Monday, September 29, 2008

It's a hard year for forgiving...by Sybil Adelman Sage

The forgiveness thing, never easy, is particularly tough this year. Though I don't really understand trading or hedge funds, I'd assumed the people involved do. That the High Holidays coincide with this astronomical economic disaster and the tail end of the presidential race is ironic. Shuls should be packed to overflow, but if crash diets don't work, how can a week of atoning be enough to cover an entire year of screwing up?

Since judging comes more easily to me than forgiving, I've compiled an informal list of those I feel should be sitting up front at services and taking a giant share of the rap. At the top are most politicians (surely this administration), liars (categories that tend to overlap) and anyone who could have disclosed McCain's medical records. But they should also tape off rows in shul for online scammers, pedophiles, environmental polluters, cheaters (even if a wife is in remission), most building contractors, Wal-mart executives, human rights violators, credit grabbers and athletes who take performance enhancing drugs.

I'm more tolerant with what I consider the minor transgressions, including gossiping, subletting illegally, making up excuses to avoid going to parties, line cutting (provided they're behind me), schools inflating grades, food companies lying about calorie count and shipping purchases to New Jersey to avoid paying sales tax. My standards are totally personal and indefensible, but it's not critical since my list has not been picked up by anyone in the forgiving game.

This week I'll try to put aside judging and concentrate on my quest for forgiveness. To friends and family I may have caused pain, I apologize. It's a time to renew our belief in ourselves and in one another. If it was never there, maybe there's a way to create it? For those who don't relate to prayer, think of apples dipped in honey and brisket as a spiritual enema.

Feel free to add your own list of offenses and remember to start writing "5769" on your checks. L'shana tova!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

THE SARAH PALIN POLL ...by Sybil Adelman Sage

"Do you think that Sarah Palin is qualified to serve as Vice President of the United States?"

This was one of the questions we were invited to weigh in on last week for an online poll conducted by PBS, which I received in e-mails from friends urging me to combat what had clearly been a right wing "yes" campaign.

PBS introduced this poll on September 5 and didn't, out of respect for user privacy, limit the vote to one per computer until September 23, after which it was removed from the web site. The poll was, by their own admission, far from scientific, hardly an accurate reflection of Sarah Palin's credibility. It was, however, a popularity barometer. If you got fewer than 50 e-mails begging you to vote, it means you're a loser.

I do feel informed enough to make a judgment about Sarah Palin's qualifications, more so than I do about the likelihood of the marriage between Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds lasting, the question posed to me online today.


FOLLOW-UP POLL:

Do you think Tina Fey is qualified to serve as Vice President of the United States?


yes __________________

no __________________

better than Sarah Palin ________________















.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Dear John" - an open letter to McCain by Sybil Adelman Sage

Dear John,

What's happened to "country first" John? I don't know who you are anymore. You're hardly the first guy to go for a younger woman, but nobody else has handed over the vice-presidency to arm candy!

Sure, Sarah is attractive and she's doing her best to find out everything about you, which must be flattering, but choosing her reveals a lot about you. "Team Maverick" says your priority is "winning first," the hell with the country's security and our economic disaster.

Are you really convinced this woman is prepared to take over should your age or health require that? This is the United States we're talking about. It's not Russ & Daughter delicacy shop. There was time for the daughter to be trained, and the worst she could do was slice the lox too thick. Do you know how terrified most of us are at the prospect of Sarah Palin taking office?

And what was all that waffling about whether or not you'd turn up for the debate? Threatening to stand up the nation won't help your "temperament problem." So, you decide you'll show up, but you'll refuse to look at Obama. Well, that's real mature and healthy. Maybe Cindy and you have an agreement never to show any warmth though some of us would like to know why she's ALWAYS at your side. You could pass for a feeble old guy and a surprisingly well-dressed, hired attendant.

