Powered by WebAds

Thursday, December 29, 2005

"They don't even serve donuts here, you should know that, you're a cop"

Reading this story today about the death of Michael Vale on CNN, made me start reminiscing about my youth. I recall the many Dunkin Donuts commercials very well and who can forget Michael Vale's famous line "It's time to make the donuts".

May he rest in peace.

Growing up in the midwest, we didn't have many kosher places to eat, but we always seemed to manage with what was available (we'd still complain tho). There was almost always a kosher Dunkin Donuts around. The "kosher" one switched its location numerous times, but growing up in an area of religious Jews, we knew that eventhough we only had one (if we were lucky) kosher resturant (which switched every year), we could always count on there being a kosher DD somewhere within the city limits.

This thought process brought me to idea of kosher places here in Israel and Jerusalem in particular. How many American food chains have been brought to Israel , only to die out after a relatively short time. A few examples are: DD, Nathans, Baskin Robbins, Starbuck's (thanks JoeSettler), Wendy's, Ben & Jerry's, and Carvel.

What has caused these chains' demise while other chains like Burger King, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC have thrived in Israel?

Any thoughts?

Shabbat Shalom.

See you on Sunday....

The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
– Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

"There's a man outside with a big black moustache"

When your own advisers are telling the media you screwed up, thats the time to start reassessing what you are doing.

In an article in the Jpost today, adviers to Labor Party Leader Amir Peretz claim that in the past month since he was elected party head, Peretz has cost the Party election mandates due to 5 major flaws in his campaigning.

1. He "avoided speaking about everything other than socio-economic issues." In a normal country and world, I would agree that it's valid for a political candidate to focus on socio-economic issues, but since we live in an area predominantly referred to and known as a "war-zone", discussing socio-economic issues should be left on the back burner. How can anyone in this country expect to gain seats in the knesset without dealing with the security issues which surround us every where we go. Perhaps this is the resaon that the Green Party and Pnina Rosenblum's Party never got out of the gate. Social issues are important, but security issues are more pertinant to this coming election and Israeli society as a whole.

2. He "should speak more optimistically about Israel's future". Now maybe he is being realistic here, but still who would vote for someone discussing the bleak future if any of his opponenets win. At least he is somewhat optimistic about Labor winning.....

3. He
failed to keep former Labor chairman Shimon Peres in the party. Now how is that a bad thing? If people wanted Peres, they could've voted him in at the Party elections. It would be like saying, why isn't John Kerry helping out other Democrats with their new elections? Maybe because no one needs to be reminded about how much of a negative influence he would be for the Democrats. Same applies for Peres. I think Kramer needs to get out of politics already.

4. He
needs to grow out his mustache more. C'mon these are his political advisers! Not the guys from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. So he looks like Stalin, big deal. Maybe some of the older kibbutznikim will vote for him thinking that he fights for Socialist issues instead of Social issues.

and 5. He needs
to look more professional and wear ties. This is definately an issue I agree he should work on. More and more these days, Israelis have started wearing Jackets to Business meetings, Shul, etc. and it has become more unacceptable to not be "dressed up" in certain situations.

The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
– Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

"Politics is perception"

A friend brought up a very good point in a conversation today and I thought I would post his questions here to see what you all think about the subject.

"How come no one is asking the right Questions?

If Sharon was unable to govern competently for 24 hours – why was no succession plan implemented? Who was available to make the routine daily decisions that the prime minister is faced with. More importantly who would have made any critical decisions that could have arisen? What will happen next time that Sharon is sick or unable to fulfill his role as PM? Most disturbingly is the lack of government response to this breakdown of the democratic process. Where are the politicians yelling foul? Where is the media? Why are they silent?"

Now I know we dont have the equivalent of the 25th amendment here (or any part of the Bill of Rights for that matter), but there should at least be an informal plan in play if/when the PM is incapacitated. Before the 25th came into Law in '67, there were how many Presidents succeeded by their V.P.'s upon Death... eight. Thats more than 5%. In 1947, congress passed the Presidential Succession Act which stated the order of succession if both the President and VP were incapacitated.

