Thoughts On the 25th anniversary of the Clinton/Lewinsky Affair

Every generation has its own political scandal that defines that era. It speaks to the values and beliefs of that time.

This month is the 25th anniversary of the revelation of the Clinton/Lewinsky affair and the eventual impeachment of the President. On last Sunday’s episode of Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd and his rotating group of panelists discussed the long-term effects of this particular news item.

Starts at 26:44

Once the details hit the presses, Lewinsky became a punchline. Clinton would eventually weather the storm and end his time in office with a mostly solid reputation.

One of the things that struck me was a comment made by one of the guests. If it had happened today, the #MeToo movement would have vindicated Lewinsky. Clinton would be in the same league as Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer.

If nothing else, this shows that change does happen. It just sometimes takes a quarter of a century for it to be accepted as the norm.

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Thoughts On MLK Day 2023

Martin Luther King Jr. is not just an American icon. He is a worldwide icon. He represents the change that is possible when we believe in it and work for it.

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On The View this morning, Whoopi Goldberg made a comment that I think perfectly sums up the current state of this nation and the larger world in general.

Starts at 2:47

She compared the progress that we have made toward equality to the game of whack-a-mole.

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It makes total sense. For every step we take forward, we are pulled two steps backward. Women and people with uteruses have more rights and opportunities than ever before. But we are still fighting for the ability to control our bodies and our fates. During the last few election cycles, black women have paid a pivotal role in ensuring the future of our democracy. This is while gerrymandering is becoming the norm and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has become legislation in name only.

MLK created the path to a better future. We only need to walk on it to make his dream a reality.

Thoughts On the Second Anniversary of 1/6

When a historical event is known by its date alone, it represents a moment in time that will never be forgotten.

First, there was 12/7. Then there was 9/11. The newest date on this list is 1/6.

Two years ago today, “protestors” charged into the Capital building, believing the lie that the former President had fraudulently lost the 2020 Presidential election.

Some days it feels like a lifetime ago. On other days, it feels like it was yesterday. Before January 6th, 2021, I was still hoping that there was still a semblance of American democracy. These days, it looks like a cracked mirror that is barely held together by masking tape.

The feeling I have about that day is similar to the one I had after 9/11. There is a sense of innocence lost and a cynical feeling that is unnatural. Despite this country’s flaws (however numerous they may be), I still believe in its ideals.

The question is, are we bold to strive for those ideals, or are we forever lost to partisanship and infighting?

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Thoughts On the First Night of Chanukah

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah.

This year, the holiday feels different. With an extreme rise in antisemitism, it is a reminder of the message of Chanukah. Essentially, it is the fight against hate and assimilation. It is the perfect middle finger for those who deny our humanity and the right to be seen as more than our faith.

Wherever you are, and however you’re celebrating, Happy Chanukah!

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Thoughts On Whoopi Goldberg’s Hamas Comment and Netflix’s Farha

There are two ways to view history: the fact as we know them to be and how the information is twisted to represent a certain perspective.

Just before Thanksgiving, The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg said the following about Hamas and the Taliban being labeled as terrorist organizations.

“Depends who you talk to”

This was in response to Ilhan Omar potentially being removed from her committees by the Republican leadership in January. Now granted, this is a partisan proposal that is deeply problematic, but Goldberg’s comments are also problematic.

Both Hamas and the Taliban (as anyone with a brain would recognize), are known terrorist groups. If the only way to create their ideal world is to destroy and kill, so be it. The Hamas Charter goes so far as to say it in black and white.

“Which calls for the destruction of the State of Israel, and would not
become a purely political movement, but quite the opposite, it would continue its policy of “resistance”.

The conflict with Israeli is religious and political: The Palestinian problem is a religious-political Muslim problem and the conflict with Israel is between Muslims and the Jewish “infidels.”

Goldberg seems to be an intelligent and capable woman. She would have lasted this long in Hollywood without a brain. But in making this comment, she has proven herself to be ignorant.

One of the newest films to be released on Netflix is Farha. It is supposed to dramatize the event known as “Nakba“. This is the lie that in 1948, Israel murdered and forced out hundreds of thousands of Arab Palestinians.

In any war, there is violence, there is death, and there is destruction. It is the nature of the beast. Nakba never happened. It was a story concocted to make the Israelis appear the Goliath to the Palestinian‘s David. The problem is that this fiction has continued to enable anti-semitism and has killed multiple generations on both sides.

Every time I read or see something about this, I get sick to my stomach. When I was very young, I was told the story about the ripple in the bond. As it got bigger, it spread. The same could be said for anti-semitism.

The only way to counter this hate is with love and acceptance. But first, we have to be willing to see one another as human beings.

Enjoy your evening.

Thoughts on Tashlich, Yom Kippur, and Starting Over

No one is perfect. We all have our flaws and mistakes that we wish we can undo. However, there will (hopefully) be opportunities to start over.

Earlier today, I completed tashlich. To make a long story short, bread is thrown into an open body of water. Each piece represents a sin from the previous year. In casting off our sins, we hope that we can start fresh.

After I finish, I can’t help but feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I walk away shedding a few tears and feeling emotionally refreshed.

Yom Kippur starts on Tuesday. As usual, I will be fasting for 25 hours, and praying for another turn around the sun. If nothing else, it makes me grateful for what I have (food obviously included). There are many who are surviving on much less.

If I have hurt or offended anyone over the past year, I apologize. To everyone fasting next week, have an easy fast. May you be written in the book of life.

Letitia James and Fani Willis may be the Ones Who Save Us From You Know Who

It has been said that where there is smoke, there is fire. If that is true, there has been smoke coming out of a famous NYC building owned by you know who for a very long time.

Earlier this week, New York state Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James announced that she has filed a lawsuit against he who shall not be named, and his three eldest children. In short, it claims that their namesake organization and its leadership have been committing financial fraud as a standard business model for years.

Of course, his response was a racist slur. Which we have learned over the years is par for the course.

In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has pulled together a grand jury investigation. The purpose is to determine if he and his supporters violated state laws in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

Starts at 1:15

As pointed out in yesterday’s episode of the podcast The New Abnormal (which starts at 5:19), both James and Willis are African American women. I think it speaks to where this country is going politically. These women understand that if they don’t stand up for what is right and the rule of law, there is a chance that no one will.

The only way to shut down a bully is to beat them at their own game. The former President is a bully. Until it is made crystal clear that he and his cronies are not above the law, they will continue to act with impunity.

Thoughts On Rosh Hashanah 2022

It’s amazing how busy the day gets. Work, writing, errands, etc. Before I know it, it is time to go to bed.

Rosh Hashanah starts this coming Sunday evening. For two days, Jews around the world will temporarily put their daily schedule on hold and ask our creator to forgive our sins and mistakes from the previous year.

For my part, I am looking forward to the holiday. It will be the break I have been looking for. This time of year is the busy season for my industry. For the last six weeks or so, I have been putting in long hours that have thoroughly put me through my paces. This time away from work and the very long to-do list is just what the doctor ordered.

To everyone celebrating, have a sweet and happy new year.

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Thoughts on the New “You Do You” MTA Masking Policy

Since March of 2020, masks have been part of our everyday lives. It’s almost like another limb or body part by now. If I leave my home without it, I get the feeling that I am missing something.

On September 8th, the NYC MTA announced the new policy on masking entitled “You Do You“. Essentially, it is a personal choice as to whether or not to put on the mask when on the bus or the train.

I understand why the decision was made. As time has gone on, many of us have gotten tired of the preventative measures that we took seriously just a short time ago. It has become harder to Let’s be honest, masks can be uncomfortable and a pain in the ass, especially if you wear glasses.

However, we also know that the virus is still with us. Too many are getting sick and dying from the disease. Even though we know that the vaccine is safe and more importantly, saves lives, many Americans still refuse to get the shot.

For the time being, I will continue to wear my mask. Not just for me, but for everyone else around me.

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Thoughts On the Disenchanted and The Little Mermaid Trailers

It’s easy to be cynical in an adult and complicated world. Then you put on a Disney movie and you become the child believing that anything is possible.

Last week, the trailers for Disenchanted (the sequel to Enchanted) and the live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid were released.

The premise of Disenchanted is as follows: It’s been ten years since Giselle (Amy Adams) and Robert (Patrick Dempsey) had their happily ever after. But when Giselle starts to question that happiness, things go horribly wrong.

When it was announced some time ago that Halle Bailey was taking over the role of Ariel, I was not sure about that casting. To be perfectly honest, it was simply about the hair color, nothing more. If it came off as racist, I apologize. That was not my intention. Ariel is such an integral part of my childhood that she is a part of my essence. I just feel very protective of her.

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Though it is only a teaser trailer, I have seen enough to be excited. Bailey has a beautiful voice and I look forward to seeing the film when it comes out next year.

Disenchanted will be released on DisneyPlus on November 24th. The Little Mermaid will be in theaters next May.

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