Kagan went hunting, and assimilating

On Saturday the liberal Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival and said she’d gone big-game hunting with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia in Wyoming and– putting on a Dan’l Boone tone– “I shot myself a deer.” 

MJ Rosenberg’s response to this news was: “I don’t care but I guess Justice Kagan is not a Jew. Hunting for sport is both forbidden to Jews & rarely done.”

I take Rosenberg’s point. Having been hunting a bunch of times, and fishing too, I came to understand the wisdom of Jewish law barring hunting: you are not allowed to eat an animal killed in fright. On my hunting trips, I saw several animals maimed that then scuttled off into the bushes or reeds, never to be seen again, dying in terror and misery, with broken wings or legs, and the sight haunted me. I don’t care how good a shot you are; this cruelty is built into hunting. Oh and then you see the animals’ mates keening for them, searching for them…

But there’s a much larger point here than Jewish law. After all, I break Jewish law constantly. When I turn on my computer on the Sabbath, when I go to bed at night with a non-Jewish partner, every time I sit down to eat…. As Kagan surely could tell you, many of those laws are moonshine ‘n hokum.

The larger point is about assimilation. Elena Kagan went hunting because she is an assimilating Jew who was granted enormous power and who then felt a keen responsibility to represent a broader constituency than her own group. She went hunting because it was the one promise she made during the confirmation process, and that promise grew out of cultural differences.

If you watch her appearance above, at 4:00 or so she tells Jeffrey Rosen that on her visits to the Hill three years ago she met many Senators who tried to suss out her position on the Second Amendment by asking her cultural questions:

They’ll say, Well have you ever held a gun? Have you ever gone hunting? Do you know anyone who’s gone hunting? You know me, Jeff, I grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and this was not something we really did, you know. So I kept on having these conversations where I said No and No and No.

Kagan is doing Jewish geography here, the Upper West Side. Jewish culture doesn’t involve hunting, by and large. And though she was dean of Harvard Law and a former Solicitor general, she’s a provincial: it is astonishing that she never knew anyone who went hunting, and never held a gun. She went from one cloistered elite east coast institution to another.

The great thing about Kagan that comes through in this video is that she is a thoughtful person who doesn’t put on airs, and she took the cultural lesson to heart. She understood she was now making law for millions of people from a very different culture from her own, and she promised senators that she’d learn about hunting, and she followed through by hunting several times with Scalia.  

So if you leave the animal cruelty piece out of this (and Kagan’s loutish bragging on her brutality) this is a story about power and assimilation. As John Mearsheimer has said, “American culture is like acid– it eats away at those old world identities and almost effortlessly turns immigrants, and especially their children, into Americans.” I’m sure Mearsheimer would say that Kagan and I are completely assimilated Americans.

I know why I went hunting– for the same reason I did a million things as a young person, because I wanted to leave my own insular culture and try and understand a broader American experience. I wanted to light out for the territory and overcome Kafka’s Jewish complex: “that the natives are too alien to one, thus distorting reality, and the Jews too close, distorting reality, and therefore one cannot treat the latter or the former with the proper balance.”

Kagan was seized by a similar impulse when weighty power descended on her. It shows her sense of responsibility to Americans… and it also shows why Zionism is doomed.  Because Jews are simply too powerful in the American establishment to rely on the old compass– Is it good for the Jews? Reflect that Kagan is being interviewed by Jeffrey Rosen, reflect that Jane Harman and Richard Haass (two fervent supporters of Israel) are the Establishment jury on John Kerry’s trip. The Jewish presence in the establishment is simply so large today that Jews themselves are embarrassed by it. And Elena Kagan, in her wisdom, has understood the responsibility that flows from that power.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 57 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Citizen says:

    Really Phil? I grew up in America, from working class background. I’m not Jewish. I never went hunting. In fact, in the 6th Grade, the first article I wrote (for the grade school newspaper) was on the issue of kids being mean to domestic animals. I was the sample. There are two kinds of American animal hunters, one does it for sport, the other, to survive. They acutally eat their kills regularly, not as a lark. That’s rural America, the part that still lives off the land. There’s a number of Reality TV shows devoted to their life, if you’re interested.

