Monday, April 16, 2018

Live from La La Land

This was my view on Saturday afternoon. My blueberry bush is somewhere under that mound of ugh.


Beginning Friday night and continuing well into Sunday, we had over a foot of snow. Even by Minnesota standards, that was a ridiculous amount, given it's the middle of April and all. 

I've had about all I'm gonna take of this faux April stuff, so I got me on a jet plane and flew over some mountains...


just so I can ride around southern California....



in a 1988 cherry red, classic BMW 325is. That is one sweet little piece of glamour, complete with sheepskin seats. I feel like a movie star.

Here's the straight skinny: I need a break. I sound shrill even to me. I don't want to talk about Michael Cohen, his clients, or his ethics. I don't want to talk about Feckless Leader or the attempt to reverse the 2020 emissions standard. I don't want to waste any more energy giving those boggarts what they want: our anger and our fears on which to feast. Nope.

We may be at the beginning of the end of this presidency for profit. I am guardedly optimistic. That, however, won't solve the problem. Much of what has been undone must be re-done, and hopefully, done better. That process should begin with the 2018 midterms. BEGIN people; this is going to be a long, painful process.

During the 2 hour lay-over in Salt Lake City, I chatted with a young woman, a high school English teacher, on her way back to New Jersey. I asked her, "Does the current government represent you?" She thought about it for a moment, but when she answered, the answer was a soft, but definitive, "No." 

In the end, that's the only question that counts, y'know.

I need to think about that, and a few other things she said, the most painful of which was, "Sometimes I'm embarrassed to tell people I am a teacher." She explained what she meant, and let me reassure you, it was not a flip statement. In a way, that is the crux of the current American Tragedy. 

If we can't respect the people who teach our kids, how can we respect anyone else?

But for this moment, I'm going to focus my attention on visiting one of the original gang-of-six, going to meet more friends for lunch, going to the beach, going to the Getty, and going to hear Gustavo Dudamel conduct Beethoven's Ninth.

Chris Christodoulou, London
Nothin' wrong with that itinerary. How can anyone not want to watch Dudamel conduct?

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Talk amongst yourselves:
Does the current government represent you?
Feel free to share and/or respond in comments.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Losing Bonny

Y' know what a makkes is? My mother and grandmother used that word a lot. I don't know if I'm spelling the transliteration correctly or not, but makkes isn't a good thing. It's an affliction, a plague; something you can bring on by talking about it. Like the malach ha'mavet from last week. 

Aunty Bonny (z"l)
The malach ha'mavet paid us a visit this week, and took away my friend, my extra-mom, the kids' godmother, and all 'round force of nature, Aunty Bonny. She was a constant presence in our lives, even when there were disagreements, we could always find something to agree on. She was my ballast when I was tipping over. I talked to her more than most people realized, and we often commiserated about the harshness of real life and just getting on with it. We told each other things we didn't tell other people. And she knew about grommets. If you've ever had to make 24 little burlap vests for 24 OLIVER! orphans, you night know a little bit about grommets. Aunty Bonny was a major expert in grommets. She was a great cheerleader, truth-teller, and stiff-upper-lip Brit. Yeah, she was a Brit, born in Manchester, England, but you'd never know it unless you really knew her. Truth be told, she'd not been doing well of late, but when I called a couple of weeks ago to tell her all about Young Sir's bris and to assure her pictures were being readied for the mail, she sounded better than I had heard her in a while. Then lots of things happened... and she was gone. And like her family and so many of her friends, I am having a hard time grokking I won't hear her laugh any more. 

I don't want to write about Gaza or Syria. I really don't want to write about American politics or growing antisemitism in the British Labor Party. I don't want to write about what is wrong with the world right now because I'm already sad and I don't have anything add that's gonna make anyone feel any better.

So I am going to stop here. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week

[That is so Bonny.]

Monday, April 2, 2018

Anatevka On My Mind

Pesach ain't easy for me. Never mind that I turn my kitchen inside-out and cook into insensibility. Never mind the big Rubbermaid bins and the moving of entire sets of dishes, pots, and pans. None of that comes close to the emotional upheaval that is Passover. 

Over the course of the last nine years, I've lived with the constant companionship of the angel of death. I was the caretaker, the overseer, the one who walked as far as I could before the malach ha'mavet took over. There was a sense of finality during those years, knowing about the inevitable, and being completely powerless to change any of it. Never mind I ran up against cancer in my own body. In so many ways, it was really an out-of-body experience; probably because that was the only way I could deal with it. So I did.

