In 2016, as President Obama’s final year in office was coming to a close, Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. As is within the scope of power that comes with being President, he nominated Merrick Garland to replace Justice Scalia. The Republicans shot down the idea, stating that they preferred to wait fill Justice Scalia’s seat until after the 2016 Presidential Election.
Now the shoe is on the other foot. Justice Anthony Kennedy announced today that as of July 31st, he will be retiring.
I believe that at this point in time, we are at a political crossroad. Whoever takes Justice Kennedy’s place could not just tip the balance of the Supreme Court, but could have a hand in shaping the future of our country for years to come. While the hope for Democrats is that a blue wave will take back the House and Senate come the midterm elections in November, at this point, it is still just a hope.
The problem is that while President Obama tried to compromise with the Republicans, compromise is a dirty word when it comes to you know who. It’s his way or the highway.
What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Perhaps it’s time that the Republicans got a taste of their own political medicine.
One of the hallmarks of the hard-fought for gender parity, especially in Hollywood, is that the idea of a female superhero headlining a film is no longer an anomaly. But, then like any superhero film, the question of quality, especially when compared to the source material, has to be asked.
In the 2005 film, Elektra (based upon the comic book character of the same name), the titular heroine, played by Jennifer Garner survives a near death experience. Breaking with the rest of the world, Elektra’s sole focus is her job as an assassin. Her latest assignment is protected a single father and his young daughter from a group of supernatural assassins. Can she protect her charges and perhaps regain her humanity in the process? Or will she forever run from the world?
At the time, I knew nothing about the MCU or the characters that inhabited that world. I suppose the film is ok, but when it is compared to other films within the MCU, it doesn’t quite hold up.
Do I recommend it? Not really.
Imagine the following scenario: From the time you were very young, you thought you knew who you were. As far back as you can remember, you were given a certain identity. Then a secret is revealed and that identity is questioned.
That is the premise of the 2007 book, Suddenly Jewish: Jews Raised as Gentiles Discover Their Jewish Roots. Written by Barbara Kessel, the book contains interviews with 160 individuals. While their lives and individual stories vary, they all have one thing in common: they discover they either they are Jewish or they have Jewish ancestry. The interviewees are broken down into four distinct categories: Crypto-Jews (descendants of Jews who were forced to convert to another religion, but still practiced Judaism in secret), child survivors of the Holocaust who survived by hiding and assuming Christian identities, the children of Holocaust survivors and children who were adopted.
This book is absolutely fascinating. What made it fascinating was not just the history behind the stories of the interviewees, but the reactions of those interviewed. Some were not only accepting of their true identity, but they also actively became members of the Jewish faith. Others dismissed the idea and distanced themselves from their Jewish ancestry. Either way, it was a compelling view of the roads where history and identity meet.
I recommend it.