Archive | September 2012

Send it viral: Absolutely Uncertain

Make sure your friends see this video. If you are Jewish, send it to every relative.

Here’s the link you can email:
A new, 18-minute mini-documentary follows the journey of Irina, a 23-year-old liberal, Jewish New Yorker who voted for Obama in 2008. Yet as her connection to Israel has grown, and she has learned more about the President’s policies across the Middle East and towards Israel in particular, Irina has come to realize that “when the chips are down,” the President may not “have Israel’s back” as he says.

The short film features:

Exclusive interviews with leading journalists and politicians in Israel
(Bloomberg, London Times, Jerusalem Post, etc.)

Mainstream news reports (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, BBC, etc.),

Clips from longtime Democratic supporters including: Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)


Documentary: The Project

This is a moo bossy Minx must watch. If you can only watch one part, Part II is the most important, though Part I lays the foundation and gives good information.

Pat Caddell: Medias bias so severe it threatens future of democracy

Hat tip to Vlad Tepes and Tundra Tabloids

Pat Caddell is a former Democratic pollster and analyst. “I think we’re at the most dangerous time in our political history in terms of the balance of power in the role that the media plays in whether or not we maintain a free democracy.”

Succot preparations never involved removing 3 huge bushes with my bare hands before

Ok, I had a little gardening trowel and scissors but both mostly broke on me pretty fast. I went out to water my garden and HOLY WHAT THE…?! The neighbours had put their Succah (hut) up right against my garden. They’d killed the two lettuce heads and one cucumber plant by treading on them. It was set up so close that not only would the plants get no sun but I couldn’t get back to them to water them.

Now there were several other places, granted not quite so pleasant and pretty, as I hadn’t been caring for, trimming back, fixing up those sections of the yard as much as the area around my little plants for the past 3 months –but totally suitable for a succah nonetheless in our yard. We’re talking a 14 foot long and 10 foot wide succah here.

There was a space in front of my garden area that they would be amenable to moving it to (the other sections of the yard were deemed to be too shady) if it weren’t for the fact that there were these 3 huge hulking bushes (with thorns, no less) right where the succah would need to go and taking up an area about 10 feet by 10. In fact, if those bushes were gone, it would even be a nicer and more convenient spot for accessing the succah. I’ll get rid of them, I said.

He was like, there is no way that you can do that. I was like, baby, just watch me. Yo, three months of work on that garden was not going to go to waste for your darn succah. And he did watch for awhile as, armed with a pair of scissors (the kind you use to cut paper), I bent, twisted and broke off/snipped the last hanging thread of limb after limb, and carried armload after armload off to a discrete pile in the far section of the yard. He left and came back as I was bending, twisting, pulling, girl-handling the bottom stump-meets roots of the first bush that I’d dug down and exposed with the trowel.

I was covered in sweat, covered in dirt, covered in ants and the damn biting flies that are out in force. I can’t do this, I thought. I looked up, there he was, and he said something like “you are working really hard,” and I was like “yes,” and with a final tug out came the stump with the rootball and all and knocked me over. Then I was like, oh wow, I can do this!

Then I looked at my huge victory and realized I’d just taken out the smallest, by far, of those damn bushes. He left. I persevered. My scissors broke on the second bush. I went upstairs for my spare pair and a bottle of water.

An hour and a half later, there was no sign that any bush had ever dared to grow in that area of the yard. He hadn’t reappeared and it was getting closer and closer to the fall of shabbat. I cut the big side hedge back so there would be even more room for the succah than the space it was currently sitting in. No sign of him. I went up and knocked on their door. No answer. Back down and I tried to figure out if I could possibly move the darn succah by myself but quickly determined that no, no, that was not possible.

I sat down, smoked a cigarette, looked at the big, huge succah-friendly spot I’d created and wanted to cry. I was like I actually did all this and there is no way, it is too close to Shabbat, and there is no way he is going to come down to move that sucker and my three months of work is going to die on the vine. I was literally coming back inside to get my own Shabbat candles ready and meal laid out when I met him on the stairs. Yalla, let’s move it!

Between us, we did. YES! My blisters on top of blisters are relieved, they’ve got a better spot for their succah, and my little garden (most of it, that survived the experience), will continue to grow. He kept saying, I can’t believe you managed to do that. Baby, after the fact, neither can I.

Girl power.

Bear with me as I natter on again about polls and their flawed statistics

I know, I know me and my love of stats. I love them because it is through statistics that we can get a really clear picture of what is going on in the world, how humans will or won’t really behave under what kind of conditions and so much more. If you don’t understand statistics, you can be easily hood-winked into believing the statistics that are thrown at you even when the actual statistics, when you delve into the study, reveal something quite different.

I’ve been yelling for awhile now about how polls have been over-sampling Democrats by either assuming that Democrats will turn out in the same historically high numbers as they did in ’08 or, even more egregiously, assuming that they will break the record-breaker and turn out in even higher numbers this time around by anywhere from 3-9% more Dems pulling the levers than during the history-breaking year. Given so many obvious factors, the first assumption is absurd and the second so far out there in la la land it isn’t even worth comment. Except. Now it is clear how far out in la la land that is and just how skewed these polls really are.

I’ve been giving Rasmussen kudos because their model is the only one based on the assumption that the D/R/I break-down will be between the turn-outs seen in 2004 and 2008 and their polls consistently show a dead heat. Turns out, even they are over-sampling Dems and under-sampling both Republicans and Independents by a far margin. Here’s why.

There have been changes in the number of people registered to vote and what their voter registration reflects as far as party identification and we are talking BIG changes. Take the number of people registered as Democrats to vote in little New Hampshire, worth only 4 electoral college votes but still a linchpin state: There are now nearly 20% fewer folks registered as Democrats today than in 2008. It goes deeper. The number of registered Democrats in that State is less today by approximately 9% than it was in 2004 (and the nearly 20 years preceding). These folks have done one of two things: either dropped off the voter rolls entirely or changed their voter affiliation to R or I. The make-up of registered Republicans has also changed –in the other direction: There are more registered Republicans this year than in 2008 although their gains are far smaller than the Democrat’s losses (about 3% point gain). By a 10-1 margin, more Democrats have changed to either Republican or Independent-leaning-Republican than have gone from Republican to Democrat or Independent-leaning-Democrat. Independents, overall, lean Republican by an 11% margin.

New Hampshire is not alone, it is a pattern across the country and in the other swing states. So the assumption that a significantly newly shrunken base of Democrats is going to turn out in beyond record numbers, that a newly expanded base of Republicans is going to turn out in far fewer numbers than history pre-’08 suggests, and that ballooning number of Independents will turn out in the same numbers as before is…quite simply…laughable. Most of these polls are as meaningful as tipping over a cup of tea and reading the election results from the leaves left over — with only one thing clear and that is that the Obama-lead/dead-heat they are reporting is actually an Obama deficit and a big one. A Carter-Reagan big one.

video of Netanyahu speaking before the U.N.: Am Yisrael Chai

Partial transcript:
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region and that it will soon disappear.

Throughout our history, the Jewish people have overcome all the tyrants who have sought our destruction. It’s their ideologies that have been discarded by history.

The people of Israel live on. We say in Hebrew Am Yisrael Chai, and the Jewish state will live forever.

The Jewish people have lived in the land of Israel for thousands of years. Even after most of our people were exiled from it, Jews continued to live in the land of Israel throughout the ages. The masses of our people never gave up the dreamed of returning to our ancient homeland.

Defying the laws of history, we did just that. We ingathered the exiles, restored our independence and rebuilt our national life. The Jewish people have come home.

We will never be uprooted again.

Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.

Every year, for over three millennia, we have come together on this day of reflection and atonement. We take stock of our past. We pray for our future. We remember the sorrows of our persecution; we remember the great travails of our dispersion; we mourn the extermination of a third of our people, six million, in the Holocaust.

But at the end of Yom Kippur, we celebrate.

We celebrate the rebirth of Israel. We celebrate the heroism of our young men and women who have defended our people with the indomitable courage of Joshua, David, and the Maccabees of old. We celebrate the marvel of the flourishing modern Jewish state.

In Israel, we walk the same paths tread by our patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we blaze new trails in science, technology, medicine, agriculture.

In Israel, the past and the future find common ground.

Unfortunately, that is not the case in many other countries. For today, a great battle is being waged between the modern and the medieval.

The forces of modernity seek a bright future in which the rights of all are protected, in which an ever-expanding digital library is available in the palm of every child, in which every life is sacred.

The forces of medievalism seek a world in which women and minorities are subjugated, in which knowledge is suppressed, in which not life but death is glorified.

These forces clash around the globe, but nowhere more starkly than in the Middle East.

Israel stands proudly with the forces of modernity. We protect the rights of all our citizens: men and women, Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians – all are equal before the law.

Israel is also making the world a better place: our scientists win Nobel Prizes. Our know-how is in every cell-phone and computer that you’re using. We prevent hunger by irrigating arid lands in Africa and Asia.

Now that’s a speech: Netanyahu to the U.N. 2012

It is a shame the U.S. doesn’t have a leader, a real leader, like we do:
(working on getting today’s speech up, check this space)
This is from 2011: