Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

YOU DIDN'T LEARN THAT!

When I was just a wee toddler, my mom said that I used to drink by holding the cup to my face using just one finger. Of course, being one to get upset about her carpets, I was never appreciated for my display of coordination. Well earlier this week, I found myself at work enjoying a post-lunch cup of tea while reading up on the history of Eusebius of Ceasarea. As I was reading, I noticed that I was sipping my tea with one hand on the mouse and one finger on the cup. Not sure why, but in thelazinesss of the moment this just seemed the most comfortable thing to do. It's funny how certain behaviors are inherently wired into our personalities. Some, like drinking with one finger seem very unique. However, I have also noticed that some quirks are inherited.

A great example is the way my grandfather and I watch sports. When a game is close, and the outcome is in doubt my grandfather will stand up and try to get as close to the TV as possible. Over the years I have noticed that I tend to pull the same thing. This is especially true when a Michigan game comes down to the wire or I have coaching instruction that need to be shouted at the Pistons that very second. Nevertheless, the weird thing is that I noticed this behavior in my 11 year old cousin. Of course she doesn't get in to sports all that much. But if she is watching an episode of CSI or Law and Order she will approach the TV almost exactly like my grandfather, blocking everybody's view.

Though I can't explain it I wonder what trait of mine, Big Ed, or Dark Lord Denise will get passed down to Sons and Daughters of Tondar. However, let us pray now that no child of mine will possess the power to create the Dark Wrath that makes the walls weep the tears of the innocent.
CHECK OUT NOVAK

Bob Novak
has a couple of good facts he uncovered this week. First he claims that the President has narrowed his selection for Supreme Court down to either Harriet Miers or Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. If Novak is right, it seems to me that Alito would be the proper choice...

Nobody questions the conservatism of the 55-year-old Alito. He was named in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals (New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware) following service as Bush's U.S. attorney for New Jersey and in the Reagan Justice Department.


Of course if this were up to Ole Tondar I would be somebody like Janice Rogers Brown. If President Bush can score double points with a minority female it will be easier to demagogue a hardline conservative through the Senate.

Secondly, I couldn't quite get my head around this one. For those of you still living in Michigan, if you get the chance, please 'splain me this one...

"The only senators from the same state belonging to the same party and splitting their votes were Michigan's two Democrats. Sen. Carl Levin voted for Roberts. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, up for re-election to a second term next year, opposed him."


How in the name of De Vos could Carl Levin become Michigan's most right wing Senator? If Stabenow is up for re-election wouldn't she want to show her mainstream appeal, especially considering that she holds a seat that could swing to a conservative if she doesn't play her cards right? In my opinion Stabenow was a weak replacement for the weak Spence Abraham. She's not doing herself any favors by pandering to the liberal crowd with this "no" vote.
IN THE ARCHIVES

I was going through the e-mail and came across something I intended to blog on Cindy Sheehan a while back. Since it's still relevant...

"The comment about this country not being a worthy cause for death is troubling, however another statement sticks out. "If I would have known before I'd have taken my son to Canada. Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't her son have been something like 20 years old? I guess what I'm getting at is that Cindy Sheehan and other anti-war personalities want to believe we're sending children to war. Let's remember that the enlistment age is still 18. These are not boys but MEN of CLEAR MIND and possessing FREE WILL who feel called to fight and possibly die for this country."


Brado's right on with this one. Back in the day, they always used to refer to the soldiers as "boys." But that was always a slang thing, the same way I date "girls." However, it serves the leftist propaganda if they portray soldiers as young innocents caught up in a world beyond their understanding and control.

In fact if you look at 20th Century war literature like "All Quiet on the Western Front" one is to basically conclude that there is no worthy hero in war over the rank of sergeant. Both the civilian leaders and military brass are always portrayed as blood thirsty fools. In fact, like the tag "liberal" (the nineteenth century definition of one that supports all forms of liberty), we see the left once again twisting words to make their socialist agenda seem more appealing to the masses.

But of course you're not going to see any critique of Cindy Sheehan's crazy talk either. Have you noticed how the MSM babys her and keeps her socialist rants hidden so they can use her as the face of the anti-war mothers? Im sure Carl Rove is going to use her words to haunt the dems in 2006. I know I would.
CAN'T GET YOUR HEAD AROUND IT WATCH

From Seth...

