Observations on the News – Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I normally do these about once a week, depending on what I find whilst perusing the morning’s headlines. So, while my tea steeps and cools, a little commentary:

  • Get Rid of DeLay without Delay. In further signs that Tom DeLay is losing it, CNN is reporting that Tom DeLay is criticizing Supreme Court Justice Kennedy as an activist judge. Speaking to Fox News, that bastion of unbiased journalism, DeLay said “We’ve got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States? That’s just outrageous. And not only that, but he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet? That is just incredibly outrageous.” Gee, Tom, we don’t want people thinking on their own.

    DeLay has called repeatedly for the House to find a way to hold the federal judiciary accountable for its decisions, suggesting having the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the clause in the Constitution that says “judges can serve as long as they serve with good behavior. DeLay indicated that “We want to define what good behavior means. And that’s where you have to start.” Somehow, I think this man has lost the point of checks and balances. Again, to quote Morning Sedition: Wake Up sheeple! DeLay is bad news!

  • I See Dead People. And speaking of Kennedys, this time a dead one: CNN is also reporting that a steady stream of the faithful and the curious, many carrying flowers and candles, have flocked to an underpass of the Kennedy Expressway for a view of a yellow and white stain on a concrete wall that some believe is an image of the Virgin Mary. First grilled cheese sandwiches, the virgin on a soiled bedsheet, a chicken that looks like the pope (JP II), and the image of Christ on a rocker… these icons really get around.
  • Jack Sprat would eat no fat… An interesting juxtoposition. On the same day that the US Government released a new food pyramid, a report comes out of National Centers for Disease Control that people who are overweight have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight. The researchers found that the increased risk of death from obesity was not apparent until people became extremely heavy, a group that constitutes only 8% of Americans. Being very thin — even though the thinness was long-standing and unlikely to be caused by disease — caused a slight increase in the risk of death, the researchers report. Hmmm. Earlier I spoke of DeLay pushing agendas. Do you think someone else might be pushing an agenda with all the attacks on obesity, when the truth is very different?
  • My School Is Better Than Yours. During the bunch of housing posts I did a while back, I was exploring the academic quality of the schools in the San Fernando Valley. According to the Daily News, Cleveland High School in Reseda has turned itself around, just winning an award as a Distinguished School by the state Department of Education. The accomplishment was especially sweet because 70% of Cleveland students come from low-income households and one-third are English-language learners. Other LAUSD schools from the San Fernando Valley were the Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies and Oliver Wendell Holmes in Northridge. Most interesting.
  • Why Is This Night Different? To close, the Daily News had an article on making Passover (which starts Saturday at sundown) different. This related to a new Passover cookbook. In that spirit, I would like to share a Passover Song I received from Rabbi Arnold Steibel this morning that honors Jewish women:

    The Ballad of the Five Women
    (Sung to “She’ll Be Comin’ Around the Mountain; from the Kehilla Community Synagogue haggadah, “A Passover Haggadah”. Lyrics by Rabbi Burt Jacobson)

    The two midwives wouldn’t listen to Pharoah
    Wouldn’t drown the Hebrew infants, oh, no no!
    It was Shirfah, it was Puah,
    Who saved each baby Jew, ah,
    Those two midwives wouldn’t listen to Pharoah.

    Moses’ mother hid him from the evil ones,
    For he was her flesh and blood, he was her son.
    Yocheved made an ark,
    Put her baby in the dark,
    Moses’ mother hid him from the evil ones.

    Moses’ sister took him to the river Nile,
    And she watched as Pharoah’s daughter came in style.
    Miriam she brought her mother,
    To nurse her baby brother,
    Moses’ sister took him to the river Nile.

    And the princess brought him up to be a man,
    Till away from Egypt Moses ran and ran.
    Batya, Batya — she was great,
    Joined the Hebrews in their fate,
    Yes, this princess brought him up to be a man.

    Moses’ wife gave him the courage to go back.
    If you stay in Midian, you’ll wind up a hack!
    Oh Tsipora, oh Tsipora!
    Without her we’d have no Torah,
    Moses’ wife gave him the courage to go back.

    In the ark, Her light upon him, it did shine.
    Moses sought her presence, for her he did pine.
    Oh Shekhinah, soul of Torah,
    Now we seek you more and more, ah,
    In the ark Your light upon him, it did shine!

Enjoy your morning. I’m off to work!