It's beginning to smell a lot like Shabbes -- that is, gefilte fish and chicken soup. But it happens every time... I taste the chicken broth and burn my mouth in the process. Now nothing can taste as good as it smells. Ouch.
I'm making a big Shabbes meal because it's a fast day today, the tenth of Tevet (or Teves, if you'd rather), and what better way to spend a fast day than in cooking for its eventual end? Today is a day the Jewish people mourn in remembrance of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem in 425 BCE, when Nebuchadnezzar's armies laid seige to Jerusalem; no one could go in or out of the city. As it happens, no one can go in or out of Jerusalem today either, two thousand four hundred and thirty-eight years later... to the day: The roads are closed due to a huge snowstorm. Call it a coincidence if you like, but I don't believe there is any such thing. It's all Hashem. So make of it what you will (but you might want to lay off the baseless hatred).
And speaking of snow, here's a bit of Zionist humor making the rounds among Israelis on facebook earlier today:
"People in Gush Etzion: STOP BUILDING SNOWMEN!
The Guardian is accusing us of expanding settlements."
According to a report that seems to have been deleted from Arutz Sheva, there were some Arab Muslims who saw the snow in Jerusalem and quickly figured out how to weaponize it, by using it to coat the rocks they were throwing at Jews. Incorporating this innovation was apparently "successful" as they managed to smash some windows of passing cars. Feel free to add this to your list of reasons that Islam is not a religion of peace -- in spite of any diplo-babble you may have heard (or read at The Guardian or New York Times).
Now before I go any further, into some even worse news, I should tell you the obvious -- that I've been having trouble getting back to blogging since my brother-in-law passed away suddenly, just before Thanksgiving. After I got back from the funeral, I had an email notification from Typepad (our host here) that my subscription had expired and I would be blocked from blogging until I re-upped. It took me a couple of days to scrounge up the $134 and then the Very Next Day, my trusty computer was attacked by some Big Ugly Virus. That took another day to fix and yet another day to recover from all my traumas, trite though some may have been.
So if you'd like to hit the tip jar, now would be a good time. It's bad enough that I spend so much time not making money, but then to have to absorb the cost of spreading all this good cheer... Well, it's hard to explain to The Husband, in light of BtB's rusted out tip jar and dwindling readership.
What else, what else? Ah yes, our Transformational Government is in chaos. According to the New York Times: "Tempers Flare as New Rules Strain Senate."
WASHINGTON — If there is a rock bottom in the frayed relationship between Senate Republicans and Democrats, it seemed uncomfortably close as the final days of 2013 on Capitol Hill degenerated into something like an endurance contest to see who could be the most spiteful.
I suggest you read it all, as Harry Reid's decimation of this historically honorable institution makes Sherman's March to the Sea* look like a picnic.
“Let’s be really frank,” said Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky. “Senate Democrats have for petty partisan reasons taken away the power of Congress, taken away one of the checks and balances on a rogue presidency.” Earlier in the day, Mr. Paul told the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call that he did not think there would be anything approved by unanimous consent “until hell freezes over.”
Orrin Hatch said that if Robert Byrd were alive to see what's going on, he would have a stroke -- but I suppose it could be worse: We could be living in Belgium, where their Senate has voted overwhelmingly to "EXTEND EUTHANASIA TO CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES." You heard that right.
“Currently the Belgian euthanasia law limits euthanasia to people who are at least 18 years old. This unprecedented bill would extend euthanasia to children with disabilities,” says Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. “The Belgian Socialist government is adamant that the euthanasia law needs to extend to minors and people with dementia even though there [are] significant examples of how the current law is being abused...”
If that's not evil, I don't know what is. To my mind it is altogether appropriate to compare such callous disregard for the sanctity of life to that of the Nazis.
I recommend you join "The New Holocaust Resistance" at Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors. Tell them Yael sent you.
Naturally(?) all this brings to mind the "death panel" hiding deep within Obamacare. I was told last night by a friend that it is specified in the law that anyone over the age of 75 will not be allowed expensive cancer treatments. So drink your cabbage juice, boys and girls, because I wouldn't doubt that it's true.
Charles Krauthammer recently recounted what Obama told Chris Matthews in an interview, that he had discovered that “we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly.”
An interesting discovery to make after having consigned the vast universe of American medicine, one-sixth of the U.S. economy, to the tender mercies of the agency bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service.
More bad news: Obama is bringing in the "True Believers." Keith Koffler advises Republicans to "take this an act of war."
As Shabbat gets closer and closer, it wouldn't be right for me to leave you in a puddle of despair. There is good news, too. A new poll has found that "[w]hether they are younger Obama voters or older Romney voters, Americans want their lawmakers to insist on a non-nuclear Iran, and they want to increase sanctions to ensure those objectives are met." And more good news: If you have children in the public school systemin Texas, they have the legal right to say "Merry Christmas." I kid you not.
Now not being on gubmint property myself, I'm going to go out on a limb here and wish my Christian friends a Very Merry Christmas. And to the family of Jews, a sweet Good Shabbes. Stay safe and warm, everybody.