What is the meaning of Life...? Admittedly, a very big question which has limitless answers. Embracing and even combining cultures like the above Green Bagel is one aspect of Life, but for me, Living a meaningful Life on Earth boils down to 3 essential elements.
1. Rejoice in it.
2. Repopulate it.
3. Repair it.
The third (Repair) element fits squarely within our responsibility of Tikkun Olam, our Jewish decree to Repair the World including our family, our community and all those living on this shared globe of ours. Sharing and repairing our Globe could be called Globalism and those doing the work should be called Globalist. But lately that word has been hijacked by the Alt-Right, Isolationist and Supremacy Thinkers who, rather than looking outward to help others, only look inward (nationally) and act selfishly. Of all the defamations spewed against Jews, Globalist seems complimentary and should be embraced... but those like Ann Coulter, Steve Bannon, Richard Spencer and maybe even our POTUS are using the term with an anti-semitic tone to refer to Jews and their lack of national loyalty. But Brett Stephens hits the nail on the head of the true nature of a Globalist in his NYT article entitled, "In Praise of Globalist".
Putin, on the other hand, has never had Tikkun intentions. His efforts focus more on Disrupting the world and this week is no exception. To deflect blame for evidence of his interference in our election process, he is now suggesting that maybe the Jews (and Ukrainians) were responsible for the chaos. In an interview with Megyn Kelly, he arrogantly expressed that he "couldn't care less" about who interfered as his 14 year reign will probably continue after he is re-elected again in 2 days on March 18. To boost his nationalist agenda, he revealed his invincible nuclear weapon which can reach any spot on our shared globe. And his worst indiscretion is the public poisoning of a former Russian spy and his 33-year-old daughter in southern England. Both are in very serious condition and all those who were near these two victims could be victims themselves. The highly lethal military grade nerve agent (invented and created by Russia) used in the attack was a blatant UK slap in the face. In return, Theresa May expelled 23 Russian diplomats as the deadly game of cat and mouse continues.
The current number is 17. That must be a record for this White House revolving door. Of course the big name this week was Rex Tillerson who famously called his boss an "F"ing Moron. He and we all knew his departure was imminent and as usual his pink slip arrived via tweet. Tillerman's top spokesperson, Steve Goldstein got caught in the sh*tstrom and was fired after expressing to the media the facts of Rex's departure. The 3rd dismissal this week was John (eyecandy) McEntee, the personal assistant to POTUS was rotated after "serious financial crimes" were discovered. Sounds serious to me but not to #45 who just shifted Mr. McEntee to his 2020 Campaign staff which, btw, has been active since inauguration day. Our current Oval Office Occupier applied for re-election the day he was sworn in. No other president has ever done that and he's been attending fundraisers ever since like this week's LA fancy shindig with it's top admission fee of $250,000 (not kidding) and the lowest price was $90,000. 90 Trumpters attended with big bucks going into his coffers. Have fun watching this satirical music video with James Corden and Shaggy:
BS to Hate
2 people were killed and 2 others were injured this month due to exploding packages left at the front door of Austin, TX homes. It seems 2 of the victims are connected to each other and the 3rd victim may have picked up the packet that was intended for someone else. This is a deadly mystery that hopefully will be solved before more people are targeted.
BS to Limitless Terms
China's President Xi Jinping offered up a constitutional amendment which his parliament unanimously passed to eliminate presidential term limits essentially opening the door to unlimited years for XI Jinping to rule his country.
BS to Incompetency
The education of our nation's children is the most important resource we have for a secure future and our POTUS has relinquished this responsibility to an unqualified Secretary of Education as
Betsy DeVos' incompetency was on display during last Sunday's 60 Minutes broadcast.
Apparently, with the musical chairs of #45 Cabinet, he plans to nominate Gina Haspel as the new CIA director to replace Pompeo who is to replace Tillerson. Only problem with Ms. Haspel is that she was Chief of Base during the torture interrogation at a Black Site prison in Thailand that provided questional info.
BS then Bravo
BS to the tearful Martin Shkreli for his evil actions as a pharmaceutical pariah when he jacked up the prices for lifesaving meds but bravo to his punishment as he was sentenced to seven years in prison for wire and security fraud.
Bravo to Pennsylvania
A Huge bravo to new Dem. Congressman-elect
Connor Lamb on overcoming nearly insurmountable odds to win the election when only 2 years ago in 2016 DJT won with a 20 point lead. This is an important sign and should send a message to other Dems running in the Nov. election. The way to win in down the middle. Dem candidates need to be moderate to help win over dejected DJT supporters. We need to govern in the Middle, people! We can't always insist on having it only "Our" way.
Bravo to Compromise
I consider myself a Progressive but know that compromise and realism is necessary in Congress. Our Michigan Senators Stabenow and Peters are getting flack for supporting the Bank bill sponsored by Repub
Congressman Crapo (yes, unfortunate name) to tweak Dodd Frank for smaller community banks. Check out Free Press' Brian Dickerson on this issue:
Bravo to Awe
Parker Curry lives in DC and frequents (with her parents) the free museums in her city. When she saw the new Michelle Obama portrait for the first time, she was in shock and awe as her mother couldn't pull her away. The photo of her awe went viral and her life has changed ever since, even getting the chance to meet and dance with the magnificent Michelle herself.
Bravo to the Right Thing
After the Myanmar Rohingya minority were violently attacked and force to flee with no assistance or prevention from Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi, it was the right thing for US Holocaust Memorial Museum to take back the Elie Wiesel Award which was given to her in 2012.
Bravo to Nas and Casey
Two of my favorite vlogger (video blogger) are Nas Daily (Nuseir Yassin) and Casey Neistat who joined cameras recently to post this important message of individuality. http://bit.ly/2FCsSff
(Not sure if you need to be on Facebook to view this as Nas only uses Facebook to post his messages)
Bravo to Danger?
For years schools have been creating safe spaces for children to play but there seems to be the opposite philosophy in some new British playgrounds as they've brought back risk in play as a means to build character. Check out this story from the NYT:
Bravo to the Salvation Army
Food insecurity is a major concern for many struggling families so the Salvation Army has now agmented its mission to include grocery stores with less expensive food. Baltimore got the first location:
Bravo to Smarts
Apparently Jeff Bezo wins the contest as his Alexa is the smartest AI in her class when tested against Google and Siri.
Bravo to Community Mentches
This is the time of year our Jewish Federation announces the Community leadership awards so Mazel Tov Eugene Driker and Florine Mark (aka. Mom) for their Lifetime Achievement awards and to Josh Goldberg, Rachel Opperer and Adam Finkel for their Young Leadership Awards. See May 22 on the below Community Calendar for more details of the awards ceremony.
Bravo to Willie and Taylor
As the legend turns 85 next month, he is still cranking out hits and messages of importance. He has a new album about being the "Last Man Standing" as he's lost so many friends. His new song entitled "Me and You" is about how the "world has gone out of its mind" and how he needs to stand by those who still believe as he does. Hope you enjoy a bit of country:
Bravo to Voices
May the school walk-outs this past Wednesday for 17 minutes in memory of the 17 lost souls in Parkland, help bring a conscience to Congress to do the only job they were hired for, which is to protect their constituents. Time and lives are running out each day common sense Gun Control laws are avoided.
7,000 shoes for every child killed by gun violence since Sandy Hook.
Wishing you and your family a
Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom and for those celebrating,
My nieces Ilyse, Alex and Brianna's mother,
Marissa Mark z"l passed away this week at the young age of 59. She was also the sister to Wayne and Andrea Miller, Darryl Miller and Toby Miller. Marissa was a kind and loving mother, sister and friend who will be missed by those in her life. May her sweet memories bring comfort to those who loved her and may her spirit live long in the hearts of those she touched.
Condolences to the Sheldon Stern and his family on the passing of his wife,
Jessie Stern z"l (age 86). Jessie was an active member of our Jewish community and well loved by all. May her memories and spirit bring comfort to those who mourn her passing as she was a blessing unto her family and community.
Condolences to all the Moms (like myself) and Dads who clung to the advice of pediatrician and parenting adviser, T. Berry Brazelton who died this week at the age of 99 (2 months shy of his 100th birthday). His sensible parenting philosophy was embraced for decades by young parents as they struggled through those difficult and unassured years of child raising. He was a voice of reason. May his rest in peace.