The New York City Jew and the New York City Christian

The other day we saw someone doing  something particularly nasty The person with me commented: “that’s not Christian-like.” Being in an ornery mood I said: “What does  Christian-like mean. Does it mean all those who are Christian do good things and others don’t?” It was a rhetorical question and as expected the answer I got was a dirty look.

I thought back to G.K. Chesterton. He said: “The problem with Christianity is it never has been tried.” I suppose had it been then the expression “Christian-like” might have some substance to it rather than being bereft of all meaning if taken literally.

What brought me to my blog today was the news of the New York City Christian Donald Trump’s new immigration plan He said it will have “compassion for struggling American families that deserve an immigrant system that puts their needs first.” The plan cuts immigration in half; ends migration based upon having family members here; and will favor those with skills, have money to support themselves and speak English.

One newspaper wrote about how it differed from our present plan. “The current U.S. immigration system favors uniting family members with relatives already in the country. It was built on the premise that any person, regardless of how much education or money they have, can come to the United States and create a productive life for themselves.”

I first thought of myself and my family of hard-working peasant Irish ancestors who came here with no skill or money. They might never have come. Nor would my wife’s family whose arrival in Boston was announced in headlines in the local Boston newspaper: “DP Ship Arrives.” They came with the same ability and assets as my ancestors but did not even speak English.

Simultaneously I thought of the New York City Jew, Emma Lazarus. Her family had emigrated from Portugal and Germany. She was well-to-do and highly educated. She was related to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo. Part of her family had been in America since before the Revolution. She, like her great-great grandmother who was born in New York in 1752, was a poet. She would die before age 40.

Around 1880 because of pogroms against Jews in Russia many of them were fleeing there and some came to America. All were quite destitute. Emma Lazarus found herself working among these refugees giving them as much help as she could and writing  articles urging others to do the same. Around this time large groups of Italians and other Eastern Europeans were also arriving. It is fair to say that under Trump’s new plan all of them would never have set foot on our soil.

Emma came to mind because she wrote the poem “The New Colossus”.  The old Colossus was the Colossus of Rhodes which celebrated a military victory. The new Colossus was the name Emma gave to the Statue of Liberty. This was meant to celebrate the idea that America was to be a welcoming land. Lady Liberty has been looked for by the poor immigrants coming on ship after ship to America as a sign of America’s welcome to them.

We all know Emma’s words: “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Do we say in the context of immigration that Emma was very Christian-like? Or do we say we would like Trump to follow Emma’s lead and become more Jew-like.

Beyond that a greater question lurks. What do we do with Lady Liberty. We know Emma’s poem has to go. Will the lady be replaced by a statue of Trump or Rupert Murdoch? Who do we get to write the next poem? Rudy Guiliani? Anthony Scaramoochi? Ivanka Trump?

I’m sure one of the lines will be “Give me your skillful rich with compassion for struggling American families”  One thing though I still can’t figure is if we bring in these people how does that put the need of struggling American families first. Won’t they be taking American jobs from skillful Americans?


44 thoughts on “The New York City Jew and the New York City Christian

  1. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I DVR’d Duck Soup last winter. I watch it when I need a blast of serious politics.

    GM: Pick a card.
    MD: What’ll I do with the card?
    GM: You can keep it. I’ve got 51 more.

    Do the people that voted for Trump realize that they gave Putin his favorite birthday gift ever? Not to mention the Bad Haircut in North Korea. Might as well throw in the Chinese premier, too. And any other dictator you can come up with.

    “In politics one must on occasion take one step back while taking two steps forward. This is how I see the opportunity that Trump’s proposal offers.”

    Politics is a mean spirited trick that the rich* play on the poor*.

      1. (Obama)told the thousands of supporters who braved the freezing temperatures to witness his last speech: “For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back”, believed to be a thinly veiled reference to Trump’s shock election win.

        Barack Hussein Obama
        11 January 2017

        1. It might be a paraphrase of Lenin’s famous aphorism (1904). Obama is an erudite guy with a quirky sense of humor, quite a contrast to Trump.

