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Julia Ioffe's Twelve Days of "Merry Christmas"
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At her Stupid Girl blog, Charlotte Allen writes:

Julia Ioffe’s twelve days of “Please don’t wish me a merry Christmas”

Ms. Ioffe, whose family fled the totalitarian rigors of the post-Berlin Wall Soviet Union and found refuge in America under a religious test for preferred immigrants, is America’s leading authority on the popular topic: “Stupid Americanskis, you are doing it wrong! Being an immigrant makes me holier than thou, so I shall deign to air my grievances with how you do things in your country and it is your moral duty to listen.”

 
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  1. Ms. Ioffe…

    Ms Julia Ioffe =

    I jealous, miff.
    A Fiji fulsome.

    • Replies: @Hail
  2. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    Great response to Ioffe by Yoram Hazony in this tweet storm.

  3. anon[140] • Disclaimer says:

    The questions need to be asked and answered time and time again.

    Why do you hate Christ?

    Why do you reject the teachings of Christ?

    What is it about Christs teachings you find so offensive?

    The promise of the Jew religion to the Jew people is the subjugation of the non-Jew. Christ is hated and was killed by the Jews because he refused to enslave humankind for the benefit of the Jews as the Jews had demanded and expected of their messiah. No Jew will admits this. No Jew will deny this either. Or refute it in any manner. It is very ugly and shame needs to be cast upon these devils.

    • Replies: @Jasper Been
  4. “I’m a Jew. I asked my step-father why he refused to celebrate Xmas. He said, “In the old country, it was the traditional time for pogrom.”

    Oh yes, I can imagine Russians dropping their wassail bowls and all-night vigils, skip the Christmas dinner for what real Christians do – attack Jews…

    I wonder if they really believe this sh*t? (and yes I know wassail bowls are and English custom, post Christmas.

    The question is though.. let’s say it is true.. Russians did this.. is there any evidence we here in America did this as part of our “Christmas”… unless pogram=wishing someone jewish a merry christmas

  5. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Clearly she should go to Israel.

    Tell all your God-Damned Rapture Bunny friends that until ALL Jews are in Israel, the shit is definitely not on, so sayeth the Book of Revelations.

    So sayeth the Shepherd, so sayeth the Flock.

    “Get the Flock out of here!”

    Yes, indeed, Julia. Get the flock out of America or expect to be wished a Merry Christmas, and a Happy Easter too.

  6. @Dave Pinsen

    from the tweetsstorm:

    Imagine if a group of Taiwanese moved to Israel and engaged in the kind of activism that Jewish groups do in the West.

    Would you really tolerate turning Pesach break into Spring Break?

    What is Julia Ioffee’s stance on Israel?

    Given her and Max Boot one has to ask if Russian anti-semitism is chicken or egg…

  7. This guy gets it!

  8. Wierdo says:

    Julia Ioffe’s nose has been worked on, judging by her older pictures versus the newer ones. Since she looks like a relatively attractive white goyim woman, its natural that that lyft driver would wish her a Merry Christmas. We are all sorry that this apparently ruined Julia’s day. There are countries that dont celebrate Christmas if its really getting to her.

  9. CCZ says:

    Perhaps Ms. Ioffe is actually a celebrant of Festivus.

  10. Julia Ioffe is a member of the permanently aggrieved. I piss on your Hanukkah Bush. Wear the Yellow Star of David so I won’t assume you are a Christian or want a joyous greeting .Merry Christmas.

  11. We just got back from buying some bagels at “Noah’s Bagels.” The sales guy wished us a “Merry Christmas.”

    Most human beings are still sane.

    • LOL: Bill H
  12. @Buffalo Joe

    I have a feeling Ioffe would also be deeply offended if her Lyft driver said, “I’d wish you a Merry Christmas, but i can tell by looking at you that you’re Jewish.”

    “This is always the time of year I feel most excluded from society,” one Jewish friend told me. Another told me it made him feel “un-American.”

    Yes, she belongs in Israel. It’s astonishing that she lacks sufficient self-awareness to understand how churlish and immature she sounds complaining about the customs of a country that would be better off without her.

  13. dearieme says:

    @Ms. Ioffe…: why don’t you fuck off?

    I’m an atheist and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. It’s not hard to be considerate and polite. You should try it some time.

    • Agree: Kylie
  14. Jack D says:

    People, please stop wishing me a merry Christmas. It’s wonderful if you celebrate it, but I don’t and I don’t feel like explaining that to you either.

    I shouldn’t have to educate you. I should be compensated for my emotional labor.

    The replies to these tweets are the religious equivalent of “you should smile more.”

    You know what? You should smile more. Maybe there would be fewer cat ladies that way. Wearing your emotions on your sleeve is really not such a good idea, especially if you emotions tend toward bitchy.

    If you want me respect you, please respect me, too.

    The relationship between a majority and a minority are inherently asymmetrical.

    I’m a Jew. I asked my step-father why he refused to celebrate Xmas. He said, “In the old country, it was the traditional time for pogrom.

    He’s an idiot. Even the SS concentration camp guards were in a good mood on Christmas. EASTER was the traditional time for a pogrom ’cause that’s when the Jews killed Jesus.

  15. Lurker says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    I’d like to wish Steve and all the boys and girls here at iSteve a Merry Christmas.

  16. @Buffalo Joe

    Every time I read this chick’s bitching at the Christians who run her new country for being friendly and polite I dislike her more and more.

  17. Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

    Happy Holidays , to all the folks here.

  18. Big Bill says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    The yellow star. Good idea. That way Christians can avoid giving offense mistakenly. An Indian forehead dot would be a good idea, too.

    They don’t say “Happy Holidays” in Israel, correct?

  19. The Russian plural of Americans/американцы in nominative case should be transliterated as amerikantsy. The famous “ski”/-ский verbal ending denotes adjectival, nominative, singular case.

    And to Julia Ioffe: Merry Christmas!

  20. dvorak says:

    I asked my step-father why he refused to celebrate Xmas.

    He responded, “[I]t reminds me of the country we conquered, destroyed and then fled from.” Then he performed a punk rock concert on an Orthodox altar.

  21. Somebody should wish her a Merry Kwanza! 😉

  22. Whiskey says: • Website

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night.

  23. @Jack D

    “He’s an idiot. … EASTER was the traditional time for a pogrom ’cause that’s when the Jews killed Jesus.”

    My first reaction was Ms Ioffe must have picked up some of her nastiness from association with this asshole and bullshit artist. My second was similar to yours.

  24. @Buffalo Joe

    #Metooing the celestial Harvey Weinstein:

    “Merry Christmas from academia: Psychology professor calls God a sexual ‘predator’ for impregnating Mary with the Baby Jesus”

    https://blogstupidgirl.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/merry-christmas-from-academia-professor-calls-god-a-sexual-predator-for-impregnating-mary-with-the-baby-jesus/

  25. Christmas has come early.

    -Ioffe discredits herself a second time,

    – compounds the problem with the worst possible mode of damage control (a Peak Arrogance lecture to hundreds of thousands of Gentiles on the evils of Christmas greetings);

    – Washington Post editors make fools of themselves by volunteering their newspaper as a place for yenta journalist-in-distress to bloviate in furtherance of a Twitter spat.

    Obscenity in the name of Trump derangment cost Julia a job, but it was still high status in her peer group. Calling in favors from WaPo to attack Merry Christmas of all things, in order to re-litigate a self inflicted Twitter humiliation is as low status as it gets. This is a meltdown that will be legendary for years to come.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  26. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    He’s an idiot. Even the SS concentration camp guards were in a good mood on Christmas. EASTER was the traditional time for a pogrom ’cause that’s when the Jews killed Jesus.

    Yeah, but Pilate went along with it, and he was not Jewish. Had Pilate had any real Roman sense of virility (from ‘vir’ for man) he’d have quashed the crucifixion. And all the early Christians, or the vast majority, were Jews themselves. Without Saul, who became Paul-much like Noel Paul Stookey? 😉 – we would have no Christianity.

    “The Jews Killed Jesus” is foolishness. That isn’t why we get mad at Jews, it’s their G*d-damned tikkun olam, and the beards and hats have a different and, to us, inoffensive version. It’s liberal and irreligious Jews we get mad at, usually but not always with some reason besides xenophobia and so forth.

  27. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Lurker

    I’d like to wish Steve and all the boys and girls here at iSteve a Merry Christmas.

    Mega-ditto’s!

  28. @Harry Baldwin

    Harry, Love the use of the word churlish. Merry Christmas my friend.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  29. I’m a non-Christian from India, whose lived there and various Western countries. My family has lived on and off in the West for a few generations, but we consider ourselves quite traditional in most aspects including arranged marriage. Most Hindus in the U.S. have no problem with Christmas and many even put up trees and exchange presents, though they have no idea about the religious aspect. From what I’ve heard, even Hindus back in India (which has a minimal Christian population) engage in some of these festivities now.

    For that matter, I’ve never even heard a Muslim complain about Christmas.

    It’s pretty much only one group of people that airs their grievances about it. I once overheard a Jewish physician complaining to a Muslim physician that the Christians don’t acknowledge their holidays. I don’t remember the Muslim physician agreeing or acknowledging the statement.

    Why should I expect or want Americans to wish me a happy Diwali, when I’m barely aware of these holidays myself except for a text message from my wife or Mom that comes in the day before? When an American (usually one into yoga or Eastern religions or travel) starts asking me questions about my religion or native place back in India, it feels weird and awkward. I’d rather not make conversation about it.

    When I read things like this, the only conclusion I can come to is that Jewish people deep down have a very strong resentment of the Christian religion and people.

  30. karsten says:

    The whole situation reminds me of the Jews’ own favorite joke, the one about a(man on a train full of people, bemoaning, “Oy, am I thirsty,” “Oy, am I thirsty,” incessantly, unrelentingly. And when a goy finally brings him some water, the man begins droning on, “Oy, was I thirsty, Oy, was I thirsty. . .”

    Apparently the kosher interpretation is something along the lines of, “You can’t just shut us up by giving us everything we want.”

    Limitless chutzpah.

    But at some point, the fault lies less with the incessant whiner than with the people on the train who first tolerate and then appease his whining, rather than screwing up some resolve and doing what they should have done from the beginning: making it clear to him that he needs to stop ruining the ride for everyone else and that if he wants some water, he should get his own; and if he fails to adhere to this basic decorum, escorting him off the train.

  31. @Harry Baldwin

    Ioffe looks like a Jewish/Slavic admixed type, not the classic shtetl Jewess.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    , @Mikhail
  32. @Buffalo Joe

    And Merry Christmas to you, too!

  33. Max Boot with a vagina. How nice that she’s found a great job in journalism while thousands of U.S. natives who studied journalism work shit jobs or have left the field altogether.

    • Agree: L Woods
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Digital Samizdat
  34. @academic gossip

    I agree and that’s why I think she’d be offended if someone identified her as Jewish by her appearance.

    • Replies: @jbwilson24
  35. @Dave Pinsen

    “… the omnipresence of Christmas for a whole month is deeply wearying and alienating…”

    I was deeply wearied by Christmas a week ago; now I’m just waiting for it to be over. I also don’t like dogs. But “alienating” is a strange word to use. I may not be the hugest fan of Xmas but I don’t find it alienating since it’s a major event in the culture in which I dwell; it’s part of my fabric. Though I do find the omnipresent doggy wuv alienating. I suspect Ms. Ioffe, a princess within the neocon cult, is a deeply creepy and hate-filled person. I bet she wuvs doggies.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  36. anon[199] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bard of Bumperstickers

    “Merry Christmas from academia: Psychology professor calls God a sexual ‘predator’ for impregnating Mary with the Baby Jesus”

    should ask that professor “who are the sexual predators on campus?”

  37. @Paddington

    “For that matter, I’ve never even heard a Muslim complain about Christmas.“

    Of course not, since Muslims revere Jesus as a prophet 2nd only to Muhammad. In fact the Arabicized version of his name, “Issa”, is a very common name among Muslims.

    Let’s face it, there’s only one religion that has as one of its major tenets open hatred of Jesus Christ.

    • Replies: @Ibound1
  38. anon[199] • Disclaimer says:
    @gman

    from the link:

    James is not expected to be fined by the NBA for the post but it is an embarrassing incident for someone who is a prominent voice on social issues. On Friday’s broadcast of his HBO discussion show, The Shop, he attacked the NFL’s ownership group. “In the NFL they got a bunch of old white men owning teams and they got that slave mentality,” James said. “And it’s like, ‘This is my team. You do what the fuck I tell y’all to do. Or we get rid of y’all.’”

    the funny part is he apparently didn’t have the balls to criticize (((NBA owners))) for some reason

  39. ChrisZ says:

    Merry Christmas to all!

  40. @Paddington

    ” … they have no idea about the religious aspect.”

    Christmas is an example of the Christian way of erasing pagan holidays; it’s analogous to the Church building monasteries, churches, and the magnificent gothic cathedrals over pagan worship sites. Christmas was once known, in the glory that was Rome, as Saturnalia, a winter celebration of feasts and orgies. That revelry continues today as we feast and engage in spending orgies at the mall. Jesus Christ, if such a figure existed, was actually born on July fourth. So enjoy Saturnalia, my Hindoo friend; the lights and the aesthetic and some of the old songs are quite pleasant. But beware: these Christians wuv doggies.

    • Replies: @Tracy
  41. @Anonymous

    The crucifixion story really doesn’t make much sense. The Romans faced no urgency to crucify Jesus on a Friday afternoon and then take down his body before the start of a Jewish sabbath that didn’t bind them. Even if they went along with Jewish superstitions for political reasons, they could have held Jesus over the sabbath and crucify him bright and early Sunday morning, when they had a block of free time in the week to do it properly.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  42. anon[196] • Disclaimer says:

    I find the constant reminders of the Holocaust deeply wearying and alienating. It’s fine that you remember it, but it’s not my tribe and all I ask is that you show me some respect and stop harping on it when I’m around.
    And for God’s sake keep it out of the public schools and off the courthouse lawn!

  43. @Jack D

    Even the SS concentration camp guards were in a good mood on Christmas.

    You know what they say—if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.

  44. Ibound1 says:
    @Paddington

    Really ? A Muslim preacher in Canada just told his congregation that wishing someone a Merry Christmas was worse than murder
    https://www.jihadwatch.org/2018/12/canada-muslim-cleric-says-wishing-christians-merry-christmas-is-worse-than-murder
    And this is a commonly expressed sentiment among Muslim clerics. I can find numerous examples.

  45. Wilkey says:

    “But the omnipresence of Christmas for a whole month”

    The omnipresence of Christmas for a month has nothing on the year round omnipresence of Jews telling us what this country supposedly stands for.

    You wanna stop hearing about Christmas every year for a month, Julia? Then move to a country where it’s not so widely celebrated. I can think of quite a few.

    What kind of hag is so offended by people wishing her well? The kind of person who isnt worth listening to about anything, that’s who.

    • Agree: Tyrion 2
    • Replies: @anon
  46. Ibound1 says:
    @anon

    Yeah – slaves were routinely paid millions of dollars for playing sports part time. No wonder the nation was outraged

    But with all this terrible treatment, I guess the players will have to go on strike and simply get back to work on their medical and legal practices and high tech start ups.

  47. @Paddington

    Jewish people deep down have a very strong resentment of the Christian religion and people.

    It’s kinda like the way that some lesbians resent confident, masculine men for so effortlessly being all the things they’re not, but wish to be.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  48. Mikhail says: • Website
    @academic gossip

    Frankly speaking, comes across as an excessively coddled and overrated brat, who bellyaches about the bigotry of some others (real and exaggerated), while ignoring her comments, which (when combined with each other over the years) indicate that she’s a bigot.

    Fortunately, not all people (whether Jewish or not) are like her.

  49. Tyrion 2 says:

    Don’t all non-ultra-Orthodox Jews in the West actually celebrate Christmas? Obviously not as a religious thing but I’ve always had a Christmas tree, like everyone I know. Because it is fun. I also like drinking and eating and spending time with loved ones. Doesn’t Ioffe?

    I wish people like Julia would just explain what is wrong with her rather than wrapping her issues in fake principles. Did her cat die?

    Or is she really just mean-spirited?

    She’s pretty and successful. She has no excuse for being such a grinch.

    Approximately half of the 30 best-selling Christmas songs by ASCAP members in 2015 were written by Jewish composers. Johnny Marks has three top Christmas songs, the most for any writer—”Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”, and “A Holly Jolly Christmas”. By far the most recorded Christmas song is “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin (born Israel Isidore Beilin in Russia)—who also wrote “Happy Holiday”—with well over 500 versions in a dozen languages.

  50. @Jack D

    Merry Christmas, Jack. Merry Christmas to you as well, Julia. Wish all of the haters looked as sweet as you!

  51. Mikhail says: • Website
    @academic gossip

    Ioffe looks like a Jewish/Slavic admixed type, not the classic shtetl Jewess.

    ?! Many Jews the world over have physical characteristics typical of the given land, where their past family relations have lived for centuries.

    Somewhat related, Hitler wasn’t exactly the physical image of the ideal Nazi.

    • Replies: @Kibernetika
  52. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Bragadocious

    Max Boot with a vagina. How nice that she’s found a great job in journalism while thousands of U.S. natives who studied journalism work shit jobs or have left the field altogether.

    Crudely put and quite right at that, while noting that some of the latter have come out financially okay in other endeavors.

  53. Anonymous[261] • Disclaimer says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Exactly. What ridiculous depths of arrogance. Americans suffered, bled and died freeing her people from Nazi camps. They didn’t have to accept them into the US, but did. On top of that, her nuclear family was personally given preferential entrance into the US, which again, the US did not have to do. Ballpark 80-90% of the people in the US celebrate Christmas. But we’re all supposed to just bend over backwards, throw out our own positive traditions/religion which do not cause harm to anyone just so she and a handful of others don’t have to see or hear anything about them. What a spoiled, narcissistic POS.

    I think her real motive was to come up with a foolproof way to dethrone Silky Johnson at the 2018 Playa Hater of the Year awards.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  54. anon[199] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wilkey

    What kind of hag is so offended by people wishing her well? The kind of person who isnt worth listening to about anything, that’s who.

    the Christmas season is a reminder that the world doesn’t revolve around her

  55. Tyrion 2 says:

    Going to start wishing you all a happy new year in September and see if you’re merry or confused.

    Mendacious cow. Had she compared like with like rather than relying on confusion derived from her use of the English term “New Year” and wished a happy Rosh Hashanah instead, then people would be delighted.

  56. Svigor says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Wear the Yellow Star of David so I won’t assume you are a Christian or want a joyous greeting .Merry Christmas.

    LOL. So deplorable, and so true.

  57. Anon[853] • Disclaimer says:

    The nice Vietnamese lady doing my nails tonight informed me that my face is lucky. “You have good big nose. Lucky for money.”— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 21, 2018

    Jewish wealth explained thanks to ancient Vietnamese folk wisdom. Physiognomy is real.

  58. Well, who are we to argue with immigrants, the saviours of the American Way®?

  59. Svigor says:
    @Paddington

    It’s pretty much only one group of people that airs their grievances about it. I once overheard a Jewish physician complaining to a Muslim physician that the Christians don’t acknowledge their holidays. I don’t remember the Muslim physician agreeing or acknowledging the statement.

    I can’t speak for other Whites on this issue, but in my case, I’m torn. One one hand I kinda like how all the Jewish holidays are commemorations of Jewish murder or perfidy. On the other, I kinda don’t.

    • LOL: BenKenobi
  60. Happy Saturnalia to all the people here who are so proud of their non-Levantine European background.

    But shouldn’t the pro-nationalists here leave Christmas to others?

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    , @Svigor
    , @anon
  61. @Paddington

    “the only conclusion I can come to is that Jewish people deep down have a very strong resentment of the Christian religion and people.”

    Some Jews feel not only resentment, but a deep anger at any European expression of joy, good feelings and well being. They hide their ill will behind a contrived disgust with the commercialization and repetitiveness of Christmas.

  62. @Tyrion 2

    Don’t all non-ultra-Orthodox Jews in the West actually celebrate Christmas?

    They ain’t alone:

    The Man Who Made KFC At Christmas A Japanese Tradition Admits It Was Built On A Lie

  63. “refugee from the Soviet Union”

    laughing out loud

    actually, Julia Joffe et al. were “refugees” from the collapse of Judeo-communism in Russia…’cause they thought that some Russkis might want to pogrom the (((ones))) who orginally inflicted communism and killed tens of millions of Russian Whites along the way back to capitalism.

    and now most of ((them))) are in ‘Murka, up to their same old Zio-bolshevik

    tricks

  64. Tyrion 2 says:

    It seems like sombody needs to write a satire -Julia Ioffe: A Christmas Carol.

    Spoiler alert: I’m not angry, lonely, or bitter

    Lol.

  65. black sea says:

    I now grasp the underlying motivation behind the relentless push for ever-expanding diversity. Someday, we will achieve a society of such mixed and muddled identities that no one will have the chutzpah to wish anyone else “Merry Christmas.”

    Until that day arrives, we can only bitch about the insensitivity of the servant class who drive us hither and yon without respecting our identity, which they ought to know if they don’t know, even though they shouldn’t make assumptions about anyone, because that could lead to stereotyping, and people are all the same, except for when they are different, and so we have to assume sameness, while respecting differences, and basically these morons should just shut up and drive us wherever we want to go.

    • LOL: Harry Baldwin
  66. Julia Ioffe acknowledges that her perspective is that of a pessimistic Soviet Jew. As an American, Jeffrey Goldberg can afford to be a little more light-hearted and optimistic.

    Ioffe’s perspective is essential to understanding our current national condition and foreseeable future.

    The End of Europe co-presented by Tablet Magazine with James Kirchick, Julia Ioffe, Bret Stephens and Alana Newhouse at the 92nd Street Y.

    The Jewish Broadcasting Service presents: After Obama: America, Israel and The World with Jeffrey Goldberg and Julia Ioffe. A program of The Jewish Week and American Friends of Tel Aviv University at The Skirball Center at the Temple Emanu-El, New York City, New York.

  67. Anonymous[269] • Disclaimer says:
    @gman

    Newsweek with the steal:

    • Replies: @Digital Samizdat
  68. Mikhail says: • Website

    https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/12/21/18151903/history-jews-chinese-food-christmas-kosher-american

    Excerpt –

    What did you do on Christmas growing up?

    I never went to Chinese restaurants. We’d go skating in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and then we’d have hot chocolate with marshmallows. I have great memories of Christmas. My mother would take me to sit on Santa Claus’s lap. When I was writing this book, I asked her, “Why did you take me — the son of a rabbi! — to sit on Santa Claus’s lap?” She said, “Everybody in America does it, so why shouldn’t we?” She knew I was secure in my Jewish identity.

    **** Ioffe and those who uncritically prop her over more deserving (in terms of quality input) others.

  69. When in China, it’s so wearying that everyone wishes me a happy new year at the wrong time. Every. Darn. Year.

    Anyway, merry Christmas everyone!

    And to Julia, this very special holiday greeting:

    • Replies: @Hunsdon
    , @Reg Cæsar
  70. Thomm says:

    Oh, it would be awesome for there to be a version of the Christmas Carol that has a bitter non-Christian feminist as Scrooge.

  71. D. K. says:
    @Lurker

    Tonight at iSteve:

    ***

    Lurker says:

    December 25, 2018 at 1:07 am GMT

    @Dave Pinsen

    I’d like to wish Steve and all the boys and girls here at iSteve a Merry Christmas.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen, PiltdownMan, Corn, Jus’ Sayin’…, Thomm, ic1000

    ***

    Last night, under Audacious Epigone’s latest blog post, elsewhere on this site:

    ***

    Thomm says:

    December 24, 2018 at 3:40 am GMT • 100 Words

    “Steve Sailer is the most underappreciated intellectual of our age.”

    You can’t be serious.

    He doesn’t even know the difference between ‘femto’, ‘nano’, ‘giga’, and ‘tera’.

    Steve is a 100-IQ man catering to an 80-IQ readership.

    Heartiste outranks him by a mile, and is also responsible for 80% of Steve Sailer’s audience.

    ***

    Did Jacob Marley pay Thomm a visit, overnight?!?

  72. Hail says: • Website

    OT: Anyone who followed it willing to write up a little summary of the Sailer-vs.-Taleb Twitter affair of the past few days? Maybe Steve could write a longform (non-Tweet) summary of what exactly happened.

    Twitter is useful for some things but not IMO for drawn-out discussion. Sailer-vs.-Taleb ought to be committed to blogpost form, or at least a thoughtful, longform comment here.

    • Replies: @academic gossip
    , @Hail
  73. Hail says: • Website

    “Some kind of a sick woman.”

    –Donald J. Trump describing Julia Ioffe (2018)

    • Replies: @CJ
  74. @Hail

    The summary is that Steve won by an easy early knockout while Taleb has been misdirecting to a variety of wrong or irrelevant claims.

    Some of the irrelevant stuff is interesting math about other topics, some is other topics that Taleb confuses with the actual topic, and some is intermixed with embarrassing mistakes (quant IYI-ism in NNT terms).

  75. Anon[329] • Disclaimer says:

    Taleb sometimes says useful things, but he’s also a bit of a charlatan. (come to think of it, a pretty typical public intellectual type)

  76. Hail says: • Website

    Julia Ioffe published an article in GQ speculating about whether an Uber driver who picked her up may have been a Kremlin spy. Included is this :

    I thought back to my days in Moscow where, according to an ex-boyfriend who had served in Israeli intelligence, my circle had definitely had one or two Russian spies. There were people in my Moscow milieu whose stories certainly didn’t add up, and close friends and I would often discuss why this or that person may or may not be an FSB agent sent to keep an eye on foreign journalists and businesspeople.

    Julia Ioffe (b. 1982), unmarried but at least one ex-boyfriend in Israeli intelligence.

    At least Julia Ioffe’s ethno-grievance politics and her romantic entanglements are consistent, unlike the curious case of Sarah Jeong.

  77. a reader says:

    Steve, you may add Rev. Al Sharpton as one of your secret readers™.

    Merry Christmas to all of you!

  78. @Anonymous

    Interesting observations.
    It does seems that Pontius Pilate, succumbing to “Release Barabas”, ought to be be the real enemy here. Not in the Goldstein sense, but in the sense that he seems to have been a generally competent, seemingly admirable guy who, at least in the story, made a life altering decision just to go along, get along.
    Evil gets going via cowardice, and Pilate is the coward in the story. The “release Barabas” mob has more virility than Pilate, no matter what his uniform and decorations.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Anonymous
  79. @Tyrion 2

    Tyrion 2 wrote:

    Approximately half of the 30 best-selling Christmas songs by ASCAP members in 2015 were written by Jewish composers.

    You beat me to making that point. But you did miss at least two biggies — “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and, of course, Mel Tormé’s “The Christmas Song” (AKA “Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire”).

    Ms. Ioffe is, in truth, alienated from her own ethnic group, American Jews. For more than seventy years, American Jews have been contributing to American Christmas traditions, not to mention making more than a bit of money off of Christmas!

    PBS has a show this season, “Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas,” that gives a light hearted view of the American Jewish reaction to Christmas, centering on the music.

    Christmas has long been a good deal more ecumenical than Ms. Ioffe seems to realize.

  80. Anonymous[206] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Have you seen the Hodge Twins’ response to James’s comment?

  81. @anony-mouse

    I celebrate Yule, wop.
    As for Julia Ioffe moving to Israel, Bibi wants his country to survive. Her paperwork would somehow always get lost.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  82. Hail says: • Website
    @Reg Cæsar

    Julia Ioffe of Moscow
    = am officious fool Jew

    (Trust the Anagram. The Anagram never lies.)

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Pericles
  83. Anonymous[415] • Disclaimer says:

    Re unassimilated immigrants:

    FYI Mexican radio stations in the Southwest don’t play ANY Xmas music. Not even Feliz Navidad. Second year in a row I did a study on this issue scanning the “dial” and they do not even play Spanish versions of the really old traditional Xmas songs. Not even Ave Maria.

    I am telling you this is very revealing. Just another reason I wish Trump deported them all.

    Trump the Human Doormat who just tweeted out a desperate message about a contract he just did with a wall repair outfit in Texas for 100 miles of blockage!

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    , @Jack D
  84. Ruy Diaz says:
    @Harry Baldwin

    Man, why do you want to inflict Julia Ioffe on those poor Israelis? Haven’t THOSE Jews suffered enough?

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
  85. @SunBakedSuburb

    I’m deeply wearied by hearing the same hideous music in every shop (over here it’s Slade/Wizzard etc – no Gregorian chant), but otherwise I love this time of year. Merry Christmas, Julia!

    • LOL: Tyrion 2
    • Replies: @Simon Tugmutton
  86. Mr. Anon says:
    @PhysicistDave

    We just got back from buying some bagels at “Noah’s Bagels.”

    I wish we had a Noah’s Bagels down my way. All we have is Brueggers, and they suck. Noah’s are the best bagels I’ve ever had.

  87. nebulafox says:
    @Anonymous

    Ordinarily, yes. But Pilate was a client of Sejanus. That meant he was in a rather nasty position after Tiberius learned how his son really died, something I’m sure the Sanhedrin was aware of. Anybody with a connection to Sejanus in the early 30s AD was on thin ice, to say the least! To top it off, Tiberius had recently 180 degree reversed Sejanus’ explicitly anti-Semitic policies to accommodating the Jews, and Pilate’s record wasn’t exactly clean, re the aqueduct incident.

    Not that this didn’t mean that Pilate gave a care about crucifying yet another would-be Messiah, though. The province saw them all the time.

    • Replies: @Lot
    , @Digital Samizdat
  88. Mr. Anon says:

    I’m perfectly happy to wish someone a Happy Hannukah, if I know they are Jewish, or find out that they are. Otherwise, my default greeting is Merry Christmas. This is a Christian country. It just is. Deal with it. And I say this as an athiest.

  89. Svigor says:
    @anony-mouse

    WTF do (((you))) have to say about it, again?

    “Some kind of a sick woman.”

    –Donald J. Trump describing Julia Ioffe (2018)

    Yeah she’s just some (((THOT))). Worth no one’s time, yet plastered all over (((Big Media))).

  90. Mr. Anon says:

    And to all the iSteve commentariat, Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah, as befits your faith or – to use that weaselly though in some cases accurate term – “faith tradition”.

  91. nebulafox says:

    Happy Saturnalia, y’all! Politics is for the day, family is for life. Go enjoy ’em.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
  92. @Paddington

    You beat me to it, Paddington. Hindus being completely outside the Abrahamic religions, they are an interesting data point. I know a fair number of Indians–family, friends from grad school/work. They’ll do the American Christmas stuff to varying degrees–zero, to tree, presents, etc. But i can’t think of any that have this sort of hostile pissy attitude.

    Two things are i think are going on.

    1) Hindus, unlike Jews, are a normal people–a majority in their national homeland. They’ve got their traditions, but if they go somewhere else … of course those people have their own traditions. (Likewise if i went and lived in India i wouldn’t find Diwali “oppressive”–though i might want ear plugs for the firecrackers.)

    Jews in contrast have lived for a couple thousand years practicing religious racial/social exclusion from the majority to keep themselves a separate people. Alienation from the majority–and in fact cultivating that alienation for tribal solidarity–has been their shtick. So they don’t just think–“the goyim are wrong, blasphemers for making Jesus part God”, but rather have a general attitude of pissing all over whatever goy shlock the stupid goyim are doing.

    This minority/majority dynamic is why a lot of Israeli Jews–now being a normal people living in their own nation–can have much more rational attitudes to Christmas or immigration, while Jews in America still feel this compulsion to invent blond fraternity boy rapists or piss on Christmas and generally push a hostile minoritarianism.

    2) The Christianity of the Christian majority that the Ashkenazi lived beside and definied themselves in opposition to is a *particular* sore spot. Even though its the Jews who specifically chose not to integrate, the defining characteristic of the majority relative to Jews–i.e. Christianity–was turned into a particular characteristic of the majority for focused contempt.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  93. @Lot

    I’ve seen that actor before. He played Gurney Halleck in David Lynch’s Dune, Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men movies, and another iconic character whose name I can’t remember.

    The character’s name is … is … Bullock, from American Dad! That’s it!

  94. Veritas says:

    What planet does this person live on???

    “Merry Christmas” salutation went the way of the horse & buggy in modren-day America – particularly any kind of public expression of it, especially among strangers (and – most especially – anyone overly concerned with their $ocial $tatu$)

    Even Dennis Prager, a decent Jewish conservative, knows the truthful score on this one:

    The answer should be obvious. It’s very important. That’s why so much effort is devoted to substituting other words for “Christmas.” And these efforts have been extraordinarily successful. In place of the universal “merry Christmas” of my youth, in recent decades I have been wished “happy holidays” by virtually every waiter and waitress in virtually every restaurant at which I have dined; by virtually everyone who welcomes me at any business; by flight attendants and pilots; and by just about everyone else.

    When I respond, “Merry Christmas!” I often sense I have created tension. I suspect many of those to whom I wish “Merry Christmas!” are relieved to hear someone utter what has become the “C” word, but all the sensitivity training they’ve had to undergo creates cognitive dissonance.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/12/say-merry-christmas-not-happy-holidays/

    MERRY CHRISTMAS

  95. Escher says:

    Saudi Arabia is a great place if you want to avoid public displays of Christmas and “merry Christmas” greetings.

    • LOL: jim jones
  96. MERRY CHRISTMAS MS. IOFFE !

  97. @YetAnotherAnon

    There is a special place in Hades for that Slade record.

    Merry Christmas to everyone, even Noddy Holder!

  98. Living in London I often get wished a Merry Christmas by Muslims Hindus & Buddhists. Many British Jews do it too, but I fear some have been infected by American anti-Gentilism thanks to social media and haters like Ioffe. Generally it’s only the most secular ones that start worshipping the golden calf of the NYT/WaPo and start hating, though.

    Merry Christmas to all Men of Good Will!

  99. El Dato says:
    @Bard of Bumperstickers

    “When God gets #MeeToo-ed, Satan is afoot”

  100. From Good Night and Good Luck:

    Edward R. Murrow: We’ll split the advertising, Fred (Friendly) and I. He just won’t have any presents for his kids at Christmas.

    Sig Mickelson: He’s a Jew.

    Edward R. Murrow: Well don’t tell him that. He loves Christmas.

  101. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Hanukah isn’t even a major Jewish holiday. I guess it is like Epiphany or something…

    The big 3 are Yom Kippur (atone for your sins), Rosh Hashanah (new year) and Passover (escape from Egypt).

    Actually, Hanukah is so minor it is more like celebrating the Battle of Agincourt. Incidentally, Agincourt falls at exactly the time of year when Britain would most benefit from a new bank holiday. One can hope…

    https://www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah/article_cdo/aid/1067409/jewish/Is-Chanukah-a-Minor-Holiday.htm

    Basically, kids like presents, so observing Jewish parents found Hannukah a useful way to justify giving their kids presents at the same time as when all of their friends got presents. Since this has now gone on for a long time, most Jews probably think Hannukah was always celebrated.

    Anyway, Merry Christmas.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Mr. Anon
  102. @Bard of Bumperstickers

    His sack promotes man-spreading.

    OB joke:

    Q:  Why is Santa’s sack so big?

    A:  He only comes once a year.

  103. bomag says:

    So, in julia ioffes world, we will be forced to stop saying “Merry Christmas” and forced to start baking cakes for gay weddings.

    Good times.

  104. @SporadicMyrmidon

    Is Pontius Pilate the most easy to identify with figure in the Bible?

    How many people say I’d have done the same thing?

  105. “It makes me feel like a stranger in my own land.” –Ioffe in WaPo

    That is as it should be. You are a stranger and it isn’t your land. Go the fuck to the West Bank and volunteer to carry an AK-47 as an IDF auxiliary on Wall Patrol duty bitch.

  106. @Anonymous

    Pilate felt he had to defer to the Sanhedrin, who wanted Jesus gone in the worst way. He was eager to avoid an uprising against the Romans on his watch. It is obvious, however, that he was not at all wild about the Sanhedrin’s verdict. After all, it was Pilate who tried to interest a crowd of Jews in freeing Jesus during Passover, but under the influence of the Pharisees, they demanded the release of Bar Abbas, the murderer, instead.

    So while it would be a false statement to claim that all Jews killed Jesus, it is a true statement that Jesus was basically killed by Jews. Pilate felt compelled to respect their own legal process on this point for practical reasons, even if he didn’t like their decision much. This modern story spread by the Hagee-ites that it was really the Romans who killed Jesus is therefore a bunch of piffle. It’s just another attempt by the Hagee-ites to indulge their Jew-worship and get in a dig at ‘Rome’ (wink-wink).

  107. @Bragadocious

    It sure helps when your people own the media! Pity all those goyishe journalists out there who just aren’t ‘oppressed’ enough like her.

  108. @Anonymous

    How about “angering (((Conservative))) critics.”

  109. @nebulafox

    Interesting. I didn’t know about Pilate’s links to Sejanus. Thanks for the comment.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  110. @Escher

    Saudi Arabia is a great place if you want to avoid public displays of Christmas and “merry Christmas” greetings.

    For years now, among Arab nationalists, there have been persistant rumours that the royal Saudi house was descended from descended from Ottoman Empire crypto-Jews, and that that’s why, under orders from the Rothschilds, the British picked them to run the kingdom. Who knows …

  111. @Paddington

    I can come to is that Jewish people deep down have a very strong resentment of the Christian religion and people.

    There was (I don’t think it’s the case any more) a famous divide between ‘German’ jews and East European Jews the former put up Christmas trees, introduced reformed Judaism and even considered moving their sabbath to Sunday to assimilate the latter came later and went from the medieval shetl to radical, violent politics and skipped the renaissance and age of reason.

    There are apparently harbor some secularized talmudic beliefs- from what i understand the talmud isn’t terribly flattering about Christianity. They also have internalized and secularized the idea that for the ‘real’ messiah to come the kingdom of the ‘false’ messiah must collapse – Christendom.

    • Replies: @baythoven
  112. @Tyrion 2

    Don’t all non-ultra-Orthodox Jews in the West actually celebrate Christmas
    Ultra orthodox ‘celebrate’ Christmas – on Christmas eve they do not study the talmud or pray because they believe their prayers might accidentally release Jesus from hell.

    • Disagree: Tyrion 2
    • Replies: @ACommenter
    , @Jack D
  113. Anonymous[166] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    He’s an idiot. Even the SS concentration camp guards were in a good mood on Christmas. EASTER was the traditional time for a pogrom ’cause that’s when the Jews killed Jesus.

    There weren’t enough “pogroms” to constitute a “tradition.” You are spreading hate.

    The whole notion. is mostly apocryphal, just as you’ve pointed out about Christmas.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  114. Hunsdon says:
    @Jack D

    I have never understood this “The Jews killed Christ” thing. As a Christian, it seems that the whole point of Jesus’s presence on Earth was to be the perfect sacrifice, to die for our sins. If He had not died, would we be redeemed? An unironic Merry Christmas to you, Jack!

    • Replies: @Houston 1992
    , @Mr. Anon
  115. pyrrhus says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Just deport Julia to Israel, she’ll be much happier there.

  116. Jack D says:
    @Tyrion 2

    Since this has now gone on for a long time, most Jews probably think Hannukah was always celebrated.

    Well it always was observed (Jewish holidays are “observed”, not celebrated because most of them are not celebratory) in a fashion. You would light the Hanukkah lights (nowadays usually candles but in former times some sort of oil lamp), eat some sort of symbolic food that was cooked in oil (oil is the theme because Hanukkah celebrates a miraculous Temple lamp that burned for 8 days even though there was only enough sacred olive oil available for 1 day). Once the potato was introduced to Eastern Europe this was usually potato pancakes (latkes). Olive oil was a rare import in Poland (and lard was not kosher), so poultry fat would be the “oil”. (The Sephardim would make some kind of fritter or donut and kept the olive oil. Frying food in oil was a Sephardic thing and later became the fish and chips of the English and the tempura of the Japanese, via the Portuguese). Children would receive “Hanukkah gelt” – a few coins. Children would play a gambling game with the traditional dreydl top – the stakes were usually nuts.

    Like the Chinese, money was the traditional all purpose Jewish gift – not just for Hanukkah but for weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc. on the not unreasonable premise that if you give someone money they can buy whatever they like (instead of some item that they don’t like half the time).

    But it was certainly a very minor holiday. On major Jewish holidays, you are required not to work (this included each Sabbath) and on some you must even fast (Yom Kippur) or adopt a stringent diet (no bread – Passover) or eat all your meals in an outdoor shack regardless of the weather (Sukkot) but Hanukkah doesn’t really require you to change your usual routine or spend any extra time in the synagogue. It’s fortunate in a way that Hanukkah is such a minor holiday because major Jewish holidays tend to be rather solemn affairs and it would have been sacrilegious to mix the levity and gift giving of Christmas with say the solemnity of Yom Kippur, but Hanukkah was unimportant enough that it was malleable.

    Merry Christmas to all (who celebrate it)!

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  117. The late John Paul II live at the Vatican some time in the 1970s.

  118. @Anonymous

    Sounds like Cuba’s “Radio Enciclopedia” (530 Khz) which can be heard in Chicago in the evening if you got a good AM radio (Ge Superradio, Sangean PR-D5, etc.).

  119. BB753 says:

    I can’t blame Jews for outmarrying with shiksas. Marriage with a Jewish princess must be hell. Everything is a micro-aggression with them!

  120. Thanks for the shoutout, Steve! Merry Christmas to all, belated Happy Hanukkah to Jews, and (here I’m cribbing from Ace of Spades HQ), to Julia Ioffe: Happy Tuesday!

  121. @academic gossip

    The best part is when Steve tweeted: “Arab manlets. When will they learn?” and Taleb blocked him. Okay so that didn’t happen (yet). Merry Christmas, everyone!

  122. @Kibernetika

    Can we go on saying “brewski”?

    • Replies: @Kibernetika
  123. J1234 says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    I sympathize. Christmas didn’t make me happy when I was in the US either. But I choose to live in Israel where the holidays are from the torah. You *choose* to live in America. Why would you want to tell the Christian majority how “wearying and alienating” their holiday is?

    This is a nicely measured, mature and tolerant approach to things you don’t like. When the things you don’t like are cultural, it’s best – and most practical – to remove yourself from the environment rather than the other way around.

    Wishing people “Merry Christmas” is one of the few things I like about Christmas nowadays. It’s all the pointless presents and expenditures that I don’t like, along with the futility of trying to shield young children from the rampant materialism. My least favorite holiday is the 4th of July, with the constant explosions in the neighborhood. Holidays that elicit juvenile behavior are the ones I like the least.

  124. Anonymous[166] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    What Ioffe is trying to attack and undermine is solidarity among others. It isn’t so much that she feels “offended”. Solidarity is beneficial and she is attempting to deny this benefit/advantage to others. Communal greetings and celebrations build solidarity.

    • Agree: ACommenter
  125. Pericles says:
    @Paddington

    For that matter, I’ve never even heard a Muslim complain about Christmas.

    Oh, they content themselves with stabbing, shooting or running over some of their hosts when Yuletide rolls around.

  126. Pericles says:
    @Hail

    (Trust the Anagram. The Anagram never lies.)

    Liah.

  127. @Paddington

    It’s pretty much only one group of people that airs their grievances about it. I once overheard a Jewish physician complaining to a Muslim physician that the Christians don’t acknowledge their holidays. I don’t remember the Muslim physician agreeing or acknowledging the statement.

    Someone remarked that contemporary, non-Orthodox Judaism has degenerated into a cult of Holocaust remembrance organized around anti-Christianity. To be a Jew means to be a seething victim and a Non-Christian.

    I’m sure people and Jews in particular would take issue with this but it best explains the behavior of Jews in our majority Christian nation. If actions and attitudes are expressions of belief, this is a compelling argument.

    Not to be outdone, a creature naming itself “Lux Alptraum” joins in on the Christmas-hating fun on NBC’s internet platform, explaining the oppression of all of these Goyim enjoying themselves even in Jewtropolis:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/war-christmas-jews-who-leave-house-december-would-beg-differ-ncna942496

    • Replies: @Marcus
  128. MBlanc46 says:
    @Escher

    As much as I enjoy the idea of her being in SA, a more reasonable destination would be Tel Aviv.

  129. MBlanc46 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I don’t know about the answer to the first question, but the answer to the second is “of course I would have done the same thing. It was Pilate’s job to keep the peace in Palestine at a time when the locals were particularly prone to be problems. The local Jewish leadership came to Pilate with a trouble-maker that they wanted eliminated, and he did the obvious thing. He accommodated them.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  130. Mr. Anon says:
    @Tyrion 2

    And a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah to you, sir.

  131. Mr. Anon says:
    @Jack D

    Merry Christmas to all (who celebrate it)!

    And to you and all your family, and a (belated) Happy Hanukkah too.

  132. @Mr. Anon

    That’d be a belated Happy Hanukkah this year, no?

    Merry Christmas to all!

  133. @Hunsdon

    Crucifixion Necessary?
    A Christian Science practitioner offered to me once the opinion that Jesus may have hoped or believed that he could lift up human consciousness into a higher spiritual state, and his crucifixion might have been avoided.
    That opinion is not explicit CS theology.
    (CS theology sees Jesus as a scientist who , through prayer or communion with God, dissolved sin/sickness/ death into their native nothingness. Jesus is the wayshower, and humanity needs to follow his example….)

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  134. Those kids who get upset and throw a tantrum when it’s another kid’s birthday? Apparently they grow up and rationalize those feelings.

    • Replies: @anon
  135. @PhysicistDave

    After reading this post I went for a Christmas walk with a friend and encountered the teenage children of a local Jewish family on our path. We conversed, at the end of which my walking partner bent her principles to accommodate their Jewishness and wished them “Happy holidays!”

    “Merry Christmas!” the kids pointedly and cheerfully shouted back as they scampered away.

    More of them and fewer of Julia Ioffes would be fine.

  136. @Steve Sailer

    Jesus declined to respond to Pilate’s question “What is Truth?” I inferred that Jesus did not rate Pilate’s inquiry as a serious question, or Pilate serious man. So I sorta have held a not so high opinion of Pilate.

    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
  137. Mr. Anon says:
    @Hunsdon

    I have never understood this “The Jews killed Christ” thing. As a Christian, it seems that the whole point of Jesus’s presence on Earth was to be the perfect sacrifice, to die for our sins. If He had not died, would we be redeemed?

    I never got that either. The death and sacrifice of Christ is an integral part of Christian theology. Somebody would have had to kill him. If the Jewish establishment had not called for his execution, if the Romans had executed him for some other reason, would it make sense to now call Italians “Christ Killers”? Or if it had been the Parthians, or Syrian Greeks, or any other group? Jesus even begged forgiveness from the cross for those who murdered him (which, by the way, was a small group of contemporaries – not all of their descendents out to the Nth generation); you would think that would constitute the final word for believing Christians.

  138. @Tyrion 2

    Neil Diamond said he loved to sing and record Christmas carols.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  139. Jack D says:
    @MBlanc46

    This assumes of course that the account that has come down to us in the gospels is actually true. There is very little if any historical evidence that anything mentioned in the New Testament (or for that matter the Old) ever actually happened, with all due respect to religious believers.

    The accounts set forth in the gospels may have had an element of truth but were “spun” in some fashion – if the authors had a desire not to piss off the Roman authorities or a desire to convert Romans and Greeks instead of Jews, they might have shaded the story in such a way that the Crucifixion was carried out by the Romans but at the Jew’s behest rather than making it a purely Roman act.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    , @ACommenter
  140. Jack D says:
    @Simply Simon

    Many of them were written by Jews such as Irving Berlin (“White Christmas”).

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  141. @academic gossip

    Would love to see a few snaps. Am not on The Twitter. I’m reading Taleb now, SKin in the Game.

    • Replies: @academic gossip
    , @Hail
  142. @Harry Baldwin

    She looks Jewish when she smiles. You can see the profile more clearly.

    When someone says “I am Russian”, “I am Ukrainian”… I always ask “Russian, or a Jew whose family lived in Russia”? If they are Jewish they have this odd reaction, as if to say they are offended for not being taken as a member of a group that they despise.

  143. @Bard of Bumperstickers

    Bard, too funny…”the celestial Harvey Weinstein.”

  144. @Dave Pinsen

    If Julia Yoffe ever decamped to Israel, you can bet she’d kvetch about public displays related to Jewish holidays.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  145. @Redneck farmer

    Red, I like your comments but I find “wop” to be offensive, but that’s just me. Merry Christmas. Next week my response will be nasty.

  146. @jbwilson24

    Russian Jews don’t say “I am Russian”. Jews from the Ukraine definitely don’t identify as Ukrainian.

    In Israel, some people call them “Russians” as shorthand. Which Russian Jews find at once amusing and strange. In the Russian language Israeli press, they show they’re in on the joke by sometimes referring to Russian Jews as “Russians” in quotation marks.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  147. Jake says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Most human beings living under the rule of Lenin and then Stalin remained sane, and decent, their entire lives. That did not alter the horrors of life in the USSR. Likewise, that the vast majority of us remain sane does not alter the fact that the PC world is worse than vicious: it also is totalitarian.

    • Agree: PhysicistDave
  148. @Mr. Anon

    If Jesus had a gun, he’d be alive today.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  149. Ibound1 says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Muslims don’t revere the Christian Jesus. They revere an invented character from the Koran named Issa who was never crucified and who was a Muslim. If the Christians “revered” a Mohammed who was not a prophet and who was a Christian, I hardly think the Muslims would be saying “the Christians revere Muhammad”. Instead they would be sputtering and threatening a blasphemy death sentences on everyone .

  150. @Paddington

    Paddy, nice comment and to the point of your post, it is really hard not to respect Jesus, the man, for his message.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  151. Anonymous[166] • Disclaimer says:
    @ACommenter

    The question is though.. let’s say it is true.. Russians did this.. is there any evidence we here in America did this as part of our “Christmas”… unless pogram=wishing someone jewish a merry christmas

    There really were very few pogroms. They certainly were insignificant compared to the interethnic conflict that other groups have experienced through the centuries.

  152. Anonymous[166] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    Jews from the Ukraine definitely don’t identify as Ukrainian.

    Are you sure about that? How do they identify?

  153. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Houston 1992

    In The Last Temptation of Christ, Jesus knows he has to die but hopes he could die a different way.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  154. Anonymous[166] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    If Julia Yoffe ever decamped to Israel, you can bet she’d kvetch about public displays related to Jewish holidays.

    No she wouldn’t.

  155. Anonymous[166] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    it is really hard not to respect Jesus, the man, for his message.

    What was Jesus’ message?

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
  156. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    There weren’t enough “pogroms” to constitute a “tradition.”

