Archive for October, 2007

Hal Levine, Wizards, and Scary Liberals

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Gobhoblins, ghosties, and things that go bump and screech in the night. Ok, enough about Hillary. Happy Hal Levine.,_the_bad,_and_the_hillary_moments

I decided not to watch the demagoguic party debate on MSNBC for the same reason I skipped the Laker game. October 31st is Halloween, and I did not want to be scared the night before to the point where Halloween itself would be anticlimactic. Before getting into my favorite Halloween stories, it turns out the democrats running for President were all cast members in the Wizard of Oz. They live in fantasyland, so this makes sense. Nevertheless, the cast was surprising.

Hillary Clinton—Shockingly enough she was not the Wicked Witch, because that would be too easy. She is the Tin Man. The Tin Man is not a bad person. He is just devoid of any human emotions and feelings. He is a robot, and cannot understand issues that human beings deal with.

Barack O’Bama—He is the Scarecrow. The Scarecrow is a nice guy who just does not contribute anything intellectually. He is not stupid, just naïve. He has a childlike innocence that leaves him unprepared to understand adult conversations in a serious world. Given that this movie happened before World War II in the same way Barack O’Bama exists pre-9/11, the naivety is understandable.

John Edwards—No, he is not Dorothy. Again, that would be too obvious. He is the Cowardly Lion. He does not want to deal with conflict. He wants to cut and run. He wants to revert to a safe tree house and play childlike games. Again, the Cowardly Lion is not a bad creature, just one that is afraid to confront the challenges that life throws out on a daily basis.

Bill Richardson—Glenda the Good Witch. This role was played by John Edwards in 2004. This character tries to keep everybody happy and peaceful. He deplores sadness within the family. Basically, from a political standpoint, he has his head up the front-runner’s anus in the hopes of being Vice President.

Dennis Kucinich—He is a munchkin. Not only is he short, but he also speaks in a tongue that most people do not understand. Alvin the Chipmunk on LSD, this cute little Kucinich critter persists.

Christopher Dodd—I believe there was a drunkard in the movie. The fellow was given no credit for his appearance, given how peripheral he was. Unlike Mr. Dodd, I do not think the drunkard in the movie tried to violate a waitress in a restaurant.

Joe Biden—He is Dorothy—He wants to click his heels together for each partition of Iraq. His heel clicking plan is illogical, unworkable, and bizarre, but hey, it is not like there is nothing at stake if it fails. Like Dorothy going home, the mess left behind will be somebody else’s problem.

Mike Gravel—I thought he was Toto, given his constant barking, but it seems like he is Dorothy’s grandfather. He is an old, gray, grumpy individual who shows up early in the movie and then disappears quickly to irrelevancy. The democrats still had a meaningless debate, but it was slightly more respectable without his being invited.

Bill Clinton—He is Toto. He is useless, but so adorable that he gets more attention than more relevant characters to the story. Toto is so precious that the oxygen just gets sucked out of the room.

The magician behind the curtain that manipulates them all is either George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, or John Ashcroft, or any other bogeyman the democrats need to create to have a reason to exist. My guess is that it is most likely Paul Wolfowitz, since the Daily Kos sees the Wizard of Oz the same way it sees everything else…as a sinister republican plot controlled by the Jews, since the people of Kansas are obviously Jews. Dorothy makes it home to the land of the Neocons, and everybody lives happily ever after. 

As scary as the democrats are, with Halloween being every time they come on television, even scarier is Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. How people continue to admire this troll is beyond me. He scored 45 points, and the team lost. Typical Kobe. I say this because his press conference was delightful. “The team missed 18 free throws. I didn’t miss any.” Yes, everything is everybody else’s fault. The Clintons should hire him as a press spokesman immediately.

Today is the day for getting away from people who do not matter to what does matter…picking out a Halloween costume and having fun.

I have plenty of costumes, and the trick is to find costumes that are timeless. Picking something that has a shelf life of 10 minutes is a waste of money. Also, heroes are boring, and they often wear pants that are ambiguously transgendered. I prefer the villains.

Also, when romantically involved, matching costumes go over very well. Matching pirates and matching vampires are easy enough. When I dress up as the Riddler, I prefer my female companion be Catwoman. That way I can admire her tail.

Matching gangsters is fun, and women look sexy in short skirts always.

Matching costumes are a way of couples making sacrifices that would normally never occur. In 2005 I was dating a left wing environmental activist vegetarian. What can I say? She was hot. I dressed up as a tree, and she dressed up as a hippie. My sign on my tree said, “My girlfriend is a tree hugger.” To return the favor, the next night had me dressing up as a criminal, with her dressing up as a slutty police officer. The outfit came equipped with a baton, handcuffs, a ball and chain, and an incredibly tight outfit that made me realize that politics could be put aside for the sake of my hormones.

My friends and I go to “The Freak Show” in West Hollywood, which is the homosexual area of Los Angeles. They usually dress flamboyantly in that part of town, but on this day they go crazy. The police seal off the streets, and one million people walk up and down looking at the costumes. My friend from Alabama got groped last year. Hey, when you are dressed in a purple pimp outfit at a parade in a largely homosexual community, things will happen. It was his last day in Blue State America, as he hightailed it back to Alabama, a victim of culture aftershocks.

I know I will not be dressing up as Harry Potter, and since I am not looking for a gay partner any time soon, being Dumbledore is not a viable option.

Halloween 2004 remains my most bizarre situation. I dressed as an Angel, and the girl dressed as the Devil. Yes, this was total role reversal. To try and confuse people at the party, we decided to sneak out of the party and come back with the costumes reversed. We went to my place, and decided to each be ½ angels and ½ devils. We needed to change.

Now I am not a Homer Simpson type, on Halloween or in real life. I do not walk around my apartment unless I am fully clothed. Yet since the girl changed in the bedroom, I was relegated to the living room. In the 60 seconds it took me to change, my roommate came home. Thankfully my red devil collared shirt was just long enough, as I stood in my living room with no trousers on holding a devil’s pitchfork.


Roommate: “Dude.”


Me: “It’s not what it looks like.”


Roommate: “You’re pantsless…and you’re holding a devil’s pitchfork.”


Hearing her, he asked, “Have you got a girl in your room? What are you guys doing man?”


Me: “Nothing is going on.”


Like a bad episode of “Three’s Company (redundant, I know),” she came out of the bedroom, oblivious to the surroundings. Wearing only a bra and angel wings, she grabbed my pants and said, “I need your pants.” She then retreated to the bedroom.


Roommate: “What the hell are you two doing?”


Me: “Nothing…nothing is going on.”


Roommate: “I thought I was cooler than you.”


Me: “You are cooler than me. It’s not even close.”


From the bedroom, she asked about props that could be used to enhance the evening, all part of an innocent angel-devil theme.


Girl: “Eric, do you have something that burns like a flamethrower?”


Roommate: “Ok, what the hell is wrong with you? I don’t know what kind of sick stuff you’re into man, but this innocent dorky routine is B.S. I’ll see you later, and stay away from my bedroom.”

To this day he does not know a g-rated situation when he sees one.

As for this year, the pimp costume was Friday night, and the ½ angel ½ devil costume was Saturday night. I refer to it as a “Fallen Angel,” and the halo, appropriate for me, is totally bent.

West Hollywood will be filled with almost naked gay men, but it will also have heterosexual women dressed as French maids, cavewomen, Playboy bunnies, and other reasons I love being a guy.

Wednesday night might be me as the Riddler again. I just hope nobody confuses me with that idiot Matthew Lesko. I may be prancing around West Hollywood, but I am not a liberal. I will pretend to joust with guys dressed as Batman, and hopefully share a couple steamy moments with a complete stranger dressed as Catwoman. Women dressed up provocatively with a lack of ability to control their inhibitions…I love this holiday.

It is not all perfect. For one, I am too old to trick or treat, which I gave up at age 22. Trick or treating in Bel Air is great. I made between $50 and $100 my last year of college. As a kid I used to go back to homes November 1st to see if they had any candy left. The older kids would trick or treat for beer, and I was too naïve to understand how they kept picking the right houses.

I remember Pirate Lady looking at me and saying, “Shiver me timbers.”  I was about to reply, “Darling, I’d sure like to,” but my friends stopped me. However, she said it again…”Shiver me timber.” I replied, “Sweetness, you got that reversed. Make mine shiver.” She blushed bright crimson…I love Halloween.

My Rabbi does not like that I celebrate Halloween, but I keep explaining that it is actually a Jewish holiday, Hal Levine. So to all the non-Jews of the world, I wish you a happy Hal Levine.

My parents shake their heads in a combo of shame and disbelief, but they should not be afraid. On Halloween I spin out of control, but by November 1st I am back to my version of normal, at work. There is nothing I can do to damage society that badly.

Besides, I will not be that scary on Halloween. It is not like I am dressing up as President Hillary Clinton. Now that is frightening. Don’t cry kids. I will turn off the flashlight and turn on the lights. It was only a nightmare.

Now to be like Ted Kennedy minus the girth and criminal behavior…and do what I need to do to avoid being a complete spectacle again…find my pants.

I think these are mine…or maybe they are…who is she? Riddle me this, Riddle me that…I just don’t know.

Happy Hal Levine everybody!


Nicolas Sarkozy and me

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

The Chirac Broadcasting System, desperate to boost its own failing ratings due to hostility towards many things Americans support, decided to run a sensationalist promo attacking Nicolas Sarkozy.

The buildup to the interview was a clip meant to make it look like he stormed out of an interview. Granted, this is not as bad as “fake but accurate” memos, or fake footage of cars exploding, but it is still typical leftist dishonesty.

The truth is Mr. Sarkozy was very busy, and did not want his scheduler booking that interview on that day. Then, to compound the problem, the interviewer asked stupid questions.

Nicolas Sarkozy is the Bill Parcells of politics. Parcells, the former NFL head coach of the New York Giants and other teams, was the master of taking the media bullies, and bullying them right back. He would look at a reporter and say, “Now that was a stupid question.” What gave him the right to insist he was right? Two Super Bowl rings, and a history of turning losers into winners.

Nicolas Sarkozy has a much tougher job than turning around a losing football team. He is trying to turn around a country mired in failure. France is collapsing into mediocrity. He is willing to stand up and say what few Americans on the left would dare say…that right now, America is a winner and France is a loser. Rather than hate us, he wants to emulate us. For this, he is a rock star around the world.

So what does CBS do when given a chance to interview a world leader? They ask stupid questions. What does he think about being called “Sarko the American?” That ranks right up there with asking him what tree he would be. The final straw was when he was asked about the breakup of his marriage. He insisted the matter was private. The interviewer would not let go, so Mr. Sarkozy took off his earpiece and walked out.

Good for him. If more American presidential candidates would stop being so gracious to people who don’t deserve it, our race for the White House would have more substance. Mr. Sarkozy should have been asked about his economic proposals, and Islamofacism. Those are appropriate questions.

Sometimes it is the candidate that debases things. Bill Clinton mentioned in front of stunned General Motors executives that he enjoyed having astroturf in his pickup truck, and that after he left office, he would want the same. Once he lowered the bar, it was no surprise that some MTV airhead asked him if he wore boxers or briefs. When somebody else asked the same question of Newt Gingrich, Gingrich was criticized for pillorying the girl. He told her it was a stupid question. How dare Gingrich be a meanie! How dare he upbraid a woman for being undignified!

Most of the media does not get it. Americans crave substance. We can handle it. We worry about Islamofacism, the falling dollar, and even lesser known stories that matter, such as a shortage of bees, which could send food prices skyrocketing.

Yet when given a chance to interview one of the most revolutionary world leaders in some time, they fail to understand that the rest of the world does not follow American protocol of media debasement. Bill and Hillary Clinton had their marriage under a microscope, and then the media felt so guilty that they left them alone on issues that should have been under that very same lens.

I am thinking about this more than usual because I am struggling to suppress the occasional urges to write about things that make certain powerful people uncomfortable.

