Jewish date: 17 Kislew 5770 (Parashath Wayyishlaḥ).
Today’s holiday: Saint Day of John Damascene (Roman Catholicism).
Worthy causes of the day: “Petition For Jewish Rights In Jerusalem And Judea & Samaria” and “MoveOn.org Political Action: Senator Reid: We're Counting on You”.
Topic 1: “EXCLUSIVE Analysis: Sorry, Islamophobia Pimps – 67% of US Hate Crimes Against Jews”. This is genuinely surprising, since anti-Semitic hate crimes in the US do not get a lot of press, but this is FBI data being discussed here. Considering there are a few million Jews in the US, the chances that any Jew being the victim of a hate crime in any given year is going to be on the order of 0.1% (back-of-the-envelope calculation), which would explain why it is easy to forget about the problem: most Jews in the US are never going to suffer from it. On the very bright side, religion-based hate crimes in the US are sufficiently rare (measured in per million), that few of any of us, even groups which complain about bias, ever become victims. This is a nation which early on decided that religious tolerance was a value, and while there are always jerks out there unwilling to tolerate someone who believes differently, the vast majority of us are successful.
Topic 2: “Stop the Spread of the Swedish Blood Libel”. I cannot make up the atrocious quality of reporting documented in this article. The repeated use of falsehoods frequently presented as truth (“factoids”) is a form of argument from repetition and is fallacious.
Topic 3: Just to end on a lighter topic, some religious humor: “MOM!! Call the priest!”:
I have no idea where this business of anyone being possessed levitating comes from, and any information on the topic would be appreciated. I do know that demonic possession, on the other hand, is mentioned a lot in the Gospels, where the possessed manifest mental illness.