"A man does not seek his luck,
luck seeks its man."
2016 brings us only one Friday the 13th but last year we had 3 (Feb., March and Nov.). Some find it a lucky day but nearly 20 million people in our county have friggatriskaidekaphobia, the paralyzing fear of Friday the 13th. The fear has caused city planners to avoid 13th Aves and architects to eliminate 13th Floors, Gate 13 and room 13. Some say the fear originated after the Last Supper when 13 people dined together... then one died. Superstitions aside, I hope this day brings good luck to you and your family.
"Canada has always been there
to help people who need it."
Those with horrible luck are the 90,000 people displaced from their homes in Alberta Canada due to deadly wildfires. The Climate change caused warmer temps which caused earlier snow melts which caused dried out trees so when the lightning struck (due to the warmer temps) it sparked the deadly fires of the Boreal Forest. 570,000 acres and 2,400 homes and buildings were destroyed. It is predicted to be the costliest disaster in Canadian history. Wishing our neighbors to the north a speedy recovery.
"Israel was not created in order to disappear- Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave.
It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success.
It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom."
John F. Kennedy
Frustration continues to brew in our community over (NPR) Michigan Radio's refusal to broadcast the Day Sponsorship message of Happy Birthday to Israel. Sadly, a double standard is blanketed over Israel. Though she was legally established and heroically prevailed in several wars (that were externally motivated) to create a Democratic State, she is vilified by misguided public opinion. Those who condemn her (or find her controversial) drink the anti-Israel kool-aid without looking into the true attributes of the tiny country's Human Rights accolades. Even with her hands tied behind her back (with survival protections), she still manages to provide equal rights and protections for citizens of all genders, religions and orientations, something absent in Gaza, West Bank and neighboring countries. I am a proud progressive, but many progressives, like Michigan Radio, conveniently ignore their liberal connections to Israel and align with the lying rhetoric of those who just want the only Jewish State and biblical homeland wiped from the earth. Our battle with Michigan Radio is symbolic of our constant efforts to publicize the True Israel and her right to exist. Thank you Deadline Detroit, Honest Reporting and HuffPost (Jason Miller) for covering this story and for WJR, Paul W. Smith and Doron Levin for broadcasting the celebration of Israel's 68th birthday:
David Ben Gurion and all Jews
would do Head Stands for Peace!
"For evil to flourish,
it only requires good men to do nothing"
There are so many reasons why Israel is important to the Jewish people (and world), but one big one is to protect us from genocide. Yes, this sounds extreme yet Never Again should never be forgotten (for all ethnicities). But how can we never forget when the lesson aren't being taught to our students. Only 5 US States require Holocaust education (FL, NJ, IL CA, NY), which leaves far too many students oblivious to the historical horrors. This video (though a few years old) of random students at University of Pennsylvania exemplifies their ignorance. College students who grew up in this country could not answer simple questions about Hitler, concentration camps or who and how many were murdered during this era.
The Armenian genocide (with over 1 million victims) is even less known since the perpetrators (Turkey) won't even admit to the atrocities. Bravo to our Michigan House for passing Bill 4493 (back in Feb.) to institute Holocaust and Genocide education in our schools. We are now waiting for our Senate to pass the bill. If you'd like to express your approval that the Senate vote and pass the bill, you can email House Senate Leaders, Mike Kowall (SenMKowall@senate.michigan.gov) and Arlan Meekhof (SenAMeekhof@senate.michigan.gov).
"One Word: Plastics"
Small marine plants in our oceans provide 85% of our (precious) oxygen and absorb 27% of our (unwanted) CO2. But our plastic bag consumption is destroying our seas. Currently, there is so much plastic in our oceans that if collected it could cover every inch of the globes coastline. Then, when we try to recycle plastic bags, they clog up the machinery wasting time, energy and money. Hawaii and California are leaders in this effort as they have banned non-biodegradable plastic bags in their states. Washtenaw county (Ann Arbor and her sister cities) are trying to also ban plastic bags but our legislators in Lansing plan (with bill SB 853) to place a Ban on Plastic Bag Bans.
"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences."
She said, they said...who is right? Lawsuits will determine if North Carolina can continue to prevent transgenders from using the bathroom of their choice. Seems the law they passed in March has "created state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals" according to Department of Justice Attorney General, Loretta Lynch (not to be confused with singer, Loretta Lynn who supports Donald Trump and probably supports this bathroom bill. Yes, I know, Trump isn't anti-LGBT). Ms. Lynch is suing North Carolina while the NC legislators are suing right back atcha. Most likely this case on track to reach our US Supreme Court. Power to the Lynch.
"It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength."
Life would be boring, dull and quite possibly meaningless without our tapestry of diversity. Innovation, progress and prosperity would be muted and numbness would fill our lives. Educating ourselves and embracing our differences should be life lessons. Bravo to London voters for embracing the global melting pot of diversity and electing their first Muslim Mayor. Let's hope he is allowed to enter the US under our next president.