  2. Same old leftie syrup rooted in hatred of those who built a country that attracted his ancestors. One cannot reason with malice.

    Until the last paragraph. At this point Matt stumbled into what is wrong with the Trump initiative. There is much that is good in it. But it is not without danger to the American experience.

    The system, not rooted in history, imposed by lying Marxists in 1965 was aimed at the White Christian working class. It has devastated it. Trump’s plan offers relief from the Racist program resulting from Johnson’s legislation. That is the good news.

    Now for the dark side of the Trump plan. It is aimed at the White Christian middle class. The reduced numbers make this effort in the short term far less damaging than the present regimen. One hopes that this is a marketing ploy and that in the future the incoming numbers limited to those with skills and capital will be cut cut back. Our culture should not be sold for coins or a reduction in middle class salaries.

    In politics one must on occasion take one step back while taking two steps forward. This is how I see the opportunity that Trump’s proposal offers.

    Here is a good presentation of the ambiguity that Trump’s plan arouses:
    As we are making sausages here do not expect the process to be pretty.

  3. this could even be a 3 ugh day


    Beware of Woundology
    We all suffer at times. Regrettably, there are those who use the authenticity of their suffering as an excuse to not heal. Caroline Myss coined the term “woundology” to describe how some people define themselves by their physical, emotional, or social wounds.

    In Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can, Myss writes that many people hoping to heal “are striving to confront their wounds, valiantly working to bring meaning to terrible past experiences and traumas, and exercising compassionate understanding of others who share their wounds. But they are not healing. They have redefined their lives around their wounds and the process of accepting them. They are not working to get beyond their wounds. In fact, they are stuck in their wounds.”

    Indeed, the last thing that many who are wounded, grieving, or ill are seeking is the full recovery of their health. Pain is their primary “relationship currency” and, consciously or not, they fear making their way in the world without it.why-people-dont-heal-book-cover-myss

    Pain has its privileges. Those who adopt a victim mentality may use their wounds to manipulate and control situations and people; after all, suffering can be a convenient excuse for dodging responsibilities. Others discover that, after a lifetime of attending to others, they relish being attended to.


    Andrew Vachss is Jewish!

    In my 40+ years on the front lines, I’ve been interviewed countless times, in endless venues. But I’ve yet to be asked this question: “What do you consider the most important issue in American child protection today?” My answer would be: Closing the (deliberately inserted) loophole in the Federal Child Prevention and Treatment Act which permits states to allow “representation” of children in abuse/neglect cases by lay volunteers [such as “CASA” or non-lawyer “Guardian ad Litem”]. That’s right: those accused of abuse are guaranteed lawyers; those alleged to be victims of abuse are not. That is fundamentally and foundationally wrong. Morally and ethically unacceptable. Devoid of logic. Guaranteed to produce the worst results. And the LAW in (far too) many states. Changing that law is the current task of the Legislative Drafting Institute for Child Protection. And I don’t know of more important work. Before you decide to support us (or not) look at the facts:

    The difference between representation by attorneys and “representation” by lay volunteers.

    The damage that results.

    Where I stand on this issue.

    Where do you stand?

    (Updated 8-1-17)

  4. My mother’s parents emigrated from rural farms in Galway, Ireland. They spoke limited English as their second language. They took English lessons given at a settlement house once they were in the USA to improve their skills.

    Growing up non-Jewish with Jewish neighbors, we learned that what some call “Christian values” should be called “Judeo-Christian values”. Living as a moral, ethical human being is found in many cultures, including Judeo-Christian.

      1. I second.

        And I grew up Jewish with mostly Irish Catholic neighbors. I don’t fear immigrants. I fear ignorance.

  5. Fifty to sixty percent of Latin Americans in the US are white.
    At least one billion (probably 1.5-2 billion) people in the world are fluent in English.

    Yes, new immigrants oftentimes take the lowest paying jobs. True in the 18th Century, true now. Not a racial thing!

    1. I thought Matt was extolling the social value of, supposedly, unskilled immigrant labor. Abe, is Matt’s post about the Statue of Liberty, poetry, or, Jews and Goys? Is there an over-arching theme in it that connects all three? Perhaps, I’m reading too far into the text for my comments.

  6. America doesn’t need open borders and millions of unskilled immigrants on welfare. Should we welcome all the prisoners, criminals and mental cases in every country to our shore? Should we import more terrorists? Does anyone remember the Mariel boatlift that Castro gave us? Over 100 thousand dumped on our shore. Many from jails and mental institutions. We can’t have anarchy or disorder. Trump’s proposal and his wall policy seem like modest steps to improve a chaotic, dysfunctional system. 2. No one in the media talks about the stock market or the economy. How many lazy white boys landed on Iwo Jima, Saipan and Normandy? As Obama said if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. So too if you like Arabia you are free to return there. You won’t have to handle any hogs.

    1. Lebanon, al-Akar. I don’t have any Saudi connections. The environment isn’t pig friendly, were you planning to visit?

      1. Oops. There’s a shadda over the Kaf in Al-Akkar. It should have a double k when rendered in English. People around there are so conservative they still use the term “Pasha” in their greetings. It’s a linguistic hold-over from Ottoman times. The Al-Akkar region of Lebanon is in the extreme north and is distinct from Mt Lebanon, and the Bekaa valley. It shares a long mountainous border with Syria. Most folks are Sunni Muslims.

    2. “America doesn’t need open borders and millions of unskilled immigrants on welfare.”

      You got that right. We have millions of unskilled residents of our own on welfare.

      1. When wages are depressed via open borders to a level below dole benefits and US manufacturing jobs are traded for Hollywood copyright privileges in the cartelization scheme deliberately misnamed “free trade” many people make a rational choice.

        1. Open borders are a small part of the problem. Our manufacturing was sold by people like Henry Kissinger. Do you recall how he airlifted hundreds of CEO’s to China so they could start making connections with factory owners? It was the beginning of pulling the rug out from under the American worker. There’s a man that REALLY sold out on America.

          But lacking any skill starts from within. Education in middle America is awful and parenting is nonexistent to millions of children. My sister spent over forty years teaching public educational system cast offs. NYC, Chicago and Greenville, SC. 90% of her students did not have two parents in the home.

          As far as immigration is concerned, the illegal drugs that pour into this country every day are much more of a problem than Mexicans that are escaping poverty and are willing to pick beans. But people have heard enough about drugs. Give them a living breathing human to take out their aggression on and you’ll get their attention.

  7. a liberal is someone who walks out of the room
    when a argument turns into a fight

    a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged

    This could be a 2 ugh day!


    Pope Francis associates target Steve Bannon and ultraconservative U.S. Catholics in essay
    NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, August 3, 2017, 2:20 AM


    see myss dot com

    For a detailed description of over 70 archetypes, click here.

    To help you understand and fulfill the terms of your Sacred Contract, you have been encoded with a set of 12 primary archetypes. Four of these are universal archetypes related to survival: the Child, Victim, Prostitute, and Saboteur. We all have these because they are vital to our growth and functioning as adults. The other eight are drawn from the vast storehouse of archetypes dating back to the dawn of human history. They play valuable roles that relate to our work, our relationships with individuals and society, as well as to our spirituality, finances, values, and our highest potential.

    Awareness of archetypes dates back at least to the time of Plato, who called them Forms. Plato believed that these eternal Forms were reflected in material objects. The Form of Beauty, for example, is abstract and applies to all beautiful things; as different as the individual manifestations of Beauty may be–a beautiful person, horse, or flower–the Form itself never changes. The great Swiss psychologist Carl Jung developed this idea further. For Jung, archetypes comprised psychological patterns derived from historical roles in life, such as the Mother, Child, Trickster, and Servant, as well as universal events or situations, including Initiation or Death and Rebirth. Along with our individual personal unconscious, which is unique to each of us, Jung asserted, “there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature that is identical in all individuals.” This collective unconscious, he believed, was inherited rather than developed, and was composed mainly of archetypes.

