Servant of the Secret Fire

Random thoughts on books and life in the reality-based community

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Location: New York, United States

The name I've chosen comes from "Lord of the Rings," when Gandalf faces down the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. My Hebrew name is Esther (which is related to the word for "hidden" or "secret") Serafina (which means "burning"). This seems appropriate because although I don't usually put myself forward, I do care very passionately about a lot of things. Maybe through these blogs I can share some of these passions, as well as less weighty ideas and opinions, with others.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Maybe someone can tell me....

I'm going to try again (yes, again) to do some real postings rather than just my "brilliant" comments on the Huffington Post, although at least that's been something. I haven't really written much about the election lately, but there's something I have been wondering over these past couple of weeks especially. Namely, what is John McCain thinking?

Let's assume that he manages to stir up enough hatred and fear to win, tearing the country apart in the process. How on earth does he imagine that he's going to govern? Is he really delusional enough to imagine that all will be forgiven and forgotten with an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress, after he's used every smear imaginable against both them and their candidate? Of course, I do believe (and the thought isn't original with me) that he still sees himself as an honorable man; ergo, anything he does is justified, however despicable it may be in the eyes of others. A lot of people have the same blind spot regarding the US - since we are "good," nothing that we do, including torture and invading sovereign nations without justification, can be wrong. However, the fact remains that he has thrown every last shred of honor and dignity he ever had to the winds. A similar madness seemed to possess Bob Dole in 1996 - is it something to do with obviously losing and knowing that it's your last chance?

Of course, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Whatever Sen. McCain's flaws, he did serve his country and, I believe, had some admirable traits. That's why it's a tragedy to see his disintegration into just another do-and-say-anything-to-win politician, in the way that it isn't with a George W. Bush, for example.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Colin Powell Endorses Obama

If Jesus endorsed Obama, the right wing would probably say that it's because Jesus and Obama are both scary Middle Easterners. Incidentally, if it's true that the Iscariot in Judas' name is related to "sicarii," nationalist assassins who stabbed people they saw as collaborators with the occupying Romans in crowds, then guess what! Jesus "palled around with" terrorists. Oh, no!!!!!
About Colin Powell
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Yom Kippur Letter to Joe Lieberman's Rabbis: Joe Is McCain's Best Jewish Friend. Please Ask Him To Beg McCain to Stop Encouraging Hate

A commentary from the Reconstructionist prayerbook Kol Haneshemah (unfortunately, the farthest left branch so something that Lieberman wouldn't be caught dead reading), on the Al Het (public confessional) for Yom Kippur:

"Consider how many of the sins we confess on Yom Kippur are sins of speech. 'Al het shehatanu lefaneha (for the wrong we have done before you':

'by the utterance of our lips'

'by speech'

'by false protests'

'by impure lips'

'by foolish speech'


'by gossip'

'by idle chatter'

'by false promises.'

"When Esau approaches his aged and blind father Isaac in order to receive the birthright blessing, he finds that he has been supplanted by his brother Jacob. isaac can only reply that 'I blessed him; now he must remain blessed' Words cannot be revoked, because words count. As the midrash (rabbinic commentary) teaches: once the arrow has been shot from the bow, it cannot be brought back."
About Joe Lieberman
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost