Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jimmy Kimmel -- Matt Damon -- Deflategate HILLARIOUS--A Mood Lifter

"I am the locker room guy" FUNNIEST video comedy since Abbott and Costello's "Whose on First"!!

Scroll down and brighten your mood. Click on either link that works for you and then click on the Youtube! NOT political just fun -- for a change!  :-D


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why is this Holocaust different from all others?


In the Passover ritual sedar the youngest child asks the question "Why is this night different from all others." It is then that the retelling of the fabled Exodus story is told in answer to his question.

The Nazi Holocaust is no fable but I ask the a similar question. Why is this Holocaust different from all others?:

Yes, there can be no doubt the killing of innocents in all corners of
the globe is a monstrosity and should, as the Nuremberg trials dictate, be morally repugnant to all who call themselves human.

The killing of innocents, of course, goes on from the Boca Haram's murderous odyssey in Africa and beyond to ISIS, ISIL and yes, the crushing of the innocents in Gaza. I reject it all including Hamas's uncompromising position on the Jewish state. Further, I reject wholeheartedly and have said so in writing, Netanyahu's uncompromising ways, his insult to our president to speak before Congress without our president's knowledge. I call out injustice wherever it exists including all over the Middle East and the USA racism with its wars based on lies that are ruinous to millions.

Having said that, in the short time when Hitler assumed power in Germany in 1933 to the end of the war in Europe in 1945, I can safely, I think, say there has never been such a methodical, murder of 6 million human beings (IF we can even grasp that number) by an advanced country in Europe as the Nazi Final Solution unleashed. Beyond that it was predicated upon 2000 years of Jew hatred by mostly Christians as they indicated the Jew for the killing of their god.

So, while all barbaric killing everywhere must be in conscience decried there is a difference between other slaughters and the Holocaust against the Jew. It stands alone, in my opinion, in its monstrous barbarity within the continent of Europe including even in once Democratic France and in Britain. Few lifted fingers to save the Jew even within the US. Nothing yet can make me think otherwise. But having said that it is the reason that I must in good conscience come out against slaughter everywhere.

The Holocaust is unique in its gargantuan number, it happened in our time and it cannot be denied. I wish it were not so. I wish the Jewish people did not have to hold this nauseating record of man's inhumanity to man against them in particular. There was no exit card for the Jew because their DNA dictated their fate. Whether from the Crusades beginning in 300 A.D, to the Inquisition of Spain to the modernity of WWII Europe the Holocaust against the Jew was, is and will always be the world's longest hatred and most incompressible staggering barbarity perpetrated by so called "civilized" men on innocent millions. It is unique in the annals of man's utter bestial brutality to his fellow man.

May it, indeed, never happen again to anyone!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Remember to Never Forget: International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Scroll down and Remember:


 
It is now, as mind numbing as it is to believe, the 70th year of the world's staggering gift of inhumanity to humanity -- the Nazi Holocaust -- against, most particularly, the Jews of Europe and many others as well.

We are asked to remember and I do. I remember them every day I live -- when I look upon a blizzard from my nice warm home I think of them freezing to death in the camps which were asking them to concentrate; concentrate on what I ask; when it is blistering hot I think of them sweltering standing and/or working since the Auschwitz greeting said to its captives "Arbeit macht frei" (work makes you free) in heat until they dropped; when it is pouring rain I think of them drenched in rain's cold; when I cough I think of them dying from pneumonia or typhus with no one to help; when spring comes with its sun and the beauty of the Lilies of the field but the green of the earth betrays the dark horror that surrounds them; when free flying birds gather food to sustain their life but my people lie imprisoned in wooden bunks with their ribs showing before death's mercy frees them to relieve their suffering; I think of them as they march to the gas chambers; I think of the women as they march to the gas chambers with babies in their arms. I think of them -- the six million -- as if that number were fathomable and as if the 70 years ago were yesterday.

I think of them every day and I think of all the others who went to their deaths with them. Never again always had meaning for me and my hope is the rest of mankind will adopt that phrase, too, before the mendacious monstrosities of murder kill millions more.

Two minutes to midnight draws near as we reap the harvest of so many centuries' seeds of inhumanity we have sown. Remember and never forget.

SCROLL DOWN slowly to the picture below and forward to whomever you choose.


Intl Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today, January 27, marks 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. For the past seven decades we have struggled to comprehend the horrors of the Holocaust and to understand its implications for all mankind.
Yad Vashem stands at the forefront of international efforts to educate future generations towards a better tomorrow, while never forgetting all that was lost.
Join us on International Holocaust Remembrance Day in our effort to create a promising future for the next generations.
 

www.yadvashem.org






Letter to those family and friends I love


Positive: We still have power at 8:00 a.m. Pessimistic: If we don't lose it will be a miracle.

We are safe and want to know if those who received the email are as well. Thinking about digging out is making us sick but we are persevering through it. The more time goes by the happier it should become ... I HOPE!

We want to know all those who got this message as you are the only ones we sent it to from my list which includes Florida -- the ONLY time I envy them and want to be there. But that's beside the point. If you still have power and can email please do. If I don't respond it may be because either we or you don't have power.

Getting out is the next worry and I am hoping some help will come. Blessings on Ralph, my neighbor, for the use of his garage -- I can never repay the favor and want to know how you are doing.

Allow me one point:

Mother nature is angry at us as well she should be. Look at what those vile specimens of humanity have done to our precious earth with their sickening death wielding pollution inducing oil and other fossil fuels. It is the true sin against nature and worse the know nothings keep electing these science denying Cretans to high office.

Look out your window. This is climate change and what you will get and more if we do not address it IMMEDIATELY. Imagine the lives that would have been saved had Al Gore the one who told us a decade and more ago "An Inconvenient Truth" about climate change and man's contribution to it, won in 2000. This is climate change. It is the wave (pardon the pun) of the future and worse unless people come to their senses and believe science 99% of those who are scientists in our time know it is happening. All of us and those who have grandchildren their children and beyond will suffer nature's wrath if we do not begin to cure our earth now.

BIG HUGS to everyone!!!! Pray (yep I said it) pray for sun! Heck I'll just take the power to stay on.!

If you can let me know you are safe.

Monday, January 26, 2015

GO PATS; DO YOUR JOB!

Allow me a bit of frivolity in an otherwise ever-so-serious world.

As for the ABSURD insanity of so called "Deflategate" I said originally "say it ain't so." And you know what?  IT IS NOT SO!!! Our talented beautiful team did NOTHING absolutely NOTHING wrong and human beings did not say that SCIENCE did and will!

A professor I looked up to at Boston University when he was speaking about war said to ALWAYS ALWAYS ask the questions who does it benefit and why. So I ask this latest faux scandal question. Who does this scandal benefit and why? I can tell you who it benefits. It ONLY benefits those who had to endure our Pats' excellence and onslaught. Who benefits and why? ALL THOSE WHO WERE GREEN WITH ENVY OR THOSE WHO GOT TROUNCED BY THEM OR WHO WANTED TO DO WHAT THE PATS DID TO THEM BENEFITED. It benefits those who want to shake them up to throw them off course Sunday.

They are shaken up alright and are going to use this sickening faux scandal to infuse them with even more might than they had before. I will not besmirch any opposing teams' names like other teams did to our BRILLIANT Coach Belichick and Mr. Kraft. Nor will I besmirch the media who were RUTHLESS but NOT right. So JUSTICE will have its day, at least in football, and the Patriots will do us proud once again.

I love you New England Patriots because I love my state and the fabulous City of Boston!!

GO PATS. Do us proud just one more time!

Do your job!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Social Deviance and Anomie"

It is staggering to me having come from a generation that learned to respect teachers and think of doctors as nearly divine to see violence perpetrated upon them. Maybe the problem is thinking of them as gods instead of human beings who are not always perfect. Who of us is always perfect? But I think it more than that.

The fundamental supports on which a developed nation needs to survive are being shaken to their core from Bill Cosby to the Patriots to our own nation's fudging the truth about something as serious and threatening to life as war. It is exemplary of but not exceptional to those educational and medical institutions. It is reflected by a lack of respect in many other arenas as well.

Whether it’s politics, education or health care and more we tend to look at these institutions now with suspicion. The government does "not knowingly" spy on its citizens says the NSA Director lying to Congress. Once we thought they cared about us when in reality, in our culture, money and power is the bottom line and what the "caring" is all about. Advertising is a good yardstick. We are told that the businesses selling a product really care about us but in reality they don't. They care about making money. Whether it's insurance companies, hospitals or the maker of widgets they usually care about us insofar as they can figure out how effectively they can say something, heretofore even immoral things, to make us buy what they are selling.

The man behind the curtain has been exposed in our technological age. We collectivity feel, perhaps, a sense of insecurity and anger about those institutions in which we put our trust to help us live but seemingly do not care about us at all. We are an open society and to be anything else is alien but that does not mean our culture must carry with it a side car of policy cruelty.

One of my first readings in college was a sociological treatise entitled "Social Deviance and Anomie" (author’s name unknown.) It made an impact on me since I remember its title from many years ago. It was rational to think that a feeling of alienation from a culture into which one was born could be related to the deviance of drug addition, law breaking and even violence. Collectively, I have always thought human beings do better when we feel connected to each other and if we think that someone in our culture cares.

We are a heterogeneous nation of capitalistic immigrants that lends itself to Ayn Randian feelings of alienation and cruel individualism. No, I am not arguing for a socialist economy. I am arguing for a developed nation developing policy that at least seemingly cares about all of us–rich and poor alike–who reside within it.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cardiac Surgeon Had a Heart

I am sickened as we all I am sure are at the senseless murder of Dr. Michael Davidson, a cardiological surgeon at Brigham and Women's by the deranged son of a former patient. There are no words adequate enough to mourn the loss of this young and brilliant man taken from us at 44 years of age. He was not only a practicing surgeon but a teacher of his craft at Harvard Medical School as well.

Do we chalk it up to mental illness or do we chalk it up to too many guns in the hands of explosive people? I am never ashamed to say I loathe guns, I loathe the culture of guns that is the NRA and I hate our violent nation's actions both here and across the world. If it were up to me I would repeal the 2nd Amendment these Cretans seem to think is so worship-worthy.

We are a nation of gunslingers and American snipers. The fact that the based-on-a-true-story picture "American Sniper" made by the same Clint Eastwood who insulted our president at the Republican convention has grossed so far 92 MILLION bucks and is up for Academy Award makes me sick. Bradley Cooper will probably get one in the Best Actor category.

I don't care how much of a hero anyone thinks that human killing machine sniper was (he is now dead killed at a gun range by a man he was teaching) boasting "150 kills" of human beings is the reason that that picture will probably take the award for best actor played by Bradley Cooper. It shows what appeals to the majority of our ever-so-violent and war-like nation. Put another notch on the gun for those killed by senseless gun violence as Dr. Davidson was. It is time for Federal law to finally have some teeth in all 50 states. One would think after the 26 dead children of Newtown gunned down by a miscreant with an AK47 something could squash the vicious NRA which has spent millions defeating common sense gun legislation. No, it's part of our culture and the "precious" 2nd Amendment gun nuts will say.

In truth Shakespeare said it so eloquently "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars it is in ourselves."

Most of you have no idea what Martin Luther King actually did

A MUST READ!  here or at the link below

Patriots Inflategate—Deflated. Say it ain’t so!


I am a diehard Patriots fan and a lover of all things Boston and New England. I am among those who grew up with Boston sports enthusiasm and caught its fever early.


Pat's Sunday victory and the Colts's crushing defeat was fantastic for a Pat’s fan to watch.  I am so emotionally connected that I have to look away or turn off the channel if the Pats fumble, are intercepted or worse lose.   The game on Sunday, though, was sheer joy.  I watched it all as the talent of my team is nothing short of miraculous.

Having said that, the latest dust up of purposefully deflated footballs allegedly by the Patriots makes me cringe.  It makes me worry as the stories seem not to stop.  The talent of the Patriots is so enormous why would anyone have to court investigation and very bad press by intentionally deflating a ball under regulation size thereby breaking an NFL rule?  Does a game won by fraud feel as good?  I doesn’t to me.

Initially, I brushed off the accusation as sour grapes but now the accusations linger and seem to be getting stronger. All of a sudden I am worried. Was this blow out win too good to be true?

Even if deflated footballs are found the game will not be forfeited I tell my disillusioned self.  That, however, is not the point.  There is metaphor in this.  Is there any formerly trusted institution in this nation that is free of Machiavellian ways and dirty tricks to win at any cost? I loathe lying, cheating and stealing and I do not like people who do those things. 

If it can be proven the Patriots did this I will be saddened.  What does it matter if one lonely voice in the Patriots' crowd is upset? I guess nothing and that is too bad.  We suffer in this oft touted exceptional nation a lack of ethics and fair play.  Football is a game of war except no one is supposed to get killed.  International war of lies and wholly immoral conduct seems to be a national and international pastime too.  Except people in that arena do get maimed and slaughtered.

If Coach Belichick or anyone one else taints this great team, the players who are innocent and the fans who love them sufferWhether its real war or simply a game of football ethics matter and cheating should not be part of the game.  Say it ain't so, Bill. Say it ain't so!
 
Story today -- http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/.../report.../related/

The New England Patriots may have some explaining to...
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

Monday, January 19, 2015

“Selma”—a film Review—God at his side

No need to beat around the proverbial bush I loved this film. It took the highlights of the Alabama Edmund Pettus Bridge march for equality and the struggle for civil rights nearly fifty years ago and turned it into a film masterpiece.

This amazing non-violent man, Dr. Martin Luther King, did things to improve the lives of millions; things that no one would or could have done and he did so in the face of humiliating provocation, hubristic insult and the crushing brutality by the forces of malevolence few could endure. He turned the other cheek for the haters to smash as well.

This film shows to those who knew him and to the youth who can only study about him the inspirational charisma he possessed. He brought hope to hopeless millions and changed centuries of misery’s darkness into the possibility of freedom’s light. He brought his power to a recalcitrant, mean and vicious slice of oppositional white power and galvanized a nation of all colors, religions, and creeds to his moral cause.

We saw, through the communicative media of the time, the Edmund Pettus Bridge walkers bludgeoned when they tried to cross it by white and Confederate flag-flying racists as Dr. King forged a path for those that walked with him toward a better life.

People say for all the world to hear malevolent and mendacious things whether there is evidence for it or not against the giants of men and women upon whose shoulders we stand for the progress of mankind.

The larger truth was that a David honed justice against a Goliath of Billy clubs and bats. “Selma” was a snap shot of that time. It was a time of attack dogs, fire hoses and police Billy clubs used on old men, old women, children and anything black (and sometimes white) that got in the way of a white life of privilege. Persons of color wanted to merely sit anywhere on a bus, anywhere in a movie theater, at any lunch counter or, indeed, the right to vote free of literacy tests no one could pass and poll taxes many not afford.

Dr. King helped extricate his people as the metaphorical Moses of Biblical antiquity allegedly led the slaves out of Egypt. He was historically huge and this film portrayed him as that. I do not care about his personal life that some scurrilously impugn nor do I care about small poetic justice historical error there may be in the film. I care about what Dr. King did for those who lived under the jackboot of a backward brutal south that tried to crush people of color for any invented reason they could think.

The movie, “Selma” was great. We who empathize with those who suffer injustice and who are on the side of the arc of justice as it bends towards it will love this film for the truth it brings.

The lessons, though, are for our time as well. Again the shouts of injustice fall on seemingly deaf ears. The deaths of innocent Black men whether at the site of a burning cross, at the base of a Poplar tree or at the hands of some present-day bully can be seen in our nation now. Voter suppression, intimidation and hardship with the most egregious “conservative” Supreme Court nullification of the most important part of the 1965 Voting Right Act exist in our time. They have now the blood on their hands that so many shed to attain what rightfully should be America’s promise to everyone. The efforts of Dr. King and those who followed cannot have been in vain.

On Martin Luther King Day I say rest in peace, Dr. King, and may you be for all time at the side of the God in whom you believed!



Friday, January 16, 2015

The Calling of Our Time



The extremes on the right and that which Orwell and other dystopian writers feared are operational all over the world.  Fascist-like extremists from my point of view are the biggest threat to all of us.  They are brutal, inhumane, totalitarian in their hearts and unapologetically violent in their actions.  They are severely anti-Muslim and in the past at least were virulently anti Semitic as well.  If this were simply a sub-group or an out-on-a- limb phenomena it would not worry me.  But we can see from so many states in our union so many extremist right wing Republicans, a Party that has NO room for moderates, people of color and certainly no room for those from the LGBT community.  They are now in control of two of the most powerful three divisions of US power.  If Republicans gain the presidency and both Houses everything and I do mean every good social program that Obama, Lyndon Johnson and even FDR passed that saved a nation and your life will be at risk. I am NOT waxing histrionic.

Across Europe right wing extremism is popular and has resurrected its ugly head.  Just take a look at Mari Le Pen's right wing extremist party which has gained strength in France and this can be said surely most fearfully in Germany, in Belgium and even in the Scandinavian nations.

Am I delusional?  Did not Barack Obama, a supposed liberal Democrat, usher in total control of Congress in 2008?  What happened?  2010 was, indeed, our Waterloo.  All the good feeling and hope melted like ice cream in the heat of the summer. 

I am flummoxed, I am sickened by it all but MOSTLY I live in fear that all the good and hard-fought-for-rights for persons of color, women and the LGBT community will somehow be reversed. All it takes is time and not so much of it at that for a president to appoint local Republican federal judges, and worst of all Ginsberg's SCOTUS seat remains at risk for Republican control.   Now, if a Republican takes the presidency and in 2016 we do not regain at least the Senate than it is possible to see another entrenched-for-decades Republican SCOTUS jurists eviscerating human rights across the board, keeping money unlimited in political campaigns, treating corporations as people and letting big banks off the legal hook for tax payer money they digested because the Congress, especially Republicans, are bought off. It could mean the disappearance of the middle class and the American Dream as we have always known it.

