Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging, and so this is the only blogging I manage to do.

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I keep saying that all we need to do in order to fix politics in this country is appoint a bunch of labrador Retrievers to Congress.  They’d get just about as much done, and the only thing we’d have to worry about is keeping the doggie treats stocked.  And maybe give them some steaks if they’re extra well-behaved. 


FAIRHOPE, Ala. (AP) – One of the candidates in the race to become Fairhope’s next mayor is considerably more hairy than the rest. He also has twice as many legs and a constantly wagging tail. Wille Bean Roscoe P. Coltrane is a 7-year-old yellow Labrador retriever whose owner has taken a satirical poke at politics by launching the pooch into the race.

But Willie Bean may not be up for that rough-and-tumble world.

“When a little dog barks at him, he cringes and he runs away,” owner Tress Turner told the Press-Register in a story Sunday.

Turner, 43, manages The Coffee Loft, which is also the dog’s campaign headquarters where supporters can purchase T-shirts and yard signs.

Some of his supporters say all the politicking, name-dropping and sign-maneuvering in the seven-man Fairhope mayoral race is wearing on them weeks ahead of the Aug. 26 election.

“I think he polishes up the field,” said Vince Kilborn, 66, of Fairhope. “We need new blood.”

Kilborn, former Gov. Don Siegelman’s chief attorney in his ongoing criminal corruption case, added about the dog: “He doesn’t have any skeletons in his closet. He’s eaten them all.”

The dog’s campaign began when a mayoral candidate placed a campaign sign on property that bordered the politically-neutral coffee shop about three weeks ago.

Turner told the candidate about her wish to remain out of the race, but he had permission from the neighboring property owner and the sign remained for a few days.

“Then, sure enough, customers started pulling in the parking lot and giving us a hard time,” Turner said.

The owner of the coffee shop taped a sign to the door saying The Coffee Loft did not endorse the candidate.

“It turned into just people laughing and joking and playing. And I was, like, ‘You know what? We are going to let Willie Bean run for mayor,’” Turner said.

Willie Bean doesn’t have a realistic shot at being Fairhope’s next mayor since the July 15 qualifying deadline has passed. Still, other dogs have held office.

In 2004, Rabbit Hash, Ky., elected Junior Cochran, a black Lab, as mayor. It was the second canine elected to lead the small Northern Kentucky town, according to the town’s Web site. The first was a mutt named Goofy Borneman, according to Laurie Lamblin, a resident and employee of the town’s historic general store.

Julie Ford, a volunteer at The Haven, Fairhope’s no-kill animal shelter, said Willie Bean is setting his sights too low.

“I think he should run for president,” the 61-year-old Ford said after stopping by the coffee shop.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

by Rabbi Stephen Baars 

New doesn’t always come with improved.

There are some things in life you never thought you would see. I’m not talking about peace in the Middle East, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, or bubble gum ice cream. I mean something that I was witness to today; actually I was an active participant.

It all started innocently enough, the wedding was called for noon, and wanting to be early we showed up at 12:20 for what we thought would be a good hour till anything started.

It was lucky that we decided to be “early” because we got there just in time to walk the bride down the aisle. Since when did weddings start on time? Anyway, we embarrassingly found a seat and sat back to enjoy the show.

Almost immediately everyone could see something was amiss. The Rabbi who was marrying the couple looked nervous and soon a huddle formed under the chuppah. I am sure you’ve seen the scene before — everyone who thinks they know anything joins in. It looked ominous.

What could it be? Did the bride change her mind? Did the Rabbi find a stain in his tie?

Then, someone seemed to have a solution and one of the men turned and looked directly at me!

You know those moments that all Jews fear, you are sitting in synagogue minding your own business when the president of the congregation comes over and asks you to make the blessing over the new Shlamboodle.

You would normally ask what on earth is a Shlamboodle? But he asks in a way that implies every idiot knows what it is, not only that, but, as the president explains, it’s an honor.

Well, I was sure he was looking at the guy behind me, because I had no idea, “Why me?”

But it was me. He rushed over and said, “Do you have the blessing for the wedding?”

“All I have is a handkerchief. Will that do?”

I decided to join the huddle and figure out what was going on.

The Rabbi came in from New York to do the wedding, and somehow the hotel had lost his Prayer Book with the blessings in it, and it seemed that I was the most likely person to have one on me.

“Sorry,” I explained. But, now it was my problem too. Unfortunately, he nor I had a clue what to do. Then it came to me. I have one of those Smartphones, the kind that does email, notes, schedule, and makes it really difficult to make a call.

When would anyone want to use a phone to conduct a wedding? This was that time.   

I had bought some software from Pilot-Yid for the phone that has all the regular prayers on it, and when I went through the program I noticed it had the Wedding Service. At the time I thought to myself, when would anyone want to use a phone to conduct a wedding?

This was that time. Now I have to explain, this Rabbi looked like he could have just walked off the scene of Fiddler on the Roof, so I thought I had to explain what a Smartphone was. But it was a day for surprises

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Last Wednesday’s pageantry in Beirut celebrating the return of Samir Kuntar marked a black day for Lebanon. It is hardly the first time an Arab terror outfit has held a street party for murderers – sweets were handed out in plenty of Arab capitals on 9/11. Still, it was surprising to see the participation of many members of Lebanon’s pro-democracy March 14 movement, like Prime Minister Fouad Siniora who has become a significant US ally over the last three years. Now, Lebanon’s friends in the international community, especially in Washington, who backed March 14’s struggle and looked to it as a model alternative to the bin Laden version of the Middle East, must re-evaluate their continued support.

Read the whole thing.


Originally published at You can comment here or there.

This was definitely something they didn’t tell me about when I converted.  What do I have to do to get in on this controlling the election thing? And while I’m at it, can I have a newspaper too? I’d really like one of those. 
By Stephanie Rubenstein in the
Jerusalem Post
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Increasing numbers of anti-Semitic cartoons depicting US presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have surfaced throughout the Arab media over
the past few weeks.
Since McCain’s visit to Israel in March and Obama’s current tour of the country, the Arab media have produced an influx of negative cartoons, depicting
the supposed Jewish control of the upcoming presidential election in November, according to a report published by the Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday.
In one cartoon published in Saudi Arabia, in two separate newspapers, the presidential candidates are drawn in the jacket pocket of a Jewish man. In another
cartoon from the Palestinian Authority, Obama is placed in the back pants pocket of a Jewish man, with an accompanying caption reading “the wagon [that
gets you] to the White House” in Arabic.
A third Jordanian drawing depicts the candidates meeting President Bush, who is drowning in a sand pit among skulls in Iraq. The Arabic caption below read,
“Come in, make yourself at home.”…
block quote end

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