Monday, December 27, 2004

Chaviv Adam SheNivra'a B'Tzelem...

...or, as a more recent writer put it, "[A]ny man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in makind..."

It's difficult to live up to that standard, especially in the light of massive natural disasters, but it's a goal we should strive for.

It's best to read this as well. God bless us, every one.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

One more thing

If you were the Prime Minister of Spain, this Shoemaker fella, and had been elected due to an outbreak of national cowardice, don't you think you'd rather sweep that under the table? Instead, he's actually trumpeting it! "Yeah, we got elected due to Islamic terror, and the previous government tried to say it was Basque!" Man.


Look, I'm as much for seeing baseball back in DC as the next guy. I feel it's important that the nation's capital have a team from the national pastime. But if the people of the city feel they're being screwed, they have the right to reject it. Indeed, they should reject it, or look for a better deal.

Of course, the good white liberals of the city are doing their usual, treating those poor ignorant black citizens like children. There was a great picture in a story yesterday: A black DC councilwoman voting "no," and the white councilman next to her (a Democrat, of course) covering his face in anguish and disbelief. What, she doesn't want you spending her hard-earned money on a stadium? How ignorant! The horror!

Speaking of liberal condenscension, there's this doozy from a otherwise-OK Times article on police revolvers today: "More than anything else, it is carrying a gun - the daily familiarity of it, the expectation that it must be used on a second's notice - that most sets apart the police from the policed."

Of course. No ordinary citizen (least of all the criminal element, the "policed") owns guns, and none should. Only police know how to properly use one. Reminds me of Mayor Bloomberg's answer to a question of why a councilman (a retired policeman) was carrying an (unused that day) pistol when he was shot: "I don't know. Guns kill people." Um, Mayor Mike: That would include the gun that another cop used to kill the assailant, right?

Speaking of New York, I was watching flocks of gulls and pigeons dueling in the skies over Main Street while waiting for the bus today (and hoping I wouldn't be caught in the, um, crossfire), so this nice piece from the New York Press comes to mind.
There's a funny juxtaposition of articles on the front page of this week's Forward:

"Holiday Invite List Showcases White House's Tie to Orthodox", about how the President, this holiday season, is meeting with lots of Orthodox leaders, but few Reform and no Conservative.


"Top Conservative Rabbi Floats Idea Of 'Peace Holiday'", in which Jerome Epstein- who appears, complaining, in the first article- gives us that crackpot idea.

Gosh, Rabbi Epstein- do you think the irrelevance and leftism you demonstrate in the second article have anything to do with what results in the first?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Which leads me to wonder: Why is the Religious-Zionist community in Israel so enamored of charedim? Arutz-7, for example, is always protesting budget cuts to that community. Part of it may be their audience, part may be that the national-religious have never been overly "modern" in outlook, and part may be an overall right-wing trend in modern Orthodoxy, but after the current events, with the chareidi parties screwing everyone (and I do mean everyone, except for tired Likud and Labor hacks) to get some more cash, they're still at it?
YU has a summer plan for 11th graders- "Prepare for your time in YU" and all. Very nice idea indeed. The program, however, is typical of current YU student viewpoint- lots of Jewish-subjects learning and choices in courses in business or medicine (for men) or computers or medicine (for women). Liberal Arts? Humanities? Social Sciences? Ha! It's becoming a professional school.

Ironically, the picture they choose to illustrate this program is of the facade of the main branch of the New York Public Library- which contains, as its name says, only Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences material. The Business and Science library is a few blocks downtown, actually not far from Stern. But not as photogenic.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

By the way, if you were wondering if the weekend lived up to my hopes, the answer is, yes, it did. In spades. And now for the last candle! Later, y'all.
Very funny:

Sign taped to lamppost: "LOST: 18-karat gold wedding band of great sentimental value."

Penciled underneath: "Answers to 'My precious.'"

Also in yesterday's paper: I'm a cynic. Sue me. How much is this couple getting in 9/11 money for their "Center"? And what the hell is in the water in Crown Heights?

