Tuesday, January 31, 2006

One Of These Things Isn't Like The Others

Dominatrix Beats Manslaughter Rap
'New Car Smell' Includes Toxins, Group Says
'Mountain' Looms Among Oscar Nods
Hamas Urged To Recognize Israel
Yes one of these things isn't like the others, and I will give you 2 hints. 
Hint 1:  These are all headlines from CNN.com; and
Hint 2: 3 Of these headlines are from the breaking news section of the site.
Can YOU guess which one isn't like the others?

How Did Your Senator Vote?

The following is the 'raw data' from Fox News on how the Senators voted in the comfirmation of Samuel Alito Jr. as the 110th Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Democrats Yes

Byrd, W.Va.; Conrad, N.D.; Johnson, S.D.; Nelson, Neb.

Democrats No

Akaka, Hawaii; Baucus, Mont.; Bayh, Ind.; Biden, Del.; Bingaman, N.M.; Boxer, Calif.; Cantwell, Wash.; Carper, Del.; Clinton, N.Y.; Dayton, Minn.; Dodd, Conn.; Dorgan, N.D.; Durbin, Ill.; Feingold, Wis.; Feinstein, Calif.; Harkin, Iowa; Inouye, Hawaii; Kennedy, Mass.; Kerry, Mass.; Kohl, Wis.; Landrieu, La.; Lautenberg, N.J.; Leahy, Vt.; Levin, Mich.; Lieberman, Conn.; Lincoln, Ark.; Menendez, N.J.; Mikulski, Md.; Murray, Wash.; Nelson, Fla.; Obama, Ill.; Pryor, Ark.; Reed, R.I.; Reid, Nev.; Rockefeller, W.Va.; Salazar, Colo.; Sarbanes, Md.; Schumer, N.Y.; Stabenow, Mich.; Wyden, Ore.

Republicans Yes

Alexander, Tenn.; Allard, Colo.; Allen, Va.; Bennett, Utah; Bond, Mo.; Brownback, Kan.; Bunning, Ky.; Burns, Mont.; Burr, N.C.; Chambliss, Ga.; Coburn, Okla.; Cochran, Miss.; Coleman, Minn.; Collins, Maine; Cornyn, Texas; Craig, Idaho; Crapo, Idaho; DeMint, S.C.; DeWine, Ohio; Dole, N.C.; Domenici, N.M.; Ensign, Nev.; Enzi, Wyo.; Frist, Tenn.; Graham, S.C.; Grassley, Iowa; Gregg, N.H.; Hagel, Neb.; Hatch, Utah; Hutchison, Texas; Inhofe, Okla.; Isakson, Ga.; Kyl, Ariz.; Lott, Miss.; Lugar, Ind.; Martinez, Fla.; McCain, Ariz.; McConnell, Ky.; Murkowski, Alaska; Roberts, Kan.; Santorum, Pa.; Sessions, Ala.; Shelby, Ala.; Smith, Ore.; Snowe, Maine; Specter, Pa.; Stevens, Alaska; Sununu, N.H.; Talent, Mo.; Thomas, Wyo.; Thune, S.D.; Vitter, La.; Voinovich, Ohio; Warner, Va.

Republicans No

Chafee, R.I.

Independents No

Jeffords, Vt.


The two Senators that I have bolded are my own.  This is just a reminder to myself.  I have one additional set of comments on this subject.  Mr. Dewine is already in trouble in the upcoming elections.  I was already leaning against Mr. Dewine as I personally have never really cared for him, this dates back to his time as the Ohio Lt. Governor.  This vote by Mr. Dewine, has made it very, very likely I won't vote for him come November.  And I will do what ever I have the personal ability to do to insure his defeat.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Very Strange Story

I was 'surfing' one of my regular daily stops the other day and came across the following story.
A man was reported dead by a 'distant' cousin.  The cousin then married the man's wife.  About a year later the man returns to the village he was from.  (He had been in jail for a year, and the cousin knew about this.)  The man has been causing a major problem in the village and now has been called before the village elders to prove he is not a ghost.
Some information I have read else where not in the linked article.  The cousin is a third or fourth cousin who knew the man was in jail.  He is also a member of the village elders that the man needs to prove he is not a ghost to.

