist
prima facia

indeed hot spot wilson the ant man is a favorite of mine as is
-- what's his name --
long dong trivers or shiver me trivers

that said
--- i've never never use this horrible phrase
till here ---

pinker is to socio biology
what joan rivers is to one liner stand up


"...In many cities,there are neighborhoods pockmarked by homes whosefamilies have been forced to leave by foreclosures.What about working with these exiled families and theirneighborhoods to "occupy" these homes and the nearbyschools and community centers, mixing the families andthe Occupiers as the public Occupy parks have mixed thehomeless and the movement?"

a better rabbi wrote that

Occupying foreclosed homes is a great idea...if you're a bum!


But to paraphrase Richard Nixon, we're all bums now -- or if we're not, we soon will be.


Few creatures on earth more smarmy or oleaginous than the liberal Zionist. It's all "understanding and tolerance" with a world-weary ovelay of regret and "heartbreak." Yet all roads lead back to the same, sorry place: If only Those People would "make peace with us", and not "slap our wrist when we reach out our hand in peace."

The Master, of course, though he's hardly a liberal: Wiesel. He has innovated all of the affects: regret, heartbreak, world weariness. "It pains me more than it does you to have to shell your refugee camps and kill and main your children."


Kos is just too depressing.


@ Mike Fluggenock; I think it was one of our anti-insurgency tactics in Iraq.


Great to see some socio-biology kerfuffles here - reminds me of long ago, even Wingo and his era, peace be to the dead.
I commend a book and view that rocked my world more than any book I've ever come across - ALex Rosenberg's "The Atheist Guide to Reality." It is no minor atheist tome, but a full-bore, 100 percent brave new world demolition of cant and supposition that embraces science, even socio-biology - it makes Pinker look like a piker, while endorsing him for some deeds, and smites all other would be historians, self-styled religio- swooners, while having a just a little unseen hand problem, but what the hell, it's the book of the century.
That said, I am proud to announce that having been officially and peremptorily banned from Common Dreams for a short post alleging that CD is a "conservative, ascetic, milquetoast operation," I am a commenter without a country, and see no other lands ahead. SMBIVA - fly high the flag!

But ... circumcision!


"If passed by voters, circumcision on males under 18 in San Francisco would have been a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Schofield calls male circumcision is a brutal practice, just as deplorable as widely condemned female circumcision practices."


San Francisco clearly deserves its preputation.


Should circumcision still be practiced?

Two of the planet's most asshole-infested, militarily aggressive countries have the highest rates of male circumcision. Could there be a connection?

Circumcision was promoted back in the day as a means of keeping Yankee Doodle from yanking his doodle; the rationale being pushed by MD$$$ nowadays is "health concerns." Good to see a lot of parents are opting out of this nonsense despite the propaganda.

WTF is "Israel/Palestine?"

Al Schumann:

MJS, maybe there's a standard of intellectual integrity to uphold, but Pinker always writes the same thing. The books are longer versions of his articles. You've read one, you've read them all: highly selective inclusion of any actual biology; what there is of it is reduced to snippets of evolutionary theory; from which he omits whatever he thinks is irrelevant. I'm convinced it's a grave cruelty to give his work any serious consideration. It's the equivalent of encouraging a desperate geek to bite the head off just one more chicken.

Two of the planet's most asshole-infested, militarily aggressive countries have the highest rates of male circumcision.
This made me laugh and laugh. It's one connection between the global Dr Evil and his Mini-Me that I had never made, or heard made, before. It's now my favorite theory about the otherwise inexplicable patronage of the latter by the former: the Circumcised Brotherhood!

Is it really true that the USA has a higher incidence of male circumcision than the mostly Muslim nations? I sort of doubt that.


Oh well. Time to, erm, cut off that line of speculation. Who could have foreskeen it?


Just mohel-ing and toiling away here. Sorry. Sorry.

(sk and other Pinkertons--having been recently forced into it, this one recently delved Pinker for a while. Results here: http://higharka.blogspot.com/2011/12/in-which-voltaire-dies-for-1-millionth.html )

On a separate yet wholly related note, the vast, cold trauma of infant genital mutilation, and its repression and associated misdirected rage, is in large part the motivator behind Zionist cum Amwayican manly bombings.


Sorry, Boink. I was acting on a good tip when I posted that.

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