Monday, October 31, 2005
A First Look
1. I think it is ironic that this choice was announced today. After all I said just the other day that I expected it fairly quickly and that I suspected that it was already decided.
2. I feel bad for Harriet Miers. (I wasn't sure I would have said that just last week.) The reason is that I am feeling more and more that her nomination was nothing more than the President asking a friend to 'fall on her sword' in public. (Though I still stand by the the comment that her nomination was a win/win nomination in the administrations mind.)
3. From the little that I have heard about Judge Alito so far, and trying to ignore his nickname of Scalito in this, I have to say that he seems a bit more conservative than I think the Democrats in the Senate are going to tolerate. (I expect to see a Filibuster in the Senate.)
4. I think that the process with Alito is going to be interesting. He seems to be very well spoken and he may be able to out manuever the committee much the way that Chief Justice Roberts did.
5. Several weeks back I spoke about a number of things that I felt were the beginnings of the 2006 mid-terms and an analysis of the situation. One of the points that I made at that time was that I thought if the President made to conservative of a nomination he was in for some trouble at the mid-terms, but that the Democrats had to be very careful in their objections during the process because they could hurt themselves by appearing two obstructionist. This is the situation that I feared. I do believe that if the Democrats frame this situation correctly they may be able to get Alito shot down without particularly appearing to be overly obstructionist.
6. On a note related I have a feeling that if things continue to deteriorate for the Administration and the economy stays sluggish in the aftermath of the Hurricanes this summer/fall, that it will severly hurt the President.
Have To Say I Missed This Last Week
House Republicans chop several programs
House Republicans voted to cut student loan subsidies, child support enforcement and aid to firms hurt by unfair trade practices as various committees scrambled to piece together $50 billion in budget cuts.
The measure is the first in eight years to take aim at the automatic growth of federal spending programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
I have a real problem with the cutting of student loan subsidies and child support enforcement. I think that the 'right-wing' is beginning to show what has been lurking for a while. Cut the aide to low income students who need loans to go to school. Cut money to the enforcement of child support, I think the concept of this one is it might force people to stay together if they can't get as much support for the payment of the child support they may be due. Oh yeah, and for those people who are on Medicaid or Medicare we will not keep up with the automatice growth the economy requires.
This is bullshit, but at least they hid it to avoid the outcry. After all can't have all those America Hating 'Liberals' raising a stink about this can we.
Oh, and in case you didn't reach the bottom of the article, ANWR drilling was voted on as well. (Can you guess who voted for what.)
For Those Who Are A Little Unsure
The Wonders Of A First Birthday Party
Part of this fight required 6 of the participants to go to go to the hospital with stab wounds. When a city official arrived he saw someone being beaten with a chair in the middle of the street. And another telling fact is that because the apartment where the fight started was designated a crime scene, 8 children and 12 adults were displaced. Oh, one other point in the story that I thought was of interest is that the police requested a Spanish speaking officer from another district was requested because so many of the people involved didn't speak enough English to communicate what had happened.
So an obvious question occurs to me, what could possible been said that resulted in this size of a fight at a birthday party for a 1 year old?
Harry Potter And The Curse Of The White Robe
Harry Potter Faces Most Devilish Opponent to Date
Saturday, October 29, 2005
No Blogging on Sunday
Hope every one has a very good day.
Good Night and Good Luck
The movie, if you don't already know, covers the period of Edward R. Morrow's career during the McCarthy era. The movie is only about an hour and a half long, but seems to pass in no time. Well acted, written, and directed; it is a fascinating study in how one news man makes a different in the US.
Wife said upon leaving the theater that the movie really pointed out how the how the current news industry in this country has become very fluffy.
Based on historic events, I think the one of the interesting powers of the movie is that it's underlying them seems to be repeated today. The idea that disagreeing with a powerful politician makes one unamerican or unpatriotic (or in the case of the McCarthy witch hunts, a communist) seems to have a very familiar modern ring to it. The 'right-wing' in this country seems to be re-instating the whole idea of the McCarthy era, the idea that you can not disagree with the Bush Administration with out being an unamerican or unpatriotic.
I have to say that I believe this may very well been one of George Clooney's intents with the movie.
Friday, October 28, 2005
May you begin this cycle of the Torah Readings as you begin every journey in your life. May the excitement that you feel at the beginning of the adventure continue through out the year.
May you have a restorative and restive Shabbat.
Good Shabbas Bereshit 5766.
Again, Why Do People Feel The Need?
So my question is why am I supposed to care? Or maybe I should say, why is such a big deal being made of this? In the case of Mr. Takei, I have been a fan of his work, specifically on Star Trek, but else where also. I frankly never thought about his sexuality as a factor in the work he has done, and I doubt that I ever will. I am only interested in if I feel his portrayal of the roll he is working on is well acted.
I am not a particularly big basketball fan, though I do follow the Cavs as I live in Cleveland and they do have LeBron, I don't really watch much basketball be it men's or women's. I know Ms. Swoops name, and know that she is very talented at her chosen profession. And isn't that really what is important, not who or what sex her 'bed-mate' may happen to be.
I get really tired of a person's sexuality being made a big deal of. I don't particularly want to know what is going on in anyone else's bedroom. (And what goes on in mine is no one else's business either.) This really isn't a matter of prudishness, it is a matter of societial sanity. Do we really need to know or care what another person is doing? From a religious point a view, I do have problems with homosexuality, but that being said I have friends that are gay and I would never turn away from them for THAT reason. (One of my favorite memories from college was sitting in a bar girl watching with a friend who was a lesbian. The thing that made it so much fun was discovering we had similar taste in women.)
Ah, well. Life goes on and I guess that 'celebraties' will constantly feel the need to expose there personal lives for everyone to examine and judge. (As a sort of related note, I couldn't care less who Paris Hilton is with, if Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are or aren't married, or that Britney had a baby.)
Scooter Indicted On 5 Counts
It seems that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been indicted. The indictments include 2 counts for making false statements, 2 counts for perjury, and 1 count for obstuction of justice.
While this is a blow for the White House and more specifically for the V.P.'s office, it may not be as big a blow for the overall administration as this investigation could have yielded. While the Special Prosecutor appears to be prepared to continue the investigation and possibly seat a new grand jury, nothing has been announced. (There is a news conference schedule for 2:00.)
I am really more interested in what else is going to be coming out. While Karl "The Brain" or "Turd-Blossom" Rove has not been indicted as of yet, he may very will be indicted in the future.
In some ways this may take some of the pressure off the White House for a short time, but may cause a continuing level of stress over time as the investigation continues.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Final Thoughts for the Day
2. It seems that the response of FEMA to Wilma, as noted above, seems to be experiencing problems. The President has acknowledged being a little bit slow. FEMA apparently didn't have assets dedicated to assist on the East Coast of Florida. That Wilma wouldn't cause the damage it did on the East Coast. Governor Jeb has acknowledged that 'HE' made some mistakes in preparation.
3. The Middle East. Why do the Palestinians feel the need to continually draw out the blood of innocents. I know that they claim that it was in response to the Israeli killing of a Islamic Jihad leader in Yahudah and Sameria, but I somehow think it takes more than 5 to 7 days to plan a suicide bombing, so I don't buy the 'reasoning' for the attack. I really believe that this attack was planned and that it would have occurred with some other justification.
4. The Days run together: I have been preparing a lot of tax registration at work recently and by the end of the day I am usually buggy. This process will hopefully be done early next week and I will have more 'brain time.' In the mean time I will try to get at least a couple of posts down and then well see what we have to talk about afterward.
5. Have a good evening and I will talk at you again briefly tomorrow.
Harriet Shocks The Nation
I discussed the nomination in more detail here and here. As I stated before my biggest fear is that Ms. Miers nomination may have been a planned failure in order to get a 'right-wing' extremist type nomination to appease the President's base of support. With the repeated pressure that this administration appears to be under, I am beginning to wonder if that type of nomination will be enough to recover. At this point I have to believe that even his base is becoming less enchanted with him, even if they are giving him outward support.
I would like to point out that when this nomination was made, and to some extent I still feel this way, the President and his advisors saw this nomination as a win/win nomination. I think they felt that if Ms. Miers was confirmed to the Supreme Court he won; and if the Democrats, as they obviously expected, were to object and shoot down the candidate that the future nomination could be more extreme with a long 'list' of qualifications that would then be harder for the Democrats to object to because of shooting down the Miers nomination. (Even if it was considered 'with cause'.)
Now I am not sure that that is the case. I believe that an extremist type candidate may not be approved and the Democrats will feel free to fight the nomination with out any issue. Ms. Miers withdrawing herself from the process makes the President look weak, specifically because most of the objections were coming from the 'right-wing' of the country.
I still think it is going to be a long discussion of the situation with the next nominee, but hopefully it won't be a long wait for the nomination to be made. (I wonder if the potential nominatee has already been chosen and they are just waiting for the 'right' time.)
A Memorial To Rosa Parks
While we have done memorial posts in the past, we have yet to do one for someone outside the entertainment industry. Mrs. Parks was a true American hero. She stepped forward in a situation where she was only trying to assert herself and ended up sparking a movement that made large changes in American culture.
Mrs. Parks deserves all the praise that is being heaped upon her at this sad time for her family. She should be revered for how she lived her life and how she has inspired millions of others to improve the world. If we had more people willing to put them selves out in a humble way, think about how much better this country and world could and would be.
Why Do People Feel The Need?
The attached article from the Cornell Daily Sun is of a young woman discussing orgasms, or more specifically self induced orgasms. Is this an article that was dieing to be written? Do Cornell students really need to know about this young woman’s masturbatory adventures?
I am not a prude nor do I particularly feel that masturbation is particularly a problem. (There are religious issues perhaps, but I am staying away from that here.) While I am not a prude, I really don’t feel the need to see an article about someone’s masturbation. (If I actually felt the need I’m sure I could find much more interesting and graphic descriptions on-line.)
Monday, October 24, 2005
Heshy And His Hatemongering
It seems to me that Heshy waited until after the Days of Awe to go off on a strange series of rants against other Jews who are not of the same 'grouping' as he is. In this post called "Mazel Tov Another 2 Heretical Temples THE dust...Do YOU HEAR THE GOOD NEWS dov bear,and the rest of you anti ultra orthodox bloggers?" In this post this narcissistic bore discusses how he is very excited that 2 schuls are closing and that he hopes to dance even more fervently on Simchas Torah because of it.
He also attacks other Orthodox Jews here called "Dov Ber and not the gadol hador AWAKE." In this exciting rant the looney decides to attack the two named bloggers as well as others. In this attack he discuss why Ultras (his term, which shows the possibility that he is not even legitimate, and if he is that he is in need of medication and treatment) are better than other Jews and why they are going to be 'taking over the Jewish world.'
Let's look at this statement for a moment. There is some truth to this statement, for one the Orthodox and 'Ultra' Orthodox families do tend to have more children, while the other Jewish 'movements' usually don't. The other movements tend to have a higher level of inter-marriage and this dilutes those movements. So in some ways Heshy's statements are true. My problem with Heshy, and his statements aren't with the basis it is with the content and how it is presented. For one thing, I don't believe that belittling other movements within Judaism is the best way to influence them to becoming more religious. Also, I don't believe that trying to convince people up front of things that they already do/may believe in is wrong is the best way to approach this either. The first they that Heshy needs to realize is that the best way to produce 'new' Orthodox Jews is to educate people with logical, non-ranting materials. As an example, though Heshy won't understand this or agree, is to read the religious posts on DovBear or other blogs where they try to do this.
Well time to get back to post lunch work. Have a good holidays and we will see you on Thursday aftger the Yom Tovim.
Friday, October 21, 2005
The NBA Dress Code
The NBA has basically asked adults who have chosen to play Professional basketball for a living to dress like a professional when at work, but not on the court, or on ‘NBA’ business. (Such as traveling.)
Now I am torn on this issue. I am tired of seeing people wondering around looking like they just got up and had to rush out of the house. I know I am going to sound like an old grumpy person, but why can’t people take some pride in their appearance. (I am guilty of this at times to.) It isn’t a matter caring what other people think of you, although the NBA players are at a much higher level of public attention than I am.
On the flip side, adults should have the right to dress how they want, on their own time. I have to dress with in certain standards when I go to work, most ‘professionals’ do. But on my own time I can, and frequently do, dress in a much more comfortable manner.
The reaction that really bugs me the most is that of Allen Iverson. He is making $16+ million, and he had the gall to say “They should pay us extra for this.” Hey, A-hole, I don’t make anywhere near what you do, and I have to by the type of clothing my employer requires me to wear. This reaction made think back to the lock out 6-8 years ago when Patrick Ewing was recorded answer a question about the unions pay demands “Hey, we make a lot of money, but we spend a lot of money too.” Hopefully one of these days one of the overpaid and whiny idiots will realize that the people who support them don’t get paid what some of them make to play a game for 1 season is more than most people make in a lifetime.
I Have Some Questions
First off, at least on the surface, she doesn’t appear to have the qualifications to be a viable candidate for the Supreme Court. I don’t say this because she doesn’t have any judicial experience; I say this because she has no Constitutional background, or at least none that has been exposed to date. The little information that is dribbling out, at least in my opinion, seems to make her nomination a nod to the absurd. See had forgotten to pay her DC Bar dues until she got the notice that her ability to practice law had been suspended in DC. What kind of top lawyer forgets to keep their license current.
Okay let’s move on.
As the title indicates I’ve got some questions. More specifically I have some questions that I think should be asked when she goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee for her hearings. The problem is that some of these questions won’t get asked, and if they do she won’t answer them anyway. The reason she won’t answer them is that she will be advised not to answer any questions definitively, but I suspect she may not be able to answer them at all.
- What is your definition of Judicial Philosophy?
- What is your Judicial Philosophy?
- What do you believe the roll of the Supreme Court is in the governing process?
- Under what circumstances do you believe that a prior court decision should be ignored in deciding a case currently before the court?
- Under what circumstances do you believe that the court should Constitutionally invalidate an act by the Legislature?
- What is your definition of state’s right’s under the Constitution?
- As an example do you believe that the Court overstepped it’s authority in invalidating the California Medical Marijuana statute?
- Do you know what the Quill decision was about?
- If the answer is yes, do you feel that the Quill decision extends to State income/franchise taxes?
- If not, why not?
- If so, why?
- If the answer is no, do you feel that not knowing a major interstate commerce case and its’ effects on states right’s, how do you feel you can adequately do the job of a Justice on the Supreme Court?
- Do you feel that your appointment by President Bush, as you were the head of the Judicial Nominee search committee, was the best option before the President at the time of your nomination?
I doubt many of these exact questions will be asked? The Democrats and Republicans are likely to dance around the issue of Roe v Wade like that case has some kind of divine power to dictate what kind of Justice Ms. Miers will make.
I would really like to know how the President feels that this person was the most qualified for the bench. I have heard various theories on why she was nominated, I have state previously that I think her nomination is part of a larger plan to get a hard right-wing ‘neocon’ on the Court by putting up a ridiculous nominee that would be a consensus rejection, but also one that if by some miracle got confirmed would be controllable by the ‘neocons’ for a period of time. This can not be said of anyone else on the Court.
Paranoid Adminstration and Possible Indictments
Thought it has been over a year, Sec. Rumsfeld and his staff at the Pentagon have failed to live up to this congressional act. When they had been set to add a voice from the other side of the spectrum, in the form of The Ed Schultz Show, a political appointee at the Pentagon (the same one who was ‘warming up’ the soldiers last week) made a unilateral decision to stop the show from airing on AFN (possible because they were questioning the whole ‘warming up’ for the conversation) and then promptly left on a vacation.
If you to look, with out a partisan eye, at this situation you really could only make one decision. The administration made the decision to stifle a diversity of opinions for our troops out of fear that the questioning of their policies may cause them problems with the military and the performance of the soldiers in the field. If they are afraid that the soldiers may not perform up to the high standards that we expect of them because they are getting commentary from someone other than the Windbag, well then the administrations opinion of the soldiers in the field isn’t that high to begin with, is it?
I really think, with everything that I have been seeing out of this administration since the whole Schaivo fiasco is a series of fear based missteps as the poll numbers have gone down and they began to loose the centrist of this country they have been scrambling around like ants on a bag of sugar. They really have been over reacting to a series of events, with the obvious exception of Katrina (and I will still make no judgment on that issue).
I would like to discuss several other issues related to the Republicans and this administration.
1. I am interested to see what will come down from the probe of the Plame leak case. If nothing else it will be interesting to see if the administration back pedals from the firing of people again if anyone is indicted.
2. What makes Tom Delay think he is so special that he could have avoided getting finger printed, or having his mug shot taken for that matter; I am tired of people thinking they are something special. Rep. Delay is nothing special; he has lived for far too long within the microcosm in side the Belt Way. With this being the case, I really have to wonder if he hasn’t done what he is accused of and is just to arrogant to believe he was caught.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
San Francisco Mother of 3 Under Arrest
Having stated that, these cases always show a problem with the legal system in this country. We like to say we are very humane, but are we really being humane to make a person who is genuinely mental ill go through the tough decision of trying to make a choice between guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity. The option that seems to be missing is guilty but insane.
This situation is a perfect case where this would be a viable type of option, instead of not guilty by reason of insanity. With a guilty but insane plea the accused would be admitting to having committed the crime that they are guilty of, but been able to get the help they need. With this plea as an option the 'criminal' would go to a secure facility for treatment for the illness that they have, and if they ever reach a situation where they are considered to be 'cured' of the mental illness, they would then transfer to a standard prison to serve out the rest of the term for the crime they committed.
I am unsure how this all would work under the law, but I think it is a better option than what exists.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Ed Schultz, The Pentagon, And AFN
I know that no one likes to hear criticism about their policies or performance. The Bush Administration seems to feel that any position other than theirs is intolerable. I have heard people such as Rush Limbaugh, and many other ‘right-wing’ talking heads, say that if you don’t agree with them or the administration that you are a traitor to this country. This position seems to be ridiculous to me; not only do we have the Constitutional right to be a voice of descent, one could make the argument that we have a Constitutional imperative to voice our disagreement with the policies that we feel are inappropriate for our country.
At the end of September of this year a ‘liberal’ talk show host by the name of Ed Schultz was informed by the people involved in running the Armed Forces Network radio broadcasts would begin carrying the 1st hour of his show. Last week, in the aftermath of the staged ‘conversation’ with the troops in Iraq that were providing security for the vote for the new Constitutional vote over the weekend, Mr. Schultz began discussing the problems that were inadvertently ‘revealed’ with Allison Barber coaching the various participating military personnel how to deal with the ‘conversation.’ On Monday, the day that AFN was to begin carrying the Ed Shultz show, Ms. Barber called the producers of the Ed Schultz show and told them that they would not be going on AFN at this time.
Why is this happening? It is my opinion that they are afraid of any and all descent. They do not want the troops in Iraq and around the world to know the opinions of people other than those such as Rush Limbaugh. Apparently they fell if the soldiers hear any other ideas they may just decide not to follow orders or something.
I am hoping that they will shortly get this taken care of and that Mr. Schultz show will get to air on AFN in the very near future. We are paying for the broadcasts that our soldiers are listening to, should they not at least hear both sides of the political spectrum to know what is being said in this country.
FCC Favors Christian Broadcasters Over Public School Students
This does not seem to be the Christian thing to do, but when a high school radio station requested an increase in their wattage from 10 watts to 250 watts, the FCC does a review and this situation gives other broadcasters a chance to take the frequency away.
As a said, this doesn’t seem to be a very Christian move by the broadcasting corporation. I believe that allowing the students to continue to broadcasting can not be a bad thing, it gives them some good experience and encourages them to think about how they are going to do any work on the station that they are doing. The broadcasting corporation is taking advantage of a situation to get a frequency anyway they can and whether or not it really is necessary. The FCC has ‘ruled’ that the use of this frequency by the Christian Broadcasters was a better use of the public airwaves. This seems to be a ridiculous reason for ending a 35 year school tradition that is giving these students a very useful set of skills.
I would like to say I wish there was something beyond this post that I could in this situation, but at the moment I am drawing a complete blank.
Cats In Hats, No Cats With Allergies
Yes, you read that correctly. There is some proof that the home environment that people keep their cats in may case asthmatic responses in cats. Some examples of things that may cause asthmatic responses in cats are cigarette smoke, dust, and human dander. (This is no joke the study was done by University of Edinburgh's Hospital for Small Animals.)
I have a large list of moderate ‘environmental’ allergies. Cats, not surprisingly, are on that list. The beautiful cat that we put to sleep a couple of months ago was not an allergen. I had read a book when we first got him that said if you bath your cat for about 6 months they will stop producing the enzyme that gets on their dander to induce the allergic/asthmatic responses in humans. The cat himself though seemed to have allergies, and my wife and I would discuss this frequently. He would wheeze when he slept, even when he wasn’t over weight. And he would make this odd snorting noise when ever he would get a good purr going if being petted or paid attention to. It is good to know that I wasn’t that far off base with the assumption that he had allergies.
ABC News On-Line
Monday, October 17, 2005
A Time of Celebration
A Lighted Hearted Approach
My feelings on this practice are mixed. After all we don't need additional unintended pet pregnancies in the world, but I am not sure that abstinence only training for pets is going to be effective. The article discusses on couples striving to find an organization that supported their abstinence for pets philosophy. The seem to have found the organization that they were looking for in People for the Traditional Treatment of Animals (PTTA). It seems that PTTA has been around for about 5 years and serving a growing need in the conservative leaning communities around the country. This organization extends the Bush adgenda of abstinence education from children to pets.
I think we can all agree that unwanted pregnancies, whether human or pet, can be very disrupting to the parents lives. I strongly feel that it is important for us to consider this as an alternative to 'fixing' our pets and the inherent emotional problems that it will cause for our pets. And as we all know from reading Heshy's House that real Jews do not 'fix' their pets.
Hopefully we can successful all train our pets to move beyond the instinct and hormone/phermone driven behaviors that they generally engage in. After all the abstinence education initiative has been exceedingly successful with the youth in our country.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
The Galilee Too?
I understand the reasoning of considering the Galilee to be 'occupied territory,' but it is Syrian territory that Syria still claims. (As opposed to the other 'occupied territories that were Egyptian and Jordanian territory that the claims were renounced on.) How can a Palestinian group claim it will fight to free Syrian territory.
Once again we see that the Palestinians are not genuine in what they wish to accomplish. For one thing they have never mentioned the Galilee before in their demands, and to I believe this points out that at least some Palestinians still see themselves as part of 'Greater Syria.'
