Sunday, September 03, 2006

Haveil Havalim #85 is UP!

Fighting against Blogger's hiccups and his daughter's fever Daled Amos has persevered and managed to get Haveil Havalim #85 UP for your reading pleasure. Fortunately his daughter is normal. The same can't be said for Daled Amos. (He's my friend I can say that. Can't I?)

#86 - September 10, 2006 - Soccer Dad
#87 - September 17, 2006 - Greetings from French Hill - contact them at israelrulesblog at hotmail dot com.
Sept 24, 2006 - No Haveil Havalim - Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year.

Keep in mind that if Soccer Dad is listed as host, that it is a placeholder. I will plan to host, but would not protest if someone else volunteered.

If you would like to submit one or two of your best Israel or Judaism related posts send me an e-mail at dhgerstman at hotmail dot com. Also if you'd like to host an upcoming edition e-mail me at the above address.

In addition to e-mail you may submit entries to Haveil Havalim using either Conservative Cat's handy dandy submission form or the submission form over at BlogCarnival. Or feel free to e-mail me at dhgerstman at hotmail dot com.

(Note the change in the operation of Conservative Cat's submission form. It takes you directly to Haveil Havalim.)

Remember, that while the hosts and hostesses of Haveil Havalim do a wonderful job of editing and searching for interesting posts, they can't see everything. If you want a better chance of being included in Haveil Havalim please submit one or two posts for inclusion. (And please don't submit everything or nearly everything you posted in a week. Winnowing out your best posts takes time.)

Listed at the Truth Laid Bear Ubercarnival.

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Previous editions ...
Most recent editions of Haveil Havalim at Blog Carnival
#22 Mystical Paths
#21 Rabbinical Authority Consortium of HACKers
#20 Shiloh Musings
#19 Devarim
#18 Soccer Dad
#17 Mystical Paths
#16 Critical Mastiff
#15 Soccer Dad
#14 Multiple Mentality
#13 IsraPundit
#12 DovBear
#11 Kesher Talk
#10 Biur Chametz
#9 Soccer Dad
#8 It's Almost Supernatural
#7 Bloghead
#6 Willow Tree.
#5 Crossing the Rubicon2
#4 Dov Bear
#3 Biur Chametz

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Watching the weasels 08/30/2006

The nominations are in. Here is a rundown of this week's Council posts ...

In Cutting the Biased Some Slack, Sundries Shack notes that all journalists appear to be on the same team. It just may not be the team of freeedom and democracy.

Done with Mirrors applies the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to media watching in Read it and Weep.

Gates of Vienna examines why Europe is more susceptible to being co-opted by Islamism and what it portends for the future in an Asimov sounding Empire and Apocalypse.

Education Wonks examine a case of a teacher's insubordination to a poorly thought out request from the principal in Flag Flapped In Colorado. (BTW, read the comments.)

Right Wing Nuthouse wants to Save the Electoral College!

JoshuaPundit observes that the same Arab world that considers peacekeepers in Lebanon so essential don't give two hoots about protecting real victims in Meanwhile, in Darfur.... Of course that would mean acting against Islamists and we wouldn't want any of that.

Unlike Done with Mirrors who uses science to analyze politics, Socratic Rhythm Method uses politics to understand science in Pluto Struck Down As Unconstitutional.

In Valid Pedagogical Purpose -– Poor Pedagogical Methodology, Rhymes with Right considers the Colorado flag flap, but the details seem rather different from the Educational Wonks.

Shrinkwrapped analyzes and dismisses new shoplifting laws in England in "Root Causes" and Other Nonsense.

In Say Anything, AbbaGav demonstrates how the media act as shills, but doesn't demonstrate kickboxing. Not disimilar Done with Mirrors' thesis.

The Glittering Eye considers and rejects the charge that the House Intelligence Committee's report on Iran was "cooked" to sound more alarmist in Fearmongering? Or Oversight?

Milbank vs. mearsheimer

Dana Milbank turns his scornful style on John Mearsheimer to good effect in Pronouncing Blame on the Israel Lobby
Whatever motivated the performance, the result wasn't exactly scholarly.

Walt singled out two Jews who worked at the Pentagon for their pro-Israel views. "People like Paul Wolfowitz or Doug Feith . . . advocate policies they think are good for Israel and the United States alike," he said. "We don't think there's anything wrong with that, but we also don't think there's anything wrong for others to point out that these individuals do have attachments that shape how they think about the Middle East."

"Attachments" sounds much better than "dual loyalties." But why single out Wolfowitz and Feith and not their non-Jewish boss, Donald Rumsfeld?

"I could have mentioned non-Jewish people like John Bolton," Walt allowed when the question was put to him.

And that is the problem. Walt and Mearsheimer promote themselves as academics and their paper as scholarly, but the paper is just as sloppy (or selective if you prefer) as Milbank describes the charge against Wolfowitz and Feith.

Milbank's mockery continues
This line of argument could be considered a precarious one for two blue-eyed men with Germanic surnames. And, indeed, Walt seemed defensive about the charges of anti-Semitism. He cautioned that the Israel lobby "is not a cabal," that it is "not synonymous with American Jews" and that "there is nothing improper or illegitimate about its activities."

But Mearsheimer made no such distinctions as he used "Jewish activists," "major Jewish organizations" and the "Israel lobby" interchangeably. Clenching the lectern so tightly his knuckles whitened, Mearsheimer accused Israel of using the kidnapping of its soldiers by Hezbollah as a convenient excuse to attack Lebanon.

You think that "The Israel Lobby" was better in the original German maybe?

"Israel had been planning to strike at Hezbollah for months," he asserted. "Key Israelis had briefed the administration about their intentions."

A questioner asked if he had any "hard evidence" for this accusation. Mearsheimer cited the "public record" and "Israeli civilian strategists," then repeated the allegation that Israel was seeking "a cover for launching this offensive."

Actually the argument against this charge is that Israeli military planners would be neglectful if they didn't have contigency plans in effect for responding to each nearby enemy. Being prepared for conflict is essential, it doesn't mean that Israel was looking for a pretext to attack. (And of course Mearsheimer ignores six years of Hezbollah violations.)

Milbank brought up one more instance of Mearsheimer's sloppiness
As evidence that the American public does not agree with the Israel lobby, the political scientist cited a USA Today-Gallup poll showing that 38 percent of Americans disapproved of Israel's military campaign. He neglected to mention that 50 percent approved, and that Americans blamed Hezbollah, Iran, Syria and Lebanon far more than Israel for the conflict.

As noted above, this kind of selective quoting was typical of the "Israel Lobby" paper.

And who was Prof Mearsheimer addressing? Why it was the Islamic "civil rights" organization CAIR! The end of the article gives a sense of openmindedness and understanding that permeated the talk.
When the two professors finished, they were besieged by autograph- and photo-seekers and Arab television correspondents. Walt could be heard telling one that if an American criticizes Israel, "it might have some economic consequences for your business."

Before leaving for an interview with al-Jazeera, Mearsheimer accepted a button proclaiming "Walt & Mearsheimer Rock. Fight the Israel Lobby."

"I like it," he said, beaming.

I'm no fan of Milbank, but here his scorn was well placed and used to excellent effect.

Earlier this summer the Post's ombudsman Deborah Howell defended the paper's Middle East coverage. She wasn't at all bothered that a whitewash of Walt and Mearsheimer appeared at a time that Israel was fighting terorists in its north and south
Some readers didn't like The Post Magazine piece by Glenn Frankel examining the Israel lobby and felt it was poorly timed. I liked it. Production on the magazine closed June 30, before the war began. One could also say that piece couldn't have been more aptly timed.
Howell wrote. In ohter words Howell's implicitly arguing that it was pro-Israel groups (aka the Israel lobby) that led the United States to support Israel in its fight against anti-Western terrorist organizations. One would hope that it wouldn't require a lobby for the United States to see that its interstests and Israel's coincide.

Power Line and LGF have their takes.

UPDATE: Meryl Yourish observes that Mel Gibson and Jimmy Carter apparently missed the fun.

Boker Tov Boulder sees something biblical in the motivations of Walt and Mearsheimer.

Rhymes with right concludes

The association between these professors and the terrorist-supporting CAIR should be enough to discredit these pseudo-academics -- and to discredit the organizatation, which sponsored them despite their having been is creditted as
dressing up old anti-Semitism in new garments.

Mere Rhetoric points out additional inconsistencies in the original Israel Lobby paper
He might also have mentioned their intellectual dishonesty in complaining about US aid to Israel (aid that Israel was promised so that Jimmy Carter could get a Noble Prize by getting Israel to give up critical land - and security - to Egypt, which the realists supported because it moved Egypt out of the Soviet orbit) and in leaving out the part where Bush Sr. almost cut off aid to Shamir because of Israeli settlements.

and points to Jewish Current Issues critique
Neither of them mentioned the fact that George W. Bush formally endorsed a Palestinian state (assuming the Palestinians built a “practicing democracy” with leaders “not compromised by terror”), nor the fact that the U.S. -- while waiting in vain for Abbas to meet his initial Road Map obligation of “sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure” -- nevertheless (a) pressured Israel into releasing 900 prisoners to help Abbas (a step not required in the Road Map); (b) supported Sharon’s plan to simply give Abbas all of Gaza (under the mistaken assumption it would generate popular support for Abbas); (c) supported Abbas financially with tens of millions of dollars in handouts, and with pledges of billions more; (d) watched without protest as Abbas took the money and padded the public payroll with “security forces,” instead of building schools or hospitals or houses for refugees; and nevertheless (e) continually supported Abbas as a “man of peace.” ...
But Walt & Mearsheimer blame the “Israel Lobby” for giving Abbas “nothing.”

Elder of Ziyon demonstrates how Walt and Mearsheimer have cause and effect backwards.

Maryland Conservatarian confuses Walt with Nasrallah.

Walt and Mearsheimer remind Extreme Mortman of a classic SNL skit. And they remind Capatain's Quarters of a Family Circus cartoon.

Liberty and Justice emphasizes one of Milbank's points
Mearsheimer constantly singled out Jewish individuals while conveniently ignoring the fact that some of this US administration's most fervent pro-Israel members aren't Jews, but Christians.

Am Echad writes that W & M produce a worse result than anti-semitism - they produce shoddy scholarship. Instapundit has similar thoughts.

The sixth column notes that it isn't just important what Walt and Mearsheimer said but who they said it to.

The Volokh Conspiracy.David Bernstein writes that he's finding it harder to give W & M the benefit of the doubt as to whether they've crossed the line into antisemitism. Hit and Run wonders the same thing.

Other commenting include Solomonia, Blog-o-fascists.

More at Buzztracker.

Technorati tags: , .

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Haveil Havalim #82

Check out the whole thing here.

No Feminists on a sinking ship thinks that Google is making people lazy.

Daled Amos writes that Israel must take back the narrative.

Confederate Yankee condemns the complicit MSM as the ghost in the media machine.

Elder of Ziyon expands on Confererate Yankee's thesis and gives a specific example that the AP is writing Hezbollah's press releases.

Ace of Spades HQ wonders how those stringers get all those poignant photographs.

Perspectives of a Nomad argues, Hezbollah lies, wins sympathy.

Here's a comprehensive list of all the types of photographic fraud are committed by the media.

Israelly Cool! observes that not all Arabs are listening to Nasrallah's warning to leave Haifa.

West Bank Mama sees that the Israeli Left is speaking up again.

Jewish Current Issues recounts a press conference that he and other prominent pro-Israel bloggers had with Natan Sharansky.

IRIS blog exerpts an op-ed by Gen. Doron Almog.

Ocean Guy excerpts from Jewish Current Issues and Michael Behe's article in the New Republic showing that the widespread destruction in Lebanon is, well, exagerated.

Israel Matzav explains the Geneva Conventions and why they don't protect Lebanon.

A view from a Height tells us that Israel was winning.

Deja Vu compares PM Olmert's wartime performance with that of Levi Eshkol.

Solomonia has testimony from a photographer that the practice of "directing shots" is widespread.

Crossing the Rubicon2 quotes from an op-ed by a non-Jew who would rather Jews be alive and angry rather than meek and dead.

Atlas Shrugs carries a Nidra Poller essay "Don't Apologize."

Media Backspin links to a commentary that tells us that "... editors everywhere can no longer trust the pictures from Lebanon."

The Volokh Conspiracy asks what year an offensive cartoon was published.

IN how many ways does the ceasefire screw Israel? Let Mere Rhetoric count the many many ways.

Meryl Yourish dons her teacher's cap and gives the ceasefire a D.

The Hashmonean grades Olmert and Peretz, and he doesn't grade them on a curve.

Israeli Matzav explains what went wrong and wonders if Israel can still win.

The Bush Administration's complicity in the ceasefire has Powerline wondering who won the 2004 election.

Greetings from French Hill explains why the ceasefire is a Hezbollah victory.

Cozy Corner guesses at what lies in Israel's future.

Back in 2000 Dry Bones was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Cozy Corner considers applying game theory to the war against Hezbollah.

The Ignoble Experiment defends the rights of those she disagrees with to disagree - unharrassed.

Treppenwitz considers an obscure episode of history to draw a lesson about never being complacent about the loss of life.

Critical Mastiff writes that being kind to the cruel is never the right measure.

Daled Amos wonders how Ariel Sharon would have handled this war and looks for hints.

Simply Jews fisks a moonbat named Monbiat.

Joshuapundit comments on the Israeli government's decision to push forward with an expanded offensive.

The Ministry of Offence explains why Israel can neither win nor lose the war with Hezbollah.

Life in Israel tells us two stories about life at the front in Lebanon.

Life in Israel wants the government to let the army win the war and forget about convergence.

Greetings from French Hill wonders if the government wants to win the war.

The Partisan Times says that Israel must win.

Raanana Ramblings tells us what to put in care packages for the Israeli soldiers. (There are some interesting comments too.)

Say hello to the Israeli Tikkun Blog.

Me-Ander reflects on her new neighbors from the North.

Shiloh Musings reproduces the Hula Hoop describes what it's like to experience Katyushas, in Kiryat Shmona.


A Simple Jew has an interview with Psychotoddler about the state of Jewish music.

The Ignoble Experiment goes to two concerts in support of Israel.

This reminds me that a few weeks ago Crossing the Rubicon2 mentioned the Voices for Israel CD that includes, among other things, Shir Lismoach. This cheerful and optimistic song was written by Malki Roth, whose Yahrzeit (Hebrew annivesary of her death) is tomorrow. Her life (and those of many others) and music were cut short that day 5 years ago when a young man walked into Sbarro's carrying a guitar case hiding his deadly device.

Israel at Level ground announces that Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull) is returning to Israel.

Kesher Talk has a teremdous linkfest about the war.

The Board Game blog considers Hebrew music and gets a surprising comment from a Jordanian and takes a trip through a war torn country.

Orthodox Anarchist has pictures of some "street art" that shows the anxiety of Israelis.

No feminists on a sinking ship tells Mel Gibson that antisemitism is bad for business.

Jewish Baltimore

Crablaw writes about the Jewish constituency that makes up the a significant portion of Maryland's 3rd Congressional District.

Cross Currents looks at Baltimore's Orthodox Jewish community.

Presence reports on vandalism at his Shul (synagogue.)


The ignoble experiment continues her quest to internationalize Haveil Havalim.

Here's a Russian entry on encountering an antisemite.

More Kyshara on what Israel A Simple Jew interviews Psychotoddler on the topic of the current state of Jewish music.

Faux news

Esser Agoroth explains why the Enterpise couldn't have been in the Reuters photo.

Simply Jews discovers the secret behind those Reuters photos.

The Fireant Gazette found a similar original photo.

Pillage Idiot has also reasearched and found an original Reuters photo. (Or maybe the Peoples Cube found them?)

Israel Matzav asks what would happen if the current editors of the NY Times were around in 1943. (h/t Life of Rubin, original image plus details at the People's Cube.)

More related at Kesher Talk.


R' Chaim HaQoton discusses Judaism before Sinai.

R' Chaim HaQoton also discusses the holiday last week of Tu B'Av.

(You may need Firefox to view these posts. They did not display in IE.)

Elie's Expositions also discussed Tu B'Av. (Who compares Tu B'Av to Valentine's Day, I thought it was the Jewish Sadie Hawkins day.)

Torah Thoughts applies the lessons from this week's Torah reading to the war against Hezbollah.

Velveteen Rabbi discusses her observance of Yom Kippur Katan.


Shiloh Musings argues that the cost of fighting a "moral" war are too high.

House of Joy shares her non-joyous thoughts about war.

Biur Chametz attended two military funerals and reflects on them.

Two bloggers remembered Michael Levin.

Saba Yeshayah knows many people who knew him from Philadelphia.

Am Echad knew people who knew him from Nativ.

Consecutive headlines in ha'aretz

Annan: Both Lebanese, Israeli PMs have agreed to cease-fire
UN envoy: Int'l force to deploy in S. Lebanon in 7-10 days; Olmert to address security cabinet. 06:21
Syria still transferring supply of rockets, missiles to Hezbollah
IDF source: Senior Syrian officials involved in arms transfer; says Iranian fighters sent to Lebanon. 03:53

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The reviews are in on Richard Cohen's latest, "Hunkering Down with History" and the self selected ones I've seen have been uniformly negative.

Little Green Footballs:
At the Washington Post, Richard Cohen agrees with Hamas and Hizballah that “Israel is a mistake.”

And he’s open to the argument that Israel is a “crime.”

Israel Matzav - his post is aptly title History Lesson
Cohen's article reflects a total ignorance of Jewish history, and of the Jewish connection to the land of Israel dating back to biblical times, which is inexcusable even for an assimilated Jew (which I assume Cohen to be). In fact, even Christians should be offended by Cohen's writing them out of the history of the Holy Land. Cohen adopts the Arab narrative of the last century of history lock, stock and barrel, without even considering that it might be false. Note, I said Arab and not 'Palestinian,' because the 'Palestinians' by their own admission are a fiction created by that Arab narrative.


Someone explain to me why anyone in their right mind would think that the "smart choice" is to pull back to borders that are not impervious, while terrorism continues, while "waiting and hoping" that history will "move on to something else"?!

The life he has cheerfully resigned himself to sacrificing might be your own, but that's what you get for being born in a mistake-state, right?

After reading the latest from Richard Cohen, we have to wonder what the Washington Post columnist has been smoking...

Yag's thoughts
In it he calls the creation of Israel "a mistake". OK. That's fine. It would be surprising to my father, who is a 6th generation Jerusalemite. It might be insulting to my mother, a holocaust survivor who moved there from Germany after the war, but OK. I’ve read worse ...

Infotainment Rules
So says the hysterical Richard Cohen in the Washington Post, in the first (current) case of a Jewish pundit desperately trying to feed Israeli Jews to the crocodile in the hope that he will be eaten last.

Blue Crab Boulevard
Hunkering down is never a strategy for winning a war. It is a way to die. Israel did not choose this war, it was thrust on them. Sitting back and taking it will not make it better and will not fix the underlying problems. I do not profess to know the ultimate solution, but I highly doubt it is the one Mr. Cohen charts.

Richard Cohen advises Israel not to be overly aggresive. He theorizes that Israel would be best serve to "hunker down" in a defensive position and wait for the nations which surround it to develop into peaceful neighbors. It is an excellent hypothesis provided one does not have to face the consequences of testing it.

Sierra Faith
Richard Cohen is a useful fool tool for Anti-Semites the world over.

I can see the smile cross the face of the evil Ahmadinejad as he reads these words in a prominent American newspaper.

We should all weep for the lack of moral clarity in these times from many in America.

The Belmont Club
"Never Again" lasted all of sixty years.