Speaking of getting government grants, there was also this. The New York Press already pointed this out, I think: Partying in a club 'till 2 AM? Get a cab! Ah, "charity" for the upper class.

Finally, to finish catching up with yesterday: Misheguneh Cockamamie is mad. I should get this book.
Blackmail threat of the day:

Credit card industry specialists had surmised that a deal between American Express and Citibank was imminent. In November, American Express filed a lawsuit against Visa, MasterCard and eight major banks seeking monetary damages for the business it said it lost as a result of the defunct rules. Notably absent from the list of banks were MBNA and Citigroup.

Mr. Chenault said that similar deals were still possible with the companies American Express is suing, which include J. P. Morgan Chase, Capital One, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. "The fact that compensation is owed to us for past misconduct should not stop banks from entering into partnerships with us and doing the right thing for their customers and their shareholders," he said.

Play ball with us or we'll sue you. Nice.
Seems like most others share my feelings about cellphones on flights. Good.

Dumb question of the day: "If these words and concepts [intellectual, liberal, secular] are a force for good in Islamic culture, why are they discredited here in our own? The words have the same meaning whatever the context."

Simple answer: No. No, they do not.

Zot Chanukkah

You know what would be nice? If all the Chanukkah decorations put up to complement the Christmas ones were removed tomorrow evening, when the holiday ends. After all, Chanukkah is Chanukkah and Christmas is Christmas, and I don't see why menorahs have to stay out just because the holiday season isn't over yet.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Exactly what we need...

...cellphones on planes. It's bad enough pre-take off. Yuck.

It's been a busy (and enjoyable) last few days, and the weekend promises more of the same (I hope). Hope y'all have a good one, a Shabbat Shalom and a Happy Chanukah!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Back in law school, I worked in a Legal Services clinic that was, not to put too fine a point on it, quite left-wing. In our first seminar, we were treated to the "two theories" (the only two, mind) of why welfare is distributed: Either it's a way to help the poor or, to take the Marxist view, a way to keep them under control. No mention of the idea that it's a misguided way to help the poor, let alone the more cynical view that it's a way to preserve them as a voting bloc.

As I consider it, though, I'm starting to ponder the Marxist idea more. Every time a liberal's (not every liberal, to be sure- certainly not the feminists) argument about abortion, for example, boils down (or begins with) a point about unwanted children filling welfare rolls and prisons, I consider it. Of course, that may just be an extreme argument they reserve for those opposed, either from a "how are you going to raise them" angle or a "this is how fascists like you think" one. Or it may be Marxist thinking they've heard bubbling out. But I wonder nonetheless how much of liberals' "care" for the lower classes is just so much paternalism and/or fear.

Two links:

A good piece- but my God, it's bad up north.

Squandered opportunities, the biggest tragedy. I agree wholeheartedly.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Pearl Harbor Day...

...and congratulations and best wishes for a bright future to Mr. Karzai and his nation.

An odd line in a Times obit:
Jane Bancroft, Mr. Hansen's wife of 51 years, died in 1994. He once described
their relationship as that of a gay man and a woman who happened to love each
other. "Here was this remarkable person who I wanted to spend the rest of my
life with. We were married 51 years. So something was right about it, however
bizarre it may seem to the rest of the world," he said.

This alone should cause us to ask all sorts of questions of what defines "gay" in our world today; the politics behind such definitions, and much, much more.

Immediately following the above, the kicker:
The couple had a daughter who later had gender reassignment. He is Mr. Hansen's
only survivor.

And a nice line from an interview with a German Nobel-winning scientist (come to think, they should eliminate all but the science Nobels):
Back in 1999, I hoped my gesture would be an example, particularly in Germany,
where people can be very stingy about charity. In the United States, the wealthy
have a tradition of charity. But in Germany, the rich say: "We pay taxes. It's
enough." Once I did this, many rich Germans called me saying they wanted to meet
this crazy man who gave away $1 million. And so, the Friends of Dresden raised
much, much more.

Maybe snotty Europeans (and domestic liberals) should take a long look at both halves of that equation.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The Rambam (Maimonidies) once wrote a letter in which he described a trip to Israel. In it, he mentions that he went up to the "Great and Holy House of God," which many see as a reference to the Temple Mount. As if to reinforce that point of view, he writes that he's made the day he went up a personal holiday.

I just came across that letter again, and it's reminded me to set the 15th of Kislev as the day I mark. I hereby set it down.

Another letter of mine- with a point I made below- made it to The Corner! (Edited to add: Someone else succeeded with my technique. Hee!)

This may reveal more about the cynical pathways of my mind than I'd like, but shortly after 9/11- it may have been the very day, with the Towers still standing, for all I know- I recall thinking, "I bet some relatives of victims didn't get along at all with the deceased, and will now gladly use this tragedy as a springboard for whatever agendas they may have." Oh, come now, you think. Well, I remember Mr. Zelmanowitz' sister, whom he hadn't spoken to in years, immediately launched into an anti-Afghan (!) war crusade using his name. And the more the "9/11 Widows" (I mean the agitators' group we usually think of when we use that term- "The Jersey Girls," as Rush calls them- not the whole generic class) shrilly attack Republicans and the President whenever they get a chance- this week, it's intelligence reform- I'm reminded of my initial impression.

Uncharitable? Maybe. Unseemly of them? Without a doubt.

The World Almanac used to have a rule: Wait until after the World Series in odd-numbered years and after the election in even-numbered ones, so as to get the information in. I think they gave up in 2000, what with the long election count, and not only don't wait for election results anymore, but don't even include the Series. I'm not sure what the problem is- it's still published in mid-November, and I imagine printing technology has improved so they can take even less time. Maybe it's competition from other publishers, but I still don't like it.

Speaking of baseball, the DC team is going with "Nationals," the official name of the original Senators for almost all of that team's existence. The reasons they didn't go with the obvious (the latter name) were, I think, because another team (Minnesota? Texas?) still owned the name (which makes sense), and because the mayor of DC argued that Washington has no senators (which is stupid). In any event, it's a nice touch of historical awareness (as "Grays" would have been) so why not? I can always go for history. (And, unlike before, it's even an NL team.)

Well, it's nice that they have a team again. It would have been nice had Bonds not messed up his pursuit of Aaron (would said pursuit then have existed?), but that's another story.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Back home

Sometimes it's the little things that really drive it home. I was tying my shoelaces this morning- double knot, as always, because they tend to come undone- when I sighed a bit. You see, for the last week, saying Birkat Kohanim every morning, I only did one knot when getting dressed, so I could get them off more quickly. And now, after duchaning more in one week than I have in six months, I'm back to the galut.

They say that one reason we don't duchan every day in Chutz LaAretz is so Kohanim will miss it and want to move to Israel, maybe taking others with them. Well, I miss it. Move to Israel? Alas, not a major force in me right now.

Speaking of which, it's funny what you don't hear when you're in the middle of something. The new president of the OU made a bit of a tumult with his comments on olim. He apparently said (or, it seems, was misquoted as saying) that while the people who made aliyah in previous decades were losers who were fleeing from something and ended up schnorring, the ones who make it now are successful and doing it because they're really idealistic (i.e., their lives here are so good they must have higher goals).

What's funny is that I had just been discussing this with a friend and my sister (in reference to some people we met in Israel), and took a completely opposite view. To me, it's "cool" and easy to make aliyah now. I much more admire those who did it years back, when Israel was tougher to make it in and they had stars in their eyes. I guess where he sees ideals, I see fashion, and where he sees failure, I see idealism. Go figure. Eilu v'Eilu? Maybe. Or maybe he's thinking of a different decade in the past than I. Ah well. I think it's a big contretemps over nothing, alas.

And the trip and convention itself? A-MAZING. I had such a great time. It deserves a new post, so I'll try to add more (with photos, I hope) at some later point.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Yay for Yehudit!

(And yay for alliteration!) If I read things right, she finished in just over six and a half hours. Here she is, half a mile from the finish, pausing for the camera. Again, Yay!

Of course, I missed the good shots, like the guy running in full Star Wars Stormtrooper costume, or the two Brits with a flag and poppies (gotta remember to wear mine this week). I did get a guy with a cake on his head (it was his birthday), and another in a kilt, and more, but hey- this is the most important! Yet again, Yay!

Have a good week, y'all. And savor that victory, Yehudit.
Posted by Hello

"Jerusalem is the city where Jewish kings are buried, not Arab terrorists."

Have I ever mentioned that there are times (OK, lots of times) when I just love Tommy Lapid? This is one of them. (I can't help noticing that it's "Tomy" on the official site, with "y" as an email initial.)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Good News

To tell the truth, I've been smiling- at least on the inside- for the last day or so. The election news is fantastic, if for no other reason than who it makes mad and shows up. Of course, a lot that's much more important rested on this election, so it's good news for that as well. (Indeed, some of the former are related to the latter.)

Geez, that makes no sense. So the better news: The two main points made by the president in his victory speech dealt were reforming the tax code and social security. A man after my heart.

Anyway, I was thinking. I have no idea what this may mean, but consider: Clinton won two terms, followed by Bush, who's just won his second. Last time this happened? Well, FDR won four times (and Cleveland's second nonconsecutive term was followed by McKinley's first and incomplete terms), but the last time there were two two-victory presidents in a row was Lincoln and Grant. Of course, Lincoln didn't finish his term, so the last time it really happened was Jefferson-Madison-Monroe. Perhaps we're at a stage of consensus, where we don't throw presidents out. Or something like that.
I'm searching for a word here...there's a certain distinct kind of tragedy in seeing a U.S. Army deserter, returning from North Korea after forty years, being court-martialed while wearing a detail-perfect modern uniform that's clearly been supplied just for this occasion.

I suppose justice has been served. I'd hate to have been the prosecuter on this one, though. Or the defense, come to think.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Bloody Typical

Bertrand Russell's son is dead, and the Times obit offers this beaut of a quote:

...he had gained a reputation as a defender of the disenfranchised during his time in the House of Lords. In 1997, he admonished Prime Minister Tony Blair for saying he never gave money to beggars.

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, he wrote that Mr. Blair "should remember that need may happen to anyone."

"If, after Mr. Blair has reformed the welfare state and gone out of office at the moment his pension fund goes broke,'' he continued. "I find him at King's Cross chanting 'give a tenner to Tony,' I will give to him, even if my gorge rises at it."

First, note how he equates "reform" with "end." (If only it were true!) But more importantly, note how he fails to connect the dots of how a welfare state enables people to avoid giving charity without qualms. ("Hey, the government is helping them, with my taxes!") Of course, he also avoids the issue of whether it's best to give out money on the street. Typical socialist claptrap.

Friday, October 22, 2004


At least with the Astros out, we'll be spared the otherwise-inevitable silly comparisons to the presidential race.

Anyway, the nature of old boys' clubs hit home with the Cardinals' victory. Since there are no longer an American League and National League, they have an "Honorary President" to perform certain tasks, like award the league trophy. So there's this older guy presenting said NL trophy, named for his father. As he gives it to the owner of the Cards, he says something like, "It's named for my father, who was also a good friend of your father." An interesting coincidence- or various connections of old white dudes playing out in public?

Quoth the New York Times:

Red Sox rapture struck Jeff Brown like a thunderbolt.

Mr. Brown, 43, had already driven five and a half hours from his home in Loudon, N.H., to see the Red Sox crush the Yankees at Yankee Stadium and win the American League playoffs. On Thursday morning, he dashed back to New Hampshire, did a load of laundry and made two ham, cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches, then drove to Boston to be fifth in line at Fenway Park.

