An Independence Day reminder...
"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom"
2nd or 4th
Realistically, freedom for all global citizens is unattainable in our lifetime, though efforts to move the needle should always be in motion. Freedom for the US came 240 years ago (actually on July 2nd) when Congress voted to break free from British Rule while two days later our leaders signed the Declaration of Independence.
John Adams always thought we should have officially celebrated on July 2nd but his wishes were ignored and coincidentally both he and
Thomas Jefferson died on the signing's 50th anniversary of July 4, 1826.
In or Out
As we in the US celebrate our independence from the Brits, the UK has voted for independence from the European Union (EU).
Dismay, confusion, anger and regret are some of the emotions experienced by many UKers after last week's Brexit vote. Some who voted to leave did so based on concerns over immigration and post Brexit racial crimes have increased. The simple act of wearing a Safety Pin on your clothing is a new growing campaign to combat xenophobia. Many others who voted for the exit woke up with 2nd thoughts and a petition for a mulligan (golf term for
an extra stroke allowed after a poor shot)
has exceeded 4 million signatures. Parliament Ministers are resigning left and right including the top brass, David Cameron and future leadership is in flux while the scorned EU wants a swift separation. Commentary over this issue is flooding the media and the most interesting viewpoint is that Democracy is Dangerous since allowing the uneducated to vote could prove detrimental to society. The most popular UK Google search after the Brexit vote was "What is the EU?". Let's hope our US electorate learns a lesson from this debacle and educates itself on our options.
Sprinklers and Grass
Trump needed a Scottish Mulligan. As clueless as usual about foreign affairs, adding to his long list of faux pas was this tweet:
"Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!"
Not so fast, Donald!
The Scottish majority (62%) voted to remain in the EU so Trumps clueless tweet and his press conference detailing his new golf course from the sprinkler system to the grass seed didn't help his diving poll numbers. His actions are repulsing many GOP stalwarts like George Will who recently announced his departure from the Grand Old Party.
Even or Odd
One of the most important (enduring) jobs of POTUS is to appoint Supreme Court Justices. We have an exceptional appointee currently waiting in the wings but our Senate refuses to acknowledge his existence. Let's see how long it takes them to vote on
Merrick Garland once Trump loses the election. But without an odd number of SCOTUS votes, cases head back to the lower courts by an even split like last week's immigration case which devastated 5 million hopeful undocumented immigrants who would have benefited from the program. But, this week, surprisingly and happily, Justice
Kennedy crossed over and voted with Dem appointed colleagues to prevent a mass closure of most of the abortion clinics in Texas. Bravo to this righteous decision to protect Women's health care choices. Hopefully this will set a precedent around the country.
Thank you top row of Justices
Up or Down
Turkey took the grand prize for experiencing one of the most volatile weeks in their history. The Ups and Downs include...
he Pope calling them out (not his first time) for their
Armenian Genocide which they
continue to flatly deny.*
They renewed diplomatic ties with Israel after their friendship sank with the Flotilla debacle.
The devastating Airport terrorist triple bombing which killed over 40 people and injured nearly 240. The Turkish airport is the 3rd largest in Europe and a perfect target for demented suicide terrorist, most likely from ISIS though Turkey has many enemy in its midst.
Up and Down
Turkey wants membership in the EU (since 2005) and lately they've been quite helpful with the refugee issue but their President Erdogan is a prickly guy who's actions complicate the acceptance process. Turkey is now debating the whole EU membership if they aren't granted Visa Free travel status. A saga to be continued...
* On a related topic, our Michigan
Governor Snyder signed a bill this week requiring Holocaust and Armenian Genocide education in the Social Studies curriculum for 8th -12th graders. And while in a signing mood, he added his signature to our Michigan's $55 Billion budget supporting $234 Million for Flint's recovery.
Gay and Straight
Our nation's leader took the lead this week to announce the first National Monument to the LGBT community at the Stonewall Inn in NYC. This will commemorate the 1969 Stonewall uprising after the police raided the place which often occurred at Gay Bars.
Also, bravo to the Pentagon for officially lifting the ban to open the opportunity for military service of transgender people.
As his term is ending, many have criticized Obama's presidency and especially some in our Jewish Community who don't see his beneficial actions toward Israel. President Shimon Peres spoke loudly and with great gratitude for Obama's recent F-35 Fighter Jets and stated
"Sometimes I stand amazed at the intolerance, not to speak of the unfairness toward the Obama administration that sometimes borders on ingratitude, and my heart aches,".
Here is the full article including his videotaped message of appreciation:
IDF vs Sephora
And while on the subject of Israelis, check out Hanna's (American in the IDF, reminiscent of Private Benjamin)
make-up tips with her new palette of colors. She is quite cute:
Fast and Feast
As Ramadan ends next week and even though the extremist Muslims have used the holiday as a rallying call for terrorism, most Muslims have observed the holiday in peace. To those, these Israelis wish them a happy holiday:
And to the largest Muslim community in America, Dearborn, MI,
Samantha Bee paid a visit to set the record straight.
Rock and Roll
After 6 decades and at the age of 74,
Paul Simon is contemplating the end of his musical career. He is a highly prolific and diverse musician deserving of all his honors...15 Grammys, Songwriter Hall of Fame, American Music Award, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Kennedy Center Award, Time's 100 People Who Shaped the World and Library of Congress Gershwin Prize. His concerts are mesmerizing and his music is emotional and poetic. Wishing him all the best as he has already contributed a lifetime of merriment.
Here is a whimsical single called Wristband from his newest album, "Stranger to Stranger".
In honor of the 10th anniversary of Cirque du Soleil's "Love" in Las Vegas, one the the finest tributes to the Beatles, here is the newly released video of
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with the melodic voice of George Harrison.