Friday, September 26, 2008

forget obama and mc cain - we've got love... by judi sadowsky

this morning, very early, the phone rang. an early morning phone call can only mean one of two things. one of my children has either (a) been in a (god forbid) car accident or (b) has gotten (god willing) engaged, or some sadistic early riser has dialed a wrong number.

it was none of the above. the caller identified themselves as belonging to the credit fraud protection division of my credit card company. they were calling to ask me about certain charges that had raised a red flag. this very officious young man wanted to know if i had signed up for match.com this morning. i had to stop and think for a minute. it was 7:45 a.m., i hadn't even brushed my teeth yet. love with a proper stranger was the last thing on my mind. no, i hadn't been cyber dating in the wee hours of the morning. but then, i got insulted. why would my joining match. com raise a red flag? did the credit card company know that my husband of many decades was lying, snoring , next to me? did they think i was too old, too unattractive, to join an on line dating service? and what if i was cheating? do i need my credit card company calling me on my infidelity?

then the young man asked me if i had spent $2.99 on apple i tunes. this time i was flattered. the fact that anyone under forty actually thinks i am capable of logging on to i tunes is a good thing. it turns out, after much conversation, that my credit card had actually, unbeknownst to me, been stolen. i am so curious. i would love to meet the thief who, in the midst of the worst economic crisis our country has ever experienced, is still romantic enough that they were using a stolen credit card, not to financially enrich themselves, but to look for love and, apparently, the proper music to accompany it.

COLOR-CODED JEWELRY...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Jewelry has been given with the hope of saving a troubled relationship and it may now be used to save lives in hospitals with standardized, color-coded wristbands perhaps being introduced that will identify a patient's condition. Purple, the color of amethyst, will mean "do not resuscitate," with red (or ruby) indicating allergies, yellow (amber) for one at risk of falling and green to signal "no blood transfusions."

Problems could arise for patients sporting their own colored, silicone wristbands as yellow-banded, Lance Armstrong fans might find themselves strapped into beds with railings to prevent falls while someone with a red, Steven Colbert wristband could be presumed to have allergies and be put in a peanut-free environment.

The colored bracelet system would be a useful time-saver at parties, cutting back on all the getting acquainted chit chat. A purple bracelet would work for those wanting to announce, "I prefer my own kind," while red says, "Stay back, I have anger-management issues," yellow for the self-admitted coward and green for Whole Food, pesticide-free, vegans.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The McRemission...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Others are apparently picking up on McCain's putting his campaign into remission, offering to pull his ads and wanting to postpone the debate scheduled for Friday in deference to the push to forge an agreement on the proposed $700 billion bailout.

How else can we understand Sarah Palin still refusing to talk to the press, the #1 subway train running even more sporadically, my doorman offering no assistance with the bags I'm shlepping home from Fairway, American Airlines continuing not to serve meals, and David Blaine no longer hanging upside down?

Even George Bush has stopped lying! "Our entire economy is in danger," he announced, an unprecedented honest admission.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"See Sarah Meet World Leaders"..by Sybil Adelman Sage

Sarah Palin whirled through speed dates yesterday with Presidents Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and Alvaro Uribe of Colombia and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Reporters were not welcome and there was no courtroom artist available so coverage was limited. Palin was heard asking Karzai the name of his one-year-old son, to which he explained that Mirwais means "the light of the house."

"Oh nice," the mom of five responded. It's not known if she shed similar light on Trig and Track.

After meeting with Uribe, she said, "Thank you for your work." We can't be sure if she added her usual flip, "But no thanks."

Her longest session was with Kissinger. He praised McCain's tough stance against the Russian invasion of Georgia and she replied, "Good, good. And you'll give me more insight on that."

Meanwhile, Todd, aka "the first dude," took the couple's children to Ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty, ending up at FAO Schwarz, where Piper tried on princess dresses. Again, absence of press means we weren't told if the 7-year-old was in the maternity department or if she's waiting to start her family.

Asked if the meetings prepared Palin to be veep, McCain-Palin policy advisor Steve Biegun responded, "I think she's already fully prepared to be vice president."

There was no follow-up, "Then who isn't?"

The Republicans could save time by getting those lifelike, cardboard figures of world leaders for photo ops.

Be sure to sign the online petition demanding McCain make his medical records public.

Monday, September 22, 2008

which way to vancouver?...by judi saowsky

now i am really worried. like the rest of the free world, i have been receiving hundreds of e mails a day, relating to our never ending presidential campaign. while i realize it is important to be on top of the news and to know, minute by minute, just where obama and mc cain are in the polls, i'm not the least bit curious, nor do i really care what percentage of americans want to watch a football game with obama rather than mc cain. have we all gone insane????

this past week, i have received about fifty requests to log on to the PBS television site to vote on whether or not i thought sarah palin was prepared to be president. just the fact that someone thought of setting up this site gives me the chills. the first ten times i received this email, from various strangers and friends, i clicked on and voted. then it suddenly hit me. i had voted ten times. i could have voted a hundred and ten times.

we are in really big trouble. let's face it. i guess we all stopped trusting the government eight years ago when george bush stole the election - but PBS? i trusted PBS. if the vote can be rigged on PBS, what possible hope do any of us have come november?

