Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Burdens of Proof

To hear Joseph Farah tell it, he's the world's most diligent detective/investigative journalist since John Stossel fused his soul with Sam Spade through an arcane voodoo ritual (what, you don't read the news?)

Yes, when it comes to Obama's citizenship and eligibility for the Presidency, no documentation is too questionable, no proof too inscrutable, no witnesses too incorruptible for our brave Mr. Farah. It doesn't matter how many conservatives have decided to give up on the birth certificate strategy, or that the national news media has declared the story dead. For Farah, it's (supposedly) about the truth and serving the public good.

And in some ways, he's actually right. It is good to have transparency. It is bad when the leader appears-- for whatever reason-- to be hiding things.

But here's the rub: If Joe Farah wants to be taken seriously as a "make your case, show your work, let's follow the paper trail" journalist on Friday, he really can't be putting this crap out on Thursday:

A remark that Jesus' cousin, whose name he couldn't remember, "was really nice," helped convince Todd Burpo that his son's experience during a near-fatal illness was something beyond extraordinary. 
In the new book "Heaven is for Real," Todd and Sonja Burpo, along with Lynn Vincent, recount the amazing story told by their son, Colton Burpo. 
"Did you know that Jesus has a cousin? Jesus told me his cousin baptized him," Colton tells his father one evening, as related in chapter 12 of the book. 
Todd, a pastor, agrees. 
"The Bible says Jesus' cousin's name is John." 
But he then scolds himself, reminding himself not to offer information. 
"I don't remember his name," Colton said happily, "but he was really nice." 
"John the Baptist is 'nice'?!" Todd writes. "Just as I was processing the implications of my son's statement – that he had met John the Baptist – Colton spied a plastic horse among his toys and held it up for me to look at. 'Hey, Dad, did you know Jesus has a horse?"
Yes, while Farah is all too-willing to assume that every person vouching for Obama's citizenship is lying out their ears, apparently if your 4-year-old has a near-death experience and describes seeing Jesus and his rainbow horse, that's somehow irrefutable proof.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dear Tzvi: Stop talking.

Seriously, Tzvi, I'm about to smack you. Unless, of course, a ninja does it for me.

Richter shmichter. Nature my arse. In seconds, G-d can destroy Japan and Russia and America and all of the arrogant countries of Europe. The earthquake and tsunami was a wake-up lesson for the world – and for us – reminding us that we had better start paying some more serious attention to G-d. He, and He alone, rules the world, and not Japan, Russia, America, and the European Quartet. 
So don’t be afraid my fellow Jews! Don’t be afraid, Bibi! The L-rd G-d of Israel, Master of Heaven and Earth, is on our side! Don’t be afraid of UN threats and boycotts and embargos and Obamas and cut-offs of foreign aid! G-d is our aid. “The Heavens declare the glory of G-d, and the Earth proclaims His praise!” “The power of the L-rd is over the roaring waters!” Sing out O mountains and forests and seas of Japan! The Redemption of Israel is near!
So once again, God shows how great he is by killing thousands of people. And you're saying these are reasons to not be afraid? Incidentally, I love how this is presented as God's revenge on non-Jewish countries for being arrogant. No self-centeredness here at all.

Why Japan, you ask?
Yeah, why?
Why not?
Um... please tell me this is not the new standard for smiting countries. There is at least some quality control in God's department, yes?

Japan, the home of Buddhism, Shinto shrines and spirits, is a bastion of idol worship and idol worshippers, perhaps Number 1 in the world.
And that's clearly worthy of death. You know, Tzvi, that deity of yours winds up looking like more of a bastard every time you mention him. Maybe you should stop.

Incidentally, way to not even try to count. How can you claim with any seriousness that Japan is the "Number 1" bastion of idol worshippers in the world? India has 827 million Hindus. Japan has 127 million people TOTAL. You weren't kidding when you said you were proud your kids don't know anything about the world outside of Israel, were you?
Japan consistently votes against Israel in the UN.
Wait, it's about being anti-Israel? Then when is B'nei B'rak's earthquake due?
Japan was Nazi German’s ally in World War 2.
First of all, the country is called Germany. Second, Japan treated its conquered Jews better than anyone else in Hitler's coalition, refusing, for example, to turn Jews over to the Nazis even when requested. As long as you're justifying punishing people for the sins of their grandfathers, you can at least look up what they actually did.
I could give you a few more reasons why it was a tsunami, just like in the time of Noah and the Flood, but I won’t mention them here.
I understand. This must have taken you, like, hours of pretend-thought. Next time feel free not to bother.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A failure to communicate

Though I've spent many, many hours reading the internet works of R. Lazer Brody, every so often it still feels like we're on slightly different planets. It's like I'm from Earth and he's from... I don't know, Jupiter?

Case in point: a cute story about a thirsty three year old.

Dear Rabbi Lazer,As my 3 year old was lying in bed - to go to sleep, he called out for a drink. When my response took longer than a few seconds, he immediately turned to ask Hashem. He told Hashem that he's only a toddler, and he needs a drink. 
We have been listening to your Emuna CDs in the car and although I try not to have them on when he's in the car so that I can spend the time talking to him. Recently, the lessons have been so good that the few times that I just can't get myself to turn them off, seems to be rubbing off on him. I couldn't believe the way my 3-year old was actually doing hitbodedut and talking to Hashem! Maybe I should have him listen to the CDs more often...

Think about this: the mother and Lazer are high-fiving over the fact that the kid is asking God for water. This despite the fact that there is NO chance of God actually filling up a glass and magic-floating it over to his bed, thereby setting up Job Jr. for some major disappointment and/or confusion. Nice. Is the assumption that he just needs to learn that God does things on his own time? Or maybe the thought is that this little guy's lived with his childish notions of a God that does everything for you whenever you ask for too long. I mean, the kid is three, for Heaven's sake. Time to grow up.

Look guys, if you want your kids to pray and have a personal relationship with God that's fine, but little kids praying for tangible results immediately is a recipe for disaster. Instead of being happy that your kid expects basic needs to bet met through prayer, maybe try explaining that if he wants water he either needs to get it himself or ask an actual person. Just a thought.