Friday, December 25, 2009

Emerson Spa

The clever ways merchants use to fleece you!

I went to the Emerson Spa in Mt. Tremper recently--

Checking out, I was asked: Do you want to put a tip on your bill?

Feeling I had to say yes, I did--

Well, I never found out what the tip was--it wasn't listed on the final bill--

But the clerk there was able to put ANY TIP SHE WANTED TO on the bill!

And it must have been a high one, because the size of the final bill surprised me--

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Comment on a letter

A few months ago, someone named Dreyfus wrote a letter to the Woodstock Times about Israel's attack on Gaza--

I didn't respond, but just thinking about the letter makes me mad--

He said that the rockets that were fired into Israel were primitive--

And that "only" 13 people were killed--

What a loathsome, contemptible person--

I may write: I hate to explode his cover, but Dreyfus is clearly a paid agent of the International Zionist Conspiracy--paid to write loathsome, despicable attacks on Israel--just so everyone can see how contemptible the enemies of Israel are--


Some Jews write in, attacking Israel--one-sidedly--

I asked an authority on anti-semitism about this--

He said that these Jews might be terrified that what happened to the Jews in Europe might happen to them--so they are distancing themselves from other Jews--

I'll write to one of these people: I hate to break the bad news to you, but when the neo-Nazis come for me, they'll come for you, too--and if they can't find out where you are, I'll eagerly point out where you're hiding--

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Artist's Palate

Artist's Palate is a restaurant in Poughkeepsie, where you hear a lecture on the Met opera you'll see in a theater later on, and have a prix fixe meal--the menu didn't list prices, but it turned out to be $20 per person--and a glass of wine turned out to cost
$14 !!! Outrageous. And it turned out that there was a $10 cover charge! At the Bardovan nearby, where you see the opera, a glass of wine cost only $5.75 or something.

I wasn't sure whether the cover charge meant the tip or the remuneration for the speaker, so I left a tip--

Anyway, the food was good and the service was fine but the restaurant stinks.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Letter to the Woodstock Times

Eyeless in Gaza

So, eight residents of the Woodstock area are going to Gaza to report on what’s going on there, bringing with them nothing in the way of credentials except closed minds and a fervent hatred of Israel and Jews in general. The Crazy Eight will surely be, like Samson, eyeless in Gaza, and will see only what they want to see. Who is paying for their trip and arranging it, I wonder. Iranian money?
Why aren’t they going to Sderot and interviewing Israelis terrorized by the 7,000 rockets raining down upon them in recent years?
In Gaza, will they try hard to free Gilad Shalit, illegally imprisoned by the Hamas terrororists? Who want to trade him for hundreds of imprisoned Palestinian terrorists? Isn’t that disproportionate?
Actually, a professional journalist, Tom Gross of the Wall Street Journal, recently toured the West Bank and found that the largest city, Nablus, was bursting with energy and showing signs of great prosperity. As for checkpoints, he drove from Jerusalem to Nablus without going through any Israeli checkpoints. The government of Benjamin Netanyahu has removed them all -- ever since the Israeli security services were allowed, in recent years, to crush the intifada, restore security to the West Bank, and set up the conditions for the economic boom that is now occurring.
In Gaza too, Gross wrote, the shops and markets he saw were crammed with food and goods.
The head of the Nablus stock exchange explained to Gross
why there is no rush on the part of the Palestinians to declare statehood: Ordinary Palestinians need the Israeli Defense Forces to help protect them from the Hamas terrorists, as their own security forces aren't ready to do so by themselves yet.
“The truth,” Gross concluded, “is that an independent Palestine is now quietly being built, with Israeli assistance.”
Make no mistake, the Crazy Eight and their sympathizers are so closed-minded and prejudiced that they believe that Israel can do nothing right and the terrorists can do nothing wrong. Last year, when Israel offered to create a Palestinian state on 97% of the West Bank (with 3% of pre-1967 Israeli land being added, to make up the shortfall), Mahmoud Abbas refused. “In the West Bank we have a good reality,’ Abbas told a Washington Post reporter. “‘The people are living a normal life.”
That’s why the protestations of the Israel-haters about their just being anti-Israel and not anti-Semitic are so clearly false. They ignore the horrible misdeeds of the evil Palestinian terrorists and blame Israel and the Jews for everything.
What motivates people like the Crazy Eight? Typically they’re life’s losers, abject failures; they didn’t succeed in their careers or their personal lives. They carry seething anger within them. If it weren’t Israelis they’re resentful of, it would be Catholics…or African-Americans…or Etruscans.
And their thinking is so shallow, their knowledge so pitiful. Einstein was opposed to a Jewish state? Well, an article in a recent issue of the Atlantic (December) quotes from an Einstein letter: “I am, as a human being, an opponent of nationalism. But as a Jew, I am from today a supporter of the Zionist effort.” Would the Israel-haters change their minds if they had read this? Well, prejudiced people generally don’t read The Atlantic. Too nuanced for them.
The casualties when Israel attacked Gaza were disproportionate? Isn’t an army supposed to limit the loss of its soldiers? I’m glad so few Israelis died. I wish fewer Palestinian civilians had died, but what should we expect, when their combatants hide out in apartment houses and schools?
As for Bill Campion of Mt. Tremper, who make the bizarre accusation that I abused St. Francis: The Greeks had a word for him. Meshugana.
And as for those people blaming me for “name-calling,” I would like to say in my defense that Hitler and Stalin were monsters, Senator Lieberman is utterly contemptible, Sara Palin is an idiot, and Glen Beck is a hitherto unknown and particularly disgusting new form of life. Oh, and that name-calling is often appropriate.
Anyway, I wish the Crazy Eight godspeed. And I hope they love Gaza so much that they never return here.

Warren Boroson


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dexter Morgan

Some dramas are not entirely serious--they're not all that realistic--the James Bond movies, for instance--most movies with Cary Grant--esp movies with violence are usually not realistic--detective stories, for instance--the viewer/reader knows almost everything is improbable--

Dexter is such a pseudo-drama--you can't really believe that such a nice, ethical young man would murder people, even if they seemed to deserve murdering--in fact, the series seems to endorse the idea of vigilante-ism--

But in the most recent episode, something really horrible happens--reality intrudes into our nice fantasy--as if James Bond got his arm blown off--or Oliver Twist came down with TB--

The ending of this season's Dexter was a bad mistake on the part of the writers--


Sunday, December 13, 2009

If Beethoven Had Lived...

I sometimes wonder what Beethoven would have thought of the music of Tchaikovsky… Verdi…Mahler…Gershwin…Jerome Kern.

In his book “Beethoven: His Life & Music,” Jeremy Siepmann writes that if Beethoven (who died at 56) had lived to the same age as Haydn (77), he would have known the maturest work of Chopin, the complete works of Mendelssohn, Wagner’s Flying Dutchman and Tannhauser, the symphonies of Berlioz, even Verdi’s Macbeth and Nabucco.

Of course, if Beethoven had lived as long as Sibelius (92), he would have been familiar with much of Brahms, Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor and other major pieces, and Verdi’s Rigoletto, Trovatore, and Traviata.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Goldwater Case

Someone writing for Psychology Today's website did a study of the psychiatrists' responses to the Fact magazine poll about whether G was psychologically fit to be president--

He found that people who knew Goldwater personally thought he was healthy--
it was those who didn't know him who thought he was disturbed-

But you don't get to know someone very well by interacting with him socially--

You get a much better insight by knowing someone's views--

And Goldwater believed in brinksmanship--challenge the Soviet Union to a war, knowing that they will back down--
He said North Korea should be paved off like a parking lot--

In your head you know he's right
In your heart you know he's nuts--

popular saying of the time--

When Harris Steinberg, Fact's lawyer, said that to Goldwater on the stand, he told me later, he thought that Goldwater was going to hit him--

Music Music

How lucky I am -- finding a second career teaching music--
And I LOVE it--
reading about Chopin, preparing a concert of his music--
I've given a talk about Puccini 3 times already--
And a talk about Mendelssohn-

next, a talk about Beethoven's 9th Symphony--In college, as a senior, I took a course on the symphony & still vividly recall what the teacher said about the 9th--