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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Monday, November 22, 2004
Controversy at big gathering of non-profit Jewish organization?
Once I got to the end of this article, I felt the story was much ado about nothing. It's about a couple of incidents at the United Jewish Communities 2004 General Assembly last week. The first is about some remarks a speaker made about the "Christian values" of the country. The controversy was supposedly about her remarks about Bush. But then, like I said, once you read it and see that a.) she claims to have voted for Bush and b.) she also claims she was asked to present her view on the challenges to the Jewish community, it all seems pretty tame. I don't think one can deny that the U.S. is largely a Christian country, but I do object to thinking of it as merely a "host" country for Jews (and, no, I don't think that conflicts with Zionist or even Jewish religious ideology but that's another story).

What I object to is the phrase "speaks her mind." I think this is not a big deal because of the content of what she said - but if I did have a problem, it would still be with the content and not with the idea that she "spoke her mind." I hated this kind of thing with Teresa H-K. She'd say something idiotic and her handlers or even her husband would say, Well, she sure speaks her mind!

This is offensive on two levels. It is offensive to me as a listener/reader/voter because if she says something idiotic, either acknowledge it by agreeing or disagreeing, but don't dodge the issue with that claptrapish phrase. And it is offensive to women, I think, because it seems condescending - "Hey, what can you do, she speaks her mind! I have no control over her." Why do you think you should control over her? Or, maybe this is still offensive to me and the rest of the populace - did you expect me to think you can control her? Of course she, and you, and everyone else should speak your minds. And then be ready to defend your comments, which, if I didn't mention before, are idiotic.

Anyhoo, the other controversy is more annoying to me. Apparently some committee or another was drafting a congrats letter to President Bush and some people thought it shouldn't be done. Now, it passed with a vast majority, but the fact that this had to have a vote is ridiculous. No, it is not partisan to send a note to the winner of the election, even though by definition the winner is from one party and, well, not from the other.

And, I know it's not fair to say this kind of thing, but does anyone think for a millisecond that anyone would have objected if Mssr. Kerry had won? As they say in France, pul-lease.
Agree. Whenever someone says something regrettably lame, his handlers will applaud that he "doesn't avoid controversy" which I guess is the male equivalent of "speaks her mind". As if the criticism had to do with whether the speaker's First Amendment rights should be revoked. "Um. I know she speaks her mind. I'm saying her mind is stoooopid."

Also lame is having "consensus" as a goal. It's laughable in a Jewish group, but is it even a good thing? I don't want unanimity; I want my side to win!
I want everyone to realize that they are wrong and I am right. And then possibly to grovel.
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