Go Big or Go Home
The one and only constant element of life is Change .  Absolutely, positively nothing (can, will or should) stay the same.  Without change we would be stagnant and repressed.  With that said, it is time to change the status quo and repeal our 2nd Amendment.  Clearly not every American should have the "Right" and clearly not every weapon should be considered an "Arm".  We are only 1 of 3 nations (of 200) who Bear this Right.  The others are Mexico and Guatemala and they both have explicit restrictions.  Our constitution is a living document meant to adjust and "Amend" to our progressive and ever changing society. The 18th Amendment was repealed and now alcohol is no longer "Prohibited". Repealing the 2nd Amendment wouldn't remove guns from our society (ownership should be a Privilege not a Right), it would allow us to institute sensible gun regulations. Sadly, this could never happen with our current Congress and WH, but there is hope for 2018. What we need is 2/3 majority in both the Senate and the House and once it passes in Congress,  38 States need to ratify it through their legislative process. Yes, it is a long shot, but to quote the rabbinic sage, Hillel..." if not now...when". This should be a lifesaving agenda item across both parties yet Dems are more apt to jump on the bandwagon, but well known conservative, Brett Stephens also agrees it time to eliminate our Right to Bear Arms. 
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/opinion/guns-second-amendment-nra.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share     Or maybe it will take the teens affected by last week's massacre to reach the deaf ears of our legilators and WH. Also, these teen are acting on their own and not pawns of Liberal instigators like Fake News agencies are suggesting.  May they (and their families and all of us) continue in strength to help fight this battle against the heartless and selfish legislators and others, like NRA's Wayne LaPierre.  Not sure how this man can sleep at night with so much blood on his hands.

Still Holds Water
We have evolved greatly since 1791 when the 2nd Amendment was established.  Do these justifications still apply today?
enabling the people to organize a militia system.
- participating in law enforcement
- deterring tyrannical government (Trump?)
- repelling invasion 
- suppressing insurrection, allegedly including slave revolts
- facilitating a natural right of self-defense 
Some say... if guns are illegal, criminals will get them anyway.  Maybe, but most of the mass shooters weren't criminals adept in the black market. 
Some say...let's put more guns in school, which, to those with common sense knows, this will only cause more bloodshed and mass confusion for law enforcement during an active shooting.
Some say... we need to do more to address the Mental Illness concerns in this country. (Absolutely!), but also, people with a history of Mental Illness shouldn't be able to acquire guns and neither should those who are on the No Fly Terrorist list and neither should those who have Domestic Abuse records and no one should be able to own a military weapon.
The fact is...If guns aren't easily accessible (like in every other western nation), then gun violence would plummet and lives would be saved.  The US has an epidemic of Nonsensical Riffle Addition also know at NRA.  Here is a poignant video which explains our condition and uses humor to help break our addiction:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Nm1ksmHEg

Want Proof?
In 1994 we were successful in instituting a 10 year ban on Assault Weapons, though it was far from perfect with lots of loopholes. Clinton signed the bill which was supported by former Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan.  During this 10 year suspension, gun massacres dropped by 37%.  In 2004, the Republicans controlled Congress so they let the ban expire even though George W. Bush was in favor of extending it (hindsight and relativity sure makes W look angelic).  After it expired, the number of mass shootings doubled and there was a rush to buy assault weapons by those concerned of another ban.  I don't think anyone needs a study to know that if you take guns away (such a scary proposition to so many), then gun violence will decrease. Check the stats for every other nation on earth.   Bravo to Republican top donor and former ambassador to Portugal, Al Hoffman Jr. for threatening to withhold his large campaign contributions till there is a ban on the sale of military weaponry to private citizens and he's encouraging his fellow donors to do the same.  
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/17/us/prominent-republican-donor-issues-ultimatum-on-assault-weapons.html  And here is an interactive list embedded in this article which allows you to see NRA donations to our legislators.  You can search by State or Amount.  I found 9 recipients from Michigan. Let's hold them to the fire or fire them from office. 

Cyber Bots 
Now let's talk about another shrapnel that is shredding the fabric of our nation. Even before many of the massacre victims had been put to rest, the Russian were at it again, "boting" into our business with their pro-NRA social media propaganda (aka. fake news).  Russia is on a no-holds-barred mission to disrupt our society by slamming wedges between our differing viewpoints, hoping to divide us and wreak havoc within our democracy. They are experts at posting messages which look real but are really attempts to sway opinions.  They did it during our last election and they continue to up their ante of meddling which could have serious consequences in all aspects of our society and especially our 2018 election. In the meantime, we have no counter plan to deal with their consequential actions. One problem is that our current Oval Office Occupier doesn't even believe the Russians are guilty.  Denial certainly restricts action unless it benefits him.

Hypocrite Commander
As American students are threatened in their schools with flying bullets, many other students fate is threatened with deportation to a country they've never known.  Congress still can't get their act together to come up with a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) deal that will give them a pathway to citizenship as their March 5th deadline is looming. Then, our "Hypocrite in Chief" adds his two cents by insisting the deal includes severe immigration reforms and his idiotic wall.  By the way, one of the policies he wants to eliminate was the exact process (chain migration) that his Slovenian in-laws most likely used to achieve their American status. 

Bye, Bye Bibi
He was on track to govern longer than David Ben Gurion, but after this week's developments, Bibi's time is running out.  The fate of his tenure is hanging in the balance as the chips are falling around him.  A close confident of Netanyahu's has agree to testify against him which could shift Bibi's current concerns from governing the country to defending his freedom.  