And then the kicker. What does he do for a living?
Equipped with a tent, 10 wool blankets and 3 layers of clothing, Mr. Brown,
a union negotiator, was prepared to camp out until Saturday to be there when
day-of-game tickets to the World Series are scheduled to become available at
the ballpark.
Eh. I should be more charitable. Good luck, Mr. Brown, and your team as well.

I'll get to the loathsome Mr. Jonas later, I hope.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

A few links:

Funny, but oddly painful to watch after a while.

And here I thought Lincoln Chafee was immature. These are the lights of American libertarianism? What a bunch of whining, unsophisticated ninnies. From now on, I feel confident in saying I'm not a libertarian. Why, if my ideas match? Because I live on this planet, unlike these idiots.

Also very funny is this BBC video from Tikrit. (Thanks, Russ!)

Two observations (I'll post more later):

-Why does Canadian coinage mirror American so closely? Their 1-, 5-, 10-, and 25-cent pieces are the same size and color of their American counterparts. Go figure.

-Why do people feel obligated to say "Mashiv Haruach" and the like aloud? OK, you remembered. We're proud of you. Now can it. Maybe it helps once or twice, but at this point? Or Ata Chonantanu every week? Distracting.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A Christian nation, thank God.

After the Red Sox won last night, Curt Schilling (pitcher) was interviewed. The first thing out of his mouth was, "I became a Christian* seven years ago, and God has never been with me the way he was tonight." He went on to mention God a few times.

So I have a question for all the Jews out there, particularly the supremely confused "Frum liberals": How does that make you feel? And why?

Me, I'm pleased as punch that I live in a country where people (athletes, politicians- sincere ones only) talk that way. You'd never hear of such things in, say, France, or in Jimmy Carter's Earthly paradise of Canada. Or in the Democratic Party. And all are the poorer for it.

Come to think, you wouldn't find this in the mainline Christian churches, so beloved of liberal Jews now confused as to why they're turning on Israel, not realizing that liberalism, nonoffensiveness (when it comes to Jesus talk) and anti-Israelism tend to come as a package. "We worked so well together!" Yoffie and his ilk exclaim. Well, yes: You worked well on a left-wing agenda, not on anything religious. And now that they've found a new victim, it's turning on you. Hey, these people have a right to be liberal, but they shouldn't expect to be satisfied on all counts. If they want abortion (and cuddly nondenominationalism), they're going to have to take divestment. Me, I'd rather have Jesus talk than anti-Semitism. It helps that my politics match, of course.

*For reactionary ignoramuses, "became a Christian" means "became religious," not "converted."

Thursday, October 14, 2004

...and all that

"Harold, king of England, killed defending the country on this day in 1066."

They used to take out a death notice in The Times (of London) every year saying that. I wonder if they still do.

Another anniversary: "There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass. They called it the sound barrier."

The demon was beaten fifty-seven years ago today. And that's the second time I've quoted that movie here recently.

And on Britain again, one link: Steyn's terrific piece. As has been pointed out on NRO, who knows how we'd react in this situation, but it's a compelling read.

Israel, Baby!

Going to the OU convention! Yay! (And going to see Nechama! Double yay!)

Coincidentally, I've just heard that Steve Savitsky is the new president. I guess he'll be sworn in (or whatever) there.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Richard Posner seems to have taken a course in missing the point (actually more than one, concerning "The Game," the detection/oddity issue, and the whole idea of fiction), at least for this article. I actually registered for The New Republic just to read it. Interesting, though. He, like I, notices the Imperial bent, but he draws different conclusions than I.

My thoughts: The Annotated Series, three of the volumes of which I own, is quite good. But I'll wait on this one, at least until volume three. Plus, I own both Baring-Gould (who seems to have had a bit of an Annotated Series of his own) and Oxford, which do a good job covering it from both angles.

I wonder if all of Klinger's individual volumes are included in these. In both cases, there's the money thing too. We'll see.

Monday, October 11, 2004

It just occurred to me that I really don't like people who maintain multiple blogs. Or, for that matter, post on one with multiple posters and keep another one (or more) of their own. Get off your high horse and make up your mind, will you?

And no, I don't think even my blog is so important. But then, I have only one.

It doesn't help that the one linked above, the cause of this epiphany, is so weak, the best parts are (of course) my brilliant responses. (Like shooting fish in a barrel, but still.) I tried to keep them civil.
Showing off his fine high-school education, Sean Penn provides better entertainment than any angst-ridden movie. Does anyone take this guy seriously (outside of the New York Times, of course)? "Disembowelment?" What is this, the Middle Ages? "You are...primarily young guys." Snerk.

James Derrida is dead.

And with those four words, I've disproved his entire life's work.

And yes, I know what his first name is. It's James.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Protest Warriors in Australia. The IDF t-shirt is a nice touch.
Excellent piece. And follow the links from there, and from there...ahh, the Internet.
From today's Times: "Mr. Cipel canceled plans for an interview last week, citing scheduling problems relating to the Jewish holiday of Sukkot."

Maybe this is ungenerous of me, but I've having a hard time imagining Cipel wandering the streets of Bnei Brak with a loupe in his eye, searching for the perfect mehudar esrog.

Also: Janet Leigh, R.I.P. "You don't scare me, Mr. Grand-ee!"

And another sad loss: "But on that glorious day in May 1963, Gordo Cooper went higher, farther, and faster than any other American - 22 complete orbits around the world; he was the last American ever to go into space alone. And for a brief moment, Gordo Cooper became the greatest pilot anyone had ever seen."

Monday, October 04, 2004

One wonders how anyone as immature as Lincoln Chafee can be entrusted with a position of such power:
"I'll vote Republican," he said, explaining that he would choose a write-in
candidate, perhaps George Bush the elder, as a symbolic act of protest.
Oh, Give. Me. A. Break.

One also wonders how one can actually attend YU and yet make so many simple, dumb, factual errors (not to mention overall ones of tone) in one article. Those who actually know the author have juicy reasons to give, and I defer to their judgment.

Speaking of factual errors, a "maven" means "expert", you dolt. You immoral dolt.

The Jewish Week (no link for you, you mamzers) seems determined to be as offensive as possible. A few weeks back, it was a piece explaining how gorging on tarfus as part of a contest is based on deeply-rooted Jewish traditions. Last week- on Yom Kippur, of all days- it's not one but two pieces fawning over gay issues. This week- surprise!- an utterly pointless article about how gay Israelis who marry in Canada won't be recognized back home, plus lots of letters on, well, gays. But the kicker was a piece about how getting tattooed is based on, you guessed it, deeply-rooted Jewish traditions.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Marvin Schick's latest advertorial causes me to quote Cyrano de Bergerac: "I need but three letters to describe you, and they are A-S-S." I'd personally add another four, but then his son might start up with me again. Besides, it's Tishrei. So I'll let him insult as much as he wants, telling me that I should have no political opinions other than what's good for the kikes, but, if I must, I certainly shouldn't hang with the "fascisti" at the GOP and the NRA.

Then again, nothing beats the New York Times telling us about "children" being killed on "both sides" in Israel. Sure. A two year old and a four year old cousin are killed by a rocket (in Israel proper, the Times doesn't note) on the one hand, while three Arab teens, Darwin award nominees all, decide to throw rocks at tanks instead of going to school and suffer the logical result on the other. Yup, that's equivalent. (Although the perfect followup is Monday's op-ed piece by some PA dude.)

Why am I being so grumpy here? It's Yom Tov! Chag Sameach, one and all!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Something that tends to irk me is newspaper articles that act like you don't know what they're about, despite headlines and photos above them. The author tries to work in a cute "surprise" a few paragraphs in:

The hottest new abstract artist in town has reason to celebrate.

This summer, she went from selling her work in a coffee shop to having her own gallery show.

