19 September 2016

Those Damn Amish Are At It Again!

These "apparent terrorist" attacks have been so entertaining! I just knew it was a matter of time before we could blame the Amish for these so-called attacks. They're just blowing stuff up all the time these days. Attacks in France, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Lebanon, United Kingdom... and now New Jersey, New York, Minnesota and Utah! Those Amish sure get around. I'm so glad after mistakenly giving 868 US citizenships to uh, 'problematic people'... we're importing thousands more that we aren't 100% sure that we can vet properly. I'm feeling good today!
The U.S. government has mistakenly granted citizenship to at least 858 immigrants from countries of concern to national security or with high rates of immigration fraud who had pending deportation orders, according to an internal Homeland Security audit released Monday.
Whoops. Well, you know, whatever... 

14 September 2016

Maybe I'll Actually Vote *For* Trump


I caught the last 15 minutes of Donald Trump's Child Care announcement last night. I'm not a huge fan of Trump (at all), but I dislike and distrust Hillary Clinton even more. Finally last night, Trump may have me on board, actually voting for him rather than against Hillary. He outlined a proposal for helping women and their families with their child care expenses. Including... giving tax child care tax breaks for stay at home mothers - finally recognizing their financial worth. I also like the tax free "dependent accounts" that can be used toward school choice - another important issue that could make a real difference in our poor urban areas.

I'm excited (finally). I've started looking over the proposal, I haven't finished, but it makes sense.

If Trump can stay on message, he may have a chance.

The Trump Plan Will Help Working Mothers 

'We'll start with that child!': Trump works squealing BABY into speech on erasing crippling childcare and providing six weeks of paid leave to new moms - as toddler (and Ivanka) steal the show 

Trump/Pence website

12 September 2016

Is there something wrong with Hillary?

Is there something medically wrong with Hillary Clinton? We don't know... and we won't know until she collapses... oh, wait - she did that already. Surprise, her campaign has announced that she was diagnosed with pneumonia last Friday. Were they going to mention it to anyone?

The problem with Hillary is that you never actually know when she's telling the truth. Maybe it is pneumonia, maybe it isn't. There's no chance she's going to be transparent about her health.

CNN made a documentary about Hillary titled "Unfinished Business". I didn't watch it. I don't have the time in my life to spend thinking deeply about her. However, the title bothered me. It assumed that she has a right to the presidency. Her life is not complete without becoming the President of the United States. Hillary Clinton is a lawyer in her own right (also being fired for being unethical). She's been the 1st Lady. She's also been a US Senator and Secretary of State.  These are all respectable roles for anyone to have and be perfectly happy walking away feeling accomplished (whether or not they *actually* were accomplished is something else). But not Hillary Clinton, she has "unfinished business".

Truthfully, I'd like to see both candidates examined by an independent 3rd party doctor who has no skin in the game. Good luck with that. So instead, we'll wait and see what is served to us next by the Clinton campaign.

11 September 2016

Proud to be an American

The iconic question for my generation, where were you the morning of 9/11?

It was a regular sort of morning. I was home, preparing for teaching my afternoon social studies classes of 7th and 8th graders, when I got a phone call from an acquaintance of my sister. He asked if I'd seen the news, the Pentagon and the Twin Towers had been attacked. We hung up the phone and I turned on the television.

It was shocking. Both of the Twin Towers had been hit and we were watching the smoke billow out of them. Reporters were talking about the firemen who had run into the buildings to save those inside. Then all of a sudden the Towers came tumbling down. The terrible question in my head - were the first responders still inside? Oh my G-d, they were. It was a horrible scene to watch - but I dragged myself away around noon... I still had classes to teach.

What was amazing was that Americans banded together. Congress even got together and sang God Bless America on national television. Being from Michigan, we used to make fun of New Yorkers - but that morning changed everything. We were all New Yorkers, we were all Americans... no matter where you were from. Life had changed. We, all Americans, were under attack that morning.

E Pluribus Unum - from many, one. The phrase printed on our Great Seal of the USA and on much of our money. The focus is not on where we come from - but who we become. There's so much talk about multiculturalism, the color of our skin, being from different working classes... but this is not what the United States is about. Certainly we can respect each other and our differences, but we are all Americans. Americans, period. Without qualifying adjectives added or needed.

The Islamic terrorists who attacked America's financial center, military center and attempted to attack our democracy at the core - who were stopped by the Flight 93 martyrs, bless them and their families - were attacking all of us. They did not care who we were as individuals, what color our skin was, what countries our families immigrated from... these terrorists cared about bringing death and destruction to Americans.

On September 11th, we were reminded that we are all Americans. We, as a whole, were and still are, under attack. America is a special place, and American exceptionalism is still a very real concept. We must not forget who we are. While other countries, thankfully, have followed our lead - the United States was the first to be founded on the concepts of religious freedom, the freedom of the individual to follow their dreams, the right of the individual to be greater than the class that they were born into, and so many G-d given rights that we take for granted each and every day - even the basic right to self defense... we must be thankful every day to be an American.

G-d Bless America. May G-d bless those who lost their lives and their families that terrible day 15 years ago in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and in a field in Pennsylvania. G-d bless those first responders who ran bravely into the Towers not knowing if they would be coming out again. G-d bless those first responders who have since passed away and those who are sick because of their bravery that day. We honor your service to us all.

15 May 2016

The Future of Attawapiskat

The disaster of Attawapiskat has been going on for years. The people are suffering, but it does not appear that the proposed solutions, which include sending in more social workers, will truly help them. It is time to think outside the box.

No one doubts that the First Nations have been historically mistreated on many levels (a major understatement), but we have to look forward in order to save the people living there. It has been acknowledged by some that the population of Attawapiskat cannot reasonably continue living there. There are no jobs and no jobs forthcoming. The people of Attawapiskat are understandably attached to the land they live on - especially since they have been forcibly relocated by governments over the last 200 years. But where do we go from here?

As a religious Jew, I am reminded of the Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem, the focal point of Judaism. Pilgrimage was made to this holy place three times a year by Jews from across the ancient land of Judea. They travelled to Jerusalem to partake and celebrate in communal activities. In 70 CE (AD), that Temple was destroyed by the Romans. The Jewish People had to come up with an alternative system to that of the pilgrimage. The synagogue is a reflection of that alternative system. While it is debated when the synagogue came into common use, there is no doubt that the local synagogue really came into its own after the destruction of the Temple.

The synagogue, with Jews praying in a quorum three times daily, helped recreate and re-enforce the communal closeness that the pilgrimage to Jerusalem had once established. This sense of community as well as religious laws helped keep the Jewish identity alive for more than 3000 years, even as we were scattered across the known world.

How can we relate Jewish history to the tragedy of Attawapiskat? Attawapiskat and other native populations are in the midst of self-destruction through abuse, sexual abuse, suicide, and alcoholism -a situation that is continually getting worse. A creative solution is the only key.

When the Second Temple was destroyed, Jews had to find a new way to live outside of the Land of Israel, the holy land given to us by G-d. They created a "diaspora" with the heart of the religion still focused in Jerusalem. First Nations need to create a "diaspora" as well, with their heart still in their ancestral homelands. The leaders of these First Nations need to realize that their proud heritage can be used as an anchor while living productive lives in other locations.

The terrible issues of abuse, sexual abuse, suicide and alcoholism cannot be properly dealt with when those affected have no job, no sense of self worth and see no point in living. A "diaspora" must be created. Community centres teaching Native education along with vocational skills and a good general education can create a tight knit community. This will create opportunity for those who are interested to move onto higher education and bring the best of Canada back to their Native communities. In addition to creating these community centres, government monies can be used to establish a mental health framework where people can have a real chance for rehabilitation. Attawapiskat does not have to fade into the woodwork, rather it can be made a pilgrimage site, where the tribe can assemble once or twice a year to strengthen their relationships with one another.

The next generation is already being destroyed. How much longer are those in government and those leading the Native communities going to let this go on? There are solutions, but none of them will be easy. It will take creativity and courage, especially by Native leaders, to reshape the future of their people. I hope they can take the first step.

12 May 2016

Happy 68th Birthday Israel!

There's a great collection of videos to be seen related to Israel's 68th Birthday. Go take a look!

Happy Birthday Israel!

10 May 2016

Fun with Hillary

I found these on Facebook, I can't claim responsibility.

This one is fun, I haven't seen it before:

Or this one?

Let's all vote for Hillary Clinton (and her husband).

09 May 2016

History in the Original - Must See!

I just came across this website, it is fantastic if you love history in primary sources. And even if you don't care for history - you should check it out anyway.

The Shapell Manuscript Foundation - Explore American History Online

I've only just begun looking through what is available, I can see I'll be spending a lot more time here.


08 May 2016

The Year of the Revolution

Maybe you hadn't noticed but Donald Trump is the Republican nominee. But for some reason, I'm seeing a whole lot of Republicans suggesting a third party run by someone else... anyone else. This doesn't make any sense to me at all. They want to see Hillary Clinton win the Presidency? By not supporting Trump, we are looking at another Clinton presidency.

Democrats support anyone with the letter "D" next to their name, whether they like the person or not. Kudos to them. They like winning. Republicans, on the other hand, if they don't like the person running, they are willing to shoot him down and let the other party win. There's something seriously wrong with this. Do you want to win or not?

It's not even about keeping the party together either. While Trump was not my first choice, I think his candidacy is a good thing for the party. The Republican establishment screwed up - ignoring the pain of the working middle class, not fighting to keep President Obama's agenda from being successful, ostracizing the "tea party" conservatives inside and outside Congress, not fighting to keep the deficit down - the establishment deserves what they are getting, they brought Trump unto themselves. This is a real opportunity to revisit the basics of the Republican platform. What do we stand for? Who do we stand for? But I'm not sure that they even understand why they lost this presidential primary.

If somehow Trump manages to lose the presidential election because of a third party candidate, put up by the Republicans who won't support him, this will prove the point - the establishment is only there for themselves. They will destroy the party themselves, not Trump.

This is the year of the revolution - in both parties. Bernie Sanders, while he seems unable to win in a rigged system, is pulling huge crowds. Clinton is working much harder than she expected, trying to co-opt his successful message to the masses. It looks like the Sanders supporters may be more interested in supporting Trump than Clinton come election day. That "D" may not sway them this time.

This is a year where both parties are going to need to re-evaluate who they are and who they represent. What are their ideologies going forward? The establishment lost on the Republican side of the aisle. The Democratic establishment is barely hanging on.

It's time for Republicans to suck it up and support Trump. Clinton will only continue on the same path of destruction as Obama. How can we let this happen? We can't. We have to win.

28 April 2016

Time to Support Trump (sob)

Donald Trump easily swept five primaries yesterday. It was a blowout. We know that Trump is the only one who is mathematically even able to hit the 1237 delegate mark, Ted Cruz cannot (and Rubio is still beating Kasich in delegates.)

Today Cruz announced Carly Fiorina as his VP running mate. Very nice, but what is the point here? The race has been lost. It's time to let it go. I know, he wants to fight it out at the convention. I would agree if the race were neck and neck between Trump and Cruz, but it's not. Trump is way ahead in the number of states he has won. Unless something major happens between today and the convention and Cruz magically makes up a crazy number of states and it becomes even between them - it would be ridiculous not to give the nomination to Trump.

Again, I am not a Trump supporter. Rather, I am simply looking at this race and trying to understand what's going on. For Cruz (and Kasich) to keep fighting is silly. It's time to be gracious losers and bow out.

14 March 2016

Prediction: John Kasich vs. Donald Trump

My prediction is that Governor John Kasich is not going to support Donald Trump if he gets the Republican nomination. I've been thinking this thought the last few days and I think I'm getting "official" confirmation of that tonight... CNN's Anderson Cooper asked Kasich if he'd support Trump if he were the nominee and he declined to answer. Basically he said, we'll see.

If Kasich does announce that he will not support Trump as the nominee, it will open the door to other establishment candidates to announce the same.

I hope Kasich understands that he will be destroying the party when he makes his announcement.

09 March 2016

Vote Trump Over Clinton or Sanders

I can tell you why I'd vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I trust Clinton as far as I can throw her. Median income is down, minorities are doing worse than they've done in a long time. Clinton is part of the problem. She is doing nothing to differentiate herself from the policies of this president. People are hurting across the board. And yes, I do blame Clinton for the death of four Americans, and lying to their families about a stupid video which she admitted under oath she knew not to be the problem.

Bernie Sanders, I believe is more sincere, but seriously flawed. We're so far in debt right now, all the programs he's proposing would destroy the country. Socialism is not a good solution to our problems, and we have serious problems. Blue collar workers are working ever harder, competing against legal and illegal immigrants. The establishment on both sides of the aisle don't get why Sanders and Trump people are upset. I'd vote Trump any day if he were the option.