That was then. 

I don't pay much attention to the angel of death these days. We're on reasonably friendly terms. The malach ha'mavet ignores me, I ignore the malach ha'mavet. There's a certain equanimity achieved. And I can live with that. 

This is now. 

The weird part of now? I am less optimistic about the future than I was even 2 years ago when Mom died right before Pesach. I believed I'd survived it all, was still standing, and forward motion was the order of the day.

I'm not so sure We, the People are moving forward.

These days, I watch as much of what We, the People were striving for as a nation being dismembered, disassembled, and discarded. Regulations for clean air and water are being repealed. Schools are being further reduced to educational rubble with funding cuts. Health care availability that had taken such a great step forward is disintegrating. And families are being destroyed by unnecessary, mean, and morally reprehensible deportations. 

The establishment of Sinclair Broadcasting as some sort of standard is terrifying, and the lock step announcement its anchors were compelled to read is Orwellian:




Between the new attempts to parlez with the North Koreans and White House invitation for Putin, I keep thinking I've crossed into some alternative universe. None of this can be real....and you know how I know that? Because lots of people are supporting this lunacy and We, the People in the regular universe are saner than that.

Or are we?

This is no longer the country that inspired Emma Lazarus to write:


"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

America was a great idea 242 years. I'm no longer convinced this country has a future I will recognize; if we keep heading in this direction, the road will have detention centers and internment camps on either side. Concentration camps and crematoria cannot be far behind. 

Meanwhile, ANATEVKA is my new ear-worm.


The Wifely Person' Tip o'the Week

Maybe We, the People, should pack up Lady Liberty 
and ship her someplace where 
she would be more welcome than she is here. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Cowards of the Country: CAN YOU HEAR US NOW?

Hundreds of thousands of kids and their supporters descended on Washington, DC this weekend. 

The Coward-In-Chief of the Country blew town to go golfing at his personal, private club:


I mean, why would he stay in the nation's capital when a half a million people were blowing into town to demand the government actually do something? 

CongressClowns....take a good look at this picture. It's just what you asked for: here are all those thoughts and prayers come to tell you that you work for them.


Over 800,000 protesters in DC. 845 support marches took place not just in the US, but around the world. 150,000 marchers in New York City, 20,000 in St. Paul. More in Paris, London, Tel Aviv, Milan, Geneva, Vienna, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Nairobi, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney...shall I go on? The numbers are still coming in, but it's safe to say well over 1,000,000 marchers came together with one mind to demand sane gun laws in the United states. 

While I realize this all happened after the mass murder in an affluent community, the survivors made sure March For Our Lives wasn't just about the dead at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High. This was about all children's lives cut short by gun violence. MSDH might have been the catalyst, but it is neither the focus nor the end game of this activism. 9-year old Yolanda Renee King, invoked her grandfather's spirit when she said, 
"My grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream that enough is enough, and that this should be a gun-free world, period."

Honestly, I don't expect anything to happen right this minute with this sitting Congress. And I don't think there will ever be a gun-free world. But I believe the seeds we tried so hard to sow in the 70s, the ones we hoped would produce another generation of warriors for the common good, may have finally spouted. My generation protested and marched in opposition to the Vietnam War, the draft, and Richard M. Nixon. We forced change to happen sooner, rather than later. Even if we didn't get everything we wanted, we set a precedent, one that has not really been equalled since the 70s. We proved youth that refuses to be silent cannot be silenced. 

This weekend, as the kids from Parkland fanned out across the country and even the world to stand with protesters in other places, we saw the beginnings of a new movement. Voter registration tables were crowded, and teenagers boldly confronted the reality that they would have a voice in the midterm elections, and that voice was amplified with a voter registration card. Social media is a powerful tool in the hands of this expert force and to date, they are burning up the net with new programming and plans for getting the message out. If they continue to pick up steam, they will be a powerful force with which to be reckoned come November. 

It's about time. 

We may have a chicken-shit draft-dodger for a president and a congress whose soul concern is selling their souls to the NRA to get re-elected, but We, the People, have something better. We have youth who can and will vote. They are smart, savvy, understand memes, fake-news, and media manipulation. They know bullshit when they see it, read it, smell it, and hear it. And they are tired of bullshit. Plus, they are so much better at mass communication than we ever were with our mimeographs and ditto-masters. 

