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Diplomacy Returns to our Arsenal January 23, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Blogroll, Photography, Politics, Videos.
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loborantsDay Two for President Obama was another full day. Lots to undo. The promise to close Guantanamo within one year is big. Introducing the State Department to Hillary Clinton was joyful. She was treated as a liberator to that much oppressed group. George Mitchell and Hal Holbrooke have their respective work cut out for them in Gaza, Israel and Afghanistan, Pakistan. Yesterday also saw more confirmations including, Rice (UN), Jackson (EPA), Sutley (Enviro Quality), Donovan (HUD), Schapiro (SEC), LaHood (Transportation).
Want to make an Obamicon image in the style inspired by Shepard Fairey’s iconic poster like the LoboRants on the left? Have some fun with this site.

We don’t torture. Doesn’t that sound good to you?

–  Who? Gov. David A. Paterson has selected Representative moderate, pro-gun, Kirsten Gillibrand, a 42-year-old congresswoman from upstate New York who is known for bold political moves and centrist policy positions, to fill the United States Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Stay tuned. Here is her official bio.

–  Dick Cheney is grumbling that Bush did not pardon Scooter Libby. That makes me smile.

–  File this under huh?: Former French President Jacques Chirac was rushed to a hospital after being bitten by his white Maltese poodle, Sumo. Sumo has been under care for clinical depression, including treatment with anti-depressants.

–  Thought you might like to look at this panorama picture take by AP Photographer Susan Walsh and put together by an AP editor in NYC.  Susan was up behind the podium.

–  On January 22, 1973, 36 years ago yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of Roe v. Wade, establishing the legal right to abortion for women in America.

–  January 22 in 100 seconds from Talking Points memo:

Finally for a Friday finish to a glorious week. My friend and longtime Lobo Rant reader, Erica and her husband Kirk were lucky to get two fabulous tickets tot he inauguration. They sent me a few of their location shots and I put it into a montage for you to enjoy as well.

ericakirkblog1

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Lobo’s 2nd Annual: What’s a Jew to do on Christmas Day? December 25, 2008

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Animal Videos, Blogroll, Dogs and cats, Jewish Stuff, Photography, Religion, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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thecardblog

Those of us who are not celebrating Christmas have a lot in common. What do we have in common? We are outnumbered (don’t get paranoid) in the US (but not in the world) and lots of things are closed today. Is that enough? The chart below shows how that religious pie in sliced in the US. Here is another graph from the Pew folks.

religious_affiliations_5001

Last year I gave you some ideas as to what you could do on this day. To repeat (because Jews like to repeat), here are some alternate ideas for you. I usually do not recommend going to the movies on this day because it is filled with everyone else who has nothing to do including those who believe in Islam, Shinto, Taoism, Church of Scientology, The New Age Movement, Wiccans, Divine Light Mission, Hare Krishna Movement, Transcendental Meditation,  Festivus celebrators, The Unification Church,  Buddism, Falun Gong, Jainism, Hinduism, Parsis (Zoroastrianism), Sikhism and Sai Baba. However, I am breaking my own rule and will be going to see The Curious case of Benjamin Button at noon. It could be a big mistake. We shall see.

Last year my sister and I are took the hour long ride on the D train and visited our 94 year old Aunt who lived in a Sephardic Home in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. We brought her our usual welcomed gift of two Kit Kat bars, updates on family, photos, news of the outside world, etc. Christmas day was just another day at the Sephardic home so it seemed like a good place to visit and a nice thing to do. Sadly, at 95, Aunt Katie passed away last October so we will be missing her on all days won’t be taking that long train ride anytime soon. Rest in peace, Aunt Katie. By the way, I put a Kit Kat Bar in her casket for that long, hopefully sweet trip to the other side.

– Here is a short list of things you can do today other than go to a movie or visit someone in a nursing home. You can take a walk, go to a zoo (but you will not be able to go to the San Francisco Zoo this year*) or aquarium, call your Jewish friends (most likely they’re home too), read a book, bake a cake, fill in those important dates in your new 2009 calendar, look ahead for when the High Holy Days fall this year (I have already done that), plan a trip (am doing that now), clean up your messy desktop and burn some CD’s, plan an Inauguration Party, clean out a closet, read those e-mails you have been saving and before you know it, the day is over and tomorrow we are back to normal. NewYorkology has a fine list of things that are open in NYC today.

*The San Francisco Zoo will not be opening this year on Christmas. If you recall it was last Christmas that Tatiana the tiger escaped her exhibit and killed one young man and mauled two others. For an update on that story read more here.

–  Oy, Holy NIght:

–  TechBite’s columnist Steve Bass has some great time wasters for you today (Extreme snowboarding, mind-numbing puzzles, sing-along with Elvis, and a bunch more ways for you to kill some time.). Steve writes weekly commentary on the technology products he loves, the strategies for getting the most out of them, and the gotchas that can cause computing misery. Check out the holiday issue and sign up for his newsletter.

–  A Chanukah (Hanukah) Christmas Carol:

– The following super popular Christmas time songs were all written by Jewish composers. Go figure?

1. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) was written in 1945 by Mel Tormé and Robert “Bob” Wells

2. White Christmas by Irving Berlin

3. Let It Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! was written by the songwriting team of Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.

4. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree and Holly Jolly Christmas by songwriter, Johnny Marks.

5. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year by Jewish composer, George Wyle.

6. l’ll Be Home For Christmas by Walter Kent, who wrote the music, and Buck Ram, who co-wrote the lyrics with Kim Gannon.

7. Silver Bells was written by Jay Livingston, who wrote the music, and Ray Evans, who wrote the lyrics.

8. Santa Baby was mostly written by Joan Ellen Javits (born 1928).

–  Chinese Food for Christmas:

–  A new animal video for the season:

–  And finally, Return to the great Jewish themes of outsider-ness & redemption with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”— in Yiddish! The greatest klezmer Christmas song ever! A Yiddish “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” performed by San Francisco’s Kugelplex. :