When I started my blog, it was a hobby, and I had complete freedom. Now in a short time it has grown beyond my wildest expectations, and I may have to make some compromises to make it palatable for those that have the power to really benefit me.

A dear friend of mine took me aside last night and said, “Eric, 95% of the people I talk to love you, and love your stuff. I am your biggest fan. Yet some of the powers that be are simply uncomfortable with some of what you write, primarily the sexual stuff. On the one hand you write brilliantly political, but you also want to be funny in a risque way. Dennis Miller can pull it off, but it is not easy to do.”

Now these people have no power to censor my blog, but if I want to get “respected” people to boost me, I have to be “respectable.” It is the same argument that forced me to go from being a long haired rocker a decade ago to a corporate altar boy. I had to “look” the part.

My friend continued. “It is one thing if your focus was purely pop culture, but you focus on political stuff, and some people simply won’t be ok with it.”

I asked him for advice, and his suggestion was to have two blogs, one for the political, and the other for the nonsense, including any sexual stuff.

Our conversation took place after a lecture we were both attending, and it was one of the most intelligent, cerebral lectures I ever remember being at. The fellow’s name is Richard Baehr, and his website is the “American Thinker.” He prefers the Charles Krauthammer method of quiet cerebral analysis. Mr. Baehr does not offer fire and brimstone, but he does speak on the upcoming elections, health care (his field), and foreign policy with a demeanor that conveys “gravitas.”

When listening to him, I began to notice that being liked and being respected are two different things. Bill Clinton was treated as your brother that you laughed with and at him because he projected that image himself. He had enemies, but they only reinforced a perception he created.

Most perceptions are based on our own actions. I know that many people find me entertaining, but would they feel comfortable having me lead a political army into battle? I am not sure. I might be a liability.

Yes, I write about General Petraues. Yes, I can crystallize serious matters of life and death proportions in a cogent way. Yet sometimes I want to analyze whether or not C3PO is a homosexual, the haiku brilliance of Fraggle Rock, and of course, wild sex with hot republican Jewish brunettes.

My grandmother would not approve of that last part, and neither will certain “elders.”

After the lecture is when I had the conversation with my friend, and he brought the lecturer into the conversation. The lecturer also suggested two separate blogs.

Here is the problem with that. Let’s say I rise in the ranks, and powerful people decide to make me their top blogger. Everything is fine, and then one day some leftist hate site, in an attempt to destroy a conservative candidate by association, “uncovers” my other “secret” blog where I write about my abnormal fascinations with Bea Arthur and Monique from “Showtime at the Apollo.” I will have disgraced and scandalized somebody I am trying to help. I would rather just be upfront about it. I am a conservative republican with a liberal sexual appetite. I am single, and like getting laid. So what is the problem?

The problem is it is beneath the “dignity” of serious people. If one is not seen as “serious,” or “respected,” one does not break through to the next level.

The solution is I am going to be myself. Even if I tried to tone it down, I am undisciplined. More importantly, I like being undisciplined outside of my real job. Me being caught with a woman in a scandalizing manner should not be a scandal because I have shouted from the rooftops that, flawed and all, me likey!  

The needle that will be thread will be this. I can be sophomoric when writing about my own life, but I have never…and will never…be sophomoric when doing an interview.

My friend told the lecturer, “He did not go to professional journalism school, so he has not been tainted by the infectious diseas eof the typical media.”

So I am raw, undisciplined, unpolished, and very talented. However, in the same way I got a haircut a decade ago, and put on a suit and tie to look the part, I will always be professional in my interviews. That way when somebody powerful expresses discomfort with some of the things I say, the rebuttal can be, “look at how he interviews. You will be treated with respect.”

That is the best I can do, because I think that is the best I want to do. Yes, I want to be taken seriously, but I also want to find a hot republican Jewish woman and bite her underwear off with my teeth. That should not make me any less qualified to analyze the Global War on Islamofacism. Some may disagree, and I guess they will not change their opinions.

I have done well in life doing things on my terms, and some convey that as an “f.u. attitude.” It is not. It is just knowing who I am.

I do know this much. There are plenty of people who are “respected,” and I think they are pretentious, and full of their own garbaggio. Many of them work in the mainstream media, and while they may not get caught in sex scandals of their own, they take delight in delving into the private lives of others, humanity be d@mned.

Mr. Sarkozy, I would be delighted to interview you. If you can tolerate that my sex life is out of control by choice, I promise to never talk to you about it or ask you about yours. I could care less about whether you rip off your wife’s undies. I care about you finding terrorists, pulling down their underwear, and shoving the flags of freedom and democracy up their hides until they surrender.




BCA Corruption–A new vote

Monday, October 29th, 2007


321-332-6830 is the phone number for PayPerPost. Ted Murphy is the President of the company, and Ashley Edwards is his (Ashley is a guy) deputy, or the corporate equivalent thereof.

[email protected] [email protected]

In the last two weeks I have traveled to several cities around the country. I have met several Presidential candidates, Senators, and firebrand columnist Ann Coulter. I have prayed for peace, supported the war, and disrupted a peace rally.

I have partied on Halloween, been active in my Jewish community, played softball and football, and hurled epithets at the ineptness that is the offense of the Oakland Raiders.

I have called my family and let them know I love them, and let the world know that I live in Los Angeles, not San Diego. I have made sure that my friends in San Diego are safe.

In short, I have been busy. I understand that the world does not revolve around me, and that there are so many more important issues than anything I am dealing with. Nevertheless, the one place where my world is paramount is my blog. That is why it is my blog. Others can choose to have any opinions as they see fit, but it is not theirs.

I say this because the one thing I will never compromise on my blog is my integrity. If others visit my blog, they must conduct themselves with integrity as well. It is in this vein that I once again hammer home the point that I have been the victim of voting fraud courtesy of PayPerPost, which is putting on PostieCON, aka the Bloggers Choice Awards.

Rather than rehash the entire version of how CEO Ted Murphy and his flawed voting system cheated me out of a possible victory for best political blog in favor of left wing hate site Daily Kos, the link to that is below.

I want to state that Mr. Murphy likes to hide behind emails, keeping his company’s phone number hidden. However, he did enter the Tygrrrr’s den. He left comments on my blog to defend himself. I genuinely respect that he did that. As I said, I would have preferred a phone call, but while he is no President Bush, I am certainly not going to be Cindy Sheehan following him around. I am too busy. He visited my blog, and that took some guts. His comments are in the comments section of the link above.

Unfortunately, while I respect his showing up, that is the only thing I respect about how his company has conducted the entire affair behind the voting. His answers may have been sincere in the sense that he believed the words coming out of his mouth, but they were not satisfactory.

He does not want to accept that his voting system is flawed. Even if he is legally on solid ground, which is highly debatable, his voting system is broken.

I do not think he is evil. No he did not wake up and decided to conspire against me. As for whether or not this is political, and that Daily Kos had something to do with it, I have no proof. What I think is that he is a man desperately trying to put on a successful event, and he does not want anything to tarnish the event.

The problem is when you hide sewage problems, or rat infestation, or any other structural deficiencies, they could come to light at the worst possible time. Corporate ethics requires confronting problems head on, and creating a stronger product or service. Tylenol did this in 1982 when their product was tampered with. Other companies choose to stick their heads in the sand, or up their collective hides. It does not work. When trust is shattered, companies perish.

Mr. Murphy did acknowledge that I had concerns, but he is not willing to actually do anything about them, unless sending me a “package” to promote himself and his company is a solution.

I wanted him to publicly acknowledge the flaw in his voting system that recorded a large percentage of my votes being declared invalid because they came from the same IP address. They were from my coworkers, the votes were from separate office computers with different IP addresses. The company bundles all email into one IP address before it is released to the world. The amount of time it would take to verify this would be almost nil, but Mr. Murphy simply does not want to be bothered because it would expose a flaw. So what? Isn’t refusing to fix a flaw worse?

Therefore, in the spirit that is America, and with the help of many wonderful people, I am declaring a new vote that I am sure Mr. Murphy will be interested in.

The pictures above represent concepts for t-shirts that I will have printed up and distributed at PostieCON. If it is illegal to sell them, I can just donate them. I am sure Mr. Murphy will be consulting with his legal counsel on how to stop this, but he will lose.

So should he be superimposed with the weasel holding the convict sign? Should he be morphed into the Liar Liar billboard? Or should he wear the sports jersey that represents what this whole voting process has become, aka criminal?

For those of you who fear reprisals, feel free to contact me personally rather than leave comments on my blog.

Which ever t-shirt concept gets the most votes will be the one I will wear to PostieCON.

Please take until Thursday to do this, since time needs to be made to create the t-shirts and get them to the appropriate locations.

This is one vote that PayPerPost cannot screw up. Daily Kos cannot stop it. Also, since I will be tallying the votes, rather than Mr. Murphy or Daily Kos, the process will have integrity.

I always like wearing new t-shirts.

Also, it turns out the REAL prestigious bloggers convention in Vegas is Wednesday  November 7th through Friday the 9th. Mr. Murphy scheduled his lower tier convention on Saturday the 10th to create an apparent linkage. There is none. That is not weaselly. It is just marketing.

As for Mr. Murphy himself, my only comment is from the late Elvis Presley, who it turns out voted in the Bloggers Choice Awards for the Daily Kos (just kidding).

“Viva Las Vegas…Thank you very much.”

See you in Vegas. What happens there will not stay there.

It’s now officially Postie…C…ON!


NFL 2007–Week 8 Recap

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Fresh off of scoring a touchdown last week in the coed touch league I am in, I was unable to expand on my greatness. This weekend’s game was rained out. Actually, I did not get confirmation of that, but it is ugly outside, so I am going to give myself an extra bye week to rest up. Besides, Halloween season started on Friday, and that takes time.

Nevertheless, the NFL players make the big bucks because they are manlier than I am. They play in bad weather, unlike sissies who play other sports. Also, because of some stupid baseball game, there is no late game on Sunday night. I just hope the baseball game ends before Monday Night Football starts. After 24 hours, the umpire has to say, “enough foul tips, either hit it straight or you’re out.”

Below is the recap for week 8 in the NFL.

Indianapolis Colts @ Carolina Panthers–One of the storylines would be if Indy would be caught looking ahead to next week’s showdown with the Brady Bunch. An unrelated storyline was whether Vinny Testaverde would be legally allowed to collect social security while playing quarterback. Hey, they guy can still play at a high enough level. Carolina attempted to simply keep the Colts offense off the field altogether. An 18 play 11 minute drive led to a touchdown and a 7-0 Panthers lead. With the panthers leading 7-3, an opportunity was squandered when Testaverde threw an interception in the end zone. Had the Panthers gone up 14-3, they would have had a shot. The Colts offense was stifled and out of sync for most of the first half, but Peyton Manning executed the two minute drill to perfection, leading to a touchdown and a 10-7 Colts lead at the half. A Touchdown pass from Manning to Joseph Addai on the first drive of the third quarter put Indy up 17-7. The Colts rolled from there. 31-7 Colts

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears–Either the Bears are th at bad, or the Lions are not that bad. The Lions led this black and blue slugfest 13-0 after three quarters. Brian Griese did his Rex Grossman impersonation by throwing 4 interceptions, 3 of them in the end zone, killing drives. His last one sent Chicago down to defeat. The defending NFC champs are 3-5. Even more shocking, the Lions are 5-2. 16-7 Lions

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals–Two years ago Cincinnati went into Pittsburgh, torched the Steelers, and ended 15 years of futility by winning the division and announcing they were the new kings on the block. That ended a few weeks later when Pittsburgh went into Cincy, and thrashed them on their way to a Super Bowl title. The Steelers are still good and the Bengals are still bad. Water is wet. Pittsburgh bullied their kid brothers for a 21-6 lead after 3 quarters. However, an 8 minute drive by the Bengals cut the gap to 21-13 early in the fourth quarter. It was not enough, as a field goal with 6 minutes left locked up the win for Pittsburgh. 24-13 Steelers

New York Giants @ Miami Dolphins–Miami and New York flew all the way to England to play the first professional football game outside of North America. Even though Miami was playing, it was still considered pro football. Then again, even Miami is more interesting than watching soccer. For those interested in useless statistics, this was the first pro football game played in a stadium named after a character on Fraggle Rock, in this case Wembley.

By American football standards, this game was 3-0 Giants late in the second quarter. However, by soccer standards, that is an explosion of offense. The game was played in a driving rain, making both teams think they were playing Seattle.

As for the game itself, Miami lived up to their billing by having their first two possessions end in a missed field goal and a fumble. Just before the half, Eli Manning ran for a touchdown and a 10-0 Giants lead. The Giants led 13-3 late in the game. Perhaps in keeping tradition with soccer, the teams kept the game as boring as possible to please the fans. Or to be fair, the Giants have a stifling defense, and a muddy field contributed. Miami did score a touchdown with 1:54 left, but the onsides kick went out of bounds. Eli Manning threw for 58 total yards, and that is enough to beat the only NFL team to lose a game on two continents. Before the game the announcer sang “God Save the Queen.” Apparently praying for the Dolphins is asking for too much, as they remain winless. The Giants have won 6 in a row. 13-10 Giants

Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings–This was the Walrus Protege Bowl, with both teams coached by Mike Holmgren disciples. While Reid is every bit as much of a walrus as Holmgren, Brad Childress does not merit the Koo Koo Ke Choo anthem due to his being thin by comparison. Also, he is bald, which may or may not be relevant to the Walrus debate. More importantly, a pair of 2-4 teams were desperate for a win. Donovan McNabb had 333 yards passing, and Philly led 20-10 after 3 quarters, and while a couple field goals cut the gap to 7 points, Minnesota punted with 3 1/2 minutes left. Minnesota did get the ball back, but a 64 yard punt was inexplicably fielded at the one yard line. Minnesota started from their own 9 yard line with 15 seconds left. Then again, after the Eagles collapse against Chicago a week earlier. Nevertheless, one west coast pass later, the game was over. 23-16 Eagles

Cleveland Browns @ St Louis Rams–While this was an exciting game from a competition standpoint, one bad team and one awful team tend to get less coverage than games that matter. A see-saw back and forth game had Cleveland up 24-20 over the Rams after three quarters. Down by 7, with one minute left, a 3rd and 20 from their own 13 was reduced to 4th and 5, where an incomplete pass was offset by defensive pass interference. Cleveland then jumped offsides. They had 14 penalties for 101 yards, one more than Oakland. Yet unlike Oakland, they were winning. Bulger was intercepted on the next play, and the only Rams turnover on the day sealed the loss, as the Rams fell to 0-8. At least they have one less loss in Europe than Miami. Cleveland is a very quiet 4-3. 27-20 Browns

Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans–The game of the day meant a trip to the Superbowl five years ago. Much has changed. The Raiders defense played well for much of the first quarter, and Vince Young had few running lanes. Seabass kicked a field goal on the first drive from 50 yards out. Unfortunately, Daunte Culpepper looked very slow. Yes, the Titans have an aggressive defense, but a few years ago Culpepper would have escaped. He had several passes deflected, and he fumbled once inside his own 5 yard line. Luckily the offensive line bailed him out. He threw some dangerous passes that miraculously fell incomplete.

Tennessee has Rob Bironas, who bailed them out in a history making way last week. This week his 35 yard field goal tied the game up at 3-3. Seabass responded with a 43 yarder to put the Raiders up 6-3. A 54 yard field goal right before the half put the Raiders up 9-3 at the half.

One of the things the Raiders did in the first half was convert some critical third downs. The Raiders led in first down by the exact score of the game, 9-3. Tennessee had none in the second quarter. The 10th Raiders first down was impressive as Culpepper ran on 3rd down and 9, making it to the sideline past the marker.

Unfortunately, the running backs had less success running. Albert Haynesworth dominated Robert Gallery, frustrating Lamont Jordan. Also, the Tennessee 46 defense stacked the run. Justin Fargas had some modest success. Oakland inexplicably threw one of those despised west coast passes short of the marker, ending a promising drive. Lechler’s punt was inexplicably fair caught at the 5 yard line. Tennessee moved the ball into Oakland territory before a sack of Young coupled with a penalty for him spiking the ball pushed Tennessee out of field goal range, even for the superhuman Bironas.

One of the reasons the Raiders lose games is because the defense gets tired from being on the field all game. The Raiders converted a 3rd and 17, only to have it nullified by a penalty. They kicked field goals rather than score touchdowns. Yes, they were winning, but they were one touchdown away from losing. The key to the game would be if the defense could hold up with virtually no help. When Lendale White is running for big gains, there is something wrong. As predicted, Tennessee scored a touchdown for a 10-9 lead, which for the Raiders offense is often insurmountable. In addition, the Raiders, who had cut down on penalties this year, were flagged throughout the day.

With 12 minutes left in the game, Oakland faced 3rd down and 20 for the umpteenth time. Culpepper was sacked, fumbled, and had one of his many almost disasters finally become an actual disaster. Tennessee recovered inside the Oakland 10. The Oakland defense did everything it could to wilt and give up a touchdown, but two dropped passes somehow led to a field goal and a major dodged bullet. The Raiders were only down 13-9, but unfortunately their offense had to go back on the field.

On the next series, Culpepper fumbled the ball on the first play, and somehow Lamont Jordan recovered it for a four yard gain. However, on the next running play, a three yard loss set up another 3rd and a Tennessee country mile. They should have just punted on 3rd down and taken the offense behind the barn and shot them. Shane Lechler had a 70 yard punt. Yes, he is fabulous. His accomplishments would be more appreciated if the entire offense was not worthless.

With 5 1/2 minutes to go from their own 13 yard line, Culpepper was sacked. A ray of hope came in the form of a 15 yard face mask penalty against Tennessee. That in Raiderland is what the team calls offense. The Raiders kept the ball on the ground, and a critical 3rd and 3 was converted on the ground. So with the team moving effectively running the ball, the team naturally had Culpepper throw a deep ball into coverage that was intercepted with 2 1/2 minutes left.

Tennessee was inside their own 10 yard line, and the Raiders had all their timeouts left. Tennessee then did a Raiders impression by fumbling the snap, but Vince Young fell on it. The Raiders got the ball back with no timeouts, but 2:12 seconds on the clock. Also, they started on their own 47 yard line. They officially had every chance in the world to win. A pass to Ronald Curry got the ball to the Titans 26 yard line at the 2 minute warning. Again, the Raiders had every chance to win this game.

A false start gave the Raiders 14 penalties for 100 yards. Culpepper was then sacked for 2nd and 19. On 4th and 14 with 1:21 left from the Tennessee 35, Culpepper threw a pass to Mike Williams beyond the marker that was perfectly thrown. Williams dropped it. The Raiders lost. A disgusted Warren Sapp looked like he was going to punch somebody. He should have started with the entire offense. Given how pathetic they are, he might be able to take them singlehandedly. After all, he has heart and they don’t. 13-9 Titans

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets–49 states probably watched a better game than this game. It was 3-3 after 3 quarters. With the Bills leading 6-3 in the fourth quarter, it was a game of backup quarterbacks. Chad Pennington was benched, and Trent Edwards was injured. J.P. Losman made the play of the game…the only play of this dreadful game…with an 85 yard touchdown bomb for a touchdown with under 4 minutes remaining. 13-3 Bills

Houston Texans @ San Diego Chargers–With everything the City of San Diego has been through, I maintain that playing this game in Qualcomm Stadium was the right thing to do. The entire NFL, as always, pitched in. Blood drives were done before the game. Governor Schwarzenegger flipped the opening coin toss. As for the game, two very big plays started the San Diego machine rolling. A 50 yard touchdown pass by Philip Rivers to Antonio Gates made it 7-0. On Houston’s next series, a simple punt became a disaster. The snap sailed over punter Matt Turk’s head into the end zone for what looked like a sure safety. However, Turk, with nobody around him, compounded the problem by tripping and failing to fall on the ball, or even bat it out of the end zone. Antonio Cromartie fell on it for a gift touchdown and a 14-0 Chargers lead. On the next series, a Houston running back named Echemandu ripped off a 20 yard gain. If his name sounds familiar, it is because he was very impressive for the Raiders during the pre-season. It was good to see he landed somewhere.The Texans had the ball for 12 minutes in the first quarter, yet trailed by two touchdowns. Cromartie also returned an interception of Matt Schaub 69 yards for a touchdown. The Texans had 5 turnovers on the day.

Several San Diego players had damage to their homes, and they played like they personally blamed the Texans for causing the carnage. They led 35-3 at the break. Like the NY Giants after 9/11 and the Saints after Katrina, San Diego had emotion fueling them. Also, they are an overwhelmingly talented team. The Chargers failed to score in the second half, but one can forgive their boredom. There would be no miracle comeback for the Texans, even though Sage Rosenfels entered the game. The only hope for San Diego at this point is that the Chargers remain on fire while the rest of San Diego heals from the devastation of the flames that burned through their beautiful city. In the movie Anchorman, Will Ferrell’s character Ron Burgundy kept saying, “Stay classy San Diego.” Today, they did. A classy performance by the team and a classy show of resolve by the city was punctuated with a win. 35-10 Chargers

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers–This game started out as Buc Ball, but it was the Jags playing it. They pounded the rock down the throats of Monte Kiffin’s defense for one touchdown, and intercepted a Jeff Garcia pass for another touchdown. However, down 17-3, Garcia threw a gorgeous 58 yard touchdown pass to Joey Galloway to cut the deficit in half. Garcia is one tough hombre. He got blasted at the end of the first half, lost his helmet, and somehow remained conscious. Down by four at the half, he led the Bucs back. 20 straight points had Tampa Bay up 23-17, when Jacksonville retook the lead with 12 minutes left. Both defenses made critical stops throughout the game, and a sack by the Bucs forced the Jags to punt from deep in their own territory at the 2 minute warning.

With 1:43 to play, the Bucs started from their own 34 with no timeouts. On 3rd and 10 from the Jacksonville 45, Garcia went for the long ball and overthrew a wide open receiver. On 4th and 10, several things happened on one play. Garcia threw a pass to Ike Hilliard that looked like it was caught for a first down. However, in mid air, Hilliard was belted. The ball popped into the air, and was intercepted by Reggie Nelson. Nelson was then quickly tackled by his own player to keep from running and fumbling it back. It was a smart play. Nevertheless, very curious play calling by the Buccaneers left people scratching their heads. Yes, Coach John Gruden looks like a genius if the pass on 3rd down is caught. However, the Bucs only needed several yards or so for a long field goal attempt. On 4th down, it would have been a 62 yard kick, and although Matt Bryant made one from that distance to beat Philly, it was wise to go for it on 4th down. Jack Del Rio keeps telling his players to “keep chopping wood.” They scratch and claw, and today, that was enough. 24-23 Jaguars.

Washington Redskins @ New England Patriots–In an attempt to create a storyline, the Redskins were the only team Tom Brady had never beaten. Of course, these teams play every 4 years. meaning Tom Brady has only played them once. Knowing Bill Bellichick, he probably told the team that Brady’s career would be a failure if the Pats lost this game, since it might be his very last chance against them. Such is the way a master motivator tries to fire up a team for a barely meaningful interconference game. The real showdown is next week when they play Indy.

The Patriots jumped to a 14-0 lead, and football rules required that the game continue. In short, the Redskins were blasted into little itty bitty pieces. Bill Bellichick will most likely say that Tom Brady has never beaten the Redskins in Washington, DC, and that he expects better. Nevertheless, even he will have a tough time finding flaws with this one. He will let the players enjoy it before focusing on the showdown next week.

The Patriots led 45-0 when apparently it was learned that New England has a backup quarterback. He scored a touchdown to make it 52-0. With three minutes left, the Redskins scored a touchdown. After a moment of panic and berating his team, Bellichick decided not to put the first stringers back in the game. Brady had 5 touchdowns, three in the air and two on the ground. Linebacker Mike Vrabel forced three fumbles, and caught a touchdown pass on offense. 52-7 Patriots

New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers–The Saints are quietly creeping back into contention after a horrendous start to the season. The 49ers remain overrated. Drew Brees had two touchdown passes in each half, and the Saints led 17-0 at the break. They coasted to a win, as Brees kept firing. 31-10 Saints

Green Bay Packers @ Denver Broncos was the Monday night game. The Broncos needed an actual drive taking several minutes and several plays to take a 7-0 lead. Brett Favre needed one play. A touchdown bomb tied the game 7-7, and after 17 seasons he still has a cannon. Jay Cutler shows flashes of brilliance, but let’s check back in 5 years, much less 15 years. In one of the more bizarre occurrences in football, the Packers had a 98 yard drive that only led to a field goal, going from their own one to the Denver one. Both teams broke down in the red zone, with Denver fumbling the ball away at the Green Bay one yard line.

Down 13-10, Denver drove down the field and got near the Green Bay goal line with seconds left. Unable to get into the end zone, the Broncos tried to kick a field goal in a haphazard fashion. It worked in the opening week of the season, and it worked again. Jason Elam has icewater in his veins, and the game went into overtime. The Packers got the ball first, and were unable to maintain a long, sustained drive. Unfortunately for the Broncos, this is because the Packers, led by Brett Favre,  just like in the first quarter, needed only one play. The coin had barely been flipped when an 82 yard touchdown bomb ended the game in front of a shellshocked Denver crowd. Green Bay is 6-1, but the real story is that Brett Favre will never go to the Hall of Fame because at this rate he will never stop playing. At this rate, he should stick around. After all, the West Coast short passing game allows him to dink and dunk 82 yard bombs for touchdowns.  19-13 Packers

In early February we play the Superbowl. The following week we play the Pro Bowl. Next week, we play both. In the 1970s the Steelers battled the Raiders. In the 1990s the Cowboys and 49ers slugged it out. The 21st century brings the Colts versus the Patriots.

The season is half over, but the preview of the AFC title game is on the horizon.7 days to go…let’s get it on!


My Meeting Ann Coulter

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

On Wednesday, September 24th, 2007, I met Ann Coulter on the University of Southern California campus.

The circumstances surrounding her arrival are in conjunction with this past week being declared “Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week” around the country. Ms. Coulter was a guest of the Trojan Republicans. There were several dynamics at play with regards to her visit.

The first dynamic was Ms. Coulter herself. I recently attended a function where five Presidential candidates were speaking, and there was less security than at this event.

The second dynamic were the various protesters. Always a volatile bunch, observing them is as much of a learning experience as observing Ms. Coulter.

The third dynamic was the message itself. Some would say that Ms. Coulter is a flawed messenger, and that automatically invalidates her message. Others disagree, saying that the message is still valid. Others say she and the message are both fantastic. As for the protesters, some would say that the protesters offer irrelevant tangents, and those tangents, often despicable, render their protests themselves irrelevant. Others say the protests are valid despite the protesters. An incredible shrinking minority, based on what I saw at USC, supported the protesters and their message.

Again, in the spirit of liberalism, I will address this in a backwards way, starting with the protesters. I made it to the campus just in time to hear Ms. Coulter speak. However, I could not get in due to the building being packed to capacity. The fire marshals, who I believe to be non-partisan, were not allowing anybody else in. If people left, the only others allowed in were students that needed to go to class. Police officers would escort them to class to make sure they were actually doing that.

I want to say that not all protesters are mindless imbeciles that have no idea what they are talking about. However, a decent number of these protesters fit perfectly into that category. I want to make it clear that the protesters numbered between 30 and 50 people, or about 1/10 of 1% of the campus population. Also, maybe half to 3/5 of the protesters were actually students. Some of them were 1960s relics still fighting the battles of the past.

The protesters apparently went to public school, because their signs were often spelled incorrectly. In addition, the largest sign stated, “Say no to Islamofacism week, no to bigotry, no to war, and no to military recruiters.” The speakers ranged from the giggly teenager who kept forgetting her lines, where she would awkwardly pause and quietly say the word “fascism,” to the white haired, scruffy, 50 year old leftist who wanted to rail against Western Civilization and criticize politicians whose only sin seems to be trying to stop people from wanting to blow up Western Civilization.

Many of the signs said, “Christians, Jews and Muslims United.” The speakers then went on to spew some of the most virulently antisemitic venom I have heard since…well, the last leftist “peace” rally. Zionism, the illegal Israeli occupation, the Neocons, the Brownshirts, Hitler, Halliburton, and the warmongers were all wrapped up into several incoherent paragraphs.

The thing about these protesters is that many of them were either too stubborn or too idiotic to realize that many people who are against the war are embarrassed to be seen with these people. The country is deeply split on the war, but Coulter fans outnumbered protesters by more than 10 to 1.

The protesters wailed about how their freedoms were being taken away and their liberties were being trampled on by the Bush Administration. Apparently, this was never communicated to the police officers, who, despite my heartfelt pleas, refused to teargas any of them. The protesters simply refused to try and engage in any acts of violence that would trigger the ire of the law. Some would say that it would make no sense for the police to act without provocation, but I thought this was America, where the police randomly beat people up for no reason, not some rinky dink 3rd world Middle Eastern theocracy where everything is hearts and flowers.

Various decent human beings were attacked one by one, from David Horowitz to Daniel Pipes to Norman Podhoretz. Yes, they are Neocons, but I will not print the lines of attacks launched against these men.

Nevertheless, after enough antisemitism to last a lifetime, I smiled, and asked for the right to speak. Given that my hair is slightly past my collar, they profiled me and treated me as one of their own. I spoke for almost 5 minutes, and at no time did they try to shout me down.

“Hello. My name is Eric, and my father is a Holocaust survivor. He entered this world getting shot at. My family lived on the run in the woods like animals. They were hunted like dogs. Other family members of mine were murdered. It was a brutal atrocity that nobody should ever have to experience.

So for those of you today who preach peace, and love, and kindness, you need to understand that there is not one single politician in the United States that even comes close to being anywhere near as evil as Adolf Hitler. To compare anyone today in America to Hitler is disgusting, and it is as wrong factually as it is morally.

If I hear anybody refer to Hillary as ‘Hitlery,” I will condemn it. If I hear President Bush or Vice President Cheney compared to Hitler, I will condemn it as well.

You claim that your freedoms and liberties are being taken away, and your right to dissent is being crushed. You are protesting right now, and nobody is stopping you. To refer to anyone in America as a Brownshirt or a Nazi only weakens your cause. There are thousands of people on this campus who might agree with you about the war, but they are not here with you because your methods push them away.

You need to look inside yourselves and ask yourselves if you really believe in peace for Christians, Muslims and Jews United, as your signs claim. If that is the case, do not use language that is vicious towards Jews, since it will just push them away, and it is wrong.

You have the right to free speech, and the right to find aspects of the war disgusting. I have the right to tell you that if you do not stop using disgusting language yourself, you will be no better than the people you claim to hate.

It is up to you. Be good human beings. Understand that the President did not fly planes into the towers, and he did not murder 6 million Jews in cold blood. Good human beings can disagree about the war, but do not compare anybody in America to Adolf Hitler.”

There were two things I did not mention, because it would have been overkill. I did not mention that people who spell their signs wrong come across as uneducated baboons. I also did not mention that it is almost laughable to listen to protesters say that America is raping the environment, and then have these same protesters leave their signs on the grass to ruin it.

Nevertheless, I was shocked by what transpired next. A few of the protesters came up to me and apologized for invoking Hitler and Nazism. More importantly, these were not mealy mouthed comments about how such language was “not helpful.” “Not helpful” is code for, “If it was helpful, we would be even more hateful.” No, these apologies were sincere. They clearly understood why such language was awful. A couple of them tried to say it was a parallel, that we went to war with such reckless abandon in the same way 1930s Germany went to war, but I was having none of this specious argument. I again explained to them that there was zero comparison between the two situations, and it was morally reprehensible to suggest a link. It is quite possible that a couple hearts were changed, and for the better.

A couple of the police officers told me how much they appreciated my words. They were so appreciative that they let me into the building to see Ms. Coulter. Her speech was almost over, so I missed most of it. Yet I was inside, while the others were outside. A second hand account from others would be filtered through too many lenses. She kept her remarks for the most part to the topic at hand, that being Islamofacism.

I bought her book because I wanted to meet her. I have said in the past that while I agree with much of what she says, her approach makes me “uncomfortable.” I have on more than one occasion stated that “if her goal is to get rich, she is a genius. If her goal is to make the world a better place, her approach may make things worse.” In fairness to Ms. Coulter, I do not ever recall her hearing that her goal was to make the world a better place. I have to confess that I honestly do not know what her agenda is. I find it difficult to judge whether her methods are successful when I do not know what the ends to her means are.

I bought her book, and wanted to see for myself what some of her more “controversial” remarks were. My plan was to read some of them before having her autographing my book. However, in a bizarre twist of fate, I went from being on the outside looking in to being one of the first 15 people in line. I decided to observe how she interacted with her fans. While I figured she would be nice, there are plenty of celebrities who have people herded through a line in rapid fire like sheep. Smile, click the picture, and get lost.

Regardless of what one’s political views are, the only way to describe Ann Coulter’s behavior towards the people she met was lovely. She was fabulous. I expected her to be nice, but she took several minutes with each person. Nice was an understatement. Some people smile for the camera and then are abusive when the cameras are off. Barbra Streisand is famous for screaming at her staff. Ms. Coulter was the opposite.

When it was my turn, I said, “Hi Ms. Coulter, my name is Eric.”

She replied, “Hi Eric, it’s nice to meet you!,” in a big booming, yet almost “girly” voice. It reminded me of an excited junior high school girl, and I mean that in a positive way in the sense that I was the one who was supposed to be excited, not her.

I said to her, “Ms. Coulter, you were great at Hannity’s Freedom Concert on 9/11.”

She asked, “You were at that concert? Wasn’t that a great concert? I had so much fun!”

I told her, “I deliberately flew on 9/11 to New York because that was my way of fighting back. I got on a plane and attended the Freedom Concert.”

She thundered, “That is fabulous that you flew on 9/11! That is fabulous!”

I told her,”The joke you made about Hillary Clinton and the NASA female astronaut was hilarious.”

She replied, “Thank you! I especially liked that one as well.”

I said, “I was actually in the front row, but I was drowned out by the marriage proposals.”

She laughed again.

At that point I turned serious, but still respectful. I was not going to grill her, because that was not the time and place. I missed the Q & A, and I am not going to abuse somebody, especially somebody being that gracious. I phrased my question delicately.

“Ms Coulter, I am a conservative republican, but I am also Jewish. Were your recent remarks taken out of context?”

She responded emphatically, but still in a friendly manner. There was no trace of anger. She stated, “Not taken out of context…lied about. I was completely lied about.”

I then responded, “Well Ms. Coulter, I refuse to judge you in a vacuum. I have never heard anything in your career that rises to antisemitism, and you have always come across as Pro-Israel.”

Some people see Ms. Coulter as inhuman, but she is a person, and she showed genuine human emotion as she said, “Thank you. I appreciate you saying that.”

I then continued. “May I ask you a favor though? Can you please explain the importance of Israel to Alan Colmes? He is Jewish, and he doesn’t get it.”

She let out a big laugh, and said, “I know, isn’t that ironic? I explain it to him, and I get attacked. I’ll keep trying.”

I wanted to be considerate of the people in the line, because she seemed like she would continue talking to each person.

“Ms. Coulter, I know you are against human cloning, but if you ever do get cloned as a Jewish person, my friends and I can go to the jewelry store and add to your endless list of marriage proposals.

She laughed again.

I walked away, and realized I had completely forgotten about the picture. I did not have a camera with me, but remembered my cell phone took pictures. I had no idea how to work it, but somebody else did. I said to her, “I must have been star struck. I forgot to get a picture with you.”

