The Zionist Conspiracy

A clandestine undertaking on behalf of Israel, the Jets and the Jews.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Five More Comments

UPDATE: 2/27: My wife has informed me that she did indeed donate to the PBA. As MoC would say, Ich Kenisht.

1. In the 90s, Arutz Sheva served as a valuable alternative source of news to Israel's mainstream media. Frequently, Arutz Sheva would break news, and it would report extensively on developments that Haaretz, Yediot and Maariv largely ignored.

Unfortunately, over the years Arutz Sheva has gone downhill, essentially offering basic news with a far right-wing slant, and monolithic opinion pieces.

Yesterday, several people sent me a new article from Arutz Sheva, reporting that according to Chicago Arab activist Ali Abunimah, Barack Obama had, in the past, been far more pro-Palestinian than he is now letting on.

The Abunimah article is, in my opinion, indeed disturbing. It also was posted on March 4, 2007, a fact that Arutz Sheva did not bother to mention.

2. Lost amidst the controversy concerning Obama's relationship with Jeremiah Wright is a statement Wright made last year, when Obama disinvited him from delivering an invocation at Obama's presidential announcement.

Then, the New York Times reported:

“Fifteen minutes before Shabbos I get a call from Barack,” Mr. Wright said in an
interview on Monday, recalling that he was at an interfaith conference at the
time. “One of his members had talked him into uninviting me,” Mr. Wright said,
referring to Mr. Obama’s campaign advisers.
Am I the only one who finds Wright's use of the word "Shabbos" of note?

3. Since adding my telephone number to the Do Not Call registry, the only telemarketing calls I get are from frum charities and the Police Benevolent Association. What's worse, both the frum charities and the PBA invariably follow-up by thanking me for a pledge I did not make and sending me an invoice.

I no longer give to the PBA, though I recognize that the NYPD has many dedicated and fine officers who risk their lives on a daily basis, and should not be judged mainly based upon its corrupt, arrogant and occasionally trigger-happy members - even if a culture of corruption and arrogance is accepted and justified.

I do donate to various frum charities, which makes the practice of a number of them to send invoices for relatively small amounts that were not actually pledged rather disturbing. Surely this is done by the telemarketers and not the charities directly, but ultimately the charities must take responsibility for this less than honest practice. Rightly or wrongly, my tendency is to stop donating - or to donate less - to charities that bill me for imaginary pledges.

4. All baseball teams have their deficiencies, but six days before they open the 2008 season, those of the Mets are maddening. While the Mets acquired Johan Santana (had they not they probably would not even be a contender), they largely ignored their need for outfield depth, a number 5 starter, and bullpen help. For the second straight season they are relying on Moises Alou, Duaner Sanchez, Orlando Hernandez and Mike Pelfrey. That gamble will hopefully not fail as it did last year, but for a little more payroll, the Mets could have solidified these areas.

In the meantime, the Mets look poised to pray that Nelson Figueroa can plug the hole in their rotation. They continue to stubbornly refuse to consider Aaron Heilman as a starter, and also seem to have forgotten that overall Jorge Sosa wasn't bad during his 14 starts last season.

Looking back to the '86 Mets, during the offseason after 1985, the Mets decided that they needed a lefty for the back of their rotation. They acquired Bobby Ojeda from the Red Sox, and he then went on to have a career year and lead the Mets with 18 wins.

5. Nets fans have known this for a while, but now the secret is finally getting out: Jason Kidd is not a superstar anymore. Hopefully, the Mavs will at least make the playoffs, as otherwise the Nets won't get a first round pick from them until next season.

This is not to say that Kidd can't help Dallas or is not still a good player. But at 35, his weaknesses have become more prominent and difficult to hide.