Friday, October 30, 2009

Lessons learned from Rabin assassination 14 years later

Check out my article on Oy Chicago about why Rabin's assassination is relevant 14 years later.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Israel took over the Gaza strip during the 1967 Six Day War. In 2005, Israel withdrew from the area. In 2006, the Palestinians living in Gaza elected Hamas leaders to lead the country. Hamas does not recognize the state of Israel and is considered to be a terrorist organization by most of the Western world.
Since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, Hamas has launched rocket attacks against Southern Israel. For years, Israel response to the attacks was extremely limited, to the anger of Israelis in the South who asked what would the government do if Quassam rockets were being fired into Tel Aviv. In December 2008, after the Hamas attacks increased, Israel began a brutal bombing campaign on Gaza.

Less than a year later, the Goldstone Report has emerged accusing Israel of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The UN Council on Human Rights (which is comprised of countries like Saudi Arabia, China and Russia) has condemned Israel’s war on Gaza?

How do you defend your country against a terrorist government that rules over a densely populated people, uses them as shields, hides in mosques and schools without inflicting disproportionate damage, as Israel has been accused of? What was Israel supposed to do?

Today in Gaza, the humanitarian state is not as bad as it was in January, but the people are still suffering. In Southern Israel, rockets are still being fired from Hamas, although not nearly at the rate before the war.

Israel leaves Gaza 2005

Hamas wins elections in Gaza

Daily Show View of Hamas Election

Rocket attacks in Israel

Map of attacks

Rocket attacks in Southern Israel

Massive Israeli raids in Gaza

Hamas and Israel response during the war

Final Death Toll

Today on the border of Gaza

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Health care reform will help our economy

I wish there was a stastistic for how many people have stayed at jobs longer than they wanted to because they needed health insurance.

If health insurance becomes a non factor in someone’s decision to stay at a job, think of what this could do to our economy. Jobs could open up to people who really want them, and Americans could start taking the risks that our grandparents felt that they could take and what I think made this country so great: start a new business, invent an incredible device that will change the world, go back to school part time to earn a higher degree to change careers, or work at a small not for profit because that’s what you are good at.

Health insurance based on employer coverage is essentially anti-American. We are under the tyranny of a dictator and therefore unable to achieve the American dream.

I currently pay for my own health care. My employer subsidizes it but I pay an insane amount of money for insurance. Why? Because when I left my last job, I was denied health insurance. So now, I pay for COBRA. Go ahead, say it. “You are on COBRA, that’s so expensive!”

Yep, I do. And do you know what I don’t do much of anymore, buy stuff. I don’t really buy clothes because something looks cute, or go to a concert because I like the band, or buy my friends’ babies little outfits. My non essential spending has decreased significantly. Oh and I have a t.v. from 1994.

Almost all of my extra money is going towards health insurance. I’m not poor. I'm not suffering. I just try not to live in (much) debt, therefore I limit my spending. But I'm part of that statistic as to why our economy isn't growing: people aren't buying enough of anything.

I’m not complaining. It’s a personal choice. I could live without it, I guess. Play Russian Roulette. But I’ve chosen not to. I have other friends who don’t have health insurance or friends who do, but won’t go to a doctor for fear of being diagnosed with something that will prevent them from receiving coverage in the future.

Sadly, my COBRA expires on December 31. So I will apply to the state for insurance (which I will pay for), if, and only if, the state is still running the program. Or I guess I could leave my job that I love and start doing something I’m not as good at so that I can have insurance.

(For my friends in Israel and Canada who are reading this, I KNOW! Can you believe this? I KNOW. You totally don’t have to waste any of your energy on this. I KNOW! It’s insane. No, no, I’m not coming to live with you. Thanks for the offer.)

Or Congress could pass that health care reform bill before December 31 and then I don’t have to risk being a statistic that no one cares about.

And you can quit your crappy job and go to culinary school or work on that invention that you know will make you a million dollars.

My friends can go to the doctor to get a physical.

And then maybe, we can get this economy going again. Not on the backs of big firms on wall street that end up needing government bail outs, but on the backs of Americans who, if they don’t have to worry about going bankrupt over healthcare costs, are some of the most creative and innovative people in the world.

Or we can maintain the status quo.

I guess it’s up to the boys and girls with great health insurance coverage in Congress.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A response to a forward I received this morning about the supremacy of Conservatives

An anonymous relative with more conservative viewpoints than myself sent this to me today. The items in itals are what he sent me. The items in bold are my responses.

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn`t buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative sees people getting killed by guns, he doesn't care and hopes his stocks in GunsRUs improves.
If a liberal sees people getting killed by guns, he wants to develop policy to protect the innocent.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn`t eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for

So stupid not worth a response.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat
his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to make up evidence to make the threat seem more iminent and dangerous than it is.

If a liberal sees a foreign threat, he seeks out truth and acts based on fact, not fiction or God's word.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a conservative is homosexual, he gets married to a woman only to embarass her and his kids by having affairs with men.

If a liberal is a homosexual, he wishes his sexuality wasn't politicized and that he could have equal rights protected under the law.


If a black man or Hispanic are conservative, they see themselves as
independently successful.
Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government

I don't think all successful black and Hispanic men are conservatives. But maybe I voted for the wrong president.


If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

So the unemployed conservatives aren't cashing their unemployment checks? Really? Somehow I doubt it.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a conservative talk show host lies and has no substance to his arguments he is considered heroic.

If a liberal talk show host lies and has no substance to his arguments, he doesn't have a talk show.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
(Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)

If a conservative is a non-believer, he better not run for political office, because he will be shunned for having common sense.

If a liberal non-believer runs for office, he will be respected for his point of view towards religion.

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for
it, or may choose a job that provides it.

A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes shopping for it, can't find it because he's been denied due to preexisting medical conditions, looks for a job that provides it, isn't hired, and suddenly becomes an advocate of health care reform.

A liberal wants to help even this hypocrite because health care is a basic human right.

If a conservative slips and falls in a store, he gets up, laughs and is

If a liberal slips and falls, he grabs his neck, moans like he's in labor
and then sues.

If a conservative sees someone slip and falls, and it is someone of a different color, he'll hesistate to help him up.

If a liberal slips and falls, he'll get up and clean the spill that caused him to become hurt in the first place.

If a conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a
good laugh.

A liberal will delete it because he's "offended".


Monday, October 5, 2009

Top 10 reactions to Letterman’s affairs

10. Female intern applications for Late Night With David Letterman way, way down.

9. Cialis and Viagra execs fighting to sponsor Late Night With David Letterman without commercial interruption.

8. Sarah Palin’s middle finger is amputated after frostbite. She is still smiling.

7. Letterman Scholarship at Ball State awarded to C students majoring in marriage counseling.

6. Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer, etc doing shots together, charging them to World Wide Pants.

5. People under 30 now know who David Letterman is.

4. “That couch” at CBS has been thrown away.

3. Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon are thinking of cheating on their wives to improve ratings.

2. Next 48 Hours episode writes itself

And the number 1 reaction to Letterman’s affairs is

1. Most frequent google search in Montana from the same IP address: “Divorce settlement”