After a local newspaper's feature on her, about 2,000 people came for opening night - everyone from serious collectors to the artist's preschool teacher. She earned more money than she could comprehend. The gallery owner said it was his most successful show ever and scheduled a second one for October.

Then comes the big "revelation":
So celebrate, the artist did. [Yuck.] During a recent visit, she climbed on a big bouncing ball shaped like a frog, grabbed the handles and bounced around the house with laughter pealing and pigtails flying.

The artist is Marla Olmstead. She is 4.
Oh, wow! What a cute opening! It would have been cuter if there hadn't been a huge photo of a four-year old girl with her "art" and the headline "4-Year-Old Paints With Flair".

As my quotes around "art" demonstrate, I have one more pet peeve with this piece: In a two-page spread and thirty paragraphs, there's not a hint that anyone might think this is, as Rush Limbaugh would say, Barbra Streisand. Six thousand bucks for the meaningless scribblings (I doubt named by the "artist," by the way, the article notwithstanding) of a four year old? Jeez.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

My first letter to Daniel Okrent

You know, your reactions to news of a bombing in Israel change drastically once you have a sibling living there.

Anyway, my letter to Mr. Okrent concerned this editorial. On consideration, I'm not so sure I even agree with the content of the piece- it may be bad taste to market this stuff, but the guy has a right to do it; furthermore, people just won't donate money as easily as when there's a goodie involved. Regardless, to quote my letter, "The headline chosen, however, is quite insensitive, considering the name of the "bad guy" in the piece. If I was in a less forgiving mood, I'd say it was downright anti-Semitic."

Do the Times editors know no literature or history? I'd hope so. But without a plea of ignorance, we're veering into Pat Buchanan territory (Richard Perle latching onto George W. Bush like Fagin onto Oliver Twist) here.

Ahem. I am now a "Stalker." Vehamayvin yavin.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Political Correctness veered into the ridiculous almost from its inception. Here are two winners from today's New York Times. First, a piece about firemen takes pains to remind us, at least thrice and in twice circuitous fashion related to semantics, that there are now female firefighters (and incorrectly claims that minorites are a recent allowance). Yup, all two dozen or so out of thousands.

But the winner has to be the Times' explanation as to why the Arizona manager insisted on walking Barry Bonds over the weekend. Were you thinking it was because they were worried that he'd, well, hit a home run? Oh, no: The Times will have you know that it's because he's...wait for! Of course, they have to concede that Hank Aaron is black too, but they're not quite sure what to do with that fact. Oh, of course: That just makes people hate Bonds because of his race more.


Nothing too bad, but still not for the easily offended.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Am I the only one who notices the irony in the juxtaposition of the third and fourth stories here?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Speaking of flags, there were a few at the dancing- the UJ and the S&S, as we vexillologists call them. That's my cousin (well, my mother's cousin) Annette waving one. I fear I may not have a better shot of her, outside the family pix. Off to hunt, and maybe post some rants tomorrow (maybe)! Posted by Hello

Scott and Sue Eleff. Sue is making it clear where she's from. Go Sue! Posted by Hello

OK, here are a few more. My cousin Yale, "patriarch" of our family, as my mother put it in her speech. Posted by Hello

The Smiths!

Byyyyy special request (well, it was high time I did it, eh?), here are my pictures of my fantastic new in-laws (well, OK, my brother's in-laws, but whatever), the Smiths!

As always, click to enlarge. Or email for a picture, if you want. I was a bit mixed up here, so some of my captions read backwards and some read forwards. Eh- ignore my words, look at the pix.

Here's one of the nicest ones, to begin (and because, again, posting is backwards). Posted by Hello

Ah, this is the good shot. Mazel Tov, all! Posted by Hello

Setting up the Smiths... Posted by Hello

My brother, surrounded by some of his (and my!) new relations... Posted by Hello

..and a bit of a wider shot. Posted by Hello

A bit behind the scenes here. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

"Please sir, I want some more."

...And here are a few. It's getting a bit late, so I'll stop with these. If the order seems a bit haphazard, it's because I'm posting backwards (and somewhat at random), so scroll up instead of down.

