Wednesday, December 31, 2008

War has a place in a nations survival

The casual reader of this blog,particularly if they are not familiar with my backgound, might assume that I take war lightly.Usually we say war is where old men send young boys out to fight and die.
In fact, I abhor war except where it is needed for national survival.I came face to face with combat and the injuries and deaths associated with it.For one year at the height of the Vietnam War,I served as a combat surgeon at two very active hospitals,the 45th Surgical Hospital and the 24th Evac. I operated on probably 1-2 thousand young American troops,civilians injured and POW's.I observed not only their wounds but the mental damage that would scar them perhaps forever.
From the day I left Vietnam, I have kept a few shell casings and RPG fragments on my desk which I removed from patients,as a reminder of the damages that bombs can do to humans. Every day as I walkd to the surgical wards in the hospital,I tried to avoid the neurosurgical unit.It was there that the head and spinal cord trauma was treated,and tears would always come to my eyes as I traversed that area.
However, the Talmud tells us when your life is threatened strike before your assailant does.

This brings me to yesterdays comments on confusion in the ranks of the leadership.We now read of a battle between Barak and Olmert,Livni,Shin Bet etc.This mornings JP has an op-ed by David Horovitz its editor,as does Haaretz on the farcical nature of this battle at this juncture.It is clear once again that the Israeli system of governance,with different parties making up a cabinet does not work,especially in an emergency situation that precedes an election.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Within hours, you hear that the invasion so far is phase I. Next it is "all-out war".
A high source says the shin Bet reccommended a 48 hour respite,which MK Herzog talked about in reference to a French proposal . No says the Shin Bet they never said any such thing.
Our goal is to force Hamas back to the cease-fire but on our terms is to paraphrase the govt. Oh NO! Our goal is to have a change of govt. says another high official.

I had hoped that after Lebanon and the official report that the Israeli military/civilian leadership would act with a more united and organized manner. I assume the reservists are being trained,and not being sent into battle inadequately prepared.Yet,every day the world sees air strikes,without moving to the next phase,is a mark against Israel.This is not like Afghanistan or Iraq, where massive bombings could soften the enemy.The Air Force will shortly run out of targets,and victory (REMEMBER THAT ANCIENT TERM) can only come with ground troops.Anything short of victory, will be a Hamas/Iran victory, and a defeat for Israel.
This whole battle ,if not won will make it impossible to at any time go after the Iranian nuclear facilities.Israel is a small country, and it cannot maintain its economy with soldiers mobilized without a clear plan for action,and strategy for concluding hostilities.
Failing to win,will allow Hezbollah and Hamas backed by Iran and Syria to understand that Israel at the end of the day does not have the stomach to see a battle through to the end.


You have to "love" Illinois Gov. B.If you were writing a political novel,you could not match his machinations, Appointing former A-G Roland Burris to the Obama seat,makes the Dems in the Legislature look like idiots.He will go to Court and force certification,and because he is the sitting Gov.,I assume will win that case.After all he has been only accused of crimes.,and not convicted.
Remember,Nixon and Clinton were accused of illegalities,but continued to function and make appointments and sign legislation.Nixon until the day he resigned,and Clinton until he was found not guilty. TERRIFIC DRAMA! NEXT ITS UP TO HARRY REID

Monday, December 29, 2008

Public Opinion

Those of us who understand the need for Israel to go into Gaza, often believe that how could any fair minded person disagree?
Well let's start with J Street,the way- left leaning lobby-PAC, Americans for Peace Now, Brit Zedek V'shalom.and Israel Policy Forum all of whom call themselves "pro-Israel",while saying Israel has a right of self-defense, attacked the Israelis because defending themselves will not advance the cause of peace.(PEACE AT ANY COST-ARAB REFUGEES,DIVIDE JERUSALEM AND SO ON)Of interest is that Jeremy Ben-Ami the Exec. VP of K Street,will be a guest speaker at the JCPA Convention.I HAVE PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN ABOUT THIS LEFT-LEANING DEBATING SOCIETY, OF WHICH THE OU IS THE ONLY ORTHODOX MEMBER. I have long felt that the OU should not be a part of the group.However, if they are there then they should protest Ben-Ami's role.
With friends like these who needs enemies!?
On the Arab side, C-Span had a session with Muslim groups that are preparing petitions,post cards and rallies attacking Israel from throughout America.
Our side should start mobilizing public opinion,as the going gets tough and bloody.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


It is painful to read that Turkey has called the Gaza operation a "Crime against humanity".When they invade Iraq to Kill Kurds that is " self-defense".Jews don't have that right.
The hypocrisy of the world knows no boundaries.Britain TV inviting Ahmedenajad to bring x-mas greetins to Englanders is such an example.How come they never invited Hitler to address the nation in the 30's?
We in the US were attacked on 9/11. Our response has been a global one against the perpertrators.Thus our troops are in Afghanistan, where the plot was hatched.The Bush administratiion and Speaker Pelosi are to be praised for understanding the root cause of the Israeli action.
By what sense of fairness or justice can the world call for a cease-fire after 1 or 2 days of response,against an enemy that continues to bombard your cities,threatens to destroy you,and refuses to acknowledge the validity of your existance?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Gaza / Charities / The Bail-out

It is quite amazing that when Israel gets hit by Kassams daily,the world attacks the shooters, even as it pronounces support for Israel's right to defend itself
One hour after some hard hitting much delayed Israeli raids,suddenly the same voices call for an end to all violence,or an attack on disproportionate responses.
The Jew is not allowed to defend himself and defeat the enemy that fires rockets at schools civilians and industry.
Whatever Israel intends to accomplish,they should do it quickly, before the world via the UN and the State Dept. place undue pressure on them.

As the Madoff issue percolates, and we examine the use of charity funds for the Clinton Foundation,a sense of sadness and even dispair envelops me as to how we can trust charities again?
There was a time when charities were mostly volunteer groups.When we were kids we rode the subways with the blue and white JNF pushkes.Lucette Lagnado ,who I recall from her days writing for the Forward,has an interesting op-ed in the WSJ on how Jewish charities have changed.
The small donors have been replaced with the Foundations and the mega-wealthy.The volunteers in the offices, to a great extent have been replaced by professionals.This is because women now work to a greater extent,and volunteerism is down.When you hire a professional,he or she tries to impress the Board with new ideas for fund-raising-telemarketing,golf outings, new dinners,trips for wealthy potential donors to exotic places which have nothing to do with the mission of the organization.The goal is often to get these wealthy people to join the Board.The cost of these projects add up, to the extent that often very little is left for the charity.
We the public have little knowledge when we get a solicitation from for example,Heart or Diabetes or the Blind etc.Where is the money going?such as research? TV ads? building a huge nest egg? what are the expenses for fund raising?
Does the organization have a conflict of interest policy to protect its receipts?Truth be told, the organizations don't really care about the small donor.Their donation are welcome but unless there are huge numbers of such donors,it is the wealthy that they wish to attract.

Which brings me to the financial mess we are in,and the huge bail-out being talked about.There appears little talk of accountability,nor is there based upon such programs in the 1930's a guarantee of success.Where is the oversight of what has been spent and that proposed? It cannot be done by individuals who have other full-time jobs We are talking of trillions of dollars of projects.Will the UAW be forced to make changes?
The Obama team is saying No-pork! but some of the projects mentioned are the worst kind of political machinations.
In short I have little confidence that the economic part of the Obama team ,is anything but liberal spend-tax-spend.
The foreign policy-national security division is really Bush II,because this arena does not interest Obama per se.But like Bush with Pakistan-India, Iran, and the bomb,Israel and Hamas as well as Putin's return to the good old days,like it or not that is where he will spend a great deal of time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


The plans to hold a mega-orgy in Tel Aviv to support world peace has been cancelled due to popular opposition. Truly all that is missing in this election season in Israel, is a bunch of crazies having an open sexual extravaganza.
Perhaps the mega-orgy team can put up a slate of candidates and if successful, would make Knesset meetings more interesting.

It is unbelievable to observe the Kennedy campaign for the Hillary seat.Govs have been appointing interim Senators for generations. But it is unheard of for someone to start campaigning as though the seat belongs to her,yet refuse to open her financial records or to directly answer questions. Gov. Patterson can show real independence and sagacity by choosing a more qualified and dignified choice.

It is really unusual and even rare for a Pres. to rescind a pardon.That happened today, when the Pres. was informed that the applicants father had for the 1st time contributed $28,500 to the Republican Party just prior to the application for pardon.
Compare that to the Marc Rich pardon where he wife gave mega dollars to the Clinton Museum and whalla her fugitive husband is free! Eric Holder has a lot of questions to answer in this regard as well as his role in the Puerto Rican pardons to help Hillary in her Senate race.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Iraq-friend or ? /Nintendo

I supported Pres. Bush on his decision to topple Saddam. I believed then and now that he had WMD, which at the last moment he shipped to be buried in the Bekka Valley.(US intelligence did note convoys of trucks rumored to be WMD or gold heading there just before the war).
We know from the 1st Gulf War, that nuclear material was found,and all the intelligence agencies of Europe and Israel concurred in that conclusion(Saddam had or was close to having WMD).
With the war primarily over,we should not fool ourselves however, that we have created a permanent democracy or even a permanent friend,
As long as we are there,we will have influence.We should not confuse that with true friendship.
How long after we leave will it take Iraq to vote against us in the UN?How long will it take before Iraq joins as a vocal part of anti-Israel bloc of the Arab League? They are not a military threat to Israel, but the proximity to Iran and the Shia influence,is a threat to Iraqi independence. The fact that Parliament adjourned without approving the stationing of non-U.S. military long term in the country speaks to the problem.The recent outpouring of support for the shoe-thrower tells us a great deal.
It is time for Iraq to use its oil money,and invest it in its own reconstruction.The U.S. has done enough financially, and the Iraqis should stand on their own 2 feet where possible.


