Friday, February 29, 2008

Bad Move

No Israeli official should use the word Shoah when threatening an attack. It's stupid, and gives the world anti-Israel and anti-Jewish fodder. And even though he didn't mean it as committing genocide (which someone else had to go and explain away), it immediately garnered this remark from Hamas:

Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's prime minister in the Gaza Strip, said: "This is a proof of Israel's pre-planned aggressive intentions against our people. They want the world to condemn what they call the Holocaust and now they are threatening our people with a holocaust".
Really, really REALLY stupid word to use...

Change You Can Xerox...

Well, turnabout IS fair play, right? :) This is an AWESOME cartoon...

How True...

This is really great and shows who's running the intelligent campaign and who's running the old-time, old-politics, childish campaign...

Obama Says Clinton Ad Scares Voters

For more on Hillary's scare tactics, click here.

From the article:

Obama said he stood up in 2002 "and said that a war in Iraq would cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars. I said that it would distract us from the real threat we face and that we should take the fight to al-Qaida in Afghanistan. That's the judgment I made on the most important foreign policy decision of our generation, and that's the kind of judgment I'll show when I answer that phone in the White House as President of the United States."

"That's the judgment we need at 3 a.m. And that's the judgment that I am running for President to provide," he added.
Amen to that...

Oh, congratulations are in order. This post is post number 500 (yep, five-hundred)! Cool!!

Campaigns of Fear

This is from Bush in 2004:

And Hillary in 2008:

And the Obama Campaign response:

"We don't think the ad is going to be effective at all. Senator Clinton already had her red phone moment -- to decide whether to allow George Bush to invade Iraq. She answered affirmatively. She did not read the National Intelligence Estimate. She still, curiously, tries to suggest that it wasn't a vote for war, but it most assuredly was...
"This is about what you say when you answer that phone. What judgment you show...She, John McCain and George Bush gave the wrong answer."
Good comeback! Haven't we grown out of campaigns of fear at this point?! Now, if Obama puts out an ad saying Hillary is using a campaign of fear and that we shouldn't buy into it because it'll perpetuate the problems facing the US, is this not in itself a campaign of fear? Tough dilemma...

Hattip: DovBear.

Rashi and Science

So, back to some original topics I've discussed in this space. This one has to do with a Rashi in Bereshis, 19:36. In the story, the daughters of Lot "believe," having just witnessed the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra, that the entire world has been destroyed, leaving just them and their father as the world's only survivors. So, they decide to copulate with their father and begin repopulating the planet. They get him drunk two nights in a row, and each night, one daughter sleeps with him and conceives. Says Rashi (quoting Medrash Rabbah):

And They Conceived: Although a woman does not become pregnant after one "encounter," these [women] controlled their bodies and brought out their "ervah" and conceived after only one encounter.
Nice, interesting idea, right? Well, not so much. First of all, the Shulchan Aruch tells us women had much more awareness of their bodies "back in the day." Second, this being a possible fact, is it not, pardon the pun, conceivable that these daughters of Lot did knew their bodies' cycles, knew when they would be at peak ovulation, knew how to get themselves aroused (I'm sure Lot was of no help...), in order to conceive on the first try? It's not an uncommon occurrence, after all. Could Rashi have been wrong?

Yes, he could have. Once again, while Rashi was a Torah giant, his knowledge of biology probably left a bit to be desired. Of COURSE women conceive after the first time. It's really a question of timing, not commanding one's body to something not natural to it. Now, could Rashi in some way have been correct? Certainly. When Rashi says they controlled their bodies, it probably had to do with them knowing when they were ovulating (certainly, they knew when their last period had been and knew enough to understand when the best time to conceive was) and getting aroused so things went "easier." But if Rashi was talking in euphemisms, he seemed pretty explicit in what they did, and knowing what they really did would probably have been easier and more comfortable to explain than essentially saying they turned themselves "on" and thus conceived. More likely, I think, as is often the case with Chazal, Rashi's science education was sorely lacking and this was the only way for him to explain something he simply did NOT understand. I guess what really bothered me here was Rashi's statement that a woman does not conceive after only one encounter, and that's JUST factually WRONG. So Rashi had to come up with some way to explain his puzzlement at something he did not understand (nor did the authors of the Medrash Rabbah he quoted, apparently), and this was the best he could come up with.

This Put a Smile on My Face.

From an article I read this morning:

Obama, who would be the first African-American US president, drew cheers when he said Bush would not be on the ballot in November, and boos when he said that meant Bush would be coming back to Texas.

"Y'all are going to have to figure out what to do with him," Obama quipped.
I don't know if I have any Texas readers out there, but if I do, what's YOUR reaction? I KNOW what MINE would be... :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Obama reaches out to Jewish leader

Obama's meeting with Cleveland's Jewish Leaders...

Open Letter from the Wiesenthal Center

Here is an open letter from Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Wiesenthal Center about the hateful emails sent out about Obama claiming he's a Muslim and anti-American and anti-Semitic:

"Candidates for our nation's highest office must be prepared for debate and challenges to their public record. However, we must have zero tolerance for the slightest traces of bigotry and hatred in our Nation's political discourse" —Rabbi Marvin Hier
January 15, 2008

An Open Letter to the Jewish Community:

As leaders of the Jewish community, none of whose organizations will endorse or oppose any candidate for President, we feel compelled to speak out against certain rhetoric and tactics in the current campaign that we find particularly abhorrent. Of particular concern, over the past several weeks, many in our community have received hateful emails that use falsehood and innuendo to mischaracterize Senator Barack Obama’s religious beliefs and who he is as a person.

These tactics attempt to drive a wedge between our community and a presidential candidate based on despicable and false attacks and innuendo based on religion. We reject these efforts to manipulate members of our community into supporting or opposing candidates.

Attempts of this sort to mislead and inflame voters should not be part of our political discourse and should be rebuffed by all who believe in our democracy. Jewish voters, like all voters, should support whichever candidate they believe would make the best president. We urge everyone to make that decision based on the factual records of these candidates, and nothing less.


Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean, Simon Wiesenthal Center

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean, Simon Wiesenthal Center

William Daroff, Vice President, United Jewish Communities

Nathan J. Diament, Director, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

Abraham Foxman, National Director, Anti-Defamation League

Richard S. Gordon, President, American Jewish Congress

David Harris, Executive Director, American Jewish Committee

Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Phyllis Snyder, President, National Council of Jewish Women

Hadar Susskind, Washington Director, Jewish Council for Public Affairs

James Baker to endorse McCain


Now, then, Baker was well known as anti-Israel. How is the Right Wing going to explain this? How is this better than Brzezinski being in Obama's camp?

It Just Goes To Show That Sometimes Community Activism DOES Help!

And this has NOTHING to do with politics! :)

A couple of weeks ago, a local library announced it would be showing a film and have a forum/Middle East series. The film they were going to show was one by a Landrum Bolling and is heavily anti-Israel and pro "Palestinian."

There was a huge outpouring of phone calls to the library. At first, the library director, Stephen D. Wood, steadfastly REFUSED to change the program despite the fact that it was taking place in a heavily Jewish area and would only escalate negative feelings toward Jews.

Finally, we prevailed. Apparently the library got enough phone calls (including one from Yours Truly - and yes, I was quite calm and nice on the phone with the person) that they finally cried uncle and cancelled the entire series.

So, yes, sometimes, when enough people object to something, we can get something done.

Perhaps we should take a lesson from this and apply it to the larger world around us. Ok, I kind of fibbed at first. This is just going to be a little bit about politics.

We currently have a man running for president who sees the country cannot continue spiraling out of control as it has been for the last 7-14 years (between a Republican Congress since 1994 and a nut for a president since 2001). He wants to change and is calling upon all of us to come together and make changes for the better.

He has my vote. Wholeheartedly and without reservation.


This is great! It's a site dedicated to, well, stopping the smears...

Really Good Post About Obama and Smear Campaign Against Him By RWNJs (Right Wing Nut Jobs) Claiming He's Muslim and Anti-Semitic

Smear campaign against Barack Obama targeted at Jews

Something To Make the Executive More Feared!

A Han Solo-in-Carbonite Desk!

Here's the description:

Choosing a desk for your office is important; it sends a message about what kind of person you are to everybody who enters. If you want that message to say "I'm a gigantic nerd!" then you really can't do much better than a desk made to look like Han Solo frozen in carbonite.
I guess one could spin buying this for their office if they wanted to come across as a real [BLEEP] of a boss. You know, like "you mess with me, you end up like my former assistant, Han Solo here, and I'll make you into a coffee table." But really, you're the only one who will ever find a replica of a sci-fi movie prop threatening in any way, but if that helps you justify something that you really want, more power to you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Some More Defections TO Obama...


This Just In: Senator Byron Dorgan Endorses Barack Obama

Senator Byron Dorgan, who wrote the wonder book Take This Job and Ship It, announced he would be endorsing Barack Obama. Dorgan's book is important to understand exactly what has been happening to the US economy because of bad trade deals like NAFTA and because of outsourcing. Also, he's a Wal-Mart basher, like me! :)

Obama on Jews

Amazingly, while Jews are a tiny (what, two or three percent) minority of the American population, the debate, especially Obama, spent about seven minutes on Obama's relationship with the Jewish community, the support its given him, and his chagrin at the huge rift that has divided African-Americans and Jews for many years now. This segment is very poignant (and it saves me from having to transcribe! :)

This next segment is the entire segment on this topic.

Hillary's Stupid Statement of the Evening

Let's not forget Hillary's faux pas last night:

"In the last several debates I seem to get the first question all the time. I don't mind. I'll be happy to field it. I just find it curious if anybody saw "Saturday Night Live," maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow," she said.

But the line might have undercut Clinton's own efforts to portray herself as a strong leader able to take on a range of challenges.
And the audience's reaction? Some booing. Her statement was NOT taken well at all and started off the debate for her on a sour note...


So, Who Won the Debate?

Well, according to a poll taken by MSNBC, in which viewers are asked to vote, Obama won by a HUGE margin. Poll results as of when I took the poll (all the questions had well over 100,000 respondents): 21% said Clinton, 64% said Obama (14% said neither). That's a pretty significant win for Obama, who did not attack Clinton, was always polite, never frowned at her and she did at him, and was able to VERY effectively defend his positions. Clinton, on the other hand, got worked up an awful lot and really tried to get Obama's ire up, but failed miserably. I really think she's on her way out.

One example of how she failed: She mentioned that while Barack Obama may have been against the war in Iraq from the very beginning, he always voted for more funding in Iraq. Obama very calmly (and smartly) responded that once Bush had driven that bus into a ditch, it was no longer a question of should they have gone in, to which the answer is obviously NOT. The question then becomes how to get the bus out of the ditch, in this case with minimal loss of life (though we're crawling toward the 4000 casualty mark).

This is another misconception the Right Wing propagate about the Democrats. It's not that the Democrats don't support the soldiers in Iraq. It's that they support them so much they want those soldiers withdrawn alive, whole, and healthy, and by trying to deny Bush the funding to continue his illegal war, they tried to force him to withdraw from Iraq. It was only when Bush steadfastly REFUSED to budge on his position because doing so would be admitting he had F****D-UP BIG TIME that the Democrats gave in and gave Bush his funding.

And this is why we need to have a Democrat back in the White House. He (or she) needs to clean up the potty mess Bush and his Republican cronies made over the last seven years.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

20th Debate in Cleveland, OH

I thought it was great and will write more about it tomorrow. It was really full of a lot of good points. I just wanted to touch on one, and that was Obama's stance on Jews, anti-Semitism, and Israel. He made not secret of his relationship with the Jewish community, which is GREAT, and how much he appreciates the support of the Jewish community. He detests and will not tolerate anti-Semitism, he denounces Louis Farrakhan and his anti-Jewish rhetoric and is disgusted by it, and he believes the security and existence of Israel is sacrosanct. Period. So for all of you who are so scared about Obama screwing Israel, stop worrying. As a new friend mentioned today, no president is going to say Israel shouldn't exist. Neither will any president say the Palestinian state shouldn't exist. It just won't happen. But NO president or nominee will EVER say Israel's security isn't important.

More tomorrow.

Media Paints Hillary's Situation as Bleak

In reading an article about Hillary's plight, it seems her prospects seem bleaker by the hour. Her woes include the following:

1. Obama's already amazing eleven primary/caucus wins.

2. Senator Chris Dodd endorses Obama.

3. Obama actually BEING civil, as opposed to his opponent.

4. Obama, NOT Hillary, seen as a unifying force who inspires many who don't normally vote to vote, who inspires people who've never been involved in politics to be involved, who has shown us we, as Americans, have so much more that unites us than divides us, and who will inspire us to be involved in the political process and help change this country's course and right that course...

5. Clinton's support seems to be collapsing and there are stories of infighting within her campaign. (This is a UNIFYING person?!)

6. Obama leads, according to a CBS News/New York Times survey, 54 to 38 percent among Democrats around the country (my own mother-in-law, who, unfortunately, voted for Hillary [and we all gave her a hard time about that...] has now told us she very much prefers Obama over Clinton!). A USA Today/Gallup poll had Obama at 51 percent to Hillary's 39 percent.

7. Obama is now LEADING for the first time in Texas, a state that, many projected, should have gone to Hillary because of the large Latino population there.

8. Clinton's lead in Ohio is rapidly shrinking. Obama is now within five points of Clinton.

So, yeah, there's lots of frustration over at Camp Clinton. So much so that

With Obama's momentum mounting, frustration was beginning to boil out of the Clinton camp.

The New York senator's chief spokesman Howard Wolfson went on a tirade against the media in a conference call on Monday.

"I think Senator Obama's entire campaign against Senator Clinton is negative," Wolfson said.

"He has run against her as the status quo, he has essentially called her divisive, he has called her untruthful, he has questioned her credibility. He has said she will do or say anything to get elected."
I'm sorry! Excuse me? OBAMA'S campaign has been negative?! What's negative about wanting to make the country a better place? What's negative about wanting to change the status quo since the status quo SUCKS?! It's not been Obama who's been attacking Hillary at EVERY event, news conference, or interview. It's HILLARY!!

If this is the pack of lies the Hillary campaign wants to keep perpetuating, perhaps it truly IS time for her to simply step aside and allow a candidate who has nothing more than the country's best interests at heart to begin his campaign against John McCain and finally begin to heal this country.

And So Goes Senator Dodd...

Into Camp Obama! Long time Clinton friend and supporter Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut has officially and publicly endorsed Barack Obama.

"This is a moment of unity in our country, a time when we need to come together as a Democratic Party and to get behind a candidacy that expresses the aspirations, the hopes, the ambitions of millions and millions of Americans," Dodd said.
In other news, it seems, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll that democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say by a 2-1 margin that Obama has the better chance of beating McCain. It seems Hillary just doesn't have a prayer against McCain. Isn't just time for her to drop out, endorse Obama, allow him to become the Democratic presidential nominee, and allow the country to become a unifies UNITED States of America? For poll results, click.

Very Nice Quote of the Day

For all you people out there claiming Obama is an "empty suit" and a do-nothing with no experience:

While his efforts on the committee don't always get headlines, he's worked across the aisle on critical issues like nuclear nonproliferation, pressing (then-U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay) Khalilzad for a commitment for no permanent bases in Iraq, stopping the genocide in Darfur, and bringing war criminals to justice." — Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for Democrat Barack Obama, speaking about his work on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Just some more proof to add to the pile that Barack Obama has much more experience than people think.

Jewish Geography

I LOVE this game! I went today to the local Barack Obama campaign office. While there, I met with the Jewish Outreach Coordinator. It turns her brother and I were friends in the Valley when we were teenagers! It took less than five minutes without really even playing to place out Jewish Geography! It was really cool. She's trying to reach out to the frum community here and is hoping to have a Motzei Shabbos event with a frum Illinois state senator from Skokie. You know, an Illinois resident who DOESN'T think Obama is an empty suit because he's worked with Obama in the state legislature. I look forward to helping out as much as I can.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Obama Speaks to the Cleveland Jewish Community, Frankly and Honestly


In this article, Obama addresses certain concerns that have arisen about him. Specifically, he addresses the following:

1. He expresses his appreciation for Jewish support, and discusses the needs of this country and the need for changes around the world "founded in a view of the world that I believe is deeply embedded in the Jewish tradition."

2. He discusses the controversy surrounding his pastor and Louis Farrakhan, and specifically states he has ALWAYS denounced Farrakhan and his anti-Semitism.

3. He addresses the "Obama is a Muslim" stupidity going around. (By the way, did you know a couple of Hillary campaigners got fired for forwarding that email?)

4. He addresses US-Israel relations. His first statement: "Israel’s security is sacrosanct, is non negotiable."

Again, click for the full article. I'm not responsible for bad spelling and grammar... :)

Worth Quoting

From former Cleveland Mayor, Michael R. White:

Yes, Senator Obama gives me great hope, but hope is not enough when you're voting for a presidential candidate. I believe Barack Obama has the experience, ability, courage and vision to translate his call for change into a new direction for America just as other great Presidents have in the past. He is no less qualified or able than any other candidate, and the fact that he's poised to become the Democratic nominee for President is testimony to the good judgment and need for change desired by so many Americans.

Cleveland Plain Dealer Article

Obama's rivals, especially Hillary Clinton, love to say how Obama is all rhetoric but no substance. Basically, they are saying his message of hope and a "better tomorrow" is stupid and useless.

But let me ask you: Without hope, where would any of us be today? Where would we, as Jews, be without the hope of Moshiach? Where would the US be if the revolutionaries didn't hope to win or if the abolitionists and the North had given up and allowed slavery to continue? The list can go on and on and on. So, I ask, what is wrong with hope if it leads to a better life?

I'd like to quote most of an article from the Plain Dealer. It speaks for itself:

Barack Obama campaign rally in Toledo draws thousands

Monday, February 25, 2008
John Horton
Plain Dealer Reporter

Toledo- Over and over again, on subjects ranging from the economy to the influence of "fat cat" lobbyists to the war in Iraq, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama asked the same question of his followers: "Are you ready for change?"

The ear-busting response delivered the answer.

On Sunday afternoon, Obama delivered his hope-heavy message for a better tomorrow to 10,000 people packed inside the University of Toledo's Savage Hall. Organizers said another 5,000 gathered outside, unable to jam into the campus arena.

Obama said he launched his campaign on a bet that Americans - many trapped in real-life stories of struggle and hardship - want something different for their country. He decried the critics who label the movement one of blind optimism.

"The reason you're here, the reason I'm here, is that nothing happens without someone deciding to hope," Obama said.

Obama pulled his campaign bus into Toledo while crisscrossing Ohio to spread his message. As he did in cities like Chicago, New York and Miami, Obama addressed leaders of the Cleveland Jewish community Sunday morning, according to his campaign and attendees. About 80 people - supporters of Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain - asked questions about e-mail rumors, his faith and his Israel policy in a meeting at Landerhaven. On Saturday, his tour had swept through Cleveland, Akron and Columbus. Today, he's scheduled to roll into Cincinnati and Dayton.

The intense focus on the state coincides with the approaching primary in the hard-fought - and increasingly combative - race for the party's nomination.

Polling results released last week show Obama trailing Clinton among Ohio voters. However, survey trends show Obama - riding the momentum of 11 straight victories to Democratic front-runner status - cutting into Clinton's once-large lead as the February calendar flips forward.

Political analysts say primary losses in delegate-rich Ohio and Texas on March 4 would essentially dash Clinton's hopes.

Obama referenced Clinton once in his speech, mentioning the "little discussion" he's having with her over the North American Free Trade Agreement. The pact - adopted during Bill Clinton's term in the White House - draws frequent criticism in union-heavy Ohio for causing job losses.

Fliers distributed by the Obama campaign labeled Clinton a NAFTA supporter. Clinton lashed out at Obama for the literature on Saturday, accusing him of misrepresenting her position and engaging in a smear campaign.

Obama delivered a reply in Toledo: "You can't take credit for everything that's good in the Clinton administration, then not take credit for what people don't like," he said.

The line brought a deafening roar of adoration from Savage Hall's energized crowd.

So did Obama's words about creating jobs, establishing universal health care and bringing home the troops in Iraq. "I love you, Obama!" one woman shouted as he worked through his platform. "Love you back," he replied.

Obama's followers spoke passionately about their candidate and his ideas. Gloria Williams, 49, called him an inspirational figure and a "prophet of change."

Dave Wilson, 30, of suburban Detroit, marveled at the scene. "There's something happening here," he said.

Plain Dealer Reporter Laura Johnston contributed to this story.

Ok. I Couldn't Resist

For JibJab fun, click here.

Flipping McCain't

"You have more waffles, than a house of pancakes, You offer flip-flops, I offer Tax Breaks..." Remember JibJab's "This Land Is My Land" parody? In that one, it was Bush who sang these lines. I guess McCain won't be able to since HE'S the one who flip-flops all over the place. He "goes both ways in DC!"

Face Recognition!

Well, apparently I have face recognition! I was at the store today with my daughter and as I was passing by the traif meat counter (and yes, it STILL kills me that traif meat and poultry is SOOOO much CHEAPER than kosher) the guy behind the counter says, "Hey! Didn't I see you on TV last week?" Needless to say, I was stunned for a moment. Then I remembered that when I took my kids to Barack Obama's newly opened local campaign headquarters, there was a cameraman there, probably for a news show for one of the local stations. I guess I made the cut, because the guy behind the meat counter was able to identify where I was in the segment without my prodding him!

COOL! Wish I could see the tape!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bad Publicity for Obama...

This Kind of Publicity Obama Just DOESN'T Need!

Oh, Good! Hillary's Going to Campaigning Negatively

Because it's worded SOOOOO well so far, hasn't it?

The former first lady pledged to continue to stress her differences with Obama on issues including universal health care, and said she will step up her criticism of the Illinois senator's lack of experience in public life.

"We're going to emphasize more and more the experience gap," Clinton told several hundred supporters who had paid at least $500 to attend a Boston fundraiser. "You'll hear a lot about it the next eight days."
You can tell she's Old School Politics. Know why? Well, she thinks, it's worked in the past, so IT must work in the present, right?

Wrong. Don't you get it, Hillary? You've negative campaigning is what's COST you so many primaries and caucuses in the FIRST place! Why do you think it's going to help you now? Don't you get that we are ALL just sick and tired of it? Are you so entrenched in your Baby Boomer "ME" generation that you can't see past yourself and your giant ego?

Here's some free advice, Hillary. Drop out now so Obama, a DESERVING presidential candidate, can get on with the business of winning the elections in November and setting this country back on course. Who knows? Maybe he'll even give you a position in his cabinet!

Here's a "Harmless" Prank to Pull on a Plan Flight

This would just be HILARIOUS!!! :)

Democracy, Democracy, Democracy...

I really don't get it. Why is the US insistent that any country that does not run on a democracy MUST become a democracy, especially a country that is recognized as an "enemy" of the US, like Cuba.

Said Condi today: "Cuba needs to move toward democracy."

Why? Just because it works in one place doesn't mean it'll work in another. Just because it's good for one country, it doesn't mean it'll be good for another. There are plenty of "friendly" countries out there that have been running just fine on other forms of goverment.


Always Take Your Dog's Advice...

Obama's Biggest Weapon In Ohio

Barack Obama has a very good chance of winning Ohio (where polls show him gaining steadily on Hillary, just as he won Wisconsin, and for the same reason. You see, Hillary was, as late as 2004, in favor of NAFTA, the now infamous and much maligned North American Free Trade Agreement, a law that was probably Bill Clinton's biggest mistake and Hillary supported. This law was very bad for the economy of the United States. It allowed many manufacturing businesses to close their plants in the US and send outsource them to other countries, where labor was cheap and the corporations that moved those companies made much more money.

Unfortunately, this act put many people out of work, especially in the Midwest, and has been very unpopular. In the meantime, those corporations grew larger and more powerful and cannot be asked or forced to return to the US. Again, Bill and his co-president, Hillary, are very much to blame for this. It is Bill Clinton's one HUGE policy mistake, and one the Republicans have taken and made much worse. Oh, and many of the factories employed union workers, and union workers usually vote Democrat. Now, who do YOU think these same factory workers who lost their jobs are going to vote for? Hillary, the person who supported them losing their jobs in the first place?

And of course, NAFTA led to even more trade agreements, leading to the mass opening of Wal-Mart Superstores, which forced those manufacturers who stayed in the US to move their operations abroad as well or lose Wal-Mart as their biggest customer. Pretty slick, huh? And to say, well, Wal-Mart came in and created jobs is just ridiculous. After all, had the factories stayed in the US in the first place, we wouldn't have NEEDED Wal-Mart to come and create jobs that pay poorly and provide little to no benefits.

So, it seems Obama is playing his cards right in Ohio and using the right tactics. Just hope it's enough to let him win and force Hillary out of the race.


My good friend Leonie forwarded this to me this morning and I thought I'd share it.

And if you'd like to see the FULL lecture (about 75 minutes):

Oh. Joy.

Well, guess what? Ralph Nader announced once he again he is running as an Independent for president of the United States.

Y'know, if he hadn't run in 2000 and 2004, we would probably NOT be stuck with the Idiot and been stuck with him for going on eight years. I know he thinks he has altruistic reasons for running, like "shifting the power from the few to the many," but all he's managed to do is take votes away from people who can make a real difference, who could have made a real difference, had he not run in 2000 and 2004. He'll never get enough votes to become president, but he does get enough to screw the country up again and again. So, my question is, what exactly are his true purposes? Does he really care about this country, or does he just like screwing the American people?

Friday, February 22, 2008


So, I watched the debate last night between Obama and Clinton. It was mostly civil, and the ideas they shared were good. Their main differences lie in healthcare and how they would treat "enemy" states. However, I'd have to say Obama won the debate hands-down. He kept himself civil the entire time. She, once again, tried to denigrate him by bringing up the plagiarism "issue." She made fun of Obama, saying it's not change you can believe in. It's change you can Xerox. This statement actually earned her the only booing in the debate! To his credit, Obama didn't angry. He simply said his friend and co-chairperson of his campaign, Deval Patrick, told him to use the lines and Obama stated that not giving credit and making an issue of it was entering into political "silly season!" He tried to stay on track and made a statement that shut her up about this burning, in her mind at least, "issue." He said this was not a time to tear each other down but to lift up this country.

When she tried, yet again, to accuse of him of being all speeches and non-substantive, he answered that means millions of campaign workers and voters who've been paying attention were just suffering from mass delusion. Good comeback!

The rest of the debate, however, was mostly civil, with Hillary even stating (and it was pretty good political maneuvering) that she was simply honored to be sharing the stage with Obama. And she had a pretty good moment at the end when she mentioned her trials in life (a thinly veiled reference to Bill's "indescretions") were nothing compared to the trials she sees people facing every day, be they wounded soldiers, people stricken by povery, or people losing their homes.

One of the best, ongoing parts of the debate was watching both Clinton AND Obama BASHING the Bush administration in general and the president in particular! Lots of applause on that all around! It was great!

I must confess, after watching her, while I still hate the negative campaigning and rhetoric on her part, many of her ideas are the same as Obama's, and I do have a bit more respect for her. By no choice of her own, and I'm sure by the prodding of her campaign managers, she was mostly civil and pleasant. But I still find Obama to be the far superior candidate and look forward to him being president come January 20th, 2009.

Polls update: At this point, Obama has caught up to Clinton in the polls in Texas and has pulled to within seven points in Ohio, pretty assuring that even if Clinton wins those states, she still won't get the landslide she needs to pull ahead. Which is a GREAT thing. With about ten days left before elections in Ohio and Texas, Barack Obama has the chance to do what he has consistently done in the past ten primaries/caucuses; Pull ahead and pull off stunning victories. We can only hope! My Obama yard sign is going up on my front lawn on Monday, as soon as I get it!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Stargate's Farscape Spoof

Having recently finished watching Farscape, I found the following clip. It's from the 200th episode of Stargate SG-1 and spoofs Farscape. I got it then, but I got it even more now! Enjoy!

Hillary Said Today:

I want you to think, Who do you want to have in the White House answering the phone at 3 o'clock in the morning when some crisis breaks out around the world? Who is best prepared to be commander in chief on day one?
Ok. I'm thinking. Hmm. Thinking. SHHH!!! Don't bother me! I'm thinking!

OK, OK, I think I got it.

Um, Barack Obama?

Yeah. Barack Obama. Know why? I trust him. Know why not you, Hillary? Because I don't trust you. At all. You're just some more of that old time politics with which we're all disgusted.

Concluded the former First Lady
We need to have someone who is prepared with solutions to our problems, not just speeches
Again, that'd be Obama. In the couple of days since Obama's Wisconsin win, Hillary has been going on and on and on and on about how Obama's just about words with no substance. In the meantime, Obama's kept quiet, ignoring Hillary and going about his campaign, garnering more and more of Hillary's core would-be voters. So, Hillary, while you're yakkin' it up with the same old lines about Obama's lack of readiness and experience, lines that have not only failed you, but have also backfired on you. Sucks for you, doesn't it? It sucks to have your thunder stolen. You thought you were going to be the best choice out there and it KILLS you that there's someone out there WAY better qualified than you to be president. It must be really eating you up inside, so much so that you can't come up with anything but feeble repeat attempts to discredit someone you have so far failed to discredit.

So, yeah. Hillary, don't ask questions like that. You won't like the answers, as the last eleven primaries have already shown.

I say eleven. In case you hadn't heard, Obama also won the Democrats Abroad primary, the results of which were published today. Not many delegates, but it's still a win, nevertheless.

Had to Post This Comic Strip

I was eating breakfast and nearly sprayed the food in my mouth all over the place in a nearly failed attempt to keep my mouth shut because I was laughing so hard... Of course, my ringtone is the theme from Indiana Jones, and when it's not that, it's the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back (you know, Darth Vader's music).

Smear Campaign

The New York Times seems to be implying McCain had a bit of hanky-panky and special interest/lobbyist things going on.

Tell me, does the media REALLY believe this is what the public wants? More smear campaigns? More negativity? This is SO tiresome! There is a reason Barack Obama is making so much headway. This country has been without a positive attitude (myself included) and without much hope for a change in the way things are done, it's been so long since the government was a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, that Obama is a breath of fresh air in the stale environment of hopelessness we've had to endure for so long.

I'm not one to necessarily defend John McCain, though I do have respect for him as a hero and statesman, because I believe he would, in the end, be more of the same and not good as this country's leader. However, I think we've grown, at this point, passed smearing. Haven't we?

Now, if this were to be an official investigation whether McCain caters to lobbyists and special interest, that'd be fine. But to put in the smear part about an affair is just ridiculous and negative and all that needs to just stop. Don't you agree?

Some More on Barack Obama's Legislative Accomplishments

Very good article. Just because he doesn't have much national experience doesn't mean he doesn't have experience.

And here's a good one. Some of the arguments I saw out there yesterday stated he has not EXECUTIVE experience.

I'm sorry, but how many SENATORS who run for president have EXECUTIVE experience? McCain doesn't. Bush basically played golf (video and real), vacationed, vetoed stays of execution, and created Jesus Day. Wow. That's sure a lot of experience. Yippee.

It's really stupid when people, anyone, goes around making assumptions and accusations without actually researching their "facts." It's like the rumor going around that has many people still believing Obama is a Muslim who won't recite the Pledge of Allegiance and had himself sworn in on the Koran. Well, guess what? Here's some news: It's NOT true. Any of it. But hey! It's obviously more fun to believe crap than do a little research and find out what this person is really about and what his amazing accomplishments, both as a human being and as a legislature, have been.

Perhaps, if some of you out there stopped hiding behind party lines and using party line excuses that are just stupid, maybe you can do a bit of research yourself and find out Obama wants UNITY in this country, not the division caused MOSTLY by the Republican/Conservative/Right Wing movements.

Unfortunately, that's probably TOO optimistic of me, even though I fully believe in Obama's campaign of hope, because it's so much easier to be ignorant and hateful than knowledgeable and accepting.

Obama Speech in Texas After Winning Wisconsin... Part Two

Part Two (Please scroll down to the post directly below this one for part one):

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Obama Speech in Texas After Winning Wisconsin...

Part One:

I Think Today I Posted the Most Posts I've Ever Posted in a Single Day

Well, heck, there was a lot to talk about today!

Kirk Watson on Barack Obama

Click! I saw this this morning and he just couldn't answer the question of what are some of Barack Obama's legislative accomplishments. This guy, Kirk Watson, just COULDN'T answer. Not for a lack of accomplishments to list, but because he was taken by surprise by the question when he was really expecting to talk about Obama's big win in the Wisconsin primary. But, here are some of the accomplishment Watson lists in his article:

Senator Obama’s fight for universal children’s health care in Illinois.
His success bringing Republicans and Democrats together (a huge selling point for me in general) on bills such as the one in Illinois requiring police interrogations and confessions to be videotaped.
His leadership on ethics reform in Washington (the bill that lobbyists and special interests are complaining about right now has his name on it).
His bill to make the federal budget far more transparent and accessible to Americans via the Internet – we could use that openness in Texas.
And his vital work with Republicans to lock down nuclear weapons around the world.
So, yeah, you Conservatives and RWNJs (Right Wing Nut Jobs), especially you Jewish ones (and shame on all you for going Republican), can say all you want about Obama's lack of experience, but the man knows how to get things done quickly, efficiently, and he gets it right when he pursues a goal.

Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight!

And on a completely unrelated note, there will be a total lunar eclipse tonight, beginning at 8:43 PM EST. Here's the article about it:

Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight
By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
posted: 20 February 2008
08:25 am ET
A total eclipse of the moon tonight is expected to delight skywatchers across the United States and much of the world.

It will be the last total lunar eclipse until 2010.

The easy-to-watch event will play out in several stages as Earth's shadow blocks sunlight from shining on the moon. Weather permitting, the eclipse will be visible from all locations in the United States, according to NASA. Along the Oregon and northern California coasts, the moon will rise during the early stages of the eclipse, however.

When to watch

Eclipses occur only at full moon when the sun, Earth and moon are in a perfect line. Because the moon's orbit around Earth is not perfectly aligned with the plane of Earth's orbit around the sun, eclipses do not occur at every full moon.

The moon will enter Earth's umbral shadow (the full shadow) at 8:43 p.m. ET (that's 7:43 p.m. Central, 6:43 p.m. Mountain and 5:43 p.m. Pacific) on Wednesday, Feb. 20. It will appear as though an ever-larger bite is being taken out of the moon.

Some 78 minutes later, the moon will slip into full eclipse. About 51 minutes later, a bright scallop will appear as the moon starts emerging. It will be completely out of the umbral shadow at 9:09 p.m. Pacific time, which is 12:09 a.m. ET on Thursday morning.

For Europe and Africa, the eclipse is a predawn Thursday event, with the moon starting entry to the umbral shadow at 1:43 Greenwich (or Universal) Time.

What you'll see

Look for the moon to possibly turn red during the total portion of the eclipse. "The exact color that the moon appears depends on the amount of dust and clouds in the atmosphere," according to a NASA statement. "If there are extra particles in the atmosphere, from say a recent volcanic eruption, the moon will appear a darker shade of red."

The redness occurs because while the moon is in total shadow, some light from the sun passes through Earth's atmosphere and is bent toward the moon. The effect is to cast all the planet's sunrises and sunsets on the moon.

Christopher Columbus famously used a blood-red eclipse in 1504 to frighten natives on Jamaica into feeding his crew.

The planet Saturn and the bright star Regulus will form a broad triangle with the moon's ruddy disk, according to Joe Rao,'s Skywatching Columnist.

You don't need any special equipment to watch a lunar eclipse. Comfortable chairs and warm clothing are good ideas. A telescope will bring out interesting details of the lunar surface, and even a small telescope will reveal Saturn's stunning rings.
If you've got clear skies, take a look-see! It'll be your last chance until December 2010 (by which time Obama will have hopefully been in office for nearly two years and the war in Iraq will be but a bad memory and the economy will be back on track to recovery...)

Ben and Jerry (Yes, the Ice Cream) have endorsed Barack Obama for President!

Now we KNOW he MUST become the next president! After all, how ice creams have ever endorsed a candidate before? :)

Hillary's Latest Plea...

I think she's getting desperate:

"His plans just don't hold up to scrutiny," she told an NBC television affiliate in Ohio. "So please, look at a candidate who is ready, willing and able to do it. Don't give up on this, let's make it happen."
I'm sorry, Hillary, did you point out exactly which parts of his plans don't hold up to scrutiny? Can you please point out those parts?

The tone of this latest statement from the former First Lady sounds a bit desperate...

Clinton ridicules Obama in comeback bid

Very mature, Hillary. Very mature. And you wonder why you're losing?! Has it occurred to you that perhaps people are SICK TO DEATH OF NEGATIVE AND OLD TIME POLITICS?! Has it occurred to you that maybe people just DON'T want to hear it anymore?

Now, we all know Hillary and her campaign are looking for something, ANYTHING, to trip up Obama, and they have to find something big, something they probably won't be able to find, simply because it doesn't exist. So, instead of waging a positive campaign based on HER policies and what SHE will do for the US and its citizens, she is instead turning to that good old mainstay of American politics: mudslinging.

Only this time, it's not working. The more she slings, the more people end up voting for Obama because, as I stated above, we are ALL sick of this negative campaigning. And to be honest, McCain's doing the same thing and it's going to cause him to lose.

Tax Cuts

It's really and truly amazing how many people believe that having a Democrat in office will raise taxes for everyone. What a stupid misbelief that people fall for all around the country.

When Democrats talk about raising taxes or ending tax cuts, it has nothing to do with the middle or lower (poorer) classes. It has everything to do with the one or two percent wealthiest Americans who do not pay nearly enough in taxes and do not do their fair share, forcing the majority of us in the middle and poorer classes to carry a huge burden that could be alleviated if only the rich paid more in taxes and if only corporations stopped receiving unfair tax cuts while at the same time sending more and more jobs overseas.


Shame on You, Hillary

Shame on you, Hillary Clinton. It is traditional, when defeated, to give a concession speech and congratulate the winner. But you haven't done so at all. Not after the Potomac races and not after last night, when Obama soundly defeated you in Wisconsin and Hawaii (as well as the second part, apparently, of the Washington state primary). You simply behaved as if none of these victories, ten (eleven, if you count Washington State) in a row. You simply ignored these defeats and continued on as if you were the winner in these races.

Hillary, you're just not really a likable person, you are of the "old" politics school, and you are not as pro-labor as you claimed you were last night. After all, if you were, you wouldn't have supported NAFTA, now, would you have? You have not acted appropriately, and all you've done is run a negative campaign against a very positive, hopeful person who shows and has a lot of promise. You've bashed him on non-issues, keep claiming you have all the experience and he has none, and you keep saying how wonderful and original you are with your ideas and how he has no substance or potential.

Hillary, KNOCK IT OFF! You are being divisive when this country needs unity. You are acting selfishly instead of in the best interests of the American people. We don't need you and we don't want you. You and your generation are no longer good for this country. We need someone new, with good ideas, someone who, when in Washington, won't allow the good ideas that get there to die, as you would likely do.

Hillary, act like a good loser. Concede defeat when you are defeated and congratulate the winner. Otherwise, all the public sees is a sore loser.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

That's GOTTA Hurt!

From yet another article this evening:

In a clear sign of their standing in the race, most cable television networks abruptly cut away from coverage of Clinton's rally when Obama began to speak in Texas.
OUCH!! That's really gotta cut deep!

Oh, Yeah. I Forgot...

They're projecting with relative confidence that Obama has one his ninth state in a row and is expected to win Hawaii as well, giving him ten in a row. This will hopefully give him the momentum to win Ohio and Texas as well, giving him a pretty decisive lead that even super delegates like Ohio governor Strickland can't ignore.

And This Is Why Hillary's Going to Get Messed Up in the Midwest


It's because of the last paragraph in this article, which states:

The economy and trade were key issues in the race, and seven in 10 voters said international trade has resulted in lost jobs in Wisconsin. Fewer than one in five said trade has created more jobs than it has lost.
How can anyone truly believe in Hillary and vote for her when she still believes NAFTA was a good thing when it put so many people out of business? And no one was more hurt by NAFTA than blue collar workers in Middle America, like Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Although, I'm not quite sure how "fewer than one in five works..." :)


One of the issues with which Obama, and to be fair, Clinton, have been dealing is healthcare and the need for reform in that area. Frankly, I couldn't agree more. The US is the ONLY first world country that does NOT provide universal healthcare for its citizens. Instead, we're stuck with either health insurance from one's place of employment, which works fine for many people. But it can also get expensive. On a personal level, for instance, my wife's health insurance from her company (I'm self-employed and don't make all that much money, so no insurance from my end) cover the two of us, but not our two children, as that would nearly TRIPLE the cost, and we just can't afford it. So we pay for the children as we go and pray they stay healthy. This is really NOT a good way to live, but at this point, we have no choice, so I'm all for healthcare reform, not just because it greatly affects me, but also because it's a huge issue in US living.

In the meantime, though, the only other option is private insurance. Ok, so for those of you out there who know me personally, you know I'm overweight. Very overweight. A few years ago, I worked diligently at losing weight and lost ninety-four pounds, a large percentage of which I've since gained back. I know, it sucks. But, I'm trying to work on it.

So, let's say I wanted to get private insurance. Here's how the conversation/exam would go:

Insurance agent: "Do you smoke?"
Me: "No."
IA: "Drink?"
Me: "No."
IA: "Do drugs?" (Ok, they wouldn't ask in those words, but that IS what they ask...
Me:"No." Or, if I'm in a feisty mood: "You're kidding, right? And if I did, do you think I would admit it?!"
IA: "How much do you weight?"
Me: "three-hundred plus pounds."
IA: "I'm sorry sir, but we can't insure you. You have a pre-existing condition."
Me: "But aside from the weight, I'm in perfect health!"
IA: "I'm really sorry, but you have a pre-existing condition which prohibits us from insuring you. Have a nice day."

End of conversation.

Except here's scenario number two:

We have insurance through a place of employment (in this case, my wife's). I'm really serious about losing weight again, but as we all know, like other addictions, it's nearly impossible without some kind of support, especially medical so a doctor can monitor progress, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood-work, and whatever else. Make phone call to insurance company. Here's how that conversation goes:

Me: "Hi! I'm calling to find out about weight loss coverage. I'm very over-weight and have a doctor who has a program to help me lose all the weight. Is that covered?"
IA: "No. We don't cover weight loss."
Me: "Why not?"
IA: "We don't really consider it a medical condition."
Me: "Why not?"
IA: "We just don't. You gained the weight, you can lose it. Like smoking. You started, you can stop."
Me (aside): "Yeah, like that really works"
Me (to IA): "Now let me get this straight. If I were to call you to apply for insurance, you would deny me because I'm grossly overweight, right?"
IA: "Correct." Ok, they wouldn't really come out and say that, probably because they're not allowed to, but when you get through all the fluff, that is what they end up saying. Need proof? See the first scenario, above. It actually happened to me.
Me: "And you would deny me insurance because it's a pre-existing condition, right?"
IA: "Right."
Me: "And yet, here I am, calling you about my 'condition' and asking you to cover my medically monitored weight loss, a 'condition' you are implying is medical because you would deny me coverage if I was applying for private health insurance, and you're telling me it's NOT a medical condition. So, um, which is it, because you really can't have it both ways."
IA: "Well, sir (a whole bunch of gobbledegook about how it is but isn't, depending on which side of the insurance you, whether you have it or not)."
Me: "Aha. So you're basically saying if I don't have insurance, I can't get it because I have a pre-existing medical condition, but if I do have insurance, the insurance won't cover the weight loss because this is not a medical matter and because I can just lose the weight on my own. Have I got that straight?"
IA: "Yes, sir."
Me: "Do you have ANY idea how incredibly ridiculous you sound?"
IA: "No, sir. I'm sorry, sir, but that's policy. Sir."
Me: "OK, now let me ask you this. Do you cover gastric bypass surgery?" (For those who don't know, click here. It's a complicated surgery that does help with weight loss, but can be dangerous and can lead to all sorts of other problems, both psychological and physical.)
IA: "Yes. Yes, we do."
Me: "Uh-huh. So, then, you cover gastric bypass surgery, a costly medical procedure SPECIFICALLY geared toward allowing a person to lose weight, a condition you just told me was non-medical and therefore not covered. But you won't cover MUCH less expensive (downright inexpensive, comparatively) medically monitored weight loss. Explain that, please."
IA: "Um. Ah. I'm... Um. Well, sir, I'm not sure I can, but that is company policy. Sir."
Me: "So, just to get this straight, so I have it for my records: You will not cover medically monitored weight-loss because you don't consider obesity to be a medical condition, and you wouldn't cover me if I was applying for private insurance because it's a pre-existing condition. Correct?"
IA: "Yes, sir. That is correct."
Me: "So which one is it?"
IA: "I'm sorry sir, but that is company policy."
Me: "Alright, then. You have a great day!"
IA: "You too, sir, and thank you for choosing Hypocrisy Medical."

