Thursday, November 27, 2008
Olmert resigned a few weeks ago, but is still officially the prime minister until the next government is formed. He should declare himself unable to carry out his duties and allow his deputy, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, to become Acting Prime Minister.
Instead of doing the right thing, Olmert (or, as the media calls it, "people close to Olmert") blasted the attorney general for not waiting until he becomes a former PM. I don't think Mazuz should have waited. Once he has enough evidence for an indictment, he should indict Olmert, just like any other suspect.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Well, folks, I've read the chapter. It has been posted online. In context, it is even worse. Here's the part about his friends' autistic children:
"I know a couple of autistic children and let me tell you something they both have in common-they are extremely bright and attentive and much like Rain Man-have individual talents and abilities that would lay your empty little tyke’s video game-addled soul to waste. A truly autistic child may be able to reproduce music he or she hears with perfect pitch-entire classical pieces, the rock opera Tommy, the latest hit Broadway musical-over and over again. OR tell you instantly upon hearing what your birthday is-what day it has fallen on every year for the last four decades. What the weather was on those days. Who the president was at the time. What the number one song on the radio was just before singing it note for note and word for word. THAT’S an autistic child. Not some fat-assed simpleton whose brain has been fried by television and the Xbox and no proper daily attention from his or her supposedly caring parents."
All he knows about autism comes from Rain Man and two (yes, that's 2!) autistic savants. The idiot thinks you have to be a genius or have some memory-related superpower to be truly autistic. Apparently, he's never heard the often-repeated saying "once you've met one person with autism, well, you met just one person with autism".
Leary then goes on to say, more or less, that Asperger's Syndrome does not exist. After describing the definition of Asperger's, he has this to say:
I hope his book tanks.
"Where I come from, we don’t call a guy like that a victim of Asperger’s. We just call him an Asshole Who Won’t Shut The Fuck Up. You wanna find people who don’t think it strange or boring or mindnumbing to listen to you ramble on and on and on about what it takes to plug electronic boxes into electro converters and then into tubeless amplifiers THROUGH a remote-access special effects board and blap blappety blap until shit shoots out of a guitar played by a guy wearing fourteen-inch-high platform-heeled leather boots and a girdle? Here’s the list:
1. The guy in the girdle
3. People with Kiss T-shirts on
You don’t belong in the spectrum of autism disorders. You belong backstage with a shitload of AA batteries and a suitcase full of roman candles. Long-winded and one-sided."
Thursday, November 13, 2008
This is another case of punishing success and progress. In Feb. 2006 I wrote about how education officials were trying to cut my high functioning autistic nephew's assistance at school. Now, almost 3 years later, he's doing even better, but there is still a lot more he needs help with. So-called experts may see a child who seems almost like all the other kids, just maybe asking too many questions, so they'd cut his funding, meaning less hours with his "shadow" assistant. That would be very bad for him. He still needs frequent, subtle guidance.
As Laura Tisoncik said: "The difference between high-functioning and low-functioning is that high-functioning means that your deficits are ignored and low-functioning means your assets are ignored... Either way, you get ignored."
Is there any truth to this? I doubt it. They claim they have documents proving the lineage, but will show it only after they personally present it to Obama first. Since Obama is not likely to invite them to the White House, they'll never show anyone the proof.
If it does turn out to be true, I can understand why they are proud. It won't change Obama's foreign policy, though.
I loved Cookie Monster as a child. I also loved eating cookies. One didn't have anything to do with the other. I bet my love for sweets came along way before I ever watched Sesame Street. And if you think of it, the furry blue muppet never ate the cookies, he just made a mess out of their crumbs. How many children actually imitate him like that?
As a person who grew up watching two versions of Sesame Street in two different languages in two different countries (Israel and the US), I have a request: Bring back the "cookie" into Cookie Monster. If you want to teach children about nutrition, which is not a bad idea at all, bring in a new character for that purpose.
I wonder if Ugifletzet, the Israeli version of Cookie Monster, has also gone vegetarian. My nephew and niece would probably know.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Meir Porush, a member of the Knesset representing the ulta-Orthodox Agudat Israel Party, has been quoted as saying that within 15 years there will be no secular mayor anywhere in Israel. He has a right wing political agenda and would like to impose a "medinat halacha", a state run according to religious law. The outgoing mayor, Uri Lupolianski, who is not running for re-election, was the first ultra-Orthodox mayor of Jerusalem, and he tried not to anger what is left of the secular population of the city. Porush doesn't seem as conciliatory.
