Thursday, October 30, 2003

They Caught the Nigerian!

According to this story, Nigerian fraud arrest in Sydney (OCTOBER 30, 2003), they arrested one of the goobers who sends the Nigerians emails; he's Australian.

Has Anyone Tried This?

Scott Adams, who does not issue me specific demands but I do listen to what he says, has invented a meat substitute, Dilberito: Protein Chef. It is Kosher (the O-K) and may be a very good thing. If anyone has tried some, let me know. Thanks.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Mazal Tov

Engagement of Beth Bienenstock & Avi Morell, on September 21, 2003

P.S. I'm a little late, sorry

P.P.S. I can't report the Mazal Tovs like I used to (privacy issues), but "onlysimchas" is a good compromise.

P.P.P.S. No "onlysimchas" complaints, please. Like Artscroll or Chabad, the bad doesn't nearly outweigh the good.

Attention All English Speakers

The 11th Collegiate is out, and it is filled with many words.

Good Gift Ideas

For me:

...not that I'm suggesting anything.

Bambino Schadenfraude

Like I care about baseball. But, still, it is very interesting to witness two "curses" animate right before your eyes. Now then, is there the "Curse of the Sick Nun" curse on the Mets?

Invented Superstitions

After Sukkot was over, I decided I'd freak people out and invent a superstition. This religious process is fun (sorta like how L. Ron created his own religion). The taboo: whatever condition your lulav & etrog are in after Sukkot, that's how you'll be next Sukkot.

It's got all characteristics of a good superstition: (1) fear of calamity, (2) inability to completely control outcome, and (3) nonsense.

I feel I have the authority to create this nahreschkeit because, ahem, my Lulav came out fresh & green, the stupid pitom didn't break, and even my aravot were live and limp.

Have fun.

Who died? Who was still alive

I don't want to diminish the tragedy of the death of any individual, but Chiang Kai-Shek's wife was still alive?!? I don't recall allowing that fact to exist. This is silly!

Chiang (Shek?), along with Leni Riefenstahl, (who died on September 13 at 101) are not only from an era with which I thought we were long gone, but they were huge players in History. It’s like hearing that Churchill was still alive, or Pershing.

In other obituary news, Jack Elam died. You know, the weird doctor from Cannonball Run, yeah. Aw.


I am not a natural anagrammer. My brain don't work that way. It also strikes me as bad mysticism. But Dave "The Man" Barry is obsessed with it, so I decided to find a good anagram tool. This one does the trick.

My favorite one for my name: A PSYCHO JESUS

And then there were two

This morning, my pre-order for Thunderball has been filled. Which means I'm two left from the complete James Bond series. I need "Live and Let Die" (which I like) and "A View to a Kill" (which is the worst Bond ever).

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Top 5 Success

As you may have guessed, I'm doing my semi-monthly google search for my name. I came across this Top 5 list which quoted some of my submissions: The Top 18 Amish Horror Movies

Jews and Tattoos

I was interviewed a while back by a Forward reporter who was under the deadline gun. I automatically identify with, and have pity on, someone with a deadline (since I live that way 24-7). The reporter was asking about the Orthodox Jewish attitudes about Jews with tattoos (especially as it relates to burial practice). You can see the article here: FORWARD : Forward Living

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Reality to the Test

I don't know which part I like better. There's just so much to like.

First of all, we managed to kill a mess of terrorists.

Second of all, the Palestinians claimed that the Israelis performed a massacre.

Third of all, the Israeli Army videotaped (with a spy camera) the actual event which destroyed the story of the Palestinians.

Fourth, the New York Times still needs to give equal credence to "both sides" (After a Deadly Attack, Arab Rage and Israeli Videotape) - claiming that both had "concrete" evidence. The Israelis have a videotape, the Palestinians have "eyewitness testimony."

Fifth, the Palestinians are shown to lead the world in falsehood. And the world will ignore it.

Sixth, the Palestinians falsely accuse the Israelis - for performing an act of evil that only they perpetrate! They fire on civilians! They wait for crowds to gather before attacking again.

This is yet another instance where the truth is so large, and so clear, that the idiots will actually find it easy to ignore it.

What a world.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Say What?!?

According to today's Times, UJA money goes to fund a "anti-zionist" magazine called "Heeb" (A Sardonic Jewish Magazine Expands Its Ambitions). How, again, did this happen?

Our shul just had our annual Yizkor-UJA appeal. I want the money back. Or at least away from the self-haters and their cheap thrills magazine.


Friday, October 10, 2003

Brother in Promised Land

My brother went to Israel for Sukkoth. You Israelis out there, take care of him, he's important.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Communists in our Currency

It's bad enough that they warped the pictures on the bill, giving Andrew Jackson and like warped cartoon heads, now they're adding color to our money! I wish Andrew Jackson were alive to see this - he'd whomp on those responsible with a hickory switch.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

We Have Entered a Whole New World of Weird

This is embarrassing. Arnold "The Living Parody" Schwarzenegger is now Governor of California.

