Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Tea Party's Next Moves

As all the newly elected Tea Party congressbeings come pouring into Washington (not to strain a metaphor), we can expect lots of vigorous action to dismantle that intrusive Nanny State set up by such well-known wusses as Teddy Roosevelt! Having already proposed to abolish everything from the Federal Reserve to the 14th Amendment in the name of a return to good ol' 18th century values such as slavery and smallpox, we can next expect the Tea Party to take on such despotic laws as:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A True Hanukkah Miracle

At this joyous time of year, let us remember a true Hanukkah miracle... how a poor frat boy without enough brains to be President for one single day, held the office for eight years!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"I Shall Go To Korea"

So, Obama goes to South Korea to commemorate the end of the Korean War, and a few days later, the Korean War starts up again. We here in Chelm hope he's not planning on going to Europe to commemorate the end of World War II

Truth in Advertising

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rabbits Still Causing Trouble: A Sequel to James Thurber's "The Rabbits Who Caused All the Trouble"

The Rabbits Who Caused All the Trouble

by James Thurber

Within the memory of the youngest child there was a family of rabbits who lived near a pack of wolves. The wolves announced that they did not like the way the rabbits were living. (The wolves were crazy about the way they themselves were living, because it was the only way to live.) One night several wolves were killed in an earthquake and this was blamed on the rabbits, for it is well known that rabbits pound on the ground with their hind legs and cause earthquakes. On another night one of the other wolves was killed by a bolt of lightning and this was also blamed on the rabbits, for it is well known that lettuce-eaters cause lightning. The wolves threatened to civilize the rabbits if they didn't behave, and the rabbits decided to run away to a desert island. But the other animals, who lived at a great distance, shamed them saying, "You must stay where you are and be brave. This is no world for escapists. If the wolves attack you, we will come to your aid in all probability." So the rabbits continued to live near the wolves and one day there was a terrible flood which drowned a great many wolves. This was blamed on the rabbits, for it is well known that carrot-nibblers with long ears cause floods. The wolves descended on the rabbits, for their own good, and imprisoned them in a dark cave, for their own protection.

When nothing was heard about the rabbits for some weeks, the other animals demanded to know what happened to them. The wolves replied that the rabbits had been eaten and since they had been eaten the affair was a purely internal matter. But the other animals warned that they might possibly unite against the wolves unless some reason was given for the destruction of the rabbits. So the wolves gave them one. "They were trying to escape," said the wolves, "and, as you know this is no world for escapists."

Moral: Run, don't walk, to the nearest desert island.

Rabbits Still Causing Trouble: A Sequel

by Martin Berman-Gorvine

The rabbits who survived the wolf attack fled to their ancestral meadow, where they joined their relatives who had seen trouble coming years in advance. There they built elaborate hutches and made the fields bloom with delicious carrots while fighting off an invasion by a herd of prairie dogs whose tunnels extended over the entire plain and who regarded the rabbits' return as a usurpation. At first the other animals, who were stricken with guilt over their failure to save the rabbits from the wolves, cheered on the rabbits, and a few even went so far as to sell them sticks with which to ward off the prairie dogs.

But then delicious mushrooms were found to be growing all over the prairie dogs' plain, and the other animals, even the carnivores, soon grew addicted to them. "We will not sell you any more mushrooms as long as you support the rabbit invaders," the prairie dogs told the other animals, who soon discovered that the bloodthirsty rabbits had perpetrated a terrible injustice on the far more numerous prairie dogs, especially the one family that appeared to have lived in the rabbits' ancestral meadow and had fled when their fellow prairie dogs first attacked the rabbits. Ever since then, this family had made its home under a rock, since the other prairie dogs refused to let them into their tunnels. "You must fight to take your meadow back from the rabbits," the other prairie dogs told them, but their hearing was damaged from living out in the cold and damp, and they thought they had been told, "You have the right to shred all the other animals' habitats." When they proceeded to do so, the other animals, who had been enjoying mushroom-generated visions, blamed the rabbits for driving the poor prairie dogs crazy. "And who knows," they said to each other, "maybe the first group of rabbits were never really eaten by wolves at all! Their own cannibal relatives probably killed them!" And so they combined to drive the rabbits from their homes. Unfortunately, in the confusion the prairie dog town was completely destroyed, and all the remaining mushrooms were trampled.

Moral: The original moral cannot be improved upon.

