Kids Planet: An Honest Game

A while ago, MIL bought Shlomo a tablet. We’re not fans of electronic toys, but okay. It’s had its ups and downs.

Recently, Shlomo found a new game: Kids Planet Discovery. It had been there since he beginning, but we hadn’t noticed it before.

This game is basically a geography game. It teaches a bit about other cultures, and has an activity that involves placing countries, states, and provinces in their proper place on the map. This activity has two levels: easy and difficult. In the easy level, you get outlines to guide you. In the difficult level, it’s just one big land mass and you figure it out for yourself.

kids_planet_discovery_2

Naturally, I tried out the Middle East section.

It had Israel with a piece cut out (Judea and Samaria). So I was peeved. But you know who got that extra piece?

Not some made-up country that never existed, called “Palestinian Territories.”

Jordan.

Jordan got that extra piece.

And I’m happy.

Because before 1967, Judea and Samaria were part of Jordan. The Muslims who lived there were Jordanian citizens. And then Israel won the war, and Jordan decided that they didn’t care what happened with Judea and Samaria anymore – let Israel have it, for all they care.

So Israel took it.

It was never, for one second, “Palestine,” or “Palestinian Territories.” Judea and Samaria, as well as parts of Jerusalem, used to belong to Jordan.

When it was “Palestine,” *all* of Israel was “Palestine,” and it was under British or Turkish rule. “Palestine,” as an independent country, never existed.

Jordan decided that it wasn’t worth fighting Israel for. And Israel conquered it from Jordan, and took control.

Muslims who lived in Judea and Samaria during the 1967 war say, “One day we were Jordanian citizens, in the middle of a war. The next day, the war was over, and Israel had won. And then someone took the star out of our flag and told us that we’re not Jordanian citizens anymore, we’re Palestinians. And we were like, huh?? What just happened?”

Okay, so I paraphrased and translated. But that’s how people remember it.

One day they were Jordanians. And the next day someone declared them Palestinians, and took the star out of the Jordanian flag, to create a new one.

Out of the blue. Completely and totally.

Now, the same world that wrote, “Jews, go to Palestine!” a few decades ago, is saying, “Jews, get out of Palestine.”

And they’re making up pretend countries to prove it.

But I’m happy with Kids Planet Discovery.

They didn’t give Judea and Samaria to Israel, it’s true.

But they DID give it to the only other country that can actually lay claim to that land – Jordan.

Because if you don’t like Israel, at least be honest about it. Don’t make up pretend countries.

 

Profiling Ain’t Equal

Today Yitzchak and I went on a tour of government offices.

Yitzchak held Shlomo’s hand. I pushed Tova’s stroller.

The security guard saw us, and let me through the stroller gate with both kids. I didn’t even pass through the metal detector. He told Yitzchak, who was holding the backpack, to wait in line.

Well, that’s curious, isn’t it? Is it because Yitzchak had the bag, and I had the stroller? Or because Yitzchak is a man, and I’m a woman?

I decided to ask. “Hey, excuse me? If it had been the opposite – he’d had the stroller and I had the bag, would you have done the same thing?”

He shook his head and chuckled a bit, slightly embarrassed. “No, it’s only you who can go through.”

“Okay, thanks.”

You think Yitzchak was insulted? Trust me, he wasn’t. He got it. We both got it.

And then it happened again.

This time, I had Shlomo and Yitzchak was pushing Tova in the stroller. The [female] security guard said, “Where to?”

I said, “Ministry X.” She said, “Okay,” basically took the stroller from Yitzchak and gave it to me. Then she pushed me and both kids through the door – no security check necessary. Yitzchak waited in the line.

But wait. Unlike the previous office, this time only I needed to go in.

Yitzchak couldn’t wait in line. He couldn’t go in at all. He had to wait outside. Why? Because he didn’t need an office, personally. He was just there to help.

As if I wanted to shlep both of them to the office on my own. Plus, Yitzchak needed the bathroom.

I was pissed because Yitzchak needed the bathroom, and we’d just walked through ten minutes of nearly constant secondhand smoke.

