Apr 282010
 Wednesday, 28 April 2010  Posted by at 15:07 events, homosexuality, misc, politics Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »

Went to a program over lunch sponsored by the company’s diversity networks. It included a showing of the 1994 Best Live Action Short film Trevor with an introduction by Ellen DeGeneres. Below is the intro and the trailer for the short is here. Please watch them, and if you get an opportunity to see the full short, do watch it. And stop by the Trevor Project’s home page.

Apr 062010
 Tuesday, 6 April 2010  Posted by at 10:07 geek, history, humor, politics Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  No Responses »

From one of my colleagues in Poland:

Well, I don’t know why but that brings a memory of what I read about Lord of the rings….

You see, back in the communist era, there were people that were writing things aligned to what the party’s doctrine was and so some idiot wrote a review of the LotR

And so in his review, sauron was a poor land owner who was struggling with adverse actions lead by the revolutionary hobbits who were ugly sinners because they were so close with each other and wanted to grab Sauron’s land.

Totally skewed view of the whole book. Now, it’s entertaining to read, hehe.

Dec 222009
 Tuesday, 22 December 2009  Posted by at 20:37 homosexuality, politics Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »

Marriage equality took a big step forward recently, as our nation’s capital became the latest jurisdiction to legalize same-sex marriage. Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the legislation in an emotional ceremony, one in which he discussed the discrimination his own parents — an interracial couple — had faced in the 1960’s. It was great news for supporters of marriage equality — and supporters of equality, period.

Read more & sign the petition.

Sep 042009
 Friday, 4 September 2009  Posted by at 10:32 politics Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »

I have tried to avoid the health care debate, but I do want to call attention to the Healthy Americans Act (S.391). It has gotten very little coverage, but I think it may be the most viable and palatable solution that has been proposed. Kudos to Senator Wyden for proposing it – twice.

Some links…

Senator Wyden’s web page on The Healthy Americans Act.

Wyden’s other page on the HAA.

FactCheck.org list of results for HAA.

Change.org’s page on the HAA.

Wikipedia article.

May 202009
 Wednesday, 20 May 2009  Posted by at 08:53 misc, news, politics Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »

Lt. Dan Choi, from Orange County, California, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and an Iraq War veteran. Last March he went on Rachel Maddow’s show and spoke three truthful words: “I am gay.”

As a result Lt. Choi received a letter from the Army on April 23 discharging him for violating the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. He told Rachel Maddow the letter was “a slap in the face” to himself and the soldiers he as commanded and served with over the past decade.

Lt. Choi is fighting to stay in the military and ensure that no other soldier is ever again discharged as a result of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The Courage Campaign and CREDO Mobile are joining his effort to secure equality in our armed forces.

President Obama did not create this policy. But he now has the opportunity to keep his promise and allow gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly in the military. It’s the right thing to do — for justice and for national security.

Please sign the petition.

Mar 062009
 Friday, 6 March 2009  Posted by at 14:08 Israel, politics Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »

Hat tip to Hasidicrebbele

This was written by Rami Kaminski, MD, founder and director of the Institute for Integrative Psychiatry in New York City.

Why I Am a Bad Jew

For centuries, we lived in Berdichev. In the brutal Ukrainian winter of 1941, SS soldiers arrived there and rounded up eighty-seven members of my family – babies, young adults, octogenarians – stripped them naked, marched them to a nearby ditch, and executed them. Their lifeless bodies fell silently into a mass grave.

Like most Jews in Europe, my family “cooperated” with the Final Solution. They did not resist or fight back. Six million Jews were slaughtered in a period of four years. They received little sympathy while they were still alive and hunted down like animals. There was no public outcry because the Holocaust fit the world’s narrative for Jews during the past 2000 years: a people destined to be persecuted and slaughtered.

During their two millennia in the Diaspora, Jews were not known to resist. There are few recorded instances in which Jews turned against their host nations or retaliated against their murderers. Instead, the survivors – if there were any – were expelled or left for another place. The murdered were regarded as “good” Jews. They accepted their fate helplessly, without resistance.

This narrative of the Jews has played out on the historical stage with boring monotony: Jews get killed because they are Jews. Nothing novel about it. After the Holocaust, however, the world, disgusted by this particularly ghoulish period of history, accorded some sympathy for the Jews.

Media commentary about the ongoing Gaza War reveals the world has now reverted to its pre-Holocaust perspective. Today, the only good Jew is a powerless Jew willing to become a dead one. The Zionist Revolution is to blame. It changed everything. Jews re-created their own country. The Arabs attacked the new Jewish state the day after independence and promised to complete Hitler’s genocide. In succeeding decades, the Arabs attacked again and again. Strangely, the Jews, many of them refugees from Arab nations, adopted a surprising, new tactic: they fought back.

