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San Francisco Set to Vote on Circumcision Ban


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#21 israeli4ever

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:21 AM

it is different, but it is also not a medical necessity.

circumcision is also not completely "elective." Although its necessity, or value is not medical, or cosmetic, it is not senseless mutilation. It carries great meaning to those who perform it.


I agree. there is so little risk or downside, that i dont see why it should be more of an issue than say getting ears pierced, but that is not how the anti- group sees it...
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#22 Tel Aviv

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 02:17 AM

I think circumcision served as a barrier to conversion to Judaism, hence part of the reason it was supported.
Sometimes I wonder why some elites work so hard in an unethical manner to gain wealth and power: they can't take any of their wealth and power with them when they die. Philosophically looking at it, if there is a G-d, they will have an eternity of suffering to pay for their crimes against humanity. And if there is no G-d, then once they die, they will have no memories and conscious awareness of their success in life because their consciousness and memories are lost for eternity, becoming nothing more than dirt in the ground. So, these elites in the end lose either way. The 100 years of life living like a king is just a drop of water in the infinite ocean of time that they will experience suffering at the hands of G-d, or not experience in a state of non-existence.

#23 U Tarzan me Jane

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 08:25 AM

People who are trying to push this law really think that the practice is cruel. What if a religious group were doing something really cruel to babies in the name of religion in America? Something would have to be done.


female circumcision is illegal, because it causes constant pain. male circumcision, is not the same at all. Circumcision is done routinely in many cultures, not just by Jews. A rather high percentage of newborn boys are circumcised routinely in US hospitals, according to wikipedia, the WHO estimates 75% of US males are circumcised. Worldwide the number is only 30%.

it probably is illegal to do elective plastic surgery on a child.....some piercings are ok though...

Where I live, friends of mine had nose jobs before the age of 18. Friends mentioned that they were planning to have their children's ears pinned back. There is no law that would stop them from doing this before the age of 18. In fact one went doctor shopping because the plastic surgeon wouldn't do it till the kid was older because there was a risk of it growing back....she did it anyway.

I am also unfortunately acquainted with someone who insisted her child get a feeding tube, against her pediatricians wishes, it took her months to find a doctor to do it. no law against having a tube placed in your healthy child because you fear he is not getting enough calories.

Why do these people only consider circumcision cruel? Why don't they protest parents fixing their kids ears for purely aesthetic purposes? or parents of mini beauty queens? It cant be good to bleach a 7 year olds hair, or make them walk in heels. to me, it seems like it is mostly based on being anti religious, why else not put in a religious exclusion?
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#24 israeli4ever

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 08:32 AM

....
Where I live, friends of mine had nose jobs before the age of 18. Friends mentioned that they were planning to have their children's ears pinned back. There is no law that would stop them from doing this before the age of 18. In fact one went doctor shopping because the plastic surgeon wouldn't do it till the kid was older because there was a risk of it growing back....she did it anyway.

I am also unfortunately acquainted with someone who insisted her child get a feeding tube, against her pediatricians wishes, it took her months to find a doctor to do it. no law against having a tube placed in your healthy child because you fear he is not getting enough calories.

Why do these people only consider circumcision cruel? Why don't they protest parents fixing their kids ears for purely aesthetic purposes? or parents of mini beauty queens? It cant be good to bleach a 7 year olds hair, or make them walk in heels. to me, it seems like it is mostly based on being anti religious, why else not put in a religious exclusion?


I would have to agree with your conclusion, I was not aware that elective cosmetic surgery was that easily available; but if it is, then there is certainly no justification to complain about circumcision, IMO.

I think circumcision served as a barrier to conversion to Judaism, hence part of the reason it was supported.


Ummmm, what?
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#25 Moshebendavid

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 08:58 AM

female circumcision is illegal, because it causes constant pain. male circumcision, is not the same at all. Circumcision is done routinely in many cultures, not just by Jews. A rather high percentage of newborn boys are circumcised routinely in US hospitals, according to wikipedia, the WHO estimates 75% of US males are circumcised. Worldwide the number is only 30%.


In that it is a permanent alteration made without consent, there are notable similarities between the two. The fact that the severity of the two practices are not identical (and this is certainly true) doesn't render any and all comparison invalid.

Where I live, friends of mine had nose jobs before the age of 18. Friends mentioned that they were planning to have their children's ears pinned back. There is no law that would stop them from doing this before the age of 18. In fact one went doctor shopping because the plastic surgeon wouldn't do it till the kid was older because there was a risk of it growing back....she did it anyway.


While 18 might serve as a perfectly workable age of consent/adulthood for western cultures (I would argue it does not but that's for another thread) it is a bit disingenuous to reduce all decisions and events to either child appropriate or not. Everyone knows that there is a spectrum of appropriateness for different ages (and different individuals who react in their own unique ways). I wouldn't call a skateboard an 'adult' item but on the other hand I wouldn't hand one over to a toddler either necessarily. Nor would I equate a 16 year old (with her parents' consent) getting a nose job as being comparable to a 3 year old receiving botox treatments; while they're literally both examples of people beneath the age of consent receiving unnecessary vanity treatments there's a world of difference between the two examples and pretty much any court is going to recognize that difference.

Just the notion of consent is radically different for a small child than it is for a teenager in non-sexual matters (it probably is in sexual matters too but that's a different issue and the law tends to be much more black and white about the age of consent with regards to sexual issues). And sometimes, even when the teenager is beneath the age of consent, proceedings are held to determine that individualss ability to be responsible for a particular matter. Because, obviously, a teenager is capable of a much more complex and nuanced (and informed) decision than a toddler.

Why do these people only consider circumcision cruel? Why don't they protest parents fixing their kids ears for purely aesthetic purposes? or parents of mini beauty queens? It cant be good to bleach a 7 year olds hair, or make them walk in heels. to me, it seems like it is mostly based on being anti religious, why else not put in a religious exclusion?


Um, they totally do. They actively rail against pretty much all of those things. What made you think the anti-circumcision crowd is pro-cosmetic surgery? But even between 8 year old beauty queens and 8 day old circumcision candidates there's a big difference in terms of consent. While an 8 year old might not make wise or personally beneficial decisions, an 8 day old is simply not capable of making many decisions at all, certainly not regarding his circumcision.

As some have pointed out in this thread, I think worrying about this vote is potentially overreacting. I don't see any possible way this is going to fly as constitutional (I'll be shocked if the vote even passes in the first place, remember it takes only a few weirdos to get something placed on the ballot). Currently the government even offers religious dispensation for the use of schedule I substances amidst a culture of "war on drugs"; if they're willing to overlook what is culturally considered a fairly serious offense (possession and distribution of a schedule I hallucinogen) for religious reasons I can't see them enforcing bans on what is culturally considered fairly benign (circumcision).

#26 Short

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:22 AM

Why don't they protest parents fixing their kids ears for purely aesthetic purposes? or parents of mini beauty queens? It cant be good to bleach a 7 year olds hair, or make them walk in heels.

There was an article somewhere (can't remember) decrying a growing trend of "supermoms" who were taking girls as young as 7 or 8 to the beauty salon to have their eyebrows and legs waxed. The mothers were saying that they were doing their girls a favor so their girls wouldn't get bullied for having hairy legs or a unibrow. While waxing isn't a cosmetic surgery and it isn't permanent, it's no secret that waxing is pretty painful.
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#27 U Tarzan me Jane

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:13 AM

In that it is a permanent alteration made without consent, there are notable similarities between the two. The fact that the severity of the two practices are not identical (and this is certainly true) doesn't render any and all comparison invalid.


yes. I was having the same argument with a family member. too me it is definitely not the same. But they are both done for ritualistic reasons, and its hard to get passed that.

While 18 might serve as a perfectly workable age of consent/adulthood for western cultures (I would argue it does not but that's for another thread) it is a bit disingenuous to reduce all decisions and events to either child appropriate or not. Everyone knows that there is a spectrum of appropriateness for different ages (and different individuals who react in their own unique ways). I wouldn't call a skateboard an 'adult' item but on the other hand I wouldn't hand one over to a toddler either necessarily. Nor would I equate a 16 year old (with her parents' consent) getting a nose job as being comparable to a 3 year old receiving botox treatments; while they're literally both examples of people beneath the age of consent receiving unnecessary vanity treatments there's a world of difference between the two examples and pretty much any court is going to recognize that difference.

Just the notion of consent is radically different for a small child than it is for a teenager in non-sexual matters (it probably is in sexual matters too but that's a different issue and the law tends to be much more black and white about the age of consent with regards to sexual issues). And sometimes, even when the teenager is beneath the age of consent, proceedings are held to determine that individualss ability to be responsible for a particular matter. Because, obviously, a teenager is capable of a much more complex and nuanced (and informed) decision than a toddler.




What if a 13 year old Muslim boy chooses to be circumcised? the law as written does not allow him to be circumcised till age 18. Now if a 13 year old can get a nose job with the consent of her parents, why can a 13 year old boy not get circumcised with his parents consent.

Um, they totally do. They actively rail against pretty much all of those things. What made you think the anti-circumcision crowd is pro-cosmetic surgery? But even between 8 year old beauty queens and 8 day old circumcision candidates there's a big difference in terms of consent. While an 8 year old might not make wise or personally beneficial decisions, an 8 day old is simply not capable of making many decisions at all, certainly not regarding his circumcision.


Not to the degree of No Circ. Perhaps they should protest the mutilation of baby girl ears in kimputurin heims. Piercing baby ears is also "mutilation" on babies too young to consent.

As some have pointed out in this thread, I think worrying about this vote is potentially overreacting. I don't see any possible way this is going to fly as constitutional (I'll be shocked if the vote even passes in the first place, remember it takes only a few weirdos to get something placed on the ballot). Currently the government even offers religious dispensation for the use of schedule I substances amidst a culture of "war on drugs"; if they're willing to overlook what is culturally considered a fairly serious offense (possession and distribution of a schedule I hallucinogen) for religious reasons I can't see them enforcing bans on what is culturally considered fairly benign (circumcision).



I am not particularly bothered by this ballot initiative, because I truly do not believe that it can constitutionally stand. What does bother me is that people are trying to legislate parents rights. Where does it end? today its circumcision, tomorrow it may be taking children away from obese parents. There have already been children seized because they were not vaccinated, and for homeschooling. to me ballot issues like this is more about parents rights then the actual circ issue.
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#28 Moshebendavid

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:10 PM

yes. I was having the same argument with a family member. too me it is definitely not the same. But they are both done for ritualistic reasons, and its hard to get passed that.


Well it's definitely not the 'same'. There are comparisons that we can make which make sense and there are comparisons that we can make which don't really hold up so well.

What if a 13 year old Muslim boy chooses to be circumcised? the law as written does not allow him to be circumcised till age 18. Now if a 13 year old can get a nose job with the consent of her parents, why can a 13 year old boy not get circumcised with his parents consent.


If that is indeed the case (that a 13 year old can get a nose job without consent and that a 13 year old Muslim boy cannot get circumcised without consent, I'm not certain if either of those examples would result in open-and-shut cases necessarily) then it points to a glaring contradiction to me. As far as I'm aware, even the opponents of circumcision have yet to provide any disadvantage as severe as major surgery. Even if the claim that males experience up to a 40% reduction in sensitivity is true (as a circumcised male, I have to say it sounds like a bogus claim to me) I still don't think that's quite comparable with the real risk of death that accompanies major surgery.

Not to the degree of No Circ. Perhaps they should protest the mutilation of baby girl ears in kimputurin heims. Piercing baby ears is also "mutilation" on babies too young to consent.


Honestly, I think at this point ear piercing is so normative to our culture that it's not deemed negative at all. While it is certainly an act of mutilation it enjoys far more widespread popularity than any other kind of comparable body modification that I can think of. So common that even calling it mutilation (even though it literally is) is likely to make someone sound rather like a lunatic, even with babies. I don't get it personally (I can't imagine anything that would look less appropriate to me than an infant in earrings) but I concede that there doesn't seem to be much risk, it's more of an aesthetic displeasure on my part.

So if you're talking about ear piercing then nobody is going to get on that bandwagon with you, whether or not it makes rational sense. But if you're talking about nose jobs or botox or something with actual potential for severity, then you will find many in this crowd joining the mainstream to say "That's not okay."

But there's usually no need to rally against such things as cosmetic nose jobs for 8 year olds because the mainstream culture tends to agree that it's not okay (even if it is legally permissible, which it very well may be). Whereas our culture mostly tends to think circumcision is A-Okay. That apparent contradiction (to some people) makes it more glaring than other examples where any average, normal person would agree that you should not treat a child that way.

I am not particularly bothered by this ballot initiative, because I truly do not believe that it can constitutionally stand. What does bother me is that people are trying to legislate parents rights. Where does it end? today its circumcision, tomorrow it may be taking children away from obese parents. There have already been children seized because they were not vaccinated, and for homeschooling. to me ballot issues like this is more about parents rights then the actual circ issue.


