Alarming News

February 26, 2010

No distance left to run

“It’s over…I knew it would end this way…I hope you’re with someone who makes you feel safe when you’re sleeping tonight…”

Oh, wait, it’s not that kind of break-up:

AP sources: NY Gov. Paterson won’t seek new term

Good riddance, bad rubbish, etc. Unfortunately, it will probably be even worse rubbish next go round. Still, we’re on an excellent streak in NY with our governors, so maybe Andrew Cuomo will only last a few minutes too.

Posted by Karol at 02:48 PM | Comments (18)

February 24, 2010

“This was my heart, my choice and my health.”

And what did a Canadian Premier, from Newfoundland and Labrador, choose when it came to his heart and his health? He chose to have his open heart surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.

For all the talk about the awesomeness of socialized healthcare, everyone knows the truth: if you have money you come to the country that leads the way in medical innovation precisely because its medicine isn’t government run. You come to where it pays to be a doctor, so you know you’re getting the best and the brightest. You come to America, why wouldn’t you?

And if you can’t, you wait on a line, hoping not to die before its your turn. Don’t believe me? Listen to the Premier (who was told his “problem had become severe and urged him to get his valve repaired immediately or risk heart failure”):

“I would’ve been criticized if I had stayed in Canada and had been perceived as jumping a line or a wait list. … I accept that. That’s public life,” he said.

“(But) this is not a unique phenomenon to me. This is something that happens with lots of families throughout this country, so I make no apologies for that.”

Williams said his decision to go to the U.S. did not reflect any lack of faith in his own province’s health care system.

And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Newfoundland and Labrador to sell you.

Posted by Karol at 01:03 PM | Comments (13)

February 23, 2010

Can’t get you off my mind

R.I.P. Michael “Chip” Tripolsky.

It used to be that when I’d tell people I’m from Brooklyn, they’d get a certain image in their minds. This is before Brooklyn became a hotbed of hipsters, bands, artists, and generally an extension of Manhattan. People would picture violence, run-down buildings, mobsters, and everything else they’d see in movies.

I’d correct this image, telling them of prospering immigrant communities, of old-school neighborhoods, of a childhood as idyllic as it would be anywhere. Mostly.

The truth is, I’ve known way too many people who died young. Starting in my teens: Billy, heroin overdose. Omar, accidental self-inflicted gunshot. Dora, always said she would die by 25, drunkenly ran into traffic at 21. And so many others, overdose, overdose, overdose, murdered, overdose, brain aneurysm, car accident, car accident. It happened all the time.

I went to high school with Chip but I can’t say that we were really friends. He was a grade or two behind me in school. Still, it was a tiny school, no more than 150 people, if that, in grades 9-12. And he was Russian, and I was Russian so we had that. I remember him as a teenager, floppy blonde hair, smoking cigarettes out on the driveway with everyone else.

He looked me up on Facebook, maybe last year. I didn’t recognize him at all. He had shaved his head, lived in L.A. and nowhere on his profile did he call himself Chip. It took a few back and forth emails for me to put it together. It’s funny, sometimes you become Facebook friends with someone you were really close to, exchange a few emails to catch up and that’s that. And sometimes you become Facebook friends with someone you don’t know all that well but end up talking to them far more often than you’d think.

Chip and I figured out we had several friends, and a poker habit, in common. He’d tell me about bad beats, and how our mutual friend Phil has owed him 13 dollars for about 20 years now. We discussed hanging out when IC+I went to LA, but never ended up meeting up. When Chip was home in November, we played poker together at another friend’s place, and he gleefully collected his 13 bucks from Phil.

We’d speak from time to time on Facebook and a few nights before my daughter was born he texted me asking if I’d delivered yet. Were we friends? I think then I would’ve said yes. Now I don’t feel like I knew him at all. How does that happy blonde kid from high school update his Facebook status to “bye bye all” and then kill himself?

I’ve thought about him more than I’ve thought of any of the other people I knew who had died young. I’ve never known anyone who killed themselves, it is beyond my comprehension. I feel actual guilt; I didn’t always respond to his chat, I didn’t have his number in my phone so responded to his text with “who is this?” I wasn’t there for him. I know it’s crazy to think that way. I know. I was a ten month pregnant woman, who barely knew him, living on the opposite coast. But I’m still haunted. Why’d he do it? Why? It’s just not enough of an explanation for me that he was depressed, that he was troubled. He was a person with friends, with family. How did he end up so alone?

I’m sorry to depress you all, it always helps me to write about things that are so deeply on my mind. Hope you’re in a better place, Chip, hope there’s less pain there.

Posted by Karol at 07:40 PM | Comments (6)

February 22, 2010

Not us, hopefully not ever

Mayor of Swedish town with sharp rise in anti-Semitism to Jews: you deserve it.

Malmo’s Jews, however, do not just point the finger at bigoted Muslims and their fellow racists in the country’s Neo-Nazi fringe. They also accuse Ilmar Reepalu, the Left-wing mayor who has been in power for 15 years, of failing to protect them.

Mr Reepalu, who is blamed for lax policing, is at the centre of a growing controversy for saying that what the Jews perceive as naked anti-Semitism is in fact just a sad, but understandable consequence of Israeli policy in the Middle East.

While his views are far from unusual on the European liberal-left, which is often accused of a pro-Palestinian bias, his Jewish critics say they encourage young Muslim hotheads to abuse and harass them.

The future looks so bleak that by one estimate, around 30 Jewish families have already left for Stockholm, England or Israel, and more are preparing to go.

The worst incident was last year during Israel’s brief war in Gaza, when a small demonstration in favour of Israel was attacked by a screaming mob of Arabs and Swedish leftists, who threw bottles and firecrackers as the police looked on.

Emphasis mine.

The mayor insisted to The Sunday Telegraph that he was opposed to anti-Semitism, but added: “I believe these are anti-Israel attacks, connected to the war in Gaza.

“We want Malmo to be cosmopolitan and safe for everybody and we have taken action. I have started a dialogue forum. There haven’t been any attacks on Jewish people, and if Jews from the city want to move to Israel that is not a matter for Malmo.”

And by “action” he means “talking.” Same thing, right? And by “anti-Israel” attacks, he means attacks on people who don’t live in Israel and have nothing to do with Israeli policy.

Stories like this remind me how lucky I am to be a Jew in America. We’d be hard-pressed to find a place in the US where a mayor would be this openly hostile to Jews and not be thrown out on his…ear. And starting a “dialogue forum” at a time when Jewish families have already fled? That’s just not the American way, we don’t excuse this sort of behavior and deal with it through “dialogue”, even in our most liberal bastions. And I applaud us for it.

Posted by Karol at 05:12 PM | Comments (21)

Six months later

Remember when that “compassionate” Scottish judge released the Lockerbie bomber because he only had 3 months to live? Yeah, about that.

Posted by Karol at 04:00 PM | Comments (3)

February 19, 2010

Two weeks of Sadie

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It’s been an amazing, surreal two weeks. It feels both longer (we’ve known her forever) and shorter (seems like she was born just yesterday). We are totally mesmerized by her. It’s awesome.

Top 5 frequently asked questions:

1. Are you sleeping at all?

Surprisingly, YES. We don’t want to jinx it, but it’s so much better than we were told it would be. She’s sleeping 3-4 hours at a time so on good nights I’m only getting up once. She’s also a fairly textbook baby (so far); cries when she’s hungry, cold or needs to be changed. Not a lot of mystery most of the time.

2. Is she a redhead?

Not really. When she was born there was some reddish hair at the sides but her hair seems to be dark blonde/light brown. It might change with time but she’s not rhizhiya right now.

3. Why “Sadie”?

I wanted to name her after my beloved grandmother Sarra. A Russian version of “Sarah”, “Sarra” is pronounced with a strong roll of the “r”, almost sounding like Zarra or Sahra. I didn’t feel like I could count on our child’s name being pronounced as I would’ve liked (and didn’t want to doom her to a lifetime of correcting people) so instead decided to use Sarra as her middle name and still honor my grandmother by giving our daughter a name that also starts with an “S”. And, well, Sadie was pretty much the only name IC and I agreed on. Additional bonus was that Sadie was originally a nickname for Sarah, before becoming a name on its own. Oh, and in Hebrew her name will be שָׂרָה/Sarah. So, triple ode to Sarra.