E-mail E-tiquette, e-tc. ...by Sybil Adelman Sage

The "reply all" e-mail option, a time-saver when used appropriately, makes me feel terribly shabby when one of the human rights activists in my study group explains to us all, "I'll have to miss the next class because I'll be building wells in Cambodian villages." Only the person buying the wine and cheese needs a head count. For me, the effect of "reply all" is hours and hours of reassuring myself it's okay that I'm not building wells and will be here, probably drinking bottled water yet.

E-vites, too, have invaded areas once private. Asking, "Who else is coming?" is rude, yet an E-vite shows the entire invitation list, who's coming, who's turned them down and who's holding out for something better.

Spam is something most of us have mastered. We know better than to provide information to someone purporting to want to share an inheritance from a plantation owner who died in a tragic car accident in Nigeria leaving no next of kin and we don't believe old classmates are looking for us or anyone is wanting to send an online greeting card.

Communicating on the Internet requires us to be more cautious, double checking before we hit "send" to be sure the boss we're dissing won't get the e-mail. Our servers try to be helpful by filling in a name once we enter the first letter, and there must be legions of relationships that have been destroyed because of this "convenience." A son who came upon, "Love you too" in an instant message intended for his father reported what he'd found, ending a 24-year marriage.

TIVO asks, "Are you sure?" forcing you to take a moment to reconsider if you really want to delete a show you've taped. I'd be happy to sacrifice "reply all" in favor of "are you sure?"

"Are you sure?" is a step we should use more routinely. If I'd paused to ask that, not only might I not have made a non-refundable reservation at an eco-lodge with no electricity, but there are desserts I would have skipped, boots I'd not have bought and advice I'd have kept to myself.

Friday, September 19, 2008

TEAM OBAMA, the 7th Inning Stretch...by Sybil Adelman Sage

"I'm going to canvas in Pennsylvania," an e-mail from a friend announces, urging her entire buddy list to come along on the bus. "The Republicans seem to be doing dirty stuff in Florida," other Obama desperados are saying. "Do you want to watch the results together?" some ask before adding, "No, I think we'd better be alone."

We're experiencing the collective urgency and anxiety New Yorkers typically show only when the Yankees are in the World Series. Elections remind us that New Yorkers (okay, some Californians and assorted blue states) are out of step with the rest of the country (the "United States of America," as it's called by those who wear patriotic lapel pins). Nobody here sees Sarah Palin as anything but a ringer, a cynical, shocking and, yes, terrifying, choice.

This election is more than the ultimate World Series. A loss won't become history with a change of seasons. If we didn't know before, the past eight years showed how much our leaders matter.

This is the one we CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

i miss the girls!...by judi sadowsky

my brain hurts. i could have handled john mc cain, i could have handled the war in iraq, i could have handled a financial meltdown the likes of which this country hasn't seen since the great depression, i even could have handled sarah palin but i can not - i repeat - can not handle them all!

the other day i offered to parcel out worries to all of our readers so that each of us would not have to worry about more than one thing. i was amazed at how many responses i received. all of you, who took the time to write and share, showed a true sense of patriotism and the great american spirit. i had people offering to worry about alternate side of the street parking (obviously a new yorker), thigh bulge (obviously a starlet from southern california), korea, nuclear proliferation, our drinking water, air pollution, the rain forests, polar bears, and yes of course, the one one worry that weighs heavily on all of our minds, the high cost of purses and shoes. i would like to blame that one on a californian as well, but alas, even new yorkers shop.

i thought sharing our worries would help with my own personal anxiety but i was wrong. before, when my biggest worries were sarah palin as president and living in my car, i won't say i was happy, but at least i felt i could manage. now i am a mess. to tell the truth, i never once worried about polar bears or alternate side of the street parking. i would be a liar if i said thigh bulge never crossed my mind, but somehow i thought the rain forest and air pollution, while not under control, were on their way to being solved. until a dear reader from palo alto pointed out the high cost of accessories, i must admit i just waited until the sales and tried to buy one less pair of shoes a year. now that i know the handbag and shoe crisis is even greater than i thought, a simple trip to the mall has turned into torture.

i never thought i would live to hear myself say this, but i sure do miss the days when the front page headlines were filled, not with financial ruin or the threat of unqualified leaders potentially taking over the united states, but with updates on the antics of paris hilton, lyndsey lohan and brittney spears. oh please lord, bring back the girls!

The economic crisis and today's other top fears ...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Alan Greenspan characterized this economic crisis as the worst he's experienced in his lifetime, which was almost immediately disputed by John McCain assuring us, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong," echoed by Dana Perino, channeling George Bush, to tell reporters we have what it takes to deal with the "challenge."

I'm going with Alan Greenspan on this one, which requires prioritizing my list of fears once again.

Today's top 10 concerns:

1- The economic crisis

2- The McCain/Palin ticket - SOS, a sly way around term limits

3- My memory problems

5- Terrorism - though the attack in Yemen surely demonstrates that we in America are safe

6- Serious illness (includes death)

7- Environmental damage

8- Bush/Cheney & co. - a habit that's hard to break

9- My memory problems

10- The trafficking of women, the impoverished, our health care system, those fighting in a war, well, all who aren't safe and whose basic needs aren't met. Why did I limit myself to 10?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's Deja News All Over Again...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Our newspaper wasn't delivered this morning, but I don't need it to know what's going on.

Wall Street is a disaster, which McCain, of the 18 homes, is attributing to greed. There's a new book criticizing someone in the administration, this time it's Cheney. We're in danger of electing people who rely on instinct and prayer, bragging that they don't blink though there's reason to blink. Political ads are deliberately misleading. Gas prices are ridiculously high. Hurricane victims are desperately waiting for help. Bloomingdale's is having a mattress sale. Casey Anthony, mother of the missing Florida girl, is back in jail. And O.J. Simpson is in court being tried.

Maybe they decided not to publish today, figuring we can leaf through old papers and see what's happening.

Monday, September 15, 2008

how to beat the bad news blues..by judi sadowsky

is any one else feeling overwhelmed? i think so. i think all of us, at least those who still have a working brain, are drowning in worry. between the economy, the housing market, the unemployment rate, global warming, spawning killer storms and the elections, it is enough to make a sane person crazy. on top of all that, and i know you can all relate, yesterday, i got a lousy haircut, broke a nail and actually hit a parked car, all in one day.

so what to do? here is what i think. when i was a young girl my sister and i were expected to read at least two newspapers a day before sitting down to dinner. my parents wanted to make sure that we would develop the habit of being well informed and were able to discuss, intelligently, any subject, at any time. it worked, but never before in my life time has reading the newspaper been so depressing.

when the issues of the day, in my youth, became overwhelming, my mother decreed that the economy (yes, that word again) vietnam, the civil rights struggle and the draft were too much for one person to worry about. and so she passed out assignments. each of us was given one issue to concentrate on. i was thrilled about getting vietnam because all the cool kids in school were anti-war and we got to go to neat marches and sit-ins - but that was just me - at least the eighteen year old me. it worked. i never again had to worry about the stock market or the klu klux klan. vietnam was my thing and i stuck to it. you can not imagine how much happier i was.

and so, i am passing out assignments. please get in touch with me and let me know what one thing you would like to worry about and concentrate on. oh, and one suggestion. please, don't all of you try to sign up for sarah palin.

Buddy for President? by Sybil Adelman Sage

Thomas Friedman, promoting his new book, Hot, Flat & Crowded, is reminding those of us whose electricity is still connected because our homes have not been turned into riverboats by recent hurricanes how critical it is that we become more energy-independent. Bottom line for Friedman - and for all not afflicted with Palinitis - is we need smart leadership.

Who, then, better than Buddy, the trained assistance dog who called 911 to get help for his seizure-prone owner? This is not the first time the 18-month-old dog has saved Joe Stalnaker. Buddy was adopted from an organization that had trained him to press programmed buttons until an operator picks up.

If our current president had been trained to call 911 in an emergency, instead of responding by waging an illogical war, think how many lives would have been spared. We surely would have had the resources to do more towards becoming energy-independent.

Maybe we should look to Michigan-based Paws with a Cause for our next president?

