Sunday, October 23, 2016

Nasty Woman...and One Ring To Rule Them All

I really don't want to write about either candidate. I'm sick of it. I'm so sick of it that I bailed after 45 minutes of the last debate to watch A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, a movie I can probably recite from memory. As soon as I posted I was gonna stop my running-commentary in favor of a great movie, my friend Mojo immediately posted, "There's no crying in baseball." 

That's everyone's favorite line. Mine is in the exchange with the umpire that immediately follows: "Did anyone ever tell you, you look like a penis with that little hat on?" 

Speaking of penises......

Watching LEAGUE was a far better use of time than watching Donald Trump dive deeper and deeper into the deep end of the dead pool. I think what sent me over the edge was the "Nasty Woman" comment. It wasn't the actual interruption, it was the finger and the tone. He looked and sounded like Gollum in LORD OF THE RINGS. His disdain was (and usually is) palpable; this time, at least for me, it was particularly offensive. His body language is so overt, so obvious, and so anachronistic. He is a dinosaur, but one that seems to give hope to millions of troglodytes that a return of olden times is not merely's just in reach. 

Really? What's next? Leviathans in the Mediterranean and one Ring to rule them all?

Interesting side note, though: Hillary was clearly watching her facts and figures. She was definitely more cautious in her citations this time around, whereas, Trump seemed unable to control his hyperbole. Didja ever happen to notice when he's going off the rails, it's all in third-person? He attributes baloney to "reports" he's read, or "many people" telling him something; he doesn't cites sources. Hillary does a better job of citation, and that gives some gravitas to her statements. Even if she gets it wrong, there's something to go check. This is the homework job of not merely being a candidate, but of being an elected leader. I don't think Trump groks that part. He seems to think he can have assorted flunkies do the work. That he cannot retain campaign staff should be sending out HUGE signals... but so far, it's glossed over. 

Be that as it may, the debate was far from the debacle the Al Smith Dinner was. Although Trump started brilliantly, he ended in a morass of hate speech that actually drew boos at some point. It was pretty obvious he did not understand the nature of the event, and he pretty much embarrassed himself and his party. 

If you have not listened to the two candidates at that dinner, you must. Begin at 5:45 minutes in and go from there. 

Draw your own conclusions.

This week, I will focusing on more joyous events. After celebrating my second anniversary of being Savta this past Friday, my thoughts turn to the last three days of this Jewish holiday season and beyond. I've done more sitting in a succah than I have in years, and I have enjoyed every moment...especially the part where I got to have a bagel, cream cheese, and homemade gravlox every morning for breakfast....quite the treat. All this merry-making is setting the stage for more than just Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, there an even bigger event in the making.

Next Sunday night, instead of writing the blog, I will be dancing the night away at the Senior Son's wedding. This event, long in the making, is commencement: it's the beginning of a new chapter for him and his lovely bride. Family and friends are heading to the festivities from all over the country. After this past year of grieving for my folks, we are ALL ready for a simcha, a most joyous occasion. I've even gotten myself a new pair of dancing shoes. I can go down the aisle in high heels, but for dancing, tribal or otherwise, this girl just wants to have fun.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Day

Never send your mother a picture of you and your date celebrating Halloween.
She just might tell you it's her most favorite picture of you both.

[PS- the cigarettes are long gone. Thank G-d!]

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sex Lies and Audio Tape

Well, it's that time of year....deep in the hoopla of Jewish holidays. The big two, Rosh ha'Shana and Yom Kippur are over, leaving the week of Sukkot to survive. I kinda like Sukkot; it's fall, the air is crisp, the apples are crisp, the leaves underfoot are crisp. It's the whole fall-colors-changing thing. Unlike secular New Year that starts in the dead of winter when nothing is new, this one is like school....the seasons are going around and the scent of adventure is in the air. Even though everything is dying, the brilliance of the season promises something exciting and maybe even a little unexpected. 

This year, being full of new beginnings for me, added one more I'd not considered: building a little, tiny sukkah on my deck. Ziggy and I had always talked about having one, but never got it together to do it. But standing in the kitchen right before Shabbat, looking at my deck through the screen door at the remains of my herb pots, I realized this just might be do-able. Hmmmm. Some serious consideration will take place over the winter. 

Of course, having a sukkah is dependent on my being around to have one. This week was not exactly a stellar turn at politics. The muck, the lies, the level of debate all serve to make me wonder if I did not go to sleep in 2015 and awakened in some alternative universe. 

I get that there are political, philosophical, and ideological differences. I get that there are some serious religious schisms out there. I get that people wrap their collective heads around half-truths and spin because that's all they are seeing. But what I don't get is how anyone can say treating 51% of the population like so much meat is a qualification for being the leader of the free world.  

Some 40% of We, the People, believing that the kinds of behavior exhibited by Donald Trump are a) okay, b) explainable, c) justifiable, or d) a plot to discredit him is a really scary number. You can listen to a series of clips from the interview aired on the Howard Stern show in 2008 on CNN. If you don't throw up in your mouth, you have either a really strong stomach or some latent misogynistic issues. Trump says these things are not true, and in some cases, that he never said them. Why on earth would he say that when it is so well documented? His whole mien is sexual and not exactly innuendo. It's right out there, naked beauty queens and all. Come on, Donald; it's hard to argue with interviews in the public record. 

But that's not what scares me the most. 

Donald Trump is not going to win this election. That's pretty clear, and becomes clearer with each debate and series of late-night tweets. Hillary Clinton will be POTUS and Bill will be the first First Gentleman. With luck, Congress will wake up and figure out most of the nation is pretty  disgusted with their behavior, and if they've managed to survive this election cycle, perhaps they will trade in obstructionism for something less seeking common ground. 

Okay, that last one was a long shot.

What may not be a long shot, however, is the attempt to provoke a coup d'état for after the election. There is no small amount of this kind of talk happening in places we usually prefer to forget about. As Trump keeps railing on about how if he loses, it means this election has been fixed, We, the People had better come to grips with the idea that his supporters are not going away. They will be out there, and they may be looking for a fight.

There has never been a successful national coup d'état although there have been localized attempts, the most notable being the one on November 10th, 1898. That does not mean that there cannot be one here. Remember names like Posse Comitatus or the Bundy family standoff? Groups like these are out there, and they are supporters of the Trump movement. 

This is not meant to instigate a counter movement. This is a warning shot: we are neither as safe nor as invincible as we like to think we are. And yeah, this sounds a lot like the dire warnings before Hitler took over. We all know how many people paid attention to that...and how that turned out. Wasn't good for the Jews, and this time, it won't beegood for the African Americans, Muslim Americans, or the Jewish Americans. 

I do not believe for one New York minute that 40% of We, the People want a coup d'état. I believe that most of We, the People who are supporting Trump will accept defeat of their candidate and begin working toward whatever is next. 

America got to be America because We ARE the People. 

So what's the point? Easy. Be aware. Be very aware. Do not be complacent, and do wait for others to stand up for you. Make sure your representatives in Congress now know your expectations, and when the new crop comes in, make sure you are just as specific with them. Make your voices heard. 

Bryant Park Sukkah
There is a custom during Sukkot called Ushpizin, when we invite exalted guests into your sukkah. Traditionally, they are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David... biblical figures. Even if you aren't Jewish or don't observe the full measure of Sukkot, take a moment to put together your own table of exalted guests and ask them about this election cycle. In playing out those roles, you might learn something about yourself. It can't hurt. It might help. 

The Wifely Person Tip o'the Week

October is a good month to do stuff...get married, have babies...
throw really good parties. 
The air is pretty.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pussy, Yankees, Rockettes, and the Czar

The intent was never to be president.

Let me say that again so I'm perfectly clear: the intent was never to be president. 

Long ago, in a comment far, far away, I said to watch for the GOP vice-presidential pick. That was the one that counted, because that was the one who is earmarked to be president. Trump would eventually figure out a president has little power without congressional support, and the odds of him having that support would be slim to none. Frustrated, Tangerine Guy would just take his baseball bat and go home. After this week's debacle, it's pretty clear Mr. Trump is becoming persona non grata in the GOP and any support is evaporating quickly.

As for pussy grabbing, well, let me say this about that:

Hey! that's an original WP meme!

