Tag Archives: US

Is ridiculing feelings like Baseball, Apple Pie and Chevrolet? Not in my America

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We all know the saying, “As American as Baseball, Apple Pie and Chevrolet”.  I always liked that saying, because although I’m not a car guy and Apple Pie isn’t my favorite thing in the world, at least those 3 things, I do like baseball a lot,  have the ability to contribute positively to people’s lives.  So if Apple Pie and Chevrolet are to be associated with things very American, that only stimulates and strengthens my patriotic impulse.  Unfortunately in the time passed since the election, it appears that a large segment of society thinks there is something else that is the American way, and that is the ridiculing of feelings.

I am white, I am Jewish, I am straight and I am male.  So in all fairness, as much as I genuinely am not pleased with the outcome of the election, the worst of Donald Trump’s campaign statements and his new administration’s potential upcoming policy agenda, at least on the surface won’t impact me directly.  So if I would speak constantly of ongoing sadness and despair, although I would have every right to feel it, I could see the rationale in calling me a cry baby.  But what about those, potentially at least, who feel they will be directly impacted?

The LGBT community has watched as the country has elected a ticket with a Vice President formerly in favor of using HIV funding for conversion therapy and once signed a bill to jail same sex couples in Indiana who applied for marriage licenses.  Are gay people whiners if they express concern and even fear?  Is the cast of Hamilton really harassing the Vice President elect as stated by the President-elect Donald Trump because they use their platform to first welcome him to their show and then call on him to be a public servant for all Americans? Are the feelings of people whose lives could get directly impacted by policy or attitude wrong for having feelings? Not in my America?

What about law-abiding, patriotic American Muslims.  And yes, for those of you on the right rolling your eyes and wondering how a proud Jewish man and proud Zionist could say such a thing, there are significantly more of those types of Muslims in the country than there are terrorists or terrorist sympathizers.  Are they wrong for being scared?  Are they wrong for feeling fear of the backlash caused by comments by the President-elect  and his new National Security adviser during the campaign?  Are they wrong for feeling as though they are being made to feel less than welcome in what is also their America?  Is it OK to see them as a threat merely for being born into the religion they were born into?  Not in my America?

But no other group has been made to feel more deeply isolated and frightened by what has taken place during this election cycle than the Latino community.  Addressing those Mexicans who are murderers and rapists in a way that left it open to be interpreted as all Mexicans, rallying people behind the building of a wall between the US and Mexico, and most significantly garnishing support by proposing rounding up all undocumented aliens and deporting them, was all it took to create an atmosphere of fear and despair in much of Latino America.  This is about much more than Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric.  This is also about how so much of the American public took to the rhetoric.  Blaming undocumented immigrants for your poor lot in life is at best a precursor to a dangerous racist society, at worst the creation of it.   So I ask you, were Latinos who were shaking and crying the day after the election crybabies and whiners?  Not in my America.

I have often said that you can dispute facts but you can not dispute feelings.  Someone is not wrong for how they feel.  Their feelings may be based in the perversion of fact, but questioning the legitimacy of feelings is as illogical as saying someone is wrong for liking Pizza or Star Trek.  People like what they like and feel what they feel.  Furthermore, when a large segment of society feels a certain way, especially when those feelings are based on things they have consistently heard for over a year and a half, who is anyone to ridicule those feelings?  Are people who have been the basis and so much of the foundation of Donald Trump’s success wrong for feeling targeted?  Not in my America.

Just as we should not ridicule the feelings of those decent people who chose Donald Trump because they found him to be the best choice moving forward, so too we should not tolerate the ridicule of the people who are not happy with the result.  Particularly those who feel their lives might very well be negatively impacted.  You might say that protesting will do nothing positive and may just make it harder to move forward.  I understand that viewpoint. Rioting and causing damage to property and loss of life should be met with harsh and immediate punishment.  Without question I get that.  But is ridiculing feelings as much a symbol of this great country as Baseball, Apple Pie and Chevrolet? Not in my America.

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Israel wins a game of Chicken

faa-logo-387x400If the report from Channel 2 News in Israel is accurate, the Israeli government outmaneuvered the American government in what might be described as a political game of Chicken.   The report from Arad Nir of Channel 2 Israel states that the Israeli government told the US that it understands the rules and reasoning of the FAA in banning flights to Tel-Aviv, but that the situation could not continue this way and that to change it they would need to amp up and accelerate the operation in Gaza.   Click to see the report by the Jewish Press.

