Thursday, 05 March 2009


Ken Berwitz

This is too much. 

From an article at 

Rep. Frank Pushes For Prosecutions Over Meltdown
By: | 05 Mar 2009 | 01:52 PM ET
In an interview with CNBC, Representative Barney Frank says he wants to push for prosecution of the people who caused the country's financial meltdown.

The Massachusetts Democrat says he has no specific targets in mind, but says the most significant thing lawmakers can do is make past bad practices illegal.

I wouldn't have believed this if I didn't see it with my own eyes. 

Barney Fraud demanding prosecution for the people who caused the financial meltdown?  That's like bernard madoff demanding prosecution for people who run ponzi schemes.  It's like Shaquille O'Neal demanding an investigation to find tall Black NBA centers.

Over the past month I have chronicled just how deeply involved this unbelievable fraud is in the sub-prime mess, and how integral he was to the lending practices of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac that caused it.

I showed video of him talking up the exact practices that caused us to be where we are.  I referenced Fraud's interview (if you can call it that) with Bill O'Reilly, where he claimed he never said that Fannie Mae was a good investment, immediately after O'Reilly played a video of Frank stating that Fanny Mae was "solid going forward".  

Now I'll show you an article from October 3, 2008, which indicates that, in addition to his incompetence and lying, Frank was acting improperly on behalf of his then-lover too.  Please pay special attention to the part I've put in bold print:

Lawmaker Accused of Fannie Mae Conflict of Interest

Friday , October 03, 2008

By Bill Sammon

Unqualified home buyers were not the only ones who benefitted from Massachusetts Rep. Barney Franks efforts to deregulate Fannie Mae throughout the 1990s.

So did Franks partner, a Fannie Mae executive at the forefront of the agencys push to relax lending restrictions.

Now that Fannie Mae is at the epicenter of a financial meltdown that threatens the U.S. economy, some are raising new questions about Frank's relationship with Herb Moses, who was Fannies assistant director for product initiatives. Moses worked at the government-sponsored enterprise from 1991 to 1998, while Frank was on the House Banking Committee, which had jurisdiction over Fannie.

Both Frank and Moses assured the Wall Street Journal in 1992 that they took pains to avoid any conflicts of interest. Critics, however, remain skeptical.

"Its absolutely a conflict," said Dan Gainor, vice president of the Business & Media Institute. "He was voting on Fannie Mae at a time when he was involved with a Fannie Mae executive. How is that not germane?

"If this had been his ex-wife and he was Republican, I would bet every penny I have - or at least whats not in the stock market - that this would be considered germane," added Gainor, a T. Boone Pickens Fellow. "But everybody wants to avoid it because hes gay. Its the quintessential double standard."

A top GOP House aide agreed.

"Cmon, he writes housing and banking laws and his boyfriend is a top exec at a firm that stands to gain from those laws?" the aide told FOX News. "No media ever takes note? Imagine what would happen if Franks political affiliation was R instead of D? Imagine what the media would say if [GOP former] Chairman [Mike] Oxleys wife or [GOP presidential nominee John] McCains wife was a top exec at Fannie for a decade while they wrote the nations housing and banking laws."

Franks office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Frank met Moses in 1987, the same year he became the first openly gay member of Congress.

"I am the only member of the congressional gay spouse caucus," Moses wrote in the Washington Post in 1991. "On Capitol Hill, Barney always introduces me as his lover."

The two lived together in a Washington home until they broke up in 1998, a few months after Moses ended his seven-year tenure at Fannie Mae, where he was the assistant director of product initiatives. According to National Mortgage News, Moses "helped develop many of Fannie Maes affordable housing and home improvement lending programs."

Critics say such programs led to the mortgage meltdown that prompted last months government takeover of Fannie Mae and its financial cousin, Freddie Mac. The giant firms are blamed for spreading bad mortgages throughout the private financial sector.

Although Frank now blames Republicans for the failure of Fannie and Freddie, he spent years blocking GOP lawmakers from imposing tougher regulations on the mortgage giants. In 1991, the year Moses was hired by Fannie, the Boston Globe reported that Frank pushed the agency to loosen regulations on mortgages for two- and three-family homes, even though they were defaulting at twice and five times the rate of single homes, respectively.

Three years later, President Clintons Department of Housing and Urban Development tried to impose a new regulation on Fannie, but was thwarted by Frank. Clinton now blames such Democrats for planting the seeds of todays economic crisis.

"I think the responsibility that the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was president, to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," Clinton said recently.

Phineas T. Barnum would have blushed.  He would never have had the effrontery to do what Barney Fraud is doing. 

Like the article suggests, if this incompetent, lying, whining weasel had an R instead of a D in front of his name, he would have been gone in disgrace a long time ago.  In this regard, many thanks to our wonderful "neutral" media for giving him the free pass necessary to screw things up for all these years right under their noses.

I don't watch The O'Reilly Factor all the time, but you better believe I will tonight.  After O'Reilly tore Fraud a new anal cavity over his responsibility for the sub-prime meltdown - and his overt lying about it - there is absolutely no doubt that, even as I type this, O'Reilly is working on his commentary about Barney "Phineas T." Fraud's demand for an investigation. 

I can't wait to see it.


UPDATE:  I'm floored.  O'Reilly didn't even mention Barney Fraud's ludicrous comments.  The only thing I can think of is that it happened too late in the day to be included in his show and that he'll hit it tomorrow.  We'll see.....


Ken Berwitz

Cartoonist Dave Granlund seems to have a pretty clear bead on how to work within the Obama tax code.....




Ken Berwitz

No, I don't mean the end of the secret ballot in political elections.  But I do mean something extremely bad and extremely dangerous unto itself.

I am talking about the end of secret ballots in union voting.  And the uncritical support unions are getting for this atrocity by President Barack Obama.

Here, from the Washington Post via an irate Steve Gilbert at, is the story:

Unions: Congress Will End Secret Ballot

March 5th, 2009

From a thoroughly unionized Washington Post:

AFL-CIO Says Card-Check Is Imminent

By Alec MacGillis

March 5, 2009

Buttressed by a new statement of support from President Obama, union leaders said today they are confident that the Employee Free Choice Act would be introduced in Congress in the next few weeks and that they had the 60 votes needed to break a Senate filibuster that is, if Al Franken is seated.

"Were confident right now that we have majority support," said Bill Samuel, the AFL-CIOs legislative director, speaking in a conference call from the AFL-CIOs executive council meeting in Miami. The bill would be introduced in "days if not weeks," he said. "Weve been engaged in a marathon on this, and now were ready to sprint."

The legislation, by far the top priority for organized labor, would make it easier to form unions because it gives workers the option of organizing by having workers sign cards of support, instead of going through secret-ballot elections that labor leaders say can be marked by intimidation by employers. The legislation would require employers to submit to binding arbitration if they were unable to agree to a contract within 90 days after a unions formation

In a video-taped statement delivered to the AFL-CIO council meeting this week, Obama made clear that the legislation remained on his to-do list. "As we confront this crisis and work to provide health care to every American, rebuild our nations infrastructure, move toward a clean energy economy, and pass the Employee Free Choice Act, I want you to know that you will always have a seat at the table," he said

Samuel said repeatedly that unions are confident that they will have exactly 60 senators on board if Al Franken is finally seated and that they are still hoping to swing a few more senators on board for breathing room

Notice how the Washington Post spins this incredibly undemocratic and dangerous measure:

The legislation, by far the top priority for organized labor, would make it easier to form unions because it gives workers the option of organizing by having workers sign cards of support, instead of going through secret-ballot elections that labor leaders say can be marked by intimidation by employers.

Even by the lofty standards of the Post, is this not some of the worst Orwellian perversion of language you have ever seen?

The secret ballots has been fought for since the beginning of representative government for the very reason that it makes the voter far less susceptible to intimidation.

But without intimidation these unions thugs would have nothing.

Personally, I believe that unions are imperative for working people to have any kind of realistic leverage with the corporations they are employed by.  My sense of justice does not accept the idea of individuals pitted against vastly more powerful corporate entities -- there has to be a fair playing field. 

I don't know where Steve is on this, since his fury is directed at the unions themselves rather than the individuals who join them.

But I assure you that one thing we both agree on is the perversity of disallowing a secret ballot. 

What do you think will happen to workers who vote against the "leaders" of their unions?  How strongly do you think the union will stand by them in a work-related matter?  How quick will the union be to get rid of them if there is even a slight opening to do so? 

Put another way, how would you like it if, instead of going into a voting booth, you were told you had to hand your signed ballot to the politicians currently in power? 

See the point?  I thought you would.

Now:  Why would President Obama allow this to happen?  Just how much in bed is he with the union bosses? 

Before answering, remind yourself of who holds the purse strings of a union - the workers or the bosses who run the union.  Now you've got your answer.



Ken Berwitz

"Sunshine is the best disinfectant" - Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

Justice Brandeis was right.  Sunshine - i.e. bringing the truth to light instead of hiding it - really is the best disinfectant.

And I have a sneaking suspicion that Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are about to find this out in a way they won't like very well.

John Hinderaker of explains.  The bold print is mine:

Be Careful What You Wish For

The former Bush administration and the House Judiciary Committee (in effect, the Obama administration) have reached an agreement whereby Karl Rove and Harriet Miers will give sworn testimony to committee staff relating to the firing of a handful of U.S. Attorneys during President Bush's second term. Of all the faux scandals that the Democrats ginned up during the Bush administration, this may have been the dumbest. U.S. Attorneys are political appointees. They serve at the pleasure of the President. Political advantage is an excellent reason to appoint, or to replace, a U.S. Attorney. Legally, there is no such thing as an "improper" reason for replacing a political appointee.

Nancy Pelosi, whose knowledge of these matters is fragmentary at best, hailed the agreement:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the agreement "is a great victory for the Constitution, the rule of law and the separation of powers."

"Congress now has the opportunity to uncover the truth and determine whether improper criteria were used by the Bush administration to dismiss and retain U.S. attorneys," she said.

"Separation of powers?" What on earth is she talking about? Congress has nothing to do with the replacement of a U.S. Attorney, who--to repeat--serves at the pleasure of the President. This is politics, pure and simple, and in a sane political world, the Democrats would not be able to get away with this kind of frivolous attack.

For what it's worth, though, I'm happy to see that Rove and Miers will be giving evidence, and I hope it's made public. I have no idea whether Rove knows anything about this subject, but if he does, he will be more than a match for the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. I assume that Harriet Miers does know something about the firings, and my guess is that the Democrats won't be very happy to hear what she has to say.

The Justice Department tracks the performance of U.S. Attorneys' offices using objective metrics--lawyers in those offices keep track of their time like lawyers in private practice, and DOJ keeps statistics on case loads, prosecutions initiated, etc. Some if not all of the U.S. Attorneys who were let go were poor performers according to these metrics, but the Bush administration downplayed the facts to spare their feelings. One would assume that under oath, these facts will come out. The Democrats may be sorry they asked.

UPDATE: One more thing: virtually every U.S. Attorney, like virtually every federal judge, is appointed at least in part because he or she has political connections. There is no such thing as a President randomly selecting some competent lawyer and making him or her a U.S. Attorney.

To take just one blindingly obvious example, the local lawyer who represents Al Franken in Minnesota's Senate election contest is David Lillehaug. Lillehaug is a former U.S. Attorney for the State of Minnesota who was appointed by Bill Clinton because of his political connections in the Democratic Party. Now those same connections are making him a considerable amount of money representing Al Franken. Nothing wrong with that: Dave is a good lawyer and, as far as I know, was a reasonably competent U.S. Attorney. The point is that these are "political appointments" in both the technical and popular meanings of the phrase. The idea that it is a scandal if U.S. Attorneys are either hired or fired for political reasons is ludicrous.

SCOTT adds: I hope to do no harm to David Lillehaug's reputation among his Democratic friends, but I want to add that I consider him a friend and an excellent attorney. I also think he was an excellent United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota. His professional excellence had quite a bit to do with his appointment as United States Attorney as I am sure it did with his retention by Al Franken in the recount litigation.

These hearings had damn well better be public.  How can you possibly demand testimony to get at the truth and then suppress it?   If Democrats try to conduct this circus behind closed doors, even their usually reliable flunkies in the media won't be able to cover for them.

I am in 100% agreement with Mr. Hinderaker that Karl Rove and Harriet Miers will make mincemeat out of these ignorant clowns.  Why am I so certain?  Because I am a subnovice when it comes to legal matters, and even I could do it.

Reread the parts I put in bold print.  See for yourself.  Even if they could make a case that Bush fired some or all of the US Attornies for political reasons, so what?  He CAN fire them for political reasons.  There is no legal reason NOT to fire them for political reasons. 

I wonder if these geniuses realize that politically inspired judicial appointments are, to say the least, nothing new.  This didn't start with President Bush -- or end with him either. Barack Obama can do exactly the same thing -- and don't doubt for one nanosecond that he will.

Illustratively, when Bill Clinton came into office he fired and replaced every one of the 93 US Attorneys.  Do you doubt that he picked some, or most, or all the replacements based on political considerations?  If so, please signify by saying "I am a blithering idiot with nothing above my brainstem but a half-dead rutabaga".  Thank you.

Democrats have made a lot of political hay out of this idiotic witchhunt.  And it has worked -- as long as they didn't get what they demanded; namely the testimony of people who know what the laws are and know how many other Presidents did the same thing, perfectly legally.  Well, now they're getting it.

If sunshine is the best disinfectant, this is going to be the Lysol Superbowl.


Ken Berwitz

Why would I call the BBC the BFC? 

Lots and lots of reasons.  But here is the latest.

Follow this remarkable blog from  It shows a sequence of BBC headlines about an incident in Jerusalem, the facts of which did not change one bit throughout the headline changes:

Thursday, March 5 2009

BBC's Bulldozes Headlines Again

If there's a bulldozer rampage in Jerusalem, count on the BBC to botch the headlines. Two separate attacks might be an unhappy coincidence, but with another attack today, the BBC proved three's a trend.

Here's the evolution of the Beeb's headlines. The first headline emphasizes a dead driver, not the nature of the terror involved.


This new headline shortly afterwards was nothing more than a semantic twist on the same problem.


Last I looked, this was the new BBC headline. It finally reflects that this was an attack, but why the quote marks?


As we pointed out last July the BBC's initial instinct is to portray Israel as an aggressor and a Palestinian as a victim even if that Palestinian was actively involved in a terrorist attack against innocent civilians.

The fact that the headlines were changed at all shows that somebody thought about what was going on. Too bad it took so long . . .


As you can see, the analysis is spot-on correct. 

Simply stated, when there is an event in Israel, Gaza or Judea/Samaria (the west bank), the BBC will unfailingly report it as an offense by the mighty agressor Israel on the poor, helpless Palestinian Arabs. If the facts don't coincide with that presupposition?  Who cares?

And don't think for a minute that the BBC is an isolated case.  This type of fraud is replicated throughout Western Europe on a daily basis.

No wonder so many Europeans are so ignorant about the Middle East.


Ken Berwitz

Why do we fight fundamentalist Islam? 

Here's a pretty good reason, which comes to us from

Victim Will Get to Blind the Man Who Blinded Her

Madrid, Spain (CNN)- An Iranian woman living in Spain is welcoming a Tehran court ruling that awards her eye-for-an-eye justice against a suitor who blinded her.

In a Spanish radio interview, she says her aim isn't revenge -- it's to make sure her suffering isn't repeated.

Ameneh Bahrami was blinded and disfigured in 2004 when a man she had spurned threw acid on her. Late last year, an Iranian court reportedly ruled that Islamic justice calls for the attacker to be blinded with acid, too.

But the victim says she is entitled to blind Majid Movahedi in only one eye, because under Iranian law "each man is worth two women."

She also says he would be blinded by having several drops of acid put into one eye, whereas she had acid splashed all over her face and other parts of her body.

She says she's waiting for a letter from the court telling her to go back to Iran for the punishment to be carried out.

Bahrami tells CNN she first crossed paths with her attacker Movahedi in 2002, when they attended the same university. She was a 24-year-old electronics student. He was 19. She never noticed him until they shared a class. He sat next to her one day and brushed up against her. Bahrami says she knew it wasn't an accident.

"I moved away from him," she said, "but he brushed up against me again." When Bahrami stood up in class and screamed for him to stop, Movahedi just looked at her in stunned silence. Bahrami said that over the next two years, Movahedi kept harassing her and making threats, even as he asked her to marry him.

Then one day she was leaving work and he snuck up behind her. When she turned around he threw acid on her face.

So she gets to go back to Iran and blind the man who blinded and disfigured her.  But she can only blind him in one eye and can't disfigure him, because under Iranian (read that as Islamic) law she is worth half as much as the man who did this to her. That is justice in mullah-controlled Iran.

Why do we fight to preserve our culture and not be taken over by fundamentalist Islam?  That's why.


Ken Berwitz

I've already written several blogs about charles w. freeman, Jr., the Israel hating, saudi loving, hamas apologist picked to head our National Intelligence Council.   I've already written about what a disaster this "man" is.  But it turns out that there is even more to the story.

Eli Lake has written an excellent investigative piece on freeman for the Washington Times.  It is too long to post here, so I am putting up the first segment in hopes that you will click on the link and read it all.  The bold print is mine:

Foreign ties of nominee questioned

Post handles classified data

Thursday, March 5, 2009

An independent inspector general will look into the foreign financial ties of Chas W. Freeman Jr., the Obama administration's pick to serve as chairman of the group that prepares the U.S. intelligence community's most sensitive assessments, according to three congressional aides.

The director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, last Thursday named Mr. Freeman, a veteran former diplomat, to the chairmanship of the National Intelligence Council, known inside the government as the NIC. In that job, Mr. Freeman will have access to some of America's most closely guarded secrets and be charged with overseeing the drafting of the consensus view of all 16 intelligence agencies.

His selection was praised by some who noted his articulateness and experience as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia and a senior envoy to China and other nations. But it sparked concerns among some members of Congress from both parties, who asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's inspector general, Edward McGuire, to investigate Mr. Freeman's potential conflicts of interest.

Mr. Freeman has not submitted the financial disclosure forms required of all candidates for senior public positions, according to the general counsel's office of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Nor did Mr. Blair seek the White House's approval before he announced the appointment of Mr. Freeman, said Mr. Blair's spokeswoman, Wendy Morigi.

"The director did not seek the White House's approval," Ms. Morigi said. "In addition to his formal background security investigation, we expect that the White House will undertake the typical vetting associated with senior administration assignments."

Among the areas likely to be scrutinized in the vetting process are Mr. Freeman's position on the international advisory board of the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC). The Chinese government and other state-owned companies own a majority stake in the concern, which has invested in Sudan and other countries sometimes at odds with the United States, including Iran.

Mr. Freeman is also president of the nonprofit educational organization Middle East Policy Council (MEPC), which paid him $87,000 in 2006, and received at least $1 million from a Saudi prince. He also has chaired Projects International, a consulting firm that has worked with foreign companies and governments.

Lindsay Hamilton, a spokeswoman for Rep. Steve Israel, a Democrat from New York who sits on the House Appropriations Committee's select intelligence oversight panel that funds the classified budgets for the intelligence community, said her boss had been in touch with Mr. McGuire, who was appointed by the first director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte.

"Congressman Israel spoke with DNI inspector McGuire. The inspector said he would look into the matter. And the congressman is pleased with his response." Two other congressional aides also said the inspector general would start his inquiries soon.

Are you kidding me? 

Mr. Obama may not personally have picked this unbelievably inappropriate candidate.  But he certainly knows who and what freeman is.  Does he have a position on someone like this heading NIC?  One word from Obama and freeman is history.

Should we be surprised about the selection of someone like freeman without a peep from Barack Obama about it?  Not at all.  We elected a man without presidential qualifications who is in way, way over his head.  A man who stacked his campaign staff and now his administration with people who do not like Israel.  We're getting exactly what we elected.

And should we be surprised at how little media coverage there is of this reprehensible selection?  Again, not at all.  Most mainstream media are still in unconditional-love mode for Saint Barack, and a trivial little matter like freeman just gets in the way.

Finally, to the 78% of Jews who voted for Obama, most of whom I assume support Israel:  I hope you're happy with this.  You helped make it happen.

Speaking as one of the other 22%, I assure you I'm not.


Ken Berwitz

Some years ago there was an incident at our Synagogue in which one of the "leaders" (I'm intentionally not being specific) of the congregation shoved and/or hit a 12 year old boy. 

As we heard it, the leader was teaching this boy the various prayers, procedures, etc. he would need to know for his bar-mitzvah***.  The boy was a complete wise-ass who made it clear that he didn't care about the ritual, only the celebration afterwards.  After enduring repeated insults, sarcasms, etc. the leader couldn't take it any more and laid hands on him.

My opinion at the time was that, while I did not and could not condone the leader's actions, I understood them perfectly and could see myself doing exactly the same thing. 

With this in mind, I think you will understand my sympathy toward the police officer described below and the writer of this article:

Caught on Tape: Police Beating Teen Girl

I suspect I'm not the only cop who has watched that video and thought, "There but for the grace of God go I."

March 5, 2009 - by Jack Dunphy

Perhaps youve seen the video of the King County, Wash., sheriffs deputy dishing out a bit of the rough stuff on a 15-year-old girl. At 3:45 a.m. last November 29, the girl was arrested while riding as a passenger in her parents car, which had been reported stolen to police. The video shows Deputy Paul Schene, 31, and a second deputy escorting the girl into a holding cell. The girl, apparently at Schenes request, takes off one of her shoes and, apparently not at Schenes request, kicks it at him, striking him in the shin with it.

It seems fair to say that at that point Deputy Schene lost it. The video shows him charging into the cell and striking the girl, then shoving her against the back wall before throwing her to the floor. After handcuffing her, he picks her up and takes her out of the cell while holding her by the hair. A detective who later reviewed the video reported the incident, and Schene was charged in King County District Court with misdemeanor assault. He has pleaded not guilty.

Ugly stuff, to be sure. But I suspect Im not the only cop who has watched that video and thought, There but for the grace of God go I. Let me be clear on this point: Neither do I condone what Deputy Schene appears to have done in the video nor have I committed such acts myself in my long career as a police officer. But I understand the impulse.

Every police officer has had the experience. You come across a case of criminal wrongdoing, and the person youve arrested takes the position that you have neither the right nor the authority to cause him the burdensome inconvenience of having the law enforced at his expense. He proceeds to lecture you on the law, more particularly his knowledge and your ignorance of it. He tells you about his influential friends who will surely have you removed from your job or at least reassigned to some less desirable post. He offers his opinions on your appearance and your ancestry and your personal life, often to the point of accusing you of having an improper, dare I say Oedipal, relationship with your mother. And then, at some point during the booking process, he commits some overt act of provocation, even one as seemingly innocuous as kicking his shoe at you, and you have to decide: What now?

Deputy Schene, no doubt to his everlasting regret, made his choice. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say he let his emotions make the choice for him, for as fleetingly satisfying as it may have been to knock the impudent girl around the cell for a bit, had he considered the consequences of his actions before undertaking them he surely would have chosen another course.

The typical police officer comes from a family that instills in him a respect for the law and for lawful authority, and early in his career he is surprised to encounter so many people in whom such a respect is lacking. In a matter of months he is no longer surprised to meet such people, having come to accept them as part of the landscape. But when he encounters one who is already, at the age of 15, so deficient in that respect that she feels at liberty to call him a fat pig after he has found her in a stolen car in the middle of the night, well, he can find that his fuse has been somewhat shortened.

But people rightfully expect better of police officers, and despite whatever provocation the girl may have committed, in reacting as he did Deputy Schene brought discredit to himself, his fellow deputies, and police officers everywhere. Now he needs to face the consequences.

But what should those consequences be? Schene is an eight-year veteran of the King County Sheriffs Department, and without knowing anything else about him I can guess that during those eight years he has risked his life several times, most often without the slightest recognition by his superiors or the citizens he serves. What an injustice it would be if those eight years of service are overshadowed by thirty seconds of videotape.

I dont suggest for a moment that Deputy Schene should escape punishment, but I would ask that his entire career be taken into account when that punishment is calculated.

Jack Dunphy is the pseudonym of an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. The opinions expressed are his own and almost certainly do not reflect those of the LAPD management.

I have little doubt that we agree the officer was wrong.  Ok, fine. 

Now; what would you have done?  How short would your fuse have been? 

Maybe it would be a good thing - a very good thing - if that question and answer is taken into account for the officer.

(Oh, by the way, the leader of our congregation was publicly reprimanded for what he did.  To the best of my knowledge, the boy got away with it.  I'm sure he had a great celebration.)


***From  "Bar Mitzvah" literally means "son of the commandment." "Bar" is "son" in Aramaic, which used to be the vernacular of the Jewish people. "Mitzvah" is "commandment" in both Hebrew and Aramaic. "Bat" is daughter in Hebrew and Aramaic. (The Ashkenazic pronunciation is "bas"). Technically, the term refers to the child who is coming of age, and it is strictly correct to refer to someone as "becoming a bar (or bat) mitzvah." However, the term is more commonly used to refer to the coming of age ceremony itself, and you are more likely to hear that someone is "having a bar mitzvah."

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