I don't care if he screws an entire Yankee lineup or the Rockettes. No one gives a damn. But grabbing anyone's genitalia when uninvited is sexual assault,  abuse, not to mention a felony. Bragging about it is an open invitation to go to jail. It doesn't get more disgusting than that. And you expect Queen Elizabeth to invite him to tea? Not unless she stashes the Duchess of Cambridge first. 


I am watching the debate. That's a misnomer. I am watching the debacle while I attempt to write.

This is being watched all over the world. The process of selecting our president has become a global joke. 

I think I want to throw up.

Why is Trump constantly hocking about Bill Clinton's peccadilloes? What does that have to do with Hillary's ability to be president? I really wanted her to just finally say, "I'm not Bill Clinton." I really wish she would. Last time I looked, staunch Christians, like the kind Mr. Trump insists he is, are supposed to fight for their marriages...they're supposed to stay in them....not exactly Mr. Trump's strong suit. While he was bragging about being a serial philanderer, his THIRD wife was pregnant.

Pot. Kettle. Glass houses. STFU.

I really wanted Donald to have at least one coherent sentence. Nope. Nada. Not ONE SINGLE COHERENT SENTENCE fell outta his mouth. Fighting with him is not a fair fight. The man is impaired. He needs a therapist. He needs a collar, a leash, and a straitjacket. Stalking Hillary while she was talking? That moved out of just plain creepy and right into get an injunction.

A certain Rabbi I know posted: "Need to get to the mikvah The debate is over." Yeah, the mikvah with a bottle of scotch. Oh, yuck.  Hillary had to touch that man. SHE needs a mikvah....or at least a shower. 



In the cold light of morning, I remain repulsed by last night's whatever-you-want-to-call-it. But in a more pragmatic mood, the really bothersome part is the lack of substance. Instead of talking about plans, expectations, and solutions, Trump remained a diversionary tactic. He does not have policy plans, he does not have economic plans, he does not have health plans. He has grandiose amorphous ideas that have no roots in the real world. He talks about cutting taxes, fixing infrastructure and getting jobs back from China, but who is paying for this? Where is the money coming from? I'm afraid to ask. 

If he runs the government as well as he has run his businesses, we are in deep doo-doo. By the turn of this century, the only marketable thing he had was his name. He didn't own anything, because the banks had him on a leash. Don't believe me? Try this over at the Wall Street Journal; they don't get any more GOP-friendly than that. If I were a bank, I would hesitate to lend this man any money. As a fiscally responsible citizen, I find his business practices to be questionable at best. This does not even address his personal behavior, which has proven to be anything but professional. 

PBS's Frontline did an especially good job on both candidates: blunt, vetted, and pretty spin-free. If you haven't seen it, it is definitely worth watching. You might get a better, more rounded view on them both.

But then, there he goes again. During the debacle,The Donald made two statements so ridiculous you have to wonder about his fitness to even cross the street:
I didn’t think I’d say this and I’m going to say it and I hate to say it. … If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception
And a little later, when Ms. Clinton said: “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country," Mr Trump shot back,
Because you’d be in jail.
For what??????

Maybe I really am Pollyanna when I say I can't figure out what "situation" Hillary Clinton has committed. The email thing was rehashed again and again, and other than bad judgement, there was no chargeable offense committed. Period. End of discussion. Several times.

How much more money does Trump want to flush down the toilet on trumped up charges of what? 

Benghazi? When the Senate and the House cut diplomatic spending to the bone, how does one allocate money one does not have? The reality was Congress cut funding beginning in 2009:
[Paul] Ryan, [Rep. Darrell] Issa and other House Republicans voted for an amendment in 2009 to cut $1.2 billion from State operations, including funds for 300 more diplomatic security positions. Under Ryan’s budget, non-defense discretionary spending, which includes State Department funding, would be slashed nearly 20 percent in 2014, which would translate to more than $400 million in additional cuts to embassy security................................... Washington Post - 10/09/2012
GOP Representative Jason Chaffetz, soon after the Benghazi attack, admitted Benghazi was not a priority:
Look, we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have… 150,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in touchy economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things.... 
When you’re in Libya, after a revolution… you [have to] prioritize things. And what clearly didn’t happen is Libya was not a priority. I believe what I heard is that it’s because they wanted the appearance of normalization. That’s what they wanted. And that fit with Obama narrative moving forward.                                                                                        CNN - 10/10/2012

So there is my disconnect on that one. There is more than enough responsibility to spread around for Benghazi. This was not the first embassy bombing, nor is it likely to be the last. Who did they blame for August 7th, 1998's double embassy bombing in Dar el Salaam and Nairobi? I don't recall anyone trying to indict then-President Bill Clinton or Madeleine Albright for those. There were 13 embassies attacked between 2001 and 2009 while Bush II was president. Wanna compare notes?

Enabling Bill Clinton to be a bad husband? Since when is that a misdemeanor, much less a felony with a mandatory jail sentence? 

Being a lawyer who did pro bono work as a public defender? 

Ok, let's talk about Kathy Shelton, shall we? She was raped when she was 12. This is a fact not in contention. Hillary Rodham was asked by both prosecutor as well as the presiding judge to be defense counsel. You do not say no to a judge asking you to perform your civic duty:

Counsel is a constitutional right guaranteed in the 6th Amendment. 
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
As per Ms. Clinton's book, LIVING HISTORY, with substantiation from the parties involved:
[Prosecuting attorney Mahlon Gibson] called me to tell me an indigent prisoner accused of raping a twelve-year-old girl wanted a woman lawyer. [Prosecutor Mahlon] Gibson had recommended that the criminal court judge, Maupin Cummings, appoint me. I told Mahlon I really didn’t feel comfortable taking on such a client, but Mahlon gently reminded me that I couldn’t very well refuse the judge’s request.

Read the story; get your facts straight.

Oh, wait. Did I just mention facts? Silly me!

The troll is better looking. 
Y'know, they can all lie through their teeth for all any reasonable person should care because that is what politicians do, even the best of them.  What we should be up-in-arms over is the monumental waste of our tax dollars and government resources wasted, and I mean WASTED on this narishkeit. It even gets better: Trump says when he's president he's gonna waste even more money trying to prosecute Hillary and send her to jail. 

Really? Nope. He's just gonna arrest her.

Is this the USSR? Argentina? Saudi Arabia? Afghanistan? No, people! It's the Fourth Reich! He encourages his minions to beat up protesters. He murmurs veiled threats that an NRA operative might be inclined to take out Ms. Clinton. 
Hillary wants to abolish -- essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know.                                                   Donald Trump at a rally in Wilmington, NC - 08/09/2016
Someone who chooses to support that little-dick-pussy-groping-fascist-bully-who's-gonna-turn-the-US-home-of-We-the-People-into-a-totalitarian-state deserves to live in that Trumpian dystopia. He is not shy about telling We, the People how he is going to run our world.The comments, the innuendos, the not-so-veiled's all there....listen up people. This has gone beyond keeping assault rifles and bazookas in bedroom closets...this is about freedom or speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom to be American.

You who are supporting Trump are supporting the male version of Evita, Putin, and Idi Amin all rolled into a tangerine-head with troll hair. I'd mention Stalin, but he had worse hair. 

As for you, Donald, let me give you a little free advice: if this country is such a disaster, move to Canada or New Zealand or someplace else you think is better. Maybe we should start a GO-FUND-ME page since you're probably broke. I would be happy to contribute to anything that would help defray your expenses. You should be more like the Czar: you should live and be well far away from Us, the People.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
May you be sealed in the Book of Life 
for a good and joyous year. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Thank G-d It's 5777

Surprised to be finding this in your email box today?  Some of you won't even see it until Monday….or Wednesday depending on how you observe the holy days. But Monday, there can be no episode on accounta it's yom tov. Besides, my Big Brother is here. And for these few days, my mind is elsewhere. 

I do want to take a moment to reflect on this past year. I am not sorry to see 5776 depart for the history books. As my close, personal friend Liz Mountbatten might say, it was "an annus horribilus." The start of 5776 coincided with the beginning of my battle with breast cancer. Just a few days before, I had the surgery needed to make sure I did not have a recurrence. In the days and weeks that followed, I learned about just how strong I was, and just how weak my towering parents were becoming. For me, it was a clash of realities: the old with the new and I was not completely positive I would survive the change intact...physically, mentally, or spiritually. Last year at this time, I said I had cancer, but the blogs do not fully reflect the roller-coaster I was on. Part of me weathered the storm just fine... but another part knew I was moving forward into what would be a difficult year. It was. 

This past year, my Big Brother and I buried both our parents.

However, life does not stop and forward we go. Newly minted orphans even at our advanced ages, we are navigating a holiday cycle without the ‘rents. We are figuring out what that looks like, what that feels like.

My Big Brother always went to the folks for Rosh ha'Shana. Last year, he came here because they were here. This year, my Big Brother is here so we can figure this out together, and, G-d willing, forge new traditions that keep our ties strong.  

Despite the complexities and pain of the 5776, I am grateful for the year I had. I got to be a daughter on daily basis for the first time in almost 40 years. I was able to be there for both my folks, and I continue to be able to say kaddish for them. The cancer is in remission and hopefully gone. I moved out of the house Ziggy and I built, and moved into what is really my very first own home. It's my house and the senior son says it looks like me. I get to say what goes where and I get to change it if I want. No need to ask anyone else for an opinion. I published my first novel and it is actually selling; my first royalty check will arrive this month.

5777 promises to be an strong and good year. It begins with the senior son's wedding. I can only look forward to that, to another novel coming out in December, to adventures yet to be imagined. As I learned from last year, I will learn from this one. I'm okay with that.

May you all be inscribed in the Book of Life for a happy and healthy new year. May 5777 bring only good times, good learning, and good outcomes. 

לשנה טובה ומתוקה

Monday, September 26, 2016

When A Village Loses Its Idiot

The evening started out well enough. I went to Talmud class, only we didn't have Talmud class. Instead, we participated in restoring a Torah. It's a pretty big deal to go through the ritual of "helping" to restore a letter in a Torah scroll that has been deemed unkosher because the letters are flaking off or the scroll itself is damaged.

I took Little Miss on Sunday to participate in the mitzvah, and despite a brief meltdown, she watched our sofer (scribe) intently as he inked in her letter. But tonight, I got to do it myself. This particular Torah scroll is between 100-125 years old. It's in relatively good shape, but much of it needs re-inking, a very arduous process performed by someone specially trained to work on a Torah. Usually, you send the Torah out.  We at Beth Jacob happen to have a staff member who also happens to be a sofer.  So we participated as a class, understanding that this is a sacred moment that connects us not as a class, but as part of a long line of people who have interacted with this scroll in one way or another. 

Which was the perfect lead in to the debate....from the sublime to the ridiculous. 

I will admit I was live feeding on Facebook, mostly with my cousins, and while satisfying to some degree, it was also kinda scary. Even though the libertarian/former Republicans are pretty much supporting Hillary, I found some of the commentary amongst some of my less liberal leaning friends disturbing. I mean, let's not pretend we didn't notice the sniffling Trump. I know I'm not the only one who made cocaine jokes. But these people only saw Hillary as left of Lucifer. Trump was yammering and yammering and yammering....and saying absolutely nothing coherent...and Hillary was the failure? What are these people thinking. 

I love Charles Durning, but this character sums up what we saw at the debate this evening:

Donald Trump had some great lines, like the one about how Hillary doesn't look presidential. And a guy with a rat's nest on his head does? Or the part when he said,
Well I have much better judgment than she does. There's no question about that. I also have a much better temperament than she has.
Okay, maybe he's really smoking crack and not doing coke before the debate. Hard to tell which one.

In a lot of ways, I was disappointed with the debate. Not because Lester Holt (whom I generally like) was a total wuss, and not because I thought Hillary was unprepared (she was very prepared) but because Donald Trump came off like a total jerk. He had no facts, no statistical information, no grasp on reality, no substance. i wanted him to be, at the very least, prepared to debate his positions. He was not.

Somewhere in the United States, a village is missing its idiot. It could be Manhattan or it could be Palm Beach. Doesn't matter. Donald Trump has proven that money cannot buy smarts and he lacks any semblance of smarts. How could he stand there for ninety frickin' minutes and say absolutely nothing?

What he telegraphed in those ninety minutes, besides that he is a moron, is that he is a dangerous moron. 

CLINTON: And, in fact, his cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons is so deeply troubling. That is the number-one threat we face in the world. And it becomes particularly threatening if terrorists ever get their hands on any nuclear material. So a man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes, as far as I think anyone with any sense about this should be concerned. 
TRUMP: That line's getting a little bit old, I must say. I would like to... 
CLINTON: It's a good one, though. It well describes the problem.
TRUMP: It's not an accurate one at all. It's not an accurate one. So I just want to give a lot of things -- and just to respond. I agree with her on one thing. The single greatest problem the world has is nuclear armament, nuclear weapons, not global warming, like you think and your -- your president thinks.
Nuclear is the single greatest threat. Just to go down the list, we defend Japan, we defend Germany, we defend South Korea, we defend Saudi Arabia, we defend countries. They do not pay us. But they should be paying us, because we are providing tremendous service and we're losing a fortune. That's why we're losing -- we're losing -- we lose on everything. I say, who makes these -- we lose on everything. All I said, that it's very possible that if they don't pay a fair share, because this isn't 40 years ago where we could do what we're doing. We can't defend Japan, a behemoth, selling us cars by the million...
Can anyone explain what he just said? 

Folks, a lot of global leaders are watching to see what we elect for the next president. To many, Donald Trump's big advantage is that he is an ignoramus, that if elected, he is unpredictable and temperamental. His inability to appropriately respond to a tweet opens the door for attacks on US installations world-wide, and in America itself. If you want to talk about scary stuff, go think about the advantage a Putin or a Xi Jinping would do with that opening. If nothing else, they have learned, by Trump's own admission, that flattery gets you everywhere.

On the other hand, Hillary is a seasoned professional, not the person they want in the oval office. 

And now, a taste of a future Trump administration:

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Would you let a guy who once read THE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO SURGERY
do your liver transplant?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Gravitas, Folks

I took a day trip on Sunday to attend my future daughter-in-law's bridal shower. It was a good time. Seriously. 

I'll admit it; I love airports. I love flying. And I really loved going to Chicago and back in a single day. Yeah, yeah, I know. Lots of people hate airports and flying is sardine city. I get that. But there is something almost mystical about sitting down in one city and walking off the plane into another. It's magic. 

Maybe I would feel differently if I traveled a great deal, or had to travel for work. But I can tell you with absolute certainty, I love take-offs and landings. I am the antithesis of a nervous flyer. I want to be on the plane going somewhere. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I am sick to death of this campaign, its tone, its tenor, its hate. The first debate is next Monday night and I cannot wait. I want to see what happens when Trump faces Clinton. All I want her to do is present hard, cold, well-established, un-embellished facts. I want her to hand out copies of her tax return. I want her to hand out copies of her last blood panel and annual check-up. I want her to get on a scale to prove how much she weighs. I want her to take a blood pressure check on camera. I want her to be plain-spoken and dispassionate. I want her to be the total opposite of bloviation.

She is not the perfect candidate, and she has some reputation to live down. But the real bottom line here? She's not using bankruptcy as a crutch, and she pays her bills. She's human and so what if she's not cuddly; she's a world class diplomat and leader. She knows her stuff, she knows how to ask questions, and she knows the difference between leaders and tyrants. And she has actually met Putin...and negotiated across a table with him. As First Lady and then as Secretary of State, she's met most of the world's leaders. She knows the language of diplomacy.

I don't want anyone to call off the food police; I want federal regulations for the food supply chain. I want a government that is a system of laws tempered with checks and balances. And I really want someone in the White House that knows what Aleppo is. 

Folks, can we please get past the gladiator phase of this election and start paying attention to what it means to be the leader of the free world? 

Gravitas, people. It's all about gravitas. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
My dad used to say if you need a veracity check, ask yourself this:
Would you buy a used car from this man?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Scary Stuff

When the offices of Charlie Hebdo were attacked on January 7th, 2015 in Paris, the second thought, after retaliation for an anti-Muslim cartoon, was antisemitism. That thought was shored up by the attack on the kosher supermarket 2 days later, on January 9th. In all the chest pounding and acts of anger, one heard little about Jews being under attack, only that French freedom was. That's because the Jews brought this on themselves. Or so some people said. 

When Black Lives Matter published their manifesto early in the summer, the only country singled out for a variety of offenses was Israel. There is no mention of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, or Lebanon, all countries where Palestinians are only one group of people indiscriminately abused. That's because Jews have no place on this earth, even they are the original indigenous people. Archaeology supports this as fact, not fairy tale. Just ask any Muslim what was on the Mosque of Omar mount before the Mosque of Omar.

There is significant movement in the direction of antisemitism during this presidential cycle. Alt.right, the shorthand for the alternative right, is self-proclaimed as white supremacist and virulently antisemitic. Don't believe me? Here is one link to another blog: Alternative Right. Read it and weep. They support one candidate en masse.

What does this all mean? Well, if you're a Jew of a certain age, and fewer and fewer of those are left, the rhetoric is not-so-vaguely familiar. It's very familiar. Too familiar. There's a charismatic leader with no experience in governance and he is promising that he, and ONLY he, can solve all problems. He rarely provides a proposal or a program that would be instituted, but makes broad sweeping promises that, from day one, he will fix everything because he alone knows everything. 

Hitler was good at blame: 
For this reason the Jewish-democratic press of America had to accomplish its masterpiece - that is to say, it had to drive into the most horrible of all wars a great peace-loving people which was as little concerned in European struggles as it was in the North Pole: America was to intervene 'in defense of civilization,' and the Americans were persuaded so to do by an atrocity propaganda conducted in the name of civilization which from A to Z was a scandalous invention the like of which has never yet been seen - a farrago of lies and forgeries. Because this last State in the world where social aims were being realized had to be destroyed, therefore twenty-six peoples were incited one against the other by this press which is exclusively in the possession of one and the same world people, of one and the same race, and that race on principle the deadly foe of all national States. [April 13, 1923]
Trump isn't so bad at tossing the baloney either: 
John Dickerson: Let me ask you about, what does the Mexican heritage of the judge in the Trump University case have to do with anything?                           
Trump: I think it has a lot to do with it. First of all, I've had terrible rulings forever. I had a judge previous to him and it would have been a very quick case. This is a case I should've won on summary judgment. This is a case -- and nobody writes this, and they all know it, but they don't like to write it -- the plaintiff in the case was a woman.  She was so bad that under deposition it was over. I mean, she couldn't have been the -- it was a disaster. They went before the judge, they said, "We don't want her to be the plaintiff. We want to put somebody else in." So we said, "Well, that's fine. Dismiss the case. You have to dismiss the case." Wait a minute -- she gave letters, the most incredible reviews of the college you've ever seen, of the university. She gave the most incredible -- then on top of it, we have a tape where she's talking about it in the most glowing terms. You wouldn't speak about your college --   
Dickerson: But Mr. Trump, what does this have to do with his parents being from Mexico, how does that --     
Trump: Excuse me, excuse me, I'm just saying. We're getting terrible rulings. We go to the judge, we say to the judge, "Hey, you can't let her out of the case." He let her out of the case. We said, "Well, if you're going to let her out of the case, she's the plaintiff. If you're going to let her out of the case, the case is over." No, the case isn't over. OK? Now -- 
Dickerson: Give me the thought process, though, why -- how does this work?   
Trump: He has given me -- my thought process -- 
Dickerson: No, no, for him, how do his Mexican parents have to do with him not ruling for you? 
Trump: He is a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican, which is all fine. But I say he's got bias. I want to build a wall. I'm going to build a wall. I'm doing very well with the Latinos, with the Hispanics, with the Mexicans, I'm doing very well with them, in my opinion. And we're going to see, you're going to see, because you know what, I'm providing jobs. Nobody else is giving jobs. But just so you understand, this judge has treated me very unfairly, he's treated me in a hostile manner. And there's something going on. When a woman can be a plaintiff in a case and then say, "I don't want to be" -- and you know why they don't want to be a plaintiff? They don't want her, the lawyers asked that she not be a plaintiff because they would have lost the case immediately.                                                                                                                                  [Transcript from FACE THE NATION, June 25th, 2016] 
So what does this have to do with the rage of antisemitism that's happening now?


