Pure Michigan was enjoyed by our family over the Holiday weekend with a visit to beautiful
Omena* on the Leelanau Peninsula resting on Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan. The wonders of Michigan are on constant display for grateful Michiganders and visitors.
"Once you bring life into the world, you must protect it. We must protect it by changing the world"
In my opinion, we have two responsibilities to honor our
Gift of Life. One is, to enjoy all life's glories and splendors
and the other is, to improve our world for future generations. Each day should be filled with attempts to fulfill these responsibilities. Elie Wiesel (of blessed memory) experienced the deepest horrors of Man's Inhumanity to Man but he never lost hope for a brighter future. I suspect he enjoyed each day of freedom as he also dedicated his life to retelling his nightmare to ensure it Never Happens Again... to any people, any country, anywhere and to help Tikkun Olam (heal our world). Though he went through Hell he will no doubt reach Heaven for the impact he left on Earth. May he rest in peace as his life was truly a blessing unto all.
During this patriotic season and to honor Elie's spirit we must remember that "all people are created equal" and that
Love has no Labels
. He would have approved of this message:
and while in this patriotic mood, please enjoy the finest rendition of our national anthem performed by the outstanding
at the 1968 World Series at our own Detroit Tiger Stadium. Give it a try, I think you'll enjoy:
Good over Evil
For weeks... upon weeks... upon weeks, terrorism, death and destruction have dominated the headlines. When we lose champions like Elie Wiesel z"l, it forces us all, to step up the pace in our fight against evil. As Mr. Wiesel states, "indifference is the epitome of all evil". We must not be indifferent to injustice. But how do we best fight the injustice of terrorism? How do we root out the hatred of people against people. Just this past week hundreds were slaughtered in Iraq, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Free Will is a virtues which has produced innovation, progression, inventions and creativity yet it also opens Pandora's Box to convince the vulnerable to choose the path of evil, hatred and destruction of our gift of life. When will this hatred cease and desist? Will it take decades or centuries? I believe Good does overcome E
vil but how many more lives will suffer till humanity is more enlightened.
Good always triumphs over evil to protect our humanity
If hindsight is 20/20 then foresight must be obscured. Our past actions are always in focus when evaluating them with the benefit of time and scrutiny, but while we are in the midst of Life it is difficult to see all angles to help us guide our way. This week the British Chilcot Report (detailed with over 2.5 million words and over 7 years of investigation) delivered a scathing critique on Britain's involvement of the Iraq War with Tony Blair at the helm. At the time, many thought Iraq was a true enemy as they massacred their own people, invaded other countries, implemented chemical warfare, plus initiated a litany of other atrocities. Sure, in hindsight, we all see that the Iraq invasion may have caused more damage than good but were British or American efforts to eliminate Iraq's evil dictator right or wrong. The world had just experienced history's worst terrorist attack with nearly 3,000 people murdered from all nations and the nation victims took to the offensive. Those military casualties during the Iraq War deserve honor and respect for their sacrifices yet this report now suggests they may have died in vain.
Humans are responsible for greatness and great suffering, but one thing we are Not, is Perfect. No human including Moses, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi nor Martin Luther King was ever perfect. All past, present and future politicians were, are and will be imperfect. This November, we will choose a new president. Both
have flaws as do the people they plan to represent. But one spews and represents evil hateful rhetoric and actions that could lead down a destructive and dangerous path and the other, this week was described as "careless" but not criminal regarding her email usage during her Sec. of State days. Even with the Libertarian candidate on the ballot, realistically the choice of our next president is either Trump or Clinton. I know many people despise both options, but for those who live in reality, picking one is a bitter pill we must take. For me the pill isn't bitter at all. Though she may not be perfect, Hillary Clinton is by far the more qualified, educated, experienced, rational choice we have. Trump on the other hand, retweets anti-semitic rhetoric and feins ignorance when confronted with his mistake. Trump isn't anti-semitic himself but he is pandering to those who are. Bravo to Dana Schwartz, an employee of Trumps son-in-law, Jared Kushner, on calling out his complacency regarding his father-in-law's actions. Since firing Trumps chief of staff, Jared has cemented his righthand-man status. Jared's curt reply was that Donald "does not at all subscribe to any racist or anti-semitic thinking." is pathetic. But their racist followers were quick to reply with deviant sickening tweets bombarding Ms. Schwartz. An example is one referencing an Easy Bake Oven and a photo of Anne Frank. This is reminiscent of the attacks the last Jewish journalist endured when she wrote an article about Melania. This is exactly the point Elie Wiesel makes about ignoring injustice, which are the exact actions of Trump and his entourage. http://observer.com/2016/07/an-open-letter-to-jared-kushner-from-one-of-your-jewish-employees/
Our Aug. 2nd primary election is fast approaching. During these busy Summer days, you can vote now via an absentee ballot and fulfill your civic duty ahead of time. You can request an absentee ballot in person at your city office or order one online. If you are live in Oakland County, please vote in favor of the Zoo Millage Renewal and if you live in Bloomfield Township, please vote for Brian Kepes for Treasure. Thanks. Remember, you must either vote the Republican side of the Ballot or the Democratic side. You can not split your votes during our primary. Yes, this should be changed but until then, we must abide by the rules.
From local elections to outer space.
Juno, the $1 Billion mission to Jupiter (launched 5 years ago), has reached its destination and is now orbiting our solar system's largest planet where it will stay for 20 months. It will gather data that may unlock the secrets to our existence. After it has completed its job, it will crash itself into the planet for a self-destructive end.
Rio Olympic flame in Brazil will be lit on August 5th but issues after issues continue to spark concerns. Let's probe their mounting problems:
1. Zika - some athletes have cancelled and women of childbearing age should not expose themselves to the disease carrying mosquitoes that causes birth defects.
2. Government breakdown and economic despair - There is an interim president since the predecessor is expected to be impeached and their economy is experiencing their worst recession in decades.
3. Construction - has been bogged down since the start and some venues and infrastructure might not be ready by opening day.
Super toxic bacteria in coastal water
- sewage from local hospitals were mistakenly sweep into the waterway causing drug-resistant bacteria to infiltrate the coastline, threatening sunbathers and the sailing, rowing and canoeing competitions.
5. Police and Firefighters on Strike - their strike has taken them to the airport as they welcome visitors with a not so welcoming banner.
Of course they were Italian researchers who found that eating Pasta is good for your waistline, but that's good news for all pasta loving souls like me. The infamous "they" say, we should eat 10% of our daily calories from grains but remember, there are umteen pasta options to choose from. Choose wisely like durum wheat semolina, add veggies and healthy oil and you've got a perfect meal.
Mental Health on Netflix
A new highly acclaimed sitcom called
is spotlighting Bipolar Disorder and OCD in a respectful and enlightening manner. To take a peak, check out this article with the trailer:
Sadly, this week two African American men were killed by police officers in two separate incidents. With our heightened sense of awareness for police overreach/brutality, these cases will (hopefully) be scrutinized. The first occurred in Louisiana when a 37 year old man,
Alton Sterling, was selling homemade CD in front of a store and the 2nd occurred in Minnesota when
Philando Castile's car was pulled over for a broken taillight. Condolences to the family and friends of these young men and updates on these cases will be included in future emails.
Savory Shabbat Offering
For my parting Shabbat gift, here is
Paul McCartney's "One on One" Summer Tour Set List, documented by Rolling Stone. Paul provides a brief overview on each of his unique song selections from his trove of treasures.