"People wearing Al-Paca sweaters, with the Al-Paca it came from standing with them. Let's hope Texas doesn't start tyring to sell rawhide leggings the same way."
ECONOMIES OF ENTERTAINMENT

A University of Michigan survey really nails it when it comes to my entertainment budget...

"The Index of Consumer Sentiment was 76.9 in the September 2005 survey, down from 89.1 in August and 96.5 in July. The one month decline of 12.2 points equaled the largest monthly decline recorded since 1978; the combined August and September decline was the largest two month decline on record, falling a total of 19.6 Index-points. The Index of Consumer Expectations, a closely watched component of the Index of Leading Economic Indicators, fell to 63.3 in September, down from 76.9 in August and 85.5 in July. The one-month decline was the second largest and the two-month decline was the largest in the survey's history."


The bottom line is that when I have to spend twice as much money for gas I can no longer go to the alumni bar to watch University of Michigan football. And certainly I can't be the only one not spending money. So unless these gas prices fall as quickly as they shot up, look for another recession some time next year.
TWISTING THE TRUTH

Check out this bit of manipulation by the AP from Roger L. Simon. Sure they could just simply quote Condoleezza Rice's speech, but that doesn't fit their anti-war agenda now does it.
TEACHING THE WORLD TO SURF

I know Seth will be down with this one. Technology has finally brought us the $100 laptop...

"It will also be a little different in design from the sleek machines some of us in the west have learned to love or covet. It will be foldable in different ways, encased in bump-proof rubber and will include a hand-crank to give it power in those corners of the globe where electricity supply is patchy."


Now all we have to do is work on expanding wi-fi and the information revolution will be fully underway.
PIC OF THE DAY


When there's nothing else to believe in, believe in hope. Posted by Picasa
PHILOSOPHY 101

Don't be this guy. Nobody likes the outspoken douchebag in the liberal arts class.
POOR DANISH SANTA

From the Las Vegas Sun...

"Danish Santa Paid for Reindeer's Death

ASSOCIATED PRESS

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - The Danish Air Force said Thursday it paid about $5,000 in compensation to a part-time Santa Claus whose reindeer died of heart failure when two fighter jets roared over his farm.

The animal, named Rudolf, was grazing at the farm of Olavi Nikkanoff in central Denmark when the screaming F-16 jets passed overhead at low altitude in February.

The reindeer collapsed and died, leaving Nikkanoff with the prospect of only one animal pulling his sleigh next Christmas.

He complained to the air force, which agreed to compensate him for the cost of the reindeer and veterinary expenses.

"We got a letter from Santa complaining about his reindeer's death and looked into it seriously," air force spokesman Capt. Morten Jensen said. The air force checked flight data and veterinary reports and concluded the planes had caused the animal's death.

Nikkanoff said he would use the money to buy a new reindeer before Christmas."


Well the problem is that Danish Santa only really needs two to get around the country on Christmas Eve. Of course the Govt makes him employ 4 reindeer at all times thanks to the "Reindeer/Caribou Equal Anti-Discriminatory Act of 1988 as modified in 1995." Just wondering, do you think he actually signed his complaint "Santa Claus?"
SETH ON THE COMMUNISTS

Seth's commentary on the picture below...

"The girl was at least a commy who likes to get drunk and not talk politics. The guy behind her though was the real communist who tried to Sackett me into denouncing capitalism. I couldn't figure out why I was pegged as one who needed conversion, until I saw this picture and realized I was wearing that hat all night.

I forgot the first commy principle:

Cowboy hat = cowboys = the duke = mass consumerism = evil"
UM FOOTBALL PREVIEW

For the first time in my life, I actually have doubts before a Michigan football game. Normally I have that Wolverine arrogance about me, thinking that we can beat any team. However, Michigan is a lowly 2-2 having only beaten Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois, while losing to Wisconsin and Notre Dame. I am especially concerned now that we are facing one of the best Michigan State teams in years in what a Spartan would call the "biggest rivalry game in the Big 10." There's no doubt Spartan stadium is going to be rockin' with years of pent up frustration. What's you're take on this weekend's showdown in East Lansing, Seth?

"In short, don't forget 1998. We lost two games early and came back to tie for the Big Ten Championship, and this team could do that again.

The big question is our offensive line. Both tackles, a guard and a tight end being out is killing us up front.

Michigan doesn't exploit opponents' weaknesses; we like to hit you in your strength, which, if successful, demoralizes the opponent. We don't blow you out; we beat you.

The thing about MSU is that this is the first time in a long time that we're looking up at them in the standings. That's huge. Michigan has their backs against the wall and has to win this game. On the same note, State is overrated. They got lucky against the Lucky Irish, who came back from 21 points down to force overtime, and have otherwise been running a spread offense against teams like Kent State and Illinois who have no defensive talent. Try it against the Big Ten baddies and that QB is gonna get hit.

The biggest thing to watch out for in this game, every year, is who's gonna step up for Michigan. Every year, our best player takes over the Michigan State game:

2004: Braylon Edwards makes psycho catches in come-from-behind

2003: Chris Perry runs the ball over 50 times

2002: B.J. Askew has a career day in 49-3 blowout

2001: Offense becomes entirely based on Marquise Walker

2000: A-Train goes a rollin'

1999: After getting demolished, Brady came back to bring us within 3 by end.

1998: Brady, A-Train put on a show, won starting jobs for good.

1997: Charles Woodson makes freak interception on an MSU throw-away

Need I go on? Look for Hart to put on a gutsy performance and our defense to surprise the Spartans as the Wolverines win 28-21."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

PIC OF THE DAY


It's fitting that Seth got the communists to stand to his left for this pic. Posted by Picasa
THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COTTON BOWL

From Seth...

"The Cotton Bowl was in decline after the Big 8 and Southwestern conferences merged into the Big 12. What fun would Nebraska/Oklahoma be if they already played once in the season and once in the conference championship? After the merge, the Cotton had to ask the Pac 10 for whomever the Rose didn't take.

Meanwhile, the Fiesta has always held its doors open for playing during Prime Time, halting the game for longer commercials, generating more hype, and basically being down with the ESPNitization of college football. They even played their game a few days after New Years so they could be the last college football game of the season. They're the trendy bowl -- the one that was designed and created in a national TV era for a national TV audience.

They also led the way in the bowl coalition in the early '90s, while the Rose and Cotton Bowls resisted. The Orange and Sugar were already at odds because the Orange wanted Notre Dame, FSU or Miami to get a shot at the SEC champ, and the Sugar was sick of having the SEC champ face off against the Cotton Bowl's leftovers. They coveted the Big 12 champ.

So the "Bowl Coalition" was like three mafia families uniting to take a cut from one of of the other big families in town. The Rose family might have been too big to be bothered by the fray, but the Cotton family couldn't compete with the ad dollars.

The Roses should have done more. Because once the Bowl Coalition was formed, rather than be happy with what they'd bitten off, every single one of them just started coveting the grass in Pasadena, especially after Nebraska demolished a great Tennessee team and the sportswriters still picked Michigan. Heck, all the Wolverines had done was beaten six teams in the Top 10 (Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State, Colorado and Washington State), while Nebraska needed overtime against lowly Missouri. But to the Bowl Coalition, it was a snub; they believed they were entitled by rights to the national championship (like when Penn State got snubbed in favor of Nebraska in 1994).

So they went after the Rose Bowl's contracts and even threatened to play their championship game at the same time. The Rose caved, and the greatest sporting event of the year was ruined."
NEW ORLEANS GETS YOU STONED

From Seth...

"The EPA reported over the wire today some of the initial results from their testing of the floodwater residue left around New Orleans.

Apparently, high levels of fuel oils have mixed with other chemicals in the soup to give off a number of fumes. People breathing these fumes have diagnosed with:

"eye irritation, increased blood pressure, headache, light-headedness, loss of appetite, poor coordination and difficulty concentrating"

That's the scientists' way of saying they're high.

That's right: we now have a city in the United States in which the very act of entering its confines will get you stoned.

How's that war on drugs going?"

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

14 YEARS IN A ROW

Congrats to the Atlanta Braves, who clinched yet another division title last night. So who's down for a playoff game at the Ted? I know Tondar's down.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

PIC OF THE DAY


OK, maybe those Tea-sips weren't THAT cool Posted by Picasa
F THE BCS

From Seth...

"F the BCS.

I just wanted to make sure I've said that this season so I can say later that the BCS can suck my balls

So I met a kid from Los Angeles at the Tiger game on Sunday night who said that the Pac 10 always tries to stick up for the Big 10. I noticed the vice-versa here: that we're always saying the Pac is just as good as the SEC or Big 12, even when it's not so.

The reason: The Rose Bowl.

This Big Ten/Pac 10 friendship has extended down to people my sister's age, who were 11 when Michigan won the last non-BCS championship.

Because of the Rose Bowl.

