A bit about our Holiday of Tu b’Shevat should lead this week’s message but Iran and Flint continue to hog the spotlight so I must start with them. Though they are thousands of miles apart, Iran and Flint are connected through this week’s headlines. The heavily discussed, negotiated, contemplated and criticized Iran Deal came to a head as Iran fulfilled their end of the deal by eliminating, downsizing, shipping off and curtailing their Nuclear activities (that we know of) and as a last minute bonus, released 5 American prisoner (one is a Flint native) in exchange for 7 of their guys. What they get for this deal is (the much coveted) Lifted Sanctions (so they can join the Worldwide Business Community) and Billions of Dollars(held in escrow). Superficially, Iran is “playing nice” but time will tell if they are a “sheep in wolf’s clothing”. Many are worried that they will use their newly padded wallet on scrupulous undercover activities causing an influx of support to Syria’s (murderous leader) Assad and their partner in crime, the Lebanese Terrorist group, Hezbollah.
Both Amir Hekmati and Robert Levinson were just two of the Americans held captive by the Iranians. But, while Amir was reunited with his Flint family, Robert’s Iranian existence is still in limbo. Robert Levinson has been missing in Iran since 2007 and his whereabouts and proof of life have tortured his family for nearly 9 years. He is the last remaining American (born Jewish, though not sure he is still part of the “Jewish Tent”) still held in Iran and his family is desperately working with anyone to obtain his release. Hopefully the current relationship with Iran will aid in their efforts. Though the US did slap another set of sanctions on companies involved in Iran’s recent (forbidden) ballistic missile tests, these are peanut sanctions compared to the lifted one, but who knows what thorns will set off Iran on a mission of revenge. Where is my optimism about this new formed “friendship”, you might ask… I’m keeping it reserved till Iran has proven, over time, their willingness to abandon their regional power ambitions and death threats against Israel.
Amir Hekmati will be returning to his headlined hometown of lead-infested Flint. A colossal mistake was made trying to save a few bucks on cheaper water with results that are now priceless to repair. Even after they switched back to the Lake Huron source (from the Flint river), water flowing into the homes was still contaminated and to add insult to injury, Flint residents continue to receive Water Bills for a “product” they can’t even use. http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/19/us/flint-water-crisis-whats-next/
Hometown celeb Michael Moore
poured salt on the wound as he insinuated it was “no mistake” and the leaders purposely poisoned the citizens. While Oakland County Exec. L. Brooks Patterson
said the situation was “overblown”. Neither of these statements help the nearly 9,000 children
who will have lifelong effects from the lead tainted water. Yes, this horrific disaster should have been avoided. Yes, there will be justified lawsuits to help these families and all the citizens of Flint. Yes, there will be State and National relief efforts to help rectify this awful situation. Yes, those responsible should take blame and “do the right thing”. A few more questions surround Darnell Earley
(Flint’s former Emergency Manager) who is now the (4th) EM for Detroit Public Schools, our other big Michigan embarrassment. We can not have a Great State of Michigan
without a Great City of Detroit
and we can not have a Great City of Detroit without Great Detroit School
To read more about Earley and his jobs, click here:
Happy Tree Day
Tu B’Shavet begins Sunday evening and celebrates our earthly best friends, The Trees
. They literally give us the sustenance we need to live…Oxygen and Food. Did you know a mature tree can produce a year’s supply of oxygen for 10 adults? For more reasons to hug our trees, check out this article: http://tinyurl.com/TreeHuggingFacts
Though, here in Michigan, we are deep in the middle of Winter, Tu b’Shavet (in Israel) marks the beginning of Spring and celebrations of the holiday include tree planting and Seders/Meals filled with
the fruits of our trees, including figs, nuts, pomegranates, olives and carob to mention a few.