I voted, I hope you did. I could vote because, according to CA statute, you can vote either as a citizen of California or, and I quote, "a visitor from another planet" (Section 70200-70202 - this was passed in Prop 67).

Schwarzenegger is one of the only actors in our day who is able to be caricatured. If you check the pre-War 2 Bugs Bunnies, you'll see how the characters always imitate the famous movie stars - and can do so by the fact that until the 1970s, all actors sucked. Cagney, Bogart, Gable, Carey Grant - all of them speak funny and don't know how to play more than one type of character (a caricature of themselves). The last era of bad actortude was in the Shatner/Heston time - when you could breathe deeply after each syllable and still get away with it.

So who nowadays fits the old movie star caricature quality? Only Schwarzenegger.

Also, normally, big actors don't go into politics. The biggest til Arnie was Clint Eastwood; but he became the mayor of his own community, which is not a national office. Until Arnie, the only actors who became high level, national, politicians were rinky-dinkers: Sonny Bono, Jessie "The Mind Body Problem" Ventura, Ben Jones ("Cooter" on Dukes of Hazzard - a Rep. from GA, he lost his seat to Newt Gingrich), Fred Grandy ("Gopher" on Love Boat, a Rep. from Iowa), and the biggest small actor to get big office, Ronald "Bedtime for Bonzo" Reagan.

With Arnie's win, that makes Predator the highest ranking movie in the electoral college (he and Ventura star). And it's a fine fine film.

Fair and Square (so far)

In any case, the way the numbers turned out, the vote satisfies my fear of "tyranny by the masses." According to the Times (Voters Voice Deep Dissatisfaction With Governor's Record):

"With more than 98 percent of the votes counted, the recall question on the two-part ballot was passing by 54.7 percent to 45.3 percent, .... In the contest to replace Mr. Davis, Mr. Schwarzenegger led his nearest competitor, Lt. Gov. Cruz M. Bustamante, 48.1 percent to 32.2 percent"

That's fine: as a straight election, Schwarzenegger beat Davis by 48.1 to 45.3. I'm cool with that.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Music Quiz, part 2

Ready? "Clearly the neumes have been transmogrified into square shapes." Clearly!

P.S. "neumes" is pronounced "noooomz" - ain't music great?!

California Recall

My favorite part of politics is the way that intelligent people invent bogus reasons why they support certain candidates. There are two ways to vote: for or against. It is very rare to vote for an individual. So all we get - for individuals - is an "against" style.

In general, people vote for parties. And that's when the contradictions start abursting like cheap internet ads. Republicans, great and small, need to defend: (a) the Recall, (b) punch-card voting, and (c) Schwarzenegger as a candidate.

And, because the Democrats feel like they were backing a winner, they were perfectly fine to defend Bill Clinton for all of his major and minor problems. And were the tables turned in California, they would be saying and doing the same things as the GOP now.

My point is that it's disgusting no matter which side does it (and it should be expected that people will do it). Just don't act so high and mighty when you're "defending your principles" about this because, face it, you don't have any.

By the numbers: a rational person knows that: (a) the recall is legal, because it's in the State constitution, but it's a pretty stinky way to run a state; it's as close as we get to having a cheap European style parliamentary system - with all the concomitant instability and populism. But Republicans are supporting it because they can win this one.

Same thing with (b) the "chads" The voting system is stupid, antiquated, and very well should be unconstitutional. But it worked for the GOP in 2000 - and will work again here - so they need to defend it even though it should be against their "patriotic" principles.

Rational people also know that (c) Schwarzenegger is a very poor candidate. He doesn't seem to have any knowledge of governance; he has ducked debates (a sign of a figurehead politician, and also bad citizenship and bad judgment); and his personal qualities are shady.

But the same GOP two-faced hypocrites who went after Bill Clinton on Feminist terms - and, hilariously still attack Hillary C on those same grounds - defend Schwarzenegger against all the abuse accusations. And as for having no executive branch qualities? That never stopped the GOP before - they seem to take pride in having brain-dead pretty boys be their executives. It may actually prove the GOP point that big government is wrong and it's only use is to preserve the status-quo and not take so much (if at all) of their money.

My opinion? Schwarzenegger is a pig. He's a no-nothing celebrity who is chosen only because he's electable. Which makes him a perfect Kennedy.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Aww, poor babies

Over Yom Kippur, we wondered how the world would react to Israel's act of self-defense. The New York Times, always open for a little culture rape, sides squarely with Syria (Arabs' Fear: A New Crisis to Add to a Troubled List)

Evidently, Israel's attack is just another 'crisis' the beleaguered Arab world needs to take. I agree! It's tough enough to kill babies, why force mass-murderers - psychos in revolutionary clothing - to look over their shoulders!

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Shaping Up to be the Best Movie of All Time

As I'm sure you've heard, Bubba Ho-tep will be released on its own recognizance - able to be seen for a few measly dollars. The plot (according to IMDB):

We find Elvis (Bruce Campbell) as an elderly resident in an East Texas rest home, who switched identities with an Elvis impersonator years before his "death", then missed his chance to switch back. Elvis teams up with Jack (Ossie Davis), a fellow nursing home resident who thinks that he is actually President John F. Kennedy, and the two valiant old codgers sally forth to battle an evil Egyptian entity who has chosen their long-term care facility as his happy hunting grounds.

If you were looking for the mamzer love-child of the Evil Dead Trilogy and Six String Samurai - you got it right here.

Yup, it's looking to be a fine 5764.

Barukh Dayan ha-Emet

I'm slow in my newsgathering, so I only saw this obituary today, Erev Yom Kippur:Rabbi Ephraim Oshry Dies at 89

Rav Oshry was the Rav of Kovno (where my maternal grandmother a'h is from) when the Evil Ones made it into the Kovno Ghetto. He was faced with the task of answering the most horrific shylas (questions of Jewish law) that have been imagined since the destruction of the Temples.

His responsa, Shaylot v'Teshuvot Me-Maamakim, have been partially translated into English in the book "Respnosa from the Holocaust" - a book that I read every Yom Ha-Shoah and Tisha B'av to get myself into the right mindset.

Rav Oshry died on September 28 - Rosh Hashanah - as befits such a great tzaddik.

I want one

24 Win MacArthur 'Genius Awards' of $500,000

Friday, October 03, 2003

Equal Treatment

The Jerusalem Post reports that Israel News : Jerusalem Post Internet Edition: "Fatah gunmen execute 'collaborator' in Ramallah hospital". This is how I know that Arafat, and the Palestinians, don't want peace. It's even more simple than the fact that Fatah is Arafat's own organization. It's that if Arafat and crew were really interested in peace, they'd be labeled as 'collaborators' and shot!

Halakhic Activism

How involved should Jews, especially orthodox Jews, be in lobbying the government. Should we pro-actively try to get a Torah agenda applied to America? Should we cower like good little Diaspora Jews and only speak up when the government sanctions a pogrom (if then)?

The Republican controlled House is making great Christian strides to ban abortions (Bill Banning Abortion Procedure Advances). We can leave aside the nettling questions of pro-activism for the moment. Even leave aside the issue of religious reciprocity (meaning that why should we cower when the muscular majority, especially under Pope Bush II, is unabashed at shacking up church and state).

Halakha insists on partial-term abortions when the life of the mother is at stake. As the Times' story states: "The bill's opponents say it is unconstitutional because the language is so broad as to ban more than one type of abortion and because the bill does not include an exception allowing the procedure in cases where it is necessary for the pregnant woman's health."

We cannot allow a law that makes Halakha illegal. Whatever you feel about the abortion question, Halakha is crystal clear about this. Write your congressperson.

What did I tell ya?

The newest in the Governator assault (from the Times): Schwarzenegger Admired Hitler, Book Proposal Says

And there will be more. There are videos of Arnie groping the women who accuse him (I read about this in a Premiere magazine expose a few years ago). I predict that these videos will find their way onto the nightly news. The image of the Teutonic body-builder pawing petite victims will be shown over-and-over-again. California, the land of Rodney King, can't resist the power of the image.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

J. M. Coetzee Wins Nobel Prize for Literature

The NYTimes reports that J. M. Coetzee Wins Nobel Prize for Literature.

It's not often that I've read the Nobel winner's work (it helps that this dude writes in English), but I was forced to do so in my Freshman English class (Lit-141, Vic Brombert). I'm very glad he made me read Coetzee for two reasons:
  1. I was still a Freshman which meant that I was still doing the required reading
  2. I can unequivocally say that the Nobel Committee has bat-poo for brains.
I have often hated the great works of literature (just as I hate many of the "great" movies). Waiting for the Barbarians (the bat-poo in question) in no manner matched the earlier books in the class (on Modernist fiction), e.g. Primo Levi, Virginia Woolf and a whole mess o'Kafka. And all of them are superlative, none of them Laureates.

Considering that there are a bare few Nobel laureates worth reading (e.g. Winston Churchill) - I don't know why we even care.

But, for those who do, the timetable for the rest is as follows:

Medicine - Monday, Oct 6 (Yom Kippur)
Physics - Teusady, Oct 7 (Isru Chag)
Chemistry - Wednesday, Oct 8 (Nothing, really)
Economics - Wednesday, Oct 8
Peace - Friday, Oct 10 (Erev Sukkot)

In the running for the peace prize: Arafat (again, the Swedes love it when your body-count hits a new order of magnitude... it's like watching the odometer roll-over).

(And if you want to see grade-school art, check out the diplomas the laureates get)

The Governator

As I had predicted, the enemies of Schwarzenegger's candidacy are waiting until the week before the vote to bring out the big guns: his history of chronic sexual harassment. More, I'm sure, to come. See the story here: Schwarzenegger Says He's 'Behaved Badly'