Monday, June 29, 2009

Blue Music Monday - Howlin' Wolf

Some of 'em dies about it...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Imprecatory Prayers - Like pointing a gun at a person?

Interesting article about people praying for others to die... and someone's comment:

I would wonder that if people honestly believe in the power of imprecator prayer, why can’t they be charged with a crime if they admit to asking for the death or injure of another person?

It’s one thing to wish that someone would have an unfortunate end, but quite another to ask God to take action. If you truly believe in God, this is like pointing a gun at someone. It doesn’t matter if the gun is subsequently found to be unloaded, the intent was there, and the person wanted to do harm. Either you believe in God and you accept responsibility for asking him to do terrible things on your behalf, or you admit that these prayers are nothing more than an outlet for impotent rage.

Drake’s gun may or may not be loaded but he’s still waving it at people.

Although it seems like the comeback would be pretty easy to think of - you believe that whoever you are praying to harm is going against God, so you are just asking for Divine justice.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gays are the new Jews

I was walking past some newspaper stand and I saw another front page story about gay marriage, and I thought to myself - it is interesting how a fairly small minority can elevate its concerns to such a visible level. I mean, let's go with the commonly thrown around statistics of 10 per cent of the population is gay. It is still a very small minority - yet their concerns are always on the front page. You'd think, why would the rest of the population care - but they do. Gay rights have become a huge topic.

And then I started thinking that this has always been the story with the Jews - you'd think a tiny minority in the world would be almost invisible, yet the whole world concerns themselves with the Jews. And somehow, Jews are always able to elevate their problems to the top of the world's agenda...

Interesting parallel...

Interesting Legal Question

So this guy gets arrested in Tennessee for photoshopping the heads of 13 year old girls onto nude pictures of adult women. The charge - sexual exploitation of a minor. In other words - kiddie porn.

Yet here is where I am baffled. I can understand someone taking nude pictures of kids getting charged with sexual exploitation, but this doesn't make any sense to me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


That's my kids' tuition bill for day school this year. After "financial aid". In Chicago! Jewish high school tuition is double that... Thank God I haven't reached that...

Is everyone paying this kind of money? How the heck do we all afford it? Is there some secret? We aren't all attorneys, doctors or nursing home owners. This is more than I pay for my house a year and I live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood.

Seriously, are all of us working guys paying this amount of money for day school??


"The leading role of Saeed Mortazavi in the crackdown in Tehran should set off alarm bells for anyone familiar with his record," said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch.

Kazemi, a freelance photojournalist with dual Iranian-Canadian nationality, was arrested on June 23 while taking photos outside Tehran's Evin prison during an earlier period of reformist unrest in Tehran, also ruthlessly repressed.

The first news of what happened to Kazemi came in a statement from Mr Mortazavi, which said that the 54-year-old had died accidentally of a stroke while being interrogated. Two days later a contradictory statement was issued, saying that she had fallen and hit her head.

On July 16 Mohammad Ali Abtahi, the Vice-President of Iran, admitted that Kazemi had in fact died of a fractured skull after being beaten.


It was regarded a black joke when, in 2006, Iran selected Mr Mortazavi as part of a delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Human Rights Watch asked unsuccessfully for him to be withdrawn, or for other countries to refuse to meet the Iran delegation until his removal.

[full article]

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hypocrisy in Action

The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.
As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.

President Barack Obama

I think it is somewhat disingenious to tell other governments how to control their riots. The United States is very brave to lecture the world about freedom of speech and right to protest, but these freedoms seem to disappear when the US feels like they can actually make a difference. Iran today is a powder keg. And the government knows it. These protests are not being suppressed because the government is afraid to do a recount - heck, everyone in Iran knows that the President is a figurehead with no real power. The mullahs in power fear that these protests will morph into protests that can easily spin out of control and topple their government. And let's face it, we would do the same in this country and have done so many times in the past.

Maywood Music Monday - Pasadena

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Nipples, Nazis and Facebook

So, there is an interesting article on TechCrunch about Facebook defending the right of Holocaust deniers to have a group on their site, especially since they had recently banned pictures of women breastfeeding in their nursing groups.
In general, it is depressing to see so many people misunderstand the First Amendment, and in general the distinction between free speech and hate speech. Specifically, the fact that Holocaust denial is not an academic position - it is always linked with anti-semitic and hateful propaganda.

The funniest exchange in the comments:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Music Monday - Arthur Rubinstein

Chopin's Waltz in C# is one of my all time favorites... Next week - rap!

Friday, June 12, 2009

"scared the bejeezus out of him"

This article just kills me. I think this is the first time I read a news article that used the word 'bejeezus'.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


What do you do when you realize as you approach 40 that success in life is all about cultivating relationships. Without that, intelligence or ability or specific skills are not gonna make you succeed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Imagine you're a deer...

One of the funniest scenes from My Cousin Vinny:

Monday, June 08, 2009

Polish/Russian/Jewish Tango Music Monday

Friday, June 05, 2009

The lolcats bible tranlation project

I don't know - It's not that funny...

Monday, June 01, 2009

Push th' little daisies music monday

Best line in the song - "If you think that I'm a loser, well, you suck!"