The Zionist Conspiracy
Sunday, November 29, 2009
1. A win is always good, but at 5-6, the Jets are going nowhere this season. For that reason, their newly installed ultra-conservative passing game is short-sighted. Mark Sanchez has to stop throwing dumb INTs, but also needs to be allowed to throw to his receivers. Instead, whenever his primary receiver was covered, he either dumped off to Thomas Jones or took unnecessary sacks on Rex Ryan's orders.
2. Eric Smith has become a pretty good player.
3. Today, the Jaguars missed a 21 yard field goal. Couldn't they have shanked a chip shot two weeks ago?
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The Curb Seinfeld Reunion
Back when nobody was watching Seinfeld - when it was on Wednesday nights as a mid-season fill-in - I was its biggest fan. As had been the case with other unusual shows like Sledge Hammer, I don't think I convinced more than one or two people to watch Seinfeld prior to its shift to Thursday night after Cheers ended its run. Most who did watch in the early days thought the show was slow-paced and boring.
Alas, popularity caused Seinfeld to go from irreverent to bizarre and unrealistic - though for a while it remained a great show. But I found the last few seasons to be disappointing, with the main characters all turned into complete caricatures.
For that reason especially, I thought the last two episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm were a rare delight. The fake reunion show was not great in itself, though it wasn't bad either. But watching the old cast perform together - and the banter between Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander - was a pleasant blast from the past.
Having said that ...
Who would have expected that more than 11 years after its finale, "having said that" would become a new classic Seinfeld line?
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Mumbai A Year Later, Netanyahu and Submission to Terror
The day before Thanksgiving last year brought the reports of the Mumbai attacks. Later in the day were the initial concerns about those in Nariman house. By evening things had become ominous. Thanksgiving brought all kinds of contradictory reports, and the news that Moshe Holtzberg had survived. Watching Indian TV on that Thursday and Friday was extremely frustrating, with the anchors and reporters in Mumbai having no idea of - and very little if any interest in - the fate of the Chabad shluchim and their guests. The horrible confirmation of their murders was at once both shocking and a confirmation of what we all already knew - absent a miracle - would be the result.
Just thinking about those few days is chilling. Is there anyone who today would free the lone surviving terrorist operative? If those who masterminded the Mumbai massacres were caught, would they ever be let go under any circumstances?
What has become of Israel, a country that went from leading the international fight against terror to becoming the leading appeaser of terror?
Is it a coincidence that 33 years after Yoni Netanyahu symbolized Israel's refusal to submit to the demands of terrorists, that his younger brother, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, now is ready to acquiesce to much harsher demands?
Consider Binyamin Netanyahu's words in his Foreword to Self-Portrait Of A Hero - From The Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu:
The death of a brother cut down in his prime is traumatic in every way; it changed my life and directed it to its present course. But the impact of a loss of a brother is a distant second to the greatest agony of all, the death of a son. Over the years, as I have visited agonizing parents who have lost their children in battle or to bouts of savage terrorism, I have grieved for them as I grieved for my parents.Prime Minister Netanyahu nobly wants to save Noam and Aviva Shalit from the agony suffered by his parents and the parents of many other Israelis. But in doing so, he is virtually assuring agony to many more parents in Israel.
Saving Private Shaw
After more than three years in captivity, the Obama administration must finalize the prisoner swap deal for Priv. Kevin Shaw.
The terms of the deal are well known: The release by the U.S. of 450 al-Qaeda militants. al-Qaeda will not budge from its demands, with which President Obama must comply.
Reportedly, the remaining dispute centers around just five U.S. prisoners. But President Obama must not allow the continued detention of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Richard Reid, Jose Padilla, John Walker Lindh and Zacarias Moussaoui to be a reason to waste the opportunity to bring Kevin Shaw home for Christmas.
There is hardly any reason to keep these men locked up. Those who died on 9/11 will not be brought back to life. Some argue that Moussaoui or Sheikh Mohammed would if freed return to violence. More likely, they will return to their families, happy to have a new lease on their lives. In any case, there is hardly any shortage of frustrated Muslim men willing to fight; imprisoning five prominent members of al-Qaeda is sure to attract thousands more to militancy.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Goldie and Shmuel Taubenfeld
Three month old Shmuel Taubenfeld and his mother Goldie were murdered in the August 2003 bombing of the number 2 bus from the Western Wall.
David and Naava Applebaum
On September 9, 2003, the night before her scheduled wedding, Naava Applebaum and her father, Shaare Tzedek ER Chief Dr. David Applebaum, were murdered in the Cafe Hillel bombing.
In June 2003, seven year old Noam Leibowitz was shot to death while riding in her family's car.
In December 2003, 22 year old Noam Leibowitz was murdered in a suicide bombing.
Shiri was murdered in a bus bombing outside of the Gilo section of Jerusalem in June 2002. She was initially conscious but died of massive internal injuries. She was 21 years old.
Koby and his friend Yosef Ish-Ran were stoned to death in May 2001.
Koby was 13 years old; Yosef was 14.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Lessons Of Gilo
Israelis across the political spectrum have expressed surprise and dismay in reaction to the harsh U.S. and international criticism of the Jerusalem municipality's granting of a permit to construct 900 new housing units in Gilo, a post-1967 neighborhood with 40,000 residents in southwestern Jerusalem.
Two important lessons can be learned from this:
1. The Israeli left's position on construction in areas captured in 1967 is inconsistent, illogical and hypocritical.
The same people who bash all "settlements" as akin to land theft somehow, with a straight face, say that Gilo is different.
Now, it may very well be that housing in Gilo is, as a matter of policy, a better idea than a community deep in Samaria.
The issue, however, is this: Are the 1949 armistice lines sacrosanct? Do these lines (a/k/a the "Green Line") constitute an actual border?
If yes, then Israel has no right to build anywhere across the '49 lines. If not, then the area is, at least, disputed territory to which Israel can assert a claim.
The position of the Israeli left is that construction on the "wrong" side of the Green Line is bad - except in places where nice secular people happen to reside - like Gilo.
2. How did Israel get to a point where housing in Gilo is not only controversial, but something condemned much more harshly than, say, Iran's refusal to cooperate on the matter of its assembling nuclear weapons?
Part of the answer is that the Obama administration is more hostile to Israel than prior administrations over the past three decades.
But the continual erosion of Israel's positions is the main reason for the shift in policy.
The U.S. (and the rest of the world) never liked the idea of construction in the post-1967 areas. But for many years, the main focus was on the construction of new communities deep in Samaria. The "settlements" near Jerusalem were not the focus of more than token objections, and construction in Jerusalem itself was usually not an issue at all. Indeed, Gilo, Ramat Eshkol, Ramot, French Hill and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City were developed without much attention from anyone. Har Homa was criticized more strongly but President Clinton didn't do much to stop it from becoming another large neighborhood.
When Israel agreed to stop constructing any new communities, the focus shifted to removing small settlement outposts.
Then, Israel was pressured to stop building outside of Jerusalem and the large settlement blocs.
When Israel agreed to that, the demand was increased to no new housing anywhere in Judea and Samaria.
When Prime Minister Netanyahu signaled agreement, the pressure immediately turned to predominately Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem like Sheikh Jarrah.
Now Gilo has become the focus. Gilo is not even in the eastern part of Jerusalem - despite persistent media reports to that effect.
Ultimately, the world wants Israel to withdraw from every last centimeter captured in 1967. Thus, no concession will ever suffice; instead, each concession will result only in more pressure to retreat further.
Israel's Release Of 1,000 Terrorists
There is a tendency among those with partisan political views to bash what their political opponents were ready to do, and subsequently support (or at least acquiesce in) similar positions by politicians whom they support.
For this reason, I feel compelled to clearly state that the impending release of hundreds of murderers in exchange for Gilad Shalit is an act of pure madness on the part of Prime Minister Netanyahu and the government he leads.
