Category Archives: National News

I Can Quote The Bible Too, Jeff Sessions

The bible is often used as justification when it comes to defending our actions.

Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted the bible to defend the treatment of migrants at our Southern border.

He is not the only one who can pull quotes from the bible.

“The stranger who sojourns with you shall be as a native from among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord, your God.” Leviticus 19:34

The quote that he is so easily referencing was also used to justify slavery in the United States.

There is also, the story of the three unknown men who approached the tent of Abraham and Sarah. Abraham could have sent them away, not knowing who they were or what their motives could have been. But instead, he welcomed these men into his home, treating them as honored guests.

When reporters asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders about this immoral treatment, she also referred to the bible.

I’m not a parent, but the sounds of these young kids crying for their parents absolutely breaks my heart.  I’m not a biblical scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but even I know that there is nothing that states that children of migrants should be separated from their parents in such an egregious manner.

If there is any justice in this world, you know and his minions will pay for what they are doing to these families. Until then, I can only hope that there are enough reasonable minds in Congress to undo this beyond horrible injustice.

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RIP Kate Spade

Depression is like a dark cloud that refuses to dissipate. Professional success, a solid marriage, happy children and supportive family/friends can often mean nothing when one lives with depression. The dark thoughts are insidious, invading the thoughts and psyche of the person suffering until for some the only way to get ride of them is take your own life.

Today it took another life, that of fashion designer Kate Spade.

Ms. Spade was found this morning by her housekeeper. While there has not been an official ruling on her passing, speculation is pointing to suicide caused by depression.

She leaves behind her husband, her teenage daughter, a fashion empire and many who will miss her terribly.

What breaks my heart is that she had every reason to live, but that was not enough in the fight against mental illness.

If you are suffering, please seek help. Whether it is through your clergy person, a therapist, a trusted loved one or another resource, please get help. You are beautiful, you are worth it and you are powerful. You deserve all of the good things that have come and will come your way.

The telephone for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. The life you may save with the phone call is yours.

She was 55. May her memory be a blessing.

 

 

 

 

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Thoughts On The Colorado Baker Case

The line between freedom of speech/freedom of religion and discrimination is sometimes as thin as the wire used for a high wire act in the circus.

This morning, the Supreme Court made it’s ruling in regards to the case regarding Jack Phillips, a baker from Colorado who refused to create a wedding cake for a couple six years ago because they were gay. Mr. Phillips claimed that his Christian faith was the reason for not baking the cake.

The ruling was in favor of Mr. Phillips.

I have mixed feelings about the ruling. Mr. Phillips is entitled to his beliefs. He also, as a business owner, has the right to not serve customers whom he does not wish to.

However, this case could also be seen as  clear cut case of discrimination. Comedian and writer Seth McFarlane compared Mr. Phillip’s decision to a restaurant that will not serve African-American customers. The correlation is not too far off.

I wish I had a solution to this issue that would make everyone happy. Unfortunately, there is none. I can only hope that decency and humanity will win out over prejudice and racism

 

 

 

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Thoughts On The NFL Knee Ban During The National Anthem

One of the core freedoms of our American democracy is freedom of speech.  The basic tenet of this freedom is that one is allowed to act or speak against the government without fear of reprisal or persecution. Unfortunately, freedom of speech has become twisted in a manner recently that does not reflect its true meaning.

Last week, the NFL made a decision in regards to their players kneeling during the National Anthem. In response to players such as Colin Kaepernick kneeling to protest injustice against communities of color, the ruling stated that personnel may sit or kneel during the Anthem, however, they must do so in the locker room. If they are on the field, they must stand. Any personnel who do not stand while on the field will be fined.

I’m not a football fan, but I am a fan of freedom of speech. This ban smacks of hypocrisy from my perspective. Those who took a knee or sat during the Anthem were only acting as any American does when they see injustice happening. They were publicly protesting, which is a right guaranteed by the Constitution. The hypocrisy comes into play when those who claim to love the Anthem and everything it stands for, uses it to spread their hateful rhetoric or encourage violence (i.e. the rally in Charlottesville last year).

This ruling is a perversion of American democracy.  My fervent hope and prayer is that this ruling is overturned. But until then, I will stand with the players who use their platform and celebrity for a good cause. Not just because it the right thing or the fair thing to do, but also because it represents everything that American can and should be.

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When Has School Shootings Become Normal?

Friday morning started off as an ordinary day at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana. Then one of the students walked into a classroom with a gun and the day went from ordinary to life changing.

By the grace of G-d and the heroism of teacher Jason Seaman, there were only two injured: Mr. Seaman and a female student. There were no fatalities.

When did school shooting become normal? I’ve stated in previous posts about being in high school when the Columbine shooting occurred. Back then, school shootings were major news because they didn’t happen. When they did happen, not only was it major news, but the surge of grief and anger was paid attention to by politicians and those in the government.

Today, school shooting are just another news bulletin that holds our attention all too briefly. First there is the anger/grief, the calls for gun control reform. Then there is lip service of thoughts and prayers/”it’s not the right time” comment from our politicians. Finally the story fades into the background until another school shooting occurs and the cycle starts all over again.

How many innocent people will be hurt or killed  before this mania stops? When will our children and those who teach our children be more important than a gun?

