Saturday, April 29, 2006

Dream Dinner?

Have you read about the dinner meme, where you select 4 people from history to have dinner with? Is this your dream dinner?

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Posted by Scottage at 2:29 PM / | |  

Rush Limbaugh – Criminal or Just Jerk

I was not surprised in the least yesterday to hear that Rush Limbaugh had been arrested again on a drug charge, with this charge being “doctor shopping”, which I understand to mean that he went to different doctors that didn’t know he was in treatment so that he could get prescriptions.  Makes sense, it’s probably the only way he could get drugs.

The whole situation left me in a bit of an intellectual quagmire. On one hand, are we really going to hang this guy out to dry just because he took some pain killers? As far as I’m concerned, taking drugs hurts no one but yourself, as long as it doesn’t push you towards violent crime or something. So I’ve got no problem with his drug use, in and of itself, and don’t think it should be such a huge public issue.

On the flip side, I find no one more annoying and more blatantly attacking than Rush Limbaugh. I listen to him from time to time, just to hear who he’s attacking today.  His whole reputation is built upon tearing other people down, and the other right-wing conservative radio hawks are a huge problem we face in the US today: the growing divide in the nation.

What’s more, I find it extraordinarily hypocritical that Limbaugh bought his way out of this charge, only agreeing to continue his treatment and pay a $30,000 fine to cover the cost of the investigation. He probably makes more doing one radio broadcast, and in that broadcast I bet dimes to dollars that he’ll be nailing three Democrats for buying their way out of trouble.

But in the end of the day, it’s not fair to attack a person because I don’t like what he’s saying.  Rush Limbaugh hurt no one but himself, and he’s already trying to conquer his addiction. Leave him alone already, and stop prying into his life.

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Posted by Scottage at 1:55 PM / | |  

Introducing the Snub Club

Snub Club Winner As I have been mentioning in recent posts, I’ve have noticed a trend where people recently have been more willing to speak out against President Bush, his administration, and the litany of policies which are slowly but surely undermining the security of our nation and its citizens.

So far, I’ve been focusing on the celebrities who have spoken out against the Bush administration.  But it’s time to focus on some of the most eloquent anti-Bush verbiage out there – the words of fellow bloggers.

Thus, I introduce the Snub Club, a weekly post celebrating some of the greatest snubs of George W. Bush in the blogosphere. During the week I’ll give awards to certain well-done Bush snubs, and then I’ll link to them at the end of the week. It’s that simple!

Written a good snub, or know of one? Link to it here, and if I use it I’ll give you credits on BlogExplosion or BlogMad, based on the quality of the submission. Top prize is 250 credits on either site.  So hit me with your best snub!  And maybe you can join the Snub Club.


We have our first winner of the Snub Club Award. Brad's Brain published the piece Remove Nozzle and Bend Over. Take a look at this post, you'll love it!

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Posted by Scottage at 12:37 AM / | |  

Friday, April 28, 2006

Impeach The President - Neil Young Joins the Snub Club

Neil Young joins the snub club for his latest song, “Impeach the President”, which is not exactly a rousing endorsement for our commander in chief. Unfortunately, this member won’t be able to vote in the next election since Young is a Canadian. But hopefully his word will wring out a clear call to US voters that it’s time for a new agenda in the White House.

Let’s impeach the president for lying and leading our country into war,
Abusing all the power that we gave him and shipping all our money out the door.

He’s the man who hired all the criminals, the White House shadows who hide behind closed doors,
And bend the facts to fit with their new stories of why we have to send our men to war.

Let’s impeach the president for spying on citizens inside their own homes,
Breaking every law in the country by tapping our computers and telephones.

What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees, would New Orleans have been safer that way?
Sheltered by our government’s protection, or was someone just not home that day?

Let’s impeach the president for hijacking our religion and using it to get elected,
Dividing our country into colors and still leaving black people neglected.

Thank god he’s cracking down on steroids since he sold his old baseball team,
There’s lot of people looking at big trouble but of course the president is clean!