They don't like seeing Texas there, either. They thought Cal deserved a shot at the Wolverines.

So F--- the BCS. They've killed the greatest game in sports. This year, it's not even going to be on January 1 because it hosts the national championship. Well, so the F what. I'd rather see the best of the West take on the best of teh Midwest than know who's officially "the best" in the country. How often has the BCS created an undisputed champion anyway?"


Fo Shizzle, but in a nation of March Madness and ESPNization, how can you fight the tv contract consolidation? It's almost as if they create the flawed BCS so when it fails they can someday replace it with a big money 8 team playoff.

But in defense of Texas, while I was there they were well behaved fans that understood the history of the Granddaddy, though they knew they should have been in the Cotton or Fiesta Bowl.

By the way, how did the Fiesta Bowl become more prestigious than the Cotton Bowl anyways?

Monday, September 26, 2005

PIC OF THE DAY


Nah, Dude I play for Phoenix now. See it says Phoenix right across my chest. Posted by Picasa
MORE HOCKEY NOTES

From Seth...

"1. You can always tell when hockey's starting, because suddenly every injury, be it a broken toe or bad hair day, gets listed as a groin pull. Players listed as groin pulls right now (real injury, as far as I can tell, in parentheses):

-Thrashers netminder Kari Lehtonen (bruised calf)

-Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk (arthroscopic knee surgury)

-Wild prospect Patrick O'Sullivan (shoulder)

-John Ferguson (father's having prostate surgury)

-Senators grinder Vaclav Varada (knee something)

-Avalanche grinder Brad May (sulking: got booed by hometown fans, left game in 2nd period, sat out the game against Dallas last night)

2. The only team that will admit a player has an injury is Toronto, who has found a creative new way of handling a salary cap that's less than half of their total payroll in 2003-04. Basically, the plan is to get high-priced free agents, let them get injured, then refuse to pay them.

The Maple Leaves have convinced themselves that they shouldn't have to pay Owen Nolan a dime this year (thus fitting him under their tight cap situation) because they don't think he hurt his knee playing hockey for them. The thing is, he did hurt his knee playing hockey for them, but if they ponied up now, after signing the injury-prone Eric Lindros and Paul O'Neill to big contracts, they would be over the salary cap. Apparently, the plan is to keep Nolan in court fighting for his contract money until Lindros gets that 17th concussion or O'Neill's legs fall off, at which point they settle with Nolan and refuse to pay the new guy.

3. So CuJo got some game-time in for Phoenix, where he's playing for coach Gretzky. His uniform hasn't changed much; according to Gretzky, the new Coyotes jerseys are different from those of Gretzky's favorite boyhood team because "the red stripes are a totally different shade of red." (see photos). Anyway, if he ever felt dissed by Deroit, without Lidstrom, Chelios, Fischer, Hatcher, Dandenault and Schneider in front of him, Joseph let in 8 goals on 24 shots.

4. Add Alexander Semin to our list of cukoo Ruskies in the NHL.

The sophomore left winger for the Washington Capitals, who is under contract, hasn't reported to training camp, and the organization is getting pretty angry with him.

From TSN:

"WASHINGTON (CP) - Capitals forward Alexander Semin has not reported to Washington despite being under contract and GM George McPhee is not pleased.

McPhee said three weeks ago he had been assured by Semin's representatives that the 21-year-old Russian would arrive in time for training camp, which began Sept. 12. He didn't show up, claiming trouble securing a visa.

Semin has also played a game with Lada Togliatti of the Russian elite league.

"We are frustrated and disappointed by what has transpired," McPhee told the Washington Post. "Through no fault of the (Capitals), we've done all the right things. This is a really talented player who should be here. I'm not sure where it's going to go."

Added McPhee: "At this point, he is in violation of his contract. We are going to be as aggressive as we can to remedy this."
NOBODY TO BLAME BUT YOURSELF, KERRY

A new documentary reveals a very unflattering look at John Kerry's 2004 campaign...

"It features, among other not-ready-for-prime-time moments, Clinton scowling and rolling her eyes over an apparent Kerry gaffe during a presidential debate; Kerry pretending to interview himself and babbling in Italian while waiting for a real interview to begin; Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) cursing at reporters during a campaign stop, and Kerry message guru Robert Shrum confidently declaring a few days before the 2004 election: "Zogby [a prominent pollster] just announced who's gonna win. Us!"


Instead of badmouthing the film, one would think the democrats would study it and try to figure out what went wrong in 2004. Well then again, it was the stupid voters that got it wrong, but in 2006 they'll have Cindy Sheehan yell at America until they get it right.
REDWINGS OUTLOOK

Hopefully, the Wings will be like the Atlanta Braves where the old guard will see the next generation in without missing a step and having to go through a rebuilding process. If Seth is right that just might be what we have on our hands right now...

"The Red Wings look promising so far.

I know it's the pre-season, but the Wings are 4-1-1 in the pre-season.

More telling, they're 3-0 when playing with over half of the expected starters, and in a preseason dominated by penalties, the Wings are the least penalized team. Our powerplay is firing at a mean 25 percent.

Anyway, likely because Detroit seems to have adapted to the new rules faster than other squads, our goals against average should be one of the best in the league (it's hard finding stats, but I know we're around 2.5 GAA and most teams are deep into the 3s).

Shanahan's been crashing the net again, too. How long has it been since he's done that?

One thing that keeps playing on my mind is how many years of Red Wings dominance were stripped away by the dead puck era? We had this team plus Fedorov, Robitaille, Hull, McCarty, Dandenault and Larionov a few years back, but couldn't get past the 1st round. Now, part of that was the Wings not playing great hockey, but it was also the clutchiest and grabbiest series ever played, with Gigure modeling the largest goalie pads ever used in the game.

I don't just think.. I know that if we'd gone up against Anaheim with the current NHL rules (which, aside from the 2-line pass, are really the same rules they had back then, just enforced now), we would've swept them and perhaps everybody else we faced, and people would have marveled at what a team with Steve Yzerman, Nick Lidstrom, Brendan Shanahan, Sergei Fedorov, Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull, Igor Larionov, Chris Chelios, Jiri Fischer, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Matthieu Schneider, Curtis Joseph, and the famous grind line could accomplish.

I know we got that team partly by trade deadline salary dumps of non-playoff teams (Larionov, Schneider, Chelios), free agency (Robitaille, Hull, Joseph), and, mostly by having the funds to afford to keep our high-priced talents acquired in the draft or traded for while they were prospects. But at least we should have been able to get our bang for our bucks, you know? I just feel like our legendary team was wasted, like putting the Murderers Row Yankees in the dead ball era or something.

This year is the beginning of our transitional period. Slowly, the old fellas are moving on. When Lidstrom's contract is up at the end of this season, it's doubtful we'll be able to retain his services. Chelios is probably done after this season. Yzerman, if not this year, will be done after next. Shanny too. Then that's it. Draper, Holmstrom, Schneider and Maltby will be around, but they'll start aging in a few years too. We'll likely bring back McCarty. But it will be the Datsyuk/Zetterberg/Fischer/Kronwall/Grigorenko/Howard team we'll be watching by 2007-08. We've been putting off that destiny for a long time."
A NEW "CHAUNCEY" IN MOTOWN

From Seth...

"TSN had this to say about Dan Cleary, an unsigned free agent the Wings invited to training camp:

"His biggest flaw is attitude. He was hyped too early, so his work ethic has suffered greatly as a result. Must also prove he can step up his game when given added responsibilities at the NHL level."


Well, this kid hasn't shown any attitude problems I can see in training camp. He's been the hardest worker on the whole squad, and leads the team in preseason scoring. He got a goal and an assist last night. His talent is unquestionable, especially his speed and hard shot.

He was a former 1st round pick (13th overall) who was overhyped early and bounced around the league with an "attitude problem" label, until he was picked up cheap by a team that was willing to let him start all over again, provided he earned every second of playing time he got.

Sound familiar?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

SURPRISE SURPRISE: MORE PREDATORY BUSINESS PRACTICES

With oil prices so high, consumers are wonder where the hybrids are. Turns out they are being hogged by the Japanese auto industry. So once again America is facing an oil crisis while Japan is taking advantage of us. Funny how things don't really change all that much.
ETHIOPIAN JEWS

James raises issue with a lost tribe...


"why do they want to go to israel so bad? how did they get there in the first place...are they a "lost"israeli tribe? how would they prove that they are israeli? i figured if anyone i know can answer these questions, its Seth."


Seth's answer...

"Actually, the reason why they want to come to Israel is simple: Ethiopia sucks donkey balls; Israel is a modern democracy. The Falashamora leader who said he doesn't care if he remains poor sounds like a Mexican who claims he's coming to America for the bowling.