When will Israel write it into law?

The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
– Abraham Lincoln

Monday, December 26, 2005

"You're getting brutal, Sark. Brutal and needlessly sadistic"

While browsing thru the listing in this weeks Haveil Havalim I came across an article published by Batya last Thursday. In this article, there is a link to a very important video. This video is an account of what happened on Beit Adegalim in October 2005. On that day a group of Children were forcebly removed from the area during a peaceful demonstration.

The video shows some of the brutal tactics that the police used during this "evacuation". We hear accounts from some of the kids severly injured during the demonstration. There is also some actual video footage of how the police treated these kids.

Once again in my life, I am ashamed of having worn that same uniform. The Isreali Police are suppose to be the protectors of Israel against our enemies, not to fight against us using such tactics.

If only the Police and Army used their power and brute against our real "enemies" when they have violent demonstrations as oppose to the non-violent ones we on the right use.

Still waiting for any guesses on yesterday's movie quote. Enjoy today's quote.


The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. – Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, December 25, 2005

"Is that a mirage, or just product placement?"

Shavua Tov.

The Jpost had an interesting article today on Subliminal messages.

Apparently, it has been approved by the Council for Cable and Satellite Broadcasting (whatever that is) to allow subliminal advertising in "entertainment, reality, and soap opera programming". I guess they figure that people are so addicted to these kinds of shows that there is no reason not to ad new subliminal messages to these shows. :)

Subliminal advertising has been a controversial issue for decades. There were claims in the the 60's and early 70's that movie studios would add a few frames of a cup of coke or a bag of popcorn into the movie reel and that would then make people thirsty or hungry because their mind saw the frames, but there eyes did not.

Whether this claim that the subliminal messages in the reels was true or not, the US government banned subliminal advertising in early 1974 and threatened TV stations and movie studios with the loss of their licenses if they were caught doing it.

Over the years many more "supposed" instances of subliminal messages have arisen especially related to Disney movies. Once again, there is little proof either way as to whether these claims are true or false, but in some of the cases, you can see where one might think that there is some truth to these claims. There was even a lawsuit brought against Disney in 1996 about this.

Council for Cable and Satellite Broadcasting has strangely said that "subliminal advertising will not be allowed during news, documentary, investigative, or children's programming, or during movies."

I think it's a big mistake to allow these ads at all, but at least they must have some concerns if they don't want them to be shown during children's programming and have initiated only a 6 month trial basis.

Either way, there will be a lot more people getting hungry when they watch Survivor.

Don't forget to try and guess where the movie quote is from and Ive also added a subliminal message in this post, lets see if you can find it.

Thanks for reading.....

The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
– Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, December 22, 2005

"Bright? He's a common ignorant slob. He don't even speak good English."

Ha'aretz has an interesting article today about Amir Peretz not wanting to go to America to speak.

"Jewish activists close to the Labor Party leadership said yesterday that several of Peretz's advisers are in favor of a New York visit prior to the elections. However, Peretz does not think it is a good idea."

I wonder why???

Do you think it has to do with his excellent linguistic abilities in English???? (see Jameel's article last Sunday about this)

How can the leader of a prominant political party in Israel (a western country) not even feel that it is important for him to try and improve his spoken (or transliterated for that matter) English?

Today's political world is ruled by media and English is the language predominantly used to communicate in the world.

How many Israeli or Mongolian Physics professors will write articles in Hebrew or Mongolian? None, because in their field of work, and in all hard sciences for that matter, all scientists in that field need to understand their findings, so English was chosen as the language of research in theses fields.

It would be nice to see Amir converse with George W. (Strategery)

Now, many people can look at my post and think that I'm being racist against a Sephardi, but taht would be wrong. I'm not saying that this needs to be a standard for everyone in the world, just for people who have the potential of leading a country. (Head of a party who is running for the office of Prime Minister.)

A side note:
With this post, I have implemented a new method of choosing a title for my posts. I will use obscure quotes from movies. lets see how many of u can guess what movie the quote is from.

Thanks for reading.....

The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
– Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Damn, Yankees

Just to take a short break from Israel related postings....

For all of you New Yorkers (or ex-New Yorkers) who are Yankees fans. Early this morning, the Yanks signed former Boston Red Sox Center Fielder Johnny Damon to a 4 year $52 million contract. Adding Damon to the already formidable Yankee lineup might help keep the Yanks in the mix next season.

The starting lineup roster as it currently stands:
1. Damon CF
2. Jeter SS
3. A-Rod 3B
4. Sheffield RF
5. Giambi 1B
6. Matsui LF
7. Williams DH
8. Posada C
9. Cano 2B

The Red Sox made a big mistake letting this one go and if they end up trading Manny, they are really lost.

I apologize to all my non-baseball fan readers, but this is big news in the only sport I have followed since comng to Israel 15 years ago.

Most Israelis don't get (understand) baseball and you can imagine what kinda reactions I got from fellow cops whenever I would mention baseball.

Go Yanks and good luck with the haircut, Johnny :)

Thanks for reading....

The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
– Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Is 58 years too late?

All I can say is: It's about time!!!!

After 15 years since I've been living in Israel, and almost 58 years as a state, a committee in the gov't finally is making a change by enacting a new signposting law.

According to the article, this law once completely passed, will required ALL street and highway signs to show conformity, so that people will no longer get lost on their way.

Here are two examples of signs spelled differently than usual.

The usual standard spellings are: Carlebach and Schocken.

Until now, there have been four different entities responsible for street signs and this has led to this travesty.

The article claims that the main reason that these changes are being implemented are for the benefit of tourists so they dont get lost....what about those of us who think that it will improve the perception people have of Israelis. It's definately a step in the right direction.

There is a related article here that gives an example of a street with no less than six unique spellings (all along the same road).

Next on the agenda...Storefront signs

Thanks for reading

The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
– Abraham Lincoln

Monday, December 19, 2005

With friends like these...

One the subjects that has always fascinated me is media bias. I found a perfect example in a story released by Reuters last night about Sharon's stroke.

This is a picture posted on the Reuters website with the caption:

"A Palestinian youth celebrates in Gaza after hearing that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was moved into hospital December 18, 2005. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem"

For the entire article click here

It makes you wonder about how news media choose their words. This particular man in the picture is referred to as a "youth".

According to Dictionary.com the definition of youth is:

youth (yth)
n. pl. youths (yths, ythz)
    1. The condition or quality of being young.
    2. An early period of development or existence: a nation in its youth.
  1. The time of life between childhood and maturity.
    1. A young person, especially a young male in late adolescence.
    2. (used with a sing. or pl. verb) Young people considered as a group.

This definition makes the caption completely inaccurate. The man in the picture looks neither young, in his late adolescence or that he has yet to reach the age of maturity.

Why do Reuters and other news outlines skew their readers perceptions by using misleading terms to identify people?

The use of the term "youth" here is used on purpose to mislead the ignorant public. It dismisses the idea that someone mature would proudly express glee over another's misfortune. It is as if they wrote that it was a kid who didn't really know what he was celebrating about. Kids are supposed to be innocent and impartial observers of history. Most people in the world won't scrutinize a picture and would take the news outlets word that this is a genuine "youth" who has what to celebrate about.

Interestingly enough, if you read the whole press release by Reuters there is no mention what-so-ever about Palestinians in Gaza. The whole story is about Sharon and his mild stroke. The other five pictures are directly related to the story. The first picture is of the hospitol spokeman giving a message to the press. Then there are two pictures of policemen guarding the ER enterence. Next, there are two pictures of Sharon himslef. Finally we see the picture of the Palestinian which doesn't really fit into the story anyway because the reporter doesn't mention them.

Thanks for reading....

