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Joe Lieberman, Twitter, the New Yorker, Jews, New Orleans, Dan Baum and Me

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What is the word or phrase that means things converge - beyond simple chance - and seemingly not for any particular reason? Can't think of the word but this is the situation.

Last week I was chatting with a friend about local Boulder writers we knew and we could not remember the name of someone. "You know, that guy who wrote that book about New Orleans - it had a great review in the Times." We couldn't remember his name.

Two days later my sister emailed me about a Jeffrey Goldberg blog post which referenced Joe Lieberman's lack of support for a public option for health care reform. That is why she sent it to me. It was really more about Dan Baum. Here is the link.

This caused a bit of a tempest. I am not sure about the chronology but Instaputz got involved as did The Tablet, Gawker and others.

Dan Baum, blogosphere (in)famous for tweeting about his departure from the New Yorker, wrote an email with the subject line "Jews" asking all his Jewish friends and colleagues to contact Lieberman in an attempt to change his position regaridng health care reform bill. I replied to my sister that I actually knew Dan Baum and he lived in Boulder.

I met Dan in a class for parents of Bar/Bat Mitzvah students in 2005. This being Boulder, we were part of congregation that was more than a bit non-traditional. I think every parent, except me, had left Judaism for several years or dabbled in Buddhism and things much more exotic. These parents had such troubled relationships with Hebrew School and Judaism that they were concerned that their children not have a Jewish experience that would lead to 40 years of wandering in the religious desert. We were asked to describe our feelings about our Judasim. Dan was more well-spoken and a bit more reticent about the whole Judaism/Mitzvah situation then the rest of us. I heard he had written for the Wall Street Journal and was working for the New Yorker. That was really all I knew about Dan.

The day after my sister emailed me about Lieberman and Baum, Dan's smiling face was in the Daily Camera (the Boulder newspaper). Dan and another author were going to discuss their books at the Boulder Public Library. That when I tried to think of the word that describes when a person or a thing you never think about starts to appear unusually frequently.

I have not read Dan's book Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans but after hearing him speak and listening to the responses of those who had read the book, I will read it soon. Tweeting about the New Yorker and exhorting Jews to contact Lieberman have nothing to do with the fact that we have a writer, right here in Boulder, who has received excellent reviews.

And, if any of you can think of that word or phrase that is less dramatic than "a perfect storm" but more resonant than "coincidence" please let me know.