Tag Archives: President Obama

And my Vote goes to…

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MY CHOICE FOR PRESIDENT IS…

As the Democratic National Convention gets underway, we know one thing for sure. November will be historic.  The citizens of America will either elect a businessman from New York, a man with no formal experience in politics or, for the first time in the nation’s history, a woman as President of the United States.  There have been times in the past when the candidates of one of the parties was somewhat more obscure, or at the very least less high-profile, but this year without question, name recognition is not an issue. Everyone knows who Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are?  Or do they?

I don’t want to use this forum as a means of showing my support for one candidate by trashing the other, but in this election the majority of voters are at least somewhat impacted by that which they do not like about the other.  It’s very much about spin.  Take the most extreme supporter on either side and there is nothing the opposing candidate can do that will be seen as OK.  However, there is one glaring difference in my estimation. We can at least claim to know the worst there is to know about Hillary.  But what about Trump?  Somehow people have come to believe that a millionaire businessman, the owner of hotels, private jets and helicopters, is somehow a regular guy, a man of the people. They look at me with a straight face and say they won’t vote for Hillary because she is a liar or corrupt.They actually allow themselves to believe that Donald Trump has gotten to where he is out of sheer brilliance and hard work.  I won’t sit here and prosecute the case against him, but really?  If you believe that I have a great university you should attend. It will make you rich.

I know the criticisms against Hillary and I will openly admit that I don’t like everything about her, but do I have a far greater amount of confidence in her ability to lead this country in the right direction than Donald Trump?  Without question I do.  Was Benghazi a tragedy?  Of course it was.  Could things have been handled better? Maybe, probably, I don’t know. But I do know that under George W. Bush 13 embassies were attacked and 60 people were killed.  We’re America. We are hated by those who want to take what we have or change who we are.  We are targets and will remain targets as long as there is evil in the world.

I don’t like the Iran deal.  Never have, likely never will.  But even if I am to see it as a total attack on Israel, which I don’t necessarily do, I see it as President Obama’s deal not Hillary Clinton’s.  To say a Secretary of State is wrong for working towards the goals of her boss doesn’t make him or her complicit in the outcome of the goal, good or bad.  It makes them a loyal servant to the Commander in Chief.  I am also comfortable to go on record and say that in areas I disagree with the president, I believe him to be more someone trying to save the world, sometimes naively, rather than someone trying to bring anyone, including Israel, destruction.

Emails? Sorry. I am not even going to make a case as to why this is not enough reason for me to vote for Donald Trump over Hillary.

People say that Donald Trump is preying on the fears of the people.  That is partially true. Sadly I believe he is also exposing the stupidity of many.  I would never say that all people voting for Trump are stupid, many are highly intelligent, but I do believe he is counting on the vote of those that are stupid. If Hollywood made a movie, and the day after the Democratic National Convention started the Republican nominee’s best response to what he saw was calling the Democratic nominee Hillary “ROTTEN” Clinton, people would have assumed we were watching a Mel Brooks satire.  But no, this really happened, and it happened from someone people still take seriously.  Someone who made fun of Carly Fiorina’s face, likened Ben Carson to a child molester, called his opponents names like Little Marco and Lyin Ted, mocked a handicapped person, called Mexicans rapists, called for a ban of an entire religion, said John Mccain wasn’t a war  hero because he got caught, and yes, even spoke about the size of his penis. This man is somehow considered to be more qualified than Hillary Clinton?  Really?

As a Jewish man and a Zionist I say this.  Many reading this see history and see Roosevelt and Churchill as great men.  I won’t sit here and necessarily challenge that.  Had they not led the world to victory against Adolph Hitler it is possible that western civilization as we know it would not exist and all we know as Jews would be gone.  But before we judge people on a standard of perfection, or even good or bad, ask yourself how many Jews might have been saved had they destroyed the railroad tracks leading to Auschwitz and other concentration camps.  If FOX News were around then, FDR might have been held accountable to the point of prosecution, Thomas Dewey might have been elected, and Harry Truman would never have become president.  Who knows how World War II would have ended?  I am not saying FDR and Churchill were perfect or the biggest fans of the Jewish people, but their jobs were to be leaders of the US and Great Britain, and that they were, in exceptional manners.  We have every right to demand our leaders don’t hurt our cause, but we also must realize we are electing a President of the United States, not a president of the Jewish people, and we must therefore expect that president to do what they deem best for the country.  Furthermore, before Jewish supporters get all excited about a Trump presidency merely because his daughter converted and he speaks harshly about Muslims, keep these 2 things in mind.  When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Trump for his anti-Muslim rhetoric Trump punished him by cancelling his trip to Israel.  Also keep in mind how Trump plans to reconsider aide to our allies, including Israel.

The point is, no matter who you are or where you come from, whatever good you believe you are hearing about Donald Trump, he’s only telling you to get your vote.  Yes, you can say that about all politicians, but don’t tell me how different Donald Trump is from the establishment.  He funded the establishment, including the Clintons, for decades.

I don’t buy into the fact that a Hillary Clinton presidency will be 4 more years of an Obama presidency.  If anything I believe it is more likely to be closer to being 4 more years of a Bill Clinton presidency, and that would be just fine by me.  I honestly don’t know how good of a president Hillary would be, but I feel that her demeanor, her experience and her intellect is enough to make me very comfortable in giving her my vote.  I think her choice of Tim Kaine already shows she is making choices based on her agenda as opposed to the demands of others.  I think she is ready to be president today, as opposed to her candidate who will never be ready to be president.  Besides the fact that I’ve always been offended by the implication that America isn’t great, merely for the benefit of a slogan, I also know that Donald Trump couldn’t even make Atlantic City great again.

I know that many reading this find it hard to believe that I, someone who has always been so outspoken about the security of Israel could support Clinton over Trump, but guess what?  I find it hard to believe that you don’t.  You might be able to legitimately raise questions about her, but to me that doesn’t mean voting for Trump, someone who repeatedly shows signs of being a global menace.  I’ve seen and heard enough bad from Trump to not vote for him while seeing enough good to vote for Hillary, and that is what I intend to do.  What good you ask?  In this political climate don’t count on answer, because most people asking won’t accept my answer anyway.  You vote your conscience and I’ll vote mine and I’ll accept you for your choice whether you return the favor or not.  After all, that’s the American way.

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Let’s be honest

President Obama Delivers state of the union

Over the past few year I have been far from thrilled with President Obama.  However, I pride myself in being truly objective and was struck by the following.  In a week that exhibited the worst problems facing America, in a week in which we saw a black man get shot by police when 3 of them already had him pinned down, a week in which we saw what appeared to be a decent law-abiding black male get killed in front of his girlfriend and 4 year old daughter because of a policeman with poor training and zero composure merely because what seemed to be him reaching for his drivers licence, and what can only be described as the brutal execution of 5 police officers in Dallas who ironically were making sure Black Lives Matter protesters remained safe during a peaceful protest, the president spoke. In a speech lasting almost 4 minutes, for at least 3 of those minutes President Obama spoke of how despicable the attack was, the tremendous and difficult job facing the police, how nothing could justify the attack on them and how we need to stand in support of law enforcement. He spent about 10 seconds talking about people being armed with caliber weapons, about 5 seconds referring to his previous comments about America’s racial issues and he’s being attacked from the right for making this political. Let’s be honest here. Who’s really making this political?

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Understanding the way many are Fighting and Supporting Terror at the same time

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It’s somewhat encouraging to see the free world attempt to unite in its battle against ISIS. On the surface it would appear the world is serious about stopping terrorism. Unfortunately, if you look a little more closely, and you really don’t have to go that deep, you will realize that the same people claiming to battle terrorism are actually tolerating it, or even worse, supporting it.

All over the world there are governments claiming to take the fight against terror seriously while simultaneously opposing Israel in its fight against terror.  European governments, now frantically scrambling to defend themselves, reward Palestinian terror by calling on Israel to withdraw from the territories.  The contradiction is a glaring one that is rationalized away by a disingenuous  concern for the plight of the Palestinians.  Without delving into the topic of whether or not the Palestinians are treated fairly as  people, as long as the world’s reaction to innocent Jews getting mowed down by a car or stabbed in the street is a call to Israel to make changes, the message it sends about terror is a damaging one.  Terrorism is terrorism. It’s never freedom fighting or armed rebellion if it’s not a battle against other soldiers.  When people with weapons attack innocent men, women and children, saying it’s different than what ISIS is doing doesn’t make it so.

The two most guilty parties in this tragic comedy of errors is the United Nations and the U.S. Administration.  When the UN files a report, in today’s world, and calls Israel the world’s top human rights violator, the message it sends is twofold.  First of all, it shows a clear bias against Israel, something very counterproductive to fighting worldwide terrorism, and secondly it shows a tolerance for those countries truly involved in human rights violations.  The UN is the type of organization that would offer ISIS land to call its own, accept it as a nation, and as long as they are at least willing to lie about treating its citizens fairly, declare the Islamic State more of a champion of human rights than the democratic State of Israel.  The United Nations is an ongoing farce and doing more to lead the world down a path of terror and destruction than towards a path of freedom and safety.

The other main culprit is the current American administration.  To make a deal with Iran, any deal, is in short, making a deal with terrorists.  As much as President Obama and John Kerry go on and on about how this deal stops Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, the message here is frighteningly clear.  The message is that this United States administration is willing to deal with terrorists.  The Iranian regime has funded and trained terrorists for years.  It calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.  It is a nation responsible for the murder of men, women and children.  Rather than send the message to the entire world that terror will not be rewarded with negotiation, this administration not only chose to negotiate, but chooses to release billions of dollars to a nation using its money to support and train more terrorists.  Then the administration takes this to an even more grotesque level by actually being proud of the accomplishment of making a deal with a nation that represents everything we claim to be fighting.  The only way the President might have been right when calling ISIS the JV Team, would be if he simultaneously referred to Iran as the Pro Team.

If terrorism is to be defeated, it can only be done without the interference of fear, corruption, and bigotry.  If any of those factors get in the way, the enemy will know this, laugh in our faces, and gain tactical and political strength.  If we are truly going to show intolerance towards terror, we must show equal intolerance towards those allowing it to grow, regardless of whether or not they claim to have our best interests in mind.

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By not calling out Islamic Extremism, President Obama is actually hurting innocent Muslims

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I have friends from all walks of life.  I don’t pick friends based on race, color, religion or lifestyle.  I pick my friends based on common interests and how they are as human beings.  That’s assuming they even want to be my friend.  I’ve always maintained, and when you look around you’ll see it to be generally true, that the person who is not a racist or bigot is more comfortable criticizing someone regardless of what they are.  To put it in more basic terms, it’s never shocking to find out that a white man who never says anything bad about black people is actually a racist.  I’m not saying criticizing someone of a specific race is a prerequisite to treating people equally, but I am saying that overcompensation in one direction is often a red flag that something is not right about someone’s thinking.

When you speak of the President of the United States, the general rules of behavior don’t apply.  Therefore when President Obama shows his consistent discomfort and reluctance to call out  Islamic extremists by name, he may not be revealing a bigotry towards Muslims, but he is doing exactly what he claims he does not want to do, and that is marginalize the Muslim population.   No matter how often the President refuses to say the constant barrage of terror is being committed by Muslim extremists, the facts are the facts and the whole world knows it to be true.  Paris, Brussels, Lahore, San Bernadino, various cities all over Israel, are all places where there are examples of recent acts of terror all committed by Muslim extremists.  There, I said it. Muslim extremists. But I did not say all Muslims are terrorists did I?  If anything, by calling the terrorists Muslims Extremists I am separating them from the rest of the Muslim population.  To prove my point, I could easily forward this piece to the likes of M. Zuhdi Jasser, a great Muslim American, without being concerned that I would offend him. Why? Because I am comfortable in making the distinction between him and the terrorists that happen to be the same religion as he and many more millions of Muslims who are not terrorists. When a President leaves a philosophical vacuum he leaves the door open for the less intelligent and thoughtful to make very broad, bigoted, and very often dangerous generalizations.  To be blunt, it is better to make the statement ‘all Muslim are not terrorists, but most terrorists these days are Muslim’, than it is to pretend none of the terrorists are Muslim.

When the President says the terrorists do not represent Islam, he may be making what he perceives as an ideologically positive statement, but the truth is that the IS in ISIS or ISIL still stands for Islamic State, and the followers of the terrorist organization identify themselves as Muslims.  To not distinguish members of ISIS from decent Muslims does not make that go away.  If anything it helps create the reaction some people will have when they read this, which will be to say, “there are no good Muslims”.

Yes Mr. President, there are many people who feel and speak that way.  Why?  Partially because they are extremists or radicals themselves, partially because some are just racist, but very importantly and not to a small part because of the vacuum created by your reluctance to call it by name.   If you look around the world, specifically the western world, other than the Pope, no one individual can impact people’s thinking with words more than the President of the United States of America.  By avoiding the terms Islamic extremism or Muslim terrorists, this President may just be doing the exact opposite of what he claims he wants to be doing, and the anger and hatred it may cause may do all of us more harm than good.

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The Accountability of World Leaders

Barack Obama, Francois Hollande

I have often said how important it is to identify your enemy.  I never have been one to blame Presidents Clinton or Bush for 9/11. I blamed bin-Laden.  World leaders can sometimes be tragically inept, but the blame for acts of barbarism and terror falls directly on those who commit them.  That being said, our leaders do have a responsibility to defend us and in light of the recent events in France, and even more so in light of the reaction, leaders such as American President Obama and French President Hollande owe their citizens the answer to one very important question.  Why did it take the terror attacks in France for them to get serious?  That’s assuming that now they truly are serious.

This approach of reacting without pity, intensifying the airstrikes, doubling and tripling the efforts is all well and good and naturally something I support, but questions needs to be asked and answered.  Did they not know this was coming? Has ISIS not made its intentions very clear for quite some time?  Let’s say ISIS keeps their word and attacks Washington, D.C., will the president then take the strong action needed to stop this? When France sends its air force to wipe out key ISIS locations in its self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa, again something I support, I can’t help but wonder why this was not done last week, last month, or even last year. It is easy to understand why it was done yesterday, 2 days after the terror attacks,  but knowing full well that ISIS had every intention of attacking innocent people anywhere they could get to them, and having already proven their willingness and desire to murder multitudes of people, did they really need a catastrophe to take proper action?Apparently so.

The time to be concerned about collateral damage has passed.  Now is the time to unleash the gates of hell on the very same people who want to kill every last one of us.  I am not barbaric, in fact I’m a particularly peaceful man, but if it comes down to taking out a village in Syria or Iraq that is  being used as a shield for their operations or even 1 person that I care about being hurt, I am in favor of wiping out that village.  It is likely too late to stop further acts of terror in the United States and Europe, but in wiping out their cities that are being used as bases of operations, we have a much better chance of averting a global catastrophe. Furthermore, it’s time the world recognized that the enemy Israel is fighting is of the exact same ilk, and that the Jewish state needs to be left alone to do what is necessary to bring peace to its borders.  If this is not part of the entire philosophy, then these very same leaders, not just Obama and Hollande but all the leaders of the west have learned nothing from the events of this past Friday in Paris.

The great thing about democracy is that when our leaders aren’t doing what needs to be done we can elect new ones. Until that time let’s hope our leaders take the actions that gives us reason to believe they understand what is truly at stake and preserve our crumbling future.  Before it’s too late.

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Open Letter to Senator Charles Schumer

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Dear Senator Schumer,

I write to you today in the hope that when the time comes for you to make a choice, a choice that will confirm your legacy not only as an American Senator but as a Jew, that you make the choice you know to be right, not the choice you see as politically expedient.  I am of course referring to the vote on President Obama’s deal with Iran.

I have heard the arguments in favor of making a deal with Iran. I also understand the difficult position politicians in the Democratic party, particularly Jewish politicians, find themselves in at this time.  Your president is calling for your support. Your party is calling for your support.  Politics is at play on the grandest scale.  Oppose the deal and you risk alienating yourself from the top people in the party who have chosen to maintain their ranks by supporting their leader.  Oppose the deal and you yourself may fall far down the political ladder, destroying all you personally have done to achieve your current status.

I am not a politician, however I have a layman’s understanding of the basics in politics.  Sometimes you have to go against your better judgment and principles in order to ascend in the ranks.  I also understand that sometimes doing this causes an internal struggle only another politician can truly comprehend.  That being said Senator, as much as I sympathize with the personal challenge you are faced with, this is one of those times when you are required to answer the bell of those who elected you into office and supported you till now.  This is a time when the choice you make may determine the future safety not only of your home state but of the entire planet.

I have heard you say enough over the years to believe in my heart that you know that making this deal with Iran is a mistake.  That leaves me believing that the struggle you have is far more a personal one than an ideological one.  To make my point I will quote a line from the movie The American President, in which President Andrew Shepherd, played by Michael Douglas says the following: “I was so busy trying to save my job that I forgot to do my job.”

Senator Schumer, your job is to protect and serve the citizens of NY State and to represent us nationally in what is right and safe for all Americans.  It is my absolute belief that you know that dealing with Iran is wrong for the country and that the only reason for any hesitation on your part is concern for losing your job and or standing in the Democratic Party.  I urge you, as do so many others to do the right thing and oppose what you know to be wrong not only for New York, but for the rest of the country and the entire civilized world.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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Open Letter to Dianne Feinstein

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Dear Senator Feinstein,

I remember watching you on an interview after Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Congress and even then I was struck by the arrogant attitude you displayed towards the Israeli Head of State. With that in mind your recent statements come as no shock to me despite the incredulous lack of logic in your words.

First of all, you say the Iranians are “sincere” about wanting a deal.  Well thank you Captain Obvious.  Of course they want a deal.  This is the best thing that could have happened to them.  They get everything they want. A lifting of sanctions, a place on the world stage, and a nuclear program that could very well wind up making them the most dangerous nation on earth.  It doesn’t take a brain surgeon or even a Senator from California to realize that Iran would be happy with this arrangement.  So to say that they are sincere about wanting a deal, is nothing less than a waste of breath.

You then go on to say that you disagree that “the broad outlines of the deal threaten the survival of Israel”.  If this deal increases the likelihood of Iran getting nuclear weapons that statement is just ludicrous.  Iran has repeatedly stated that it wants to wipe Israel off the planet.  Therefore basic logic would dictate that an Iran with nuclear weapons would indeed be a threat to Israel’s survival.

When discussing Netanyahu’s stance you say,

 “I wish that he would contain himself, because he has put out no real alternative, in his speech to the Congress, no real alternative, since then, no real alternative.”

Personally I am offended by anyone, particularly a Jewish leader speaking so disrespectfully about the Prime Minister of Israel, but I guess you are so partisan in your policies that you believe it is important to speak of him this way in order to support President Obama.  As far as the crux of the statement is concerned, if someone speaks out against someone’s desire to commit suicide but doesn’t give the individual an alternative way to live their life, should they therefore be in favor of suicide?  Based on your statement suicide would be the right move, not just for the individual in this hypothetical scenario, but based on this policy, for the United States as well.

It so happens that Prime Minister Netanyahu does have an alternative which is

“standing firm, ratcheting up the pressure (through continued sanctions), until you get a better deal.”

Of course you are opposed to this because you are seeing through partisan blinders and they are causing you to support the president in a deal with a distrustful government with the ambition of radicalizing the entire planet. Your own statement in response to Netanyahu’s comment only shows how illogical dealing with Iran is when you say, that the path of sanctions would drive Iran’s program underground and make it more difficult to monitor.  How do you get from that to believing this is a legitimate partner in peace?  I don’t believe that you do.  Instead I believe you are playing partisan politics at its worst, even when it is detrimental to the safety of the State of Israel, the United States of America, and ultimately the entire western world.

To me this is poor and irresponsible leadership that will not only hurt the country, but the political party you clearly deem more important than anything else.  Not to mention the fact that as a Jew, it is my opinion, and one shared by many others, that in supporting this deal you are supporting a policy that puts the Jewish nation and Jews everywhere in danger.  I hope you can live with that.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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