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The More I Share, The Worse It Gets

The most pleasant and fun and drama-free relationships I've had with the opposite sex have been the ones where I've shared the least of myself, put the least on the line, and been the most ready to walk away.

The most painful and unpleasant relationships have been the ones where I've shared the most. I've confided my deepest fears and inevitably created a dynamic that made them real.

I guess the more you share, the more opportunity you create for conflict and pain. You give the other party more ammunition to hurt you.

I was in a relationship where my greatest fear was that the woman would go back to her endowed (meaning he had an endowment from the University of Hard Knocks) ex-boyfriend. We fought constantly about his phone calls to her. Eventually, she went back to him one night (my greatest fear) and that was the end of us.

Something about losing my mother at age four has left me with abandonment issues.

Amy Alkon writes about something similar though more pathological: "Love is many things, but if you’d like to be in it for a while, try not to see it as a permission slip to crawl into your partner’s head and vacuum up everything inside. In demanding full disclosure, especially after you’re out of the picture, you’re right up there in Fantasyland with all the people who are getting married for the third or fourth time. (Excuse me, but at what point do these people have a hard time saying “’til death do us part” with a straight face?)"

Who Killed California?

By Pat Buchanan

The United States government did. For what killed California as the golden land was massive and unrestricted immigration from the Third World, an unrepelled invasion from Mexico, and a failure to protect the U.S. manufacturing base and the wages of America's workers.

During Bush I's term, millions of Mexicans began to flee north to seek jobs and take advantage of the health care, welfare and free education American citizens provided for their people. For one-third of the illegals, California became the destination of choice.

What the U.S. government should have done was obvious, and was demanded by Americans: Enforce our immigration laws, halt the invasion, restrict immigration from the Third World. But America's politicians – out of fear of being branded xenophobic and to curry favor with Big Business, which benefits from an endless supply of low-wage labor – did almost nothing to protect America.

You Might Have..... Hitler Breath

Dave Deutsch writes Chaim Amalek:

The Torah is full of things which I find problematic--I have no objection to raising protests to the notion of exterminating Amalek.

My problem is oversimplifying with easy analogies.

I always love it, for example, when people compare their opponents to Hitler for the most stupid reasons.

A few years back, there was an art exhibit at the Whitney, "Sanitation:" quote below from a CNN article:

Here's what "Sanitation" looks like: In a square, gray room, six anti-art quotes from political figures are posted on a wall, three on each side of mounted American flags. Three quotes are from Giuliani, with one each from former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson and North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms.

The quotes are in the Gothic-style typeface once favored by Hitler's Third Reich. On the floor is a framed excerpt of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. And standing upright are a dozen garbage cans with speakers emitting military marching sounds.

Defenders of the exhibit said basically "Hey, Hitler was opposed to free speech."

Ah, of course, because when you think of Hitler you think, not of genocide, but of his opposition to modern art.

What I really want is for advertisers to take this to its logical conclusion.

Man wakes up, leans over to kiss his wife, she rolls away in revulsion.

Narrator: Does this happen to you? You might have...Hitler breath. After all, Hitler had bad breath.

Or how about this radio spot, from the American beef council "Vegetarianism--it's the choice Hitler made." After all, he was a vegetarian.

So please, by all means, criticize the obligation to exterminate amalek, and the permission to own slaves, and kill men who have sex with men, and anything else you can think of--just deal with it on a more sophisticated level than simply calling it genocide, when there are some other issues which may not make it pleasant, but do make it more complex.

Tell Them At Shul: 'Levi Ford Has Arrived'

Normally I have no interest in material possessions, but I'm getting a lot of social pressure to dump my 1982 Dodge van with 230,000 miles on it. So, I've learned about a 1991 Lincoln Town Car - Cartier series. This is a 4-door sedan, gold in color, top-of-the-line, original owner, always garaged, always maintained and has only 60,000 miles. $5,000. Should I buy it?

Gary writes: no. i had a similar in a mercury marquise, and as i would expect yours to do, it will nickel and dime you to death. repairs of that kind of vehicle expensive and frequent. look for a ford explorer (an OJ car) in about that age range. the fixing on them is always straight forward and relatively inexpensive. the ride is honest and nobody looks bad in an old truck. i like mine so much i'll be changing out the engine later this year to keep it for a good dozen more.

Cecile writes: For your safety and the children's parent's mental health in your neighborhood, you should dump your van no matter what. Although it is not seriously damaged. Give yourself a treat and get a new car!

AlexanderThePoet thinks: Luke, if you want a car that will last a long, long time, definitely look into getting a Honda. Yeah they're expensive but supposedly they can last 150-180,000 miles. I will advise you against getting a Ford. Avoid getting a Ford car at all costs. Too many problems with those cars.

Big Willy: Are you going to buy a car?
Big Willy: You should
Big Willy: It would work wonders for your social life not to have a serial killer car.
Big Willy: That van costs you more - lots more - than your apartment. socially, that is.
Luke: true but a four door lincoln town car?
Big Willy: pimp-mobile? what color?
Luke: gold
Big Willy: YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Big Willy: that's the shiznit!
Big Willy: you would be like Tony Montana in "Scarface", driving his creampuff
Big Willy: rent it. study it. understand it.

Big Willy: And orange Lincoln town care! How many of them do you suppose are in existence?
Luke: it sounds horrible. It's a pimp mobile.
Big Willy: Dude, you aren't seeing it correctly. YES, it's a PIMP-MOBILE!
Big Willy: Would fit in perfectly with your line of work
Big Willy: The only thing better would be the same model, in a convertible
Big Willy: That car could change your life. Next thing would be the new duds to go with it. To learn what to wear, you need to rent some flicks, like "Willie Dynamite"
Big Willy: What better way to show up at shul than by driving up in that car, wearing a fur stromel and a full length mink coat
Big Willy: Announce to the Jews who so cruely mocked you in the past "Levi Ford has arrived"
Big Willy: All the bitches of your kehilla will want a "lift" from you!
Big Willy: They know that a man with a car with a HUGE trunk, is a man with a car that can hold a lot of crap purchased at the mall

JMT writes: If you don't mind driving a car which otherwise would be driven by an octogenarian, then sure, buy the Lincoln. Of course, you'll need to make up some kind of excuse for having it, which you can combine with a Hollywood-type grasp at status, e.g.,"this was formerly the personal automobile of legendary producer Edgar Scherick, who will be the subject of my next book. I purchased it directly from his estate."

I think you would be better off with one of these. It will become the favored vehicle of serial killers in the 21st Century.

On the Prowl for Telegenic Experts

TV producer Kate Coe (a regular on the LA blog circuit) writes for the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Television today is awash in nonfiction programming. A&E, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, Bravo, Oxygen, and dozens more present hours of documentary programs every week that explore everything from the history of hot dogs to how to ward off hypothermia. On any given day, as many as 2.5 million viewers tune into these shows. And every show has at least one "expert" or academic who can give a scholarly gloss to the rest of the program.

As a veteran producer, I am always on the prowl for telegenic, enthusiastic experts. If you ever get a call from me, there are certain protocols and guidelines that can make your on-camera appearance easier for me, more enjoyable for you, and more profitable for us both.

First, when I call you, don't immediately tell me that you never watch TV. I won't believe you, and I don't even care. I don't watch much TV myself, at least not at home from the sofa. In my job I watch hours and hours worth of raw tapes, so the finished product has little appeal. But people who present themselves as too highbrow to enjoy my products don't win my heart. Do you brag to publishers about how little you read?

'We Have More To Fear From Black Criminals Than White Policemen'

From the LAT on the case that gripped Los Angeles and caused fears of new riots: "Jurors in the Donovan Jackson police-abuse trial declared Tuesday that they could not reach a verdict on the assault charge against Jeremy Morse, the former Inglewood police officer caught on videotape last summer slamming Jackson, then 16, onto the trunk of a police car and punching him in the face."

Dennis Prager on the trial: If this had been a black officer or a white suspect, there would've been no trial. The police man here bashed the suspect's head on the car and gave him one punch.

He probably punched him incorrectly. It shouldn't have resulted in a trial. It should've been handled within the department.

If a policeman says get in the back of the police car, you get in without fighting back. That's what I'd do. What you'd do.

Is trying to make police perfect going to make them better or worse?

Police can not be perfect. Police in Cincinnatti, reacting to black rioting, stopped using force with black suspects. Black murder rates soared. The people who suffer the most from ineffective police work is blacks. This shows how emotions in the black community over historical injustice overtake rational thought. All you're going to have is more dead innocent people, most of them black.

How can you be a white officer in a black area and be constantly thinking you are not trusted? I can understand white police officers in such areas saying, I'm not going to risk my life going after a black criminal.

The LA Riots were not caused by the Rodney King beating. They were caused by the media repeatedly showing a select few seconds of video of the beating. If the media had repeatedly shown any group member getting beaten, that group would've become angry.

We are using excessive force against the police by putting this officer on trial. We have more to fear from black criminals than from white policemen.

SECOND HOUR: Prager had as guest his friend Jerry Zucker, the director and producer. Prager raved about the stupid 2001 movie Rat Race. It's funny if you are about ten years old in emotional intelligence. Prager has watched it several times and loves it.

I rented the movie, watched the first 15-minutes and then gave up on it.

Murphy writes on IMDB.com:

How should I begin my comments on this movie, hmm.......let me think......stinks.....sucks.....awful....non-funny......how about crap! This is without a doubt the least funny, least interesting, least intelligent movie I have seen this year and maybe in the last decade. What happened to Zucker? The poor guy used to have funny movies, not this slime he offered to the public. Rowan Atkinson, can you say an Italian Mr. Bean? Wayne Knight, can you say Newman from Seinfeld? Jon Lovitz, can you say any one of his boring bits from Saturday Night Live? John Cleese, can you say the manager from Fawlty Towers? So on and so on and so on!!! Don't let me forget the leading romantic couple...its hard to believe they could be any worse than they were in "Road Trip", but guess what, they are in this garbage. Couldn't Zucker come up with any funny ideas? Oh wait, a cow tied to a hot air balloon....ha-ha-ha not! Wasn't funny. Wait, the dog and the heart....nope! The pierced tounge...zzzzzzzzzz! Ooooooo, I know, the Hitler car and the cigarette lighter....nada! I'm glad I checked this out from the library so luckily I didn't have to pay a rental fee. My only wish is that IMDB would allow you to give a "0" rating on movies, because that is the rating it deserves. Instead I gave it a "1". By the way, Mr. Zucker, if you are having nightmares in your sleep after making this dribble, its probably Stanley Kramer's spirit causing it. I think you owe his ghost a public apology.

Zucker talks facetiously about Prager's new diamond studs in his ears and his renting of pornos. This latter comment throws Dennis, because he's syndicated by a Christian network and was thrown off a station in Sacramento for his lack of opposition to porn.

Zucker says he doesn't like to make too many movies because it takes him from his family. Each movie is a lost year from the family. Jerry's wife calls the show to kvell about her husband.

Dennis: "Women remember everything written about or said about their husbands.

"You lament the preoccupation with sex in the media."

Jerry: "Primarily because I have kids. I have a 15-year old daughter and an 11-year old son. It seems particularly with TV that's what it is about - getting laid. I wouldn't be watching these shows except for my sitting with my kids watching these shows. It's no longer innuendo. My daughter says, 'Oh, come on Dad.'

THIRD HOUR: New rape law in Illinois is entirely aimed at women yet it uses the word "people." It's all about women changing their mind during sex.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- A new rape law in Illinois attempts to clarify the issue of consent by emphasizing that people can change their mind while having sex.

Under the law, if someone says ``no'' at any time the other person must stop or it becomes rape.

The National Crime Victim Law Institute said it believed the law is the first of its kind in the country.

Lyn Schollett, general counsel for the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said the law was important to make it clear to victims, offenders, prosecutors and juries that people have the right to halt sexual activity at any time. ``I think it will empower prosecutors in charging cases where the victim and the offender have a sexual history,'' she said.

But the director of the Victim Advocacy & Research Group in Boston said it would be hard to imagine courts not upholding a woman's right to withdraw consent. ``To me, it's demeaning,'' Wendy Murphy said. ``It's like the old saying: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' I don't think it was broke.''

The law was inspired by a California case involving two 17-year-olds who had sex at a party. The girl changed her mind about having sex, but the boy did not stop immediately. He was charged with rape, and it took years for the courts to decide that he could be found guilty under California law.

The California Supreme Court ruled in January that a man can be convicted if a woman first consents but later asks him to stop.

Dennis: I don't like the law because trivializes the word rape. The word's been raped by the Left. Feminists and their allies in the Democratic party have denuded the word rape of meaning. It's come to mean any sex that a woman regrets. In the rape statistics of Ms Magazine, that regret is included.

For any woman who has been raped, this new law must be vile. I don't defend this behavior of men. I just don't want to call it rape.

If every undesirable sexual act is rape, then nothing is rape.

If a man doesn't withdraw quickly enough, he raped her?

If women initiate sex, and then change their minds, do they have any responsibility?

Feminists and liberals attempts to protect women is fascinating because these same people always tell men and women are equally strong, capable... It's baloney if women need all these legislations. If a woman can't handle a pinup calendar on a male coworker's desk, they are clearly weaker. Feminists must believe that women are weaker.

There was a movement of feminist law professors that a man who breaks an engagement should be sued.

If men are emotionally hurt, they have to deal with it. But if women are hurt, they can sue.

Maybe there are lessons women should learn from unpleasant sexual experiences, such as how quickly she gets into sexual situations. Maybe there will be a good thing to come out of all this - an increased reticence to have intercourse.

To call a man a rapist, because he did not immediately stop having sex with his girlfriend of a year, is terrible (referring to the California case). And it makes women look weak.

As our society becomes more secular, it becomes less religous and values based. With the collapse of values, you need more laws to regulate human behavior. We give condoms out to 15-year olds and arrest them more easily. Previously, we did neither.

Prager does not believe wives should be able file rape charges against their husbands. If a spouse or boyfriend does this, you should leave the relationship.

A woman caller said she believes she benefits from this law as a woman, by the broadening of the definition of rape.

DP says he's no longer aghast about the charge of rape.

Gossip and adultery ruins lives. Yet I do not want to make them illegal.

TripleSix writes: What if Im having sex while watching tv and i wanna change the channel.... but she doesnt want me to.... i grab the remote and change the channel, she's screamin NO, NO, NO, as i keep changing the channel.

What if she screams YES repeatedly, and i later find out it was 'Opposites Day'?

TheTruth writes: Eventually, it'll get to the point where just looking at a chick will get you prison time. If I were single, and getting any sex whatsoever, i'd make sure every possible location where sex could happen in my residence were under 24/7 security camera watch... I'd rather be guilty of violating someones privacy, than be not guilty and accused of rape.

NBD writes: Don't!... Stop!... could be taken as... don't stop!

Grogan writes: Yea i wont stop, uhhhh, wont stop till you get enough. Uhhhhhh.

I think the guy should be allowed to finish if she consented. If he tries to push round 2 or 3 on her, and she says no, THEN its rape.

The Last Squid

Earlier this week, I got an email from Cathy Seipp: "By the way, [Cecile]'s upset because apparently you put [X] on your blog. Not a big deal, but can you change it?"

Two minutes earlier, I got an email from Cecile: "I am now a B'nai Mitzvah or already was, so religiously I am an adult. I hereby give you permission to [X] hence forward. My mother has no control over my blog."

A few minutes later, there were tears, telephone hugs, and emotional journal entries all round and our big happy blogging family moved on.

Cecile writes: "Funny, but that sounds like a recap that seems to fit on a show called American Idol, where almost everyone cries."

I didn't sleep Monday night. I listened to several tapes of "classic love stories." If you can't have it, you might as well hear about it.

I drag through the day with a mild headache, producing little writing of merit. I look forward to meeting up with Cathy, Cecile and Amy Alkon at a program at Duttons book store in Brentwood this Tuesday evening.

Kevin Roderick writes on LA Observed:

Get this -- legendary newspaper editor Jim Bellows, L.A. Times columnist Al Martinez and former Her-Exer Rip Rense have all written books in the last three years with titles that begin The Last [something]. Now the odd part. They are doing "Airtalk" with Larry Mantle on KPCC together on Tuesday, July 29, and that night will sign books together at Dutton's Brentwood. All this according to Rense's website. He's the one with the new book to push, The Last Byline, a novel about a calamitous year in the life of a scribe at a paper its habitues call the "Chronic Illness."

The Los Angeles Chronicle building was a fossil. In 1915, it loomed over the stubby brick office buildings and whispering beanfields of downtown like an emperor’s summer palace. Now, in the year of our Lord, 1980, it was little more than a bit of history, freakish amid glassy high-rises and maniac buses. Architecturally, it looked liked something based on California missions, and the Casbah. An Egyptian variation of an Elks’ Lodge. A Mesopotamian bingo parlor. It had been designed by a twenty-year-old Russian genius who was murdered at 21 in a homosexual love triangle.

I take my last hot shower early Tuesday evening before the onset of ten days of mourning for the destruction of the two Jewish temples and put on my last pair of fresh clothes. I arrive in Brentwood at 6:45PM but I get lost walking around San Vicente Blvd and it is 7:15 when I walk in late to the program.

Rens (who sports a long pony tail and is the youngest of the three, serves as moderator), Bellows, and Martinez (gave a bitter speech at the LA Press Club Awards about his Times column being moved to the back of the paper) are all humorous, often bitter, critics of modern American newspapers. It's surprising to hear Martinez, an LA Times columnist, criticize his own paper for many faults, particularly a lack of humor.

I'm disappointed that I know nobody in the crowd of 60. The average age is about 50 and there are no hot babes for me to talk Torah with.

Rens was raised by a cruel stepmother, Paige Rense, who edited Architectural Digest.

Cathy (after having sent me three confirming emails) and Cecile (who sent me at least as many) are nowhere in sight.

They show up 20-minutes later to my joy. Then along comes Amy in a fabulous blue outfit with a hilariously flaming doctor friend Kevin Heslin who drives regularly into a hospital in Watts and comes out alive each day. Cathy introduces me to several veteran journalists in the crowd.

During the discussion, Cathy stretches. She must walk those two hours a day she writes about. She's in good shape for a gal.

I never get to meet Rip Rens or Al Martinez or re-introduce myself to Jim Bellows. I'm getting too much joy out of my conversations with Cathy, Cecile and Amy.

Amy and I argue that rapes not accompanied by battery is primarily about sex, not violence. Cathy says it is both. I say that all sex has an element of violence. It's penetration.

Cecile is restless. She says she disagrees with Cathy about most things, which shocks Cathy.

Cathy asks me to write more about my interactions with my friend David Poland, who's exceedingly busy these days with his website like Movie City News.

We have dinner at a little Italian restaurant. We talk about my Advisory Committee. Cathy can't stand Chaim Amalek and is about to block his email address. She wants to beat him with sticks.

I tell them about Khunrum the Houston welder who makes several pilgramages a year to Thailand to partake in spiritual retreats in various monasteries. Not that he has lost touch with this world. Khunrum's started a "sewing machines for hos" program to help those lost in sin elevate themselves through honest hardwork.

Khunrum writes: "The sewing machines for ex ho's program is going strong and I am still involved. The sewing machines are purchased in country now to avoid import tariffs. Likewise wheelchairs for the needy. And don't forget the good work of Father Joe (www.FatherJoe.com) He provides shelter, food and education for the children of prostitutes with AIDS. He is always looking for volunteers. Cynics abound but the good work continues."

Cathy tells me this is not appropriate conversation in front of 14-year olds.

Cynical remarks are made about Khunrum's relationships with the natives until I can take it no more.

"You've got it all wrong!" I announce. "I've seen the emails these women send him, full of love and concern. 'Me luv u long time Khunrum. U r only 1 4 me. Please send money.'"

Khunrum, I believe in you and your unconventional missionary work with the natives.

Khunrum replies: "Thanks my friend. I always try to understand you as well. It isn't easy but I try. I am really looking forward to seeing my sweetheart soon. When I phone her, I always listen for that pluck! pluck! plucking of the chickens in the background. Usually I hear it. Then I know she is still on the farm with Ma~Ma and not back in the big city up to no good...pluck! pluck! pluck! pluck!"

I tease Cathy that Cecile has no black friends, and that when they all went to the beach, instead of going to Santa Monica with its rainbow of colors concentrated on the Mexican end, they went to lily-white Malibu.

Sea creature menace Cathy appears to be eating a harmless spaghetti dish but I learn it is filled with squid. That grosses me out. I imagine the squid coming alive and prancing about the table. In response to my agitation, Cecile wants to be sick.

I relate that as I've aged, the sight of a woman eating meat tends to kill my libidinal impulses towards her.

Cathy says she had squid for lunch. Tonight she can't finish her fresh squid, so she's taking it home. Right now, as I write, she's probably sitting in bed munching on squid legs.

The next step is to walk into a church, get baptized and forget the whole Jewish thing.

Amy tries to remember on which blog she read about Cathy's minor car accident last weekend. We've become so incestuous (quoting and linking to each other's blogs) it's hard to keep track of ourselves.

The doctor tells Cathy that her short blonde hairdo screams dyke. I agree. Cathy says she's changing it tomorrow. Amy vehemently disagrees, says it's lovely.

Cecile wonders if she's bisexual.

We all praise Mary McNamara's column on pelvic nudity in today's LA Times. Mary's a friend of Cathy's ex-husband.

Kevin Heslin, Amy Alkon, Luke, Mom, and Arnie Freedman (Photo by Cecile du Bois)

My Mom writes: "You look like the center of the photo. Isn't that uncomfortable for someone as shy as you?"

I guess I often whined and crawled away from physical affection as a kid. I'm getting used to it in my dotage, even if it is forbidden with the opposite sex according to Judaism. I don't like most people most of the time, but people I like, like those in the photo, I like being surrounded by.

Learned commentary from a Sage in Brooklyn to Luke:

When you get together with the gals, your writing goes totally gay and you become a Friend of Dorothy: " . . . along comes Amy in a fabulous blue outfit with a hilarious doctor friend. . . .I'm getting too much joy out of my conversations with Cathy, Cecile and Amy. . . . We have dinner at a little Italian restaurant."

I don't understand Cathy's next comment: "Cathy can't stand Chaim Amalek and is about to block his email address. She wants to beat him with sticks." Unless you have had her address on the cc or bcc line of an email to me, she can't be getting anything from me, as I have never written to her, so what would blocking my address get her? As you well know Luke, I am nothing without you and your web site. For her to block ME, she must block YOU.

Also, I don't think it proper for a man pushing 40 (that would be YOU) to be repeating a young teenage girl's musings concerning her sexuality. Show a little discretion, please.

I can otherwise deal with Cathy wanting to beat me with sticks, as it's a whole lot better than being murdered, which is what most torah jews want to do with Amalek. Yeshivish Dave has attempted to make this mitzvah to exterminate more palatable to the goyim by arguing that "hey, we'd give them the chance to become jews before killing their kids". Mighty liberal of them torah jews, eh? Luke, you know how hard it is to convert to Judaism even when you want to. Of what possible validity can a conversion made under threat of extermination possibly be, when it is so difficult for those who WANT to be jews to convert to the faith? Obviously, NONE. Nor can conversion to "Noahide" status make the fatwah against Amalek morally defensible, for suppose the Amalekite in question is a Buddhist, a Hindu or an Animist who, though leading an exemplary life, chooses to worship several gods? Here in the west, and there in the east, we tolerate such expressions of faith. But betwixt the two, there in the middle east, they apparently do not, and under pain of death.

No Yeshivish Dave, if one really believes that genocide is always an evil thing, no matter the time, place, or ethnicity of the victims, then one must regard the Torah as an evil thing (or at least morally suspect) for commanding jews to commit it on another people. Whether the killing ground is set forth in the Torah or at Treblinka, AMALEK knows that the systematic slaughter of entire nations on the basis of their ethnicity (including, as the Torah states concerning Amalek, their elderly, their children, and even their farm animals) is a moral abomination. And shame on those of you who make exceptions to this rule when you teach your children right from wrong! Jews neither had nor have any more of a right to murder the people of Amalek than Nazis had to murder Jews.

Cecile du Bois writes on her blog:

Luke and Amy were chatting about what kinds of meds they took and the bloating side effects of it. After a disappointing notion that the signing did [not] provide them with free booze, Amy and Kevin itched to go eat. Mom felt mighty thirsty, so we all ventured out to a nice Italian restaurant where we all ate outside and chat.

Luke, as fussy about food as my dad's ex-girlfriend Leah was (who would watch my dad eat as she had already ate her fave snack--frozen yogurt before...) only ordered some nondairy dessert and I ate some filling potato artichoke soup. Mom had some disturbing squid spaghetti that seemed just spaghetti at first until Luke started raving how disgusting squid was to him, forcing me to excuse myself to the ladie's room to do "God-knows what". Amy ordered another soup and Kevin ordered prosciutto and melon, a satisfying appetizer. Mom loved the squid so much that she took it home. Kevin was excited that he ended his dry spell this past weekend and Amy told us about a fight with a woman in the neighborhood that she will blog about.

Mom recounted how some dykish woman seemd to be hitting on her by touching her on the arm and suggesting that she eat pretzels instead of ice cream and smiling creepily to her. Mom also told how some guy made "impertinent and forward" remarks towards her, and I assumed that he was hitting on her that cracked Kevin and Amy up. Earlier, I told Luke about how that Randy S--what's his name sent me creepy emails that I shan't talk about since they're inappropriate. I was surprised to hear that he keeps a blog, but I may have linked him in the past. Luke told me that Randy wrote him once commenting on the hideous email from some "Mike" who clearly dreamt of raping Luke. (EWWWWWWW! UNLESS MIKE IS LUKE! EWWW!) Mom is laughing, as she cautiously reads over my shoulder making sure I don't make any typos...

I pity Luke. He is missing out on the joys of Jewish culture-food. He should lighten up and stop whipping himself into a frenzy. Cold showers and food-fussing? I don't hold with that!

Just How Big is Luke's Closet?

Dave Deutsch writes: Big enough, apparently, for many of his devoted readers as well. Of all the matters of great import dealt with by the Blunder from Down Under--ethics, religion, politics, his van--what subject gets the most responses from "the Ford Horde?" A gay high school in NYC. Now then, I'm not in the camp that holds that all homophobes are really gay (many, I'm sure, are simply bi), but one does have to wonder why these merry men are so engrossed by the sex lives of adolescent males.

Chaim Amalek writes:

The reason people are talking about Homo High (which will include queers of all genders, contrary to what some of your correspondents seem to think), is that it is such a stupid idea. If our school chancellor were a good Southern Baptist or a Muslim, this would not be happening here. Homo High cannot exist in any society that aspires to be healthy.

The idea of Homo High parallels the mindset of Zionism. The argument is that you defend the bullied homosexual by giving them a place of their own (just as Zionism wants an Israel for the Jews), but rather than segregate the bullied, why not segregate the bullies? Or haven't the liberal jews who run the New York City public schools thought of that? Certainly no Palestinian school chancellor would have advanced so weird a scheme.

Dave Deutsch writes:

Chaim Amalek's obsession with Zionism leads him to some historical blindness, however. They actually did engage in an experiment to give Jew-haters of various sorts a place to call their own--they called it "Europe."

Speaking of strange obsessions and Amalek, this weird ire from the "learned sage" in Brooklyn perplexes me, since the Amalek issue, for the last few thousand years, has been fairly hypothetical. As suggested in the article I linked, "racial" Amalekites don't exist, only ideological Amalekites. As for conversion, the conversion in question, as noted, isn't to Judaism, but to the seven noahide laws. It seems pretty petty to assault Jews as genocidal for a "genocidal" campaign that hasn't been engaged in for several millenia.

Oh, and I love the bit about how here in the "west", we tolerate different expressions of faith. I'd gladly compare the Jewish record of response to religious dissent over the last thousand years with the Christian record (mercifully, we were powerless for most of it, and thus unable to fully express our own version of "Christian love.")