There are increasing reports of severe long and short term medical problems attributable to the overuse of computer games ,Nentendo and Wii.These include arthritis, tendinitis,kneecap displacement and hospitalizations for variations of the above.
Obviously I am not from the computer game age.However in observing children my grandchildren's age and other young people,these games become more than a sport.They are almost a full time passion and obsession that does not allow for interruption to say hello to humans, or to carry on a conversation .Parents are happy,because the kids stay out of trouble,and are adept at computer tactics that their elders can only marvel at.
However parents should be aware of the potential medical damage. Similarly, while not proven is the recurring suggestion of increased brain tumors occurring in those who use cell phones on a constant basis by placing the receiver against the ear.
It is perhaps time to go back to encouraging READING as an activity for children!

Monday, December 22, 2008




You have to love the chutzpah of the advocates of that new religion "GLOBAL WARMING".

When asked to explain the frigid weather,not only in this country but Europe their answer is -"You see that proves there is global warming,because the weather is erratic" HUH?

So if its warm,cold,wet, etc we have an explanation-sounds good, no?


I never thought I would applaud the Arabs and disagree with the stand of Israel.Well there is a first,as the Arabs attracked a UN resolution on Gay rights,while Israel supported it.


A few days ago, I wrote that there should be consideration by Jewish organizations to merge,including the Reform-Conservative movements .Thus it was interesting to see Reform head Eric Yoffie make such a call because of the financial pressures we are witnessing.


On Fri Dec 12 there was an op-ed in the WSJ by Erica Schwartz entitled " Who will end the abuse?"
I have been meaning to comment on the problems she discusses,namely sexual abuse in the Orthodox community.
It is the story of Assemblyman Dov Hikind who has exposed a raw nerve regarding sexual abuse of children in the ultra-orhodox community.He has collected he says hundreds of testimonies spanning decades involving rabbis and teachers.
The problem is that he promised to keep the name of those who have come to him from the police and public.He has now been subpeoned in a civil suit.
Hikind set up a lay commission to try to handle the allegations and look for solutions.The chairman Rabbi B Twerski resigned for fear of tarnishing his reputation or put another way lack of political courage.I had the exact same event take place when I appointed a prominent Monsey Rav-Psychologist to the Lanner Commission, who dropped out for similar reasons.
At the end of the day,despite the best efforts of Hikind,and those Orthodox leaders with political will,these issues have to be handled by the police,prosecuting attorneys and the courts.
Those efforts that are confined within a closed community while they should be applauded,are doomed to failure.
The success of the Lanner Commission was because it was limited to one organization and a small group who may have known about inappropriate conduct, but failed to act.Here we are dealing to social pressures in a closed society whose population exposure is in the tens of thousands.
Dina Dmalchusa Dina-the laws of society require that we protect our young, and not allow the perps to hide behind a veil of Torah clauses.
In the end if the Torah community cooperates with the authorities-yes we may have some embarressment,but we will protect perhaps generations of young people.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich /Rubashkin /OU convention

The ongoing scandal in Illinois,will make a great novel/movie.However much as I think that Gov. B. and the Dem. and Rep. political machines are corrupt,what has happened and is unfolding is a kangaroo Court.
First the US Attorney once again violated Federal statutes by editorializing the complaints.He was followed by the top FBI investigator,who likewise editorialized the disgust of his seasoned agents upon hearing the tapes. Thus the atmosphere is poisoned over and above what it is already.
Then we have Rahm Emanuel with multiple conversations with the Gov or his Chief of Staff(who is also arrested) however contrary to the tranparency promised there is silence.Cong Jackson and the other cast of characters plus the Unions are all in the mix, awaiting the release of the tapes and further investigation,
The Legislature then starts impeachment hearings in the hope of getting Gov. B off the headlines.Forget about his rights to examine the evidence,or be indicted ,or be found guilty or to have the rights of any accused person. So Gov. B hires a tough lawyer, who not only points it out, but questions the impartiality of the panels.
In the meantime, after Obama and Durbin called for a special Senate election, the Dems fearing a loss claim poverty and time as a reason to hope the Lt. Gov. will be able to do that. The Senate Dems already announcing they will not accept a Gov. B designee.Any attempt to legislate that the Lt-Gov be given this power (to appoint a Sen.) would be vetoed by B.
Thus 2 results:
1-the scandal will continue to dominate the headlines
2-There may be no new Senator for quite a while, perhaps a year or more.Nixon resigned after 1 year of attacks and calls for impeachment.Sen. Harry Reid may need that vote.
As I often say-stay tuned !


The Rubashkin scandal is off the headlines, because we have Madoff,Dreir and Gov. B.There are serious charges involved.Yet,unlike most defendants,he is denied bail.
Because he is a Jew,and Israeli law grants automatic citizenship to every Jew under the Law of Return.Thus says the Govt if released he " would easily be able to immigrate to Israel,.... and (be entitled to) dual citizenship.") and not be extradited.
If allowed to stand this would apply to every Jew, even if their descendents came over on the Mayflower.
I have no problem asking people so accused to hand over their passports,including Israeli ones if they have one, however the logic of the US Attorney is definitely anti-semitic.
If someone is a flight risk,then they should be denied bail.Being a Jew is not evidence of such a risk
Where are all the National Jewish groups making a fuss?

I never criticize the OU publicly and will not start now.Rather I would like to talk in positive terms regarding a story in this weeks Long Island Long Island Jewish Star.
The story entitled" Unorthodox tactics at OU convention" raises the question of votes taken at the recent Israel convention (Nov. 26-30) in which there were only about 60 persons there ,and there is an accusation of one person bringing in 10 staffers and 6 NCSY kids to vote in a bloc according to the wishes of that individual.On one controversial vote ,they swung the decision.
Let me start from the beginning.
In 1994 the OU had its biannual convention at a major US hotel As always a thousand people (give or take a hundred)attended .I was elected that year,and one of the highlites was a debate between Ariel Sharon and Yossi Beilin.I suggested that on alternate years, we should have a convention in Israel.And so for the next 2 years we had a regular convention and an Israeli one. These were REAL National Conventions,where the Prime Minister addressed our dinner,and it was televised live on Israeli TV.
The problem was the OU lost a great deal of money on these conventions.
Skip forward and today we have no US convention depriving hundreds of synagogues and individuals of an opportunity to get involved.Except for a small cadre of lay workers,the Israeli portion is used by individuals who while not heavily involved with the OU, have children in Israeli Yeshivoth and hope to get a relatively cheap package to visit with them.It is rumored, that American Olim have been subsidized to attend the "convention"
How much ( if any) money was lost on this convention is of interest. The article thus raises some interesting and allied issues.
The OU should address the many questions raised including How do we run a REAL(U.S.) NATIONAL CONVENTION?how do we get more people involved ? How can we improve on the issue of WRITING and voting on resolutions so that they represent the synagogue body?Shouldn't there be term limits on OU representation on a body such as the JCPA- since we are the only orthodox organization represented in this body ,and their left-wing decisions affect all of us? (I suggest it is never healthy for one person to have almost a lifetime appointment to a commission ,especially as its head.This allows others to become lazy and leave the decisions to that person)
Should staff be allowed to vote? Who chooses NCSY delegates to a convention?Should the OU have a Southern convention, similar to the one held in Calif annually.
The issues raised by the Jewish Star article, should serve as a primer for Rabbi Weil who takes over as Exec. V.P. this June.
As always transparency is always the best antidote when issues arise!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hadassah Hospital /House of Lords/ EZ Pass /Gaza

Having visited Hadassah Hospital a number of times.including scrubbing in for an operation years ago and more recently a tour of the Cardiology Dept, with the members of my shiur,I was saddened to learn that they lost 90 million dollars in the Madoff scheme.
Especially since they recieve no government funding,understanding how this could occur will perhaps prevent future occurrences.The conflict 0f interest clause which Yeshiva University did not yet have at the time of their loss, might have helped.
I recall at the OU, funding was not allowed to be invested with the firms of Board members(not that we ever had such funds as we are currently witnessing)The hundreds of thousands of Hadassah Women,sad as they are will have to work harder,hopefully in a safer financial environment.Of course this applies to every charity so affected.

=====================================================================================We We obtained our freedom from England and did away with the House of Lords, and the wealthy aristocracy-or did we?
What a joke that Caroline Schlossberg is probably going to get the nod for yhe US Senate seat in NY.
That Bloomberg and Harry Reid endorsed her is part of the fix.
The only difference between Madoff peddling illegal investments to the wealthy and well placed social crowd,and these characters pushing a member of the in-team is that the latter is reprehensible but not illegal.Same crowd and same sense of entitlement.This echoes what I wrote about the end of term limits in NYC.


When you drive from the Washington Bridge or on the Turnpike or I-95 each toll booth has EZ-Pass that electronically recognizes your membership number.No toll gates,and no full stops.
On the Tri-boro (JFK)and other NYC tunnels even as the Authority seeks to raise tolls, they have these silly outdated barriers that go up and down with each car.To keep watch,they have multiple (overweight) policeman with their legs apart studying the gates, and from time to time advising an out of towner who went in the wrong lane.
It seems to me we could speed traffic,cut down on the number of personell and save gas in the idling cars by coming into the 21st century.


I suggest a brief review of past Israeli Govt. warning to Hamas have zero meaning as the rockets continue. G-d forbid a rocket should hit a school or apartment complex with multiple deaths which would cause a proper response.
I understand that the IDF does not wish to re-occupy Gaza.However these are the people that withdrew from Gaza,and they must assume the proper responsibility in cleaning up the mess
The Govt. applauds Annapolis and the current UN resolution-what positive results ensued? NOTHING

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Three quick addendums;
1 I should have included Bnai Brith in the list of orgs to merge.
2 The A-G's should publicize the salaries of the Chief Operating Officers, and the Director of Development.
3 The A-G should force orgs to clarify how much funds they have in endownment funds.

Time for a new look at charities

Sometimes I realize that I am niave ,especially when it comes to Jewish organizational life.The Madoff affair has caused me to wake up and smell the coffee.
I have been to Israel countless times.One of the charities that I visited, and from time to time have given a small donation to, is Yad Sarah.My impression has always been of a small volunteer type chesed organization dedicated to helping poor, needy and ill Israelis.
Reading the brochures in the past, I had the vision of a struggling group who everyday had to come to grips with the difficult economic realities in Israel.
Thus I was more than shocked to read ( the allegation)that they purportedly invested 1.5 million dollars in the Ascot fund .We do not know yet if they lost their money
Question-What kind of office expenses,professional and fund raising expenses in America do they have? How much additional funds are invested elsewhere ?
I propose that annually the NY State,(as well as NJ and Conn) Attorney Generals publish not only such a list of expenses compared to fund raising ,but a list of all monies invested in trusts and foundations etc.
When the consumer gets a fund raising call or letter indicating that if they do not contribute, then people will starve tomorrow,it would be nice to know if their expense/collection ratio is 18% or 60%,and whether they have millions invested.A number of years ago I saw such a list and quite suprised by the numbers.
Final thought-Why is Madoff free on bail?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bernard Madoff

There is very little that I could add to the headlines and analyses of the Ponzi scheme run by Madoff.It isn't the enormity of the crime that shocks me alone,nor is it the fact that the most sophisticated investors,banks and foundations are involved.

Rather it is a two-fold disgust.

One is the theme of a "Jewish" element that is present .It is fodder for the anti-semites who think the Jews control the banks and all wealth.What greater "chilul Hashem"(desecration of G-d's name) could there be,when besides the Merkins,Spielberg,Zuckerman and Lautenberg etc. are the Jewish institutions who placed their faith in one individual without proper investigation.It is not just greed, but the ego experience of being able to show your colleagues how brilliant and connected you are, that you can beat the market, and bring to the table greater returns than anyone else.Thus you immediately gain respect and before you know it you are asked to serve on the Board.Before long you are on the investment committee and diverting investments to your buddies, never asking the proper questions.
The WSJ story today highlites the schemes effect on Jewish philanthropy.
Of course how could a human being steal the dreams and aspirations of friends and charities,and look at himself in the mirror?
One question that comes to mind is why should Elie Weisel,who has made his life post-holocaust preaching and writing as well as raising huge amounts of funds for his foundation be sitting on millions and millions of dollars in a Foundation which has as its goal tolerance, when that money could be used today for Jewish education?The holocaust wiped out generations of our people.Tolerance is nice ,but pie in the sky.Let the Gentiles teach tolerance for it is they who destroyed its concept over the ages. Jewish education and avoidance of assimilation is our sole key to survival.
Similarly as the economy sours and Jewish poverty rises, and parents find it difficult to pay for day-school and yeshiva education,do organizations need billions invested in Foundations,when the current need is so great?
Perhaps G-d is sending a message?
The second point that comes to mind,is the importance of one common denominator when we look at our communal structure-MONEY
The Boards, Machers,dinner guests and the committees, for the most part point out that many of the names we see would not be there absent their wealth.
ETHICS,intellect, vision play a minor role.SADLY ETHICAL HISTORY IS LOW ON THE TOTEM POLE!
Of course as one who led a major organization I was as guilty as anyone.
There has to be a new approach to support charities.
One way which I have advocated for years is the merger of similar oriented organizations.How many dinners and professional costs would we save if the OU and Young Israel would merge?The RZA as a questionably viable organization could likewise benefit by becoming an affiliate.
How much money and fund raising would be saved in office space,office help etc. if Emunah Women and Amit would merge in the US?
Why do we need the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress,the Anti-Defamation League , the American section of the World Jewish Congress and the Weisenthal Center all "fighting" anti-semitism ?
Within the other religious streams,there is much room for consolidation.
Times are bad,and non-profits have to step up to the plate and think about the future and the true priorities of our people.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Man bites dog / Chicago! / UAW

The headlines reveal the "ass-backwards" approach of Jimmy Carter.
"Jimmy Carter regrets snub by Hezbollah" indicating they refused to meet with him.He would have "been delighted" to meet with top Hezbollah officials said the former Pres.
In a world of morality,they should have been begging to see him,and he should have refused on the basis of their terrorism.However JC's view of Israel and the world leaves much to be desired.


The attacks by the UAW on Rep. Senators is to be expected.
a) it is the price that unions will pay for putting all their campaign eggs into the Dem. coffers .
b)it is a defensive move, since they (UAW)realize they were at fault for the breakdown of talks.Thererfore blame those who they cannot control.Yet not one Democratic leader spoke up for the Corker Plan
c) Although they (UAW)think that time is on their side, since Bush blinked and the Dems are only days away from power,they misjudge the American public.We do not look at the southern transplants as being anything other than a place that offers employment opportunities to our citizens.We feel no difference in loyalty if we buy a Buick from Detroit,or a Toyota from Tennessee.When the big 3 will go into bankruptcy,as they will regardless of the initial bailout, the unions will have to face reality.Nor is there a guarantee that any futre TARP approval will get 60 votes in the new Senate.Americans are not going to agree to bailout after bailout.
The Corker plan was their best hope for viability.The WSJ editorial headline was right on target-it was Mitch McConnell's finest hour.Sadly the Pres. once again failed to consult with Congressional Republicans during the negotiations.This is exactly why the Republican Party lost its direction with a President who failed to realize he was also party leader.

The Chicago scandel is only beginning to perk.The Chicago Tribune reports that Emanurl Rahm had conversationS wth the Gov over acceptable choices for the Senate seat.At present no one is accusing Obama of anything except a lack of transparency.He should learn from Clinton and Watergate that it is best to get everything out with one swoop and with candor. As I wrote in my autobiography in regard to the Lanner case,as a student of public scandels, the Tylenol case was the perfect example of how to correctly deal with the (grateful) public.
Rezko is singing,and it probably won't be long before the arrested Chief of Staff Harris,will likewise sing for a reduced sentence.Then perhaps the US Attorney will threaten to indict the Gov's wife in the hope that the Gov. will likewise sing to save her.The whole house of cards could come falling down,including the Rezko-Obama land deal for the Obama home.We may learn about the down payment source for the home.
In any event,all of this takes the headlines away from the Obama plan to socialize medicine, create card-check to pay back unions, and other left wing agendas.As a matter of fact the involvement of the Union in the Jesse Jackson affair, and the feelings toward the UAW are diluting the potential political power of unions in the current period.
The Dems in Illinois who initially called for a new election for the Obama Senate seat, are now nervous that Cong. Kirk a clean Rep. House member would win the seat.Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nuclear Guarantee / Modern Medicine

The reported Obama promise to give Israel a guarantee of a nuclear umbrella is a step in the wrong direction.It would in effect tell Iran that a massive attack on Israel would bring about a US nuclear attack.
1-It would allow Iran to complete its nuclear program for weapons
2-Nothing would prevent them from giving small nuclear weapons to terrorists,Hamas or Hizbollah,yet denying it.
3-When we dealt with the Soviets on the basis of MAD mutual assured destruction,we were dealing with rational,yet evil people who did not want their cities destroyed.There was no religious or fanatatical elements involved.In Iran you are dealing with a sect that believes even if Iran would be destroyed,Islam would survive without an Israel. IT IS SO ORDAINED BY THE PROPHET.
4-By the time the US would respond,Israel could be ashes and smoke
5-Despite Obamas word, there might be a political upheaval in this country against the US nuking another country -especially if Iran would either deny the attack or claim that Israel attacked them first( or delivered by a missile from a ship in the Mediteranean)
6-The long held principle that Israel must defend itself, and not depend upon any other entity except the almighty is the correct approach.
7-This would be a major defeat for the US and NATO in the war againt terrorism.Iran is the financier and supplier of terrorist groups in the world.It would encourage N. Korea and Sria .
8-Other Arab countries who fear Iran such as Egypt and Saudia Arabia would undertake military nuclear programs.

I am so happy that I retired from Medicine when I did,and avoided the crass commercialism we now see.Yesterday's Palm Beach Post had at least 2 full page ads by Plastic Surgeons offering"Holiday Specials".

Botox 1 area-$255
2 areas- $485
`Fillers-with names I never heard of depending upon how many syringes from $535 to 1800 dollars.If you bring the ad with you (which features a young woman in a bra )they will allow the prices to stay until 2009.
The other ad with rebates include breast augmentation (all inclusive) for $3900
also 0% financing available.
I have nothing further to say on such behavior.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Global Warming / Auto bailout / First scandal ?

I have always been skeptical of the Al Gore religion-"Global Warming" .These carbon-trades are totally ridiculous and make no sense.Posted today on is a US Senate Comm report excerpt,which shows that a growing majority of International scientists, believe the whole thing is a bunch of bunk.You can go to Marc Morano @ EPW.Senate.Gov for the full report.

The drama being played out in the Senate will be interesting, since 2 Democratic Senators are out of the country. It would seem that the Congress is determined to have auto makers build cars that we the public do not want.When it becomes clear that that move will fail,then the Dems will try to tax carbon fuels and cars that we do want ,to such an extent that perhaps we will be forced to go that path.However,voters and taxpayers do not have to sit idly by and allow these clowns to dictate our way of transportation ,in a democracy.
By the way,since Chrysler is a private investment, why won't its parent bail it out?
In the meantime, bankruptcy with a reorganization of union contracts. suppliers, debtors, stockholders, banks and dealers makes the most sense.

I have the feeling that we are witnessing the first Obama -related scandal.Did he or any one of his aides speak to the Illinois Gov. about the Senate seat? Why will he refuse to answer regarding Rahm Emanuel's possible communication with the Gov.To be continued!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Illinois- business as usual / Olmert-Abbas /Hold the Line

There has always been something about the air in Illinois that reeks of official corruption.Presidential ballots found floating down the river which if counted might have spelled a different conclusion in Nixon's first run.
I recall when I was a medical student in Chicago,I was stopped by a traffic cop.I was in my whites, going from one hospital to another.The cop after telling me how wonderful doctors were to the men in blue,calmly asked me for $10 to forget the matter.When I informed him I only had $7 in my pocket,he settled on $5.-case closed.
If there is a special election,and there is a Democratic primary including some who may have had a hand in trying to bribe the Gov.,then there is a possibility of a Rep. pickup.
By the way, the Rangel wrangle gets more twisted each day. How Pelosi won't step up to the plate is beyond imagination..


