Friday, October 31, 2008

Godwin's Law in Action

I have to confess, I am getting kind of worried about some of my friends over at LGF. The odds seem very good that Obama will, uh, win the election, and the LGFers' heads are starting to explode.

I can tell the LGFers are in the final stages of their pre-election nuttiness because they are Godwining out at an unprecedented rate.

For those of you unfamiliar with the phenomenon, Godwin's Law is a bit of internet wisdom that states that the longer an argument continues, the more closely the odds that one debater will reference Adolf Hitler or the Nazi party approach one. In many internet circles I've traveled, there is a practical addendum to Godwin's Law that states that the one who 'Godwins' first loses the argument and the discussion is over at that point. I in fact once saw someone head off an argument on a listserve by announcing "I'm self-Godwining. Hitler, Hitler, Hitler. Argument ended." (The discussion had to do with Linux, by the by.) (I do not know who Godwin was.) The LGF denizens are Godwining big-time, having apparently decided that the brownshirts are coming for them the day after Obama is inaugurated.

Bless them, they're going to protect the Constitution against Barack Obama and his Civilian Defense Force, and they're going to see to it that he doesn't stay in power forever by fiat the way he clearly plans to. I've been talking, of course, for years, to leftier types who believed Bush would do the same. As far as I can tell, Mr. Bush is packing. Why are we developing such a low opinion of our own ability to change administrations? We've done it dozens of times without so much as a punch thrown.

I am sort of worried about the LGFers. They seem very nervous, and this can't be good for them. I've watched Republicans win elections and felt grumpy, or angry, or grim, but I've never thought a Republican government was going to COME AND GET ME.

Oddly, (since this is all getting into my head as well), I had a weird, very detailed dream last night, where it was hundreds of years in the future, and the U.S. now had three dominant parties, but you could only run for national government if you were part of an elite class of people descended from the second set of Founding Fathers (2200 era). I was in the Senate, and was trying to get a bill passed so commoners could get into Congress again, like in the old days. Oh, and the president was my cousin (a fictional cousin, not any of my real cousins, thank God, because he was kind of a dork) and his secret service code name was, I am not kidding, 'Dried Eagle'. Don't ask me why. PLEASE. My subconscious is apparently on overdrive right now. Oh, also, we were out of fossil fuels. This, I suspect, will come to pass before the rest of it.

It was extremely weird, although maybe a good plot for a science fiction series. But the point is, I know it's a fantasy. I hope the LGFers do OK with the election. Transitions seem to be hard for them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Early Daylight Savings Time

Yesterday, I glanced at the clock, realized that it was 12:30, and I had an hour and a half until I was due in class. Since I hadn't packed a lunch, I decided to run up to the main strip, and get a burrito from the tacqueria. Come back, eat, do some paperwork, meet with the freshmen. Easy.

I briefly considered eating at the tacqueria--a real dive--and reading my paper--but decided I should get back to work.

As I walk back through the gates of campus, I fall into step with a mom-aged woman approaching the school. As we get nearer to the main building I notice that Yosef and Ahuva are leaning out of the window of my first floor classroom. "Hiiiiii Mrs. Bluejeans!" they scream happily as they spot me.

This is baffling. Why are they in my classroom? Don't they have another class at this time? The woman next to me is quite disapproving. "They shouldn't be hanging out the windows," she points out, "they should be studying!"

I enter the building, and am immediately mobbed by my freshmen, who usher me into my classroom. "You went to the tacqueria!" they yell. "You have horchata! Can I have some?"

"What are you all doing in here?" I demand.

"It's time for class!" they yell.

"Did they switch the schedule on me again?" St. Dymphna High has a tendency to do this kind of thing. A lot.

"Nooooo, it's time for seventh block!"

I look at the clock, which reads 1:09. My seventh block class begins at 2:05. And then I remember.

Remember, that is, walking in to the building that MORNING, and noticing that all the clocks, by some mysterious satellite signal, had fallen back an hour for daylight savings time, a week early. I took note. I even got to my first class on time. I just completely spaced by the time I looked at the clock again to see if I had enough time to get lunch before the freshmen class met.

I politely excused myself to put my burrito and horchata in the teacher's lounge, and get my copy of "The Most Dangerous Game". I was forced to let everyone go to the bathroom and go to their lockers to get the books they forgot, and fill their water bottles, because really, how serious can you be about making your students get their acts together when their own teacher can't figure out what time it is?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hate Crimes and Misdemeanors


I'm turning into a wingbat. HELP!

