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 their nuclear arsenal and beginning to test missiles for warheads. It's worth mentioning that North Korea had a successful nuclear missile test 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.