Tag Archives: congress

Welcome to a World of Sociopaths

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I’m basically a Democrat. I have plenty of friends who are Republicans.  I often disagree with them, occasionally agree with them, and from time to time don’t want to even venture into a political discussion with them.  I’m not fan of our current president.  I have friends who love him. We will definitely disagree on how we feel about him, sometimes jokingly while sometimes with more intensity.  One thing we never do however, is physically hurt or attack each other.  Does that make us wonderful people? Absolutely not. It makes us normal people.  It makes us people who are not sociopaths. Unfortunately we live in a world crawling with sociopaths.  They can be Democrats, Republicans, black, white, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, man, woman, citizen or immigrant. But make no mistake. Sociopaths are all over the globe, be it someone who drives a truck through crowds of people in Nice, blows himself up in a concert in Manchester, mows down women and babies on a Jerusalem street with a car, goes on a shooting rampage at a baseball practice for American Congressmen, or on a lesser but still significant level a comedian who holds up what looks like a severed head of the President of the United States.

I believe and understand that everyone wants to be part of something.  I realize that so many people in the world are in search of a movement.  That being said, even those who choose movements, even those movements I hate and find damaging or hateful, are not sociopaths for being what I perceive as stupid or misguided.  Do they give a platform or strength to the crazy person that feels it is OK to hurt or kill?  Frankly I say no, and here’s why.

I am a somewhat liberal Jewish Democrat who does not like Bernie Sanders at all.  It would not be totally abhorrent to me to blame him for what happened in Alexandria, Virginia since the shooter was a Sanders supporter. However, as much as I dislike Bernie, he is not the reason the shooter, James Hodgkinson, was crazy enough to go on a shooting rampage at a bi-partisan baseball practice with children present.  Somehow this man felt that he could do whatever he wanted to do no matter how vicious, hateful or violent it was. It’s one thing when dictators preach violence and murder against a segment of society, it’s something entirely different when a politician speaks angrily against policies. What happened was not Bernie Sanders fault.  But it is critically important to note that it also was not Donald Trump’s fault.  It’s society’s fault.

We are all very focused on the behavior of radical Islamic terrorists and for good reason. That being said, we need to make sure to pay close attention to our own house, because while we sit back and focus our concerns on other nations, we are a nation with it’s very own rising population of sociopaths, and until we find a way to stem this very dangerous tide, I fear more and more people will get hurt or killed.  My suggestion, and if President Trump follows through on this and has success this will be his legacy, is to appoint a Mental Health Czar. This would be a man or woman entrusted with understanding and dealing with the psychological issues facing so many people today.

Someone said to me earlier today that James Hodgkinson shot up the baseball field because he was mad that Trump won the election.  But that’s not the case. The reason he went on a shooting rampage against Republicans at a baseball practice is very simply because he was a sociopath.  He somehow felt his behavior was acceptable or justified. It’s very easy to blame the “other side” for all the bad that happens, and that is acceptable when it deals with policy, but when it deals with violence it’s time all of us normal people, the ones who don’t believe injuring or murdering people is acceptable behavior, remember this one very critical thing. We’re all on the same side.  When we start looking at it that way we may be on the way to saving the future of our very fragile society.

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47 Wrongs Didn’t Make this Right

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Anyone who has read anything I have written till now is aware that I am completely opposed to any negotiations with Iran’s current regime.  I have, and will continue to oppose any deal with a government that sounds frighteningly similar to Hitler’s Nazi Germany.  That being said, the recent actions taken by Republican lawmakers in which they sent a letter to Iran’s government was not only wrong, it was dangerous.

In my post titled Unity or Destruction. Pick One, I discuss the importance of a unified front against evil.  It’s not really a challenge when everyone has the same political opinion and strategy or approach.  So for those who will say they support the letter because these Republicans are right about Iran and the administration is wrong, I offer you the following response. It’s irrelevant.

Here’s some clichés and quotes for you: United We Stand Divided We Fall,  Divide and Conquer, and of course Abraham Lincoln’s:  “A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand”, all apply here. Take your pick.  Just as I did not feel that Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech should have been turned into a partisan issue, and I called out the Democrats who made it one, so too I believe that the break from structure here is a damaging partisan move that hurts the country more than it helps the country.

Make no mistake.  This is more than just a break in protocol.  The entire structure of our democracy is impacted by this global show of a lack in unity within our governmental system.  Not to mention the damage to the office of the President.  Sometimes it has nothing to do with the individual and everything to do with the office. In other words, even if all the criticisms of the president are correct on this issue, insulting the office is never justified by elected American representatives.  That even applies to situations in which they wish to make the case that the policy of the president shows disrespect for his own office.  In other words, 2 wrongs, or in this case 47 wrongs don’t make a right.

When I try to predict some of the responses I might get to this article I realize that in many ways this is as non-partisan as anything I’ve ever written.  Both sides will make their claim.  Some will say the 47 were right for sending the letter.  After all, they don’t support dealing with Iran and feel the president is going against their wishes in conducting these negotiations.  On top of which the danger in dealing with Iran is so great that the ends justify the means. Personally I believe they are laughing today in Tehran and believing they have us just where they want us.  Fighting among ourselves to such a point that we’ve gone out of the family, so to speak.

For those who will say John Boehner did the same thing when he invited Benjamin Netanyahu I say this.  There is a big difference between 47 lawmakers sending a letter to a hostile country contradicting the president than there is in the Speaker of the House inviting the Head of Government of an important ally.

Too many people seem to be taking their eye off the ball and taking actions that are more political than beneficial.  Actions that hurt the structure of the American government impact everyone, and other than our enemies, not beneficially.  We need more elected representatives who stand up for what is right for the nation rather than what they perceive as right for their career or party.  The stakes are too high, and if politicians continue to play these silly games the results will ultimately be catastrophic.

If ever we needed true leadership, something I believe we are sadly missing, it is right now.

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How to Take action against the politicians turning their backs on Israel

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There are many ways to make this happen.  One way is to let them see the numbers.  Share this with everyone you know and ask them to do the same.  Make this post and others like it go viral.  Let those with no backbone or moral compass know that their jobs are at stake.

We as Jews, as Americans, as peaceful people who will not deal with terrorists and nations that sponsor terrorism MUST not sit back idly and allow our politicians to commit this egregious act of betrayal against the State of Israel and its Prime Minister.  It is our responsibility to let out politicians know that this is not only unacceptable but that there will be repercussions in fundraising and at the ballot boxes.  We must use every legal and ethical tool at our disposal to make it VERY clear that boycotting the Prime Minister of Israel’s address to congress is UNACCEPTABLE.  We must make it very clear that we will not vote, fund or support ANY politician that turns their back on the Jewish people, Israel, and it leaders at this crucial moment in history.   Furthermore, if Democrats choose to put misguided leadership before ethical standards, it must be made clear that the result will be the loss of Jewish support in this country.

There are many ways to make this happen.  One way is to let them see the numbers.  Share this with everyone you know and ask them to do the same.  Make this post and others like it go viral.  Let those with no backbone or moral compass know that their jobs are at stake.

 

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“I’m Confident”: Language of a Salesman

 

pobamaThe most talked about statement at President Obama’s news conference earlier today was when addressing how the United States would deal with ISIL, he said, “we don’t have a strategy yet”.  Understandably that admission, if it’s the truth, is a disturbing one.  However, it is not what struck me most about his overall statement. What struck me more was his careful placement and use of the word “confident”.

Maybe it’s the salesman in me that made me notice it, but the word confident in some situations is clearly used to get someone off the hook if and when something goes wrong in the future.  Unless I heard wrong he said the following:

“I am confident that as Commander-in-Chief I have the authorities to engage in the actions we are conducting currently.  As our strategy develops we will continue to consult with Congress”.  Why not say “I have the authority” as opposed to saying I am confident.  The word confident is a way out in the event that the authority was improperly used.

Then when stating in a way that would not instill fear in a field mouse let alone a brutal terrorist he said in regard to getting rid of the cancer that is ISIL, “but I’m confident that we can and we will working closely with our allies.” There’s that word confident again.  Doesn’t exactly reverberate with strength and conviction does it?  To be honest Mr. President, with what is at stake here, we need you to be sure, not merely confident.

The word “confident” when used in these contexts are designed to sell something.  If he was trying to sell the American people the belief that he is properly protecting us, I hate to say, I’m just not buying it.  The world needs more than a meek confidence right now from the President of the United States, it needs unwavering certainty and strength.  Without that I am confident we have some very difficult times lying ahead of us.

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Hollow demands

UN-Secretary-General-Ban-Ki-moonIn comparison to previous crises involving Israel, the United Nations has behaved in a somewhat less one-sided way over the past few weeks.  The same can be said for the American President Barack Obama.  The support of the administration has been there as has the support of Congress and the American people.  However, at the end of the day the government of the State of Israel is committed to a specific result.  That result is the establishment of a peaceful life for all residents of Israel free of Hamas missiles and terror attacks.  Heroic soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces have made the ultimate sacrifice in the early stages of Operation Protective Edge and I am certain that the leaders of Israel’s government have no intention of allowing their lives to be lost for nothing.  In making demands that the fighting stops, the United Nations and President Obama are making demands that have no substance.  If we were to assume that the motivation was purely to put a stop to the deaths of innocent people, the demands contradict the motive.  The only way innocent people in Gaza and Israel will live in peace is by destroying, or at the very least incapacitating Hamas.

Furthermore, by what authority does anyone makes demands from Israel when it comes to protecting their people?  If your best friend demanded you not protect your family so as to not harm others, would you listen?  No.  You would protect your family.  You would also realize that  any true friend, or at least a friend with good judgment would never ask that of you in the first place.  The reaction you must have in such an instance is a simple one.  You continue to do what is best for your family.

This for all intents and purposes is what I suspect will be Israel’s response to what I see as nothing more than hollow demands.


Who suffers from Election and Disaster Fatigue?

I am an American, and truly believe that as a whole we’re a good bunch.  With all my flaws I am by no means qualified to say otherwise, but since I don’t want my words to be misinterpreted, I happily begin by complimenting my fickle countrymen for their basic decency and kindness.

As we look back to the recent presidential election, I can’t help but sense that an election fatigue has set in.  Going back to when the Republicans had what was close to a football team on the debate stage, till the final contest in which the incumbent President Barack Obama defeated his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the process has been so long I truly believe many are happy it is over.  Even those on the winning side.

The good thing about the timing of the election was that it came just in time to help deal with Disaster fatigue.  Please forgive me if this comes across cynical.  That is not my intention.  I do not believe that most people who felt bad at the peak of Superstorm Sandy no longer feel bad.  I do however feel that many are less fascinated by the news reports than they were in the immediate days that followed.

All these stories not only continue, but they continue to be important and relevant.  The presidential election in of itself is not as important as what gets done moving forward.  Everyone knows we have a big mess on our hands and that the President, together with the Senate and Congress need to move into action and get things on the right track.  But enough about the election now. It’s old news.

Hurricane Sandy in many ways is two stories.  The first story was the immediate storm and the drama and serious impact it had.  The second story, the more serious one, is the story of the people who have suffered and still suffer as a result of the storm.  This is a story that unfortunately will continue for quite some time.  People are homeless, hungry and cold.   They are frustrated and despondent and will be needing help for a very long time.  But the story of the storm itself, the floods, fires, storm surges, well that’s old news now.

Gas shortages and long lines is becoming old news as well.  Unless of course fights break out while people wait in line.  Then the news becomes exciting again.  We are a sensationalist society and when the story loses its sensationalism the public loses some interest.  That doesn’t mean we become uncaring.  There are so many good people, people better than me, who give so much time to help those in need.  It’s just that unfortunately people’s suffering is never really news.  It doesn’t go away and being that it is a constant, loses its headline status.

Part of the biggest challenge facing us is to see to it that when these stories lose front page stature they don’t lose their importance.  It is incumbent on anyone with any audience, even a small one, to seek out and find the stories of those who need help.  That way we can continue to be the sensationalist society we obviously and honestly want to be, while not turning away from those who truly need our help.

If any of you have stories of people in need that you wish to share, please email me at hollandsheroes80@gmail.com.  Sometimes the greatest help starts from the most unlikely source.