Who is behind the boycotts and why?

There is a systematic plan afoott to destabilize the country through economic boycotts and hijacking of schools and universities under the nebulous intent of: justice. False narrative is prevalent, because for the past twenty years we have been caught up in a vicious circle of pseudo “education” babble that promotes political activism among our youth; rather than truth and knowledge. Social media and technology has unleashed a quagmire of warped “news” that our youth feed on. It does not stop there. The proliferation of labeling like racism, xenophobia, sexism, and every other “ism” we can come up with has stifled free speech in schools and universities across the country. Politicians have crossed the line into activism and disingenuously led us to believe that unless we agree with their ideology we are an “ism” of some sort or other; and not fit to exist on the same planet. Hence the current blatant hatred toward this president, his family, and those who voted for him. Freedom of opinion is protected by the very virtue of being American; but that does not cover a covert and systematic plan by several organizations to include political parties to incite discrimination and bias against a segment of the population and businesses. This is called “forcible suppression of opposition,”: commonly known as “fascism.” Who are the culprits? In a fact finding expedition through the wide world of web, three entities stood out as insidiously inciting boycotts, and decisively targeting businesses they presume are connected to the First Family. They are so bent on destroying the president, his family, and this government, that they do not care who they run over in the process. This is my “A” list of exposed “fascists” in activist clothing.

First on my “A” list is the FaceBook page:@boycottdonaldtrump which goes beyond the decent or political. If it was humorous ala SNL satire I might have even found it amusing; but its vulgarity and viciousness hit an old-time low. The blatant hatred is so deep that I felt like taking a cold shower just to cleanse myself.  The combination of childish euphemisms combined with vile intolerance gave this page and those contributing to it a grotesque “B” movie ambiance. Hatred is propagandized and twisted in a distorted effort at justice, freedom, and tolerance. My father was right: one can’t help being stupid but ignorance is self inflicted. This page is the poster child for ignorance. Under a Facts and Plan link is a list of businesses owned by the president’s brand or his family. What these pinheads fail to understand is that these businesses employ thousands of Americans eager to make a decent wage and living to raise their families. How just is that? Don’t Americans deserve to go to work without fear that they may lose their jobs because somebody hates their employer? Can you imagine if a website had targeted our former president and his family? Can you imagine the uproar? It would have been justified because no one has the right to ruin a person’s life no matter who they are; and no American should be targeted because of ideology or political affiliation. But I digress.

Second on my “A” list is the Democratic Coalition Against Trump. This website comes with the wonderful image of a red fist reminiscent of fascist Italy.  Charming. Remember, the “fascist” label given to the president and his supporters by these tolerant folk? The ones who bleed for the downtrodden? This website is more insidious than the first because the DCAT is a partisan artery that feeds directly to the Democratic Party. The party that seems to have been hijacked by far left loons. This is not the JFK or FDR party any longer. Democrats have allowed their party to be dragged downstream through the pond scum of hateful rhetoric that hurts America and Americans. It is easy to decipher how the party has gone south. The DCAT are not nice people. They intimidate. They do not even attempt to hide the fact that their prime directive is to destroy legitimate businesses presumably connected to the president’s family brand. Businesses that by the way employ their constituents.  It is like giving the “birdie” to their voters. And yet they call themselves democratic. An oxymoron. Reminds me of East Germany during the Cold War; calling itself the Deutsche Demokratische Republik. Of course just like our friends in DCAT, they too were bent on refuting anyone’s opinion, ideas, speech, and vote; except their own. How did that work out? The website calls out the president and his “allies” for “hateful rhetoric and regressive policies.” Really? This is fascism disguised as a boycott; “Search through over 250 companies and people to see how they’re directly connected to Trump. Make Trump and his allies pay, literally, for their hateful rhetoric and regressive policies. Use consumer action to take a stand for what’s right!” Translation: they are willing to put 250 companies and their employees out of business because they hate “hateful rhetoric and regressive policies.” Almost laughable; but not to those employed by these businesses. Who do you think works in those companies DCAT? These are the people you vowed to protect in your constituencies. They are Americans like you and I. Yet you find obliterating businesses okay because you do not like the guy? And he has “hateful rhetoric”? He is regressing politics? Are you kidding us? What rock do you live under? You remain nameless while willing to attack companies like Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Gucci, and MillerCoors.  Now that is deplorable. But everything is fair when it comes to your side of ideology.

Third on my “A” list is the kooky #Grabyourwallet. These morons have lists of companies and businesses they are intimidating into refusing to do business with the president and his family.  Grabyourwallet has listed businesses like Amazon because they have “affiliations” with the president’s brand. Really! Probably my Laundromat has affiliations with the president’s brand. Have you heard about a global financial economy #grabyourwallet? Every major business  and company in the world is in some way or other affiliated with a dominant brand through the economic process. The irony: this particular “boycott” closely resembles the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in 1933. Subsequent events resulted in boycotting hiring of Jewish professionals like university professors and educators.  Sounds familiar? Currently our universities hire liberal versus conservative or mainstream professors on an approximate ratio of ten to one. According to American Thinker (Study: Liberal-to-Conservative faculty ratio in academia will blow your mind. Pete Vanderzwet, February 11, 2017); “So dominant is leftist ideology that in university departments in nearly all states, an average ratio of 10:1 exists among faculty who identify as liberal versus conservative. When exploring the makeup of Ivy League institutions and universities in New England, results, such as the case with Brown’s University, were as high as 60:1 in favor of registered Democrats among professors.”  It would be great if the educators had enough ethics to keep their bias to themselves, but, the study also mentioned open hostility toward conservative faculty and students that inadvertently stifled diversity and critical thinking. Those with opposing views to the “majority” are faced with discrimination in grading and often have to hide their political views in fear of retaliation and in some cases: personal safety.  Remember the Berkley riots? I rest my case. The perpetrators? The tolerable; the pseudo “freedom” fighters that crush any diverse ideology but their own; resorting to blackmail and extortion of honest businesses because they feel cheated of an election. How third world! How banana republic! How pathetic!

Boycotts are nothing new and historically they do not work because consumers will eventually buy the brand they want and most of these large businesses will recover. But who is pulling the strings on these movements and why? Theories abound, but the current obsession with destroying an administration is real; and dangerous. When doing my research I was not prepared to find a political party advocating boycotting businesses and harming constituents. That is beyond politics. That is direct intimidation by a political party with voting powers in Congress and Senate targeting businesses toward economic hardship. That is beyond unethical; it is beyond wrong; it is evil. These individuals are using their political power and money to fund anti-government movements in an attempt to destabilize the country and the presidency. That is almost treason. Over the top analysis? I don’t think so. Call it conspiracy theory if you will; but all revolutions were incited by the few who had the money and the means to tell the many that they should blame their miserable lives on someone else. The French, the Russian, and the Cuban revolutions toppled governments but none fared too well because when the dust settled, the people figured that maybe they did not have it too bad after all. Ask the Iranians! I am not condoning dictatorships, and I am not singling out those with a liberal point of view; but I am pointing the finger at those who are inciting Americans to hate and hurt other Americans in the name of justice. Every American should be against it. I also believe that we have the right to criticize our government and our president, but we do not have the right to harm their personal lives and that of their families. They are protected by the same freedoms that protect us. Right now, those who do not share the same ideology or are as loud as the loony left are intimidated and bullied out of free speech and freedom of choice at the voting booth. That is not only un-American it is anarchy. These are tactics that the KKK were famous for: intimidation and destruction. They too were adamant about their cause. Is @boycottdonaldtrump, DCAT, or #grabyourwallet any better? As Americans we have the right to criticize and exercise our  freedom of speech; but we must also allow other Americans to enjoy the same privileges without fear of intimidation and bullying. You do not have to love your president, but you should love your country enough not to destroy it.

To move or not to move? That is the question

A November trip to Israel has proven to be more than just a historical walk through my Christian and Biblical heritage. It was a dose of reality that Israel is a steady pendulum that swings between sanity and chaos in this part of the Middle East. Despite the political rhetoric, it is the only stable element that keeps a precarious rhythm between separate religious and ideological elements bent on retaining cultural identity, individualism, and faith. The temperament of the country depends on the moment to moment existence of those who live, work, and worship within its statehood. Jerusalem is the central artery of Israel. It is an organic city that has lived through more strife, pain, destruction, and un-relenting spirituality and idealism than any city in the world. Everybody wants Jerusalem. Why? What makes Jerusalem imperative to peace?

Jerusalem endures as a religious crossroad to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. It is the Vatican of the Middle East but without the Pope. It is Christianity’s epicenter. It is strategic and accessible. Most importantly: it is symbolic. It is a symbol of Statehood power. From the Babylonians, to the Romans, the Crusaders, and the Arabs: Jerusalem was the city to conquer, to have, to govern from, to boast about, to cherish, and to die for. For the Jews; it remains the city of Abraham. For the Christians: the city of Christ. For the Muslims: the city of the “furthermost sanctuary”.  But who is the rightful owner? Logically and historically: the Jews. No one could or should dispute that. There is no other religious or political claim prior to Abraham. Archeology supports this claim. So why the question?

It seems that since its conception as a State, Israel remains the inadvertent and insidious property of what we politically correct refer to as: the world community or the United Nations. Slowly but surely, Jerusalem has become the catalyst of the “two state” debate and the nebulous basis for peace. How the United Nations and the rest of the world came to that conclusion is beyond me. In a possibly far-fetched attempt at an analogy, Jerusalem reminds me of Berlin. Those of us who have lived in Germany through the Cold War recall a divided city. Berlin was the city of the “haves” and “have nots”. Through no fault of theirs, the latter lived a life deprived of all luxury and resources abundant in West Berlin and West Germany. Germany was divided into two countries, and Berlin was the “tale of two cities”. That did not work well, because the abundance of the one side was the continual envy of the other. My personal opinion: if Jerusalem is divided as part of the two State deal, the East Jerusalem portion will become the “carpet beggar” to its Jewish/Christian neighbor. If the world community thinks that by forcing Israel to give up East Jerusalem a Middle East Pollyanna will rise in epic glory; they are highly delusional. Just as those in former East Berlin coveted the West, East Jerusalem will have a hard time looking across its border and not wander why they are still a poor relation. Anyone thinking otherwise is a closet hypocrite.

But the question remains: to move or not to move? The 1967 war was not initiated by Israel but won by Israel. The surrounding Arab countries had a beef with Israel and not the other way around. The West Bank is not occupied, it is claimed. Israel and Jerusalem have always accommodated other faiths. Israel never banned Christianity or Islam within its Statehood. So again: what’s the beef? Why the feeble attempt by the world community to dissuade moving embassies to Jerusalem? Why the narrative that it would entice violence? Why hold a country hostage to a threat in the hope of achieving peace? Logically: moving embassies to Jerusalem would increase the chance for peace. Jerusalem would be recognized as the diverse inclusive capital of the world; idealistically, politically, spiritually, and religiously. It would send a message to the world that Israel embraces all faiths and traditions sans bias and prejudice. Embassies would bring prosperity to the city by virtue of their presence. Following this futile attempt at logic, one would think that  everyone would be jumping on the band wagon. Unfortunately logic has never been the United Nations’ forte’.

If truth be told: logistically and realistically, Jerusalem is not equipped to handle large embassies. But it could handle all symbolic embassy duties with a caveat that Consul Generals would remain in Tel-Aviv maintaining normal administrative Consul duties and personnel. Such a move would minimize the real estate nightmare the city would have to endure. As a goyim who spent time in Israel and Jerusalem in particular, I base my opinion on my experience in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem speaks to those of us who are strong in our faiths. Jerusalem made me a better Christian because I found my Jewish roots praying at The Wall. Jerusalem has a heartbeat which transports one closer to whatever God he or she worships. But ultimately: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.  As a capital, Jerusalem is entitled to the respect world capitals enjoy. That would include global representation. Jerusalem should never be reduced to a pawn played in a game of political “musical chairs” for the benefit of those who do not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Jerusalem should never be up for bids. Love him or hate him: I commend President Trump for at least recognizing Jerusalem as the rightful location for the American Embassy. I also commend him for taking this stand in the face of fierce world opposition and criticism. Those opposing the move of the US embassy and other embassies are not opposing on logical grounds, but on an emotional Statehood narrative that has played for so long we are starting to believe it. The opposition stands on the predetermination that violence will ensue if embassies are moved. This is not an empty determination. The Palestinian Authority has declared more than once that if embassies are moved there will be violence. Really? If that is the case; why not condemn the threats? Why condemn Israel which as a state should have the right to determine where it desires to have its embassies? Can you imagine if after unification the world community had asked Germany to keep the embassies in Bonn and not move them to Berlin? After all wasn’t Berlin the capital of the Third Reich and its horrors? I do not recall any uproar from the world community then. Probably because it would have been regarded as insane. So why put conditions on Israel and Jerusalem? Finally: Why is the argument for Statehood so one sided, and against Israel? Why indeed! That’s a debate for another day.

Women’s march: what’s all the angst?

All the women in the world seem to be on edge because “the” Donald is President of the United States. Such unprecedented furor: how can one man create such emotional upheaval among the global sisterhood?  Exactly what set off a catalytic pink emotional cascade among liberated feminists? What prompted these women in the western hemisphere (because in third world countries they would have been stoned just for wearing pink!) to go out into the streets in mass hysteria? What happened to these progressives who for the past eight years held hands in a sixty-style “kumbaya”? What turned on the switch to fear? What catastrophic dialogue did I miss? Why didn’t I feel the burning  urge to defy mother nature and join the vaginal throngs?

Last weekend, women declared war on Washington because overnight they feared “what might happen under Donald Trump.” Unless I missed something during the torrid and often vulgar campaign (on both sides), I do not recall Donald or anyone else talking about recalling women’s rights. Not even remotely. So who or what set off this alarm? Who indeed. I do have theories and hypothesis of my own that might shed a light on the complete feminist melt down. Those who marched claimed that they were sending a “message” to the president: any change to women’s rights will not be tolerated. Of course in between the now familiar “women’s rights” rhetoric creep the usual buzz words: equality, progress, pro-choice, sexism, feminism; the list is endless, mundane, and to some extent: ho hum! This cry for freedom was launched at a man whose daughter manages his global business, and whose campaign manager, another woman, won his campaign against all odds. Is this perhaps “the code?” Women who do not represent the intellectual progressive “us” of the women’s movement do not count as part of the sisterhood? Are women intolerable toward other women based on political affiliation and lines? Where is the equality and diversity cry of sisterhood outrage in support of these women who do not fit the feminist mold? Will there be a march for them as well? I never found the women’s movement enlightening.  I never needed validation from another women to determine who I was and what I want. I find their superiority annoying and hypocritical.  The movement embraces only one narrative and one agenda: theirs. The rest of us are inconsequential and unimportant goofs. This is the movement of the tolerant intolerant; inclusive only to those who walk the same walk and talk the same talk. Women who are not easily swayed by militant rhetoric are on the fringe of this elite circle. But what am I missing? What was the march really about? What great act of injustice was being perpetrated against my sisterhood? How come I did not heed the call? Why the angst?

Sifting through social media clippings and pseudo news, I found plenty to work with in my quest for the truth. Images of women carrying placards that “screamed” inequality, injustice, and the proverbial “production rights”, were in every amateur’s YouTube: a futile attempt at recording “news” for a ten-second call to stardom and social media fame. To an innocent bystander, “production rights” could mean anything from copyright infringement to proprietary information. So what are “production rights?” In one video clip a protester was costumed in a purple vagina. Why? Did she believe that the president is going to intrude on her vagina?  So I concluded that  perhaps I was missing the anguished cry of the downtrodden. The loud and incoherent call to justice by Hollywood celebrities like Madonna and  Ashley Judd. I was distraught because I have obviously been missing the significance of “production rights”. So I asked myself: when did abortion morph into “production rights?” How did I miss that rite of passage? Why the subtle modification of the process? After all if women are secure enough to publically dress up as a vagina they should be intellectually safe enough to utter the word “abortion.” I have a theory. “Pro-choice” or “production rights” plays better to this generation of pseudo tolerant than abortion does. Abortion is an “in your face” word; one that people do not want to think about because they might change their minds and go to the dark side. The word is too blunt, too crude, too inhumane for those who see themselves as avengers for justice. The Millennial Generation would have a tough time dealing with such harsh reality; “production rights” is softer and more palatable for the trophy generation. So why the angst? It is a justifiable angst because the new administration does intend to enter the  “production rights” sanctuary and cut federal funding to clinics that perform abortion.

But, what was the march about? What inequality was the sisterhood marching for? Western women are blessed with the same opportunities as men, and with stiff laws to protect them. So who were they marching for? Definitely not for me or for women who are eager to stay home and raise a family. Or those against “production rights”. Or those who want to follow their religious beliefs without being bullied. These women would not have been invited to cross the sacred lines of the sisterhood that marched on Saturday. We are the intellectual deficient. So who exactly was the march for? It was for money. Remember Jerry McGuire? Follow the money! The free flowing tax dollar taps will be shutting down on clinics performing “production rights”. Those “rights” will not be taken away, but the tax payer will no longer foot the bill. The silent cry of the march was: how is it going to be funded?

A few months ago, the popular Broadway show Hamilton was donating a portion of their ticket sales to Planned Parenthood. Among the usual social media diatribe, one woman bullied another because of her disenchantment with the show having aligned itself with the organization she happens not to support. A slew of insults were hurled at the deficient non-cooperative woman for betraying women’s “production rights”. I found myself obliged to solve the altercation and suggest that everyone should watch the play if only to get Planned Parenthood off my tax dollar payroll! This got me to think ways to fund “production rights”. How about asking all the pinheads in Hollywood to donate? Nothing makes them feel more worthwhile than supporting “victims”. Have an annual telethon for Planned Parenthood. Maybe Meryl Streep could be the host. Organize an annual marathon through New York City.  The ideas are endless. Just stay out of my wallet.

The Women’s March was not about inequality and misogyny (the new 2016 word of the year): it was about money.   The free ride is almost over: “daddy” is taking your pocket money away. The march had very little to do with equal rights. If equal rights was the prime objective: how come the western sisterhood does not march against Sharia Law? Why don’t we support women in Asia, Africa, the Gulf States, or the Middle East who suffer stoning, beatings, mutilation, and even death?  Why don’t we march for all the girls under terrorist regimes who are not allowed an education or are married before puberty? Why didn’t we march when 200 Chibouk girls were abducted by terrorist thugs in Nigeria? Yes, this new president is a force to reckon with; but not because of his alleged anti-female stance, but because he has put everyone on notice. No more free lunch: if you want it and not everyone else does: pay for it yourselves. Ladies remember the song: I am woman hear me roar? Your march was a petulant whimper.

 

An Israeli Perspective – Part III – The Palestinian Myth

I am finally at the end of my story: the last Israeli Perspective – the myth. When I started on my Israeli journey I did not think that I would become an instrument or mouth piece for Israel or its people.  I had always wanted to go to Israel because of its Biblical and historical significance in the life of a Christian: me. Instead I found a story within several other stories that have never been told because through time and political upheaval, the truth has been  distorted into false “facts”. Since my return from Israel I have kept the Bible close as reference into the historical and political evolution of Israel. To some extent countries have always shaped their own destinies whether by natural evolution, war, or force of nature. Europe has morphed so often through myriad of wars and conflicts, that some of its countries’ borders have returned to what they had been prior to WW I. Israel is on a different level of evolution. In 1948, Israel managed to form itself into a country with much consternation and opposition from super powers like Britain. Britain stifled Jewish immigration because it determined that Jewish immigrants were evicting Arabs in the region. This was done despite historical data to the contrary; disproving this notion that Arabs in the region ever held a “state” or country. Arabs were transients who moved within areas and territories belonging to Judea, or pre-Roman Judea. Then how did we come up with a “Palestine” and an Arab identity of a Palestinian? How indeed!

Going back to pre-Roman times, the first inhabitants of Judea were the Canaanites.  These first inhabitants lived in  what eventually was Israel and who historians refer to as Phoenicians. Their language was close to Hebrew being  predominantly Aramean. They were not Arabs and did not speak Arabic. They were the forefathers of the Lebanese who still do not refer to themselves as Arabs.  As we move a few hundred years forward, we find the Peleshets whose name is derived from the verb “pelesh” or “to invade.” They were sea faring and came from around Asia Minor. They were eventually expelled from Egypt to the Mediterranean where after many defeats some ended up as King David’s bodyguards and dropped off from history entirely. But what about Palestine? How can there be a Palestine without a people called Palestinians? This is when the Romans “shaped” Israel’s destiny and Palestine was created.

Nobody liked to tick off the Romans because payback was generally dilapidating. There is no historical mention of Palestine until Hadrian, who,  because he became infuriated with the Jews and their revolts, decided to erase Israel or Judea, from existence. He despitefully gave the land the Latin name of Palæstina: the land of the Philistines. The Philistines had long been extinct from that region but common knowledge had it that they were bitter enemies of the Jews. It could be said that the Philistines had a commonality with the Romans by hating the Jews to the point of extinction. This brings us to the current world-wide spin and myth of the Palestinians as a nation. What nation? Can we trace any historical significance to a genre of people called Palestinians? The answer is; no. We can however determine when Palestine was created and by virtue of a Roman’s revenge; Jews in that region were the new Philistines or Palestinians. The derogatory labeling gives the current world-wide assumption that Palestinians have always been Arab an absurdity to the point of embarrassment by those who continually propagandize it.

While in Israel, I was fortunate enough to spend three wonderful days with a Jewish woman who against all common sense took it upon herself to learn as much as possible about Israel and Palestine. She took on the task because she wanted to understand why her people are targeted by neighbors, politicians, and in recent years: the United Nations. She found old books; some dating back to the late 19th and early 20th Century Israel. The books had “before” and “after” pictures of areas that were formerly desolate and are now inhabited by Israel and thriving. Most were pre-1948 Statehood pictures where the land was barren and a desert. On their return to the “Promised Land” Jewish settlers built Kibitzes  and inadvertently discovered ways to beat the often harsh conditions and “work” the land. There were no Arabs in these regions, Palestinian or otherwise. These pioneers created methods of irrigation, planting, reaping, and an agricultural haven in a desert that had been abandoned for years. Driving through Israel one wonders at the fields, palm trees growing dates, olive trees, banana trees, and fresh garden vegetables one puts in a salad every day. Is it a wonder that the surrounding States are envious of what Israel has managed to accomplish? But back to Palestine and Palestinians. Joseph Farah, an Arab author of “Myths of the Middle East” writes: “There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Iraqis, etc. ”  The incongruity of being called a Palestinian Arab is clearly defined in the word Palestine, because it is a Latin word not Arabic.

After the six-day war of 1967, the “Palestinian” issue was further exasperated by the conflict in the region, and a misguided United Nations definition of a Palestinian: an Arab who has spent at least two years in “Palestine” before 1948. This identification required no proof. It also extended to descendents of these “Palestinians”. Ironically: when politicians or the United Nations mention Palestinians, they only refer to  Arabs. They either fail to mention or are utterly ignorant of the regional history;  because as I mentioned before, the original Palestinians were the Jews in Hadrian’s time. Going through the Middle East in the late 19th and early 20th century was a desolate experience; especially for westerners. The area was what the Bible called the “wilderness.” In his 1867 “The Innocents Abroad”; Mark Twain bemoaned the fact that from  the Valley of Jezreel in Galilea, to Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Bethany, not a soul could be seen.  He further reiterated that although in some areas the land was fertile, only shrubs and weeds were  left to grow. He called it “a pity.” This is the area that the United Nations and pseudo intellectual political elites tell us should belong to Palestinian Arabs because they were “evicted” by the Jews. Really? When? Before Mark Twain? If the land had always belonged to these Arabs, why didn’t they work it and make it flourish as the Jews managed to do?  So when did these new “Palestinians”  live there? Why did they make a sudden miraculous appearance when Jewish settlers started to build a home and a State?

