Saturday, January 26, 2008

How Jew Like Me Now?

Famous Jews Who Changed Their Name (taken from of all places the Aerosmith fan site message board - So since we got this info from that site lets shine a spotlight on Aerosmith resident Jew and Drummer Joey Kramer, 53, who grew up in a middle-class home in the New York suburbs. He’s remarked that he had a tough time with anti-Semitic bullies in his high school. He moved to Boston in 1969 to study music and quickly hooked up with the rest of the guys in Aerosmith — Kramer, in fact, gave the band its name. (You go Jew!)
Alicia Beth Moore - Pink
Jonathan Leibowitz... aka Jon Stewart.

Ralph Lifschitz: Ralph Lauren
Marv Philip Aufrichtig: Marv Albert... miss the impersonation. Yes!
Kenneth Gorelick: Kenny G.
Scott Rosenfield - Scott Ian of Anthrax (which you would know watching VH1 Classic) Bad Religion 20th Century Jews
Carole Klein - Carole King
Eric Boucher Dead Kennedy Jello Biafra
Peter Greenbaum Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac.

Mary Harum - Mary Hart
Barry Pincus Manilow Marty Buchman
Marty Balin, Jefferson Airplane (who was also on stage when Grace Slick went into her Hitler rant in Germany. Classic).

Tina Blacker - Tina Louise -
Ginger the "movie star" on "Gilligans Island".
Leslie Weinstein - Leslie West (another one who's done VH1 Classic specials related to Jewish traditions)
Gary Weinrib - Geddy Lee
Joscelyn Eve Stoker Joss Stone
Marc Feld - Marc Bolan/ T Rex
Jeffrey Hyman - Joey Ramone
Leonard Schneider Lenny Bruce
Ellen Cohen Mama Cass
Herbert Khaury Tiny Tim
Phoebe Laub Phoebe Snow
Steve Mizrahi - Sylvain Sylvain (NY Dolls)
Richard Salkowitz - Magic Dick (J Geils)
Robin Segal - Robbie Benson
Kathie Epstein - Kathy Lee Gifford (another one who added the "Lee" to distract is David Lee Roth)

Joan Blunden - Dropped the B..
Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg - Jane Seymour
Issur Danielovitch Demsky - Kirk Douglas
Madeline Gail Wolfson - Madeline Kahn
Richard Frank Oznowicz - no pork for voice of Miss Piggy Frank Oz
Herbert Streicher - Harry Reems
Anson Heimlick - Potsie on Happy Days - Anson Williams
Françoise Sorya Dreyfus - French actress Anouk Aimee, known from the Fellini movies and married to Albert Finney
Samille Diane Friesen - Dyan Cannon
Eugene Orowitz - Michael Landon
Barbara Lynn Herzstein - Barbara Hershey
Robert Peter Cohon - Peter Coyote
Sherry Lee Heimann - Sherry Lansing
Joan Sandra Molinsky - Joan Rivers
Jerome Silberman - Gene Wilder
Walter Koenigsberg - Takai's Trek buddy Walter Koenig (same last name as Wood-yi?)
Sonia Phyllis Hurwitz - Lamb Chop had a Jewish mama, Shari Lewis
Rosetta Jacobs - Piper Laurie, Clooney's mom on "ER"and "Twin Peaks".
Rachel Mitrani - Shelley Morrison, famous for Rosario on "Will and Grace".
Bernice Frankel - Bea Arthur
Melvin Kaminsky - Mel Brooks
Irwin Alan Kniberg - Alan King
Jerome Levitch - Jerry Lewis
Melvin Torma - Mel Torme
Shirley Schrift - Shelly Winters
Aaron Chwatt - Red Buttons
Arthur Kelm Jr. - Tab Hunter
David Daniel Kaminsky - Danny Kaye
Myron Leon Wallace - Mike sounds more American.
Milton Berlinger - Milton Berle
Moses Horwitz,Louis Feinberg, Jerome Lester Horwitz - Better known as Moe Larry and Curly László Löwenstein - Peter Lorre, the bad bad man in Fritz Lang's "M".
Marx Brothers - all Jewish, changed the first name..Groucho was Julius. Meshilem Meier Weisenfreund
The original Scarface, Paul Muni
Emanuel Goldenberg Edward G. Robinson - Little Caesar, Key Largo, Double Indemnity
There's also Jewish mothers of the famous who changed it:
Robert Elias - Robert Downey Sr, who took on his stepfather's name, and passed it down to Junior
Arlyn Dunetz - changed her last name to Phoenix, mother of River and "Leaf", now "Joaquin".

Saturday, January 12, 2008

No Country For Goonies

In a follow-up to my blog article on the Cohen Brothers and No Country For Old Men I thought I would mention something funny that I noticed last night. It was family movie night at the Unperfected Jew's house last night and we broke out The Goonies for the first time. I had not seen it since the 80's and was never a big fan (sorry big fans) but I felt that it was time for the kids to see it. Even though there are a few Jews in the film including Corey (sigh) Feldman sans Corey Haim (also a Jew) this post is not about them. The big surprise for me was seeing a teenage Josh Brolin speaking almost with a lisp and at one point in the film riding a 4 year old girls pink bike with training wheels and I thought that is a far cry from the tough Texan he plays in NO Country for Old Men. He is also is not Jewish even thought his step mother (Babs) is. Another piece of trivia is that the top 3 kids billed in the film were all sons of already famous fathers in Hollywood. Brolin son of James Brolin, Feldman son of Bob Feldman [(mother was also a playboy bunny just in case that counts). Also slight tangent after checking on "The Wik" I found this:[edit] Relationship with Michael Jackson
Feldman was once a friend of Michael Jackson until a visit to Manhattan, where Feldman claimed that Jackson abandoned him while he and his kids left the city. During the 2005 Jackson molestation trial, Feldman alleged in a 20/20 interview that Jackson had shown him nude photos.[6] Corey was subpoenaed as a witness and placed under a gag order. He is quoted saying the following in reference to what occurred between him and Jackson:
"The book was focused on venereal diseases and the genitalia and he sat down with me and he explained it to me, showed me some different pictures and discussed what those meant. I was kind of grossed out by it. I didn't think of it as a big deal and for all these years, I probably never thought twice about it".] and Sean Astin son of The Adam Family's John Astin but since that he was not his biological father, his mother Patty Duke will more than cover the child of celebrities moniker. I was just blown away again when I found out that we have a 4th child start of a famous parent, Martha Plimpton daughter of Keith Carradine. I just found that out from this blog posting: It has some fun facts about where all the stars were 20yrs later at the Goonie reunion. Kerri Green who played Andy (the girl) might be Jewish..does anyone know? It was written by Steven Spielberg

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mehereta Baruch - Is Zionism Racism???

Mehereta Baruch - Is Zionism Racism???

Mehereta Baruch is a Zionist and a Jew. Meherata came to Israel with her family from Ethiopia, traveling on foot to Sudan to get to Israel and suffering many hardships on the way.
She has found a new home in Israel.
She says, "Israel was always the place of our dreams. When we finally arrived it really felt like the paradise I was promised."
Think about it - Is Zionism racism? Do you think Meherata is a racist?
She arrived in Israel aged 10 without her parents, who followed years later. She went from a boarding school for immigrants to pursue a masters degree before joining theater groups.
Mehereta was one of 9,000 Ethiopian Jews brought to Israel on Operation Moses in 1984/5.Since 1984, Over 50,000 Jews have come to Israel from Ethiopia
Baruch said she had gone on the television program to further her own career rather than represent Ethiopian immigrants but was happy to be a role model for any who might be watching.
"The youth now need to see success stories. They see that I am accepted and that maybe they can achieve that, too," she said. "It makes them feel that anything is possible."
Mehereta Baruch
"Israel was always the place of our dreams. When we finally arrived it really felt like the paradise I was promised."

In 2000, Mehereta told her story...
I had so many new things to learn when I first arrived in Israel – running water and electricity were a complete novelty to me. I was nine when my family decided to leave our village in northern Ethiopia out of a desire to be in our homeland. After leaving my mother behind to care for my grandparents, we began our long walk through the Sudan. We didn’t know how tough the journey would be to get there.
As a child I remember being told by my grandmother that Jerusalem was like Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden) . Israel was always the place of our dreams. When we finally arrived it really felt like the paradise I was promised. But I missed my mother and prayed every day to be with her. It took six years before we were reunited and I was able to get on with my life.
I tried the ‘melting-pot’ approach to absorption but it didn’t feel right for me. My own culture and heritage became more important to me and I started to believe in my own identity. I wanted a university education but I didn’t have the right qualifications because my parents didn’t think studying was necessary. I found a pre-university course designed to get young Ethiopians into university and through this was accepted for a psychology degree. Of course a Bachelor's degree isn’t enough to get anywhere in Israel so now I’m studying for a Masters in sociology.
I want to use my skills to help people. Many of the agencies that deal with the Ethiopian community do not have the understanding required to help us. I’d like to be involved in bridging that gap. I perform with an Ethiopian theatre group and we would like to use this medium to communicate with young Ethiopians. Theatre is new to our culture, so we are teaching them how to use it. We also want to express our concerns to Israelis – they can learn a lot from us too.
I am engaged to be married next spring. My fiancé Eran comes from an Ashkenazi family, which makes for an interesting combination. People used to stare at us, but either we have got used to it, or they have, because we don’t notice it anymore. I’m looking forward to the next generation because our children will have the best of both backgrounds.”

Source -

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Surfing Rabbi

Surfing Rabbi

Posted Aug 02, 2001

Kabbalah, prayer, love of God...and hanging 10.

Jews forbidden by Saudi law to enter the country

Until March 1, 2004, the official government website stated that Jews were forbidden from entering the country.

The following piece reflects the experience of a Jewish U.S. soldier in
Saudi Arabia.

Do you know what a Protestant B is ?

I know what a Protestant is, and I know what a Catholic is, and I know what a Jew is . . . but until recently, I had never heard of a Protestant B. I learned what a Protestant B is from an essay by Debra Darvick, that appeared in an issue of Hadassah Magazine. It is a chapter from a book she is working on about the American Jewish experience. And this essay is about the experience of Retired Army Major Mike Neilander, who now lives in Newport News, Virginia , and who is now a Judaic silversmith. This is his story:

"Dog tags. When you get right down to it, the military's dog tag classification forced me to reclaim my Judaism. In the fall of 1990, things were heating up in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia . I had been an Army Captain and a helicopter maintenance test pilot for a decade and received notice that I would be transferred to the First Cavalry Division which was on alert for the Persian Gulf War. Consequently, I also got wind of the Department of Defense "dog tag dilemma" vis-a-vis Jewish personnel. Then, as now, Jews were forbidden by Saudi law to enter the country. But our Secretary of Defense flat out told the King of Saudi Arabia, "We have Jews in our military. They've trained with their units and they're going. Blink and look the other way."
With Kuwait occupied and the Iraqis at his border, King Faud did the practical thing. Weshipped out, but there was still the issue of classification. Normally the dog tags of Jewish servicemen are imprinted with the word "Jewish." But Defense, fearing that this would put Jewish soldiers a further risk should they be captured on Iraqi soil, substituted the classification, "Protestant B," on the tags. I didn't like the whole idea of classifying Jews as Protestant anything and so I decided to leave my dog tag alone. I figured if I were captured, it was in God's hands. Colonel Lawrence Schneider Changing my tags was tantamount to denying my religion, and I couldn't swallow that. In September, 1990 I went off to defend a country that I was prohibited from entering. The "Jewish" on my dog tag remained as clear and unmistakable as the American star on the hood of every
Army truck. A few days after my arrival, the Baptist chaplain approached me. "I just got a secret message through channels," he said. There's going to be a Jewish gathering. A holiday? Simkatoro or something like that. You want to go? It's at 1800 hours at Dhahran Airbase." Simkatoro turned out to be SimchasTorah, a holiday that hadn't registered on my religious radar in eons. Services were held in absolute secrecy in a windowless room in a cinder block building. The chaplain led a swift and simple service. We couldn't risk singing or dancing, but Rabbi Ben Romer had managed to smuggle
in a bottle of Manischewitz. Normally, I can't stand the stuff, but that night, the wine tasted of Shabbat and family and Seders of long ago. My soul was warmed by the forbidden alcohol and by the memories swirling around me and my fellow soldiers. We were strangers to one another in a land stranger than any of us had ever experienced, but for that brief hour, we were home.
Only Americans would have had the chutzpah to celebrate Simchas Torah under the noses of the Saudis. Irony and pride twisted together inside me like barbed wire. Celebrating my Judaism that evening made me even prouder to be an American, thankful once more for the freedoms we have. I had only been in Saudi Arabia a week, but I already had a keen understanding of how restrictive its society was. Soon after, things began coming to a head. The
next time I was able to do anything remotely Jewish was Chanukah. Maybe it was coincidence, or maybe it was God's hand that placed a Jewish Colonel in charge of our unit. Colonel Lawrence Schneider relayed messages of Jewish gatherings to us immediately. Had a non-Jew been in that position, the information would likely have taken a back seat to a more pressing issue.
Like war. But it didn't. When notice of the Chanukah party was decoded, we knew about it at once.The first thing we saw when we entered the tent was food, tons of it. Care packages from the states -- cookies, latkes, sour cream and applesauce and cans and cans of gefilte fish. The wind was blowing dry across the tent, but inside there was an incredible feeling of celebration. As Rabbi Romer talked about the theme of Chanukah and the ragtag bunch of Maccabeesoldiers fighting Jewry's oppressors thousands of years ago, it wasn't hard to make the connection to what lay ahead of us. There in the middle of the desert, inside an olive green tent, we felt like we were the Maccabees. If we had to go down, we were going to go down fighting, as they did. We blessed the candles, acknowledging the King of the Universe who commanded us to kindle the Chanukah lights. We said the second prayer, praising God for the miracles he performed, bayamim hahem bazman hazeh, in those days and now. And we sang the third blessing, the Sheheyanu, thanking God for keeping us in life and for enabling us to reach this season. We knew war was imminent.
All week, we had received reports of mass destruction, projections of the chemical weapons that were likely to be unleashed. Intelligence estimates put the first rounds of casualties at 12,500 soldiers. I heard those numbers and thought, "That's my whole division!" I sat back in my chair, my gefilte fish cans at my feet. We were the desert, about to go to war,singing songs
of praise to God who had saved our ancestors in battle once before. The feeling of unity was as pervasive as our apprehension, as real as the sand that found its way into everything from our socks to our toothbrushes. I felt more Jewish there on that lonely Saudi plain, our tanks and guns at the ready, than I had ever felt back home in the USA . That Chanukah in the desert solidified for me the urge to reconnect with my Judaism. I felt religion welling up inside me. Any soldier will tell you that there are no atheists in foxholes and I know that part of my feelings were tied to the looming war and my desire to get with God before the unknown descended in
the clouds of battle. It sounds corny, but as we downed the latkes and cookies and wiped the last of the applesauce from our plates, everyone grew quiet, keenly aware of the link with history, thinking of what we were about to do and what had been done by soldiers like us so long ago.
The trooper beside me stared ahead at nothing in particular, absent-mindedly fingering his dog tag. "How'd you classify?" I asked,nodding to my tag. Silently, he withdrew from beneath his shirt the metal rectangle and its beaded chain, holding it out for me to read. Like mine, his read, "Jewish." Somewhere in a military depot someplace, I am sure that there are boxes and boxes of dog tags, still in wrappers, all marked "Protestant B".

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bloomberg President in '08

After the Iowa caucus last week
the rumor is that Bloomberg may
be thinking about throwing his hat
in the ring. What are his changes?
Here are a few articles to answer
that question.

Gabe's View: Bloomberg For President?

