Go Big or Go Home
The one and only constant element of life is
. 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
was repealed and now alcohol is no longer "Prohibited".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
in both the Senate and the House and once it passes in Congress,
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,
also agrees it time to eliminate our Right to Bear Arms.
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
- 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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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
3. Send gifts of food and treats (Hamantaschen cookies) to our friends and family called
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.