Who Does The Left Hate?
With all the recent articles about supposed straw-filled bogeymen on the big scary “Left,” I’ve been less and less interested in picking up the paper. Still, I take a glance at headlines every so often. On the cover of last week’s issue, I expected articles from the typical columnists, but was surprised that a letter to the editor was given a front-page spot with the absolutist title of “The Left Hates Science.” I took a quick glance at the three examples the reader provided, and knew exactly how disingenuous the letter was when I got to the words “The Rejection of Biology.”
Apparently, the Left is guilty of being anti-science by agreeing with the consensus of mental health professionals. Surely, the prestigious American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and the World Health Organization are all wrong, because one 24-year-old feels like it. Each of these organizations recognizes the legitimacy of the disorder known as Gender Dysphoria, wherein one’s birth sex characteristics cause them psychological distress, and transition to the characteristics of the opposite sex alleviates that distress. The simplest explanation is that there is some psychological quality, i.e. gender, that determines which sex characteristics produce the least discomfort. Once someone transitions through hormone therapy and resembles the opposite sex more closely, referring to them by their birth sex in most cases can achieve at most two things: remind trans people of what caused them distress in the first place, or announce a trans person’s birth genitals to the world, for some reason.
You know what hasn’t been observed in any capacity at all: age dysphoria, species dysphoria, or any other “strawman” you care to imagine. If you actually asked trans people, you’d realize nobody is trying to push “75 genders” either. Trans people fit into one of three groups: male, female, and non-binary. If you’re confused by the idea of gender not being binary, gender isn’t exactly binary either. There are at least 14 observed chromosome configurations that aren’t XX females or XY males. Does that mean there are 16 genders? While gender is overwhelmingly bimodal, there are some rare exceptions. Similarly, gender is overwhelmingly bimodal, but occasionally has its own exceptions. Non-binary people experience gender dysphoria in relation to having sex characteristics too closely to either pole and, at worst, may ask to be referred to by “they” 99 percent of the time.
To sum up, nobody is denying that sex exists. The Left simply agrees with actual medical professionals that gender is a separate, albeit related, concept. The ignorant opinion of one individual doesn’t change that reality. As was quoted last time, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”
Warren Is Back On All Fours
There is a story related about the Rambam by Rav Simcha Zissel. Once, during a discussion with the Sultan, the Rambam (the Sultan’s personal physician) stated that only human beings can change their character, and not animals. One of the Sultan’s anti-Semitic ministers, seeking to humiliate the Rambam, contended that he could change the nature of a cat, training it to be as refined as a human being and turning it into a proper butler. The Rambam argued that it was impossible to change the nature of a cat.
This minister was an extraordinary animal trainer and, after many weeks, succeeded in training the cat to walk on its hind legs and to hold a tray while wearing a butler’s uniform. On the appointed day, in front of the Sultan, his ministers, and the Rambam, this minister brought the butler-cat to the palace and had the cat escort the Sultan and ministers to their seats. Then, the cat elegantly walked with its tray of delicacies and served everyone seated at the table. Not flustered in the least, the Rambam took out a little box containing a mouse and dropped it on the floor. The cat suddenly forgot that it was a butler, dropped its tray, went on all fours, and dashed after the mouse. The Rambam turned to the minister and said, “A cat is a cat and will always be a cat.”
So what does this have to do with your excellent publication? In your September 5 edition, I wrote an article criticizing Warren Hecht, the author of the column “For What It’s Worth,” for his blatant disrespect towards President Trump (e.g., “Normally, I …talk about the boor”), which violates our fundamental obligation of showing hakaras ha’tov to a President who has been so good to Israel and the Jews (e.g., Jerusalem embassy, appointing Haley and Bolton, canceling the Iran Nuclear Deal that is an existential threat to Israel, etc., etc.). Since then, his articles have been relatively benign, covering topics such as Mohammed bin Salman and his trip to Australia.
Unfortunately, a newsworthy mouse recently escaped its box, and Warren has quickly dropped his civility tray and is back on all fours scampering after Trump. In his column this past week, “Silence is Golden,” he opines that now that the President has announced that he is moving troops out of Syria, this is purportedly contrary to Israel’s interest (citing two opinion pieces from The Jewish Home), and Jewish Trump supporters have an obligation not to remain silent. Let me point out two errors with his proposal.
First, contrary to his conjured contention that Trump is “engag[ing] in conduct that most people agree is contrary to Israel’s interest,” the reality, as reported in The Washington Post, USA Today, Time, and Breitbart (January 6) is that National Security Adviser John Bolton immediately traveled to Israel to make clear: (i) The US military withdrawal “is conditioned on defeating the remnants of the Islamic State group;” (ii) “There is no timetable for the pullout of American forces” in Syria, albeit that it’s not an unlimited commitment; (iii) “Some US troops based in Syria will shift to Iraq with the same mission, and the al-Tanf base in Syria will remain; and (iv) The US is “‘very supportive’ of Israeli strikes against Iranian targets in Syria.” So Warren, before you throw Trump under the bus and accuse him of acting contrary to Israel’s interest, let the mouse scamper for a minute to see exactly where it’s heading before you drop your tray.
My second issue with your contention is that, after the horrific treatment that Trump has been getting from liberal Jews (in contrast to the strong support from his truly Orthodox base), it is chasdei Hashem that Trump has continued his unwavering support for Israel. Rabbi T. Freeman quotes a story about Guy Kawasaki, Steve Jobs’ original marketing guru, who described chutzpah as calling up tech support to complain about a bug on pirated software. Warren, don’t complain about a recent bug in the Trump software if you and your liberal friends haven’t bought his software. You’re a bright guy; why don’t you expend your efforts attacking true anti-Semites such as Representative [of the PLO?] Rashia Tlaib, who blasted anti-BDS legislation and threw out the “‘dual loyalty’ canard… a typical anti-Semitic line (Tweet from good friend of Israel, Sen. Marco Rubio).” Otherwise, just continue balancing the tray as you have been for the past few months.
Eric Ulrich For Public Advocate
It is common sense that we should vote for Eric Ulrich for Public Advocate. He is running under the “Common Sense Party” line.
With the vacancy left by Letitia James for the Public Advocate seat, there are about 20 who want to fill that spot. Among them is Republican Ozone Park Councilman Eric Ulrich, who has been a friend to the Orthodox Jewish community for quite a few years. The candidates will run for that seat in a special election being held on Tuesday, February 26, which is a little less than two months from now. Those who haven’t as yet registered to vote have until 33 days from the election, which is January 24, to register. The special election is being run in a non-partisan format – which we really should have for every election, to make it hard for people who don’t know the candidates to be able to just check the letter next to the name. Eric is running under the political party by the name of the Common Sense Party.
The reason for enthusiasm for Eric’s run is because he stands out as a conservative or Republican-oriented candidate from among many who are not. No one has to obtain a majority (50+) vote to win. The candidate with the most votes will win the election. Eric explains that even with as little as 30% voting for him, he could walk away with the prize. There is no run-off to the election.
Ulrich, who is considerate of religious freedoms, is supportive of education choice regarding equal government funding and education rights for private schools to freely, under the law, administer curricula time minimums, as long as the outcome complies with state standards. The Councilman was the first to stand up in opposition to the proposed legislation that would require 7.5 hours of secular education for all schools, including yeshivos and other private or parochial schools. It is the ultimate of chutzpah of the New York State Education Department to mandate such arbitrary and judgmental standards when the State and Federal governments aren’t even funding the secular education portions of yeshivah curricula. This brings us to the question of why don’t State and Federal governments subsidize the secular portion of education when administered in a private or yeshivah setting? Eric Ulrich has long been an advocate for Orthodox Jews and for all those who choose to send their children to private schools to be able to get relief for school tuition the way all other New York State residents have for their children.
This is what Eric Ulrich spoke about at a fundraiser sponsored by the Bukharian Alliance of America and was enthusiastically received by a crowd of about 100 people at a dinner at the Japanica in Fresh Meadows on this past Motza’ei Shabbos, January 5.
This special election does not lock in the position for the winner for the next four years; a regular primary will follow in September, and the general election will be in November of this year. However, anyone who wins the special election will inevitably have an advantage of incumbency as regards the general election. In any case, the winner of the special election will serve at least until December 31 of this year. The reason this race is significant is because we know that the office of Public Advocate, which is a position that is used to publicly oppose policies taken by the New York City Mayor, is first in line to succeed the mayor, and is a watchdog of sorts over city agencies – is also a springboard to the Mayoralty itself. This is indeed what we witnessed with the election of Bill de Blasio, who was the Public Advocate prior to being elected Mayor.
I would estimate that at the fundraiser, Ulrich may have raised about $10,000 and, in matchable funds of six to one, would make that $10,000 into a total of $70,000. Ulrich has a good chance of winning this, and if he wins the general election that takes place later this year, he would be Public Advocate until December 31, 2021. It’s up to you, my friends, to make it happen.
Government Shutdown: Permanently?
Despite President Trump’s remarkable and noble efforts to reduce the size and scope of the leviathan that is the federal government, the government at present is bigger and more tyrannical, authoritarian, and ironhanded than it’s ever been before. Big Brother is ubiquitous, and our constitutional rights are becoming ever more corroded every second of the day. The erosion of our constitutional order is in exact proportion to the expansion of government, and it alone is the single greatest threat to the United States Constitution, our liberty, and freedoms.
Therefore, I propose that one hundred percent of the federal government should be shut down – permanently.