Saturday, March 29, 2014

Another Anna Russel* moment

I learned about the first Vegan Stripper Club in the World is in Portland (of course), thanks to a DailyBeast (Vegan Strippers Let It All Hang Out - The Daily Beast)

Please Shoot me now.

*"I'm not making this up, you know!"

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Claude Rains moment....

As the man said in Casablanca I'm shocked:

Revealed: Apple and Google’s wage-fixing cartel involved dozens more companies, over one million employees | PandoDaily

Apparently there is some legal action on going about this issue, which may have some effect on this behavior.  However, I doubt that anything will stop this.

For those who believe that the "knowledge" economy is a different economy, Surprise!  Over the last ten years of "a shortage of tech workers", I have not seen an escalation in pay.

Actually, there is one difference.  Because of their status and prestige issues, it will be hard for these workers to form institutions for protection (e.g. unions).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jewish Press Fires Web Editor Over Haredi "Slur" -

This is an interesting post Jewish Press Fires Web Editor Over Haredi "Slur" -

also covered (perhaps more temperately) by The Foward.

The author, according to Failed Messiah, has a checkered background, but one line I like, simply for it's invective is

But it took a headline that is true – but impolitic for the dishonest Klass family that owns the Jewish Press – for the Jewish Press to finally fire him
The article text appears is hard to find on the web -- I only found it quoted on the Tent of Abraham website, which I reproduce below.

There are some inside-baseball type comments, and an interesting (but not entirely unfair) take on Chabad (who I think of as the best of a bad lot)  I think the sections I have highlighted are sadly dead on.

50 Thousand Haredim March So Only Other Jews Die in War

By: Yori Yanover Published: March 10th, 2014  

Former editor of the Jewish Press, Yori Yanover
Former editor of the Jewish Press, Yori Yanover
They flooded downtown
Manhattan with the anti-draft for Haredim message: everybody else is
welcome to get themselves killed. What was even more astonishing was
their honesty regarding the bankruptcy of their entire school of faith
and study. 

For the record, I
believe the new Shaked-Lapid-Bennett draft law is by far worse than the
one it came to replace, the Tal Law. Most importantly, because the Tal
Law was getting results, without the idiotic, needless, divisive rancor
generated by the new legislation. Killing the Tal Law, or, rather,
issuing an edict that it had to be replaced by something that worked
faster, was the parting poisonous gift of Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch,
protégé of that beacon of light unto the nations, Chief Justice Aharon
(evil genius) Barak.

Since then we’ve seen
one demonstration of a few hundred thousand Haredim against the new law
in Jerusalem (but not a single day’s work was lost!), and yesterday, in
downtown Manhattan, another 50 thousand Haredim marched to condemn the
evil decree.

I went on the website to check out the rally, because I expected them
to bring the authentic stuff. I wasn’t disappointed, even though they
just lifted the AP story without attribution:

“We’re all united
against military service for religious men in Israel because it doesn’t
allow for religious learning,” said Peggy Blier, an interior designer
from Brooklyn. “The Israeli government is looking to destroy religious
society and make the country into a secular melting pot.”

Every single point
made by Peggy Blier is a blatant lie. Of course the law allows for
religious learning, it merely suggests that at some point—way past the
age non-Haredim serve, and for half the time that normal Israelis give
freely of their lives—”religious Jews in Israel” should participate in
caring for the security of their country, or, if that’s too much, serve
the equivalent time in vital organizations inside their own communities
for their own neighbors.

That, according to Peggy Blier, is a conspiracy on the part of the Israeli government to destroy religious society.

Shmuel Gruis, 18, a
rabbinical student from Phoenix studying at a Long Island yeshiva, said,
“These kids, a lot of them don’t know how to hold a gun. They don’t
know what physical warfare is.”

Are you kidding me?
Have you ever been to a Shabbes demonstration? Those kids can throw a
rock at police like born Palestinians.

“Their whole world and their whole lifestyle is peace and love and in doing mitzvahs,” he said.

OK, who can argue with that description of Haredi behavior? I’m
sure non-Haredi women walking the streets of Beit Shemesh or boarding
the bus in B’nei B’rak would attest to that pure goodness.

Some of the Hebrew
prayers were led by Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, a spiritual head of the
Satmars living in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. If the IDF only
enlisted the Satmar folks who ever participated in the clashes with the
Satmar followers of the other spiritual head of Satmar, they could forge
a most brutal and violent commando unit that would put to shame even
the late Lee Marvin’s Dirty Dozen (and those included Telly Savalas and
Trini Lopez).

Next Verena Dobnik,
the AP reporter giving news content for free to Vosizneias, interviewed
Yitz Farkas, a member of the Brooklyn-based True Torah Jews organization
(step aside, all you False Torah Jews), who informed her that “The
problem is, anyone who goes into the Israeli military becomes secular,
and that would erase our whole tradition.”

I always enjoy that
one. See, you and I are pretty sure the Haredi costume is just that – a
costume, underneath which hides a regular Joe, with desires, even lusts,
like you and me. The only thing that keeps Joe Haredi from going
apecrackers is not the Torah he has learned and integrated into his
personality as a shield against evil—it’s the long bekkesh, the velvet
yarmulke and the shterimel. Take those away, and Joe Haredi will become a
beast overnight.

That, essentially, is
the main argument being advanced by the deans of Haredi yeshivas: We
have no trust in the Torah we’ve taught our students.
we know better.
This is why the only means we have of keeping them in line are extreme
social pressure and intimidation. You take those away and Joe will
spring the trap and become a normal man, availing himself freely of the
gifts of a modern society. We can’t afford that. If we do, as Yitz
Farkas put it so eloquently, “that would erase our whole tradition.”

word Haredim is based on Isaiah 66:5: “Hear the word of God, you that
tremble at His word.” The “you that tremble” part in Hebrew is
“Haharedim el dvaro.” Meaning that there’s urgency on your part to
fulfill His word impeccably. It’s not about fear but about devotion.

But the
post-Holocaust Haredi world is all about fear. Fear of new things. Fear
of books. Fear of voices. And above all, fear that the education a young
man receives during his 20 years in a Haredi yeshiva is worthless,
because as soon as he encounters the outside world, those 20 years would
vanish, melt away like Cholov Yisroel butter on a skillet.

What an astonishing degree of honesty regarding the bankruptcy of an entire school of faith and study.

You know, the
Lubavitcher Rebbe was once asked how come he’s not afraid that his
Shluchim, the emissaries he was sending out into the farthest and
darkest corners of the Earth wouldn’t be tainted by the unholy stuff
that surely awaits them there. He responded by citing the laws of
kashering-cleansing a vessel in preparation for Passover: k’bol’o ken
polto—the way the vessel absorbed the substance so it would let go of
it. Meaning that, had the emissary remained clean in body and spirit
during his training years, he has nothing to fear “out there.”

I miss him very much.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of his passing, and his absence
today is felt more than ever before. He would have devoted a segment of a
Shabbat farbrengen to the draft bill, and it would have set the whole
thing straight: these guys are right on this and wrong on that and vice
versa. now go and behave like dignified yidden and stop attacking one

What a strange,
low-key ending to a piece that began as an exhilarated attack on Haredi
IDF bashing. I guess I got tired of it. We’re not going to change the
Haredi leadership’s position, we just have to rejoice in a merciful God
who made them, like the rest of us, biodegradable.

Here is the apology:


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Two cheers for technology and regulartory restraint.

Free the Beer Drones...

Lakemaid beer drone

an old Emo Philips joke about trusting advice from the government: “I
pleaded guilty on advice of counsel. Which is the last time I listen to a
prosecuting attorney.” Amazon, Lakemaid Brewery, and should listen to his warning....