To Hitlerejad in Lebanon: The Wicked Shall Be Cut Down Like Grass

Though the wicked sprout up like grass
and the evildoers flourish
they are doomed to destruction forever...
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree
flourish like a Lebanon cedar.
(Psalm 92)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Letter to the FBI: Arrest Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Genocide and Conspiracy to Commit Genocide

To Whom It May Concern:

The presence of Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the U.S. for propaganda at the United Nations General Assembly offers an opportunity for the FBI to arrest him for genocide, incitement to genocide, and related crimes.

The United States is a signatory to the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, following ratification by the U.S. Senate in 1985. Under the principle of "universal jurisdiction" that has been established in recent years in such high-profile international war crimes cases as those concerning former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic and former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, it is clear that any state can and indeed must enforce international law by arresting war criminals who enter its area of jurisdiction.

The UN Genocide Convention states, in relevant part:

Article 2: Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article 3: The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;

(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

(d) Attempt to commit genocide;

(e) Complicity in genocide.

Article 4: Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.

The public record clearly shows that Mr. Ahmadinejad is guilty of all the crimes enumerated. As titular leader of the so-called Islamic Republic of Iran, he bears responsibility for the regime's genocidal attempt to wipe out the members of the Baha'i faith in Iran. See for example, "Iran: End Persecution of Baha’is: Dozens Detained Without Charge; Leaders Face Charges Carrying Death Penalty" (website of Human Rights Watch, February 23, 2010), and Affolter, Friedrich W. "The Specter of Ideological Genocide: The Bahá'ís of Iran" In War Crimes, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity).

Notoriously, Mr. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel, an instance of incitement to genocide. See for example his notorious 2005 statement, "Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken. ... Today the reason for the Zionist regime's existence is questioned, and this regime is on its way to annihilation." (Haaretz, May 8, 2008) Indeed, according to the official Iranian text of Mr. Ahmadinejad's speech to the UN General Assembly yesterday, he called for the destruction of Israel yet again: "Our unambiguous proposition is the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homeland and the reference to the vote of the people of Palestine to exercise their sovereignty and decide on the type of governance." Language like this is widely understood to mean that the state of Israel should be dissolved.

It should be unnecessary to add that the Iranian regime is feverishly pursuing nuclear weapons capability, as a means of further carrying out its genocidal aims. This is affirmed by the U.S. government and those of most other nations.

According to news reports, Mr. Ahmadinejad is staying at the Hilton Manhattan East Hotel (formerly the Tudor Hotel) at 304 E. 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours truly,

Martin Berman-Gorvine

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pledge Drive

Having fixed the U.S. economy...

...President Obama has now moved on to solving the Israeli-Arab conflict within a year. There was applause at the UN General Assembly when he said there should be a Palestinian state within a year, but not for his call for security for Israel.

"We can say that this time will be different, that this time we will not let terror or turbulence or posturing or petty politics stand in the way," he said. "Just look at how my administration has put an end to all these things in Congress," he did not add.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Psychedelic Peanuts

"North Korea Wants To Make A Deal," Jimmy Carter writes on the op-ed page of the New York Times. "During my recent travels to North Korea and China, I received clear, strong signals that Pyongyang wants to restart negotiations on a comprehensive peace treaty with the United States and South Korea and on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

In related news, the Carter Center announced success in isolating lysergic acid diethylamide from peanuts.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mythical Creatures

Science has determined that the following creatures once thought to exist actually never did:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pigs Fly

U.N. Supports Israeli Account of Border Clash
"JERUSALEM — The United Nations peacekeeping force in South Lebanon, Unifil, said on Wednesday it had concluded that Israeli forces were cutting trees that lay within their own territory before a lethal exchange of fire with Lebanese Army troops on Tuesday, largely vindicating Israel’s account of how the fighting started."

In other news, a flying pig was spotted over Turtle Bay. It reportedly laid a golden egg on UN Secretary Ban-Kin Moon's head before soaring away to join up with Obama's fabled unicorn and the Dove of Israeli-Palestinian Peace.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tears for Terrorists

What is it with female reporters of international news organizations weeping over dead terrorists? First we had the BBC's Barabra Plett saying on the air in 2004 when Yasser Arafat was dying that "... when the helicopter carrying the frail old man rose above his ruined compound, I started to cry... without warning." Now we have CNN's Octavia Nasr twittering that she was "Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah... One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot."

The difference between the two cases? Plett kept her job and the Beeb defended her, while CNN fired Nasr forthwith, despite her explanation that what she respected about Fadlallah was his progressive views on women's rights. (Tom Lehrer once remarked that satire died the day Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize... but it dies anew every day.) The reason for this difference, of course, is that Chairman Keffiyah was only interested in murdering Jews, while Fadlallah's beloved Hezbollah also murders Americans, which is Not Acceptable And May Even Qualify As Terrorism. Although who knows... Nasr may soon be acclaimed as a woman ahead of her time if the Obama Administration's professional appeasers get their way and start "engaging" with the "political wing" of Hezbollah. If they do, may the memory of hundreds of dead U.S. Marines, embassy officials and CIA Case Officer William Buckley be a curse upon their foolish heads.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mission Imponderable

"NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a recent interview that his 'foremost' mission as the head of America's space exploration agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world."

What a fabulous idea! We here in Chelm have come up with a number of specific ways by which Bolden could fulfill this mission:

  • Figure out how female astronauts can get into a spacesuit while wearing a burqa
  • Keep the acronym for the agency but change what it stands for to, "Need Allah-Serving Astronauts"
  • Prove that the Kaaba Stone is not in fact a meteorite but actually emanates from heaven
  • Use the Hubble Space Telescope to locate the endless supply of virgins awaiting pious suicide-murderers
  • Repurpose the "Star Wars" system to target and instantly destroy any perceived slight to the Prophet Mohammed
  • Use strategically placed space mirrors to spell "Death To Israel" in letters fifty miles high
  • Design an electron microscope to locate Arab governments' contributions to modern science
  • Fill the planned Mars mission with leading Islamist luminaries such as Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah of Hezbollah, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Osama Bin Laden. But don't arrange a return trip. (Sorry) (not)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

OMG! Russian Spies!

"Ya know, Vlad honey, I said we should push the RESET button on U.S.-Russia relations... not the 'DOWNLOAD' button!"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Who Knew the Chinese Government Had a Sense of Humor?

The Chinese government has censored the memoirs of former premier Li Peng, "the former Chinese prime minister who was instrumental in bringing a violent end to student-led protests in Tiananmen Square 21 years ago" on the grounds that... wait for it...

"Publication would violate copyright laws."


The Obama-McChrystal Brouhaha...

...delights us here in Chelm, inasmuch as it proves that both the U.S. administration and the top echelons of the U.S. military can trace their roots to our little town.

Still, it strikes the more historically minded of us as a farcical replay of the Harry Truman-Douglas MacArthur showdown, which resulted in the firing of the latter in April 1951, which in turn led to a national temper tantrum and fears of a military takeover among the more excitable members of the American intelligentsia of the day. This time, no such great principle is at stake, unless you consider the right of one of General McChrystal’s aides to call Obama's national security adviser, James L. Jones, a "clown" to be a matter worth going to the stake for. If the general nevertheless considers running his own mouth to be more important than running the war, the president should grant him his desires, and McChrystal can join the panoply of Fox ranters.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Bad Day for Academic Explanations of Terrorism

The klutzy would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty in federal court today, and when Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum asked him about "the people who were walking in Times Square that night. Did you look around to see who they were?" the would-be murderer replied, "Well, the people selected the government; we consider them all the same." Then he tripped over his untied shoelaces and banged his head on the defense table.

Drat. How they gonna explain that away? Also, the cantankerous dumbass didn't say a thing about Jews or Israel. So I went and asked my favorite professor at Facetious U. (which is just down the road from Chelm) how this can be explained in light of the theories of Drs. Mearsheimer, Walt, Judt, et al.

"Easy," he said, "did you notice the judge's name?"

"Well yeah, she's probably a member of the tribe. So?"

"And his defense lawyer?"

"Philip Weinstein--oh no, you don't mean..."

"The fix was in," the professor said happily. "His Zionist lawyer persuaded him not to mention Israel, because the Zionist judge would only throw the book at him. And it was probably a Zionist who sold him the faulty propane tanks in his bomb."

"Wow! Now it all makes sense. Israel is to blame after all. Thanks, Professor Chomsky."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Can Tony Judt Talk About Israel Without Lies?

According to the evidence of "Talking about Israel, Without the Clichés," no. Here are his major lies, debunked.

  • Israel's claim that there is a campaign to delegitimize it is propaganda by the Netanyahu government.

    Has Prof. Judt heard of Mahmoud "Israel is a stinking corpse" Ahmadinejad and his efforts to get nuclear weapons to turn this into reality? Of Hamas's demand not just that the state of Israel be destroyed (a point of agreement with the director of the Remarque Institute at New York University) but that all Jews in the world, including half of Tony Judt, be slaughtered?

  • Israel is a democracy, but one that should make you think of the "popular democracies" of Communist Eastern Europe.

    Is the professor serious? Israel routinely changes governments in free and fair elections, unlike every single Arab regime.

  • Hamas came to power in Gaza in democratic elections.

    Hamas won a plurality in local elections in Gaza and then overthrew the Palestinian Authority in a bloody coup.

  • Israel enjoyed "easy" military victories in its early years that have given it the "pathological habit" of always resorting to force.

    In the Israeli War of Independence in 1948, 6,000 Jews, 1% of the total Jewish population, were killed. In the Six-Day War, 776 Israeli soldiers were killed. No Israeli, whatever his or her political opinions, views any of the wars as "easy." Judt is implying, not so subtly, that the Israelis are bloodthirsty.

  • "Sooner or later Israel (or someone) will have to talk to Hamas," because this is what always happens with terrorist groups: they end up being legitimized and given a seat at the table.

    Really? What about Al Qaeda? What about the Chechen terrorists in Russia? What about the PKK in Turkey? What about the Real IRA in Northern Ireland?

  • "Since 1967 it has been Israel that has missed most opportunities." The PLO's "negationism" was a factor until "the early 1980s."

    Judt must have been in a coma in 2000, when Arafat rejected the Israeli-American offer of a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and launched a terrorist "war" instead.

  • "Terrorism is the weapon of the weak."

    I thought Judt's mission was to avoid clichés.

  • "An overwhelming majority of congressmen roll over for every pro-Israel motion" because of "the Israel lobby."

    No, Congress supports Israel ("roll over" implies that Israel has some secret way of controlling the United States... a thought that even Judt rejects as anti-Semitic). And it does so because the overwhelming majority of Americans support Israel rather than the Palestinians. Enemies of Israel like Judt are loath to admit this fact, and so it has now become fashionable for them to mouth another of Judt's lies...

  • "Israel is now America’s greatest strategic liability in the Middle East and Central Asia."

    So if Israel disappeared, the Iraqi insurgents and the Taliban would lay down their arms and become big donors to President Obama? How can a supposedly serious person write such flapdoodle?

  • Zionism today should be rejected because it "presses territorial claims, religious exclusivity and political extremism."

    Actually, there is broad consensus in Israeli politics, including in Prime Minister Netanyahu's Likud Party, on a two-state solution that would require Israel to give up most of the West Bank. If Israel has other "territorial claims," for example to Jerusalem, why are these inherently more contemptible than the Palestinians' absolute "territorial claim" to all of Israel? As for "religious exclusivity," Israel is the only state in the Middle East to allow freedom of religion, and as for "political extremism," this is no more problematic in Israel than in any other democracy. Whoops, I mean "democracy." Mustn't deny the "professor" his precious scare quotes.

  • "Criticism of Israel ... is not predominantly motivated by anti-Semitism. The same is true of contemporary anti-Zionism." Anti-Semitic criticism of Israel is a historical relic of the Soviet Union.

    The alleged history professor has obviously failed to read the Hamas Covenant, watch Palestinian Authority TV, listen to Saudi and Syrian statements, read the Egyptian press, or attend the many anti-Israel rallies in his beloved Europe that demand that "Jews" be driven out of Palestine.

And let us all say in unison, along with the shade of George Orwell: "One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool."


A Glossary of Timespeak

The time has come to begin compiling a glossary of Timespeak, the language of the New York Times that is quite incomprehensible to ordinary mortals, and even to the wise men of Chelm. Here is the first entry:

"A consensus is emerging." This means, "The New York Times editorial board has reached the following conclusion, and has tracked down appropriate experts to provide confirmatory quotes." As in the following example from today's paper:

"GAZA — Three years after Israel and Egypt imposed an embargo on this tormented Palestinian strip, shutting down its economy, a consensus has emerged that the attempt to weaken the governing party, Hamas, and drive it from power has failed."

Using our Magic Translating Eightball, this is easily understood:

"GAZA — Three years after Israel and Egypt imposed an embargo on Hamas, The New York Times editorial board has concluded that the attempt to drive it from power has failed. The rest of this article is composed of confirmatory quotes from our experts, and no countervailing information that might confuse the reader."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

There's A Hole In Your Pocket

We in Chelm greatly appreciate Michael Chabon's mentioning us in the New York Times, but we are not quite sure that his disquisition on Jewish stupidity was completely correct.

I myself went to Pinya the Philosopher with my copy of the Times (which was a little muddy after having been trampled under the feet of my donkey, Blau), and read him the following insight of Chabon's: "A stupid Jew is like a hole in the pocket of your pants, there every time you put them on, always forgotten until the instant your quarters run clattering across the floor."

"Brilliant, isn't it, Pinya?" I asked.

Pinya sniffed. "I don't know about that," he said. "Has Professor Chabon conducted a scientific experiment to confirm this hypothesis of his?"

I had to admit that I didn't know.

"All of my pants have holes in them," Pinya pointed out, "and yet I never lose a single kopeck, much less one of these 'quarters' of the professor's. And do you know why?"

"No, why?"

"Why what?" I had to remind Pinya of what we were talking about. He's a little absent-minded.

"Oh yes," he said proudly. "I never lose a single kopeck, because I never have any money!"

We in Chelm are delighted to see that the rest of the world is following Pinya's lead in this regard.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Face That Launched A Thousand Feigned Expressions of Outrage

No, no, no, Helen. You can't say that "the Jews should get the hell out of Palestine." That's so gauche! For one thing, you actually used the J word. That you must not do. Now, if you had said "the Zionists should get the hell out of Palestine," it would have been absolutely unexceptionable--and as a bonus, if any of those damn, uh, occupiers had had the chutzpah (their word) to complain, you could have accused them of attempting to silence anyone who dares voice criticism of Israel. And lots of those occupiers would have been foolish enough to leap to your defense.

And saying that those occupiers should go back to Germany and Poland? C'mon, you can't scare those poor Germans and Poles like that. Unless you're speaking in Arabic.

It is for ripping the mask off "polite" hatred of Israel, Helen, that you are awarded The Order Of The Senile Old Coot. Er, boot.

Friday, June 4, 2010

An Oil Company's Garden (Sorry, Ringo)

I'd like to be under the sea
Fuckin' up the ocean with BP
Hey, who needs fish?
Say, don't you wish
You were fuckin' up the ocean with BP?
Me and my friends would drill, baby, drill
And together the ocean we'd kill
I'd like to be under the sea
Fuckin' up the ocean with BP

We would have fun
'Neath that Gulf sun
With our little oil bomb beneath the waves
The fish all dead on the seabed
The Gulf of Mexico a giant grave
We would sing and dance a jig
All around our exploded rig
I'd like to be under the sea
Fuckin' up the ocean with BP

We'd be so harsh to every marsh
With our little oil bomb beneath the waves
The birds all dead, all full of lead
The Gulf of Mexico a giant grave...
But we should be so happy, you and me,
Racin' around in our giant SUVs
No need to be under the sea
To fuck up the ocean with BP
Fuckin' up the ocean with BP
Just a-fuckin' up the ocean with BP.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


We in Chelm were worried about the international reaction to Israel's interception of a floating pogrom in the Mediterranean, until the UN Security Council stepped in, regretted the deaths of nine pogromchiki, and called for an "impartial investigation."

What a relief! Now we know everything will be all right! Just like the time last Easter when our friendly neighbors down the road in Chmielnicki helped themselves to a little too much festive vodka and came our way yelling and screaming that we had murdered a Christian boy called Pavel and baked his blood into our matzah. Fortunately, we had our good friend to turn to, the Czar's personal representative to our district, Ivan the Terribly Smelly.

Such is his wisdom and compassion, Ivan needed only a moment to consider our plight. "There'sh no need to shlaughter the yids thish time," he hiccuped, having downed several shots already in honor of his Savior. "We'll jusht fine them fifty gulden so we can afford the really good shtuff--er, for Pavel's funeral expenses!" Jew and non-Jew alike gave a mighty cheer for Ivan's Solomonic wisdom in breaking the cycle of violence! Best of all, Pavel was found unharmed the next day, sleeping it off in a hayloft, although we never did get our fifty gulden back, gravedigging costs being what they are. Surely Israel can expect no less justice from the international Chmielnicki!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Unclear on the Concept

Once again, Hamas and its supporters demonstrate their rather unique concept of nonviolent protest--one that includes guns and knives.

Non-violent protest, U.S. style... and Hamas style

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Way The World Is

Says here that Lori Berenson, who dropped out of MIT in 1989 "to pursue a passion for social justice" by joining a Peruvian left-wing terrorist group, has been released from prison in Peru. Of course her loving, doctorate-equipped parents were there to welcome their unrepentant daughter. Which only goes to show that in her own person, Berenson embodies the very thing she claimed to be fighting against: the ability of the privileged white fool to escape the consequences her own folly visited upon "people of color." This week's Chelm award goes to the judge who paroled her.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Chelm Exclusive: A'jad's Version of "Oops, I Did It Again"

And it came to pass, that after his latest diplomatic triumph, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ben-Hammedatha got dressed up in drag and performed this version of Britney Spears' comeback song:

I think I did it again. I made you believe
That we could be friends.
Oh, baby;
It might seem like a nuke,
But it doesn't mean
That I'm just a kook.
'Cause to threaten genocide...
That is just so typically me.
Oh, baby; baby.

... I did it again.
I played the UN.
Got lost in the game.
Oh, baby; baby.
... You think I'm delusional.
That I am a loon...
But I'm fully rational.

You see your problem is this:
You're dreaming away;
Wishing that partners, they truly exist.
I laugh watching the days.
Can't you see you're a fool
In so many ways?
But to rant and rave loudly...
That is just so typically me.
Baby, oh.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Fog of Politics

We in Chelm have a great deal of sympathy for poor Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenfeld, who said he fought in Vietnam but turned out to be a bit confused about the facts of his own life, like his fellow Connecticut resident Walter Mitty. Closer to home for us, it's like the time Pinya the Philosopher got carried away with his own speculations and went around telling everybody he had met the Czar and discussed Talmud with him. "Nicky is of the opinion," quoth Pinya, "that it is not sufficient to eat an olive's weight of matzah at Passover, as Our Sages say. You must eat a prune's weight instead."
"But," I said to the Czar, "surely that would upset our stomachs even more than an olive's weight?"
"Ah," said our wise and noble king, "but prunes loosen what the matzah tightens, is it not so?"
Notwithstanding the glorious wisdom of this idea, our friendly neighborhood Cossack, Ivan the Terribly Smelly, came on the scene at that moment and endeavored to relieve Pinya of his hallucination by beating him to within an inch of his life. We hope similarly harsh corrective measures are not required for Mr. Blumenthal.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Obama Gets Tough N'Tender On Iran

We in Chelm love President Obama's ideas to help Iran cushion the blow of proposed sanctions. Here are some modest proposals to make things even easier for the long-suffering mullahs:
  • Allow U.S. companies to export to Iran protest suppression equipment such as batons and tear gas, which can also be used to help traffic cops give directions and to evoke appropriate emotional reactions to His Late Holiness Of The White Beard And Stern Glare.
  • Allow BP to ship underwater oil drilling equipment to Iran.
  • Lift restrictions on shipments to Iran of stinking corpses so that Ahmadinejad can have some on hand to serve as visual aids before his next major speech on Israel.
  • Lift restrictions on cultural exchanges so that the Enola Gay can be sent to Iran as a gift symbolizing the country's entirely peaceful nuclear program.
  • Ease up on travel to Iran so that scholars such as Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, David Duke and Pat Buchanan can attend the next Holocaust denial conference in Tehran. And hopefully stay there, in their spiritual home.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chomsky barred from the West Bank? Gevalt!

With the apostate Noam Chomsky barred from spreading his lies at Bir Zeit "Terrorist U" University on the West Bank by an Israeli Interior Ministry official who refused him entry from Jordan, one must ask who has the greater share of Chelm-style wisdom: the veteran traitor to the Jewish people, or the bureaucratic lunkheads in Jerusalem who seemed to think that Chomsky's lies are powerful enough to threaten the Jewish state.

Supporters of totalitarianism like Chomsky delight in putting democracies on the spot in this way, so that they can pose as victims and sneer that freedom of speech is a sham. At eighty-one, Chomsky is getting a bit long in the tooth for his adolescent rebellion against his father, the noted Zionist and Hebrew grammarian William Chomsky. We in Chelm can only bow down before the genuine wisdom of Chomsky père, and trust in the Rock of Israel that like Balaam, the attempts of Chomsky fils to curse the House of Israel will be turned to blessings.

Fooled How Many Times?

We in Chelm pay close attention to events in Persia. For a while it looked like an exact replay of the Book of Esther, with Mohammed Khatami as King Ahasuerus and Ayatollah Khameini as Haman. Of course, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a much bigger Haman, and his name is too long and full of gutturals to be drowned out by groggers.

