July 31, 2006
Iran awarded Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez its highest state medal on Sunday for supporting Tehran in its nuclear standoff with the international community, while Chavez urged the world to rise up and defeat the U.S., state-run media in both countries reported.
The leftist Venezuelan leader also condemned Israel for what he called the “terrorism” and “madness” of its attacks in Lebanon, Venezuelan state television reported.
“Let’s save the human race, let’s finish off the U.S. empire,” Chavez said. “This (task) must be assumed with strength by the majority of the peoples of the world.”
Hat-tip Frank White.
“They claim you never know what you got ’til it’s gone, I know I got it, I don’t know what y’all on”
Hot summer night, something like 85 degrees despite the fact that the sun has gone down. I’m at a friend’s 30th birthday party, a guy named Byk who is one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met, at the fanciest Russian restaurant in Brighton Beach. There are about 70 people in attendance, three long tables full. The men are in suits, the women in a variety of pretty get-ups. There’s food and lots of drinking, bottles of Grey Goose and Petron every few inches on every table, toasting the birthday boy, laughing. One of my friends has abruptly quit smoking, and is also not drinking tonight. We all know what that means but it’s too early to say congratulations. Superstition dictates a three-month mark. She’s six weeks away, we’ll celebrate then. We take smoke breaks on the boardwalk, the men loosen their ties, the women try to avoid getting their heels stuck in the cracks.
We run into old friends. I see the mother of one of my best childhood friends. He was my first male friend, 4th grade, and set the pattern for my way of having mostly male friends even today. He’s got two kids now, lives maybe 7 blocks away from me, but we probably had an easier time of seeing each other when we were 11 and had to be driven everywhere. We’re still close, I love his wife, but life just always gets in the way. Standing on the boardwalk with his beautiful mom, I promise myself to make more of an effort. I see another friend, from my teens, that I recently discovered again through My Space. She was always the romantic dreamer girl and I’d scold her for living in “Cinderellaland”. She seems to be doing ok there, though. We declare our love for My Space, we were meant to be back in touch, I think.
Petitedov, Pretty Numbers and the Ace of Spades himself are in the area, along with another cool but blogless friend of theirs. They stop by and we sit and catch up outside. We discuss the 2008 election. Petitedov is rooting for Romney, Ace is in Giuliani lalaland. I think the ultimate GOP candidate will be someone we’re not thinking of right now. I introduce them to my best friend, my Laurie. I feel like she and PN should know each other better–they both mean a whole lot to me.
They leave and I go back inside. My boyfriend is out of town, in preparation for his cousin’s wedding that is happening the next day. I’ll be joining him deep in Long Island tomorrow. The two other men in my life with whom I spend the majority of my time, SMVP and MR, couldn’t make it tonight. SMVP is so sick that I’m actively worrying about him. MR has family obligations. I’m not a dancer at the best of times but tonight the pickings for dancing opportunities are slim. I’m sitting next to Pheeleepok, who I adore but who, when I asked him in advance if he was going to dance with me told me in no uncertain terms that he was not. His plan was to keep his head down and try to make it out of this night alive. The birthday boy is one of his best friends but Pheeleep hates Russian restaurants–the music, the food, the scene is just not his style. My friend Frank’s girlfriend, who I like very much not only because I hooked them up and not only because she reads this blog, jokingly says I’m like a guy because I’m not dancing. I don’t mind. Like a guy, especially like my guys, I do my own thing, dance when I feel like it, etc.
And then I feel like it. “Ose shalom bimromav, u berahamav yaase shalom alenu veal kol amo Yisrael, veimru. Amen….” Earlier, the guy sitting across from me, Lenny, a real current events buff, asked me what my sources were telling me about the situation in Israel–short or protracted? Um, my sources? I don’t actually have any sources, my own feeling is that this needs to happen, that Israel gets smacked around so often and the world just watches and expects it not to react. People call it Goliath but this Goliath lets David take unlimited shots before even thinking of firing back. Goliath has had enough. The band starts the Hebrew music, I look over at my friend Frank, and we head to the dance floor. The place goes wild. We form a circle, clap our hands. People get in the middle and dance like our forefathers must’ve danced, arms linked, kicking. “Hava nagila, Hava nagila, Hava nagila venis’mecha….” I think, as we’re dancing that, so far, the Jews in this room are the luckiest Jews in history. We didn’t live through Pograms, Extermination, War. We escaped the Soviet Union, a place were they made sure to note we were Jews, and therefore different and inferior, on our passports. We ended up here, in America, this amazing place, my home, my love. And we all hold Israel in our hearts, as a place we love and must defend, if not with our presence there, then with our words here. If Israel ceases to exist then as a people the Jews have failed. We have come this far, where not everybody is trying to kill us at all time. The security of Israel is just the last step. We don’t want war, we never did. The words above “Ose shalom…” mean “make peace”. We want to. But they kidnap our soldiers and kill our teenagers. They do it on purpose. We can’t survive this way. And for Jews, it’s always been about survival. If you’ve never had to think about not only your own survival but also the survival of your entire people, consider yourself lucky. If you have, remember that there are people fighting for all of us–and that they fight because there are others that want to kill all of us. Even us lucky ones dancing to Hebrew songs on a hot New York summer night.
July 29, 2006
My favorite song this week has been “Underwear” by Magnetic Fields.
I was one of them Jews willing to give Mel Gibson the benefit of the doubt that he wasn’t a Jew-hating maniac like his father. Big mistake, huge.
I will never watch Braveheart the same way again.
Update: Slight sarcasm that clicking the link will explain.
Technorati Tags: Shooting+Seattle Jewish+Organization+Shooting+Seattle
July 28, 2006
Meanwhile, Cindy Sheehan has used insurance money she received from son Casey’s death to purchase property in Crawford, Texas. Allah has the run-down including the very interesting interaction between Ma Sheehan and the man who had been letting the crazies use his property to protest.
July 27, 2006
There’s a brouhaha about Republicans leaving their party label off of campaign ads, implying that the (R) party label has become the political third rail. Nonsense. It’s always been the case that party labels are left off in states that generally swing one way or the other. Democrats in Colorado during the ‘04 election did not mention their party anywhere, even Democrats that ultimately won (like the Salazar brothers, one now a Senator and one a Congressman whose pitch letter appears here sans the “D” word). Bush was leading in the polls there, why would anyone draw attention to their party when it might only be a minus for them?
It makes sense to leave off the “R” word in blue states like Maryland or New York, maybe even in ‘purple’ states like Minnesota. But the swipe at Mark Kennedy, running for U.S Senate from Minnesota, doesn’t make a lot of sense. For one thing, his campaign ad is excellent. It’s funny, self-deprecating, and sends the message that he’s just a regular guy, an “independent” who doesn’t do what the party tells him to. And, as he’s running in one of those aformentioned “purple” states, why would he risk alienating voters turned off to labels?
Most annoying about this whole story is that every campaign season reporters treat it as new and unique that some candidates don’t use their party labels in their pitches to voters. Working, briefly, on a State Senate race two years ago, a now-fairly-prominent writer of NY politics hammered my candidate for having the word “Republican” appear only after “Independence” and “Conservative” party labels on his literature. Last year, the City Council candidate I worked for encountered the same problem, though mostly from the anonymous commenters on Politicker.
So go on and leave your party label off, Mr. Kennedy. And if you go on to win the election, govern exactly as you said you would. People are electing you, not your party registration.
Update: I found a pic of a John Salazar sign that I took while I was in CO. No mention of being a Democrat there either:
Though, the article has since been changed to reflect these responses to the Abbas comments: “Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida said “from our side there is nothing new.” Palestinian lawmaker Saeb Erekat said it was “premature” to say the soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, is about to be released.”
