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!