Israel does not want to evict Arabs, it wants to live in peace with Arabs. Israel has little beef with the “so called” Palestinians; it just wants them to honor and recognize Israel as a country and a State. Israel also expects the same considerations it gives other religions to be given to the Jews and Christians. Israel has little or no issues with Christian faiths; how come Muslims have a problem with Israel? Muslims can worship freely and have been allowed to build Mosques in areas long considered Christian Holy sites. So why the problem? Why the discrimination against Christianity and Judaism in a country that allows freedom of religion and respects it? Why not the reciprocation? Why is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem suddenly only sacred  to Muslims? Only since the 7th Century after the death of Mohammed has this particular site become a contention between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Why? The huge Mosque sits on Mount Mariah; directly over the spot where Solomon’s Temple was built and destroyed several times over. Regardless: this site is first and foremost a Jewish place of respect and worship. Because it was also the site where the Temple was rebuilt and where Jesus actively visited; it is also a Holy site for Christians.  Why are Muslims allowed to restrict access to the other faiths and not respect their claim on the site?  Israel has minute discomfort with the Mosque on the Temple Mount, but it has a big problem that the rest of the world cannot worship either. This site is currently a “hot bed” for confrontation between Arab forces and Israeli forces who attempt to keep the peace. A  visit to the Temple Mount for non-Muslims can be as futile as chewing on water. As I went through security it reminded me of the days when we used to visit East Berlin during the Cold War. We were told not to recognize the East German authorities because they were not the legitimate “authority” in Berlin. We were briefed that if stopped by East German officials to demand  to see a  Russian official! Russia had control of that sector. However, that also sent a message to the self-proclaimed East German government that the civilized world did not recognize its legitimacy. The United Nations should implement the same concept with Arab authorities who refuse access or impose Muslim “conduct” on the Temple Mount. But that train has left the station a long time ago. The United Nations has given credence to the Palestinian myth and has become its surrogate puppet. The United Nations and other western leadership has bitten into the disingenuous claim that Palestinians have the “right” to claim Jerusalem as their capital because of Muslim Holy Sites. Really? Whether true or not, where is it written that Jerusalem was or has ever been a historically religious and significant site to the Arabs?

My journey through Israel took me through the truth. Not as written by someone else, but as I witnessed it through my own experiences and encounters with both Jews and Arabs. Those who really want peace in the region know the truth and speak it. Those who pander to an agenda for political gain; spin, twist, and conjure up history to satisfy a narrative. First and foremost; the truth lies in the Bible. Secondly; it lies in the millennia of archeological findings that support Biblical narrative historically and geographically.   Third; it lies in the Israeli Jew who through perseverance, tenacity, and faith in God, struggles to strike a balance between a normal existence and continual vigilance against the destructive elements of evil. The truth lies in logic and common sense and not the gradual distortion of history. The truth lies in the land: the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, Caesarea, Tiberias, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Masada on the Dead Sea, and Jerusalem. With every step that I took in Israel I knew that under my feet was the truth. This was the truth of Solomon, David, Herod, Hadrian, and Jesus Christ. I started my perspective by saying that one cannot be a Christian without first being a Jew. I will end by saying that equally so: one cannot be a Palestinian without first owning up to being a Jew.

References:

(Myths, Hypothesis and Facts, Concerning the Origins of Peoples, The True Identity of the So-Called Palestinians. Retrieved 12/15/2016 from: http://www.imninalu.net/myths-pals.htm)

An Israeli Perspective Part II: Religious Double Standards and Claims

If the United States is a melting pot; then Israel is a boiling pot. Out of its almost 8,000,000 inhabitants, Israel is also home to approximately 2,000,000 Arabs; 82% of whom are Arab Muslim enjoying the same freedoms that Israeli Jewish and Christians enjoy. Free education, free health, freedom to start a business, and freedom to worship.  However, unlike Israeli Jews who must serve; Arabs do not have to. Not a bad deal one would think? So what’s the beef? Why the indignation of the Western world to include disingenuous organizations like the United Nations and UNESCO that continue to pressure Israel into submission? Why has the world accepted the Arab Palestine and Arab Palestinian talking points so easily and readily? Is it possible that our current world leadership is so historically ignorant that it ignores all archaeological, biblical, and written word (remember the Dead Sea scrolls?) but instead chooses to play into the Palestinian mantra disregarding all else? At this time I will refrain from addressing the Palestine myth in lieu of the double standard in religious claims that the West and the Muslim world currently impose on Israel. This is a first-hand encounter with what Christians and Jews endure on a daily basis to comply with pseudo “peace” arrangements set in place by those who are “reality” deficient. I will discuss Jerusalem because it is the crux of what is wrong with the blatant disingenuous role of a world leadership so biased and border-line anti-Semitic that if it weren’t so corrupt it would be laughable.

Without invoking either Biblical references or archaeological findings, it should be considered reasonable to assume that freedom of worship is a concept everyone in the free world should stand behind. In a predominantly defined religious denominational country, the populace religion of choice should be respected, or so we hope. In 1948, the State of Israel was created for Jews under the auspice that after the war, Jews displaced from all over the world, mostly European, would finally return “home” to their land where they can exist without fear of persecution. To some extent, Christians have been reasonable custodians of Biblical Holy sites; because after all one is a Jew before being Christian. Christ was born a Jew and died as a Jew. Christianity rose from His death and what some of us prefer to belief: his resurrection. Anyone outside the Judaeo worship parameters is a citizen guest in Israel. Israeli Jews have no problem with other faiths outside their own; they continually exercise mutual respect, cooperation, and support with Israeli and Christians.

Jerusalem is a city divided into four quarters: Jewish, Christian, Armenian, and Muslim Arab. Without going into the convoluted history of Jerusalem, one quickly realizes that this is a city like no other. This is also the capital city of Israel; yet the United States chose to keep its embassy in Tel-Aviv. A slap in the face to the country. Israelis are hoping that the US President-elect will move the embassy where it should belong: Jerusalem. Such a move would validate Israel’s sole claim on Jerusalem.

Currently, any attempt to walk the Via Dolorosa or Way of the Cross without being assaulted by Arab merchants is near impossible. Unfortunately, because this is in the Arab quarter, this Christian holy road is riddled with Arab stores selling cheap “holy” souvenirs to pilgrims hoping to pray at the marked stations. Does anyone think that if a Christian visits a Muslim “holy” site he or she would be afforded the same leeway of disrespect? Hardly. Point in fact: it took us two days to attempt a significant visit to the Temple Mount. For one to understand the significance of this site, one must go back millennia when Solomon built a temple on a platform on top of Mount Mariah. Herod extended the platform; this was substantiated by cataloged archaeological findings  dating back to Solomon’s times. The temple was destroyed twice: once by Babylonians and then by the Romans. Fast forward to the large Golden Dome Mosque that sits on the site of the Solomon’s temple but determined by Muslims to be the only true “temple” denying that Solomon’s  temple ever existed on the Mount! One might ignore the ignorant banter but the situation is tenuous at best and dangerous at worst. The first time we tried to visit the Mount we couldn’t; we found out that Arab authorities are in the habit of denying access without notice to anyone except Muslims; and any time they choose to do so unhindered. Remember: this is a pre-Roman walled platform which by virtue of its location belongs to Israel. The Arabs in the region have been allowed to disrespect and threaten the world with terrorist rhetoric that disallows Christians and Jews to visit, worship, and pray at a site considered “holy” to all Christians and Jews in the world.

The Golden Dome on the Temple Mount was built to be the tallest building in Old Jerusalem; for obvious reasons. It was built right on top of Mount Mariah, the site of Solomon’s first temple. Hence it kept its name: Temple Mount. Not Mosque Mount. Not Big Giant Golden Dome Mount. But Temple Mount. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is dwarfed next to it. The Herodian Roman fort of Marc Anthony is now a school for Arab children. Outside of that school is one of the Stations of the Cross. We had no access to it. To say that security is tight would be an understatement. Israeli Special Forces keep the peace outside the mount, whilst Arab forces are on the mount. Both aware of each other and both eager for nothing to happen. One must also remember that outside the wall is the Wailing or Western Wall; one of the most sacred walls to the Jews. Right outside the Wall, actually touching it; is another tall mosque. On Sabbath evening, the most holy day of prayer and the week for the Jews, the mosque still finds it necessary to loudly “call to prayer.” As my dear Jewish friend so succinctly put it: “Do you Mohammed used microphones a hundred years ago to call to prayer? Why is it necessary to blast their prayers so loud, disrespecting other religions worshiping in the same area?” Good questions. Why? But I digress again. Prior to attempting a second visit to the Temple Mount  we had to leave back packs and handbags on the bus; hide any crosses or religious symbols found to be offensive; refrain from bodily touching; cover our bodies to include our ankles and necks; and not demonstrate any outward signs of Christianity or Judaism. These are the conditions that the Israelis are forced to abide with to keep the so-called imposed “peace” in their own country. I would like to know how many Americans would put up with that crap without some demonstration and burning in the streets!

Walking through the Via Dolorosa was as unsavory as going to the Temple Mount; more offensive in my opinion. There was no question of  worshiping or praying at the Stations because most of them are situated between market stalls or not available. I touched a section of wall were presumably Jesus rested his hand on his way to Calvary. I had to touch the wall through colored shawls and harem pants! The disrespect toward our faith continued as while attempting to pray, one is pulled aside or aggressively hassled to buy plastic rosaries or fake olive wood crosses. Isn’t it ironic that those who are offended by our faith are making a profit through it? What hypocrisy! What injustice! What world leadership weakness; is it possible that there is not one Western leader, Christian or Jew with balls big enough to demand reciprocation and respect of other religions or face dire consequences? The Israelis are well aware of the predicament. They go along with it because they know that if an incident happens in the Arab quadrant, the Mount being the epicenter; they would be left alone to deal with it. They would have to keep at bay and fight all the Arab nations surrounding them just to survive. They also realize that in the past few years western support and allegiance has only been given lip service. Israel is worried because it knows that not even the United States has shown any muscle in keeping Israel’s enemies at bay; instead it has all been about compromise. How pathetic!

The disrespect does not end on the Temple Mount! Our Israeli guide could not accompany us to Bethlehem because it is under Arab authority. Israelis are not allowed in Bethlehem. That’s “human rights” for you.  Christians are only condoned because they bring in revenues. The dollar and the euro are idols. The Church of the Nativity (which presumably lies on the spot where Jesus was born) is nestled in a corner on top of a steep hill. Opposite is a large mosque. Our temporary Arab guide was adequately pleasant but could not help telling us how Arabs love Christians! I could not help telling him that they loved our money more than they loved us! That was met with silence. The Church of the Nativity is “secured” by Arab security and consequently, border-line disgusting. While attempting to worship at the manger and Christ’s birth site, we were loudly and rudely told to “get out.” The guide had told us that if we are told to leave to ignore it and remain until he makes the decision to leave. However, the shouting and obnoxiousness was so pervasive that we decided to leave anyway. The shouting and insults did not stop at the door. We were followed out into the courtyard still shouted at. These are the Arabs who love Christians? Well go figure!

Where are the “human rights” activists? The “equal rights” bull horns? The proverbial tear-jerking anti-bias groups who go out in our streets to burn and pillage in the name of justice? Where is the United Nations? Where is UNESCO; the heritage custodian of the world? Where is the Pope? He is big on justice. Where is the supposedly most powerful nation in the world: the United States? Where is the outrage?  Where is the anger of every righteous religious individual to the left and right of the spectrum? Where is the courage of the world? Where are the “good” Muslims we hear so much about?

The continual world political pressure on Israel has reached unsustainable proportions. Israel is not a man-made mythical country born out of a presumptuous claim. Biblically and historically: Israel is the rightful owner of its land. Others in conflict with this ownership make false claims like Babylonian gods. If they want to coexist, they must coexist peacefully and respectful of all faiths and religions. An organization like the United Nations needs to justify its existence by waking up from the deep Kool Aid stupor it has sunk into; because it has become deficient by virtue of its blatant bias against Israel, which has the ultimate right to exist. Israel is coveted because it demonstrated to the world that it could sustain itself in a harsh climate where others failed. If Israel had failed in leading the world in patents, agriculture, and technology; nobody would be interested in it, and nobody would be fighting for their “rightful” claim religiously or otherwise.

I looked at both sides of the fence; one is fertile and the other is thrashed. Religion has very little to do with the Arab-Israeli “situation”. That is a convenient excuse. It is a mindset; the grass is literally greener on the Israeli side because Israelis did not wait for the world to give them the “good life”. Israel had an intrinsic desire to create a self-sustaining society without outside help. If the West has still not realized Israel’s potential, then we deserve the upheaval in the Middle East. We should be encouraging Israel to maintain its strength and fight for its right to exist and not make it compromise for it. We should be thankful that there is Israel in the midst of all the Arab states; because it is only Israel who can help the rest of the world control the Middle East effectively and sustain-ably. Shalom.

An Israeli Perspective Part I – Never Again

“Never again” is the “battle” cry for Israelis. Israel  sprung from a 1948 British  mandate and has lived in the shadow of those bent on its destruction  ever since. ישראל or Israel happens to be also the name given to Jacob as he encountered the Angel of God. El is an abbreviation of Elohim or God in Hebrew. The name is significant because it encompasses more than biblical nuances; it defines the country and its people. In a ten-day whirlwind journey through Israel, I discovered that the people of Israel are one with their name, land, history, Biblical traditions, and Elohim.

The journey cross-referenced biblical text with archeological findings that substantiated claims on land and sites. This trip was significant because it swiftly turned fact into myth, and dispensed with the stereotypical political spins that we have grown so accustomed to in recent years. Travelling from Haifa to Bethlehem, I learned that Israel has been the brunt of inaccurate journalism (to put it mildly) and blatant journalistic distortion to satisfy a global political agenda, comfortable only to those who hide behind the “peace” mantra, but  for reasons far more insidious.

My perspective of strife got a “reality check” in Haifa on a seamlessly harmless walk down the side of a hill toward Elijah’s cave. In the 9th century and during the reign of King Ahab, Elijah the prophet was said to have lived on Mt. Carmel in a cave situated on a hillside overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean port city of Haifa.. A simple cave cut into the hill almost at street level across which is a beach dotted with restaurants, museums, and port authorities. The cave is now a synagogue by virtue of its significance to the Israeli Jew and every Jew in the world. A cable car on the beach side  takes tourists or those too tired to walk back up the hill to an observatory site, the church of Mt. Carmel, and restaurants.  Our good friend and “guide” is a long time resident of Haifa who soon found herself compelled to give a personal insight into the lives of Israelis and Israel. As we drove through Haifa, she pointed to the gentle sloping hills of Lebanon on the opposite side of Haifa; without missing a beat her hands “traced” the path that missiles took from those hills toward her town  and her neighborhood during the many skirmishes in the past few years. This was not an effort to “shake” us or impress us but to explain how Jews, especially Israelis, take on the concept of danger on a daily basis.  To “bring it home”, she  pointed to a beautiful restaurant on the beach and slowly related an unbelievable event.  Not long ago, an Arab woman went in for a meal and after she paid her bill calmly proceeded to blow herself and everyone else in the restaurant. I was dumbfounded because I could not recall any such incident on any major network. Well, it seems that I and everyone else in the western world has been missing a lot of real news from Israel on major networks! We have been drinking the proverbial Kool Aid. But I digress. A memorial etched with the names of those murdered stands outside the restaurant  side by side to the daily menu. A  testimonial to the evil Israel and Israelites are accustomed to. Similar memorials stand outside schools, office buildings, restaurants, churches, and temples: each terrorist attack invoking the cry of “never again.” “Never again” is a hitorical sign of defiance and tenacity against a world that seems to care more for the assassins than the victims. Everything is put in perspective as we walk back up a steep Haifa hill to our friend’s apartment with a breath-taking bird’s eye view of the port and the beach. As we looked down at the beautiful Mediterranean and the hazy hills across the way, it was hard to understand the terror that our friend, her family, and her country must have gone through. It seems that in Israel one takes on terrorism as one takes on a bad meal at a restaurant: you take your chances but still go out to eat. That is the defiance that uplifts this nation of eight million people.  Three events define “never again” for the Israel Jew.

Masada: King Herod’s fort situated on a high plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. In Hebrew, Masada means a fortress. Climbing Masada is like climbing the side of a pyramid. Sheer cliffs cut through the rocks on all sides, making Masada almost impregnable.  Masada was an ambitious project by King Herod who at every opportunity attempted to demonstrate his “greatness” and wealth. Unfortunately for him, Masada was taken from the Romans and occupied by 960 renegade Jews nicknamed  the “zealots”. In 65CE these “zealots” were fleeing Jerusalem during the Judea Roman wars. For close to nine years they lived and thrived defying Roman authority; until the Romans got a flea under their collar and wanted Masada back: more from prestige than from necessity. An army led by then Governor of Judea Flavius Silva surrounded the fort and took it back but not without a fight and a long costly siege. According to Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian, the Jews held out until the very end. In desperation and to spare the women and children from slavery and fate worse than death; the “zealots “decided to kill the women and children; thenthrough a methodical countdown they would kill each other until the last man fell on his sword.   Masada became an oath of faith that “never again” would Jews have to chose between slavery and death. Even today, military recruits or those reenlisting, are taken on Masada to hear “the story” and take their oath of allegiance to their country; reiterating the cry of defiance: never again!

