Monday, November 24, 2008
A Series of Shidduchim Posts: Two Girls For Every Boy
Recently, due to a series of miscommunications, two shadchanim called me within hours saying that two women that I had agreed to go out earlier that week were available and wanted to go out with me. Truth be told, I had said not agreed to go out with either of them, I had only expressed my interest and had requested more information.
But I was stuck. I find the idea of two-timing, even just for a first date, horrible. But I really didn't see another option. I wasn't going to call of one, figuring it would make me look like a jerk. Plus I spoke to a few friends who all assured me that it was no big deal. First dates don't count, you're probably not going to want go out with both again anyways, it's not like you deliberately did this, etc., etc.
So I went out with both, less than 24 hours apart. Bottom line is, I'm never going to do that again. Way too stressful. I kept worrying that I'd get them mixed up, get the conversations mixed up, etc.
Comments from the peanut gallery are requested. Have you ever double-dated?
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
"Congratulations And Thanks"
Look, I expect to be one of the most severe critics of the Obama administration and the Democrats generally in the years ahead (though I sincerely hope I won't find that necessary). But Obama ran a brilliant race and he should be congratulated for it. Moreover, during the debate over the financial crisis, Obama said that a president should be able to do more than one thing at a time. Well, I think we members of the loyal opposition should be able to make distinctions simultaneously. It is a wonderful thing to have the first African-American president. It is a wonderful thing that in a country where feelings are so intense that power can be transferred so peacefully. Let us hope that the Obama his most dedicated — and most sensible! — fans see turns out to be the real Obama. Let us hope that Obama succeeds and becomes a great president, for all the right reasons.
As for John McCain, he is an American hero and arguably the best candidate we could have fielded. I will in the days to come offer no small amount of criticism about his campaign. But where his campaign may have lacked qualities that would have helped it win, the candidate never lacked for honor and integrity. Thank you John McCain for your sacrifice, commitment, and honor.
God bless America, and may He guide Obama to be the best president possible.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Obama Derangement Syndrome
- I don't think he's a terrorist or a terrorist supporter.
- I don't think he's unpatriotic.
- I don't think he's a communist or a socialist.
- I don't think he's a Muslim.
- I don't think he secretly plans on destroying this country.
- I don't think he's a black militant.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Obama The Communist, Part II
A Joke And What It Reveals
Speaking in front of a huge audience at downtown Raleigh rally yesterday, Barack Obama threw off a humorous line about John McCain's accusation that the Obama tax plan is redistributionist:
McCain has “called me a socialist for wanting to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans so we can finally give tax relief to the middle class,” Obama said. “I don’t know what’s next. By the end of the week he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten.”
Only, in this passage Obama revealed precisely why he is vulnerable to such charges: he can't seem to tell the difference between a gift and a theft. There is nothing remotely socialistic or communistic about sharing. If you have a toy that someone else wants, you have three choices in a free society. You can offer to trade it for something you value that is owned by the other. You can give the toy freely, as a sign of friendship or compassion. Or you can choose to do neither.
Collectivism in all its forms is about taking away your choice. Whether you wish to or not, the government compels you to surrender the toy, which it then redistributes to someone that government officials deem to be a more worthy owner. It won't even be someone you could ever know, in most cases. That's what makes the political philosophy unjust (by stripping you of control over yourself and the fruits of your labor) as well as counterproductive (by failing to give the recipient sufficient incentive to learn and work hard so he can earn his own toys in the future).
Government is not charity. It is not persuasion, or cooperation, or sharing. Government is a fist, a shove, a gun. Obama either doesn't understand this, or doesn't want voters to understand it.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Obama the Communist?
The Second Bill of Rights
Re Sunstein, Obama and Euro-style rights, they may be here sooner than you think:
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D. Toledo) whipped the crowd up before Mr. Obama took the stage yesterday telling them that America needed a Second Bill of Rights guaranteeing all Americans a job, health care, homes, an education, and a fair playing field for business and farmers.
