Wednesday, November 26, 2003

All Hail the Onion!

Hasbro Pledges Additional 30 Marbles For Hippo-Hunger Relief
PAWTUCKET, RI—With global famine worsening, Hasbro pledged an additional 30 white marbles Monday to hippo-hunger relief efforts. "To see those starving, starving hippos just lying there, not knowing if they will ever get another chance to click and clack for life-giving marbles—it's too much for anyone to bear," Hasbro spokeswoman Lisa Reiderer said. "We cannot stand idly by while these sweet plastic creatures slowly die. It is up to all of us to get the most marbles for our hippos."
Pic from here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Catholic Shame

Not that today's story is any different from the news which has been breaking over the past 2 years (Lawyer for Church Says He Hid His Own Sexual Abuse by Priest) but it does make me wonder what the Jewish communal response should be?

Obviously, we identify with any victim of the Catholic church. But we can either (a) stay silent and let the church hang itself on their own rope, (b) advocate victims-rights across the board, keeping the religious and historical issues moot, or (c) actively go after the Church.

We have already been doing (a). But what are our principles?

As I've stated before, I am unhappy with the Orthodox organizations. I fear that there may be leaders in the Jewish community who will side with any established religious organization out of the bizarre but commonplace socio-psychological phenomenon that all bureaucracies - across all borders - are brothers no matter what ideology or creed.

But are we afraid - like always - of being too high profile? Will our Diaspora cowardice force us to ignore yet another fight?

Personally, I'd like to go after the Church. I'd like for the Jewish community to expose the evils of Catholic politics. Is the current uproar any different from the hypocrisies of the past?

Bottom line, though, is that we should at least do category (b); vigorously support the victims' pleas for justice. It's a safe way to do the right thing.

Continental, part 3

Today's response. Better.
Dear Rabbi [Misspell]:

Thank you for your reply.

We want to be your airline of choice, and your thoughts help to point us in the right direction to assist our management team as we continue to make positive changes within our organization.

I have registered your additional comments in a corporate report that is reviewed by our senior management.

Thank you again for sharing your comments with us, and for flying Continental Airlines. Your support and feedback are genuinely appreciated.

Kind regards,

Tracy McGlothen
Customer Care Manager

Monday, November 24, 2003

Continental Part 2

The letter I sent to Continental Customer Service:
Dear Sirs
My wife recently made a reservation with Continental to fly from New York City to Houston, TX. We informed today that Continental has made a policy to not provide kosher meals on most of their flights.

I am appalled. It is shocking that even in the 21st Century a major company will discriminate against customers because of their religion.

I understand that the policy is a cost-cutting measure in response to the rising costs of security following the terrorism of 9/11. Why respond to racism with racism? Why defend Americans by going against what America stands for?

I ask that Continental reconsider its racist policy. Until there is a reversal, I will urge all those I can reach to not choose Continental.


[The Styx]
The Response:
Dear Mr. [Styx]:

Thank you for your email regarding the changes with our Special Meal amenities.

I apologize if the changes to our Special Meal amenities may be an inconvenience for you. Customer preference is an important element we consider when making changes to products, services or amenities such as Special Meals.

While this amenity is not being eliminated, Special Meals will only be an option in select markets, such as long haul International flights. Since most of our domestic flights are less than four hours customers with special dietary needs or preferences have a wide variety of options to meet their requirements. We will continue to offer an option of a Special Meal amenity on select flights in markets where alternatives may not be as readily practical or available.

Please be assured that Continental Airlines neither approves of nor tolerates discrimination of any kind. This is, and remains, a matter of policy and culture.

To ensure that your concerns do not go unnoticed, I have registered your comments in a corporate report that is reviewed by our senior management. Continental Airlines looks forward to continuing to merit both your business and your loyalty.

Thank you for your interest in our company, and for choosing Continental to meet your travel needs.

Kind regards,

Tracy McGlothen
Customer Care Manager
My Reply to the Response:
Dear Tracy,

I appreciate your honesty that the airline's policy of eliminating kosher meals is part of cost-cutting and not racism. However, I am not so convinced. As far as I know, there are still meals on the flight. By not providing kosher meals, Continental is making a visible distinction that religious Jews do not deserve the same comfort as the rest of the customers. The price of the ticket is still the same, no?

I believe that Continental must change their policy to something more equitable if they want right-minded Americans to believe them.

I must reiterate my claim that "I ask that Continental reconsider its racist policy. Until there is a reversal, I will urge all those I can reach to not choose Continental."


[The Styx]

P.S. As a Rabbi, as my title clearly states, I would prefer to be called by that title. Thank you.
Now, let's see what *that* does.

This is a nice thing

Bakery with Hard to Employ Workers Goes Kof-K

Monday, November 17, 2003

Join the NRA Blacklist

TPM alerted us to the NRA Blacklist- a group of people and organizations who are "anti-gun." As far as I can tell, "anti-gun" should probably mean "pro-life" but there's where I get confused.

Anyhoo, the AARP, American Medical Association, the American Bar Association, the Anti-Defamation League, B`nai B`rith, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, American Jewish Committee & American Jewish Congress (which are the same organization, trust me), Hadassah, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Union of American Hebrew Congregations and even the "American Trauma Society" - who you'd think would like gunshot wounds - are on the blacklist.

Missing: the OU. Young Israel. Agudah.

There are a whole mess of celebrities on the list. Some you'd expect (Ed Asner) some you'd not (Tony Bennett, my man Sean Connery)

You too can join! Click here.

Personally, I don't know if I'll join the blacklist. If my leaders, the OU etc, aren't on the list then YA KNOW how can I disagree with those older and wiser than me.

Also, do I really want to be on the bad side of an organization wholly devoted to guns and shooting people?

P.S. There are a mess of interesting articles on the NRA website.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Zinger Analysis

After a thorough study of the four zingers in my house: Red, Lemon, Orange-Mango, and Tangerine-Orange, and seeing the further flavors at the research library, (namely: Cranberry Apple, Raspberry, and Wild Berry)

I have come to the following conclusion to the question: "What makes a Zinger a Zinger?"

Hibiscus, rosehips, roasted chicory root (Lemon)
Hibiscus, rosehips (T-O)
Hibiscus, roasted chicory root (C-A)
Hibiscus, rosehips (Red)
Hibiscus; rosehips; roasted chicory root (W-B)
Hibiscus, rosehips, roasted chicory root (Raspberry)
Hibiscus, rosehips, roasted chicory root (Mango)

That is all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Been There

My mom is an avid reader.

Continental Airlines Eliminates Kosher Meals

In order to save costs, many Continental Airlines flights will not offer kosher food. Why?! I've heard that it's in response to the rising costs of security.

I'm not saying that they think that since Jews were at fault for the rising security that they should take it out on us. I'm saying that Continental doesn't care about people with dietary restrictions. Also, they suck.

Even PETA has gotten into the game (God help us).

You can contact Continental Airlines consumer affairs at 1-800-932-2732 or . Tell them they are evil and we will boycott their crummy airline until they stop their racism.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Dept. of Irony

In case you didn't hear, the government is paying Linda Tripp $600,000 in damages for violations of her privacy. To review: this is the woman whose immoral recording of private conversations was used as the basis for the ugly, desperate impeachment of Clinton.

My favorite irony: Republicans hate trial lawyers.