All of this is worrisome to me.  I need to figure out how I want to approach this sickening impasse and whether or not I want to even keep writing opinion and working for candidates like an Elizabeth Warren whom we desperately need to stay in the Senate where she can do the most good in opposing obstructionist Republican politics.  It is the conundrum of my life and the calling of our time to determine how much we can do together to ameliorate the injustice all around us?

Until I decide that for myself we -- ALL of us -- must keep working toward taking back the Senate and CERTAINLY keeping the presidency in 2016.  I am rather tired of saying this as I said it so much about the 2014 midterms.  It obviously did not work as too many of us stayed home and simply let Republicans railroad themselves with ease into power.  I was vociferous about this because GET THIS: OUR LIVES ARE AT STAKE!  I am not kidding when I say that and I am no less fervent about it than I was in 2014 except now I am actually more insistent because time waits for no man and time is running out.

You who will inherit the earth, the wind and all that is vital for life on this planet MUST step up to the plate and for God's sake GET OUR PEOPLE OF COLOR, HISPANICS AND WOMEN REGISTERED TO VOTE ALL OVER THE NATION.  WHEN WE VOTE OUR NUMBERS WE WIN BUT IF WE STAY HOME WE LOSE AND ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES FAILURE BRINGS!  So I will say it again.  Begin as early as you can because you can be sure Republicans are not waiting and they are organizing  now.  WE MUST GET OUT THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE.  No, Democrats are not perfect but it is the only home we, the 98%, have at the moment.  It is the calling of our time!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Free Speech and that's that

I am for free speech and that's that. Pope Francis today stood on the side of critical religious speech restraint lest it offend. The Pope used his mother as a simile. He said one should expect a punch if anyone criticizes or insults her. I might direct the Pope (whom I rather like) to Saturday Night Live's early days where Father Guido Sarducci's "Find the Pope in the Pizza" was hilarious. How about Andres Serrano work at a Mapplethorpe exhibit which was of a photograph of a Christian symbol submerged in what I will not say lest I offend? The art work was attacked. What about the film "The Graduate?" In the end of the film the two heroic love birds (the bride and Dustin Hoffman) ran from her wedding. He snatched her from the pulpit before she could say I do, left the wood-be-groom in the dust and used a large crucifix placed horizontally in the door of the church so people in the church could not get out lest they try to stop them. I thought that symbolic of religion's penchant for imprisoning its subjects and that love should, in the final analysis, conquer all. Perhaps the Pope would not think as I which is his right.

Too bad, though this time, Pope Francis, I ever so respectfully disagree with you. If I insult your mother and you strike me that is assault and battery. One could go to jail for that. You should not punch me or anyone even if they offended your mama. Who knows maybe one has good reason for insulting her the substance of which the Pope does not know.
 

 I love Bill Maher's views on religion and support him 100%. It is our right to say that in organized religion, as the late Christopher Hitchen's brilliant book alluded, God is not necessarily good. I wish Hitchens were here to have this self-censorship debate.

If one thinks organized religion (emphasis on organized) is a scam that profits madly off frightened people who often cannot afford its hefty price but do anyway then it is our right to be able to say so any way we choose. If we think religion is so irrational and impossible to believe without denying science then it is one's right to say so any way one wants.

It says something, I think, about the weakness of religion that its faith is so tenuous a silly cartoon can ruin its day. Religion is and probably always has been political and like all politics it is up for debate even angry debate because those it oppresses and even kills are so numerous.

I took a course once in rabbinic Judaism and the rabbi who taught it said he saw a car with a bumper sticker. The sticker said "God made Adam and Eve and that's that." Our rabbi instructor said that he knew those in the car were not Jewish. You may ask why. Because, he said, Jews never say God did this or God did that and that's that. It never is the end of the story because religion gives us a plethora of ammunition to debate it by any verbal means necessary and we should!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Paris -- by Russell Brand -- BRILLIANT urge reading

One of the absolute best most articulate commentaries on the subject of our time I have ever read. I could never have written it better. It is perfectly done. I will spread this message as far as possible and urge all to do so as well. Thank you, Mr. Brand, for writing such a wonderful piece. Now, if only the masses would take what you have said to heart!

Paris -- By Russell Brand
 

 Away on holiday in a low signal land events in Paris are glimpsed as if through a crack in a door back to a terrible and confusing world.

This violence now though has the eerie familiarity and bilious dread of a recurring nightmare and can be pieced together with weary glances at airport lounge TVs, foreign newspapers and despairing texts from troubled friends.

Devastation in the City of Love, the New Year already feels tainted, blood stained in January by murder and sieges and grieving widows.

I don't know much about Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine where the murders took place. As a believer in God I respect the beliefs of all faiths, as a human being I respect freedom of speech. Where do we go then beyond fear and condemnation, cowed in the valley of the shadow of death two weeks into 2015?

How can any spiritual scripture be used as justification for mass murder? How can the tenet that The Prophet ought never be depicted ever override Islam's most mundane greeting AsSalaam alaikum - "peace and mercy be upon you"? It can't and it doesn't. 


The young, bewildered, pitiable men that carry out these atrocities probably at the behest of older, power hungry men do not speak for Islam or Muhammad or Allah. 


This language has nothing to do with the God I believe in or the God any of the Muslims I know believe in.

These men of murder are the symptom of a creed that lies as far away from God as is possible to conceive and do not represent Islam anymore than George Bush, Tony Blair and Halliburton represented Christianity, or ordinary, secular Europeans and Americans when they profited from the bombing of innocent Iraqis.

I suppose there will now be calls to curb our freedom. There will be tension and fear in mixed communities like the one I live in, there will be a temptation to generalize and damn in the bleak and monotonous tears of these insistent tragedies.

The awful fact is that violence of this type is almost impossible to stop. If any of us decide to yield to the terror within us and inflict violence, misguidedly or arbitrarily then how can it be prevented? More gates and bars and guards? More spying and borders and hate? More division and suspicion and derision? That is the philosophy that got us here.

The only answer is in the territory of the spirit, in the deep interconnectedness within us all. In the acceptance that all action on this plane is the manifestation of an inner realm and violence of an inner malady. Our only hope is compassion and love. To marshal vigorously the only terror and violence we can absolutely control; that which is within us individually.

I don't mean this in a wet, liberal "kumbaye ah me lord" type way. I am saying that we must love as passionately as they hate. We must respect as vehemently as they desecrate. It is not easy to be peaceful and loving in the face of dreadful violence but it's all we have. 


The reason I feel frightened by tragedies such as this is because I think there's nothing I can do, but there is. I can love and tolerate and reach across the fear. In places where secular and religious folk live together we have got to start observing the main message of every scripture; "be nice ."

All the other stuff is speculation; which book is best, which God is the most mighty. None of us know what's beyond the sensory realm, this tiny sliver of material life strewn within the infinite. But we each have the power to create heaven or hell here on Earth, extremists on all sides are clear in their intentions and actions, we, the vast, powerful majority, Christians, Muslims, atheists and undecideds have to be more committed and more determined. We must love life more than they love death. We must love each other more than they hate, in God's name, in Allah's name, in Charlie's name, in all our names.

Beautiful Sentiments; I am for peace are you?

Dear Brothers & Sisters,
Assalam-o-Alekum
          The members of the Islamic Center of Boston join their fellow Americans, French, and all people of conscience everywhere in the world in unequivocally condemning the senseless acts of violence that were committed in Paris, France on January 7th, 2015.

          No cause or excuse can be used to justify the taking of innocent lives and causing of wanton destruction and injury. The Holy Qur’an teaches us that the killing of one innocent human being is as if one has killed the whole of humanity. As followers of the Islamic faith, all of us repudiate this barbarism in the strongest possible terms and ask that every thing possible be done to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice and punishment.

          As members of the American Muslim community in the Greater Boston area, we offer our sincere condolences to those whose loved ones were killed or injured in this random act of terrorism.  May Allah (swt), the same God as the God of Jesus, Moses and Abraham, grant them patience and courage to deal with this calamity.

Mario Moreira
President, Islamic Center of Boston (ICB) - Wayland

Monday, January 12, 2015

Je Suis Charle and Je Suis Charlie


I am having difficulty writing an opinion with simplicity about events last week in France which require not simplicity but complexity of thought to make sense of the senseless.

Je Suis Juif literally and Je Suis Charlie idealistically because I am Jewish in form and I am Charlie in spirit.  I have always thought free speech the most important freedom without which the other freedoms our Founders Constitutionally etched could not exist.  At a very young age I knew the civil libertarian uniqueness of the land of my birth.  I thought I was lucky to be born here and I was.  I questioned everything according to my birthright and my right in the place of my birth.   In 5th grade I was in awe of my free speech ability to ask any question I chose and its importance in overcoming the stagnation of myth for the advancement of man.  Without questioning everything, including religion, man sits where he is and becomes stuck in non-truths, anti-science and error-filled assumptions.

I knew I was a Jew at an early age as my very first memory of self at three years old was that I was a Jew. I wrapped my three year old body in my father’s talis (prayer shawl) and was sure then at three years old that I would become a rabbi.  Being female did not matter.  The fire of the historical monstrosity of the Holocaust perpetrated against the Jewish 6 million in an orgy of anti-Semitism, burned later indelibly in my 10 year old brain.  That fire, to this day, decades later, has never been extinguished. 

To continue: It is rarely reported in western media except by Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now” and a few others in print seen or read by a few that there can be no doubt of western complicity for the Middle East quick sand in which we, the west, have been sinking.  It is vital that it is noticed by the west, admitted and stopped.  It is, in pertinent part, responsible, at least initially, for violence against us and others all over the world.  Muslim resentment of western colonialism and its western wars of lies waged in the oft perceived by Muslims holy land for its oil makes many Muslims wax furious.  The west supported the haves to the detriment of the have nots forcing the anger of them to burn in a fire now almost impossible to stop.

Bad western foreign policy decisions over decades, no centuries, have been responsible for the well of much anger-driven violence waged because of them.  The arc of perceptual injustice prevails and bends not towards justice but away from it.  The cauldron of Middle East anger seethes in response to the indignation of western perpetrated death as its collateral damage drones fly over the Middle East killing many uncounted innocents and producing retaliatory violence against their exuding product – death.

But we cannot stop there in our analysis of the events that took place in France.  Islam is not a violent religion, so many say, but there can be no doubt when the prolific Wahhabi-like violence in extremis is in front of one’s eyes the violent religious extremist part of that religion is what is seen.  It reflects in the western eye a part of Islam that is, in fact, very violent, uncompromising in belief and very extreme.   If one loses an innocent loved one because of it or if one is crippled by it a part – albeit a small part of Islam – is perceived as very lethal and responsible.  Moreover, it can be said Muslim violence on fellow Muslims has meant thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands of deaths occur in the name of the faith they share.  The killing has been brutal and extends all over the world.

The Cretans of psychopathology like an Adam Lanza of Newtown fame or a Timothy McVeigh of Oklahoma notoriety means, in part, sick minds perpetrate this evil but are no one’s fault except, perhaps, a mutant strain of one’s DNA making the prediction of violent events all the more difficult.

Violence everywhere is complex and the rationales for it are different. It is limited to a small percentage of religious, political and psycho-pathological violently irrational fanatics but if the violence happens to you or your loved one it is as if it were 100%.

Finally, Palestinian policy in Israel must be addressed or the conflict will continue in the form of never-ending war.  I do suspect if peace could reign tomorrow in that tortured part of the world there would be fanatics on both sides that would ruin it.  And even if Jews were magically not there I suspect groups within Islam would fight for control of, as Aaron David Miller entitled his book, “that much too promised land.”  The proclivity for violence among them cannot be denied with or without Jews.  Jews, though in reality will remain in Israel and Palestinians will remain there too.  Therefore, if one wants one’s children not to grow up in a madness of mayhem then peace must be forged through the compromise of both.  Compromise is not a dirty word but it is a lifesaving one if one wants to, indeed, save lives.

The American electorate and the west will sow the seeds of their own destruction if they elect leaders who are uncompromising and extreme.  Our Constitutional Fathers gave us a golden document filled with free speech and human rights guarantees.  If it were up to me compromise would be easy and peace in sight.  It can be if people of good will take a seat at the round table and as King Arthur at his Round Table once said "I am King Arthur and we are the Knights of Justice! We pledge fairness to all, to protect the weak and vanquish the evil!" Baruch Ashem (Please God,) let it be so!


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Secrets



I first heard the song "Two Can Keep a Secret if One of them is Dead" on "Democracy Now" linked below. I heard it in between interviews on the National Security State.  It is beautiful in its simplicity, profound and it is eerie.  Amy Goodman's interview of Scott Horton who has published a new book entitled "Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America's Stealth Foreign Policy" I will Kindle and add to my plethora of 1/2 read excellent books in hope that someday before I die I will sit down and read them all.  Hope springs eternal.

My mind staggers at the latest extremist violence this time in Paris.  Where will it be next? There can be no doubt there will be a next.  Will we who yearn for humane policy ever know a world at peace and compromise again?  The more pressing question is how did we get here?
Is violence a part of man's basic tribal nature or are there cultural forces man can control?  The explanations are legion and I do not have the endurance nor the expertise to explain such things in depth but I do know a little that I think accounts for much. 

Post World War II western foreign policy has angered many in the developing world; blood for oil the life blood of the west the riches from which never find their way to the struggling masses; the never-ending corruption of wealth and politics; the secrets of the national security state easily exposed in our technological age for all the world to see and for the least of these brethren to wax angry at the inhumanity of eternal war those secrets engender and the impossibility of keeping those secrets secret no matter how much technology we apply to it are some reasons for consideration.
What matters?  In the end I believe that human beings want to be heard, they want to live in dignity and they resent others to perceptively take it all leaving little for those who often work the hardest.  This story is old.  It is as old as civilized man, as old as Egypt, as old as Rome, and as old as the modern industrial state.  The difference now is injustice is shown as fast as one can click on a mouse. 
At our core I believe the powerless want a voice in the process.  What is more precious to arrive at political process than our freedom of speech? It is, as I see it, the most important freedom because through it we can make our desires heard.
Moreover, for 6 billion on our planet there are billions of different modalities of religious belief and non-belief. Which one is correct? No one, in truth, really knows but man has the right – no, the obligation – to question everything. Nothing is more important than that.
The song “Secrets …” is here or at the link below.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

A Recommendation



One of my like-minded politicos gave me a tip on a great documentary that he says I will love. It's called "Ethos." If you have Netflix you can get it on that. It is narrated by Woody Harrelson and dedicated to my own political mentor in days gone by, the late Howard Zinn. I just began it and it seems like it strikes my ground zero.

This is, I am sure, a winner. If you can I suggest you tune in if you feel as powerless as I do to change the sickening injustice we see all around.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

How did it come to this? I remember 2008 being in a house delirious with happiness about the Obama victory and the complete Democratic Congress. What are we poised to experience with states totally Republican controlled and a Congress Republican as well? Where did it all go so wrong? I am now going to drown my sorrows in blueberry pancakes. It's not whiskey but it is my only solace -- FOOD! : This is what happens when our side does not vote.

Headline if you want to read: here or http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
RED TIDE: STATES VEER RIGHT

Friday, January 02, 2015

Why we MUST VOTE!

This is what the Republican Party welcomes into their "big" tent.  See story below.  How proud can one be calling themselves Republican when it plays host to what is cited?  This is what we are up against and why I am so vociferously and passionately insistent Democrats, liberal, progressives, moderates and all who believe in a humane, tolerant society and way of life GET OUT THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE IN 2016! 

Story below written  by Emily Shire of the "Daily Beast," a politically liberal site.


Racists Melt Down Over Steve Scalise

White supremacists online whine that the Republican leader addressing one of their groups is no different than talking to the NAACP.

The scandal swirling around Steve Scalise’s address to white supremacists has white supremacists crying foul.

Steve Scalise, newly elected as Republican majority whip, admitted to addressing the European-American Unity and Rights Organization conference in 2002 when he was a Louisiana lawmaker. (EURO was founded by David Duke, the ex-Klansman who ran for Louisiana governor in 1991.) Scalise says he didn’t know they were a white supremacist group and equated addressing them with “liberal” groups like the League of Women voters.
Stormfront.org, the leading white-hate site on the Internet, agrees with Scalise’s defense. Stormfront founder and former KKK leader Don Black wrote he can’t stand the “absolute hypocrisy of the anti-White establishment.”

“Politicians grovel before African-American, Latino and Jewish groups, which openly promote their racial interests,” Black complained, “but they are conditioned to run like scared rabbits at the very idea European-Americans have rights.”
“We are not white supremacist,” insists Popper 504. “We want to live with our own, farthest away from the blacks and jews.”
The Stormfront folks say the forum isn’t about white Christian supremacy, but rights for whites, despite posting how African Americans have “IQs in the range of 80-85” and claiming the “jewsmedia” actively “ignores black on white crime.”

“We are not white supremacist,” insists Popper 504. “We want to live with our own, farthest away from the blacks and jews.”

How dare the “Jewish Supremacist Antagonist” be outraged when no one would care if Scalise had spoken at “NAACP or Urban League or LaRaza,” said Ex-Detroiter. “All of those would be just fine.”

The Stormfront crowd offers its own helpful political advice, not only for Scalise but also for the entire GOP.

“If Republicans truly wanted to take this country back, they would make use of the majority of people in this country -- Whites -- and mobilize,” posts a user named Cyan Sky. “The Dems play identity politics with non-whites. The only way the Republicans will win is if they do the same with Whites.”

My Note:  THIS IS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY YOU WANT TO LEAD A COUNTRY?  GET OUT THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE BEFORE ANOTHER CIVIL WAR TEARS US APART!!