[UPDATE: A reader writes:
I think adding "The right to an attractive and compatible mate who satisfies one's physical desires" to the list would generate a lot of enthusiasm for socialism among unattractive people. If Paul is entitled to some or all of Peter's earnings, why shouldn't he be entitled to some or all of Paula's assets as well?
Almost right. To be truly "redistributive", it should read "the right to attractive and compatible mate(s)." Another reader felt the US Second Bill of Rights rang a vague bell:Etc.]
Article 40. Citizens of the USSR have the right to work (that is, to guaranteed employment and pay in accordance wit the quantity and quality of their work, and not below the state-established minimum), including the right to choose their trade or profession, type of job and work in accordance with their inclinations, abilities, training and education, with due account of the needs of society...Article 41. Citizens of the USSR have the right to rest and leisure...The length of collective farmers' working and leisure time is established by their collective farms.Article 42. Citizens of the USSR have the right to health protection.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The Mask Slips
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.How, after reading this, can any self-described conservative or libertarian vote for Obama? Can you imagine the damage that will be done if he appoints Supreme Court justices that follow this judicial philosophy?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
A Series of Shidduchim Posts: Setting Up
Thursday, October 23, 2008
A Series of Shidduchim Posts: The First Phone Call
In a sane world, this would be a non-issue. If you call and it's a bad time, she won't pick up the phone, you'll leave a voicemail with your number, say that you'll try her again later, or she wants, she'll call you back.
But instead, many people have poor cellphone eittique, and they'll answer their phone while they're shopping for grocieries, at a party, or in shul. It's annoying.
So what I've been doing lately is simply sending a text message, asking her when is a good time to call. It's quick and painless and she doesn't have to spend the night looking at her phone waiting for a call.
When I mentioned this at a recent Shabbos meal, a girl recoiled in horror. She thought it was an (for lack a better word) looserish thing to do. I countered that I've had dates thank me for doing it.
What do you think?
It's Not Fun When Your Side Is Losing
So what else is there to talk about? Law? Not much going on right now. Sports? It's another year without the Yankees in the World Series, and the Jets are a team that needs another month of jelling. I'm a lapsed Islander fan, and the Nets are in a rebuilding year.
One thing on my mind though is shidduchim. Yes, shidduchim. I don't usually blog about the topic, but I've got all these thoughts and questions percolating in my head and I've got to get them out.
My next several posts will deal various shidduchim issues but will not be about anything to do with the "shidduch crisis". I'm just sick and tired that topic.
Your feedback will be appreciated.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Obama's Trickle Up Economics
Friday, October 10, 2008
Why Rezko, Ayers and Wright Matter
Why are these associations important? Do I think Obama is as corrupt as Rezko? Or shares Wright's angry racism or Ayers's unreconstructed 1960s radicalism?
No. But that does not make these associations irrelevant. They tell us two important things about Obama.
First, his cynicism and ruthlessness. He found these men useful, and use them he did. Would you attend a church whose pastor was spreading racial animosity from the pulpit? Would you even shake hands with -- let alone serve on two boards with -- an unrepentant terrorist, whether he bombed U.S. military installations or abortion clinics?
Most Americans would not, on the grounds of sheer indecency. Yet Obama did, if not out of conviction then out of expediency. He was a young man on the make, an unknown outsider working his way into Chicago politics. He played the game with everyone, without qualms and with obvious success.
Obama is not the first politician to rise through a corrupt political machine. But he is one of the rare few to then have the audacity to present himself as a transcendent healer, hovering above and bringing redemption to the "old politics" -- of the kind he had enthusiastically embraced in Chicago in the service of his own ambition.