    Although archetypes are impersonal patterns of influence that are both ancient and universal, they become personalized when they are a part of your individual psyche. Since your Sacred Contract is embodied in a support system of twelve archetypes, it is best to think of them as intimate companions. They provide the foundation for your personality, drives, feelings, beliefs, motivations, and actions. But archetypes are not passive entities floating around in the psyche like old family portraits hanging in a dusty corridor of your ancestral castle. They take an active role as guardians and inner allies, alerting you when you are in danger of falling into destructive or “shadow” behavior. The Saboteur, for instance, warns you when you are in a situation in which you tend to sabotage your own best interests. Once you learn to recognize such a pattern, instead of ignoring it or denying its presence, it becomes your friend and can help you avoid selling out.

    The Shadow

    All archetypes have “shadow” manifestations as well as positive aspects. The shadow has power precisely because it remains in the dark; we tend to deny its presence in us because we consider it unacceptable. Only when we face and acknowledge the shadow’s presence can we neutralize its potential negative impact on us. The Rebel archetype, for instance, can be a powerful force leading us to reject illegitimate authority and strike out on a bold new path of action. (Samuel Adams, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr., all had powerful Rebel archetypes.) But if we let our awareness lapse, the archetype’s shadow aspect can induce us to rebel against legitimate leaders, or to fall in love with the image and trappings of rebellion (think of the rebellious angels in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim lore).

    Likewise, the Queen archetype can help you assert your power, take charge of situations, delegate authority, and act with benevolence. But the shadow Queen may run around barking out orders, making impossible demands, and cutting off heads! Once you learn to recognize the difference between the two responses — and their common source — you can harness the Queen’s constructive power while mitigating her shadow wrath.

    The first step in learning to work with your archetypes to interpret your Sacred Contract is to determine which 12 archetypes make up your support team.

    Next: Determining Your Archetypes »

    1. “The Saboteur, for instance, warns you when you are in a situation in which you tend to sabotage your own best interests. Once you learn to recognize such a pattern, instead of ignoring it or denying its presence, it becomes your friend and can help you avoid selling out.”

      This is so important. How to impose this bit of wisdom on people has been many great people’s life work. I have used it on many young people I know that drink or do drugs. I never bring up the drug or alcohol use. I try to infuse the act of being responsible for your own actions on them. It is quite sad that so many people do not know that they are in control of their lives.

      I love John Wooden’s quote, “You have not failed until you have blamed someone else for your mistake.”

        1. I have helped many in their fight over addiction, sometimes with success and other times without. The philosophy of determinism has never entered my mind when dealing with a persons problems or with my own. (I was a drunk and did a lot of other drugs.) And I never try and figure out why a person is a drunk or a junkie. I have never told a person to stop killing themselves. I don’t know enough about determinism to say if it has ever been a part of my thinking. I try and get people to understand exactly what they see when they look in a mirror.

          1. Abe: All good. What’s the secret? I have a number of friends who need to change. I take them to meetings, but, it just doesn’t stick. It’s hard to watch them circle the drain. Got any ideas?

          2. There is no secret. I’m a good profiler. Most of my friends that have made it back to being human again are people I have known a long time. And they are all smart people. Brains. But there is no plan. One has to feel their way through the process.

            In my case I remember what I felt and thought pretty much constantly when I was a drunk. I knew exactly what I was doing, not why, just what. And I knew I wanted to stop. To be normal. I never tried to go back and figure out why I drank. It made no difference to me. Its not something a person can undo. And the dozens of times I stopped drinking there was always a fine sense of accomplishment and satisfaction before I gave myself the reward of a night of hard drinking. I had proved that I could stop so I was not worried about becoming addicted……again. But it never held.

            In 1975, after going through DT’s (and the Red Sox seven game loss to the Reds in the World Series), I went to AA and after a few weeks I realized that if I was one of these losers I should just kill myself. Nothing against AA, but I couldn’t get with the program. So I quit the really bad drinking, the blackouts, and stayed in fairly good control until 23 years ago when I just quit completely. On Christmas Day that year a friend cracked a bottle of $200 desert wine (La tour de quem?) and I had my last two glasses of alcohol. It was delicious and when I left his house I knew that I would never drink again. Don’t ask me how I knew. It was as final as a beheading. And somehow, I have never had the slightest desire to taste drink since. Not even slightly. I didn’t drink until I was 21 and at 42 I quit.

            The most important characteristic of helping someone recover, that is kick drugs, is absolute honesty. I was fluent in the language of bullshit and could spot it from outer space. And story telling about the amazing amount of drugs they could do is not allowed. They always go back to how high their tolerance is and how dangerous the buying was and how cool they were about cops. Absolutely no stories. The past is awful and is not to be discussed.

            I like standing someone in front of a mirror and making them stare into their own eyes for five or ten minutes in silence. No looking to the side or turning away. Locked gaze straight into their eyes and hold it for a long, long time. No talking. It is often a good place to start. Let them get a good look at the addict. Let them deal with the addict.

  8. 1. If your ancestors came from Europe, under today’s immigration policies, it’s very likely that they never would have been allowed into the United States in the first place. Even in 1960, 85% of immigrants came from Europe/Canada; Today (2013 stats) less than 15% do. Do you favor changing the demographics of America? Why?

    2. Poems and statues are not statutes. Poems are not the law of the land. If they were, we’d be arguing ad infinitum about Ezra Pound’s inspiring poetry and Robert Frost’s equally thought provoking lines “Good Fences make good neighbors.”

    3. An English requirement exists for Naturalization. Makes sense for Green Card holders.

    4. An immigration policy that favors skilled workers helps America. Unskilled immigrants often end up on Welfare for generations, sapping America.

    5. Charity begins at home!

    6. A parents’ first duty is to their family; elected officials to their citizens.

    7. Percent of Foreign Born in US. 1850: less than 10%; 1860-1920: average, @ 14%; 1920-1940: @10%; 1940-2000 @7.3%. today, 13.5%. Historically, year in year out the US average is about 10%. What percent do you favor?

    8. There are 200 million immigrants and 65 million refugees worldwide? Should the US be open to all of them? Did Ezra Lazarus mean “give me (all of your) huddled masses”?

    9. Let’s adopt rational immigration policies, not poetical “pie in the sky” panaceas.

    10. Moderation in all things.

  9. Immigrants take those jobs that proud white men feel are beneath them, like burning hogs. That’s just an example. Farmers in my area can’t hire white kids to do farm labor. They wouldn’t be caught using a shovel for any money. These days, Hispanic immigrants do all the labor. Generally, being from the campo, they don’t have much formal education, and, their English is minimal, but, they can fix a piece of machinery. My neighbors wouldn’t hire a lazy inexperienced white kid, unless, no Hispanics were available, and, maybe, not then. Perhaps, if Glorious Leader made idleness a federal crime, you could get white kids moving. The penalty for being unemployed could be snappy new military uniform.

    1. Khalid’s anecdotal racist stereotype of the “lazy, white inexperienced white kid” clashes with the Department of Labor Statistics.
      ” The July 2016 labor force participation rate for 16- to 24-year-old men was 62.4
      percent, higher than the rate for young women at 57.7 percent. Whites had the highest youth labor force participation rate in July 2016 at 62.7 percent. The rate was 53.8 percent for Blacks, 43.1 percent for Asians, and 56.2 percent for Hispanics. “

      1. Just talking about the state of things in my neighborhood, Bill. Things I see with my own eyes. Agri-business in my area would go into a death spiral without immigrant labor. If the folks are sin documentos, all the better, since one can pay them off the books . All those workers spend their cash in local businesses. They are a big part of the local economy. Since, illegals can’t access normal medical services, they jam the free-clinic in town, and, make frequent appearances at the emergency room of our local hospital. Once we have socialized medicine (Medicare for all), we could extend that compassion to the people who risk so much to get here, just to slave at the hard and/or, nasty jobs no born American, regardless of race, would take.

  10. Be careful, Matt. The “apples to oranges ” crowd has already scraped enough scum off the sides of their think tanks to repel your argument. Or maybe in the ghettos of Boston they call it “eggplants to potatoes”.

  11. Way down South in the land of Dixie, a man dressed in a fire-proof suit trains a flame-thrower on the hides of a seemingly endless succession of hog carcasses. He works in a cloud of smoke. Despite the protective outfit, the acrid smell of burning hair permeates his very being. He can’t shower it away. It goes home with him at the end of his day. That worker makes about ten dollars an hour. How many Trumpy white men would take that job? Raise your hands, boys. North Carolina has job for you.

    1. Don’t forget about the white-men who built the railroads, canals and sewer systems in America, and who manned the factories that gave us planes, cars and appliances, and who staffed the hospitals.

    2. ” a seemingly endless succession … ”

      Khalid , this is a cliche. It is as worn as it gets . Additionally … Re: ” Trumpy white men …” the correct syntax is ” North Carolina has * jobs for you ” not …as written …” North Carolina has job for you .”

      Unlike yourself , I have not ” corrected thousands of undergraduate papers ” and am not therefore an expert on how ” fluently” a writer of Bill C.’s caliber is “expressing” himself . Bill clearly a ” John Bircher ,” … a ” Trumpy white man ,” and a ” White racist who does not understand White Privilege ,” after all . This is evident in every tolerant, erudite , and compassionate line he has ever written on this blog , clearly .

      Overall I grade your ” Paper ” at a C– .
      It is trite . It is one trick pony . It is the bathetic ( that’s. right , bathetic not simply ” pathetic ” Perfessor) , attempt of a sophomoric intellectual to wax invidious, to gain attention, rather than engage in Socratic dialogue. There is the usual smoke . There is the usual flamethrowing . There is the usual stink . You are , as usual , run hog wild. How is that for a cliche .

      1. Don’t be so jealous , John. If you turn down the hyperbole, and, stop emulating Alex Jones, you’ll get the attention you crave.

        1. More boilerplate racist stereotyping from Khalid . I am not a fan of Alex Jones . You can dish out the hyperbole, but you cannot tolerate the truth . I certainly got your attention , which I do not crave , as I only like to deal with those who are not so morally craven that they can only bargain their ideas if they dress them up in white sheets and pointy hats . Your constant ranting on about the evil White man is hyperbole in its most virulent manifestion. You are a deep dyed racist and a bigot masking the malignancy in your heart with pseudo- intellectual Marxist maunderings . Or do I exaggerate ? Manage your own world of incoherencies and then try to manage this blog . I am tired of your BS . Otherwise, you are a harmless enough sort .

          1. Your style apes his, closely, especially the insults, and, hyperbole. Why do you tire so easily? Are you over matched?

            1. When you roll around with a pig in the mud , as the old saying goes , you start to realize just how much the pig enjoys it . Insult and smear are pure Alinsky lefty ” pig ” tactics . Anything to provoke a response , no matter how outlandish , no matter how much a projection of your own mental contents , no matter as in no mind no matter . It is all smoke and stink and a ” pig ” that needs curing . You are a soldier of the Left . I am a warrior of what is Right . You do not get a title shot , as inevitably you grow weaker and weaker in your groundless accusations and are simply overmatched . When you accuse someone else of being whom you actually are you confirm your own lack of mettle . Do not ape your betters , Khalid . They might actually notice you . Alex Jones ? Khalid in a different plaid suit . Selling the same shoddy merchandise !

            2. In this four line squib you have two superfluous commas , Perfessor ‘ . Try to figure out where they are . Your thousands of undergraduates whose papers you corrected must have really benefited from grade inflation . But, of course , that was just another Khalid …. Lie !

              Four lines for God’s sake . Four lines !

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