The report by Tony Blair that Olmert and Abbas have an oral deal is beyond belief.The election cannot happen soon enough!


The threat of a fillibuster on the auto-bailout is real,and more attention should be paid to some sort of pre-arranged bankruptcy.
The Republicans in the Senate will have to be prepared for steam-roller tactics over spending, health-care and card-check.If anyone can hold the line, it is Mitch McConnell

Monday, December 08, 2008

Hybrid cars /Holiday religious symbols / The bail-out

Recently I brought my car in for service,and the Toyota people gave me a hybrid as a loaner.I was not impressed,and felt that it totally lacked power.As someone who has liked the feel of the get-up and go of the Hyuandai,my current Toyota Avalon and my previous Infinitis and Lexus, this was a turn-off.
I would never consider such an auto ,especially with gas at 1-2 dollars.

The holiday season always brings to the fore the problems of religious scenes on public property.This year it is complicated by the controversy over an athiest sign in a State Capitol in Washington. I have always been a strict believer in the seperation of church-state.I do not nelieve creches or the lighting of menorahs should be allowed on government owned property.There are ample opportunities in churchyards and synagogue aras,as well as privately owned property for this to take place.The athiest signs are inflammatory,and a danger to the public peace.
Stretching the seperation of church-state, is a slippery slope that ultimately harms Jews.
The Eruv controversy in the Hamptons is an example of self-hating Jewish anti-semitism.The eruv wire allows no person to practice his or her religion.It is basically an invisible item, that merely creates a sense of community. The terms of the opposition reflect a hatred of Orthodoxy.However, this country has long past the point where a person with a turban,a Catholic with an ash spot during lent or a Jew with a skull cap need feel that they are a second class citizen.No one forces anyone to sell their homes to an orthodox Jew,nor forces them to patronize a vendor who closes on shabbat. If their arguments about not wanting "those people" into the community were about blacks and not orthodox Jews,there would be mass picketing.
I warn the people of the Town,that at the end of the day, if they fight this through the courts, not only will they lose, but wind up with a large legal bill that will impact on their taxes-a-la Tenafly.


The talk of an Auto bailout has no mention of a change in Union leadership.These poeople bear a share of the blame along with the auto companies.They have driven up the cost of labor to $70 an hour compared to $40 in the South.Until we have real Union takebacks along with a change of leadership at GM,as well as realizing Americans are not interested in the cars they are being forced to build, all the money we put into a bailout is wasted.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

GOP victors /Rabbi Rackman -OBM

The victory by two Republicans in special Louisiania Congressional races is significant.Coming on the heels of the Georgia Senate race,it indicates tht the GOP is far from dead.The defeat of Cong. Jefferson who was indicted on a variety of corruption issues, should allow him time to count the money in the freezer if it is defrosted.
In Florida, the news that Jeb Bush will probably run for the 1010 Senate seat of Mel Martinez, has been met with excitemnt. Since he has not held office these last 2 years,and left on a high note, (together with the popularity of Gov. Crist,)means that " Bush fatigue" is not being felt here in Florida.Jed speaks Spanish,and was considered a great Gov.
What the GOP needs are exciting candidates in the NE, to rebuild the party. A Guliani Senate run in NY would be exciting.
Obviously it is a long way off from 2010,and we still await the Minn. results.
If Coleman wins, and the Dems try to steal the victory in the Senate,then the Reps should block votes on every single Cabinet nominee,and shut down the Chamber until Coleman is seated.


It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Rabbi Emanuel Rackman of blessed memory at the age of 98.Aside from all his pastoral and Rabbinic achievements, I have a special place for him in my heart.
When I was in Vietnam,I one day received a warm and moving letter from Rabbi Rackman.We did not know each other at that time,and my in-laws (obm) though living in Far Rockaway were members of the White Schul.Rabbi Rackman,then the Rav of Shaare Tfillah, heard that an orthodox young man was in Vietnam,and he took the trouble to send me this uplifting letter.
This Hakorat Hatov, has stayed with me all of my life.A small act of kindness can sometimes impact on a person forever.
Rabbi Rackman was an individual who performed such acts on a regular basis.
May his family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Disney,/ Susan Rice / Hebron

We just returnd from 3 days in Disney.Yes there is an economic problem in this country.However you would never know it from the size of the lines and the crowds.What appeared less crowded ,were the stores where they sell merchandise.The prices keep going up,but the family crowds keep coming.I did notice that a real high percentage of women were wearing marriage bands, indicative of the clean family oriented nature of the attraction.
We were stopped by one individual taking a poll for Disney,not about the park, but about how we were treated in the stores.'Having been there before with other grandchildren,I did percieve a small diminution in personel such as "characters" in the streets, as well as a smaller afternoon parade,probably for financial reasons.


The appointment of Susan Rice at the UN, is potential cause for concern.This is primarily because of her less than warmth toward the US-Israel relationship.The question will come up with the necessity to veto Sec. Council anti-Israel resolutions.With Hillary at the helm, it should be ok,however with Rice elevated to Cabinet rank,this could spell some problems.But Hillary is tough,and no fan of Rice's going back to the campaign.In addition,Hillary has been promised her own team-sounds interesting. The role of Biden will be subdued,but on Israel related issues, his voice will be probably helpful.


The extreme force used in Hebron, is another sad chapter in the saga of secular Israeli leaders,having no feeling for their heritage.
Jacob cries when meeting Rachel,for he is aware she will not be buried in Maarot Hamachpela,in the Hebron area, upon her eventual demise.(this weeks Torah reading)
Israeli political leaders don't have the depth of spiritual committment to our heritage to realize that the Temple Mount and Jerusalem,Hebron,Rachel's Tomb,Joseph's Tomb and other physical sites are what constitutes the centrum of holiness of Eretz Yisrael.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Terrorism- Part II

Elliot Ganchrow writes:

As a follow-up to my father's earlier blog, last week's terrorist attack in India is a reminder of the ease in which terrorists can attack and wreak havoc at 'soft' targets. The Chabad House in Mumbai was likely similar to numerous other Jewish schools, shuls and organizational organizations (with a few exceptions) across the world which are left unguarded or are provided minimal security. When I visited my brother-in-law two years ago for Shabbos in Efrat, I was struck by the extraordinary level of security that was both outside and inside the shul. A young man stood outside the shul with an automatic weapon and was at all times attentive to possible threats, while inside the shul numerous people were armed with guns. In other shuls in Israel, it is not uncommon to find soldiers or civilians armed and ready in case of emergency. When I was in Yeshiva in Israel, an emergency situation in a nearby town broke out. Within seconds, dozens of Israeli students were armed and ready to defend the Yeshiva. But what is the situation in our country? My in-laws daven at the Young Israel of Woodmere, which is the largest Orthodox shul in this country. When we visit for Rosh Hashana and daven with them, I am always taken aback by their disregard for security. They post one unarmed man in the front of the building and another on the other side of the building. Their is also an auxillary police car in the parking lot which I am sure puts fear in the hearts of would-be attackers. However, this a familiar scene in most shuls (and schools) in this country- Security is either non-existent or is provided by one unarmed individual or an auxillary policeman (although I was happy to see a fully armed policeman at the Roemer shul in Teaneck this past Shabbos). If we learn anything from the terrible tragedy of this past week, it is that each shul or school is a potential soft target and therefore should develop real plans to defend itself in case of an emergency. If the Chabad House in Mumbai can be attacked, so can shuls, schools and Jewish Centers in this country.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Since 9/11 ,there has been a sense of complacency since we have not had another attack on this soil.The Mumbai attack confirms what we know ,that a small group of dedicated ,well trained terrorists who have taken the time to scout out their targets, can cause unbelievable destruction.More than the loss of life and property is THE FEAR THEY INSTILL IN THE POPULACE.
Some names come into mind,Maalot,Munich, 9/11, USS Cole and all the suicide bombs in Israel.The world cannot relax, and when intelligence experts push for safeguards-ie. the Patriot Act, wiretapping on suspected international terrorists, we must be vigilant to prevent the far left from preventing their enactment in the name of civil liberties.
The greatest threat to our civil liberties is terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism.Of course there has to be both Judiciary and legislative oversight,plus good common sense and the use of real experts who have walked the walk and not just talked the talk.

My son Elli may blog for me over the next few days, as we take 2 grandchildren to Disney

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mumbai / Bad girls club

About four or five years ago Sheila and I stayed at the Haj Hotel during our visit to India.It is one of a chain of magnificent 5 star hotels all over the country. It is old worldly with unbelievable amenities.
During that trip, we prayed in the synagogue.but there was no Chabad House there yet.Rabbi and Mrs. Holtzberg had just come to the country a few weeks earlier.They invited us to eat with them in a one room hotel apartment that they were renting on a temporary basis ,until they could get settled.I remember vividly the hot plates with cholent etc with extension cords going out the door into the hall, since there were not enough outlets in the room.Latest reports have them both as hostages and unconscious.
Thus it is personally sad to see what is transpiring.We pray for the safe release of all of the hostages,and the defeat of terror.

One thought: What would have possibly changed if this attack occurred 1 week before our elections?

This morning while changing channels I came across a program "the bad girls club". This is the picture of white trash ,which is none of my business.Except at 11 AM on a holiday day, when kids are by the TV watching the parade and changing channels this is the wrong message to send out.
Drinking, smoking,baring of breasts,sexually fooling around, is the theme of this program.
I do not advocate govt. censorship,however advertisers, parents, TV stations have to live up to their obligations.
Then, when we hear rape is up in the country,we ask why? Similarly when we hear that moral standards are lower, we again ask the same question.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Indictment / CBS story

The decision to indict Olmert is long overdue,based on the public testimony.That he will not step aside voluntarily, is quite unbelievable.That he thinks he has the power in such a critical moment to run the affairs of State is delusional.

The CBS story on sexual immorality in the hasidic community is of course sad.No group is immune from human frailties, and sexual immorality is as old as the bible.
Once again we see that the definition of a Torah Jew is not the black hat,or any other dress or "chumra" (additional prohibitions )but rather how he/she conducts themselves not only in the synagogue,but in the home, business ,as well as all areas that inter-relate to society whether in their own family,closed community, or the greater world.

Whether these stories are the tip of the iceberg or are anomolies I do not know.However, when I was pushing the investigation into the Lanner affair,the anonymous complaints from students and others made me believe that there is cause for concern.Look at the web sites that specialize in discussing such behavior on the part of "religious" figures
Surely these stories represent an assault on the torah way of life.What is needed is early intervention in schools and synagogues to weed out those that have suffered sexual or physical abuse in their homes and families.
How chasidic leaders will handle the issues of loveless arranged marriages in the
21st century will determine whether we will see more such stories being made public.
Marriage counseling must be made an integral part of the support network of their community.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Peace / Olim for Knesset


It is nice to see 4 American olim running for the Knesset on the Likud ticket.
If they win in the primary,and are elected,it would be a nice push for changes in the way the Knesset is elected,NAMELY BY REGIONS RATHER THAN BY TOTAL NATIONAL VOTE.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Golan.

The poll in todays JP, that 1/3 of Israelis believe the IDF soldiers should disregard orders re. the Golan ,if ordered to remove settlers reminds me of a conversation I had with Bibi Netanyahu when he ran successfully for PM.
While campaigning in Netanya, he asked to speak to me privately.I was at the height of my politival activism in the OU,HUVPAC and AIPAC.
His message was clear-the Golan was important to Israel and should not be returned.At that time there was talk of an American military buffer to guarantee the peace.His message was to work the halls of Congress, and impress upon them that such a proposal might wind up a) costing American lives that would lead to b) conflict between Israel and the US.
The reported unity of Iran,Syria and Hizbollah in regard to the Golan,as well as the report that the latter has 44,000 rockets aimed at Israel makes talk of withdrawal ridiculous.
Olmert who is now in Washington has not rebutted the claim by Rice, that only the political problems in Israel have prevented a deal. Never mind Hamas and rockets. Never mind Abbas does not control Gaza.Never mind that there is no Palestinian concesssions on"refugees" or Jerusalem=it's all the fault of the Jews.He says divide Jerusalem,destroy the Jewish areas of Yehuda and Shomrom.What a guy!
I have one word to describe Mr Olmert -If you don't know -please be assured it is not a compliment=He is a M'NUVAL.
At this moment Bibi is leading in the polls-however it is still early

Sunday, November 23, 2008


My friend Yoram Ettinger ,who I have mentioned a number of times in this blog,has truly become no-1 on the issues of the changing demgraphy in Israel.He is lecturing to the Cabinet, the Press,the Military and Academia.He is proving that there is and will be a Jewish majority in 98% of the land west of the Jordan.He was the Congressional liason to Congress from the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

I suggest you place his blog
THE ETTINGER REPORT on your favorites.

The Pirates / Hillary

The saga of the Pirates, will make a great movie in the future.However, for the present the wrong message is being sent.Michael Oren had a terrific piece in yesterdays WSJ.The bottom line is that unless the free world and those who use the shipping lanes unite with a credible program and action, the problem will get out of hand.
This is a great time for all the naval powers, and those with surveillance capacity from all sources to join and share their combined assets, and solve the problem definitively.


The apparent choice of Hillary as SOS, from our point of view is the best possible pick.She is fully aware of the issues and nuances of the ME, and has a strong record on Jerusalem, and Iran.Though not a neocon, she understands the role of US power and how to respond to threats to our national security.
Yet, let us not assume that this is a 100% gain for our team.
I remember when George Schultz was chosen for that post, and everyone bemoaned his Bechtel experience.Yet he turned into a great friend on all the key issues.Hillary will not be making policy,Obama will,and the appointment of Gen. Jones as Ntl Security Advisor, plus the influence of Brezinski,Scowcroft and others who advocate the Saudi Plan will set up a source of potential conflict.There are many in the foreign policy establishment who do not look kindly on the special US-Israel relationship.
Hillary of course will play the major role.
What will Biden's role be? Will Dennis Ross get an official position? Who will Hillary choose as her team at State?Will Gates stay on for a while ? Will Obama so bogged down in economic problems look to avoid a fight with the pro-Israel community ,who helped him get elected? What happens if Bibi wins in Feb.?
As you can see you, can come up with so many permuations,that it is difficult to predict the future.
The bottom line-Stay Aware!


I wish I could figure out how much graft, corruption ,favoritism ,waste etc will we witness in a public works program creating 2.5 million jobs?
Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


The fact that there will be 32 Jewish members of the incoming House, and 13 Jewish Senators, while certainly a point of pride, should not be a source of complacency.Many are on the left side of the political spectrum ,even on Israel.While they would never sit idly by if Israel were endangered, the problem is that she is endangered every single day.
Today for example, a former Nobel Peace Prize winner, called for Israel's expulsion from the UN.
The International Atomic Energy Commission confirmed that Syria was building nuclear weapons, and that Iran continues to compile material, which some claim is enough for one nuclear bomb.
The rockets from Gaza continue,yet Jordan,the UN and EU only condemn the closing of the Gaza gates,and not the reason for their closure.
The political battle for Jerusalem and the Temple Mount is just taking form, as the left pressures Obama to accept the Saudi plan.
We should not take for granted these legislators,of different backgrounds and persuasions.
Each of us should use any opportunity we have to reinforce the morality and justice of our cause when we interact with them-and not assume they are all equally sophisicated and knowledgble on our issues.


A number of years I wrote an op-ed on Amorality.Unlike immorality, where the norm is known but not observed,the former totally denies the relevance of these standards.
I wa thinking of that today, when I saw that an incoming Member of Congress is pregnant,and the father is a long time boyfriend who is not yet married to the woman(who is in her later stages of pregnancy).Not too long ago,such a woman would hide her head in shame.Today, with no moral standards, she runs for Congress and wins.
The second example are the large gay demonstrations against the gay marriage bans.
Every week the NYT, hi-lites some prominent gay "unions".This alone allows for respectability, for that which is an "abomination" in the eyes of G-d.
But who cares about the Bible,the SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE or religion,when hedonistic materialism rules our society via MTV standards etc. People such as myself are "bigoted" "small minded"and "un-American" etc .
Certainly it is harder to bring up children in a permissive society.
Yet, when you look at the children in our communities who go to Day Schools and Yeshivoth,we can be proud, that despite our environment they are growing up as proud Torah Jews with a Torah based morality.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Left wing Media / GM

I neglected to add the name of Dan Meridor to those who are returning to Likud.The likud primary will be Dec. 8 and will allow their slate to be chosen.

We saw so much left wing biased media coverage of the recent election,and that thankfully it is over.However the coverage of Israel and the left tilt in some papers continues.
Yesterdays Palm Beach Post has a story regarding Obama and ME peace.The headlines on the followup page reads"Neyanyahu may be obstacle ,Middle East experts agree".
Who are these "experts?
Yussie Beilin a discredited FORMER left wing member of knesset,who runs around pontificating on his left wing point of view.
The second is Ziad Abu Amr, a "MODERATE" member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
That's it folks!
No rebuttal,no Americans .This is the garbage you get from the anti-Israel left wing,under the guise of pushing peace..

I was thinking about all the airlines that came out of bankruptry stronger and invigorated.Pouring taxpayer money into GM will not force consumers to buy their cars.Personally I drive a Hyundai (great car) and a second car Tyota ( '03 but terrific). Over the last years I have driven Lexus, Infiniti and have found them superior to my old American cars.
Until the quality, styling and business models of the big 3 shape up, giving them megadollars is simply a waste.Only a bankruptcy Court can straighten out 20 years of poor management and union excesses.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Feb 10 is coming

With the Israeli election scheduled for Feb. 10, the slates that will compete are showing a major shuffling of personalities.We already know ( and commented) that Benny Begin is joining Likud.But now,2 additional well know former military leaders are likewise joining Likud. They are Gen. Moshe Ya'alon former IDF Chief of Staff, and former IDF deputy Chief Uzi Dayan.
I recall meeting Ya'alon in the office of Sen. Lieberman in Washington shortly after he was appointed.These 3 will strenghthen the nationalistic front of Likud,but may deprive some old-timers of knesset seats.
A suprise announcement came in the form of Uzi Landau not only returning to politics,but joining Yisrael Bitanu as number 2 to Lieberman.Should Netanyahu win AND PUT TOGETHER A CABINET,UZI WILL SERVE AS A FORCE AGAINST COMPROMISE.
I have great respect for his integrity, which is on par with Benny Begin.
Similarly some Labor people are moving to Meretz which will further weaken Labor.
These are good moves for the "good guys"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saudi" Peace Plan" / Media Bias

The rumors that Pres-elect Obama will push the Saudi "peace plan" is of course cause for concern.We really do not know if this is correct.
The Arab League placed a full page NYT ad, calling for peace-based on the plan.

The problems are many:

They don't want to negotiate-take it or leave it.

The plan if accepted is a formula for the destruction of Israel, by accepting Palestinian " refugees" within Israel proper. Yes ,if there is a Palestinian State, that is where they belong, not in the Jewish State.You cannot have 2 Arab States.Within a few years,the influx would change Israel from a Jewish State into a Muslim one.

The possibility of giving up the holiest place in Israel-site of the Holy Temple to Arabs,is totally unacceptable (Temple Mount).

Equally unacceptable is a Juden-frei West Bank of Judea and Samaria,where over a quarter of a million Jews live.

The whole plan is a massivbe PR scheme, that must be exposed for what it is.

As rockets continue to fall on the Negev, we are back to the daily warnings from Olmert. Livni and Barak. As in the past, usually no one on the other side cares.
Oh yes, the Europeans care that the gates to Gaza are closed for their aid packages,but are not concerned about Jewish lives at risk.


