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My Benjamin Netanyahu Story March 8, 2012

Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Photography, Politics, Religion, wildlife, Zoos.
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My friends are now rolling their eyes and saying ‘Nooooo – not the Benjamin Netanyahu story AGAIN!’ But since he is back in the news as the Prime Minister of Israel some stories just need to resurface. So here goes –

Time: March 2001

Place: The Central Park Zoo

Background: As a long time volunteer Zoo Guide in the education department at the Central Park Zoo I was asked ‘if I minded’ giving a tour to the recently ousted Prime Minister of Israel and his young family. Did I mind? Did I mind? (We Jews like to repeat ourselves). Heck, no.  I was thrilled.

Story: So after the formal introductions, Bibi, his wife, their two young sons, two undercover Israeli agents, two under cover NYPD officers and the head of security at the Central Park Zoo and I took off for an informal tour of the Zoo. The boys were excited, the Netanyahu parents seemed relaxed and the under cover officers were tense. I was trying to look cool, calm and collected. The only Hebrew I could recall was ‘shalom’ and how often can you say that on a zoo tour?

Meat of the story: As we toured the upstairs close-up gallery in the tropical rain forest we stopped at the tarantula exhibit. I spoke for a very short while about tarantulas. The boys and Bibi were fascinated by the creepy crawly critters.

I say to Bibi – “Do you have tarantulas in Israel?”

Without skipping a beat, looking straight into my eyes, Bibi replied – ‘”Only in politics”.

Oh yes, he was good. Very good. I just wish he were not such a hawk. Oh well. That is my Benjamin Netanyahu story. The above photo was taken of us by Tom,  the head of Zoo Security. I told Tom at the time that if the photo did not come out – I would have to kill him.

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Something to jump for… February 17, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Links, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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Finally, something to jump and shout about.  One of my favorite former Senators, Russ Feingold, has started a movement. I signed up and made a contribution – how about you?  Let us not just watch the rest of the world in revolution mode – let us join the excitement. Progressives United is founded by Former Senator Russ Feingold. Progressives United will lead the movement to curtail corporate influence on politics, and we will never compromise on our integrity in the allies we work with, the candidates we support, or the donations we accept.

Oh dear, it’s a New Year January 1, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Dogs and cats, maps, Movie Reviews, Photography, Politics, Religion, Science, Supreme Court, wildlife, Zoos.
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Here we are once again.  A new year, a fresh start and all of that other sappy rot that people say on this day.  Yes, this old woman who yells at clouds never put much stock into making New Year resolutions.  I have found that they never quite work out, do they?  I am the type that stopped wishing for world peace as I blew out my birthday candles years ago.  I would describe myself as a realist – with a dash of optimism mixed in with a large helping of cynicism.

–  So what kind of year was it?  I honestly could not remember so I started to look at my blog postings for this past calendar year to see what peaked my interest enough to blog, post photos and generally fill up your in-boxes with my crap.  I laughed quite a bit as I reviewed my interests.  Before I share some favorite posts, let me wish you all a most Happy New Year and while I no longer waste precious time wishing for world peace I do wish you all good health, an energized president Obama, some decent new laws and a renewed, hopeful political scene (sigh).

In chronological order here are some of my favorite posts from 2010:

Goodbye to the Aughties.

–   ‘It’s not the end of the world it just feels that way. – The embarrassing, very sad loss of Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat yesterday by the uber-incompetent Martha Coakley to Scott Brown is crushing’.

–  Joy on K Street – You cannot underestimate the staggering blow to democracy that was accomplished by the conservative side of the Un-Supreme Court yesterday.  Their 5 to 4 decision to grant corporations a new and uber-powerful status will change everything that you know and love/hate about our political process.  The Roberts Court has granted corporations the same status as ‘people’ and therefore has First Amendment privileges.

–  Lost and Found – I found an adorable dog named Gia and was able to return her to her very grateful owner.

–  I was asked by a reporter if I had an opinion –  (Let’s all laugh together at that line).

–  I posted my 1000th movie review : Free popcorn for all!

–  The Fat Lady Sang and health care became the law of the land.

Shower Curtain Geography caught my fancy

–  My blog title “Are you high” has gotten a lot of hits – (I am sure people are disappointed when they get to the post).

While strolling thru the park one day still makes me laugh –

–  The end of Law & Order was sad – Doink Doink.

Remiss, Bothered and Bewildered was featured on wordpress’ homepage for a day and got uber-hits.

–   Manhattanhenge still sparks my interest.

–  I celebrated five years with my dog Benny – here’s to  Cinco de Benny  (that’s Benny in front of the snowman above).

–  The very sad and tragic tale of the Girl Who Lost here E-mail.

–  I still have a dream (but it is getting murky).

–  Nine Years later

Old Woman Yells at Cloud

–  Yes, We Did

I thank you for reading my rantings.  I thank you for your comments.  I thank you for being there.  Oh yes, one more thing.  I really secretly do still wish for world peace when I blow out my birthday candles (don’t tell anyone – it will break my crusty ‘old woman yells at cloud’ exterior).

Yes We Did December 23, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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It feels pretty good doesn’t it?  I was jubilant at this past week’s achievements out of the usually impotent Congress of the United States.  And yes, I was feeling a little guilty about my disappointment over President Obama.  It turns out he IS the smartest guy in the room and really can get things done.  I guess it is the way that he works his magic that makes me crazy.

Am I content with out President?  Not at all. I am especially angry at his continuance of some of the Bush policies such as indefinite detention and the ongoing state of Guantanamo. The economy is still in dire need of an injection of stimulus.  I could go on with a longer list of disappointments but decided to look at the bright side of this week.

– Don’t ask, don’t tell, repealed
– The START treaty passed
– The 9/11 Zadroga Bill passed

Check out the Obameter for the actual promises kept, works in progress, stalled and promises broken.

Happy holidays to one and all.  Enjoy this week’s victories because when the Repugnants come back to town after the holidays it is going to be raining a nightmare of investigative hearings.  Sigh…..

I don’t know about you, but… December 12, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, wildlife, Zoos.
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When I encountered the visual of Obama bringing Bill Clinton to his press conference to explain why this tax deal is the best one we can get I had the following feelings:
1. Shame
2. Frustration
3. Depression
4. Anger
Then – he leaves Bill Clinton alone on the podium to hold his own press conference, complete with lip biting and those expected pauses for another half hour while he goes to a scheduled event at the White House with Michelle. WTF?

It simply appeared to me that President Obama cannot effectively explain his policies, his capitulation, his ever-shifting invisible line in the sand.  This is a guy who was gifted with oratorical splendor and yet when it comes to ‘splaining’ himself – he is unable to rise to the occasion.  And who is he mad at?  He is not angry with the Repugnants, he is angry with people like me, his base, who are furious about his lack of leadership, strength and fortitude.

–  That same day when I opened my snail mail I had a letter from the departing Senator Russ Feingold (big sigh can be heard across the land) thanking me for my support throughout the years. He ended his upbeat note with these words: “I want you to know that it has been my great privilege to advance your progressive values and beliefs in the US Senate. In the words of Bob Dylan …my heart is not weary. It is light and free.  I’ve got nothing but affection for those who have sailed with me.”  Where have all of the Russ Feingold’s gone?  Are we a dying breed? (another big sigh)

–  A bit later I heard some of those just released Nixon tape clips – OMG!  I had almost forgotten how much I hated that guy – but it came right back to me.
He and my #1 War Criminal, Henry Kissinger can be heard trashing almost every ethnic and religious group with a special attack on Jewish people.  (note to self: Henry Kissinger is Jewish)

–  As of this moment, I am looking around for another Dreadfulcrat to support in 2012.  I never thought I would say that – but that’s the way it is for me today.  Can Obama redeem himself in these progressive eyes?  I am waiting (hopefully not for Godot).

How are you feeling about the political situation these days?

Why so glum, chum? November 4, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, wildlife, Zoos.
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C’mon, now – get those chins up off of the floor. Yes, we took a thumpin’ on Tuesday, as George W Bush so eloquently said in 2006.  For those with short term memories, the Blue team rolled in on a voter wave of discontent only six years ago.  Yes, the voters are fickle.  As another recent administration noted ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’

Do I for one minute think that the same Repugnants that blocked all legislation for the past two years will now suddenly want to compromise with Obama’s agenda?  Not for a second.  Their only goal is to stay in front of the microphones and to keep Obama from getting a second term.

So what do we do?  Obama and friends have to gain that bully pulpit back from the Repugnants.  They have to work on the economy front and center and proudly announce every single thing they are doing over and over again.  Obama has to pitch to the ‘what have you done for me lately, voter’  repeatedly.  The voter is fickle and suffers from short term memory.

Obama and friends have to get out their loyal base (that would be us) and appeal once again to the younger, more hip crowd and tell them why ‘we’ are better for them than the Repugnants.  The older white Southern male voter who goes to the polls every chance they can – needs to be resoundly out numbered next election.  We can do it.  WE need to start NOW.

I would be mighty happy if Harry Reid resigned as Majority leader and we got a new face in his place.  I vote for Chuck Schumer.  He knows how to stay in front of a microphone and announce his every thought and achievement.  Chuck would know how to handle the Repugnant investigations and subpoenas (even thoguh they will eminate from the other side of the aisle) that are sure to be coming our way.  Anyone remember Whitewater or Monica Lewinsky?  The Repugnants have never met an issue that they cannot exploit to their advantage.

For the first time in a long time, every candidate I voted for on Tuesday won.  New York is still a Blue state and I am happy to live here. Finally, let’s lick our wounds, lift up those chins and get to work.  It is not over ’til the fat lady sings.

Keep the faith.

I voted and was #15 November 2, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, wildlife, Zoos.
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I voted at 7AM and was #15.  On Primary Day – way back in September I voted at 3PM and was #30.  I take this as a good sign.

So how did it go at my polling place you ask?  The poll workers seemed to be more in control of what they were doing with the new scanner devices.  On Primary Day I was very skeptical about whether those scanners were even plugged in and of course whether my vote would count.  (My paranoia is very high on Election day).  Things seemed smooth, unruffled, sober and all six of the ‘privacy’ booths were filled.  How did it go at your polling place today?

I printed out my usual ‘VOTE TODAY’ sign to put down in my lobby with the address of our polling place.  My doorman has the scotch tape ready when he sees me at 6AM.  I assume some bozo in my building hasn’t a clue as to where to go to vote.

So who and what did I vote for you ask?  I voted the Democratic line from top to bottom.  I was tempted to vote for ‘the rent’s too damn high’ guy running for Governor, but even though I think he is a hoot I do not find most things political at all funny.  I cringed when I marked Kirsten Gillibrand’s name – but the party line is the party line.

I voted NO on Prop One because even though most times I want to throw all the bums out I do not believe in term limits.  I voted YES on Prop Two because there seemed to be a whole lot of good stuff in that proposal.

Now what to do all day?  I am off to a movie with my movie buddy (who I do not think is a registered voter and I will give him a piece of my mind) to see ‘Wasteland.’  That seemed like a good name of a movie to see on election day.

And tonight?  I will pace around the living room, probably take a Xanax and hope for the best. OY!

This little piggie… July 18, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Photography, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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This week’s action packed visit to see good friends in New England had some terrific animal encounters.  Check out the adorable faces from the Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, MA.

We fell in love with the baby Vietnamese pot-belied pigs and think you will too.

Remiss, Bothered and Bewildered May 19, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, art, Links, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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Thud.  Okay, I said it. I was REMISS. I totally overlooked my usual obsession with the conclusion of the Bernie ‘THUD’ Kerik scenario as he walked the walk and left for a four year term in prison.  He was kicking and screaming along the way.  See ya’ Bernie.  Sadly, he is not going with some of his cronies who should be locked up along with him.

The oil spill has also BOTHERED me to no end but there is so much guilt to go around I could not focus on a target. Ken Salazar’s appearance before the Senate yesterday was a joke.  Go Bernie Sanders.

–  I have been totally BEWILDERED by a number of things these past few weeks. Perhaps being on the road for almost two weeks allowed my brain to lose some of its synapses.

–  In no particular order – the ‘papers, please’ insanity in Arizona is apparently popular with people over 50 (not me) and curious to younger Americans. That seems clear enough.  Young people are not afraid of people who do not look like them and perhaps, just perhaps, they enjoy the diversity rather than the boring homogeneity.

–  The Tea Party still makes me laugh.  Their unfocused, yet loud rage gets too much attention from the media (just like Sarah Palin).  The targets of their focused rage  seems to be Repugnants who do not fit the bill as Uber-Conservatives.  A few did fine in yesterday’s Primaries, but  the general election in November is far away and much can happen.  Those Independent voters are not as radical as the screaming meemies with tea bags hanging from their hats.  Stay tuned.

–  In a head scratching moment, yesterday’s news included the fact that Bristol Palin is hitting the lecture circuit. Her main topic?  Teen pregnancy. ‘The 19-year-old has signed with a firm called Single Source Speakers and is expected to earn between $15,000 and $30,000 per speaking gig’. Good grief.

Just for fun, check out this armadillo:

Ma and Me May 9, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Dogs and cats, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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My mother is long gone but her advice, warnings and general ‘Lili-isms’ live on in my daily life.  She taught me to fight the good fight, to write letters to City Hall when I was pissed (her time was way before blogging) and she also gave me my moral compass (one glance from Lillian told me instantly whether my behavior was acceptable or not – I got a lot of glances).  My sister Terry and I remember many of our childhood events differently but we both agree that our mother was a pistol. Here’s to Lillian Wolfe and all of the other mothers out there.

A very Happy Mother’s Day to all of the caregivers, nurturers, pamperers, surrogates and generally loving coddlers out there.  You make it all work.

Mother’s Day:The mothering instinct of animals.