She laughed again, and somebody took the picture. It shows up as a giant red “X,” which means either “el dorko” messed it up totally, or one of my techie friends will convert it into some file thingie or something. I told her to “keep fighting the good fight.”

I walked away feeling that she was significantly warmer than she is projected on television, but also that she is the one projecting herself that way. I also felt that if she was an antisemite, I did not see that. I wonder if the people who feel she is antisemitic would be willing to condemn the remarks the protesters made outside, which were virulently antisemitic.

I decided to read the first few pages of her book, to see what comments she had made were considered “controversial.”

She referred to “that old Arab Helen Thomas.” I have zero problems with this comment. Helen Thomas is hostile towards Jewish issues and Israel. She is a Palestinian sympathizer. She has overstayed her welcome for several decades, and because she has seniority, nobody wants to question the quality of her work.

She called Katie Couric, “the affable Eva Braun of morning tv.” Does calling someone Eva Braun link the person to Hitler? An argument can be made either way. Eva Braun loved an evil man, but I am not aware of her individual evil. However, it was not a good choice of words. Nevertheless, Katie Couric will smile at you sweetly, and then viciously slice you up. Ann’s point is valid.

The common thread running through Ann Coulter’s comments is that even when her comments supposedly, “cross the line,” the underlying point beneath the comments is usually very sound…and right. The problem is people focus on the “joke,” rather than the point itself. This is how Ann Coulter can turn away people who would otherwise agree with her.

One point Ann Coulter makes that is completely valid is that the democrats use spokespeople that are “beyond reproach.” They cannot be criticized. This is nothing more than an attempt to silence dissent, and conservatives in general.

Cindy Sheehan is a grieving mother, so she cannot be criticized. Her right to speak is “absolute,” even though she is not God. John Kerry and Max Cleland went to war, so they cannot be criticized. The 9/11 widows lost their husbands, so they cannot be criticized. When these people get disputed, democrats then trot out children, handicapped people, or both. Christopher Reeve was in a wheelchair, so he cannot be criticized. Michael J. Fox has Parkinson’s disease, so he cannot be criticized. Ann Coulter sees the left as trying to stifle debate by focusing on emotions instead of reasoning and facts.

Here are some facts.

Michael J. Fox was dishonest when he spoke about stem cell research. He did not differentiate adult vs embryonic, and stated that it was banned, which was untrue.

Christopher Reeve would not have been cured by embryonic stem cell research based on what we know now. Also, His injuries were a direct result of his own reckless behavior.

John Kerry and Max Cleland both had injuries that were self inflicted. Also, their being in combat does not give them the right to denigrate anyone else for not serving due to draft deferments. It also does not make them the final authority on war issues, since many veterans disagree with them.

Cindy Sheehan is a grieving mother. Other grieving mothers disagree with her, and they do so without the latent antisemitism that popularizes the modern left.

The 9/11 widows entered the political arena and bashed the President. The President was horrified by 9/11, and his supporters had every right to say that those four women did not represent all, or even a plurality, of 9/11 widows.

What Ann Coulter does not do is mitigate her comments with sympathy. She is not required to do so. She could make perfunctory statements about how her heart goes out to Michael J. Fox for being sick, for Christopher Reeve and Max Cleland being unable to walk, and for John Kerry and Max Cleland being heroes. So why does she not do it? I suspect, because she has “had it.” Heroes do not need to announce they are heroes, and victims confined to wheelchairs are given “heroic” status. Nobody wants to see people suffering, but she (and I) are tired of being told we are bad people because we disagree with someone who happens to be a victim of something tragic. So because of this, she comes across as icy and uncaring. I would prefer that to somebody who faked empathy, pretended to “feel my pain,” and bit my lower lip and shed a gentle tear on cue.

Where Ann Coulter causes controversy is the words she uses to make various points.

I did not find anything in her remarks about Max Cleland that crossed the line. She did not denigrate his service, nor that of John Kerry.

Her “Eva Braun” remark about Katie Couric made me uncomfortable, and it weakens her incredibly valid point about Katie Couric’s viciousness.

Her comments about 9/11 widows was 90% truth, and got overshadowed by a small part of her remarks. I have redacted her remarks for length, but here is what she said.

“The girls were not interested in national honor, they were interested in a lawsuit. They complained that the settlement was not large enough. After getting their payments jacked up, they took to the airwaves to denounce Bush. These self-obsessed women seemed genuinely unaware that 9/11 was an attack on our entire nation, not only them.”

So far, she is right. She continues.

“They are lionized on tv, reveling in their status as celebrities, and stalked by griefarazzis. I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.”

Yes, these women were self-absorbed. Yes, they enjoyed their fame. However, “enjoying,” their husbands death is harsh. Ann Coulter continues.

“They endorsed John Kerry for President. They complained about the Bush campaign using images from 9/11 in campaign ads, calling it ‘political propaganda,’ completely different from their campaign commercials for Kerry.”

Ann Coulter is totally right about this. Yet, she adds one more sentence.

“How do we know their husbands weren’t planning on divorcing these harpies?”

One of the reasons that “joke” flatlines with me is because it is not based on any truth or evidence.

Ann Coulter has had it with liberals lying, making up stories (still lying), exaggerating (again, lying), yet she offers wild speculation on this issue. Calling it a “joke” does not change that to pass the humor test, it has to have a basis in truth.

When she called John Edwards a word that rhymes with maggot, she explained that the word is used to describe childish behavior. I have heard people say, “that is so gay.” By gay, they mean “lame.” Dire Straits used the word in a song, although they later changed it. I would not use the word, because it is a pejorative for gays. She should not use it. However, trying to say she is anti-gay based on that remark is baloney. She was calling John Edwards a “pretty boy,” which he is. She should have called him a “girly boy,” or something to that effect.

She said we should “convert them to Christianity.” By them, she means Islamofascists, not all Muslims. Those who criticize her on this point criticize all of Islamofascist awareness week as racist, which it is not. The criticizers of this event also attacked Dr. Pipes, who has repeatedly emphasized the differences between radical and moderate Islam. Also, the left might want to be concerned that the terrorists want to convert all non-Muslims to Islam.  Ms. Coulter is merely retaliating.

As for the Jewish remarks, I was not thrilled by them, but her career has always been Pro-Israel, and that has to count.

Her most scathing remarks are when she calls Bill Clinton a rapist. Bill Clinton is an adulterer. He did sleep with Gennifer Flowers. He is a sexual harasser. He settled with Paula Jones. Monica Lewinsky was sexual harassment because they were not equals. He was her boss, and similar conduct at Boeing led to firings. He is a sexual predator, as his conduct with Kathleen Willey would indicate.

However, Juanita Broderick’s claims, to the best of my knowledge, were never proven. Therefore, he is an accused rapist at worst. Calling him a rapist is dicey. However, Bill Clinton is a liar, and when one lies, one then loses the benefit of the doubt on those issues. Bill Clinton is guilty until proven innocent in the court of public opinion (not legally) based on his past offenses. Therefore, Coulter calling him a rapist is not a stretch. However, I would still not use that word. He is a sexual predator and accused rapist. That is not much better, but it does not force a retraction if he turns out to be innocent on that specific charge.

I still do not know what to make of Ann Coulter. She is exceptionally bright, a self made millionaire, and a great speaker. She is also very personable, and yes, in person, warm.

She pushes boundaries, but so does Sarah Silverman. So does Chris Rock. So did Lenny Bruce. So did Richard Pryor. She is an entertainer, and she is controversial.

I am not sure where “the line,” is, but I have to say that in my mind she has crossed it at least once. However, that does not change the fact that her underlying points are insightful, brilliant, and in most cases, truthful.

Her style puts some people off. Her substance is deep. To ask that people focus only on her substance and ignore her style is not fair, since her style is one reason she has rocketed to fame. However, focusing only on her style and ignoring the substance of her remarks is intellectually dishonest. Also, many conservatives, including myself, have offered substance in a much “nicer” style. We get lambasted and lied about anyway.

I look at Ann Coulter as somebody who sees liberals lying about everything and anything conservative. Since they are going to lie anyway, why try to be gracious? Rather than be a victim, such as Robert Bork or Clarence Thomas, she would rather be an aggressor. She would rather deck them than be decked, and they would deck her just for being a conservative. Also, she gets rich and successful with her approach. Hillary Clinton does the same thing, but Hillary does it by lying, and yet she is the victim. There is a double standard.

As for Ann Coulter, is her approach worth it? She would say yes, some would say no. Based on her critics, more often than not, I am inclined to agree with her. Her methods are not mine, but maybe she does not need to soften up. Maybe I am a marshmallow, and should toughen up. After all, either way, liberals will hate us, so why play nice?

She is complex, and I am glad I met her.


RJC in DC–The Senators & the epilogue

Friday, October 26th, 2007

On October 16th, 2007, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson all spoke in Washington, DC, at the Republican Jewish Coalition 2008 Candidates Forum. Over the last several days, I have done write ups of all of them.


In addition, the RJC itself provides several invaluable links.

Before going any further, I want to acknowledge that Kansas Senator Sam Brownback also spoke to the group. I was late to the event due to traffic issues, and missed much of his speech, rendering me unable to give him an effective write up. Although he was out of the race within 48 hours of the event, I would again like to thank him for his decency, grace and class. Although he knew his days were numbered, he honored his commitment to speak at this forum, and he has always been a friend of Israel and the Jewish people. Kansas will be blessed if he is their Governor in 2010.

As previously stated, Mike Huckabee had a scheduling conflict. Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter were not invited due to their perceived long shot status. Rupaul was not invited because one has to like Jews AND Republicans to be invited. One out of two is not good enough, and he is not great on either. Lines have to be drawn, which is why Hillary, Obama, Edwards, Assad, and Armageddonijad were not invited.

No, I am not calling Rupaul or the demagoguic party candidates terrorists like the double-A brothers. I am simply stating that hostility towards issues that either Jews or republicans support renders one unfit to address this group. Shockingly enough, Armageddonijad supporters and Hillary supporters accepted this, rendering them more sane than Rupaul supporters, who felt the need to object to this. Sorry, but the RJC is not a Poison Ivy League University. We have standards.

There was an early morning women’s forum for all the female attendees, featuring the wives of all four top tier candidates. Jewish republican and rising star Linda Lingle, the Governor of Hawaii, was supposed to attend, but apparently there was a scheduling conflict as well.

During the two hour lunch, several U.S. Senators addressed the crowd.

The first Senator to speak was Mitch McConnell, the minority leader from Kentucky. He spoke for less than 5 minutes, but his reputation for being Pro-Israel is matched only by his reputation for being a master of parliamentary procedure. The one remark he made that got his point across crystal clearly was when he talked about being in the minority.

“They (democrats) won the Senate, but they don’t have 60 votes.”

Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon spoke of how he “learned about Israel on his dad’s knee.” His remarks were brief, but he made it clear that his Mormon faith meant a great to deal to him. He was unequivocal.

“Mormons stand with Israel.”

Senator Susan Collins of Maine spoke next, and the bulk of her remarks dealt with the War on Terror. Apparently, moderate republicans are not so moderate when it comes to keeping constituents from being innocently murdered. Nor should they be.

“We need to support, ‘If you see something, say something.'”

“The Fort Dix and the Flying Imams were apprehended because citizens spoke up.”

She emphasized that terrorists should not be able to use the threat of lawsuits to scare American citizens who want to do the right thing.

She repeatedly praised Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman for his support on the War on Terror.

No, Senator Lieberman was not at this event. I personally honor and respect his steadfast commitment to the War, and to Israel, but he is wrong on virtually everything else. His being an Orthodox Jew does not change the fact that he votes with the democrats 90% of the time, and just because the left chooses to ignore his record does not mean we should be so quick to embrace a man who almost became the Vice President as a democrat. I want to see who he supports in 2008, since this was the 2008 forum for republican Jews. Nevertheless, he is fabulous on this issue.

