Last Tuesday January 6th was the day our 114th Congress was swore into office. We were fortunate to witness this momentous occasion as we cheered on our new Freshman
Senator Gary Peters. Of the 13 new Senators, Gary is the only democrat. The remaining 12 are Republicans as the GOP now controls both the Senate and the House. Speaking of the House, there are concerns rising over the House Majority Whip, Steve Scalise (Republican congressman from Louisiana) regarding his 2002 speech at a White Supremacist meeting that was organized by BFF’s of David Duke (remember him, the Holocaust denier). Congressman Scalise apologized for making the speech but the question still remains why he was associated with these extremist in the first place. On a positive note from the House is our new Michigan Republican Congressman, Dave Trott, who graciously recorded this week’s Shabbat Shalom greeting directly from the Halls of Congress. Thanks Betsy Appleton for requesting your friend to greet us:
Our new Congress is 80% Male (overall Male population is 47%), 80% White (overall White population is 72.4%) and 92% Christian (overall Christian populaiton is 73%). Here is a detailed breakdown by religion:
Freedom of Speech
There are no words to describe the disgust and evil in the minds of brainwashed terrorist who, again this week, spewed their hatred of Freedom and Democracy as they blanketed innocent lives with deadly bullets. 12 deaths and 7 injuries occurred when gunmen attacked the office of the French Satirical Newspaper, Charlie Hebdo to “avenge the Prophet Mohammed”, who as a religious righteous man of his times, I hope would have objected to terrorist tactics. Four cartoonist, including 81 year old Georges Wolinski z”l
were murdered for the simple act of expressing views. Are we in the infancy of this fight against terrorism? How many future generations will these demented minds continue to threaten? Not sure how to succeed in ending this evil era but wishing it ends sooner rather than later. Cartoonist are creating tributes to this tragedy as this act of violence has fueled on more satire as opposed to deter it as the terrorist (I can only assume) intended. The next edition of Charlie Hebdo will print 1 million copies to help spread its message during their heightened media exposure. Their normal distribution is 60,000. Pictures speak volumes…
Only 14 states to go till all citizens of our country are able to legally marry whomever they love. This week, Florida became the 36th State to approve Marriage Equality. The most recent poll indicates that nearly 60% are in favor of Gay Marriage and this rate is rising after each successive poll. Very soon the whole country (including our great state of Michigan) will be enlightened to marriage equality following in the footsteps of theInterracial Marriage Law of 1967.
Being our 41st US president pales in comparison to the accomplishment of Jan. 6th when George and Barbara Bush
celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Kudos to their sustained love through thick and thin as they are the longest wedded presidential couple. http://tinyurl.com/41married70
Barbara and George in 1945
Condolences to the friends and family of 90 year old Bernard Jordan of England on this passing this week only after his famous Great Escape from his nursing home last year to attend the 70th anniversary D-Day WWII ceremony at Normandy.
It’s always important to remember the past as we look to the future. Here are two sources of Detroit’s past and present that remind us of where we’ve been and where we are headed. For a historical perspective, please enjoy this video explaining our Jewish Hasting Street beginnings and for a current view here is a New York Times photo montage (good, bad and ugly) of aerial views of today’s Detroit.
Hasting Street: http://vimeo.com/103824821
Aerial Photos: http://tinyurl.com/Detroitbyair
The Piano Man
Back in DC in November a group of talented musicians (Kevin, LeAnne, Josh, Michael…) paid tribute to Billy Joel as he was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for his most famous song. Here is their rendition (with Billy on the keys) of Piano Man. Please enjoy:
The Bass Woman
I assume many of your have never heard of Carol Kaye, but if you are a music lover, you’ll enjoy learning about her life that included her exceptional Electric Bass skills connected to The Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, tons of TV shows and lots of movies as only the tip of her iceburg. Hope you enjoy: