Hollywood Vs Sandy

What shocked me about the fiscal bill is that Hollywood got an enormous tax break. What is this, the USSR? Is Hollywood now the ideological branch of the US government?

Yes, I know all about lobbying. But I find it obscene that stupid Hollywood would get a windfall while the victims of Sandy wouldn’t even get a crooked dime.

Canadian Uncle Visits Ukraine

My Canadian uncle visited Ukraine and was very impressed.

“In the US and Canada, we are totally backwards compared to Ukraine,” he said. “We are at least 50 years behind Ukraine in everything.”

When asked by his puzzled Ukrainian relatives what it was he liked so much, the Canadian uncle said that life was much more comfortable for pedestrians and he saw the latest models of extremely expensive cars everywhere, even in a mining city he visited.

Of course, what he saw as a sign of social advancement was in reality an enormous social and economic stratification the likes of which he never encountered in Canada.

North Americans often tell me, “I just visited Ukraine and it was phenomenal. I have no idea why you even left such a wonderful country.” They don’t realize that their experience there is so nice precisely because they come as tourists with their pockets full of Canadian or American dollars.

As to being backwards, my mother just put on a New Year’s concert from Russia where people ridiculed Angela Merkel for being too “manly.” I’m not a huge fan of Merkel but I can imagine no greater sign of backwardness than the need to ridicule a political leader because she doesn’t wear mini-skirts. So after the 4th stupid joke about Merkel and mini-skirts, I decided to stop watching the concert and blogged instead.

I’m going back home today. Expect many photos of snow, food, and me. I photographed every single snow mound I saw because it doesn’t seem like we will be getting any snow in Southern Illinois.

Spain Can’t Get Right With the Jews

It’s been 520 years, but Spain still can’t get it right. Finally, it seems, Spain decided to do right by the Jews it once expelled and offered their descendants a chance to come back. But the way Spain goes about making amends to the Jews in 2012 is eerily similar to the way it treated the Jews in 1492. Here are the requirements for the descendants of the expelled Jews who want to come back to Spain:

To be naturalized and become citizens, secular bnei anousim Jewish applicants whose families had maintained double lives as Catholics must seek religious training and undergo formal conversion to Judaism. It is the federation that will screen and certify the Sephardic Jewish backgrounds of applicants who seek the documents that can be submitted to the government to obtain citizenship. Mr. Querub said that what the government meant by Jews is “the Sephardic descendants who are members of the Jewish community.”

Once again, Spain believes it has the right to dictate what being Jewish should mean. It is obvious that the number of Jews who would actually return to Spain is minimal, so the gesture is symbolic rather than practical. Yet even here Spain has to go and insult the Jews. Well, what else is new?