Daily Archives: October 27, 2018

Enemy of the People: Trump’s War on the Press, the New McCarthyism, and the Threat to American Democracy Book Review

When the head of government refers to the press as “enemy of the people”, he or she is usually not a democratically elected leader. They have somehow elbowed into their way into a position of power and in doing so, have pushed aside the norms and rules of political leadership.

Marvin Kalb’s new book, Enemy of the People: Trump’s War on the Press, the New McCarthyism, and the Threat to American Democracy, compares the Presidency and administration of you know who to the Red Scare and McCarthyism led by Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950’s. In the book, Mr. Kalb lays out in detail how Joseph McCarthy politically hijacked American politics in the 1950’s and how eerily similar it is to the current administration. He also lays out how Edward R. Murrow saw through McCarthy and understood how important it was to reveal the truth to the American public. In short, Mr. Kalb lays out the reasons why freedoms of the press and other freedoms should not be curbed to satisfy the political cravings of one man.

This book should be read by every American, regardless of where they stand on the political spectrum. We have taken our Democracy for granted. If nothing else, the current resident of The White House is a reminder of how fragile Democracy really is and how important it is for every citizen to get involved.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History, Politics

Thoughts On The Clueless Reboot

Reboots of 80’s and 90’s classics are the rage these days. Television and movie executives are banking on the nostalgia factor to bring in audiences.

The latest reboot that will soon be coming to the movie theater is Clueless.

While details of the production and casting have not be released, my initial reaction can be explained in one word: why?

Clueless is perfection in a film. Amy Heckerling’s screenplay is quotable, incredibly funny and does not need a reboot. Though Emma (like all Jane Austen novels) can be easily transported to another era and time period, in the wrong hands any Jane Austen reboot can come off as just plain awful and heretical to some Jane Austen fans.

Until we know more about this upcoming reboot, I remain skeptical. I loved Clueless when it premiered in 1995, that love has not died and will probably never die. I just hope that this reboot, whenever it hits theaters, does not destroy the reputation of it’s predecessor.

 

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Filed under Books, Emma, Jane Austen, Movies

The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Hits Too Close To Home

This morning started off like any morning for the members of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. At approximately 10:30 am EST, a gunman walked into the synagogue and killed 8 people with at least 4 more injured in the shooting. He stated the following as a reason for the shooting: All Jews must die.

This shooting hits too close to home for me. Other than attending services on the high holidays (and perhaps for a special occasion), I haven’t attended Saturday morning services regularly since high school. But I come from a Jewish family where attending regular Saturday morning services is a just part of the weekly calendar. I count my blessings that none of my loved ones were in that synagogue, but it also hurts like h*ll.

I am scared, angry and on the verge of tears.  Antisemitism is alive and well in America. The people who were killed were only killed because they are Jewish and happened to attend services at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

This should not be happening in 2018. We should be able to go about our business without being afraid of being killed for who we are. Religious institutions should not need to hire armed guards or security so their members can attend services and feel safe in doing so.

According to news reports, the accused gunmen was found with an AR-15 and a handgun. An AR-15 was also used in the shooting in Las Vegas and Florida.  What will it take for our government to enact reasonable gun control laws? How many will die before we come to our senses?

Of course, you know who sounded Presidential, be we all know that he is part of the problem. His antisemitic dog whistles has allowed those who believe as shooter did that they are right.

This should be classified as a hate crime and if convicted, the shooter should receive the harshest legal penalty possible.

May the memory of those killed be a blessing and may we all see each other first and foremost as human beings.

I am going end this post with Shylock’s speech from The Merchant of Venice. Though this speech was written hundreds of years ago, it feels relevant today.

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.-Act III, scene I

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Filed under National News, William Shakespeare