Don’t call them kapos

So I got into an informative and I think illustrative argument on Facebook the other week. I’m republishing it here because what happens on Facebook shouldn’t stay on Facebook, and also the original thread was deleted by friend on whose page this drama took place, since he didn’t really fancy the invectives hurled my way.

But I saved screenshots. (I’ll provide links to the linked articles after the screenshots.)

It began when my friend posted an article from the pro-Trump Jewish News Service about Jared Kushner. I responded. Then things escalated. Enjoy!

Don’t call them kapos

Anyway, these are my New Jersey neighbors, no doubt hopped up on Fox News and its Jewish equivalents. But don’t call these Trumpists kapos: If they ever get the chance to throw me and my kind into the ovens, they will do so with joy and exhilaration, and maybe even a bracha.  

 

Links, as promised:

Terror stats: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/number-of-terrorism-fatalities-in-israel

Vanity Fair on Jared Kushner’s culpability in the plague that killed 4000 Americans today: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/12/jared-kushner-covid-19-mba

Washington Post on Jared Kushner’s culpability in the plague: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/politics/trump-covid-pandemic-dark-winter/

 

An argument for what’s wrong with software (and everything else) these days

This latest post by Matt Stoller came out right after I found myself needing a partition manager because I have an external SSD that is being recognized by my laptop. Lots of scuzzy apps that promise “free” but require payment.

Twenty years ago I would have trustingly turned to Symantec and shelled out $25. But today?

Anyway: Worth a read: https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/how-to-get-rich-sabotaging-nuclear

“Employees say that under Mr. Thompson,” the Times continued, “an accountant by training and a former chief financial officer, every part of the business was examined for cost savings and common security practices were eschewed because of their expense.” The company’s profit tripled from 2010 to 2019. Thompson calculated that his business could run more profitably if it chose to open its clients to hacking risk, and he was right.

Related: My interview with Stoller last year about monopoly’s impact on the kosher food market:

Listening recommendation: The Story of Human Language

A friend asked for Audible/Podcast recommendations.

The most influential and enjoyable Audible listen I’ve had over the years has been John McWhorter’s introductory linguistics course in The Great Courses series, “The Story of Human Language.

Language is basically our operating system, and this course explains how it works. I wish I could go back and tell my fourth grade self what was being gained when forced to memorize the non-obvious spelling of the English language.
 
McWhorter also has a podcast I love, Lexicon Valley, where he combines his linguistic insights with snippets of Broadway musicals. They all make the same basic point that language changes, and they explain how, but I recommend starting with the 18 hour course. (He also has book if you’d rather read than listen.)
 
Understanding how the each language is a constantly mutating human construct with permeable, changing, indistinct boundaries has had a profound impact on how I think about other cultural phenomena, most notably Judaism.

The Elephant in the Sukkah

Yes, someone has finally made a children’s book out of that fabulous mishnah in Tractate Sukkah. About time! It looks gorgeous and I can’t wait to read it.

“Henry, once a happy circus elephant, feels lonely and sad at the farm for old elephants, where nobody wants to hear him sing. One evening, he follows the sound of music and singing to the Broner family’s sukkah. At last, a place where he might sing. But Henry cannot fit inside the sukkah! Ori knows it’s a mitzvah to invite guests, and he gets a big idea about how to include Henry in the Sukkot fun.”

See it on Amazon