From small acorns

The complete article with links documenting its facts is taken from Commentary Magazine here

From Small Acorns . . .
Jennifer Rubin – 10.09.2008 – 7:08 PM

The Bill Ayers connection continues to percolate. John McCain expresses the view that it is about truthfulness. He has a new ad. And so does the RNC. An Ayers victim pops up to tell his story.

Meanwhile, considerable evidence surfaces that as late as 1996 Barack Obama was a member of the New Party, a local Chicago branch of the Socialist Party. Relevant documents have been scrubbed from the New Party website but not before they were snatched by the Internet Archive Association. It seems someone really doesn’t want anyone poking around in Obama’s past. (If you spot similarities to the fight for disclosure of the Annenberg Challenge documents you are not alone.)

And more comes out about ACORN’s massive voter fraud activities. The latter gets some attention from Rep. John Boehner and from McCain . Obama seems to deny involvement with ACORN but the facts are fairly clear: he worked as a trainer, served as a lawyer and sat on the Woods Fund which gave them nearly $200K in funding up through 2002. Oh, and his presidential campaign has paid them $800,000 in voter registration efforts.

The media yawns. That’s expected but becoming increasingly hard to justify unless you beleive the mission of the media requires them to ignore any information harmful to Obama. Let’s do a thought experiment. Let’s say that McCain was the member of the John Birch Society up until 1996. Let’s say McCain worked for a group accused of diluting African America votes through vote fraud and sat on a board which doled out money to this group. But that’s not all: let’s say McCain attended a church where white separatism was preached. To top off our hypothetical, McCain started his career in the home of an abortion clinic bomber, sat on his foundation, appeared on panels with him and favorably reviewed his book.

Would any of that be a “distraction“? It seems clear that any one of those facts, let alone all of them, would be disqualifying. And if McCain in the Right Wing Nut hypothetical refused to talk about it, or lied about whether his bomber friend was “just” a guy in the neighborhood, would the media say “Oh gosh, too late in the campaign to discuss that“?

What is becoming inescapable is that Obama until his U.S. Senate run openly identified with and closely associated himself with a cast of far Left characters. Maybe he didn’t buy their philosophy or he was never around when they were spouting hatred of the United States. Maybe he grew out of them and now views them as fringe characters. We don’t know because he continues to deny that he was even part of this circle.

Some voters won’t care. Others will get nervous that he’s a closet radical. But the real concern for him and his supporters is that voters who matter in key swing states will get the sense that Obama has shown a peculiar tendency to associate with a bizarre crowd and now is lying. As Rudy Giuliani put it “It’s called judgment or lack thereof.” Whether ordinary voters finally get the sense that something is troubling in all this remains to be seen. But the danger is that at the very least, they might get the sense that he’s not being honest with them about who he is and what he believes, or at least believed until very recently.

If you are voting for Obama, I think you had better see these

These are two videos that show the tactics of the people who support Obama, — indoctrination of young. I have not seen anything like it– not even in China. The second was so creepy that it was removed from YouTube. I imagine the first will be too.


and this

Vietnam & Cambodia


We have a great trip coming up to Vietnam and Cambodia. What we don’t have is great advertising.

If all you know about Vietnam is from “Platoon” and other films about the war, then you would be very surprised by what you can find there. It is a country that has majestic mountains, verdant rice terraces, colorful ethnic minorities, beautiful beach resorts, bustling cities, and an ancient culture. We board a boat to see Halong Bay, one of the most beautiful places in the world. We see river life along the Mekong Delta. And to cap the trip, we will see the magnificent buildings of Angkor and Angkor Wat. It is an unforgettable experience!

If you know anyone who might be interested in one of the most fascinating destinations there is, please let them know that this is a trip that they will never forget. The pictures from our last trip are at this location.

Although this is a kosher, sabbath observant trip, Jewish people who are not religiously observant and people who are not Jewish would feel very comfortable with us.

I am happy to answer any questions about the trip at my email address which is the name of the blog at gmail. — or via leaving a comment

Good Housekeeping (or, “if you polish us, do we not shine?”)

I was raised in a self-cleaning home. When I woke up in the morning, my room was a mess. All of my things were scattered where I had left them. When I came home from school, my room was clean. My clothes were put away. My bed was made. The fact that my mother had a full time cleaning lady was only coincidental, or so I thought.

When I got married, I made a similar mess each morning, and with the help of my husband, even more. When I came home from school (I was still in college), I was shocked to see the mess still lying where I had left it. I figured out that maybe the cleaning lady did have something to do with the house being clean all the time, but I still didn’t fully get it. Until, one day after we were married about 6 months, my husband said, “Aren’t you going to wash the floor?” And I, in all my innocence answered, “Do you think it needs to be washed already?” I was serious. I had never witnessed a floor being washed. I had no idea of how it was done or how often normal people did it. Our floor in that apartment was tiled and a medium brown color, so I didn’t notice any dirt on it. I did sweep it from time to time.

And thus I entered the wonderful world of domesticity.

Over the years, especially when the children were young, we had a number of cleaning ladies ranging from Ida Mae (the family therapist)* who was with us through the beekeeping/haircutting period to “the white tornado” who helped us out around the time that our youngest was born. Usually they were with us for a short time due to our frequent moves (only one asked us if we could take her with us.)

Since I have lived in Israel, aside from some more and less successful encounters with cleaning help just before Passover, I have been help-less. I have discovered the magic of “Cilit”- that wonderful product that dissolves mineral build-up. I have learned how to do “sponga”- cleaning the floor with a squeegee and a rag without having to cut a hole in the rag (which, I am told, completes my absorption into Israel as an immigrant). I have even learned how to clean my stone counters without leaving watermarks (hint: a small squeegee is involved).

I have not, however, found a cleaner.

When I brought my father-in-law to live with us, the person who cared for him would keep the house very (Kati, the drunk Hungarian) or passably (Carole, the runaway Filipino) clean. A couple of years after my father-in-law passed away, a friend told me about her terrific cleaner. I tell his story and the one of our subsequent adventures at the end of the following post: this one Well, this week, I finally agreed to have my husband arrange for another cleaning person. She comes with the highest recommendations. She was supposed to have gotten here an hour and a half ago. You guessed it! Maybe she got confused? Maybe she’ll be here tomorrow? Stay tuned.

*More about Ida Mae upon request

Postcard from L.A.*

** See update at bottom

On our last morning in Seattle, we set out for the Cambodian museum. I had found their web page and was very interested in going and learning more about Cambodia and the Cambodian people. We traveled about 45 minutes, got exactly to the location, and were told that the museum had moved to the Chinese Museum in town. Thirty minutes later we entered the Chinese Museum. It was dedicated to the immigrant experience of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and other Asian people who settled in Seattle. The museum was housed on the site of a hotel that was the first home to many of these immigrants and had opened nearly a century ago. It was well-preserved and the guided tour highlighted the poignance of the immigrant experience, one that felt very familiar as I have come to know the history of my own family and how they established themselves in the US. It was an interesting place to visit, but not at all what we would have chosen, nor what we had anticipated. Oh, and a few items from the Cambodian Museum will go on display sometime in the fall.

We flew to Los Angeles, went to pick up our rental car, and found that we could choose a minivan for the same money. We did.

When finally we got to the home of our daughter-in-law’s parents, we were greeted by all of the grandchildren present and by our son and daughter. It was a very very happy homecoming.

This morning, my daughter and I went to Target. Now that doesn’t sound so surprising, but it was the first Target I was in on this trip. I didn’t need anything, but I didn’t think they would let me out of America if I hadn’t had at least one look at it. Impressive. But not worth moving for.

We spent the rest of the day with my daughter and her 12 year old son and her 4 month old son at Universal Studios. It was an enjoyable day. We saw and did a lot of fun things. At 5 p.m., my son’s 12 year old and 10 year old sons joined us. They had been there also with their camp, but when the other campers went home, they stayed on with us. The three big boys really enjoyed spending time together and enjoyed the experiences they had at the park. The minivan came in handy!!

When we returned (at about 9:30) a big and delicious spaghetti dinner was waiting for us. it was a good day… and a wonderful way to spend my husband’s birthday!!!!

* My favorite Joshua Kadison song
** triLcat writes: the song is called “Picture Postcards From LA”

Goodbye Illinois, hello Iowa

Iowa has very nice rest stops that have free wireless internet. Very impressive. From there, sitting outside in the shade by the side of the road, I was able to chat with one daughter via gmail and to see the pictures of another’s children. What a world!

Iowa (at least from Interstate 80) is very flat and is adorned by cornfields in every direction. We saw magnificent stretches of land, all verdant green, with silos and barns and big farmhouses for miles and miles and miles.

When we finally got to Des Moines, we got off the highway and headed in the direction of Camp Dodge (yes, I am ready for all of the Dodge jokes including the fact that tomorrow morning by 10 o’clock, we need to get out of Dodge!). This is a military installation of some sort (I think National Guard training, but I’m not sure) and we have been billeted (sounds like something that could be fatal) in a brick building in a small apartment. It has a fridge and microwave and sofa and recliner and best of all, a computer. Although I couldn’t get into the wireless network, the computer that is in place here has had no trouble.

We even are able to do our laundry here! Our suitcases seem to be sighing with relief. They are so dramatic. It hasn’t been that long…

We have no immediate plans although Iowa is full of historical sights and all sorts of arts. There are barns that have been painted with quilts on them and beautiful folk art objects. We passed by (in Illinois) the birthplace of Ronald Reagan and in Iowa, of Herbert Hoover. If we had the time, we could probably spend a week just seeing the sights around Des Moines. This is a big country with lots to see!

So tomorrow, it’s on to Omaha where we try once again to entice people to travel with us to China and to Vietnam/Cambodia!