Second, and even more disturbing than the cynicism, is the window these associations give on Obama's core beliefs. He doesn't share the Rev. Wright's poisonous views of race nor Ayers's views, past and present, about the evil that is American society. But Obama clearly did not consider these views beyond the pale. For many years he swam easily and without protest in that fetid pond.Until now. Today, on the threshold of the presidency, Obama concedes the odiousness of these associations, which is why he has severed them. But for the years in which he sat in Wright's pews and shared common purpose on boards with Ayers, Obama considered them a legitimate, indeed unremarkable, part of social discourse.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
9/11 Wasn't A Tragedy
From today's Daily News:
There is a disturbing phenomenon creeping into the public debate about all things 9/11. Increasingly, Sept. 11 is compared to hurricanes, bridge collapses and other mechanical disasters or criminal acts that result in loss of life, with "body count" being the primary factor that keeps it in the top spot of "worst in the nation's history."
Misremembering is as dangerous as forgetting. If we must know one thing, it is that the Sept. 11 attacks were neither a natural disaster, nor the unfortunate result of human error. 9/11 wasn't the catastrophic equivalent of a 3,000-car pileup.
The attacks were not a random actof violence or insanity. They were a deliberate and brutal act ofwar committed by religious fanatics engaged in Islamic jihad against the United States, all non-Muslim people and any Muslim who wishes to live in a secular society. Worse, the people who perpetrated the attacks have explicitly told us that they are not done.
Sept. 11 is a date that comes and goes once a year, but "9/11" is with us every day. The body count keeps rising - Bali, Riyadh, Istanbul, Madrid, Beslan, London, Amman.
We now clearly know that the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was part of the holy war against America. When we previously dismissed this as a random attack by crazy men and declared ourselves lucky that "only six lives were lost," we effectively disarmed ourselves. Eight years later, six became 3,000. While the comparison to other "tragedies" may help us cope with what has befallen us, we must resist being glib and intellectually careless.
Our fellow human beings were not "lost" in 1993 or on 9/11. They were torn to pieces. We must not give the enemy any quarter. We must confront the reality of their acts.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Republican Code Words, Part II
New York's WCBS-TV reports that New York's Gov. David Paterson is "accusing the McCain campaign of veiled racism":At the Crain's Business Forum [yesterday] morning, Paterson drew attention to a phrase used numerous times by speakers at the Republican National Convention to describe Barack Obama's leadership experience: community organizer."I think the Republican Party is too smart to call Barack Obama 'black' in a sense that it would be a negative. But you can take something about his life, which I noticed they did at the Republican Convention – a 'community organizer.' They kept saying it, they kept laughing," he said. . . .Paterson sees the repeated use of the words "community organizer" as Republican code for "black.""I think where there are overtones is when there are uses of language that are designed to inhibit other people's progress with a subtle reference to their race," he said.
Just one problem: As we noted last month in Denver, it was the Democrats who first "spent four days touting Obama's experience as a 'community organizer' as a central qualification" for the presidency. "Even after listening to those speeches," we wrote, "we're still not sure what a 'community organizer' is."
If Paterson is right, the Democrats were subtly arguing that Obama is qualified to be president because he is black.
Republican Code Words
There are overtones of potential racial coding in the campaign.....the Republican party is too smart to call Barack Obama 'black' in a sense that it would be a negative," Paterson said. "But you can take something about his life, which I noticed they did at the Republican convention. A 'community organizer,' they kept saying it, they kept laughing, like what does this mean?Now as I type this, I'm thumbing through the September 2008 issue of Code Words for Minorities which is published by the GOP and only available to those who take a blood oath not to reveal its contents. And let me tell you, "Community Organizer" is definitely not in it. Maybe Paterson has an advance copy of the October issue, or maybe Paterson's just a partisan hack who realizes that Obama may not win this thing and is already prepping the excuses.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Quote Of The Day
The choice of Sarah Palin IS a Hail Mary pass, the pass the guy who thinks he has a good arm makes to the receiver he hopes is gifted.
Most Hail Mary passes don't work.
But when they do they're a thing of beauty and a joy forever.