Understanding Anti-Semitism and other irrational hatreds

If you start with a slight prejudice, and have it confirmed a few times by your own experience, you will often come away with the firm belief that you were right to dislike the suspect fucks all along.

I am Jewish, from a once-large family ruthlessly pruned by European anta-semits almost eighty years ago.  As one of the few left from a family wiped from the world, strictly on the basis of our religion and social status, I am aware of the murderous power of rage channeled into an ignorantly opinionated and violent belief system. It is the same anywhere, where one group kills another simply because they hate and feel righteous doing so.

Jews were hand in hand with blacks catching hell down south during the Civil Rights movement.   Both of my parents were reviled as “Nigger Lovers”, which was the common phrase for their type back then.  Now, more often than not, Jews and blacks find ourselves on opposite sides of a divide that benefits only powerful haters.   The way of this imperfect world, I suppose, to randomly divide and control groups of people, and a subject for another time. [1]

Yesterday I had a graphic illustration of how this hatred of groups works.   I waited on a long line in a health food store in Queens to buy some vegetarian burgers we like.   At the cash register I was surprised when the bill was $1.20 more than I expected to pay for the two items.  

 Before you say I’m conforming to the stereotype of the cheap, penny-pinching Jew who only thinks about the price of everything and is always looking for the best deal, consider me as an aware consumer who knows how much the thing he buys regularly is supposed to cost.    The price ranges from $4.99 to $5.49, everywhere.   This store charged $6.09.

The line had been long, it was raining out, a 60 cent surcharge for each item was not hard to pay. Nonetheless, I was a little disgusted at the greed of the store owner, a store doing a brisk and lucrative business, as I went back out into the rain.

On the way home I stopped in another store to pick up something else.  The price was a little higher for this item than at other places, but I was happy to find it so I bought it.

  The cashier rang it up and charged me almost a dollar more than the price on the item.  I paid and left, then looked at the price again and thought “what the fuck?”

I went back in, the manager was called over and I was subjected to a convoluted rationale for why the store was legally required, contrary to the actual law, to charge tax for this tax-free item.  I have never paid tax for this item in any of the dozen stores I bought it in.  That’s because it is illegal in New York City to charge tax for this kind of ready-to-eat item.  I looked at the young Korean manager, who stood firm on store policy, said nothing, left the store, later ate the food.   Now, for the insight.  

Both stores were run by Koreans, no doubt future crazy rich Asians.   I called an old friend and told her I’d had a graphic insight into the workings of antisemitism.   I was disgusted by the practices of both greedy store owners, both of whom happened to belong to a certain ethnic group, and that, therefore, it felt quite natural to draw a conclusion about the group personality of these “Jews of east Asia”.  

Much to my surprise, my friend immediately jumped, with surprising vehemence, into an animated and detailed discourse on the sometimes shady practices of Korean store owners.

“Koreans are famously greedy bastards,” she said, adding a few of her direct experiences with greedy Korean store owners, reminding me how brazen they’d been at the laundry after losing articles of our clothes more than once. This happened because they combined the washes of customers, to be a little more efficiently profitable.

She gave them some credit for having invented the salad bar, though, of course, it was also a way to charge inflated prices for rotting food that they cut the bad parts off of.    

“Some of them are greedy bastards, no doubt, but we can agree that not all Koreans are like that,”  I said, but the point was made.   She was really disgusted by greedy fucking Korean store owners in New York City.   It was a pet peeve of her’s, being ripped off by the snippy, greedy, entitled fucks.

We all swim in a sea of outrage.  Our fellow swimmers are constantly kicking and clawing us.  It is good to remember, somehow, that succumbing to hatred of everyone else, while easy to do, is important to resist.   Every one of us is an individual with a soul of infinite worth.  Even greedy fucking bastards.

Oh, yeah, here’s yet another example of Korean entrepreneurship in a disappointing context.  This occurred between my trips to the two Korean-owned grocery stores and, even though completely innocent  on the part of the school operators, would have sealed the deal, if I was the sort to make that kind of deal.  

I went to pick up a couple of whole wheat everything bagels at the bagel place on Horace Harding yesterday.   The place has been there since I was a kid, open 24 hours a day, selling hot bagels (boiled and baked in the back) for easily fifty years.    I was in there about a month ago, the place smelled great, the bagels were delicious.    

Yesterday the bagel place was a storefront school where local immigrant parents send their children so they will all get into medical and law school.  

How many more examples do you need?

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[1]   Though it was hard to ignore the spectacle of Jews of various political orientations coming together to denounce an elected official, a black woman, a Muslim, who’d bluntly stated that Israel is immune from criticism in America, no matter how extremely it behaves, because it has a powerful, well-funded political action network here in our pay-to-play democracy.   Imagine that, a fucking Muslim woman complaining about a group of Jews using their wealth to influence American foreign policy!   How dare she?!!!  (Even if it is true).   Fucking anti-Semite!  

The case for her anti-Semitism strikes me as thin, particularly in light of what she said afterwards, the content of her apology for insensitivity, what she said in the actual remarks from which the indictment of her was drawn.   She made the point that you cannot criticize Israel’s actions without being called an anti-Semite.  The almost universal reaction to her selected remarks showed that this point was true.   She also said that we dehumanize humans who are being brutalized, in order to remove their brutalization from the discussion of right and wrong.   I agree.  

Did any Iraqi civilian child have anything to do with the tyrannical reign of Saddam Hussein?  No, but many were killed, a fact made much easier to bear if they can be made “other”…   This is an ancient technique.  You are justified in killing a terrorist, always.  If you kill freedom fighters, on the other hand, you are evil.   Now just tell me which one is which.

The clip of her uttering the offensive phrase “dual loyalty” (of American Jews to Israel) was played over and over, and referring to hundred dollar bills, called “Benjamins” by rappers, (after notorious Jew Benjamin Franklin)  to make the irrefutable case that this African Muslim bitch is out of line.  

Personally, I believe what she’s said, both in the remarks she was condemned for and her interviews and statements since the “sensational” story, which blew up big time because attacking the power of AIPAC is as politically stupid as denouncing the NRA or Big Pharma, or the Oil Industry.    

A black woman, a Muslim, criticizing the decisive role of  money coming through the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) in determining American foreign policy– well, the only explanation is that she’s an anti-Semite, and possibly, also, a supporter of terrorism.  That or a freedom fighter, but fighting for the wrong freedom…

 

A few minutes of internet research

I’m using my phone as a modem and wireless router to get my computer on-line these days.   I was walked through the process the other night by two kind, patient, cheerful women in the Philippines.  Using my phone as a “hotspot” eliminates my need to pay a particularly psychopathic “person” called Spectrum $50 a month for very poor, intermittent internet service.  A beautiful thing not to have to deal with Spectrum any more.  

I’ve been angrily lecturing the kind reps for that psychopath at such length recently (over their defense of an invalid $45 service charge that didn’t resolve my spotty internet service and no internet service going on a week) making so great an effort to denounce a monster clearly and without any unpublishable expletives,  that my throat hurts just thinking about those strained lectures to reps powerless to do the simplest things for an irate customer, no matter how right or superficially polite that ranting maniac might have been.

I did have a call back yesterday from a very nice rep for the vicious psychopath. Michele, based in Ontario, Ca. called to make sure I knew the good news that, after only a week or two of arguments about the validity of the invalid charge, they had removed the $45 service charge, since no documentation was produced that I was ever informed of it, let alone that I signed a work order consenting to it.  

It was true, she admitted, that I still have no internet service from them, but the good news is that I’ll also be credited more than $9 for the last five days without internet service.    I told her that was a truly generous credit, particularly from the personification of psychopathy indistinguishable, in its moral core, from Adolf Hitler himself.   I told Michele she sounded like a lovely woman, but that I am very glad to be done doing business with the company she works for.   Spectrum is one of the worst of the worst, infamous nationwide among its cheated customers and fired employees.

I did a quick search for Tom Rutledge, CEO of Charter, the parent company of monster baby Spectrum, the entity I have been being abused by for the last few years.   As everyone knows, the search took less than a second.   I clicked on “images”.  

There he is in the Oval Office with the president, there are the protests against the painfully “smiling” sociopath’s ruthlessly self-serving policies, there he is trying to squeeze out another  human-looking expression.   There he is, with an almost human expression on his face, at a photo op when his company bought Time Warner Cable a few years back for $56,000,000,000.   There he is over a caption about his $98,000,000 salary in 2016, which led all of the nations finest CEO’s by more than 100%.  

There is the president praising Tom, the union buster who wanted unionized technicians to agree to a new contract without health benefits for their families and without a company pension.   Fair is fair, you know?    These parasite workers apparently wanted everything.   The greedy bastard Spectrum technicians went out on strike, 1,800 of them, rather than agree to Tom’s new work conditions.  He hired workers to replace them, guys commies refer to as “scabs”, workers with reasonable, realistic demands, workers who can probably be fired any time on an hour’s notice and who agreed never to strike under any circumstance.

The striking unionized technicians set up a webpage called http://spectrumstrike2017.com/.   They set out the several reasonable reasons they were striking and vowed not to be defeated.   Then they were defeated, as besieged camps have always been defeated, they were starved out.  A visit to their valiant website is a sad reminder of the power of vastly wealthy armies to starve out less powerful resisting armies and civilians with even the most modest of goals, mere survival with dignity.    

Dignity.  SAD!