Oh, and just for the record, even though I knew how the conversation would go, I still called my insurance company and had the conversation anyway, just to prove myself right. And I did. And when I asked her the question about obesity as a medical condition when applying for insurance but not when you already have it, she agreed that it made no sense. Then she said some nonsense to me about if they covered medical, non-surgical weight loss, they'd have to cover other things, like going to a health spa. That one really took me by surprise! Imaging if the insurance companies covered health spas! "Hi, my doctor said I need to go to Club Med for three weeks, and since my doctor prescribed Club Med, you guys get to cover my excursion! Thanks!!" How stupid is THAT?!

All joking aside, though, this is a VERY serious issue, at least for me and for the MILLIONS of overweight Americans. The medical community across the country has for YEARS been stating obesity is not only a serious medical condition, but a SERIOUS medical condition that afflicts MILLIONS of people. And yet, the all-powerful insurance companies choose to ignore this. Worse, they use it as an excuse to NOT offer coverage to people, further causing even more people to be forced to live without insurance.

Commandante en Jeffe

The big news this morning is that Fidel Castro, ruler over Cuba for nearly fifty years, is stepping down, turning, it seems, the reigns over to his brother, Raul (who isn't all that much younger than Fidel).

I've always wondered what the deal was with Cuba and the US Embargo that has been in place for nearly as long as Castro has been in power. I've been reading up on it a bit today.

So, first there was a US Arms embargo in place beginning when Castro began a conflict with the Batista government that would ultimately lead to Castro's seizure of power in 1959. At that point, the Cuban government, which had been formally recognized by the US (even though Batista was a US-backed dictator - big surprise there...), expropriated major American land-holdings, leading to the trade embargo. Castro, a Communist, had close ties with the Soviet government, which supplemented the Cuban economy.

Well, at this point, Cuba is now seeing the US as an enemy, despite earlier close relations, and decides to have even closer ties with the Soviet Union. This leads to even wider restrictions (apparently, this is when even Cuban cigars are outlawed and apparently, President Kennedy ordered the purchase of thousands of Cuban cigars before enforcing the even more prohibitive embargo).

The US, now getting really pissed at Castro's cozy ties with the Soviet Union, decides to invade and assassinate Castro. This was the Bay of Pigs invasion, which, as we all know, turned out to be a disaster for the US. This leads to Castro naming Cuba a Socialist Republic and formalizing ties with the Soviets.

Now, one can imagine just how pissed the US was now.

Then came along the Cuban Missile Crisis, a really dark moment in Human history when nuclear war very nearly became a reality. In short, Castro allowed the Soviet Union to place missiles on the islands, nice and close to US soil. So close, in fact, that had the Soviets decided to use them, there was no way they could have missed.

After the resolution of that crisis, the US then imposed travel restrictions to Cuba. The US also froze all Cuban assets in the US.

In short, the US just doesn't like Cuba because it's Communist and because of its earlier communist ties to a now defunct Communist union. That really is the core issue.

So, here's the big question: If that is the case, which it certainly seems to be (sure it started with Cuba expropriating US held land in Cuba, but come on! If the US had backed Batista, who was, after all, the US backed dictator of Cuba, none of this would've happened! It's really amazing how the US always seems to back the wrong dictator - Hussein, Noriega, etc.), then WHY DOESN'T THE US PLACE A TRADE EMBARGO ON CHINA?! I mean, seriously, they are still a Communist country, they are still not on great terms with the US, they treat their citizens like crap, they essentially use slave-labor to manufacture goods, goods for which the US is the biggest customer, and they have taken thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of jobs away from the US because all the huge manufacturing corporations have a carte blanche to trade with China!

Imagine, then, how much stronger the US economy would be here if all the jobs were here instead of in a COMMUNIST COUNTRY!!!

Oh, and lest I forget: US policy is apparently to NOT change its stance toward Cuba because Cuba is NOT a democracy. Again, how does that make it any different from China?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Gasp! He Plagiarized Lines!!

This is about the dumbest non-issue that could possibly have come up in a lousy, really poor attempt to discredit Barack Obama. He used lines in a speech borrowed from the speech of a friend, a speech made over a year ago, and forgot to give credit. Now, would it have been better to give credit? Sure. Does this disqualify the man? NO!! How stupid is this?! He forgot to give credit! Big deal? How many of us have used lines heard from other people without giving those people credit? Thousands!! And all the time!! Enough with the idiotic nit-picking and bashing. It accomplishes nothing.

Republicans Bite Themselves in the Rear, or, Republican Boneheaded Idiocy of the Week...

And that's saying it nicely! Apparently, because John McCain, the frontrunner and very likely Republican nominee for president, doesn't quite jive with Republican ideologues (at least according to far Right Wing Nut Job icons like Rush Limbaugh), some Republicans are saying they would rather NOT vote than vote for McCain, long considered a "liberal" Republican, or Conservative, or whatever.

In other words, these RWNJs are saying they'd rather not vote for a Republican because he's too liberal for their tastes, thus giving whoever ends up being the Democratic nominee (hopefully Obama) an even better chance of winning the elections in November and taking the White House away from the Republican party!

How, pray tell, does this make sense?! And these are the people with whom Chareidi RWNJs like Toby Katz and Yaakov Menken want to associate and identify and for whom they want to vote?!

Here's the pertinent quote from an article about this:

In one indication of doubts about McCain, evangelical leader James Dobson said this month he would not vote for McCain if he became the nominee, raising the possibility that some Republicans would sit out the November 4 election.
To see the Reuters article, click.

Is This Why I Don't Like Her?

I'm sure it's part of the reason. I just can't get myself to like her. I don't know. Maybe if I met her.

In the meantime, I'm off with my kids to Barack Obama's Cleveland headquarters!!


Sunday, February 17, 2008


So, my wife and I have been having this debate (even though we're both pretty much on the same side of the debate) about minhagim and the status of many minhagim as actual halacha. It seems some minhagim can just be chucked, while others we're stuck with forever.

For example: I grew Lubavitch. Around the time Artscroll published its first all Hebrew siddur, I decided enough was enough and chose to no longer be a Lubavitcher (a decision I have NEVER regretted in any way). So, I stopped keeping Chalav Yisrael (a concept at which the Yeshivish community then scoffed and now holds to be unbreakable halach to KEEP this chumra in the US). I started davening Nussach Ashkenaz. I stopped putting on Rabbeinu Tam teffilin (do you ANY idea what a pain in the rear THAT was?). My rabbanim then and since then have never had a problem with this. In fact, they felt I had finally gotten on the correct path and were more than happy to encourage me in this direction.

So, how are those minhagim different from others, like waiting six hours between eating meat/poultry and dairy? Or not eating Kitniyos on Pesach? Or, to suggest an even greater extreme, keeping two days of Yom Tov? No one seems able to give me a straight answer. It seems that, because my dad, when he became a Ba'al Teshuva, took on the chumrah of waiting six hours, that I'm now stuck with this chumrah/minhag as well and have no choice but to continue this idiotic "mesorah" of waiting six hours between meat and dairy. How is this any different than the other I mentioned above? I can never seem to get a straight answer, or more of one than, "well, that's what your family does." When my wife became a Ba'alas Teshuva, she kept six hours, not realizing she had a choice. Now, she's stuck too.

So, why can't I chuck minhagim with which I'm not comfortable? It's not halacha. In fact, the Gemara mentions several instances of how long certain rabbanim waited between meals, and it had to do with how often they ate, not how long they felt they should wait.

I just don't get it...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oh, and Just Out of Curiosity

What the hell was with the McCain-Romney argument about who is more Conservative? Who the hell cares?! And the important question here is, whoever the Conservatives in question are, WHAT ARE THEY CONSERVING?