Ah well. I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Arutz Sheva article
More Terror Or The Quite Continues
There were terror attacks in Yahudah and Sameria today. (Sunday the 16 of October.)
I am not sure what I really want to say here. I am tired of the Palestinians constantly feeling that the only 'solution' that they have is to kill more innocent people. They haven't even shown that they can control the Gaza to any extent yet and they continue on attacking and attacking spilling more and more blood.
If I were to give in to my 'dark desires,' I would begin by slaughtering thousands of innocent Palestinians. Then I would make a declaration that for every terror attack 5 innocent Palestinians will be executed for each Israel injured, and 20 for each Israeli killed. Truth is I wouldn't do this, but I do believe that this is the type of response that would put a shock in to the Palestinians. After carrying out this threat several times you are bound to execute some people who me something to the people in power. What this really does is set up a risk reward system for the Palestinian terrorists. It will basically turn the Palestinian, and a large percentage of the Israeli, populations against the Israeli government. But at some point the terrorists will stop what they are doing because the cost has become to high.
The real reason this is not something I would do, or anyone else I hope, is that it truly violates the concept of humanity that we all, as a species, cling to. It also violates Halakhic statutes. ( and 'Thou Shalt not murder') This having been said, I think these types of actions show the difference between Jews and Muslims(Fundamentalist). For the most part Jews do not like the concept of killing the innocent.(With a few exceptions of course.) Muslims Fundamentalists seem to relish the idea of 'swimming in the blood of their enemies,' and then tries to find religious ways to justify why they both can and should be 'swimming.'
CNN Article that spawned this rant.
Friday, October 14, 2005
One Final Note For The Week
I hope that everyone had a 'liberating' day of attonement and that we are all going to move forward with a new look at the future and a sincere attempt to accomplish the mission that we are hear for.
With all of that in mind, I would like to wish everone a restive and restorative Shabbat. May you all have the peace this weekend that you deserve and need.
Could Some One Please Give Me One Good Reason?
Having said that, can somebody please explain to me why anyone would want musical breast implants. The idea of putting a MP3 player inside someone's chest really doesn't make any sense to me. I think is because I can't come up with a reason why someone would want to put an MP3 player inside a breast implant, and then inside their body. I this an untapped market that I have been missing?
I could really use help with this, after all this really seems a bit on the strange, rather than wild, side.
What Kind of Mind?
I don't really understand what would lead a person to try to steal a baby right out of the mothers womb. I know we had a story similar to this not to long ago in the greater metro area where I live. This is more than a criminal act, there has to be a mental illness issue involved. Both stories are similar in that a neighbor was telling everybody she was pregnant at the same time as the pregnant neighbor, and felt the need to attack and attempt (in the current case, and succeeded in the local case) a baby from the mother's womb.
I would really like to understand what would drive the attacker into this kind of attack. It seems like such an odd thing to plan, much less execute. I also am not sure how the people around the attacker don't realize that something is wrong with the situation.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Yom Tov: Atonement 5766
I would also like to say that I hope you all have an easy fast. I hope you will be sealed in the Book of Life for another year. May you all thrive and grow as the year continues.
See you all (briefly) Friday.
Selective Issue Attention Disorder
But the ACLU doesn't believe that. The organization has moved so far left, that now anything goes.
• Item: The ACLU is defending the North American Man Boy Love Association, saying that although the organization champions the criminal rape of children, it has a right to do that under free expression.
• Item: The ACLU endorses virtual child pornography and has defended the right of people to obtain real child porn.
• Item: the ACLU opposed the Minutemen protests at the border, obviously, a legitimate form of expression.
So it seems the ACLU cherry picks its cases. The Minutemen certainly have a right to protest the porous border situation, but the ACLU opposes that expression. — Off the chart hypocritical.
Okay let's look at these items one at a time. (Again this is taken from O'Reilly so I make no point of whether these are actually the ACLU's positions being properly represented.)
If, and I stress the if, the ACLU is that NAMBLA has a 'right' to distribute literature, while I personally find it offensive, I do seem to wonder if it might not be a legitimate free speech issue. (This is not to say they support NAMBLA, after all I don't there are many people who support what NAMBLA is all about. But they may support the free speech rights.)
As far as virtual child pornography goes, once again not something I find all that interesting myself, as long as pornography is legal and they 'performers' in the material are adults there is no issue here. (I have never heard of anyone supporting a right to a legal right to child porn.)
As far as the Minute Men Border Patrol. I do have some problems with them in that they seem to have taken on a position with no authority from anyone. (I do support what they stand for which to restrict the illegal crossing of border issues as this is a security issue in todays world. Now as long as the Minute Men are not breaking any laws I would agree that it is Constitutionally protected in several ways, but as I don't know how well they are 'clearing' the people who are patroling the border I do have concerns.
O'Reilly is simple doing the same thing to ACLU that he is accusing the ACLU of. He is cherry picking a variety of issues and, based on his comments, misrepresenting the ACLU's positions on the issues to attack them. It is this cherry picking that leads to Selective Issue Attension Disorder. Hopefully people, when they hear his rant this evening, will understand this but the likelihood is that no one will.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
The thing that bothers me about this article is that Fox News had this in their breaking news section at one time to day. I really think we need these kinds of stories right now with all of the things going on in the world with various natural disasters. But, I would hardly ever call this a breaking headline type story. (Oh well I guess if it is just coming across the wire.) I did check again right before posting this article and the link is no longer in the breaking news box.
Bush, Miers, & The Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers told George W. Bush in a 1997 birthday card that he was "the best governor ever" and, in a separate note to her boss, said she hoped his twin daughters recognize their parents are "cool."
A transcript of her confirmation hearing before the state Senate in 1995 indicated that lawmakers asked Miers, an attorney, only a few questions and that her nomination by Bush was generally unopposed.