Israeli hand gesture for  "are you kidding me?"

A Needed Smile
Babysitting needs for us, are long gone, as we are now the babysitters for our granddaughters.  As past, present or future households of babysitters, I assume you can relate to the Holderness Family's new video about a "Bad Sitter" sung to the Kanye West/Jamie Foxx's famous tune, Golddigger.  
Hope this brings a smile to your face.  We all certainly could use one these days:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTegHgs3ARY&feature=push-fr&attr_tag=K_faYO25qCV03AZf-6

The Holderness Family

Benefits to our Environment
For my 2nd musical selection of the week, I've chosen a different genre with the duo banjo folk team of Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn who performed at The Ark in Ann Arbor last week and decided to donate a portion of their proceeds to the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.  Bravo to Bela and Abigail.  Here is their bango/voice talents singing "Railroad", yes the tune you know from your childhood, as in "workin on the..."  Hope you enjoy:

Go for the Prune  Hamantaschen
Our holiday of Purim begins Wednesday evening and to celebrate it is customary to dress in costume and fulfill 4 activities/mitzvot. 
1. Recite the Purim story through the Book of Esther also known as the Megillah.  
2. Give Charity
3. Send gifts of food and treats (Hamantaschen cookies) to our friends and family called Mishloach Manot
4. Feast to the max on food, alcohol and merriment.  It is suggested that (adults and non-alcoholics) get so drunk that they don't know the difference between our Purim hero, Mordecai (who with his cousin Esther, saved the Jews of Persia, aka. Iran) and the villain of the era, Haman (who wanted Jews to bow down to him and then wanted us dead). Btw, Haman wore an unflattering 3-sided hat that is the inspiration for our hamantaschen cookies (best ones are prune flavored as they keep us moving). To bring you into the spirit of the holiday, how about a holiday tune. N ot only are our IDF soldiers in Israel brave and heroic at protecting our Jewish Homeland, they are also talented in producing Purim videos. Hope you enjoy this one from a few years ago: 

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

Welcome to the world and our wonderful Metro Detroit Community, baby Crosby Ryder Friedman, son to new parents Samantha and Jeff Friedman and to new grandparents Karen Kelman and Paul Chaben.  Wishing baby Crosby a long life of health and happiness with his awesome family.

Throughout the years, our Detroit Jewish Community has been blessed with agency staff who go above and beyond the call of duty to help our families thrive.  And on a rare occasion, it also comes with marital bliss as was the case with Mary and Norm Keene (Executives of Hebrew Free Loans and Jewish Family Services, respectively).  Mary and Norm retired in 2011 and move to Cleveland but sadly Norman Keene z"l suddenly passed away last Friday at the age of 76.  Condolences to Mary and her family and sending Detroit hugs to the Keene family.  Norm was truly a blessing unto his family, friends and community.

A religious legend and spiritual leader like no other died this week at the age of 99.  Billy Graham advised every president from Truman to Trump.  He had a deep friendship with Nixon and planted the seed within George W Bush to become "Born Again".  He preached at huge arenas and rallies and appeared on TV and  radio.  In his heyday, he was everywhere and by far the most popular preacher of the 20 century.  He was a good friend of Israel but yes, there was that anti-semitic taped conversation with Nixon accusing Jews of owning the media and responsible for pornography, to which decades later when it was discovered, he apologized...twice.  May he Rest in Peace. 

There are 255 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

Happy Birthday!

Feb. 23rd
Carol Klein
Meir Segal
Brian Siegel
Rabbi Harold Loss
Amy Folbe
Danyelle Neuman Kaye
Dana Benyas
Rabbi Bill Gershon
Alana Safran

Feb. 24th
Amy Fishman Singer
Julie Berlin
Feb. 25th
Steve Perlman

Feb. 26th
Lois Cohn (Happy 85th)
Debby Tukel

Feb. 27th
Eric Adelman (Happy 40th)
Gil Borman
Barbara Joan Reider
Sasha Gribov (Happy 30th)
Feb. 28th
Jane Giblin Kush

March 1st
JoAnne Nosan
Max Appelman
Daniel Kovler
Scott Carter
I'm prone to mistakes, so if I missed your birthday 
or got the wrong date or spelling, please let me know.

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 25 (Sunday)
Promote the Vote 
Info Session
West Bloomfield Township Library

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.

March 18 (Sunday)
Fundraiser Brunch for Andy Levin 
Running for Congress in the Michigan's 9th  District
At the home of Doreen Hermelin
For more details, please contact:

March 19 ( Monday)
Concert of Hope & Unity
Benefiting the Program for Holocaust Survivors and Families
Detroit Film Theater at the DIA
Honoring: Dr. Charles Silow, for 25 years support to the Holocaust Survivor Community
7:00 pm
Free Admission

March 28 (Wednesday)
Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan
Cookie Gala
MGM Grand Detroit
6:00pm - 9:00pm 
Tickets are $100 each
Experience one-of-a-kind desserts from local restaurants based on your favorite Girl Scout Cookies along with an exciting silent and live auction.  
Enjoy the yum!

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 5  (Saturday)
Orchards Children's Services
Gerald L. Levin Signature Event
Champions for Children 
MGM Grand
6:00pm VIP Reception
7:00pm Dinner
For more information, please contact Katora Cole at  kacole@orchards.org
or visit www.orchards.org

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 14 (Monday)
Planned Parenthood of Michigan
Detroit's Choice Event
The Cube at the Fisher Music Center
Keynote speaker: Pulitzer Prize winner  Sheryl WuDunn

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
The world thinks we're crazy!