But yeah, okay. I get it. It IS smart and it DOES make sense.

(I just wish they’d ban smoking, fine the smokers 20,000 shekels per cigarette, and tell them to kill themselves where they’re not harming others. Smokers are selfish. Truly selfish. They care more about their own comfort than about the thousands of people they harm with their cigarettes. Did I say I hate smokers? Well, I do.)

And no, it’s not personal. Anyone can tell that Yitzchak is:

  • Jewish (i.e., not out to kill Jews for the sake of Allah and 70 virgins)
  • married (married men are, on the whole, less violent)
  • a dad (dads have more to lose)
  • Anglo
  • non of Middle Eastern descent
  • truly “chareidi” and not just pretending to be (chareidim are not known to be violent; they don’t want trouble)

There’s no *real* reason to hold him up. But those are the rules, and they are there for a reason.

I recognize the fact that most of the time, we get slack, because really and truly, we are not a threat.

I also recognize the fact that things have been “heating up” recently and therefore there is less slack to be given, across the board.

That’s life.

And I’m glad the rules are there, and that they are known and followed. Because it keeps us all safe.

I’m writing this because there’s a lot of noise about the “unfairness” of profiling.

Guys, I don’t care if it’s unfair. It works. Profiling is one of the best, if not *the* best, method of spotting terrorists and other threatening persons.

Get over it.

Use profiling.

And stop the kvetching about the unfairness.

Because, you know, life ain’t fair. Live with it.

To Hell With You, America and Europe

Yesterday morning, at 9am, a man stood leaning against the Yafo/King George light rail station. In Jerusalem, if you will.

A security guard walked up to him, asked him for his name and what he was up to. Asked him to open his bag.

The guy said, “No.”

The guard said, “Open your bag.”

“No.”

Guard took bag. Guard opened bag. Guard saw 3 pipe bombs connected to wires, a cell phone (for detonation), and knives.

Guard said, “Explosives! Explosives!”

Guard flipped guy on his back and said, “Move and I shoot.”

Other guards called the police. Civilians started to run. The light rail was stopped, in both directions, and the streets were blocked off.

The bombs were safely detonated.

The terrorist was arrested.

0 injured. 0 killed.

Thank G-d.

But not just thank G-d.

Thanks to the alert, trained, armed, knowledgeable, able security guards.

Security guards who aren’t afraid to offend, who aren’t afraid to profile, who aren’t afraid of being “racist.”

To hell with you America. To hell with you, Europe.

Because, New York, we all know that if this terrorist had been standing by the subway, he would’ve managed to detonate all 3 bombs AND go on a stabbing spree, before anyone knew the difference.

Because, Britain and France, we all know that if this terrorist had chosen your country instead of ours, he would’ve been wildly successful. Just like the terrorist who managed to run over 200 people in the span of 3 minutes, across a *kilometer and a half*. No one even thought to shoot that guy, until he pulled out his own gun and aimed it at a police officer.

Brilliant show, Europe.

To hell with you.

You know what, I’ll make you a deal:

You deal with your terrorists, the way you see fit.

And let us deal with our terrorists, the way we see fit.

Good luck to you.

I believe in Israel. And it’s time you did, too.

Why I Call Them Alphabets

It used to be LGB.

Then it became LGBT.

A few months ago, I saw they had added a letter – now it’s LGBTQ.

And yesterday I saw someone add another letter. So it’s LGBTQI.

And I have no idea how many more letters they’ll add. But I am pretty sure they will keep adding letters until they can’t think of any more letters to add.

Lesbians – most lesbians have the capacity to be bi. Or in other words, most lesbians choose to identify as lesbian, instead of choosing to live a normal, happy life. In fact, there are those who say that all women are bi. Hm.

Gays – The vast majority of gays are also bi. Meaning, they could marry a woman and lead a happy and fulfilling life. There are a few who are truly homosexual, and most of those are severely miswired and belong squarely in the DSM.