    I don’t doubt you were testing your Kafka, and maybe Kagen was too. But I doubt she went hunting because, as a powerhouse representing America, she felt obligated to assimilate to hunting animals for sports. I think she did it for the usual reasons, e.g., social climbers join a golf club.

    One thing I’m sure of is neither you nor Kagen ever caddied.

    • RJL says:

      Citizen has said an intelligent thing, Weiss has not. While on the subject of “good things” about the Jewish religion, Phil, why not try slumming in a Jewish neighborhood, a religious one, and learn something genuine about Judaism. Bringing the wife is optional. She wouldn’t be the first “guess who’s coming to dinner” non-Jew to sit at an orthodox table. Afraid to learn the truth about who we really are, what Torah really has to say, that has zilcho to do with the Palestinians? We existed long before them, and we’ll exist long after your crisis is resolved.

      • Citizen says:

        @ RJL
        I’m not at all sure “We [Jews] existed long before them [Palestinians], and we’ll exist long after your crisis is resolved.” Further, I don’t understand, what RJL ‘s consclusion has to do with what I said. Please clarify.

        Kagan may realize hunting for you supper is not in the historical Jewish tradition, but does she really think hunting for your supper is in the American tradition since the 19th Century? The Average Dick and Jane hunt at the supermarket for their meat, and have done so for a long time now, certainly for as long as any American currently living. The Average Dick & Jane does not hunt animals for sport or food, and they also don’t golf. Some of their kids do caddy, just to help their family survive or get some spending money.

      • American says:

        RJL,

        “We existed long before them, and we’ll exist long after your crisis is resolved.:

        So you’re saying you’re descended from the Neanderthals who were the first inhabitants of Palestine? O.K. ….if you want to keep claiming that you existed before everyone else.
        Nat Geo has a really good article on how some few humans today still exhibit Neanderthal markers. They can identify them by measuring and MRI’ing their skulls.
        Maybe you should go have your skull checked out and if you have any of the Neanderthal markers you might be able to legitimately claim you existed before homo sapiens took over.

      • Shingo says:

        We existed long before them, and we’ll exist long after your crisis is resolved.

        Let’s hope so, and that you and your descendants continue to enjoy your life in Russia, Miami or Brooklyn.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “We existed long before them, and we’ll exist long after your crisis is resolved.”

        Racist claptrap.

      • SQ Debris says:

        “We existed long before them”

        So who built the walls of Jericho that Joshua leveled with his amazing jazz solo? Face it. Hebrews were invaders from the git go. Palestine was the only permanent land bridge out of Africa. Proto-humans were living in Palestine 800,ooo years before Moses found the 10 Commandments (outside of Palestine). Actual history actually exists, and there have been material advances in that field over the last 5,000 years. Enjoy life in non-apartheid America where we don’t really care about your lineage, but rather the content of your character.

      • just says:

        And the Bedouins, RJL? The ones the Israelis are attempting to destroy?

        I guess you don’t believe they have any rights at all, either– right???

    • Philip Weiss says:

      I’ve never caddied. Save your hunting lecture. I count as friends a couple guys who live(d) off their hunting. That doesnt mean it isn’t cruel. That doesn’t mean it exists in a different cultural space from the Upper West Side. Read The Calm by Raymond Carver. It’s all about the ethics of hunting, and its inevitable cruelty.

      • Citizen says:

        @ Phil Weiss
        Thanks for affirming that you never caddied. I knew this; that’s why I said you never did. Gee, how did I figure out without you saying so? I didn’t give a hunting lecture. Read my comment again. I don’t need to read Carver to know that if you have to hunt animals (or fish)to feed your family the resulting cruelty is second place to survival. What Kagen and you did is not in the same ball park. Neither of you have ever hunted to feed your self or your family. Same As Chaney.

      • piotr says:

        I would like to testify that I have nothing against the hunters. Clearly, like any pasttime, it is an acquired taste. As a non-hunter I have killed and injured a number of animals, even as a bicyclist I once rode over a pregnant squirrel. As a hiker, I enjoy benefits of the bear hunt: bears in my area run away when encountered. A wild animal with no fear of people can be pretty annoying even if not dangerous (once I dealt with an irate wild turkey).

        I am more amused by this angle: all around the world, big shots socialize with other big shots, and why hunting performed in an elite style is an “authentic American experience”? And what kind of “broader constituency” consists of Antonin Scalia? It is like being an authentic American by eating a cheesburger in some exclusive club, served by waiters in tuxedoes.

  2. American says:

    Going hunting is a rite of passage for most American boys. We belonged to a Hunt Camp perserve that some ancestors established eons ago and my first experience was duck hunting….I coudnt stand killing animals, totally made me sick and I hated it, eventually turned off all my brothers also so none of us hunt and we never allowed or took our children hunting either.
    We eventually gave the 3000 acres to the Nature Conservacy and some hunting is still allowed but it’s very limited to culling —which I still oppose.
    It’s a sick pointless tradition. ..aint nothing manly about it.
    Probably a reason why I dont eat red meat either and took up animal activism and rescues.

    • American says:

      PS…I was going to say also that if Kagan and Ellis Island crowd think hunting is assimilating with the gentry they are way behind the times…most of the gentry has matured and moved on to ‘preserving’ nature and wildlife causes. I also use to belong to the Triangle Fox Hunt Club 25 years ago and even back then we didnt even hunt real fox, we used fox ‘scent’ drags instead for the chase.

      • Citizen says:

        @ American

        RE; ‘PS…I was going to say also that if Kagan and Ellis Island crowd think hunting is assimilating with the (LAST LEFTOVER WASP) gentry they are way behind the times’
        That was my point, AND PHIL DIDN’T GET IT.

      • W.Jones says:

        American,

        Good point. Cheney killed over 300 birds on one of his hunting trips. Isn’t that cuckoo?

        If you want to get with the people, how about feeding or working at a homeless shelter in America. Wait, we have poverty in America?

        Or how about working at a cow farm? Or would… never mind. You get my point. There’s better ways.

    • Citizen says:

      @ American
      Hunting is not “a rite of passage for most American boys.” And most American boys living never belonged to a “Hunt Camp Preserve.” Also, most American boys never had 3000 acres to give away to anyone. Get real. I worked in a steel mill to pay for my own higher education. I never owned any property except my own tiny home. That’s the majority of white Gentile America, at best. Get real.

      • American says:

        @ Citizen

        Well I am real and all I can say is where ‘I’m from’ –the southern coast lowlands—hunting was a rite of passage for boys back when….a tradition that slowly died out and I’m glad it has.
        As for having 3000 acres ,that was some of my ancestors doing, not mine, and a hundred + years ago land was cheaper and 300o acres of forest and cypress lakes wasn’t very valuable or suitable for much else. ….still isn’t…except as a wildlife preserve and just enough crop growing for the deer population to feed on.
        I still go spend some nights there because I am fascinated by owls and it is one of the only places that still has a large owl population…owls are magnificent birds.
        But giving it to the nature conservancy was a good thing –so there you go—from swamp land barons to do gooders…lol.

        • American says:

          PS…

          I apologize for my ancestors scraping together a few coins to buy some swamp land and for not working in a steel mill..but I did do manual labor on farms most of my summers–no nerdy summer intern jobs for us boys—so that should count….and since the Hunt Club evolved into something good for Mother Nature and all it’s critters can we please be forgiven and included in your America and not beat up for making a small contribution? … :)

    • Chu says:

      One could make the argument at least the deer was free and outside,
      rather than being in a dark cage waiting for it’s neck to be slit.

  3. piotr says:

    “I know why I went hunting– for the same reason I did a million things as a young person, because I wanted to leave my own insular culture and try and understand a broader American experience.”

