Monthly Archives: June 2009

More Iran Links


Swiped from Bob and Mod:

Contentious Centrist: Friends of the Ayatollahs

Dissent: From Ramin Jahanbegloo, Michael Walzer and others

Roland Dodds (But, I am a Liberal!): Neda Agha Soltan – Voice of Iran

The Field:

Flesh is Grass:

Ganselmi: “Friends” of the Iranian People

LabourStart: Iran updates

Martin in the Margins:

The Spirit of Man: Loads of stuff to read

Michael Totten: Ahmadinejad and the rural poor

Mom in Town


My in-laws took off on Saturday morning and my mom arrived on Tuesday. Everyone wants to come hang out with the baby. She wants to get a pastrami on rye while she is out here and we are going to Shabbat at Beth Elohim. Besides that, nothing major on the agenda for this trip.

Bro-in-law was going to fly out a few days after mom heads back to California but he is postponing his trip until August. That will give us (wife, baby and me) a few weeks to chill. August is a rough month in NYC, at least for me. I can’t stand the humidity. Maybe we will be able to escape to the beach for a day.

I start working again next week. Not totally looking forward to it, but we need the income. You know how it goes.

Needless to say, all of this will keep me away from the blog. There is a lot going on right now, especially in Iran, but I just don’t have the time to devote to writing.


Went to Coney Island on Thursday. I can’t believe I have lived in NYC for over eight years and it was my first time out there. We walked down the boardwalk, had some fried seafood and a couple beers, and escaped before it got overrun by teenagers. Next time I want to visit Beer Island.

Sunday Afternoon Tunes: Loungin’ on Dad’s Day


Peace and quiet at last. The in-laws took off Saturday morning and our apartment feels so much bigger with just the three of us (well, really four if you count our dog). Not to say we do not already miss them. We do, especially wifey. She had a great bonding experience with her mother. Something about a daughter having a child. It was great to see.

We had a nice dinner and our son actually got a decent night’s sleep. No major plans for dad’s day. We went out for a walk in the park. As soon as we get the baby in his carrier and stroller, he is out like a light. This evening we might grab a light dinner at the local Italian spot. Besides that, it is great just to lounge and enjoy the afternoon. Here are some tunes to put you in a loungy mood:

George Duke: North Beach (1974) and Malibu (1975)

Irakere: Explosion (Live in Japan, 1993)

Joyce: London Samba (1999)

Grant Green: The Final Comedown (1971)

Kool and the Gang: Blowin’ With the Wind (1972)

Guru: Loungin’ (1993)

Grover Washington, Jr.: Not Yet (1976)

Have a great Father’s Day!

Iran Election Demonstrations Roundup


iran demo

Too busy with the newborn to write about events in Iran right now but here are some posts and links from around the Web:

Ben Cohen at Z-Word

But, I am a Liberal!

Flesh is Grass

Ganselmi (h/t to Mod and Z-Word)

Kellie (Airforce Amazons)

Loads of posts at Martin in the Margins

Michael Totten’s website and more articles at Contentions.

Modernity Blog

2 Year Blogoversary


2 bday

When I first started blogging I never thought I would last one year, let alone two. I started doing this to get things off my chest. My wife was tired of listening to me vent all the time.

Blogging provides a nice release and I find it a good way to get ideas out of my head. I never thought I would get many–if any–readers. I don’t write this to be self-deprecating but to be realistic. After all, how many thousands (hundreds of thousands? millions?) of blogs are out there?

I had read other people’s websites and posted comments–a lot of comments–long before I started my own blog so I had a certain level of interaction with the blogosphere (I hate that word). But having your own blog is different. As the days have progressed to months and the months now two years, I have developed a number of virtual friendships that have opened my mind in many ways. So I want to thank you for that.

And big h/ts to my top referrers (in alpha order), Bob, Kellie, Martin, Noga, Norm, Roland, Snoop, Stark and Sultan. You all have brought a lot of readers to this humble third-tier blog and I greatly appreciate it.

What does the future hold? I’m not sure. As far as this blog goes, I’d like to move towards the slow-food approach (slow-blogging?). Less concern about staying on top of the latest news and events and more in-depth explorations.

Whether this will happen, I do not know. Our son is the main priority now. I am also trying to complete my dissertation and would like to finish by fall 2009  or spring 2010 at the latest. After that, who knows? My wife and I have been discussing moving back to California. We both miss it a great deal and our parents are not getting any younger. We want our son to grow up around his grandparents.

Sunday Miscellany


I have not had much, if any, time to blog lately but I have been keeping up with my regular reads. Here is a selection that I hope you will enjoy:

Airforce Amazons: “Exactly wrong.”

Bob from Brockley explains how the left turned to the right

But I am a Liberal reflects on a new piece by Muravchik

Contentious Centrist disects President Obama’s Cairo speech.

Elder of Ziyon: “A Case Study in Replacing Facts with Wishful Thinking.”

Martin in the Margins on Tom Paine.

Modernity Blog takes on racist thug, John Wight

Simply Jews: “Pre-election Iran, pot calling kettle black, pink glasses, etc.

From ZWord I learn of the new online Jewish magazine, Tablet.

The new Perspectives on Politics (published by the American Political Science Association) has an exchange between Robert Lieberman and Mearsheimer/Walt. Check it out if you are interested. Here are the editor’s comments:

We open this issue with a vigorous exchange on a matter that, to put  it mildly, is politically fraught. In a series of provocative  publications beginning in 2006, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt  address what they call “the Israel Lobby” and detail what they see as  the dire consequences that that lobby has generated for American  foreign policy making. In our lead essay here, Robert Lieberman  challenges Walt and Mearsheimer in precisely the way I think debate on  their thesis needs to proceed. Lieberman focuses on the causal claims  Walt and Mearsheimer advance, the evidence they adduce for those  claims, and the ways that their arguments fit with established research  on how American politics operates. Mearsheimer and Walt have written a  spirited response to Lieberman who, in turn, offers a brief reply. It  is safe to say that neither party to this exchange has persuaded the  other. Yet, though their exchange is frank, both Lieberman and  Mearsheimer and Walt keep their eye on the ball—they are concerned to  establish whether and to what extent the Israel lobby exists and  operates in the way Mearsheimer and Walt claim it does.

While my wife was in the hospital I happened to watch this documentary called “Wings of Defeat” on the kamikaze. It was illuminating and moving. Here is the trailer and some other video clips:

In-Laws in Town


Most regular readers know my wife is Tamil. For Indian families it is not uncommon for in-laws to come visit for a month (or more) after a daughter gives birth. They were ready to fly out the day after it happened. She called them to let them know she had a c-section and that she would be in the hospital for a few days. “How many days,”  they asked? “When can we come out to see you and the baby?” She said she would be released on Sunday (May 24) and that she wanted to spend a few days alone with me and the baby before they came out. “Ok,” they replied. “We will stay until June 30th”.  I said,  “Did they say June 13th? They didn’t say the 30th, did they?” She was able to negotiate June 18th.

I love my in-laws. They are wonderful people. I am glad to be part of their family. But three weeks is a long time for an introvert like me (more on this later. In the meantime read this post by Martin). And this being New York, our apartment is not that big. How would I cope? Would I go totally bonkers?

I am happy to report that, aside from one meltdown, I have been doing really well. And my wife and I really appreciate all the help they are providing, from cooking delicious South Indian food–chapati, veggie curries, dosas, etc.–to looking after the baby in the afternoons so my wife and I can get out for a walk around the neighborhood and up to the park.

They are vegetarians so I have not been cooking any meat the past few days. Actually, that isn’t entirely true. They visited a cousin in New Jersey one evening and I fired up the bbq and cooked a teriyaki hanger steak (and fake meat kabobs for wifey) which were delicious. They also took off to Puerto Rico for a couple of nights and I did some fried chicken and mashed potatoes and am hooking up some tacos tonight.

After they head home we have a few days to ourselves then my mom is flying out for a week. Then we get another few days to chill and bro-in-law is coming out for the 4th of July. He is bringing a couple of tri-tips which is my favorite thing in the world to grill. Sadly, you cannot find it on the East Coast so I always try to get family and friends to bring it out from California. I  am also going to grill some oysters with butter, shallots, white wine, lemon juice and a little Crystal hot sauce. I will provide the recipes next month.