Category Archives: Thoughts On….

The Potential Purchase of Greenland and “I Am the Chosen One”: Thoughts on the Latest News from D.C.

Over the last few years, Americans have sadly gotten used to the out there statements and actions coming from the man whom we elected President.

This week, what he has said and done in the past compared to what he has said and done this week amounts the following saying: “hold my beer”.

He has stated this week that he is interested potentially purchasing Greenland. The offer was quickly and soundly rejected by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. I don’t know what is worse, the hair brained scheme or the sycophant aides who went along with the idea instead of shutting it down in the first place.

Hypothetically speaking, if the deal had gone through, where would the money have come from? To say that the purchase would have been a colossal waste of tax payer funds is an understatement. Thankfully, the Danish Prime Minister has more sense than you know who.

In response to the rejection, he took more than his usual tantrum. First, he cancelled a planned state visit to Denmark. Then he made the following statement:

“I Am the Chosen One”

This G-d complex he has is not only getting out of hand, it is becoming scary. History has taught us that the slippery slope from a democracy to a dictatorship is much closer than we think it is.

We need to get this man out of office before he ruins this country forever.

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Thoughts on the Latest Immigration Mishaps

Unlike other nations, the United States has a reputation of not being so homogeneous. Most, if not all Americans (unless one is of Native-American descent), can trace their family history to at least one member of their family who was born somewhere else.

You know who and his administration seem to be determined to destroy all that.

Last week, ICE raided several meat processing plants in Mississippi. Hundreds of employees were arrested, many of who are not in the country legally. Among those arrested and detained, a good amount are also parents, leaving their children without a stable parental support system.

Watching these clips breaks my heart. One would have to be inhuman (or without a heart) to not feel something for these kids.

What I find disturbing is that while the company’s owners get off scot free and continue to rake in profits, their employees are targeted for potentially not entering the country legally. And of course, the company had a job fair to fill the jobs that have been left vacant.

One does not risk everything and leave the country of their birth to start over in a new country for shits and giggles. More than a century ago, members of my family left Eastern Europe because of the three p’s: prejudice, poverty and pogroms. The stories of these immigrants may not be the same as my family’s story, but their reason is the same.

To add insult to injury, new immigrants who are currently receiving some sort of public assistance may be denied green cards. Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director Citizenship and Immigration Services defended this decision by rewriting The New Colossus.

America has been and always will be the land of immigrants. It does not matter if one immigrated yesterday, two generations ago, or five generations ago. We are all related to immigrants. Until we appreciate and respect that notion, we will continue to disregard our history and the national ideals that we claim to be proud of.

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Thoughts on the New Little Women Trailer

Little Women is one of those books. It is the literary gateway drug that for many young bookworms (myself included). I remember reading an abridged version of the novel when I was around eleven or twelve. I loved it then and almost thirty years later, that love has blossomed into a life long affection.

The trailer for the reboot written and directed by Greta Gerwig was just released earlier today. Stepping into the iconic, universal and beloved roles of the March sisters are Emma Watson (Meg), Saoirse Ronan (Jo), Eliza Scanlan (Beth) and Florence Pugh (Amy). Supporting and sometimes bumping heads with the March girls are Marmee (Laura Dern), Laurie (Timothée Chalamet ) and Meryl Streep (Aunt March).

As a friend stated on Facebook, about this trailer and the film’s potential success, ” If anyone can top Winona’s Jo, is DEFINITELY Saoirse”. I have an incredible amount of love for the 1994 adaptation, but if this version can top that love, I will love this film forever.

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Thoughts On the Second Anniversary of the Charlottesville Rally

Two years ago, the Charlottesville rally woke America up. In 2017, many of us believed that we lived in a post racial and religious society. We judged our fellow citizen as individuals, not based on factors such as race, religion, family origin, etc.

Then Nazis marched through Charlottesville carrying lighted tiki torches stating that “Jews will not replace us”. By the time all was said and done, Heather Heyer was dead after being hit by a car driven by a neo-Nazi.

Looking back, the signs of a rising acceptance of hatred and prejudice was there, if one only paid attention to the signs. Though I firmly believe that you know who is partly to blame, he is not the sole reason for the riot.

Sometimes, change only comes with a hard knock. Two years, America had it’s hard knock. The question, as I see it, how we, as Americans proceed from here. Do we let these neo-Nazis and members of the alt-right hijack this country or do we tell them in no uncertain terms that this country belongs to everyone, regardless of labels?

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Thoughts On the Equinox/SoulCycle Controversy

Voting with one’s wallet is often just as powerful as voting at the ballot box on election day. The problem with voting with our wallet is that we sometimes let our outrage and emotions speak for us instead of behaving rationally.

The latest kerfuffle surrounds Stephen Ross, the billionaire businessman who owns Equinox and SoulCycle. When it was announced that he would be hosting a fundraiser for you know whose 2020 Presidential re-election campaign, the reaction was swift and furious.

While my political beliefs fall in line with those who are angered by the decision, I don’t agree that Mr. Ross should be bullied into cancelling the fundraiser. Granted, he earns his living from the membership fees that are paid to both organizations. However, if this fundraiser is done on his time and his dime, then it should be live and let live.

Imagine that the shoe is on the other foot. Mr. Ross is hosting a fundraiser for the incumbent Democratic President who is running for a second term. This President has enacted policies have not gone over well with conservative and right wing Americans. The backlash comes from the right and not the left.

The problem in the United States these days, at least from a political angle is that we are so divided that we are not listening to the other side. Anyone in any relationship, romantic or otherwise, would say that the first step in repairing a fractured relationship is to listen. Until we start listening to other side, this country will never be able to heal.

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Same Hypocrite, Different Day

One of the jobs of the President of the United States is to be the “consoler in chief” when a national tragedy strikes.

As we all are aware, there were two mass shootings on Saturday. Yesterday, you know who spoke to the country.

He sounded Presidential, but in reality, he was the same hypocrite on a different day.

He talked about ending racism, white supremacy and unifying the country. But his words are sound and fury signifying nothing.

He talked about the mental health of the accused gunmen, which personally offended me. To say that the accused in both shootings are mentally ill, without knowing all of the facts is derogatory to all of us who have the unwanted friend that is mental illness.

He also talked about how violent video games contributed to real life violence. This has been proven wrong time and again. And yet, politicians will use that an excuse for the lack of real reform of gun laws.

Just after the Columbine massacre, some were saying that the music of Marilyn Manson was to blame for the shooting. I wish those in the leadership positions, whether in a religious role or a political role, would put on their big boy/big pants and take a real look at what caused the accused to kill innocent people.

Those of us who are of a certain age and older remember the dark days after 9/11. Then President George W. Bush stood on top of the rubble with his arm around a first responder and addressed the nation. Putting aside partisan politics, he also spoke of unity and coming together. That speech felt authentic. Yesterday’s speech was not.

May the memory of those murdered be a blessing and may we finally enact sensible gun legislation so we never have another weekend like we just had.

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Thoughts On Second Night of the Second Round of Democratic Debates

Last night, the second night of the second round of the Democratic nominees aired on CNN. Over the course of three hours, the nominees debated, argued and did their best to prove why they should go against you know who next fall.

I have a few thoughts about last night.

  • Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) is not the golden child that she was after the previous debate. She was and still a strong contender. However, it was clear that the other nominees had her in their cross hairs, especially Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).
  • Speaking of Representative Gabbard, it felt like she was grasping at straws. While I can’t speak of Senator’s Harris’s record while she was Attorney General in California, I can’t see Representative Gabbard being the Democratic nominee next fall.
  • There were more than enough one liners to go around.
  • The polls may say that for Vice President Joe Biden has the best chance to win the election. However, given that the polls leading up the 2016 elections said that Hillary Clinton was slated to win, I don’t exactly trust the numbers. In regards to last night, Vice President Biden was still not as on top of his game as he could have been. He was evasive at some points and used his former boss, President Obama as a crutch one too many times for my liking.
  • And finally, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proved once again why he should not be President. Called out for the fallout from the Eric Garner trial and the lead paint poisoning in NYCHA buildings, he was evasive and put his two cents where they were not wanted.

Readers, those are my thoughts. What did you think of last night? Has your opinion changed about any specific candidate or have you already made up your mind as to whom you will be voting for?

 

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Thoughts On the First Night of the Second Round of Democratic Debates

Last night, the first night of the second round of the Democratic nominees aired on CNN. Over the course of three hours, the nominees debated, argued and did their best to prove why they should go against you know who next fall.

I have a few thoughts about last night.

  • As much as I would like to say that Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) will be our first Jewish-American President, I don’t think he will be the nominee. From my perspective, his plan can best be summed up as a Monet. He didn’t do anything for me during the 2016 Presidential Election and does not do anything for me now. But, he did have the best one-liners.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) said nothing new or different than she has said before. This round of debates are do or die for the candidates. While the Senator had many good talking points, nothing she said inspired me.
  • Marianne Williamson surprised me. I didn’t think much of her during the previous debate. But last night, she sounded like a candidate who might have a shot winning the nomination. However, her limited political experience bothers me. Not that there is anything wrong with a political newbie, but given the lack of previous political experience of you know who, I would feel more comfortable with a candidate who has at least some experience in government.
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) stood out. I read her as a centrist Democrat who is able to walk the fine line of holding true to the ideals of the party while appealing to all Americans. I honestly believe that the ideal Democratic candidate to go against you know who is a centrist Democrat whose appeal goes well beyond the party’s base.
  • I don’t agree that immigrants whose status is labelled illegal should just be handed health insurance. Let them pay in, either out of their own pockets or via taxes and enroll in one of the government insurances. I’ve spoken on past posts about my immigrant forebears. They came to this country for the same reasons more than a century ago for the same reason that immigrants are coming today. My forebears did not ask for a handout. They only asked for an opportunity, which what they were given. We should be giving these immigrants the same opportunities that past generations of immigrants were given.

Those are my opinions. Readers, what do you think? What moment or quote stood out to you from last night?

P.S. Did anyone else notice that everyone on stage last night was Caucasian? All of the nominees of color are debating tonight.

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Thoughts On the 40th anniversary of The Muppet Movie

There are certain movies that no matter how old you get, they instantly take you back to childhood.

One of those films is The Muppet Movie. This year is the film’s 40th anniversary.

Kermit the Frog (voiced by the late Jim Henson) is happily living in his swamp, dreaming of the day when he is a star in Hollywood. While playing on his banjo and singing his signature song “Rainbow Connection“, an agent approaches Kermit about pursuing a career in show business. Intrigued by the idea, he leaves his swamp and heads to Los Angeles.

On route to California, Kermit meets his soon to be best friends: Miss Piggy (voiced by Frank Oz), Fozzie Bear (also voiced by Frank Oz) and The Great Gonzo (Dave Goelz). He also meets Doc Hopper (the late Charles Durning), who will do anything to convince Kermit to be the spokes-frog for his Frog Legs chain restaurant.

This movie has humor, heart, nostalgia and of course, one of greatest final numbers of any movie musical.

I think it says something that decades after a film is released, it is remembered as fondly as The Muppet Movie is. It has entertained four decades of young audiences; I hope that it entertains young audiences for decades to come.

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Thoughts On the Mueller Hearing

There are few things that can either bring citizens together or divide them like politics. In the United States, there is doubt that politically, culturally and socially, we are becoming a divided nation.

This morning, former Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller testified in front of Congress and millions of Americans about his report and the conclusions in regards to the accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election.

Several points hit me as I listened:

  1. Mr. Mueller is an honorable man who has served his country for decades. Though it would have been easy to cross a moral or legal boundary to reach his conclusions, he chose to stay within the barriers of his position and Department of Justice protocol.
  2. There is without a doubt, something not right about the way you know who and those around him acted during the campaign. It felt like the win was more important than following the rules or established political traditions.
  3. Depending on where your political beliefs lie, you either believe that you know who is guilty and should be impeached or is a victim, as he calls it, a “witch hunt”.
  4. Based on today’s testimony, I am still not sure that impeaching him is the right thing to do. Impeachment does not always mean that the President is forced out of office. Former President Bill Clinton was also impeached, but remained in office to complete his second term.
  5. However, if the decision is to not find a way to force you know who out of office, that leaves the door open for him to possibly win the 2020 Presidential election.

Readers, what do you think? Do you think today’s hearing exonerates you know who or is just another reminder that he is unworthy of being President?

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