Friday, April 30, 2004

The Times is always good for a laugh, or a cry:

-A group of Ghanans visit the New York State Assembly to see "democracy in action." Democracy? In Albany? They're probably better off in Ghana. In all fairness, the Times admits this. They're good on pressing Albany for reform, but don't suggest the two most obvious answers, of course: Term limits and kicking Sheldon Silver out.

-With all due respect to them (I mean that seriously), I've always found Mormonism cute in the way it lifts things from the United States. They're headed by a "President," their flag resembles the US', they revere the Indians...and today, we find out that while missionaries can't usually call home, they can do so on Christmas and Mother's Day. The presence of the latter is funny- a Hallmark holiday on the church calendar. And note- not Father's Day. Men are supposed to be made of tougher stuff, I guess. (Hmmm. Never noticed the names are in the singular before.)

-A Cuban baseball player who defected can't see his family, and a columnist, looking for a gimmick, frames his column as if it was an appeal to Castro (it seems he just stuck in the first person parts post-facto). I like (not) how he makes it seem the defection seem all about money. But what I really can't stand is how Castro is addressed as a reasonable man. He's a repressive, evil tyrant. It's time we stopped treating him as anything else.

-And then there's Holocaust money. Oy oy oy. I tell you, it was a mistake to take even one cent back in the forties and fifties. Now we have these...displays. The sheer chilul hashem, my God. Alas, there are probably many Jews who think this is a good thing.

Shabbat Shalom. Especially to one person who knows who they are- all the best, a good Shabbos and weekend.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Where to start? I got another African scam email! Yay! It's been a while. This time it was Liberia. Alas, Africa has no shortage of the political upheavals that spawn these spammings.

A friend is making a Friends finale party. Double yay! And about TV, Smallville...well, there was this scene, right? And the show was great, sure, but this one was like one of Proust's madeleines (which they sell at Starbuck's, heh). The floodgates opened, and a traumatic childhood incident came back to me. Except it didn't really happen, see- it was in my mind only all those years ago. And pondering that fact made it all the more traumatic.

Damn, I need help.

My desk is strewn with newspapers. I got the Post today for its Friends special magazine, and AM-NY for its automatic subway article, among others (I saw people reading it on the train), and the Forward and Sentinel, as always. (The Times is in my bag.) Anyway, the back page of the Sentinel has the usual ArtScroll ad. One new book I'd like to check out is "Hallel," if only to see how (if at all) they treat Yom Ha'atzmaut, and how they deal with half hallel, Channukah, and so on . But the winner is this book:

"A Unique New Hebrew-Language Sefer from a Unique Rav and Posek"

"Yiddish" [in Yiddish letters]

"by Rabbi David Cohen" [without the standard "shlita" that follows his name, so I'm only 99.9999% certain it's him]

Here's the winning line: "...Rabbi Cohen starts with the premise that Yiddish is a holy language and that its sayings are rooted in Tanach, the Talmud, and Midrash..."

Oh, give. me. a. break. "Holy language" my a**. Hitler spoke it too, you know (and in a purer form). I remember seeing a sign from the Warsaw ghetto in the Museum of Jewish Heritage (an exhibit of the Oneg Shabbos/Ringblum archives): It was a notice, in German, for Jews to report to the square for deportation (and death). In big letters, it said, "AUFRUFF." Since then, we've tried not to use that phrase for a Shabbat Chatan anymore.

(Note for y'all: The Sabbath before a Jewish wedding, the groom is called to the Torah reading to say a blessing [or even to read]. This is called a "Shabbat Chatan" ["Groom's Sabbath"] in Hebrew [a bride has something roughly analogous called a "Shabbat Kallah," or "Bride's Sabbath] or "Aliyah LaTorah," "Going up to the Torah." The more frequently used term, though, is the Yiddish "Aufruff," "calling up-" the same phrase the Nazis used here.)

And he tells us it's holy. Dis-gusting. OK, it's part of Jewish history and many great (and simple) people spoke it, etc. etc. But come. on. As if to clinch the deal, they also offer tapes by R. Reisman called "The Mussar Shmoozen of Yirmiyahu Hanavi" [Jeremiah].

"Shmoozen." Sure. That's what Yirmiyahu called them. Would it have killed them to say "Drashos?"

I think I'll order some heraldry books now. And a flag one from the UK. Thirty-three pounds (figure it out), but so worth it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

One funny thing is that there were actually refugees from Lander there last night. Heh.

I was reading a review of a movie (now out on DVD!) about the Taliban (Osama) on the train today, and got a bit of a shock. The movie's about a girl forced to dress as a boy because of the misogynism of the Taliban. And who should step onto the train at that moment but two girls- couldn't have been older than ten- swathed in black chadors, the works. I began getting all upset- "You pull this s*** in my country?" I thought- before I noticed that they were actually extremely short middle-aged women. I further noticed that Westernism, as Theodore Dalrymple points out in the latest City Journal, creeps in despite all- one woman had a wedding band, wearing a poncho, etc. Well, maybe it'll take years. But the truth will always triumph (Ghandi?).

Mo'adim L'Simcha L'Geula Shelaimah!

Sometimes I wonder if any of those people who decry "YU's move to the right" have ever actually been there, at least lately. Explanation below.

Last night, I went to the Yom HaZikaron/Yom Ha'atzmaut event there. It was quite nice- (not in this order) short speeches by the Israel Club YC president, memorial tefilot, candle lighting and reading of bios by his SCW counterpart (they focused a bit on famous names, but not exclusively, which was good), a PowerPoint presentation on Israel, and three speeches- two in Hebrew, by Rav Goldvicht and the (a?) Rosh Yeshiva from KBY, and one by the dude from Israelight, who gave a nice speech, if a bit wandering and morbid at times. I'm not complaining.

Following the davening, with all the trimmings (shofar, etc.) there was dancing and food in the gym and caf. Alas, it was late, and I am officially Old Dude, so I took a San Juan Family taxi home and got to sleep at a decent (well, semi-decent) hour. Davening at Etz Chaim today, again with trimmings. Andy even came down from his apartment last night to see me, which was really nice.

My point? The event was in Lamport Auditorium. This may not mean much if you don't know YU, but in my time (damn, I sound like a geezer), the event was held in the smaller Weissberg Commons, down in Belfer Hall (in fact, after having my burger, I walked down there, and had to go all the way back to Zysman Hall). There were maybe a few hundred people back then, barely filling the seats. It was quick, and dancing and some food was in the same room, on the other side. I think it was mostly guys from the campus.

This time, the auditorium, which seats well over 1100 people, was packed. The side sections were all female, and many people were standing in the back. There was no great preponderance of "yeshiva guys," so I suppose most students still aren't over that way- and the yeshiva guys turned out, too! Granted, this is all anecdotal, and there is chardalnik-ism out there when it comes to Israel, but I see this as a powerful point versus Jonas and whoever's feeding him propaganda. The most I can say is that YU students may be more religious, in the halacha, not "frumkeit" sense- and how bad is that? In fact, I dare say that such students will be more committed to Modern Orthodoxy (take this event, for example) than those who aren't as religious.

Ah. Rant over. It's Yom Ha'atzmaut, time to celebrate. Good times last night, and all times. Well, except for this printing stuff. At least the folks at TWoP had a good laugh at that.

One question: Is Ronald Lauder (halachically) Jewish? In the obit for his mother in the Times yesterday, they quote her (admittedly inaccurate) autobiography in which she says that her mother's mother wasn't Jewish. I mean nothing by the question- Lauder's a great guy, who's done plenty for Judaism as well as for domestic affairs (except for one big blunder in 1989)- but I'm just curious.

Monday, April 26, 2004

So, the conference yesterday. (The Jewish Policy Center, an affiliate of the Republican Jewish Coalition, speaking on Jews and conservatives.) Some quick hits unrelated to actual content first:

-Came in the back door of the Park East Synagogue (which, to be honest, is nowhere near Central Park- there was even a "Park East" Laundry or something nearby). I always wondered about the Russian Embassy's proximity, as the JDL used the synagogue to lay siege to the embassy in the early 70's. Alas, it's not out back or front. There's a building that looks like it may once have been the embassy a bit down the street, but it's not now. Ah well.