Thank God

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Posted by Scottage at 12:14 PM / | |  

Stuck With Bush and Rising Oil Prices Enrages the Country

Before leaving this morning, I was reading a piece called “Stuck With Bush” by Bob Herbert, the second New York Times OP-Ed in as many days lashing out as George W. Bush. I think that at times the piece goes too far, but in general, I thought it struck some very good points.  And one point really struck home to me: that the world is finally waking up to the reality that Bush has created, and realized it’s not Shangri La.

The nation seems, very belatedly, to be catching on to the tragic failures and monumental ineptitude of its president. Mr. Bush's poll numbers are abysmal. Republicans up for re-election are running from him as if he were the bogyman.

Callers to conservative talk radio programs who were once ecstatic about the president and his policies are now deeply disillusioned.

The libertarian Cato Institute is about to release a study titled "Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush." It says, "Unfortunately, far from defending the Constitution, President Bush has repeatedly sought to strip out the limits the document places on federal power." While I disagree with parts of the study, I certainly agree with that particular comment.

In the current issue of Rolling Stone, Sean Wilentz, a distinguished historian and the director of the American Studies program at Princeton University, takes a serious look at the possibility that Mr. Bush may be the worst president in the nation's history.

I have been pointing it out here as well; the Mick Jagger incident in Helsinki is only one of a number of incidents I have reported on. Other bloggers are reporting on more and more cases where the world is speaking out against the actions of George W. Bush and his administration. His cabinet is abandoning him; Republican candidates are distancing themselves from the President, and of course we, the blogging community, speak out.

Yes, the country is waking up to Bush’s mismanagement of this country and its resources, but only because today the more then ever the issues facing the United States are effecting citizens on a personal level, making it impossible to turn a blind eye to the actions of the Bush administration.  

An hour later I’m walking out to my car, and from a neighbor’s window I hear Rush Limbaugh blaring, angry about something Bush has done, the radio obscured every few words by the woman saying things like “the last time”, and “he really screwed us”.  I got to the healthcare office, and the women behind the desk were in chaos as all the front desk workers refused to unwilling to work Monday. Bush was blamed for it all.

I got home, and opened Drudge, only to read about Exxon’s whopping $8 Billion in profits from last quarter, their 5th highest profit total ever. That’s not revenue, folks, that’s the money that Exxon made after expenses. And that was below their estimate!

The company said its average sale price for crude oil in the U.S. during the quarter was $55.99 per barrel compared to $42.70 a year ago. It sold natural gas in the U.S., on average, for $8.31 compared to $6.18 during the same period one year ago.

Earnings from exploration and production of oil and gas rose to $6.4 billion from $5 billion a year ago. Refining profits fell from $1.4 billion to $1.2 billion and profits from its chemical business fell to 949 million from $1.4 billion Revenue grew to $88.98 billion from $82.05 billion a year earlier. Higher crude oil and natural gas prices and improved marketing margins were partly offset by lower chemical margins.

Placed in perspective, Exxon's revenue for the three-month period was still greater than the annual gross domestic product of some major oil producing nations, including the United Arab Emirates ($74.67 billion) and Kuwait ($55.31 billion), according to statistics maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency.

ConocoPhillips also saw huge profits this past quarter, a 13% bump from the year before, allowing them to purchase Burlington Resources for $18 Billion. Revenues jumped to 47.9 Billion for the quarter, up from $8.9 Billion a year earlier. Not bad for a few months, huh?  Any chance they’re firing? Maybe if they hired me I could afford the gas to get to and from work.

Gas prices are through the roof, and it’s hitting you and me right where it counts, in the wallets. Sure, the price of a barrel of crude has increased dramatically, but so has the  selling price of oil, allowing the oil companies to clean up at our expense. And while some Republicans try to ingratiate themselves with the public by suspending the retail sales tax, it takes no genius to realize that real relief must come from the oil companies in the way of lower prices.

Another proposal by Senate Republicans advocates sending $100 rebate checks to millions of taxpayers, and that proposal I like.  But it’s still a stopgap measure, a bit of relief when a long term solution is in order. Prices need to decrease if the average American is going to really see any relief from this crisis. And with the oil companies showing no mercy to American citizens, the government must act on our behalf.