    How many pogroms are required to constitute a tradition? Is 1,300 enough:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiev_pogroms_(1919)

    Of course that’s just one year. Then there was the 1905 pogroms, the 1881 pogroms, etc. going back centuries.

    Now America has no tradition of anti-Jewish pogroms, thank God, but Eastern Europe had plenty. They were all too real and no fantasy.

    • Replies: @anon
  157. @anon

    Those questions you ask, maybe rhetorically, are as intellectually disingenuous as “when did you stop beating your wife?”

  158. Anonymous[396] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    I was already going to buy Hazony’s book but seeing as how Julia Ioffe is one of my least favourite writers I think I’ll buy two and send her a belated Christmas present.

  159. @Jack D

    Merry Christmas to all (who celebrate it)!

    🙂 Thank You. Greetings from our house to yours.

  160. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    FYI Mexican radio stations in the Southwest don’t play ANY Xmas music.

    So Mexicans aren’t ALL bad, then?

    I really don’t mind most Christmas traditions – the lights, the trees, the gift giving, the jolly guy in the red suit – they seem harmless enough (and not even particularly Christian). They weren’t very Christian to begin with and the Soviets, the Japanese, etc. were able to re-purpose them quite easily (the Soviets just moved everything to New Years and renamed St. Nick to Father Frost).

    BUT, I have to admit that having the airwaves taken over for 1 month each year with the same awful songs year after year (and some of which are overtly religious) drives me nuts. Every damn station, even the classical stations (the few remaining). So if that is not part of Mexican culture (and this shows that playing these songs over the public airwaves is not really a religious mandate at least for Catholics) then I am completely down with that. I will be very glad when tomorrow comes and I don’t have to listen to that crap for another year. This has nothing to do with anti-Christian feeling. Even if they were singing Chanukah songs I wouldn’t want to hear those either. This is (thank God) the only holiday that takes over the airwaves in this way.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    , @Anonymous
  161. Jack D says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    This is, I suspect, a Hollywood script writer’s idea. It’s a good and clever one but I’m guessing that it has no real theological basis. A lot of the Bible could be improved, at least as a work of literature, if it was re-written by a skilled Hollywood script writer but we just have to accept it as it is.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  162. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Jack D

    Yeah, it’s based on a novel, not on The Gospels. And, IMO, it’s an improvement from a story perspective. In The Last Temptation, for example, Jesus tells Judas to betray him, against Judas’s wishes.

    • Replies: @william munny
  163. nebulafox says:
    @Digital Samizdat

    You’re welcome. Because I have no life, I’ll add another.

    On the face of it, the charges that the Romans weren’t primarily responsible for the death of Christ is a ridiculous one. Pilate was a cold, hard, ruthless man, even on Roman governor standards. We don’t need to take the words of the writers for it: he wouldn’t have been in charge of one of the most notorious hard cases in the known world if he wasn’t. He was there to keep order, and if crucifying anybody who remotely could cause trouble was what it took, so be it. The Romans knew all about the trouble the Jews had given the Seleucids, and the sheer ancientness of their religion-stretching long back before Achaemenid Persia. So, it wouldn’t have been at all out of keeping with his character to reason that it was better to be safe and crucify than risk being sorry by being merciful. He also likely would have had knowledge about Jesus beforehand and would have inclined to ordinarily believe the worst: Roman intelligence kept profiles on anybody with a public following as large as his.

    With that said, though, the Romans were themselves a notoriously superstitious, religious bunch. Anybody with claims to divinity would have unnerved Pilate, no matter what public face he put on-and he would have taken his wife’s dream seriously, if such a thing did occur, because for Romans, dreams were messages from the gods, not to be taken lightly. At all. There’s no question that someone like Jesus would have been rather different in demeanor and bearing from the usual ruffians he sentenced, so it is certainly plausible that he was a little ill at ease with the prisoner, and he probably quickly discovered that he was not a threat to the Roman state in the conventional sense of the word. So, combine those two factors with Pilate’s not well disguised disdain and hatred of the Sanhedrin and their often paid Jewish mob (and vice versa), and you might have a situation where Pilate might not be so inclined to give into their wishes, mostly to show that he can do as he well pleases, thank you very much.

    But then you add in the context of the downfall of Sejanus in Rome to explain the Sanhedrin’s trump card. “No friend of Caesar…” in the Julio-Claudian context meant a likely maiestas trial. And in 33 AD, Tiberius Caesar was not a forgiving mood. He had just *ordered* Pilate to make nice with the Jews-no questions, no appeal. He was thirsty for added posthumous revenge against the man who likely killed his son and heir apparent-one of the very few men Tiberius could relate to on a human level, and one who reminded him of the wife he really loved but was forced to divorce by Augustus. If Pilate had given him the slightest excuse to do so…

    Note: I’m not a Christian, and I freely admit this is all conjecture. But the stuff about Pilate not being quite as trigger happy with Jesus’ crucifixion as he ordinarily would have been but being railroaded into it really isn’t quite as unfitting as it is often made out to be by pop historians, if you take into account the Romans themselves being an intensely pious people, and the context of Pilate’s specific political situation in 33 AD.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  164. @TomSchmidt

    For example, Taleb thinks that correlation of 0.1 between IQ and career performance, extended all the way into the uppermost tail of the IQ distribution, would be trifling with little real world impact. After all the “variance explained” by IQ would be a puny 1 percent, right?

    In fact, it would have a gigantic tail effect on over-representation of high IQs in the upper reaches of performance, leading to more brainiac self-made billionaires than the already substantial proportion seen in Forbes lists.

  165. nebulafox says:
    @advancedatheist

    As I mentioned: Pilate would ordinarily have not given a crap about Jewish sensibilities and religious disputes, considering them beneath his dignity. * His attempts to build an aqueduct with Temple funds encapsulates Pilate’s opinion of the peculiarities of the people he ruled. In his view: if they wanted Jesus executed, they could always just stone him themselves, in the traditional Jewish way, if they had enough support for it, and if they could get the Romans to ignore it. Had Pilate not been resident in the capital rather than Ceasarea like normal to keep an eye on things over Passover, they might have opted for just that.

    * (Which, IMO, it was. He was there to uphold Roman law and order, relatively rational, clean, and precocious. Not to haggle with a bunch of backwards, uncivilized, passive-aggressive, ignorant priests.)

    But in 33 AD, Tiberius had ordered him to make nice-nice with the Jews, and Pilate was in the “if you put one toe out of line…” camp that most of the associates of Sejanus found themselves in after his fall from grace. This, of course, was not lost on the Jewish leadership. So, he… eh, was a little more attentive than usual to “keep mockery of the Jews and their one God to an appropriate minimum”, as per HBO. No doubt clenching his fists and gritting his teeth at the crack of dawn when he had to go outside the greet them.

  166. @ACommenter

    @Tyrion 2 what part are you denying?

    https://www.haaretz.com/1.4841175

    For Them, It’s Wholly Unholy
    Christmas Eve is one of the few occasions when Hasidim refrain from Torah study, do not conduct weddings or go to the mikveh. But they do play chess and work on their bills

    On Christmas Eve, known in Jewish circles as Nitel Night, the klipot (shells) are in total control. The klipot are parasitical evil forces that attach themselves to the forces of good. According to kabbala (Jewish mysticism), on the night on which “that man” – a Jewish euphemism for Jesus – was born, not even a trace of holiness is present and the klipot exploit every act of holiness for their own purposes.

    For this reason, Nitel Night, from nightfall to midnight, is one of the few occasions when Hasidim refrain from Torah study.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  167. anon[376] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alec Leamas

    for some reason ioffe feels the need to use a picture of herself as a young child on her twitter account

    i guess were supposed to believe she’s innocent or something

  168. anon[376] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    How many pogroms are required to constitute a tradition? Is 1,300 enough:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiev_pogroms_(1919)

    Of course that’s just one year. Then there was the 1905 pogroms, the 1881 pogroms, etc. going back centuries.

    suspect much like the Spanish Inquisition, these pogroms were much overblown

    why is it the Holodomor and the crimes of Genrikh Yagoda are practically unknown in the U.S.?

  169. @Jack D

    Jack D wrote:

    The accounts set forth in the gospels may have had an element of truth but were “spun” in some fashion…

    There are parts of the Gospels that were rather obviously added for literary effect: For example, in Matthew 4, Satan takes Jesus to a mountain from which all the kingdoms of the world can be observed. Of course, there is no such mountain, and people in the ancient world were not ignorant of this fact.

    It seems to me that the most reasonable hypothesis is that the Gospels were initially intended to be taken as entertaining, edifying fiction, rather like the children’s book The Littlest Angel. This was obviously true of some of the non-canonical gospels — e.g., the “Infancy Gospel of Thomas” (not to be confused with the “Gospel of Thomas”!) with its amusing stories of the antics of Baby Jesus or the “Gospel of Peter” with its humongous walking, talking Cross.

    Somehow the early Church forgot that the Gospels were originally fiction and started taking them more or less literally — although even Aquinas pointed out that the Temptation on the Mountain story could not be literally true. This kind of confusion is easy to understand if we take into account the competing factions in the early Church, the confused lines of transmission, etc.

    The disagreements among the Synoptics (e.g., Matthew’s vs. Luke’s infancy stories and genealogies) and between the Synoptics and John (e.g., the contradictions between their Crucifixion and Resurrection stories) makes clear that the Gospels were indeed fiction. The fact that Paul does not mention the Empty Tomb, the Virgin Birth, etc. also suggests these were later inventions.

    There are really only three options:
    A) The authors of the Gospels were passing on legends that they mistakenly believed were true.
    B) The authors of the Gospels knew their stories were made up but were intentionally misleading their readers.
    C) The authors of the Gospels did not want their readers to take the stories literally but merely as inspiring, edifying fiction, like the “Infancy Gospel of Thomas,” the “Gospel of Peter,” or, indeed, modern fiction such as The Littlest Angel or Ben-Hur.

    For some reason, almost no one, believer or skeptic alike, seems to consider seriously hypothesis C, but it does seem to me the most likely.

  170. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Jack D

    One of the most overtly religious Christmas songs is the best, IMO, but I don’t hear it much on the radio: “Christmas Must Be Tonight” by The Band.

  171. anon[366] • Disclaimer says:

    My standard season’s greeting is now, “Merry Christmas. If this offends you, eff off.” Not perfect for every situation, but I just got so tired of wondering whether I had hit the wrong note with a simple, “Merry Christmas.”

  172. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    the Sanhedrin and their often paid Jewish mob (and vice versa)

    the original antifa?

  173. @jbwilson24

    Prematurely flabby upper arms is another indicator. It’s the Achilles’ heel of Russian Jewish girls. Soviet diet made it worse but you can also see it in emigres.

  174. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Maybe she’d like this better?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=34&v=n6aQkC1Z6UA

    Video is mistitled. It’s really “Happy Xmas (War Is Over) ”

    Lennon was a big fan of D and Blondie and was allegedly scheduled to meet with them the day after he wound up being killed. I always thought that the guy who shot Lennon should have got the 2300 VAC scalp massage but that son of a bitch Mario Cuomo was in at that time IIRC. I fucking hate the whole Cuomo family, but I digress.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  175. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    Didn’t the Russians solve the Sat/Sun/Mat Sabbath problem by making Monday the first day of the calendar?

  176. nebulafox says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Do you think the Old Testament worked similarly, or was it meant to be literally believed by the Jews? It’s been over a decade since I’ve read it, and my knowledge of any history pre-Cyrus the Great is extremely marginal.

  177. Corvinus says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Most normies never heard of Julia Ioffe. So it’s really a big to do about nothing. Let her think that way. Meanwhile, the rest of us will enjoy Christmas. Yes, there are presents, because we live in a consumer society. But the true purpose is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, a Jew who founded Christianity and a man who died for our sins.

    • Agree: ACommenter
  178. nebulafox says:
    @Paddington

    Nice comment.

    >Most Hindus in the U.S. have no problem with Christmas and many even put up trees and exchange presents, though they have no idea about the religious aspect. From what I’ve heard, even Hindus back in India (which has a minimal Christian population) engage in some of these festivities now.

    Yeah. You see the same dynamic in Japan, which has a similarly marginal Christian populace. It’s really a word-wide phenomenon.

    >For that matter, I’ve never even heard a Muslim complain about Christmas.

    Given that Jesus is second only to Muhammad in the Islamic prophet respect hierarchy, it would be seen by run-of-the-mill Muslims as downright profane to defame his “birthday”. They certainly did not consign him to a dung heap in hell as the worst of false prophets and the son of a whore and a Roman soldier.

    >Why should I expect or want Americans to wish me a happy Diwali, when I’m barely aware of these holidays myself except for a text message from my wife or Mom that comes in the day before?

    Ignorance and unfamiliarity is not the same thing as hostility and disdain. Both sides of the American political spectrum these days love to conflate them.

    Singaporeans would. But Singapore has… a substantial Tamil minority.

    >When an American (usually one into yoga or Eastern religions or travel) starts asking me questions about my religion or native place back in India, it feels weird and awkward. I’d rather not make conversation about it.

    This is good to know, and I’ll keep that in mind in the future.

    >When I read things like this, the only conclusion I can come to is that Jewish people deep down have a very strong resentment of the Christian religion and people.

    It is true that a substantial amount of American Jews, usually the downwardly mobile scions of left-wing upper-middle class professionals, generally are hostages to their historical psychological complexes. In no small part because America insulates and softens them. (As it does everybody-let’s face it. For all the problems we’re facing, we’re still pretty coddled compared to most of the world.) For this reason, newer Jewish immigrants from the former USSR and the Israelis tend to be more grounded in reality in who really poses anti-Semitic threats in the 21st Century.

  179. @Houston 1992

    My read? For whatever it is worth, Jesus’ silence was an answer, but only if Pilate were amenable to understanding, eyes to see, ears to hear, so to speak. Truth was what was in Pilates’ heart, and how that would determine his actions. Pilate could not hear this answer, because his heart was sullied with his egocentric thoughts and shallow calculations. There was no stillness therein with which to greet Jesus’ silent reply, and to understand.

    Judas was a betrayer, but Pilate was a trimmer. Which is worse?

  180. Hank Yobo says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Yah, Saul met a mirage on the road to Damascus. There is nothing more unhistorical than resurrection from the dead.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  181. @PhysicistDave

    There are really only three options:

    no not really. Scholars like NT Wright make a strong case for them as historical.

    Have you ever seriously tried to examine that view… or did you pre-determine ‘there are only three options’?

    The description of the crucifixion includes details irrelevant to story makers but turn out to be accurate.
    And there there’s the female witness’s thing. Why have them arrive at the tomb?
    and then of course there are talmudic traditions.

    Richard Dawkins types say Jesus didn’t exist, even rational atheist historians don’t say that.

    Of course you never had, because you presumed that they couldn’t possibly be true…

    And what do you make of Paul? another ‘fairy tale”?

  182. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @nebulafox

    Certainly there are passages that are figures of speech or colloquialisms of the time and place, or “orientalisms” as sometimes they are called. But I think the basic ideas are to be accepted pretty much as told.

    Certainly, we have to question young earth creationism and the idea the entire Earth was flooded to past the top of Mt. Everest and that all species are descended from animals on one ship. Nevertheless, all cultures across the Earth have a “flood story”. Some think this was in the Black Sea area and flooded a major area of what was then the fertile crescent of civilization.

    Still, the Book of Genesis alone is enough to keep anyone busy for a lifetime trying to figure it all out. Clearly, once we get past literal six day creation, they obviously understood a lot of things ten thousand years ago that are only understood in the modern era now-and likely more that will make sense in another hundred years but are opaque today.

    • Disagree: Mr. Rational
  183. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Somehow the early Church forgot that the Gospels were originally fiction and started taking them more or less literally

    Very much like Trekkies today??

  184. utu says:
    @Tyrion 2

    “If you don’t believe Jesus was God, OK, go write your own damn “Silent Night” and leave ours alone. This is spiritual piracy and cultural elitism, and we Christians have stood for it long enough. And all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck. Did one of our guys write “Grab your loafers, come along if you wanna, and we’ll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah”? No, we didn’t.” – Garrison Keillor

  185. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Okay, I’m wrong, it was Hugh Carey. But Cuomo is still a no good son of a bitch to me.

  186. @Jack D

    This assumes of course that the account that has come down to us in the gospels is actually true. There is very little if any historical evidence that anything mentioned in the New Testament (or for that matter the Old) ever actually happened, with all due respect to religious believers.

    Given those standards, Socrates didn’t exist.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  187. utu says:
    @Jack D

    “The Sephardim would make some kind of fritter or donut and kept the olive oil. Frying food in oil was a Sephardic thing and later became the fish and chips of the English and the tempura of the Japanese, via the Portuguese”

    The easiness of making up stories by Jews is pretty amazing. I can understand you telling the stories to your children but do you ever grow up and stop believing them? Tell us next that Jews funded Columbus so he could bring potatoes for Hanukkah latkes.

  188. @ACommenter

    “Is Russian anti-semitism the chicken or the egg?”

    As noisome as those two clowns are (Ioffe and Boot) in the U.S., they are minor irritations to us compared to the disaster that the Jews were to Russia in the largely Jewish-led Russian Revolution.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Jack D
  189. Kylie says:

    Any salutation other than “GTFO” or “STFU” is wasted on this ingrate.

    N.B. I’m not a Christian and organized religions generally make my flesh crawl. I just spent some time on Facebook wishing my friends “Merry Christmas”. I wouldn’t hurt their feelings for anything.

  190. @PhysicistDave

    The disagreements among the Synoptics (e.g., Matthew’s vs. Luke’s infancy stories and genealogies) and between the Synoptics and John (e.g., the contradictions between their Crucifixion and Resurrection stories) makes clear that the Gospels were indeed fiction.

    So if there are three differing historical accounts none of them are true? Again I ask have you ever made any SERIOUS attempt to read historians and critics who think they are not fiction? It doesn’t sound like you have.
    They church fathers were aware of the differences, they are different POV – saying Mary saw an angel at the tomb does not mean there were not two angel it is just telling what is relevant to their point of view.

    So why would the church fathers write three different stories and one totally different, and have obvious flaws- because they were bad con artists?

    The fact that Paul does not mention the Empty Tomb, the Virgin Birth, etc. also suggests these were later inventions.

    but he does mention 500 witnesses seeing the risen Christ and of course there is the whole story of his conversion. So his ‘negatives’ what he did not mention proves they are not true but what he does mention is not true?

  191. @Kibernetika

    Sorry for errors yesterday. Post should’ve read:

    The Russian plural of American, американцы in the nominative plural case, case should be transliterated as amerikantsy. The famous “ski”/-ский ending denotes adjectival, nominative, singular case.

    Holiday cheer-type induced errors 😉

  192. @International Jew

    Lol, by all means. Best used in Kings, Queens and Nassau counties of NY, IMHO.

  193. Hunsdon says:
    @Mr. Anon

    You and me, asking the questions no one dares ask!

  194. Hunsdon says:
    @Steve Sailer

    We all have truths; are mine the same as yours?

  195. @ACommenter

    We have, what, three main sources implying a historical Socrates: Plato, Xenophon, and Aristophanes. Their portrayals of Socrates are pretty divergent, and some of their work is likely fictional. Jesus would appear to be a little better attested in the historical record than Socrates is.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    , @PhysicistDave
  196. @Mikhail

    And, as most of the world seems to have forgotten, Gitler was an Austrian.

  197. @academic gossip

    Taleb digging the hole deeper now.

    A general problem w/social “scientists” & IQ idiots: they can intuit the very terms they are using. Verbalism; they have a skin-deep statistical education & can’t translate something as trivial as “correlation” or “explained variance” into meaning, esp. under nonlinearities.

    One way of translating those things into meaning is to convert the R (correlation) or R^2 (explained variance) into effects on probabilities. Taleb went so far as to assign an “exercise” on this in his tweet thread but he appears unaware of the answer and its implications: that even a correlation he considers low implies incredible overrepresentation of high IQs at the top of the scale of anything correlated to IQ.

  198. Jack D says:
    @nebulafox

    The ancients were not well versed in science, and yet it is hard to believe that the story of the flood or of the Tower of Babel were meant to be taken literally.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    , @ACommenter
  199. Even Jack Benny (Nee’ Kubelsky) respected the predominant Christian culture of his time. It was part of his shtick:

    Mel Blanc, too…

  200. nebulafox says:
    @ACommenter

    >And what do you make of Paul? another ‘fairy tale”?

    Paul might have been an epileptic.

    Dostoevsky-himself a epileptic-certainly thought Muhammad was.

  201. @Dave Pinsen

    The head-scarf wearing checkout clerk at the supermarket wished me Happy Holidays.

    I don’t get it. I don’t in the least bit look to be Chinese.

  202. @academic gossip

    In fact, it would have a gigantic tail effect on over-representation of high IQs in the upper reaches of performance, leading to more brainiac self-made billionaires than the already substantial proportion seen in Forbes lists.

    Extreme intelligence among the “self-made billionaires” appears to be a recent phenomenon, mostly limited to the tech sphere. Sam Walton, Merv Griffin, Rupert Murdoch, Richard Branson… Donald Trump! Street smart, yes, but “brainiacs”?

    Even in tech, there are an awful lot of college dropouts at the top.

    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
  203. @Kibernetika

    Jack Benny (Nee’ Kubelsky)

    Né.

    Not just for Jack, but for Christine Jorgensen as well.

  204. black sea says:

    I’m thinking of writing a one-act play about her traumatic experience with the Lyft driver.

    Working title: “Driving Miss Crazy”

    • LOL: Corn, Mr. Rational
  205. Kylie says:
    @Kibernetika

    And the incomparable Richard Deacon.

  206. @ACommenter

    Homer was long dismissed as fiction. For centuries, even.

    But what writer of fiction would name two important characters Ajax, or anything else for that matter? Even Charles M Schulz discarded his original Patty before Peppermint Patty was introduced.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  207. @Kibernetika

    Mel Blanc, too…

    Part of my family’s holiday tradition is listening to Mel Blanc singing “Blue Christmas” in his Porky Pig voice.

  208. @ACommenter

    Certain MSM quarters consider Julia Ioffe a major contemporary journalist. However, I am unaware of her writing any major journalism.

    I am, however, aware of her busying herself offending gentiles, provoking them into giving her a dose of her own medicine, at which point she screams bloody Hitler, whereupon the same precincts that call her a major journalist depict her as a victim of Nazis.

    Apparently, writerly victim of badwhites = major contemporary journalist.

    Your comparison of Ioffe to Max Boot is apt. Both are embarrassments to me, and exemplars of the age of Jewish mediocrity. These are not your father’s (or my Nana’s) Jewish intellectuals.

    • Replies: @Hail
    , @ACommenter
  209. Anonymous[794] • Disclaimer says:
    @nebulafox

    and I freely admit this is all conjecture.

    In a nutshell.

    Note: I’m not a Christian

    So what are you?

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  210. Dissident says:
    @Anonymous

    What ridiculous depths of arrogance. Americans suffered, bled and died freeing her people from Nazi camps. They didn’t have to accept them into the US, but did. On top of that, her nuclear family was personally given preferential entrance into the US, which again, the US did not have to do.

    To say nothing of the exceptional, unprecedented degree to which Jews, once settled in this country, have been welcomed, accepted, respected and shown kindness by an overwhelmingly white and Christian United States of America.* Some of us, I would even say many, feel a debt of gratitude for all that.

    Whatever may account for or inform Ms. Ioffe’s attitude and behavior, it surely is not Judaism.

    Now, I must acknowledge that as an observant Jew, I personally refrain from making use of the “Merry Christmas” greeting. My reasons are strictly theological, though, and are not specific or limited-to Christian greetings. I have absolutely no problem with others wishing each other or even wishing me “Merry Christmas”. (The only time I could imagine myself taking offense to the latter would be if it were done with a malicious intent to spite or taunt me.) Likewise, I have absolutely no problem with visible public observances of Christmas or any other Christian holidays. I would say, as a rule, that Jews who are confident and certain in their own beliefs and identity do not feel threatened or bothered by such celebrations and displays by people of other faiths.

    If Ms. Ioffe feels a need to respond with anything more than gracious acknowledgement when being wished “Merry Christmas”, couldn’t she simply politely say something like,

    Thank you. I happen to be Jewish and therefore do not celebrate Christmas but I appreciate your kind wishes all the same and extend the same to you and yours in return.

    *Not to exclude Americans of other races and religions, of whom there certainly have been many who have been no less good to Jews.

    Although doing so should really not be necessary, I will nonetheless once again state the following for the record. Neither (a) taking the position that the population of a given nation should remain predominately made-up of individuals who belong to the same race/ethnicity/religion as its founding stock/historic majority, nor (b) acknowledging less-than-flattering racial realities (much less merely considering the possible existence of said realities and ramifications thereof), amounts- or equates-to, (c) harboring ill will toward anyone on the basis of such accidents of birth as race or ethnic, national or religious background. Of the afore-enumerated three phenomena, only the third, (c), can legitimately be considered reprehensible and reprobate.

  211. Hail says: • Website
    @TomSchmidt

    I tried to follow it but gave up because multi-thousand-of-word-equivalent Twitter exchanges are awful to try to follow / disentangle.

  212. Anonymous[492] • Disclaimer says:
    @Paddington

    When an American (usually one into yoga or Eastern religions or travel) starts asking me questions about my religion or native place back in India, it feels weird and awkward. I’d rather not make conversation about it.

    Why does it feel weird and awkward?

  213. Anonymous[492] • Disclaimer says:
    @SporadicMyrmidon

    Interesting observations.
    It does seems that Pontius Pilate, succumbing to “Release Barabas”, ought to be be the real enemy here. Not in the Goldstein sense, but in the sense that he seems to have been a generally competent, seemingly admirable guy who, at least in the story, made a life altering decision just to go along, get along.
    Evil gets going via cowardice, and Pilate is the coward in the story.

    Was it Mahathir Mohammed who said the Jews get others to kill and die for them?

    • Replies: @SporadicMyrmidon
  214. Hail says: • Website
    @Nicholas Stix

    Your comparison of Ioffe to Max Boot is apt. Both are…exemplars of the age of Jewish mediocrity

    Julia Ioffe life summary:

    1982: Born in Moscow to Jewish parents
    1990: Emigrates with parents to Columbia, Maryland (DC metro area periphery) under visa program favoring Jews
    2001: Graduates from high school in Maryland
    Fall 2001: Starts at Princeton
    ca. 2002-2005: In capacity of leadership within the Princeton Israel Public Affairs Committee, actively campaigns for Israel’s West Bank wall project (wall project begun in 2002 under Ariel Sharon; mostly complete by 2006)
    2005: Graduates from Princeton, BA in History with specialty in Soviet history
    2006 to 2009: Occupant somewhere in the bowels of U.S. journalism
    2009 to ca. 2013: In Russia, Fulbright scholarship; correspondent for Foreign Policy and The New Yorker
    By 2014: Back in the USA; upgraded to “Important Journalist” (increasingly left-wing agit-snark journalism)
    Late 2015 to ?: Downgrade to “Sufferer of Trump Derangement Syndrome”

    (at some point in the 2010s had an “Israeli intelligence” boyfriend)

  215. CJ says:
    @Hail

    “Some kind of a sick woman.”

    –Donald J. Trump describing Julia Ioffe

    LOL Donald really hits the nail on the head sometimes.

  216. @Paddington

    India (which has a minimal Christian population)

    All their priests are over here!

  217. @Hank Yobo

    Hank Yobo wrote:

    Yah, Saul met a mirage on the road to Damascus. There is nothing more unhistorical than resurrection from the dead.

    Paul himself says very little about it. The story in Acts makes it sound a bit like an epileptic fit or some sort of psychosomatic problem. On the other hand, we know that Acts is unreliable simply by comparing it with the seven Pauline epistles that (almost) everyone agrees are authentic.

    Of course, both Paul and Acts agree that Paul never met Christ in the flesh but merely as some some sort of spiritual manifestation. Lots of scholars nowadays seem to concur that this sort of “spiritual encounter” with a Jesus who was supposedly resurrected directly to Heaven was the initial starting point of Christianity and that the physical Resurrection portrayed in the Gospels is a later distortion. My guess is that this is what happened.

    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
  218. @Jack D

    I heard Michael Youssef once make a pretty good case for the Tower of Babel being am observatory, meant to “reach the heavens” in just the same way a really excellent modern observatory does. He pointed out the ancients were not so dim-witted as to think one could ever actually build anything tall enough to literally ascend it to the heavens, and that even if they had been, they’d have built it on the tallest mountain they could to get “a head start” rather than on the plain.

    I find there are many similar, sensible ways to think about this kind of stuff, but believers are often too slow or lazy to think profoundly about theology and instead choose to be offended, viewing such ideas as insults or attacks on their belief (heresy if you will), whereas most atheists are too snarky and smug to consider them either, because it’s easier to mock theists if you pretend they all believe dinosaurs’ fossils are a hoax.

    Jon Anderson (of all people) actually has pretty insightful examples of clearheaded ways to reconcile such matters. At about 18:35 in this talk, he explains he used to be sceptical how masses of people were fed by a small amount of bread and fish, until the thought it through: he reckoned since all these people knew they were going up the moutain to hear Jesus speak, about a thirdof the people at least must have thought to bring a picnic of food, and Jesus’ work lay in convincing them all to share the food and make it go farther, which is itself a more in keeping with, and a more useful and powerful way to demonstrate his principles, than to miracle food out of thin air anyhow. There’s a lot to be said for thinking outside conventional orthodoxy this way, and it can actually lead to understandings more faithful to the original teachings than what was codified by councils of bureaucrats after the fact.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  219. On the second day of Christmas, the feast of our host’s patron, it would be remiss not to carry on tradition:

    The Irish Used to Celebrate The Day After Christmas by Killing Wrens

    And don’t forget the stoning:

  220. @Reg Cæsar

    Not Homer; he called the guy Aias.*

    Ajax is Latin.

    *Well, okay: Αἴας without the transliteration.

    Anyhow, Telemon – not Homer – probably named him.

  221. @Kibernetika

    I think Frank Nelson was a national treasure. Something about him and Paul Lynde, their sense of quirky, effortless raillery and being such characters (not rôles; memorable, large personalities – as in “he’s a character”) without seeming hammy. Did those two ever work together?

  222. Hank Yobo says:
    @PhysicistDave

    So then, there is a real difference between the Paul of faith and the Saul of history? I had better go back to my pillar and become re-acquainted with the merits 0f Higher Criticism. My guess is that some Germans have always had a problem with a Jewish messiah. Merry Christmas and Happy Easter anyway despite the delusional origins and distortions of the Jesus cult!

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  223. @Kibernetika

    I think Frank Nelson was a national treasure. Something about him and Paul Lynde, their sense of quirky, effortless raillery and being such characters (not rôles; memorable, large personalities – as in “he’s a character”) without seeming hammy. Did those two ever work together?

  224. black sea says:
    @Hail

    at some point in the 2010s had an “Israeli intelligence” boyfriend

    I sure hope she’s not the Israeli equivalent of a Bond Girl. I can just imagine the dialogue.

    “Who are you?”

    “My name is Kvetchy Galore. And I’ve got some issues to raise about your deplorable attitudes towards Women, People of Color, Transpersons, and Marginalized Communities”

    “I must be having a nightmare.”

    • Agree: BB753
    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @BB753
  225. @Dave Pinsen

    IIRC, Paul Johnson suggests that Judas’s purported motives were a slander by the other apostles and instead he may have been motivated by sincere doubt because of the threat presented by Jesus to the establishment. That is a major improvement.

  226. Tyrion 2 says:
    @ACommenter

    Your previous post was a lie. Your link confirms it as such.

    • Replies: @ACommenter
  227. @ACommenter

    A Commenter wrote to me:

    Scholars like NT Wright make a strong case for them as historical.

    Tom Wright is more a theologian than a historian: indeed, he was Bishop of Durham for several years.

    In any case, the point about Matthew 4 stands: such a mountain does not exist. It’s likely that the author of Matthew or one of his sources thought that it was effective from a narrative point of view to say that all the kingdoms of the world can be seen from this mountain.

    And, it is effective, in terms of narrative, even though it is actually impossible: most readers do not pause and say to themselves, “But, hey, geographically there is no such mountain!”

    What does Tom Wright do with this particular case? I don’t know, but as far as I can see, he is stuck with one of my alternatives. If he does not simply evade the issue, as most Christian writers do, I suspect he would go with my option C: i.e., of course it is not actually true, but it does make a good story. (By the way, if you are wondering whether I have ever looked at anything Tom Wright wrote, the answer is “yes”: I was unimpressed, very unimpressed. But that does not matter. It is evidence that counts, not Tom Wright’s lack of impressiveness.)

    There are numerous other examples in the New Testament in which Wright and other Christian apologists are caught in a similar fix (e.g., again from Matthew, the author’s confusion about an Old Testament passage that results in the author’s — uniquely among the Evangelists — having Jesus straddle two beasts as he rides into Jerusalem).

    Apologists can try to sort of isolate such issues and pretend that they tell us nothing at all about the Gospels as a whole. Or, they can admit that they show that someone was indeed making stuff up in creating the Gospels or the sources upon which the Gospels rely. Those are really the only possibilities.

    So, given that parts of the Gospels are most certainly not true, what does that tell us about the Gospels as a whole? Well, the traditional approach of Christian apologists is to (reluctantly) concede that there are some little itty-bitty problems aboout mundane things such as the non-existent mountain, or the straddling of the donkey and a foal, or the disagreement about whether the execution of Jesus actually occurred before or after the Passover meal (the Synoptics vs. John)… but, hey, just because the Evangelists cannot get ordinary mundane details right is no reason not to trust them on extraordinary claims such as a Virgin Birth, bodily Resurrection, etc.!

    No one — and I mean literally no one — believes that sort of thing in real life. If your neighbor is constantly making up things about ordinary daily life that are easily disproven, you most assuredly are not going to trust his fantastic claims about having been abducted in a UFO or having astrally traveled to Betelgeuse or whatever.