Coming to the US

The news is that if all goes well, we will be coming to the US in June and July and will be traveling to communities to do travelogues on China (including Tibet) and Vietnam/Cambodia. We will be presenting these free of charge to groups for the purpose of letting people know that there is a fantastic tour company that provides the highest quality kosher tours (Shai Bar Ilan Geographical Tours). It will be a travelogue, not a sales pitch and we are happy to have one and all there whether or not they ever plan to travel. We understand that people have friends and relatives and we want our name to be the one associated with travel! We have all sorts of stories and anecdotes and we promise no one will be bored… we even are bringing some gifts. If you are interested in having us visit your community, you can write me at

Vietnam & Cambodia

If you would like to see these pictures at your own pace and larger and with captions, you can see them here

A new blacklist?

I just can’t seem to keep out of trouble.

A couple of years ago, I noticed that my laptop was running very slowly and very hot. I took it in to the trusty guys who fix laptops (names concealed for reasons that later will become obvious) and they fixed it. They told me that three things can go wrong to make a laptop overheat and all three had gone wrong on mine. They cleaned it and moved the fan that had become displaced and they replaced a piece of filtering-type material (by now you can tell why I stick to doing therapy and leading tours– a techie I am not!) A few months later when the laptop was again running slow, I had a local person look at it and he found that the automatic windows updates were hanging it up. He turned them off and the computer ran fine.

But a couple of months ago, the laptop once more started running slow. By this time I had gone out and bought an external hard drive and between that and some DVDs I burned, I backed up pretty much everything of value.

So on Sunday I took the laptop in for servicing to the laptop experts (not their real name.) Computer Whiz (not his name) told me that he would let me know what the story was within a day.

Last evening I called him and he told me that he was with a client and would call me back. Meanwhile we took friends of ours out to eat at a nice restaurant here in Modi’in. It’s the kind of place that has home baked laffot (they’re like huge pitot and taste heavenly) and they bring to every table a selection of salads (about 12), a vegetable salad, rice, french fries, humus, and whatever meat you order. We all decided on skewers of “pargiot” which are very tender pieces of chicken. I had taken my first taste of a piece of a laffa (the bread) when the phone rang.

It was the Wizard. He said he had three things to tell me. The first was that my laptop was terminally ill. It seems that from the color of the monitor when it boots up, he can tell that the monitor will soon die. Replacing the monitor on an almost 5 year old laptop is probably not worth it. I knew that all of my data and pictures and writings were backed up, but I suddenly realized that I would have to download the abominable printer driver once again. I was barely absorbing this crushing blow when he got to the second item on his list. He told me that he could run the spyware check, but that he thought it was unnecessary given that I could do it myself. “OK,” I thought, “now for the reason I brought in the computer…”

At this point, his generally kind voice turned into that of a very frustrated drill sergeant trying to explain to the new recruit for the 1000th time not to point the loaded weapon at his buddy.

He said, “I know that I am younger than you are, but I have to reprimand you.”

“OK,” I said.

“You eat at the computer.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Your computer was filthy.”


“No, NOT OK; your computer was filthy. There were crumbs and dirt everywhere.”

“OK, I understand.”

“No, you don’t. I had to use a shovel to get all of the dirt out.”

“OK” (at this point I was beginning to think that he was just a bit over-the-top)

“NO, It’s NOT OK. You can’t eat at the computer.”

“Yes, I understand.”

“Did I tell you I needed a shovel to get all of the dirt out of your computer?”

“I think you mentioned that.”

“So you had better not eat over the computer.”

Now here is where I made my mistake… I think he was winding down and I almost was finished with my reprimand when I somehow decided to offer:

“I actually went out and bought a silicon keyboard that I attach to the laptop. It’s washable.” (I didn’t add that you can even submerge it in water.)

He was not pleased. He didn’t think that I was showing sufficient respect for my laptop. He said:

“You still need not to eat at your computer.”


“Did I mention that I needed a shovel to get all of the dirt out of it?”

“I think you did.”

So here’s the question: Do you think the Wizard has put me on the laptop blacklist? When the monitor dies, will I be able to buy a laptop anywhere in Israel?

Stay tuned.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Life is precious. That’s why it’s important to make every day count. That’s also why it’s important to take good care of yourself and those you love. It means driving safely, being aware of safety hazards in the home, keeping dangerous things out of reach of children, eating right, geting enough sleep, taking your prescribed medications, and a hundred other preventive measures.

Often, though, it is the simplest things that we don’t do. Women need to examine their breasts on a regular basis- as frightening as it may be, it is better to panic when finding a lump when it is still small than ignore it until it is big. Women need to be aware too that not all breast cancers begin as lumps. There are any number of other symptoms– some mistaken as mastitis– that may be the first warning of inflammatory breast cancer, a particularly nasty form of cancer.

Please visit this blog written by an incredible woman- and join Team WhyMommy to increase the awareness of this terrible disease- and maybe save your life or that of someone you know. Life is precious.