Promoting Youth Violence

First, on a happy note, this is my 100th blog post!

But to my main point, Alanlaz had a crazy video a while back about how children become violent because of the way they are raised by their parents.

Today’s Wall Street Journal had a front page article about Iraqi preschool-age who play Cops and Robbers, oops, I mean, Shiites and Sunni’s, with pellet guns, and often come home with bruises.  But the parents don’t seem to care.  They’re proud!  The kids also seem to like to make fake rocket launchers and bombs.  Do we really wonder why so many Muslim’s are violent?

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A year ago, a young gunman walked into Ali Hussein’s living room and drew a weapon. The intruder’s head was wrapped in a scarf, leaving a narrow slit for his eyes. His clothes were all black, the favorite attire of a powerful Shiite Muslim militia. He introduced himself as a commander, shouted the incantation “God is greater” and warned Sunni Muslims not to fight back. With that, he raised his plastic pistol.

The gunman’s name is Hassoni, and he was only 4 years old at the time. The scene unfolded in his father’s house in Baghdad’s Sadr City slum, a sprawling Shiite Muslim district stretching toward the eastern edge of the Iraqi capital. “I was happy to see him this way because it means he has courage,” Mr. Hussein, 26, said of his son. Since then, Hassoni’s favorite game has grown more elaborate, migrating from the living room onto the neighboring streets, drawing in other children and increasingly emulating the violent world of the adults. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in News, People. 1 Comment »

The Orioles, Jobs, Help with Problems, and Bikkur Cholim

Anyone else see the ad on the top of page 116 of Baltimore’s latest Where What When?  In one half-page ad, there’s a plea for everyone to petition to baseball commissioner Bud Selig to make Mr. Angelos sell the Orioles, a blurb about a service for finding jobs, helping with problems, and getteing better care in a nursing home, and a request for people to do Bikkur Cholim.

Talk about a mix of unrelated ads.

Dallas Food Chain to Accept Mexican Pesos

This story just exemplifies how crazy our country is becoming. By accepting Pesos, the US is now working even more towards the Hispanicizing of America.


Starting Monday, patrons of the Dallas-based Pizza Patrón chain, which caters heavily to Latinos, will be able to purchase American pizzas with Mexican pesos.

Is that even legal? In terms of taxes and everything, how do they keep track of what gets paid in what currency?

Posted in News, Rants. 3 Comments »

Talking to God

Today, I attended the CJE‘s annual Yom Iyun, where the theme was God. After the initial keynote address by Rabbi Kushner, a reform rabbi from San Francisco, the 400+ participants broke up into several groups for talks by other community leaders. I attended a talk by Rabbi Goldberger, of Tiferes Yisrael, about talking to God, and the way we communicate with Him. The audience included people from all sorts of Jewish backgrounds and denominations.

He opened up with three basic questions.

  1. Who can daven? Does it have to be someone special? Should it be someone who does the davening for you?
  2. Are there specific times that one should daven? Meaning, is it something that should only be done mornings, set times, etc.
  3. What should we daven about? Can we/should we only daven about the ‘important stuff’ like world peace or the health of the sick?

Read the rest of this entry »

Alleged Pledge

Way back in September, SephardiLady had a post about the do’s and don’t of solicitation (in two parts). I’d like to add one more. It only bugged me a little bit, but when it happened the third time, I decided to blog about it.

Recently, we’ve had several phone calls appealing for money for various organizations. They usually ask me to pledge x amount of dollars. I don’t like to do that, so I usually tell them to just send me an envelope with their brochure, and we’ll assess it then. I’m always careful not to make any pledge whatsoever. One day, I come home and my wife asks me, “I didn’t realize we pledged $36 to X organization. I thought I told you we already spent all of our ma’aser money.” I look down at the envelope, and sure enough, its the same organization that I had spoken to a few days earlier. Now that just ticks me off. In one particular case where this happened, I remember specifically telling the person on the phone that my wife deals with ma’aser, so I can’t pledge anything, just send me your envelope.

I think its a huge chutzpah that they then go ahead and make it as if we pledged something. Not only does this make me not want to give them, it probably messes up their financial records because they write in their accounting books that a certain amount of money was pledged, and can use that information to obtain loans. But since I’m now mad at them and not sending them any money, they’re not going to make as much as they forcasted.

Blog Comments

I’ve been having problems recently with people posting comments and the comments being flagged as spam. I’m not sure why this is, but for now, I have enabled a feature where if someone posts a comment, it has to be approved the first time. Every time thereafter, you should be able to post with no problem. So as long as you have a preapproved comment, you should be able to comment. I’ll be in touch with WordPress to figure out why people who have been posting since the beginning are having their comments flagged as spam.

Your comments are important to me, and I apologize for the delay in getting your comments up. I realize that you have a choice in blogs to read, and I hope you come back (I’ve been on an airplane recently, can you tell?).

Anway, please comment to this post so that I can approve you.


Anyone who has known me for a little bit knows that today is a special day.  So to celebrate, we went to the Brasserie.  I’m always amazed at just how quickly the total can go up, but I guess that’s just the nature of the restaurant.  The point of this post is to rant about certain people and talk about the service I experienced at the Brasserie.

First, I don’t care how important you are in the city.  If you must have your phone on, please, just turn it to vibrate.  When you’re trying to have a quiet dinner, it just isn’t fun to have to hear  some crazy song at the loudest possible volume.  Seven times.  And I don’t blame him for having his phone on.  In his capacity, he needs to have his phone on.  But I don’t think there are any phones out there that don’t have a vibrating feature.  So please, just turn it to vibrate.

When we got to the Brasserie, the place was completely empty except for one other couple that against the back windows.  So where did the waiter place us?  At the table right next to them.  I mean, the entire room was empty!  Did he have to put us right there?  Of course we asked him for a more private table, so we were put on the complete opposite side of the room, which was fine by me.   The only other issue I had with the service was regarding my water.  I like to have my glass filled with water.  I drink a lot, and I felt that the waiter should have been more on top of my glass.  Especially considering how empty it was tonight.  At one point, I had to ask him three times to get my water until he finally remembered to actually bring it.  I found that instead of paying even a little attention to my table, he was joking around with the kitchen staff.  I’m not trying to sound like a needy brat, but I do feel that the service could have been a bit better.

Regarding the food, we got an interesting appetizer called medallion of beef, which was three cubes of beef served with fried onions and two pieces of very large corn tortilla’s.  While the beef cubes were very good, I felt that the tortilla’s were awful.  Overall, definitely not worth the $14.95.  For the main course, the only complaint I had was that the ribs had way too much fat on them.  Probably a good 20% of all the meat had fat that had to be removed.  But otherwise, they were awesome.