Monday, June 25, 2007

Michael Moore's new film SiCKO

Visual Vendetta has Michael Moore's new film online so you can view it here.

It boggles my mind why we can't have Socialized Health care. I think Moore's point is long overdue. Al Gore after you're done with The Assault on Reason do you think you can take on American and give us real democracy - a democratic health care?

I'm moving to Israel and as a non-citizen I have to pay for health care - $1 a day. That's insane. My wife and I pay over $200 a month. Do that math. I pay nearly $4 a day in the US and still have deductibles and co-pays; all in a country that I'm a taxpaying citizen of.

I'm not some crazy socialist, in fact I have arguments with my Marxist kibbutznik cousins all the time, but democratic health care seems like a basic human right to me.

No health care system is going to be perfect; it can't be. But after needing an emergency room visit on the second day of Shavuot for an infection I shouldn't have to pay hundreds of dollars after I pay my monthly bill.

Watch the movie. It's well worth your time.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

What to do with Hamas? Part IV

Charles Krauthammer wrote a very interesting OpEd in Friday's Washington Post. Instead of crying about the situation in Gaza he provides, what seems to be, a good solution.

With Hamas now clearly in charge, Israel should declare that it will tolerate no more rocket fire -- that the next Qassam will be answered with a cutoff of gasoline shipments. This should bring road traffic in Gaza to a halt within days and make it increasingly difficult to ferry around missiles and launchers.

If that fails to concentrate the mind, the next step should be to cut off electricity. When the world wails, Israel should ask, what other country on Earth is expected to supply the very means for a declared enemy to attack it?

What do do with Hamas? Show them who's boss. If they really are there to provide leadership for the Palestinians, then now that they've consolidated power there, let them do something. If the attacks continue, cut off gas and then electricity.

What Krauthammer fails to mention - though I'm sure he knows - is that no matter what Israel does they're always blamed. But at least it's a plan that deserves thought.

I also found this interesting: "Historian Michael Oren points out that the Palestinian Authority has received more per capita aid than did Europe under the Marshall Plan." If true, than that's pretty telling of the political situation in Gaza. If there are still Hamas supporters out there, I think it's time for them to wake up.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Nathan's Kosher HotDogs

There's been a lot of activity on a certain e-mail list attached to a shul regarding the Kosher status of Nathan's Kosher Hot Dogs. While I certainly do not mind people talking about items with a hechsher they are unfamiliar with it seems that what has created a hoopla is that the has the chutzpah to give a hechsher to a piece of meat that is not glatt.

The e-mailer then went on to say that he is very happy that he did not eat it and will from now on only shop at kosher certified supermarkets because his trust in hechsherim has disappeared.

On a Halachic level only Sephardim are required to eat Glatt Kosher. And Secondly it is quite possible that our Glatt kosher standards don't even fulfill the requirements for Glatt. This is why products are labeld Glatt Beit Yosef.

Secondly, this Hechsher - a reliable one - has every right to certify non-Glatt meat.

What really ticks me off about all of this is that the guy had no idea that kosher meat wasn't always Glatt. And "oh my gosh" if it's not Glatt it's not Kosher enough for me. Listen, don't buy the meat again if you don't want to, but don't go getting people in a frenzy over a respectable and reliable Hechsher because of your Chumrah.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

On the Libby Verdict

Scooter Libby has been sentenced to 30 months in jail and fined $250,000 for lying under oath to a Grand Jury. I've been reading the newspaper and listening to the radio and I've heard some really disturbing notions. One, the verdict is not harsh enough. Two, that Bush should pardon him.

The case revolves around the leaking of a CIA operatives name to the press and a cover up of the leak. Some commentators would like Libby to serve a life sentence or to be hung for treason. I don't understand what people can't get their heads around - he was not charged nor convicted of treason. He lied to FBI Investigators and the Grand Jury. 30 Months is a lot of jail time - a lot more time than other similar cases that have happened in the past.

My disdain for Bush would grow tremendously if the President pardoned Libby. Presidential pardons can happen for any number of reasons, usually for some failing of the judicial system or other external factors. Libby was trying to protect the Vice President and lied to do so. It would reek of partisan corruption for Bush to pardon or otherwise commute the sentence. For the health of the nation and our ability to re-instill trust in our Government I truly hope Bush will ignore the Libby's pleads for a pardon.