Nir Barkat is known as "the secular candidate". He is a millionaire businessman and a right wing hawk who wants to build Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. While the mayor has nothing to do with peace negotiations, he can make things very difficult by creating facts on the ground. Maybe the fact that he is a successful businessman at least means he's a good administrator, but that isn't good enough for a city like Jerusalem.
Trailing in third place, according to the polls, is Arcadi Gaydamak, an eccentric Russian-born billionaire who is wanted in France for illegal arms dealing with Angola. He doesn't speak Hebrew, other than a few words here and there, so he communicates with Israelis in English. I don't really know what his platform is, if he has one at all, but the man himself is the problem. He uses his money to gain political power and does not like dissent. He calls anyone who disagrees with him stupid and worse curses. He even asked "who is Tzipi Livni to decide not to join forces with me in the municipal elections". That's quite a nerve!
Oh, Jerusalemites, don't you deserve better?
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Of the battleground states, I correctly predicted Obama would win Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia and lose Montana and North Dakota, and it so far seems as if I was also right about a loss in Missouri. I was initially wrong about Nevada but was right when I added it to the Democratic column a few days before Election Day. The same goes for North Carolina, presuming the final results will show an Obama win there.
I was wrong about Indiana and Florida going for McCain, but was right about all the other red states. Obama did not lose in any state I expected him to win in.
Now, with the upcoming appointment of Rahm Emanuel to the powerful position of White House chief of staff, another similarity arises. On "The West Wing", the man President Santos appoints to this position is Josh Lyman, his campaign manager and former deputy White House chief of staff. The Lyman character is widely believed to be based on Emanuel, who was a senior staffer in the Clinton administration.
In the highly unlikely event that Obama decides to offer a cabinet position to John McCain that would be another case of West Wing immitation. President-elect Santos appointed his formal rival as Secretary of State.
Good thing Joe Biden survived Election Night. His West Wing counterpart, Leo McGarry, died of a heart attack before polls closed in the western states. He was written off the show due to the death of John Spencer, the actor portraying him, also of a heart attack. That was another case of West Wing writers predicting the future. McGarry had previously survived a heart attack earlier in the show.
As a side note, Rahm Emanuel's Hollywood agent brother Ari is the basis for the "Entourage" character Ari Gold. I hope Jeremy Piven will be given a line like "I swear I'll get my brother to unleash the IRS on your ass if you don't do what I say".
Anybody who thought Israel would go into mourning over the end of Republican rule was wrong. We may have some concerns about Obama, but we are quite confident that Israeli-American relations will remain close.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The end of George W. Bush's administration, along with the end of Republican rule in general, is definitely reason enough to be happy. The total disregard and contempt of the constitution and the rule of law demonstrated by President Bush and Vice President Cheney will not continue under President Obama and Vice President Biden. I am sure that the use of signing statements, statements issued by the president when signing bills into law, will be reduced dramatically, and will be used as directions how to implement the law, not how to undermine and disregard it.
Also, the historical event of electing the first black president of the United States is very exciting. When Obama was born, the southern USA, including his mother's home state of Kansas, was under segregation. Apartheid, in other words. Now, more than ever, America is closer to being the real land of opportunity it has always claimed to be.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
The historical reason for Tuesday elections in the United States is well known. Sunday was the Sabbath, and Monday was for traveling to the polling place, Tuesday for voting, and Wednesday was for traveling back. Holding elections on a Tuesday these days doesn't make sense anymore, though, even in the United States. So why are Israeli elections on Tuesdays, other than imitating America?
In Israel, where government services don't operate on Saturdays due to the Jewish Sabbath, I can understand why the weekend is not used for voting. I guess they chose the middle of the week so there won't be a problem with last minute preparations during Saturday, and most of the counting of results is over before the next Saturday.
I think it would be smarter and cheaper to hold the elections for a whole week, from Sunday to Friday, with polls closing on Friday before the Sabbath so the religious parties won't object. The costly day off on Election Day can be canceled, since people will have a lot more time to vote, especially on Friday, when most people have the day off anyway.