With trees and our environment in mind, POTUS (Obama) took steps recently to help transition our Coal Mining
(and Coal Miners) toward a new (healthier) direction. He temporarily halted new leases of coal mines on federal land to take a serious (overdue) analysis of our coal producing policy. This energy trend (plus more emphasis on Wind and Solar) is a (literal) breath of fresh air and will hopefully help reverse the rising Heat Records we have been experiencing the last few years. 2015 was the Hottest Recorded Year
since they’ve been keeping records (back in 1880). Yes, El Nino added to the heat but our man-made greenhouse gasses is the major culprit in the rising Earth’s temperature. Bravo to all efforts dealing with this issue and shame on deniers who are blinded by greed. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/01/14/obama-administration-set-to-announce-moratorium-on-some-new-federal-coal-leases/
How can young men living in this modern era of the internet, space travel and medical advancements have the mentality of century old humans. Examples of this backward barbaric behavior occurred in Pakistan where a 15 year old boy (with pride from his family and community) chopped off his own hand to save himself from the sin of blasphemy after his mistaken response to his devotion to Muhammad. Thinking his teacher asked “who loves the prophet” he raised his hand but the boy didn’t hear the word “doesn’t” in the question so even though it was a mistake he needed to punish himself in order to prevent eternal condemnation in Hell. (Caution, this is a graphic article:http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35341256
) Or how about another 15 year old who thinks it OK to stab to death a mother (Dafna Meir z”l
) of 6 and as her funeral was taking place, a “cousin” decides to stab a pregnant women. Yes, you recognize this ongoing behavior as something all Israelis must endure on a daily basis. 24 Israelis have been attacked and murdered in the last 14 weeks alone (an average of 2 per week). These examples are only the tip of the iceberg for killing and maiming in the name of Radical Islamic Terrorism all over the world. What allows people (their families, community, the world) to think this is acceptable? How can parents allow this corrupted brainwashing or even do the corrupting themselves? Will this barbaric behavior stop anytime soon…?
Bye, Bye Nose
Kuwait (and 16 other nations) officially do not recognize Israel as a legal country. This policy forces Kuwait Airline
to deny Israelis passengers travel on their NYC to London leg which of course our US government labels as illegal discrimination. But instead of changing their “ways”, the Kuwaiti government instructed their airline to cancel their (lucrative) NYC to London route. Nothing like cutting off your nose to spite your face. http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/17/aviation/kuwait-airways-flight-israeli-passengers/
turned 60 this week and all he wants for his birthday is an Obama appearance on Real Time
. Not much to ask since Obama’s been on every single talk show expect Bill’s. You’ve seen him with Jay, Jon, David, Ellen, Stephen…even with Zach between two ferns, in Jerry’s car and in Mark’s garage. Bill has been a huge Obama supporter and constantly defends him on his show. I also happen to be a huge Bill fan and though he is “liberal” he is also very protective of Israel and outspoken against radical Islamic terrorism. Though invites have been sent to POTUS many times, he feels the invitations would gain seriousness with an online petition which (with my signature) is already at 263,430. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/ask-president-obama-appear-hbos-real-time-bill-maher
When someone defames you, a lawsuit is in order and that is exactly what Planned Parenthood
is doing since the bogus videos regarding fetal tissue were scrutinized and found to be false. Of course, damage has been done to this lifesaving women’s health organization that took many hits to its credibility, not to mention threats (and one death) on the life of its staff due to those BS videos. Hopefully this lawsuit will set some records straight. http://www.medicaldaily.com/planned-parenthood-files-lawsuit-against-makers-debunked-anti-abortion-videos-369882
Rest in Peace.
Detroit born (raised in Royal Oak) musical genius
“It’s Your World Now”
Written by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin
“It’s your world now
Use well your time
Be part of something good
Leave something good behind
The curtain falls
I take my bow
That’s how it’s meant to be
It’s your world now
It’s your world now
It’s your world now”
And this is one of my favorite (1973) Glenn Frey songs:
Check out this talented Brazilian musician, Eduardo Agni, play his guitar in this beautifully unique way.
Wishing you and your family a
Sweet Shabbat Shalom and a
Hag Tu b’Shevat Sameach!