Thursday, September 29, 2005

Catch 22

22 Democrats voted for Roberts.
22 Democrats voted against Roberts.

Do you think the numbers just happend to work out that way? Or are the Democrats trying to send a message to the average American that they really deliberated on this, and were evenly split. Perhaps a bit too evenly if you ask me.

Cheesy John Roberts

No, not what you think.

I was watching CBS News during the swearing in ceremony of Chief Justice John G. Roberts. After the swearing in, CBS went to their on-the-scene correspondant for commentary.
His name?

John Roberts.

I rarely watch TV, and even more rarely watch the news on TV. But this was cheesy. That man should have been anywhere but in the swearing in ceremony.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Orthodox Jewish Muslim

From Ha'aretz...
Israel seeks to deport Ultra-Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn, arrested carrying a copy of the Koran and photographs of himself touring Muslim and Arab countries wearing a kaffiyeh.

And you thought things couldn't get weirder...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Off Topic: Meat & Natural Selection

Came across a short story that is absolutely hilarious. You can find it at

(Hat Tip: TheRightCoast)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Civil Communication Amongst Gedolim

As noted previously, R. Lichtenstein sent a letter to R. Shapira regarding the Disengagement. The VBM has posted a page with the continuing correspondence. There are currently three letters, the first from R. Lichtenstein, a response from R. Avraham Sylvetsky (his wife is R. Shapira's granddaughter) and R. Lichteinstein's reply.

Both of R. Lichtenstein's letters are available in English. R. Sylvetsky's letter has yet to be translated.

Its good to see gedolei yisroel communicating openly and civily...

Here's the VBM link

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bodies, Where art thou

Gov. Blanco of Louisiana, one of those responsible for the lack of evacuation in the face of Katrina, has lashed out at FEMA. She claims that they are taking too long to find the bodies.

I guess she needs someone to lash out at, and FEMA is a nice federal target, especially with Bush as President. Her attempts to shift blame, both onto the President and the Mayor of NO, have become more apparent in the last few days.

She wants the bodies found and buried. The quicker the better, so that her failure can be forgotten from her record.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Orthodox Test

GodolHador linked to a test about one's religion. My top 12:

1. Orthodox Judaism (100%)
2. Islam (97%)
3. Reform Judaism (96%)
4. Sikhism (93%)
5. Bah�'� Faith (90%)
6. Jainism (77%)
7. Liberal Quakers (69%)
8. Unitarian Universalism (61%)
9. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (59%)
10. Hinduism (56%)
11. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (54%)
12. Orthodox Quaker (53%)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

30,000 Body Bags

After ordering 30,000 body bags, Mayor Guliani was asked what the death toll would be from the September 11 attacks. His response? Not a number, rather, that it would be a terrible toll, almost too much to bear.
In the end, nearly 3,000 people had been killed.

When asked for the death toll from Katrina, the mayor of New Orleans gave a figure of 10,000.

Mayor Guliani's answer seems better.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Advice or Psak

A newly engaged, and ecstatically happy couple, went to the chosson's rebbe to ask how often they could/should see each other. The rebbe replied that they could/should see each other once per week and speak by phone once per week.

Needless to say, the couple had expected more.

Advice or psak?
If psak, I'd be interested in seeing the sources and hearing the reasoning. But I'm more inclined to think of this as advice. Advice from a rebbe is not binding on those asking. Granted, we might give great weight to the suggestions of our rebbeim, especially those who know us our personalities, and our struggles well. But in the end it is one view, a view that is balanced by the ability of two adults to make their own decisions as well.

I hope the chosson goes to his rebbe to ask whether it was said as advice or psak, along with the reasons. I'm not holding out hope, as such follow up questions are rarely asked. Blind obedience is best, it obviates the need for thought.

Monday, September 05, 2005


We heard many religious figures discuss the reasons for the tsunami, as if they know why God acts in certain ways. Those statements were met with ridicule. Now, post Katrina, we see fewer putting forth the same religious explanations. Why?

Three of the possibilities:

1) Katrina only killed, according to the highest current estimates, 10,000 people. The tsunami was 26x worse.

2) People realize the fallacy of such arguments moreso when they are directly affected. Why? Perhaps they don't want to hear reproof, that their lifestyle/decision/etc condemed thousands to death. Or they think that they can't affect the lives of thousands. Regardless, the geographic proximity makes the silly religious argument less believable. Therefore less of them are made.

3) Bloggers get results.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

We will not recognize, um...there

Pakistani President/General/One Day will call elections Musharraf:
"We will not talk about recognition of Israel until a Palestinian state is established and then we will think about it. We will take people along. This is indirect contact"

Shouldn't he have said "Palestine" and not "Israel"?