Thursday, November 06, 2008

Ezzie's Blog Roundup 11/6: NYC, Wigs, and The Far Side

It's always interesting to read two pieces on different sides of an issue around the same time, particularly if they have taken the same words and interpreted them completely differently.

VinNews and YeshivaWorld have both reported on R' Kanievsky's statement on President-elect Barack Obama. VN:
In an apparent response to requests for guidance regarding the issue, Rabbi Kanievsky compared Sen. Obama to King Hordus, who rose from humble origins to become king of ancient Israel and build the Beis Hamikdash.
YW, with much editorializing:
Maran Hagon Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita is quoted as having said [on Wednesday] - following the election of Senator Barack Obama as America’s next president, that this is not the first time that a black person was elected to a leadership post, ‘News1′ reports.

Yiddishkeit believes a person with black skin is a descendant of Cham, the son of Noach, upon who it is written “he will serve his brother”. Rav Kanievsky stated in regard to the president-elect that he will be a “servant who rules”, adding there is a historical precedent with King Herod (Hurdus), who was also black. “Herod made Tzaros for Am Yisrael, but he also built the Beis HaMikdosh” stated the Rav.

I'm pretty sure that YW added in all the black/Cham garbage.

Elsewhere... Erachet defends New York and its people, in a very well-argued post. On the other hand, I'm not sure people mean to include Long Island (or Connecticut) when they cite the problems of New York. On the flip side, EsPes shows that insensitivity can happen even in the far-flung reaches of "out of town".

Meanwhile, R' Gil and Josh Waxman each discuss from a halachic and historic point of view the ruling of R' Elyashiv on wigs (where he says they are absolutely not allowed). Both are interesting reads, and if you own a wig, you may want to discuss it with your Rav before burning it.

Also via Josh comes this funny piece in the NY Times that discusses social scientists' surprising (to them) results that conservatives get humor better than liberals. From the Times piece:

Another possible explanation is that conservatives, or at least the ones in Boston, really aren’t the stiffs they’re made out to be by social scientists. When these scientists analyze conservatives, they can sound like Victorians describing headhunters in Borneo. They try to be objective, but it’s an alien culture.

The studies hailing liberals’ nonconformity and “openness to ideas” have been done by social scientists working in a culture that’s remarkably homogenous politically. Democrats outnumber Republicans by at least seven to one on social science and humanities faculties, according to studies by Daniel Klein, an economist at George Mason University. If you’re a professor who truly “seeks new experiences,” try going into a faculty club today and passing out McCain-Palin buttons.
Finally, Baruch sent me this strong piece by Joe Scarborough on MSNBC which is worth watching whatever you feel about the election. It's not too long and it makes some very important points quite well. It is not a discussion of policies, but a commentary on how people react when they "win", and is a worthwhile lesson in so many aspects of life.