That's a worthwhile concern. I don't think this initiative will even get close enough to being ratified to call that issue into question but there have been interesting cases along those lines (the kid who was removed from his home for his name in particularl [his name was Adolph Hitler <Surname>]). But if this initiative does get close enough to that issue to be relevant then I agree with you that I have no desire for the state to enforce morality on my family (the US government being as immoral as any other government I could think of off the top of my head).

#29 U Tarzan me Jane

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:01 PM

Well it's definitely not the 'same'. There are comparisons that we can make which make sense and there are comparisons that we can make which don't really hold up so well.


:biggrin:

If that is indeed the case (that a 13 year old can get a nose job without consent and that a 13 year old Muslim boy cannot get circumcised without consent, I'm not certain if either of those examples would result in open-and-shut cases necessarily) then it points to a glaring contradiction to me. As far as I'm aware, even the opponents of circumcision have yet to provide any disadvantage as severe as major surgery. Even if the claim that males experience up to a 40% reduction in sensitivity is true (as a circumcised male, I have to say it sounds like a bogus claim to me) I still don't think that's quite comparable with the real risk of death that accompanies major surgery.

With consent, no ones operating on a minor without it unless they are in a place where parents do not need to be notified of abortion. For abortion and a women's right to her body, things like consent are not needed.

Under the proposed law, no one can preform circumcision with or without consent on a male under 18, unless there is an immediate medical need. so whether the 13 year old wanted to do it or had consent, would not matter.

Honestly, I think at this point ear piercing is so normative to our culture that it's not deemed negative at all. While it is certainly an act of mutilation it enjoys far more widespread popularity than any other kind of comparable body modification that I can think of. So common that even calling it mutilation (even though it literally is) is likely to make someone sound rather like a lunatic, even with babies. I don't get it personally (I can't imagine anything that would look less appropriate to me than an infant in earrings) but I concede that there doesn't seem to be much risk, it's more of an aesthetic displeasure on my part.

So if you're talking about ear piercing then nobody is going to get on that bandwagon with you, whether or not it makes rational sense. But if you're talking about nose jobs or botox or something with actual potential for severity, then you will find many in this crowd joining the mainstream to say "That's not okay."


I was being sarcastic about ear piercing(see the earring in my avatar :biggrin: ), I'd say the ear piercing of infant girls is probably about as normative as the circumcision rates in the US, which is about 75%.

But there's usually no need to rally against such things as cosmetic nose jobs for 8 year olds because the mainstream culture tends to agree that it's not okay (even if it is legally permissible, which it very well may be). Whereas our culture mostly tends to think circumcision is A-Okay. That apparent contradiction (to some people) makes it more glaring than other examples where any average, normal person would agree that you should not treat a child that way.

And mainstream culture seems to think (at least in the US) that circumscion is fine. so a small group of "kooks", needs to rally their butts off, in order to upset people who circ, because they like the look, want their kids to look like daddy, or are doing it because it is a religious rite.

That's a worthwhile concern. I don't think this initiative will even get close enough to being ratified to call that issue into question but there have been interesting cases along those lines (the kid who was removed from his home for his name in particularl [his name was Adolph Hitler <Surname>]). But if this initiative does get close enough to that issue to be relevant then I agree with you that I have no desire for the state to enforce morality on my family (the US government being as immoral as any other government I could think of off the top of my head).

:drinks:
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#30 Tel Aviv

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 01:31 AM

Ummmm, what?


Judaism of the past was a lot less open to conversion, absolutely nothing like Reform, or even Conservative Judaism. Barriers were put up to discourage conversion among the goyim. How many adults would really want to convert if they had to cut off a piece of their genitalia? Of course, this may just be conjecture. But whatever the reason, I think it was a good idea. Imagine if conversion to Judaism was as easy as conversion to Christianity: you would have ended up never hearing the words "Jews" and "smart" in the same sentence.:biggrin:
Sometimes I wonder why some elites work so hard in an unethical manner to gain wealth and power: they can't take any of their wealth and power with them when they die. Philosophically looking at it, if there is a G-d, they will have an eternity of suffering to pay for their crimes against humanity. And if there is no G-d, then once they die, they will have no memories and conscious awareness of their success in life because their consciousness and memories are lost for eternity, becoming nothing more than dirt in the ground. So, these elites in the end lose either way. The 100 years of life living like a king is just a drop of water in the infinite ocean of time that they will experience suffering at the hands of G-d, or not experience in a state of non-existence.