-The shul itself could use some work. I'm just saying. (To be fair, it is over 100 years old.) Also, they gave out yarmulkes. What is this thing about making people wear them in shul when there are no prayers? Some old-fashioned thing, I guess. Funniest things? The woman next to me put one on, and "Dr. K," the loon from Fabiani, was sitting there with one too.

-They claimed they didn't have my name, and I had to sign in. Of course, I had called and reserved and all. More to the point, I was looking over this guy's hand, and I saw my name was there. That annoyed me. I have no idea why they did that. I also didn't meet the person I came to see, but that's because it was so crowded. The sanctuary was packed. I had no idea there were that many conservative/Republican Jews in New York (even allowing for many of them being curious liberals). And most- vast majority, I think- weren't Orthodox, whereas you'd expect the opposite.

So, complaints over, on to the conference itself. It was, in fact, quite good. A couple of intros (the rabbi, the chairman) and straight to it. Michael Medved MC'ed, and he's pretty good. The panelists were John Podhoretz, Steve Emerson, David Horowitz, and Michael Ledeen- all-stars, every one. If I have one nit to pick, it's that they focused too much on terror and Israel- but let's be honest: Terror (and war) is the number-one issue today, and this, not economics and social conservatism, is what's going to win Jews (those who care about being Jewish, not the self-hating leftists) over to the conservative side. I expected Horowitz to focus a bit more on leftistism in general, and I wasn't disappointed, as he wove the connection between liberalism and weakness on terror and Israel together very well. Medved took on the role of devil's advocate in asking each of them questions, and he's a firecracker.

The questions were pretty good too. (Usually at things like this, people can be ridiculous.) One person finally asked about how, if one is opposed to the Gaza plan (like yours truly), one can support Bush's support for it. I think they handled it well, but didn't pin down the answer I gave below (they sort of circled around it): Is Bush supposed to be more Catholic than the Pope? If Sharon (and a "big right-winger" at that) comes to him with a plan, who's he to argue?

Speaking of that, who the hell is Marvin Schick? Come to think, what the hell is the Jewish Week? Let me explain: Mr. Schick is a rich dude, and thus, under Jewish community rules, is allowed to mouth off about stuff. Alas, the Jewish Week, that fine piece of newspaper (well, it would be if there was no writing on it), only ran his column every other week, and maybe dumped him. So Schick now buys a half-page in that paper every week, and airs anything that pops into his head. Needless to say, he thinks he's God's gift to the world and is the greatest authority on everything.

So this week, he goes off about the Gaza plan. Naturally, he thinks it's great. Oh, and if you don't, well, you have no right to, because you live in galus. (Never mind that many Israelis don't.) He's pretty snide on that last point. He thinks it's great on security (logic would say otherwise, but we can argue there), but mentions not a word about religion, about God-given land, and so on. This is a common malady among non-Zionist Orthodox. Because they're not so excited about the State to begin, they don't really have an issue with giving it up. Makes me sick.

Anyway, to get back to the conference: I guess my ideas are so far-out on this topic, I realize that most others don't hold them. So when non-Orthodox Jews such as some of the panelists here, or Sharon, or Bush, are less than Kahanist, I can't really blame them. Doesn't mean I'm not opposed to this plan, but I'm being realistic in my expectations of people.

Overall, quite a good time. I left before the last questions to head up to Inwood for Dixon and Paul's housewarming. They have a nice apartment in a co-op. The neighborhood (never been there before) is interesting, too: Houses and buildings, a park, the rivers...they have a nice view from their roof terrace. Nice people, too- not just them, but the company, of which there was a bunch. And that, and ironing shirts, was my Sunday. I didn't stick around in the city for the QM2 (or for Daniel's thing), as it was cold and wet and I didn't even have a jacket. Ah well. PZil, that lucky gal, watched from her office, or so she planned.

Ahhh. In a situation of not knowing if someone is angry I'm not writing, on the one hand, or, more likely, is happy I'm not. And I'm too scared it's the latter to risk correcting the former. A wimp, I am.

A funny/sad article from the Yated to post, just to wrap things up. Come to think, many of the items on that site fall into that category. Ah- and looking it over, I see they roll out the old "Israel isn't yehareig v'al ya'avor" canard. It's depressing. I guess it's best to stay away from it.

Whew. I sound like a bundle of joy on this blog. Would it surprise you to learn that I'm really a pretty jolly guy?

I'll be at YU for Yom Ha'atzmaut tonight. Yay! Anyone wants to join me, please do. Same for the Life of Brian re-release this weekend. Double Yay! I hope I can find time.

Back to Inyana D'Yoma, a very nice piece by R. Eliezer Melamed of Beit El at their site. Translating freely from the Hebrew:

"I've heard that the 'plague' that killed the [24,000] students of Rabbi Akiva [for whom we mourn during the period of Sefirah] took place during the Bar Kokhba revolt [135 C.E.], and there were students who went to fight the Romans, and those who continued to study. And the soldiers and students insulted one another, each saying, 'I am greater than my companion, for what I am doing is more important, and his actions have no purpose.' And because of this senseless hatred they fell before their enemies, and at one time they all died. And it's no accident that this occurred between Pesach, the holiday of national redemption, and Shavuot, the spiritual holiday of receiving the Torah. And these students who did not honor one another split 'between Pesach and Shavuot;' that is, between nationalism and Torah [i.e., each only adhering to one, none both, as they should have], and so they all died in this period."

OK, it's a bit cute, especially as trying to draw an analogy to today. But I like it.

A new experiment here involves me posting beneath the comments- easier to do links and other coding that way.

So here are four magnificient pieces from National Review today.

Three are on Pat Tillman, killed in Afghanistan:
By Robert Alt.
By Geoffrey Norman.
By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

And one is on Fabrizio Quattrocchi, killed in Iraq. "Who?" you ask. Read the piece and you won't forget.
The glass is falling by the hour,
The glass will fall forever.
But if you break the bloody glass,
You won't hold up the weather.

Bloody weather. Well, maybe if it rains a lot now it'll be nice for the parade in a month. Eh. Lots to report today, folks, including the conference yesterday and more. Check back later!

Friday, April 23, 2004

Ah, it gets more complicated. If only we didn't have to deal with these messy emotions, or with other people. Vulcan is the way to go, but then life would be so much less interesting.

I'd like to post a public apology to someone I know is reading. Furthermore, it's the old definition of teshuva- a promise not to do certain things again. Sincerely meant, and understood.

Quiet here, and, if I understand correctly, it will be for a while (days, that is). Three big elections next week, in Pennsylvania, Cyprus, and Israel. I get the feeling I won't like the results of any one of them. Ah well.

Carlebach davening tonight at the Barrises'. Yay! And an action-packed Sunday (well, as action-packed as it gets for yours truly).

A thought: The new movie Troy could do good business in the Orthodox Jewish community by billing itself (honestly) as "The one movie the Talmud says you should watch."

Heaven help me, there are a number of late spring/summer movies I actually want to see. I think I saw all of two movies in the theater the entire last year.

You know what's bad? Not knowing how angry, if at all, a good friend is with you, and not knowing how to act. Also bad (on a different level) is having yet another system problem related to your work.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Is it just me, or is it a bit unseemly for John Dean to write a book (about Bush, of course) titled "Worse than Watergate"?

There are 103 raisins in a Sun-Maid small box. FYI.

I've gotten a couple of responses to my Buckley piece. One good friend wishes me to stress that an important factor here is Buckley's "evenhandedness." That is, he tries to be nice to all sides, in fine English boarding school tradition, and as the State Department does so often. Of course, he has a definite point, and this is a big problem. However, I find it ironic that at this moment, the bloggers on National Review's own site are pointing out how "traditional" conservatives, such as themselves (and me, I suppose), have always felt that ideology and morals should play a part in foreign policy. (It was alleged that this was the exclusive domain of the "neoconservatives.") For example, they were never isolationist, they believed in rolling back Soviet advances, not just containing it, and so on. So why does Buckley not have a similar standard when dealing with Israel? (Of course, he might, but he's approaching it from a different angle.)