Welcome to the revolution, kids!
Do let us know what we old-timers can do to help you.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Support the movement, but this is not our show.
If asked to help, support, don't instruct or dominate.

Monday, March 19, 2018

NO! to the Women's March Organization

I am a feminist. I have been since about 1966 when I figured out what it was about...and my Grandma Bessie told me she was a feminist because no one was gonna tell her what to think. At the time, my mother thought her mother was having a cosmic episode...until she figured out Grandma was perfectly serious. Albeit somewhat nervous at first, Mom jumped on the bandwagon and started making a host of changes in her own life that I would only come to fully appreciate decades later.

In the grand scheme of things, it seem pretty ridiculous to me that we are still having the same battles over our bodies, our rights, and our paychecks 52 years later. Fifty-two...that's over a half-a-century. Half-a-century of fighting for equality. Really?

So when the Women's March thing started last year after the presidential election, I was elated at the idea, but then very disturbed to see Linda Sarsour's name on the main organizer's list. She's established herself as a BDS supporter and despite her statements to the contrary, an advocate for terrorism against Israeli civilians, and a general hater of Jews. 

A year later, she is not only on the organizer's list again, she shares it with three other women, Carmen Perez, Bob Bland, and Tamika D. Mallory, who, like her, have ties to people who advocate for anti-semitism, specifically, Louis Farrakhan. These are not casual ties, these are full-frontal support of this man's agenda. Farrakhan isn't merely a well-established antisemite, misogynist, and a wholesale distributor of hate, he is an advocate for violence against Jews. 
It all came to a head last week, after Farrakhan delivered his address to the annual Nation of Islam gathering for Saviours’ Day, the sect’s three-day holiday honoring its founder, Wallace Fard Muhammad. Farrakhan denounced “Satanic Jews,” said that “when you want something in this world, the Jew holds the door,” and at the climax of his speech, proclaimed, “White folks are going down, and Satan is going down, and Farrakhan by God’s grace has pulled the cover off of that Satanic Jew—and I’m here to say, your time is up.”                            John-Paul Pagano, March 8, 2018 in the ATLANTIC MONTHLY
The refusal of the Women's March leadership to disassociate themselves with Nation Of Islam and their rhetoric sends a deeply disturbing message to America, and one We, the Jewish People, can ill afford to ignore. Their refusal to condemn Farrakhan's hateful stance puts Jews clearly in the middle of a different kind of conflict, and reinforces the idea that the United States of America is not our country and we do not belong here. 

At around the same time Grandma Bessie was declaring her feminism, my high school sociology teacher, Mr. Rapport, a Jewish gentleman who, like my dad, fought in World War II, told a small group of us not to get "too comfortable." Sure, Dr. Heschel marched with Dr. King, and Jews were active in the the civil rights movement, but when push came to shove, we would be the true "other" in a racial divide. Not black, not white enough, and not Christian. 

Well, folks, look around. Acts of antisemitism are up since 57% in inauguration day. We have a president that dog-whistles old-time antisemitic images in his tweets. We have states that refuse to condemn white supremacist groups as terrorist organizations. And Putin blames the Jews for interfering with elections. Feckless Leader may be dumb as a box o'rocks, but stupid he ain't. He knows exactly what he is saying/tweeting. He just thinks we're too stupid to notice. 

We, the People, Jewish or otherwise, are not.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.....

My bottom line is that the Women's March organization is NOT for Jewish women. Unless they have a massive change of leadership between now and next week, supporting that march is supporting organizations that promote hatred. Not even the initial intent can wash this away. it's just like Feckless's tweet....they know exactly what they are doing and exactly what they are saying. if your local organization is in any way aligned with the national one, make sure you tell your local folk that hatred is unacceptable, and you understand exactly the position the national committee is taking.

Let me make this very clear: if you are a Jewish woman, you are not welcome at that march. It doesn't matter if your are anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, anti-religious, anti-Feckless, or Aunty Em. You are a Jew. And no matter what your political bent, you will always be a Jew first. 

See, here's the last word on this: there will be Jewish women who will march because they think it's for the greater good. But it's not. People like Sarsour, Perez, Bland, and Mallory will stand by when you are arrested and sent to the newest version of the ovens. People like those women who support guys like Farrakhan really do understand his message and they stand by it. Just as they would stand by us as we would be herded to cattle cars. 