Actually, I'm thinking about having a separate political blog. I would call myself Stella Luna the Moonbat, and have a cute graphic. In the meantime...

This thing with the girl who said she was attacked by the six-foot-four black man who attacked her when he saw the McCain sticker on her car, beat her and carved a backwards "B" for Barack into her face, but it seems that no such attack took place..

First, I must say that I think she is probably in serious need of psychiatric help, from all the bits and pieces of reports coming out. And as people have pointed out, there have been all kinds of faked hate crimes in the past, many of them far more significant.

What it reminded me of, though, was this case, and some mostly campus-centered things over the past few years, where people wrote racist stuff on their own cars or offices. There's something interesting about it to me, a sort of acting out of the expected behavior of the 'enemy'. The right-wing media/internet is full of dark predictions about violence from Obama supporters, or vague assurances that schools will not help students attacked for their conservative beliefs, and sure enough, some (troubled) people seem to be moved to enact this expected violence, even if no one else will. The lefty campus environment is full of obsessive examination of all forms of violence from the multi-part oppressor, and sure enough some (troubled) people seem to be moved to enact this expected violence even if no one else will. Of course, it's always women. Men may be crazy, but not crazy enough to carve up their own faces in order to become sacrificial lambs--that's a girl role.

Of course, the problem is that then it gets found out, and these troubled enactors are then in trouble with everyone, including their own little groups, for making us all look crazy.

I hope this girl gets some help. But she didn't get this idea out of thin air, and all of us out here bloggin' about politics should show some dang responsibility.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


As everyone now seems to know, the RNC has handed over a chunk of change to the tune of $150,000 to keep VP candidate Sarah Palin dressed on the campaign trail. Hysterics have ensued.

Now, Governor Palin makes me want to cry, and eat huge amounts of ice cream, and punch walls, and vote for Barack Obama, so I am usually the last person in the world to run around defending her, except that according to AOL's Stylelist blog, this is also money for the family's clothes, plus beauty, makeup, etc.

It's not that crazy. With four kids on the campaign trail with her, plus Todd, let's think about this. They're living in hotels, travelling, making umpteen appearances a day. Hair, makeup, and if Trig spits up on his cute onesie, he's got to have another one ASAP. He can't sit on the stage in his diaper while someone runs the wash. And where McCain can wear the same three suits to all his meetings, a woman can't really do that at this level of politics. Unfair, yes, but there it is. And trust me, if you knew what Cindy McCain pays for those odd outfits she favors, your teeth would explode. (I know. It's her own money. She can do what she likes with it. Just saying.)

Stylelist does make a bit of a point when they comment on the 'elitist' stores Palin has been shopping at, like Saks and Neiman Marcus. Sure, they could have done pretty well much cheaper, and looked a little more authentically of the people--I don't think Joe the Plumber's ex-wife buys her shoes at Neiman Marcus--but hell, $150,000 is not that much as campaign money goes, and since I do not derive my self-worth as an American from putting down people who buy a different brand of shoes than I do, I am OK with Sarah going bananas at Saks. Whatever.

Actually, I'm just irked because Stylelist posted this picture of Piper, my favorite Palin (Trig is a close second), holding this purse, and said it was 'obnoxious'. Apparently that's $750 of Vuitton. To which I say, look, either it's a cheap knockoff she likes because it fits her Barbies, or she's carrying her mother's bag. Either way.

Personally, I prefer the Claire McCaskill look, where you can tell that she's wearing something that was on sale at the Kansas City Macy's, but that may just be me. Or Missouri.

I have major problems with Governor Palin, but her Ferragamo pumps do not come into it. Wear them back to Alaska in good health, Sarah.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm concerned again

It's not just the moonbats like Naomi, the wingnuts are also going off the deep end as this election winds into its last days. There's something honestly rather scary about the degree of deranged fantasy people one some of the conservative-right blogs I scan are are devolving into about life under Obama.

Most recently, Zombie went to phone bank for Obama. Zombie does not support Obama, in fact Zombie is working hard to dig up more stuff about the connection between Obama and Ayers the Washed-Up Terrorist. But Zombie went to a cell-phone bank in the park for Obama, just to see what it was like. I have no idea why Zombie didn't phone bank for McCain, but...well, I have some idea. I think Zombie was checking out the Dark Side of the Force to see what it was up to.

Anyway, Zombie goes through the whole operation, which basically, aside from the cell phones, is exactly what's happened at every phone banking I've ever been to. But what worries Zombie, we find, is this:

But most disturbingly of all: The Obama campaign knows the name, phone
number and address (as the assistant told me) of each person called; and we
volunteers do in fact mark down the voting preferences of each individual. So,
through phone banks like these, should Obama in fact become president (and even
if he doesn’t), he and his team will have a pretty extensive list of everyone
who voted against him.


Food for thought.

Lord Almighty. He/she is not kidding, is he/she? And the folks over at LGF giggling about reeducation camps are only sort of kidding unless I miss my guess.

Luckily, some cooler heads who've worked with phonebanking in the past explained that this is just the process, and that McCain's lists look just this, but yeeeeeeeeesh!

People. People. Let me explain this to y'all. I know people who have lived under fascism, communism and the Khmer Rouge. I know people who've BEEN in reeducation camps. The United States has been in better shape in the past, and God willing, will be in better shape again in the future, but believe me, Barack Obama is not, win or lose, (win, says I) going to be the star of the joke where the dictator's aide tells him that only .002 of the population voted against him in the last election, what more could he ask for? and the dictator says "Their names."

And I LOVE Zombie, who does great coverage of anti-Israel demos in the Bay Area, and I don't even LIKE Obama that much, although I think I've almost talked myself into voting for him (as opposed to writing in Hillary's name), but people, people...

I liked it better when Jed Bartlett was president.


Oh, this is funny, but not in a good way.

In this week's TIME, Peter Beinart writes: "Our national vernacular is filled with antiblack euphemisms, but cosmopolitan isn't one of them. Yet when critics attack Obama, that's the word that keeps popping up."

Not an anti-black euphemism no, but I still think I recognize that one...

How disturbingly ironic. Bill Clinton, of course, was our first black president. Is Barack going to be our first Jewish one?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thanksgiving solutions

Myself, the husband and the parents are all going to Niamh's for Thanksgiving. Her family, and lots of friends are coming, and it should be generally excellent.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Last Debate

OK, soon this will be all over. Perhaps then my blood pressure will go down.


Obama looked good.

McCain provoked cursing from me when he began to warble about the unimportance of the health of the mother in abortion decisions.

I no longer believe that the undecided voters are real. At this point, if you haven't made your mind up, you need therapy, not a chance to chat with America about how you'd like Obama better if he had red highlights, and how McCain's eyes aren't quite twinkly enough.

Yeesh, people. Flip a coin.

At least they visit

Heard about "The Great Schlep"? Complete with Sarah Silverman YouTube video?

If not, basically, the concept is that young Jews are supposed to go to Florida, or, I guess, e-mail, and convince Bubbe and Zayde to vote for Barack Obama, and tip Florida.

Because, of course, elderly Jews are just shaking in their shoes at the thought of a Democrat in the White House. Because, you know, Jews have a track record of being more frightened of black politicians than, say, WASPs are. Because elderly Jews have no way to, say, read the newspaper, or get any other political news, and their TVs are permanently tuned to Fox News. Because Jews living in Florida get TWO votes apiece, and anyway, the Cubans are a lost cause.

And because younger Jews are supposed to go along with this anti-Semitic narrishkeit to prove what good progressives we are.


I think this is the way it's supposed to go:

Sadie: Oy, bubeleh, I don't know. I hear he wants to destroy Israel, and he's a Muslim. And, you know...(lowers voice), he's black. Vay's mir, what's going to happen to us if he wins?

Sam: I hear he's a terrorist already! Who doesn't love America!

Becca: (suppressing a little smile), Bubbe, Zayde, let me tell you who Barack Obama really is. He's not Muslim, and he doesn't want to hurt Israel or the Jews. (Proceed with talking points, which include 'Barack Hearts Israel and So Do You', and 'He's Black! Let's talk about it!')

Sadie and Sam: Oy, bubeleh, you've given us so much to think about. Maybe Fox news doesn't tell us always the whole truth! Let's vote Obama 2008!

I suspect this is how it really will go:

Sadie: Oy, bubeleh, it's so nice you came to visit, but I'm so busy I can't sit down right now! The ladies are coming over in fifteen minutes and I need to get these cookies out of the oven! Go sit with your Zayde. I'll just put the hors d'oeuvres on the table...

Becca: Is all this for your bridge group?

Sadie: Bridge? I gave it up. No time. This is for the Golden Sands Beach for Obama Committee--we have envelopes to stuff, and Esther is bringing her laptop so we can look at the new numbers on all the polls. Go, sit with Zayde.

Becca: Uh, Zayde?

Sam: Dollface! You look wonderful! Here, put this on. (offers her a pin saying "Barack Obama" in Hebrew letters). Did your Bubbe tell you the committee is coming over? We can use some help with those envelopes! You have that job working with computers, do you know how to do a PowerPoint? We're having a fundraising lunch for the Obama campaign next week, and Esther Birenbaum says we need a PowerPoint.

Becca: Stop! This is not the way it's supposed to be! I came all the way from Boston to tell you not to worry about Barack being a Muslim! I schlepped down here to tell you that he loves Israel! I came here to tell you that he's pro-choice, and that Sarah Palin believes you're going to hell! What IS this?

Sadie and Sam: Oy, bubeleh, don't get upset. Sit down. Eat something. Of course you can tell us anything you want, and we'll listen. It's just--Rivkaleh, we've been campaigning for Democrats since we collected pennies on the subway already for FDR when we were kids. You thought we were gonna vote for McCain? But at least you're visiting, it's wonderful, sit down, here, tell us what you came to tell us--oh, you've got talking points. How nice! Something like this we should have at the lunch! Do you want to do doorhangers with us tomorrow?

Shirts trashing Sarah

"Where are the frickin' feminists?" inquires one plaintive Lizard. (Link leads to unpleasant language and right-wing commentary, handle with care.)

Just as hacked as we were when Hillary was getting it, Mac. Who do you think the PUMAs ARE, anyway?

On the other hand, I remain intrigued by the way they refer to taking offensive **** off the website as 'down the memory hole'. Should it be left up? Forwarded to the "MSM" for further consideration?

I want the shirt that says "Mavericky". Oh Lord, why can't I make up my mind whether this woman is a political tragedy in the making, or a sort of TV icon?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Miss Erin Got Married

Apparently, taking kids to their teacher's wedding is very bad. At least, if it's the marriage of their first-grade teacher to another woman, it is.

Why do I have a feeling that the people moping and griping at ProtectMarriage and Michelle Malkin's site, et al, would think this was extremely cute if they'd been taken to see their teacher marry a man? Small-town family valueseque, even?

A rather nicer piece of coverage of the same wedding comes from the Chronicle. I would like to draw the reader's attention to the commentary on marriage of Nolan Alexander, aged six. Marriage, he says, "is people falling in love. You stay with someone the rest of your life.

His classmate Chava's mommies plan to get married in two weeks.

Mazal tov to Erin and Kerri!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I did a lot of laundry today.

I swear, I think some of it did not belong to me or the fella. I think that other people are sending their clothes through a time-space continuum flaw to land in my laundry baskets. I wish that they would send quarters too, if I am going to be serving as a wash-and-fold for people in Omaha or someplace.

Manager Sarah has two units open and asked if by any chance I knew any other 'nice young couples' like myself and the fella, with no little children, who might want them.

Not really.

The fella is job hunting. If you can tack a wish for his parnosseh onto your tehillim, or white light or whatever, it would be greatly appreciated, or we may find that we ourselves are not able to stay in our unit, nice young couple though we are.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Deep Questions for Our Time

Seems that North Korea is off the terror list. Given the total unimportance of whether North Korea is on the list or not on the list, I suppose it's a reasonable sop to get them to cooperate with inspections.

But I do have some questions for the increasingly invisible Bush administration about this. Specifically:

  • If they're off the terror list, are they also off the Axis of Evil?
  • Will a new nation be appointed to the Axis of Evil? What rubric will be used to assess new applicants?
  • Will North Korea's space on the Axis be reserved, in case they requalify in the future, or will they have to reapply on the basis of the rubric?
  • While we are still on the topic, is Iraq still part of the Axis, given that it's previous Axisicial government was toppled?
  • Iran can't possibly be an axis by themselves, can they?
  • Can only two countries be considered an axis?
  • What is the maximum number of nations in an axis?
Don't mind me, I'm just whistlin' past the graveyard. (Cue up a lively version of "We Will All Go Together When We Go".)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Blue Angels Yontiff

For Yom Kippur, Mrs. Bluejeans and I went to services at Sherith Israel. (Rosh Hashanah we were at my old shul in the Sunset.)