Old School, New School

Hillary: Old School. Here's her strategy:

Clinton, the one-time front-runner for her party's nomination who now finds herself in political peril, intensified her attack as she was forced to scramble for sweeping victories in Ohio and Texas on March 4 and in Pennsylvania on April 22.
Said the former First Lady,
That's the difference between me and my opponent. My opponent makes speeches. I offer solutions. It is one thing to get people excited. I want to empower you.
And let's not leave out this statement:
Clinton portrayed herself as a fighter and Obama as someone who makes a lot of speeches that sound good but do not offer solutions.
Except that he has addressed issues, laid out plans, and exudes more honesty than any politician in recent memory. Hillary, on the other hand, is just the same old school, old boys' (and now girls') club politics who wants to run things the same way they've been run for far too long. Hillary is just more of the same who doesn't really want to change anything and who voted FOR the war.

Obama: New School. Here's his strategy. We need change in this country. We need to lower the cost of living. We need to provide affordable or universal healthcare for ALL Americans. We need to bring our troops home. He voted AGAINST the war. He wants to bring jobs BACK to this country, jobs that have disappeared because Hillary's husband signed NAFTA into law. He talks about unifying this country, regardless of political affiliation. This is new school. This is fresh. This is politics untainted by the dirt of Washington, lobbies and lobbyists, and money. This is how what this nation needs. You know the old cliche: Out with the old, in with the new. Let's welcome the new with open arms and allow this country to heal itself and the rift created by the old-time politics we've had to endure until now.

Obama on Israel

Sound to me like it's a lot better than The Idiot's (you know, Bush) cowboy diplomacy that is only extending the conflict...


Barack Obama has established a strong record as a true friend of Israel, a stalwart defender of Israel’s security, 

and an effective advocate of strengthening the steadfast U.S.-Israel relationship.  He believes that Israel’s right 

to exist as a Jewish state should never be challenged.  As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 

Obama has consistently emphasized his commitment to our ally Israel, and has been an active supporter of 

legislation helping to ensure the support and security of the Middle East’s only established democracy.   Obama 

continually works with a number of his colleagues in the Senate to promote a closer relationship between the 

U.S. and Israel on a range of fronts – security, economic, political, and cultural.     

Ensure a Strong U.S.-Israel Partnership:  Barack Obama strongly supports the U.S.-Israel relationship, a 

mutually beneficial bond strengthened by common values, histories, and dedication to democracy.  Obama 

believes that our first and incontrovertible commitment in the Middle East must be to the security of Israel, 

America’s strongest ally in the Middle East.  Expressing his support for this reality, Obama delivered the 

message to Palestinian university students in Ramallah that the United States would never distance itself from 

Israel. Before the Palestinian elections, Obama asserted that the United States would never recognize Hamas 

unless it renounced its fundamental mission to eliminate Israel and he continues to insist that Hamas recognize 

Israel, abandon violence, and abide by previous agreements made between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.  

Support Israel’s Right to Self Defense:  During the July 2006 Lebanon war, Barack Obama stood up strongly 

for Israel’s right to defend itself from Hezbollah raids and rocket attacks.  Obama is an original cosponsor of the 

Senate resolution expressing support for Israel, condemning the attacks, and calling for strong action against 

Iran and Syria.  Throughout the war, Barack Obama made clear that Israel should not be pressured into a 

ceasefire that did not deal with the threat of Hezbollah missiles.  In addition, Obama signed a letter to the 

European Union pressing the EU to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. 

Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons:  Concerned about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and 

regional ambitions, Barack Obama has been a strong voice warning of the dangers to both the United States and 

Israel if Iran successfully develops these weapons.  Obama has been consistently outspoken about the growing 

influence of Iran in the region, especially Iraq, saying, “Make no mistake – if the Iranians and Syrians think 

they can use Iraq as another Afghanistan or a staging area from which to attack Israel or other countries, they 

are badly mistaken” [Speech to Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 11/20/06]   Obama has called for stronger 

international sanctions against Iran to persuade it to halt uranium enrichment.  He is a cosponsor of the Durbin- 

Smith Senate Bill, the Iran Counter Proliferation Act, which calls for sanctions on Iran and other countries for 

assisting Iran in developing a nuclear program.  Believing that Americans must do more to prevent Iran from 

acquiring nuclear weapons, Obama authored and introduced as the primary sponsor, the Iran Sanctions Enabling 

Act in May, 2007.  Obama’s Bill makes it easier for state and local governments to divest their pension funds of 

companies that invest in Iran's energy sector, providing the revenue Iran uses to pursue nuclear weapons and 

sponsor terrorism. Divestment is a useful tool to bring additional economic pressure to bear on Iran.  Senator 

Obama has conducted an active dialogue with a range of Israeli political leaders and security officials regarding 

Iran and the threat it poses to the United States and Israel.   

Support Foreign Assistance to Israel:  Barack Obama has consistently supported foreign assistance to Israel.  

He defends and supports the annual foreign aid package that involves both military and economic assistance to 

Israel and has advocated increased foreign aid budgets to ensure that these funding priorities are met.  

Additionally, he has called for sustaining the unique U.S.-Israel defense relationship by fully funding military 

assistance and continuing cooperative work on missile defense programs, such as the Arrow. 


Work toward Two States Living Side by Side in Peace and Security:  Barack Obama believes in working 

towards a two-state solution, with both states living side by side in peace and security. Obama is a cosponsor of 

the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006.  Introduced in the wake of Hamas’ victory in the Palestinian 

elections, this act outlaws direct assistance to any entity of the Palestinian Authority controlled by Hamas until 

it meets the conditions of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations to renounce 

violence, recognize Israel, and agree to abide by all agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority.  Obama 

signed a letter urging President Bush to make it clear to Palestinian leaders that terrorist groups must either 

disarm or be barred from the political process.  Since the elections, Obama has stated that Israelis must have a 

true Palestinian partner for peace.  He has sought to encourage Palestinian moderates who seek peace and to 

isolate Hamas and other extremists who are committed to Israel’s destruction. 


Help Palestinian Families Get the Aid They Need Without Supporting Terrorism:  Barack Obama supports 

U.S. efforts to provide aid directly to the Palestinian people by bypassing any Hamas-led government that 

refuses to renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist.  Obama believes that a better life for 

Palestinian families is good for both Israelis and Palestinians. 


Limit Hezbollah’s Influence in the Region:  Barack Obama is concerned about the rapid re-arming of 

Hezbollah in Lebanon.  He has called for the end of Syrian and Iranian support of Hezbollah via arms shipments 

and funding.  Obama urged the enforcement of UN Resolution 1701, which demands the cessation of arms 

shipments to Hezbollah, a resolution that Syria and Iran continue to disregard.  Long before the July 2006 

conflict, Barack Obama worked to limit Hezbollah’s influence in the region, signing a letter urging President 

Bush to place al-Manar, the official television station of Hezbollah, on the Treasury Department’s Specially 

Designated Global Terrorist Entity list and to aggressively target organizations that aid in its broadcast. 


Support U.S.-Israel Research and Development: As a strong supporter of broadening and deepening the 

U.S.-Israel relationship, Barack Obama cosponsored the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act.  This bill would 

establish a grant program to support joint U.S.-Israeli research and development efforts in the areas of 

alternative and renewable energy sources – a key step toward energy independence, which is very much in the 

national security interests of the U.S. and Israel.   

Achieve Energy Independence: Looking for innovative ways to enhance U.S. and Israeli security through 

energy independence, Obama has pushed a number of initiatives – from E-85 to CAFE reform to biofuels.  The 

purpose of these initiatives is to reduce U.S. dependence on oil from the Middle East, limiting the influence of 

oil-producing nations and increasing U.S. and Israeli national security.