Friday, April 28, 2006

The Iranian Threat.

Dry Bones cartoon - Stopping Iran.Two "minor" news stories that you might have missed which seem pertinent.

The first story is that there was just a suicide bomber attack on the MFO in Sinai. The MFO (Multinational Force & Observers)is the peacekeeping force that patrols the Sinai in accordance with provisions of the Egypt-Israel peace agreement. The peacekeepers have been attacked before but this time it's suicide bombers... Which means that it's not smugglers or unhappy locals. It's the Islamocrazies. To me it's beginning to look as if Iran wants to establish itself as the Mideast power.

The second news item is that, apparently, the Iranians are getting Russian-designed North Korean-upgraded nuke-capable missiles which can reach Europe.

Uh, guys...This problem is not going to just go away.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

High School Shootings in America (1998)

1998 Dry Bones cartoon - School Shootings in America

Americans, on May 21, 1998, witnessed another in series of "senseless" High School shootings.
Everyone wanted to know why.
...Including Dry Bones.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mubarak and the Terrorists

Dry Bones cartoon - Mubarak and the TerroristsWhen I heard about the terror attacks in Egypt my first reaction was to read what was being posted at an Egyptian blog I like. It's called Sandmonkey and I recommend that you check it out also.

Today's cartoon features Egyptian President Mubarak as the Pharaoh, with an unnamed sidekick as his adviser. At first, I tried drawing Mubarak with one of those little Pharaoh beards but then he didn't look like Mubarak!!

In the end I stuck the beard onto the chin of his adviser.
Probably a mistake.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Kurt Waldheim (1986)

1986 Dry Bones cartoon - Kurt Waldheim, Nazi Officer

From 1971 to 1981, Kurt Waldheim was Secretary General of the UN.

In 1986 he ran in a bid to become president of Austria.

This cartoon was published in March of 1986, after it was revealed that Waldheim had covered up his past as a Nazi Stormtrooper.

In June 1986 the Nazi Stormtooper who had been the Secretary General of the UN would be elected president of Austria.

Today, April 25, 2006, is Yom Ha Shoah (Holocaust Rmembrance Day).
This Golden Oldie seemed appropriate... oh, and the photo that the cartoon was about? I've posted it below.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Bin Laden's Been Popping Off. Again.

Dry Bones cartoon - Osama Bin LadenI used Mr. Shuldig in this cartoon.

I think of him as a kindly "uncle", which is why I sometimes refer to him as Uncle Shuldig. He's often seen commenting on the TV news or the latest in his local newspaper. Shuldig is big, soft, and comfortable... like the overstuffed, flower-printed easy chair in which he sits.

I use the old boy to state my own opinions.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Post-Pessah Reality

Dry Bones cartoon - the post Pessah questionThe Passover holidays have ended and the very next day, here in Israel, a Moroccan Jewish holiday called Maimouna has become a national observance.
The way that this one-day holiday is observed is this: after the period of gorging on wonderful Pessah foods ends, and after the Passover barbecues are done, we celebrate with family and friends, (and in public picnics) the consumption of great quantities of fresh breads, pastries, and sweet cakes.

In the face of terrorist violence, international isolation, and the threat of Iranian nukes, the true heroism of Israel is that we live pleasant and normal lives in our beautiful little country.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Iranians (1979)

Dry Bones cartoon  1979- Iran, Israel and the Occupied Territories of Europe
On January 16 1979, the Shah fled Iran.
This cartoon was done one week later.
Ayatollah Khomeini would not return to Iran until February 1, but he was already popping off about wiping Israel off the map.

The question about the Iranian Revolutionary Islamic attitude towards the "Occupied Moslem Territories" of Europe has yet to be answered.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Passover: Splitting the Sea

Dry Bones cartoon - Exodus - at the Red Sea
Moses had secured a peace agreement with the Egyptians but they, well, had second thoughts about it, which is why the war chariots of the Egyptians were now tearing up the desert as they raced to reach and kill us. And we stood there at the edge of the Sea. Trapped!

And this great, miraculous, heroic, fantastic moment of history was marred by... a spelling error!!

The sea was a marsh, filled with bullrushes and reeds. The name of the sea was the Reed Sea. But when the word for reed (soof in Hebrew) was translated into English, reed was misspelled as red!!

. . . and because of that dopey spelling mistake, the sea is still called (in English) the Red Sea until this day.

Sea of Reeds
Reed Sea

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Passover in the 20th Century (1998)

1998 Dry Bones cartoon - Passover in the 20th Century
It's true.
I do get carried away a bit on our holidays.

And speaking of holidays, I hope that all our Christian friends had a happy and meaningful Easter.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Passover: In Every Generation

Dry Bones cartoon - In Every Generation
Jewish kids are taught in the Haggadah reading that
"not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand!"

When Christian kids are little they are taught about the Easter Bunny who comes hippity hoping down Bunny Trail, bringing baskets of colorful Easter Eggs, and jolly Santa Claus,who slides down the chimney, bringing his sack of Christmas toys.
When we grow up, the Christians discover that their tales were charming deceptions, and the Jews discover that their childhood "fairytale" is indeed an historic truth.


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Friday, April 14, 2006

Bitter Herbs

Dry Bones cartoon - passover matzah
According to Jewish law there are three modern veggies which can be used as the "bitter herbs" which ritual dictates that we eat. The three are lettuce, endives, and horseradish.

In the New York community in which I grew up there was only one. Horseradish. For some reason, the old geezers at the seder meal saw it as a sign of male pride to demonstrate the ability to swallow the painfully hot stuff.

In Israel it came as a shock to discover that horseradish is only an Ashkenazic tradition.

I don't buy the commercial stuff that comes in jars.
I grind my own.

Just grind up the killer root (pictured below). Mix with water and vinegar and add a pinch of sugar and salt. Stir it, spoon it into a bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and pop it into the fridge. The next day uncover the bowl and spoon the horseradish into screw-top jars.

A really simple process. The only problem is that the grinding of the horseradish produces fumes with the power of tear gas.

For a weaker mix grind up some beets and then add some of the pure stuff.

At our seder this year I and the other men calmly assured each other, through tear-streaming eyes and between fits of table-pounding anguish that the hazeret (Hebrew for horseradish) was not too strong for us.

I've become one of the geezers.
horseradish root
Horseradish Root

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Passover. Being there. (1995)

1995 Dry Bones cartoon - Pssover matzah
The Passover Haggadah teaches us to think of this Biblical event and turning point in our history as if each of us had been present at the Exodus from Egypt.
This cartoon is one attempt to see it that way.

The strange thing is that the generation that saw the plagues and that left slavery in Ancient Egypt did not know that they lived in the past.
They thought that they lived in the present, and that we live in the future.
Incredibly, there are generations of our people who think that we live in the past.


All the children yet to be born, the people of the future, who will look back at this dangerous, historic, heroic, and miraculous age we live in... and think of us as living in a mythical past.

The point is that on this holiday all of our generations, past, present, and future, stand together as witnesses to, and participants in the great saga of the "chosen people".

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Passover Matzah

Dry Bones cartoon - Passover Matzah
If the cartoon made you laugh then you're probably a carbohydrate addict.
Like me.
I LOVE matzah. Smeared with butter as a fast food. Fried matzah. Egg matzah. When I was a kid, before the days of cholesterol, we ate it spread with chicken fat (called schmaltz) and crispy bits of chicken crackling (called gribines).
Incredibly, non-carbohydrate junkies do find it to be a "bread of affliction".
Here's what a New York Jewish Lawyer has to say as an intro to an amazing posting on the topic called "The Matzah Wars":
"Matzah may be the least palatable food ever devised by man. But for a week, we must eat it, or tempt the wrath of God. So I've taken it upon myself to find the least offensive matzah on the market today."
For a more "orthodox" (i.e. non-culinary") take on the stuff just click here.

At the special ritual meal we participate in this evening (and the next night if you live outside of Israel) we retell the ancient story.
But perhaps I could describe the event, thousands of years ago that started it all. And forgive me if it's not the Disney version.

We were slaves in Egypt, and nine terrible plagues had not convinced our masters to let us go...
And then we were given a bizarre set of instructions.
Every family was, on the 10th of the month, to take a young healthy male lamb into its home. On the 14th of the month, at dusk, we were to slaughter the lamb and smear our doorways with its blood.
Then, after burning the whole lamb, we were to eat every part of it, while sitting locked in our homes holding walking sticks, wearing walking shoes, ready to leave, and eating bread made without yeast along with bitter herbs. And we were ordered to eat quickly! If by morning we had not completely devoured the sacrificial lamb we were to burn what was left again, and then to eat that!

While we were performing this weird and scary ritual, the spirit of God himself would pass through the land, passing over our homes and killing the first born of all who were not behind the blood-marked doors.
And this ritual meal was to be an annual remembrance of our liberation from slavery and our birth as a nation. And so we have celebrated that ritual meal of matzah and bitter herbs for all our generations to follow, down through the ages once each year, until the present.
And tonight's the night.

If you want to read about the scene the way the bible tells it just click on Exodus 12:1-28 .

a piece of matzah

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Big Cleanup (1995)

1977 Dry Bones cartoon - Searching For Hametz
The Biblical holiday of Passover (Pessah in Hebrew) begins tomorrow night at sunset.
In keeping with the sentiment of this cartoon from 1995, we'll take a break from politics and spend the next few days examining this holiday, its rituals, and its meaning.

Prior to the start of the holiday, during which Jews may not eat leavened bread (in Hebrew, Chametz or Hametz), our homes are cleaned and all leavened bread is removed. On the night before the first night of Passover, observant Jews do a symbolic search of their homes for any remaining crumbs of the forbidden food.

The family searches by candlelight, the father carries a little cup or dustpan into which the crumbs are swept with a feather or little broom. This search is called (in Hebrew) Bedikat Hametz. Later the Hametz will be burned.

Searching for Hametz 1886
Alphonse Levy

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Monday, April 10, 2006

The Lines Are Being Drawn

Dry Bones cartoon - Mubarak attacks the Shiites
Mubarak of Egypt speaks out about the danger of the Iranian-oriented Shiites of the Arab world, and the Iranian-sponsored civil war in Iraq.

It looks to me as if the lines are being drawn prior to military action.

To see what it looks like to some other bloggers in the region,
check out Big Pharaoh
and Freedom For Egyptians.

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Friday, April 07, 2006

The "New" America

Dry Bones cartoon - The AIPAC Sting.
This story is a real shocker.
It's such a bizarre perversion of Western morality and Judeo-Christian decency that I imagined the Joker toying with us in a quiz show that tests our knowledge of this "new" and twisted America.

If you haven’t been following the story of how, the FBI, disappointed after two years of fruitless wiretapping, decided that the only way to “get” these two AIPAC guys was to set up a sting operation. . . then click here.

Bushites and Bush-bashers alike are trying to figure out why the American administration is pushing this cruel and unusual prosecution.
Here is what Scatablog says, and here is Israpundit's opinion.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Putting Together a Coalition (1977)

1977 Dry Bones cartoon - Begin Builds a Coalition
Our government is a real democracy.

It works like this; you vote for a party that represents your point of view. If your party wins 10% of the vote, then it gets 10% of the seats in the Knesset (our parliament).

Then the members of the new Knesset have to create a new "government". They vote to decide who the new ministers will be, and to choose the new Prime Minister. This requires them to get down to hard negotiating and creative mutual back-scratching. We the people get to watch how the guys for whom we voted do in these negotiations. The new government will remain subject to the will of the Knesset. If, at a future point the Knesset decides that it no longer has "confidence" in the new government it "falls." The goal is to put together a coalition based on common goals with enough of a majority to weather future votes of "no confidence".

Putting together a coalition of parties to form a new government is the first task of any Knesset member who plans to form a government and become the Prime Minister. It really is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. As seen in the above cartoon, outside pressures are often ignored as the political system concentrates on the crucial job at hand.

At the time of this writing, in 2006, the puzzle is just as complicated:
"In the elections of March 2006, Kadima received 28 seats, significantly fewer than predicted. Only once before in Israeli history has a smaller party formed a government - in 1999 - and it lasted only 18 months." - Arutz Sheva


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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Warning Shot Across Their Bow!

Dry Bones cartoon - The Big Boom.

It's code named "The Divine Strake".
A Las Vegas Wedding blog quotes James Tegnelia, head of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency,
"June 2 will be a special day in the neon city... Vegas residents and tourists alike will be able to see a “mushroom cloud” emanating from a 700-ton explosion scheduled for June 2 at the Nevada Test Site."

the Vegas Bomb
Did the earth move for you too?


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Time, Grime, Slime (1977)

1977 Dry Bones cartoon - Time, Grime, Slime
On the day this cartoon appeared, I received a personal message from Time Magazine. A colleague at the Jerusalem Post (who also worked for Time) was instructed to "Tell that bastard that if he ever thought he'd get into Time Magazine, he can forget it now!"

Years later I received a call from a Time correspondent who was thinking of doing a full page profile on "Dry Bones." As I trotted out to meet him at a local watering hole in Jerusalem, my then-wife said, as if talking to a child, "Don't mention Time, Grime, Slime."

After a fabulous pre-interview, with the guy from Time scribbling on a yellow legal pad and mumbling "this is great stuff," and me downing "Black Russians" between pontificating (the hip bar where we met served large drinks and teenie sandwiches) he smiled at me and confided that he had a "special" Dry Bones cartoon which he kept "hidden" in his desk drawer at Time's Jerusalem office. Quick as a shot I guessed "Time, Grime, Slime?!"
The silence of his response was deafening. He'd "forgotten" about my "vicious slandering of Time magazine."

Later, when I returned home, and my then-wife asked how it went, I said "I mentioned Time, Grime, Slime."
All she said was "I knew you would."

Black Russians


Monday, April 03, 2006

The Hamas Predicament

Dry Bones cartoon - The Hamas Predicament

And when they ARE foced to make the declaration, the West will probably believe them.
The way that the West believed Arafat.

Since the invention of the Heinlich Maneuver in 1974, the technique has saved more than 100,000 US lives, including those of Cher, former President Ronald Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn, Walter Matthau, Carrie Fisher and Jack Lemmon.

Click on the photo of the good doctor below for more info.

Dr. Henry Heimlich
Dr. Henry Heimlich

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