The Washington Post ombudsman, Deborah Howell after concluding that the paper was tilted to the left in its recent coverage,now advocates a litmus test for applicants to ensure fairness.
It will never work.Human nature in the form of young liberal applicants,the type of students going to Journalism School, favor the Democrats.
What is needed is proper suervision of the writers,journalists,headline writers and editorial staff to return to a balanced and fair approach. Information and bloggers must be thoroughly vetted. The story of a fictitous person,organization and quote regarding Sarah Palin is a disgraceful commentary,(that she did not know Africa was a continent)
Is the coverage of candidates fair? are both sided receiving an equal amount of coverage?If Palin's wardrobe is discussed,do we read obout Michelle Obama's or the male candidates? If we read about Palin's medical history amd McCain's melanomas,,do we read about when Obama ,a smoker had his last chest x-ray, or Biden his last neurologicxal-vascular exam based on his history?
I only wrote for a college newspaper,but I recall the standards that were used in issues that were controversial.The Wall Street Journal,is a conservative paper from the editorial point of view,but has a totally different staff,editors and direction in reporting the news.
If the media,decides it wants to tear apart a politician like Palin,or to glorify one like Obama,then they do a disservice to their readership and the country.The time for media to address the problem is before the election, not as a post-mortem

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sec. Hillary ? big 3 bankruptcy / other thoughts

The rumors of a Hillary appointment as Sec. of State is interesting and provocative.As is this Monday meeting in Chicago with Sen. McCain it raises the spectre of reaching out to your former enemies and across the aisle.
Appointing a left-wing "Republican" like Chuck Hagel, who did not support thr ticket, would not be accepted as a move toward bipartisanship.
Hillary is smart, ready to take her place,provided there can be a meeting of the minds on issues such as missile-defense,N0rth Korea, Iran and Israel as prime examples.
However, the Obama team so far is thinking out of the box.Of course it is a revival of the Clinton Administration, and it is hard to discern a mood of change -yet.

One main reason to allow the big 3 to move toward bankruptcy would be the necessity of reorganizing, and renegotiating union contracts that would allow either a combined company,or 2 companies to survive.This is the example of the airlines,and despite the aggravation,it does work.

Watching MSNBC as I flip channels from Fox to CNN, one cannot be but negatively impressed with the mean spirited approach of Rachel Maddow.Her description of Sen. Lieberman last nite and her thoughts on how she would handle him,left a bitter taste at least in my mouth.

The strange events unfolding in Minn. as they daily find "LOST" ballots,almost all of them against Norm Coleman, reminds me of Chicago,where ballots were found in the river in the Nixon -Kennedy election. Statistcally, it is almost impossible that in such a huge state with a 50-5o vote.all the revised and found ballots are in a Democratic district,and for Al Franken.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lame Duck Session

All this talk about a lame duck session next week seems to play down the role of the Reoublican minority in the Senate,which can delay or defeat any proposal re: GM etc.
The Dems should negotiate with the Reps. before they try to ram something through Congress.


Ehud Olmert as he awaits possible indictment and upcoming elections has thrown out all of his long held positions.
I remember very well when he was Mayor of Jerusalem,and I had many discussions with him rergarding Orient House and the attempts to prevent Arab infiltration into Jerusalem.Then he was a pure likudnick.
Now, as the end nears, he shames himself by staying in office and attempting to negotiate without a mandate. He proposes to divide Jerusalem and now he publicly decries "60 years of deep-seated discrimination against ...Arabs" in Israel.
Nowhere does he talk about the security dangers that are present every day, despite which Arabs have full voter righs .The freedoms of Arabs is off the chart,when compared to all the ME countries.
With rockets coming in from Gaza,Iran claiming to have new solid-fuel rockets that can hit Israel,and Hizbollah to the north waiting with Syria for their chance to hit Israel,Israel can be proud of how it tries to treat its citizens.
Of course it is not perfect-but Israel is still at war and the Gaza withdrawal of Mr. Olmert only endangered the country.
It is time for new leadership.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jerusalem elections / l wing attacks on Obama / Bush

We have become so dependent upon our computers,cell phones etc,that we are lost without them.
Yesterday,my computer crashed and it require a new hard drive. This afternoon as it was being fixed,I recieved a call from Israel from our travel agent.( I am once again leading a mission of my Talmud shiur-in late April-May with CME credits-anyone interested please call me).She informed me she couldn't e-mail as her computer was down.In the middle of the conversation we had a power outage here in Boynton !

The results of the Jerusalem Mayorality election today are stunning.The haredi candidate lost , and there is reason to hope that the next Chief Rabbi of the city,will be modern orthodox.

The commotion over possibly asking Sec. Gates to stay on for one year as head of the Defense Dept.,is only the first round of left wing criticisms of Obama over adding troops to Afghanistan, and going slow over the efforts to change intelligence methodology.
Speaking of which,this nation owes Pres. Bush a great debt for calmly but steadfastly keeping our country safe after 9/11. He is about to realize the victory in Iraq for which he staked his reputation on, and unfortunately lost the confidence of the people.
Americans like a quick war-Grenada or Panama- in and out with victory. We have no patience for a protracted conflict.
Bush, did not use his veto during his early years, and let govt. grow and grow.
It will take a decade for his polling data to come up to the levels he deserves.

I used to like Jay Leno.However lately his jokes are stale and politically correct.He never makes fun of Obama or Biden. Last nite, it was Bush-Cheney- Palin and McCain .
This reverse rascism where you can't make fun of Obama presumably because of his skin color is what should I call it-stifling!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Say No to the Big Three

The desire of the big 3 auto makers to grab federal bail-out funds is understandable but not in the public interest.
These companies have been mismanaged,including overpaying their employees, working hand in hand with the unions for benefits that raised the price per unit of car beyond that which the non-unionized auto makers in the South have to pay.They have too many models,and for too long were behind Japan,Korea and Germany in quality.
Perhaps one half of the money requested is for payment for workers benefits.This will do nothing to make them build more efficient or cheaper cars. They will simply use up the money and ask for more-and rather quickly.
Sadly, it might be preferable that we not have 3 auto manufacturers but one or two successful ones.
To give them 50 billion sends the wrong signal to all of industry,that we will bail out each and every company if they are large enough.Capitalism does not reward economic failure.Here the problem is not a credit crunch,but a failure to run their business properly.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Palin- Emanuel the new COS

Here's how a rumor starts.
This morning in synagogue,a gentlemen indignantly asked me how I felt about Obama appointing an Arab as his Chief of Staff.? Despite my insistence that Rahm Emanuel was Jewish,the son of an Irgun fighter from Israel,it took the intervention of the Rabbi to quiet my friend. He sends his children to a Day School,and prays at an Orthodox Synagogue.He speaks Hebrew,and has spent much time in Israel, including a stint in the IDF during the first Gulf War.

As far as his appointment goes,I have mixed feelingsHe is a tough extremely partisan,angry and hard-nosed politician.From the point of view of bi-partisanship,that a difficult pill to swallow.However,Obama needs an inside man to keep Pelosi and Reid at bay.The Dems in Congress,probably will be looking to fullfill each campaign promise.Obama is smart,and doesn't wish to repeat Clinton's first 2 years,where despite 58 Dem. Senators,he accomplished nothing for failing to compromise.Emanuel,if that is his task,is the best man for the job.It is a back-breaking assignment,and with small children he won't be able to last 2 terms.

The stock market is certainly sending a message to our new President-Don't abandon us!

The Palin leaks are disgusting.Traditionally every losing candidates team looks for scapegoats.The McCain campaign handled her terribly.That includes the vetting process and their fear of letting her go out and be herself.
For the time being,she should withdraw,allow the Stevens matter to come to a conclusion,and then decide if she wants to be a national player.She must travel the world,get up to speed on the myriad of issues our nation faces and develop relationships with more mature thinkers of public policy.It is too early to think about 2012, even if some of her detractors are trying to pre-empt her in that regard.
The ascendency of Cong. Eric Cantor to no. 2 in the Republican House leadership is a good and healthy move.Note todays WSJ editorial on the alte kockers in the Democratic Congressional leadership.Their turn will come in 2-4 or 6 years and a fresh young Republican team must lay the groundwork for it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Thank the Good Lord that I was a more successful surgeon than a political prognosticator.
Congratulations to our new President .His victory was both a personal one based on his personality,and unbelievable oratorical skills.It was also a huge protest vote against the war, and the economy and President Bush.
Obama ran a skillful campaign.Aided by young people with no memory of the Cold War or WWII, and blacks-latinos his victory was powerful.
Thank D-d the Dems did not reach 60.As I write this early in the AM,four races have not been decided.Minn,Georgia,Alaska and Oregon. If all 4 stay Rep.,then Mitch McConnell will have enough conservatives to block too liberal and radical legislation.
Once the dust settles,then the varied Obama supporters,will be pulling in many directions.When he sends more troops to Afghanistan ,will liberals cheer and support it?
If he is wise and holds off temporarily on the Union demands for "open " elections because the country and business is against it,will they cheer?
An interesting scenario that I could concoct,is that if Stevens wins in Alaska,and his conviction upheld he must resign.Perhaps Palin looking to the future,would resign and be appointed or run or that position.
In the next few days I will devote some space to Pres. Bush,and the 78% of Jews who voted for Obama.
One personal sad note is that a number of months ago I volunteered to speak throughout S. Florida for McCain in front of Jewish groups.I did this through a friend in Washington close to the campaign leadership.I sent a bio.etc-no response.I called the head of the Florida Republican Party on the Friday before the Republican convention with the same offer.He promised to call me back in one week.-no resonse.
I called in Sept. a local leader to volunteer to man a phone bank,with Florida friends-he never called back.
As my son pointed out, the Republicans deserved to lose on a national scale,since they abused their mandates.Locally they ran a poor campaign,and probably were guilty of "campaign malpractice".

The only happy news of the last few days is that Benny Begin is returning to Likud and Israeli politics.He is a true gentleman and honest atypical politician.
I recall when he was made a Minister in a previous Cabinet,he told me two stories that indicate his character.
He love to swim early in the AM.So he told his bodyguard,that he could sleep a little later.Benny would take the car to the Univesity to swim,and pick up the bodyguard afrter he finished..Security nixed that after a while.
One one occasion he was waiting for his luggage at Kennedy after a flight from Israel. A group of Knesset members saw him at the luggage area,and commented that they did not know he was on the flight.He answered that since he was flying on Govt. money, he flew coach unlike them who used public fund for Business Class.Welcome Back Benny!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Election Eve

Elli Ganchrow writes:

The day many of us have dreaded for a number of weeks is upon us and if the polls are to be believed, it will not be a happy night. How did we get to the point that Republicans are facing a rout?

1. John McCain- I thought his nomination would prove disastrous and it appears I have been proven correct. His campaign has reminded many of Bob Dole's (and that is not a compliment). His failure to make Rev. Wright a campaign issue is simply inexplicable. The campaign's focus on his previous service to America showed that the campaign hadn't paid attention to the previous 4 elections in which George H. W. Bush, Dole, Al Gore and John Kerry tried to make their service a focus of their campaigns and each lost to a non-veteran. People respect military service but that is not a reason (in itself) to vote for someone. Campaigns need themes, ideas and focus and John McCain's had none.

2. The Economy- Who would have thought that we would be winning the Iraq War, oil would be $65 and McCain would still be losing. His gamble in suspending his campaign and vowing not to debate unless the bailout was passed (but then debating anyway) was a boneheaded move which backfired on him.

3. Money- It is quite ironic that the namesake of McCain-Feingold (one of the worst pieces of legislation of the last twenty-five years)is losing because his campaign is being badly outspent. Getting rid of contribution limits would allow both sides to raise sufficient funds to run equivalent camapaigns and allow candidates to focus on things other than fund-raising.

4. The Media- As pointed out in an earlier blog, you could confuse the New York Times and CNN for Obama media outlets.

5. Congressional Republicans- Their performance during the bailout debate, in which they claimed that they voted against the first bailout bill because Nancy Pelosi insulted Bush in her speech, was reminscent of Gingrich's claim that he shut down the government because Clinton insulted him by not letting him off the front of Air Force One. The Gingrich ploy didn't work out well for the Republicans in 1998 and tomorrow night figures to be a long night for House Republicans.

6. New York State Republicans- What was that? You didn't know that there were any Republicans left in New York. Starting tomorrow night, the last bastion of Republican power in New York may disappear if the Republicans lose the State Senante as expected. The Republicans in New York have not prepared for the future and now are stuck with a complete dominance by Democrats statewide.

As I have written here before, anyone who loves Israel and cherishes her security should be very nervous about an Obama presidency.

So what are my predictions for tomorrow? I believe the Presidential election will be much closer than the polls suggest although I believe Obama will end with 51-52% of the vote. I believe Obama will lose Florida and Virginia but win Ohio, Pennsylvania and Colorado and ultimately the Presidency with 298 Electoral Votes. I believe the Democrats will end the night with 58 Senate seats (although Republicans will maintain Norm Coleman's seat) and will lose 23 House seats. They will also lose the New York State Senate.

Lets hope I am wrong and a miracle happens.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


This will be my last blog until after the election,as we drive back to Florida.It has been an unsatisfyng election experience from the point of view of the one-sidedness of the media-press.They can kill you without reason-it is unfair, but this is America.
Unfair also was the huge money advantage of BHO, and now the NYT says the system should be fixed.Where were they when BHO did a 180 degree turn on public financing? One other area I believe is wrong is early voting-Unless you are out of town,you should hear all the candidates arguments.Things can change in the last few days.

Nevertheless, we are at an end,and the people will have spoken.I am well aware of all the polls,which I read a few times a day.Therefore I go out on a huge limb, knowing that I will be laughed at by many-certainly before Tues,and probably thereafter.

I believe that Obama will win the popular vote by 3-4 percentage points.I base this on a huge black turnout in NYC,Boston,Chicago etc,all Democratic states.

I believe John McCain ,will narrowly win the electoral College and be our next Preident.
All the polls talk about a 6-12% undecided.Since all the blacks have decided,(reverse racism?) having committed themselves to Obama,this removes them from the mix.I believe that the undecided,are looking at a number of issues
1-Is Obama fit and ready to lead?
2-Does Obama have the national security credentials to be Pres?
3-Does the Obama tax plan smell of Socialism-Marxism and the worst of Liberal dogma?
4-Do the many charges and unknown facts about Obama and his choices of friends,colleagues and religious advisor from his days in law school until he began running for President speak to poor judgement or a proclivity for the radical left?
5-Will the Bradley facter play a role especially in rural America?
6-Will the Evangelical movement be able to surpass their get-out the vote efforts of the last elections,thus being able to overcome the black and supposed youth vote?
7-What percentage of these undecided are concerned about BHO's religious upbringing as a child?


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Joe the Plumber and Israel

For some strange technical reason,I could not publish this blog yesterday,so here goes.
I started to read an interesting but controversial book by Jacob Heilbrunn.It is entitled "They Knew They were right.THE RISE OF THE NEOCONS" While I am not yet into the meat of the the book,it appears to be an attack on neocons.It is so far a great history lesson.
The origins of the neocons according to Heilbrunn,are the polemics between Trotsky and Lenin/Stalin.With the attack by Germany against the Soviets,followed by the discovery of the horrors of the holocaust,the breakway groups became the basis of a battle that evolved into the conflict for the soul of Liberalsm.
The creation of the State of Israel and its subsequent lightening Israeli victory in the six Day war,redefined the "liberal world".
The far left even the Jews among them,looked upon Israel as an aggressor,oppresser,and colonializer.They have remained committed to that position to this day.
The Neocons,primarily Jews of secular background.became staunch advocates for Israel,as well as a strident anti-communist agenda.
Thus for example it was the neocons,in the Senate(Jackson, Mounihan) in Senate offices ( Morey Amitay) and political thinkers (Perle) who successfully pushed Jackson-Vanick,that coerced the Soviets to release hundreds of thousands of Jews,in order to get economic benefits.
The role of the holocaust,Israel,the batttle against communism and the domestic agenda,such as affirmative action divided permanently the far left who were interested in diplomacy,accomodation and social structuring from the neocons.
Initially the neocons tried to influence the Democratic party,however as the left (EugenE McCathy,McGovern, Carter)consolidated their power,the neocons found a home in the GOP,although not always welcome by the ideological conservatives.
I bring this introduction to my readers so they can understand from whence BHO comes.

Percy Sutton former BP of Manhattan,said that PLO head Khalidi asked him to get BHO into Harvard Law.Obama was indoctrinated by Saul Alinsky in left wing community organizational approaches.We await the Khalidi tape!
He met Ayers,who it appears was at the Khalidi party,and served on the Board with Obama.
It is hard to believe that a man would sit for 20 years at the foot of Rev. Wright,an anti-Israel black nationalist,and not have within him the awakenings of that which was in his veins from his Muslim father and attendance at the Fri religious classes in Kenya.
Could such a man of the LEFT be pro-Israel?
Of course you cannot run for President and reveal your true inner feelings.
However Joe the Plumber,obviously not a Jew,or a sophisticated analyst,feels in his bones that which the partisan politicians and talking heads do not,THE ELECTION OF OBAMA IS A DIRECT THREAT TO ISRAEL
We are not talking about his vote against Israel on cluster bombs, or his reversal of his vision for Jerusalem
We will be in worse shape than with Jimmy Carter.
It is not the division of Herusalem,or American pressure on Israel,or the lack of vetoes in the UNSC,or a weakened military,-yes all of those but more than that a total shift from the "special " relationship. to an even-handed State Dept. run policy that will hamper and cripple Israel for decades.
I do not care what left-wing Rabbis ,lawyers and activists etc, say-JOE THE PLUMBER IS RIGHT ON TARGET.


My friend Yoram Ettinger,who served as Congressional liason for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, has published an interesting JP op-ed on demographics in Israel.He has written and spoken extnsively on this topic.
Using UN statistics,he shows that there is an "implosion" in Muslim Societies.This is a derivative of modernization,Westernization,urbanization and local political factors.
The lowering of the Arab birth rate within the "Green Line" from 9 births per woman in 1969 to 3.5 in 2007 is significant.
Jewish births have increased from 69% of total births to 75% in 2007.Thus, demographic trends "bode well for solid Jewish majorities within the "Green Line".
In Judea Samaria,the Jewish population in 1947 was 8%, and now 33%".

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The next generation

Over the years when I was active in running the PAC,I developed a relationship with many members of Congress.Sadly two of them are poised for re-election.
I have no qualms with their legislative records-though both are liberals.Both are friends and even leaders of the pro-Israel Senate community.
Tim Johnson of South Dakota,is the sweetest man you could want to meet.We brought him to Monsey a number of years ago,and everyone loved him.However the stroke that nearly robbed him of his life,has not allowed him to function in a normal manner.His spech is slow, though it is said "his brain is working." (HOW DO WE KNOW?)
Even so,doesn't S. Dakota deserves a Senator who will be 100%,and not dependent upon his staff or colleagues for decisions.Thus he could not debate his opponent.
Sen Byrd is an example of a 90 year old,who is totally dependent upon his staff,but yet is a committee chairman
Sen. Frank Lautenberg retired once already,and that was a smart decision.Then in order to save the party, he ran 6 years ago and won.I have known him since he first came to Washington.Last year the PAC honored him.It was not the same Frank Lautenberg. His memory,ability to speak and discuss complex issues were in my opinion certainly diminished.My wife sat next to him at the dinner,and she made the same if not sharper comments on his ability to serve 6 years,which will get him close to Sen Byrd's age.
I know that there are no age or health limitations on a Senators ability to serve .We depend upon their integrity and honestly.Voters should not assume that failure to debate an opponent is merely a tactical move.Perhaps there should be a test for mental ability.
They asked Reagan what he would do if his mental condition were apparent during his tenure,and he responded that he would resign.
The power of the Senate office is great,and few people have that courage and devotion to the public good, to say .."it's time for the next generation to take over".

