Wednesday, April 27, 2005


I feel bad that I haven't had much to post. I thought I'd at least link to this story. It'll give you a taste for me and my friends. Just to clarify though, if it were me or my friends in the story, the charities would be competing for the leftovers...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Some More Reaction

I sent in the following letter to the editor of Hadassah Magazine:

Dear Editor,

I was somewhat shocked to read the title of a recent article in your April issue, "Samaritans: A Branch of the Family." While it is always interesting to read about groups with similar roots to our own, considering the Samaritans our brothers severely distorts reality. They are, in fact, not much different than Jews for Jesus - a people with deceptively similar beliefs, but who in fact practice absolutely distinct religions. While the author waxes nostalgic about the authentic feel of Samaritan practices, Judaism actually shares little more in common with the rituals she observed than any other pagan sacrificial ritual.

Hopefully, the author, and Hadassah magazine, could do more to connect us to the myriad of meaningful rituals associated with our own faith. Judaism is full of diverse ways of worship in both ancient and modern ritual. Articles bringing that breadth to the reader would do a much greater service to your audience.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Some More Politics

As usual, I spent my Shabbos exploring innovative ideas to make this world a better place to live in. Today's topic - total tax reform. Today's proposal - A single tax structure based on property tax. The advantages - Simplifies tax collection-could eliminate sales tax and income tax bodies, hard to evade-everybody needs a place to live, generally fair-land ownership generally is the biggest form of wealth asset, doesn't negatively affect the economy- lowers tax on consumption. The disadvantages - Might be hard to protect the poor from tax burden being passed on to them by landlord, retirees would have a hard time preserving ownership.


By Special Request

Some have told me that my posts have taken too serious of a turn recently. To please my critics, here is a story from today.

A neighbor was telling my mother how she is walking in a breast cancer support walk on Mother's Day in memory of her mother. So of course I commented, "Oh, so you're going on a death march?"

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


My latest reading, A Devil in the White City, is a great read. It's the tale of two men in turn of the century of Chicago, and how each pursued their creative dreams. One was the most prestigious architect of his time, and one was a serial killer. The author does a wonderful job not just of entertaining, but in presenting the motivations behind them. And as far as I can tell, it is the similarities, rather than the differences, that are most glaring.

I don't know which is sadder, that this book speaks to me so much, or that I think the serial killer led the happier life.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Cubs Game

I went to a Chicago Cubs game. It was a long game, but fairly nice weather. There was one of those earthy, beer drinking souls sitting a few rows behind us who entertained our entire section with his colorful heckling of players and fans alike. He had a few good ones, mainly centering around mocking other fans with poor manners. It was mostly funny. But I heard the guy behind me complaining how this buffoon was making a fool of himself to attract attention. How this guy is basically waving to the world and saying "Hey I'm over here. I exist." I may have over philosophized this gentleman's remarks, and possibly even made them up, but I still think the situation is informative.

Obviously I can judge my own outlandish behavior in a similar light. Is it not to generate attention, as a course of feeling not forgotten, not irrelavent in a crowded world? This may be true of much of my clownish behavior, but I realized there are so many positive channels that I can put my antics into, such as cheering others up and breaking up awkward situations. So as in most character traits, it really comes down to moderating behavior to appropriate situations.

Like yelling at the pitcher, "BOOOOO. You're wife smells like my moldy left sock!!!"

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