Name Change

I’ve changed the name of this blog because I found that it is used by some other blogs which, upon perusing them, I don’t think much of them and don’t want to be confused with them. I thought that T-JAW was a clever abbreviation for “Truth, Justice and the American Way.” As usual I’ve found, clever has backfired. Continuing to use “T-JAW” will detract from rather than promote my slogan because of the ugly ways it seems to be used by others. So I’ll just go by my own name from now on. I hope I won’t find out there is some ax murderer out there with a name the same as mine.

Judaism: A Way of Being

Judaism: A Way of Being
The “Look Inside” link won’t work, but this one will.

My commitment to liberty and my belief that we’re all different and as free citizens (as opposed to mere subjects) we make our own decisions usually keeps me from telling other people what they should do with their lives, but here and now I would like to tell you to get this book and read it. It is nothing short of great, and greatness is always scarce and much appreciated when it is found.

If you are already familiar with Yale computer science professor David Gelernter but were not yet aware of this book you’ve probably left this page by now and gone straight to Amazon to order it. But for anyone not acquainted with Professor Gerlernter you will find this Powerline post to be a wonderful introduction. And there’s this from the Weekly Standard:

“David has written a spectacular book. It’s at once short and deep; it’s a fun and easy read with many stop-let-me-think-about-that moments; it’s both scholarly and inspiring. David’s exploration of the role of images, or what he calls ‘image-themes,’ in Judaism is fascinating, and his explanation of how Judaism’s ‘multi-layered images’ reveal and explain ‘the unique beauty and truth of the Jewish worldview’ is extraordinary.

“Gelernter writes that his is a book primarily for Jews, and I’d think that will prove to be the case. But his account of ‘Judaism at full strength, straight up; no water, no soda, aged in oak for three thousand years’ will I suspect prove fascinating to many serious people of other faiths, especially Judaism’s little brother or cousin, Christianity. For David has written a book that, in its exploration of Judaism, tells us something-tells us a lot-about the human condition.”

You need not be Jewish to read this book, although Professor Gelernter says he wrote it mostly for Jews. That’s because he counsels Jews to give up their hostility to Christianity and Christians. He says, in a letter to the Powerlineblog:

My book argues in closing that Judaism must relax its traditional (and understandable) hostility towards Christianity: this prodigal son wants to return, and Judaism must forgive injuries and rise to the occasion–as Jews must, also, take their place as the senior nation of the Western world–and frankly acknowledge Judaism’s role (a mixed blessing) as the most important intellectual development in Western history.

But even if Gelernter wrote this book mainly for Jews I think it’s for anyone because it’s about Judaism in human civilization.

Quote of the Day

Wise, cultivated, genial conversation is the last flower of civilization. Conversation is our account of ourselves. It is, in a word, how we search for and discover the truth. And truth, that which is right and just, ultimately is what propels us to work as engaged citizens in ways that have real, tangible impact on the future direction of our Republic.

—Attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson

Growing Backlash Over Obamacare

Washington Examiner has the story. Here is a teaser…

Two-dozen Democrats from Republican-leaning districts, who voted for the House version of President Obama’s increasingly unpopular health care reform, are beginning to feel a growing public backlash. has already raised $123,105 that will be dedicated exclusively to defeating all 24, including Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., in 2010 if they don’t reject the final conference committee version of the bill. They “voted to take away your healthcare and put it in the hands of federal bureaucrats,” the Web site says. “Democrats made a choice … next fall, voters will make a choice.”

They’re not the only ones. Twenty-nine other House Democrats who voted for the bill come from districts that John McCain carried, making them particularly vulnerable to an angry electorate that never bought into the “hope and change” hype in the first place.

Stop the Bill

Do read the whole thing.

Do Bloggers Steal From the Old Media? Or Do Bloggers Report News the Old Media Covers Up?

The old line was that bloggers just steal from the old media. It is becoming increasingly obvious that bloggers actually report news that the old media covers up. On whether bloggers are simply re-cycling old media news stories, Mark Steyn sets it straight:

That’s laughably untrue in the Warmergate story. If you rely on the lavishly remunerated “climate correspondents” of the big newspapers and networks, you’ll know nothing about the Climate Research Unit scandals – just the business-as-usual drivel about Boston being underwater by 2011. Indeed, even when a prominent media warm-monger addresses the issue, the newspaper prefers to reprint a month-old column predating the scandal. If you follow online analysis from obscure websites on the fringes of the map, you’ll know what’s going on. If you go to the convenience store and buy today’s newspaper, you won’t. That’s the problem.

Read the whole thing here.

Finding True Erotica in the Movies

[Links were broken — Now fixed!]

One is never too old to appreciate true erotica in the movies, or on TV. But there are a couple of problems. First, one would have to find it. That becomes a problem after one understands what true erotica actually is, and that too often mere pornography is offered as an unworthy substitute. Lots of soft porn is in the offing at the movies or on TV, but not much true erotica. Not like the final scene in the BBC series The Heat of the Sun where former Scotland Yard detective Albert Tyburn (Trevor Eve) and the attractive, strong-willed biplane pilot Emma Fitzgerald (Susannah Harker) finally, after several episodes of struggling with military politics and crime fighting in Kenya, raise a glass and embrace in the warm romance of an African sunset. The swirling camera angles and the anticipation that he might finally kiss her are unrequited as the scene closes, except of course where it really belongs, in our imagination.

Alicia Colon finds true erotica in the 1932 movie Tarzan the Ape Man. Before you laugh out loud please read what she says about it. Here is a sample:

Erotica should be what arouses sensuality and sexual desire in the imagination. Pornography is a cheap substitute to genuine sensuality by replacing it with naked thrusts and bursts of faux gasps of passion. How trite compared to visions created in our minds stimulated by a simple touch, look or gesture. Last night I watched the TCM channel which ran a surprising example of true erotica-Tarzan-the Ape Man.

Laugh if you will but Johnny Weismuller and Maureen O’Sullivan generate more heat in this 1932 action adventure film then any of the actors and actresses starring buck naked and writhing in today’s features.

Read the whole thing here, which is Part I, with Part II promised for tomorrow.

UPDATE: The scene in the Michael Mann directed movie Collateral where cab driver Max (Jamie Foxx) picks up the fare of his life in Annie (Jada Pinckett Smith) a beautiful young assistant United States attorney on her way to the office may be one of the most romantic scenes in a movie I’ve seen lately. The murmuring growl of Hands of Time by Groove Armada on the soundtrack helped immensely. You fully expect them to become lovers, but that’s not in the script. We don’t see Annie again until… well, rent or buy the DVD.

Beretta Xplor A400 Amazing New Shotgun

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Can you believe a new lightweight semi-auto 12 gauge with a whopping 60% reduction in recoil? How did they do it? Read more here and here and here.

Why the green receiver? Well, not a bad color for the receiver of a great sporting shotgun. Also, the receiver is made of anodized aluminum alloy that is lightweight and will not rust or corrode. I understand the Beretta engineers immersed it in salt water for a few months then took it out, cleaned it up and it worked fine. Cool. I need one of these. They say they will be in stores in time for Christmas. Expected MSRP about $1600.

“Uh, Honey, you know when you asked what I wanted for Christmas and I said I didn’t want anything? Well…uh…”

BTW, Beretta is the oldest manufacturing company in the world, founded in 1526.

UPDATE: Current issue of Guns & Ammo(February, 2010) has a main feature on this shotgun.

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