    Why do religious believers behave differently when it comes to religion? Everyone knows the answer — in all religions except his own. You claim to believe ridiculous claims because that shows your loyalty to your religion. “Skin in the game,” as Taleb says. Like putting up with hazing to prove your commitment to a fraternity.

    AC also wrote:

    Richard Dawkins types say Jesus didn’t exist, even rational atheist historians don’t say that.

    Did Dawkins claim that? I have read a lot of his stuff, and I do not recall him denying Jesus’ historicty, just his divinity.

    AC also asked:

    And what do you make of Paul? another ‘fairy tale”?

    I referenced Paul in my comment to which you replied. I assume that what he wrote in the seven generally accepted epistles expressed what he really thought.

    Are you aware that in those seven epistles Paul nowhere refers to a Virgin Birth, a Jesus who actually was bodily resurrected on this earth and actually walked around after the Resurrection, etc.? I’ve read the New Testament all the way through — have you?

    If you have, you know that Paul says almost nothing at all abouth the human Jesus as portrayed in the Gospels: Paul’s Jesus is a divine spiritual figure up in Heaven.

    We know that early Christians made up obviously fabulous stories about Jesus — the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Peter, etc. (Have you read those Gospels? I have.) We know the authors of the four canonical Gospels messed up a lot of mundane, non-supernatural claims. It therefore seems an awfully good guess that the fantastic claims in the canonical Gospels were also just made up, exactly as everyone agrees is true of the fantastic claims in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Peter.

    But, of course, if you are determined to be a member of the fraternity, you will tolerate the hazing, no matter how personally demeaning.

    • Replies: @ACommenter
    , @Jack D
  228. @Hank Yobo

    Hank Yobo asked me:

    So then, there is a real difference between the Paul of faith and the Saul of history?

    I honestly have no idea what you asking about or what it has to do with my comment to which you replied.

    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
  229. Cleburne says:
    @ACommenter

    A good source for Russian/Jewish relations is Solzhenitzyn’s Two Hundred Years Together. It’s never been officially translated but there’s a partially translated edition on Amazon.

    Couple of point Solzhenitsyn makes — and I think it’s worth underscoring that he aims to be excruciatingly fair and forgiving to all — is that these terrible Russian pogroms we are hearing about didn’t exactly occur as advertised in Tsarist times.

    And that the brutal pogroms of the Civil War period came AFTER Russians and Ukrainians began to associated Bolshevism with Jews.

    ANd, what I thought most interesting, was that Jews — who’d done rather well under Bolshevism — began to turn on the Red Empire once they began to be nudged out of positions of power post-Stalin. That’s around the time the stories of Jewish oppression under Communism began, and we ended up with the Jackson-Vanick amendment and so do.

    A very long way of saying that Julia Ioffe is completely full of shit, as is anyone who spins bloody tales of Cossacks and pogroms. I tend to distrust writings by Jewish historians on Russia or the Soviet period.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Jack D
  230. Cleburne says:
    @ACommenter

    Run down, if you can, a copy of Solzhenitsyn’s Two Hundred Years Together. Used to be on Amazon, no more, but there are PDFs. (((They))) don’t want you to know…

    • Replies: @ACommenter
  231. @PhysicistDave

    We know that early Christians made up obviously fabulous stories about Jesus — the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Peter, etc. (Have you read those Gospels? I have.)
    Yes – and the apocryphal flight to egypt which incorporated many long standing myths (I use this in the positive sense) and that a reason the early church fathers did not include them

    But, of course, if you are determined to be a member of the fraternity, you will tolerate the hazing, no matter how personally demeaning.
    I have never been an atheist – that requires too much faith- but I have and remain a skeptic. But I am not a materialist which you seem to be. You sound like someone raised in an evangelical home who became an atheist… sound like – i didn’t say you were… and now ‘identifies’ as ‘rational’.
    Paul just had an epileptic fit. that explains it. Ok.

    We know the authors of the four canonical Gospels messed up a lot of mundane, non-supernatural claims.
    “messed up’ – or three different POV? Do you think the Church fathers were so clueless as to miss this? If they were trying to ‘trick’ everyone why leave this in sloppy clerks?

    What does Tom Wright do with this particular case?
    Please answer honestly, have you read Wright or any apologist in anything but the negative (e.g. a book refuting them? have you read one work through or just relying on atheist critics?

    Are you aware that in those seven epistles Paul nowhere refers to a Virgin Birth, a Jesus who actually was bodily resurrected on this earth and actually walked around after the Resurrection, etc.? I’ve read the New Testament all the way through — have you?
    are you aware that in our whole discussion we haven’t mentioned Ron Unz? I guess that means he doesn’t exist.

  232. @Tyrion 2

    Your previous post was a lie. Your link confirms it as such.

    You said:
    Don’t all non-ultra-Orthodox Jews in the West actually celebrate Christmas?

    I said:
    Ultra orthodox ‘celebrate’ Christmas – on Christmas eve they do not study the talmud or pray because they believe their prayers might accidentally release Jesus from

    Haaretz article says:

    Christmas Eve is one of the few occasions when Hasidim refrain from Torah study, do not conduct weddings or go to the mikveh. But they do play chess and work on their bills

    On Christmas Eve, known in Jewish circles as Nitel Night, the klipot (shells) are in total control. The klipot are parasitical evil forces that attach themselves to the forces of good. According to kabbala (Jewish mysticism), on the night on which “that man” – a Jewish euphemism for Jesus – was born, not even a trace of holiness is present and the klipot exploit every act of holiness for their own purposes.

    For this reason, Nitel Night, from nightfall to midnight, is one of the few occasions when Hasidim refrain from Torah study.

    I said Talmud instead of Torah -my error but other than that how am I lying?
    They believe Jesus is evil. They don’t pray on the night of his birth lest he use their prayers for evil.
    In the Talmud they have Jesus eternally condemned to hell. (doesn’t say nice things about the Virgin Mary either which is one reason for their expulsion from Spain)

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  233. Jack D says:
    @PhysicistDave

    The problem has to do with burdens of proof. When it comes to their own religion, guys like Wright set an extremely low burden of proof – if the event in question could conceivably have happened in some fashion, then I will stretch and pull the narrative in whatever way is necessary to make it at least minimally plausible – the miracle of the loaves and fishes was really a picnic, the Tower of Babel was an observatory, etc.

    But when it comes to someone else’s religion or legends, you take them at face value, subject them to ordinary scrutiny and declare them bogus – NO WAY that Mohammed made the Night Journey. The sun is not pulled across the sky by a chariot driven by Helios. You don’t feel the need to somehow rationalize the story to make it literally truthful.

    If you accept these stories (or legends if you will) as conveying a moral or spiritual message which is much more important than the literal truth of the narrative, it all goes down much better and you don’t have to make a fool of yourself. Just accept that these things are not literally true but that Mohammed was on a SPIRITUAL journey, that Jesus was not physically resurrected after death, that Eve was not literally created from Adam’s rib, etc. and you can still learn a lot from these ancient texts without having to intellectually humiliate yourself with tortured interpretations. You can still be a religious believer without having to believe the literal truth of your religion’s holy texts. The stories are just vessels – the moral teachings are the wine that you really want to drink.

    • Agree: International Jew
  234. @Jack D

    The ancients were not well versed in science, and yet it is hard to believe that the story of the flood or of the Tower of Babel were meant to be taken literally.
    Some old testament are probably metaphor and consolidated truth. There seem to be many versions of great flood stories so it is quite possible *something* happened deep in our jungian past…

    have you read “miracles of the exodus”?

    The Real Story of the Exodus Colin Humphreys, a world-renowned Cambridge University scientist, reveals for the first time the concrete, scientific truth behind the Exodus miracles. The Burning Bush: Caused by a volcanic vent that opened up under the bush. Crossing the Red Sea: The water was pushed back by a very strong wind blowing all night. This is a known physical phenomenon called wind set dow

    It’s quite fascinating – he focuses on the Exodus but it may apply to cased like the tower of babel. He gives scientific explanations for the phenomena in them but as – a miracles of faith – that the faith of the believers allowed them to see natures signs as divine guidance.

    The part you may find interesting is for example:
    yes, the river jordan can recede and allow people to cross – when earthquakes happen it receedes and then comes crashing back….

    It’s filled with stuff like that. Don’t think he has an explanation for the staff turning to a snake though 🙂 – but the seven plagues of egypt follow a distinct pattern that would occur during a real plague.

    The trick is to realize the ancients used expressions like we do – when we say “shot heard around the world’ an atheist materialist will say ‘see! what bullshit! there was no lexington greens and concord!” so when the ‘river turned to blood – it could just mean a red tide…

  235. CMC says:

    Stupid Americanskis, you are doing it wrong! Being an immigrant makes me holier than thou

    Golden Torch award? Like soccer’s golden boot? Or just a plain replica Statue of Liberty?

    I like Ioffe for 2018.

    Bianna Golodryga for 2016. That interview of congressman Dana Rohrabacher. A career maker.

    Not sure about 2017.

  236. @Nicholas Stix

    I am, however, aware of her busying herself offending gentiles, provoking them into giving her a dose of her own medicine, at which point she screams bloody
    Unfortunately I think there is some psychological need for many jews to feel ‘persecuted’ to feel Jewish.. – unfortunately it has been the glue that has kept them un-assimilated- I am not discounting real persecution – but well let’s say someone could write a pretty funny modern don Quixote of Jewish nazi hunters…

    it’s akin (and probably out of the same ideology ) to the endless grievance gravy train that minorities and LGBTQ “women’ and anyone else who can say ‘i’m not the man’.

    Your comparison of Ioffe to Max Boot is apt. Both are embarrassments to me, and exemplars of the age of Jewish mediocrity. These are not your father’s (or my Nana’s) Jewish intellectuals
    I grew in Queens a little later (But not too much later 🙂 ) than you.. I feel when I meet anyone from ‘that time’ – Italian, Greek, Jews- of which there were many middle class- Blacks from functional neighborhoods like Corona, once we’re sure no one’s listening who wouldn’t understand, we can talk, and we understand the remarkably insane place the world has become.

    My own group -anglo-saxon- intellectuals have degenerated even more – Hungtington was probably the last… at least Boot and Ioffe aren’t down right traitors to their own people – though they may be doing more damage than traitors. –

    Frankly the only ones that seem to be able to ‘work the system’ Irish catholic conservatives.

  237. Marcus says:
    @Alec Leamas

    I’ve seen some Muslims online telling their coreligionists not to wish ppl Merry Christmas or acknowledge it in any way, but they may just be a vocal minority.

  238. Anonymous[686] • Disclaimer says:
    @Paddington

    For that matter, I’ve never even heard a Muslim complain about Christmas.

    You sure about that? Or is ‘threatening the Christian minority against having any Christmas display whatsoever’ different than ‘complaining?’ It’s hard to keep straight the rules around here.

  239. Dissident says:
    @Jack D

    (Jewish holidays are “observed”, not celebrated because most of them are not celebratory)

    By “celebratory”, did you, perhaps, mean to refer only to debauchery or hedonistic, crude, carnal, material, vain or shallow forms of celebration? If yes, then your statement would be accurate; such frivolities and excesses indeed have no place in any proper celebration of any Judaic holiday.

    But unless you intended such a narrow, qualified usage of the word ‘celebratory’, I’m afraid that the statement that most Judaic holidays “are not celebratory” would be patently incorrect. (And even, to be quite frank, downright preposterous.)

    Even Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, on which we fast and solemnly confess and beg forgiveness for our sins, is not without a spirit of (sacred) joyousness.[1]

    On major Jewish holidays, you are required not to work (this included each Sabbath)

    I’m not sure why you used the past-tense ‘included’ (which I took the liberty of highlighting). Assuming it was not merely a typo, I cannot help but to suspect that you chose the past-tense in order to imply that the restrictions that govern the weekly observance of the Sabbath are somehow no longer binding. I will therefore simply note that I would take strong, even vehement, exception to any such assertion.[2]

    or eat all your meals in an outdoor shack regardless of the weather (Sukkot)

    Actually, it is only on the first night of the Sukkos festival (first two nights in the diaspora) that the obligation to eat in a Sukkah could accurately be said to apply “regardless of the weather”. And even then, if the weather is sufficiently inclement, one would only be required to remain in the Sukkah long enough to recite the Kiddush (blessings made over wine) and eat a minimum amount of bread. Otherwise, at any other point throughout the eight-day festival, the general rule that applies is that if eating in a Sukkah would cause undue discomfort, one would be exempt from doing so.

    NOTES:

    [MORE]

    [1] Indeed, Yom Kippur is called a Yom Tov, i.e., festive holiday, and treated as one in a number of ways.

    The happiness to be found on Yom Kippur lies in the knowledge that we are fulfilling G-d’s commandments; and in the eternal promise and hope of forgiveness, atonement, and return to a G-d whom we believe never rejects sincere penitence.

    [2] I might also point-out that in the context of acts that are forbidden on the Sabbath, the English term ‘work’ is an inadequate translation of the Hebrew melakha. What is prohibited on Shabbos is a very specific set of creative acts, not all of which would be considered “work” in any ordinary sense of that word. While many activities that are physically exerting, such as climbing stairs, are permissible.

    Underlying and tying together this seemingly labyrinthine framework of complex, intricate regulations is a common theme: the concept that through their observance, we demonstrate our belief in a Singular, Unique, Indivisible G-d who created the Universe in six days, “rested” on the seventh and commanded us to observe every seventh day of the week thereafter in commemoration.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  240. @Hail

    In capacity of leadership within the Princeton Israel Public Affairs Committee, actively campaigns for Israel’s West Bank wall project (wall project begun in 2002 under Ariel Sharon; mostly complete by 2006)
    By 2014: Back in the USA; upgraded to “Important Journalist” (increasingly left-wing agit-snark journalism)

    BUT she remains pro-Israel, pro-Borders for Israel Pro Jewish Identity state and anti-Gentile-Identity state.

    Do they see the hypocrisy – the sensible dude from Israel who suggested she move there as he did, sees it, but the Jewish elite who obviously nurtured and promote her see their arrogance and hypocrisy?

    I guess not. I guess it’s working. For now.

  241. Jack D says:
    @Autochthon

    These kind of tortured readings don’t satisfy anyone. Fundamentalists reject them – to them, when the text describes the miracle of the loaves and fishes, it means that Jesus literally fed the multitude. Rationalists don’t buy into the strained reading of the text either. So you end up satisfying no one. Either you accept that a bona fide miracle occurred or you accept that the parable is a metaphor for Jesus fulfilling people’s SPIRITUAL hunger and not a literal description of a meal involving actual food, but this satisfies no one. In fact, it goes a long way toward explaining why mainstream religion has lost favor while both fundamentalism and atheism have gained ground.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  242. Jack D says:
    @Tyrion 2

    Don’t all non-ultra-Orthodox Jews in the West actually celebrate Christmas? Obviously not as a religious thing but I’ve always had a Christmas tree, like everyone I know.

    Absolutely not. I would never have a Christmas tree in my house and I have many non-Orthodox Jewish friends who would not either. There was a time in maybe the ’50s where assimilation was the thing and Jews would change their names and get nose jobs and put up Christmas trees, but those days are mostly over. The Jews I know who have Christmas trees have non-Jewish spouses. I am totally OK with Christians having Christmas trees, even having them in public places, even though they cause numerous fires and constitute a huge waste of resources and a disposal problem, but it’s not something that I would want for myself any more than I want non-Jews to fast on Yom Kippur.

  243. Mr. Anon says:
    @Jack D

    I never thought of White Christmas, or other such (more contemporary) songs as “Carols”. They are certainly Christmas Songs. But the term “Carol” is usually reserved for more traditional and devotional songs.

    • Agree: Autochthon
  244. Mr. Anon says:
    @International Jew

    If Jesus had a gun, he’d be alive today.

    Hah!

  245. vinteuil says:
    @Steve Sailer

    We have, what, three main sources implying a historical Socrates: Plato, Xenophon, and Aristophanes. Their portrayals of Socrates are pretty divergent, and some of their work is likely fictional. Jesus would appear to be a little better attested in the historical record than Socrates is.

    Well…not really.

    Plato & Xenophon knew Socrates personally, and their accounts of him diverge only in ways that seem unsurprising given all we know about the two of them (which is a lot.) Aristophanes’ portrayal of Socrates in *The Clouds* is obvious satire.

    The key point is that *everybody* writing in the years during & immediately after Socrates’ life & death agrees that he was a real person, and on a lot of other things, including what he looked like.

    The literary & antiquarian evidence surrounding Jesus of Nazareth is much, much iffier.

    (To say nothing of Mohammed!)

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    , @ACommenter
  246. Jack D says:
    @ACommenter

    1. It is not all ultra-Orthodox, it is only the Hasidim. All Hasidim are ultra-Orthodox but not all ultra-Orthodox are Hasidim.

    2. The part about releasing Jesus from Hell is totally false. It’s not mentioned at all in your link or anywhere else. There are all kinds of rationalizations for the custom but the real reason was probably to keep Jews safely off of the streets and away from goyim who had imbibed too much Christmas cheer.

