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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