With Zionism, the Jews stubbornly refused to follow the centuries-old script. They refuse to be killed without resistance. As a result, the world has become increasingly enraged at their impertinence.

The recent events in Gaza and Mumbai make this plain. In 2005, Israel eliminated all Jewish presence in Gaza making it “Judenrein,” and handed it over to the Palestinians. Left behind were synagogues and thriving green houses. The Arabs looted and destroyed them literally the day after Israel’s withdrawal was complete. Where these structures once stood, the Palestinians built military bases and installed rocket launchers to shell Israeli civilians. To date, some 7,000 missiles have fallen on Israeli cities and towns, killing and maiming dozens, and sowing widespread terror. Medical studies reveal nearly all Jewish children in the communities bordering Gaza suffer from serious, trauma-induced illness.

The Gazan Palestinians then elected Hamas to lead them. Hamas proceeded to kill or imprison their political rivals, and its leaders, true to the Hamas charter, were unabashed in clearly stating their aims: they will not stop until they achieve their Final Solution, kill all the Jews, take over the land of Israel, and establish a theocracy governed by Islamic law.

As killing Jews for being Jews has been a national sport for centuries, Islamic militants are justified in believing they are merely fulfilling historical tradition in Argentina, India and Gaza. Surely the Jews in Mumbai did not occupy Gaza. They were tortured and killed just for being Jews. And predictably, in the eyes of the world, they immediately became good Jews, just like my murdered family in Bertishev.

Good Jews would wait until Hamas has weapons enabling its members to achieve their ultimate goal of absolute mass murder. Those enraged by Israel’s defensive military action insist Hamas uses only “crude” rockets, as if Qassams were BB guns, and military inferiority were somehow equivalent with moral superiority. In fact, Hamas now has Iranian-supplied Grad missiles which have landed on Be’er Sheva and the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

Westerners have had only sporadic exposure to the indiscriminant killing in the name of “holy war” which Israel has lived with for years. Memories of 9-11, Madrid, and London have dimmed. This is not because the Islamic militants made a careful choice of weapons. They simply have not yet acquired nuclear bombs. Once they do, the West will develop a less detached view about the Islamists’ professed intentions for the “infidels.”

The only enlightened people in the civilized world who actually get it are the Israelis. They’ve not had time for detached philosophical ponderings. They’ve been too busy confronting the reality of Islamic fundamentalism.

Soon, Iran will have nuclear weapons. It will give them to Hezbollah and Hamas. Today, Jews must take a position: either be “good” Jews willing to be slaughtered without resistance, or be “bad” Jews who defend themselves at the cost of being pariahs of our enlightened world. Good Jews would wait for another six million to be murdered, and pick up to leave for another country to start the cycle again. The bad ones refuse to go calmly into the ditch.

I confess: I’m a bad Jew.

Rami Kaminski, MD, is Director and Founder of the Institute for Integrative Psychiatry in New York, a not-for-profit organization aimed at evaluating current psychiatric services and how they integrate with medicine, such as the mutual effects between medical and psychiatric conditions. Prior to that, Dr. Kaminkski was the Commissioner’s Liaison to Families and Community and Medical Director of Operations at the New York State Office of Mental Health. Dr. Kaminski also holds an academic position as Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University. He earned recognition in 1990 from Mt. Sinai Hospital as Physician of the Year, and received the Exemplary Psychiatrist Awards from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Dr. Kaminski’s research explores neuropsychiatric aspects of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, as well as psychopharmacology of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. He was for many years Director of The Schizophrenia research Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. Dr. Kaminiski also served as the Medical Director of the PMHP and consultant to the committee in charge of developing the Special Needs Program.

Feb 262009
 Thursday, 26 February 2009  Posted by at 16:48 politics Tagged with: ,  No Responses »

Yes, Northern Trust, you are correct. There was nothing to be gained by canceling your sponsorship of an already planned golf tournament after accepting TARP dollars. Complete the tournament for this year, back away, and let someone else pick it up for next year, or let it die on the vine. Thats fine.

There is a metric fuck-ton wrong with sponsoring employee and client parties and concerts, especially with the likes of Sheryl Crowe and Chicago as headliners. ALL of that should have been canceled. You don’t get to borrow $1.6 billion dollars and then throw a big party. So what that none of the TARP money was spent on the party. A little restraint and you wouldn’t need to have borrowed $1.6 billion of taxpayer dollars. Maybe you would only have had to borrow $1 billion, or maybe none at all.

Let me explain this in simple terms… you are now on austerity. You need pens, computers, etc. to run the business, fine. You need toilet paper… ok, you get one square but you better use it sparingly, cause you may not get another.

Starting to make sense?