Of course, Buckley's successors all do apply that standard. I have the feeling he's somewhat tolerated by the younger folk at the magazine and website. (More on that in a bit.)

Another writer expanded on my point about Catholicism. Allow me to quote from my response to him:

"This is something I think I alluded to a while back,
but only got around to mentioning now. I'll take it a
step further: I once attended a dinner of the Heritage
Foundation. They were having a series of these in
honor of their anniversary (25th, I think). Each
featured a speaker on a particular theme (capitalism,
trade, etc.) and the one in New York was on "Faith."
Buckley was the speaker- and chose to devote his
speech to the topic of how he converted many of
National Review's Jewish (but, raised communist, with
no religious knowledge whatsoever, and seeking any
sort of spirituality) founders to Catholicism- some,
it seems, posthumously (and considering their
background, all quite deceitfully). All right, he
didn't come out and use the word 'Jew,' but I had just
read an article on the topic, and knew full well what
was going on.

"Then there was the time John DiIlulio (later the head
of President Bush's Faith-initiative team before he
famously resigned) wrote the National Review review of
David Klinghoffer's autobiography. He actually posed
the question to Buckley, in the review itself, why no
one at National Review had tried harder to convert
Klinghoffer to Catholicism. That got them an angry
letter from me.

"Still, I remain an avid reader. Overall it's a great
magazine (and better website), what can I say? And
like you point out, there's this strange mix of
philo-Semitism and even pro-Israel feelings even among
those whose attitudes at time seem different. Work for
a psychologist,perhaps."

Let me finish by saying this: All in all, I'll take Buckley any day over most others. When people start screaming "anti-semitism," I take it down to the bare elements: Will he put us into concentration camps? Avi Weiss did a disgusting thing (on a number of levels) by dressing in camp uniforms to protest Mel Gibson. But religious Christians in America are not about to do anything to Jews; in fact, they're the last people Jews should fear, and perhaps their best friends.

And on Israel: I'm not one who complains when the US "pressures" Israel. Israel is an independent country run by grown-ups; if they didn't want to be pressured, it wouldn't happen. End of story. And if Sharon comes to Bush with this wacko Gaza plan (On his own terms [that is, not my Kahanist religious ones]: Essentially, he's not leaving Gaza, but is just pulling out the settlers- for what?), I can't blame Bush for going along.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

First, I've given up on William F. Buckley when it comes to Israel. I guess I shouldn't expect him to be a Kahanist, or a Likudnik, or even a strong pro-Zionist- he supports Israel, and that's cool- but his views on the subject are quite leftish and seem overly in favor of the Palestinians' view. And the way he refers to Yassin here, and seems to imply that settlements are worse than suicide bombers- yuck. Perhaps it's being uncharitable, but I think a big part of it has to do with his Catholicism. Ah well.

To continue being uncharitable, when I see a horror scene such as on the cover of today's NY Times- after an accident on a LIRR train, rows of victims strapped to backboards in Penn Station- I wonder how many are really injured, and how many see this as a money-making thing. Ah well. I blame the lawyers for my attitude. Sympathies to all, and the picture is quite spooky- like the aftermath of a terrorist attack, God forbid.

So. The Times also tells us that Harvey Weinstein, of Miramax, has been knighted by the Queen (the knighthood type given to people who live in the US). Now, I don't begrudge him this- I'm sure it was earned, and lots of people, including even presidents, accept this honor. And my feelings toward the British monarchy are of a different class than those I hold toward tin-horn dictator "kings." But this reminds me of something I wanted to rant about. And then, also at National Review Online today, Jay Nordlinger, after seeing a bio line in an article in the Wall Street Journal that read, simply, "Abdullah II is the king of Jordan", wrote the following:

"Somewhat cool, huh? I mean, how would you like your biographical line to read, 'John Smith is the king of [X country]'?"

Now, I think those short bios are cool, yes. For example: "George W. Bush is President of the United States." But my answer to his second question, which I even emailed him, is "Not very much." I'm a republican, with a small "r." It's part of the glorious heritage of being an American. And I don't like it when others aren't so. A move to Canada, for example, entails coming under the rule of the British monarch. OK, barely OK. Ditto accepting a knighthood from her. (And yes, I know the Founding Fathers, and State Department and military rules to this day, give monarchs the respect they're due in historic custom.) But it still irks me. Wouldn't it be interesting if in a movie like "King Ralph" or "The Princess Diaries" or "The Prince and Me" the American character would refuse a royal position because it went against his or her republican sentiments? Yeah, I know, it'd be a really short and boring movie.

Of course, when Britain ran the Arab world, and other places, they actually invented monarchies to govern countries- Jordan, for example, which we just mentioned. Many European countries did the same, importing kings, mostly from Germany, which had hundreds to spare (Greece, for example). Why, oh why? Republicanism- it's the way to go. At least if you're not British, or a European (or other) democracy with an ancient line to preserve.

I'm quite sure my feelings play a big part in the issues I have with messianism as it's usually understood in Jewish tradition.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Summertime, summertime...ah! Warm weather in New York. Isn't it lovely?

Sometimes I wish I knew what was going on around me. As I entered the courthouse today, a bunch of TV cameramen chased a woman who was coming out. As always, I kept walking. Ah well. The lovely clerk (I think I've mentioned her before) was wearing a nice summer-y outfit. The muttonchopped guard (he has the type that becomes a mustache before heading back down) was nice and cheery too.

So Tom Cruise thinks it's OK if you think he was married to a frigid woman, so long as you don't imply he's gay. Perhaps it's uncharitable, but any Scientologist celebrity falls under that cloud for me- they must have something on him/her, I always think.

Arutz-7 has this gem today:

"In the Chabad movement, as well, efforts are well underway to save Gush Katif. Five hundred anti-expulsion signs will be posted, starting today, on 500 buses throughout the country. The signs will read, 'The Lubavitcher Rebbe Warns: Running Away From Gush Katif is a Terrible Danger to Millions of Jews.' INN correspondent Ruti Avraham reports that behind the campaign stands Chabad Rabbi Yekutiel Rapp of New York."

"The Lubavitcher Rebbe Warns"? Oh, dear God.

The New York Times today has a puff piece on Yeshiva Chovevei Torah. (Look how cool we are! Here's a student playing a mini-guitar in the Beis Midrash! So unlike those stiffies at YU!) One thing I didn't know was that it was housed in a non-Orthodox school, the same one hosting that Hillel-type multiple-service congregation. Interesting, although I have no further thought on that. Also interesting is that S. Daniel Abraham, Slim-fast king and peacenik, and Dr. Zizmor, both YU donors, are on the board. Anyway, Jonas' comments at the school's dinner have overshadowed much, and Steven I. Weiss, at Protocols, calls him on claiming he didn't really say his asinine comments. Good for him. (Although one wishes he had a tape- I'm sure YCT does.)

In any event, Joshua Lamm had a great letter in this week's Jewish Week calling YCT on having Jonas bash YU like that. (I get the feeling Joshua Lamm is the designated "not-within-YU-but-defending-it" letter-writer, although if so, they'd probably have chosen someone with a, well, less-obvious last name, which also excludes me, although I don't have the family Joshua does.) After hoping that the YCT leadership has enough "spine and guts" (Jonas' infamous line) to condemn Jonas, Lamm's last line runs something along the lines of (I'm paraphrasing), "At least YCT students are getting one valuable lesson in the real world: that wealth does not equal intelligence." Touche. Although if he'd really want to be mean, he could have ended, "...that wealth equals power in the Jewish world."

Friday, April 09, 2004

Well, I just mailed out my taxes. Yeah, I feel all adult-like now. But it's money, people.

So. I got a real boost to my spirits today. Well, not that I really needed a boost to begin, but I feel a whole bunch better now. And all because of a trip to Federal Court. The weather is lovely (or was until now), with all that that means in New York, nudge nudge...hem. Moving along. The streets and trains are full of tourists having a good time, the architecture of this fine city is more awe-inspiring than usual, if that's possible, they were filming a Law & Order down by the court...all nice. And coming into the court, I saw that it was new citizen day. People were coming out, certificates in hand, taking pictures...I'm not the biggest pro-immigrant person, to put it lightly, but who can argue with new citizens, people becoming Americans? (Sometimes I think that even natural born citizens should say the oath, at least to themselves, every now and then.) It just brightened my day.

And now some looney City Councilmen want to, essentially, eliminate the very concept of citizenship by allowing non-citizens to vote. Don't these liberals have any respect for, at least, the language? A citizen votes. Period.

Ah well. Not gonna let that darken my day. Not gonna let anything darken my day, weekend, end of yom tov. Good times, all. And if I could link...nah. This is good enough.

The New York Times picture, alas, is not online, and even the article posted is wrong. But I must wonder: Where does a Passion Play in New Jersey get its handmade matza from? And do they realize that Jesus' matza looked nothing like ours?

The Times has some other good (and bad, through no fault of their own) bits too, but most moving is the front-page picture of those Marines. God bless them.

Want to know how deep the Bush-hate is? I log on to a legal database website- a legal database! It collects cases, nothing more!- and am assaulted with a column by a Mr. Kahn (natch), calling Bush a murderer for killing U.S. Marines. Oh, the revolution will come one day, as Phoebe Buffay would say.

And, just because I'm a long-suffering Met fan who remembers the mid-80's all too well, here's this.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

By the way- name the off-color joke in the Hagadah. I noticed it for the first time at the first seder- well, I'd always known it, but for the first time it hit me what a "nudge, nudge" moment it is.

What the hell is this? This partisan hack Benvineste (Jewish, I'll bet) starts badgering Rice, and the audience bursts in applause? I hate to sound uncharitable, but back on September 11, 2001, I said, "I bet some of these widows had unhappy marriages, and they're not grieving at all, but are going to exploit this as much as possible." I won't comment on the state of the marriages of the stock liberal "9/11 widows," but most of the ones I hear- the loud ones, I guess, but only a small minority- are Democratic shills who've made their minds up already. This morning, one gave a disgusting comment on the radio about how she hopes Rice will be honest, remember she's under oath, yadda yadda- implying, of course, that she's going to lie. Makes me sick.

Later with more rants, and stuff about Pesach.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

What a night. You start with losing an hour because of Daylight Time, and I still got to sleep late- and then the fire engines show up at around 3:30. There must've been at least six of them eventually, with all sorts of other cars and trucks. A house a few doors down (but not attached to ours) was on fire. It's still a mess out there- the block smells like smoke, and there are trucks and investigators and so on. There was one old man living there, and I'm not sure what else happened, or how he is. Anyway, it usually takes me a while to get started on Sundays, but today even later than usual. Yuck. (Not to sound callous towards those actually affected, of course.)

No idea what I'm doing the next two days. My boss mentioned that I could come in today, but I don't think so (there is a project to do). And I think Monday is out too. Maybe Chol Hamoed, but who knows? All I know is I have to write out a huge check to the IRS, mostly, I think, for Social Security I'm never going to receive anyway. Maybe I can get glasses. Or finally call this charming young lady. OK, the last I will attempt, at least.

What? A Lammpost with no rant? (Even though I could give a couple, believe me.) Yup, believe it. Later, folks.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Last night was quite good. OK, others might say it didn't end with the optimal choice, but I will not- I enjoyed. Anyway, when I got back, my mom showed me a little kids' book she has (for school). It's about a pig and his friend the llama and maybe I'm too much of a softie but it really got to me- it was touching and all. I want to see more of that series.

Hey, all- check out some of my comments to articles about Chovevei Torah and Michael Jackson over at Protocols. I was gonna post them here, but who knows- maybe I'll do it later.