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Who: Kimball Corson. Text and Photos not disclaimed or that are obviously not mine are copyright (c) Kimball Corson 2004-2016
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Some Observations on Free Markets and Income Distribution
Kimball Corson
07/24/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Some Observations on Free Markets and Income Distribution

Consider these points, for starters, (1) we have had periods of good distribution of income (1950's and 1960's and much of the 1970's) with free markets as well as bad ones (1890's and currently), suggesting the problem is not free markets per se, as long as the antitrust laws are applied to keep those markets free (1890's); (2) there is no alternative economic organization to free markets except government making some or all of those decisions in the style of central planning and no one argues for that anymore because government does so poorly in the US; (3) economic regulation by government -- especially our lawless and whored ones -- doesn't work because regulators become the captives of the regulated, but the antitrust laws did work because they were enforce by private lawyers and their injured clients who had great incentive -- they could recover three times actual damages and attorneys fees; (4) troublesome free markets depend on a lawful and enforced legal superstructure to allow their operation and we don't have that now in key markets because we are into a period where sound laws have been destroyed or emasculated and nothing is enforced -- some markets are too much abused.

Now, more directly as to why we have the present maldistribution of income, here are the key reasons: (1) disparities in the quality and quantity of mostly higher education. High quality education is no longer available in significant quantities to all who want it. I and a few others in the early 1970's were able to make it into and thru that system to the top of it without family support. Now that is almost impossible. Only the rich can really afford the high tuitions and those tuitions are screening most out and leaving them disadvantaged and less productive. Tiny South Korea produces more engineers than we do. Broad scale, high quality education is failing in America and the rich are becoming more productive and earning more than the rest of Americans because of that. This is a truly big part of the problem.

(2) government, at all levels, generates much maldistribution by means of (a) its methods of contracting, outsourcing and obtaining and using tax dollars and borrowings, (b) whored legislation and favors for those who buy them from government, (c) turning a blind eye toward law enforcement and by gutting laws the rich want gutted, (d) not doing what is needed to protect and promote the public interest because of direct and indirect bribes given to legislators and other government workers, (e) tax policies that favor capital gains and the rich so they pay very low taxes compared to earlier periods when our nation did well and had a better distribution of income.

(3) the income maldistribution and continuing trade deficit we run both permanently depress our economy and lower our incomes because the rich spend a lower proportion of their income on consumer goods and services and money we spend for goods and services from abroad is money we don't spend for goods and services at home. Incomes, especially of the middle and lower classes, are lowered and the rich gain from producing goods abroad for importation to to and sale in the US, further skewing the income distribution.

(4) A corporation is not a free market. It is an island dictatorship. The CEO and his officers control. They can set their compensation and that of their friends at whatever their board will let them get away with. To be sure, those further down the ladder will get commensurately less, but who is to stop it. This is another factor accounting for the maldistribution of income, to be sure.

Finally, the world is undergoing a great macro wage equalization due to free competitive forces in the global market for labor. Wages in America have fallen and those in the Pacific Rim, China and parts of Europe have risen. Producers world wide are getting more bang per buck. But the tide is starting to swing back as we do a dampened oscillation toward an equilibrium. Some Pacific Rim and European wages are rising now above American wages and America could compete quite well if it did not have the educational productivity problem I describe in (1). Still there is hope of many jobs coming back to America, especially the more skilled work, leaving the less skilled work to China. Still, we need to sharpen up.

I could go on, but these are the highlights. However, income distribution remains a problem under capitalism for reasons I have described elsewhere. Free markets will not fix that. Consider those at the bottom end of the wage scale. Remedies for these problems won't seriously help the workers at Walmart. Education will not help if they lack the capacity for it. Certainly the world requires janitors, store clerks and the like.

The problem here at base target is that of the Marxian theory of surplus of labor that will drive unskilled labor's wages down further and further. Fortunately, most such labor is localized -- a Chinese peon can't mow your lawn or flip your burgers -- and that is a limiting factor. But the problem remains.

This more generally is the distributional failure of capitalism I have mentioned. The marginal value of one's productivity is too thin and compromised a reed to hang a hat on. That is why I argue we need income redistribution in the form of free health care and other social services and heavily subsidized higher education in the manner of the Scandinavia countries. I have written at length on that elsewhere here.

Nonsense About Milton Friedman and Free Markets
Kimball Corson
07/24/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Nonsense About Free Markets and Milton Friedman

I hear it all the time. He's the free market nut. He's crazy. He's to blame for all our economic problems. It simply isn't so. Friedman was a student of the market mechanism. A technician, if you will. As a teacher, that is how he saw himself. He was a positive economist and his teaching was limited to that.

His political polemics were different and something else. For this day and age, they are arguably overstated. He was railing against J.K. Galbraith and others in his era who visited Russia and thought that, after the failure of the Great Depression and the need for a world war to get us out of it, we should migrate away from free markets toward Soviet central planning. That was his core political concern but we never heard about it in the classroom and it was too largely a set of arguments for an earlier time in our history. We are past that. No one believes the Galbraiths of that era. Even the Russians have moved to relatively free markets. Friedman prevailed.

I was a friend and student of Milton Friedman and many I read here and elsewhere are clueless about him and the economy and don't know what they are talking about. Probably about 90 percent of markets in America (literally millions of them) operate freely, efficiently and well, with minimal regulation and in a competitive fashion, without private abuse or governmental interference, every single day. Such markets include those for pins, pens, screws, bubble gum, bicycles, etc. ad nausium. You don't hear about those markets although there are millions of them, and are not smart enough to realize they exist, carry out much of the nation's business and account for most of its employment. That's your fault.

Other markets, probably less than five percent of them, which usually are the target of sought after capital or other ill gotten gains, entail much abuse, silly, ineffective governmental regulation and a patent lack of enforcement of the laws in them that are important, especially the anti-trust laws.

We hear about those markets all the time (those often involve banking, investment banking, drugs, health care, health insurance, stocks, derivatives, etc.) but do next to nothing about them, because vested interests block needed governmental action and Congress is bought off.

Instead, we howl and whine that free markets don't work and capitalism is a farce, all as though supposedly there is something better to replace them (federal and centralized coupon allocations, anyone?)

It is silly and ignorant in the extreme and it quickly identifies who is economically clueless. It certainly wasn't Friedman.

Bush and the Republican Convention
Kimball Corson
07/20/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Bush Jr. Stays Home

Bush will not be attending the Republican convention this time. He says he wants to stay home where it is peaceful and quiet. But the truth is Bush's presence at the convention could undercut Romney's argument that he knows better than President Barack Obama when it comes to improving the wobbly economy. Why? Here's why.

A CBS News/New York Times poll this month found more voters say Bush deserves the bulk of the blame for the nation's economic downturn than think Obama bears a lot of the responsibility. Further and most importantly, almost two-thirds of voters think Romney's economic policies would mirror Bush's for the most part.

We've been there, done that, and are still trying to recover.

Biological Social Determinism
Kimball Corson
07/20/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Can Conservatives Be Persuaded or Does Genetics Control

Are many of our social problems to be with us interminably because they are genetically determined or is their room for, if not persuasion, at least authoritative indoctrination? Are the worst aspects of racism, homophobia, religion, superstition, a lack of empathy and a concern for others genetically build into too many of us or do we somewhere have an escape hatch? Are these problems to dog us forever or is relief in sight? Here is one view.

I have already explained in my last post how brain configuration substantially determines liberalism or conservatism with the nodes of behavior those terms imply. One such node of conservatives is slowness to adapt and affect change.

A study by scientists at New York University and the University of California, Los Angeles found differences in how self-described liberal and conservative research participants responded to changes in patterns.

Participants were asked to tap a keyboard when the letter 'M' appeared on a computer monitor and to refrain from tapping when they saw a 'W'. The letter 'M' appeared four times more frequently than 'W', conditioning participants to press the keyboard on almost every trial. Liberal participants made fewer mistakes than conservatives when they saw the rare 'W', indicating to the researchers that these participants were better able to accept changes or conflicts in established patterns and more intelligently resolve them.

The participants were also wired to an electroencephalograph that recorded activity in their anterior cingulate cortex, the part of the brain that detects conflicts between a habitual tendency and a more appropriate response. Liberals were significantly more likely than conservatives to show activity in the brain circuits that deal with conflict resolution during the experiment, and this correlated with their greater accuracy in the test.

But there may be a problem of auto-correlation here because according to a 2010 study by Satoshi Kanazawa, IQ data from the "Add Health" survey averaged 106 for adolescents who self-identified as "very liberal", versus 95 for those calling themselves "very conservative." Many other studies reach the same conclusions. For example, a study in 2009 found that among students applying to U.S. universities, conservatism correlated negatively with SAT, Vocabulary, and Analogy test scores.

Be that as it may, here is where the social problems start to hound us. A 2012 study stated that "In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely acted out in socially conservative ideology. In short, low G and racism correlate.

What about homophobia? Similar results. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. Again low G and homophobia correlate.

Several studies have found those having higher general intelligence are relatively more likely than those with lower general intelligence to ignore and act contrary to instinctual responses and to be more altruistic towards others and strangers. They are also much more like to be atheists.

So where does this leave us -- struggling forever with those of lower intelligence among us who too much foment racism, conservatism, religion, homophobia, resistance to change and other strife inducing social aspects of our lives. Are we too much biologically determined? Is there an escape? Must we go in circles with each new generation? Can public indoctrination be useful here? It is not otherwise so much an educational problem as it is one of relative intelligence. In short, are we too much biologically determined? Recent and some ancient history would certainly suggest so.

More on the Brain Structure of Conservatives
Kimball Corson
07/20/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Here's Something Else Wrong with Republican's Lizard Brains

Recall that a large University College London study that found that those who call themselves liberal or very liberal have a larger anterior cingulate cortex - an area of the brain that deals with uncertainty and higher conflict resolution and reasoning skills, allows for greater empathy and concern for others and permits individuals to accept more liberal views, the authors suggest.

Those who call themselves conservative or very conservative, on the other land, have a larger right amygdala - an older region of the brain involved in detecting threats and responding to fear. People with this brain structure are likely more sensitive to threatening facial expressions and situations and tend to "respond to threatening situations with more aggression." Empathy and concern for others is not their strong suit.

Now there is more.

A new study from Switzerland suggests that the answer to why some people are helpful and generous while others are decidedly not appears to also be a matter of neuroanatomy, with the brains of altruistic people having more "gray matter" in a region of the brain known as the temporoparietal junction.

It's the first study to show a clear link between brain structure and altruism, according to a written statement released by the University of Zurich.

For the study, researchers led by Dr. Ernst Fehr--director of the university's economics department--asked 30 healthy adults to divide money between themselves and an anonymous person. What did the researchers find? While some of the study participants behaved altruistically, others were unwilling to sacrifice any money to the other person.

MRI scans showed key differences between the brains of participants who were altruistic and those who were selfish.

"People who behaved more altruistically also had a higher proportion of gray matter at the junction between the parietal and temporal lobes," researcher Dr. Yosuke Morishima, a postdoctoral researcher in the department, said in the statement.

The temporoparietal junction is known to be associated with conflict resolution and decision-making. As such, it is an augmented portion of the brain that correlates.

The evidence is piling up and lets not pussy foot around it. Only an obvious connecting study is needed to hook up the dots. It is not too speculative to suggest here that Republicanism appears to be a brain anomaly of sorts deriving largely from a lack of higher order development of the brain. Ergo, the nicely pejorative "lizard brain" moniker.

Some Definitions
Kimball Corson
07/20/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Pastoral Studies -- education to become involved in the ministering of religious faith

Pastor -- A Christian minister or priest having spiritual charge over a congregation or other group.

Pastoral -- (1) of, relating to, or composed of shepherds or herdsmen, devoted to or based on livestock raising, (2) of or relating to the countryside : not urban; a pastoral setting.

Aside from several other definitions -- one reaching to literature, the conceptual, root etymology of pastoral goes to bucolic, lowing flocks or herds -- at least until everyone wanted a piece of the word. It's the great lamb chop ripoff.

I am not sure how religious people should respond here.

Moo or Baa might be be appropriate.

Why Liberal Forces Are Impeded
Kimball Corson
07/17/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Why Liberal Forces Are Impeded

In her new book, The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age, Martha Nussbaum extends her distinguished body of work on liberalism, education, literature, and the emotions by turning to the growing anti-Muslim agitations in Europe and the United States.

The unvarnished truth liberals cannot get a handle on is there are serious and odious aspects of Islam, Judaism and Christianity that impact and injure the rest of us, particularly those of no religious persuasion. The truth is Muslims in Europe are deliberately and fraudulently overburdening the social safety net in several European countries and account for much of the crime in those countries. They professedly want to destroy the system. As one put it well, "We will live under your system and laws until there are enough of us that you will be forced to live under our system and laws."

Liberalism in the Scandinavian countries and Europe is losing patience with these results and who can blame it? The agitations Nussbaum complains about are a reasonable reaction, not necessarily to be condemned. They are a natural precursor to political action which has already taken hold in some countries.

It is inappropriate to denominate what is occurring as religious intolerance any more than is complaining about the Jewish mistreatment of the Palestinians in Israel under the Talmud or Christians hammering at our laws in the US to have them conform to their biblically based religious views instead of our own wishes.

This is the other side of religious intolerance that Nussbaum is too quick to ignore in her rush to apply labels. Serious problems are rarely easy.

On Using Lithium Ion Batteries
Kimball Corson
07/16/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

On Using Lithium Ion Batteries

Lithium ion batteries are used in smartphones, notebooks, laptops, iPads etc, ad nausium, yet few know how to treat their batteries for maximum longevity. Lithium ion's are fussy about what they like. Humoring them promotes their longevity. and there are a lot of small things that can contribute to better life span. Inasmuch as they are expensive, the following information is worth knowing.

One of the worst things you can do to a Li-ion battery is to run it down completely all the time before recharging it. Full discharges strain the battery. The best practice is to do small discharges of no lower than 20 percent before recharging. This will markedly increase the battery's life span. Lithium ion's have no "memory" so don't worry about that or its implications.

However, if you are using something like a notebook computer that gives you time estimates of how much longer the battery will last, this clock can be confused by shallow charging intervals. Most manufacturers recommend that you do a full discharge of the battery about once a month to help your device calibrate the time gauge.

Li-ion batteries actually count charge cycles based on a 100 percent discharge even when it's summed over multiple sessions. For example, if you discharge a battery to 50 percent one day, charge it back to 100 percent, then discharge it 50 percent again the next day, that is counted as one "cycle" of the battery. So shallow discharges, in all these regards, are ideal for a Li-ion battery.

On the other hand, keeping a Li-ion battery fully charged all the time is not good for it either. A Li-ion battery that doesn't get used will suffer from capacity loss, meaning that it won't be able to hold as much charge and power your gadgets for as long. Extremely shallow discharges of only a couple percent are also not enough to keep a Li-ion battery in practice, so if you're going to pull the plug, let the battery run down for a little bit.

Another thing that Li-ion batteries hate is heat. This somewhat less of a problem for cell phones, but a big problem for notebooks. Even using a battery at room temperature for a year can bring its capacity down by as much as 20 percent, and the interior of most computers is a bit warmer than that. So in a unfortunate twist of fate, laptop batteries usually spend the most time in the worst possible state: plugged in at 100 percent charge, running at an elevated temperature.

There's usually not too much you can do about the temperature issue. If you're going to be using a notebook plugged in at a desk for an extended amount of time, you can remove the battery to spare it the heat wave. Turning off your computer when you're not using it is also helpful.

Running a Lithium ion down very quickly by drawing a lot of power at once is another way to cause it a lot of strain. For example, running a graphics-intensive game on a smartphone or a notebook for a couple of hours while unplugged is worse for the battery than depleting it over several hours while e-mailing or Internet-browsing.

These pointers are not going to drastically affect the lifespan of your battery; that is, you can't make it last forever if you carefully cycle the battery down to 20 percent the second it's full and never use it for anything more intensive than the occasional flash game.

Most manufacturers will give you an "up to" figure (up to 80 percent of its original capacity after 1,000 cycles, for example), and careful use will help you reach that, but you won't get too far beyond it. However, following these guidelines will help your reach the upper echelons of manufacturer estimates instead of falling far below them.

Are Americans Inclined to Think Seriously?
Kimball Corson
07/16/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Are Americans Inclined to Think Seriously?

Andrew Gottlieb's review of Carlin Romano's America the Philosophical raises the question, Is America Really as Dumbed-Down and Philosophically Shallow as We Think? Me thinks both are too charitable in addressing the question.

It is not that Americans are not philosophical. It is that too many lack a good capacity for abstract thought coupled with the inclination to read voraciously and widely. Such thought and reach are not the stuff of daily life for most and it shows. Americans don't "get" too much because of these limitations. They don't really understand the core issues in philosophy, economics, mathematics, literary theory or much else very well because of these limitations.

Unless matters are carefully explained to them, they miss the boat. Worse, too often they cannot distinguish what is correct when matters are alternatively explained to them truthfully and incorrectly. They have strong and interfering emotional biases and try too much to infer from their own experiential knowledge which is often of limited scope and value. They work to avoid thought. They don't function at all well in closed and logical systems. They wander off, intellectually, and are easily distracted. Too much has not occurred to them on their own. This arises from limited reading and limited thinking about such matters independently. It is too often as though they cultivate a preternatural ignorance.

To be sure quality education helps, but, in addition to being to rare, it often if affords more an opportunity that is avoided, ducked or unsuccessfully confronted. Abstract thinking is difficult because, . . . well, it is abstract as well as linear and oblique all at once. Relating empiricism accurately to abstract theory and making the necessary adjustments to one's thinking loses many more.

My father's advice for college was study matters you need the most help with to learn well. The rest you can mostly pick up on your own. My areas are economics, mathematics and law, and I adhere strongly to the advice of my mentor, Milton Friedman, who personally told me nothing is so complicated that it cannot be explained simply and if you are unable to explain a matter simply, the likelihood is you don't know the subject as well as you think you do.

Academicians too often write and speak for kudos from the closed club of their colleagues and peers. This is no aid to learning. It is merely arrogance and often an effort to appear communicative, without being so: small ego parades that are ultimately off-putting and leave too many out in the cold unnecessarily.

Had American a better capacity for abstract thought and better training for it, they would be better at matters that call for it which are more numerous than most people suppose.

The LIBOR Banking Scandel
Kimball Corson
07/16/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

The LIBOR Banking Scandal Explained

The LIBOR is the interest rate banks charge each other for short term loans (one-month, three-month, six-month and one year terms). It stands for the London Interbank Offer Rate. But it is more important than it seems because other interest rates such as adjustable rate mortgages, the pricing of credit default swaps, credit card debt, interest only mortgages and interest on just about any instrument which has an interest rate that adjusts when the LIBOR adjusts. The Libor was created in the 1980s as a reliable source to report on interbank interest rate adjustments and to price derivatives, especially credit default swaps. The LIBOR is used worldwide.

So what is the problem? Well, it seems Barclays Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the other major banks of the international system have engaged in some price fixing to lower the LIBOR rate by conspiracy instead of letting it float and fluctuate in accordance with market forces. The fix is to the low side injuring lenders and it gives the markets a false sense of security, because the LIBOR rises in times of financial uncertainty. Some view it as a fear index. During the financial crisis of 2008, the Federal Funds rate at which banks can borrow from the FED dropped to 1.5%, but the LIBOR shot up to 4.8% instead of hugging close to the FFR as it usually does. The Wall Street Journal, not the best at such things, estimates that the fix on the LIBOR affected $800 trillion dollars worth of contracts. A lower LIBOR also improved the banks credit ratings.

Class action lawyers are claiming that damages from the interest rate fixing could run into the billions of dollars. Banks gained hugely by being able to borrow at lower rates, but they lost too by lending at lower rates. Traders in the banks buying credit default swaps and other derivatives gained however because prices were lower. CDS have been selling like hotcakes, creating a false sense of security and further instability in the international financial system as I have long argued. Governments using CDS have been big gainers, too.

Investigations are underway. The Bank of England, J.P Morgan and other banks appear to have been in the know and are possible additional co-conspirators or defendants. We are deep into "he said he said" analysis. There is much in the way of paper trails and parallel behavior is also telling in proving conspiracy.

Once again the big banks are out to take advantage. Some day we might actually lose patience with them. I doubt if it will be now however. Too many don't understand what has happened.

Rep Allen West Is a Nut Case
Kimball Corson
07/16/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Rep. Allen West has gone from daft to goofy. First, he thought there were communist boogeymen in all the shadows and now he argues that Social Security is a form of Slavery. A twit of the first water.

An Alternative View on Marriage
Kimball Corson
07/16/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

On Marriage

Is marriage an unenforceable contract, except by the legal remedy of recession, that a husband will deposit 100 percent of his ejaculated semen in, on or with his wife? Is 10 percent for independent masturbation acceptable? 1 percent for affairs if concealed? Does the wife agree to receive only her husband's ejaculated semen in, on or with her and not 1 percent, 3 percent or x percent of some other males'. What about masturbation for the wife, where there is no semen measure?

Just a different way of looking at marriage.

What Is the Source of This Quote?
Kimball Corson
07/16/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

So Where Does This Come From?

"[If] you love someone, you open yourself up to suffering. That's the sad truth. Maybe they'll break your heart. Maybe you'll break their heart and never be able to look at yourself in the same way. Those are the risks. That's the burden.

"Like wings, they have weight. We feel that weight on our backs. But they are burdens that lift us. Burdens that allow us to fly."

Underway in Seas + My Predictions Were Correct on ObamaCare
Kimball Corson
06/29/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Against the Grain

Against a hail storm of contrary opinion then, I long ago predicted the Supreme Court would allow the ACA to stand, including the mandate. That was implied by the analysis, early precedents and standard of review which clearly did hold some sway, although in a bastardized and messy fashion. I also predicted Justice Roberts would support the ACA because he would not want his grandchildren to learn that as his legacy on the Court he denied health care for all Americans. Finally, not quite on point, I argued the ACA could be viewed as taxing Americans for their health insurance premium and then having the government pay that premium because, substantively, that is economically the same.

Although the ACA came out largely unscathed, I am not an advocate of the system and prefer a single payor approach with more effective cost controls. Many misunderstood me there because I said the ACA should be upheld as constitutional. That is different from saying it is the best approach, a distinction then lost on most who were too emotionally involved in the issue. Emotions and distinctions don't sit well together.

Moi + What Contemporary, Liberal Jewry Must Live Down and Overcome
Kimball Corson
06/29/2012, Pago Pago, American Samoa

What Contemporary, Liberal Jewry Must Live Down and Overcome

I just reread Shahak's Jewish History, Jewish Religion: the Weight of Three Thousand Years for the third time. (Amazon paperback) The book is much and unreasonably impugned by many Jews, but serious Jewish scholarship has not been able to dull its edge. Too much is directly quoted from the Talmud and recounted from actual Jewish historical sources. It more than outlines what modern liberal Jews must face up to and live down. Many do, honestly and successfully. Others who cannot are more inclined to tell those who raise these issues to go fuck themselves and label them antisemitical. I know because I have experienced it repeatedly, but as I point out in response, to do less than what I suggest is an acute disservice to Jews everywhere.

I revisit the topic, notwithstanding the controversy, because, upon my third reading, it becomes clear to me that basically Shahak's book boils Jewish history, religion and culture visa-vi non-Jews down summarily into four unspoken, central tenants that can be stated fluidly as a single proposition. 'Jews have developed and used their superior intelligence to position themselves well in regard to those who rule and exercise control over the populace for purposes of their own pecuniary gain by means of opportunity, opportunism and the deprecation and taking advantage of non-Jews socially beneath them all of whom they view as inferior.'

As a candid Jewish friend put it too succinctly, the working rule is "Kiss up, piss down." This is a harsh and summary judgment, but it follows rather clearly from the teachings of Jewish culture, the Talmud and is well evidenced by Jewish history.

Much can be written here, all to be quibbled with ad nausium by those who refuse to face the darker side of their own history, culture and religion. But that does not advance the ball one wit and life is short.

Read Jewish History, Jewish Religion, skim the Torah and study the Talmud interpreting it. Read Jewish history written by others than Jews. Your discovery will be I am very bluntly correct.

The Jews who confront these issues and transcend them in the best liberal tradition stand in good stead with the best of humanity and there are many of those; just not enough as the numbers go. Much Israeli behavior toward the Palestinians make that quite clear.


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