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Enough!" Democrats will now fight back...by Sybil Adelman Sage

The Democrats are finally saying, "Enough," and have decided to respond to the GOP negative ads with some of their own. To challenge McCain's claims that he's the candidate "for change," the newest ad shows him in the early '80s, wearing giant glasses and an out-of-style suit, interspersed with shots of a disco ball, a clunky phone, an outdated computer and a Rubix Cube.

If anyone attended any Lieberman weddings or Bat Mitzvahs and has video of McCain dressed like Chubby Checker and doing the Twist, it would surely be appreciated at Democratic Headquarters.

The commercial reveals that McCain "admits he still doesn't know how to use a computer, can't send an e-mail, still doesn't understand the economy, and favors two hundred billion in new tax cuts for corporations, but almost nothing for the middle class."

If you want to be helpful, start searching for photos of McCain writing with a quill or using an abacus.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's that day again....by Sybil Adelman Sage

September 11, 2001 began as such a pleasant, sunny day, making the unfathomable, horrendous attacks even more incongruous, though they would have been no less shocking if there had been clouds overhead.

From our Greenwich Village windows we could see the Twin Towers, 1 1/2 miles south of us. By 9:30 AM, neighbors had joined us, hoping that huddling would help. Nothing helped. Our adrenalin was racing, our terror and confusion mounting. At 11:42 AM, filled with horror, we watched as one building collapsed, crumbling down into a massive amount of black clouds.

"Would you have tried to get out?" we questioned one another.

"Do you know anyone who works there?"

"What can we do?"

Two of us rushed off to nearby St. Vincent's Hospital, where New Yorkers were already lined up, prepared to give blood. No ambulances were pulling up. No blood was needed.

That was a day when there were no strangers. In early evening, I asked a woman on a bike who'd been posting flyers, "Who's missing?"

"My best friend's son," she told me. We hugged.

Those flyers started appeared everywhere -- on building walls, fences and poles. A room was set up at the Chelsea Market where people could donate food for others to prepare that would feed workers at Ground Zero. Wearing face masks to avoid inhaling the putrid-smelling air, we walked over with cans of tuna.

Sympathy went out to those who'd been personally affected that grew to include the entire city. "You don't fuck with New York," many said. Some were moved to sign up for the military.

Pictures of the missing hung on the walls of St. Vincent's Hospital remained there for some time. American flags flew from windows. The wire fence across the street from St. Vincent's continues to serve as a memorial to that day in the assemblage of hand-painted tiles affixed to the metal coils with sentiments like, "Detroit loves you, New York." They're a reminder of when we felt united and proud of our country.

It's tragic to consider what happened that day, compounded by the regrets at what's followed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's NOT about the lipstick stupid...by Sybil Adelman Sage

The 2008 election has the potential of inspiring exciting conversations - about race, gender and issues -- yet today's discussion is about lipstick, making me think that Sarah Palin should be offered a cosmetics line to endorse.

The GOP vice-presidential candidate joked, "What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull? Lipstick!" This should have positioned her to be the first politician to represent Revlon along with the United States.

With Lipstickgate getting so much attention, look for a line of Sarah Palin beauty products to include:

Red State rouge
Pitbull limp plumper
Hockey Mom self-tanning lotion
The blush to nowhere
Earmarks concealing cream
Smearproof mascara for the woman with "typical family problems"
Pink Pig lip liner
Offshore Oil facial moisturizer
Long-lasting lip gloss for flying cross-country while in labor
Don't mess with Sarah or you'll be accused of sexism eyeliner
Thanks, but no thanks, make-up remover

Unlike other cosmetic lines, these may be tested on animals shot and killed by the candidate.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

VETTING SARAH PALIN: the test. by Sybil Adelman Sage

See how much you know about the governor of Alaska, potential GOP Vice-President of the United States:


1. Sarah’s father was A) a Jew for Jesus B) pregnant when he got married C) a substitute teacher

2. In high schoool, her nickname was "Sweet Sarah." T____ F____

3. Sarah and her entire family are: A) Hockey moms B) Lucky C) Avid hunters

4. Todd, her husband, is a champion: A) Arm wrestler B) Snowmobile racer C) In bed

5. One of her daughters is named after: A) Harvey’s Bristol Cream B) A race track C) Bristol Bay

6. During her 6 years as Mayor of Wasilla, Sarah: A) Banned “Heather Has 2 Mommies” from the library B) Increased general government expenditures by over 33% C) Promoted tax cuts that benefited large, corporate property owners more than they did residents