In doing this Israel reinforced one fact and may have proven another. The fact that it reinforced is once again that it has been showing incredible amounts of restraint.  This fact has been reinforced over and over in numerous ways so there is no reason to believe those denying it will change their tune, but this indeed does provide one more piece of evidence.  The second claim it may have verified is that the ban from the FAA was more about politics than it was about safety.  If indeed the US Government was using the banning of flights into Ben-Gurion as a way of strong-arming Israel into stopping or pulling back on its operation in Gaza, Israel’s response politically outmaneuvered the U.S.

The fact that Israel may have been put into a position where it needed to outmaneuver the United States, a nation that traditionally has been a close friend and ally,  is another sad commentary of a very sad time.


The Ukraine Situation: More serious than many realize

140123_FOR_Ukraine.jpg.CROP.promo-mediumlargeHow important is it that the Ukraine, a country of more than 40 million people is on edge?  Besides the human factor, no one likes to see people die violent deaths, does the current situation matter to us?  The answer to this is a resounding yes.

I am sure that there are some out there that see the current situation as merely interesting news.  However, it is a situation like this that magnifies the tensions between countries and weakens the resolve of alliances.   More specifically, Russia with its connection to the Ukrainian government finds itself at odds with the European Union and of course, as has become far too frequent, at odds with the United States.  With both the EU and US considering sanctions to pressure the government of the Ukraine, the schism between Russia and the west is growing.  It has the frightening impression of a situation where the lines are being drawn, and divisions are becoming stronger.  With growing economic problems and worldwide unrest in a variety of nations, the situation is one that should concern all of us.

I do not usually use this forum to stir up fear.  However, being that this is a site dedicated to those lost as a result of the biggest war and worst atrocities in mankind’s history,  it becomes more and more important to bring to light issues that have the potential to put the world on the brink.

Let’s pray and hope that calmer heads prevail.


Syria: A lose lose situation

bigstock-syria-3770337As a supporter for Israel I have no difficulty in saying that I despise the current Syrian regime.  Starting with the current Assad’s father, this dictatorial fascist government has been a catalyst in attacks on Israel and a financier of worldwide terrorism specifically against Israel and world Jewry for decades.  With that said one would think I would be in favor of a U.S. lead attack on Syria in response to the evidence of chemical weapons being used by the government against the rebels in the ongoing civil war.  This is not the case at all.  Not only am I not in favor of United States involvement in Syria, I’m more opposed to it than I have been to any military action in a very long time.  The reason being is that it is clear to me that nothing good will result from any type of US lead attack.

The first question that comes to my mind, one that I asked a week ago, is why now?  Why is it so much worse that people get slaughtered with chemical weapons than it is that they get blown apart by a bomb?  My mother, who is 91 and a survivor of the Holocaust, gave me what I consider to be the best answer to that question.  Her response was, and I am paraphrasing; ‘others get involved when it scares them and they are in danger.  If Syria has chemical weapons they can use it elsewhere.  They don’t care about the other people.  They only care about themselves.’

If we think the people we are pretending to care about don’t see this as well then we have become blinded by our very arrogance.

I don’t have a problem with our government or any other government looking out for the safety of its citizens, but I do have issue with it being done behind the smokescreen of concern.  It eliminates the full and honest disclosure necessary to deal with a crisis of this magnitude. And make no mistake.  This is a major crisis.  The Syrian government is backed by Russia, a powerful and important player in world politics and one we are already at odds with.  The collapse of governmental structure in Syria could lead to chaos that could indeed start a major conflict involving multiple nations aligning on different sides.  The Syrian crisis has immediate impact on Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Jordan.  This would follow with a multitude of other countries likely getting involved.  Although Russia has not taken a hard stance against US involvement, the relationship it has with Syria is a wild card that makes this an even more dangerous venture.

I am generally in favor of anything that protects the State of Israel.  This would not protect Israel nor would it bring any additional stability to the crumbling region.  Syria is already an enemy of Israel and the Jewish people and has and will continue to harbor and support terrorists committed to its destruction.  The Israeli government is fully aware of this and has and always will take the appropriate action to ensure the safety of its people and neutralize the enemy.  A US attack on Syria does neither.

I am not a bleeding heart who is opposed to any type of war.  However, of all the reasons to go to war, going to war to send a message is one of the most barbaric and unproductive.  If someone can show me how bombing Syria accomplishes anything more than that I am willing to listen.  I just don’t see it that way.