Though not addressed to Cohen's column this recent Dry Bones provides a rebuttal to Cohen's argument.

And while I don't think that Cohen probably meant something less offensive than it sounds - when he calls Israel a mistake he probably means a historic accident given the unlikelihood of a third commonwealth being founded after 2000 years - it's hard to get past the article without feeling that he's giving ammunition to Israel's enemies.

But when Cohen writes
In his forthcoming book, "The War of the World," the admirably readable British historian Niall Ferguson devotes considerable space to the horrific history of the Jews in 19th- and 20th-century Europe. Never mind the Holocaust. In 1905 there were pogroms in 660 different places in Russia, and more than 800 Jews were killed -- all this in a period of less than two weeks. This was the reality of life for many of Europe's Jews.

Little wonder so many of them emigrated to the United States, Canada, Argentina or South Africa. Little wonder others embraced the dream of Zionism and went to Palestine, first a colony of Turkey and later of Britain. They were in effect running for their lives.

you get the impression that he is providing ammunition to the Arabs and their sympathizers who argue that since the Holocaust is a European crime why should Europe repay Jews by taking the Palestinians' land from them. As President Ahmadinejad said in an interview with Der Spiegel (where he's clearly having trouble with the idea that the Holocaust did take place)
We don't want to confirm or deny the Holocaust. We oppose every type of crime against any people. But we want to know whether this crime actually took place or not. If it did, then those who bear the responsibility for it have to be punished, and not the Palestinians.

Cohen doesn't mention the historical ties of Jews to Israel and no mention of persecution of Jews in Arab and Muslim lands. Nothing to provide a context that Israel is a refuge for Jews, not just from Europe, but from the world over.

To Cohen Israel's founding is a reaction to the Holocaust. Toleration of Israel is a sign of civilization and an acknowledgement of the wrongness of the Holocaust. But there are those who don't accept his premises. They too must be tolerated no matter how outrageous (and murderous) their behavior. Until they come around. Somehow that's not very comforting or convincing.

UPDATE: Welcome Memeorandum readers.

AbbaGav's title says it all Israel's Mistake: Existing. Remedy: Cower Passively, Hoping They Run Out of Rockets . Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

Daled Amos writes of the many aspects of history that Cohen ignores ...
Or the history of Safed, the city in Israel that is currently known for being struck by Hizbullah missiles, but back in the 16th century was home to a Jewish community which included Rabbi Joseph Caro who wrote the compendium of Jewish Law used till today.

Kesher Talk
Winston Churchill knew Saudi Arabia was a mistake. Don't blame the Brits for letting Jews finally have tiny Israel back after they had repeatedly returned and gotten slaughtered and exiled again and again for 2000 years. Blame the Brits for giving Arabia to the Wahabis, arguably the mistake which has shaped the last 100 years more than any other.

On the topic of Kesher Talk's zinger read this.

UPDATE II: Welcome to Buzztracker readers.

Captain's Quarters
Richard Cohen channels National Lampoon's "Deteriorata" in today's Washington Post opinion section in writing about Israel. He argues that since Israel's birth came out of the Holocaust and that many in the Muslim world refuse to acknowledge that genocide, Israel should "hunker down" and apparently allow terrorist groups to attack then without fear of reprisal.

And by all means check out Deteriorata. It's a riot.

A Barbaric Yawp

In short Cohen agrees that the critics of the withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza were correct and that these moves were seen as weakness by Hezbollah, Hamas and company. Cohen also admits that UN peacekeeping troops are not the answer.
His solution is to withdraw again to what he calls defensible borders. Isn't the definition of insanity continuing to do the same thing over and over again with the hope that it will yield different results.

Right Wing News on noting the column sounds like satire

Maybe they can just replace Cohen with Frank J., Liberal Larry, Scott Ott, or Iowahawk. The conservatives would think it was funny, the liberals would have trouble telling the difference, and the bloggers would probably work much cheaper than columnists like Cohen.

Hot Air

Picture yourself perched in the turret of a tank, scanning the horizon with night-vision goggles, pondering whether the order that sends you north across the blue line is the order that might end your life. You’ll be sent over into Lebanon to take out a Hezbollah rocket cache, but it’s heavily defended and there’s every chance in the world that Hezbollah has an ambush waiting for you. At that moment, the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen wants you to remember: Israel is a mistake.

Thoughts by Seawitch

But I will say this, far from being a mistake, Israel is the greatest miracle to have occured in the 20th century. The Jewish people returned to their ancient homeland and have created a vibrant society while at the same time defending itself in numerous wars from neighboring countries and from terrorists groups such as Hamas and Hizbollah.

LawHawk - expanding on KesherTalk's point

Israel's existence was a mistake? You could say the same thing about every border drawn by Europeans in Africa, the Middle East, and anywhere else for that matter, where countries were invented along borders that never existed before (Palestine, TransJordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey were all part of the Ottoman Empire until its breakup after WWI by the Europeans).

Common Folks using Common Sense in a similar vein

By the way, if Israel is a historical mistake, then so are Pakistan and Bosnia, and probably others. Anything noteworthy about them, Sir Cohen? Maybe we should return Iran to the Zoroastrians, Egypt to the Copts, Lebanon to the Maronites, western Turkey to the Greeks, Iraq to the Assyrians, and eastern Turkey to the Armenians. Why don’t we turn the whole world over to the Roman Empire?

Boker Tov Boulder

After acknowledging in this very same column that 95.7 percent of Poland's Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, Cohen has the audacity to suggest that Israel wait and hope "that history will get distracted and move on."

Common Sense and Wonder

Ah yes, if only those Europeans hadn’t foisted the Jews they didn’t manage to kill off on the poor Arab world where no Jews had been before. If only the few million Jews already living there under British rule and Turkish before that agreed to permanent dhimmitude under the enlightened Arab rulers after the British left there would be no troubles at all. I’m sure the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem would have been happy to carry on the unfinished work of the Germans and then there would be no ‘problem’ with the Jews at all.

Or as Tinkerty Tonk puts it succinctly

Cohen would have Jews continue to run for their lives.

Iowa Voice
Gateway Pundit
Confederate Yankee

UPDATE III: TBIFOC gets some expert opinion on Cohen. Katz say, "meow."
If creating a nation of European Jews was a horrible mistake, I guess the morons who came up with the idea of expelling 600,000 Jews in Arab lands to force them to move there and cement the Jewish hold on those lands have got to be the dumbest, most ignorant people who ever lived.
And he's soliciting. Opinions that is.

Maryland Conservatarian starts with
As of this writing, Richad Cohen’s column - Hunker Down With History - in today’s Washington Post has already generated 87 blog linkings according to the Technorati sidebar. A quick sampling of them indicates the trend is definitely anti-Cohen…and deservedly so because his column today is mind-numbingly inane.

(Emphasis mine) and he doesn't let up.

Partisan Times also noticed the similarity to Ahmadinejad and links to a few others.

Some general criticisms including Cohen:
Life of Rubin - the long version
Beit Frumpy Chic - the short version

UPDATE the final: I never mentioned any of Cohen's defenders. Here's Mahablog after noting that it isn't clear what Cohen wanted, writes
Righties, who have below-average reading comprehension skills at best, have variously interpreted this column...

Well yes there's a lack of clarity in the column and that would explain the various interpretations of Cohen. That's the fault of the writer, not the critics. But for the most Cohen was criticized for his ignorance of history. By focusing strictly on Jews coming to Israel after the Holocaust he was leaving out an awful lot of history. His central point was very weak.

Mahablog approvingly quotes Matt Yglesias
Israel itself is a mistake . . . the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now” is a bit too quick and easy. … The “mistake” here would be Arab rejection of the UN partition plan which, at the time, I’m sure looked to them like a really clever piece preventative security gambit but obviously turned out to be a total fiasco. The lesson would be something about not pushing things too far, not rejecting reasonable favorable compromise proposals, not doing things with giant downside risk, etc.

But Cohen's column was directed towards Israel not the Arab/Muslim world. And Cohen seemed to be saying that the conflict won't end as long as Israel's viewed as a mistake so Israel better get used to it. If anything that seems to be encouraging Israel's enemies, not cautioning them.

Technorati tags: , .
Walt-Mearsheimer retrospective in the washington post
In the Sunday between publishing an op-ed by the leader of Hamas and an op-ed by a regular columnist declaring the existence of Israel a mistake, the Washington Post undertook another sticky topic regarding Israel in its magazine. It revisited the Walt-Mearsheimer paper in an article, A Beautiful Friendship? by former Israel correspondent Glenn Frankel.

I'd have to agree with questioner (from a subsequent Q & A with Frankel, who wrote
As a Jewish American with deep connections to Israel, I began your article expecting to be outraged and finished only mildly annoyed.

Unfortunately Frankel, while generally balanced, never really addressed the content of the Walt/Mearsheimer paper directly.
In March two distinguished political scientists -- Stephen Walt from Harvard and John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago -- published a 42-page, heavily footnoted essay arguing that the Bush administration's support for Israel and its related effort to spread democracy throughout the Middle East have "inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardized U.S. security."

Yes it was heavily footnoted. It was also extremely selective. A critique that Benny Morris wrote in the New Republic dealt with the selective nature of the paper. Or I could link to an excellent critique on a single point by Jewish Current Issues. The problem with that unless one acknowledges the sloppiness of the paper, one isn't going to question the motives of the authors.

This is troubling.

In an e-mail Pillage Idiot wrote:
The basic issue is whether the position a "lobby" espouses is correct. These people are saying that a lobby whose position they oppose HAS TOO MUCH POWER. That's a wholly different thing. What is power, anyway, but the ability to persuade? Was Bush duped into supporting Israel? Was he bribed into supporting Israel? Doubt it. He actually believes in what he says.

For Frankel to address the question of the power of the Israel lobby, implicitly he is acknowledging that he disagrees with the aims of that lobby. He wouldn't look too critically at the contents of the Walt/Mearsheimer paper because he, at least, accepts that part of their premise.

But let's assume supporting Israel is against American interests. Therefore the $3 billion in annual aid is a waste. Well does anyone ask about whether the $2 billion annual aid the U.S. gives to Egypt? Or the millions that went to the PA over the past 13 years? And does support of Egypt or the PA really advance American interests?

Israel's enemies and America's enemies are largely the same. Egypt and the PA embrace those enemies. Israeli votes roughly 90% of the time with the United States; Egypt about 20% of the time. (Actually no country votes with the United States more than Israel. Wouldn't that suggest that their interests are similar?)

But despite the antagonism shown to the U.S. by Egypt in a number of ways the American monetary support of Egypt isn't subjected to anywhere near the same level of scrutiny as aid to Israel. (About the only time the Washington Post editorially opposes the aid to Egypt is in reference to its suppression of the opposition - including the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.)

Another problem with Frankel's articles is that he lets Walt and Mearsheimer get away too easily with their dismissal of David Duke. Yet as even Walt's friend Shai Feldman observed "
You have to differentiate between them and their argument," Feldman replies. "They're not anti-Semites even if they have slid into an anti-Semitic argument. I think it all comes from their failure to prevent the war on Iraq."

Or, more pointedly, as Pillage Idiot e-mailed
If you mimic anti-semitic charges that have been made against the Jews for centuries and perhaps millennia, the burden shifts to you to prove you are NOT an anti-semite.

And in fact, though Walt and Mearsheimer rejected the support of David Duke a well know white supremacist in this country they were more than happy to submit to a sympathetic interview in England's Independent with Robert Fisk who isn't exactly well known in the United States. But Fisk's antagonism towards Israel is no less than Duke's. And in case anyone missed the point of the interview, the Independent ran a cover with an American flag where the star field replace 5 point stars with the six point Jewish stars. It was a visual representation of what white supremacist call ZOG - the Zionist Occupied Government.

(The cover photo of the Washington Post magazine had a similarly disconcerting image prompting a questioner to ask Frankel
But what has me most upset is the cover art on the magazine itself. The Washington Post gave every anti-semetic organization in the nation their new poster image. It is like something straight out of The Elders of Zion. I expect more from the Post.

Frankel answered I
understand your concern but I can't agree with your comment about the cover. Yes, it's a strong image, but if you look at AIPAC's own logo, it's a Star of David with American stripes going through part of it. Symbols do have power, and extremists often seek to hijack them for their own purposes. But that shouldn't stop us from engaging in free expression.

Except that AIPAC uses that imagery to show a confluence of interests. Israel's antisemitic critics use it to show that the Elders of Zion have hijacked American policy. Frankel at best is oblivious. And of course he says well, we can't not run such an image, that would curtail our right of free expression, latching onto another criticism of the Israel lobby: that it silences its opposition.)

(In a different context Hatemonger's Quaterly observes
By now, we all know the old saw: Zionists purportedly mean-spiritedly label opponents of Israel anti-Semites in order to shut them up. This helps silence the opposition in what is, we imagine, the most cacophonous silence in history—one hears more about this horrible silence more than one actually notes the non-existent silence.

Then there's another matter of Walt and Mearsheimer's behavior that also makes it hard for me to give them the benefit of the doubt about their motivations.

In an interview published Friday with Forward, Prof. John Mearsheimer alleges that the pro-Israel lobby is so powerful that he and Stephen Walt would never have been able to find an American publisher for their paper.

Who is Walt kidding? I'm sure that the Village Voice, the Nation, the American Conservative or even the New York Review of Books would have been willing to publish "The Lobby." And if they were interested in publishing the essay in book form, there's certainly Nation Books. Walt has no problem using the language of the anti-Israel crowd when it suits his purposes. For him and Mearsheimer to shrink from David Duke's praise is a little hyprocritical. They agree with the view, but don't want the stink of others who hold that view to stick to them.

Finally Frankel mention former Senator Charles Percy who feels that he was successfully targeted for defeat by AIPAC. (AIPAC is frequently referred to in the article as "right-wing" yet it was its support of the very liberal, the late Paul Simon, that is cited as the reason for Percy's defeat.) The reason given that AIPAC targeted Percy was that he met with Yasser Arafat even though, according to Percy, he voted for every foreign aid bill that AIPAC favored. Look I can understand Percy's resentment if he feels he was targeted by AIPAC, but reading Frankel you don't realize that there's more to the story.

First of all meeting with Arafat 20+ years ago, was a big deal, that it wasn't post Oslo. Though Arafat never gave up his terrorist ways, he was accurately perceived as a bad guy then and meeting with him was tantamount to approval of his agenda. Furthermore since his defeat, Percy has been involved with the American Educational Trust. AET is a decidedly anti-Israel organization. It is probably antisemitic too. (Check out the website for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs for a sense of the organization.)

Again this is a significant piece of information about Percy that Frankel doesn't mention.

So the problem with Glenn Frankel's treatment of Walt and Mearsheimer is that it's about their paper without it being about them and their views and allies. It is, in other words, shallow. Long but shallow. So though the article appears balanced between proponents and opponents of Walt and Mearsheimer, it lets them off the hook by not investigating what their paper really said.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Leaving the nest

The hardest balance a parent must strike are the simeltaneous desire to teach his/her child independence while still keeping the child close. In recent weeks - and in the near future - all my children have taken steps toward leaving the nest.

Our oldest just got certified by Microsoft for Excel. She took the certification test in lieu of a computer final. In a few days she's headed off to camp; but she's an expert with that by now. But when she comes back, she's planning on driving lessons.

The next just completed middle school and is preparing for Yeshiva next year. Which Yeshiva he would attend was his own decision. He also was a contributing photographer to his yearbook. And we just received word that he won an honor for academic achievement.

Our middle child just started Bar Mitzvah lessons. In a little more than a week he's scheduled to go to Israel for 3 weeks with my parents. (At which time, he will hopefully be getting his Tefillin.)

#4 just completed reading all 6 Harry Potter books. And he's only 7 1/2.

And our four year old just got her ears pierced. And if she's allowed she might well be in kindergarten next year.

Each of them progressing in his or her own way, getting ready for the day when, inevitably he or she will leave our nest.

Time marches on.

No wonder I have so many grey hairs in my beard.

ps Pictures courtesy of child #2. There was a nest in our dogwood tree. Yesterday the (apparently) two eggs hatched and one of the chicks fell to the ground.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The acceptable hate
A number of bloggers have commented on the International Committee of the Red Cross's (ICRC) decision to finally allow the Mogen David Adom admittance. Of course the MDA's admission is under conditions that renders it less equal than other member organizations: MDA's symbol is enclosed in a "Red Crystal," if members of the MDA are working in a country that doesn't approve of a Jewish Star then they may only wear the crystal.

The basic unfairness and obvious capitulation to antisemitism cannot be overstated. Still this is an accomplishment on some level, but this cannot be the final status.

However this is the ICRC's mission statement:
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance.

By taking the irrational Arab/Muslim demand into account the ICRC arguably is violating its impartiality and neutrality.

Consider Article 38 of the original Geneva convention
Art. 38. As a compliment to Switzerland, the heraldic emblem of the red cross on a white ground, formed by reversing the Federal colours, is retained as the emblem and distinctive sign of the Medical Service of armed forces.

Nevertheless, in the case of countries which already use as emblem, in place of the red cross, the red crescent or the red lion and sun on a white ground, those emblems are also recognized by the terms of the present Convention.

Even though the MDA preceded the 1949 convention it was the one insignia that was not allowed to convert to a member organization. This compromise perpetuates that injustice.

Keep in mind that the symbol that offends the ICRC, does so because it offends the Arab/Muslim world. Just this week Ghana's John Pantsil - who plays on an Israeli soccer team - celebrated his nation's World Cup victory by producting an Israeli flag. Unfortunately, that simple act of appreciation had consequences as a number of bloggers noticed.

The cowardly reaction of the Ghana Football Association as recorded by the BBC was
Akufo-Addo met ambassadors from the Palestinian Authority, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Algeria and Morocco and apologised to them.

"The incident was the act of an individual, who was completely ignorant of its political and diplomatic implications, and clearly had no official support," he said on Thursday.

"The government of Ghana deeply regrets this act by one of our citizens.

"Ghana has not drifted from its even-handed diplomacy in the Arab-Israeli conflict and we hope that this incident will not affect our relations with our Arab brothers and sisters."

Yes let's be evenhanded, we mustn't offend Muslims by dignifying Israel's existence. Yes let's be neutral and impartial by abiding by the hateful prejudice the Muslim world displays towards the world's one Jewish state.

The acceptability of Arab/Islamic antisemitism in a world that claims to abhor mindless hatred is a disgrace. Neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post have condemned these outrages in editorials. Antisemitism disguised as hatred of Israel reamains respectable even among the enlightened.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Garlasco did not change his mind
Despite a report in the Jerusalem Post that Human Rights Watch activist Marc Garlasco changed his mind, the Human Rights Watch website says otherwise. In a dispatch dated June 20, 2006 after meeting with Gen. Klifi Garlasco said “An investigation that refuses to look at contradictory evidence can hardly be considered credible ... The IDF’s partisan approach highlights the need for an independent, international investigation.”

So what happened?

In addition to the IDF investigation, Daled Amos - Hurray For Pallywood--At Gaza Beach - reported that a German newspaper raised a number of significant questions about the filming of the tragedy.
In the footage taped by an IDF drone during the attack, you can see five craters left by IDF artillery shells, but 250 meters away people could also be seen--but no one is seen running away or showing any signs of fear.

Irbad told the German newspaper that paramedics told him about what had happened and took him to the scene--but there are no paramedics on the scene until later in the footage, apparently indicating that Irbad was actually the first on the scene.

And if Irbad was the first one there, why were most bodies covered by sheets--who was there before to cover the bodies?

According to Irbad, that reason that Hadil Ghalia was not injured, is because she was swimming--but the footage he took shows here fully clothed and dry.

The newspaper notes that there is a shot of a man carrying a rifle next to the dead body of Hadil's father--but in earlier footage, the same man can be seen lying on the beach along with the injured.

Irbad's footage shows paramedics in green clothes and a dozen bearded men looking for evidence on the beach--but the question is whether those are Hamas affiliates and why they were preoccupied with collecting evidence instead of helping the injured.

Irbad said the reason he filmed Hadil istead of trying to calm her is that: "She asked me to film her. She wanted to be seen next to her father to show the world the crimes that Israel is committing."--but the newspaper asks, "Did the shocked 10-year-old girl, who had lost her father minutes earlier, give the cameraman direction instructions?"

He also linked to Deja Vu, who quoted from an e-mail sent by Dr. Michael Bayme
Some of you may have been following the tragic story of a Gazan family that was destroyed by some sort of bomb last friday. The world of course chose to blame Israel - without verifying any facts. The fact that Israel immediately accepted all the victims to its hospitals was seen as an admission of guilt, and not as a humanitarian gesture.
There is now incontrovertible proof that Israel did not cause the tragedy - shell fragments extracted from one bomb victim match the types of bombs made by Hamas - and not Israeli artillery shells. How do I know? I received the victim last Sunday (at 2:00 am), operated on her until 5am, and have re-operated every night since. Now she's out of danger, and will survive to rejoin her family.

AbbaGav, by the way is right.

Clearly Garlasco and Human Rights Watch want an independent inquiry. Did Garlasco say one thing in the presence of the Jerusalem Post's reporters to avoid further questioning and then say what was expected of him when he returned to headquarters? Or did the Jerusalem Post get it wrong?

The Washington Post, for its part, suggests that there's been no change in Garlasco's opinion
Also this month, an explosion on a beach in northern Gaza killed eight Palestinian civilians. Palestinian officials and a rights group have said an Israeli artillery shell may have caused the blast. Israel has denied involvement.

While there seems to be a bit more uncertainty "may have caused" is not definite, the "rights group" still seems to contradict Israel's version.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

An army of 7,000,000
If you thought it was strange that rock musician Jeff "Skunk" Baxter would become a consultant to the Defense Department, what would you say to a video game champion becoming a general?
Well that may not be so far fetched.
America's Army, an online game that started out as a recruiting tool, now boasts nearly 7,000,000 players. America's Army was first made available as a download on July 4, 2002. The idea was to offer a simulation of the army that would make it attractive to young men and women.
By 2004 the project was such a success that the army created a video game studio and became a multiplayer online game. The America's Army office has leveraged its expertise in simulations for other applications.
A version of America's Army has been used to help develop the Talon robot for disarming mines. A specialized (classified) version has been developed to train the Secret Service.
Though the office won't say how much, America's Army makes money. It also saves money by doing simulations in house that would cost millions to contract out.
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Sun setting; moon rising.
Out bikeriding with the children Sunday night.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


When I was younger my father would point out vapor trails. Those cloud-like formations that followed planes.

Now they have a different name. Contrails. And now I sometimes discuss them with my (13 year old) son. Here's what they are
The condensation trail left behind jet aircrafts are called contrails. Contrails form when hot humid air from jet exhaust mixes with environmental air of low vapor pressure and low temperature. The mixing is a result of turbulence generated by the engine exhaust. Cloud formation by a mixing process is similar to the cloud you see when you exhale and "see your breath".

Note that term "turbulence?" He's been insisting to me that when the contrails widen and dissipate it's a result of turbulence in the atmosphere. This explanation though isn't consistent with what he's told me
If you are attentive to contrail formation and duration, you will notice that they can rapidly dissipate or spread horizontally into an extensive thin cirrus layer. How long a contrail remains intact, depends on the humidity structure and winds of the upper troposphere. If the atmosphere is near saturation, the contrail may exist for sometime. On the other hand, if the atmosphere is dry then as the contrail mixes with the environment it dissipates.

So it would seem that whether or not the contrail expands or simply dissipates is a function of the humidity and wind. Is wind what he means by turbulence?

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Wind chill and springing forward

I haven't done this in a while, but my children have asked me some quesitons, and I want to answer them.

What is the wind chill index? Well we all know what the wind chill index is. It is how much colder the wind makes us feel on a cold day.
Anyone who has ever waited at a bus stop or taken a walk on a blustery winter day knows that you feel colder when the wind blows. We call the cooling sensation caused by the combined effect of temperature and wind the wind chill.

On a calm day, our bodies insulate us somewhat from the outside temperature by warming up a thin layer of air close to our skin, known as the boundary layer. When the wind blows, it takes this protective layer away-exposing our skin to the outside air. It takes energy for our bodies to warm up a new layer, and if each one keeps getting blown away, our skin temperature will drop, and we will feel colder.

Wind also makes you feel colder by evaporating any moisture on your skin-a process that draws more heat away from your body. Studies show that when your skin is wet, it loses heat much faster than when it is dry.

But how is/was it determined? This is where things get a little interesting ....
The original wind chill formula was derived from experiments conducted in 1939 by Antarctic explorers, Paul Siple and Charles Passel. These hardy scientists measured how long it took for water to freeze in a small plastic cylinder when it was placed outside in the wind. Over the years, the formula was modified somewhat, but remained based on the Antarctic experiments.

However, there was a need for an adjustment and Canada led the way
The new index is based on the loss of heat from the face-the part of the body that is most exposed to severe winter weather. Volunteers were exposed to a variety of temperatures and wind speeds inside a refrigerated wind tunnel. They were dressed in winter clothing, with only their faces exposed directly to the cold. To simulate other factors affecting heat loss, they also walked on treadmills and were tested with both dry and wet faces.

Though the previous answer is hardly appropriate when the spring has sprung, the next one is quite timely. Why does daylight savings time officially start at 2 am? The answer, it appears, is practical
In the U.S., 2:00 a.m. was originally chosen as the changeover time because it was practical and minimized disruption. Most people were at home and this was the time when the fewest trains were running. It is late enough to minimally affect bars and restaurants, and it prevents the day from switching to yesterday, which would be confusing. It is early enough that the entire continental U.S. switches by daybreak, and the changeover occurs before most early shift workers and early churchgoers (particularly on Easter) are affected.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Maryland politics 03/19/06
Mayor Martin O'Malley of Baltimore wants his record as Mayor to serve as the resume that voters will use to hire him as governor of Maryland. The Baltimore Sun in "For Better or Worse" feels that voters should look at his whole record, not just that stubborn crime issue
Mr. O'Malley's critics will keep hounding him on his record on crime - this single-issue attack has become popular, especially among Republicans nationally. But a measure of Baltimore's livability should reflect all aspects of city life, from crime on the street to the downtown skyline to social and cultural amenities.