The main sanctuary at Sherith is fabulously gorgeous. Actually, the whole shul is gorgeous. The sanctuary is painted wall to wall with intricate interwoven patterns, banded with bronze egg-and-dart edgings and rows of light bulbs tracing the arcs and the balconies. Rows of patterns lead up to the dome, and quotations done in gold Gothic script on interwoven ribbons circle the ceiling. There are several sizes of stained-glass windows, showing biblical scenes and figures, including a huge one of Moshe, flanked by banners and fascinated Israelites, standing with the tablets of the law in what seems to be Yosemite National Park, to judge from the mountainous landscape in the background.

The pipes on the organ are painted and patterned. It's a bit like davening inside a Persian rug factory, or possibly the inside of a genie's very spacious bottle. It's amazing. You couldn't make something like these these days for love nor money. It's not even slightly modern. It is, however, incredibly beautiful.

Kol Nidre, a very good sermon on the responsibility of Reform Jews to support same-sex marriage. Excellent cantor. The next day we met for morning services at Calvary Presbyterian, up on Fillmore (very pretty church, but not on a par with Sherith, although the stained glass appears to be from the same era).

The Blue Angels were blasting overhead all day, since we're leading up to Fleet Week. No problem, except for one very near pass over the church as people were coming downstairs, which made everyone jump...well, I guess angels don't start by saying 'Fear not' for nothing.

During morning services, the rabbi requested that all the gentile spouses of congregants come up to the bimah to be honored for their services to the Jewish community. The fella has declared that he is very pleased not to have been there to be honored, since he would have freaked out if the rabbi had attempted to kiss him (as the rabbi did the spouses on the bimah). The fella can be such a wuss about being kissed by rabbis. Afternoon services we were back at Sherith.

I sometimes miss High Church Reform. I was raised with solemn Protestant-like services, rabbis in robes (and, when I was a child, no yarmulkes), and services heavily couched in those strange 'variations suggested by the Hebrew' English prayers, written in 1930, or 1955, and never touched since. No one has services quite like the ones of my childhood anymore, and that's good thing, by me. I like the Hebrew, I think rabbis should cover their heads...but despite having found other kinds of shuls as an adult, nothing brings back my childhood, or my childhood awe of the chagim faster than the sound of a cantor doing an operatic solo to the crescendo of a pipe organ, and the words "God of awesome might, oh God of awesome might..."

And always, every year since I was little...

Birth is a beginning
and death a destination.
And life is a journey:
From Childhood to maturity
And youth to age;
From innocence to awareness
and ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to discretion
And then, perhaps, to wisdom
From weakness-to strength
Or strength to weakness
And, often, back again;
From health to sickness
And back, we pray, to health again;
From offense to forgiveness,
From loneliness to love,
From joy to gratitude,
From pain to compassion
And grief to understanding-
From fear to faith;
From defeat to defeat to defeat-
Until- looking backward or ahead,
We see that victory lies
Not at some high place along the way,
But in having made the journey, stage by stage,
A sacred pilgrimage
Birth is a beginning
And death a destination
And life is a journey,
A sacred pilgrimage-
To life everlasting.

We broke the fast at home, with cold cuts and fruit salad, and I went home, hoping for a sweet year.

Monday, October 06, 2008


Has anyone out there done National Novel Writing Month? I've been considering doing it with students from my school.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Lights Went Out Last Night

So I'm sitting peacefully, watching my Shabbos candles burn down, and catching a late episode of House, and it begins to rain--first rain of the season, very nice--and then around midnight every light in the apartment building goes out.

The fella and I found each other by the light of my laptop, which has a battery, of course, and sat in the electronic glow for a while and talked. I woke up at dawn. The power was still out. I went back to sleep, and was wakened once by the sound of the rotary dial phone I saved from the old house for emergencies (it works if plugged in to the phone line, and does not need electricity), and then I went back to sleep and it was TWO THIRTY in the afternoon before I woke up for good.

The power was back on by then.

I'm trying to decide how much affected the chicken in the stand-up freezer is likely to be, and resetting all the clocks, except for the one in the bathroom, which runs on batteries.

We used to lose power a lot at the old house in SF, but there we were on the top of a rise overlooking the ocean, and every time the weather played up, the wind would smash the overhead lines around. Here, I have no idea.

Friday, October 03, 2008

This is probably not appropriate

Given that it's the middle of the Days of Awe.

But if you want some truly funny Sarah Palin ribbing, try this out.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Shana Tova

To all of you out there.