We cannot afford to forget what Representative Jason Chaffetz (former Congressman from Utah's 3rd District) told us about the Parkland survivors:
We need more good news, more good message, more of the good word reaching out to America. I think of those kids who went back to school today after that horrific shooting, and they need something more. They need a belief in God and Jesus Christ. I think that would help. And this is a historic moment. 
We do, do we? This from a guy who was born Jewish. And you thought all that stuff from our elected representatives was in the past? Wrong, again. What they need are AR-15s off the store shelves. 

This weekend kids from all over the country are headed to Washington, D.C to participate in March For Our Lives demanding sane gun laws. Jewish kids, lots of them, are boarding busses and planes to get there. Kids from the Twin Cities will observe Shabbat...and walk the two miles from where they are staying to where that march will be held. 

They know what's at stake. They get it. And they can still be Jewish doing it. 




We, the Jewish Women of the United States, should take a page from their book.



The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Saying you are Jewish is not exactly the same as being a Jew.
Being a Jew is important. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Feckless. Spineless. Brainless. The List Is Endless.

If you thought our feckless, spineless, brainless, philandering, misogynist-in-chief was going to stick by what he said about raising the age to buy an automatic weapon, you're stupider than you initially thought you were. 

This monster was bought and paid for by lobbies like the NRA who don't give a flying shit about you, the land, the water, the air, the whole stinkin' country....not even the kids. How truly demented is that? 

Saturday, March 10th, while talking about the opioid crisis, he tells his sycophant followers:
We can't just keep setting up blue-ribbon committees with your wife and your wife and your husband and they meet and they have a meal and they talk. Talk, talk, talk...That's what I got in Washington. I got all these blue-ribbon committees. Everybody wants to be on a blue-ribbon committee.
DeVos on 60 Minute

So what does that fuckwad do?  He sets up a blue ribbon panel on gun violence in school, headed up by the chief-know-nothing, Betsy "I never met a kickback I didn't love" DeVos to head it up. Oh, she's a total bundle of bright. I won't even quote her here. Just read the 
transcript. If that doesn't make you vomit, you've got a cast-iron stomach. She admitted to never visiting an under-performing school. Her take on why she seems to be the most hated member of the cabinet? 
"I'm not so sure exactly how that happened. But I think there are a lot of really powerful forces allied against change."
She thinks this is about resistance to change? This the woman who said in that interview 
Well, we should be funding and investing in students, not in school — school buildings, not in institutions, not in systems.
I think she forgot about the part where the kids are actually in the buildings. How is the air on her planet?  

Meanwhile....back at the ranch......


Feckless is NOT the first president to attempt to negotiate with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; he is the third. And there is a reason there is no agreement between the US and the DPRK.

President Clinton was invited to visit North Korea, and went as far as to have an Agreed Framework for his negotiations. His team negotiated the closing of Yongbyon Nuclear Power plant in exchange for assistance with a light water energy planet, oil shipments, and phasing out economic sanctions. Both sides complied by the Framework until 1996, when Congress started delaying funding for oil shipments and reneged on the assistance with the new power plant. Talks were happening to arrange a visit in 2000, before Clinton left office, but President Clinton took the position that we would not go until both sides were prepared to negotiate. That never happened, and by 2003, the agreement was trashed.

Bush II participated in the 6-Party Talks (United States, South and North Korea, China, Russia, and Japan) in August of 2003. Bush II's policy of "dismantle first, talk later," caused the talks to sputter until 2009 when they, too, fell apart. During that time, Korea was busy...re-establishing their nuclear arsenal and beginning to test missiles for warheads. It's worth mentioning that North Korea had a successful nuclear missile test in 2006...in the middle of the 6-Party Talks.

Although Obama hinted at the possibilities of negotiations in his inaugural address, nothing happened until the Leap Day Agreement of February 29th, 2012. It looked like talks were going to happen...until North Korea had a failed missile test three weeks later. 

So when Cadet Bonespurs brags about getting an invitation, he gave away the farm when he just snapped his acceptance. He can talk about pre-conditions or whatever, but he said yes, and he put Kim Jung-un in the power chair. Meanwhile, Kim Jun-un has said "no preconditions" for this meeting. Nor, at this writing, have they responded to Cadet Bonespurs' acceptance. 