Everyone will be happy to see Shalit return home and for his tragic ordeal to come to an end. But Shalit's return is only part of the story. The deal makes a mockery of Israel's legal system, callously disregards the pain and suffering of those murdered by terrorists, boosts the morale of the terrorists, and calls into question the purpose of the IDF operations to capture the very terrorists who are now being released - operations in which numerous IDF soldiers were killed or wounded. Most ominously, the release of the leading terrorists makes it very likely that it is only a matter of time until the next round of mass murder of Jews commences.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
1. It's too early to label Mark Sanchez a bust, but the "Sanchez can do no wrong" mantra from Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum are hardly doing him any favors. Sanchez deserves to be benched, if only to demonstrate to the rest of the team (and to him) that the Jets will play those who give the team the best chance to win.
2. In this regard, if as appears to be the case the Jets have no confidence in Kellen Clemens, they should bring in a veteran this offseason who can at least modestly challenge Sanchez for the starting QB job.
3. The slot coverage and tackling were horrendous today. Kerry Rhodes in particular had another bad game. Bart ($8 million a year) Scott has been invisible too.
4. Wes Welker's monster game helped propel Akiva to an FFL victory over my team, putting us in a first place tie at 8-3.
5. The Jets have nobody who can return punts. When they drafted Darrelle Revis, wasn't he supposed to provide a big boost to their return game?
Sunday, November 15, 2009
1. Mark Sanchez regularly seems to zero in on his primary receiver - and completely overlooks open secondary receivers.
2. Anyone remember Kerry Rhodes?
3. The first half tackling was awful.
4. The Jets' sideline frequently appears to be chaotic during player substitutions.
5. Braylon Edwards sometimes reminds me of Keyshawn Johnson. In a good way.
6. My schedule for today;
-Leave Queens at 9:50 A.M.
-Drop my wife off at work at 10:20 A.M.
-Arrive at my parents' home in Brooklyn to pick up my father and drop off my children at 10:45 A.M.
-Leave for game at 11:20 A.M.
-Arrive at Giants Stadium at 12:10 P.M.
-Leave game at 3:54 P.M.
-Arrive at my car at 4:02 P.M.
-Arrive in Brooklyn at 5:00 P.M.
-Leave Brooklyn at 5:45 P.M.
-Arrive home at 6:55 P.M.
I sure will miss having season tickets!
7. I've probably been to more than 90 Jets games since 1994, and have lots of memories. But I'm not really that nostalgic about the end of Giants Stadium.
It did occur to me today that with just three home games left, this would be the last time I'd sit in my longtime seats in section 119 with my father.
The first game I went to at Giants Stadium was with my father and brother, in 1987. I saw a blurb in the paper about a few seats being on sale at the Jets' then office in Manhattan. I arrived early and bought three tickets in the hope that my father would come to the game and wouldn't mind my cutting a few hours of yeshiva.
The Jets played the Colts - who had just traded for Eric Dickerson. Dickerson had a quiet game, but the Jets lost.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
1. The Jets have become a team that finds ways to lose. Both Dolphins games and the Bills game were games the Jets should have won. Today the Jets outplayed Miami on both offense and defense, and the crowd was loud and into the game.
2. Rex Ryan was terrible today. He has to challenge the fumble even if he's not sure. His first two-point conversion attempts were ill-advised. His timeout before the late 3rd quarter attempt was idiotic. The fade (probably Brian Schottenheimer's playcall) following the timeout to Braylon Edwards was a very low percentage pass.
3. During the first half, Mark Sanchez looked like he was playing not to make a mistake, constantly underthrowing passes and never going downfield to Jerricho Cotchery or Braylon Edwards.
Obviously a lot of that is Sanchez's fault, but it doesn't help that the Jets have now inexplicably adopted Herm Edwards' philosophy of "every drive that ends in a kick is a good drive."
4. During the first half, Schottenheimer appeared to be more focused on tricking the Dolphins defense than on executing offensive plays. The most egregious example: Sending three receivers on the right, then running left.
5. Alan Faneca has been very disappointing in pass protection.
6. I did not like the playcalling on the final series. The Dolphins looked exhausted. I'd have run at least on 2nd down.
7. Jay Feely's kickoff on Ted Ginn's first TD return was awful.
8. The Dolphins punting was far better than the Jets, and helped Miami keep the first half at 3-3.
9. Halfway into his second season, Vernon Gholston is useless.
10. Marathon Sunday is always the best day to drive to a game.