    I must admit that the very sentiment is alien to me. For a number of years we lived between a golf course and a game land, and as my son was in elementary school we walked there, and we observed both activities. (Small game hunters usually know what they are doing and they are not particularly dangerous to humans.) But to actually do it?

    • Citizen says:

      @ piotr
      So, what’s your point here? Do you agree with Phil, and/or Kagen, or me or somewhere in between? Please clarify.

    • Citizen says:

      @ piotr

      What exactly is alien to you? It’s not alien to my memory of what I’ve done as a born and bred American “to leave my own insular culture and try to understand a broader American experience.” I never even thought about hunting for sport, let alone need, as something I needed to experience. Who the fuck born since 1940 ever thought playing golf or going hunting for sport was a way to achieve Maslow’s higher aspirations? That’s no triangle at all. If it was on a bread wrapper, it would be much less than stale.

      • piotr says:

        I guess hunting is a right of passage for many American youngsters, and that includes girls (like Kagan). Where I live, the first day of the deer hunting season is free of school. Perhaps it is not so in New York City.

        What is totally strange is the notion that urban life is “narrower” or “less authentic” then rural life. Moreover, I am more tune to class distinctions than to “lifestyle” distinctions. If you are member of some sub-elite, your experience tends to be limited to that sub-elite. Going hunting with the fellow member of the same court is as narrow as one can get.

  4. Dan Crowther says:

    This is the worst thing you’ve written in a real long time Phil. Mearsheimer wouldn’t call you “assimilated” he’d call you what you are – A honkey who happens to be Jewish, you were born here, shortbus; you’re a white american male, i know that messes up your alt cosmic vibe schtick, but you’re a white american male – do you even speak another language? even as naval gazing goes, this was awful

  5. just says:

    I wonder if Justice Scalia and Justice Kagan actually eat what they kill.

    (I don’t know why in the heck it matters if she had never been hunting or held a gun– I think that was entirely inappropriate of the Senators to even ask. They might as well have asked her if she was a vegan.) I’d prefer if they had asked her about the 4th amendment, anyway.

  6. Chu says:

    Let Kagan Light her cigar with the old boys – she’s part of the club now. She’s practicing for a afternoon outing with Dick Cheney.

    I remember seeing a nazi propaganda video on kosher slaughter as they slice the cow’s throat, and it dies a slow death by bleeding out. That didn’t seem very humane way of killing – It was clear from the cow’s eye’s that she wasn’t enjoying a sharp blade to the throat as blood ran down her neck.
    If you’re an seasoned hunter and a good shot in the field, the animal will not suffer. The same holds true for the matador – they’re often booed when they screw up the final blade.
    Were the indigenous American Indians cruel for hunting buffalo? of course not. Check out the Agriprocessor You-Tube videos and their kosher slaughter. That was cruelty coupled with mean spirited people .

    • jon s says:

      Chu, “nazi propaganda video”….says it all.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “Chu, ‘nazi propaganda video’….says it all.”

        Does it? Are you claiming that kosher slaughter is “humane?” when the animal is fully conscious when it is slaughtered and bleeds to death?

        • jon s says:

          Yes, kosher slaughter , done properly, is relatively humane:
          link to judaism.about.com

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          You’re nuts, as is Mr. Lerner. These animals die in great pain and it is by no means a “swift and immediate death” and certainly not the most humane death possible. You simply are trying to justify following an ancient fairy story. That’s fine; it’s your right as a person. But don’t lie to people.

        • Chu says:

          ‘Yes, kosher slaughter , done properly, is relatively humane:’

          Funny. Tell that to the hooved animal… you’re deluding yourself.

          Again below is more details on Agriprocessors kosher animal abuse.
          But beyond their sick abuse, do you really think kosher slaughter is more humane? They are both dying, whether or not the animal gets shot or gets it neck slit, in the end it sucks. One could make the argument at least the deer was free and outside, rather thanm being in a dark cage waiting for it’s neck to be slit. But you guys are all so righteous though… wouldn’t hurt an animal – only a Palestinian family who wants their home back.

          ‘PETA has uncovered horrible cruelty in kosher slaughterhouses too. In 2004, an undercover investigator from PETA videotaped employees at Agriprocessors, the world’s largest kosher slaughterhouse—and the subject of the biggest immigration raid in U.S. history—shocking animals in the face with electric prods, ripping out the tracheas of conscious cattle, and leaving them to die slow and painful deaths. Following PETA’s investigation, the USDA determined that Agriprocessors employees “had engaged in acts of inhumane slaughter.”

          A 2008 follow-up investigation by PETA showed that, although conditions had improved somewhat at Ariprocessors, workers were still illegally hacking holes in cows’ throats. The company eventually filed for bankruptcy after years of scandals involving worker exploitation, environmental violations, and health and safety issues, as well as animal abuse.’
          link to care2.com

        • jon s says:

          Woody, thanks for the compliment, made my day. “Mr” Lerner should be referred to as Rabbi Lerner. It’s called respect.
          Kosher slaughter, done properly , causes an immediate drop of the animal’s blood pressure to 0 , loss of consciousness, and death in a matter of seconds.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Woody, thanks for the compliment, made my day.”

          Typical zio. Pretending it’s raining when people are spitting on you.

          “‘Mr’ Lerner should be referred to as Rabbi Lerner. It’s called respect.”

          And he hasn’t earned my respect; quite the opposite, in fact.
          Look, he can call himself by whatever title he wants, it doesn’t obligate me to indulge him in the practice. My neighbor knows everything there is to know about Star Wars and wants me to call him “Jedi Master Barry.” I don’t indulge his fantasy either.

          “Kosher slaughter, done properly , causes an immediate drop of the animal’s blood pressure to 0 , loss of consciousness, and death in a matter of seconds.”

          And when not done properly, the method leaves the animal in agony – for no reason – for an extended period, as the AgriProcessors videos showed.

          And even when done “properly,” consciousness and excruciating pain in the animal can last for quite some time. Loss of consciousness is not immediate, as the animal remains conscious for 30 seconds or more and the pain signals from the affected nerves can continue to fire for upwards of two minutes.

          But more to the point, stunning the animal or otherwise making it insensate beforehand would make for a more humane death. It may go against religious ritual, but that ritual should be tossed aside when, as here, there is a greater interest involved.

        • Each of us has the right to decide who we recognize as a rabbi or rebbe (teacher) and who we don’t.

          Bear in mind also that many people have such a poor opinion of rabbis in general that their use of the title is actually an insult.

        • JennieS says:

          Kosher/halal slaughter is no more (or less) humane than the methods used in normal slaughterhouses where animals are killed for human consumption. None of the animal killers that I know personally be they hunters, farmers or butchers have any interest in torturing the animals that they kill. Unlike many of my compatriots I have no objection to halal slaughter. (Few New Zealanders are aware that kosher slaughter is the same as halal, only the words and direction to face are different. The general objection is to the ritual nature of the killing.)
          Hunting and the products of hunting are forbidden to Jews? Well no – fish anyone?

          I’m afraid I see the Jewish dietary laws relating to species, slaughter method etc relating to to control of the population by religious authorities rather than health or animal welfare. The requirement for priestly or rabinic supervision of food types and sources prevents ordinary people from providing food for themselves or their famillies.

      • Chu says:

        Jon,

        It’s beneficial to see both sides of the story- whether Nazi
        or Zionist propaganda, we all learn the lesson they intend to convey.

  7. Danny_123 says:

    There is nothing inherently American about hunting, just like there’s nothing inherently American about smoking, whoring, drinking or any other activity associated with the romantic era of Old America. It’s all about the gun lobby.

    I would have expected some compassion for animals from the likes of Kagan if I didn’t know any better that the so-called liberals can be just as cruel and small-minded as their conservative counterparts.

  8. joer says:

    Being Jewish isn’t the determining factor on why every Jewish person does everything. Although I’ve never hunted, there were a lot of things-some stupid-I did as a young man, not so much to break out of Jewishness, but to break out of childhood. Kagan is screwing around with guns for the same reason that Clinton did(remember the photo op of him duck hunting)-to make their political decisions about guns more acceptable to gun hobbyists.

  9. jon s says:

    “Zionism is doomed” … because Jews are too powerful…? Maybe Phil has it upside-down: if the Jews are really that powerful, they ensure Zionism’s survival.

    One more note: Jewish law prohibits eating animals that were not slaughtered in a kosher manner, and I’m not sure that “fright” has anything to do with it.

    • Citizen says:

      @ jon s
      What the f*&^ are you saying? Phil was talking about animal hunting for sport in America. Please explain your comment.

    • libra says:

      jon s: “Zionism is doomed” … because Jews are too powerful…? Maybe Phil has it upside-down: if the Jews are really that powerful, they ensure Zionism’s survival.

      Despite missing out on the opportunity as a caddy to study classical mechanics in action, Phil clearly has an intuitive grasp of Newton’s Laws of Motion, especially the Third Law. Which is more than can be said for you, jon.

    • miriam6 says:

      jon s@ said:

      ‘One more note: Jewish law prohibits eating animals that were not slaughtered in a kosher manner, and I’m not sure that “fright” has anything to do with it.’

      I think the ‘fright’ part Weiss referred to was the suffering in death to an animal caused by a botched hunting expedition, which would not otherwise happen if the animal was killed according to kashrut guidelines for human consumption :

      I take Rosenberg’s point. Having been hunting a bunch of times, and fishing too, I came to understand the wisdom of Jewish law barring hunting: you are not allowed to eat an animal killed in fright. On my hunting trips, I saw several animals maimed that then scuttled off into the bushes or reeds, never to be seen again, dying in terror and misery, with broken wings or legs, and the sight haunted me. I don’t care how good a shot you are; this cruelty is built into hunting.

    • jon s says:

      I meant to add: …”though Jewish law does prohibit cruelty to animals “.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        “I meant to add: …’though Jewish law does prohibit cruelty to animals ‘.”

        Does it not also mandate that if a new temple is built (heaven help us if such stupidity is every carried out), that animals must be sacrificed, an inherently cruel act?

  10. Keith says:

    PHIL- So, Goys like to hunt, but Jews are more humane, however, Elena Kagan went hunting with Scalia not because she is a political opportunist, but because she wisely assimilated to Gentile blood-lust to bridge the cultural divide? That about sum it up? You leave me speechless. Actually, there are things I could say but think it best if I don’t.

  11. Kagan’s hunt is one example of the corrupt and manipulative nature of US politics (judges are also politicians). The politician does things and adopts stances solely in order to convey politically advantageous messages of identification with and approval for some group — and, more insidiously, rejection and disapproval of opposing groups. The assumption is that people decide which politicians to support on the basis of correspondence between their group identities and the politicians’ images. Never mind that those images are carefully designed and periodically redesigned expressly to manipulate the targets of the imaging! All this crap excludes issues and substance from politics and makes anything resembling real democracy impossible. No doubt that is the intended result.

  12. Nevada Ned says:

    The cultural divide about hunting is mostly an urban vs rural divide. People own shotguns in rural areas to hunt animals. People own guns in urban areas to kill people.
    I’ve lived in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and nobody I know had a weapon for hunting squirrels in Central Park.

    • piotr says:

      Contrary to some misconceptions, there are more mice and rats than squirrels, so using rat poison may count as “urban hunting”. And cockroaches! In Chicago it may even count as “big game hunting”. But I am sorry to say that I never ate my kills.

      But yeah, it is about guns, not about killing.

      • jon s says:

        In “I Am Legend” Will Smith actually does hunt in Manhattan:

        • piotr says:

          Hm. This video shows practices which are prohibited by Game and Fishing Commission! This is a quote from Ohio hunting regulations:

          All hunting from motor vehicles, except boats and machinery being used in farm operations, is prohibited. Hunting small game and furbearers except mink, muskrat, otter, and beaver is lawful from a boat or powercraft. All hunting from aircraft is prohibited.
          It is unlawful to shoot from, on, across, or along a public road or highway.

          I just do not want Mondoweissers to breach the law because of that video.

          Quiz: list three “small game or furbearers” that you can hunt from “boat or powercraft”.

  13. Kathleen says:

    Have always found the claim to be Jewish confusing when one does not practice many if any Jewish religious laws. Cultural, religious, ethnic? What is it? What is this need to identify so heavily? I know we have discussed this here at Mondoweiss many times. Sure does not change the seemingly heavy need to identify.

  14. Kathleen says:

    “On my hunting trips, I saw several animals maimed that then scuttled off into the bushes or reeds, never to be seen again, dying in terror and misery, with broken wings or legs, and the sight haunted me. I don’t care how good a shot you are; this cruelty is built into hunting. Oh and then you see the animals’ mates keening for them, searching for them…”

    In the woods in south eastern Ohio you can hike in the woods after hunting season and find far too many dead dear that hunters maimed and then do not find, or killed for some other reason than food. So sad. Certainly do not go hiking during hunting season and stay out of yards out in the country. Know two families who had dogs shot in their front yards during hunting season. Some real ya..hoo’s in the woods during the season under the influence of alcohol etc.

  15. Sin Nombre says:

    A few points:

    Done properly hunting does inflict its inevitable cruelties, but they are mistakes when they happen.

    Moreover, even when they happen I’d venture to guess that most of the time the cruelty inflicted is still far less than the cruelty experienced by most animals dying their wholly natural deaths, which in the overwhelming main occur through prolonged starvation and/or disease, not infrequently ending in getting torn apart by some other animal.

    If you think it is cruel to shoot a deer or other animal that has had at least some time on the planet living wild and free and then eating it then you ought to learn at least a molecule about the entire miserable life spent by animals born, raised and killed in the factory farms of today.

    And as the writer John Gierach has observed, hunting is what enabled humans to get the protein to evolve the brains we have to even consider the question of hunting, much less to have developed the ethics of the sport and how one should treat other humans. Hunting is what has made us what we are.

    And as for any suggestion of the alleged soaring finery of jews in being behind their apparent injunction not to hunt, even forgetting those peoples (I forget the tribe’s name) they are enjoined to even kill the infants of I hereby reproduce some coverage of a couple of things by “Failed Messiah” blogger Shmarya Rosenberg (at link to failedmessiah.typepad.com).

    Taking off from coverage from a video-type sting just last year at what is described as Israel’s “premier” glatt kosher slaughterhouse, that video revealed:

    “… employees using stun guns on the genitals and eyes of cattle, and a manager standing by and watching as a calf was dragged across the ground by a forklift.”

    Further, Rosenberg wrote:

    “This is not the first time animal abuse at Adom-Adom have been exposed. In September 2011, the activist group Anonymous for Animal Rights released a report that documented many similar abuses at Adom-Adom’s Beit She’an slaughterhouse. But the report was widely ignored.”

    And then Rosenberg noted how this hardly seems unique to that jewish slaughterhouse:

    “In the most notorious case, Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, owned by Chabad’s Rubashkin family, cattle were mistreated before slaughter, put in a poorly maintained, poorly operated rotating slaughter pen and flipped on their backs. They were then – often after an uncomfortable and terrifying delay – slaughtered with a cut that was too shallow to quickly kill the animal.

    But the horror did not end there.

    As the animals lay on their backs chocking in their own blood, an untrained plant worker used a meat hook and and a hacking knife to pull out their tracheas and hack at their blood vessels. The pen was then rotated to return the animals to the upright position, and they were dumped down a short chute onto a blood-soaked concrete floor.

    But many of the animals were not dead or unconscious. Instead, grievously wounded, they struggled to right themselves and get up. Some managed to do so and tried to run away, their esophagus dangling from their open throat wounds.”