    3. The vast majority of American (and Israeli) Jews are not Hasidim and have no personal knowledge of Nitel Nacht and its customs – they don’t even know what the word means unless they have read about it like you did (in fact no one is sure what Nitel means – an acronym, a corruption of the Latin word for nativity?). If you asked American Jews lacking in Hasidic garb about Nitel Nacht, 95 out of 100 of them would give you a blank stare. Most American Jews “observe” Christmas by going to the movies and eating in a Chinese restaurant.

    • Replies: @ACommenter
  247. Hank Yobo says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Any NT scholar would recognize the parallelism in my question. Liberals–for lack of a better term–have spent generations constructing a dividing line between the Christ of faith and, in their view, the actual Jesus of history through the use of Higher Criticism. They maintain that the former supernatural figure was an invention of the primitive Jesus cult; the latter was merely “an itinerant, Aramaic-speaking, Palestinian exorcist” about whom we can know little. Since they are now beavering away on the Apostle to the Gentiles, thus my reference to “the Paul of faith and the Saul of history”: two incompatible figures. You are parroting this tradition in your summations about Synoptic questions, the authorship of various canonical books, and the veracity of Biblical writers without perhaps knowing or acknowledging the premise upon which these arguments are based. This is still all contested intellectual space despite grand pronouncements to the contrary. Much of the Pseudepigrapha you mention, by the way, originated in Gnostic circles but does ironically testify to early fascination with the Nazarean carpenter and his followers in the Roman world.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
    , @ACommenter
  248. @ACommenter

    “I’m a Jew. I asked my step-father why he refused to celebrate Xmas. He said, “In the old country, it was the traditional time for pogrom.”

    So let them fuck off back to the old country and not celebrate it there.

  249. Jack D says:
    @Cleburne

    And that the brutal pogroms of the Civil War period came AFTER Russians and Ukrainians began to associated Bolshevism with Jews.

    So the 1905 Pogroms and the 1881 Pogroms never happened?

    This is like Holocaust denial – it’s ridiculous to deny that these things happened when they are amply documented in the historical record. I understand the motivation – you feel that Jews are making special claims to victimhood as a result of their suffering, so instead of (or in addition to) denying the special claims, you deny that the victimhood itself ever happened. There were no Cossacks in Russia, there were never any Cossacks in Russia! Instead of Baghdad Bob you are Odessa Olly. This only undermines your position because people who are sane well understand that these things really did happen, unfortunately. Maybe they don’t give Jews living in American in 2018 any special status, but denying that they even happened or are somehow “overblown” is ridiculous.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  250. Tyrion 2 says:
    @ACommenter

    As I said, you just made stuff up. Can’t you read?

    • Troll: ACommenter
  251. @Jack D

    Yours is an interesting response. You’ve mostly restated the same point I made about both theists and atheists resisting theories that reconcile inconsistencies and otherwise make sense of controversial passages in religious writings, but with the additional, subtle suggestion they are “tortured readings.” Michael Youssef is as orthodox a guy as ever lived, with a master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and a doctorate in social anthropology (the latter from Emory University, hardly Sally’s School of Anthropology & Refrigerator Repair); the guy knows what he is talking about and he is not torturing any scripture here – he knows a Hell of a lot more about Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek than you or I ever will.

    I agree with your primary point, though (it’s a restatement of mine!). However, I actually think if there were a way to get religion to regain appeal, it lies in getting people to explore this “middle ground” if you will (what you call “tortured readings”) because 1) most minimally intelligent people are never going back to the Sky-Cake Awaits You approach and believing in a lot of miracles which were once relatively common but for some reason conveniently stopped two millennia ago when God went radio-silent but 2) atheism, even if true, is indescribably and demonstrably unhealthy for society.

    Jon Anderson is of course a musician; he isn’t even a Christian, and certainly he’s no theologian, but he is a bright guy with roots as a working-class kid from Lancashire: I included his point because it reflects horse sense about the topic, a good foil for the scholars, and it shows a possible hope of productively reconciling extreme positions: it’s actually very reasonable point that reflects horse sense about the topic, a good foil for the scholars and maybe an example of a religious and ethical paradigm that can replace Globohomo as Sky-Cake loses traction.

    Even if you devoutly believe in Sky-Cake, you are better off surrounded by people with ideas like the one Anderson expresses here than by Globohomos screeching “It’s all baloney, burn the Christians and sodomise each other in the streets!”

    Anyway, Merry Christmas.

  252. Jack D says:
    @Dissident

    Included was a typo, but a Freudian would say that there are no typos. For many American Jews (including I confess myself) keeping Shabbos is something that belongs in the past tense.

    the general rule that applies is that if eating in a Sukkah would cause undue discomfort, one would be exempt from doing so.

    While technically this is true, I think that many observant Jews tend to err in favor of keeping the mitzvot stringently (both as a matter of conscience and as a matter of keeping up with the Yoneses) and so rather than interpreting “undue discomfort” broadly they will insist on eating in the Sukkah under any conditions short of a monsoon.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  253. Hail says: • Website
    @Hail

    Success — “Sailer vs. Taleb,” by Steve Sailer, a rundown.

    (at Taki Magazine)

  254. Jack D says:
    @Steve in Greensboro

    Jewish-led Russian Revolution.

    Yes, who can forget Moshe Lenin and Chaim Stalin? Abraham Molotov? Meyer Kalinin? All members of the Tribe….

    • Replies: @ACommenter
  255. nebulafox says:
    @vinteuil

    I think we can pretty easily accept that Muhammad existed. Too many Byzantine sources reference him to plausibly suggest he didn’t. Whether he thought he was founding a classical new religion in the modern sense of the word, especially in his early years, however, is a very different story. One that fundamentally brings into question the whole basis of Islam as understood by its hoi polloi.

    Nor was Muhammad at all unique in the context of his day: he was one of many new religious-prophet figures who were the new leaders of an Arab society whose traditional structures had been on the wane for a while with the rise of monotheism and were ripped apart totally by the Great War and the accompanying depredations-plague, economic depression, etc. He was probably the strongest of the lot, and definitely the leading figure in the coalition that would subdue Persia and mutilate Byzantium. But he was just the leading, dominant leader, not the only one. Islam, as a faith, took time to form and take shape, just like any other.

  256. nebulafox says:
    @Anonymous

    I was an atheist for most of the time that I commented here.

    This last year has involved a lot of… change, including a near death experience for me personally and some close relatives. While I’m still unlikely to return to the Catholicism of my boyhood, as I don’t believe in an afterlife or anything like that, I have not escaped unimpacted. I’m still trying to process everything, and thus genuinely don’t feel like I can quite classify my metaphysical beliefs currently. The jury is out on where I’m going. The human brain-the OS kernel-is a weird thing in what the tendencies are…

    This has coincided with me realizing how profoundly ignorant I am on most subjects (like most people who comment on the Internet!) and launching a long-term plan of intensive study and self-improvement, so I guess it is only fitting that I’m figuring out my religious beliefs, or lack thereof, with proper backing this time around. No matter what happens, whether I am atheist, pantheist, deist, create my own faith, or join some organized faith, I’ll at least try to back it up by something other than just my own vague intuition and half-processed, picked up hearsay. A lot of people here are of seriously above the mean intelligence, and observing them has realized that I can-and must-do way, way better.

    I’m never going to be as bright as many people here, or most people in the tech world I’m learning from, but that’s the point: surrounding yourself by people better than you is how you grow.

  257. @Anonymous

    Anonymous, your comment is confusing. More books and pages written about Jesus, the Christ, than any other person in recorded history and you claim ignorance of his message. You don’t have to believe in Christ as the Messiah, Savior etc., but surely you have heard of him and therefore his message.

  258. Tracy says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Everything you wrote is untrue. As to the date of Christmas: https://t.co/Fo7G2G4Pfq

  259. @Bard of Bumperstickers

    Yahweh was a punter if you take that view; Zeus was the Celestial Ghengis Khan!

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  260. @anon

    This arrangemnent used to be called “employment.” If this genius thinks playing sportsball for obscene money is miserable because he gets told what to do all day and at any time his boss might fire him and he’ll have to recover with only a few millions of dollars to fall back on until he gets another gig, he’d really hate working for Acquisitions, Inc., Joe’s Garage, or what have you.

  261. @Daniel Williams

    I once worked with a woman who decided she wanted to be a man. This was years and years ago, ling before the recent craze to embrace such madness. I was a young gym-rat and pretty jacked in those days. She asked me if I could give her pointers on how to get buffer – bigger arms, chest (in the masculine sense, of course; strong pectorals not big boobies), and so on.

    Because I had to work with her in a very Globohomo setting, I had to try to be politic. I gave the advice you would guve anyone, man or woman, about getting toned and stronger, but she kept pressing, saying, in effect, but without quite coming out and saying it directly: “But I mean I want to have musculature like a man.” Finally I extricated myself, having lost patience and taking the risk, by saying something like: “Look, for biochemical and physiological reasons of sexual dimorphism, you will never be like that,” and I abruptly excused myself. She was a nice person. Mentally ill, not malicious, in my estimation. Rather than be angered, she kust kind of sat dumbly. I saw hurt and sadness in her eyes; but also bitter acknowledgment, like someone who’s been in denial about news from police of a loved one’s death but finally sees the body and can’t be in denial anymore; cannot entertain irrational hopes she fed herself.

    Times have changed.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  262. @Jack D

    It is not all ultra-Orthodox, it is only the Hasidim. All Hasidim are ultra-Orthodox but not all ultra-Orthodox are Hasidim.
    yes I realize this – some are even opposed to the state of Israel, etc . Hasidim make up a big chunk though:

    The part about releasing Jesus from Hell is totally false. It’s not mentioned at all in your link or anywhere else.
    Bullshit. The talmud has Jesus suffering in hell. The article i cited says they don’t pray because they fear they might help him. that part has NOTHING to do with going out. You’re being dishonest.

    have no personal knowledge of Nitel Nacht and its customs
    yes, and most Presbyterians don’t know they officially think the pope is the anti-christ. The problem is Presbyterians will say ‘oh that’s interesting’ where jews will accuse me of anti-semitism and deny the existence of this or the hatefull passages in the Talmud and then have a nerve to complain about ‘anti antisemitism’ (?!) in the gospels.

  263. @Jack D

    Moshe Lenin
    again you’re being dishonest. First Lenin was at least partially Jewish and spoke Yiddish in the home as was Bronstien – sorry “Trotsky”. Stalin and goy came later. The originally boshilviks and NKVD/Checka were something like 85% jewish – the rest malcontents (promote the worst gentiles) .

    Isteve has documented this from the book “The Jewish Century”

    • Replies: @Jack D
  264. @Cleburne

    Wow, it was purged from Amazon?
    I mean who would want to read something from a nobody like Solzhenitsyn. Ironic that the west has come over such extensive influence from Marxism it’s only a matter of time before he’s unpersoned or hiltered.

  265. @Jack D

    So the 1905 Pogroms and the 1881 Pogroms never happened?
    This is like Holocaust denial
    Kind of like your denial of Jewish Bolshevik persecution of Christians.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  266. baythoven says:
    @ACommenter

    “There was (I don’t think it’s the case any more) a famous divide between ‘German’ jews and East European Jews the former put up Christmas trees, introduced reformed Judaism and even considered moving their sabbath to Sunday to assimilate the latter came later and went from the medieval shetl to radical, violent politics and skipped the renaissance and age of reason.”

    I like to keep in mind that distinction between “German Jews” and “Russian Jews”, even though it seems more historical than applicable to current times. (Alas, we have imported far more of the R type.)

    Now, what I really want to do is share this glorious Christmas concert from King’s College. And please note by the way at the close, the splendidly harmonized version of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, composed by that notable German Jew, Felix Mendelssohn.

    • Agree: ACommenter
  267. @vinteuil

    Plato & Xenophon knew Socrates personally, and their accounts of him diverge only in ways that seem unsurprising given all we know about the two of them (which is a lot.)
    Compared to the gospels:
    how long after plato was it actually set down in print?
    what is the oldest printed copy we have?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  268. I have had the experience (in Canada) of wishing someone Merry Christmas, and then getting gently reprimanded, along the lines of, “well, we’re Eastern Orthodox, and we celebrate Christmas is in January” (these people are of course usually from Russia or Ukraine or thereabouts).

    This has happened to me a few times, and while they say it without hostility towards me personally (they understand and forgive my ignorance), there often is a certain seriousness in their tone; I can’t tell if it’s mainly (a) the simple weariness of having to correct for the nth time the assumption that they are of the majoritarian sect, vs. (b) self-consciousness of being of a non-majoritarian sect, vs. (c) an expression of historical-religious grievance, vs., (d) a supremacist microaggression.

    These are all distinct sentiments, even though there is overlap, and more than one might be at play.

    Here at Unz-iSteve, the preference, when dealing with a Jew, is to assume, without curiosity or reflection, sentiment (d), that is, hostility.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  269. @academic gossip

    I see that VoxDay posted the string:
    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2018/12/mailvox-taleb-errs-on-iq.html

    Thanks for helping clarify and bringing it to my attention.

  270. @Reg Cæsar

    Taleb’s point in Antifragile is that Fat Tony is much more street smart than regular smart. Fat Tony makes money from the IQ smart.

  271. @ACommenter

    Aristotle accepted Socrates as a historical personage. The relationship between Paul and Jesus is fairly comparable to Aristotle and Socrates, although Paul was much closer to Jesus in age and his conversion was only a few years after the Crucifixion. Aristotle was born 15 years after Socrates’ death and became Plato’s student at age 17 or 18, so the Socrates’-Plato-Aristotle link up took place about 33 years after Socrates’s death, 5 or 10 x longer than the period between the Crucifixion and the conversion of Paul.

    • Replies: @ACommenter
  272. MEH 0910 says:

  273. Jack D says:
    @ACommenter

    Lenin spoke Yiddish in the home

    Source: Der Stürmer

    • Replies: @ACommenter
  274. @nebulafox

    nebulafox wrote to me:

    Do you think the Old Testament worked similarly, or was it meant to be literally believed by the Jews?

    Well, I do know less about the Old Testament than the New Testament: I’ve read the NT all the way through but never made it all the way to Malachi in the OT, for example.

    Of course, the OT is actually a collection of a few dozen separate books, and scholars have gone into these individual books in detail: Esther, for example, is obviously historical fiction, and, I suspect, was never really intended as anything else. My guess is that Genesis is more or less what would happen if one of us were assigned to write a history of civilization without access to any reference books: i.e., the author(s) of Genesis did what they could with the stories and legends that they knew about. Would any of us be really upset if it turned out that the Code of Hammurabi was not really created by Hammurabi?

    The obvious historical books, Samuel/Kings and Chronicles, do seem to have been real attempts at history, but with heavy-handed slants to make ideological/theological points: again, I know enough to know that scholars have looked into all this in enormous detail. And, of course, there is the whole J/E/P/D theory of the Pentateuch and all the rest.

    In any case, the NT is a simpler problem in many ways than the OT. Almost everyone agrees that seven of the NT books were written by one man, Paul (though probably later redacted). And, all of the NT books were written within a fairly short period, probably not much more than a human lifetime, after the events they purport to relate. So, the NT is an easier problem.

  275. @Jack D

    an apology would be in order for the Ad hominem though it pretty much proves my other points.

    https://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-News/Lenins-Jewish-roots-put-on-display-in-Russian-museum

    LENIN’S JEWISH ROOTS PUT ON DISPLAY IN RUSSIAN MUSEUM
    Exhibition reveals letter written by Lenin’s sister claiming maternal grandfather was Ukrainian Jew; Stalin told sister to keep letter quiet.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  276. @Steve Sailer

    yes i agree – but these arguements are frequently bought up by the ‘jesus didn’t exist’ crowd’ – because we can’t find it inscribed in stone on the roman forum, Jesus is made up..

    what is the oldest physical text or text fragment we have have of plato or the ancients vs. the gospels?

  277. @Hank Yobo

    Hank Yobo wrote to me:

    Any NT scholar would recognize the parallelism in my question.

    Perhaps you are right: I m a physicist — my game is trying to figure out what is actually true, not “recogniz[ing] the parallelism in [a] question. I can’t change that (and don’t want to).

    HY also wrote to me:

    You are parroting this tradition in your summations about Synoptic questions, the authorship of various canonical books, and the veracity of Biblical writers without perhaps knowing or acknowledging the premise upon which these arguments are based.

    You’re just being silly: I’m not “parroting” anything: I pointed out a very specific example in Matthew that shows that the author of Matthew did not care about the fact that what he was writing was obviously not literally true. The fourth chapter of Matthew is available to anyone to read: you guys are stuck with it.

    HY also wrote:

    Much of the Pseudepigrapha you mention, by the way, originated in Gnostic circles but does ironically testify to early fascination with the Nazarean carpenter and his followers in the Roman world.

    And, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God… and the Word was made flesh…” doesn’t sound “gnostic” to you??????

    “Gnosticism” is a modern term: the people you deride as “Gnostics” would simply have considered themselves Christians.

    I do find it intriguing that modern Christians find the little tales in the “Infancy Gospel of Thomas” to be unbelievable but are willing to believe in a Virgin Birth.

    If Jesus were God, it is credible that he could have done the things related in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. On the other hand, what evidence could the Evangelists have had for the Virgin Birth? The only eyewitness would have been Mary: i..e., it would have been her word that, oh no, she had never done anything like that with a man at all — it all must have just been a divine miracle! No one would have actually believed such testimony from an actual woman.

    But a few decades later, as a theological legend justifying the divinity of the cult leader — well, there were similar legends floated about Alexander.

    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
  278. anon[265] • Disclaimer says:
    @anony-mouse

    Happy Saturnalia to all the people here who are so proud of their non-Levantine European background.

    does it bother you?

  279. No one would have actually believed such testimony from an actual woman.
    so if they made up the gospels why choose women as witnesses at the resurrection, knowing that their word was no good in courts of law?

    I m a physicist — my game is trying to figure out what is actually true
    don’t think you’re doing a very good job. Observer bias 😉

  280. @Hank Yobo

    Any NT scholar would recognize the parallelism in my question
    he’s not a scholar, he’s a ‘the gospels are fairy tales’ evangelist (if I may borrow the term)

  281. J.Ross says: • Website
    @04398436986

    There is a certain tendency among Orthodox to be something like a Calvinist or a Haredi, that is, an obstinate pain. But it’s like a form of autism: if you find a way around the small talk (recall the purpose of small talk) and get into some specialization they possess, they will probably be friendly and helpful.
    I know a guy, very bright, very good at explaining philosophical, theological, and historical mare’s nests (he got a philosophy degree before becoming an Orthodox priest), and if you greet him with some vague reasonable-sounding but factually inaccurate gurgle he will tell you to jump out a window.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  282. Jack D says:
    @ACommenter

    It is well known (now) that Lenin’s grandfather Blank was born Jewish but converted to Christianity in his youth. But this is very different from saying that Lenin spoke Yiddish . Lenin never knew his grandfather, who died the year that he was born. All of his other relatives were not Jewish. He didn’t even know that his grandfather was Jewish according to his sister:

    Vladimir Ilych had always thought of Jews highly. I am very sorry that the fact of our origin – which I had suspected before – was not known during his lifetime.”

    So not only am I not apologizing, I am calling you a liar again. Lenin did not speak Yiddish, not at home, not anywhere.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @ACommenter
  283. @Jack D

    Conceding that the pogroms happened, what were the precipitates?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  284. Hank Yobo says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Your fixation with Matthew’s Temptation Narrative is worthy of comment. First, however, I would ask you to speak to any Native American male you know about their vision quest experiences and whether their perceptions were “literally true” or not. Fasting for prolonged periods can cause unusual physiological effects in those involved with such initiation rites; perhaps the historical Jesus underwent such an ordeal, perhaps he didn’t. Matthew apparently used an oral tradition about these events, nevertheless, to demonstrate to his Jewish audience that Jesus remained dutiful to God in trying circumstances unlike their forbearers after the Exodus. If either one of us meets this apostle beyond the Abyss we can settle the issue once and for all.
    Gnosticism may be a “modern term” but Early Church leaders condemned the Dualistic idea that Jesus was not a human being of corporeal form. You are probably aware that many of the Pseudepigrapha you delight in reading are often found in collections of such Gnostic texts. Birds of a feather? If you are really searching for truth, as physicists are wont to do, then you might find it in the teachings and ministry of a man who also claimed to be “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Have a happy remaining holiday and a joyous New Year.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  285. @ACommenter

    ACommenter wrote to me:

    No one would have actually believed such testimony from an actual woman. so if they made up the gospels why choose women as witnesses at the resurrection, knowing that their word was no good in courts of law?

    Maybe becaase it made a good story? My whole point is that the Evangelists were not presenting a legal brief — they were telling a story.

  286. @Hank Yobo

    Hank Yobo wrote to me:

    First, however, I would ask you to speak to any Native American male you know about their vision quest experiences and whether their perceptions were “literally true” or not.

    I think you already know that I do not take that seriously.

    HY also wrote:

    Your fixation with Matthew’s Temptation Narrative is worthy of comment.

    Indeed, because it proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Matthew did not care if what he said was actually, literally true.

    As you yourself said:

    Matthew apparently used an oral tradition about these events, nevertheless, to demonstrate to his Jewish audience that Jesus remained dutiful to God in trying circumstances unlike their forbearers after the Exodus.

    Pretty much the point I am trying to make, a point numerous Christian scholars, going back to Aquinas, have made before me: Matthew used the story to convey a point to his listeners/readers, whether or not the story was literally true., which of course it certainly was not.

    In short, entertaining, edifying fiction, like The Littlest Angel or Ben-Hur. You and I actually seem to agree on the actual substance here: you just do not like my stating the facts quite so clearly and bluntly.

  287. Anonymous[151] • Disclaimer says:
    @J.Ross

    if you find a way around the small talk (recall the purpose of small talk)

    What is the purpose of small talk?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  288. Anonymous[151] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    Vladimir Ilych had always thought of Jews highly. I am very sorry that the fact of our origin – which I had suspected before –

    If she knew it, he knew it.

    was not known during his lifetime.”

    Known by whom? Weird passive sentence structure.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  289. Anonymous[151] • Disclaimer says:
    @Neil Templeton

    Conceding that the pogroms happened, what were the precipitates?

    They were working class uprisings against Jewish rule, Jewish exploitation.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  290. Dissident says:
    @Autochthon

    Times have changed.

    Indeed they have. And (at least as regards the matters you speak-of) not for the better.

    Thank you for sharing that poignant, instructive experience.

  291. @Steve Sailer

    Steve Sailer wrote:

    We have, what, three main sources implying a historical Socrates: Plato, Xenophon, and Aristophanes. Their portrayals of Socrates are pretty divergent, and some of their work is likely fictional. Jesus would appear to be a little better attested in the historical record than Socrates is.

    No, Steve. The problem is that we do not have a single document that is clearly from anyone who actually knew Jesus.

    Paul, of course, is quite emphatic that he did not know the earthly Jesus. And when he famously reminded the church at Coirinth of what he had “delivered” to them that he himself had “received,” he did not say whence he recieved it:

    1 Corinthians: 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
    4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
    5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
    6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
    7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
    8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

    Not much detail there — no Virgin Birth mentioned nor miracles nor specific teachings nor ties to specific dates or historical figures (Herod, Pontius Pilate, etc.). And, since Jesus was “seen” by Paul in some supernatural sense, this leaves open the possibility that Jesus was also “seen” by the others in a similarly spiritual manner.

    Most importantly, Paul doers not tell us his source. For all we know, there is a chain with a hundred links in it before we get back to Jesus.

    Which leaves the Gospels. Matthew and Luke seem to be elaborations of Mark. Indeed, the author of Luke tells us he has compiled earlier reports, but does not tell us his sources. The fact that the author of Matthew expanded upon Mark makes it unlikely that Matthew is giving an eyewitness report. Indeed, neither the author of Matthew nor the author of Luke logically could have been an eyewitness to the supposed virginal conception of Jesus: both authors are, rather uncritically, accepting implausible legends.

    Who wrote Mark? Even among the early Church Fathers, the matter was debated: the Gospel itself does not say. No one knows.

    (And, John is of course a quasi-Gnostic document that does not fit at all well with the Synoptics, and is hence generally dated much later by scholars.)

    In short, we lack the lodestar of historical research — contemporaneous eyewitness reports — for Jesus’ historicity. The Jewish and Gentile records seem to be much later and are rather clearly relying on (often garbled) reports that the authors heard from Christians.

    Doesn’t Occam’s razor suggest that the simplest hypothesis is that Jesus actually existed? Yeah, I think so. I accept Bart Ehrman’s argument that the most likely conclusion is that Jesus was indeed a well-intentioned but delusional first-century Jewish apocalyptic prophet.

    But, while that is the most likely hypothesis, the concrete evidence is remarkably meager.

    I do not find the mythicist case compelling. But the various mythicists — G. A. Wells, Earl Doherty, Robert M. Price, etc. — do have the virtue of making clear how extraordinarily meager the evidence for Jesus really is.

    (N.B. I also find it a reasonable hypothesis that “Paul Bunyan” was somehow based on an actual human being. But, it would certinaly not surprise me if that turned out not to be the case.)

    • Replies: @Jack D
  292. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    Reading between the lines, the Ulyanov kids must have suspected (people in the village talked) that Grandpa Blank had been a Jewish convert but their parents denied it to them. The line that they fed to their kids (having Jewish ancestors in Russia would have been as shameful as having black ancestry in America) was that the Blanks were German since Blank was obviously not a Russian name.

    This is how a lot of family secrets go. You see this a lot nowadays with DNA testing – people “suspect” that their siblings are not really their (full) siblings or something but they don’t “know” it for sure until it gets confirmed with DNA testing. In the case of the Ulyanovs, by genealogical research.

  293. Jack D says:
    @PhysicistDave

    As in the case of Paul Bunyan, it really doesn’t make much difference whether Jesus the man really existed because so much of what is attached to his name is clearly (to all but the faithful) legend and the mythical part is the really important part that people worship. If you take away what is myth – the virgin birth, the resurrection, the miracles performed during his lifetime, not much is left. (I do not wish to insult believers here – if you believe that these things really happened, I’m fine with that but don’t expect me to believe them).

    I am inclined to believe that there really was a Jesus and that they did not totally invent him out of thin air, but an enormous superstructure was later built around him which totally overshadows the historical man, like the huge palace that the Soviets built to surround Stalin’s humble birth shack.

    • Disagree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  294. Dissident says:
    @Jack D

    For many American Jews (including I confess myself) keeping Shabbos is something that belongs in the past tense.

    I believe that in your previous post you may have revealed what many observant Jews such as myself maintain was a major cause for the phenomena of so many Jews abandoning their Judaic observance that you allude-to. Specifically, in your statement that “Jewish holidays are “observed”, not celebrated because most of them are not celebratory”. Perhaps that is an unfortunate but nonetheless accurate reflection of your experience and observations in this area. Perhaps those whom you have witnessed observe Jewish holidays did not evidence joy and enthusiasm while doing so.

    Whether or not what I describe above was ever the reality for you, there is no question that it was for what were nearly entire generations of Jews. Experiencing Judaic observance as little more than burdensome restrictions, they saw no reason to preserve it.

    My own experience and path in this area has been much the reverse. Raised secular, I was drawn to traditional Judaic observance as a result of positive exposure that I had to Orthodox individuals, families and communities.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  295. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    Yes because we know that Czarist Russia was ruled by Jews.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  296. Anonymous[147] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    Yes because we know that Czarist Russia was ruled by Jews.

    The Czar was but one locus of power in Russia.

  297. Jack D says:
    @Dissident

    Ah, a baal t’shuva – that explains a lot.

    I grew up in a Yiddish speaking (but not Orthodox) home and had exposure to the Orthodox community of Lakewood. Visiting the Yeshiva on Purim was certainly joyous. Nevertheless, it did not “take” for me. I gave it a fair chance I think and it just did not resonate. I am glad that it worked for you.

  298. @Jack D

    Jack D wrote to me:

    As in the case of Paul Bunyan, it really doesn’t make much difference whether Jesus the man really existed because so much of what is attached to his name is clearly (to all but the faithful) legend and the mythical part is the really important part that people worship.

    Yeah, I agree, which is why I am not upset that I am ambivalent on the matter.

    However, I do get more than a bit annoyed with those True Believers who insist that all of us who doubt some of the less credible details deserve to rot in Hell for all eternity! Not that their belief has any effect on our eternal fate, but it can affect how they treat their fellow human beings (not to mention terrorizing young children).

    Conversely, I think a lot of Christians could make themselves better human beings if they actually took seriously some of the more benign ethical teachings of the NT: strangely, the same Christians who take literally the story of the Gadarene swine somehow become very non-literal when it comes to turning the other cheek.

    In any case, none of this affects the fact that a well-intentioned declaration of “Merry Christimas!” (or “Happy Hanukkah” or “Ramadan Kareem” or whatever) should be accepted in the spirit in which it is offered.

  299. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    To be unobtrusive, and either facilitate the real conversation or maintain vague cordiality. Small talk that gets in the way is failed small talk.

  300. @Jack D

    you said he was “Moshe Lenin” – strongly implying only a ‘nazi’ could think he was Jewish.

    “Reading between the lines,”
    that was a far bigger ‘lie’ than anything I said.

  301. @ACommenter

    ACommenter wrote to me:

    No one would have actually believed such testimony from an actual woman.
    so if they made up the gospels why choose women as witnesses at the resurrection, knowing that their word was no good in courts of law?

    Just a note that Luke does not have women actually seeing the resurrected Jesus, just a couple of supposed angels. E. P. Sanders’ “Epilogue” in his The Historical Figure of Jesus explores some of the problems with the Resurrection narratives in the different Gospels. His bottom line:

    A more general explanation of all the gospels is that their authors had to give narrative accounts… they needed stories. In telling these stories, each author went his own way.

    Exactly. They needed stories. And, so each author “went his own way,” making up whatever worked as a story.

    A bit like Ben-Hur.

  302. Just a note that Luke does not have women actually seeing the resurrected Jesus, just a couple of supposed angels
    you really don’t understand, do you?

    Exactly. They needed stories

    Not what I said, so why are you saying ‘exactly’.

    Question : You call yourself a physicist, -were you raised in a religious household, have a bad experience and ‘convert’ to atheism?

    Have you ever seriously tried to consider other points of view? It sounds like you haven’t.

    • Replies: @PhysicistDave
  303. ACommenter wrote to me:

    Just a note that Luke does not have women actually seeing the resurrected Jesus, just a couple of supposed angels
    you really don’t understand, do you?

    Well, actually, yes, it seems that I do understand, since you have not bothered to point out anything I do not understand.

    ACommenter also wrote:

    You call yourself a physicist, -were you raised in a religious household, have a bad experience and ‘convert’ to atheism?

    Have you ever seriously tried to consider other points of view? It sounds like you haven’t.

    Those are called “ad hominem” attacks. Now, of course, it is certainly fair to attack someone personally if, say, they are advocating some horrible action — killing the Jews, sending innocent people to Hell, etc.

    But, all I have been trying to do is point out that at least some of what the Evangelists said is obviously false (i.e., Matthew’s thing about the mountain) and therefore pursuing the hypothesis that this is because they simply did not care if it were literally true because they knew they were writing fiction and expected their readers to accept their stories as fiction.

    There are facts here (i.e., the text of the Gospels). My personal history, my tastes and likes and dislikes, etc., none of that can alter the facts.

    Another fact: the authors of Matthew and Luke claim Jesus was conceived in a virginal conception. If this were true, rather than just fiction, they would have needed a source. Who could have been the source? Mary? Would anyone believe a woman who claimed that she was not doing the obvious thing but that it was a divinely miraculous conception? It seems incredible that Mary would have made such a claim (or that anyone at all would have believed her if she had).

    Rather than pin such a claim on Mary, it seems fairer to suppose that someone made this story up, after Jesus’ death.

    Facts. Deal with facts.

  304. @ACommenter

    ACommenter wrote to me:

    Dave: Exactly. They needed stories

    AC: Not what I said, so why are you saying ‘exactly’.

    Ummm… Well… You see…. if you actually bothered to read what I wrote, just maybe you might possibly conceivably have noticed that the “exactly” was my statement concerning a quote from E. P. Sanders, not you.

    Does that like, sorta clarify things for you? A little?

    You might try actually reading some serious scholars like Sanders. You will find that they do not always agree with me. But you will also find that they widen your horizons a bit. Just a little bit.

  305. @Anonymous

  306. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    I propose a great compromise between Jews(like Ioffe) and Christians.

    Christians won’t ever again say ‘Merry Christmas’ to Jewish people, and Jewish people(at least ones like Ioffe) will no longer profit from Christmas season and sales. No such Jews have the right to market Christmas or do anything(write songs or make movies) that allows them to profit from Christmas.

    Christmas should be a Christian thing. Only Christians should market and profit from Christmas. And only Christians should celebrate Christmas.

    Okay, I’m kidding but only halfway. I do think only Christians should celebrate Christmas. Look at Japan, a nation where most people are not Christians. But Christmas is big there and is celebrated mainly with… Kentucky Fried Chicken. This is bad for Christians and for Japanese. For Christians, Christmas is just turned into a globo-joke of consumerism and piggery. And Japanese get all swept up in a foreign tradition and custom that have no roots in Japan.

  307. BB753 says:
    @black sea

    My “Agree” was in fact a LOL!

  308. @Hail

    Thanks for the summary of her life, @Hail.

    I see where you’re headed. Sometime in the 2002-2009 period, probably during the first phase, at Princeton (IPAC), she made some invaluable political contacts, which is how she got the Fulbright, and was designated an “important journalist.”

    Clearly, she did not get the Fulbright based on being brilliant, or having excellent journalistic or social scientific instincts or skills. The Fulbright Foundation is extremely political, and has been for generations. It supports all sorts of mediocrities whom it sees as political assets.

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