Be Careful Who Is Listening

Have you ever been 'intimate' in front of an animal?
No, this isn't story time, though if anyone cares I could probably shock a few people with some strange things that have happened to me.
The attached story is one of those that makes me question the intellegence of some people, and the level of intellegence of animals in general.
Basic story: A woman was having an affair behind her boyfriend's back.  (I suppose that is how you have an affair.)  On several occasion the 'other man' who was a co-worker was at the apartment they shared, additionally she spoke to him on the phone numerous times from the apartment they lived in.  The man owned an African Parrot.  The Parrot began to say things like 'Hey Gary' and when ever a person on TV would say the name Gary, the Parrot would start making kissing sounds.
The boyfriend finally figured out what was going on and confronted the girl. Long story short, Girl moves out and Boy gets ride of Parrot because it continues to 'taunt' him.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Several Small Things

1.  I am still annoyed with the media.  They went on and on about Ariel when he first had his stroke, but haven't updated the story in more than a week.  If he had been a high school girl lost on an island most of the media would be covering it like the world was coming to an end for weeks on end.
2.  I am very sorry for the loss of lives in the two recent mine tragedies in WV.  Having said that, I think I would be terrified to be a miner.  (After all I am afraid of cows and they aren't really all THAT dangerous, or so my wife keeps telling me.  But damn it those cows are much bigger than I am.)  The miner who survived the first situation continues to amaze people.
3.  My wife and I were in the car together the other day. (This seems to be a very rare occurance at the moment.) And she made an observation that I have and it is something that really doesn't make sense to me.  Why do smokers crack open a window in the car when they are driving.  If they really like smoking so much, and are really like the smell of the smoke, why not just keep the window closed.

Of Cats and Kittens part 4

It has been a few days since I gave an update of the situation from feline home front. 
Well Anina has quickly recovered from her surgeries. We reintroduced the cats over a week period.  We have found out several things about Anina. 
1. She is perhaps the most persistant cat I have ever been around.  She continues to try to be friendly with Maggie.  Maggie is getting better, but seems to find the kitten's energy level well beyond the tolerable. (Not unlike Wife and I)
2. She has a memory that may be to good.  We have a 'feather on a string attached to a stick' toy that we got for the cats.  When she is looking to play, she knows exactly where we put the toy and has gone to that location to get it.
3.  She has moments of being incredably cute, and other times of being a demon in feline clothing.
Over all things are getting better between the two.  Wife said she had them playing together this evening. (I was not/am not home as I am away on business for a Tax Conference.)
Maggie for her part is doing well, but really doesn't seem quite ready to accept the kitten.  Wife and I believe she may still be 'depressed' since the death of Breygi, and seems like she doesn't really want the kitten around.  We on the other hand believe once she is used to the kitten perhaps the depression she is feeling will go away.
Well that is enough for today.  I will be posting tomorrow night, and have found a way that I may be able to post items with a little more regularity.  They will probably be quick hits, but I will try my best.

I Hope It Doesn't Go To Far Up The Evolutionary Scale.

I what almost sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, some scientists did a study on bats to see how evolution effected the difference between testicle size and brain size.

The thing that they found is that in bat species that have more promiscuous females, the males had larger testicles and smaller brains. And in species with little or no promiscuity amoung females the males had larger brains and smaller testicles.

The also state that Chimps are more promiscuous and appear to have larger testicles, by body weight, than Gorillas have. (Gorillas have an alpha male/female system, where the alpha male has 'rights' to a harem of women.)

I have two fears about this study of bats and the related information to our upper primate brethern. 1. That the next step in this study is going to be to see if human male intellegence is based on testicle size. 2. That they will find that human males with large brains have small testicles and that human males with large testicles have small brains. Why does this bother me. Well it seems to me that if they do this, the next big rush is for every man to see if his testicles are 'big' enough for him to be promisuous, or if his testicles are small, and he should just focus on developing that big brain.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Rant of the Month

I have been thinking about this for about 6 weeks or so. I am really tired of the political situation in this country.

A simple statement, but I will not, that I have that off my chest, really get rolling on the rant.

1. I am tired of a lame media that doesn't investigate what anyone says. I'm tired of them repeating ridiculous statements and statements with out the simplist of analysis or research.
a. An example is the Jack Abramoff situation. A Republican some place got the statement out that Democrats have taken nearly as much money from Mr. Abramoff as Republicans. Now I haven't done any independent research on this ( and I will address that issues separately) but let's examine that statement for just one moment. Why does this make sense. After all Abramoff is a Republican lobbying operative, why would he be giving to Democrats? May be to help cover his tracks on the scandalous things he was doing, but really that doesn't make sense much sense to me. But instead of looking in to this allegation, everyone just repeats it as being true. (On this point I wouldn't expect much else from the 'Fair and Balanced' ones.)

2. I am tired of lame in fighting in Congress over petty shit. Congress is supposed to debate and examine an issue. Not everyone is going to agree with whether or not an issues makes good sense or good policy, but how does pass both the Energy Act of 2005 and the Highway Act of 2005 in which the energy giants are being given additional tax 'incentives' and tax breaks square with cutting energy assistance for the truly needy all while several energy companies are reporting record profits. Not only does this not make any sense from a purely policy position, it doesn't make any sense from a budgetary position when you are all ready running record deficits and needing to continue to spend additional money for both relief from the hurricanes and to fight a 'war' overseas.

3. Why to the Republicans seem to have a direct line to Osama Bin Lame-Head. Every time they need this evil twit to release a video or audio tape to 'scare' the American people, he does. And today no sooner does the tape get 'verified' then the Republican leadership is back out there making Lame-Head in to the boogey man and discussing the Rights infringing portions of the poorly named 'Patriot' act. (I am sick of hearing about that as well.)

4. Why do all of the initiative from the Bush Administration seem to be poorly named any more. The Patriot Act should be rename the Unpatriotic Act (if not the UnConstitutional Act.) and the Social Security Reform proposals should have call the Social Security Destruction and Rip-off the Under/Un-educated proposal.

5. I am tired of stupid talking heads, and the silliness they all seem to want to spew. (Either parties.) You have Rush Blowhard, Bill 'Filafel Abuse' O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and the rest of the 'Conservative' blowhards endlessly saying the same nonsensical things, and when they lack something 'constructive' to say then everything is Bill Clinton's fault. (Have they blamed President Clinton for the Abramoff scandal yet.)

Along the same lines many of the 'liberal' talkshow hosts can't deal with some one who isn't as far left as they are. Frankly I am tired of hearing them constantly rail against Joe Lieberman. After all Senator Lieberman is much more in line with them than with most of the Republicans points at this point. By the way you pinheaded morons, Senator Liebermans point about President Jr. was that he will be President (at present) for the next three years, complaining about it is useless. Deal with and find a way to get things accomplished anyway.

6. I am tired of the endless corruption in politics in this day and age. If they would just get off their fat asses and actually look at the country and find a way to actually solve the problems instead of making themselves or corporate America rich we might actually get somewhere. I thought the whole point of a free market society was that everyone was supposed to operate on the same level and that he who makes money makes money. (Having said that, when is Wal-Mart going to get taken down by it's suppliers. If they aren't making money selling to Wal-Mart, don't sell to Wal-Mart. An amazing thing might happen, if they really want your product in their store they may actually pay a fair price for it.)

7. I am am also tired of being told by the 'American' automakers that it is my fault they can't make money. If they made a product that ran well, held together, got decent gas mileage, and had any kind of long term value I might consider the product. But the products are crap, and frankly I won't buy one until they do what it takes to earn MY money. Most of the 'foreign' cars are manufactured in the US. So this is not an issue of American employees, it is a question of the American manufacturers designing a crapier product.

8. I am tired of the stupidty of political intrusion in to education. But more so I am tired of parents in this country not taking responsibility for their own childs education. If you take an interest in your child, and their education, their education will improve. The problem with education today starts at home where the kids aren't taught to have respect for themselves or anyone else, so they don't have respect for themselves or anyone else. This leads to several things. The kids are looking else where to learn/earn respect, so they join 'youth organizations' that provide structure for them. The 'organizations' are often, in lower income areas, gangs. In other areas, they may not be in the gang itself but they are doing things like selling drugs/doing drugs, whatever. It also leads kids to other problems. Some will develop mental health issues from lack of self respect. Others become promiscuous, or have other social problems. (Some decide to take a gun to school and kill there schoolmates.)

When I was in high school one of the big 'scary' things was fantasy roll play games such as Dungeons and Dragons. (I played D&D but that is a story for another day.) I didn't ever have adjustment issues, yet parents were always blaming the game for things like their child commiting suicide. (One of my favorite comments was from an episode of 60 minutes where the one parent said "We didn't know little Johny was threatening to kill his sister until after he was dead." Yet they blamed the game for his suicide.) Parents who ignore or abuse their children are more to blame for the problems of their children than anything a teacher may due. (The only qualification is as long as the teacher isn't abusing the child.)

9. I am as guilty of this final point as anyone else and I will be striving to change it for myself. I am sick and tired of not knowing when something is true because I don't have the real information. I am tired of not knowing a politicians actual positions because they only have 30 or 60 seconds to express it on the nightly news in 'happening' sound bites. My lord people we have the single most extensive information system in existence right at our fingertips, (at this very moment) and what do we do with it. We flirt, we gossip, we look at dirty pictures. When are all Americans going to wake up and take our country back. If you have a problem with country research why and do something about it. Support a candidate, become a candidate, or at least get out and vote for the love of G-D. We have the ability to influence this country's direction and policies, yet most of us would rather listen to Rush or Ed for our opinions rather than do the research to form them on our own. I did much more of this when I was younger and I plan on doing much, much more of it now.

Yesterday I had said that I was going to email the Senate Judiciary Committee. I have not done that yet but I will. And as soon as I can. (Mostly likely tomorrow now.) And when that is complete I will post each and every way to contact them. As I expand this idea, I will pass on more and more information. If you take my word for it fine, but I would much rather someone challenge my facts with actual facts from a source. My opinions can change if I see I am incorrect or if I missed something.

I feel much better. I will be going now. But please consider what I have ranted about.

The Craziness of Being in Jail

Before anyone is to concerned, NO I AM NOT IN JAIL.

