Thursday, January 12, 2023

The Trust of Liberal Jews

Michael Lumish

I haven't written on here for one hell of a long time, but maybe I can breathe a bit of life into this old blog strictly for the heck of it..

A New York Post headline from today reads, Biden administration weighs nationwide ban on gas stoves.

    "The Biden administration is considering a nationwide ban on gas stoves —          citing the harmful pollutants released by the appliances, according to a report."

It frankly astonishes me the willingness of people to stand up for their political team under virtually any circumstances, no matter how absurd.

It’s very tribal, very primal.

I posted the link above on Facebook with very little commentary other than using the famous Charlton Heston quote, "They will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands."

The next thing that I know I am getting pushback from real-world friends who either claim that none of this is true or, even if it is, it's the fault of Republicans.

I am not a Republican, but it is obvious that it is the left-wing of the Democratic Party that is pushing for legislations, particularly in California, that seek to lessen the usage of fossil fuels out of concern with the environment.

Is that false?

Of course, it is not.

The progressive-left seeks to remove fossil fuels from consumption, as much as possible, in order to achieve a cleaner, healthier, and better future for all of us... or so we are to understand.

Thus we have Consumer Product Safety Commission chief, Richard Trumka Jr., telling us that gas stoves are a "a hidden hazard." 

Richard L. Trumka Jr. is a Commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). He was nominated by President Joseph R. Biden and confirmed by the United States Senate for a 7-year term beginning on October 27, 2021. 

“Any option is on the table," he said. "Products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”


"Governor Newsom Announces California Will Phase Out Gasoline-Powered Cars & Drastically Reduce Demand for Fossil Fuel in California’s Fight Against Climate Change" by 2035 according his own office.

The Biden administration, however, was quick to deny any intention of banning gas stoves.

CNN tells us, "Biden not in favor of ban on gas stoves, White House says."

I want to thank Jon Segall, a staunch Democrat, for calling that CNN article to my attention.

What I would say to him, however, is that it will take a lot of work for the party to regain the trust of liberal Jews such as myself.


  1. (Jon S. here) One quibble, well a couple but... on the article. First, off - I generally appreciate this approach rather than "Flame Throwing it" - I think that creates a welcome atmosphere - so, thank you.

    I would not phrase it as: "The Progressive-Left seeks to....". I think it is more accurate to say: "A number of people seek to..." or "Democrats (and some Republicans), seek to limit or even remove consumption.." I say this because looking at it - there does seem to be a large consensus around this P.O.V. I think ultimately ending our use of Fossil Fuels is eventually necessary BUT... right now it is simply NOT achievable. So more that it is a goal.

    One thing to note to be clear (and you did not say this or intimate this - I am extrapolating): Gov. Newsom's proposal DOES NOT ban gasoline powered vehicles. What it does is ban any manufacturing in CA of NEW Gasoline vehicles after 2035. Existing Vehicles are fine and if you buy a car out of State - ok. I don't have a particular issue on this, but, I would say if this is the case, then we need to "get cracking" to set up realistic infrastructure options including aggressive power generation (nuclear, home solar, solar farms, DE-SAL (ask the Israelis for help here) plants (and yes I understand the consequences here), and so forth. Something has to be done but it's just "how?".

    1. What can I say? That is a fair response. And, I gotta tell ya, we’ve known one another a long time and I do like the way that you are trying to be fair.

      Basically, I consider myself a liberal. That is, I believe in democracy, freedom of speech and religion, oppose racism and support regulatory capitalism, including environmental regulation to the extent necessary.

      I guess that if you really want to have a conversation with me, we can do it here.

      Hell, man, this place is a ghost town and even if friends show up it will be nothing like the manic shit-fest that is Facebook.

      But I wonder what our actual ideological differences are? I was a Democrat for over 25 years and was even Green Party for awhile at Penn State… and we both consider ourselves liberal.

      My turn against the left began when I realized the outrageous bias it tends to have against the nation of our ancestry.