The door has been opened to very public ethnic profiling in the guise of political rhetoric. That's the kind of action that, once let out, cannot be dismissed. That blatant hatred is coming out as mainstream in the form of BDS - Boycott, Divest, Sanction. What masquerades as a pro-Palestinian movement shows not one whit of effort to assist the Palestinians in actually creating an economic entity that can morph into a self-supporting state. Instead, the focus of their actions is to delegitimize the existence of Israel. It's about pushing the Jewish population into the sea despite absolute recorded historical fact that Jews are the original indigenous people on the land and have been there continuously since before the founding of Jerusalem. Before the establishment of the State of Israel, Palestinians were Jews, Christians, and Muslims. If you lived in that area, your passport called you a Palestinian. It had nothing to do with religion. Just like being a US citizen is not based on being a certain religion. Just like being a citizen of Israel is not based on being a certain religion. Yes, kiddies, that is a true and certifiable fact.

But let's not let facts get in the way. It's easier for the Black Lives Matter folks to align themselves with BDS because they think there's some sort of oppressed relationship upon which to capitalize. They seem not to have thought this through at all. Where is their angst over the real human rights Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, or Turkey? Where is their outrage when homosexuals are thrown off rooftops? It has nothing to do with civil has to do with Jews. 

And it's not just the US. Antisemitism has become a major issue in the United Kingdom. Jeremy Corbyn's recent handling of antisemitism in the Labour Party was a shondeh. That Corbyn sympathizes with anti-Israel politics is a source of great consternation for Jews in the UK; 92% of the Jewish Labour Movement, an arm of the party for over 100 years, has polled against their own party's candidate. 
Mr. Corbyn himself appears bemused. The mantra he repeats — that he is opposed to racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia (he rarely speaks solely of anti-Semitism) — suggests that he is wedded to the idea that anti-Semitism is chiefly a right-wing phenomenon. It is true that Mr. Corbyn’s predecessor as Labour leader, Ed Miliband, was the target of some thinly veiled anti-Semitic slurs from Britain’s tabloid newspapers. But the notion that well-meaning people on the left might also harbor bias against Jews seems to pass him by.                                                               New York Times September 12, 2016
Sound familiar?

The problem We, the People, are facing is a much more complicated one. We have a candidate who has garnered significant support from far right groups that model themselves after Germany of the 30s and 40s. They actively solicit support to remove "undesirables" from the United States. Those undesirables consist of any group that is not white, Christian, or American born. We have someone running for president who openly talks about mass deportation and his disdain for minority groups in this country. 

I want you all to understand that mass deportation means rounding people up and putting them in camps. It does not mean you pick 'em up in a Chevy Tahoe and drop em' off at the border. No. It means camps. Like Manzanar. Like Shatila. Like Dadaab. When politicians begin to put those things into practice, they start with one group and go on to the next. 

This is the tip of a very large, very dangerous iceberg. When you allow Jews to be singled out for hate speech, when you see large numbers of people joining organizations whose sole purpose is to commit "ethnic cleansing" of Jews even from their own homeland, you begin to look a lot like you're encouraging Hutus to go after Tutsis in Rawanda. You are tacitly encouraging gangs of youths to burn synagogues and beat up old men and women in the street. You look like blood libel is an okay thing to publicize. Never mind, where do you stop? The real question is: How do you stop? 

You don't. After you've rounded up the Mexicans, the Muslims, and the Jews, can you think of who might be next? 

As we head into election season, think about the people you love, and who will be targeted. As you listen to the media and news and the hype, consider what happens when the United States become dotted with deportation camps. NIMBY? Guess again. Wherever you are, there are illegals; they will be rounded up and have to be put somewhere. If you're a typical American, you have friends and relatives who come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and orientations. Are you going to stand silently by as their rights are stripped away? Are you strong enough to fight for them, or will you just hide your eyes like so many did in 1930s Europe. 

Not too long ago, I would've considered this blog episode to be great hyperbole. I don't think that any more. I think we are in real danger of fracturing these here United States. 

United we stand. The question is, what are we united for. I'm not sure I know anymore. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Day
Re: Hillary and Pneumonia.
Have you ever known a woman who stopped because she had a cold? 
For the record, this is the first time the GOP has ever cared about a woman's health.