    And, getting precisely to the point of what the vaunted jewish religion and its values might say, Rosenberg reported that:

    “Instead of condemning this barbarity, Orthodox and haredi rabbis – including Israel’s chief rabbis – with almost 100% public uniformity endorsed the cruelty, making it clear that the meat Agriprocessors produced was 100% kosher.”

    But wait (!) as the commercials say, there’s more! Beyond in Israel and the U.S. that is, as apparently the problem in kosher slaughterhouses was so widespread and bad that:

    In the years after the Agriprocessors abuses were made public, Israel’s Chief Rabbinate promised to stop other cruel practices at South American slaughterhouses that export to Israel and at Israeli slaughterhouses.”

    But, Rosenberg then says:

    “for the most part those changes were [] never made.”

    So spare me the sucking “jewish values” crap please.

  16. American says:

    ‘Kagan was seized by a similar impulse when weighty power descended on her. It shows her sense of responsibility to Americans… and it also shows why Zionism is doomed. Because Jews are simply too powerful in the American establishment to rely on the old compass– Is it good for the Jews? Reflect that Kagan is being interviewed by Jeffrey Rosen, reflect that Jane Harman and Richard Haass (two fervent supporters of Israel) are the Establishment jury on John Kerry’s trip. The Jewish presence in the establishment is simply so large today that Jews themselves are embarrassed by it. And Elena Kagan, in her wisdom, has understood the responsibility that flows from that power.’…Phil

    Well……there’s a lot in that I could go on about but nothing I havent said before probably.
    The Jews in the ‘establishment’ are still using the compass of ‘is it good for the Jews’ imo.
    You’re sort of schizophrenic about this…sometimes claiming they, those Jews in government or elite (99% zionist), are bad for Jews and for the US…….other times going on about how their power means they’ve assimilated into Americans.
    There is no one defintion, other than citizenship on paper, of what “American” is……..and what ‘being’ American means depends on who you ask.
    You keep trying to say kagan and the Jews are big ‘A’ mericans and fully assimilated just because of their ‘place ‘in the establishment.
    I dont know that plain ‘assimilated is a flattering description for the ones you’re talking about…you can be assimilated into the dark side of America or into the light .
    I’ m not seeing any ‘responsibilty’ to the what is called the ‘common good’ in these or any other ‘power’ people and evidently 90% of the country doesnt either if we go by the public’s current disapproval rate of the gov establishment.

    • Sin Nombre says:

      I do have to say I found one of Phil’s formulations—that Elena Kagan has shown “her sense of responsibility to Americans”—very interesting in that I hope he’s wrong.

      My hope, that is, and indeed I think the common understanding if not demand of citizens in this country, is that Ms. Kagan doesn’t differentiate herself from us other non-jewish “Americans” in this way at all. (And that’s not even to mention the slight whiff of condescension that might exist in the opposite feeling, as if … “oh aren’t we other Americans lucky that Ms. Kagan or whatever other jewish American is at issue has deigned to feel some responsibility towards us!”)

      I realize that anyone writing more than 10 words together is going to come up with formulations that aren’t perfect, but this was the second such passage to this end in Phil’s piece, and I wonder if it doesn’t really illustrate how deep some “apartness” feeling is in people of Phil’s background even greater than Phil has (so bravely and forthrightly) otherwise talked about.

      Not that I don’t think too much can be made of this, but it does seem to me revealing. My distinct sense of what the other, “classic,” voluntary European immigrants into this country in the latter part of the 1800′s and the early 1900′s experienced wasn’t that they just felt some sense of responsibility *to* other Americans. But instead (and in general of course, but overwhelmingly) felt a huge responsibility *as* Americans, period.

      … and if anything because of same felt a sense of responsibility to try to conduct themselves so as to not cause disdain amongst other Americans for their religious/ethnic/national background. Thus the stories are common of Italians and Eastern Europeans of various stripes and etc. putting lots of pressure upon others of their background to do this or not do that, or ostracizing this or that person or family that seemed to shame the background. I.e., the exact opposite of springing blindly to the defense of any and all kinsmen who come under some negative heat.

      A subtle but interesting issue.