The picture is of one James Traficant, formerly the Congressional Representative from my home town. Best known for the ending of his daily 2 minute House floor speech by saying "Beam Me Up Scotty."

I am a little upset with a recent story that at best seems to show that the whole point of the punishment system in the US is goofy. But before I get to that, a little background on why I am even discussing the very interesting Mr. Traficant.

Setting: Junior High School - Youngstown, Ohio - Late 70's. (School is known as Volney Rogers Junior High School.)

The school Principal is one Mr. Sam Traficant. He was a very nice, but very strict man. He was also the type that was constantly trying to find ways to reach his student population in different ways. Of course a big issue was always 'Drugs.' Mr. S. Traficant had a brother. (Yes I have a feeling you guessed this. ) The brother was Mr. James A. Traficant. This was before a political career. Mr. J. Traficant at the time was in charge of the county program that would become D.A.R.E. (From here we will refer to them as Mr. S. and Mr. J for simplicity sake.) Mr. S thought that the students would benefit from the information (and weird and disgusting stories) that Mr. J could pass on. He set up an evening program that involved Mr. J. speaking about drugs for about an hour and then answering questions. (My mother being the typical ever worried Jewish mother, decided we should go to the program.)(As an aside I was a very boring kid, never had any reason or inclination to try drugs, let alone the more or less legal things. And this was before health problems.) I had a chance, after the program, to meet and talk to Mr. J. The next year Mr. S had Mr. J back again for the same type of program. (Mom made me go again.) I wasn't particularly into these programs, but anything info is good info right.

Well a couple of years later Mr. J became Sheriff J Traficant. It wasn't much later that Sheriff J was up on tax evasion charges for not reporting bribes he alledgely took from one of the local mobs. (Yes real organized crime families. And before anyone tries to tell me about whether they are real or not, my mother work (in a legit business) for the nephews of one of the mob bosses.) Well Sheriff J beat the IRS and was 'free' to go about his business. He was now very popular in the greater Youngstown area. It was then that he decided to run for Congress, and the rest (as they say) is history. One additional note on Mr. J, he and his wife are good friends of one of my siblings and her husband. (I am quite a bit younger than most of my siblings.)

Now back to the reason for this post. Mr. J has been painting pictures and sending them to a friend and supporter of his 'on the outside' for her enjoyment. This friend decided she like the would sell the art on E-Bay. The result, other than the sale of several pieces, is that the Federal Institution that Mr. J is in has made him stop painting because you are not allowed to run a business from in jail. Now check me on this, isn't the whole point of putting people in jail to 'rehabilitate' them so that when they are released they can be useful members of society. I can see if we didn't want them running illegal operations from jail, but a legitimate money making venture, especially when they aren't in jail for say fraud against an individual, and they are will ing to pay taxes on any income from the legal business ventures, shouldn't they be encouraged to continue to run this legitimate operation. The painting has nothing to do with profiting from his crime or what his crime was. I just really feel bad from Mr. J. (I wouldn't vote for him again, but that is an entirely different thing.)


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The New Doctor Who

The new episodes of Dr. Who that aired on the BBC will be airing in the US on Sci Fi Channel beginning in March. The picture above is from a episode from the second season of new episodes and those lovely metal men are the new version of the Cybermen.

I have been looking forward to the new Dr. Who episodes for quite some time. I am hoping, even though I enjoyed it, that they ignore the Fox movie and just sort of pick up from the end of the original series. I haven't read anything on this so if anyone know I would appreciate it. The link in the first paragraph is to a story about the filming of the episode that is pictured above and contains a second picture of the cybermen.

Some brief thoughts for today

Some brief thoughts for today.

a. I am tired of the concept that the Democrats somehow made Mrs. Alito cry. I was clearly Senator Graham using the term bigot in reference to Judge Alito that began the tears. I am not accusing Senator Graham of anything but come one.
b.I have my concerns about putting Judge Alito on the Supreme Court. I really have no defined reason for this as I really don’t know that much about him other than what I have heard on the radio/TV, but my instinct tells me that he is going to make a very bad justice. I plan on taking time to e-mail the members of the Senate Judicial committee, likely tonight, to express my ‘discomfort’ with Judge Alito.

I am sorry for the odd look to this post. It was originally written in Word and published directly form there use the Blogger for Word tool bar. It was very well organized and pretty in word. For some reason when I published it, it got all screwed up. Oh well the thoughts are still there.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Shabbat Shalom Vayechi 5766


Number 10 - Life is sexually transmitted.

Number 9 - Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

Number 8 - Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.

Number 7 - Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

Number 6 - Some people are like a Slinky.....not really good for anything,but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

Number 5 - Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

Number 4 - All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism

Number 3 - Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents?

