We Are Hijacked
Again and again and again and again and again... there seems no end to the school shootings that repeat themselves in our "enlighten" country and all due to our sickening addiction and obsession to guns. It's only mid-Feb and this is our 18th school shooting this year.  No other western nation comes close to our absurd laxed gun laws (gunman purchased his AR -15 legally) and in turn no other country experiences the massive amounts of mass shootings.  We are idiots to allow Gun Manufacturers and the NRA to hijack our legislators for the pure purpose of lining their pockets. And legislators are delinquent in doing their jobs to protect their constituency.  This time the school shooting came close to home as Parkland is where my bonus/step-sister lives with her family.  My niece and nephew graduated from  Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School a few years ago.  My other niece was on lockdown in the middle school next door. Come on people!  This must stop! Condolences to the family and friends of the 17 innocent victims who were killed and wishing for complete recoveries to the 14 who were injured. But condolences are meaningless until we force our reps in congress to ban military weaponry from public use. Timing is everything as the  Senate now has a bill before them called the 
Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act which will allow people to carry their concealed weapons (with their permits) across state lines like a drivers license. All 50 states allow concealed weapon permits but each state has its own degree of leniency, meaning some states are very strict on who can carry a concealed gun and some states basically hand out the permits like candy. The House has already passed the bill and now it it up to the Senate.  Here are more details about this bill from 60 Minutes:  

Presidential Lessons
As we celebrate and honor (with Mustang and Maytag sales) our nation's forefathers, wouldn't it be nice if #45 could learn a few lessons from his predecessors, for instance...

George Washington #1:
"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

Thomas Jefferson #3:
"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."

Abraham Lincoln #16
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

Franklin D. Roosevelt #32
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Harry S. Truman #33
"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."

Ronald Reagan #40
"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."

Reverse Robin Hood
Instead of acting presidential, #45 was up to more shenanigans this week which included... supporting men accused of domestic violence (Rob Porter), taunting us with a much needed but financially unattainable infrastructure plan, denying Dems the release of their Russian meddling investigation memo and suggesting an overblown $4.4 Trillion budget that will balloon our deficit and divide our wealth even more than it already is.  Here are some choice goodies in his plan as he continues his effort to Give to the Rich and Take from the Poor.  His wish list includes...
- Cuts to preschool Head Start by $13 Billion over 10 years.
- Cuts to the EPA budget by 1/4 leaving our environment in peril.
- Cuts to food aid by $214 Billion.
- Cuts of $27 Billion over 10 yrs to the CDC (disease prevention). 
- Cuts of $47 Billion from Housing Aid (Section 8).
- Cuts to the Department of Ed. by $3.6 Billion
- Cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 90%
But they aren't all cuts, since he want to contribute $2.5 Billion to build Alien Detention Centers and of course boost the budget of his beloved Military so he can host a $50 Million parade.  Rolling Stone mag did a nice job of detailing the most egregious attacks on the dignity of our nation.  http://rol.st/2EpbRoh  Let's hope Congress ignores the WH's budget insanity proposal or better yet, just uses it in place of their Charmin.

Next Hurdle
So now that the legislators in DC compromised (though sides weren't equal) on a two-year budget deal, they promised to negotiate protections for the Dreamers. This might be Pie in the Sky, as there is a Grand Canyon between the two sides, plus the Dems no longer have the threat of a government shutdown up their sleeves. It might take a miracle for the Dems and the GOP to draft something agreeable in the Senate (where the debate has begun) and then the House has to sign off.  Not to mention, #45 still wants trumped up border security in the form of his ridiculous Wall, more patrol agents and a crackdown on future immigration. The March 5th deadline for the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program is swiftly approaching and majority of Americans don't want to see a mass deportation of Dreamers (and neither do the courts who are objecting to the deadline) but can Congress pull a rabbit out of their hat and make the deal.  Time will tell... 

Road Rage
Our nation's infrastructure is abysmal and Dufus Don's plan to fix it requires minimal help from "his office pocketbook" and relies on cash strapped States and Communities to kick in money they don't have and also on the private sector. As Forrest Gump so eloquently said, "Stupid is as stupid does".  Then we've got the local Metro Detroit Mass Transit dilemma which apparently isn't important (or advantageous) enough for Oakland or Macomb Counties to join forces with their neighbors.  Seems a bit elitist and insular and very disappointing that our regional leaders can't come together for the betterment of metro Detroit.

Peace Prize?
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) movement was initiated 13 years ago to delegitimize the legal state of Israel by accusing her of falsehoods and blatant lies.  It recruits followers all over the world and especially on US college campuses. This week it gained a feather in its cap when a Norwegian legislator nominated the BDS movement for a Nobel Peace Prize.  This legislator says the policies of Israel are against International Law and he's only attempting to bring Peace to the region. Just wondering how he justifies the "peaceful" efforts of the past 70 years of the Palestinians attempt to destroy Israel and kill as many Jews as possible with their suicide bombs, rockets, knifes, guns and stones. He denies this nomination is anti-semitic but I'd beg to differ. 

Hot Water
Israel, like every other country in this world is not perfect and neither is her current decade-long leader, Bibi Netanyahu who seems to be in hot water these days.  The allegations and investigation against him have been brewing for nearly two years and now the Israeli police believe he should be charged with Bribery, Fraud and Breach of Trust. Bibi denies the allegations and (at this time) refuses to resign, which is his right until an indictment is confirmed.  Though for the health of the Jewish State, it seems 11 years in office is more than enough and his reign should end soon.
Prime Minister #9 since 2009 (also was PM 1996-1999)

New Reign Needs Rain
During that same year of 2009, another nation's leader took office yet his reign has ended this week. Jacob Zuma was #4 for South Africa (post Apartheid) but his political career was marred with corruption. It is true that a man's character is tested once they acquire power and so many seem to succumb to the temptations of corruption. The new president is  Cyril Ramaphosa and his overwhelming job is to restore the integrity of the nation with the spirit of Mandela on his shoulder and the pressing issue of water depletion plaguing the country. 

Dogs are Loyal...
It is the Year of the Dog.   Happy Chinese New Year today.  This holiday is also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival and to celebrate, greetings of Peace and Prosperity are shared with family and friends. I am a Rat but if you are born in the year of the Dog, you are honest, friendly, faithful, loyal, smart, straightforward, venerable and have a strong sense of responsibility but you are also self-righteous, cold, terribly stubborn, slippery, critical of others and not good at social activities. Yikes, might be best to just ignore your horoscope and just live your lives to the best of your ability. 

L.L. Bean customers are also loyal (like the dog) but some, throughout the years, have been a bit overzealous with the company's very lenient return/exchange policy.  Well... Change is the one Constant in Life.   L.L. Bean has now changed their lifetime warranty policy but this is angering lifetime customers.  Some are so angry, they are suing the company.  Sure is a funny way of showing their loyalty.   http://fortune.com/2018/02/14/l-l-bean-sued-lifetime-return-policy/

Duck Boots
Winter Acquisitions 
Even Though "Ice" is in their name, they are among many countries who have never won a medal in the Winter Olympics.  Iceland joins Israel, Iran, Greece (Olympic founders), India, Chili, Lithuania (held 1st Winter Olympics), Argentina, Brazil, Hong Kong and several others "losers".  Though Iceland never acquired a winter medal, it is this winter acquiring its first resident rabbi since the last one departed in 1918.  Again, timing is everything as their legislatures are considering an anti-circumcision bill that equates the male and female procedure (far far different from each other).  
And returning to the Olympics, Mazel Tov to Gold Medal winners:  Jamie Anderson (age 27), Red Gerard (age 17), Chloe Kim (age 17 Korean/American), Shaun White (age 31, comeback kid) and  Mikaela Shiffrin (age 22). 
And bravo to our Michigan Olympians:
Ice Dance
Evan Bates, Northville
Madison Chock, Novi
Madison Hubbell, Okemos
Alex Shibutani, Ann Arbor
Maia Shibutani, Ann Arbor
Ice Hockey
Chad Billins, Marysville
Megan Keller, Farmington
Jim Slater, Lapeer
James Wisniewski, Canton
Short Track  Speed Skating
Jessica Smith-Kooreman, Melvindale
Ryan Pivirotto, Ann Arbor
Nick Baumgartner, Iron River
Kyle Mack, West Bloomfield
And though I miss Bob Costas, his (Ann Arbor) replacement Mike Tirico is doing a great job.

And to warm your hearts during this cold winter week, here are this week's musical selections. The first will fly you to the moon from a talented cute punim (Yiddish for Face) and the 2nd is a mashup by Israeli Kutiman which takes you "in the day of a life".  See how many Tel Aviv landmarks you can identify.  
Hope you enjoy:
Cutie Pie, Sophie Fatu
Kutiman's Day in Tel Aviv

Wishing you and your family a 
Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom.

Condolences to Dennis and Elana Kreinin Markovitz and her family on the passing of Elana's beloved father, Professor  Mordechai Eliahu "Max" Kreinin z"l (age 88) and the husband of Marlene Kreinin. He was also a relative of Eli and Michele Saulson.  Professor Kreinin (my econ prof at MSU) was a wonderful man with an impressive life including his service in the Israel's War of Independence. May his memories and spirit bring comfort to those who knew and loved him as he was truly a blessing unto all who were touched by his soul. As a post note to this tribute, it was in my econ class with Prof. Kreinin at MSU that I saw a flyer promoting the overseas study program in Israel which altered my life for the best. I'm sure his connection to Israel was the reason he had those flyers in his class. I am forever grateful.

Condolences to Liz and Steve Schubiner and their family on the passing of Liz's father, Irwin Jay Robinson z"l.  May his memories and love bring comfort to those who mourn his passing and may he be a blessing unto his community.

Condolences to Andy Levin and Mary Freeman and their family on the passing of Mary's beloved father, Robert Whiting Freeman (age 89). May the memories of his long life help bring comfort those who know and loved him and who are mourning his passing.

There are 262 Days till our  November 6, 2018  election with lots of new positions to fill. I'll try to keep you updated on the candidates and issues of concern.  But before we reach our General election, we have our Michigan Primary on August 7, 2018 

-Michigan  Governor

-Michigan Attorney General - My Choice: Pat Miles

-Michigan Secretary of State - No Contest! Jocelyn Benson 

-Re-election of Senator Debbie Stabenow

-All Congressional Seats are up every two years. Here are those I'm supporting:
Dan Kildee - 5th District
Gretchen Driskell - 7th District
Elissa Slotkin - 8th District
Andy Levin - 9th District
Tim Greimel - 11th District
Debbie Dingell - 12th District
Brenda Jones - 13th District
Brenda Lawrence - 14th District

-Various Michigan Senate and House seats

-University Regent and Trustee seats: U of M Regent Jordan Acker

-School Board seats

-County and City seats

Feb. 16th
Carolyn Glaser Bellinson 
Rose Handleman
Barbara Nemer
Brian Jacobs

Feb. 17th
Dr. Jay Kutinsky
Julie Zuckerman Tepperman
Marla Rosberg
Marcy Storchan Borofsky
Kobi Erez
Betty Greene
Feb. 18th
Mitchell Wiatrak
Susan Moiseev
Larry Kohlenberg

Feb. 19th
Carrie Stauss
Nora Smokler Baron (Happy 80th)
Rosanne Kukes (Happy 70th Cousin)
Elana Kreinin Markovitz (sending hugs of condolences)
Katie Miller
David Fishman

Feb. 20th
Jennifer Rothenberg Siegel
Susan Banes Loss (Happy 70th dear friend)
Ariela Raviv (son-in-law's sister)
Adam Miller Lasser (Carole's z"l grandson)
Shmulik Garzi
Elizabeth Kahn
Austin Hirschhorn
Feb. 21st
Florine Mark (We love you, Mom/Bubbie!!)
Parker Levin
Bob Naftaly
Phil Roos
Arn Tellem
Feb. 22nd
Talia Broza Liram
Paris Jones
I'm prone to mistakes, so if I missed your birthday 
or got the wrong date or spelling, please let me know.

Tikkun Olam

February 18 (Sunday)
Sunday Brunch Fundraiser for
Elissa Slotkin running for Congress 
With special guest: Dem Whip Steny Hoyer
Our home
10:30 - Noon
Please join us for a full Bagels/Lox Bunch spread to meet and help support Elissa who is skilled, intelligent and one of the most qualified people to represent Michigan in DC.

February 24  (Saturday)
Jewish Historical Society of Michigan
Nosh Gen: A Night at the Schvitz
Re-discover this iconic building with current owners and special guests, Richard Meltzer (son of the original owner) and Rabbi Pinson (who is working to restore the Mikvah)
7:00 p.m. 
Dinner, Drinks and History

February 27 (Tuesday)
Detroit Crime Commission
Movie Night Screening
"Break the Chain"
An award-winning documentary produced and directed by Michigan filmmakers, Laura E. Swanson and Kirk Mason, that addresses the often "hidden-in-plain-sight" issue of Human Trafficking within Michigan communities and the United States.
Maple Theater
7:00pm Door open
7:30pm Screening
8:30pm Q & A with Directers
$10 admission plus donations of gently used clothing and/or hygiene products.
For more info and ticket registration

March 12 (Monday)
Israeli Fashion Designer Maskit 
Pop-Up Shop
Percentage of proceeds to benefit 
Women's Philanthropy of Jewish Fed. of Metro. Det.
Jewish Women's Foundation
At the home of Florine Mark
10:00am - 6:00pm
Please email me for address
Hope you can join us.

April 27 
Theme: "Standing up to Extinction"

May 3  (Thursday)
Jewish News 75th Anniversary Gala
Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Recognition of the Davidson, Gerson and Wetsman Families
Also Recognized: Those in attending who were born in 1942
Entertainment by: Klezmatics

May 5 (Saturday)
Variety, the Children's Charity
Hearts and Stars Gala
Townsend Hotel
Honoring: Ed and Felicia Shaw
Call  (248)-258-5511  for information

May 10 (Thursday)
Friends of the IDF
Women of Valor Luncheon
Knollwood Country Club
Honoring: Eunice Ring and Brenda Wayne
For more info: 248-926-4110

May 17 (Thursday)
City Year Detroit
Red Jacket Gala
Little Caesars Arena
5:30 Cocktails and Reception
6:30 Dinner and Progrm
Honoring: Arn Tellem, Vice Chairman Detroit Pistons 

  Final Thought