Here's Esti's niece (the one mentioned below as having taken a bunch of these shots) holding up her train. Not much of a procession, actually, which is nice. Much later in the evening, she would ask, in that smashing accent, "Nachum, are you knackered?" Well, maybe a touch. Posted by Hello

Here's the chuppa, pre-ceremony. This was a first for me- ceremony in the yard, everyone standing and watching. It was beautiful. Posted by Hello

Here's our cousin Craig, dancing his way out to the chuppa. Posted by Hello

Top of the world, Ma (and Pa, and Sam)! Top of the world! Posted by Hello

Here's Nechama and Esti, bracing for a long photo shoot. Posted by Hello

Here's all four of us Lamm kids- me, Nechama, Sam and Sara (from left to right), looking as happy as can be- 'cause we were! Posted by Hello

Here's me and Sam (he's in the proper wedding tie), in a photographer's pose (but then, we're often like that in real life). Posted by Hello

Since I'm posting backwards, I present a picture of Connie to make up for her not being in the one below. This is her "Bohemian" look. Posted by Hello

Here's the amazing Eleff brothers, Michael, Eric, and Scott, at Esti's sister's house (that'd be Noemi Stern) Saturday night. Alas, the Eleff sister, Connie, is just out of the shot. Posted by Hello

Here's my dad, reading the kesubah under the chuppah. "Not bad for a monkey, eh?" he asked when done. (Don't ask- it'll just rile me up.) He also had a geshmak vort, to coin a phrase, about simply reading the kesubah. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I'm back!

Back from Manchester, where my cousin Yale developed a taste for kippers, where we were served Waldorf Salad, where I met a Dr. Hibbert and a Ms. Lebowski (OK, different spelling), and, to move off of pop culture references, where I had occasion once again to curse complicated hotel showers. But enough of that- it was great! Great times, great people, great wedding, all too brief stay. I have many (many, many) photos, but here are a few representative ones to whet your appetite:

Here's the chussenkallah with my parents at the photo shoot. If these seem a bit unposed, it's because I (or someone else) was jumping in ahead of the official photographer. Posted by Hello

Here's one of the whole family (our side, plus Esti, of course, who's also "our side" now as well) taken at the photo shoot. Of course, I didn't take these- I'm in them. Esti's marvelous niece and nephew proved to be quick studies at the camera, and took a bunch of the photos I have here. Posted by Hello

Here's another shot of the extended family. It gets some details the previous one doesn't, so combine the best of each and ignore the rest, OK? Posted by Hello

Monday, August 30, 2004

Turt-le Bay!

This afternoon and evening, National Review had a pre-convention get-together at Turtle Bay on the East Side. Good times, good times. Packed to the gills when I got in (early), and it only got more crowded. I met lots of people I know only electronically, and I'm sure I saw many others who I didn't identify. (And I even got mistaken for Stanley Kurtz! Hee!) Anyway, this allows me to demonstrate my new expertise with photoblogging. So here goes: (Click to enlarge, if that's your bag, baby.)

Here's a reason I came early: Goodies! Buttons, a lapel pin, and, of course, the most recent NR. (Well, I'll get it in the mail soon anyway, but why not?) The buttons say "John Kerry: Just Say Non!" against a French flag- it took me a bit to get that one; "Kerry is #1 (Senate Liberal)"; "I Don't Believe The New York Times" (perhaps I'll wear that when reading the rag in public); "Save A Hamster- Vote Kerry"; and "I Believe the Swifties" (ah, but which? Kerry would ask). The lapel pin is laid out like a cover of the magazine with a flag. As for the issue itself- well, you're gonna have to buy it. Or, better, subscribe. There's a handy link right at the top of their site.Posted by Hello

Here's Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online Editor-at-Large, holding court at the bar. Don't worry, it gets better. (A bit of the old demon liquor- ok, a beer- helped get my courage up to actually approach these people, as you'll see.) Posted by Hello