More importantly, why have school shootings become normal?

 

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Same Sh*t, Different Day-Another School Shooting In America

School used to be defined by the three R’s-reading, writing and arithmetic. Over the last twenty years or so, an SS need to be added to the three R’s- school shooting.

On Friday morning, Dimitrios Pagourtzis walked into a classroom at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas and starting shooting at classmates. When the shooting finally stopped, eight students and two teacher were dead. 10 more are wounded.

According to news reports, the young man accused of the murders used the guns his father purchased legally.

Once again, the argument comes down to one thing: gun control, Now granted, the weapons belonged to the boy’s father and were purchased through proper legal channels. However, that does not condone that murder of 10 innocent people.

As usual, the message from our government will be the same lip service: thoughts, prayers and empty promises.

How many kids will die before those in power actually do something about gun control? Or will it take a future shooting close to home for our government to actually do something that will once and for all and stop the killing of children who have just begun to live?

 

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Thoughts On John Kelly’s Immigration Comments

America is supposed to be the land of opportunity. Anyone, regardless of background, can make something of themselves.

America is also the land of immigrants. Most Americans can trace their family history to at least one person who left their homeland and settled in America.

Earlier this week, General John Kelly, the current White House Chief of Staff, made the following comment in regards to illegal immigrants:

“They are not bad people … but they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States,” he continued. “They’re overwhelmingly rural people. In the countries they come from, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm. They don’t speak English, obviously that’s a big thing,” Kelly said. “They don’t integrate well; they don’t have skills.”

I don’t know about anyone else, but this comment make my blood boil.

The reason people immigrate to America is for opportunities that are not available in the countries they call home. If they had the educational and professional opportunities in their home countries, they wouldn’t leave.

My family originally hailed from Eastern Europe. They were Jews, crippled by both discrimination and the opportunities that were out of reach because they were poor. They came to America over a century ago and like many immigrants of that era, integrated into America. They learned English, received an education and thrived.

His comments are racist is every sense of the word. But, considering who Kelly’s boss is, I am not surprised about the comment.

What we need in this country is to come together. We will never come together if we let this divisive rhetoric tear us apart.

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Add Another One To The List X: Tom Brokaw And The Bill Cosby Trial

We are in the middle of an uprising. For an untold number of generations, women have been viewed as second class beings who are put on earth merely to fulfill the sexual pleasures of men. For too long, we have been silent. We are silent no more.

Over the weekend, actor and comedian Bill Cosby, best known for his 1980’s/early 1990’s sitcom The Cosby Show was found guilty of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand. He could spend the next thirty years in prison. Some have argued that race was a factor in deciding that Cosby was guilty. While I can understand where they are coming from, from my perspective, the guilty verdict has nothing to do with skin color. Bill Cosby had non-consensual sex with Constand. He drugged her before forcing himself on her. Regardless of skin color either the accused or the victim, that is a crime and should be prosecuted within the fullest extent of the law.

 

Another name added to the list of prominent men accused of sexual assault surprised many: respected news anchor Tom Brokaw. Three women have come forward, accusing Brokaw of assault and harassment in the workplace. While the information from Brokaw’s accusers are still being reviewed, he has received support from many well-known female journalists. Only time will tell if he is exonerated or is found guilty.

 

Either way, the message is clear. Sexual assault and sexual harassment is unacceptable. No means no, period. If it takes a lawsuit and the loss of jobs and/or reputations to make that crystal clear, so be it. It’s time that men learned that we are not here simply to be their sex slaves.

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A Higher Loyalty Book Review

The man of the political hour these days is James Comey. It seems like it is nearly impossible to go anywhere without hearing his name.

His memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership was published very recently to acclaim, buzz and a bit of controversy.

In the memoir, Mr. Comey tells the story of his life from his own perspective. He was born in the early 1960’s in a suburban town just outside of New York City and grew up in New Jersey. Working for the government at the state, local and national level for several decades, he uses his experience to draw a picture of what ethical and m0ral leadership looks like. As expected, he also writes about his brief and turbulent term as FBI director during the 2016 Presidential Election and under the leadership of Donald Trump.

If some readers are expecting a tabloid-esque tell all similar to Fire and Fury or Devil’s Bargain, they will be sorely disappointed. What they will find is the story of a man who shoots straight from the hip, believes in American democracy, does not cater to party lines and makes decisions based on what is best for the country.

I recommend it.

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RIP Barbara Bush

Earlier this week, Barbara Bush, the wife of former President George H.W. Bush and the mother of former President George W. Bush passed away. She was 92.

Known for her pearls, her premature white hair and her down to earth demeanor, Mrs. Bush was both a product of her era and a woman standing on her own two feet.

Though she was the wife and mother of two Republican Presidents, she not only saw the humanity in others, but was also bipartisan enough to cut through the Washington b*llsh*t. She advocating for both literacy and for AIDS patients in an era when AIDS carried a stigma of economic and social isolation.

Multiple tributes have poured out over the last two days, but my favorite is from one of her granddaughters, Jenna Bush Hager.

To have your grandparents around as your growing up creates an experience that has no rivals. But have your grandparents around when your an adult is an experience that is be cherished.

RIP Barbara Bush. May her memory be a blessing to everyone who knew her and loved her.

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