I don’t know about anyone else, but it seems like terrorist attacks are unfortunately just another blip on the news cycle.
Across Sri Lanka, bombs went off in Churches and hotels that are known to be frequented by foreign visitors. As of this post, 207 people are dead.
The fact that today is Easter Sunday points to someone who wanted to send a very specific message.
My heart breaks for those who were killed. We should all have the ability to live a long, happy live. Unfortunately, some people are of the mind that unless we all agree to live by their rules, those of us who live differently have a mark on our backs.
May the memory of those killed be a blessing and may the justice system in Sri Lanka prosecute those involved in the attacks to the fullest extent of the law.
Iconic is a label that is often used lightly without considering the context of what or whom is considered to be iconic. The Notre Dame Cathedral is a building that is automatically labelled iconic, for good reason.
Construction on the cathedral initially began in 1163. It ended after nearly 200 years of work in 1345. An untold number of generations of parishioners and visitors have marveled at the beauty of the architecture of this building. It is one of the finest creations that mankind has ever built. Yesterday, it was nearly destroyed by fire. Thankfully, the fire was extinguished before the cathedral could be completely destroyed along with the priceless historical and religious objects that it houses.
I’ve never been there, but I can imagine how awe inspiring this marvel of human ingenuity is.
I feel for the people of Paris and the worshipers who consider Notre Dame to be their church. Regardless of faith, this church belongs not only to the people of Paris, but to the whole country. It is theirs to love, cherish and worship under, if that is their prerogative. Ask any religious person and they will likely tell you that their specific house of worship is akin to their second home. I feel the same way about the synagogue that my family attends. I don’t attend very often, but when I do, it’s like snuggling under a warm blanket with a hot drink on a cold winter night.
It will take time to rebuild, there is no question. But this ancient and beloved house of worship will return to her former glory, that I know is certain.
Democracy is not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. But it is the only form of government that gives the average man or woman a voice in the leadership and direction of their country.
After a tense election season, Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected for a fifth term as Israeli Prime Minister. His opponent, former Chief of General Staff for the IDF Benny Gantz put up a good fight. But in the end, the Israeli voters chose to continue the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
I have to be honest, I have mixed feelings about the results of the election. As the face of Israelis and Jews all over the world, Prime Minister Netanyahu has from my perspective has done an excellent job. But he has also been accused of corruption and many are wary that he is turning to the political right. Neither of those sit well with me.
One of the things that I have been reminded of over the past two years is that just because the election is over, that does not mean that the voice of the average citizen is now silent and will remain so until the next election. We still have the right to protest if we do not agree with our leaders. I’m sure that the Israeli voters will have a thing or two to say to their elected officials in the coming years.
On November 26th, 2008, the eyes of the world were riveted on Mumbai, India.
Terrorists were openly and brazenly killing innocent civilians. When all was said and done, nearly 200 people were killed and another 300 were injured.
The story of that day and more specifically, the terrorist’s focus on the Taj Mahal Palace is told in the new film, Hotel Mumbai.
After terrorists storm the hotel, staff and guests must come together to somehow get out of the hotel alive. Head chef Oberoi (Anupam Kher) and waiter Arjun (Dev Patel) are two of the surviving staff who are simply trying to keep the surviving guests alive. Married couple David (Armie Hammer) and Zahra (Nazanin Boniadi) have to make a tough decision. They can either stay together or split up and find a way to get to their nanny, Sally (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) and infant son.
I have mixed feelings about this film. On one hand, it’s a true and riveting story about human beings who have no choice, but to find a way to work together in the face of life or death circumstances. In this film, it would have been easy to create a 2D carte blanche villain. But the creative team fleshed out the villains in a way that makes them human, even if their actions are despicable. But on the other hand, the film teetered on boring at moments.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
Hotel Mumbai is presently in theaters.
I’m not particularly religious, but I believe that our religious texts can speak to us. One of the most important quotes, from my perspective is the following from the Talmud:
“Whoever destroys a single life is considered by Scripture to have destroyed the whole world, and whoever saves a single life is considered by Scripture to have saved the whole world.”
Yesterday, 49 worlds were destroyed when 49 innocent people were killed in two Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Another 20 more were injured. The only reason these people were targeted and killed was because of their faith.
I am sick with disgust and sad at the same time. We are all human beings, regardless of who were are, what we believe or where we come from. This animal who shall not be named in this post, decided that because the worshipers are of the Muslim faith, that they were beneath him and had to die. No one deserves that fate.
The one good thing (if there is truly such a concept in this horrible news story) is that the country’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, vowed to change her country’s gun laws. American lawmakers should be taking notes from Ms. Arden as how to deal with gun violence.
My prayer is two-fold. First, may those who were injured heal quickly. Second, may the memory of those killed be a blessing.
P.S. You know who’s reaction to the shooting was not unexpected. We need to get this man out of office, now.
One of the cornerstones of any legitimate and thriving democracy is the ability to criticize the government without fear of reprisal.
That being said, there is a distinct difference between having the right to openly criticize the government and hate speech.
Representative Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minnesota) comments, in my opinion, can without a doubt be classified as hate speech.
While I agree with her that money from lobbyists urgently needs to be removed from politics, the fact that she once again spread the lies that Israel (aka Jews) are using their money to gain influence is just plain wrong.
Some argue that antisemitism and anti-Israel is one and the same. They are completely different. Antisemitism is hatred of members of the Jewish faith for no other reason than our religion. It is possible to disagree with the actions of the Israeli government and not be labeled antisemitic. But to criticize the actions of the Israeli government simply because it is Israel is antisemitic.
A real democracy has no place for prejudice or hate. A real democracy respects the diversity of the citizens who call this country home.
Do I accept her apology? I don’t know. But I do know that I am reminded that antisemitism is still very real and very dangerous.
P.S. Am I the only one who is disturbed by you know who’s hypocrisy in demanding that Representative Omar resign?
There was a time in this country when political satire was merely part and parcel of the way that the voting public viewed those who they voted into office.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Dana Carvey portrayed then President George H.W. Bush on Saturday Night Live.
It was brilliant, it was funny and most of all, the real President Bush laughed along with the rest of America.
With his passing yesterday, the country is in mourning for not just a President, but a politician who understood and appreciated the value of political satire.
These days, depending on where you stand on the political spectrum, political satire is either a way to let off the stress one feels about those currently in the corridors of power or it is deeply offensive.
As I stated in yesterday’s post about the late President Bush, I was too young back then to have a reaction to the decisions he made while in office. But I look back now and if nothing else, I appreciate that he understood that political satire was an important aspect of the American political scene.
It would be nice if the current White House resident understood that.
Few things bring a country together like the passing of a former President.
This morning, it was announced that former American President George H.W. Bush passed away last night. He was 94 years old.
The patriarch of the Bush political dynasty, President Bush led the country from 1989-1993. Two of his sons followed in their father’s footsteps. George W. Bush was President from 2001-2009. Jeb Bush was Governor of Florida from 1999-2007 and a Presidential candidate during the 2016 Presidential election.
He is remembered not just a President. He was a World War II veteran, a public servant, a husband, a father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
I don’t remember much about his time in office. I too young back then to know or understand how his leadership was impacting the country. But I can respect someone who understands what they are getting into when they get into politics. It’s not about them or their needs/ego/desires. It’s about serving the American public and realizing that the voting public, not the special interest groups or billionaires, are the ones who the politicians are responsible to.
I also deeply respect that his marriage to his late wife, Barbara Bush lasted 73 years. If we are lucky enough, we will find someone to spend nearly three-quarters of a century married to.
May his memory be a blessing to all of us, especially those who knew and loved him best. RIP.
America is a land of immigrants. Most, if not all us (excluding those who are Native American) can say that at some point in history, someone in their family left their homeland for a new life in America.
The latest news in the war over our national immigration policy that the Border Patrol sent in by you know who to control the caravan coming up from Central America and Mexico gassed innocent people who were simply there to ask for asylum. The migrants in this caravan are not hoodlums and thugs who want to enter the United States and cause trouble. These are ordinary civilians, who want a better life for themselves and their families. What’s worse is that children were caught up in this melee and were affected by the gas.
I understand the frustration on both sides. I also understand that not everyone who wants to come into the United States will be let in. However, to indiscriminately fire tear gas at women and children is inhumane. But given you know’s stance on immigration, this is nothing new and just another reason why he is ill qualified for the position he was elected to.
P.S. Did anyone else notice that the White House tried to keep the new report on climate change quiet on Friday, hoping that we would still be either still stuffed from Thanksgiving dinner or paying more attention to the flat screen TVs that were 50% off to notice? Climate change is real and will have a drastic effect on every aspect of our lives, if it has not had a drastic effect already. If I were a betting woman, I would say that he would only believe it when he cannot access both Mar-a-lago and Trump Tower due to rising sea levels. But I am not betting woman, I am just asking questions.
When one joins the military, there is the expectation that he or she may give up their life at some point to protect their country.
Today is Veterans Day. We remember the millions who served, regardless of whether they came home or gave their lives to protect everything that they hold dear.
This year is the 100th anniversary of ending of World War I. In addition to remembering all of the American veterans, we remember those who fought and died in World War I.
You know who promised to support veterans, but not surprisingly, there were no actions behind his words.
During the election, he chastised President Obama for golfing, but he has golfed every weekend since taking office. Yesterday was the international gathering of world leaders to remember those who gave their lives during World War I. He used the excuse that it was raining not to attend. Was he afraid of getting his precious hair wet? If so, this another example, at least to my mind that he is unfit to lead the country.
To give your life during war to protect and support your country is the most heroic act anyone can do. By using a flimsy excuse to not attend the memorial ceremony, he is once more showing his true colors. It is those colors that continue to prove that he should be holding any political office, especially the highest political office in the land.