Bi – If you are bi, you have a choice. A real, true, choice. Just because you are attracted to both sexes, doesn’t mean that you NEED to show that to the world, or have partners of both genders. It means you can choose who to sleep with. It means you can choose to either identify as normal and lead a normal, happy life. Or you can choose to rebel and decide that you’re better off with the “gay” community. But it’s a choice. And in fact, there are those who can prove that all of humanity is bi. Which means that bi=bunk.

Trans – No one chooses to be trans. The trans community joined the LGB community because that was the only way they’d be recognized and the only hope they had of being accepted. Even today, the trans community is bullied. I would much rather have a trans woman in the public bathroom, than have a lesbian woman in there. But no – the media is bullying the trans crowd,  not the homosexual crowd. Why? A true trans knows that they are trans from childhood. They suffer from childhood. Let’s give them some slack. They are rare (thank G-d) but they are real and deserve support and sympathy.

Queer – Okay, queer just means that you don’t feel like identifying as anything. Most queers are either bi or lesbian. Therefore, they really don’t deserve their own letter. Nuff said.

Intersex – Like trans, intersex people are born that way. It used to be that the hospital staff would choose the sex right after birth, often based on the child’s DNA, and remove the excess parts. That often didn’t work, and the child ended up being homosexual and confused. So what needs to be done is to let the child grow and self-identify. And when they are sure of their gender, remove the extra parts. No reason to leave them intersex until adulthood. And no reason to use their problems to bolster your own ego and make your voice louder.

Since the LGBT movement has started making noise, the numbers have grown exponentially – much more than it would logically be if people were “coming out” or “born that way”. It’s a way to get attention, it’s a way to be unique, and it’s a way to make noise. And the best part? It feels like you’re fighting for a worthy cause. And so, people who would otherwise be straight and happy, decided to join the LGBT crowd.

Let’s stop adding letters and stop making noise.

What I Think of The Alphabets

First of all, I don’t have anything against alphabets.

But I do think that they have something against us. Or maybe just against society in general.

Listen, society has rules. Set rules. We try to make them moral rules.

Being an alphabet isn’t moral – historically, ethically, religiously (any religion). And as much as they’d like for us to believe otherwise, historically, homosexual relationships were almost always pedophile relationships – an older man with a younger, apprentice/ servant/ student boy.

Not only that, but really, the only reason why LGBT was taken out of the DSM was because someone forked over a lot of money in bribes, and smeared it with a heavy layer of guilt and shame.

Honestly, I have no hatred, or any real ill feelings, towards the alphabet. Nor do I have said feelings towards LGBTQ people.

But they are starting to piss me off.

The noise.

The shaming.

The anyone-who-doesn’t-make-me-feel-special-is-primitive-and-selfish.

Listen.

Society has rules. You live your life, and I’ll live mine.

But if you break one of society’s rules, don’t expect us to make an exception for you.

You can have kids out of wedlock. Or you can have kids after marriage.

You can marry an opposite-gender person, or marry a same-gender person.

You can buy a house together. You can find a surrogate or sperm donor or whatever else you want.

But we don’t need to remake the rules so that they’re convenient for you.

You made a choice. Your choice has natural consequences.

My husband and I can’t choose who gets Mom’s tax points and who gets Dad’s. We can’t choose which parent’s work counts for a daycare credit. Why should you be able to choose those things?

If a heterosexual couple doesn’t pass muster and can’t adopt – they’ll get no support. Well, they weren’t fit. So they didn’t pass. Boo hoo.

But oy vey, if a homosexual couple is refused? They’ll take it to social media, do a few rounds of shaming, take it to the news and complain about how they were rejected because of sexual orientation.

And in the end, they’ll get what the want.

The same goes for jobs. For taxes. For whatever they want.

Why?

Why do alphabets have more rights than anyone else?

These are people who choose to call themselves “gay” because they wanted to prove that they’re happy. They’re not happy. They’re confused and conflicted people who are either seriously miswired, or are seriously confused.

They want attention. Lots of it. Live and let live isn’t good enough.

They need to make a stir. They need to make noise and get as much attention as possible.

What do you do when a kid is misbehaving in order to get attention?

What do you do when they are screaming in your ear when you’re on the phone?

You ignore them. And eventually, they stop bothering you, because it’s not working.

And you know what? If we ignore the LGBTQ noise, they’ll stop making the noise.

Today, it’s impossible to say anything that isn’t 1000% pro-LGBTQ without being called bigot, racist, mysoginist, hateful, closed-minded, whatever.

What happened to freedom of speech, for those of us who want to keep the family structure and moral values intact?

You live your life. And let us live ours.

You make your choices. And let us make ours – without telling us that our choices aren’t fair.

Listen, if your friend chose to divorce, there are going to be serious social repercussions. But guess what?

She chose that. It’s her choice. And she has to suffer the consequences.

Well, so do you.

I’m not saying marry someone you can’t stand. I’m not saying stay single.

I’m just saying, accept that fact that choices have outcomes, and that we can’t have it all. And stop asking us to change laws to make your choices more widespread, acceptable, and painless – because it’s hurting the rest of us.

So just stop.

Stop.

Listen, Orlando wasn’t okay.

But it wasn’t okay because ISLAMIC TERRORISM IS NEVER OKAY.

Because killing innocent people IS NEVER OKAY. It doesn’t matter if they’re homo or hetero. As long as they haven’t endangered anyone but themselves – you may NOT kill them.

Let’s stop talking about the fact that the homo pervert who killed homos, killed homos in a homo club [that he had been frequenting for 3 years prior; and also that his first wife divorced him because he was homo].

And let’s start talking about the fact that he swore allegiance to ISIS, is a radical Muslim, and thinks that killing non-Muslims will get him into paradise.

Hm. Did you know that Allah gives 72 virgins to anyone who kills an infidel? This homo guy doesn’t want 72 female virgins. Will Allah give him 72 male virgins instead? Somehow, I don’t think so.

How I Knew Esti Weinstein Wasn’t Missing

When I saw that a woman, a mother of 7, was missing for a few days, I raised an eyebrow and was kind of worried. I knew they’d find her in the end, and I knew she wouldn’t be alive when they found her.

I also was about 90% sure that she’d committed suicide.

How?

Simple. People go missing in Israel for three main reasons:

  1. Terror attack – in which case we usually know that there was a terrorist involved and that they were kidnapped. Here, the article made no mention of hitchhiking, terror, or anything related. Also, there wasn’t a terror attack near her when she disappeared.
  2. Kidnapping – this usually happens when the person is a minor and was kidnapped by a psycho family member. Sometimes it’s a psycho friend, but that’s even rarer than the family member. She wasn’t a minor, so this wasn’t a kidnapping.
  3. Suicide- someone, usually an adult, disappears mysteriously, after a longstanding estrangement or after a history of mental illness (LGBT counts as mental illness, too).
  4. (Really, 3a.) Once in a while someone gets lost while on a hike, after refusing to take a cell phone, not taking a hat, and not bringing enough water. Or maybe he walked into a dangerous area. I’m never sure if these people should be awarded Darwin awards for their stupidity, or if they wanted to commit suicide in a less obvious fashion.

Since numbers 1 and 2 were obviously *not* the reason this woman (who I later realized was named Esti Weinstein; at first I just looked at her picture without reading – you know, because that’s what good citizens do) disappeared . . . it was clear to me that she’d committed suicide.

Unfortunately, as is the case in most of these kinds of things, I was right.

Let’s leave aside the issue of blame for a minute. It really doesn’t matter if the community is to blame, if her family is to blame, or if she suffered from her own decisions. There’s something that needs to be pointed out here:

This woman had a mental illness. She had a history of suicide attempts. And she was, in three words, a tortured soul.

I don’t know who suffered more – her, or her family. I know that her personal suffering has ended, and I think that is a good thing. She is at peace, finally.

And I don’t think we should be judging anything, or anyone, except ourselves.

Every community shuns those who don’t live up to its standards. EVERY community.

If we don’t want to see any more suicides, we need to learn to identify the warning signs, and how to wrap every member of our communities – even if they break some of the rules – in a blanket of love.

Suicides happen in every community. And anyone who says otherwise is playing Ostrich, and should join Obama Bin Laden, king of Ostrich, in his white cave.

What’s More Appalling?

I kvetch to Mom. A lot. And I mean, a LOT. Yitzchak and I haven’t had the easiest year or so, to say the least. And honestly, it’s taken its toll. On us, emotionally, on our relationship, on how we parent.

We’re not perfect, by far. And yeah, we have a lot of work. We’re working on it. It’s tough, but we’ll get there.

So one day a few weeks ago, I was kvetching to Mom, this time about Yitzchak. I mean, he listens to his mommy and respects her – maybe she can help him see that I’m not as crazy as he thinks I am? (That was a mistake, BTW. Because he isn’t thrilled with all of her parenting skills – so if I agree with her, then he sees that as an issue. Well. I didn’t know that. And I had to explain that on *this specific issue* I agree with her – not on the rest of it, necessarily. Sigh.)

Mom mentioned a few things, some true and some not. She told me what her opinion is on some of the stuff, okay, I get it. She had some good points, and there are some things that I won’t argue about, because we’ve mutually decided not to argue those points.

A few days later, Yitzchak says that Mom spoke to him, and during the conversation, she asked if we were thinking of breaking up.

WHAT?!?!?

Where’d she get THAT?!?!

Okay. We are having slight communication issues. We do not see eye-to-eye on everything. And we are going through a rough patch.

But we are *trying* to fix that. We even made up a rule chart, that has less to do with house rules as it does with making sure that we’re on the same page re daily routines . . . so we don’t get surprised, sidetracked, told, or bribed differently [by a certain Someone].

The goal, and the reason I spoke to Mom in the first place, is to fix our communication issues.

Separating was not even on the table. Still isn’t.

Because that won’t solve the issues, it’ll just make it worse.

Because breaking a marriage, especially once you’ve had kids, isn’t the solution to anything, except in extreme cases of one side abusing the other.

Because, well, it’s just not an option.

Because even if we don’t agree on everything, that doesn’t make either of us less of a good person.

Wait. She’s worried that we’ll break up? Or she kind of wants us to? Is that why she suggested that we each go for counseling, separately, and explained something about how it’s better than going together? Maybe I picked the wrong person?

No. It can’t be that she wants us to break up. She knows that Yitzchak is happier married to me than he was a long time prior. And besides, if we got divorced, that would put an end to her hopes for more grandkids, until someone else got married – and no one else is even engaged yet. It CAN’T be that she wants us divorced. Mom wants more grandkids too much (even if she’ll never admit to it), and we’re her only source of them (as we are to my parents).

Well, I sent Mom a text, reassuring her that divorce wasn’t on the table, and that I’m not sure how she thought it was.

Two days later she called me up. She wanted to make sure that I didn’t think Mom wanted us to break up – she was just worried. Of course, like a good daughter-in-law, I assured her that I’d never thought she wanted us to break up – I just didn’t know why she was worried about it. (Yes, I sort-of lied. No, she doesn’t read this blog.) And then we talked for a while, about related and unrelated things.

I still don’t agree with Mom 1000% about everything. She knows that. And she knows that we can still respect each other, despite our differences of opinion.

I’m still kind of appalled that she thought we were even thinking of separating, especially under the circumstances.

But on the other hand, why is what Mom thought more appalling than those who think my life is perfect and that I don’t understand hardships of any sort?

 

Trump Gets It, Obama Doesn’t

Okay, I have finally decided. If I vote, I think it will be for Trump.
 
Yitzchak is going to call me a one-issue voter, and tell me that he votes not just based on a candidate’s policy towards Israel/ PA, but also based on a lot of other factors: internal policies, economics, whatever. But you know, he has his vote and I have mine.
 
If I choose to vote (and I’m not sure ANY of the candidates are worth that amount of effort, since I’m voting overseas – and neither is he), then I am going to have to say, Trump seems the most honest, and the most sane, when it comes to my personal worries – which are mostly centered around Israeli security.
 
