Friday, October 31, 2008

Greetings from Phillie-delphia

Well, wow. Just wow. I skipped the parade, though. Philadelphia sports fans tend to get ... overheated. I got caught in the middle of the 1983 Sixers celebration. Never again.

As if there wasn't already enough excitement, Chase Utley just went and dropped an "f" bomb on live radio (link). The crowd didn't seem to mind. But I expect fallout.

What else? Well, there's this: Obama warns of overconfidence; Pa. polls still show Obama lead. Yes, but it's shrinking. I spent the afternoon working at my local McCain HQ. Who knows? We just might pull it out.

And speaking of elections, this is encouraging: Rightist bloc leads Left in 'Post' poll

The Rightist bloc led by the Likud will defeat the Left, led by Kadima and Labor, by eight Knesset seats in the national election on February 10, according to a Jerusalem Post/Smith Research poll.

The survey, taken on Wednesday of 501 respondents representing a statistical sample of the electorate, found that Likud, Shas, Israel Beiteinu, the National Union-National Religious Party and United Torah Judaism would combine for 64 seats, while Labor, Kadima, Meretz and the Arab parties would together win only 56.

If those numbers prove to be correct, Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu could form a right-wing government that would likely end negotiations with the Palestinian Authority and perhaps with Syria. However, Netanyahu told the Knesset this week that he wanted to see Kadima and Labor in his government.

Hey, it's Friday and it's the last day of the month. And the DJIA actually had a (very) positive week. Happy Halloween!

And Shabbat Shalom.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The Who are playing the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia tonight.

And Tommy is about to be coronated King of America. It doesn't get much more ironic than this. The generation that thought it invented the greatest challenge to blind obedience to authority and mind control has utterly succumbed to both and is about to elect a figuratively blind deaf and dumb candidate to lead this nation into the abyss.

If we weren't living it, it would be theater. But we are. So it's tragedy on a grand scale.

Update: Of course, it ain't over until the fat lady sings ...

I tend to post negative but I'm not ready to roll over yet.

(No, I'm not bi-polar ... there aren't enough poles to define my mood swings in this election)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sponge mode

Over the past few weeks, I've found myself reading obsessively. It really is getting out of hand. Maybe once the election is over ..., no, maybe once the financial meltdown reverses ..., no, maybe once Israel schedules new elections and they're over ..., no, well, it seems I'm in sponge mode, for the time being. Not very productive, I'm afraid.

The least I can do is share some of the most enlightening and elucidating essays and articles I've come across over the past several days. Some of them are more recent, others less, but these all focus on the upcoming presidential election, to varying degrees, and if you're still on the fence about it or wishing you had some lucid arguments to make to others who are, they may help.

Allies Want McCain by Richard L. Benkin

Poll after poll shows that respondents in every European (and Muslim) country want us to make Barack Obama president in November. On the other hand, those people who are on the front lines of our war against Islamist extremism feel just as passionately that an Obama victory will undermine their efforts.


The Republicans don't deserve power in Washington just as you don't deserve a boil in the center of your forehead. There are worse things, however. Complete Democrat control or, in the case of your forehead, a nice big melanoma. Pretty much the same things, actually.

It's not that the Republicans did everything wrong. They got the tax cut thing right, and they responded correctly, for the most part, to the radical Islamic attack on our country. They just did so much wrong at the same time. They got drunk with power, and the hangover affects all of us.

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights? by Orson Scott Card

If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

Wright 101 by Stanley Kurtz

However he may seek to deny it, all evidence points to the fact that, from his position as board chair of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Barack Obama knowingly and persistently funded an educational project that shared the extremist and anti-American philosophy of Jeremiah Wright. The Wright affair was no fluke. It’s time for McCain to say so.

McCain for President by Charles Krauthammer

The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? [ ... ]

Today's economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet? I'm for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb.

Indeed. Well, as they say, I hope these help.

Shabbat Shalom.

Friday, October 17, 2008

On a positive note

That's how we're ending this week. They're few and far between these days, it seems, but this is good. Very good.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Japan handily defeated Iran for a non-permanent seat on the U.N. security council and Austria and Turkey edged out Iceland in secret ballot voting Friday.

Iran — under U.N. sanctions for its nuclear program — received only 32 votes from the U.N. members compared to 158 for Japan for the Asian seat.

Austria and Turkey beat Iceland in the battle for two non-permanent European seats on the 15-member council in voting at a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.

The Security Council is the powerhouse of the U.N. with the ability to impose sanctions and dispatch peacekeepers.

The other two seats went to Mexico, which will represent Latin America, and Uganda, which will represent Africa; both ran unopposed.

You would think Iran's defeat would be a foregone conclusion but, really, you can't take anything for granted when it comes to the U.N. Today, sanity prevailed. Somewhere.

Shabbat Shalom.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shabbat greetings

There are some really lovely Jewish greeting cards available at this site. Unfortunately for me, it appears that you need to be in Australia to take advantage of them. If you are, please do.

I hope they don't mind my using this image here.

Wishing all a peaceful and refreshing Shabbat.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sabbath of Sabbaths

Tomorrow, the markets will be open on Wall Street and Main Street and most people will go about their business. Those of us observing Yom Kippur, unless we live in closed Orthodox neighborhoods, will slip in and out among them on our way to and from shul or just taking quiet walks or sitting at home.

In Israel, of course, it's a different story. And especially in Jerusalem, where everyday life comes to a complete standstill. It's something to behold, something I've felt privileged to have been able to carry with me and retrieve every year back here in the USA.

The headline at now reads: will resume updates after Yom Kippur

And at Ynet, the latest Update banner, similarly:

Ynetnews will return after Yom Kippur

InContext, likewise, will resume after Yom Kippur. To all of you observing the fast, may it be an easy one.

G'mar hatimah tova (may you be sealed in the Book of Life for a good year).

Friday, October 3, 2008

I heart Jackie Mason

What a mentsch!

I've never heard of Sarah Silverman before and I wish I hadn't now. She's an extremely unfunny and rude little girl with a very nasty mouth. Someone should wash it out with soap.

Meanwhile, I lost track of how many whoppers and bloopers Joe Biden pulled off in the debate last night. Little Green Footballs has a list (with backup). Some of them, I think, I hope, were just Joe's mouth operating without direction. Others were, well, clearly deliberate lies.

Ok. I know. Too much lashon hara, especially for this time of year. Who decided to put elections right after the High Holy Days anyway?

Hey, I finally got my lawn sign today! Two of them, in fact. I'm probably going to need more because, unsurprisingly, someone is going around the neighborhood ripping up the McCain Palin signs. Yes, so far, anyway, only the McCain Palin signs. Go figure.

I have more to say but I'm out of time, as usual. But, oh yes, thanks to the U.S. Congress for stepping up this week. Let's hope they weren't too late. Some of the speeches on the House floor today were truly memorable (Nancy Pelosi's wasn't one of them this time ... thank God). I realize there's no consensus whatsoever on this, but I do feel that we took a step back from the brink of the abyss today. We'll see.

Shabbat Shuva Shalom.