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.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Seventh Inning

One of the major mistakes Hillary made was to answer falsely when asked if she thought Obama was qualified to be CIC.BY saying even a mild yes, she undermined her campaign.This is in addition to her other errors.
John McCain, has allowed the question of Obama's character to lie dormant.He should have been hitting him hard especially through surrogates.To attack now,is still important,however it looks like he is only doing it because of the polls.

We are in the 7th inning-he can still hit a grand-slammer and win.It will take luck (the market!)and a hard hitting conclusion.
How about a hard-hitting Guliani commercial on terrorism and crooks (Ayers-Rezko)?

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Just a brief thought as we prepare to come back North for the rest of the holidays.
Until now, I was upset that McCain has not hit hard at Obama on character,and judgement.



Thursday, October 02, 2008

Conversion / The cost of Kosher Food

The Justice Minister in Israel has tried to force the Chief Rabbi from converting foreigners who wish to become Jews.His reason is that Israel will be labeled a "Proselytyzing Nation",and that the applicants would use that mode to gain Israeli citizenship.
Over a 5 year period about 160 conversions have taken place,and only 3 have requested citizenship.
It appears that the Justice Ministry has better things to do than harrass Chief Rabbi Amar, on what is strictly a religious issue.

It is wonderful that kosher products are so plentiful.Thanks to the OU, and other certifications the list grows.Of course we are still in the midst of a controversy over working conditions,which is a civil,criminal and moral issue that is being addressed.
However living among many retired Jews, most of them not orthodox,there is a perennial problem that often is talked about but rarely addressed.
I refer to the cost of kosher food,especially meat.Twice in recent weeks, my wife was in the kosher market in Boca Raton.She overheard almost the identical conversation on both occasions.A woman is complaining about the cost of meat,and says she will shop at a store in Delray,about 10-15 minutes away by car, owned by the same owners,but under Conservative "hashgacha". The friend retorts,"but the meat there is not glatt,or the same standards". Both times,the answer is"yes,but I can't AFFORD THIS".
Even with non meat products,I find that most often kosher canned or packaged products are cheaper in the non-kosher supermarket,a little more expensive in a store either without a hashgacha or with a conservative supervision and much more expensive in the "glatt" store.
Some products like gefilte fish,can have a differential of 1-2 dollars.
Obviously certifying agencies cannot fix prices.However,before holidays they should both sample shop in the community,and prevent price gouging on a public that has "NO CHOICE".
There might be a time when rabbanim will have to say 'NO MEAT FROM SUN TO FRIDAY UNTIL THE PRICES COME DOWN"
These are tough times for many individuals,and Rabbis and Certifying agencies,especially local ones, have a special responsibility.