But here is the rub, as our president cares more for the oil companies than he does for our citizens. In 1973, when faced with a similar oil crisis, President Nixon issued the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act, allowing him to control prices and provide relief to the American people. But George W. Bush has been more than happy allowing his cronies in the oil industry to make money hand over fist at our expense.

Bee County, Texas is planning a boycott of Exxon-Mobil, seemingly the worst offender of the oil companies, and that idea is spreading. But you and I both know that when shortages occur, Exxon-Mobil will make back any losses that they incur now as a result of public outrage over their profits.

So is it a surprise that people are starting to notice of the Bush administration’s mismanagement of the country?  We all feel the pinch of the pump, and then to wake up to news of such gross profits, it’s hard to accept. I mean, our President, who has taken an oath to protect me from dangers, domestic and abroad, is now making a fortune on the back of my labor, and yours. Why shouldn’t you and I be upset?

Let’s go back to the Op-Ed piece by Bob Herbert, “Stuck With Bush”. Herbert says this near the end of the piece:

The sins of the Bush administration are so extensive and so egregious, they could never be adequately addressed in a newspaper column. History will be the final judge. But I've no doubt about the ultimate verdict.

Remember the Clinton budget surplus?

It was the largest in American history. President Bush and his cronies went after it like vultures feasting in a field of carcasses. They didn't invest the surplus. They devoured it.

This echoes sentiment around the country, that this government has taken advantage of its citizens, used us for their own personal profit, and we’re growing pretty sick of it. Of course, Herbert also points out that there’s nothing we can do about it, and perhaps he’s right.  But no question, at the very least, that finally the voice of the people is being heard.  Whether it will be heard by the politicians is the question.

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Posted by Scottage at 2:32 AM / | |  

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Snub Club

It used to be that people in all walks of like, public or private, would strive to get noticed by the President of the United States, to be part of his personal club, and that a bit of favor from the President could launch or greatly enhance careers, open up new channels of networking, and provide access to seemingly limitless funds and resources.

Today we have a far different club, though it appears to be just as popular: The Snub Club!

Yesterday we added Mick Jagger to the list, after he refused to give up rooms in Vienna to Bush and his entourage. Today, we add Jaime Pressly, of “My Name is Earl” fame. I’ve never watched the show, so I don’t know her role. In fact, I’m looking at her filmography, and I don’t think I’ve seen a single move that she’s been in.  But that may change.

I received my copy of TV Guide this morning (ok, bring on the jokes), and there was an interview with this blond somewhat goofy looking woman. I was just passing through to the new “Lost” article, but then, this question caught my eye: “You were recently invited to the White House, what was your reaction?”  Check out this answer:

I called my assistant and said, “Are supporting our troops? Or are we supporting them because George put them over there?” She said, “This isn’t about being there for the troops-it’s about having dinner with the President.” Now, I will do anything for the troops, because I’m from North Caroline where we have Army and Navy bases. But I want to support our troops coming home. We have enough problems in our own country. I hate all these pointless deaths. So I’m not going.

Good for your, Jaime, you just moved up a step from “who the hell is she?” to “cool woman” in my book. Sorry Pres, but only the good presidents get the hot actresses to come over for dinner.  Guess you’re sticking with home cooking tonight.  

And as for The Snub Club, we should all get hats!


I got this brilliant video from Lisa Renee of Liberal Common Sense with a video made from Pink’s latest entry to the club, called Dear Mr. President. Take a look at it, it’s really well done!

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Posted by Scottage at 12:28 PM / | |  

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Prius Envy

Peking Duck was kind enough to reprint Maureen Dowd’s latest New York Times Editorial, A Prius in Every Pot.  Dowd’s pulls out her flamethrower and torches the president on his wishy-washy stance on cleaner energy sources and protecting the environment, saying “You could run a fleet of S.U.V.'s on the gas that W. was spewing about fuel.”  But then she really goes to work, questioning his motives:

Price manipulation could explain the marginal — why gas went from, say, $2.70 to $2.90 — but not why gas went from $1.40 to $2.70. That's more about fundamental forces: Chinese and Indian demand, markets spooked by Iran's threats, Nigeria's unrest, Venezuela's talk of nationalizing its oil industry, and the Pentagon's bungling of the restoration of Iraq's infrastructure.