4. Will you be teaching her Russian?

Yep. And my husband will be teaching her Hebrew. It helps that our moms are/were both teachers of these languages. We’ll see how it goes but we’d love for her to be tri-lingual right from the start.

5. Are you starting a baby blog?

Maybe. I was sure I wouldn’t but like any new hobby/project/interest, I feel the need to start a specialized blog about it. It’s an illness. It’s not definite, but I’m considering it.

Posted by Karol at 03:08 PM | Comments (11)

I remain unclear why Tiger Woods owes us an apology for cheating on his wife…

…but in case you missed it, he’s sorry. Joe Weisenthal has a live-blog of the press conference.

Posted by Karol at 12:44 PM | Comments (2)

February 18, 2010

Bad Catholic

Sky News presenter, and self-described Catholic, mistakes Joe Biden’s forehead ashes for a bruise. I remember being completely confused by the ashes, but I was 10…and Jewish.

The link, by the way, goes to National Review’s new news-feed blog written by Greg Pollowitz. Check it out.

Posted by Karol at 02:50 PM | Comments (10)

February 11, 2010

If you have to say it…

Harold Ford’s wife “Claims No Baggage”

I especially like this part:

Despite gilded-class assumptions raised by Ms. Ford’s fashion pedigree and her mother’s wealthy third husband, Anson Beard Jr., a former Morgan Stanley senior executive, Ms. Ford quickly points out that she grew up in Naples, Fla., playing paddleball as a teenager and perfecting her tan.

“I am not an Upper East Side heiress,” she said emphatically.

No, of course not. A Naples, Florida heiress is totally different.

Posted by Karol at 09:09 PM | Comments (10)

February 9, 2010

I’m busy, back soon

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Posted by Karol at 05:21 PM | Comments (12)

February 7, 2010

The only way this story makes sense is if he is trying to set a record for stupid

But it is Gov. Paterson, so I wouldn’t put it past him:

Political insiders are buzzing about a story, to hit Monday, which will implicate Gov. Paterson in a scandal (possibly involving a broom closet and a woman who is not his wife) and it is said he will resign following the publication.

So, who’s next in line for NY’s governorship? And how deep into the line will we go before we find one who is not a total moron?

Posted by Karol at 08:31 PM | Comments (6)

February 5, 2010

She’s here

Sadie Sarra was born this morning at 8:44am, weighing in at 8lbs, 4oz. Pictures to come.

Update:

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Posted by Karol at 03:43 PM | Comments (30)

February 4, 2010

He’s just so spiritual, maaaaan

J.P. Freire finds a recent Washington Post article on Obama’s faith highly suspicious. I do too. It’s almost as if he’s trying to appeal to those who “cling” to religion at the same time letting the non-religious know he’s one of them too. Best line in Freire’s piece:

“Pardon my saying this, but why do his advisers know that he prays privately if he … prays privately?”

Posted by Karol at 05:07 PM | Comments (22)

February 3, 2010

Dear Atlantic magazine,

Andrew Sullivan needs to be fired. Like, now.

UPDATE: Ace has the ultimate Sullivan take-down. It really is perfect.

Posted by Karol at 04:18 PM | Comments (11)

Answer: Nevada’s first legal male prostitute, obviously

Question: Who is a civil rights pioneer like Rosa Parks, a performer like Lady Gaga, an artist like Van Gogh and an eccentric like Moby?

And I bet all women really want to know is if he’s hot. Pic and NY Post’s Mandy Stadtmiller’s story of her visit with him is here.

Posted by Karol at 03:47 PM | Comments (3)

February 2, 2010

But thanks for asking

Nope, no baby yet.

Posted by Karol at 01:58 PM | Comments (6)

February 1, 2010

Go

On February 11, Ken Wheaton will be reading from his new book “The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival” in Brooklyn:

Park Slope Barnes & Noble
7:30 P.M.
267 7th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
718-832-9066

Ken is a looooong-time friend of Alarming News. Some info on Ken: he cries on trains while reading sad books, bet me $2 that Condi Rice would win the presidency in 2008, makes a mean chili, breaks his no-drinking-on-lent promise when his friend’s dog dies and doesn’t believe you should stay friends with an ex after you break up. He also is a seriously great writer and anyone in the vicinity should definitely go check him out.

Posted by Karol at 09:59 PM | Comments (2)
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