      I’ve sometimes described that as a pebble against my ideological windshield that led to a spiderweb that shattered the glass.

      But as a liberal, I am sensitive to questions around freedom of speech and am very wary of social totalitarianism in the service of political power.

      When we were growing up, “Question Authority” was a common motif that came out of the New Left and the Counterculture of the 1960s and 70s.
      I am, admittedly, painting in broad strokes, but today if you question authority you are blacklisted.

      For example, did you know that in Canada they are now trying to revoke Jordan Peterson’s license in professional psychology for political reasons?

      In any case, my guess is that we probably agree on more than we disagree, politically.

    2. (Jon here again) hmmm.... a lot to unpack here. I appreciate your kind words.

      I have no doubt that we may be more politically in agreement than not but, I don't see how that translates to voting and policy. I believe we have very different ideas when it comes to that and how we react to news. That is not an insult in any way - I think we are just different that way. I understand your frustration with "the Left". The dogmatism there (from self identified "Leftists") - particularly on-line is toxic. In my opinion, one thing that is helpful is to stop thinking in terms of what is "Left" and what is "Right" (I am really trying- They are blanket meta terms and all they do is pin presumptions. For instance, take Gun Control. I support strict regulations on buying Guns, and on owning guns in terms of licensing, regulations and so on. YET... I don't favor bans on "Assault Rifles" (while I do favor bans on making those anything more than Single trigger pull actions - like "Bump Stocks" and so forth. So what does that make me? It doesn't fit. When I vote though - I vote for what will match up most with my ideals. So... I would vote for a candidate who favors Assault Rifle bans and gun control over someone who I consider a tool of the NRA. It's a complex issue as is everything else.

      What I do believe in are facts and context. That does NOT mean I believe that context takes precedent over facts. It means that I believe that certain things need context to understand facts. The facts exist - it's how we interpret them which gives us our understanding of the world.

    3. That’s a very thoughtful response. I tend to take it slower here, so if you want to continue this conversation, as I hope you will, don’t be surprised if I take a day or two to respond.
      You write:

      “I have no doubt that we may be more politically in agreement than not but, I don't see how that translates to voting and policy. I believe we have very different ideas when it comes to that and how we react to news.”

      If I understand you correctly, you are saying that while we may have similar political ideals, we also have very different responses to the political moment.

      That’s accurate, from what I can tell. But it raises the question, just what are these political ideals?

      The way I see it, the primary source of tension within American political thinking goes all the way back to the preamble to the Constitution where the founders discuss the need for “individual liberty” and the “general welfare,” or you might say the “common good.”

      Speaking in broad terms, throughout the 20th century the conservative-right and Republican Party stressed individual liberty while the left and the Democratic Party stressed the common good. When we were kids the American left was associated with a whole variety of issues around the general well-being, that taken together in the 1960s comprised The Movement.

      These included the anti-war movement, Civil Rights Movement, free speech movement, women’s rights, indigenous rights, gay rights, environmentalism, and, perhaps most importantly, the need to always question authority. These were the ideals of the Democratic Party youth and by the time I arrived at UCONN in the early 80s, that was my movement.

      Those were my ideals.

      Ultimately, they derive from the Classical Liberalism of the British Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries, including the writers of the Constitution. It was they who set the ideological stage for the logical progression that gave us contemporary liberalism.

      The problem, from my perspective, tho – and I can elaborate on this later, if you are interested – is that the political movement and party that we grew up in is now threatening its foundational ideals.

  2. Would we still want to live in a country where politicians have the power to ban gas stoves or gas vehicles. What can't they ban then. Is there a limit to their power in our supposedly limited government country?

    1. No, I prefer that Congress makes the laws. This headline about Biden is administrative state b.s. and that is the enemy of self-rule.
      P.S. re: the gas stoves. Don't people ever try to fix these problems anymore? If gas is leaking, duh, what should we do? Easy, ban gas stoves because this is the trendy answer to a question we have only scratched the surface to understanding.
      Here is climate authority AOC speaking about climate change: