Friday, October 12, 2007

Empty Quiver

This Table Talk is dedicated to the recovery of Rochel Leah bas Chaya Sara, a 4 1/2 year old girl who was just diagnosed with leukemia, among all the other ill among us.

If you have children at the table, this is the week to engage them in the story of Noah's ark - "there's gonna be a floody-floody”). Question for them: Why on Earth would God would save Noah and his family and no one else?

The rest of this Table Talk is definitely not for children....

How would you like your end-of-the-world served?

With a sunny blue-sky morning, like September 11, 2001? Or a tempest of rolling thunder...? Mushroom cloud, anyone?

I have tried very hard to steer clear of the conspiracy-theory area of my brain. But the B-52 incident is just too juicy to ignore.

Here are some facts:

1 - On August 30, 2007, a B-52 bomber flew from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Base in Louisiana with 6 armed nuclear missiles in the left bomb bay. This fact was leaked to the media and confirmed by the Air Force.
2 - Notice in the story linked above, the original report (based on a leak from someone at Barksdale) reported that only 5 nukes were found.
3 - Nukes cannot be moved around without tons of authorizations and sophisticated tracking.
4 - Once the story was out on September 10, the Air Force admitted that it had happened in “error” but the official story is that 6 nukes were transported, and that is the number reported by the AP and all media since.
5 - The plane sat unguarded (except for a chain link fence) on the Barksdale runway for about 10 hours before someone there noticed what the payload was.
6 Several of the personnel affiliated with Minot and Barksdale at the time and over the summer are now dead:

- Adam Barrs, July 3, crashed into a tree outside the base
- 1st Lt. Weston Kissel, B-52 Pilot, July 17, motorcycle accident while on leave to Tennessee
- Airman 1st Class Todd Blue, assigned to B-52 security, Sept 10, found dead while on leave in Virginia
- An officer from Barksdale Base and his wife, Sept 15, motorcycle accident in Shreveport

7. An additional mysterious Air Force death occurred on August 30 (the day of the flight) when Special Forces Major John Frueh, father of 2 young children in Florida, after a friend's wedding in Portland was found dead a week later near Mt. St. Helens.
8. Master Sgt. Melvin Peele, Sept 12, killed by a forklift in a parking lot, at
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (location of missile decommissioning).

I have verified these facts via local media sources and correspondence with investigative reporters.

In nuke-speak, an “incident” is nicknamed “broken arrow”. A missing nuke is called an “empty quiver”.

I’m not starting to quiver yet, but I would really like to be reassured that nothing is going on and that the air force is in control of our WMDs. Because it is hard to avoid the conclusion that at least one of these options must be true: either the air force has become incompetent, or we've only seen the tip of the iceberg here.

What, me worry?

One more question – if it were the end of the world, what soundtrack would you choose?

In honor of the 90th anniversary of the birth of Thelonious Monk this week, I nominate this track:

(that’s him in the yarmulke on the piano)

Hmm...that was so good. Let's do another:

Shabbat Shalom.

Sukkot in Iraq:

Speaking schedule:
October 15 – Burlingame, Calif., Peninsula Temple Sholom, “The Art of Amazement”
October 16 – Mill Valley: “The Kabbala of Jewish History”
October 17 – Los Angeles: “The Kabbala of Jewish History” (for singles)
October 18 – Los Angeles: “Art of Amazing Marriage Pt 2 – How to Have a Good Fight”

(For details, send an email)

Einstein quote of the week:
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
- Albert Einstein

Yiddish of the week:
yarmulke – skull cap

Yiddish review – how many do you remember?
anee — poor person
koptsen — panhandler
ballaboss — homeowner; layman
nu — various meanings (see archives)
mishpocha — family
mameh — mother
tateh — father
mazal — (MAH-z'l) luck or fortune, as in, "It was good mazal that...."
beshert — (b'shairt) - meant to be, as in "It was beshert that..."
mine eltern — my parents
mine lair-er — my teacher
hamantashen — Haman-pockets
zeigezunt — all the best (said upon parting)
kesher — connection
Ikh volt veln a kave, zayt azoy gut. — I'd like a coffee, please.
...kave mit shmant. — ...a coffee with cream.
...kave mit milkh. — ...a coffee with milk.
...kave mit tsuker. — ...a coffee with sugar.
Di Fir Kashes — The Four Questions
Oy vey! — Good grief!
mensch — a decent person
rachmanus — mercy
neshoma (neh-SHOH-ma) — soul
minig — custom, as in, "Why do you do that?" "It's my minig!"
Gavaltig — wonderful
Oy gavalt — How wonderful (sarcastic)
Azoy gait es! — That's how it goes!
Shabbos — Cessation; stopping; day of cessation; weekly Sabbatical experience.
("Gut Shabbos" — "Enjoy your weekly sabbatical experience")
neshoma — Soul
meshugass — insanity
meshuganeh — insane
kyna hara — no evil eye
shvitz - sweat
shanda – shame
L’chayim! - Cheers!
Pinteleh Yid - the Jewish feeling in the heart of every Jew
Zreezus – zeal
m’kohm – place (pl. mkohmas)
mamalashen – mother tongue
kvetch – complaint
kvell – burst with pride
bashert – meant to be, pre-destined, as in, “He’s my bashert” or “It was bashert that...”
hishtadlus – effort, due diligence; as in, “Do your hishtadlus and let Hashem worry about it.”
Yiddishe kopf – Jewish knowledge and perspective (lit., Jewish head)
Gut yahr! – Happy New Year!
Gut yontiv – Happy Holiday (chag sameach)

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