Saturday, January 07, 2006


A few random thoughts and opinions...

I hope to write a "Why I Blog" post in the near future, something I think about every once in a while. The idea was reinforced by Jack's recent post. I also hope to write about "Why I Believe In Judaism", something Holy Hyrax and others expressed interest in a while ago. Unfortunately, I am not sure when I will have the time to really sit and write such things, as finals are beginning this week, thanks to the dumbest school schedule I have seen in a long time.

It's nice to see the calls of Newt Gingrich and other Republicans to rid the GOP of corruption in light of the Abramoff scandal. It's also nice to see Tom Delay step down in light of the issues he needs to deal with. I like this quote:
Urging a new leadership election as soon as possible, DeLay said the majority leader's job and "the mandate of the Republican majority are too important to be hamstrung, even for a few months, by personal distractions."
I believe the economy is in good shape, considering a 4.9% unemployment rate and another 4.3% increase in GDP (4Q, 2005), and I believe that the Bush tax cuts played a major role in this. I also believe that you have to have very little knowledge of economics or an extremely biased viewpoint to not realize either of those.

I think Lebron James is one of the most talented and exciting players I've ever seen in any sport. This video is a great example.

Ariel Sharon was one of the greatest tacticians recent history has seen - no matter what your opinions are on what he has done. I argued this point in Sharon the Genius? a few months ago. It is nice to see he will survive, though it is a shame he will not return to power. This is not because I agree with him, necessarily: It is far more because he is the only current Israeli politician capable of running the country effectively. I much prefer a government led by Sharon's Kadima with the Likud, right-wing, and religious parties playing a major role in the coalition.

The Redskins beat the Bucs in a great defensive game (which is what I told friends over Shabbos would happen - though it was pretty obvious that it would be a great defenseive game). I don't understand how an NFL player (Sean Taylor) can be so immature to spit into another guy's face, though. The Patriots will beat the Jaguars - it may be a close game, score-wise, but nobody will get the impression that the Jaguars had a great shot at winning. The Giants will lose to the Panthers, because their defense isn't good enough to stop the Panthers consistently and the Panthers defense is good enough to stop Tiki Barber enough while cover Eli Manning's passes. Watch for interceptions on overthrown balls. The Steelers will be victorious over the Bengals for the simple reason that the Bengals just aren't all that great of a team. Look at how the Bengals have done against good teams: Losses to the Colts, Jaguars, and Chiefs; and a split season series with the Steelers themselves, including a loss at home. The only other good team they beat was the Bears in Week 3, who started the season 1-3. The Bengals' defense hasn't been all that great, either, giving up 23 points a game since Week 5.

Off to a bar-mitzvah in Far Rockaway. Curious what people think of my ramblings...


  1. I'm definitely looking forward to your two posts.

    Although I agree with you on Sharon as a tactician, I'm not sure Kadima would work better than Likud in power... Then again, I'm not really sure what would work best at this point at all.

    I think it's time for Israelis to give younger politicians a chance, not necessarily Netanyahu, but I'm sure there are many capable people.

    I hope Sharon recovers as much as possible under the circumstances.

    Completely agreed about GOP and economics.

    No opinion on sports. Sorry! : )

  2. By the way, is it just me or is there a problem with "IsraellyCool"? I haven't been able to open it on either browser for the past two days... Just wondering!

  3. Random thoughts and rambling, I wonder who else does such things. Hmm, allow me to ponder. Oh yes, the mighty Treppenwitz. Good stuff here.

  4. Ezzie, if the Panthers were so great, then why did the Bucs win the division?

  5. Irina - it's not so much that Kadima is better than Likud, it's that Sharon was so much better than Netanyahu will be. I do wish there were up-and-coming politicians that could be PM, but as of yet the old guard hasn't let them do any such thing. Israel needs direct representation - and fast. And amen on the Refuah Shleimah for Sharon. I haven't had a problem with Israelly Cool...

    Jack - LOL. Yeah, Trep does write well. Some other guy from LA does this stuff too, but I'm drawing a blank... :)

    Ze'ev - Because they won the tiebreaker, duh. :) Actually, look at the Carolina schedule: 3-point losses to homeless NO in Week 1 and at Miami [9-7] in Week 3; a 4-point loss to Dallas [9-7] ; a 13-3 loss to the Bears [11-5]; and a 20-10 loss to Tampa, whom they also beat 34-14. They blew out Atlanta twice and beat New England convincingly. Meanwhile, Tampa's losses were to the Jets and 49ers [both 4-12]; a 28-0 loss to New England, 13-10 to the Bears, and the blowout from the Panthers. The only good teams they beat were the Redskins on the last-second 2-point and the Falcons by a FG twice.

    Oh yes - Carolina 24.4-16.2 per game; Giants 26.4-19.7. Carolina has firepower, even if it's not quite at the Giants level; the difference is the Giants don't have a defense to match. Average it out, it's Carolina 22, Giants 21. Sounds about right to me. :)

  6. I'm sorry, I was wrong. The Panthers EMBARRASSED the Giants. Their defense was what I expected, but I didn't think that would mean a shutout - I thought the Giants would score a couple times; and their offense was about where I thought it would be: Consistent and put up 20-23 points.

  7. For some reason or other, it always seems that Bibi does a better job when he's not running the whole show. He did a bang-up job with the economy and it will be interesting to see him ho tete a tete with his nemesis Amir Peretz.

    While I haven't been the biggest fan if Sharon over the past years, I think his detractors need to focus on two things:
    1. Everything he did was aimed toward what he thought would bring peace.
    2. Who else could have done better?

  8. David - excellent points, both on Sharon and Bibi. I've thought much the same on both.

  9. You know what the say about great minds, Ezzie.

  10. ...they stink alike. :)

    If you knew that, email me - I'm really curious who you are.

  11. Sorry, Ezzie, that "great minds" comment was me, just forgot to log in my name. Hope I didn't ruin some hilarious private joke.


  12. lol - I was wondering... Didn't ruin it, just ironic. Only a few :::old::: friends used to say that, so I was curious if one of them was a reader. Ah well. :)

  13. 'government led by Sharon's Kadima with the Likud, right-wing, and religious parties '

    I just can't see that -- the religious parties are pretty committed to welfare state policies(which, as you know, I think are more consistent with torah values than is laissez-faire), and Benjamin Netanyahu is pretty committed to pushing Israel toward an American style market economy with a minimal safety net. How could they pass a budget?

    BTW did anyone notice what is happening in Canada? The Conservative Party will probably win the election and it is possible (though still unlikely) that they might gain a majority of seats in the lower house. Of course, Canadian "Conservatives" are in some respects to the left of most Democrats in the US, but it would still be a major change.

  14. You're right, though I was unclear about what I meant: I meant a Sharon-led Kadima, which the religious parties and right-wing would rather be in than out, even if it's not exactly what they want.

    Even now, however, I think the religious parties have realized that it is in their best interests, long-term, to have Netanyahu's policies in place. Certainly my own charedi cousins have, much to their surprise.

    Interesting about Canada - guess we'll have to wait and see.