Friday, September 29, 2006
Hanging On By A Thread
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I often hear people claim that Bush is a tyrant, an emperor, a fascists, etc.
Does any think that Bush is not going to step down two years from now when his term ends?
Monday, September 25, 2006
A Personal Request
Some Guy: Are you a Kohein?
Me: Why else would I be walking up to the front of the shul with no shoes on?
Some Guy: Ok, my name is Ploni ben Ploni. 1. Get into medical school. 2. A year of happiness. 3. A wife.
Me: (realizing he wanted me to have him in mind during Birchas Kohanim) In any particular order?
Some Guy: Well, if I don't get into dental school, I can probably give up on the happiness and wife.
All Is Forgiven?
A- Come out against the war in Iraq.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Best wishes for a happy and healthy 5767.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Death Of A President...
...Or as I call it "Porn for Liberals." For a few decades now, people have turned to film to view what they themselves are incapable or unable to do. Usually their fantasies are sexually related. But with
Monday, September 11, 2006
My 9/11 Post
I feel obligated to write something about the 5th anniversary of September 11th, 2001, for no other reason than because everyone else surely is.
But I don’t want to write anything. We’re still at war. You memorialize after the fighting stops. Problem is, who knows when the fighting will stop?
And I’m sorry if I sound like a kalte Litvak/ heartless Republican, but all these memorials miss the main point. They all focus on the individuals: the firefighter, the stockbroker, the police officer, all those tales of tragedy that pull at the heart. CNN is running its original coverage of the day. I can’t bare to watch or listen to it. It’s too tough, too painful to listen to.
But all of this treats 9/11 as a tragedy, along the likes of a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake. Catastrophic event happens, people die, people are saved, heroes are made, and some of them don’t walk out alive.
But 9/11 wasn’t a natural disaster. It wasn’t even really a terrorist attack. A terrorist attack is a bomb on a bus, or a shooting rampage at an airport.
9/11 was premeditated act of war against the United States of America. The only event in American history that compares was the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was an attack against all of us.
It was an attack on our nation. The sailors who died where just the ones that just were in the way. The same is true for 9/11. It wasn’t an attack against the FDNY, the WTC, or New York. It was an attack on every single person in this country.
As we remember what happened five years ago today, we must not forget that 9/11 was caused by murderous Islamofacists whose goals are to kill a whole lot of us, and subjugate the rest. You think living in a country under control of a evangelical Christian is bad? Try living under a Muslim Caliphate.
Our nation slept through the ‘90’s. 9/11 was our wake-up call. Let’s not forget that.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Segeulas Shmegeulas, Part II
What's better? Giving $180 to tzedaka (10 times chai) or giving $200?
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Where's Your Messiah Now?
So Valerie Plame was outed by Richard Armitage, and not Rove, Libby, Cheney, or Bush. The NY Times editorial board and its op-ed writers have been unusually silent on this revelation. Where are the calls of "traitor, traitor"? Where are the calls of jail time for the man who exposed a CIA agent? Could it be because Armitage isn't a partisan, polarizing figure like Rove?
Or is that that they're just embarrassed that their three years worth of work on bringing down the administration has disappeared into thin air? Or that there was no conspiracy? Or that this as James Taranto said, that "this was a "Seinfeld" scandal--an investigation about nothing"?
Friday, September 01, 2006
About a month ago my t'fillin went AWOL. It disappeared one day after shachris. I either left it in shul, dropped it walking home, or it vanished into an alternate dimension in my house.
Now, I don't believe in segeulas. Never have, never will. But when my t'fillin had been gone for a few days, I figured it wouldn't hurt to drop some money into the R' Meir Ba'al Hanes pushka. I don't believe it's a segeulah to find missing things, but a little tzdaka never hurt.
My t'filin remained missing.
That Shabbos we had guest who heard my plight. A few days later she calls to say she gave some money to RMBH.
My t'fillin remain missing.
My aunt gives some money to RMBH, and hands me some t'filliah that I'm supposed to say three times while giving money to RMBH.
I didn't say it.
My t'fillin remained missing.
A few days ago my mother wrote out a check to RMBH.
My t'fillin were found about 30 minutes ago.
They were exactly were they were supposed to be, but completely covered by some stuff and thus hidden. My brother just happened to need something from that cabinet.
So now everyone's telling me "See!" Segeulas work!
My response- was there some sort of dollar amount that was needed to be donated before the seguela to work? Why did it take a month? And besides, turns out, my t'fillin weren't really "lost". Can something be lost if it's right in the same place where you left it? It's not as if no one was ever going to look in that cabinet again. It just took some time.
A Step In My Ideological Journey
It may surprise some of you but I’ve been a conservative for only about 5 years. Prior to that, I was quite the liberal: I was pro- gun control, anti-death penalty and anti-tax cuts. I voted for Gore in 2000 and supported Clinton in ’96 and ’92. There’s even an old family video of me rooting for Dukakis in the summer of ’88. (Yes I know I was 8 years old at the time)
So what caused me to flip? I wish I could say there was some moment of revelation, but there wasn’t. It was a slow and steady process. I don’t even know when I actually started calling myself a conservative Republican. The last liberal Democrat thought I remember having was expressing happiness when Jim Jeffords bailed on the GOP and handed control of the Senate to the Democrats. That was May 2001.
But a couple of events helped me along my ideological journey.
Here’s one of them.
One night I was listening to Richard Bay on WABC. (Remember when WABC had liberal talk-show hosts?) I don’t remember the exact date, but it was some time after the start of the second intifada. Bay was arguing with a Jewish woman about Israeli military actions in the West Bank. Bay was arguing that the IDF was killing and wounding Palestinian children. The caller said that the kids were throwing stones at the soldiers and were deliberately being put in harms way by their parents. “What kind of parents let their kids throw rocks and attack soldiers?” the caller asked.
Bay responded with one of the most offensive things I’ve ever heard on the radio- “well Jewish children were fighting against the Nazis during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.”
The caller was so shocked she could even respond at first. Finally she said that the children were fighting for their lives, otherwise they were all to be killed. Bay responded with some snarky line about Sharon, Palestinians, and bugs, and then hung up on the caller.
The disgust I had for Bay was immense. He actually had the gall to compare Palestinian children throwing stones at the IDF to Jewish children battling the Nazis. Unbelievable.
I started college a little while after that. It was the first time I was exposed in person to the hatred and disgusting moral equivalency that Bay showed on the radio. And what do you know- all those who had those views were also leftists!
No, this didn’t immediately turn me into a GOP wingnut. And yes I know that the majority of Democrats in the House and Senate aren’t pro-Palestinian Jew-haters. But sometimes you have to judge a party by its base. Sometimes you have to look at the ideological underpinnings of a political ideology.
(And yes, that applies to the GOP as well)