All the Jews Joe Biden has tapped for top roles in his administration and Quotes from the great Groucho Marx and Haradi Radio host says the vaccine should be mandatory to save lives and This Is How Conservatives Get Erased From The Internet By Daniel Greenfield and It’s time to stop counting Jews in the Cabinet byJONATHAN S. TOBIN
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
This Is How Conservatives Get Erased From The Internet By Daniel Greenfield
Two companies, Google and Apple, each control about half of the smartphone market. So when the two companies made a move against Parler, the conservative social media alternative, it effectively erased its app from existence. Joining the party was a third member of the FAANG Big Tech consortium, Amazon, which de-platformed Parler from Amazon Web Services.
AWS controls a third of the cloud marketplace. Microsoft and Google are in 2nd and 3rd place.
Blocking an app doesn't permanently kill a social networking service, though it places it at a structural disadvantage, but Apple and Google can flag sites as unsafe through their browsers.
Google's Chrome commands 45% of the browser market in America while Apple's Safari has a little under 40%. While browser flags can be currently bypassed, it would add a further structural disadvantage that would make people less likely to use the service, and there's nothing stopping Apple and Google from permanently blocking access to any conservative site.
There are other browsers, but Google and Apple could kick any browser off their app stores that doesn't comply with a blocklist of 'unsafe' sites, further narrowing the potential browser options.
With desktops and laptops, Microsoft and Apple can block access to sites at the operating system level by using their built-in antivirus software. That can also be turned off. For now.
Google controls over 80% of search traffic. Facebook controls some 80% of social media. Being delisted and deplatformed by them can be all but fatal to any site trying to attract new users.
Some conservatives take refuge in the illusion of alternatives from smaller companies, but in the oligarchy, smaller companies usually directly or indirectly rely on services from Big Tech.
DuckDuckGo, for example, serves up searches from Microsoft's Bing. Many smaller alternative companies are likewise dependent on Big Tech players. The small companies conservatives take refuge in are still reliant on the infrastructure of the big players and can be easily pressured into joining their boycotts or have their own services cut off by the Big Tech oligarchy.
There are workarounds for all of these, but when visiting a conservative site turns into the equivalent of going to a speakeasy, that eliminates much of the potential user base.
Sites can also be crushed at the domain level, banishing them to the dark web. (Editor: For example, GoDaddy.com recently removed AR15.com from their registry and hosting.)
If conservatives distributing information becomes as onerous as Chinese political dissidents bypassing the Great Firewall, what will be left of the conservative movement online?
It will take more manufactured emergencies to unlock some of these options, but there should be little doubt that they will be. The Democrats and their media allies invented the threat of "disinformation" out of thin air and still can't properly explain what it means. But they successfully used it to engage in a massive online purge of their political opponents.
A violent clash or a random shooting by an unstable man will unlock another censorship tier. But it could just as easily be another conservative politician winning when he's supposed to lose.
Direct deplatforming is only the crudest tool. Pressure campaigns have targeted advertising and payment options for conservative sites. Google, again, controls 37% of the digital ad market. Payment options at the top are controlled by the same old team of players. That's what happened when the David Horowitz Freedom Center was cut off by Visa and Mastercard.
The 'killer app' though won't be direct internet censorship, but corporate cancel culture.
Instead of Facebook deleting your post, you will be fired from your job for posting it. If you own a small business, larger suppliers and companies will no longer work with you. If you belong to a trade association, you'll be ousted. If your business requires a license, you will lose it.
This isn't a paranoid fantasy. It's happening right now.
In November, I wrote about how the National Association of Realtors had modified its regulations to allow members to be forced out of the business over their social media posts.
"Doesn't this mean that if I post my opinion online and someone doesn't agree with it, that I can lose my membership and be forced out of the business?" the NAR FAQ asks.
That's not an isolated policy. Similar moves are underway in various trade associations which would treat politically incorrect views as a violation of professional obligations. Cancel culture isn't a new phenomenon, but this is the industrialization of cancel culture which takes it from an isolated phenomenon to a collective system of enforcement like China's social credit score.
This includes monitoring social media profiles and flagging employees, renters, or businesses with conservative views as a potential risk.
Yelp has already implemented a similar program for some eateries. It's not alone.
Big Tech censorship is a symptom of a much bigger problem which is the criminalization of conservative views within the corporate world. The FAANG bloc has led the way, but big business has been slowly tilting leftward. The giant multinationals are the worst offenders, at least when it comes to public virtue signaling, and they control a great deal of the economy.
Conservatives never asked companies to adopt their political views. Leftists made it mandatory and organized pressure campaigns from the outside and the inside to make it happen.
That's why they won. It's why conservatives are losing.
Leftists took over academia and cultural industries by organizing networks inside and then imposing their own leadership and institutional ideologies that made their views mandatory and left no room for dissent, while conservatives failed to organize a common front against them..
Naming major conservative musicians and movie stars was easy. Now name one. Under 40.
The same takeover is happening at a slower pace inside the corporate world, backed by diversity quotas and social responsibility statements. I wrote about this at length in my Freedom Center pamphlet, Thought Control, Inc, and internet censorship is a symptom of that threat.
The whole threat will erase conservatives from the internet and from public life.
Can conservatives influence, campaign, and win elections under these conditions? The endgame here is eliminating conservatives as a meaningful political force in America.
That's the scale of the threat. Conservatives have spent too long ignoring it. And even now they underestimate the sheer scale of the strategy to erase them from the marketplace of ideas.
But Big Tech isn't as powerful as it seems. It's vulnerable and it's worried.
That's why Big Tech waited until it was confident that the Senate would be in the hands of the Democrats before it made its big move against Trump. That's weakness, not strength.
Forcing out President Trump was a priority for Big Tech, not only for political, but economic reasons. The Trump administration was the first to aggressively go after Google and Facebook on antitrust grounds. It's no coincidence that Google is a Biden Inaugural Committee donor.
President Trump was the first GOP president to stop being a cheap corporate date. Republicans, even some in the MAGA class, are happy to trade favorable legislation for contributions with economic interests, from Big Tech to the media, that hate conservatives.
Democrats trade legislation for contributions, but they also demand political allegiance.
When corporations hire Democrat operatives, they get lobbyists for their business interests who still push leftist political agendas, but when corporations hire Republicans, all they get is lobbyists who ignore the fact that the interests they represent are bad for conservatives.
The Left understood that corporate policy is national policy. Its members adopted conservative boycotts of companies behaving immorally just when conservatives decided to abandon them. Leftists chose brands based on their politics, while conservatives had no idea what the politics of their cable company or breakfast cereal were. That's why corporate politics turned leftist.
Democrat elected officials help companies who share their views and hurt those who don't. Republicans help companies who give them money even while they're crushing conservatives.
And if that doesn't change, there will be fewer Republicans and a lot fewer conservatives.
The only way it's going to change is if conservatives stop paying attention to what their elected officials are saying and start paying attention to what they're doing on behalf of lobbyists.
The battle for the corporation, unlike academia and the media, isn't a lost cause. But it actually needs to be fought. And one of the best tools for that fight is duplicating the Left's infrastructure for monitoring the interactions between politicians and corporate interests, and demanding that the politicians represent conservatives, not just their campaign war chests, with corporations.
Conservatives view the corporate landscape as an amorphous free market while leftists see friendly and unfriendly companies. After generations of this, the market has become a lot more leftist and a lot less free. Conservatives need a better response to this crisis than to roll out the old claims about their commitment to a free system which failed in academia and the media.
Instead, conservatives may need to start viewing corporations in the same way, using political power to pressure companies into adopting conservative positions, funding conservative priorities, and protecting the civil rights of conservatives, while crippling the business interests of companies that serve as the major funders of leftist agendas and deny conservative civil rights.
Imagine if Republican legislators actually used government contracts, copyright law, and regulatory oversight to extract meaningful cultural concessions, instead of just campaign contributions, from AT&T, Disney, and Facebook: just to name a few examples.
If you want to imagine a country where conservatives aren't just fighting a rear-guard action against an ascendant radical movement that is taking over everything, that's the place to start.
This may strike some free-market fundamentalists as anathema, but a better word is survival.
There is nothing free about a market controlled by a Big Tech oligarchy, a handful of multinationals and giant chains, and corporate fronts for Chinese business interests.
The only way to 'free' the market is to make it more open by demolishing the oligarchy.
Facebook and Twitter censorship may be what conservatives see immediately, but the big picture is the erasure of conservatism as a movement from America.
It didn't have to happen. It still doesn't.
Conservatives have lost their grip on many key institutions, but they still have a foothold on political power. The question is whether they're willing to use it before they lose that too.
Haredi Radio Host Who Buried his Father: Those Who Defy Corona Regulations Are Conscious Murderers
By David Israel - 7 Shevat 5781 – January 20, 2021
Haredi host Dudi Shwamenfeld from Kol Barama radio, who on Tuesday buried his father who was a victim of Covid-19, went on Reshet Bet radio Wednesday morning to express his anger at the repeated violations of the pandemic regulations in the Haredi sector.
Kol BaRama is a Haredi radio station based in Bnei Brak, broadcasting since 2009 seven days a week, from Saturday night until Friday afternoon.
"These are murderers and people who understand that this can kill," Shwamenfeld told Reshet Bet. "I don't understand what's happening here around me, especially when it comes to the Haredim, because the sanctity of life is our greatest value."
"You are righteous," he said about Israeli Haredim, "Is there anything you won't do to save every life? What's happened to us?"
Shwamenfeld said his father was probably infected by his brother, who is mentally disabled.
"My brother was 'in prison' for nine months, just like that," he explained. "He didn't leave or move out of the house."
Shwamenfeld said when the tight lockdown started, his brother was forced to pray by himself. "At the Shabbat Mincha prayer, he felt he could no longer stand it and screamed his heart out. We knew there was a minyan in the yard of the building across the street, in an open space and with facemasks."
When the brother returned home on Saturday night, he started complaining that he was not feeling well.
"He developed fever, coughs. We did a corona test, but by then we understood he had probably been going into Dad's room."
Shwamenfeld said that his sister and his father's caregiver were also infected.
On Tuesday, at his father's funeral, one of his cousins, a resident of Mea Shearim, stood next to Shwamenfeld without a mask. "I said to him in Yiddish, 'Why are you without a mask? You know Dad died from the Corona, so why are you without a mask?' So he replied, 'I had it, I've been through it already.'"
Shwamenfeld said that he implored the man to wear a mask "because people who don't know you went through it will learn from you."
It should be noted that it hasn't yet been proven that people who contracted the Corona and recovered don't continue to spread the disease.
"I'm at a point where I don't want to hear explanations. I see funerals and I see the dead," Shwamenfeld said. "When you hear this past week about women in maternity wards and pregnant women, and the British or South African mutation, you know that if a child has it and he infects his mother and she is pregnant – tomorrow she's dead."
"Right now there's death, right now there's a plague – both among the religious and among the secular," he said.
According to Shwamenfeld, the rabbis are not necessarily to blame for the situation. "Most rabbis don't hear the media at all and are not properly informed. The ones who are to blame for this are our politicians, who are quite apprehensive [about making their communities obey the rules], and the police and the prime minister," said Shwamenfeld.
He added that he was sure "that if any rabbi or rebbe had access to the WhatsApp videos we all receive if they had access to the internet or anything like it – they would have shut down the country. The rabbis are innocently trying to save their communities because they understand that it's impossible to shut people in the house for a year because people will start jumping off the balconies."
Shwamenfeld concluded by saying there's nothing more sacred in Judaism than the value of life. "A person who is not vaccinated – must not get on a plane or enter any business. If we are not vaccinated, this will last another two years. A mandatory vaccination law is required," he said.
ENTERTAINER OF THE WEEK GROUCHO MARX
Julius Henry" Groucho" Marx comedian, actor, writer, stage, film, radio, television star, and proud Jewish-American.
He made 13 feature films as a team with his siblings, the Marx Brothers. He also had a successful solo career, primarily on radio and television, most notably as the host of the game show, You Bet Your Life
He wrote many books, including his autobiography, Groucho and Meand Memoirs of a Mangy Lover.
(January 19, 2021 / JNS) Jewish Democrats are celebrating this week and with good reason. Their party is about to take back power in Washington and end the presidency of the man they all love to hate: President Donald Trump. But adding a certain frisson of pride to their touchdown dances is the number of Cabinet members, and other officials and personalities, within the new First and Second families who are Jewish.
It's an impressive tally. Social media is awash with posts with lists of the Jewish cabinet secretaries and undersecretaries, as well as the Jewish connections of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. When placed in the broad sweep of the nation's history, it's an important statement about the acceptance and the accomplishments of American Jewry. A century ago or even for several decades afterward, such a number would have been inconceivable.
But it's 2021, not 1921. Having Jews in positions of great influence is no longer such a big deal; in fact, it's quite commonplace.
Nine Jews are in the new Senate (including the new Majority Leader) and 25 in the House of Representatives, making up more than 6 percent of the total Congress. That's more than triple the percentage of Jews in the general population. There are also two Jews out of the nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Seen in that light, a Jewish secretary of state, treasury secretary, homeland security secretary, attorney general and director of national intelligence—to name a few high-level positions—are merely a reflection of the preponderance of Jews who have risen to the top of just about every sector of American society.
Nor is it a great break from the previous administration, though that is something that many of those sharing those posts on Facebook about the Jews and Biden don't like to talk about. The list of Jews in important positions in Trump's administration was also impressive. But since the overwhelming majority of Jews despised Trump, there was a great deal more demonizing than kvelling going on about them on Jewish social media the last four years.