Gasoline prices may be hurting average folks, but the oilers who helped put the Boy King and the Duke of Halliburton in office with lavish donations are enjoying record profits and breathtaking bonuses.

The Oilmen in the Oval, incompetent in so many ways, have brilliantly achieved one of their main objectives: boosting the fortunes of the oil industry and the people who run it.

Fortunately for us (perhaps not so fortunately for George W. Bush), Maureen Dowd stays on the offensive, really digging into Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s ties with the oil companies, and concludes with this heartwarming paragraph:

The only oil baron who isn't cashing in these days is Saddam. We pulled up to the pump in Baghdad and plunked down $10 billion a month, and we're still not getting any gas out of it. Instead of easing our oil dependence and paying for Iraq's reconstruction, the bungled invasion and subsequent nuclear sparring with Iran have left even Republicans looking for Priuses.

It’s a great column, and well worth a read, despite coming from the New York Times. Take a look at it, I’m sure you’ll be glad you did.

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Posted by Scottage at 4:33 PM / | |  

Nomadic Breast-Tester for Hire

China reports that, due to increased nutrition and  greater participation in sports, the breasts of Chinese women have been growing, causing the country to rethink apparel offerings.

The Beijing Institute of Clothing Technology said the average chest size of Chinese women had increased by nearly 1cm in the past decade. Measurements were taken from nearly 3,000 women over six years. In response, some underwear companies have created sub-brands specializing in larger bra sizes.

"It is so different from the past when most young women would wear A- or B-cup bras," Triumph brand saleswoman Zhang Jing told the Shanghai Daily.

Personally, I believe that this could be a major development for China, but that the 3,000 women surveyed is not nearly a large enough sample size to make sweeping generalizations about growing breast sizes.

Thus, I’m offering my services as a nomadic breast-tester. I will go around and take measurements of the breasts of all the women in China, sort of as my contribution to Chinese society.  Admittedly, we’ll have to get around that pesky “clothes” problem, as that can add size, but I believe naked testing will solve that.  What do you think?

Come to think of it, I may need some assistance in this career change; any volunteers?

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Posted by Scottage at 12:54 PM / | |  

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

“Lost” and Found; Hit Show Breaks New Ground

Today, ABC announced the release of the “Lost Experience”, an online interactive game that will run a parallel story line to the plot line shown on ABC Wednesday nights. Each week a new clue would be revealed to viewers, beginning May 3rd, and the clues will broadcast across all ABC affiliates and 19 other networks on 5 continents. It is being billed as the “largest interactive challenge based on a TV series”. But that’s all we know.

No further information for "Lost Experience" is being released, and network executives say future clues could pop up in any part of the world and on any medium. Fans from different countries will have to reach out to each other and trade information if they want to start sleuthing.

"The game reaches back into 'Lost' history and looks forward to future episodes," said Mike Benson, senior vice president of marketing for ABC Entertainment.

What’s even better is that the game will shed light on the storyline we’ve all fallen in love with, so while playing we’ll also delve deeper into the mystery behind the island. Plus, the game does not require too much prior knowledge of the island letting newcomers to the show enjoy it as much as dedicated viewers like myself.

But “Lost” doesn’t only have to break new ground.  In TV Guide this week (sorry, I have no link) ABC Entertainment President decided that the show would take a page from other hit show “24” by making more consecutive episodes, with less repeats between shows.  Evidently, “Lost” has had some gripes over the issue from viewers, but they’re responding.

Lost is basking in the sun these days, sitting at the top of the ratings chart, and in weeks when there’s a new episode, dominating the water cooler chats. It looks like a bright future for Lost, and I suspect the new game will further solidify their place at the top of the television heap. For my part, I’m just psyched for the next new episode.

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Posted by Scottage at 3:08 AM / | |  

Penn State Kills Jewish Art Show

Penn State has cancelled a student-organized art exhibition commemorating the Israel-Palestinian conflict, indicating the exhibit violated the school’s nondiscrimination, harassment and hate policy.