The rumors are flying that Mayor Michael Bloomberg may run for president as an independent candidate.
Moderates Seek 'Shock Therapy' Candidate The best guess seems to be that he wants to run but won't do it unless he has a reasonably good chance of winning.
The mayor's meeting next week in Oklahoma with prominent Democrats and Republicans who are dissatisfied with both the Republican and Democratic candidates seeking the presidency has stirred widespread speculation about his intentions and his chances, if he decides to run.
What the talk about Bloomberg makes clear is that many responsible Democrats and Republicans are fed up with the campaign -- and they crave a new approach. Former Democratic Sen. David Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma, where the meeting will be held, said: "It's not a gathering to urge any one person to run for president or to say there necessarily ought to be an independent option."
But -- and it was a big but -- Boren added: "If we don't see a refocusing of the campaign on a bipartisan approach, I would feel I would want to encourage an independent candidacy."
Bloomberg has an important advantage over the candidates who are already running. He doesn't need to raise money. Reportedly, he's ready to spend a billion dollars of his own money if he runs. That points up the advantage he would have over the rest of the field. It also makes clear that, as a self-financed candidate, he is unique. And his personal fortune sets him apart not only from other candidates but from the voters as well. Those Americans who are just poor Joes eking out a living may find it hard to relate to a billionaire. Yet here in New York, people have had no difficulty pulling the voting lever down for Bloomberg. Once they got to know him, his money was no obstacle.
The boom -- or boomlet -- for Bloomberg reflects not only his positive qualities -- independence, strength, managerial ability -- but widespread disillusionment with the major party candidates. This long, seemingly never-ending campaign has not electrified voters. No one candidate stood out in the almost boring series of debates and retail campaigning around the country. Partly, I think, journalists are at fault for not pressing harder to find out what voters are concerned about and how well candidates are meeting their concerns.
From a historical perspective, independent candidates have not done well in presidential elections. Notably, Teddy Roosevelt, a popular president, failed when he ran as an independent on the Bull Moose ticket.
Bloomberg could turn out to be a spoiler. If he runs as an independent, he could lose while destroying the campaign of one of the major party candidates.
Yet Mike Bloomberg is a stubborn and resourceful man. He is altruistic. His philanthropies make that clear. If he runs, will he be aiming too high? He apparently doesn't think so. Our mayor loves challenges and, if he decides to meet this one, he will either fall on his face or surprise the world.

Strategy session: Could Bloomberg enter in the middle?
By: Costas Panagopoulos Dec 11, 2007 08:08 PM EST

An independent Bloomberg candidacy could add to the chaos of the tumultuous 2008 election cycle.

Just when one may have been tempted to believe the presidential nomination races on both sides of the aisle were settling, developments in recent polls signal everything remains up in the air. In Iowa, Mike Huckabee has surged past Republican front-runner Mitt Romney by anywhere from 3 to 22 percentage points, according to the most recent polls. Polls show Romney leading in New Hampshire, but a McClatchy/MSNBC poll conducted Dec. 3-6 shows the former Massachusetts governor’s lead in the state has eroded considerably; the poll found support for his candidacy is at its lowest level since late September. Polls show Huckabee has catapulted himself in Nevada, where his support jumped from 2 percent in October to 23 percent on Dec. 6, according to surveys conducted by ARG, as well as in South Carolina, where every poll conducted this month shows him in the lead by significant margins. Even in national polls, where Rudy Giuliani has reigned supreme for months (at least), Huckabee now places second, according to a Dec. 3 New York Times/Bloomberg poll of likely voters, trailing the former mayor by only 6 points. Not only is Huckabee on the rise, but he is surging at the perfect time — just a few weeks before the first contests and just as most voters are tuning in and paying attention. Should he sustain — or build on — this growth in support, Huckabee is poised to ride a tidal wave of momentum going into the all-important contests on Feb. 5. Not to be outdone, recent rumblings on the other side of the aisle are generating a fair share of Democratic hullabaloo. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama seems to have resurrected his campaign in Iowa and now New Hampshire and is giving New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton a run for her money in both states. A Newsweek poll conducted Dec. 6 finds Obama leading Clinton by 6 percentage points in Iowa, and a Dec. 6 McClatchy/MSNBC poll finds the two candidates neck and neck in New Hampshire. And that was before Oprah took to the stump on Obama’s behalf in these key states. So what does this all mean? Well, among other things, as the odds of an Obama-Huckabee general election matchup get stronger, so does the likelihood that Michael Bloomberg will jump into the presidential race. Aides close to the New York City mayor have indicated repeatedly that Bloomberg is most likely to toss his hat into the ring if both parties nominate candidates from the extreme ideological wings of their parties. There is little doubt that Huckabee would fit that description on the Republican side. It may be a bit more murky for Democrats, but there is ample evidence that Obama is a more liberal alternative to Clinton. Even as Clinton may personify a bleeding-heart liberal for some voters, the two senators’ voting records suggest something very different. An analysis of 2006 roll call votes in the U.S. Senate conducted by the National Journal in March 2007 found Obama to be the most liberal Democratic senator currently running for president — far more so than Clinton, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd or Delaware Sen. Joe Biden. That may well explain Obama’s appeal to many Democratic primary voters, but he will certainly not be able to run away from it in a general election campaign. And Obama’s location on the ideological spectrum is surely no secret to the Bloomberg camp, which seems only too eager for the conditions to be just right in order to jump into the race (his aides reportedly have been planning such a scenario for months). While Bloomberg aides haven’t mentioned any names, an Obama-Huckabee matchup may be just the ticket that draws the mayor into the national contest. It’s doubtful any of this was discussed in last month’s Bloomberg-­­Obama breakfast meeting of the minds at a diner in New York. For one thing, the nature of the race was far different back then. Two weeks can bring about a sea change in American politics. As speculation about a Bloomberg run grows, analysts seem to think an independent candidacy by the mayor could have potential. A Dec. 7 article in the New York Sun indicates experts believe a billion-dollar Bloomberg campaign could put as many as 23 states in play and has the potential to deliver as many as 312 of the nation’s 538 electoral votes (and thus the presidency) to Bloomberg in 2008. An independent Bloomberg candidacy could add to the chaos of the tumultuous 2008 election cycle. At the moment, things seem to be moving in this direction.

Talk Transcript: Meacham on Bloomberg
NEWSWEEK Editor Jon Meacham joined us on Friday, Nov. 9 for an hour-long discussion on what Bloomberg's childhood past can tell us about his political future.
Newsweek Web Exclusive

In this week's cover story, NEWSWEEK's Jon Meacham traces the path that has taken New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg from his boyhood in the Boston suburbs to a career as successful businessman turned politician. Will Bloomberg's route culminate in a stop at the White House?
Click here to read the cover story
Jon Meacham: Hello, I'm Jon Meacham and I'm looking forward to answering, or trying to answer, some of your questions about the Newsweek cover this week.
Bellevue, WA: Are there any historical situations that are similar to the one that Bloomberg is in now? Any examples from history that would give us a clue as to what will happen from here?Jon Meacham: What really interests me about a possible Bloomberg presidential bid is that it has few, if any, historical precedents. We have had rich guys who thought they should be president, we have had businessmen who thought they should be president, and we have had any number of officeholders who thought they should be president. Bloomberg is the first to be all three---and to say (or at least Kevin Sheekey, his political adviser, says) that he would spend $1 billion on an independent bid. That kind of money, spent by a man with Bloomberg's mayoral experience, makes comparing him to Ross Perot a true apples-and-oranges exercise.
Athens, GA: What sense did you get from talking to Bloomberg in regards to what his intentions are for the future?Jon Meacham: I think he is going to wait until February or March of 2008, look at who the major-party nominees are, and then decide two things. First, can he win? He does not want to run as what the political types call a "spoiler." He needs to be convinced that he could get the necessary electoral votes to win in the Electoral College. And if he is convinced of that, then he faces the second decision: Should he run? My sense, and it is just a sense, is that Bloomberg wants to run for president. There is nothing in his life story to suggest that he would step back from a challenge.
Fairfax, VA: It's interesting to think about the possibility of Hillary, Rudy and Bloomberg all ending up in the same race. But it also strikes some of us as Northeast Corridor fantasyland. Given the shift in political power south and west in the country, why does the media seem to believe that the election will be an all-New York affair? Jon Meacham: Great question. (But isn't "Northeast Corridor fantasyland" redundant?) Serious answer: I think the attacks of September 11 and the Iraq War have scrambled most of the understandably conventional assumptions about presidential politics in our time. I grew up in the South as Reagan solidified the shift from Democrats to Republicans, and I think you are exactly right when you talk about the gradual but real power shift west as well. But interestingly, there is no Sunbelt governor or former governor (Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush) in the serious running this time. With security and competence as the overarching issues, I think (and it is just that, a thought) that ordinary geographic and even cultural considerations are playing a far smaller role than in the last quarter century. Think about it: the leading Republican candidates include a pro-choice former mayor of New York and a former governor of Massachusetts who is a Mormon; the Democrats include a First Lady-turned-New York senator and a young senator from an ethnically and culturally diverse background. This is, as Eleanor Roosevelt said of 1940, no ordinary time.

Arlington, VA: Do you think a third party candidate could ever have a plausible shot at the White House? It seems like the American electoral system largely rules out that possibility.Jon Meacham: It is tough, tough, tough, but nothing is impossible. The Founders made it difficult for anyone to be elected president (remember, they drafted the Constitution before they knew for certain that two parties, or any parties, would emerge), but the wonderful thing about history lies in its capacity to surprise.
New York, NY: Do you think Bloomberg has enough name recognition outside of New York City to make a serious run? It seems like Guiliani already has taken claim to the New York City Mayor identity. Will that be a problem for Bloomberg?Jon Meacham: I don't want to be overly flip, but it would not take Mike Bloomberg long to buy all the name recognition in the world. If he really is willing to spend $1 billion (of his own money), the real problem may be how viewers of television or web users could avoid the guy.
Boise, ID: You wrote that you regard Bloomberg as one of the leading showmen on the political stage today. He certainly seems like a competent leader, and one that has cooled the racial tensions that flared up on his predecessor's watch. But the few times I've seen him on CSPAN he seems like a pretty flat speaker, and a guy who lacks the flair of some of our more colorful politicians. What am I missing? Jon Meacham: You're right in that he is no Lincoln or Reagan or Bill Clinton. There can be a kind of laconic quality to his formal speeches. But people have also seen him pull off really impressive rhetorical turns. He won't ever win, I think, on his poetry, but if the country were in the mood for a man with a strong grasp of the prose of politics, he would probably be a very viable possibility.

Published: June 24, 2007
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG of New York insisted yet again last week that he did not intend to run for president in 2008, even as he left the Republican Party to become an independent. Then, on Friday, he tweaked his language somewhat, simply saying, “I’m not going to be president.”
Which opens the door to a Swiftian modest proposal, one that might appeal to any billionaire independent presidential candidate who knows the art of a deal: Rather than try to win the White House outright — a long shot — an independent candidate could instead try for a king-making (or queen-making) bloc of votes in the Electoral College.
In doing so, a moneyed candidate like Mr. Bloomberg could advance his post-partisan national agenda — and gain a great deal of power — by introducing coalition politics to America’s system of government, through a power-sharing plan that catapults either the Republican or Democratic nominee to the presidency. Here’s how it might work:
With the nation divided into red and blue as it has been in the last two presidential elections, all a rich, self-financed candidate would have to do is win a big state (or two) to ensure having a king-making bloc of electoral votes: say, Florida (the decisive state in 2000), or Ohio (2004), or maybe New York (Mr. Bloomberg’s home state), or California (that of his friend, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger).
Mr. Bloomberg spent $84 million in 2005 to win re-election as mayor. In 2008, a wealthy candidate could spend five times that (or 10 times, as some Bloomberg associates suggest he might do) to run for president. Under this hypothetical scenario, the money would support a targeted advertising campaign to sell an Electoral College strategy to voters. (You wouldn’t even need to get on the ballot throughout the country.)
The essential pitch to voters: Washington is broken, and we need to find a third way. Elect an independent for president.
But instead of running a national campaign, the independent candidate strives to win the electoral votes of only a few states. This idea is a stretch by the conventional wisdom of American politics, of course. But before 2000 nobody dreamed the Supreme Court would decide a presidential election, either.
“An Electoral College showdown, however improbable, would make the wild ride of the Florida recount look tame,” said Paul A. Beck, a professor of political science at Ohio State University.
There is some historical precedent for a king-making scenario. In 1968, George C. Wallace, who rose to prominence as the anti-integration governor of Alabama, ran for president as an independent; his plan was to exploit fractures in the Democratic Party and win enough Southern states and electoral votes to foist his agenda on a major-party nominee or throw the election to the House of Representatives. He carried five states in the Deep South — not enough; Richard M. Nixon won handily. The segregationist Strom Thurmond pursued a similar strategy in 1948, winning 39 electoral votes (nowhere near enough to thwart Harry S. Truman’s storied come-from-behind win).
More recently, both celebrities and rich men have demonstrated the popularity or financial wherewithal to persuade voters in this hyperkinetic news media environment to circumvent politics-as-usual: Mr. Schwarzenegger; former Gov. Jesse Ventura of Minnesota; Jon Corzine, the former senator and current governor of New Jersey; and Mr. Bloomberg himself.
Mr. Bloomberg’s aides say he has no plans to be a kingmaker. Yet suppose an independent candidate with unlimited means carried New York in the general election on Nov. 5, 2008, winning a sharply divided vote among three home-state politicians (with Mrs. Clinton as the Democratic nominee and Rudolph W. Giuliani as the Republican). And suppose the Democratic and Republican nominees split the other 49 states and the District of Columbia in a way that left both just shy of an Electoral College majority (270 votes) without New York’s 31 votes.
With his king-making bloc of votes, an independent candidate could broker a deal with one of the candidates, European- or Israeli-style. Cabinet posts could be divvied up (say, Senator Chuck Hagel as defense secretary). Specific policies and spending commitments would be agreed to (say, plans for immigration and health care, two top national priorities for the mayor).
NOW, here’s where one or two or 100 lawyers come in. This reform-minded disbursement of power could be guaranteed by a legally executed contract with a hefty cash bond if the eventual president reneges. (There’s nothing barring this in the Constitution.)
The clock would be ticking. A deal to throw the decisive electors to one candidate or the other must be struck in the six weeks before several hundred electors cast their votes in their individual states on Dec. 15, 2008.
A big wild card is the loyalty of the independent candidate’s slate of electors (though perhaps they could be well-compensated by the self-financed campaign). If New York electors gathered in Albany to cast their electoral votes but began peeling off as they cut their own political deals, the grand bargain would be sunk.
“Electors are generally trustworthy, but formal attempts to bind them haven’t been tested that much,” said John C. Fortier, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and editor of “After the People Vote.”
If no candidate achieves a majority in the Electoral College, the election would be decided in the newly elected House of Representatives, where each state’s Congressional delegation would have one vote for president.
The Democrats currently dominate 26 congressional delegations to the Republicans’ 20; the 4 other states have an even split of members at this writing. If that partisan split were to hold after Election Day 2008, the Republican presidential candidate would have a huge incentive to make a power-sharing deal so the election never fell to the House.
“If he gets it into the House, a Democrat is going to win the presidency, because they have the votes pure and simple,” said Mario M. Cuomo, the former Democratic governor of New York, who is noncommittal on the presidential race at this point.
A few dozen extra federal judges might be needed on the bench to adjudicate all the potential legal complications. And an independent candidate might find his convictions sorely tested.
“The challenge for him is how a candidate who wins some states by being above partisan politics can engage in the kind of wheeling and dealing that may be necessary for him to actually determine who becomes the president, and under what conditions,” said Mr. Beck of Ohio State.
Yet for an independent-minded politician like Mr. Bloomberg who looks and speaks and acts like a presidential candidate, the lure of the free-for-all election in 2008 may prove irresistible. Being a mayor is one thing; being a president is another; and being behind the throne — well, to paraphrase one New Yorker, Mel Brooks, it’s good to be the kingmaker.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Jewish Cartoon Characters

Taken from Juf.Org

Cartoon Characters
Just because someone is two-dimensional doesn't mean they can't have character. In fact, some of your favorite cartoons are Jewish!

Fievel Mousekewitz, the cutest little immigrant ever, is the star of An American Tail and Fievel Goes West. The movies' director, Don Bluth, is Jewish, and so is their producer… you might have heard of him… Steven Spielberg.

Find Feivel here!

A Simpsons star, Krusty the Clown started life as Herschel Krustofsky before going into showbiz. His father is a rabbi who was played by comedian Jackie Mason… whose real-life father was a rabbi, too!

Heeere's Krusty!

Also from the creator of the Simpsons, Matt Groening, was a sci-fi show called Futurama, set in the year 3000. Katey Sagal was in that, but the Jewish character was a humanoid lobster named Dr. Zoidberg. He was a doctor who wanted to be a comic. Well, he had the Yiddish accent for it!

Check in with Dr. Zoidberg!

One of the four South Park kids, Kyle Broslofski, is Jewish. Matt Stone, one of the creators of the South Park series, does Kyle's voice. Like his alter-ego, Matt grew up Jewish in small-town Colorado.
Visit Kyle.
Maybe the Rugrats family has a surname like "Pickles" because they're kosher, I mean, Jewish. That's Didi Pickles and her kids Tommy and Dil (get it-- Dil Pickles!). The Rugrats have Chanukah and Passover videos, too!
Drop in on the Rugrats!
Then there is Harold from Hey Arnold! Here's what the only Jewish skateboarder we know of, Dave the Jewish Skater, says: "No one will ever forget the touching moment when Harold, the school bully, had his Bar Mitzvah on Hey Arnold! It's season 2, episode 11 and there is some great behind the scenes footage of the episode in the Seasons 1-3 box set. Highly recommended."
Some Jewish superheros include The Thing from Fantastic Four, and X-Men's Magneto, who survived the Holocaust. They were created by a Jewish illustrator named Stan Lee, who also gave us Spider Man, The Hulk, and Captain America… for starters!

Learn more about Stan's not-so-secret identity. And here is more on that magnectic personality, Magneto.

Lots of your other cartoon favorites have Jewish creators: Max Fleischer gave us Popeye and Betty Boop. The Warner Brothers were Jewish, and their studio came up with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, and Porky Pig… all of whom were voice-acted by Mel Blanc, who was also Jewish (Yup! Porky was kosher!)! And new movie star Shrek first appeared in a book by Jewish cartoonist William Steig.

Finally, Superman doesn't come from Krypton, but Cleveland-- where he was thought up by two Jewish guys, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, when they were still in high school! They said they based him on the first Jewish super-hero ever: Samson!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Trade you 20,000 Muslims for a Jew

Yesterday I got this email forwarded to me:
Tue, 22 May 2007 14:30:20 -0500

I went to Snopes to see if it was true and I found nothing then I went to Google and found this info on another blog:
Because he has spent the time researching it I will just post his findings below. I put his most recent article first followed by the original one.

Sebastian Villar Rodriguez or Sebastian Vivar Rodriguez

Here are the variations on the name (and Google links):
"Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez" (226)"Sebastian Villar Rodriguez" (225)"Sebastian Vivar Rodriguez" (84)"Sebastian Vilar Rodriguez" (21)"Sebastian Villar Rodrigez" (1)"Sebastian V Rodriguez" (1)
The first reference you get when you google "Sebastian Vivar Rodriguez" is an online Spanish magazine Gentiuno and their posting of Nov 21, 2004: Europa murió en Auschwitz (Europe Died in Auschwitz) by Sebastián Vivar Rodríguez. No listing of attributes, no description of whether he is a journalist or even a Christian.
In my previous post who_is_sebastian_vilar_rodrigez-and-who-cares I said that this was a fake. It still is. No doubt all these variations of S* V* R* point back to this initial posting on a Spanish Website. I suppose someone felt it would have had more authority to ascribe the story to some large metropolitan Spanish paper, but it looks like it's written by a nobody. This of course does not take away any of its truth.
It seems most often quoted on pro-Israeli sites. The Vivar being changed to Villar seems to have originated with frontpagemag of Sept 20 2005. Many postings with "Villar" take this date or Sept 23, 2005 as the date the mythical paper printed the story.
Here are bloggers that reference Sebastian Villar Rodriguez israpundit, gerry charlotte phelps and further adventures of indigo red [ who also provides a translation of the Spanish from the perspective of a non-Spanish speaking person - go read it] .
And this is the way it spreads, sigcarlfred quotes the anchoress online and others who in turn quote frontpagemag. Incredibly, no one is concerned about getting an exact web source. My own feeling is that all these bloggers agree so much with the sentiments that they really don't care if it was actually printed anywhere. The important thing, I suppose is that it gets said at all. No one wants a bomb sent in the mail so they all blame it on poor Sebastian Villar Rodriguez or Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez or Sebastian Vivar Rodriguez. Hey, Sebastian said it - not me! Don't shoot the messenger!
For an excellent discussion on the Sebastian story read is that legal.
Here it is in French:
L'Europe est morte à Auschwitz.
« Je me promenais le long du cours Raval (Barcelone) quand je compris soudain que l'Europe était morte à Auschwitz. Nous avions assassiné 6 millions de Juifs pour importer finalement 20 millions de musulmans !
Nous avons brûlé à Auschwitz la culture, l'intelligence et la capacité de créer. Nous avons brûlé le peuple du monde, celui qui s'autoproclame le peuple élu de dieu. Car c'est le peuple qui a donné à l'humanité des figures emblématiques capables de changer la face de l'histoire (le Christ, Marx, Einstein, Freud...) et est à l'origine d'essentiels acquis de progrès et bien-être.
On doit bien admettre qu'en relâchant ses frontières et en se pliant, sous un douteux prétexte de tolérance, aux valeurs d'un fallacieux relativisme culturel, l'Europe, a ouvert ses portes à 20 millions de musulmans souvent analphabètes et fanatiques que l'on peut rencontrer, au mieux, dans des lieux comme ce cours Raval évoqué plus haut, paupérisation du tiers monde et du ghetto et qui préparent, au pire, des attentats comme ceux de Manhattan ou Madrid, terrés dans des appartements que leurs ont été fréquemment fournis par les milieux sociaux officiels.
Ainsi, nous avons échangé la culture pour le fanatisme, la capacité de créer pour la volonté de détruire, l'intelligence pour la superstition. Nous avons échangé l'instinct de transcendance des Juifs - qui, même dans les pires conditions imaginables ont toujours été à la recherche d'un monde meilleur de paix - , pour la pulsion du suicide. Nous avons échangé l'orgueil de vivre pour l'obsession fanatique de la mort. Notre mort et de celle de nos enfants.
Quelle erreur nous avons commise ! «
In Italian:
Sebastian Villar Rodriguezgiornalista spagnolo, mentre stava camminando lungo Raval (Barcellona) si è reso conto che lEuropa era morta bruciata dentro Auschwitz e si è detto che era stata bruciata la cultura, l’intelligenza, l’iniziativa, perché era stata bruciata una parte di umanità scelta e voluta da dio, gente da cui si sono generate nel mondo delle persone del calibro di: Cristo, Marx, Einstein, Freud.…. che rappresentano l’origine dle progresso e del benessere.
Questo per fare spazio a cosa? A un lassismo generale in Europa, al relativismo a 20 milioni di musulmani, spesso illetterati, fanatici con i quali stiamo venendo in contatto e che ha preparato e predisposto eventi come quelli del 9/11/2001, gli attentati di Madrid, che vivono fianca a fianco di noi beneficiando del nostro benessere sociale.
Abbiamo scambiato la cultura con il fanatismo, la capacità di generare con la volontà per distruggere, la saggezza con la superstizione, il senso trascendentale degli ebrei che anche nelle peggiori situazioni, hanno sempre cercato un modo pacifico, che non il bombardiere suicida. Abbiamo scambiato l’orgoglio della vita con l’ossessione fanatica della morte. La nostra morte e quella dei nostri bambini.
E’ grave ciò che abbiamo fatto.
Here it is in Esperanto and in Greek.
The sentiments expressed by Sebastian seem to be a paraphrase of a post of JAMES C. BENNETT from April 12, 2003 "Why do they hate us?"
But as to Sebastian Rodriguez and Jews the only prior reference I could find is the German Jewish online magazine Aufbau online in their JANUARY 24, 2002 issue where they note that a Sebastian Rodriguez visited a synagogue. Otherwise before or after I can't find anything else on line that world famous Sebastian vivar Rodriguez ever wrote or was interviewed or any biographical information at all.
Conclusion: Senor Rodriguez the Journalist is either a fake - or he's already been killed by Muslims for speaking out against them. (Although, how would they find him? No one else can.) Or a person who just wrote something under an assumed name? That's the most likely scenario.
The idea that Auschwitz has defined the modern identity of Europe is discussed in cogent detail at Brussels Journal:
What, in fact, is replacing assimilation? Anyone who does not want to assimilate, French culture assimilates into his identity. Children aren’t speaking French, but rather a jargon composed of Arabic words and meager French. “There is always a culture that emerges victorious. In no society is there a vacuum.” Another thinker, Pascal Bruckner, agrees that Europe has made repentance for old sins, perceived or real, the central point of its identity, and something close to an obsession. And this is unhealthy, according to him. “If somebody hits you, you will think: This is for something I have done.” “Never again” and the belief that dialogue will take care of all problems are the guiding principles. We are filled with regret, but cannot fill Europe with anything positive.

Original Article:

who is Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez and who cares?

I can tell a fake when I see one. Before I go into the details let me say that about 100 blogs in the past 6 months repeated the story below and a few like vodkapundit rightfully had qualms about its authenticity: 'With some reservations, I'm posting the translation in full. If it turns out this is a fake, let's steal a page from the MSM and call it "fake but accurate."'
Here is the post, usually prefaced by Written by Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez, Spanish Writer or "This is a translation of an article from a Spanish newspaper":
All European Life Died In Auschwitz
I walked down the street in Barcelona, and suddenly discovered a terrible truth – Europe died in Auschwitz. We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims.
In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world. The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.
And under the pretence of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.
They have turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naïve hosts. And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.
We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for hoping for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.
What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.
Here are a few problems.
1) The phrasing and syntax look like they were originally written in English but as if translated.2) I disregard any post as true unless it gives me the name of the paper and date of publication.3) Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez only exists in these posts.4) And most importantly - there is no European Paper with the cojones [one can take a cojones test here] to actually publish anything this provocative against Muslims. Indeed Spain has been on a push to encourage Muslim immigration since 2004, see jihadwatch.
As to "fake but accurate"; it is undoubtedly true that almost all the sentiments expressed in this "article" reflect the Muslim reality in Europe. It is too bad that no paper actually published it.
No doubt there will be those who protest the seemingly flagrant racism and I am equally certain that it will come mostly from liberal Jews who need to scratch the political correctness rash of theirs. I would call them fellow Jews but they are no different than Jews that deny the holocaust [yes they exist, Virginia]. They will rant that this is no different than the anti-semitism of the Nazis.
One difference. The Nazis lied when they said Jews wanted to control the world. It is not racist to describe the truth. Perhaps a few months ago one could have posited the notion that it is a blatant, racist lie to say of Muslims that "they plan the murder and destruction of their naïve hosts" and that we have "exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition" . But today, after the Danish Cartoon Affair, can anyone deny that this entire article indeed has the ring of truth?
As final proof of the truth of this article, go to any European and tell him a thousand Jews are coming into his city and he will say, "Great, and in what area are they going to invest?" Now change 'Jew' to 'Muslim' and the response would be "Crap, and what area are they going to destroy?"