I don't think we have to wonder about who is running this particular show. 

Kim Jung-un enjoying a parade
Consider this, the US currently has no ambassador for South Korea, no special envoy for North Korea, no diplomatic team in place to guide him through the protocols and pitfalls of negotiations with a dictator...and if you ask me, it sounds like the jackass is heading to Asia for a class in Dictatorship 101. After all, isn't that what Kim Jung-Un is, and what China's President Xi Jinping is about to become? 

And guess what? He's gonna have one of them nifty military parades on Veterans's Day, November 11th, 2018 just to prove to his new friends how small his penis really is!   After all, he's already been told, "No tanks!"


One might recall the last time we had a military parade in the United States....1991 celebrating the "victory" in the First Gulf War. We all know how that one turned out.



And you thought he was gonna actually do something about guns. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Once, we were slaves in Egypt. Now we are free.
But that does not excuse us from turning the house inside out
getting ready for Pesach.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Welcome, Young Sir!

Every so often, you have to stop for a moment. This is one of those moments.

Young Sir
Last week, I became savta for the second time. Little Miss now has a brother, Young Sir. He will carry family names with him as he makes his way into the world. They are strong names, and one of them, his middle name, was at Ziggy's behest. He had asked that no child be named for him directly since he was dying young. Instead, he asked that should a boy baby happen along, that child have the middle name of Owen, his maternal family name and his middle name. Junior Son and Mrs. Junior son have respected that request and I am delighted. 

When handed the senior son for the first time, my own dad said, "This is like holding eternity." I thought it was a lovely thing to say, but as a grandparent, now twice over, it's more than a nice sentiment: it's the truth.

At the hospital, Little Miss told me she was too busy getting ready for Purim to think about being a big sister. And that was perfect. She had other things on her mind that were immediate need and that sorta put things in perspective...again. After all, Young Sir is going to be around for a long, long time and Purim was the next day. Very wise child. I love her practicality! She made me laugh, but she also reminded me that stuff goes on regardless of monumental occasions.

There's an old story about a guy planting a tree when suddenly, he looks up, sees a procession coming down the road, and realizes it's the messiah. He watches for a moment, then goes back to planting the tree. "Stop what you're doing and come with us!" calls one of the followers. When he says "no," the follower presses him until the guy says, "If I stop planting the tree, the tree will die. If that's really the messiah, then he will be around for a long time whether I finish planting the tree or not. So I choose life. The tree must be planted."

Nine years ago, I could've made many, many different choices, but the choice I made was to not simply live, but to embrace life. It doesn't mean I miss Ziggy any less, or my folks, or FIL, or the dog. It means that I am thankful for the time I had with them, for the ability to continue to laugh, to love, to celebrate, to remember, to cherish, and to grow. These are not always the easiest choices; there are days I would love to pull the covers over my head. But I won't. I have way too much left to do, to many joys to celebrate, and too many great days to anticipate. I choose life. 

Tomorrow, we will gather for the mitzvah of Brit Milah, the ritual circumcision of a baby boy as he is welcomed into the Jewish community. Oh, how I wish Ziggy and my Dad could be here to fulfill their traditional roles; they will be present in our hearts. I can only imagine in my heart's eye how they would beam incandescently at this child. I am certain FIL will be standing with them. And we will miss them all. 

And in an odd confluence of events, sundown tonight began my own grandmother's yahrzeit. Grandma Sarah, my dad's mother, that robust and brave English woman, left us 38 years ago. This is the grandmother for whom the protagonist in LINGUA GALACTICA is named. She was a trailblazer in her own inimitable way. She taught me to embroider, crochet, and tat at the same time she was teaching me how to make lukshen from scratch and the proper way to light Shabbat candles. It's only fitting that she, too, be honored at the brit milah of her great-great-grandson who just happens to carry her father's Hebrew name forward with him. 


The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Choose life. There really is no Plan B.






Monday, February 26, 2018

Monica, Your Ship Has Sailed. Make Way for the New Generation

I just read Monica Lewinsky's latest attempt to explain herself to We, the People, in Vanity Fair. You can read it, too. She has found a new platform for shifting ownership of her actions in labeling herself as victim. 
Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position.” I now see how problematic it was that the two of us even got to a place where there was a question of consent. 
Now she sees that as problematic. Let's think this through. She's an intern in the White House which used to mean you were smart, well-spoken, and basically mature, even for a kid right outta college. She goes on to say,
But it’s also complicated. Very, very complicated. The dictionary definition of “consent”? “To give permission for something to happen.” And yet what did the “something” mean in this instance, given the power dynamics, his position, and my age? Was the “something” just about crossing a line of sexual (and later emotional) intimacy? (An intimacy I wanted—with a 22-year-old’s limited understanding of the consequences.) He was my boss. He was the most powerful man on the planet. He was 27 years my senior, with enough life experience to know better. He was, at the time, at the pinnacle of his career, while I was in my first job out of college. (Note to the trolls, both Democratic and Republican: none of the above excuses me for my responsibility for what happened. I meet Regret every day.)  
This is the heart and soul of the issue. She wanted the intimacy; she admits she owns the behavior, but at the same time she casts herself in the role of victim. Pretty good trick. We don't know which version to believe. 



Frankly, I don't care if she was hunting big game in the Oval Office or just playing courtesan. It doesn't matter. I think I liked her better when she owned her actions outright without shading them in the forest of Me, Too. 

This is a new and not-so-improved version of sleight-of-hand. Pay no attention to the brain behind the curtain.  It's easier to look pathetic if you kinda admit wrong-doing, but then blame others. Al Franken is a perfect case in point. It didn't matter that Tweeden was a showgirl who dished out as much as she got. It didn't matter they had her on film grabbing Robin Williams by the nuts...but then again, Mr. Williams wasn't around to counter her claims of victimization. Garrison Keillor was railroaded the same way, as the new interview in the Strib seems to confirm. Both men owned their behavior and were destroyed by it. Lewinsky profits and that pisses me off. 

Shifting focus isn't limited to sexual peccadillos. It's any time a story is hijacked for personal gain. Our current administration is turning this into an art form. Every time there's a story they don't like, they shift the focus with a tweet from the oval potty or a declaration of "fake news." The complicit press runs after the new rabbit and the rest of us are left to figure out what we're supposed to be seeing or not seeing.

The White House hosted a meeting for Feckless with survivors of school mass murder. Victims and families from Margery Stoneman Douglas High School, Columbine, and Sandy Hook were present. 

Washington Post/ Ricky Carioti
This is bait'n'switch. Feckless leader baits the hook to bring these people together under false pretenses. They believe they are there to talk about gun violence. They want to convince this spineless NRA whore that the problem is the easy accessibility of guns, but instead, he had the unmitigated nerve to ask them if they thought arming teachers was a good idea. Instead of following the talking points in his hands, he says the stupidest thing possible: the problem can be solved by giving teachers "a little bonus" and arming them for the classrooms. Availability of military-style weapons is not the problem at all. Unarmed teachers are. 

Really?

His emotional deficit renders him not only incapable of human empathy, it makes him unfit to serve as leader of this nation. There is no more important a function of the President of the United States than to be, when needed, the Consoler-in-Chief. And my kids thought my empathy chip was removed??? 

Today, however, Feckless Leader stepped over a line at the Governors' Conference that was so grotesque it defies sane explanation:
You don't know until you're tested, but I think I really believe I'd run in there even if I didn't have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too.
Do We, the People, really look that stupid? Cadet Bone-Spurs is gonna run into a building where there is live ammo going around? I don't think so and here's why. Let me remind you of another incident when an 80 year-old man was hurt at a charity event he was hosting:

I was at Mar-a-Lago and we had this incredible ball, the Red Cross Ball, in Palm Beach, Florida. 
And we had the Marines. And the Marines were there, and it was terrible because all these rich people, they're there to support the Marines, but they're really there to get their picture in the Palm Beach Post. 
So, you have all these really rich people, and a man, about 80 years old - very wealthy man, a lot of people didn't like him - he fell off the stage. 
So what happens is, this guy falls off right on his face, hits his head, and I thought he died.  
And you know what I did? I said, 'Oh my God, that's disgusting,' and I turned away. 
I couldn't, you know, he was right in front of me and I turned away. I didn't want to touch him. He's bleeding all over the place, I felt terrible. You know, beautiful marble floor, didn't look like it. It changed color. Became very red. And you have this poor guy, 80 years old, laying on the floor unconscious, and all the rich people are turning away. 
What happens is, these 10 Marines from the back of the room. They come running forward, they grab him, they put the blood all over the place—it's all over their uniforms—they're taking it, they're swiping [it], they ran him out, they created a stretcher. They call it a human stretcher, where they put their arms out with, like, five guys on each side.  
I was saying, 'Get that blood cleaned up! It's disgusting!' The next day, I forgot to call [the man] to say he's OK.  It's just not my thing.                                                             Interview on the HOWARD STERN SHOW July 16, 2008


No wonder this piece of human detritus needs cue-cards for talking points. 

But the masses are rising up. They are armed with cellphones, social media, and righteous indignation. We, the Children of the 60s, are gonna be a mere warm-up for how this generation will motivate a tsunami of anger over guns. Look around, folks: United, Delta, Hertz, and Enterprise/National are all taking note and pulling out of their contracts with the NRA. More will follow. These kids spend money, and money talks. And they know exactly how to make money talk really loud. And they know exactly how to direct all that righteous indignation.

Feckless Leader and his coterie of spineless jellyfish are already doomed. They just haven't sunk to the bottom yet. They will. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week

Ms Lewinsky, your ship sailed long ago. 
You are not part of this wave, and you are not really a Me, Too kinda gal either. 
Heres's some cheap advice: get out of the way. 
You are about to be run over by a new, empowered generation. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

NRA: CAN YOU HEAR US YET?

TO THE NRA AND ITS SUPPORTERS:

IF you gave a flying fart in space about cops, cop killing, and "blue lives," you would be out there pounding the pavement for sensible gun laws.

IF you gave a flying fart on earth about the-right-to-life, you should be equally concerned about lives following the exit from the womb, and be out there pounding the pavement for sensible gun laws.

IF you gave a flying fart about this country, you'd take your fingers out of your ears and start listening  to what almost every parent and child says about school safety and guns.

IF any of you gave so much as a tinker's dam about the safety of OUR children, you would just ban assault weapons. PERIOD. END OF DISCUSSION. 

ANY LEGISLATOR WHO ACCEPTS NRA MONEY SHOULD BE VOTED OUT OF CONGRESS FOR PUTTING THEIR POCKETBOOKS ABOVE THE NEEDS AND SAFETY OF OUR KIDS. 

ARE YOU GETTING THAT NOW, NRA?

Once upon a time, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre referred to seven guys getting whacked in Chicago in 1929. The plan was for the Capone gang to execute 7 members of the Moran gang over a dispute about booze distribution. They used Tommy-guns. It was a mess. 

But not even close to the mess AR-15-type weapons left in Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs, Pulse nightclub, Las Vegas, Aurora, or Stoneman Douglas High School. These are not hunting rifles. They are not defense-of-private-property rifles; they are weapons designed for mass murder. IF YOUR CONGRESSCLOWN THINKS THAT'S OKAY....VOTE HIM/HER THE HELL OUTTA OFFICE.

No other developed nation on this planet has our massacre of children record. NONE. No other developed nation on this planet allows assault weapons to be bought with or without a background check. 

IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE TO PROTECT YOU OWN KIDS, THEIR TEACHERS, THEIR COACHES, THEIR SUPPORT STAFF, MAKE SURE YOUR CONGRESSCLOWN KNOWS BANNING THE SALE OF ASSAULT WEAPONS IS WHERE YOUR BUCK STOPS.

Looks like our kids are going to take to the streets on this issue...and I am with them all the way. If We, the People are too spineless chickshits to do this ourselves, the least we can do is contribute to and assist our kids in taking control of this issue. 

Our own Sibley High School has started a GO FUND ME page to help get kids to the Washington Protests on March 24th (not March 4th.) Check your own high schools. Across America kids are taking up the cause of self-preservation. Maybe this is the one agenda item that will unify them the way Vietnam unified us. 

Teenagers are extreme experts at social media. This may have stirred a hornets' nest the likes of which we have never seen. If Feckless thinks he can tweet, I would advise him to stand well back. He's about to get clobbered.


The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Kids won't let you go to Washington with them? 
Pitch in. Offer to drive. Make sandwiches. Make a difference. 

BONUS TIP
Want more information about what is and is not automatic, old but excellent:
Mother Jones: A Non-Gun-Owner’s Guide to Guns

Monday, February 12, 2018

Of Rolling Pins and Plans

It's getting to be that time of year again when Jewish women world-wide turn their thoughts to spring. That lovely little holiday, Tu B'Shevat, the "birthday" of the trees, has come and gone, leaving in its wake a trail of half-chewed carob, dried date ends, grape stems devoid of grapes, and those little crown thingees you find on the tops of dried figs. Gone are the 7 species, replaced by dough chilling in the fridge, jams stocked in jars, and that endless quest for the perfect hamataschen recipe. For years, I've used Martha Stewart's (yeah, I know...but it's indestructible,) but this year, I may have to try the one my daughter-in-law uses from Tori Avery. (There's also a pareve version.) We worked with it on Sunday and I was duly impressed with how it rolled out. Of course, we had an excellent head roller with us, armed with a rolling pin that once belonged to my great-grandmother, making Little Miss the 6th generation to use it. 

I think that's kinda cool, actually. The rolling pin was one of the few things Great-grandma Nechama brought with her from Russia. It's got a notch on one end so everyone would know it was the dairy rolling pin. When I got married a zillion years ago, the decision was made by my Aunt Rose and her sister-in-law, my Grandma Sarah, that it would go to me because I had a kosher home. And keeping along those same lines, one day it will go to my daughter-in-law and Little Miss, G-d willing for the same reasons. 

If you don't know what Purim is about, read the Book of Esther. It's very short, kind of exciting, and doesn't mention G-d once. Depending how you read it, it's a story about the empowerment of women. 

But underneath this simple bodice ripper of a story, there are far more complicated issues at hand, some of which might sound like they were ripped from our own headlines. The deposed Queen Vashti can be seen as a brave wise-woman, Esther is trapped in a rather bizarre marriage to a king that is a total doofus, her Uncle Mordechai is a manipulative SOB, and Haman, the evil not-so-genius, is an moronic mouthpiece of hate. 

Gee, boys and girls, can you draw some parallels here?

Unlike the story of Purim, we are living in an all-too-real world of baseless hatred and painfully bad behavior. We have a president who is not all that different from Ahashverush, a guy who is led down a  poisonous path by an advisor so filled with hate that he cannot see past it. Sure, Bannon may be gone, but the hate-mongers are still sitting in the big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue. The hate pours out of 1600 like a lava flow: hot, malignant, and destroying everything in its path. 

Unfortunately, Melania is no Esther; sure, she's trapped in a marriage, but she is, to date, impotent. At the State of the Union, she looked miserable much of the time, and while she rose at other parts of Feckless Leader's speech, she did not rise with the rest of the claque when he spoke about family values. It was like taking the knee...as subtle a protest as she could manage. She has no ability to open her mouth, protest his unconscionable behavior, or do much else besides sulk at public events. She telegraphs the message she wants We, the People to get, and I hold by my earlier assessment: FREE MELANIA!

But Purim is only the lead-up to the big deal of Passover. Everyone knows the story of how Moses went down the Nile in a basket, only to be picked up by Pharaoh's daughter, but how much thought have you ever given to that nameless princess, or the two Egyptian midwives, Shifra and Puah, so important in the Torah that they have names. These three Egyptian women chose life...the life of a baby floating down the river, the lives of Hebrew mothers and their children... without caring much for their own lives. All three knew the consequences, and all three took those risks. The Children of Israel would not be
the Children of Israel without those three women. They weren't part of us, but their choices insured we would survive. And we have. We have outlasted Amalek, the Philistines,  Babylon, Persia, Imperial Rome, the Inquisition, the pogroms in Russia, World War II, more pogroms in Poland, various Arab attacks on Israel.....but wait...there will be more. There always is. As they say, "in every generation..."

Tzadok & Nechama - 1917
Which brings me back to my great-grandmother Nechama. She took a giant risk leaving a married daughter behind in Russia, then getting on a boat with 6 kids to join her husband and her next oldest daughter in America. She left pogroms, oppression, and a world full of hate to start a new life in a place where she didn't speak the language. She got here. She made a home for her family. She kept everyone together. And she lived to see the next generation take root in this nation. 

I can only imagine what she would think about our current state of current affairs. I wonder what she would tell me to pack to plan for Plan B, and I would make sure that rolling pin goes with Little Miss.

But most of all, I like imagining how happy she would be to know Little Miss rolls hamantaschen with her dairy rolling pin.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Lekvar still makes the best filling for Hamantaschen.