Senator Collins continued by saying that, “The best border security cannot stop home grown terrorism.”

I spoke to her after her remarks for a couple minutes, and she was very friendly.

The next speaker was Senator John Ensign of Nevada. He is one of the main party strategists, and he spoke the longest of the Senators. His remarks dealt mainly with the other candidates. Yes, he does resemble John O’Hurley (J. Pederman from Seinfeld, and himself on Dancing with the Stars), but his message is serious and important. He even took on one of the Presidential candidates, and successfully.

“McCain-Feingold was one of the worst pieces of legislation. It only hid the money. We should take all limits and remove them.”

“Republicans are defending 22 seats. Democrats are only defending 12 seats.”

“Gordon Smith, John Sununu (New Hampshire), Susan Collins, and Norm Coleman are the most vulnerable.”

“Pete Domenici (New Mexico), John Warner (Virginia), and Chuck Hagel (Nebraska) are all retiring.” The audience cheered the retirement of Hagel.

“Colorado is pro-business, pro-gun, pro-death penalty. The democratic candidate is not.”

“In New Jersey, Frank Lautenberg is approaching 90.”

“Mary Landrieu in Louisiana is our top target.”

“Tim Johnson in South Dakota is available to be beaten.”

Senator Ensign concluded with some red meat.

“I’m not interested in the civil liberties of foreign terrorists.”

“We must protect Israel, enact the FISA Law, and do whatever it takes.”

I met Senator Ensign afterwards for a couple minutes, and he was also very genial.

Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota was the last one to speak. I had met him at at the Ronald Reagan library in the summer of 2006. He was warm and genial back then. He is a Jewish republican himself, and a friend of the RJC. I thanked him for his service and support of Israel and the War on Terror. I then asked him if I could give him a line that he could use if he liked it. He said yes.

“Trusting the democrats to run congress is liking trusting your children on a boat party with the Minnesota Vikings.” He laughed, and said he liked it. For the record, nobody parties like a Minnesota Viking.

Senator Coleman mixed the serious with the less serious in his remarks.

“President George W. Bush is the strongest friend of Israel.”

“Al Franken (who is competing in the democratic primary to unseat Senator Coleman) needs ‘Extreme Makeover, Satire.'” He rightly pointed out that what Al Franken refers to as satire, many people simply see as being mean and nasty.

“It doesn’t take a genius to tear things down. Gravity works.”

“We ignored Hitler. When Armageddonijad (my spelling) speaks, listen to him.”

“5000 years…It’s not what happens to you. It’s how you react.”

A good part of his remarks were dedicated to the tragedy of the Minnesota bridge collapse. He was poignant, and made it clear that his religious faith helped sustain him during those tough times. He reminded the audience that just because it is not in the news, the recovery will take plenty of time. Whether it is the War on Terror or a collapsing bridge, Norm Coleman gets the big picture. His toughness is mixed with a significant amount of warmth. He is a genuinely kind man, and he was truly beloved in the room.

Senator Coleman stayed and mingled with the crowd for a significant amount of time. I told him where I had met him before, and that I was praying for him and his family, as well as the people of Minnesota. I had a friend who drove on the bridge two hours before it collapsed, and thank God he was far away when it gave way.

I  then asked if I could ask him another lighthearted question, and he said yes again. I normally ask serious questions, but something about him makes me see him as somebody I can be slightly lighthearted with.

“Senator, between you and (former Senator) Rudy Boschwitz (whose son was in the room), how did Governor Tim Pawlenty get elected? I thought Minnesota only elects Jewish people (the late Paul Wellstone, a democrat, was also Jewish).”

He laughed, and put his finger to his lips and said, “Yeah, but we like him.”

I then replied, “I met him in March at the RJC fund raiser in Florida for Vice Presidency Cheney. He is a good man, and I wish you both success and offer my prayers in rebuilding.”

Senators Collins, Ensign and Coleman all agreed to do email interviews with me. When I told them I am a tennis racket hitting back the nonsense of the Daily Kos and, they had me speak to their legislative assistants (in front of them).

We shall see what transpires, but the legislative assistant to Senator Collins got back to me immediately, and I sent her the questions several days ago. Given how busy any Senator is, the professionalism and timeliness with regards to her and her staff is appreciated. Her office made it clear that the Senator wants to answer the questions personally, making it clear that the words are hers specifically. Her office got back to me again today, and I look forward to publishing that interview in the near future. 

Overall, the RJC 2008 Candidates Forum was a complete success on every possible level. After listening to the various speakers, below is what I recommend to benefit America.

(The fact that an intellectual giant like Charles Krauthammer recommends some of the same things that I do tells me he is second only to my parents in terms of republican Jewish greatness. I remain in awe of him.)

Rudy Giuliani for President

Mitt Romney for Vice President

John McCain for Secretary of Defense

Fred Thompson for Attorney General

Duncan Hunter for Assistant Secretary of Defense

Mike Huckabee for either Secretary of Education, or head of Faith Based Initiatives

Sam Brownback for whichever job Mike Huckabee turns down

Tom Tancredo for expanding and being a prison guard at Guantanamo Bay

Ron Paul will be closely monitored at Gitmo by Tancredo

Mitch McConnell will be Majority Leader again. John Ensign will be the Majority Whip. Susan Collins and Gordon Smith will win their races

Norm Coleman will win his race, but if the worst case scenario (Hus ve Sholom, aka God forbid) occurs, he should be the next Secretary of State. Somebody has to turn that place around, and a Jewish republican would be the perfect shock to the system.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney have set the bar high, but their republican successor will extend America’s greatness. I recommend them for any jobs they want, with the exception of Ambassador to Belgium. That job is being held by the Honorable Sam Fox, who until recently was the Chairman of a fine organization known as the Republican Jewish Coalition.


RJC in DC–Rudy Giuliani

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

On September 11th, 2001, 3000 of my fellow New Yorkers were murdered. Six years later, I still well up with rage when that day enters my thoughts. I do pray for the day when I will care about other political issues, but I freely admit, for better or worse, rightly or wrongly, that I am a single issue voter. I want a President who will destroy terrorists. Period. Civilization hangs in the balance, and if we lose, we die. There is no inbetween. I have said that many politicians have been vigilant in the War on Terror the last six years. All of the top tier republican nominees recognize the proper way to approach the war. What separates Rudy Giuliani is his consistent willingness to point out that this war began nearly three decades before it was actually declared. It is this clear grasp of the global struggle against Islamofacism that made me want to see Mayor Giuliani in person.

On September 11th, 2007, I attended Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concert at Great Adventure. Rudy Giuliani did speak there, but by the time I made it to the very front row, and with the help of a connection, got backstage, Mayor Giuliani had left.

15 days later, at a private home, On September 26th, I did meet him. I spoke to him for maybe 60 seconds, and for an ordinary guy like me, that is more than enough. He spoke to the audience for 30-45 minutes, including questions.

Yet despite an already favorable impression of him, I wanted to hear what he had to say at the Republican Jewish Coalition 2008 Candidates Forum 3 weeks later on October 16th. My expectations were high, and his remarks are below.

“I was Mayor of New York City. This is a city even Abraham Lincoln didn’t carry.”

“We don’t win elections if we (republicans) give away New York, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, etc.”

“Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”

“Hezbollah was responsible for the Lebanon bombing in 1983, a hijacking in 1985, and Jewish targets in the 1990s in Argentina.”

“I guarantee that Iran will never get nuclear weapons.”

“Cold War Russia and China were able to be handled with diplomacy because they had ‘residual rationality.'”

“The President cannot hesitate to use the military.”

“We need to have divestment form Iran.”

“Weakness invites attacks, strength keeps you safe. Peace has to be based on realism, not romance.”

“You cannot negotiate with one when they are trying to destroy your family.”

“Barack Obama invoked Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an ‘Evil Empire.’ Then he deployed missiles directly at Russian cities. Then, he negotiated. Barack, you’re no Ronald Reagan.”

“There was no ABC (network) mea culpa saying Reagan was right.”

In a swipe at one of his primary opponents, he said, “When Yassir Arafat was in New York, I did not call for a team of lawyers. I did not ask, ‘Can we partially throw him out?'”

Rudy’s willingness to acknowledge his own mistakes came in a moment of levity. Somebody’s cell phone went off during his speech, and he quickly remarked, “I’m not going to answer it.” The crowd laughed. He then turned serious again, and got in a dig at Mr. Arafat overtly, and another Nobel Peace Prize winner covertly, although very subtly.

“Yassir Arafat murdered Leon Klinghoffer. Equating Yassir Arafat to Yitzchak Rabin set back peace a decade.”

(I remain surprised that after all this time, not one other candidate mentions Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly, wheelchair bound retiree that was thrown overboard from a hijacked cruise ship. This is another way Mayor Giuliani reminds audiences that 9/11 was far from the beginning. His primary opponents do not mention this.)

“Saudi Prince Al Aweed offered 10 million dollars after 9/11. He then said that American support of Israel was partly to blame for 9/11. I returned the money.”

Mayor Giuliani went into detail, pointing out that there were arguments in favor of keeping it, and he decided to consult with several family members that had lost people that Tuesday. He said that the families did not want the money, and the last family member angrily stated, “Nothing would offend me more than if we would take that blood money.” Giuliani was a decisive leader during that tragedy, but he did not make a critical decision in a vacuum. Nevertheless, he was glad that the families supported his decision.

He the continued on in this vein.

“We were attacked because of the good parts of America.”

“We had a women’s breakfast event this morning (The wives of the four main candidates spoke to all the women attendees). Iran does not have women’s breakfasts.”

“Before the Palestinians get their own state, two things have to happen. First, they have to say, ‘Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state.’ Secondly, they must say, ‘We forsake terrorism.’ This must be shown over time. We will not support another terrorist state.”

“Democrats do not want to offend anybody by saying, ‘Islamic Terrorism.’ Who are they worried about offending? I want to offend them.”

“My foreign policy team consists of Daniel Pipes and Norman Podhoretz.”

Podhoretz is the father of the Neocon movement, and Dr. Pipes is one of the world’s foremost scholars on Islamism. He is known for saying, “Radical Islam is the problem. Moderate Islam is the solution.” These are heavyweights, and the audience took notice.

“Tim Russert pressed Hillary (on Islamofacism), and she never answered the question. She is still answering the question.”

Mayor Giuliani’s remarks were the longest, but he still took questions.

With regards to countering domestic Islamic terrorism, he replied, “We need the Patriot Act, and we need the right to aggressive questioning of suspects.”

He stated that “I have been a supporter of an anti-missile defense system since the 1980s.”

When asked about how to deal with George Soros, he replied (perhaps jokingly, based on his Yassir Arafat action), “I would uninvite him (the crowd laughed). He and Moveon are a new low.”

Perhaps forecasting the Presidential race, he stated, “Hillary attacked General Petraeus on 9/11. I give us the best chance to defeat her and take back the Congress.”

Asked about the liberal media, he replied, “We need to communicate better. Those who keep complaining about the media need to get over it. We can’t do anything about it. Better communication is the key.”

The audience started to rise in applause, when he spontaneously added one more comment. It was actually an awkward ending in the sense that it did not flow seamlessly into the rest of his remarks, but it was perhaps an attempt to add in something that may have been left out.

“Governor Spitzer should not give licenses to illegal immigrants.”

The audience again gave him the standing ovation they thought they were giving moments ago, and while the last line may have been pandering, all it did was lower his performance to almost perfect from flawless. The audience loved him.

Listening to him recount the War on Terror, I found myself passionately saying, “This is the guy. He gets it. This is the guy.”

All of the candidates disagree with republicans on some issues. Yet the major issue…the only issue I care about…and the only issue many republicans care about at the expense of all other issues…the War on Terror…is where Rudy Giuliani is dead on accurate. He clearly explains the problem, understands that it started long before we did anything about it, and is willing to take any and all means necessary to win it.

Of the top tier candidates, he spoke first, but I covered him last.

The other top tier candidates are all fine men.

Based on this RJC performance, nothing has changed. Rudy is the right man.


RJC in DC–John McCain

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

Many great men since 1776 never became President. Many of the best and brightest have not become President either due to not being born here, refusing to seek the White House, or giving it their best and falling short.

Alexander Hamilton, perhaps the greatest treasury secretary ever, was not born in America. Daniel Webster, one of the finest legal minds in American history, did not attain the highest office in the land. Colin Powell, despite a 35 year military career and a national following, declined to run. World War II hero Bob Dole sought the job three times, and lost three times. This does not diminish any of these men. It just means they were not the right man in the right place at the right time. Whether it be bad luck, a lack of skill at campaigning, world events, or a combination of all of these and other factors, being a great man does not mean one will reach the pinnacle of American political greatness.

It is with a sense of sadness that I acknowledge that while the door has not closed completely shut yet, John McCain is looking more and more likely to be remembered as a great man that did not become President. He could have been one of the best, but perhaps…and I say perhaps…his time has past. Nevertheless, he addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition at the 2008 Candidates Forum. It was a serious policy event, and John McCain was deadly serious in addressing the crowd. His remarks from the event are below.

“Iraq is succeeding. The Maliki government is not succeeding.”

“‘Mission Accomplished’ did not cause the problem. It is long, hard, and tough.”

“The struggle we face will be with us the rest of this century.”

“Iranians cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons.”

“If we withdraw, the Saudis will help the Sunnis.”

“I predicted the Rumsfeld strategy would fail. Four Secretaries of State have endorsed me.”

“We should never torture another prisoner again, otherwise other nations would do it.”

“Radical Islam has spread through Al Jazeera.”

Senator McCain then told a joke about Basketball legend Bill Russell that failed to connect, before continuing.

His remarks were briefer than the other candidates because he wanted as much as time as possible for questions.

Citing Ronald Reagan and others, he stated that, “Military experience is not required to lead America.”

He then praised Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s World War II leadership.

“My son has no military demerits. Somebody should DNA test him.”

“Rumsfeld should have expanded the military, and Walter Reed was a disgrace.”

“The United States expects too much of the United Nations. We should form a league of democracies.”

Speaking about other world leaders, he praised Nicolas Sarkozy of France, and then stated that “When I looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes, I saw three letters…K…G…B.”

“We should leave the World bank if it does not shape up.”

When asked about various situations and whether or not they were genocide, he replied, “If we leave Iraq, there will be genocide. The Armenian-Turkey issue of 1915 was genocide, and the situation in Darfur is genocide. However, we should not pass the current Armenian-Turkish resolution, since the current Turkish government is not responsible for what happened back then. We should suppress the PKK, they should not go into Turkey.”

He was then asked about various non-violent attempts to slowly institute Sharia Law in the United States. He replied, “I am not worried about any peaceful demonstrations of beliefs. Footbaths, Cair, and Keith Ellison are not violent.”

Although John McCain is often criticized by republicans for being “too bipartisan,” he was totally against the bipartisan Iraq “Federalist” partition proposal offered by Sam Brownback and Joe Biden.

“It won’t work. You’d need 500,000 troops. Bosnia/Kosovo stopped with overwhelming force. Partitions don’t work.”

He offered some final thoughts on other matters.

“We must make sure that troops are never seen as dying in vain.”

“If we lose Israel, this world will be a lesser place.”

“I am concerned about a growing protectionism. Free trade is vital.”

John McCain is famous for offering straight talk, and a sobering message about the challenges we face is important. Honesty and candor are important. However, Senator McCain has simply crossed the line from realism to pessimism and gloom. He came across as dour, and yes, old and tired.

Also, he is running a general election strategy. This is not wise when in front of a crowd that wants red meat (kosher, but red nonetheless). This was an event set up as a republican primary, or at least a caucus. Praising FDR and bashing Donald Rumsfeld is just not necessary. McCain has already proven his independence. At these types of events he needs to show he is still a member of the team. Also, CAIR has ties to terrorist organizations. Him implying otherwise is wrong.

Many can overlook his immigration position (many cannot) because that issue divides respected republicans, with the Wall Street Journal and National Review on opposite sides. Yet his support of campaign finance reform with Russ Feingold is an issue that republicans are united on…against him. As for torture, I will never criticize him on that issue. However, our enemies are already doing it to us, far worse than anything we do.

He warned us that the road ahead would be long, hard and tough, but he did not offer any sunny “can-do” American optimism. The America that put a man on the moon was not evident in his speech.

There is nothing wrong with reaching out to independents, and even democrats. However, he must reach out to republicans as well, because if he were to win the nomination, the lovefest that the liberal media has with him would evaporate in a heartbeat. It is not possible to win everybody, but a person can lose everybody, and John McCain may end up losing everybody.

Four years ago, the wisdom of who would be challenging President Bush was completely wrong. If anybody can pull a Lazarus act, John McCain can.

His biography is phenomenal, but so was Bob Dole’s biography. Like Dole, John McCain can be warm, engaging, and funny. When he is on the top of his game, he is more compelling than most people. Also, on many issues, he is far to the right of his competitors. Yet many primary voters mistake him for a moderate because he acts like one. He keeps emphasizing straight talk, but the straight talk is that he is very conservative, and should proudly, loudly and optimistically emphasize this. He can always run to the center later on.

Of the four top tier candidates, his performance in front of the RJC crowd was the least effective. The crowd was not passionate about him.

If he does not act quickly, he will end up an American hero, one of the greatest Americans to have ever lived, and to have never been President of the United States. He has said that he, “would rather lose an election than lose a war.” I believe he means this, and I believe it only enhances his greatness, making it almost tragic that he has to lose either of them. I suspect he will be at peace with himself, no matter what happens.

John McCain is a great man. He is qualified to be President. Many say he should be President. Yet too many say that despite this, he very well may not be.


Corruption at the BCA, courtesy of PayPerPost

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

321-332-6830 is the phone number for PayPerPost. Ted Murphy is the President of the company, and Ashley Edwards is his (Ashley is a guy) deputy, or the corporate equivalent thereof.

[email protected] [email protected]

I have been competing in the Bloggers Choice Awards, and was in the top 3 in the country in the political category. I even passed left wing hate site Daily Kos, who ended up in 4th place. However, two days after the contest ended, a ton of my votes were invalidated, most likely letting left wing Daily Kos win. Daily Kos also registered votes after the deadline, but PayPerpost promises those will not be counted. Once again, the political left crushes a hard working blogger trying to make a name for himself, whose only sin seems to be being a conservative.

A couple days earlier I wrote a column dealing with “voting irregularities” at the Bloggers Choice Awards. I went out of my way to say that I had no proof that this was anything more than a computer glitch. After several back and forth emails with everybody including the president of the company putting on this sham awards show, I can now say that the “voting irregularities” can officially be labeled as corruption. I do not make this charge lightly, and I do not make this charge without evidence to back it up.

I also want to say that as a conservative republican who normally worships at the altar of big business, if you are a big business, and I dislike you, then you are beyond redemption. I have dedicated my life to defending business, so if you are too corrupt for me, you are way far gone on the integrity scale.

The company that has crossed the line is PayPerPost. They are putting on a convention called PostieCON (my emphasis) which is hosting the Bloggers Choice Awards.

Many of my votes were thrown out due to what I thought was a computer glitch. The rules are set up to prevent fraud, which would be a positive thing if the rules were actually enforced properly. My coworkers supported me, but because we all work in the same office, that reflects as the same I.P. address. This is even though they all used their own email addresses, and confirmed their registrations. My parents only have one computer, so their votes were thrown out as well. My own vote was thrown out because some of my friends voted from my computer, AGAIN USING THEIR OWN LEGITIMATE EMAIL ADDRESSES.

PayPerPost goes out of its way to hide behind emails, and finding their phone number was next to impossible, but I did it. I debated whether or not to publish them, but the email exchange between us prompted me to do so.

Below is the first message from Ashley.


Good morning. I hope this message finds you doing well on this Tuesday.

The voice mail you left with our Office Manager yesterday afternoon was forwarded over to my desk, and I wanted to take a moment to get in touch with you as the feedback from our customers is extremely important to us. With regard to the noticeable change in your votes from October 19th to October 21st (I believe these are the dates you’d mentioned), this is a result of multiple votes occurring from the same IP address. According to the e-mail you sent in to our support team, it seems you were already aware that if there are various votes coming in from the same location, there’s a chance this could be construed as questionable behavior. This is something that is addressed in our “Rules” section (i.e., “Terms of Service”). If you’d like you can take a look at it here:; it is item #4. While I certainly understand there are circumstances where there would be a large group of folks under one roof, wanting to vote for the same blog, I’m sure you can understand everyone must be treated the same.

Also, I’m sure there was a last-minute influx of votes for all nominated blogs–particularly those in the top three of each category–just before voting closed on the 19th, so there’s always the chance that one of the other blogs had enough votes to knock yours out of the top three.

I’m sure you can understand our position, but I wanted to make sure your concerns were addressed by someone from our team and not gone unnoticed. Also, if you weren’t aware, all 2007 BCA nominated blogs are automatically nominated for the 2008 round of voting, so good luck in 2008!

All the best,


I then replied.

“Ashley,Yes, there were plenty of votes coming from a single IP address. However, that is because this place is a BUSINESS, not a residence. Your tech team can verify this as well. I would be happy to provide the office of my firm so that the IP address can be traced back to that very spot. My firm has several offices around the country, and my coworkers were very supportive. These are all real people, and these votes are legitimate.

Also, the idea that I was “knocked” out of the top 3 is simply not true. I saw what the results were. It is not that other votes were added, it is that my votes were subtracted.

I am prepared to get signed affadavits from my coworkers if necessary. My parents live in the same house. They are happily married. They share one computer. Do they need to get divorced and live separately to have their votes count? Again, the flaw is in your system, not in anything I did. Lastly, while I have not actively decided to try and win in 2008, I decided to try and vote for myself and have one vote. It said ‘that email address has already been taken.’ So not only does my vote not count for 2007, but I cannot vote in 2008 because I already did in 2007, even though that vote does not count. Do you see any problems with this? I would like somebody to talk to me on the phone regarding this issue, rather than hide behind emails. Respectfully, eric”

I then was surprised to get a response from the President of the company. Apparently his way of dealing with a problem is to stroke my ego, insult my intelligence, and offer me some sort of package to promote his products and services.

“Eric, I wanted to let you know that your messages have been forwarded to me. While the issues you raise seem to be honest we cannot adjust the voting to include those votes that have been discounted. Unfortunately we have to use unique IP addresses as a measure to protect the voting process against fraud. We provide information regarding unique IPs as part of the terms of service. The same IP filtering rules have been applied to all blogs across the board and creating an exception for one blog or blogger would not be fair.

I do appreciate your participation and I think you are doing a fantastic job with your blog. If you are willing to provide me with your address I would like to send you a package as a token of my thanks with my sincerest apologies.

All The Best,


Ted Murphy


PayPerPost, Inc.”



I again replied to again try to explain to this guy what the problem was in his system, and I offered what I believed to be a reasonable compromise.




“Mr. Murphy,


There is a solution to this problem that can ensure that the competition does not get tainted by fraud, and that the people who supported me are not disenfranchised.

Although it is past the deadline, allow every person who voted for me that was discounted because they used the computers in my office to vote again from their home computers. They will put in the exact same information that you already have, just from a different IP address.

This still does not fix the problem of how people like my parents can have their votes discounted because they are married and share a computer, but right now I am more concerned with the votes from people connected to my firm, which were substantial.

If these people are not allowed to vote, then the results are tainted, which goes against the whole point of what you are trying to achieve.

I can send you a list of people who had their votes invalidated for your verification, and I can get this done in the next 3-5 days, well before the convention.

Your thoughts?

eric aka the Tygrrrr Express”

I then awaited his reply, which was as insincere as it was dismissive.


I am sorry, but we can’t do this for the reasons I have already stated in my previous email. The IP filtering rules are applied to all bloggers uniformly.


I wrote him a final email.

“Mr. Murphy,

I have no desire to take up any more of your time. The bottom line is your system has flaws, and it is easier to do nothing then fix them.

The results of the best political blogger award are officially tainted, and I am sure you would not mind if I let the world know this based on your inability/unwillingness to seriously even address that.

I will be in Las Vegas at the convention, and if the Daily Kos is the winner, I will let the media know that Kos hijacked this win with your help, and that I have proof. It would not be the first time a powerful left wing group had influence with a media organization. Heck, this conference could be fun, like the ’68 democratic convention.

I used to think that the Nobel Peace Prize was the most meaningless award on Earth. I now have to revisit this issue based on the fact that ‘I seem to be honest,’ yet you would rather discount the votes for an honest guy in favor of preserving a system that you freely acknowledge is flawed.

Please do not insult me with any further responses. I will let the blogosphere decide the integrity of your company, and if they support you, so be it. My good name is more important than your advertising dollars.



Some people are wondering why I just don’t “let this go.” After all, isn’t it just a stupid awards show?

I am not letting this go because I am not going to have my hard work invalidated. Telling me I should be proud of all I have accomplished is patronizing. I know what I accomplished. I accomplished it because of you, my readers. Mr. Murphy does not think you matter, because counting all of your votes is not his priority. His priority is having a flawless event, free of controversy, and if you think I can raise holy hell, watch what would happen if the Daily Kos got bumped from the top 3 to 4th like I did. They would blame everybody from George W. Bush on down.

Some will try to insult me by comparing me to Al Gore. This is nonsense. Al Gore had conjecture. I have hard evidence, and a tacit admission by Mr. Murphy that I am right. Also, trying to recount millions of votes is tough. Counting several hundred should not be a challenge for a CEO of a company.

I want to make it clear that I do not have hard evidence that Ted Murphy is a left wing shill, or that this was in any way a left wing conspiracy. My remarks alluding to such were just musings. If anyone can show proof that Mr. Murphy has a history of donating to liberal causes and candidates, that would be different.

I also cannot prove that Daily Kos played any role in my votes being taken away.

What I can prove is that when the contest ended, I was in 3rd place. Daily Kos was in 4th. Many of my votes were invalidated. I know which ones were invalidated. Mr. Murphy confirmed why. His willingness to crack down on the “appearance” of impropriety renders me guilty until proven innocent.

So why is he doing this? Again, I can offer only conjecture. I suspect that he just does not want his event tarnished. Too bad Mr. Murphy. It already is tarnished.

So where do we go from here? What happens next?

First of all, every single person who had a vote taken away because they and their wife (or they and somebody else) voted from the same computer should contact the company and let them know if they choose to do so.

I will caution anybody that decides to move forward that they BE POLITE when they call. Yes, the people at PayPerPost are most likely going to lie, deny, stonewall, and dismiss any concerns that conflicts with their rose colored glasses of this process. Nevertheless, acting like liberal activists in terms of foul language or other bad behavior only weakens the cause.

Again, this is not about the Daily Kos. It is about an executive and a company that is too lazy to do what is right, because that would mean admitting mistakes.

For those who feel bad for me…don’t. Feel bad for people living in hunger, poverty, and misery. I have a roof over my head, and am sleeping soundly tonight.

I will not be challenging the results in court or taking legal action, because, let’s be honest, I would be fighting for the right to win a corrupted contest by a corrupted firm. Many people would say I won because I fought that way, rather than because I had plenty of votes.

Others feel I should be happy to be fourth in the entire country. I would be happy being 4000th if it was fair. I was cheated.

I did some investigating, and it seems PayPerPost has been accused of various forms of corruption on various levels. Their entire business model involves paying individuals to write positive reviews of corporations. I wonder who they paid money to give the inevitable positive review of the Bloggers Choice Awards. I can tell you at the top of my lungs that the review will be a lie.

Daily Kos is a powerful entity, and their advertising dollars go farther than mine.

Some would say I am trying to create a fraudulent link when none may exist, and that is unfair. It is as unfair as taking an issue that is “questionable,” and then invalidating votes without questioning!

I am requesting that those that care about the integrity of this contest refuse to do business with PayPerPost. They may not share the ideology of the Daily Kos, but they certainly do care about shrouding the truth.

Three liberal blogs might win an award. The top conservative blog was invalidated.

All I can say is that the PostieCON job convention will be in Las Vegas, and what happens there will not stay there.

Mr. Murphy…one person can make a difference. Hiding behind emails and form letters is not going to cut it. Fix the flaws in your voting system.

I got this far in only seven months of blogging. I am here for the duration. My reputation and integrity is solid. Yours is teetering.

It’s up to you.



San Diego Is Burning

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

San Diego is on fire.

Before going any further, Chabad of San Diego is helping people find shelter. They have Chabads in San Diego, San Bernardino, Poway, and around the country working together.

I had my political column about Presidential candidates prepared, and it will have to wait. Human life is more important. To save time, I have borrowed very “liberally” from a previous column I wrote about the South Carolina fires. I hope people have not forgotten the nine South Carolina firefighters, and I pray to God that this blaze gets under control soon. Also, for those who are worried about me, I am safe. I live in Los Angeles, which is 2 1/2 hours (90 minutes the way I drive) from San Diego. Also, I live near the water, which is cooler, and less susceptible to such tragedies. I do have friends in San Diego, and as of now, they are scared, but fine.

San Diego is grieving. We cannot heal their pain, but we must care.

For those of you who have never been, San Diego is one of the most gorgeous cities in the country. It is a city of very friendly people. It is the home of the San Diego Chargers, and I go down there to see the Oakland Raiders play them.

The city of San Diego is known for its love of animals, with the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal Park being the global standard for excellence. Today, however, San Diego is now a place of unimaginable sadness. An out of control fire has ravaged homes, and over three hundred thousand people have evacuated, more than an 1/8 of the population. There are only questions, no answers.

What caused this? Was it only nature, or did  man exacerbate the problem? Did environmental regulations make things worse? Will the national media drop the story quickly? Yes. I give it 24-48 hours at most. Will the politicians make pious statements about the situation and say all the right things? Yes.

Why am I lashing out at people who did not cause this problem? Because I am looking to blame someone. Until proven otherwise, terrorists did not do this. Nor did anti-war protesters, despite their hatred for San Diego’s rich military tradition.

This was not an act of out of control teenagers partying on Campus. It was not demented sports fans going ballistic a year after the Chargers had a good season.

So far, this seems to be an act of God, and I am not about to blame God. I can’t. I believe in God, which I am commanded to do always, not just when things are going well.

Yet despite being a city that is rather “religious (inbetween San Diego and Los Angeles, is Orange County, a white Christian conservative stronghold),” I could understand if people had their faith shattered. I would not be surprised if people were praying that this was arson, or faulty wiring, or anything but what it appears to be at this very moment…a tragedy with no explanations.

San Diego is a beautiful part of America from a nature and a people standpojnt. It has a large activist presence that supports conservative republicans. It is the home of Military soldiers, and a place for teenagers to vacation on Spring Break. Yet Malibu, a place for wealthy, liberal democrats, is also burning. God does not vote democrat or republican. I pray God saves all these people. As of now, the Malibu situation is less dire than San Diego, hence the focus on San Diego first.

Now it is the home of crushed dreams. This is beyond tragic because the greatest dignity is found in ordinary Americans, and the greatest loss is when we lose these unsung heroes. We rejoiced when the governor of Pennsylvania announced, after 9 miners were trapped underground, that “All 9 are alive.” We were stunned when 12 West Virginia coal miners went under. We rejoiced when we were told they had all lived, and then the grief was compounded when we were told that only one had actually survived. We cried when the Minnesota bridge collapsed. It just does not stop.

Firefighters risk their lives every day. They are as vital as soldiers, police officers and doctors. They keep us safe.

So what can we do to help? First, we have to wait, and be patient. People often want to immediately “do something,” such as with Hurricane Katrina. This is often not the wisest course of action. We need to absorb information about this situation rapidly, and then figure out what the people of San Diego want us to do, not what makes us feel good.

Yes, we can then do the typical perfunctory gestures, such as sending money, flowers, gift baskets, etc. I am not minimizing these actions, but the problem is that once we do this, the issue fades away in our mind.

The key is to make sure this story does not die with these victims. People are already done with the Virginia Tech Massacre, and I doubt many people remember the tornado tragedy that hit Kansas only weeks ago. Unless tragedies happen in New York or Los Angeles, the media quickly loses interest. Apparently Middle America is not sexy enough to be covered in depth. San Diego, being a quiet, sleepy oasis, is considered closer to Middle America than Los Angeles or San Francisco.

No, I am not blaming the media for this tragedy. I will, however, blame them if they fail to give this the attention it deserves.

 Like me, most people want to blame someone. There is plenty of time for that. For now, pray for them. Even if you are angry at God, ask him (or whatever you believe in) to help these families tonight.

The National Football League once needed a city to step up when San Diego had a previous crisis. Phoenix, Arizona stepped up big time. I hope Phoenix can do so again. 

Firefighters keep us safe. When they die, a piece of our safety dies with it. I pray that the entire nation knows the 9 heroes who died fighting South Carolina fires, and that San Diego does not add any more to the total. While we worry about San Diego, we must remember South Carolina. THose firefighters are as follows (Data from

The victims, their ages and their years of service are:

  • Capt. William “Billy” Hutchinson, 48 (30 years)
  • Capt. Mike Benke, 49 (29 years)
  • Capt. Louis Mulkey, 34 (11½ years)
  • Engineer Mark Kelsey, 40 (12½ years)
  • Engineer Bradford “Brad” Baity, 37 (9 years)
  • Assistant engineer Michael French, 27 (1½ years)
  • Firefighter James “Earl” Drayton, 56 (32 years)
  • Firefighter Brandon Thompson, 27 (4 years)
  • Firefighter Melven Champaign, 46 (2 years)San Diego is a part of us. What hurts San Diego hurts us all.May God bless the families, and pray for people from San Diego to South Carolina.
  • San Diego is burning. May God help the firefighters win this blaze before any more good people lose more of what they love.


    P.S. Seconds after I published my column, I received an email from Rabbi Jonathan Klein of Hillel at the Universit of Southern California.

    A Special Note for Those Suffering from the Fires
    From Your Friends at USC Hillel

    To the USC-connected Jewish Community:

    As we watch the fires blazing throughout Southern California, with half a million homes in the process of being evacuated, our hearts at Hillel go out to all those families struggling with the ravages of this disaster.  It is hard to believe that so many fires can rage at the same time, and that their containment is in many instances so far from a reality.  On Sunday, celebrating my son’s birthday party at a farm in Moorpark where one of the employees of thirty years told us that he has never seen such fierce winds, we left covered with a thin covering of soot on our cars and our bodies.  I can only imagine what it feels like to be forced to evacuate, leaving your possessions behind with a mere hope that the winds do not turn against you and consume the literal and figurative home you have made.


    With so many people affected by this experience, we want to know if you, or your family, has been hurt by these wildfires.  Within our own Hillel staff, at least two families are threatened, and we know of a few students whose families were told to evacuate via a reverse 911 call.  Please let us know if you are facing the same situation.  At Hillel, we recognize our role as community builders and want to help each and every family.  Our prayers go out to all those affected. 


    If there is anything we can do for you (add a name to a prayer for healing, check in with students if you are a parent or a parent if you are a student, etc.), please do not hesitate to contact us.  The tradition of g’milut Chasadim drives our efforts to help all those in need.


    With abundant prayers for your health,

    Rabbi Jonathan D. Klein

    Allen and Ruth Ziegler Rabbinic Director



    USC Hillel Mission Statement

    USC Hillel provides the foundation for Jewish student life at USC, offering a secure, inclusive and nurturing environment for all Jews who are part of the USC community. USC Hillel fosters social relationships and spiritual enrichment, enabling the personal and communal exploration of Jewish culture, values, traditions and scholarship and affirming the principle of Tikkun Olam.