In 1997, Miers sent Bush a belated birthday card featuring a sad-looking dog and the note: "Dear Governor GWB, You are the best Governor ever -- deserving of great respect!" She added, "At least for thirty days -- you are not younger than me." Bush's birthdate is July 6, 1946; Miers' is August 10, 1945.
That October, Miers wrote Bush a note saying she hopes his twins, Jenna and Barbara, recognize they have "cool" parents.
The above is a sizable portion of the article at CNN.com on the above link. I find this to be a very bizarre series of written communications. I also wonder what this says about the nomination of Ms. Miers. I have no real reason, as yet, to oppose this nomination. The fact that I haven’t seen any reason to oppose this nomination is more than over balanced what I do find disturbing about this nomination. It is clear more and more that while Ms. Miers may be qualified, I think it is going to be hard to convince anyone that this appointment is anything other than political cronyism or payback for her support over the years. I am not sure that I actually oppose it, I just don’t find any reason to support. In the vacuum that I am operating in for this decision I have only to go on the bits that seem to leak out and that seems to be, as I said, more disturbing about this appointment.
I have heard speculation that this is a set-up nomination. If she gets confirmed Bush has accomplished what he wanted in getting a crony on the Supreme Court. On the other had if, as may be the case, Bush is forced in to pulling the nomination (or the nominee pulling herself from the process), I have a feeling we will get a nominee that is a ‘right-wing ideologue.’ If this Ms. Miers gets pulled or does not get confirmed it becomes much harder for the ‘left-wing’ to object to the next nominee in a way that doesn’t immediately show signs of obstructionist behavior. Frankly as much as I hate to put it this way, Bush and his brain Turd-Blossom may have put the Democrats, and the rest of the country, in a situation that is hard to out-wit. A sort of damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation. (Turd-Blossom is very good at putting people in that situation it seems.)
The Irritations of Life
- Why do those who defend President Bush and the various things he does continually compare him to Bill Clinton?
President Clinton was continually reviled and attacked for his behavior and how he handled one thing or another. But now when Democrats question President Bush, or attack him depending on the subject, two things are done by Bush defenders. First they will make a comment ‘explaining’ the current President’s action. i.e. Bush’s current nomination for the Supreme Court should be approved because he knows her and he won the election. (What? Do either of these statements make her qualified for the position for which she has been nominated.) Having made that statement, I am not question the nomination at this moment in time. The second thing that Bush defenders say is, Well if it was Clinton…Blah Blah Blah .
If you didn’t respect W. J. Clinton, why are you comparing the man you do respect (G.W. Bush) to him? In my mind you would be lowering the man you support and raising the level of the man you dislike. Rush Windbag has been making a living doing this for 5 years now. I am beginning to believe that Rush is secretly in love with President Clinton. What else would explain his constant references to a man who is no longer in office and has been substantially reduce in the public eye? I mean if President Clinton did this and you didn’t like why it is a defense for the behavior of President Bush.
On an aside I have to say I regret my vote for the mentally-challenged moron every day more and more. I also have to say that while I am a Democrat, I am not one who was so beholden to President Clinton that I thought he could do no wrong. That all out of my system, I am beginning to miss Bill. George is good for a daily laugh at his continued sparring with the English language. (Some how they both end up loosing the battle.) At least with Bill I always felt the policy statements coming out of his mouth were genuine and that he truly believed in it, I am beginning to doubt that more and more with George.
- The second thing is this. I have recently changed my personal schedule of rising and going to bed. This is mostly do to the fact that my wife started a new job as of yesterday and she has to be up early, so I get up with her, and when I am ready for work, I go to work. I am now getting to the office 2 ½ hours earlier than I did before. I had been told I should be at work about 1 hour before I was showing up but it was never a huge problem, and I would always put in an eight hour day. I am not planning on leaving work earlier than normal, nor in billing any additional time to clients unless it is a legitimate work related expense, yet this morning I was questioned about my schedule change. Now I did leave early yesterday for a Doctor’s Appt. but that was clearly on my calendar and could have been check with out a problem. I don’t really see what the problem is, but apparently, despite my age and professional background, I am unable to make up my mind as to when I can get up in the morning and go to work and when I can decide I have worked the requisite amount of time to complete my work week and go home. This really pissed me off, as I wasn’t expecting anything for coming in earlier and going home at the same time as I was supposed to.
I really hate being treated like a child. I have spent most of my adult life taking care of myself, and my medical issues. When I need a mommy I pick up the phone and call my Mom. When I need a wife, I talk to my wife. What I don’t need at work is a mommy or a wife. I need to be left to my work and not bothered by people who are not my supervisors.
Sorry for the rants but these two things have really been irritating me today.
Monday, October 10, 2005
This seems to be they type of moment that, in biblical times, would have lead to the destruction of the whole world. (Noah's Flood comes to mind.) Apparently it isn't just the people of the Gulf Coast that are sinners, but so are the Cental Americans, Pakistanis, Indians, and Afganis. Hard to believe people in only these areas are the sinners which can only mean that if we don't all repent soon we will all be experiencing natural disasters for our sins as well.
Now seriously, I am greatly saddened by all of the people around the world that are being forced to suffer either physically or emotionally because of these disasters. I pray that all who live may recover and thrive in the future and that those who have died didn't suffer overly much, though I know some must have.
I am hoping that these tragedies may make mankind realize that some of the on-going squabbles are not of great importance in the long view and that we are able to, as a species, able to move beyond petty differences.
New Orleans Arrest
I am disgusted by this act of savagery on the part of the the officers involved, and the fact that they then, after having been caught on tape, had the gall to plead not guilty is just sickening.
There was also a portion of the tape that showed another officer grabbing an AP producer and slamming him into a car while screaming a series of non-repeatable invectives. It has been reported that this officer, during his tirade, said something about having been on duty for several weeks with no time off. I understand that the police went through hell during the period of time that our Emergency Management Agency was trying to figure out how to get supplies in to a major city that 3 college students in a car were able to get into with relatively little problem, but that does not excuse or allow the type of situation that happened this weekend. These officers should admit what they have done, and take the punishment like the men the are supposed to be.
CNN link, including a link to the video.
A point on this subject of a different kind. I briefly listened to the beginning of Rush Limbaugh as he follows something else locally that I listen to. I was forced to shut him off when one of his comments about this case went something like: We have another Rodney King moment, or maybe not. Perhaps this isn't getting the coverage that Rodney King got because the city and state governments are Democratically controlled.
I really have a hard time with this type of stupidity that the Rush Windbag is spewing. I don't really care for him to begin with, but to make this a political issue is ridiculous. The reason this story isn't getting the coverage that the Rodney King incident did is that there is a large number of other important stories right now. The chief among them are the survivors of Hurricane Stan related mud slides, the Pakistani earthquake, and the major destruction to the Gulf Coast region. Is there any subject that the Windbag can't turn in to an attack on a Democrat. I am becoming surprised that the Windbag hasn't said that the hurricanes his the Gulf Coast because of the Democrats, that seems right up his alley (or ass where he pulls alot of this crap from to begin with.)
Sunday, October 09, 2005
As has been the case I am still having problems with the uploading of pictures. The above link is for his film/television career on IMBd.com.
Happy Birthday Mr. Finkel, may you live to be 120.
The Wrong Idea
The party is a centrist, strictly secular/anti-religious, party. They believe that the Israeli Government has not business in the religion business. They also seem to believe that long standing policies, such allowing ‘ultra-orthodox’ yeshiva students to ‘avoid’ military service, are the way to improve Israel.
I am not a supporter of the Shinui Party. (Hardly a surprise I suppose if you have read the beginning of this post.) I do not necessarily disagree with all of the things that they propose, but I do have a problem with the idea that the government of Israel should not be involved in religion. The whole point of Israel, in my opinion, is to promote Judaism and to insure our survival as a people. To say that the government should not “encourage Jewish repentance and participation in Yom Kippur prayers” is showing this lack of understanding of both what Israel should/could be and what we should/could be. The problem is that so many Jews have allowed the secular world to convince us that we should be like everyone else; that many of us are thinking and behaving like we actually believe it. As I have stated in various other places, I am not the most religious person in terms of my practice, I am struggling with my level of observance and a number of issues that are complicating my situation at this time. But I firmly believe that the religiosity of our people is at a point of decision, and that statements and decisions like this one by Shinui represent the further denigration of both Israel as a refuge and homeland for our people and Judaism’s long-term health.
Friday, October 07, 2005
The Times recently published an article about a ‘change’ in policy of the Catholic Church. They are apparently of the opinion that the Bible is not 100% accurate in every detail it reports.
I found this idea to be rather interesting. My feelings on the accuracy/origins of the biblical accounts are somewhat a moving target in that my exact belief is not set in stone and as I learn more information it tends to change my ideas.
With that in mind I do have a question. Does it seem like a good idea for an organization that has been founded on fairly straight forward origin/accuracy beliefs of the material to be stating that it is not what they have purported for the last 2000 (give or take a few) years? What I mean here is that it seems that ‘letting the general public’ in on the secret that serious theologians may believe about the textual origins is a little bit counter productive.
Of the notorious anti-Jewish curse in Matthew 27:25, “His blood be on us and on our children”, a passage used to justify centuries of anti-Semitism, the bishops say these and other words must never be used again as a pretext to treat Jewish people with contempt. Describing this passage as an example of dramatic exaggeration, the bishops say they have had “tragic consequences” in encouraging hatred and persecution. “The attitudes and language of first-century quarrels between Jews and Jewish Christians should never again be emulated in relations between Jews and Christians.”
This paragraph from the article, in contrast to some of the concepts I am struggling with in how to approach this article, gives me some hope for the future. Perhaps the ‘Christian’ world is finally ready to acknowledge us in a non-aggressive manner. (Or maybe that is just my hopes and not really the case.)
Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb.
The bishops say: “Such symbolic language must be respected for what it is, and is not to be interpreted literally. We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved and about when the end will come.”
This on the other had has me thinking in a slightly different direction. If this concept became the ‘accepted’ interpretation in the Evangelical world, we may loose there support for Israel. I am not going to say that their support is for the best reasons, but we need all the support we can get.
Getting back to the beginning, I really hope this concept doesn’t backfire on the Church. Not because I am a believer in what they teach, but because it’s backfiring could have negative ramifications for ALL believers regardless of their religion. (I am not taking about fundamentalists, but believers in the basics of a religion.) After all if you remove the divine from religion you aren’t left with much, and I do believe that humans need to believe in something greater than their selves in order to function in a social format. (This is not to say they need religion or G-D per say, just something that is greater than the self as an origin.)
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Home For The Holiday
The schul, for most of my life, did not have a Chazzen. We had one until around the time of my Bar Mitzvah, but he decided to retire and make aliyah. I always missed him as he was a wonderful and very kind, gentle man who had survived torture by the Stalinist regime, before immigrating to the US.
Since his retirement we have been mostly with out a Chazzen, occasionally on the High Holy Days we would get a ‘Rent-A-Chazzen,’ but most of the time it would just be a member of the congregation with a good voice and the interest to do the majority of the ‘work’ for those Yom Tovim.
I have always enjoyed hearing a Chazzen during the weekly Shabbat services. It seems to add a pleasing measure to the services that I otherwise miss. I really have never like a Chazzen on the High Yom Tovim because, well, they seem to feel a need to perform.
This year at my ‘home’ congregation they had a ‘Rent-a-Chazzen’ and he met with my usual expectation for the Holy Days. Wife put that if she wanted to hear opera she would pay the ticket price. I am not exceptionally enthusiastic about this situation as he was so slow, I have a feeling that the second days Mincha service may still be going on. Another thing about this particular Chazzen that was annoying was that he was very hard to following in the Machzor, so hard that I eventually just put it down and ‘listened’ (I actually fell asleep for several minutes during the ‘concert’ until my wife woke me up because I began to snore.) He also would get to a part of the davening that was ‘sing-a-long’ and would start with a tune that everyone knew, and then half way through would just veer off the established tune in to something else, or would decide with out warning to elongate a word. (I actually left services early because of the frustration with him, and I wasn’t the only one. Quite a few of the people who don’t normally leave early, did this time.)
I really wish these ‘actors’ would understand that they are not making the services very interesting for anyone but themselves, if even themselves. I really want to go to services, daven, and do my teshuvah. I want to enjoy the service for what it is supposed to be and not for the concert they seem to think it is.
What Is It About?
Gonzales v Oregon is being represented as a ‘right-to-die’ or assisted suicide case. While that is the type of law that is being challenged, that is not what this case is about. This case is about whether the Federal Government can over ride a state’s right to pass a law that does not intrude on the Federal Government’s constitutionally mandated authority.
The question that should be the deciding factor is whether the Constitution gives the Federal Government the right to declare this law un-constitutional. The Constitution is generally pretty clear in these types of cases. The answer is no, the Federal Government does not have that authority. Unfortunately, based on the questions of several of the members of the court, it seems to me that this decision is going to be based on the personal feelings of the court members of the concept of assisted suicide. The reason I feel that way is that the media has been framing this as a ‘right-to-die’ issue, and generally the way an issue is framed will show the way that the public is approaching the issue.
I am tired of hearing the Right in this country talk about moral issues and the constitutionality of a given issue, but not seeming to understanding the issue in general. This country was not intended to have an overbearing central government, in fact the central government was designed to be weak with much of the power reserved to the states because the founders felt that a strong central government was dangerous. The Right talks about states rights and ‘originalism’ and limited government, but when it comes down to it they aren’t opposed to a strong central government as long as it supports their view of the world.
The above photo is of the oceanic event known as Milky Sea. As the attached article explains, the cause of this luminescent event is not completely understood. I guess those Scooby Doo episodes with glowing water were real after all.
The most likely source appears to be a combination of luminescent bacteria and something like an algae bloom.
Some of the information is below link.
Mariners have long told of rare nighttime events in which the ocean glows intensely as far as the eye can see in all directions.
The newly released images show a vast region of the Indian Ocean, about the size of Connecticut, glowing three nights in a row. The luminescence was also spotted from a ship in the area.
"The circumstances under which milky seas form is almost entirely unknown," says Steven Miller, a Naval Research Laboratory scientist who led the space-based discovery. "Even the source for the light emission is under debate."
Monday, October 03, 2005
A Little Bit of That
- I saw Serenity over the weekend. I thought the movie was very well done. I will say that the story wasn’t what I was expecting from the commercials that I saw, but it was very good. I effectively wrapped up all of the story lines from Firefly but seemed like it would have been completely understandable to anyone who hadn’t seen the series. After it is out a little while I will post more on the story line.
- First thoughts on the President’s second Supreme Court nomination. I really have no opposition to her at this point and by the same toke I really don’t know anything about her. My one concern is that with NO judicial record I believe it is hard to form an accurate opinion on her. Hopefully as the process moves along more about her, other than her resume, will be revealed. I did think it a bit odd that she has been ‘his lawyer’ for an extended period of his life. The term that is being thrown around is ‘cronyism’ which at least on the surface it appears to be.
- Family Update: Wife finally will be going back to work. She had 2 interviews last week, and was offered both jobs. Job 1 as a nursing home position, and job 2 was a private duty nursing position. She accepted job 2 which paid a little more and had a bit less stress associated with it. She will, hopefully, begin working for the new company on Monday October 10.
- Family Update 2: For anyone who was following the ‘family saga’ from Wife’s family here is the latest. Her Grandfather will not, at least immediately, be going in to the full nursing facility. Grandmother has even objected to paying for him to receive help 3 or 4 hours a day from an aide. (The fee for the aide was a very respectable $10.00 per hour. This was felt by all but Grandmother to be a very reasonable sum.) Father-in-law now believes, despite the ‘slapping’ incident that started this spate of posts, Grandmother is just acting like an elderly person. Aunt Zee was supposed to come in for a meeting but was unable to do to ‘personal reasons.’ She participated in the exciting meeting with the Retirement Community by phone.
- Going in to the last week of the baseball season it looked like the Indians would make the play-offs. Unfortunately they slumped going in to the last week of the season and lost 5 of 6 to end the season. This disappointing season ending has left me a little ‘out-of-sorts.’
- We will be taking the next 2 days away from the posting as Rosh Hashanah begins at sun down tonight. With this being the case we hope you will under stand the lack of any new posts.
La’shanna Tova May your coming year be blessed with sweetness. May you be sealed in the book of life for another year.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Hamas in the Elections
This type of pressure has become the signiture of the Bush Administration in its' second term. In the first term, the 'peace process' consisted of a hands-off policy. Since the inaguration, the administration has been putting an increasing amount of pressure on the Sharon government. This really bothers me, not in that the administration is taking an active interest in the Middle East, but that they are encouraging Israel to do something that the US government would not do in the same situation. If this were the current situation in Iraq, the Bush Administration would certainly not be allowing members of Al Qa'eda or other known terrorist group to be involved in the election, but seems to be willing to let Hamas do it.