In a country that is not only living through one of the most hyper-partisan and divisive moments in its history—and where for most people, politics has replaced the role that religion used to play in their lives—that's to be expected.
If you thought Trump was a Nazi—a piece of deeply misleading hyperbole that became conventional wisdom among many Jews—you weren't going to care if the secretary of the treasury or a number of other important officials was a Jew, or about the fact that the president had a daughter who converted to Judaism and had Jewish grandchildren. Since politics has become a cultural tribal war, Jews on the other team are to be deemed traitors or worse; only your side's Jews are something about which to express pride.
But there are still two important points to be gleaned from the discussion about counting Jews in any administration.
There was once a reason to care about counting Jews in presidential cabinets. In times when Jews were a marginalized minority shunned by society, the ability of a Jewish politician or adviser to rise to prominence was not only a source of communal pride, but an inspiration to young people to believe that they, too, could aspire to high office.
That was especially true in the early 20th century as anti-Semitism became even more prevalent. At such times, Jews needed role models wherever they could be found. In that same spirit, Jewish sports heroes were particularly important. They symbolized not just acceptance, but the sort of strength that was an answer to the harmful stereotypes employed by anti-Semites. In that context, someone like Hank Greenberg was more than just a baseball slugger; he was a much-needed example of Jewish strength.
But while some Jewish baseball fans still take note of players who identify as Jews, in an era when, despite the persistence of anti-Semitism, American Jews are not the weak minority they were in Greenberg's time, it doesn't really matter.
The same applies to those counting Jews in any administration, but with one caveat. Having someone who can be considered Jewish in positions of influence is especially unimportant if their policies and actions don't contribute to the security of the Jewish community or of Israel.
One of the most disgraceful chapters in American Jewish history involves the behavior of those Jews—like Rabbi Stephen Wise and others like Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter—who had the ear of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, yet failed to use their influence to advocate for the rescue of European Jewry during the Holocaust. By contrast, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr. is remembered with honor because he did speak up for rescue when it mattered and helped save many lives.
Many Jewish officials have played important roles in formulating U.S. foreign policy throughout the last three decades. But for the most part—and without casting aspersions on their integrity or intentions—their presence in the corridors of power did little to influence events to the benefit of the alliance between the only Jewish state on the planet and the United States. Indeed, many Jewish diplomats seemed to specialize in pressuring Israel and in seeking to undermine its efforts to resist policies that the majority of its people believed to be dangerous to their security.
Similarly, the role of some Jews like Wendy Sherman and Ben Rhodes in crafting a disastrous nuclear deal with Iran that endangered Israel and the entire Middle East, and enriched and empowered a genocidal terrorist state, is not something about which their co-religionists should regard with pride, even if those who did so were merely mistaken rather than ill-intentioned.
Thanks to Trump's deeply irresponsible behavior that culminated in the U.S. Capitol riot, his administration's record is viewed by many solely through the prism of the way it is leaving power. But it bears remembering that the key people in his Middle East policy team, including his senior adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner and ambassador to Israel David Friedman, as well as others, were not just people who count in the tally of Jews in office. They actually used their power to support Israel against its enemies and to successfully work to bring about historic acts, such as the moving of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and normalization agreements with Arab and Muslim countries, the importance of which will long outlive the petty political arguments into which most of us pour so much energy.
What ought to matter to the Jewish community is not the number of Jews or people with Jewish relatives there are in any administration, but whether they act in a manner that makes both the United States and the Jewish people more secure. The verdict of history on those who served Trump should be far more laudatory than most American Jews are currently likely to give them. It remains to be seen whether those employed by Biden will deserve as much praise.
Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.
All the Jews Joe Biden has tapped for top roles in his administration
President-elect Joe Biden filled the months before Inauguration Day lining up a slate of Cabinet secretaries, assistants and advisors, many of them Jewish.
Biden's choices reflect a diverse cross-section of American Jewry and possess expertise gleaned from decades of experience in government, science and medicine and law.
Here's a rundown of the Jewish names you should know as the Biden administration begins.
Anthony Blinken, Secretary of State
Secretary of state nominee Tony Blinken speaks at a Cabinet announcement event in Wilmington, Del., as President-elect Joe Biden looks on, Nov. 24, 2020. (Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)
Blinken, a longtime Biden advisor with an extensive diplomacy resume, is the stepson of a Holocaust survivor whose stories shaped his worldview and subsequently his policy decisions, including in the Middle East. He holds mainstream Democratic views about Israel and said during his confirmation hearing Tuesday that he wants the U.S. to reenter the Iran nuclear deal — and that he would consult with Israel on Iran policy.
