"War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy
We are coming upon that "
Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie" time of year, as the BBQ Season officially begins this Memorial Day Weekend. Monday's holiday is the time to honor our fallen soldiers. From 1775 until today, we have lost over 1.3 Million soldiers in US fought wars. Nearly 300,000 were from WWII alone and the next highest casualty count was during the Civil War when over 200,000 military deaths occurred. Over 40,000 soldiers are MIAs (Missing in Action) and over 1.5 Million were wounded during their service. We honor their sacrifices this Monday but what about the other 364 days of the year. We embarrassingly fall short of taking care of our Veterans after they are no longer in uniform. We must do more to help, especially, our wounded Vets and devise a plan suitable to all. Bravo to Nancy Schlichting for taking on the difficult challenge of chairing the Veterans Commision of Care.
"Night" by Elie Wiesel
Last Saturday, 89 year old, Hermina Hirsch fulfilled her bucket list adventure of singing the National Anthem at a Tiger's game. After suffering the torture of 5 Concentration Camps and losing her family in the process, for the past 60 years, she has enjoyed life and raised her family in Metro Detroit. Singing is her salvation and the National Anthem is her favorite song. Here is her story:
"The Nine" by Jeffrey Toobin
Shame on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for being the only dissent when his 7 other companions reversed the death penalty sentence of an African American man due to a blatantly bias case where the jury was racially selected.
"Once Upon A Potty" by Alona Frankel
It could be coming to our great state of Michigan as the Republican State Senator from Escanaba this week, introduced a Bathroom Bill to our Lansing legislators. Thank goodness, our majority leader plans to place the Bill in a committee that most likely won't bring it to the floor, but we must be vigilant to prevent this type of discrimination.
Bravo to Maroon 5 for adding their voice by cancelling their NC concert in protest over their State's discriminatory legislation. And though, Dave Matthews chose to proceed with his Charlotte concert, he is donating a portion of the proceeds to fight the anti-Trans Law. Most Americans polled feel legislation should not dictate which bathroom people choose to use. Those who profess smaller government seem a bit hypocritical when instituting (so-called) moral judgements that increases governmental oversight. So, now 11 States are suing the Federal government to express their (bigoted) response to POTUS' directive to allow our nation's public school students to choose the bathroom that fits their gender. Someone need to invent a device so close minded people can step into the shoes of their "enemies" for just one day.
"1984" by George Orwell
In more governmental news, protection of Atheists, Ritual Slaughter and Circumcision will be added to the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 as increased attacks on these religious freedoms demand inclusion in the current RF Act. The House vote was unanimously in favor of this amendment as the legislation now moves to the Senate. Many European countries are trying to ban these religious freedoms and we must not follow suit.
"My Promised Land" by Ari Shavit
Israeli politics have always been messy but recently the government, led by Bibi, has lost it grasp and formed a new coalition which leans the country to a very right tilt. He formed a bond with the conservative Nationalist Party of
Yisrael Beytenu and Avigdor Lieberman will take over as Defense Minister next week as the first DM with little military experience. He is a polarizing figure and his new position is troubling to many Israelis and supporters as it sets a new era for Israel. Frankly, we need a new name at the top, since the one that's been there for 10 years is unable to make the progress needed for our beloved country.
"The Case for Peace" by Alan Dershowitz
Both Israelis and Gazan civilians would like to seal up the ever increasing tunnels that Hamas is building to infiltrate and terrorize Israel. Gazans know that they will be human shields when the tunnels are discovered and destroyed. Hamas sees this as a win/win to have the tunnels and get world sympathy, while, Gazans see it as a lose/lose since the tunnels will put their lives in danger and the cement should be used to build their homes.
tunnels are being built in Gaza, their southern neighbors, Egypt (for the first time) have planted tiny hopeful seeds in their new textbooks to positively reflect and teach the Israel/Egypt Peace accord.
This week's musical selection is a new creative video with breathtaking images directed by two talented Israeli geniuses. Check out Coldplay's Up&Up:
And closer to home (our daughter, Liat Lis) also with an Israeli connection (her father), just release her new Lake Toba album and website with her musical partner, Kyle
McGonegle. Hope you enjoy their bluegrass and folk style.
Wishing you and your family a