Friday, October 30, 2009

The Subsidized Health Insurance Tax

Well here we are right in the middle of the World Series every Met fan is bored by... Who do we root for? We know that the 2009 World Series is a historical event, yet we watch it not really caring one way or another. It's kind of like when I watch the Soccer World Cup Final... its historical.. but who really cares?

I was just getting ready to write today’s column when I got a call today from a buddy who was quite annoyed about an issue about his company’s health insurance plan. I listened to his situation, but since I am not a lawyer, I really couldn’t do much but listen to him vent… and then at the end of the conversation, I threw in a little plug to check out today’s NWOW column because I was planning to write about the problems that plague us... and the Republicans who make it worse.

I don’t know too much about the issue but I think medical costs would be much lower if malpractice policies were lower and if people were not always suing doctors who mess up for every last dime they can squeeze out. Nonetheless, these are the cards that we have been dealt and it is time to find a solution.

Hillary Clinton took up this issue in the early days of Clinton I but since the Clinton era was followed by 8 years of George Bush, the issue was put aside because this was a topic too complex for President Bush’s limited mental capacity. Now Obama is in the White House and is making health insurance reform the centerpiece of his first year in office.

The "debate" continues whether health insurance is a right that all Americans are entitled to. Many Republicans feel it’s a luxury and many liberals feel that there should be Robin Hoodesque policy to subsidize the poor. Ron Paul was on Larry King’s show last night and said that if the government has no money and mandatory health insurance costs money, then the money will have to be collected from somewhere to finance it. That’s true but people keep crying out "Socialism!" if the government starts running the health insurance show… By the way, socialism really works well on kibbutzim in Israel. And wouldn't we rather have socialism than an aging population that cannot afford to take care of its medical needs??

The rich people of the Republican Party who spend their time drooling over Fox News Channel have a large voting bloc and many of them are fortunate to never have to worry about their health insurance or paying for it. They are lucky enough to work for companies that take care of it for them. And since I am a reasonable Democrat I can understand why they resent that they have to kick in shekels to pay for those who cannot afford it.

But how much of our tax money is allocated to pay the medical bills for those who can’t pay themselves?? And how much less tax money will pay for the federally run Obama health insurance program? And with a new plan in effect how much taxpayer money will go to pay for health insurance? My idea is to call it what it is.. a tax! We can call it the HIT – the Health Insurance Tax… or add an S in front and call it the Subsidized Health Insurance Tax.

If specific HIT money is taken from all of us to pay for health care, the HIT money should then be tax deductible. However the interesting thing is if my poor neighbor has to tap into the HIT fund, then we get to write off the neighbor’s health care costs but not our own. Right now, you can only write off health care costs that exceed 7.5% of your annual income… and a large chunk of people don’t get to write that off... especially those who will be paying a lot of money into health insurance taxes.

So let’s call it what it is… a tax that should be tax deductible. And to keep health costs tax deductible, why is 7.5% the cap to make health insurance tax deductible?… Make it all tax deductible. Right now a family making 100k that pays $7400 per year in health bills cannot write it off… Change the rules… after the government figures out how the payments will be divided up among my fellow tax paying Americans, let's make things a little more fair for everyone paying into the plan... Lower the 7.5% threshold AND turn this money into a HIT tax so at least taxpayers can get a write off for the money they are paying so the tax payments can make more sense.

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK: Last week Pumpy won again to raise his record to 3-4. Since this weekend is a big Philly New York weekend with the Knicks, Giants and Yankees playing against those cheesesteak teams. The Eagles host the Giants in a pick 'em game. Sayeth the Pump:

"Im hosting the Psychic's club at my home this weekend and they always leave a giant mess... so take The Giants!"


Last week we went 1-2 to bring the season record to 9-12. This week we try to run the table to get to .500

Giants PICK EM over Philly - It would be nice for the NY fans to win one of these Sunday showdowns...(Is my preference for the Phillies over the Yankees starting to show?)

Seattle 9 1/2 doggies over DALLAS - A good week for the Giants to open up some breathing room.

Minnesota 3 point doggies over GREEN BAY - If the Giants lose and 2 teams from the Dallas, Green Bay and Atlanta trio win - the Giants would close Nov. 1 going from 5-0 to out of a playoff berth!

Friday, October 23, 2009

News of the Week

With kudos to the late legendary Paul Harvey here is some news and comment about some headlines from this week.


If you take a look at the left margin of the blogs we link to, you will notice that some of my fellow bloggers have not updated their blogs lately. Not that I am taking attendance but the Joshie and Dangerspouse blogs have not been updated since late 2008! However others are regularly updating such as Liran, DAS, and Neil Best who blogs on Newsday’s wesbite. Incidentally on Yom Kippur an elderly man who had a tough time moving around walked into Temple for Kol Nidre services and the woman sitting in front of me promptly got up and offered him her seat. I didn’t know it at the time but that woman is actually Liran’s sister!

Anyway, as much as people are saying that Facebook (which just restored live feeds with friends new friends’ updates,… yay!) and Twitter’s microblogging is killing regular blogs there are some blogs that are updated frequently… and one of them is The Fine Neil Best blog…(Not to be confused with the Best Neil Fein blog) . Best updates his blog several times a day with short updates about stuff in the sports media.. or in the case of today Soupy Sales death. He even does an occasional live chat where people can kvetch about Chip Carey and other stuff. It is a daily must read.

Yesterday I logged into Neil’s blog to find an announcement that starting next week all content on Newsday’s website will only be available if you pay a fee. However, you don’t have to subscribe if you already subscribe to Newsday or Cablevision io… which just so happens to be my cable provider.

But would people be willing to pay to see websites? The biggest moneymakers for pay per view pages seem to be the pornsites, although when you look at what they have available for free, you wonder how much more you get for spending money on it. There have been rumors that Newsday would start charging and now the rumors have come true and many of the commenters on the Best blog are saying adios… and they wont pay for content… I also wonder if it will block rss feeds for non Newsday subscribers who are RSS subscribers.

And now this week we also hear that Hulu is planning to charge for some content. But this is not a new concept. A few years back when I started doing my Mortgage Podcast…(which also is one of those that has not been updated in awhile), another podcaster did an interview with me. He worked for the Clickcaster website which hosts my podcast and asked me if I ever planned to charge listeners to listen to them. I don’t recall my answer to that question, but I really doubt people would pay money just to hear my podcast.

Personally, I won’t have to pay because I am an io subscriber, but if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t spend my money on his blog. However, by that same token, I feel bad that newspapers are losing so much money because they are giving it away for free online, so maybe this subscription idea will cut down on webclicks and eventually add up to more newspaper subscriptions.

But then again, if Neil Best’s blog is not in the paper… why don’t they just charge for newspaper content and make the rest of it for free.


I see that the lame duck NJ Nets who may or may not move to Brooklyn…(see last week’s column) are leaning towards playing their games at the Prudential Center. And this battle between the Prudential and the Meadowlands Arena may be resolved with an arrangement that sports goes to Newark and concerts and shows go to Izod. That works well for Newark if the Brooklyn deal falls through and the Nets stay in NJ.. and in the deal the Izod doesn’t have to worry about competing with Prudential for entertainment.

Today’s Post has an article about a lunch hosted by the Nets new owner. I think this guy has some shekels. He took a party of 6 to Nello on the Upper East Side. The tab came out to 15,000 with a $3700 tip! Sayeth the Post:

“Their check included $825 for three orders of truffle tagliolini; $600 for four orders of truffle carpaccio; $210 for three orders of veal chops with mushrooms; and $72 for six large waters.
Not to mention $15 for a bowl of chicken soup.
The lunch was topped off with a $5,000 bottle of vintage 1998 Chateau Petrus and two bottles of 2002 Montrachet Latour for $3,600."

$72 for water??


A few weeks ago we told you about the loonie kazoonies from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas. They are Jew haters and proud of it.. and the protest outside Jewish synagogues. They also hate gay people too… which means their upcoming trip to NJ will not include seeing Harvey Fierstein’s latest show.

Most people with common sense realize that these Westboro Weirdos are just a fringe group and don’t represent other Baptists. Nonetheless I hear that they now plan to protest outside a Rutgers Jewish Student building next week.

However, before thinking of attending a counter protest, I think the group from Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in Manhattan (a predominantly gay synagogue) got it right. They heard that the Westboro Weirdos were headed to their temple and they turned the tables on them by turning it into a fundraiser. Just like a walkathon where you make a pledge based on how many miles a participant walks… people pledged based on how many minutes the Westboro Weirdos protested.

A big clock was essentially planted near the protestors and the fun began. After 50 minutes Beth Simchat Torah raised $10,000!

And the Rabbi was so happy to raise 10k…. she sent Westboro a Thank You note!

And there you have… the rest of the story!


Last week Pumpy lost again since Jacksonville needed OT to win but not cover against the Rams and his record is now 2-4. This week we go to Philly home of the NL Champion Phillies where the Eagles are 7 point road faves against Washington in the Monday Night Game.

Sayeth the Pump: “My friend who is a Phillies fan goes to an egalitiarian synagogue so in honor of Eagle-itarians… I take the Eagles”


Thanks to my picks last week of the Raiders and Chiefs we went 2-1 for a year to date record of 8-10.

Arizona 7 point doggies to THE GIANTS – After last week a TD may be a bit much to cover.. but I predict the Giants will win the game by less than 7.

Atlanta 4 doggies to DALLAS - I love when the Cowboys lose at their new home stadium.

REDSKINS 7 doggies over Eagles – What do they say about home dogs on Monday Night?? By the way, this is the 5th week out of 7 that we are going ALL doggies!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Off the Field Sports Craziness

The Mets went home… and after 6 months of seven day a week fantasy managing, I took the week off from watching sports while the Yankees played the Twins, but now that the League Championship Series is about to start.. it’s time to gear up for baseball again and root for the Dodgers and Angels.

By the way, Yankee fans caught in nasty traffic might want to keep an eye out for that wacky new traffic skipping balloon that guy in Colorado unveiled yesterday with that crazy media hoax that his kid was all by himself in the balloon.. which worked out very well for the all news stations to give his crazy invention lotsa “balloon time” on an otherwise slow news day.

So in a week where I didn't really watch much sports... there was plenty of craziness off the field!


I gotta admit, even though I consider myself more of a “conservative” Democrat… I rarely agree with anything Rush Limbaugh says… but then again I never listen to his show. However, I must admit that he is an extremely entertaining radio broadcaster (but always seems to flop on TV) and that “Excellence in Broadcasting” is not to be taken lightly…. No matter how much you disagree with him he is an excellent broadcaster, and by that same token as much as you might disagree with Rev. Jesse Jackson, he is an excellent public speaker.

Rush’s early career started out as a Promotions Director for the Kansas City Royals back in the day when they were actually a pretty good team in the George Brett era. Those were the days when the ALCS always seemed to be Yankees vs. Royals. Rush then got a gig at a radio station in Sacramento replacing Morton Downey of all people and then a few years later ended up with a show on WABC in its early days as an all talk station.

Whatever Rush does.. he does it well. He has no guests on his show (from what I have heard) and El Rushbo also survived losing his hearing before it was restored in 2001 with cochlear implant surgery that changes the way he hears (not really “in the ears”) but allows him to hear nonetheless. He actually had his surgery 9 days before I met Trophy Wife! He also dated and was subsequently shown the door by former CNN hottie Daryn Kagan….

But as much as I disagree with him, I will defend him and all conservative broadcasters such as Sean Hannity and Bob Grant when rightwingers are accused of being “a racist” because unfortunately the liberals who pollute my Democratic party seem to have a hard time understanding that conservative views are against all people…and that includes white people too!. I am also disgusted by lazy people who collect welfare and live off government handouts… but that viewpoint does not make one racist even if there is a perception that the end of welfare would hurt minorities more.

And the white guilt of the liberal party appears to be an easy target for the right wingers. Rush lost an ESPN football analysis gig…(and he seems to know his sports) when he made a comment that the media really wants to see a black quarterback do well. In reality when a black player excels, the media does not only make a big deal about his accomplishments, but his blackness too. Of course part of that is because blacks were not allowed to participate for so many years so Jackie Robinson’s stats stand out moreso than white players in his era with similar stats and likewise the accomplishments of black coaches and other black quarterbacks who accomplish other “firsts”. But you can’t deny that the media doesn’t pay attention to these accomplishments… They do likewise for anyone perceived as an underdog.

But is Rush a racist not worthy of being an NFL owner? I don’t know… but I have a hard time taking “anti liberal causes” as being against a specific race. I think they are against the causes… but not the race. One of Rush’s many weddings was officiated by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who is black… although many liberal blacks call him an “Uncle Tom” because of his conservative beliefs.

Democrats may disagree with almost everything El Rushbo and Sean Hannity and Michael Savage and all these other mashugie rightwinger broadcasters, but to deny them a chance to buy a football team due to perceived racism is going a little too far.


For once I gotta admit that Phil Mushnick really hit the nail on the head in his column today…. in referring to the Limbaugh story.. but I think its more relevant pertaining to the Jayson Williams story.

Since we are talking about race today… I remember how I felt when OJ Simpson was acquitted. I wasn’t particularly emotional.. but I knew he beat the rap thanks to some excellent work by his legal team. But what really bothered me was that I was walking through town that same afternoon and a school bus drove by and some black kids yelled out tauntingly about how happy they were that OJ was acquitted.

Why are these crimes a black and white issue?? Was OJ less guilty because of an alleged racist cop whose racism was defined by use of one word! Isn’t the violent act of takinga life more painful than use of a word? And why has the Jayson Williams retrial turned into such a circus??

The Williams retrial will go on! That was just announced this afternoon (thanks to Google News!)… Williams is a tragedy with a capital T. He was an up and coming Mr. Personality while he played for the NJ Nets with a likeability similar to Michael Strahan. I always thought Williams would go on to be a broadcaster but he screwed up his own life in 2002 when he fatally shot a limo driver while foolishly playing around with a loaded gun.

The first trial a few years back resulted in his conviction on charges of covering up the shooting. However the manslaughter charges resulted in a deadlocked jury. Now that retrial time has arrived, Williams’ high priced attorneys discovered that an investigator had used the “n” word to describe Williams during a meeting with other law enforcement. And amazingly his lawyers asked the judge to drop the charges because this n-word utterance was never disclosed during the trial… as if the use of that word somehow changed the fact that Williams had shot this poor limo driver!

Yet according to today’s NY Post,… Mushnick in writing about the Rush Limbaugh story has this nugget about current Nets part owner Jay-Z the rapper. Sayeth the Mushnick:

“Jay-Z, the rapper and rap impresario, and a part owner of the NBA Nets, is among the most popular artists and influential entrepreneurs to have resurrected the "N-word," helped return it to the mainstream”

So the moral of the story is it is ok for a Nets owner to use the word but if a former Nets player fatally shoots a guy and an investigator uses that same word….. then all bets are off!!


Ok… I am no fan of that ridiculous law of eminent domain but you have to credit a guy named Daniel Goldstein who has been standing up to Nets owner Bruce Ratner in his attempt to move the Nets to Brooklyn. I rarely go to Nets games anyway and oddly enough if they move to Brooklyn they will be closer to me than their current home at the Meadowlands Arena. Of course there is the Verezano Bridge and that ridiculous toll to deal with.

But the Nets are the joke franchise of the NBA. They had a nice run earlier this decade during the Jason Kidd era when they took 2 trips to the NBA Finals… but since that time the situation just gets crazier.. and by the way in college I used to get press passes to the team’s locker room and I was there the day Sugar Ray Richardson never showed up so believe me I have seen craziness at that mashugana swamp.

But Ratner is now selling the team to a Russian billionaire but as part of the deal gets to keep his new Arena complex in Brooklyn if the deal is approved in time before he loses his chance to get municipal bonds to fund the project. IN his way however is one Daniel Goldstein, the last man standing in his 9 story condo building that Ratner wants to knock down to build the complex that will pad his pockets with billions of dollars.

A court hearing was held this past Wednesday the NY State Court of Appeals peppered lawyers with questions about why this project should be allowed to proceed. One justice actually asked about relocating to Giants Stadium instead before he was informed that that structure is actually in …. New Jersey!

Nonetheless, I hope the whole thing falls through IF it means tossing people out of their homes… However, it might make more sense to move the team to the Prudential Arena in Newark which is more accessible to public transportation. I hear that the light rail to Giants Stadium does not run trains for events unless there is a larger crowd expected that surpasses the typical Nets audience.

On the other hand if they move closer to me to Brooklyn… here is an idea right out of the Rush Limbaugh Promotions book – have the Nets run a deal for Jerseyans and give us a free toll on the too expensive Verezano Bridge!


Last week Pumpy dropped under .500… and I think this is the first time ever since he started doing picks… to 2-3. This week we go to St. Louis home of the Rush Limbaugh less Rams where the Rams are 91/2 doggies to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sayeth the Pump: “Take the Jaguars because I like that new ABC show with Courtney Cox – Jaguartown”

(By the way the show is actually called “Cougar”town…)


Last week we went 1-2 to drop to a mediocre 6-9.

Giants 3 point doggies to NEW ORLEANS – Would you believe I’m missing this game for an exhibition Knick game?? It’s actually a fundraiser against the Maccabi Electra team.

Raiders 14 doggies to PHILLY – I think my record will get better once I start picking more NFC East teams in these battles against crummy bottom feeders. Raiders to cover!

Chiefs 6 ½ doggies to WASHINGTON – Don’t tell Michael Vick.. we’re going all doggies this week!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Letterman: Interesting and Disturbing

Last week just as I was wrapping up my column, the David Letterman scandal story broke, so instead of writing about it immediately, I decided… why not just wait a little while to see how the story plays out. Now that a week has passed, I figured I would take a closer look….

Before we get to Letterman, Yankee fans might not want to hear this.. but I had the strangest dream… involving Joe Mauer. In the dream the Twins were locked into a marathon extra inning game that was going about 19, 20 innings and the announcers kept talking about Mauer having an incredible 8 hits in the game…. However, in this dream the Twins were playing the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series! Incidentally Johnny Burnett went 9 for 11 in an 18 inning game in 1932… Perhaps this an omen.. lotsa hits and a Burnett in the same sentence…

Anyway, as the Letterman saga continues to unfold, there are certain developments that I find interesting and somewhat disturbing. Let’s start from the beginning.

1. How he came clean – Very interesting and not at all disturbing.

Dave felt that Joe Halderman was blackmailing him and he went to the cops. I speculated on Facebook if Letterman knew when he went to the cops that he would have to fess up in front of a grand jury. He initially consulted his lawyer when he was first contacted by Halderman.. would he have gone to the cops if he knew his grand jury testimony would be made public? Nonetheless, it was smart that he announced it on his show… I have seen some attorneys on Larry King say that these shakedowns happen all the time among their rich clients and most of the time the issue gets resolved and nobody knows any different. That is a great selling point for those lawyers’ potential future clients who might be blackmailed and want to keep it quiet… Nonetheless, in this day and age of and TMZ, it made sense for Letterman to fess up on his show on his terms.

2. The woman he had his affair with – Very interesting and a little disturbing…

I don’t watch Letterman as much as I used to, but through the years I have seen Stephanie Birkitt on the show many times and all I can say is… huh?? Shes ok looking, a little goofy…and a bit funny with her little Letterman nicknames (double entendre, perhaps?) I always wondered how she was able to get so much airtime when she would bring those gift envelopes to Letterman when people in the audience won prizes. By the way, those contests are exactly what Johnny Carson used to do when he gave out free dinner passes inside envelopes to audience members who played “Stump the Band”. And so far a week into the story we haven’t heard any disgruntled former female staffers step up to say that Birkett got special treatment because of their affair. Frankly, I am kind of surprised by his choice and curious about his other ladies.

3. The story on the 2nd, and 3rd day, etc. Not so interesting and increasingly disturbing…

As the week has gone on, we have heard more about this bizarre triangle between Birkitt, Letterman, and Halderman. Only Letterman and Birkitt know the real timeline but she apparently started with Dave, went to Halderman, and then some say went back to Dave. Are they still together? I would assume not, although I do worry about a video of them surfacing showing a threesome with the Jay Leno 10 pm show playing in the background.

Is Dave a hypocrite for making wisecracks about philandering politicians? Truthfully I have different expectations when it comes to politicians and celebrities who attract a large following with the younger more impressionable audience. But, Letterman is JUST a late night talk show host,…not a man aspiring to lead thousands or millions of people in government, or a pop singer whose posters adorn the bedroom walls of teenagers across America. Do young kids really aspire to be another 1130 pm talk show host?

And is it more wrong to cheat on your wife or your girlfriend of 20 years? If the cheating went on before the wedding, is the 20 year factor more “relevant” morality-wise than if it were a relationship of 20 weeks?

But even though he is just a talk show host, he is a very powerful guy despite his tendencies to downplay his status in the Show Business stratosphere. .I have seen some old late 70s early 80s game shows on GSN featuring Letterman when he was hyping his NBC daytime show and his personality is almost the same as it is now. But beneath that persona, people appearing on Dave’s show know how much a late night appearance on that show helps their careers. The women he encounters appreciate that power, and apparently he had no trouble hooking up with them.

And since I don’t read the tabloids, I don’t know if anybody ever speculated on what Dave was up to after hours.. He seems to shun the spotlight, he never appears at movie premieres or any of that Hollywood stuff and everyone seemed to assume he hopped in his car after taping his show and sped home even though some reports speculate he had a little “love pad” in the Ed Sullivan Theater.

One other story I just found is on the KIRO TV website in Seattle. There is a woman named Sherry Jackson who was featured on a 48 hours segment produced by Halderman, and oddly enough she was the victim of a blackmail scheme. Jackson’s brother was murdered in the Phillipines and somebody was blackmailing her asking for cash in exchange for the poor guys ashes. She worked closely with Halderman on that story, and Jackson told KIRO that the two spoke often about the case. After she heard about his arrest… here was her quote (from KIRO’ s website)

"We would have conversations like that: What an idiot who would do something so dumb?" Jackson said.

4. Halderman’s lawyer’s reaction – Not so interesting… but incredibly disturbing.

Y’know America is a wonderful country and we have a terrific constitution… including the concept of innocent until proven guilty. This has led to some very creative lawyers who will bust their humps to get their clients acquitted. I appreciate that.. the right to a strong defense is spelled right out in the Constitution.. but sometimes these defense lawyers walk a fine line and don’t always know when to keep their mouths shut. As much as I appreciate their attempts to keep prosecutors on their toes.. sometimes they go from brilliant legal maneuverings to advocates of ridiculous causes. If you ever heard Ron Kuby’s radio show that used to be on WABC, you know exactly what I mean.

Now I see Halderman’s lawyer on the talk show and I start to wonder who is the victim here. He is spinning these stories about how there is more to the story, etc, etc. I have seen reports that Letterman included Birkitt and NOT Halderman in his social circle but are we third graders who have to all be invited to every birthday party? I get tired of hearing about “poor” Halderman, when in reality he was the one who demanded money for silence in what appears to be an open and shut case. His threats were caught on tape... the Manhattan DA has a copy of it and he tried to cash the corresponding check.

And what does the lawyer say?? “I can’t wait to cross examine David Letterman”. In other words, let’s threaten to embarrass Letterman so that maybe the prosecution will back down from pushing this issue so a trial can be avoided, and his client can get a favorable plea bargain. But he does dangle the carrot out there that if there is a trial. let’s destroy as much as Letterman’s reputation as we possibly can… all because he had the audacity to get blackmailed..

Doesn’t this stuff sound like the lawyers who defend rapists and lick their chops when the victim gets on the stand?? He “can’t wait” to cross examine the victim, while the defendant doesn’t even have to take the stand!

I am actually somewhat surprised and also impressed that Letterman is such a stud. I feel bad for his wife if she didn’t know about it, and of course he was morally wrong. But the guy is a talk show host whose show promotes movies filled with all kinds of performers who cheat on their spouses on a daily basis. I just hope a lot of participants in these affairs are not badly hurt by Halderman’s path of self destruction.

And wouldn't it be funny if Dave Letterman's production company Worldwide Pants (now there's a pun!) produced a movie about the arrest of a producer who was blackmailing a talk show host about his affairs??


Last week Pumpy went wrong with his Detroit Lions pick to even his record at 2-2. This week we go to Indianapolis, the hometown of David Letterman as the Colts travel to Tennesee to take on the Titans. The Colts are 4 point faves. Sayeth the Pump: I have been fighting this nasty rash all week so I say take the Titans... because their linebacker Colin is like my skin - Allred!


We went 2-1 (Im not even sure why I went with the Jet game instead of the Redskins) for a year to date record of 5-7.

Oakland 15 doggies over GIANTS - These 2 TD+ spreads make me nervous. Maybe not the week to cover.

CHIEFS 9 doggies to Dallas – Big spread again, but I’d love to see the Chiefs steal this one.

Tampa 15 doggies to PHILADELPHIA – I get the feeling that Sunday Night the NFC East will look very strong and I’m gonna be 0-3.

Friday, October 02, 2009

5770 in Middlesex County

To paraphrase Bill Maher - it is time for New Rules at NWOW. There is no hate allowed here... except if it is directed at an unreliable vehicle that strands you!

Last Friday afternoon I had to run an errand and I ended up parking my Saturn across the street from a synagogue. When I returned to my car, I was greeted with a trend that a lot of Saturn owners suffer from – the freaking car would not start. That cockamamie car is very temperamental about starting.. but sometimes if it doesn’t kick in right away, it might start up if I try again 15 – 20 minutes later. Nobody seems to know what is going on with it and thanks to Google I see that I am not the only Saturn owner with this problem.

On that particular Friday, I needed to get to my office to pick up a package so I called Trophy Wife to pick me up and I decided to deal with the car later. However, because it was Friday afternoon, observant Jews do not drive on the Sabbath, and non observant Jews do not advertise their Sabbath driving in front of a synagogue. I discovered this at a very young age on Yom Kippur 1973 – the day the Yom Kippur War broke out. My parents took me home for lunch in the middle of the day…(I was way too young to fast) and after we walked a few blocks from the synagogue we discovered a line of parked cars with passengers sitting in the drivers seats, all of them listening to 1010 WINS to hear what was going on with Israel’s newest war. That was when I realized that Jews who drive to synagogue when they are not supposed to…. park a few blocks away!!

So my solution to the sticky situation was to arrange to have the Triple A tow truck come after Friday night services were completed. I went back to where my car was parked later that evening and while I waited outside for the tow truck, I discovered how incredibly peaceful the street was. People would occasionally stroll by and cars were coming up and down the street… and I also took note that the exterior of the synagogue was so well lit that it almost looked like it was the middle of the day... even though it was really late in the evening.

Unfortunately, in Edison on Monday night, nobody’s unreliable Saturn got stuck on Jefferson Street in front of Temple Beth-El, since nobody sat outside after Yom Kippur waiting for a tow. It was not until early Tuesday that somebody discovered that some thugs had spray painted swastikas on that synagogue. The Rabbi of that synagogue - Rabbi Rosenberg has been very vocal about anti Semitism in the area and he speculated to the media that he might have been targeted by a group of Jew hating teenagers.

The week before, on Rosh Hashana,. A Jewish Yeshiva student in Edison was walking down the street when he was attacked in what is being called a bias incident, since the word “Jew” was apparently used during the attack. This story was not mentioned on the news at first until Rabbi Rosenberg spread the word to the local Jewish community and the news media about this crime. A teenager under the age of 18 was subsequently arrested…. but because he is a minor his identity has not been revealed by law enforcement authorities.

I don’t recall if I have ever met Rabbi Rosenberg… but I do admire his guts to stand up against anti- semites and I did write about him here on NWOW a few years ago. (See January 29, 2006) Back then, a local resident wrote a silly letter to a local Jewish paper criticizing the Rabbi’s wisecrack during a public Menorah lighting ceremony about a prayer that Iran’s Ahmadinejad would drop dead. I thought complaining about it was silly… and even though I agree with the Rabbi, perhaps an event with so many little pishers might not have been the right forum for that comment. But for a Jew to write a letter to a Jewish paper about wishing death on a Hitler loving Holocaust denier? I found that to be quite bizarre..

Nonetheless, even though I might not always agree with Rosenberg. I appreciate that he stands up against Anti semitism… (For many years he had a dispute with another Rabbi who I greatly admired, and I'm not sure Rabbi Rosenberg was 100% right about that issue) Rosenberg also said that he seems to think that his actions pertaining to the Rosh Hashana incident motivated the post Yom Kippur vandalism… plus he feels there is some spillover from the anti Semitism brought on by Ahmedinejad during his UN visit last week. Sadly the Rabbi’s December 2005 wish did not come true.

But anti Semitism has also reared its head in another ugly way recently. Last month we followed the news story about the young lab tech from Connecticut who disappeared the week before her wedding. The cynic in me thought she was just getting cold feet like the woman in Atlanta a few years ago who became known as “The Runaway Bride”. Sadly, she was not a runaway bride and police discovered her body on the day that she was to be married.

Since that time there have been numerous memorial services and one incident caught my attention. The woman was engaged to a Jewish man, and his synagogue was the target of some Jew hating wackos the day after her recent memorial service. The craziness was organized by the loonie kazoonies at the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas. This crazy church’s website’s cover page declares that “God hates Fags!” Some of the pre printed picket signs at their “demonstrations” say such nuggets such as “Thank God For AIDS” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”. They also protested at the funeral for Matthew Shepard who the website refers to as an “impeninent Sodomite”. The site also talks about how they hate Jews because Jews killed Jesus and on and on it goes.

And in an article I found online on, Arlene Gross wrote about the anti Semitic protest outside Temple Beth El in Huntington, that took place the day after Annie Le's memorial service was held there. But the protest was held during Hebrew school lessons, so young students who study there were forced to be exposed to this trash. Gross’s article contained this fascinating piece of information. Here is the actual quote:

“Among the picketers on Park Avenue was a boy wearing an anti-gay T-shirt that matched his mother's. When asked what he was doing there, he replied: "Picketing."

When asked if he knew why, the 7-year-old replied, "No."

So when Rabbi Rosenberg wonders why teenage minors paint swastikas on his synagogue…. take a look at the parents of these kids. If 7 yr olds walk around with anti gay shirts that their parents force them to wear you really need to wonder what kind of homes are these hate filled teens coming from? And how likely is it that the Anti Semitic rhetoric that is drilled into these kids by their Jew hating parents manifests itself into the next generation when those kids line up in front of a synagogue with their spray paint bottles?

I’ve always said that these Jew haters should be banned from taking any medicines or vaccines discovered by Jews… but of course as sensible as that sounds, the ACLU would say that that is too harsh. But the next time you hear a story about kids being arrested for this mischief… you should question what is going on behind the closed doors of those homes that would let a kid think that desecrating a house of worship or attacking a person just because he is Jewish or black or gay or all 3 is a proper way to conduct oneself.

And because arrested minors' names are not released to the public, the hate filled parents also get to retain their anonymity enabling them to continue the cycle. Maybe it's time to release the names of juveniles who are arrested for bias crimes?

PUMPSTRADAMUS PICK OF THE WEEK: Last week Pumpy hit on the Colt (Nidre) Yom Kippur night game... This weekend as we begin to celebrate Sukkot, we go to Detroit where it was announced this week that Saturn will officially cease production. The Bears are 10 1/2 point faves. Sayeth the Pump: "Take Detroit... because at night I will be "lion" down and sleeping in the sukkah"

UNBIASED GIANTS FAN PICKS OF THE WEEK: Last week we went 0-3 for a season to date record of 3-6.

Giants 9 point faves at KANSAS CITY - Double digit road faves? After last weeks game... I'll take the Giants.

DENVER 3 point doggies over Dallas - I think John Elway was a better Joe Buck HBO guest than Jerry Jones...(and I loved the opening where Artie Lange started chasing Joe on the street!)

Jets 7 point doggies to NEW ORLEANS - J-E-T-S... have you ever seen a 3-0 team as such an underdog??