Number 2 - In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now mthe world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

AND THE NUMBER 1 THOUGHT FOR 2005: We know exactly where one cow with mad cow disease is located among the millions and millions of cows in America but we haven't got a clue as to where thousands of illegal immigrants and terrorists are located. Maybe we should put the Department of Agriculture in charge of immigration.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Israel's Response To Ayatollah Pat's Silly Statements

Fox News is reporting that the Israeli Ministry of Tourism has annouced that a planned business deal with Pat Robertson is being delayed until a new partner can be found. This partnership was originally designed to build a Christian Heritage Center in the Galillee. The Heritage Center was going to be a focus of Christian tourism and education in the 'historic' area of Jesus life and ministry.

The deal has been called off with Pat Robertson because of his recent comments about the Portly PM's stroke last week being sent by G-D as a punishment for the Israeli withdrawl from Gaza.

The Ministry of Tourism isn't giving up on the Heritage Center plan to boost Christian tourism in Israel, they are just going to find other Christians with whom to do the deal. The estimates in the article are that it will boost the tourists coming in to Israel by 1 million people, $1.5 billion, and create up to 40,000 jobs. I like the idea from a economic standpoint. I really am not sure I like the idea from a strictly religious point of view. I don't like the idea of giving the evangelical movements in the US any more power over the Israeli economy than we have to.

This Amused Me

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Sharon Update

Y Net News Story

Ariel appears to be continuing to improve every day. Yesterday the reports were that he had begun to move his right arm and leg and was breathing on his own. It is now being reported that he is moving his left arm and leg. Arik's cognitive functions are not yet measurable as he is still under sedation, it is expected to be several days before the cognitive functions will be measurable.

The amazing thing about this is that he is able to move his left side at all. Considering the reported size of the stroke and the fact that the right side of his brain was the area where the hemorraging was, it seems to be a miracle that he is capable of moving his left side at all.

I had discussed yesterday that I felt the miracle of the whole situation was the praying of all of the Jews that likely didn't usually pray. While my thinking hasn't really changed, perhaps this is HaShem's way of giving those who did not pray regularly a little bit of reinforcement to pray more often. The truth of this will be revealed in time, but I find the situation very interesting.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Yates: Not guilty by reason of insanity

The headline above appeared on CNN.com this afternoon. I really hate this plea. It isn't really an acurate type of plea and I really find that this is one of those areas of the law that just needs changed.

Mrs. Yates admitted to the murder of her children, by definition she is can not be "Not Guilty." I would like to see the insanity plea changed to "Guilty, But Insane." Mrs. Yates was/is mentally ill, she should be treated for her mental illness. In her case, she should probably not ever be free from custody, as she is like to feel well enough to go off her meds.

My wife has suffered from Depression and Anxiety/Panic Disorder. She has been in therapy since she was 15. (She was 41 in last year.) When things do not go her way she still can easily get depressed or anxious. She will occasionally get uncomfortable in public situations. Trust me when I tell you, she will always need to be on meds, perhaps not at the level she currently is, but always on her meds. She is currently taking 4 different meds to control the situation.

Mrs. Yates suffers from more than Post-Partum Depression, and had for a period of time. She had to go off her meds for the period of time that she was pregnant and nursing as many psych meds may be passed on either through the placenta or transmitted in breast milk. Because of this fact, I do believe, in her particular case, her husband is at least partially responsible for the outcome. I do believe that Mrs. Yates is guilty, I also feel that she should not be put in a regular prison facility as she is inappropriate for that situation.

Maybe one day we will have the legal system that a modern and advanced society should have and make the change from Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity to Guilty but Insane.

Arik's Miracle

The medical improvements of Ariel Sharon are next to stunning. I hear a doctor from the doctor say last week that the fact that a 77 year old man to survive a total of 13 hours of Brain Surgery was just amazing.

I have to say I think there is something more at play here than may be obvious. I think it is very interesting that the Ayatollah Patrick ibn Robert made his comments about how this massive stroke was G-D’s retribution for the Gaza pull out, something I knew the moment I heard about it that someone was bound to say, and the hopes by the ‘President’ of Iran that Arik was dead that the response of many Jews around the world has been to pray for Arik’s recovery. Many of the Jews who are praying may be doing for the first time, or at least for one of the few times, since their youth at a time other than the High Holidays and the First/Second sedar.

Could this perhaps be the real miracle of Ariel’s illness? Could this be the real ‘plan’ of HaShem? I will say that I have no idea. I am not one who tries to read in to what HaShem’s real plan may be. But the thought did occur to me that this may be the case and I thought it should put out there for others to consider.

Of Cats and Kittens Part 3

An update on the home front situation.

We decided to take the kitten in permanently, as long as she was healthy. The kitten has had her first visit to the vet and is healthy. As such, she is scheduled to have her ‘surgery’ this weekend. She will have her front claws removed and will be ‘fixed.’ (4 days with a cat in heat was more than enough for us.)