But how about a different indicator? What about people voting with their feet. In an article praising O'Malley for reversing Baltimore's decline comes this
Still, it's worth noting that the sharp slowing of population declines in older industrial cities is by no means a given. Just consider Detroit, down about 50,000 people, or 5 percent, this decade. Or Philadelphia, down 47,000, or 3 percent. Or Cleveland, off 20,000, or about 4 percent.

Baltimore's decline: 1.5 percent.

Baltimore is still losing population. Not at the extreme rate in the 90's when it was run by Kurt Schmoke, but still more people are leaving Baltimore than coming to Baltimore. The rate of loss may have declined, but the loss of people continues.

Monoblogue reports on "Update on HB1510".
Since there was an article today in the Daily Times and I found out in looking the bill status up that a hearing on it was held today, it appears that the so-called “son of Wal-Mart” may be gaining traction.

IOW, there's a movement afoot to extend the same courtesy to all businesses that the Maryland legislature has extended to Wal-Mart: dictate to all businesses the resources they must expend on providing healthcare for their employees.

Anyone for insisting that "an economic impact statement" be completed before Maryland's legislature decides anything that will affect business.

And Monoblogue tells us further that Senate candidate, Ben Cardin, would like to do for America what the General Assembly has done for Maryland. In "Another one to stop" Monoblogue notes an interview with Cardin and comments
So, not only would we get tagged with higher taxes and a health insurance mandate here in Maryland if HB1510 passes, but if Cardin wins (and remember, his term would extend beyond the 2008 presidential election and could be the same time as Hillary’s re-election) we might have the same thing nationwide.

Meanwhile there's a Republican running for Rep. Cardin's old seat. Dr. Gary Applebaum. At least Dr. Applebaum seems to have an understanding of the basics of economics.
We must strengthen the economy by providing an environment for business generation and growth via tax constraint and reasonable regulation.

In the past 25 years, due to lower tax rates and moderate business regulation, our nation’s wealth has increased more than in its first 200 years.

Americans are better shoppers for goods and services than the government. By keeping taxes low and putting the purchasing power into the hands of consumers, we will have continued economic growth and families will prosper.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Haveil Havalim #61 is UP!

Jack's Shack hits one out of the park with Haveil Havalim #61- Call Me Roger Maris. And he has more than one motif, not just baseball (with spring training underway) but also Purim. Call this the Haveil Havalim Purim Carnival!

March 19, 2006 - Edition 62. Shiloh Musings (or one of her alter-egos; "gam shiloh ha-blog ahsita mishtei nashim") is scheduled to host the post purim shpiel. Call it our Shushan Purim Carnival. Her e-mail is shilohmuse at yahoo dot com.
March 26, 2005 - Edition 63. New host Reb Chaim HaQoton has volunteered. e-mail him with your suggestions at rchaimqoton at gmail dot com.
Thank you for volunteering and having volunteered; you're the ones who do the work to keep this project going!
In addition to e-mail you may submit entries to Haveil Havalim using either Conservative Cat's handy dandy submission form or the submission form over at BlogCarnival.
Listed at the Truth Laid Bare Ubercarnival.
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Continue reading to see past editions
Most recent editions of Haveil Havalim at Blog Carnival#22 Mystical Paths#21 Rabbinical Authority Consortium of HACKers#20 Shiloh Musings#19 Devarim#18 Soccer Dad#17 Mystical Paths#16 Critical Mastiff#15 Soccer Dad#14 Multiple Mentality#13 IsraPundit#12 DovBear#11 Kesher Talk#10 Biur Chametz#9 Soccer Dad#8 It's Almost Supernatural#7 Bloghead#6 Willow Tree.#5 Crossing the Rubicon2#4 Dov Bear#3 Biur Chametz
Rebbetzin Esther Ritchie

In her younger days she rose to fame by wearing her underwear prominently on stage; nowadays she stays modestly covered in an ankle length slit skirt and low cut but long sleeved blouse. Rebbetzin Esther Ritchie used to be known as Madonna.
In the 80's she was an extremely popular singer breaking taboos right and left. Now she works, supporting her husband Rabbi Akiva Ritchie as he learns in a Kollel in Bnei Brak.
It might be difficult but as Rebbetzin Ritchie puts it, "Boruch Hashem with the royalties from the sale of my book 'Sex' and my somewhat scaled back touring schedule we're able to make ends meet."
Yes, the Rebbetzin still tours. Now she only performs in front of women; usually teenagers. Her new repertoire includes songs like "Stay a virgin," "Justify my emunah(faith)" and "Tatee please schmooze" instilling Torah values in the next generation of young Jewish women.
The change came about after a few years of her Kabbalah period. According to the Rebbetzin, "After dabbling in Kabbalah for a few years, I realized that it was probably just the tip of a rich and fulfilling religion. So I started asking questions and it brought me and my Akiva closer to God and to Judaism."
Her husband, who used to be known as Guy Ritchie took the name Akiva alluding to the fact that he came to Judaism late in life. And though he spends most of his time studying the Talmud these days, Rabbi Akiva Ritchie is now at work, plying his old skills, as the director of "Ushpizin Beis: Shemini Atzeres"
The couple two children also have adopted the new Orthodox lifestyle. Daughter Lourdes has taken the Jewish name "Mikveh" and son, Rocco, is now Rachamim learning in Cheder.
"People are surprised that a Catholic girl from a blue collar home in Detroit is now a Kollel wife. But is it really any stranger than someone with my background becoming a star by performing half naked?"
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Not funny
I thought that the Muqata had an excellent idea. Do spoofs of regular Jewish bloggers. Some were good. The good spoofs were the ones where fans of a blog recreated the blogs recalling the style of the original.
The Purim Mirty's Place was particularly good capturing the style of the original and poking gentle fun of it.
Though, based on the comments, I'm outnumbered (along with Elie's Expositions), the Purim version of Cross Currents was disgraceful. I suppose it may have been mildly amusing but the reference to "Birth of a Nation" changed it from kidding to vicious. I know there are those for whom satire is defined by viciousness, and that there is a market for such an approach. But that doesn't make it funny.
Additionally mocking Cross currents for selectively allowing comments is not fair. Cross currents has a very clear policy that it doesn't intend to publish every single comment. Besides if one objects to what one reads at Cross currents, one still may object elsewhere. What I find cowardly is someone who uses his anonymity to slander others and offers no recourse for amends.
Finally the upside down JIB award was again, not making fun, but an expression of contempt.
I understand satire as well as the next guy, but there are times when satire is not funny and just mean spirited. This was one of them.
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Smoking nazgul
Where have I seen this before?
Oh, yes, here.
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