Now that I’ve seen Jewish jokes in my favorite new magazine Commentary, I know for a fact it’s a Jewish magazine. Trust me to grab a random magazine from a newsstand in Southern Illinois (not known for huge Jewish communities) and have that magazine be Jewish. 

It’s a really fun publication,  people,  I highly recommend. But only in case you don’t expect your reading matter to serve as an echo to your inner voice. Or, alternatively,  if you are reader el. 🙂


A while aho, reader Stringer Bell suggested we discuss corruption here on the blog. What are the origins of corruption?  Why do immigrants from extremely corrupt societies sometimes bring or try to bring their corruption  with them to their new country (Russian – speaking immigrants are a great example) while immigrants from other,  equally corrupt countries become extraordinarily law – abiding upon emigration (immigrants from India,  for instance)?

I’ve been thinking about this fascinating question,  and here is what I’ve got for now.

What is corruption?  When do people resort to bribery, nepotism, and dishonesty?  When do you personally feel the need to lie?

Aside from the rare cases of actual sociopathy, people don’t lie just for the hell of it. I don’t believe that the absolute majority of people enjoys unmotivated lying. Those of us who lie (rarely or all the time) only do this when we don’t believe we can achieve our goals in any other way.

Widespread corruption in any given society is a sign that its members don’t believe that this society is working.  They cheat, bribe and prevaricate because they have no faith in the mechanisms of their society working in a way that is fundamentally fair and reliable.

Some people believe that the society which doesn’t work is only their own society. When they emigrate, they are open to the possibility of participating in a society that does work without corruption.

However,  there are also people who have lost faith in the possibility of any society ever being able to function. After they emigrate, they don’t give themselves a chance to see if their new home does work without corruption. Their view of any society, of society as a concept has become so cynical that they don’t even contemplate a possibility of something different.

Here is what I’ve got so far. Please share your insights on the subject.

Radio Voices

Today I got into my car, turned on the radio, and started listening to Fox News,  the only station I ever listen to.

This morning’s program really freaked me out,  though. Instead of the angry, pugnacious commentators,  I heard mellifluous,  apologetic tones that insistently brought to mind the word Liberal. Then I realized that my husband had been in the car  and changed the station.

I wish there were a station for fiery, self – assured liberals. A radio station you listen to while driving shouldn’t be making you sleepy.