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  • Talmud 7:16 as Quoted by Rishon Rishon in 2004
    Qohelet Raba, 7:16

    אכזרי סוף שנעשה אכזרי במקום רחמן

    Kol mi shena`asa rahaman bimqom akhzari Sof shena`asa akhzari bimqom rahaman

    All who are made to be compassionate in the place of the cruel In the end are made to be cruel in the place of the compassionate.

    More colloquially translated: "Those who are kind to the cruel, in the end will be cruel to the kind."

    Online Source:

  • Abraham Isaac Kook
    "The purely righteous do not complain about evil, rather they add justice.They do not complain about heresy, rather they add faith.They do not complain about ignorance, rather they add wisdom." From the pages of Arpilei Tohar.
  • Heinrich Heine
    "Where books are burned, in the end people will be burned." -- From Almansor: A Tragedy (1823).
  • Simon Wiesenthal
    Remark Made in the Ballroom of the Imperial Hotel, Vienna, Austria on the occasion of His 90th Birthday: "The Nazis are no more, but we are still here, singing and dancing."
  • Maimonides
    "Truth does not become more true if the whole world were to accept it; nor does it become less true if the whole world were to reject it."
  • Douglas Adams
    "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" Epigram appearing in the dedication of Richard Dawkins' The GOD Delusion.
  • Thucydides
    "The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools."
  • Milan Kundera
    "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."


  • Care to Read What I Read?

    I've embarked on a great reduction in privacy by bookmarking my web-based reading on the "" utility. It may tip my hand as to what I have in mind for blogging, but the same may help friends and frenemies alike track my thinking: here is the URL:

  • Author's Wish Each Friday Night
    Shabbat Shalom. May our arguments be resolved through perceptive words and good deeds only; may we live another week helpful to one another in relative peace.
  • Photography: Prints & Services
    A gentle reminder: I'm in business as a producer of fine art prints and as a provider of shoot-for-fee services, including portraiture and weddings plus assigned photojournalism. My general location: intersection of I-70 and I-81; core camera system: Nikon; transportation: Mustang.

    Main web:

    E-Mail: [email protected]

    Also: as of 2011, I am building a photography print-on-demand presence at Fine Art AmericaM. This is the address:

    Effort in print-on-demand will not offset the production nor value of signed, limited edition prints made under my own hand. However, for very good convenience, price, and quality, print-on-demand may work out well for many fans and patrons.

  • Research Services

    If you're engaged in funded research in conflict analysis or other areas that may be addressed here and wish to engage my mind in your project, feel welcome to drop me a note at [email protected].


J. S. Oppenheim's Other Blogs and Webs

  • Flickr!

  • Communicating Arts - Main Web Site
  • Communicating Arts - The Journal
  • Mustang Highways
    American highways and a six cylinder, 190 horsepower Ford Mustang 2000, Nikons, and philosophy.

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July 31, 2012


James S. Oppenheim

August 2, 2012 -- this was elicited by an FB friend this morning. The topic was Syria and the theme Obama's empowering the Muslim Brotherhood:
Obama has been heavily demonized, Usman Ali, and possibly to his advantage. The short- to mid-range story isn't looking good, but the structure for the long term may be improving for these reasons: 1) the "Arab Spring" has cleared out several relics of the Cold War and earlier periods -- at least, the old dictators are gone, and at least one more is on his way out; 2) by letting the Brothers through, the same may be finding themselves in an insistent open information environment unlike anything any 7th Century personality could have imagined -- essentially, the ranks of the most devoted or most delusional and cruel have been ordered into the global spotlight. In the same way that Hamas has actually to manage a government, cooperate with Israel for basic services and economic development, the Brothers may be finding themselves in a world not only larger than themselves but one that dislikes them.

I may be a lone nutcase on this; I may have just been turned off by shrillness in the conservative ranks; but I have stepped apart from the Tea Party herd to suggest that Obama's Administration has been among the most opaque in American history and indeed most deceptive, and that on behalf of American ideals and, in the middle east, Israeli interests.


1. Continued high IDF-DOD cooperation and particularly notable integration in the F-35 program, which is costing and earning Israelis a lot of money (I'd hate to be a defense industry oriented accountant) while favoring Israeli initiative in the most critical combat components.

2. Probable cooperation in the cyber-war field with Iran starting to understand that it may not be able to trust its control of its own computers, which is what it deserves for adopting Hitler's attitude and pursuing the same lethal and lunatic course.

3. Global CIA-DOD-Foreign Partnerships in the "War on Terror" that target leadership and thump back "Islamist" gains, most notably today in Somalia, but wherever the Islamic Small Wars are hosted, Obama and Co. are in there. As one cannot kill fleas with a hammer, neither may we expect to settle the range of beliefs or impulses expressed in acts of terror or malicious insurgencies, but with armies to keep the fires small ("low-intensity") and detectives and poets working on both the mechanics and emotional elements involved, we may turn this most repugnant page in global history, but even if and as we do, it will turn slowly.

Let us hang Obama with his own rope, for here is his inaugural address: Pick at it line by line.

Apart from the usual political (call it "Chicago") muck, I think Obama's chief sins have had to do with idealism, naivete, and youth.

Well, Obama's a much, much older man today and altogether better schooled.
Should my voice surface somewhere, I would urge the public, globally, to see the world more comprehensively, to develop a greater appreciation for cultural variants and variance in mind while working also to shear away what has been cowardly, cruel, intemperate, and venal in each cultural set, and to attach that process to a Great Conversation about humanity, psychology, social constructs, values, and the better potentials of our nature.

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