1: WHEN IT’S GOOD TO BE BAD
Commercials are almost always more entertaining than the shows in between, and by far the best commercial I’ve seen for a long time was for the new Jaguar F-Type R.
(SERGEY SIVENENKO “Nation”)
The ad opens with the mature, suave, immaculately dressed Sir Ben Kingsley asking us in his polished British accent:
“Have you ever noticed how in Hollywood movies all the villains are played by Brits?”
Well yes Sir Ben, I certainly have. Being British myself, I’ve been noticing that for the last 30 years or more.
The ad invites us to drool and lust after this amazing car which will take you from 0 to 60 in 4.0 seconds, and at the same time boasts, tongue-in-cheek style, of all that’s best in the British psyche-including our unbeatable sense of humor. Oh if only we really did all drive Jaguars!
Magically, the ad ends with Sir Ben assuring us with great relish:
“Ohhh yes… it’s good to be bad!”
To those represented by Sir Ben and the other actors in the commercial, the perks of being among those perceived to be villains far outweigh the negative effects of the stereotype. And so it is in the spiritual realm. Jesus said to his followers:
“Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven” (Luke 6:22-23).
Oh yes, it’s good to be bad…
2: THE MEANING OF LIFE IS MORE POPULAR THAN YOU’RE LED TO BELIEVE
Discussion on the meaning of life is rather unfashionable don’t you think? We’re all encouraged to be hedonists and party-people, and publicly searching for meaning or for absolute truth draws a sneer from many people.
I know I’m not a popular blogger-I don’t expect to be with the unconventional views, beliefs and tastes I have. But I want you to know that by far my most popular blog post has been on the meaning of life. I published it almost two years ago, and it still gets more views than anything else I write now.
I’ve also noticed that the post received a much greater number of views, on a monthly basis, in December for both years, which reminds me that Christmas is a time when people are more likely to be looking for meaning and hope in life. I’ve heard there are more suicides at this time than at any other time of the year. Let’s remember that this coming December, and maybe reach out a little more to people who may be wondering whether life is really worth living.
Here’s the post:
3:IMAMS ISSUE FATWA AGAINST MUSLIMS GOING TO MARS
My grand-mother , a Christian, in the early 1970s believed that the Apollo missions to the moon were bordering on blasphemy, and was convinced that they were actually only trips to a desert somewhere to film fake “moonwalks”. The Imams have gone one step further.
4: CHEW ON THIS ONE…
Has anyone else noticed? Can anyone tell me why it is that most men who chew gum do so on their molars while women chew it at the front of their mouth? Perhaps your observation is different?
5: ANITI-SEMITISM RISING
Every day I read articles and hear news stories which tell me that anti-Semitism, which didn’t die with Hitler, is on the rise all over the world, particularly in Europe. Though Israel is a tiny nation struggling to survive against a sea of enemies who wish to see its demise, it’s becoming more fashionable to blame Israelis for just about everything. I mention and quote here a couple of those articles.
How to fight academic bigotry
By Charles Krauthammer, Published: January 9 E-mail the writer
“For decades, the American Studies Association labored in well-deserved obscurity. No longer. It has now made a name for itself by voting to boycott Israeli universities, accusing them of denying academic and human rights to Palestinians.
Given that Israel has a profoundly democratic political system, the freest press in the Middle East, a fiercely independent judiciary and astonishing religious and racial diversity within its universities, including affirmative action for Arab students, the charge is rather strange.
Made more so when you consider the state of human rights in Israel’s neighborhood. As we speak, Syria’s government is dropping “barrel bombs” filled with nails, shrapnel and other instruments of terror on its own cities. Where is the ASA boycott of Syria?
And of Iran, which hangs political, religious and even sexual dissidents and has no academic freedom at all? Or Egypt, where Christians are being openly persecuted? Or Turkey, Saudi Arabia or, for that matter, massively repressive China and Russia?
Which makes obvious that the ASA boycott has nothing to do with human rights. It’s an exercise in radical chic…”
Obama’s War on Israel (Front Page Magazine)
February 13, 2014 by Daniel Greenfield
“If the left’s foreign policy these days had a slogan, it would be, “Boycott Israel, not Iran.” The double standard, dishonest as it is ugly, is also the motto of Obama’s foreign policy, which benevolently blesses Iran’s nuclear program with one outstretched hand in the name of peace and chokes concessions out of Israel to the terrorists with the other also in the name of peace.
“Both peace plans are going disastrously according to plan.”
Circumcision ruling: European bureaucrats are effectively banning Jewish boys (The Telegraph-UK)
By Brendan O’Neill Religion Last updated: October 3rd, 2013
“We all know how ban-happy the EU, the EC and other Brussels- and Strasbourg-based bodies can be. Well, now they have outdone themselves by effectively expressing a desire to ban Jewish boys.
The Council of Europe, that gathering of the high priests of human rights in Strasbourg, has decreed that non-medical circumcision is “a violation of the physical integrity of children”.
In a nutshell (the council’s ruling is saying): let’s bring an end to that rotten practice of circumcising newborn boys, who of course can’t consent to anything, as Jewish communities are wont to do.”
A ban on male circumcision would be antisemitic. How could it not be?
The Guardian, Friday 11 October 2013 12.15 EDT
“The Council of Europe’s recent decree on children’s rights contained some good, kind ideals – and some revolting comparisons of male circumcision with female genital mutilation.
For Jews, circumcision, which is performed at eight days (if the child is healthy), is the covenant with God, and the single most significant ritual in Judaism: “My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people.”
(The relevant paragraph in the decree)….”was the Jew bomb; the revolting… juxtaposition of female genital mutilation, which is always torture, and often murder, with ritual male circumcision, which is neither, and, incidentally, is practiced by most Muslims, and all Jews.”
Is this an attempt to achieve with paper what other methods could not – the removal of Jews from Europe? Will Jews leave if a ban comes in? Some will, certainly; some Jews are always packed in their minds.”
6: FROM PAPERCLIP TO HOUSE
Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald bartered his way from a single red paperclip to a house in a series of fourteen online trades over the course of a year. This may be old news to some of you, but it’s still a remarkable story to me, and those who haven’t heard it may be inspired and filled with admiration and hope.
Step 1. On July 14, 2005, Kyle went to Vancouver and traded the paperclip for a fish-shaped pen.
2. He then traded the pen the same day for a hand-sculpted doorknob from Seattle, Washington, which he nicknamed “Knob-T”.
3. He travelled to Amherst, Massachusetts, with a friend to trade Knob-T for a Coleman camp stove (with fuel).
4. He went to California, and traded the camp stove for a Honda generator.
5. Kyle made a second (and successful) attempt (after having the generator confiscated by the New York City Fire Department) in Maspeth, Queens, to trade the generator for an “instant party”: an empty keg, an IOU for filling the keg with the beer of the holder’s choice, and a neon Budweiser sign.
6. He traded the “instant party” to Quebec comedian and radio personality Michel Barrette for one Ski-doo snowmobile.
7. Within a week, he traded the snowmobile for a two-person trip to Yahk, British Columbia.
8. He traded the second spot on the Yahk trip for a cube van.
9. MacDonald traded the cube van for a recording contract with Metalworks in Mississauga, Ontario.
10. He traded the recording contract to Jody Gnant for a year’s rent in Phoenix, Arizona.
11. He traded the one year’s rent in Phoenix, Arizona, for one afternoon with Alice Cooper.
12. He traded the one afternoon with Alice Cooper for a KISS motorized snow globe.
13. He traded the KISS motorized snow globe to Corbin Bernsen for a role in the film Donna on Demand.
14. On or about July 5, 2006, Kyle traded the movie role for a two-story farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan.