Nick Gillespie on Jake Tapper

While reading Reason’s take on last night’s town hall shown on CNN I saw this gem:

…it’s good to see a thoughtful, well-informed news anchor and interlocutor who consistently asks difficult questions of all his guests and also gives them the time to answer.

I’m in complete agreement with Mr. Gillespie. I’ve been a fan of Tapper since his days as White House correspondent at ABC.

Prophet Isaiah’s seal found?

This is potentially a big discovery.

The oval-shaped bulla, however, is not intact. On its legible portion, there is an inscription with First Temple Hebrew letters that seem to spell out the name l’Yesha’yah[u] (Belonging to Isaiah). On a line below, there is the partial word nvy, which presumably spells out “prophet.”

The usual disclaimers about initial findings applies. The findings may change based on additional research.

Superman to be Jewish?!

Brian Michael Bendis who wrote almost every single comic for Marvel for what seems like forever, left the Merry Marching Society and is now working for their rival D.C.

Being that Bendis is Bendis D.C. decided he should be writing one of their tentpole characters, Superman (his first issue will be in May). Here is where things get a little interesting for me. Bendis seems to want to somehow give the Big Blue Boy Scout a connection to Judaism.

I feel it’s important to point out that Bendis doesn’t say anything explicit about giving Superman any kind of Jewish heritage (otherwise I would have quoted it here). However there are hints that Jewish comic fans may be interested in when his first issue hits the stands in May.

Thoughts about “Thoughts and Prayers”

It’s really upsetting to read about another school shooting like the one that happened yesterday in Florida.  I believe that there is a middle ground somewhere to be had so that basic freedoms are kept and guns are out of the hands of people that shouldn’t have them. The fact that the perpetrator of this heinous crime seems to have gotten the guns legally seems to indicate there is a failure somewhere in this process.

What exactly should be done is a debate for (maybe) another post. For the time being I’ll direct you to what I think is a very reasoned post from Reason.com (pun is completely unintentional – this time) about this topic. The main thing I wanted to talk about is the much maligned phrase “thoughts and prayers”. I think that people who lampoon, make fun, or chastise those who use the phrase are wrong. I completely understand their anger but I think it is misplaced.

It’s misplaced because this always falls along the political side you’re on about this topic. For example, those who believe that there should be very strict gun laws will only chastise the people on the other side of the opinion about using the phrase. If someone on their political team would use it there would be nothing but crickets. (I also think Twitter and the “hot take” have seriously degraded conversation and debate about controversal topics but that is maybe another post for another time.)

However the main thing reason these people should not be chastised is because right now what else is there to do for the people going through the hardship? Let’s take Joe (or Jane) Politician. Unless the politician is local to the incident, they really can’t do anything else. Could Politician have done something preventive so the horrific event doesn’t occur? Maybe they could have but in the here and now there isn’t really anything else Politician can do aside from offering “thoughts and prayers”.

Maybe you would argue that the politician really doesn’t mean that and they is just offering lip service? That is a very cynical approach to things and in a situation like a school shooting I would presume that the use of the phrase “thoughts and prayers” is heartfelt.

Let’s start trying to raise the level of discourse and start giving people who want to offer “thoughts and prayers” the benefit of the doubt that they really mean what they say.

More about Jews in comics

I know that I have written about this previously but this is a topic that really interests me. About two months ago in a issue of Ms. Marvel an honest to goodness Orthodox Jew was introduced as a supporting character in the book. What’s more interesting is that the character is treated with respect and his beliefs are respected.

Another interesting aspect of this introduction is the writer of the book G. Willow Wilson took the time to be interviewed by Tablet Magazine and she shows an amazing amount of sensitivity to the subject. I’m now a fan of her work just because how thoughtful and sensitive she is to these kinds of things.