7. While Mayor of Wasilla, she tried unsuccessfully to fire the city’s: A) Knock-off purse vendors B) Highly respected City Librarian C) Squeegie guys who washed car windows in return for tips

8. Sarah inherited a city with zero debt and left it: A) Better off than Beverly Hills B) With indebtedness of 11.5 million C) With indebtedness of over $22 million

9. As governor, Sarah was accused of firing Alaska's top cop because he: A) Ate too many doughnuts B) Hung a photo of her in a bikini in his locker C) Refused to fire her sister's ex-husband, a State Trooper

10. She turned to e-bay to: A) Get the jacket she wore at the Republican Convention B) Unload a car that was a lemon C) Try to sell an airplane

11. Sarah kept her last pregnancy a secret from her parents and kids until the baby was four weeks old. T____ F____

12. Her religious beliefs appear to suggest she feels a child with Down syndrome is God's will while homosexuality can be cured by prayer. T____ F____

13. She called Cindy McCain: A) At 3 AM B) "Too thin" C) Cunt


Answers:
1. C
2. False. They called her "Sarah the Barracuda" because of what she did to be made point guard on the basketball team.
3. C
4. B
5. C
6. B & C
7. B C was Rudy Giuliani
8. C
9. C
10. C - but then sold it directly at a loss
11. F Don’t be ridiculous! She told them in her seventh month
12. T
13. None of the above. John McCain was reported to have called his wife a "cunt" in the book, The Real McCain, with author Cliff Schecter claiming that McCain made nasty remarks about Cindy during a tirade witnessed by three reporters and two aides. "At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, 'You're getting a little thin up there,'" Schechter writes. "McCain's face reddened, and he responded, 'At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt'."

Monday, September 8, 2008

be careful what you wish for...by judi sadowsky

for most of my adult life i have watched and applauded brave and courageous women who have risked their careers, marriages and friendships to fight for the cause of equal rights for women. i have often joined in, by marching and signing petitions, but i know countless women, of my generation, who did so very much more. these women, these heroines, were committed to the cause of equality for women and nothing stopped them. we came so close, this election, in realizing the dream of seeing a woman ascend to the highest office in the land. when that proved not to be, we still held out hopes that hillary would, at the very least, be the first female vice-president. alas, that too proved out of our reach, but still we were hopeful. we came so close this time - in four more years or, at the very least eight, perhaps the dream would finally become a reality.

then, along came sarah. who knew? when we spent all those years fighting and working and wishing and praying for some estrogen in the white house, we never once figured on a gun toting, right to lifer, with a penchant for bearing babies and mooseburgers. how could this have happened? we wanted a woman in the white house, but i guess we were not specific enough in our prayers. it was beyond all of our wildest imaginations (if you wrote this for a hollywood script it would be turned down on the basis of improbability) that we might end up with a woman in the white house who also happened to be a christian evangelical and a member of the nra. this is not a dream come true, but a living nightmare.

equal rights for women was supposed to be our thing. what in the world happened? how could it all have gone so wrong? if we ever, for one minute, thought that this election would be a shoo in, we had best give up that idea right now. complacency is not an option this time around. most of us have spent the better part of two generations letting other woman do the heavy lifting. now it is our turn - all of us - who value freedom, not just freedom of choice but freedom to think, pray and believe as we wish.

Bob Woodward outs Bush & Greenpeace outs Nobu...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Monday mornings have a “wake at your own risk” component and today we became aware that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over by the government, which came in the wake of our having listened to Bob Woodward on “60 Minutes” sharing yet more disturbing details about the Bush administration’s rush to invade Iraq.

A mere five days after Sept. 11, Bush told Condi Rice that he first had to go into Afghanistan, but was determined to oust Saddam Hussein. Five days is less time than my husband and I spent on choosing a dog. Five days isn’t long enough to plan a Bar Mitzvah!

Even now, years and many calamities later, it’s jarring to consider that Bush briefed the Saudi ambassador, Prince Bandar, on his plan to invade Iraq before telling our Secretary of State. Woodward reports that Bush did not consult key cabinet members or his father, and when questioned about it, the president grew defensive, saying, "He is the wrong father to appeal to for advice... There's a higher Father that I appeal to."

This, of course, brings to mind Sarah Palin, who not only shares Bush’s belief that answers will come from above, but his amazing ability to be secretive. The Alaskan governor waited until the seventh month of her pregnancy to tell her family and friends.

If that's not enough to stir you up, there was news that all three London Nobu restaurants are serving Atlantic bluefin, an endangered species, though it's not specified on the menu. Greenpeace representatives tested the sushi they'd ordered at the restaurants before reporting this. This means money we've given to the people on the streets with clipboards has gone to their eating hon maguro at Nobu! No wonder they approach us so enthusiastically.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Men lie to get women into bed and into the White House...by Sybil Adelman Sage

What's more serious -- a man lying to get a woman into bed, or lying to get her into the White House?

Men who should know better -- and my thesis is they do know better, but are lying -- are, with a straight face, telling the nation that should the need arise, Sarah Palin is equipped to become president of the United States.

Why isn't this lie an impeachable offense?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

a new riddle for sarah palin..by judi sadowsky

Q. what is the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom?

A. a pit bull is smart enough to know it isn't qualified to be vice-president of the united states!

Bush-hating has become boring...by Sybil Adelman Sage

There are people who’ve established a relationship with the killer of a loved one and managed to forgive them. We all have friends who've forgiven negligent or abusive parents. Some have made peace with an ex-mate who'd tried to have a hit man murder them. The movie, "Crazy Love," was about a woman who was blinded and disfigured by a man hired by her jealous lover to throw lye at her face only to marry him when he got out of jail. Yet I can't forgive the Bush administration.

The ability to forgive may be a virtue, but it's also a gift. Bush, Cheney and company are not smarting because of my anger. I'm the one who's been railing around for the past eight years. Though Bush-hating has become boring, my fear is it's about to segue into McCain/Palin hating.

Friday, September 5, 2008

reach for the stars...by judi sadowsky

whatever happened to marrying up? i don't want to sound too dated, but when i was growing up, we were taught that one of the best parts of getting married was to better our situation in life. when we were applying for college we were always encouraged to apply to at least one school that was just a little bit out of our range - you never know. answering help wanted ads always involved a little juggling between being realistic and reaching for the stars. and on and on. in buying a home or renting an apartment, i always believed that you should check out homes just a tiny bit above your means.

i don't know about you, but i always try to reach for the best, be it husbands, clothing, shoes or, let's be honest, leaders. i don't want someone to chow down a moose burger or go hunting with. we already tried going with a president who was elected, mainly on the premise that of the two candidates, he was the one the country most wanted to have a beer with. i don't want to fly in an airplane piloted by someone who knows as little about flight as i do and i certainly don't want to be governed by someone who doesn't know how to pronounce nuclear. we already tried that.

and now to the superficial. what about that hairdo. we haven't seen hair like that in the lower forty-eight since 1973. that up sweep is just begging for a tiara. i am not sure what sarah wears when she goes caribou hunting and frankly i don't care. i don't need to relate to our leaders - i want to look up to them. i don't want them to be as smart as me - i want them to be smarter. having five children is very nice but it is hardly an accomplishment in the same universe as, let's say, editor of the harvard law review. i don't want to sound like a snob, but when it comes to choosing someone who will be holding the fate of my children and grandchildren in their hands, call me crazy, but i really do hope for the best and the brightest.

Are the candidates lying? This is a job for Maury! ...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Which candidate will give us the change we need? Which of the things they say will they do? How can we tell who's giving it to us straight? Who's going to fight hardest for us? And whom are they going to fight with? Who has a better plan for the economy? Will privatized health care be an improvement? What do they have in mind for our school system? Which team is more environmentally conscious? Is that photo of Sarah Palin in the bathing suit for real?

Try as they may, neither Keith Olbermann, Dan Abrams, Bill O'Reilly or Chris Matthews has gotten any of the candidates to open up to our satisfaction. If this election is, as they insist, about us, let's insist they go on "The Maury Povich Show?" That's where we'll get the truth. Maury has what's needed -- lie detector tests and paternity tests. And should Sarah Palin and her mother-in-law get into a brawl, he's got those bouncers to pull them apart.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nesting Palin doll set to come? ...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Given the popularity of the Hillary nutcrackers, the Matryoshka doll manufacturers must see a marketing bonanza in the ever-growing, colorful Palin family that may exceed the cash that's flowed into the Republican Party since Sarah Palin was added to the ticket.

The Family Values set could pull apart Sarah (sharing in the fun that's been limited to critics in the media) to find her step-mother-in-law (who's had well-publicized political differences with the Alaskan governor), whom you open to get to Todd (the husband with the drunk driving record), inside of whom are Track, Bristol (the unmarried, pregnant teenager), Levi Johnston (Bristol's fiance who's been quoted as having said, "I'm a f - - -in' redneck who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes", Willow, Piper and Trig, leaving room, of course, for the babies that are sure to follow.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

senator mc cain, i'm available...by judi sadowsky

while it looks like john mc cain's hasty choice of sarah palin for his vice-presidential running mate might be in jeopardy, it is natural to be thinking about who may get the job if the palin situation turns out to be untenable. i know many in the republican party have strong feelings about this, as well they should. there are those who are backing romney and still others who think huckabee or pawlenty could fill palin's pumps, but i have a better suggestion.

what about me? i don't mean to brag but i was the president of the p.t.a., won most popular camper at camp wapasocky and was room mother for three years running at my son's elementary school. while it is true that my daughter never had a child out of wedlock, i did once catch her making out with her boyfriend in the family room. i tried to make the two of them get married but they both rolled their eyes at me and walked out of the room.

as for my foreign policy experience, i have had my passport for over thirty years and have eaten in every ethnic restaurant in new york and los angeles. i am relatively attractive and, while i have never eaten either moose or caribou, i would bet my right arm that governor sarah has never once tried kishka, gefilte fish or matzoh ball soup. while i don't hunt or fish and there are no dead animals decorating my home, i am sure i could shop ms. palin under the table. you can't tell me that that won't come in handy on all those overseas trips i will be required to take as vice president.

all in all, i really don't think i would be such a bad choice. i don't have any scandals in my past, my "first dude" has never been arrested for a d.u.i. and most importantly of all, according, obviously, to john mc cain, i have two breasts and a vagina.

More Northern Disclosures...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Is John McCain starting to look like one of those guys who bought a bride online? Has anyone heard him singing, "Getting to know You" to Sarah Palin?

Even if we agree that the kids should be off-limits, the story of Bristol Palin, the Alaskan governor's unmarried and pregnant 17-year-old daughter, was sure to be made public, something her mother must have anticipated.

Reactions vary. Some feel the mother of an infant with special needs, Trig (the name is Norse for "strength"), and also the mother of teenage Bristol (named after a salmon fishery) who also has some special needs, might have chosen to turn down the V.P. job to protect her kids' privacy and be more available to them than is possible while on the campaign trail. Others are more sympathetic, perhaps identifying, "That could be me...struggling with my kids' problems and running for vice-president, a job I don't understand, with an older man I met only once."

Sarah Palin is undeniably colorful and courageous. I wouldn't want to be faced with the choices she's confronted, but, then again, for her it's not a choice, which may minimize the agonizing.

I suspect the possibility, however remote, that she could become the president of our country isn't disturbing her sleep as seriously as it is mine.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bristol Palin is pregnant, or is she just stealing Gustav's thunder? ...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Which mother of an unmarried 17-year-old has announced that she's delighted her daughter is pregnant and will be keeping the baby? Right, it's the Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.

Is the timely disclosure Sarah's attempt to steal thunder from Hurricane Gustav (with a more human name than any of her kids)? Or is it designed to dispel yesterday's rumors that the same daughter, Bristol, was the mother of Trig, the newborn Sarah Palin wants us to know is hers? The good news is the teenager is said to be marrying the father of the baby, ruling out any fears that John Edwards could be part of this story.

It's becoming harder to distinguish fantasy from reality. Which Republicans vetted the potential candidates? The same people who'd claimed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction? What does this say about John McCain's judgment? Is the Alaskan governor the best choice he could come up with?

With change being such an important part of the conversation in this election, we have only to look at the MDA/Jerry Lewis telethon to substantiate the cliche, "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Oblivious to anything going on in the world, here we see men in shiny tuxedos, who manage to wear more than two prominent pinky rings and are using the word "groovy," while going crazy over sexy girls with Las Vegas hair and complaining that the phones aren't ringing. And they're still using land lines!

What next?