Meanwhile, Israel is training 30,000 more troops. Because while it may be premature to say Cpl. Shalit is about to be released, it isn’t premature to say that Israel will continue the ass-kicking until he is.
ALERT: Gays Not Attracted to Livestock (by guest blogger Dorian Davis)
There’s no substance to the theory that same-sex marriage necessarily results in men and women marrying spiders and chickens. “Extrapolation,” explains Thomas Sowell, “is the last refuge of a groundless argument.” Gays want kids, not Minotaurs.
July 26, 2006
In the next 24 hours, I’m going to buy two CDs. That’s ‘Compact Disks’, not a ‘Certificate of Deposit’, for those born after 1982. They will be Tom Petty’s “Highway Companion” and Johnny Cash’s “American V: A Hundred Highways”. The fact that both albums have “highway” in their title is completely coincidental. I will then upload them into my ipod and play them all summer long.
It’s been over a year since I bought my last CD. It was going to be Damian Marley’s “Welcome to Jamrock” (which, by the way, is great) but I got lazy and downloaded the whole thing. But today, Petty and Cash it is.
Bars are where people go to escape the idea of family life, commitment, and responsibility.
My parents love telling the story of us living in Ladispoli, Italy (in between Russia and America, most people made an Italy or Vienna stop) and them leaving me outside the bars in my baby carriage because, well, that’s what people did in Italy in the late 70’s! Kids in bars–bad. Kids in baby carriages outside bars–worse.
I always thought he was a guy that made sausage. Turns out, he’s the brother of DNC head Howard Dean. Jimmy is head of Democracy for America, the group Howard founded before heading to the DNC.
It also turns out, Democracy for America is backing Ned Lamont, Joe Lieberman’s primary challenger.
Influence Peddler states the obvious:
(Jim) Dean is not a late-comer, or someone who likes Lieberman but happens to prefer Lamont. Rather, he searched for months to find a challenger to Joe Lieberman, and was one of the people who drew Lamont into the race. Now, Democracy for America has endorsed Lamont.
Now obviously, Jim Dean would not be fighting with such determination to knock off Lieberman, if his brother Howard really thought it was a terrible idea. Howard realizes how important it is to preserve every Democratic Senate seat if they want to win the majority, and ought to be willing to pull out all the stops to prevent a serious challenge to a good incumbent like Joe Lieberman. So you know that the DNC Chairman must really not care for Senator Lieberman.
So, is Howard Dean on crack or what? Why would he risk losing a safe (D) Senate seat? To appease the netroots who supported his failed candidacy? Because he doesn’t care about the Democratic party, just about his own personal Howard Dean movement? I don’t have a conspiracy theory here, I just plum don’t get it.
The worst part about this fiasco is how Republicans have wholly failed to capitalize on it. We’ve, sadly, limited ourselves to rooting for the better Dem, because there’s no real Republican challenger. My take is that it’s the winner syndrome: we’re not fighting because we already have everything worth having (presidency, both houses, most of the governorships, etc.). Unfortunately, we fail to realize that having won for so long means that it can only be downhill from here. I wish I saw some passion from my side to stay at the top.
Technorati Tags: James+Dean Democracy+For+America Ned+Lamont Joe+Lieberman Democrats Republicans Howard+Dean DNC RNC
A Norwegian newspaper published a cartoon likening Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert to a Nazi. So, of course, Jews rioted in the streets of a dozen cities, made death threats, burned cars, killed people and generally boycotted all the products of Norway.
Or, actually, the “Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles sent a letter last week to Norwegian Ambassador to Washington Knut Vollebaek to express “collective outrage” over the publication of the cartoon” while the the “Norwegian Israel Center against Anti-Semitism, an Oslo-based organization comprising Jews and Christians, has appealed to the government to speak out against hatred of Jews” launching a campaign to get Norwegians to send letters to the minister of justice to make Norway a safer place for Jews.
July 25, 2006
Or, what not to say after you’ve been busted for running a multi-state prostitution ring:
“So what? Some of my best girls were minors”
- Jody L. Spears