The winner of the Israeli elections (for the 4th time), is
Bibi Netanyahu. I strongly feel a change is needed but those who live and breath in the Country are the ultimate deciders. At the 11th hour Bibi declared “no Palestinian State under his watch”, backtracking his previous acceptance of a Two State solution. This Right Wing appeasement helped garner his victory, though now that he won, he’s flopped back to the Two State possibility. It is now Bibi’s job to form a bond with other parties to guide Israel into the Peaceful Future.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and their election process is proof in the pudding, though many haters like to demonize her as apartheid or racist (equals Zionism according to the United Nations). All citizens, over 18, regardless of Race, Religion, Ethnic background (even convicts) are eligible to vote and their access to the polls makes our US process look restrictive. 71.8% of voters turned out this week which is the highest rate since 1999. Votes are cast for a Party (not a person) and whichever party has enough leverage building a 61 (or more) seat coalition, runs the country. To better understand the system, check out this brief animated video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzpWIXg3HtM&app=desktop
Such a young country…only 12 past PMs.
On May 5th, Michiganders will also go to the polls to cast our vote for Proposal 1 which is designed to fix our weathered infrastructure. Our roads are so bad, a local ice cream company dedicated a new flavor called Michigan Pothole. I assume sales will soar as a sweet and comic relief, though no proceeds will help deal with this serious problem. Prop. 1 might not be the perfect solution but since no credible alternative is offered, it is our only chance to patch up our problem. Basically, the proposal will increase our sales tax from 6% to 7% with several other tax adjustments but bottom line it will generate over $1 Billion per year for our roads and over half a Billion per year for Schools, Cities, Mass Transit and General Funds by 2018. Partisan politics intervened with the altruistic crafting of the proposal but hopefully the dismal conditions of our pavement will prove positive for this proposal.
With more ice cream news, Happy 75th birthday to Dairy Queen! Did you pick up your free cone last Monday (MI DQs are giving away the free cones today, March 20th, first day of Spring aka Spring Equinox). And of course, I can’t talk about Dairy Queen without mentioning its owner and my hero,
Warren Buffett. Here is a 90 second video of why the humble, philanthropic, smart WB tops my admiration list:
Our nation’s infrastructure is also battling disarray and our repair funding source is gauging near empty. The Highway Trust Fund was created in 1956, feeding its pool with various Federal Fuel Taxes. May 31st is the deadline when funds might run dry. No one seems poised to create a long-term cure for this tax ailment and short-term stopgaps have been Congress’ recent medicine. John Oliver (my go-to guy) created a humorous and educational piece on this topic:
$32 Billion Industry
Disgraceful, disgusting and dysfunctional is the only way to describe the actions of Congress this week when attempting to prevent 21st century slavery through Human Trafficking. A Bipartisan Bill was suppose to increase penalties of this despicable crime with fines set aside to assist the victims. But conservatives amended the bill to prevent funds from being used for abortions. And to add more politicking to the mix, our Senate Leader McConnell has decided not to bring forth the vote to confirm the highly qualified (and 1st African American) Attorney General, Loretta Lynch. Congress needs a lesson in Kindergarten Playground Rules.
(Go with Strength)
…to our Detroit Institute of Art’s exhibit “Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit”
…to the prosecutors who will be fighting to finally put Robert Durst behind bars. They now think he may have killed even more than the 3 known victims.
… to the families of the recent terrorist attack (20 deaths and 50 injuries) in Tunisia which was the first nation of the Arab Spring.
…to Elton John and others on shaming Dolce & Gabbana for their attack on alternative families.
…to Michael Douglas on his fight against Anti-semitism after his son experienced it for the first time:
…to these tweets to the #AskHamas Twitter account:
… to Mohammad Zoabi for his decision to join the IDF. Mohammad is a Muslim Israeli Arab and the cousin of an ardent anti-Israel Knesset member, Hanin Zoabi.
…to the 5 best Hummus places in Tel Aviv:
…to Michigan State Rep. Mike Callton for being the sole Republican to vote against a bill that would allow Faith Based Adoption Agencies to refuse services to LGBT families. Sadly the bill passed along party lines but at least we have one
conscientious Republican Legislator who bravely voted against discrimination. If you’d like to thank him, here is his website:
Paul McCartney will induct Ringo Starr into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as the last single Beatle to be inducted)
Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom.
Heidi and Jeffrey Budaj
on the arrival of baby