Always Think On Your Feet

A man is at work one day when he notices that his co-worker is wearing an earring. 
 
This man knows his co-worker to be a normally conservative fellow, and is curious about his sudden change in “fashion sense.” 
 

The man walks up to him and says, “I didn’t know you were into earrings.” 
 

“Don’t make such a big deal out of this, it’s only an earring,” he replies sheepishly. 

His friend falls silent for a few minutes, but then his curiosity prods him to say: “So, how long have you been wearing one?” 
“Ever since my wife found it in my truck…”

Return of Permanent Limbo in Israel

Beyond the Cusp

The Trump opportunity has passed at least for the summer. There was the opportunity for a change in Israel and the standoff with the Arab world. The Israeli hesitation over moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem, specifically the warnings of potential violence which, according to Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, was something Israel was not prepared to face at the time forced President Trump to hesitate and at best postpone any actions on the embassy or possibly totally abandoned, time will tell. President Trump was elected President with a Republican platform which had refused to continue with the two state solution as part of its Middle East policy, a first for United States policy since the Oslo Accords were signed in September of 1993. The Republicans managed to do something which apparently far too many Israeli politicians are unprepared to do, reject the paradigm of the two state solution and…

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A Graphic Bio of Cass Elliot Traces the Singer’s Complicated Rise to Fame

A new graphic bio (comic-book biography? graphic nonfiction history?) of The Mamas & the Papas singer Cass Elliot (neé Ellen Naomi Cohen) should bring the late star a lot of new fans. Written by French cartoonist Pénélope Bagieu and translated by Nanette McGuinness, California Dreamin’ focuses on Cass’s youth, starting in her infancy and ending just before the band’s breakup. It’s funny, sad, Jewy … and a little troubling.

One of the book’s quirks is that every chapter has a different narrator, and it’s not entirely clear which anecdotes and quotes are fabricated and which aren’t.

Chapter 1 opens with the Cohen family—baby Ellen, parents Bess and Philip, grandparents Chaya and Joseph—gathered around a radio, listening to a news report about the bombing of Pearl Harbor. “Grandpa Joseph is afraid there will be no more work, because in our family, we are left-wingers, or Jews, or union members, or I don’t know what,” says this chapter’s narrator, Ellen’s still-unborn sister Leah. The family owns a kosher deli, which Leah feels is foolish, “seeing as there weren’t any other Jews in Baltimore besides us.” (Already we’ve been set up to see that truth in this memoir depends on the teller, and memory is perhaps malleable.) Philip, we learn, is a dreamer, a man in fragile health, a fellow who loves opera and his children and is a little frightened of his powerful wife.

A chubby girl since childhood, Ellen is determined to become a star. A chapter narrated by her high school pal Ken Waissman conveys her feistiness, humor, and energy. The popular girls shun her, but Ken notes that even when left out, “she was left out with panache.” (Wearing heart-shaped glasses and carrying a lace parasol, Ellen invites the queen bees to her own party, airily telling them, “The theme is cheese and nudity! I’m counting on you!”) In a very funny succession of panels, we see Ellen wearing a full-body rabbit costume and a deadpan expression at the back of a classroom; cheerleading with pom-poms in the lunchroom—Bagieu draws her with huge boobs and belly, ironic eyebrows, and tiny elegantly pointed feet; slumped over a chemistry table, bug-eyed, clutching a beaker, while her prissy partner raises her hand and calls “MA’AM!! Can I change partners? Ellen’s pretending she poisoned herself AGAIN!”

A chubby girl since childhood, Ellen is determined to become a star. A chapter narrated by her high school pal Ken Waissman conveys her feistiness, humor, and energy. The popular girls shun her, but Ken notes that even when left out, “she was left out with panache.” (Wearing heart-shaped glasses and carrying a lace parasol, Ellen invites the queen bees to her own party, airily telling them, “The theme is cheese and nudity! I’m counting on you!”) In a very funny succession of panels, we see Ellen wearing a full-body rabbit costume and a deadpan expression at the back of a classroom; cheerleading with pom-poms in the lunchroom—Bagieu draws her with huge boobs and belly, ironic eyebrows, and tiny elegantly pointed feet; slumped over a chemistry table, bug-eyed, clutching a beaker, while her prissy partner raises her hand and calls “MA’AM!! Can I change partners? Ellen’s pretending she poisoned herself AGAIN!”

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The Telegraph – Brexit Bulletin

Good afternoon.

After Theresa May formally started the Brexit process yesterday, it fell to David Davis to illustrate what awaited Britain at the end of it with the Great Repeal Bill. The legislation, he told MPs, will do three things: repeal the European Communities Act 1972, transpose all EU law into British statute and allow MPs to replace these rules after Britain leaves the bloc.

The Brexit Secretary said some things to excite Leavers, like that the European Court of Justice will not have a “future role” in the interpretation of UK laws. But they will have to cope with ECJ case law continuing to be referred to by British judges, although it will change – Mr Davis said – “on the day we leave the EU”. They will also be buoyed by Boris Johnson’s piece in this morning’s Telegraph laying out the Government’s vision for life after Brexit. “Now is the time to believe in ourselves, to back Britain, and to do a deal that is good for Europe, for Britain and for the world,” he concluded.

The Great Repeal Bill will nonetheless be a hefty legislative process, as Mr Davis suggested between 800 and 1,000 statutory instruments were needed to transpose EU rules (of which more than 12,000 are in force, according the Government’s White Paper) into British law.  Julian Jessop, chief economist at the Institute for Economic Affairs, suggests that the Government should attach time limits to these laws to force civil servants to justify their continued existence. That way, he writes, their mindset would be shifted towards “the idea that less government intervention is better than more”.

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Ellison Was Defeated by His Own Actions Not by Any Smear

The close vote by the Democratic National Committee to reject Keith Ellison as its chairperson was a victory for basic decency and a defeat for the kind of bigotry represented by Ellison’s past associations with Louis Farrakhan and his current voting record against Israel’s Iron Dome. Ellison’s loss is not attributable to any “smear campaign,” as some of his supporters have falsely alleged, but rather to his own actions, both past and present. Would anyone call it a smear if a candidate’s history of sexism, racism or homophobia had been exposed? Why then it is a smear to have raised questions based on Ellison’s past associations with anti-Semitism and his current voting anti-Israel voting record? Nor was it a smear to question Ellison’s credibility when he said that he was not aware that Farrakhan was an anti-Semite, when Farrakhan himself was publicly boasting about his Jew hatred.

The smear charge itself reflects the kind of double standard within elements of the Democratic Party that worry centrist pro-Israel voters. Both Democrats and Republicans alike must have the same zero tolerance for anti-Semitism as they do for sexism, racism and homophobia.

The growing influence of intolerant hard left extremists endangers both our country and the Democratic Party. Democrats must recognize the reality that the United States is not a hard left country. Unlike some European countries, we have never had significant Communist or socialist parties. Nor are we a hard right country, with a history of fascist parties. We govern from the center, alternating centrist liberals, such as Obama and Clinton, with centrist conservatives like the Bushes and Reagan.

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A Brief History Of Driving While Black – BuzzFeed News

I’ve been learning how to drive every day of my life.

Once, nearly a decade ago, I got pulled over four blocks from my house. I was riding back from football practice with a friend, something my folks weren’t in the habit of letting me do. This friend was a good guy, and my parents had met him before, and they swore their unease hadn’t stemmed from distrust or suspicion — but my friend was black. I am, too. And we lived in this mostly white Texan town. Two black boys in a car will catch problems all over the world, but as far as my folks were concerned, geography wasn’t in our favor.

They let me go, though. I guess we thought, What could happen? And what happened was nothing, at least for most of the drive. We made it across the feeder road, under the highway, and past the gas station before we finally paused at a stoplight and I made eye contact with this cop.

He’d settled across the street. I remember him giving me a stare. I remember the face he made, like he was deep in thought.

I remember not thinking much of it. And the light had already turned. And we hadn’t done anything wrong. Maybe 30 seconds later, the siren popped off.

What the fuck, said my friend.

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