A Hope Worth Remembering

I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.” — Bob Hope

Born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, England on May 29, 1903, Bob Hope emigrated to the United States with his family when he was four years old. He died July 27, 2003, in Los Angeles, California, at age 100.

Mr. Hope’s entertainment career spanned vaudeville, radio, film, television and live performances. A comedian, actor, singer and dancer, Mr. Hope was also a humanitarian. For 50 years, he went on the road to entertain American troops, wherever they were stationed. In 1997, he became the only person in history to be designated an “honorary veteran,” for his dedication to the U.S. Armed Forces.

The video clip below is an episode of a Dean Martin Celebrity Roast of Bob Hope, featuring Don Rickles. It was broadcast on October 31, 1974. Among the guests seated at the dias were Bob Hope, Jack Benny, John Wayne, James Stewart, Ginger Rogers, Howard Cosell, Phyllis Diller, Flip Wilson, Rich Little, Milton Berle, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Governor Ronald Reagan, Reverend Billy Graham, General Omar Bradley, Astronaut Neil Armstrong, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, President Gerald Ford, and Mr. Hope’s wife Dolores.

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What if they created a crisis and nobody came?

On Wednesday there was a very funny post at Exurban League: Obama Reaches Out to ‘Moderate’ Pirate Community. Well, why not?

If, like me, you are concerned about the path to perdition that is the Obama administration’s foreign policy (and domestic policy), you can still find an abundance of very dark humor (no pun intended) in this band of clever bumblers. How about President Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (side note: how did we get to this??), who has signed on to the concept of talking to “moderate Taliban” in Afghanistan? Maybe the staff at CNN is taking this seriously, but you can almost hear the guffaws over at the Huffington Post, not exactly a hot-bed of conservatism.

So it’s not much of a stretch to imagine the One looking for a negotiating partner among the outlaw-Muslim terrorists of the Indian Ocean. Just a minute. He has done just that.

Remember Vice President Joe Biden’s words of warning to Mr. Obama’s supporters last year? “Gird your loins.” he said. “Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama …. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

Here’s a question: What if the world tested “this guy” and nobody noticed? Let’s take a look at the events of the past three or four days. How about the North Korean test launch of a missile that could reach Hawaii or Alaska with a nuclear warhead? What about Iran’s “Nuclear Day” announcement that they now have 7,000 centrifuges (up from 6,000) and a new plant for developing uranium fuel? What about Somali Muslim terrorists hijacking an American ship on the high seas, and taking the captain hostage?

Never mind, because today the President is talking about housing.

Rock the Matzah

Passover or Pesach begins on the 15th day of Jewish month of Nissan in the Diaspora, which this year is the evening of April 8, 2009. It commemorates the Exodus from Egypt and deliverance to freedom after enduring many generations of enslavement. Unleaven bread, or matzah, is eaten for the eight days of the festival. The matzah is symbolic of the Jews’ rush in leaving Egypt. The bread they prepared for their meals did not have time to rise.

To all of my Jewish and Christian friends celebrating with a seder, here is a musical video performed by Michelle Citrin and William Levin, featuring 20 suggestions of things to do with leftover matzah.

Ms. Citrin is a diminuitive performer with a big voice. You can hear more of her music at myspace.com/michellecitrin. William Levin is an animator, known as the Jewish Robot.