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Finding the right answer

Well, it's now Sunday, and I'm back at the computer ready to begin a new week of blogging. I was trying to think of a topic all weekend and was having trouble deciding. Over Shabbat, I looked into my infant sons eyes and asked myself a truly difficult question: what kind of world will he be brought up in? What do I tell him when he asks me why the Jewish world is the way that it is?

I know that it's the type of question many people ask of themselves at different points in their lives, but when I look around and see the hate that Jews have for each other here in Israel, is it all a misunderstanding? a lack of communication? or have we returned to the time of kamtza and bar kamtza?

Too many Jews want "Peace at any cost". I obviously think that logic is flawed since I just don't trust our "partners". If I truly believed in their sincerity, I would give in to their requests. The problem is that our "partners" believe beyond doubt that the only way for a true peace is when Israel and all the Jews are driven into the sea. That is unacceptable to me. Peace should be the act of both sides being able to live together in the same land without fighting.

Peace is not: lets try and appease the other side by giving them what we deem rightfully ours and hope that they mean what they say about also wanting lasting peace. We need to first see that they are capable of keeping their word and then we can move one step closer to having true peace. We have already made too many concessions and we have gotten nowhere.

Unfortunately, Sharon and his cohorts haven't been very helpful. He has fallen into the trap that many of his predecessors have fallen into and that's wanting history to remember them for bringing Peace at all costs. Does he truly believe that this will work? Is he so far gone that he no longer sees what he spent most of his life fighting for?

So now I come back to my original question…what do I tell my son? While pondering this question, I stumbled across Frum Girls' blog and read her tale of explaining to her son what it means to be Jewish and how lucky we are for what we have that makes us unique as Jews. Here in Israel, there isn't much "fanfare" around Christmas like there is in the states, but we see enough outside "gentile" influences that one needs to continue reminding himself that he is a Jew in a Jewish land and that he must continue to act as a Jew in whatever he does.

I think I now have at least a partial answer….

Thanks for reading….

Baruch Dayan Emet - Leo McGarry

Over the weekend, actor John Spencer passed away at 58. He was in LA Law in the 90's and most recently played Leo McGarry on The West Wing. I don't know what his personal politics were, but his character Leo was a friend of Israel and believed in "not giving in to the enemy" even if it meant disagreeing with the President. His political opinions about israel ended up costing him his job as Chief of Staff. At the time of his death, Leo was the running mate (Vice-President) of Matt Santos on the Democratic Presidential Ticket.

May all politicians be as Pro-Israel as Leo McGarry


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Welcome to the World of Blogs

Well after a short while being a voyeur in the blog world, I have decided to finally start posting my own blogs.

First, a (little) bit about myself: I am a former Israeli Police Officer who quit my job once I saw that the Disengagement was going to really happen and I would be forced to displace my fellow Jews from their homes. I have since found a job in a field that allows me to help make the world (and future) a better place for us and our children.

I do not regret making that life changing decision, because I now have a clear conscience and any financial hardship that quitting caused me was worth being able to sleep at night.

All in all, the move has had a very positive effect on my life; my wife and kids see me more often, I work a normal shift 9-5 every day and I am now ALWAYS off on Shabbat and holidays. In the police, the shifts I worked varied every day and every week. I was only home for an entire Shabbat once a month and on that Shabbat, I would have to work on Friday til
3pm and then be on duty Saturday night from 8pm until 7am.

And if you want to talk about Holidays... national holidays were mandatory work days (Yom Ha'atzmaut) and regular chagim fell into the normal pool of shifts, so the odds were good that I usually wasn't home for an entire chag.

Don't assume that this means that I disliked my job in the Police. Au contraire, I loved the work, the adrenaline push chasing suspects or trying to solve a crime and the feeling that I was serving my country, my homeland. That all changed with the Disengagement, I felt cheated and ashamed to be a representative of a gov't that was willing to spit on it's own loyal citizens who were living on the front lines against terror, showing the world that we as Jews have the right to live anywhere in our own land.

Hope you enjoy my blog.

View My Stats