The reason for the controversy is a bit more complex.

Being "Israeli" or an "Israelite" or a "Son of Israel" or an "Israel man, through and through" is the same thing as being Jewish. It actually is supposed to mean you descend from Jacob, who had his named changed to Israel after wrestling with an angel (as is only proper after physical combat with seraphym).

That's why it's important to marry Jewish. Gotta keep the tribe going.

Anyway, if you convert to Christianity, you lose your ability to make new Jews. Your mother says the prayer over the dead for you, and that's it. This goes for "Jews for Jesus" too. They're Christians. If you convert to Christianity, you have the status of dead Jew. That is, unless you coverted under durress, in which case we're pretty
understanding. It's happened before, afterall.

To be born a Jew, you need to be the child of a Jewish mother. A son must be circumcized 8 days later. So if your parents both converted to Christianity before you were born (this reference to life beginning at birth is why Jews didn't get on the anti-abortion bandwagon), then you're not a Jew. If your mother was still Jewish, however, then you're still Jewish.

If your mother's mother's mother's mother was Jewish, but everyone since then has been a Christian, you're not Jewish. However, because the tribe is small, we've been fudging the rules. This is in part because we didn't want to disclude people from coming to the homeland if they been persecuted as Jews, especially in the Holocaust. Hitler didn't use the same cutoff point as our orthodox nutjobs, doya kennit?

We also pay attention to when your family might have been converted. If, for example, the Hernandez family converted to Christianity in Spain in 1492, and Keith Hernandez says he's still a Jew, then we're like, "Hey, he played first base for the Mets; let him in!" They're loose rules designed to expand the roster.

That's another unspoken thing in Judaism. We're all bound at our creation to be Mets fans.

The problem with these Ethiopians is they're not Jews. They converted to Christianity a century ago. More recently, they had a mass conversion back to Judaism, which is abhorrent to rabbinical Judaism. Conversion, or Halacha, is supposed to be a spiritual process of learning for the individual, with a rabbi overlooking. 80 percent of converts are women, most of whom are about our age, by the way. You can guess why.

Anyway, the controversy over the Falashamora is that a lot of Jews think their conversion wasn't heartfelt. We trust Madonna's conversion more than theirs. From Israeli Immigration's standpoint, the group are a bunch of Christians who converted to Judaism en masse just to get in the club.

The other side of the shekel is that the Falashamora descend (at least, they claim they descend) from pre-Roman Jews. Certainly this is possible. We've found groups like this all over the world. There's even a population of Jews, which is almost gone now, in Northern Iraq, living with the Kurds. So if they can prove that they're a "lost tribe," then they're in, and we can overlook their period of Christianity that was probably made in durress.

Their disclusion angers Sephardic Jews, native to Spain, Northern Africa and the Near East, who have long been wary of the Ashkenazi (European Jews) dominance of Israeli and global Jewish thought. To some people (my grandma), this is still a big distinction. To me, the Sephardim have better charoset (a Jewish dessert of chopped nuts, honey, and fruit and stuff -- the Sephardic style has peaches instead of apples).

The Ashkenazi/Sephardic division is post-diaspora, but it has come to play a bit in the Falashamore discussion because Sephardim identify with them.

There has also been pressure from American Jews, who are largely Ashkenazi but tend to side with Sephardic liberalism in such arguments, to just let them in. The Israeli government tries to straddle the line by asking the Falashamora to prove where they're descended from.

If it were up to me, I'd let them in. The Falashamora have traveled to synagogues all over the world to talk about their plight, which says to me that they took their conversion seriously. If they didn't do it right, well, the "right" way to perform Halacha comes from rabbinical history, which the Falashamora pre-date. Maybe they're just quirky. Either way, they act like they're serious about the religion, so that's
where I stand.

P.S. A hunger strike in Ethiopia? Irony anyone?
BLAME IT ON THE JAPS

With two major hurricanes in the last month, the question on everybody's mind is why? Well meteorologist Scott Stevens has an answer. Turns out it was the Japanese...

"the Yakuza Mafia used a Russian-made electromagnetic generator to cause Hurricane Katrina in a bid to avenge the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima....The evidence of these weapons at work found within the clouds overhead is simply unmistakable. These patterns and odd geometric shapes seen in our skies, each and every day, are clear and present evidence that our weather has been stolen from us, only to be used by those whose designs for humanity are rarely in alignment with that of the common man."


Like the New Prophecy website, it certainly makes you wonder.