For what it’s worth, 11/18/15

I’ve been busy, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. My conservative friend Joe even challenged me on Facebook:

I’m surprised you have been so tight lipped about Paris…not a word.

OK. Word.

Joe, John Lennon said “War is not the answer,” but sometimes it is. There are just wars, like the one we won 70 years ago. That was a war worth fighting. Imagine (sorry, John) what might have happened if we’d sat it out. For sure, I wouldn’t be here writing this.

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For what it’s worth, 11/06/15

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It’s War on Christmas time again! And just in time for the holidays!

See those red cups up there? Where are the snowflakes? Where are the reindeer? Where are the sleds? Where’s Santa, fer chrissakes?!?!?!?!

I’m telling you, Starbucks really hates the Baby Jesus. Continue reading

How to solve gay marriage

Roy-Moore

The chief justice of the State of Alabama, Roy S. Moore, aka Roy the Great and Powerful, has ordered — yes, ordered — the judges in every one of the 67 county probate courts in the Yellowhammer State (yeah, I looked that up) to disobey the order of a Federal District Court judge and refuse to “issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent” with state law.

State law in Alabama, you might have guessed, bans gay couples from getting married. Because Alabama. I’m guessing it also says something about Supreme Court chief justices acceding to the orders of federal judges and the U.S. Supreme Court judges who uphold those orders, but I could be wrong here. Because Alabama. Continue reading

Stop the plane? Not a prayer

where's waldo

Rockland County, N.Y., where I’ve lived for nearly 40 years, is home to the third largest population of Hasidic Jews in the world, trailing only the entire nation of Israel and New York City. Which explains why, in a previous millennium, when I was the Page One editor of The Journal News, the newspaper of New York’s northern suburbs, a reporter and photographer were assigned to cover what was either the bar mitzvah or the wedding of the grand rebbe’s son in New Square, N.Y.

Bar mitzvah or wedding. I’m not sure which one, because I wasn’t invited. On the other hand, I didn’t have to buy a gift.

New Square is a small hamlet (are there large hamlets?) accessed by a single road off a main road that runs through the county. Drive in a block or two and it suddenly feels like you’ve time-traveled back to 18th century Europe. Drive in on a Saturday – Shabbos – and you’re in the only car in town that’s moving. And that guy who looks like he just dropped in from Mars – thats you, because you’re the only guy in town who isn’t sporting a full beard and a long black coat and a wide-brimmed black hat. Continue reading