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2016 or 2020? The Losing Strategy of Centrism

It feels like it’s 2016 all over again for the Democrats. Fighting through an overcrowded field of initially over 20 candidates, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have emerged as the frontrunners for presidential nominee in the Democratic Party. Both candidates are wildly different from each other on nearly every issue from healthcare, to student debt, climate change, and everything in-between. Biden represents a resurgent albeit uninspiring consensus of a panicked  Democratic Establishment (comprised of the DNC and its wealthy donors, not African American voters as a confused Biden recently suggested) that has made this same bet on centrists before with Walter Mondale, Al Gore, John Kerry, and most recently, Hillary Clinton—and each time we lost big to Republicans. Conversely, Sanders represents a party running to the left, fed up with the imbalance of wealth and power in the American political system, Bernie embodies a progressive vision for an America that works for everyone, not corpor…
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For or Against: Complicating the American Dialogue on Israel

The following piece was originally published here under the title "Am I pro-Israel or anti-Israel? I hate this question!" as a featured post in The Times of Israel Blogs.  The Jews of America are exhausted. The past three years under Trump have been a perplexing and somber reminder that antisemitism and racism are alive and well. Since Trump’s election we’ve witnessed white supremacists march in the streets of Charlottesville, threats and vandalism on synagogues and Jewish community centers, assassination attempts on multiple high-profile Jewish Democrats, and in Pittsburg, the deadliest mass shooting of Jews in American history.  The GOP and an increasingly irritable Donald Trump have weaponized cries of antisemitism for right wing causes, almost never on behalf of the majority of diaspora Jews, but instead co-opting extremist Israeli views (such as withholding civilian aid to Gaza and the West Bank) as their own and dangerously casting them representative of the American Je…

To love your neighbor is to respect them first: musings on egalitarian prayer at the Kotel

The following piece was originally published here in The Times of Israel Blogs.  *** And God said, “let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen. 1:26) From the very beginnings of our scriptural tradition, the emphasis in our being made in the likeness of God is very clear. B’Tzelem Elohim, or, “in God’s Image”, is one of the most commonly cited values of Progressive Jewish organizations in the United States today. Among the other values held by these organizations is “Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Bazeh” or “all Israel is responsible for another.” This text, originating from Shavuot 39a, is Talmudic, and very much a binding principle of our Rabbinic tradition. Of course, the term ‘Israel’ here applies to the people of Israel, the Israelites; or in our modern context, the Jewish people. We are obligated by Judaism’s scriptural and rabbinic law to share responsibility for those in our community, and to be inclusive of them, for we are all equal in our origins and in our worthiness…

Tap Tap! The Apple Watch Review

7 A.M, I wake up to a gentle ringing and pick up my beautiful silver Apple Watch from the pseudo-charging cradle that lays beside my bed on a nightstand: it is time for another day with my latest toy and companion.

As I shower, watch on wrist, I shift through Bob Dylan and Joan Baez tracks while checking the weather and responding to late night texts I had missed. The watch, although quoted to be water resistant, is in actuality waterproof for short periods of time and ignorant to certain low water pressures.

On my drive to the office my watch vibrates with a reminder to call my friend David, who I easily ask Siri to call and I talk to from my watch. Is this real life? Sure is! The sound isn't tinny, it's not booming either, but just loud and clear enough to enjoy the conversation instead of dreading it.

Throughout the work day I receive dozens of light taps that don't annoy me the way my obnoxious Pebble did (vibrating so loud it would shake the table under my wrists). The…

An In-Depth Look At OS X Yosemite Beta (10.10)

DISCLAIMER: DO NOT INSTALL THIS ON YOUR MAIN MACHINE UNLESS YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH BETA SOFTWARE, OS X LIBRARIES, DARWIN, OR UNIX. THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL OPERATING SYSTEM AND IS NOT MEANT FOR DAILY USE UNTIL FINAL RELEASE IN THE FALL. 
Mac OS X was released on March 24th, 2001 to Apple customers running PowerPC Macintosh computers in a world before 9/11 occurred, or a war on terror, or iPhones and iPods even existed. Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah was perhaps the most advanced Operating System to ever erupt from a company- way bigger, more intuitive, and much more beautiful than Microsoft's Windows XP, also released August that year. It was the first Apple OS to include protective memory, preemptive multitasking, a UNIX-based kernel, and the ubiquitous and delicious "Aqua" user interface. Here's a picture of what it looked like, compliments of Wikipedia.


As you can see, Mac OS X was beautiful back then. And it's beautiful today too. Here's a picture I just …

My Take on Wearable Computing

A little watch history: In 1983, Casio developed the G-Shock in an attempt to ruggedize the wristwatch for rougher environments.
Today, G-Shocks run anywhere from $60-$1700, and have a variety of high-tech features. The latest G-Shock features a low-powered bluetooth chip allowing two-way communication with an iPhone and a select number of Android phones, allowing users to receive calls and play music.
The G-Shock is transforming from a watch into a wearable computer. And Casio is not the only company exploring this middle ground.
Pebble and Samsung have released true multi-purpose wristwatches, more affectionately named smartwatches. Apple is rumored to be releasing their own unit within the year. Google is on a fast-track to releasing its own wearable computer: Glass, which rests on the head instead of the wrist. Many more companies are rumored to be working on devices users can wear to connect to a smartphone.
In fact, the smartwatch could be thought of as the next generation of sma…

Editorial - The Future of the Chromebook: Another Netbook or a Notebook Replacement?

I'm a pretty devoted user of Chrome and Chrome OS. I have three machines in my house that run the OS, and a work machine running the Chrome browser. I have made it my goal to use Google's Chrome operating system whenever possible. So far, I have only had one reason to use my old broken-down MacBook, and that was so I could burn a few CDs for my car. Other than that, I have relied primarily on my Chrome OS machines, an Acer Nettop running Chromium OS, an Acer C7 (my main machine) running Chrome OS, and my Samsung Chromebook also running Chrome OS. I have found tons of awesome ways to do what I normally would have done on my MacBook, and I have not missed using it at all. Not being near my Chromebooks makes me miss them. It simply is a better way to compute. Everything from word processing, to blog management, to news, music, movies, and of course, browsing the web, is better on the Chromebook. Yet, the question has arisen: will Chromebooks rise like the Netbook and stay that wa…