You know why we stopped Operation Protective Edge? Because of Obama bin Laden. The two-faced liar.
 
So while I don’t believe that Trump loves Jews or Israel, I do believe that he is an equal-opportunity hater, and hates everyone who isn’t a WASP – and I also believe that Muslims are higher on his “most-hated” list than Israel and Jews. Plus, at least he tells us what he thinks, instead of lying to our faces like everyone else does.
 
IF I vote, I will vote Trump.
 
IF. That’s a BIG “if”.
 
And you know, if Yitzchak votes for the other guy, well, we just canceled each other out, right? No biggie. That’s what we did in 2008 – he voted Obama (because he was scared of Palin), and I voted McCain (because I was scared of Obama).
 

Placebo Helps Everything

Shlomo has a very, very low-grade fever. As *the* paranoid mom, I am obviously freaking out. But that’s not the point right now, is it? No, it’s not.

At any rate, he is sitting on the toilet and complaining of a headache. Now, this headache could be from four things:

  • he’s pushing too hard
  • he’s cried and screamed enough to give himself a headache
  • he really does have a headache
  • he’s making up an excuse, to get attention or to get out of pooping (please, no “don’t make your kid poop” criticism – this is what it is, and there is good reason for it).

Yitzchak wanted to give him Akamoli (kiddie Tylenol). And I said NO. Big NO.

Why? For the simple reason that Akamoli will completely cover up his symptoms. And I need to see the symptoms in order to judge what he has and how urgently he needs to see a doctor. Until now, he hasn’t really complained enough to justify the Akamoli. I want to see if, after he’s off the toilet, he still has a headache or if it magically goes away.

Because it’s important.

Well, Shlomo didn’t like that I nixed his yummy Akamoli. He wanted medicine. It’s strawberry flavored, guys. And Tova has received a fair bit of it lately (teething, anyone?), so Shlomo wants some, too. I get him. I do.

That doesn’t change the facts.

So Yitzchak made Shlomo a new headache medicine. It’s *the* best medicine for headaches, and works terrifically well for many other things, too.

It’s called Placebo.

It tastes really good. It’s the same 5ml that we would’ve given him anyways. And it helps Shlomo feel better, while letting me observe his symptoms.

Placebo really is the greatest medicine in the world.

The only thing is, Yitzchak doesn’t have red Placebo. He only has it in clear.

Therefore, Shlomo is protesting. Will he take the medicine or not?

As of right now, he’s refusing. But his headache went away, anyways (bingo, Mom!), so it’s not too relevant. We’ll save his special Placebo medicine for later, just in case he needs it.

I wonder how many years it will be before Shlomo learns what “placebo” actually means. It’s a Hebrew-speaking country, so it may take a while.

In the meantime, Yitzchak is playing doula to Shlomo’s poop. Ugh. But it’s working, sooo . . . I guess it’s all good.

Update: As soon as he was off the toilet, Shlomo’s headache disappeared. Hmmm . . .

While Kids Play

Last Wednesday, Yitzchak and I took the kids to Be’er Sheva, to see the old train. Long story short, we were kind of disappointed. And Shlomo was *very* disappointed.

Before we went home, we stopped by the mall near the central bus station. On the second floor, it has a kiddie “gymboree” – a padded area with foam horses to sit on, a plastic backyard slide, and a plastic seesaw. It’s free.

Well, we got there, and Shlomo wasn’t happy. There were too many older kids there, and he was “scared”. (The older kids weren’t supposed to be there, by the way.)

So Yitzchak took Shlomo into a store to window shop, and I watched Tova play.

There must have been a total of ten to fifteen kids there, and five other mothers.

Only one mother didn’t have her face in a smartphone, and even she was talking for almost ten minutes on her phone, while she watched her kid.

And I ask . . . why?

You’re sitting here. You came here for your kid. (Yitzchak says, they came to get a break from their kids. I hope he’s wrong.)

Why aren’t you paying attention to him (or her)?

Watch the kid. Talk to your kid when he or she comes over. If your kid is little, help him out.

Why did everyone except me have their face in a smartphone?

That’s just sad.