Tag Archives: Twitter

Choosing a candidate on Twitter in 140 characters or less

 

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As a writer, my number one goal is to come up with a statement or story no one has ever heard before.  It’s not easy, and even when I think I have done it, it is very possible I just didn’t hear it when someone else said it first.  That being said I am struck by how the American electorate is so lacking in original thought.   I see it on CNN, on FOX, in my daily interactions with people, and of course all over the internet.

I was motivated to write this piece when earlier today I heard an acquaintance of mine make what he thought was the revelation of all revelations.  “There is going to be a brokered convention”, he said with a commanding tone of education and insider knowledge.  With Trump looking more and more like he is on track to get the needed delegates to win the nomination outright, I can only assume he heard all about the theory of a brokered convention on cable TV or some radio talk show in the car.  There are scenarios that lead to a brokered convention, but to come right out and predict it is just another example of someone parroting something they think will make them sound smart.

I don’t know what will happen, but my guess is that Trump will win the nomination and all this posturing by the establishment will morph into support for the presumptive nominee.   One thing I know.  Even when you look at the Republicans who do not want Trump to be the next President, the majority of them want any GOP candidate over a Democrat, especially if the Democrat is Hillary Clinton.  Funny thing is, everything they are doing is setting things up for the Democrats to win, especially if it’s Hillary.

Meanwhile, many of the people trying to sound smart are also the same people thinking they are smarter than everyone else because they are voting for Trump.  I’ll let you the reader take that one home.  I guess whatever happens we can’t be surprised by an electorate that gets a significant portion of their candidates views from 140 characters or less (the Twitter limit). Just goes to show you how the attention span of many Americans is shrinking.  It’s not like we are dealing with people switching back and forth between CNN and FOX.  It’s more likely it will be people on Twitter going from their tweets from their favorite candidate to the feud between Kim Kardashian-West and Chloe Grace Moretz.  Incidentally my knowing about this doesn’t automatically make me a Trump supporter, but in many other cases we can be sure it does.  Something Donald Trump seems to be counting on.

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What Really is That Driving Force?

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If it is all about honesty the question that needs to be asked is, why do we do it?  Why do we share our feelings with the world, post on Facebook, push it on Twitter or make a blog?  Since I do all of this and I can’t with any real degree of sanity claim to speak for the entire planet, all I can really do is speak for myself and hope that some of you relate to my revelation of the forces that drive me to sit at my computer and write.

Without question there is some semblance of idealism involved.  After all, the letters or essays I write that are the most popular and based on reactions I receive, my best work, are all driven by passion and belief in what I am writing about.  It is easier for me to speak in defense of Israel and the Jewish people than it is to type about, let’s say, economics.  Of course that may be something obstructing me from accumulating vast degrees of wealth, and that doesn’t mean I don’t like money, but that is the funny thing about passion.  You can’t force it and you can’t pretend to have it.  You might try to fake it, but when you turn that into any form of expression, ultimately the truth comes out.  So a significant element of the driving force behind why I do this is the good fortune of having things that I care about, which I recognize doesn’t separate me from the common decent human being.  What separates me may just be that burning desire and ability to express my feelings so openly and completely.  Something I consider a gift and a blessing, not an indication of any degree of superiority.

The other side of it, and I think this is an element many reading this share, is ego.  So often when we comment, blog, or opine in whatever fashion available, we want to be the one that nails it.  We want to come up with that comment or  message that resonates above all others.  The funny thing is that many of us can do that on at least some level, but what drives a writer such as myself is the ambition to constantly raise the bar. For me, having a comment on a thread that is liked by a bunch of people is nice, but it’s more like the bread they put out in a high quality steak house.  It’s good and I enjoy it in the beginning, but it’s not what I came here for.

What adds an even greater dynamic to the discussion is the fact that so many of the subjects being discussed today have an enormous significance.  It may sometimes seem like this whole expression thing is just a form of mental masturbation and a self-indulgent way of giving one’s life a purpose, but what can’t be ignored is that in this day and age the stakes are as high as they’ve ever been.  Societies ills are spreading, violence is commonplace, war is an epidemic, hunger is everywhere and the world as a whole, even with its many positive elements and developments, is not a happy place.  I may have a self-serving side of me that loves it if thousands of people read an open letter criticizing a Bryan Adams or a Michael Moore, but the truth is that I also passionately believe that sometimes their actions and often their words, two things far more similar that people sometimes care to admit, are doing more harm than good.

Words do have power.  They can make things happen and they do carry a degree of responsibility. That may be the scary part but it also the most thrilling part, for every time I sit and write I hope that this is the time I write something that really makes a difference.  I hope that my words become meaningful to so many people that they contribute to making this world a little happier.  Sure it is egotistical, but how many people throughout history achieved greatness without some sort of desire to be recognized and important.  Religions would preach that our ultimate goal should always be to reach the highest levels of goodness with the lowest level of selfishness, but since human nature is to be happy and fulfilled when appreciated, I’m fine with that selfish side that motivates me, and if you can do some good, you should be too.

Back to the original point I made about honesty, I meant every word you just read, but in this case I merely wrote it because I couldn’t sleep.  Not very idealistic, I know, but if it ends up making a difference, I’ll be extremely happy.  Thanks for reading regardless.

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Open Letter to Bill Gates

bill-gatesDear Mr. Gates,

There is an excellent chance that you will never read this. It is my hope however, that at the very least, someone makes you aware of this letter, for in it I am showing appreciation for your actions and overall approach towards the world’s problems.  What makes this so important and frankly somewhat personal, is that it is a lot more common for the famous of the world to gravitate towards the “popular” issues and nowadays that often means attacking Israel, something you clearly do not do.  On the contrary, while others look for and often fabricate reasons to hate Israel, in this clip (CLICK HERE) you speak highly of Israel’s achievements in technology.

While so many are weighing in on Gaza, Israel, and the rise of ISIS, on your Twitter page you see more about Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ebola, and education.  To be quite honest, I am just as guilty of this as anyone.  Most of my letters and articles discuss Israel, Gaza, and the rise of terrorism.  Like so many others out there, I am far too ignorant to what is happening in other parts of the world or the challenges facing us in the United States.  That is why I am so grateful to you at this time.  I have constantly sat here questioning where everyone is when there are true human rights violations and people who are suffering in tragically large numbers.  I am not alone in feeling this way.  As a Jew and a Zionist, I sit here wondering why people remain silent to the suffering of millions of people but open their mouths all of a sudden when Israel bombs Gaza in defense of their homeland.  So today when I looked at your Twitter page and saw what you wrote about your trip to Ethiopia, your concern for the well-being of those in Rwanda, and the attention you gave to the rising danger of the Ebola virus, I couldn’t help but think, this man truly gets it.  This really is a good man.  (CLICK HERE FOR BILL GATES BLOG, GATENOTES)

You do not stop there.  You are clearly focusing tremendously on education, something so critical to the future of America.

It must not be ignored that your “involvement” in issues also means that you provide tremendous amounts of resources providing substantial funds to help these causes.  My point being, you are the furthest thing from all talk. You are doing many special things and providing so much  for many of the most needy people of the world.

Mr. Gates, I am no one particularly important in the world’s big picture.  I have somewhat of an audience, but it pales in comparison to many others and I am certainly a small fish in a very large ocean.  As I said to start this letter, I don’t imagine you will ever see this, but to be honest, seeing all the good you are actually doing, I truly believe you have more important things to do with your time.  I just wanted to say that this small fish appreciates your genuine efforts to make the world a better place and hopes that others who prefer to spend their time obsessed with what Israel does will spend more time worrying about the millions of people out there neglected even if it’s not as big or popular of a news story.

Wishing you continued strength and success in your efforts.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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Open Letter to Bryan Adams

Brian Adams

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Bryan,

Earlier today I listened to what I considered to be my favorite song for one last time.  The song I listened to was your song, “Everything I do”.   You might say I am overly sensitive, even childish.  After all, just because someone holds views I don’t like it shouldn’t stop me from enjoying a song or a movie or a TV show.  I would answer, I see your point, but there is a lot at stake here. Something far more important than coming off as a big-time humanitarian who learns only half of the facts and opines on Twitter.  What I understand is at stake here, but you either don’t see or don’t care, is the survival of not only the Jewish people, but the very civilization you thrive in.  So once I know someone believes in something so harmful to the safety of Israel, the Jewish people and ultimately the entire planet, their “art” becomes distasteful to me. Just as I no longer enjoy listening to Pink Floyd because of my disgust for Roger Waters, I now have lost interest in listening to your music.

I will briefly address the following quotes you made on Twitter.

“I can’t speak for others, I only speak for myself: I say the war against Gaza was a crime against humanity”

Regarding the statement that the war was started in response to Hamas killing the 3 Yeshiva students you replied:

“it was never proved who was responsible, and it’s not justification for murdering 2000+ people…541 kids”

“and the Israeli blockade of Gaza just entered its 8th year, leaving its 1.7 million inhabitants destitute”

“Nobody here is anti-semitic – I’m / we’re just pro-people and pro-freedom”

Well you are right.  The war Hamas has waged on Gaza is a constant crime against humanity.  Learn the facts Bryan.  They’ve squandered and stolen billions from their people.

Never proved? They just admitted it.  And the cease-fire Hamas only now accepted was offered long before many of these deaths.  Deaths on the hands of Hamas for using their people as human shields.  Or did they not prove that either?

The blockade is not why they are destitute.  Their rulers stealing money is. Incidentally, the blockade is there to keep out weapons, not food and supplies.

And lastly, being pro-people and pro-freedom means being that for all people. If you look up the history you’ll see what Israel has had to endure from these terrorists.  Terrorists whose main objective has always been to murder Jews.  Israel’s objective has always been peace.  With that in mind to be quite blunt, if you support HAMAS it is anti-Semitic.  They have made it very clear that they won’t be happy till every last Jew on the planet is dead.  But you won’t look it up because you, like so many others don’t want to know the truth. And this Mr. Adams, makes your once beautiful music ugly to my ears.  Maybe it’s because while you attempt to come off like someone who cares about humanity, you know it’s true, everything you do, you do for you.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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It’s all Fun and Games until someone loses a Head

isis-videoLet me start by making something very clear.  I am by no means making light of the horrific and graphic murder of journalist James Foley.  I am however asking two very important questions.  My first question is why did it take till now for everyone to take the threat of ISIS as seriously it should have?  And my second question is, as the United States debates bombing a second country after the beheading of one journalist, why has it been so hard for the world to accept Israel’s reaction to the murder of three teenage boys?

The questions seem very different but the answer may be the same.  Regarding the subject of terrorism, Muslim extremism and the threat it poses to the entire civilized world, the Israeli government and its supporters, in Israel and throughout the world, are ahead of the curve.  As much as I dislike them on a personal level, the celebrities who proudly display their anti-Semitic sentiments through opposition of Israel’s actions don’t understand how much they are hurting themselves in the process.  I dare say that to some this is a new Muslim Chic.  Captivated by the culture, the music, the hum of the call to prayer, the smooth talking Palestinian leaders have them taken in by what they see as the Palestinian’s plight.  I am not going to berate Liam Neeson for expressing his attraction to Islam because he did so in a positive context, but I may also want to say to him, come take a look at Judaism.  We don’t have large factions within our ranks looking to take over the planet through brutal violence.

Criticizing the realities that exist within Islam is not racist, its realistic and practical.  Celebrities and politicians who have bent over backward to ignore those realities until now are partially to blame for James Foley’s death and for those who will be murdered by these factions in the future.  When the two young stars, Rihanna and Selena Gomez tweeted messages along the lines of “Free Gaza” or “Free Palestine”, did they ever stop to consider how young women like them are treated by the Hamas government and the society they are defending?  In contrast are they aware of the equality and opportunities provided to young women in Israel, even going as far as being important contributors in the military?  I am sure they didn’t.  They posted it on Twitter because it seemed like a fun, neo-humanitarian thing to do at the time.  Not so much fun anymore when there’s a video of an American journalist being beheaded on YouTube is it?

If the rest of the western world had put the same value on the lives of  Naftali Frenkel,   Eyal Yifrach, and Gilad Shaar as Israel did, and supported the operation in Gaza as it should have and understood its importance, it would have sent a message to groups like ISIS and Hamas, and even the oft ignored ringleader Iran, that it understood what is at stake.  But not only did they not do it then, some continue to not do it today.  But to those who needed to see it in front of them to make it real, the beheading of James Foley was a wake up call.  Not so Chic anymore is it?

 

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Katy Perry Showing how it’s done

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I’ve said often that I have no problem with those who want peace in the Middle East but don’t wish to assign blame.   Especially when their function doesn’t require it. Katy Perry responded to a young Israeli boy on Twitter asking for her prayers with the following tweet:  “I am! My prayers are for you guys tonight, SHALOM!!! RT”

For this I say Thank You Katy!

When attacked for it she responded with the following message: “A kid asked me to pray for him and I did. I don’t support ANY side of violence in ANY place for ANY reason.”

Just as I commended the Pope for praying to God that the violence would end, I commend and thank Katy Perry for her sentiment.  If everyone felt as she does and spread the love around evenly, the world would be just fine.  Some people who claim to be humanitarians could learn from her.  Caring about people means caring about all people and Katy clearly gets that.

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The Manufacturing of Terrorists: The Real Human Rights Violation

MummyBomberL_468x468As everyone tries to make sense of the Boston Marathon bombings, I sit and wonder why people refuse to accept the reality of the situation.  I maintain that the refusal is based in fear.  Maybe it is fear of the bad guys and the perception of what they will do if you openly hold them responsible for the destruction they are bringing to our planet.  Or maybe it is fear of coming across as too radical.  After all, everyone cares what their friends think about them.  Don’t believe me?  Just check Facebook or Twitter.  Maybe it’s the fear that the truth is just too hard to swallow.  What truth do I speak of?  The fact that that there are modern day Nazi-style regimes either in place or springing up all over the world.  Except this time they are masquerading as so-called religious, more specifically Muslim nations and organizations.

First I will explain the legitimacy and importance of the comparison to Nazi Germany.   The best way to understand the comparison is to look at today’s Germany.  Although no nation is perfect, the Germany of today is a civilized, tolerant, peace-loving society.  Germany did not import new people into their populous after 1945.  However, after the Allies defeated Hitler’s regime, Germany rebuilt, and the basic decency that exists in most human beings became more prevalent than the morally corrupt, evil principals of Nazi Germany.  It is hard for some to believe that Germany could ever have become a good country after 1945, but the fact is that it has.  The point I am making is that in general, it is not the people who are bad, it is their leaders.  And although it was not only justified, but necessary to kill Germans before Hitler’s government fell, many of those killed could in fact be deemed victims as well; as is the case with a large percentage of the world’s Muslim population today.

Hitler rose to power by feeding off the discontent of the people.  After Germany’s defeat in World War I, the Treaty of Versailles was instituted as a means to control and punish Germany for their aggression.  With no desire to make their lives better, Hitler used the people’s subsequent hunger, bitterness, and desperation as a way to not only gain power, but to control their actions.  Anyone Hitler hated, most notably the Jews, was responsible for the plight of the German people, and by making the people believe that not only was their misfortune their fault, but that by eliminating them things would improve, he successfully created a power source that was responsible for mass murder unlike the world had ever seen.  The same formula is being used today.  Except today’s governments and leaders are going one step further.  They are actually creating the misfortune.  I am by no means saying that Hitler was a better man.  I am merely stating that he did not have to crush the morale of his people.  That had already been done prior to his ascent to power, and arguably with justification.  These Muslim regimes have drained the life from the very people they claim to care for the most. 

Now fast forward to the 1960s and the formation of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization).  The PLO was a group that portrayed itself as freedom fighters, fighting for the rights of the displaced Palestinians with the sole purpose of creating a homeland for its people and destroying the State of Israel.  It’s weapon of choice, terrorism against Jews worldwide.  Although tragically successful in murdering people, the PLO accomplished one thing over everything else it claimed to want to accomplish.  It made Yasser Arafat a very rich and powerful man.  And rich he became, owning Hotels in the Swiss Alps and amassing a fortune while his people suffered under the misconception that it was the fault of guess who?  The Jews.  I wonder how many people took the time to facetiously thank Yasser Arafat, the founding father of modern terrorism for the bombing in Boston.  He not only set the stage, but he was complicit in the creation of the new blueprint.

The attacks on September 11, 2001, or as we now refer to it, 9/11, were attacks organized by Osama bin-Laden, but perpetrated by Saudi Arabian nationals.  Saudi Arabia, a nation so wealthy that the royal family recently gifted its people $36 billion in the hope of placating the  population enough to avoid uprisings similar to so many other Arab nations since the start of the “Arab Spring”.  Like so many other corrupt governments, the Saudi royal family has managed to keep its people down, creating a segment of the population that feels its only future and purpose is to destroy those responsible for their life’s deficiencies.  What was once only Israel’s fault is now also the fault of the entire western world, mainly the United States.  They convince their people that the reason things are so bad is the dominance of the corrupt, non-Muslim infidels of Israel and the United States.  By doing this they believe they strengthen their power base and maintain control of the government and yes, more importantly the money.  After all, happy people tend to gravitate towards Democracy, a dangerous concept for these people.

As other nations and organizations use this same model, they teach their children that murdering people is OK, as long as you do it with a purpose.  If the Jews and Americans are evil, anything you do to hurt them makes your life worthwhile.  The fact is that these children are victims as well.  They are victims of a violation of Human Rights unprecedented in history. They are being made into terrorists.   If Hamas and Hezbollah truly value the lives of their people, would they teach their young to blow themselves up?  If these children were given a chance for a life do you truly believe they would want to be part of this despicable behavior?  Of course not.  As some would like to believe that the reason the Palestinians and Israelis do not live in peace is the creation of Jewish settlements, the real reason there is no peace is because the beginning of peace marks the end of Hamas, Hezbollah, and ultimately even  regimes such as the current Iranian government and the Saudi monarchy.  I find it ironic how I once loved Pink Floyd because the music was so intelligent only to find myself now having trouble listening to their music because their front man Roger Waters has shown such ignorance and stupidity in calling for boycotts against Israel.   Is he really that stupid?  Or is he too afraid of the truth.  The truth that in order to maintain their power over their people, these leaders manufacture terrorists, and do so at such remarkable efficiency that they have now begun to do what so many other successful manufacturers do, export their product, as seen last week in Boston.  You see now they have found a new method.  Target young Muslims anywhere in the world and if they are fortunate enough to be malcontents, teach them how their life can have meaning by killing innocent people.

I know that seeing the United States give financial aid to Egypt’s new government is a hard pill to swallow seeing how the Muslim Brotherhood’s rhetoric is as bad as the other’s, but the truth is that supporting the governments that arise out of the Arab Spring may just be the last peaceful option.  If somehow these new governments would provide their people with real purpose and a hope at a decent life, the hope would be, albeit it unlikely, terrorists would no longer have such a significant breeding ground.  If however it does not work, the only way to eliminate it will be by powerful force, force that will most likely cause loss of life we have not seen since World War II.  The problem is, using the analogy of cancer, when force conquered Nazi Germany and their allies in World War II the cancer was a series of highly recognizable cancers in specific parts of the world body.  Today’s cancer has spread so intricately worldwide it will be much harder to eliminate.  And don’t look to the United Nations for help.  The reason the UN has not only recognized, but supported terror groups and evil regimes over the years is because of one thing, money.

And finally, before anyone reads this and thinks this is an anti-Islam rant, know that the motivation for writing this is the very pleasant interaction I regularly have with an Egyptian street vendor.  I look at him and realize the people are not the problem, their leadership is.  Sadly, should anyone rise up from within their ranks and attempt to lead the people in a better direction, a direction of peace and at least the potential for prosperity, that person’s life would be in immediate and grave danger.  After all, anything that stands in the way of their manufacturing process, the one that manufactures terrorists, would be something they would need to eliminate.   If you are frightened or saddened by this harsh reality remember this.  Not facing it will ultimately lead to a worse one.  One that should be unacceptable to any civilized human being, whether or not that human being is a Jew, Christian, Muslim, or any other believer or non-believer.