Thursday, December 24, 2009

More Stuff I Can't Make Up

Today's news reports are just full of things that I could not make up. No matter how snarky I'm feeling.

First, we have the Moldovan Orthodox Church, one of whose priests led a mob chanting anti-Semitic slogans in tearing down a public Menorah erected by the Jewish community in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau (no, this is not an old Mission Impossible rerun). Obviously inspired by the spirit of Christmas, the Church leaders said that the "cult" should have erected its Menorah at a Holocaust memorial and not in a public square of historical importance to Moldovans.

Next, it seems that the US Congress, the SEC and now the New York Times is shocked, shocked to discover that there is gambling going on on Wall Street. The Times has finally picked up the story, which I think began either in Rolling Stone or one of the blogs, that Goldman Sachs and other banks, but Goldman in particular, had created and sold collateral debt obligations to customers which securities could only increase in value if the real estate market continued to rise in value. At the same time it seems that Goldman, among others, had concluded that the real estate bubble was about to burst and began shorting the very same CDOs they were selling to their customers. Goldman et al made fortunes, the customers lost big time, the credit markets collapsed and you know the rest.

Third, as one Jewish observer has put it, we may have gotten Jimmy Carter back but lost Garrison Keillor. I'm not so sure. Carter issued the sort of apology that you get from someone who knows he's in trouble but is not quite ready to confess to his misdeeds. But, hey, it was a start. Today we learn that Carter's grandson (are Amy and I really that old?) is running for the Georgia State Senate in a district loaded with a significant Jewish presence. What a coincidence.

Garrison Keillor, meanwhile, is being raked over the coals for an otherwise innocuous rant about how Christmas in America is being secularized (and he figured this out when?), in which he goes off on cheesy Christmas music written by Jews. This, to some, makes Keillor the anti-Semite of the week. Personally, I think that pumping Irving Berlin tunes into malls is the Jews' revenge on the Christians for anti-Semitism. Given that we were inflicted with pogroms, cheesy Christmas music is a wimpy form of retaliation but, like Carter's apology, it's a start. Keillor's problem is he figured it out and wrote about it without first turning into a snarky Jewish blogger.

Of course, we could state the obvious, which is that anyone seeking a spiritual Christmas will find it at home and in church and should simply stay the hell out of the malls. Even better, let Keillor and the rest of the "War Against Christmas" crowd come to Israel for the holiday.

And, finally, there is the report, based on recently released Israeli government documents, that Maale Adumim, a West Bank settlement located about half way between Jerusalem and Jericho, and the area between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem (known as E-1) were intended to be annexed as part of Jerusalem back in 1975, when the community was first being planned. Yes, you fans of Labor, that's two years before a Likud-led coalition gets a majority in the Knesset. Oh gee, what a surprise.


Edward said...

Pray in a closet.

External expressions other than love, compassion and forgiveness (self and of others) should be prohibited and punished by having the offending persons listen to reruns of Reagan, Bush II and the right wing howlers diatribes, speeches and ramblings. Or have the Jews listen to the Pope discuss diety killings, the Christians listen to a Rabbi about blasmatic prophets claiming to be G-d and the Islamics to a Pope why eating pork are OK with the Christians.

And at the end all offenders have to spend time with my crazy Uncle Louie who thinks that his pet rock is the one, everlasting, true and unity rock!

There will be no need to have any incrased punishment for second time offenders after a week-end with Uncle Louie.

Danny said...


Personally, having lived in Israel for 25 years has emancipated me to enjoy Christmas!