Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!

We interrupt this 'blog's hibernation! Watching the map turn blue, "kvelling" over the idea that tomorrow, for a change, the "red" staters will be wringing their hands over what country, or what cave, they can retreat to. Zeh hayom kivinu lo. That's how Americans react when they've been lied to and bankrupted in the name of "patriotism", too long.

I consider myself "liberal in spirit, conservative in substance". But, the tone "the right" has set for the past 16 years has cheapened our nation. Barak fired the opening shot against this vermin in 2004. Today, I expressed my appreciation by pulling his lever, regardless of my ambivalence toward him. I also rewarded Sarah, who believes that "certain" parts of the country are more patriotic than others. Good riddance to you. Please take what's left of Ann, Michelle and the rest of your skank sisters and their loser boyfriends.

God bless America.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Frame this!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A zissen Pesach

Friends, there's a lot of stuff going on in my life, right now, keeping me away from here. My best wishes to you all for a Hag (kasher) vesameah, a happy Passover.

Health, happiness, peace,


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Strange bedfellows


3/2 WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The chairman of Israel's largest shipping firm has strongly backed a deal that would give a United Arab Emirates-based shipping company control of several U.S. port terminals, while another GOP leader expressed strong opposition… In a letter to Sen. Hillary Clinton…Israel’s Zim[’s]…Idon Ofer called state-owned DP World a strong business partner, despite the United Arab Emirates' boycott of Israel. Full article here.

The article explains that despite the boycott, Zim’s boats are allowed to call at Dubai, provided they fly the flags of countries other than Israel.

I wonder if Zim truly loves DP World or if they believe (or have been told) that they’re pita crisps if they don’t play along.

Word’s also out that Sen. Clinton’s husband has advised DP World on the deal. I expect to hear the same about Mrs. Schumer, next.

The article also mentions an appeal by “U.S.-based cargo handler Eller & Co.” Is this the player in the shadows who I speculated about in my previous post?

Shabbat shalom.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Arabs are coming! Oh, my!

So, the matter of Dubai Ports buying P&O Nedlloyd (or “the Arabs taking over the ports”) is either a national scandal or much ado about nothing, depending on your perspective. I feel the need to share a few thoughts about it, some common sense, others puzzling in that I have not seen others raise them.

From a “national security” perspective, the UAE is just another foreign country, like Britain and Holland and Germany, all of whom have had nationals with a hand in owning P&O Nedlloyd at some point. I’m comfortable with the explanations regarding security, in theory. (In practice, I’m leery of any assurances that come from the current administration. I’m also leery that the US is blessing a major deal with a country that refuses to recognize another of our allies. There’s an anti-Israel-boycott law, somewhere, isn’t there?) I don’t see the 9-11 connection as any more material than the fact that the hi-jackers met in Germany or camped out in California. Surprisingly, Bill O’Reilly and I are on the same page here.

Considering that the UAE and other gulf states have supported the US operation in Iraq, we owe them “big time”. On the other hand, they owe us for beating back Saddam in ’91 and for getting him out of their hair for good.

I’m glad to see people breaking party ranks to speak their opinions on this. I also cynically believe that many of the people who are speaking up against this deal are looking to score cheap points against the administration (hey, why not), are pandering to the perceived views of Jewish voters or are just plain bigoted. The last two scenarios worry me. Panderers will ultimately betray you and the enemy of your enemy may well still be your enemy.

Someone else wants this deal. Perhaps it’s losing suitor PSA International (“the Singaporeans”) . Perhaps it’s an American operator (like Halliburton). Perhaps someone else. I’m wondering when they’ll pop their head up as “saviors”.

I’m gladdened by the hearty public debate over this. Our society is made stronger by it. Still, I wonder out loud, if this deal had been announced under a Democratic president, how fragmented the Republican/Right position would be and how soon the right-wing media would have uttered “treason” and coined the term “port-gate”.

Finally, this is a “parochial” concern, but, Israel, which obtains most of its weaponry (some of it secret, no doubt) from the USA, will now be under the scrutiny of an official adversary state. I wonder what the classic right-wing ‘Democrats are too “even-handed” with the Arabs – only Republicans are “staunch” supporters of Israel’ have to say for themselves (nevermind, Jonah Goldberg is wiping the jazz from his lips). “Bad for the Jews” or “nothing to worry about”, I expected this to be front-and-center in the right-wing “Jewish Press” last week. It certainly was not on the cover, perhaps this week.


Friday, February 17, 2006

If Gore had shot a hunting buddy...

When the Israelites were threatened by Goliath and the Philistines (I Samuel 17), David stepped forward to take them on. David’s sponsors dressed him in armor, but he found that awkward. Instead, he dressed in his shepherd clothes, took five smooth stones from the stream and the rest is history.
If Al Gore had shot a hunting buddy, the Right and the “mainstream media” would quickly tag the incident with the “-gate” suffix, would demand one federal investigation after another and would do what it can to hound President Clinton (who, by the way, I disliked immensely, though not as immensely as I disliked the people who were out to get him).
If someone remotely related (by blood or by marriage) to a living or dead Kennedy had accidentally shot a hunting buddy, the Right and the mainstream media would forever refer to that person as “a Kennedy”.
So, Cheney shot a hunting buddy. Everyone’s been having a good laugh at it (uncanny how so many people made the “Elmer Fudd” association). It’s tempting for the Left and the Democrats to try to capitalize on this incident, but it would be a big mistake. The Right is Goliath. By one account the Right enjoys corporate support 10:1 over the Left. So, the Right can afford to simultaneously torture the Left over every statement and slip of the tongue, rant about how the Left hate America as well as actually pursue its political, social and economic goals. The Left has lately begun to attempt to imitate the Right and to some extent, it’s important for its mental health. But, it’s very dangerous to fight the Right “wearing its armor”. It’s expensive, it’s unwieldy and as “Rathergate” demonstrated, it can blow up on you. When you’re David faced with Goliath, count your stones, watch your timing and aim carefully.
Have a good laugh, wish Harry Whittington a speedy recovery and a Shabbat shalom.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What $500 won’t buy

New York State is proposing a $500 per child tax credit for “educational expenses”. Gotham Gazette had a good write up on the issue. It’s interesting how the “frum” community is buying into this as if it’s the best thing since sliced bread. “Orthonomics” has illustrated all the things that $500 can buy her family, though, oddly enough, many are not “educational” expenses.

Ms. Orthonomics, I’d like to share with you what “$500” will buy you. I’ll do it by way of the time-honored Jewish “mashal” (parable), except that this story is real.

My wife and I used to garage a car in Manhattan. It would cost hundreds of dollars, including taxes of about 25%. “But”, if you were a Manhattan resident “and” you garaged monthly, you could apply for an exemption for part of it. So, Mrs. Moreh and I wrote away for the form, which arrived a few weeks later, filled it out and mailed it away. A few weeks after that, a “certificate” arrived. We were to take this coupon to the garage we told the city we use and they would stop collecting part of the tax. Great. There was one catch, though. The certificate could only be used at the garage we named. If we were to change garages, we’d have to start the process all over again and re-apply for a new certificate. This small matter would come to bite us real soon. About a month after we filed the certificate with the garage, we received a form letter from the parking company: “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we must raise your rent.” Oddly enough, the rate of increase was too close to the “tax break” we had just received to have been a co-incidence. We asked around and our friends confirmed that this was a common scam, excuse me, “practice” in the industry.

That, “Orthonomics” is what “$500” will get you. As soon as your kids’ school learns that youre eligible for the credit, it will raise your tuition by $500. As a school administrator or faculty member, I’d benefit from the $500. As a parent you may benefit indirectly, from the school’s ability to attract better professionals or provide better facilities. But for you, directly, that $500 will net you nothing.

Oddly enough, for a public school parent, where no tuition money changes hands (directly) between parent and school, parents may well have a choice of where to spend that $500.

But wait, lady. This program will cost the state millions of dollars. Do you think that the state can just print money or snatch it out of thin air? Nope. The state raises the money from taxes or fees. So, somewhere along the way you’ll be paying for the privilege of having your kids’ tuition raised.

Hope you’re happy.