“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better person.”
– Benjamin Franklin
El Nino Effect
Welcome to the first day of 2016. The transition from 2015-2016 was dominated by the weather phenom of El Nino which caused flooding, tornadoes, snow/rain/sleet storms and record high temps. 44 people have lost their lives to this deadly weather. Even our neighbors across the Sea are feeling the effects as Storm Frank crashes at the shores of Great Britain. Wishing for calmer weather (in all aspects of our lives) in 2106.
Daesh vs. Israel
This week, ISIS/Daesh has officially (in Hebrew and English) declared their intended decimation of our Jewish Homeland and pleaded for Muslims to join the “movement”. Concerning their attack against Israel, they need to get in line as this isn’t the first threat against us. Even, many in the European community won’t bat an eye at this rhetoric since some, like theSwedish
Foreign Minister, the Dutch
Socialist Party leader, theGerman
mayor of Jena and a Greek
Parliamentarian think Israel is to blame for the world’s woes. Contrary to their threat against Israel, a German journalist (crazy as it seems) was embedded (and came out alive) deep in ISIS territory and learned one obvious fact. ISIS/Daesh think they can conquer all armies (including the US) accept the IDF. The only army they fear is Israel’s. http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.694247
Progressives vs. Pro-Israel
Switching gears…we did not attend this year’s White House Hanukah party, but we did hear the concerns and misunderstanding about the woman rabbi who helped light the Hanukiyah (Hanukah Menorah). Some called her anti-Israel because of her progressive stance. With aggressive campaigning by pro-palestinian activist to world liberals, it seems, the larger progressive movement is trending toward Palestinian sympathy. Rabbi Susan Talve is from St. Louis and became involved with the Black Lives Mattermovement early on since her city was at the heart of the violence. But Rabbi Talve is also pro-Israel and an AIPAC supporter. When the BDS pro-Palestinian movement courted Black Lives Matter to their “side”, many Jews supporting BLM were targeted as outcasts. This whole argument about being progressive And supportive of Israel is coming to a head as the BDS movement continues to push its lie and portray Israel as an Apartheid state. “Yes Virginia”, you can be both progressive and pro-Israel:
But apparently the progressive feminist movement has “drunk” (yes, using that word purposely) the anti-Israel koolaid. It doesn’t really matter to them that Israel is the most gender equal society in the Middle East and their women’s rights are equivalent to (or exceed) all western societies. The largest feminist academic organization has joined the BDS movement.“Sorry Virginia”, your people have spoken:
Onto to some (relatively) good news. Finally the 52 victims (or their families) of the Iranian Hostage Crisis will be compensated for their 444 days in captivity. They are to receive $10,000 for each day which adds up to $4.4 million.
37 hostages are still alive and the families of the deceased victims will receive $600,000. Also, making amends (sort of) is the Japanese government to the South Korean women who were forced to become sex slaves for their Japanese soldiers during WWII. A fund of 1 Billion Yen ($8.3 Million) will be set up for the victims. An estimated 200,000 women were forced to be “Comfort Women”. Only a few dozen are still alive but for them, the issue of admitting guilt, apologizing and teaching the truth in history books is more of a concern than the money.
– Happy 90th anniversary for Radio City Rockettes
– Bravo to the exceptional performance by Aretha in tribute toCarole King at the Kennedy Center.
– Welcome to the 20 new Gentoo penguins who arrived to our Detroit Zoo via FedEx. In April they will move to our new Polk Penguin Conservation Center (largest and most state-of-the-art in the world).
– Bravo on the new law banning plastic microbeads, which pollute our waterways.
The despicable Dallas teen and his mother who fled the country after the teen broke his probation is the most perturbing news of the week. But why was the teen on probation…because at age 16 he drunkenly drove and killed 4 people for which he only got probation based on his BS defense of “affluenza” (the irresponsibility of actions due to affluence). Mom and son hauled their butts down to Mexico and the mom was forced to return but the son is still south of the border. Hopefully both will see some court time/jail time soon. And speaking of court, finally, Bill Cosby will have his time in the hot seat to answer for the decades of assault accusations.
Farewell to the beloved losses of 2015
Yogi Berra age 90
Oliver Sacks age 82
Frank Gifford age 84
Omar Sharif age 83
Jerry Weintraub age 77
Dean Jones age 84
Cynthia Lennon age 75
Mario Cuomo age 82
Samuel Goldwyn Jr. age 88
Lesley Gore age 68
Leonard Nimoy age 83
Jackie Collins age 77
Theodore Bikel age 91
B.B. King age 89
Ben E. King age 76
Percy Sledge age 74
My music selection for this week is a holiday-themed duet by dear friends (of each other, not me) Zooey Deschanel andJoseph Gordon-Levitt, entitled “What are you doing New Year’s Eve?”. It was originally a Nancy Wilson song and these BFFs enlighten the song with beautiful harmony.
By the way, Ella Fitzgerald, Rod Stewart and Harry Connick, Jr. all covered this song if you’d like to hear other redititions.
Lois was a sweet and lovely lady who was married to her husband Milton Zussman for 52 years as they built a large family and contributed immensely to our grateful community.
May his memory and spirit bring comfort to those who knew and loved him and may he be a blessing onto his community.