We have named the feisty little beast. The name is Anina which is Aramaic for “answer my prayer.” We felt this was a very appropriate name, as we are the answer to her prayers and she is the answer to our prayers.

As a side note: she is officially a Siamese lynx point. (That’s for anyone who is a cat lover.)

Some Thoughts On Israel

A couple of interesting thoughts.

Last week our friend Jameel found that many of the who did the Meme4 wished that many of us wanted to be in Israel as one our 4 places.

To me this is hardly a surprise. After all, do we not say regularly “Next Year In Jerusalem.” Is this not the ultimate goal of generations of our ancestors? I have felt drawn to Israel since I was young.

I will give a little insight in to the workings of the lump of goo between my ears. For several years after my father passed away (At age 7), I had the same recurring nightmare. (I really had several, but this is the only one that is really topical interest.) The nightmare went like this:
I would be playing with a group of friends in the yard of our townhouse. (Where I was living at the time.) All of the sudden there was a massive earthquake. My friends and I started running. Everywhere we went in the world the earth quake was there. We kept running and running away from the cracking of the earth behind us. In our running we reach Israel. The earthquake and cracking of the earth following behind us stops right at the border of Israel. In my mind, even as a child, Israel represented a safety net, a shield from the other problems in the world.

I always think about that dream/nightmare. It was always very scary as a child, but it was also oddly reassuring as I always new that Israel, and by extension Judaism, was a refuge for me. I haven’t always been as focused on the refuge as I should be but I really think of Israel that way. And I suspect that I am not alone in feeling that way in the post Independence generations. I think many in the pre-independence generations do not see it that way because they existed before that time.
I love the US and am grateful every day that I was born in the US. I do believe that the US is the only real friend that Israel has, but I am not always sure that the US knows what that means to both Israel and to those of us who live outside of Israel. I would also like to add that Israel is my homeland. I think it sometimes confuses my wife how seriously I can take the events in Israel being that I don’t live there and have never been there, but that is how I am

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Bumper Sticker

While driving home from a tax update seminar I was attending yesterday, I was behind a vehicle with the following bumper sticker: "G-D was a single parent."

I really have no desire to get into a discussion of the theological implications. (re: Christianity and it's correctness) But I found the overall meaning of the bumper sticker interesting. If one accepts, just for a second, the correctness of Christianity, doesn't this seem to be a 'divine statement' about the relationship between parent and child. If we remove the idea of Christianity and go with the Jewish concept that we are all G-D's children the implication will still be there.

I think this bumper sticker makes an interesting counter point to the 'religious rights' constant arguments about various marriage and parenting related items.

What say you?

Did You Ever Go Looking For Something And Find the Unusual? Part 2

I was using google this evening to try to find Thai(Siamese) mythological names. The reason for the search is to find a name for a cat.

This page is what I came up with.

I found it very interesting that the number 4 item on the list is Chabad.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Did You Ever Go Looking For Something And Find The Unusual?

The website linked below I ran across while trying to track down names for the kitten. I searches for "gods & responsibility" and got that website. I haven't really read very much of it, though I will try to do so as it look facinating and scary at the same time. (The thing that bothered me is that it 'looks' like a Jewish site, but my instinct tells me it isn't.)

Shechinah Third Temple

Of Cats and Kittens part 2

The other day I was discussing the little kitten my wife had 'found' last week. Well we have decided, if she is healthy, to keep the little devil. She is currently unnamed, though I have been attempting to come up with a name for her.

Our current cat is Maggie, so named by her previous owners. The cat we put to sleep several months ago was named Breygi (the name of a Norse god) and his sister, whom we had to put to sleep a number of years ago, was Freyja (A Norse goddess whose chariot was drawn by 2 cats.) whose name was the inspiration for the day name Friday.

This kitten will likely end up with the name of a mythological god or goddess. (I previous had a cat named Loki.) I like to use those names because you are not likely to run in to a person named after a god or goddess. (I have always wanted to get an Irish Setter and name it Thor. After all Thor was a big, dumb red-head and that is generally what Irish Setters are.)

Why Am I Not Surprised?

I find the moron that is currently the 'President' of Iran has once again shown that he has all the grasp of international politics of a rampaging rhino. Upon hearing about Ariel Sharon having had a stroke he made the following statements:
"Today you will all have heard, and I hope that this is final, that the criminal of Sabra and Chatila has rejoined his ancestors," and "God willing, the others will join him soon."

He was joined in his stupidity by a leader of, and I am going on memory here, Hezbu-Allah in hoping that Sharon was dead or soon would be.

I am not surprised by this stupidity, I just can't get over the fact that, even in this situation, it is all about politics to some of these a**holes. At least the majority of the Arab media around the Middle East is reporting this as a legitimate news story with little or no political commentary related to the situation.

Story on Iran

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Portly Prime Minister (PPM)

Ariel Sharon, about 10 hours before his schedule heart catherization and small hole repair, was taken to the hospital after claiming he was not feeling very well. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital, about an hour from his ranch were he was working, as opposed to the closed hospital.

PPM is reported to have never passed out and was having symptoms similar to those he had on December 18, 2005 when he was rushed to the hospital with a mild stroke. This story will be updated when additional information is available.


Ariel has been said to have suffered a significant stroke and that he is in a medically induced coma, on a resperator and on his way to the operating room. In a move by the Cabinet, after consultation with the Attorney General, Ehud Olmert has been named Acting Prime Minister. (Mr. Olmert was Deputy Prime Minister previously and was scheduled to be acting Prime Minister during the surgery originally scheduled for tomorrow.


In this story I think that I have one of those very strange crimes that I don't understand. Two men walked in to a pet store and stole a kitten. (One of the men lifted his shirt to show he had a gun.) While I am very confused as to why anyone would steal a kitten, I am very concerned about what these two idiots have planed for the little kitten. I only ask that the kitten be safe from harm, and the idiots get caught and sent to jail. (I believe it was up to 99 years for armed robbery in Texas.)

Letterman and O'Reilly

I would like to make a quick hit comment about William (Bill) O'Reilly's appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. I will say I did not see the entire interview as it was on shortly after my wife got home from work, and she had had a very bad day. I did hear this comment from Letterman "I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap." Bill reacted rather badly to this statement. (Not that this was very shocking.) This site, Hammer of Truth, has a bit more extensive coverage of the conversation, and some links to other places.

I had enjoyed watching Mr. O'Reilly's show until he made his comments to a Jewish caller last year. (Which, by the way, he continues to misrepresent.) Since that incident, I have not ,and continue to refuse, to listen/watch the show since then. I had always considered him a bit of a blowhard, and that hasn't changed.

I have seen Mr. O'Reilly also on the Daily Show where he took a bit of a 'beating' from Jon. Hopefully, some other 'names' giving Mr. O'Reilly a little run for his money will take a bit the wind out of his sails. (Not to mention that Steven Colbert is doing a marvelous satire of Mr. O'Reilly, and others, 4 nights a week.)

Have You Been Abducted By Aliens?

The attached website has a list 0f 58 "common indicators" of alien abduction. I found the list to be rather facinating. The list could be used to show if some one may be suffering from several common mental illnesses as well. I will, probably tonight when I have some time, go through the list to see which ones I am 'suffering' from and post separately on that. If you have the whim, please do the same. I am curious how many people believe they may have been abducted by aliens. (Heshy and his followers are exempt from this exersize as they are 'opposed' to life on other planets.)

The list is here

Four Meme

I have been tagged by Amshi so here goes:

Four jobs I've had in my life -
I've been a camp counselor, a Pizza Transport Specialist, a delivery person for a telemarketing firm, assistant bindery/delivery person for a printing company.

Four movies I could watch over and over:
The American President
Any Star Wars/Star Trek movie (Generally the 'better' ones are prefered)
Moulin Rouge
The Mighty Winds

Four places I've lived:
Please be prepared to be board
Richmond, Indiana
Youngstown, Ohio
Kent/Stow, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
(You may now reawaken from you short snooze.)

Four TV Shows I Love to watch
Law & Order (any of the incarnations and any of the casts)
BattleStar Galactica (original or New series)
any real life forensic show (Court TV's Forensic Files as an example)
(My goal here is to try to commit the perfect murder. : ) )
The News. (Not talk shows but actual news.)

Four places I've been on vacation
The snooze feast may recommence.
San Francisco
New York City
Niagra Falls
(You are now allowed to re-awaken.)

Four websites I visit daily
CNN/Fox news
Jblogs (mostly Shifra's, Dov's, Jameel, and Amshi - There are others but these four are the 'big four' for me)
my gmail account

Four of my favorite foods -
Mac & Cheese
a Ground Turkey and Elbows dish I invented.
(As a 4.5 anything with chocolate in it)

Four places you'd rather be:
Home (I am at work as I right this)
Israel (though I have never been)
New York City (I'd like to live in a neighborhood that is primarily Jewish just once in my life)
Los Angeles or San Diego (I like to like in good whether)

Four books I'll read over and over again
The Belgariad/Mallorian ( 2 5-book related series by David and Leigh Eddings)
Watership Down (Those silly bunnies just constantly entertain me, and I am always sad at the end)
Myth Adventures/Phule's Company (2 series by Robert Asprin)
Any of the Deryni novels by Katherine Kurtz

I have no one to tag as it seems that everyone that I regularly visit has been tagged.

Mining Tragedy In West Virginia

I was watching CNN last night about Midnight. I saw the initial reports about the 12 survivors at the mine explosion in West Virginia. Even though I know no one involved in the situation I felt a great level of relief. At the same time I was praying for the family of the man miner that they were reporting was dead.

When I awoke this morning, I followed my normal ritual of putting on CNN as soon as I was able to get to the TV. I was stunned to see/hear that the initial reports had been wrong, and that 12 were dead and that only 1 had survived. I felt very upset for my own feelings of anger at the misreporting of the information initially. I can not imagine what the families of the miners actually feel.

I have heard today that there are rumors that a number of the families are preparing to sue the company. I am not sure on the accuracy of these reports; I do feel that the families should receive some kind of additional compensation in this situation.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Of Cats and Kittens

Last Thursday while arriving back at our apartment for the evening, my wife came across a kitten roaming loose in a part of the building that would not be easily accessable to an animal. The kitten was on the first floor of our building in a walk way between the undergrown parking area and the main lobby of the building. As there are no apartments on the 1st floor, it seems highly unlikely that the kitten got there without some help.

It is a beautiful kitten. A Siamese mix that is a cream color with brown and black points, it is one of the prettier kittens I have seen in a long time. As the kitten was in the building and in a 'hard to reach' location in the building, it was our idea that the kitten was probably someone's pet and they would probably want the little girl back. After posting signs we found that no one responded. We thought this was a little on the strange side, but decided we would hold on to the kitten until we could get it to an agency that would place it for adoption.

Now the fun begins. Maggie, our own cat, doesn't really care for other cats. The kitten, called Wild Thing by my wife, seems to get a large amount of joy out of trying to annoy Maggie as much as possible. Generally by just going as close as she can to her to see if she can make friends. Maggie just growls and hiss until on of them gets put away. The second problem is that the room where we put Maggie to give the kitten time out of the 'lock down' isn't as secure as it should be. The door can be pushed open with just a little bit of pressure. This means we can't leave the kitten unattended. And the kitten 'hates' being in the 'lock down' room because no one else is there.

Our Hearts Go Out

We are finding it a little hard to be as 'happy' as one should be at the start of a new year. It seems that the on going piling of tragedies that began a little over a year ago with the south east Asian tsunami. The two I am 'following' today are the collapse of the skating rink in Germany that has killed at least 11 people at this point and the mine explosion/collapse in the West Virginia has trapped and possibly killed 13 miners.

I really just don't know what to do. I know that there are always these types of tragedies going on in the world, but it justs seems that there has been a higher number in the last year or so. I would like to get past this strange period of disasters and tragedies.

Is It Beginning To Unravel?

Could the plea deal that Jack Abramoff is reported to have made with Federal investigators be the beginning of the end for Tom Delay, Bob Ney and other Republicans in the House?

Abramoff appears to have cut a cooperation deal with the investigators of his various campaign financing 'plans.' The charges, as reported here by CNN, consist of corruption, fraud and the catch-all tax evasion. Mr. Abramoff will, apparently, not be sentenced until all of his cooperation is complete.

I am rather interested to see where THIS investigation is going to go. I also wonder how this investigation is going to effect how Mr. Delay is going to deal with his Texas money laundering charges.

This is the type of case that could spin out of control and create a huge problem for the Republicans in the mid-term elections, especially if this investigation lingers in the news for months.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Values In Education

The other night I was listening/watching a CSPAN 2 viewer call-in show about education.  I believe the person who was taking the calls is the national president of the National Education Association.  

The call that prompted this post was one from a person who was complaining that the reason for all the violence in schools is do to the lack of ‘values education’ in schools.  At this point the show host asked what exactly was he meaning by ‘values education,’ the caller responded that we have moved away from the Christian values as espoused by our Founding Fathers.

I found myself getting worked up by this.  First of all I am getting very tired by the whole argument of the ‘Christian values of our Founding Fathers.’  I am not even going to get in to the debunking of that statement, other than to say that our founding fathers were, in many cases, Deists and not Christians.  And they certainly would not have been Christians in the modern sense anyway.

The second thing about the stupidity of these statements by people is that it really ignores the reality that this country is supposed to be.  I will say that, at this time in our history, I do believe that this country has become a ‘Christian Country.’  I have made this statement before and at least for the purposes of this post I will not defend my position on this.  I do believe that this country is not supposed to be a ‘Christian Country.’  

The final thing that I would like to say on this is that if I had children going to public school, I would not want to have a Christian teacher teaching my children values of any type.  Before anyone who reads this gets upset, I would not want any public school teacher to teach my child values.  It is my feeling that values and religion are to be taught at home and at religious institutions.    I feel it is MY responsibility, not the schools or anyone else’s, to insure that my children are taught the values I wish them to have.  I am tired of people who think that they are not responsible for the upbringing of their own children.  If they don’t want that responsibility, they should have brought those children in to the world.

A final thought to those on the ‘Fundamentalist Right.’  If society is so bad, and they are trying to change it, why is it that they have to complain about others doing ‘their jobs’ in raising the children they are ‘raising’?

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