Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Perfect Day for Bananafish?

Not today, I guess...

Real Life Meets Office Space

In support of the Chicago Black Hawks participating in the,“Hockey Weekend Across Illinois”, staff will be permitted to wear Chicago Black Hawks apparel with jeans on Friday, January 29th.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A pilgrimage to San Isidro

by Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes...

This photo belongs in the "Quinta del Sordo"

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Can someone help me with the Yiddish?

I am trying to translate this postcard. I think the first sentence is something like "To our best friend..." Then I can make out "shvigger" and "brother and sister", but I can't quite put it together. It is signed "Moshe and Basya"

View of Toledo - El Greco

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rabinovitch and the Party

Party Secretary: Rabinovitch, why did you not show up for the last Party meeting?
Rabinovitch: Had I known it was the last, I would have definitely shown up!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rabinovitch looks for a job

[Rabinovitch was a stock Jewish character in Soviet jokes]

Rabinovitch comes in for a job interview...

Manager - I am sorry, but we can't hire a Jew for this position.
Rabinovitch - but I am not Jewish. My mother is an Orthodox Christian!
Manager - OK, but if I am going to hire a "Rabinovitch", I may as well hire a Jew!

Anybody get it?

From Each According to Their Ability...

Lately I've been thinking about the notion of welfare and universal healthcare etc... I know these issues are complicated, and Lord knows I am one of the least qualified to talk knowledgeably about them, but it seems to me that there is an underlying notion which is rather simple to work through, the notion of fairness, and yet it seems this aspect is never discussed and analyzed. Yet to me working through it seems like step one.

What am I talking about? Well, we all know that resources and wealth in our society are not distributed equally. A lot of our social programs are aimed at helping those who cannot afford basic needs - food, shelter, healthcare. This to me seems correct at a certain level. I don't believe that a utopian society can exist where everything is distributed equally. And we know because of various fundamental forces, such as supply and demand, and innate intelligence and other skills that some people will be more successful than others. If you're born with an IQ of 90, and your neighbor is born with an IQ of 150, chances are your neighbor will succeed better than you through no fault of your own. Or if your house burned down because it was hit by lightning and you lost all possessions, you should get humanitarian help from your fellow citizens.

However, it is clear that a large percentage of those who receive help, help which I pay for through taxes on my hard work, do not try to better themselves, and are not in dire straits because of some misfortune, but because they are just not interested in working hard and improving themselves. This is a politically incorrect statement, but it is indisputable.

It is true that there are no easy solutions. You cannot take a homeless bum who was living on the streets for ten years and put him in a corporate environment and expect him to thrive. And clearly there are barriers of prejudice and ethnic discrimination, yet these are surmountable - and the truth of the matter is that these are at their lowest level now than ever before. And if Jews can come to this country as peddlers and tailors and their children can become doctors and lawyers, and the same with the Koreans and the Chinese who come here as grocery owners and laundry operators and their kids dominate the Ivy Leagues, and the same with the Indians who come here and drive cabs and work in gas stations and donut shops and seven elevens, there is no reason why others cannot.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dr John Music Monday - Iko Iko

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


I used to get really bummed out going on YouTube because there was so much anti-semitism in the comments on many of the Russian/Jewish videos.

But then I was checking out some other videos, and guess what - the hatred is pervasive throughout. I saw Rumanians and Hungarians going at each other on one thread, Macedonians and Bulgarians on another. Russians hating Chechens, Georgians and Armenians. Ukrainians hating Russians.

YouTube is a teeming pile of pure nationalistic hatred. It's quite a scene.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Joining the Homopalooza?

One thing that seems interesting to me is that this huge jblogosphere tempest over the gay panel @ YU seems to only draw out the young frum gay guys into the heated discussion. Where are the older gay frum guys? Are they preferring to stay in the closet?

Monday, January 04, 2010

Dubliners Music Monday - Rocky Road to Dublin

This song is amazing - they played a snippet of it in the new Sherlock Holmes music. The amount of breath control the singer has is incredible, simply incredible.

In the merry month of May, from my home I started,
Left the girls of Tuam, nearly broken hearted,
Saluted father dear, kissed my darlin' mother,
Drank a pint of beer, my grief and tears to smother,
Then off to reap the corn, and leave where I was born,
I cut a stout blackthorn, to banish ghost and goblin,
In a brand new pair of brogues, I rattled o'er the bogs,
And frightened all the dogs, on the rocky road to Dublin.