Monday, October 27, 2008

Some thoughts

The storm on Sat caused our internet tv and phone out for 24 that a baby sitting gig,all add up to no blog .
You will recall that when Hillary cancelled her appearance at the anti-Iranian rally,I gave a few examples of candidates speaking at such rallies and events,and I mentioned the Al Smith dinner.Sure enough Obama and McCain both spoke,and no repercussions.

Well, we are off to Israeli elections,and who knows what can transpire in 3 months.

Obama is so confident,that he has written his acceptance speech.He seems immune to the charges of Marxism-Socialism.No one is listening.Yet, the undecided is still 6-11%.Can things change in 1 week?

Everyday we keep expecting a bottom to the market and the more we read and hear we see that the mevinim are really not so sharp or infallible.It was nice to pay $2.35 for gasoline last nite in Teaneck.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Palin's clothes / Kadima-Labor-Shas ?

Asd we noted,Sareh Palin has been attacked because the national GOP spent $100,000 on her for clothes.In fact as she points out,prior to her nomination, her wardrobe was minimal.What with a large family and special needs,she shops at discount stores to maintain the family budget.
In addition, she is the only one of the top four national candidates who is not a millionaire.
Therefore, the GOP arranged to have presentable new clothes,that would be returned in 3 days,or donated to charity.None of these clothes belong to her.
Again, the attacks are on her character and not on her policies.If she had known in advance that she was to be chosen by McCain, she could have arranged her schedule to rub shoulders with the NY-Hollywood-Washington jetset.Perhaps they would to some small degree stop looking down on her as a hillbilly,unworthy of their consideration.


You have to love Isaraeli politics.
Firstly- there is no way for an outsider to predict the results. of any conflict.
Secondly- political horse-trading (aka-blackmail) is at a very high level,and reported in the media.
Thirdly -nothing is ever final .Even after a rejection or an ultimatum, bargaining can restart after shabbat is over.
Having said that,we will have to wait until Sunday to see if Israel goes to elections,or Shas and Kadimah have a deal.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


The vicious,and scandalous attacks on Sarah Palin continue without abatement.Her clothing,and her persona are subject to ridicule.Yet we see no such analyses of Biden or Mrs Obama.The NYT front page blast at Cindy McCain was mean spirited and again without a corresponding story on Michelle Obama.
Yesterday's total out of context quote from the National Review by a CNN reporter is the most disgusting example of a deliberate attempt to sandbag Palin.The press has set itself up as the judge jury and final arbiter of what Americans can read about,and in what context.Thus when they decided Hillary should withdraw,they kept hitting home that theme,even as she was winning big states.
I remember what the press did to Dan Quale,because he erred on spelling "potato"They made him into an idiot.Yet, before his suprise selection for Veep,he was a distinguished Senator,who as a member of the Armed Services Committee,was an expert on military weapons and national security.It is not that I say that.A few weeks before his choice,I was reading a Congressional analysis that was objective,and bipartisan.They criticized lazy and incompetent members,and praised effective ones in a detailed fashion.Dan Quale was in the latter group.
However when the media does a hatchet job -you are finished.
It is not only the media that is dissecting Palin, but women's groups ,and the liberal intelligentia who know better than anyone what a real "woman" is.All their lives they professed womens progress in the workplace and government.However that only applied if you are a liberal.
As the WSJ pointed out liberals complained about the role of big money on campaigns,except when it is they that raise the big money.
Palin has done a tremendous job as Alaska Gov.She is smart and a quick learner.She controls a mullti-billion dollar budget with over 20,000 employees.She has more ececutive experience than the other 3 candidates.She has recieved a raw deal,and perhaps we the people are unable to correct that-it is our loss.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Racism /Powell / Bloomberg

As a followup thought on yesterdays comments.Should a miracle occur,and McCain win-look for the left ,the press and the black community to yell "racism". This is despite the fact that 90+% of blacks will vote for BHO.Isn't that racism?

How about old Colin repaying Pres. Bush and the Republican Party for the honors he recieved.He can deny it all he wants,but this is just another endorsement from someone who wants a Black President. The reasons he gave were silly and beneath him.In truth he was a lousy Sec. of State,and a less than loyal Republican.

It is amazing how much print and cable Tv space is being devoted to the "Bradley Factor".I suspect it is an attempt by the media to place a guilt trip on White America.

I don't live in NYC, but you cannot help but be impressed with the naked power of billions of dollars that Bloomberg is prepared to use to cajole,threaten and buy off politicos,charities and corporate heads to support his power grab.
I assume he has been a good Mayor.He should have run for President,especially in these economically distressed times.However,the voter have spoken on term limits
However when it comes to billionaires-they play by their own rules.
I recall when I ran for Chairman of the Presidents Conference.whether I was the best qualified is not for me to say.My opponent was Ron Lauder.He won-Oh did I mention that he had a private airplane!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

17 days-oh vey

We had the pleasure of spending shabbat in Livingston with 2 of our children.The political talk was as always interesting.
We had a long discusssion on missed oipportunites for McCain.One noteworthy missed answer,when reminded that McCain would be like Bush,was to compare BHO to Jimmie Carter.and his record on Iran.
We were all upset that the Rev. Wright story has not been highlighted.The fear of being called a "racist" has prevented a real discussion of who Obama is. The Wright story is not just about praying in his church,it is about 20 years of indoctrination ,with such faith in his pastor that he used him to conduct his marriage, send his kids there for services,contribute money and then lie to the American people.
It is of question of judgement.
With the press so anti-Republican,there is little room or patience to examine Biden's health record (he had an anyeurism),his gaffes (daily), the Obama-Rezko deals for his land or the true relationship of ACORN and BHO.
Any attack on BHO is labelled racist.
We live in a world where without explanation,black people who used to be called Negroes or Black, suddenly become African-American.Yet whites who come from Europe have no designation.WHY?

The promise of a post-racial society with an Obama candidacy is just so much baloney.He is a Cook Couty politician who is a slick debater and fast on his feet.I have yet to see any concrete suggestion of how the political atmosphere will change with Pelosi,Reid,Frank,Conyers,Rangel and all the myriad entrenched committee chairmen in place.
If Obama wins,pray for more than 43 Republican Senators!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jesse is on target

I agree with few things Jesse Jackson says.However his statement that an OBAMA PRESIDENCY WOULD REMOVE THE ISRAELI INFLUENCE IN THE WHITE HOUSE IS RIGHT ON TARGET.
How any lover of Israel could vote for the Democrats is beyond anything I can imagine.Bacically there is no "THERE" there.
Arrogant as always BHO has scheduled a big election nite victory party.As Karl Rove describes it,there is still a chance in view of the 45% of voter that don't believe he is qualified to be President.Also note todays Gallup poll where there is only a 2% margin among likely voters in favor of BHO.

We shall see how FM Livni can reconcile the Shas demand for one billion in social spending,with the fiscal integrity that the finance Minister is demanding.

The Liberal "RABBIS" for Obama,blasted McCain as being in the Joe McCarthy and Nixon tradition.This is classical modern "liberalism"(open to all points of view!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Two friends over the weekend made suggestions to help in the financial crisis.
JP Morgan is alleged to have stepped up to the plate and broke the Great Depression cycle by announcing his purchase of stock.
I don't know if it is true.
However,I recently read an article on all the billionaires in the US.Suppose the President invited them to the White House for a summit,and they would announce that each of them to show support for our economy etc., was purchasing significant amounts of stock.With stocks at bargain basement prices,they surely would come out ok,but most importantlly send a clear message to Main St.

My second friend who is in the oil business,suggested that as oil prices fall,this would be a great time for the US Govt.,to sign exclusive contracts with oil producers at a low rate,and then resell it to local companies.He believes with lowered world demand producers would fight for the contracts.We could freeze Russia, Venezuela etc.out of the picturee,and help our balance of trade and inflation.
I have no idea if these are rational approaches, but American brainpower should not be neglected.


While it looks grim for McCain.if somehow the market shoots up and the debate shows the true McCain, it is not beyond possibility of a victory.I can not think rationally of an Obama-Pelosi-Reid victory with a filibuster proof Senate-SAVE ME!

Friday, October 10, 2008


I was brought up the son of a cantor.My father of blessed memoey, was well known in cantorial circles.For a while he was President of the Cantorial Association.He could hardly read music,but was well known for his voice and his understanding of the meaning of each word in the prayer book.Thus he could perform with large choirs, because he memorized the music with the aid of my mother who now nears 98
The "nusach" or melody of the prayers have been handed down from generation to generation.Each holday and portion of the service has a different melody.I don't know where the word comes from,however knowing which melody and which nusach applies is called "Scarbova". My old time friends laugh at me when I mention that term.
Primarily they know NO nusach,and their criteria for prayer is rapidity.
Today a new phenomon has taken place.With records and CD's and the introduction of hebraic new pop songs,young people take the melody from these hit songs,and apply it to the prayers.
Thus you can now sit through a Yom Kipper service and never see the chazan cry or bring a tear to your eye.He is too busy clapping his hands ,stomping his feet with glee as he brings us the "Chasidic Song Festival".
Our children like it because they are accustomed to it.They mistakenly feel that that this is the proper nusach.As a personal joke,I have put Kol Nidre (which has an enchanting melody accepted throughout the world ) to the tunes of "Old Man River and Don't Cry for me Argentina".
About 20 years ago they introduced a sweet song about a sefer Torah that was hidden in the ground during the Holocaust,dug up aferwards,shipped to America and displayed in a cabinet in the hall of a Temple in the U.S. That little tune and melody has been turned into the modicum for countless prayers.Most young people who use it to conduct services probably do not know its origin.Unlike the nusach -the famous melody that starts the evening prayer(Barchu)of Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur which dates back at least 900 years,this tune is not Skarbova.
We live in a new world, and old people like me,who not only listened to the Skarbova, but for a good part of my life acted as a Shliach Tzibbur(leading the services,without a great voice) will have to accept that WHAT ONCE WAS,IS NO MORE.