Josh Stulman, a senior in painting and anthropology was told that his exhibit, “Portraits of Terror” was cancelled only 3 days before its opening.  Charles Garoian, professor and director of the School of Visual Arts, said the exhibit didn’t mesh with the university’s mission.  The school has a 0-tolerance policy towards hate.

The exhibit, Stulman said, which is based mainly on the conflict in Palestinian territories, raises questions concerning the destruction of Jewish religious shrines, anti-Semitic propaganda and cartoons in Palestinian newspapers, the disregard for rules of engagement and treatment of prisoners, and the indoctrination of youth into terrorist acts.

Josh Stilman, pictured below with one of his paintings, obviously dedicated a great deal of time and effort to express his views through his art. And one look at the painting will tell you the issues he paints about are important to him.  Do we really want to suppress his creative voice? What society do we build if we mute any voice that says something controversial?

I first read about this issue on the Jewlicious, and she points out that Penn State’s Hillel is trying to help him find a new venue for the show. Very good news!  Remember, democracy is advanced citizenship, and a democracy is only as strong as its ability to allow all voices to be heard. Let’s hope Penn State doesn’t lose site of this fact.

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Posted by Scottage at 2:24 AM / | |  

Monday, April 24, 2006

Bush Snubbed by Stones

Mick Jagger has never been a fan of George Bush, but not being a political person like fellow rocker Bono, the expectation was that he would never be able to do anything about his dislike for the president and his policies, save write a song or two against the politician. But credit Mick for being one to seize the moment, as he recently received, and took, the opportunity to show the president just how he felt.

The indefatigable rock star, now 62 years old, had been booked to play in Vienna, Austria in June. So, being a gazillionaire or something, Jagger decided to rent the most expensive room in Vienna for the whole month, as well as the accompanying floor, that being the luxury Royal Suite at the Imperial Hotel. Check out the room in the picture; pretty sweet, huh? Well, I guess it better be for 3,600 pounds a night.

The rub came when, only a few days later, Bush scheduled a summit meeting in Vienna and tried to book the whole floor for his entourage. He was surprised that Jagger was unwilling to give up the suite. According to a source close to Jagger, “Bush’s people seemed to be under the impression that they would just hand over the suites but there was no way Mick was going to do that.”

This is not the first swipe Jagger has taken at the 59 year old president. On the latest Rolling Stones album, “A Bigger Bang”, a song called ‘Sweet Neo Con’ takes less than subtle swings at Bush with these lyrics: "You call yourself a Christian, I call you a hypocrite," the verse goes. "You call yourself a patriot. Well, I think you are full of s---!” How come I suspect Bush didn’t put those lyrics up on his wall?

So, it looks like George W. won’t get his way for once. The Imperial Hotel is honoring the previous booking by the millionaire rock superstar; Bush will have to consider other options. Keith Richards, when asked, noted that the band doesn’t need to worry about Bush, since they don’t live in the United States. I guess being the most powerful man in the world isn’t what it used to be.

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Posted by Scottage at 11:45 AM / | |  

Cuba, Israel - Thorns in the Lions' Paws

As I’m teaching for the first time in over 20 years, I’ve been reviewing some of the old stories with good meanings to use with the kids.  I was recently going through a book of Aesop’s Fables when I came across the story of the thorn in the lion’s paw.  

Of course the thorn in the lions paw is a metaphor, as is nearly everything in the Fables. In this case, it stand for the pain and the aggravation within your own midst, within your reach, that you’re powerless to control.  The lion can swat at the thorn, bat it, rub it against trees and in the dirt, but the pain cannot be diminished, the thorn cannot be removed.

And I realized that just as Cuba was to the United States, Israel is the thorn in the Middle East’s paw.

Cuba and the United States

The Cuban Missile Crisis did not escalate so quickly just because the United States didn’t want nuclear missiles in a communist country in the West.  The Crisis escalated so quickly because Cuba is only miles from Florida, and the US was unwilling to accept a nuclear power so close to the United States’ borders.

But as big as the United States is, and as little as Cuba is, the US was never able to force a regime change or take the country. Regardless of the United States’ actions, Cuba remained the thorn in the country’s paw.  And to this day there are strained relations, if any, between the United States and one of its closest geographic neighbors.

Israel and the Middle East

Israel has been batted at numerous times, unsuccessfully, by their Middle Eastern neighbors and those living within their own borders as well.  War after war, Israel has defied the odds and won, maintaining their existence, and the presence of a clear, inalienable ally to the West within the volatile Middle Eastern region.  

Israel comes complete with very advanced technology including nuclear capability and surveillance on all the Middle Eastern neighbors that surpasses nearly any system in the world in accuracy.  This makes Israel’s presence very dangerous to the Middle East if it is looking to take the vacant roll of a world superpower.

What Israel Should Expect

Already, we have seen Iran, as the front nation in the Middle East’s push for increased world power, begin to push  the envelope, to test the West to see how much we will take before we retaliate against the country, with actions like their nuclear program, inflammatory statements against Israel and Jews in general, and instigating the Mohammed Cartoon Protests.

Iran bets that the US and the West are too weak to react substantively to these actions, what with our present involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They even dare the West to retaliate, even threatening to “cut off the hand of any aggressor”.  But this past weak the attention shifted more concretely to Israel, as Iran uses terror to attack the thorn; like in the fable, the thorn can only be removed by a friend, two parties cooperating together.

As much as it pains me to say it, look for these attacks to increase, as Iran dares the United States to defend its favorite international partner. These tests will continue until there is a substantial retaliation, or until Israel is removed from the region, which we all know would never happen without a very bloody fight. This led Ahmadinejad to renew his call for Israel to be wiped off the map.

I hope that I am wrong, and that Iran is simply posturing to back the West into a corner, and that they’ll leave Israel alone, knowing the threat Israel can pose at any given time.  Unfortunately, I suspect this is not the case, and that tumultuous times lie ahead for Israel, unless either Israel or the US is able to make a statement forcefully enough to be heard by Iran.  Scary times for Israel!

One Additional Point

This point is going to be very controversial, and I’m sure I’ll get some flack for it. But as I was doing the posts on superpowers last week, it became apparent that it can be beneficial to Israel that Hamas condones the Iranian-backed terrorist attacks in Israel last week.

Already I hear the anger on the other side of the net.  But think about it; as long as Hamas is an ally to Iran, they act as a deterrent to total destruction of the country, something which Iran may be capable of accomplishing before too long.  Were Hamas to show support for Israel against the terrorist attack, Iran could point to this as a sign of Hamas’ allegiance with the country, and thus justify their destruction.  As is, such justification is harder to come by.

I hate to hear a government that is representative of the Palestinian people condoning terrorist attacks.  But if it keeps Iran from making a nuclear strike at the homeland one day, than I’ll live with it.  Of course, I would hope that the presence of the Dome of the Rock would be enough to deter Ahmadinejad, but I’m not convinced.

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Posted by Scottage at 2:02 AM / | |  

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Haveil Havelim #66

For those of you who are just wandering by and are seeing this for the first time, Haveil Havelim is a carnival of Jewish and Israeli bloggers that reports once weekly on some of the best posts in the Jewish blogosphere. Havelim is organized by Soccer Dad, but it is hosted at a different blog each week, giving constant glimpses into this very diverse community.

I’m not sure what I expected when I asked to host the carnival this week, but there were two definite realizations: 1) this is a lot more work than I expected, and 2) it was worth every minute of it! If you have the chance, I truly encourage you to give it a try.

As we didn’t have as many submissions this week as in other weeks, I went hunting for interesting posts on other Jewish blogs. As a result I skimmed nearly 300 posts, read fully about 100, and have about 50 posts that I think you will really enjoy listed here. Included are pictures by Dzeni which blew me away, and three will be posted here, including this one for >Yom Hazikaron.

I couldn’t help walking away from this project with a feeling of how similar the Jewish blogosphere is in what we blog about, yet how diverse our opinions are and how many great Jewish writers there are out there. So enjoy these posts, the posts of your peers, and comment to reward them for their hard work in providing you with quality content to read. But also add a Jewish blogger to your blogroll (I added about 20 this week), and read these bloggers regularly, to support this growing and thriving community.

Without further ado, Haveil Havelim:

The Holidays

Nearly every Jewish blog I went to includes a post or two about Pesach or the days of Omer, so you would think that would provide an easy source of material for this Haveil Havelim. But not so easy, grasshopper, either you have a million posts, or you have to find some way to select the better posts. Well, admittedly, some holiday posts stood out!

Me-ander provided a very descriptive post of holiday food, and completed it with a recipe for horse radish that looks awesome…I’ll try it, me-ander, I promise! She also adds a post on Passive Solar Cleaning that is short but sweet, and I’m sure you’ll dig it. Plus, add in a cinematic view to counting Omer that I’m sure I’ll use in the future. And in a similar vein, Jerusalem Wanderings talks about Pesach finally being over, and looking back on the holiday. Check out the cute picture that went along with this post!

The Wandering Jew created a modern-day version of the Passover story as if it were written in the New York Times. In Epicurean Ecumenical, Concurring Opinions speaks about the ethics of Passover Coke, and it’s a great post! Mutliple Mentality experienced an abbreviated Seder this year, much as I did, and may have turned out better for it. While Life in Israel picks on a theme revisited from past years, eating Kosher vs eating Kosher for Pesach. And A Simple Jew speaks of family and the holidays, as his wife is pregnant with their third child, due in May; Mazel Tov SJ!

I guess this is a good location for the second Dzeni picture, this one more somber but equally touching as it commemorates Yom Hashoah.


We had a couple of posts from Reb Chaim HaQoton this week. In Songs of Ascent, we get an in depth look at the roll of song in Jewish tradition. I’ll be sure to show that one to the gf, who hates that I’m always singing. And in Freedom and Toray Supremacy, he explores Jewish natural selection towards higher intellect. West Bank Blog posted a very special post about a misprinted torah which I am going to share with my Hebrew school class, since they are meeting with a sofer in May.

Inside Israel

There were quite a few interesting posts on events inside of Israel. Yes, more occurred in Israel this week then the holiday and the terror attack. For example, Israel Matzav writes about a report issued in Israel Thursday documenting police reactions to riots, and the propensity towards escalating violence. This topic is dear to my heart, since I was Billy clubbed in the Two Nations/Two States rallies in Jerusalem in 1987.

Isreal Matsav also posted a piece on the Israeli government halting and demanding tax on the importing of some stuffed Teddy Bears. The bears were a charity donation, and the post is brilliant. Sustainable Apple Pie wrote a piece on Israeli hospitals and failure to follow clean air standards. And Greetings from the French Hill talks about the push for the Haredi to support a very abusive Haredi father in Justice.

All the news from inside Israel doesn’t have to be so serious. My Urban Kvetch reports on the Meditech sci-fi conference, which includes fans of Tolkien and Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well. Life in Israel focuses on a Briss, in a heartwarming story that will make you feel like you’re inside the room. And everyboyd wrote abotu the arrival of Will Smith in the Holy Land (He's from my hometown!).

Terror Attack

I didn’t write on the terror attacks, and I noticed that most Jewish bloggers didn’t, save a few who documented the events while they were occurring. Perhaps people didn’t want to give additional coverage to the attackers. But I did spot a few very poignant pieces on the bust station attack that deserve reprinting.

For example, Israel, Zionism, Politics, and Aliya wrote on the media’s coverage of the attacks, and how quickly the major media outlets moved from covering the attacks themselves to covering the Israeli retaliation. Israel Rules posted on the smartest and dumbest sound bites from the media’s coverage of the attacks. Daled Amos considers the West’s perception of these latest attacks, and whether Ehud Olmet is prepared to fight terrorism without its chief ally. And Israel Matsav examines the new challenges faced by Olmert in fighting terrorism.

The Ignoble Experiment, who I owe serious props to for support during my crash this week, wrote a piece on the aftermath of the attacks that really captured my sentiments entirely. Knockin’ on the Golden Door normally doesn’t write politically, but had to write after the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv.

And if you read no other posts on the terror attack from last week, you need to read the tribute to the nine victims posted by Jewish Nation, called Nine Dead, Nine Butterflies. I consider myself a man’s man, but if this post doesn’t bring a tear to the eye, you have no heart!


In the wake of the Tel Aviv attack, Hamas came out in solidarity with the attackers, which met with a great deal of criticism from Jewish bloggers. Tel-Chai Nation believes that the 3 Arab MKs that met with Hamas should be expelled from the Knesset. Jewlicious is upset to see British foreign minister Jack Straw making overtures towards Hamas after the attack. And while you’re there, check out Jewlicious’ views on The Jerusalem Post. Definitely a good read!

As for the future of our relations with Hamas, Boker Tov, Boulder! wrote about the naming of Jamal Abu Samhadana to a top security post (actually, a few of you wrote about that). Meryl Yourish has written many posts on Hamas of late, but I chose No Recognition of Israel In Sight to repost here. Meryl’s was the first blog I ever saw, and she inspired me to find my own voice. If you’ve never read her, take a look, you’ll be shocked out how insightful she is (am I allowed to say that?).

The History News Network commented on a New York Times section calling for the restoring of aid to Hamas and the Palestinian people. Soccer Dad wrote a post on this as well called MILKing and disHONEstY, and you really have to read it, I was blown away. And InContext wrote, as did others, about Israel’s plans to reoccupy the Gaza strip. A note that nearly everyone who wrote about this was Israeli, and I saw very little about it in the United States press. This is a big deal, folks, so find your favorite Israeli blogger and start looking into a very serious move by Israel.

Israel and the World

The Hashmonean reports that the US and Israel have been working together on a mobile missile defense system. The Sunken Synagogue notes that defining principle of both Israel and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is pride. And AbbaGav compares the international reaction to Saudi human rights violations with reactions to Israel holding a Saudi prisoner; I promise, this one will clench your fists in rage.


I am a political junkie, so I could have done this whole thing on just the great political posts I read, but that would bore all of you to death. However a few had to be pointed out. Like Desert Peace’s post In Your Face! He questions the line between national pride and antagonizing the enemy, and before long you’ll be analyzing your own actions. Desert Peace is one of the best Jewish writers out there, but gets very little play from the Jewish community. Check him out, he looks at things differently than most, but will have you thinking 100% of the time.

The Atheist Jew talks about the hatred of Israel by most leftist Athiests in the world. It’s a long article, but really worth it, with much food for thought. Am Echad does a great piece comparing Hong Kong and Israel which is definitely worth a read. And Shiloh Musings made an impassioned plea against disengagement. Plus, Israel Matsav reports that the US may return Jonathan Pollard to Israel in a prisoner swap.

Other Stuff

OK, I have no idea where to categorize this, but I was rolling on the floor when I read this dramatization of the Dating Game, as Condi Rice is wooed by three classic suitors: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad, and Muamar Gaddafi. Need a laugh, check it out!

Simply Jews had a couple of really funny posts this week. In the first, he notes a disinformation campaign occurring in Afghanistan, with pamphlets being dropped inside the borders; so he provides his own, rather funny, pamphlets to support the cause. Next, he puts a spotlight on Iranian exaltation over their successful Uranium Enrichment with the Ballet for Nuclear Shahids. The guy obviously has a bit too much time on his hands, but who’s talking? This is funny stuff!

Israelly Cool tells the story of Ehud Olmert naming the 1990 hit movie “Pretty Woman”. Me-ander talks about a Kosher Cooking Carnival that made my mouth water. And Concurring Opinions wrote a magnificent piece on the early judges and their rulings on matters of economy.

To conclude this Haveil Havelim, let’s take one more look at some beautiful artwork by Dzeni, this one a celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, and it’s sure to keep you up at night. Thanks for joining me for Haveil Havelim, and have I hope this is a great week for Israel, Judaism, and the members of our little community.

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Please send you submissions for the April 30 edition of Haveil Havalim (#67) to Hashmonean You can e-mail him at saus at hashmonean dot com.


Posted by Scottage at 11:52 AM / | |