This morning brings news of yet another version of Iran's enriched uranium shell game, which no longer seems to fool even the Obama Administration. We are reminded of a certain famous cartoon, and also of an old Chelm saying:

  • Fool me once, shame on you.
  • Fool me twice, shame on me.
  • Fool me three times, move to Chelm.
  • Fool me four times, get a visit from George Mitchell.
  • Fool me five times, get a seat on the UN Security Council.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Very Weepy Nakba Day To You

As our Palestinian friends prepare to mourn Nakba ("Disaster") Day, which is how they mark Israel's 1948 establishment, we wish to congratulate them on some 90 years of Chelmesque political leadership replete with own-goals. Some highlights:

  • Rejecting the 1937 Peel Commission report, which would have given them everything in the British Mandate of Palestine west of the Jordan River except for Galilee and a sliver of the coastline running north from the Tel Aviv area.
  • The cozy relationship between their first communal leader, Hajj Amin el-Husseini, and a certain Austrian failed artist with a toothbrush mustache.

  • Rejecting the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan for Palestine, which would have given them a state side by side with Israel in the former British Mandate of Palestine.
  • Assassinating King Abdullah I of Jordan in 1951.
  • Putting their national fate in the hands of Yasser Arafat from 1964 until his death in 2004.
  • Assassinating Bobby Kennedy in 1968.
  • The Khartoum Conference of 1968, at which the Arab states vowed no recognition, no negotiations and no peace with Israel.
  • Provoking King Hussein of Jordan into expelling the PLO in 1970.
  • Not taking advantage of the opening created by the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979.
  • Provoking the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, which led to the PLO's explusion to Tunisia.
  • Rejecting non-violent protest and destroying tens of thousands of Palestinian jobs in Israel during the First Intifada.
  • Siding with Saddam Hussein in the First Gulf War of 1991, unlike virtually all the Arab states.

  • Adopting suicide bombing as the preferred Palestinian method of diplomacy in the 1990s.
  • The reputedly ultra-sophisticated intellectual Edward Said throwing rocks over the Lebanese border fence at Israel in 2000.

  • Rejecting the Clinton-Barak offer of a state at Camp David in July 2000.
  • Rejecting the even better Barak offer at Taba in January 2001.
  • Celebrating the 9/11 attacks on America.
  • Provoking Israel's reinvasion of the West Bank in 2002.
  • Electing Hamas in the Gaza Strip in 2005.
  • Rejecting Ehud Olmert's offer of a state in 2006.
  • Forcing Israel to wall off the West Bank in the 2000s.

All in all, the Palestinians seem to have adopted their own version of the Golden Rule: "What is hateful unto you, keep doing unto both your enemy and yourself." Way to go, guys!

Pushing the Reset Button on Russia's Soul

We here in Chelm fully support America's attempts to engage with Russia. The ways both Bush the Younger and Clinton the Blonder have gone about it are fully in accord with the wisdom of Chelm. Our chief kabbalist, Shabtai the Nudnik, is taking the best suggestions from each of these august statespersons and is currently attempting to design a reset button for Russia's soul, using his all-wooden Cabbage Difference Engine laptop (it has a sauerkraut CPU). It may need some work, however, because our friendly neighborhood Cossack, Ivan the Terribly Smelly, burst in on Shabtai while he was working and beat him to a borschtlike pulp.

Shabtai the Nudnik, after Ivan's visit

Six Ways To Clean Up The Gulf Oil Spill

I'm gonna clean up this world the best that I can, and I think I can. (Woody Guthrie and the Klezmatics)

While the cleanup efforts around the enormous oil spill from the wrecked British Petroleum drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico seem already to have been designed in Chelm (we like the idea of using a top hat to collect the oil, for example), we can assure you that we are not responsible. However, as good green citizens of Planet Earth (a color we are especially fond of turning after eating Gimpel the Baker's micturatory challah), we wish to do our part. Accordingly, our wisest sages have been conferring for weeks and have come up with the following five suggestions:
  1. Buy a billion gallons of Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar and pour it into the Gulf of Mexico for a healthy seafood salad. This would have the added political bonus of boosting the reelection chances of Senator Arlen Specter, The Amazing Political Hermaphrodite from Pennsylvania, by creating jobs in his home state.
  2. Collect all the birds and fish smothered by the oil spill and dump them outside the mansion of BP CEO Tony Hayward until his company stops and cleans up the spill.
  3. Get an enormous frying pan, buy up Idaho's entire potato harvest and fry up the biggest batch of latkes the world has ever seen.
  4. Have all the owners of those huge obnoxious SUVs drive down to the Louisiana coast with siphons.
  5. Soak up the mess with a billion rags and leave them in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hotel room the next time he attends the UN General Assembly in New York, since he says Iran is only developing nuclear power for peaceful energy purposes.
  6. Send Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney and the entire "drill baby drill" brigade down to the Gulf coast with 100 million rolls of paper towels. If they can be found. They seem to have gone strangely silent.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Strange Ploughmates in England

We in Chelm wish the unlikely duo of David Cameron and Nick Clegg in jolly olde England well, but we cannot help but feel foreboding. For one thing, the Torah instructs us (Deuteronomy 22:10) not to yoke an ox to an ass when ploughing. Personally, it reminds me of the time we had two rabbis in Chelm, Rabbi Itzik and Rabbi Shmuelik, arguing over the dietary laws. If you think electoral politics are bad, you should see a rabbinic dispute over the mingling of imaginary milk and questionable meat! It's a long story. Meantime, we wish Prime Minister Ox and Deputy Prime Minister Ass, or is it the other way around, all the best!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chelm, Sweden

The Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks was attacked by a would-be Muslim lynch mob at Uppsala University, Sweden, for his depiction of the Prophet Mohammed in a cartoon. Vilks was defiant, but the university promptly said it would not invite him back and a Swedish politician issued a mealy-mouthed statement. When your cartoonists have the most courage and common sense of anybody, I think you can safely say your town is a twin city of Chelm. Congratulations, Uppsala!

Progress in The Proximity Talks

The Obama administration is hailing envoy George Mitchell's progress in getting the Palestinians not to talk to Israel, but to the former senator instead. And the meetings aren't even being held in the same city.

We in Chelm are very impressed by this logic and suggest that it be taken further: For the next round of talks, the Israelis should speak with the Americans at Zabar's on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the occupation of which by the Jewish people is not yet in dispute, and the Palestinians should talk to the Americans aboard the International Space Station.

If further progress is made, the final-status talks can be held in different solar systems.

Towards a Chelmesque Foreign Policy

Since President Obama's foreign policy is clearly inspired by the spirit of Chelm, we here feel a certain responsibility for it. Following are some specific suggestions for the "targeted" yet "crippling" sanctions the administration keeps saying it will impose on the Iranian "elites" to stop them from developing an atomic bomb, although it hasn't gotten around to doing so yet because there are much more urgent Middle Eastern matters, such as the very encouraging Israeli-Palestinian negotiations involving Arabs who refuse to sit in the same room as Jews (a Chelmesque order of priorities if there ever was one):

We welcome your suggestions and promise to forward them on to the White House.

Whose Fault Is The Oil Spill?

I feel bad for the British Petroleum executives who testified before Congress. Obviously they feel just terrible about the big mess they have made in the Gulf of Mexico, which is why they are trying to blame somebody else. It reminds me of the time my brother Yankel's goat Shmuelik relieved himself in the doorway of the synagogue.

"Yankel, clean up this mess immediately!" Rabbi Itzik demanded.

"But rabbi, it's not my fault," Yankel pleaded.

"Oh? And whose fault is it then?"

"It's the fault of Breindel, the wife of my neighbor Abie the Fishman."

Rabbi Itzik frowned and rubbed his chin. "Oh? And how's that?"

"Shmuelik wandered into their yard because they've never fixed the fence and ate Breindel's panties, which were hanging on the clothesline drying. They upset the poor beast's stomach!"

I hope for the poor BP executives' sake that their argument is as successful as Yankel's. To this day we have to step around the goat mess when we go to pray, since the Beth Din (the local religious court) has yet to rule on who should clean it up.

Blogging From Chelm

Sholom aleichem from Chelm, that famous city of the wisest of all wise Jews. I am Reb Mordechai Ben-Chaim (reb means mister and not rabbi). I was born in Chelm and have lived here all my life, and as such, I partake in my humble share of my town's great wisdom.

So what, you may ask, am I doing on the great World Wide Cobweb? Well, I had a vision last night when I was bringing back water from the well, and I tripped over a pebble and hit my head on a stone, that our town's wisdom should be shared with the world. This was a challenge, indeed. Although our town is very computer-savvy, with a laptop in every home, most of these are carved out of wood by our master carpenter Reb Eggsacto, so people tend to simply sit and stare at them, although I am told this is not so very different from what people outside of Chelm do with their laptops. We do have a few "real" computers, but as our town has yet to be electrified these don't work very well either. Still, we are conscious of computer hygiene in our town, and we all diligently cover our computers every night so they won't catch cold and come down with a virus.

There was great excitement but also some concern when I told everybody I was starting a blog. "I know all about blogs. They can be dangerous," Rabbi Itzik warned me, shaking his finger in my direction. "My brother-in-law Moishe drowned in a blog when he went out to harvest cranberries. So be careful, young man!"

And so I shall be.