David Cohen, CIA Deputy Director
David Cohen, seen here at a Capitol Hill hearing on Iran sanctions in 2011, was named to the No. 2 position at the Central Intelligence Agency. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Cohen, who has long been involved in Jewish causes and issues, will occupy the job he held under President Barack Obama. He does not require confirmation, meaning that Biden's CIA has a top expert in Iran issues from Day One.
Merrick Garland, Attorney General
Merrick Garland, shown here in 2016, has been nominated to be the next attorney general. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Merrick Garland shown in 2016, has been nominated to be the next attorney general. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Garland was blocked from joining the Supreme Court in the last year of the Obama administration. Now, he'll require Senate confirmation to become the country's top lawyer. In his speech after being nominated, he credited his grandparents, who fled anti-Semitism in Europe before coming to the U.S.
Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence
Nominee for Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testifies at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Jan. 19, 2021. (Melina Mara-Pool/Getty Images)
Haines was deputy director of the CIA under Obama and Biden reportedly considered her to run that agency. Her mother was the Jewish painter Adrian Rappin (originally Rappaport), and her non-Jewish father once wrote in an account about a trip with Haines to Israel that the nominee identifies as Jewish.
Ronald Klain, Chief of Staff
Ron Klain, then President Obama's "ebola czar," in Washington, D.C., Jan. 13, 2015. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
Klain, a longtime Biden who was the president-elect's first major appointment in November, was previously chief of staff to Biden in his vice president days and to Vice President Al Gore. He has maintained ties with his childhood synagogue in Indianapolis, where he famously learned multiple Torah portions for his bar mitzvah, and has spoken about his commitment to raising Jewish children.
Eric Lander, Office of Science and Technology Policy director
Eric Lander, a renowned geneticist, will lead the Office of Science and Technology Policy. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Lander, a leading geneticist, will require Senate confirmation after Biden elevated his position to the Cabinet level. After he was criticized for toasting James Watson, the scientist who is credited with discovering the shape of DNA and who also expressed racist and sexist views, Lander said he, too, had been the subject of anti-Semitic comments by Watson.
Rachel Levine, deputy health secretary
Rachel Levine in Harrisburg, Penn., May 16, 2016. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Levine, raised in a Conservative Jewish home in Massachusetts, is Pennsylvania's health secretary. She is the first known transgender person to be nominated for a position that requires Senate confirmation.
Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security
Alejandro Mayorkas, then deputy secretary of Homeland Security, addresses the Orthodox Union at a conference in Washington, Sept. 21, 2016. (Orthodox Union)
Mayorkas, 60, the deputy secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama, was born in Cuba to a Cuban Jewish father and Romanian Jewish mother who survived the Holocaust. He has worked closely with Jewish groups and spoken often about the specific threats facing American Jews. An array of Jewish groups sought a swift confirmation given the threat of extremist violence surrounding the presidential transition, but a Republican senator who supported overturning the election results blocked that possibility on Tuesday.
Anne Neuberger, National Security Agency cybersecurity director
Anne Neuberger attended an Orthodox Jewish day school for girls in Brooklyn. (National Security Agency)
An Orthodox Jew originally from Brooklyn and educated through college in Orthodox schools, Neuberger has worked at the NSA for more than a decade. She helped establish the U.S. Cyber Command and worked as chief risk officer, where she led the agency's election security efforts for the 2018 midterms.
Wendy Sherman, deputy secretary of state
Wendy Sherman was the top U.S. negotiator in the world powers' nuclear talks with Iran. (Eric Bridiers/U.S. Mission Geneva)
Sherman was the lead negotiator for the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and took the lead in advocating for the agreement with the Jewish and pro-Israel communities, later describing tensions with Israel and some American Jewish groups over the deal as "very, very painful." She has also played a role in hewing the Democratic Party platform to traditional pro-Israel lines.
Janet Yellen, Treasury secretary
Janet Yellen speaks during a briefing at the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C., Dec. 13, 2017. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)
Yellen already made history as the first woman chair of the Federal Reserve, but now she has been appointed to be the first female Treasury secretary. The respected centrist was one of three Jews featured in a 2016 Trump attack ad that reflected longstanding anti-Semitic tropes.
See you tomorrow bli neder
We need Moshiach Now!
Wednesday, 27 January is International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust 2021
Tu B'Shevat 2021 will begin in the evening of Wednesday, 27 January and ends in the evening of Thursday, 28 January