#31 Tel Aviv

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 01:53 AM

There are books that can do that... :biggrin:


Not THOSE kind of books . . .
Sometimes I wonder why some elites work so hard in an unethical manner to gain wealth and power: they can't take any of their wealth and power with them when they die. Philosophically looking at it, if there is a G-d, they will have an eternity of suffering to pay for their crimes against humanity. And if there is no G-d, then once they die, they will have no memories and conscious awareness of their success in life because their consciousness and memories are lost for eternity, becoming nothing more than dirt in the ground. So, these elites in the end lose either way. The 100 years of life living like a king is just a drop of water in the infinite ocean of time that they will experience suffering at the hands of G-d, or not experience in a state of non-existence.

#32 israeli4ever

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 09:02 AM

Judaism of the past was a lot less open to conversion, absolutely nothing like Reform, or even Conservative Judaism. Barriers were put up to discourage conversion among the goyim. How many adults would really want to convert if they had to cut off a piece of their genitalia? Of course, this may just be conjecture. But whatever the reason, I think it was a good idea. Imagine if conversion to Judaism was as easy as conversion to Christianity: you would have ended up never hearing the words "Jews" and "smart" in the same sentence.:biggrin:

So.... circumcision was invented to discourage conversion?
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#33 Snag

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:47 AM

Judaism of the past was a lot less open to conversion, absolutely nothing like Reform, or even Conservative Judaism. Barriers were put up to discourage conversion among the goyim. How many adults would really want to convert if they had to cut off a piece of their genitalia? Of course, this may just be conjecture. But whatever the reason, I think it was a good idea. Imagine if conversion to Judaism was as easy as conversion to Christianity: you would have ended up never hearing the words "Jews" and "smart" in the same sentence.:biggrin:

:blink: so avrohom was commanded to circumcise himself as a lasting covenant in his flesh between him and G-d, simply as a means to discourage converts? and how were female converts to be similarly dissuaded, pray tell?
"Spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spiritual complexion, angularities, and stature of the individual who wears it."

"The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government. An earthly despotism would be the absolutely perfect earthly government, if the conditions were the same; namely, the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual. But as a perishable perfect man must die, and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible."

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#34 israeli4ever

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:50 AM

:blink: so avrohom was commanded to circumcise himself as a lasting covenant in his flesh between him and G-d, simply as a means to discourage converts? and how were female converts to be similarly dissuaded, pray tell?


maybe Jews were into FGM back in the day?
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#35 Snag

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:03 PM

mayb eJews were into FGM back in the day?

so, G-d made a whole big deal about male circ to discourage conversion, going s far as to make it one of only two positive commandments incurring excision, while just ignoring female circ entirely? in the immortal words of noah, riiiiiiiiiiiight.
"Spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spiritual complexion, angularities, and stature of the individual who wears it."

"The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government. An earthly despotism would be the absolutely perfect earthly government, if the conditions were the same; namely, the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual. But as a perishable perfect man must die, and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible."

-Mark Twain

#36 israeli4ever

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:08 PM

so, G-d made a whole big deal about male circ to discourage conversion, going s far as to make it one of only two positive commandments incurring excision, while just ignoring female circ entirely? -

He forgot?


- in the immortal words of noah, riiiiiiiiiiiight.

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#37 Snag

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:15 PM

He forgot?

could be. or maybe, in the tel avivian jewish eugenics universe, He was less concerned about female genetics being added into the jewish line for some reason....
"Spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spiritual complexion, angularities, and stature of the individual who wears it."

"The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government. An earthly despotism would be the absolutely perfect earthly government, if the conditions were the same; namely, the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual. But as a perishable perfect man must die, and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible."

-Mark Twain

#38 israeli4ever

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:22 PM

could be. or maybe, in the tel avivian jewish eugenics universe, He was less concerned about female genetics being added into the jewish line for some reason....

female genes get photoshopped out, so its fine.....



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#39 Snag

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 12:26 PM

female genes get photoshopped out, so its fine.....

+6 :lol:
"Spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spiritual complexion, angularities, and stature of the individual who wears it."

"The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government. An earthly despotism would be the absolutely perfect earthly government, if the conditions were the same; namely, the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual. But as a perishable perfect man must die, and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible."

-Mark Twain

#40 U Tarzan me Jane

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 02:03 PM

female genes get photoshopped out, so its fine.....

Sorry snag, that was a definite +10
"Common things happen commonly, uncommon things don't. So when you hear hoofbeats, think horses , not zebras."

"Be open minded, But, not so open minded that your brains fall out!"

" I mean how do you greet moshiach if half a baby is hanging out of your hoo ha??" Bird




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