The Holocaust is very complicated for Israelis. It is a chapter of Jewish history that remains controversial especially for those born after WWII. Some wonder why their grandfathers, fathers, mothers, and relatives did not fight the Nazi regime but meekly submitted to kneeling on the edge of a mass grave for execution. The Holocaust elevates the second element to “never again ” to a totally different aspect. The Holocaust is the 20th century Masada; it took “never again” to new levels. Young Israelis visit the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem;  they walk expressionless and seemingly removed among exhibits of sounds and horrors that unfold with every step they take. As I walked beside them I wondered what they were thinking. I was told that survivors hardly ever talk about the Holocaust. It is a scar imbedded so deep in one’s psyche that any attempt to resurrect is met with cold refusals. Yad Vashem is the name of the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. Yad Vashem means a “memorial and a name” as found in Isaiah 56:5.  Throughout the exhibits and pictures of victims, one word is repeated over and over again: murdered. No excuses. Not “killed” which is bad enough, but “murdered”. Stark and “in your face” description of how over 6,000,000 European Jews were systematically and willfully murdered  in a premeditaed method just because of who they were: Jews. As young Israeli soldiers are guided through the halls of Yad Vashem, they learn and become aware of the reasons  they wear the uniform and the reason they must always be ready to protect their country. They look at pictures and deep down is the cry: “never again” must Jews be subjected to a Holocaust.

Since 1948 the State of Israel has had to fight for survival. Although in recent years some Arab neighbors have been somewhat tamed  and are more neighborly than others; others are still bent on destroying Israel.  One cannot blame them for wanting what the Chosen People have. Israel  managed to turn the “wilderness” (so aptly described in the New Testament) to a state-of-the-art agricultural Mecca of the Middle East. The scientific ingenuity is hard to miss. Everywhere are fields growing produce that requires water. However, after the 1967 six-day war, Israel  did  become complacent and almost cost its obliteration. Yom Kippur 1973: and all the surrounding Arab countries banded together in one swooping attack on Israel;  hoping to take back what was lost in 1967. This could have been a General Custer moment, because the Arabs saw this as their ultimate chance to also gain momentum in the region.  But God’s Chosen People prevailed again. Elohim was looking out for them.  “Never again” must have pumped into every soldier’s and airman’s vein, because they not only held fast but also pushed the Arabs back into their territories; keeping their land and their promise: “never again”.

To understand Israel one must understand the Israeli Jew.  The Israeli Jew loves his country from the moment he opens his eyes in the morning until he closes them at night. The Israeli Jew seems to be one with the land because  the land is the “chosen” land. There is no doubt in his mind that his land is rightfully his and he will fight till death to protect it. The Israeli Jew has the Word of God on his side.  Biblical references to the Dead Sea (Genesis 14:3) and Jerusalem (Genesis 14:18) puts the Israeli Jew in the land of Abraham: a land now being “discussed” by world organizations as an option for Middle East peace. That is like telling New Yorkers that the Statue of Liberty is not in New York City because the Port Authority in New Jersey has maritine control. How many people plan a trip to New Jersey to visit “the lady”?  Why is the world not on Israel’s side? Why is pressure put on Israel and the Israelites to compromise, but those who try to kill them are given a free pass? Why would a country give back land that was won fairly and without provocation? Why is the world so blinded by political rhetoric that misses the historical chronological truths that give Israel the right to exist? These are not my questions. These are Israel’s questions. I ought to know: they were asked of me.

The “good”, the “bad”, and the “ugly” of today’s politics

It is “bad” and “ugly” when political opinions become a verbal mud-slinging contest instead of dialogue. Both sides of the political party swamp are to blame because the rhetoric has turned personal rather than remain political. One more time political zealousism (a new word) shut down dialogue and introduced pure and simple vehemence and to some extent hatred to a conversation.  It is a social media disease because one can write “whatever” without a second thought and having to face no one; so instead of conducting an intelligent conversation, one “slings” anger at an opposing opinion.  Probably I am guilty as well, but hopefully not to the extent of what is displayed in today’s political arena and unaccountable social media. So here is my analysis of the “good”, the “bad”, and the “ugly” in today’s political picture.

The “good” starts with the fact that our country allows its citizens  freedom of speech and freedom to vote without repercussions. However, this depends on who is practicing “freedom of speech.”  As it happened to me very recently, I quickly found out that “freedom of speech” is only acceptable when I agree with the other individual’s point of view. In recent years, people like me with much broader political and social opinions are shut down with such force and rage that our cheeks tingle with social media face slapping. But I am digressing. The “good” is imbedded in the constitution of our country which our forefathers wrote to guide and implement toward the wellbeing  of all those “created equal”.  They did not include social engineering for the purpose of equality, but the opportunity through “freedoms” and grace of God to enjoy equality. Unfortunately, history does depict a different picture; however, from the ashes of injustice and inequality the nation prevailed and in turn helped others regain their freedoms. The freedoms written down and forged from oppression of another government across the sea were not up for hateful debate, but thoughtful discussion that would eventually result in “freedom for all”. This is where the “good” has recently turned to “bad”.

In my response to a recent inane social media posting asking if one would re-elect the current administration back in office; I replied truthfully and exercising my freedom of speech that “I would rather have my teeth pulled out without anesthesia”. This was a tongue-in-cheek reply (pardon the pun) that brought on an onslaught of social hysteria based on pure party line rhetoric rather than gray cells. The “bad” continued in a back and forth pounding of my stance based on the man in the White House rather than his policies; which (I had stated) had split a nation.  I made it a point to differentiate the personal from the political by saying that the president is a good family man. I actually admire him for raising a great family and openly acknowledging his love for them. To be exact my reply was that the country is going through the worst of times because of policies that  ” his arrogant rhetoric has caused havoc constitutionally, politically, ethically, morally, and definitely militarily.” Notice I said “policies” and did not attack the person. I was admonished for not stating true facts because there are three branches of government and obviously the president cannot make decisions on his own. Really? Then who signs vetoes? Who refuses to sign bills? He holds the pen. I was also fiercely admonished when I stated that it was about time this president quit blaming his predecessor for most of what ails the country. That brought on this: “Obama has never blamed Bush the Republicans or anyone else for what has occurred during his tenure…” So I decided to fact check ME. After all I am getting on in years and my memory might be going south.  This president has actually blamed the previous president and administration publically approximately eight times (that is officially recorded through the media).  The reporting was on networks sympathetic to both sides of the aisle to include the administration’s private network MSNBC (I’m only kidding about the private network bit).  The predecessory (another new word) finger pointing included: Fast and Furious, the economy, the deficit, the VA scandal, GSA, and Iran Nukes.  (Louis Jacobsen, September 27, 2012, Politifact, Barack Obama says he’s responsible for just 10 percent of budget shortfalls}, (Joel Gehrke, September 20, 2012, Washington Examiner, Obama blames Bush for Fast and Furious, contradicts his DOJ IG), (Francis Martel, May, 2014, Breitbar, Obama: I always take responsibility but VA scandal started with Bush), and the list goes on.The “bad” is that hardcore partisan thinking and opinion that diminishes the capability of discovering the truth. I know that a predecessor should be held responsible for actions that reflect outcomes down the road, but to deny the fact that this administration and president has blamed his predecessor for eight consecutive years and on numerous occasions is infantile. To be fair, this goes on in both partisan camps. Try and say anything derogatory about Ronald Reagan to a conservative and you will be singed; Reagan is to hard core conservatives what the Pope is to Catholics. One can like the man, but one must also remain circumspect and acknowledge “in your face” shortcomings if they exist. I have no clue if this president will be named the best or the worst, and frankly I don’t care. I always cringe when any past or present president is referred to as “great”. I do not think anyone in particular was or is “great”. They have a very difficult job and you could not pay me real money to do it! Notice, they go in with dark hair and come out gray! (Except for Reagan). They are human AND men! They did some great things and blew others.

The “bad” continues with the divisiveness that has been instigated for political gain. One ethnic race against another, one class against another, one opinion against another, and the blatant crude and crass name-calling; because one can. Those who know me can vouch for my straight shooting, and I generally do not state something unless I can back it up. I have stated my opinions more than once, and whether liked or not, I normally approach them analytically rather than emotionally. Apart from the abortion issue which is emotional to the core; political standing is rather personal because it affects one’s life.  However, in recent years, JFK’s “ask not what the country can do for you but what you can do for your country” has vanished like yesterday’s rain. Now the government is expected to raise the populace. What is the government going to do for me? The land of opportunity was created through the assumption that if you work hard you will make it. It was not created so that if you work hard you give half of what you earn to someone else. The government should be a temporary fix and not a permanent means of livelihood. The “bad” in politics continues with the never-ending rhetoric that the government will and should continue to assist from the cradle to the grave. The word “free” is thrown like confetti in a parade on Broadway or Times Square. Hate to break the news: nothing is free; someone pays for it and I do not want to be the one to do it.

The “ugly” is more insidious and nefarious than the “bad” because it develops a mindset imbedded in the continual indoctrination by self-serving charlatans that the government owes you your happiness in life.  Although politics were always ugly;  this election has given birth to a “potty mouth” quagmirish (another new word) display of candidates we are expected to elect as the next leader of our nation. Both toxic to a degree not seen in any election to date, and by any American in past and present generation; this is no easy pick.  Blaming one side or another for boorish behavior is inane because both sides have proven to be thuggish with and to the American people. Listening to the talking down of the pseudo political elitists  to “us” the common folk is not only pathetic but downright disgusting. The stifling of free speech has now morphed into ugly confrontations that smack of communist or fascist ultimatums rather than “free” democratic thought. The indiscriminant accusations of racism, xenophobia, sexism, and other “isms” convenient to the moment should cease; or the Free Speech defined in our first amendment is just lip service to the few who refuse to engage in dialogue for the sake of a one-sided opinion.  The “ugly” is the stifling and shouting down of any diverse opinion. The “ugly” is in the hypocrisy of those bent on defining social engineering as the last resort to Pollyanna while berating fellow citizens for voicing their right to disagree.

My parents were not very political. They were too busy raising seven children. They did not have time to go out in the streets protesting whatever there was to protest. They were pragmatic on life. My father never asked for a hand out from the government or any social service; and he would have been too proud to accept it.  He managed to raise us on one salary. But our parents’ generation did not “want” things, they acquired what they needed and did not expect the government to be at their side for assistance. Poor people did exist. We all knew who they were and my mother would donate “stuff” discreetly not to offend or embarrass. Nowadays no one is embarrassed to ask for money or services from the government. They claim it like their birth right. They were entitlement like a badge of honor. We were raised to believe that if we study hard and work hard; we would be successful. Not necessarily wealthy, but successful. It meant feeling good about oneself and the sacrifices that were made to achieve whatever we achieved. That is contrary to the current political mantra of entitlement: I should have whatever my neighbor has because I deserve it. Not because I worked for it, but because by “being”; I deserve it. That kind of thinking is what has stifled our economy to a growth only seen in third world countries (1.7% annually, for those who want to research), 19 Trillion in debt and counting (US National Debt Clock in real time; by the time I post this it will be over 20 trillion!), and a global educational ranking of 17th place behind Finland, South Korea, the Netherlands, Japan, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong (not necessarily in any order, except that Finland and S. Korea are in first and second place respectively). (International Business Times, 2012). Not much to be excited about right? But we do have transgender bathrooms in  public schools. Hooray for us!

Voting in this election is like voting for dumb, dumber, or crooked! Not much of a choice. Plenty of “bad” and “ugly” to go around, and very little “good”. What I am hoping for is that somehow whoever is elected will wake up from his or her narcissistic stupor and realize what is at stake and do the right thing. The nation needs to come together in respect and acceptance of opinions. Elected servants of the people (because that is what elected officials are to include the president) must realize that those who elected them put their trust in them. That trust is sacred and it should be nurtured. We the people should make it clear that just as we voted them in we can vote them out. So to the next man or woman in the White House: Stop the divisive rhetoric and start uniting. Stop the name calling, and start communicating. Stop the social entitlement indoctrination and start teaching serious accountability.  Do what is good for the country not your partisan friends. The country is the United States and not your private partisan playground. Lead all the people not the chosen few who voted for you. Grow a set of cohunes and go after the bad guys who are trying to kill us. Finally: once you raise your hand on the bible you own all successes and failures; enjoy the former and humbly accept the latter. That is what true leaders do.

Why I am ticked off at women’s rights!

My mother was the strongest woman I have ever met. I say “was” because she passed away three months ago at the ripe age of 99. Till the end she wanted it “her way”. What made my mother strong were her undying convictions in her faith, her family, and herself. She did not take parenting classes but raised seven children: three during war time. She did not walk the streets with picket activist signs; but she knew how to send a message through her stern and often stinging retorts. She did not need women’s rights organizations to tell her that some things were not right when it comes to gender bias; but she stoically continued her strong Christian life and faith that kept her on the straight and narrow, and kept us; well disciplined and behaved. Her generation fought and won wars without excuses or apologies because her generation were intelligent enough to realize that wars were not pretty but often necessary. She did not need main stream media or the intellectual 30-something tweeting twits to tell her how to lead a relevant life. My mother was the most relevant woman on earth. How then have we as women, progressed or rather digressed into a state of stupid? What has let loose a generation of whiny entitled self-centered women to take on hollow activism that is not only counter-productive to our identity, but close to being third-world barbaric? When did we morph from being ladies to being vulgar? At what point in time did we lose our sense of right and eagerly embrace wrong? When did we become liberated without a sense of responsibility or common sense? Why aren’t we content to be blessed for being who we are?

What has sent me on this tirade is something equally inane but nonetheless poignant in a sense that it clearly reflects today’s women’s activism movement. A short social media post by a women’s rights group boldly stated that because they are pro-choice they are not pro abortion. How convenient! I retorted that would mean that because I smoke dope I am not an addict. The answer to my retort was well expected: “not the same”.  Really? No one has ever explained the term “pro-choice” to us regular folk, however, the term has only been referred to the politically charged “women’s body rights”. Now I must admit that I have never heard gun lobbyists use the term “pro-choice” for packing. Probably because there is a difference between the right to bear arms and the politically adopted right to abortion. It is the activists themselves that conned the term “pro-choice” and they decided to own it. It is these same activists who fight and claw for the “right” to end a life without provocation.  Where are the signs for “Unborn lives matter”?

What mind boggles me is the incongruity of the loud “pro-choice” mantra because contraception is as available as a Big Mac, and children are taught about sex, transgender, homosexuality, and other politically correct genre before they can read, write, or even identify their own country on a map; you would think that unwanted pregnancies would be rare rather than the norm. But here we are today, almost a quarter century into the millennium and we still have kids having kids, and we still think that getting rid of the “problem” is the answer to women’s rights. Some disingenuously disguise it as women’s health!  It seems that  women’s rights groups only activate their “rights” when it comes to forcibly removing an unborn from a woman and profanely call it “pro choice”. At least in Cambodia Pol Pott’s soldiers had the decency to kill the babies when they were born rather than before! They took the babies and smashed them against trees to save on ammunition. These places are now aptly called the Killing Fields. In our country we call them clinics. Our female sense of justice has been warped into a sinister acceptance of the unthinkable and barbaric. This generation has more feelings for a gorilla who was shot to save a child than the child who was in danger. Vigils  behind prison walls are kept in protest of capital punishment, but we think nothing of hauling an unborn forcibly from a mother’s womb and then conveniently call it: pro-choice.

At what point in time is the unborn going to have a voice? Who will speak for him or her? And more important: who are we aborting? Could it be the next scientist who finds a cure for cancer? The next engineer who discovers new life and new civilizations? A new Shakespeare? The next  Mother Theresa? How about the philanthropist who revolutionizes alternative energy without fossil fuel?  What about the next woman philosopher, poet, writer, and mother? “Pro-choice” is genderless and eradicates without remorse because there is no one to witness the “choice”. It is nameless and faceless. This is very similar to what regimes did in the gulags of the old Soviet Union, the prisons of South America, and the Killing Fields of Cambodia.  The born and unborn become dispensable and unwanted by the few for reasons beyond decency.

I am a woman. As a woman I am appalled that my unprecedented gift and ability  to bring life to the world has been hijacked by those who regard pro-creation with disdain. To regard motherhood as an inconvenience is beyond incomprehensible and downright evil. To pretend otherwise is an affront to my womanhood, and, yes my “pro-choice”.  We are slowly and systematically moving toward total apathy and organized extermination of the unborn. For many years, the Chinese government aborted girls or locked them up in orphanages under the pretense that they were not productive to society. The west was stunned! Really? Why don’t we take a look at the trash in our own back yard?

My mother gave birth to seven children. She nurtured us and loved us unconditionally. She watched us grow and go our separate ways knowing that she had done her very best to raise us right. I doubt that she did not face days when running away from a house full of kids seemed attractive; but if she had such thoughts she sure never shared them with anyone. She was the true activist who made choices that impacted our lives down the road. I never heard her say that she regretted having any of us. Till the very end, she loved us and her role as a woman and a mother.

Following in her footsteps; most of us siblings eventually had families of our own. We are surgeons, nurses, marketing executives, bankers, engineers, administrators, teachers, photographers, and volunteers. Each in our own way has contributed to our generation and our children have in turn contributed to theirs. If we had opted to choose not to have these wonderful children the world would have been without: a surgeon, a nurse, a teacher, a marketing director, a business woman, a graphic artist, a self-employed marketing executive, a journalist, an editor, and an entrepreneur. Men do not have the ability or luxury to carry a breathing living being. That is a privilege  only known to women. Why are we discarding it like yesterday’s pizza? If women’s rights groups want to really practice “pro-choice” then they should encourage women to choose doing the right thing before getting pregnant and not afterwards. Now that’s a concept I have not seen on any ballot!

 

The convenience of suddenly developing a conscience

Can anyone imagine what could have happened had we had social media in the mid-20th century? We would have been subjected to sneaky video clips of President Roosevelt attempting to get into his wheel chair, or better still of him smoking close to two packs of cigarettes a day and drinking booze at night. How about FDR sneaking to a hidden cottage in the woods on the Hudson to “visit” with his secretary or as rumor had it: his second or third cousin, not sure? What about the shenanigans of John F Kennedy? The back stairs to the White House were used for more than just the butler!  Moving forward into the annals of history: what about President Clinton and The Lewinsky affair (pardon the pun)? Would it have made a difference or did it make a difference to any of these men’s performance as Commanders in Chief? They were boorish, lewd, womanizers, and of course: all men. Did less women vote for them because they at times behaved like pigs? Did it make a difference to the way they took care of the country? FDR saved the country from the Depression and won the war against the evil and horror of WWII in Europe and the Pacific. JFK was charismatic and started the process for Civil Rights before being gunned down. Bill Clinton had the best economy and welfare reform on the books. Pity these guys if they had to run for President today; or maybe not! It seems that today’s biased media only develops a “conscience” when it comes to one partisan group and not another.

I am remembering one of my favorite movies: The American President with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening. Michael Douglas plays the part of the President who got involved with a lobbyist much to the chagrin of his opponent. It is an election year and this opponent is hammering the President on his “family values” because he was a widower with a young daughter, and going out in public with the lobbyist seemed “not on”. I have a point here, it is just a matter of getting to it: one evening the President’s staff bring to his attention the next day’s newspaper headlines: a blown picture of the lobbyist in her college days at a protest rally where the American flag was burned. What Michael Douglas responds is priceless: “Let me get this straight; a woman whom I did not know then, exercised her first amendment rights in a demonstration I had no knowledge of, is now an issue?” This brings us to the situation with a current presidential candidate who eleven years ago, when he was not running for office or even thinking of running for president, was still a private citizen, embarked in common crass locker room banter, in a trailer, while promoting a soap opera star in a business venture. That is a story? Are we nuts?  Rewind the tape: twenty years ago, a sitting President had sexual relations in the Oval Office, denied it, got impeached, and he is still hailed as the greatest guy on earth! Do any of us think that there was no sexual “banter” going on under the Oval Office desk? Is that lewd, mildly lewd, unacceptable, what?  I am not excusing bad behavior with other bad behavior, but I am dumbfounded how we pick and choose what should lay heavy on our “family values” conscience, and who should bear it.  And ladies, please dismount off your prudery high horse : how many of us watch a good looking dude pass by and  not admire his assets? Thank God no one carries a camcorder around me!  I have watched reality shows with more crass and lewd remarks: has anyone watched Hell’s Kitchen lately?

As a nation, what we should be concerned about is not what is said in a locker room but what is being done at the White House to protect us from those bent to harm us. How about protecting the inner cities from urban carnage? Better still: how about protecting the unborn? Pulling an embryo from a body, sometimes sentient, is not lewd enough for you ladies? If you want to be offended how about being offended about that?  I do not see any uproar about killing the unborn who we bring into the world because we can. The right to life and the pursuit of happiness should not be a monopoly of immigrants, it should be mandatory for all human life. How about allowing parents to send their children to good schools of their choice, so maybe, just maybe, our country will stand a chance to compete with the rest of the world? How about making sure that our borders are safe and that only those who have good intentions come and enjoy the land of the free? How about making it easier for businesses to conduct business to employ folk who can hardly make ends meet one week to the next? How about stopping the corruption that has plagued our government and those associated with it for eight years? You want to speak about lewd behavior? How about lying under oath to the American public and getting away with it? Does that not bother anyone’s conscience?

Bad behavior seems to be indigenous to  politics. But what has happened in recent years is not only disturbing but downright dangerous. The utter disregard for truth is masked in partisan quagmire that reaches deep into the sewers of political bias in entertainment, journalism, and social media. With large media giants contributing millions to political parties; the gray lines between truth, exploitation, political gain, power, ethics, and morals are so murky, that we have now become blind and immune to journalists and their bent self-appointed monolithic view of the world and us mere mortals in it. Their smug elite mindset aspires to their single thought process that anything outside their circle of intellectual snobbery is intolerable; we are doomed to be deplorable!  How utterly incongruous of them since they are cheerleaders to the downtrodden, the social purest, the 21st century suffragette, the progressives who march in formation toward a new order, which by the way, counties like Cuba are moving away from. But why? Why shake Lady Liberty into relieving herself of her torch that has been a beacon of hope for so many across the seas? Why try to tweak a system that encourages reward and perseverance in lieu of entitlement and under achievement? Why do they regard success as an abomination unlessof course it is theirs? What do they find so repulsive in the land of the brave and the free that they want to change? Are we perfect as a nation? Not really. Are we am abomination? Hardly. If we were we would not be talking about walls to keep people from coming in because they want to leave their countries. I never heard anyone eager to go and settle in North Korea!

I digress, but everything is relevant in the scheme of things. The convenience of developing a sense of conscience and ethics seems to have become relevant only if one belongs to a certain political persuasion. FDR, JFK, Bill Clinton were regular folk who for some reason had a problem with a simple clothing device called a zipper. Is it mental, genetic, social? Who knows? Is it unique? No. Europeans almost expect their leaders to be involvied in sexual inappropriaty. It seems to add a sense of masculinity to the position. They do not really give it much serious thought. The French and the Italians wallow in political “scandal” but only for entertainment. They do not go digging for it, it seems to “pop” up, and over a glass of red wine or an espresso, they discuss the politician’s prowess and their admiration. Is it funny to hear a politician being lewd or sexually offensive? I really do not know one way or another, but it really should not make a difference on how he intends to lead the country.  He is not being elected Pope. There is no white smoke from the Vatican. He is human. As such mistakes are made and will continue to be made. Should he be punished for his imappropriate behaviour? I think his wife will take care of that?

I do not condone any bad behavior especially when elected to a public office. But what happenes years prior should be irrelevant unless it is a capital offense. Being crude in a trailer is hardly that.  No one should be held to the proverbial flames because of something foolish that was said or done many years prior and without relevancy except to destroy the individual. If we are to hold people responsible and to the highest standards for their entire lives, then we need to start vetting all that are currently serving in the Senate and Congress.  Then we should ask those with weak moral fibre to step down. I am sure that eventually we will be without the Senate or Congress. I wonder if that is a bad thing?

The misconception of spirituality

 

The word “spirituality” conjures up visions of big white tent revivals fraught with bible thumping swaying clapping mass hysteria of Alleluia-invoked Christian voices in euphoric organ-grinding din. It is the long thought misconception that one must be religious to be spiritual. A myth created by those who abhor any possibility of a God or higher power in their lives. Why? I have never understood, but I will be presumptuous enough to surmise and possibly theorize on the reasons why “spirituality” is taking a back seat to life “coaching” or other politically correct organic mentorship that supposedly guides people toward a better existence.

No one should have any doubt that the world we are currently living in is out of control and the morons in charge are on the rise. Common sense Armageddon is inevitable if we continue on this path of self indulgence, self absorbency, self destruction, entitlement, politically correct,  and one-size-fits-all unjustified social justice phobia rampant in today’s politics, media, and entertainment. We have become immune to the basic inherent spiritual barometer that we are born into. We basically ignore it. We have become subject to inane guilt and grief pretenses militantly bestowed upon us by those who crave for power through exploitation of the presumed social weak. The conjured up injustices by what the media likes to call “charismatic” leaders, is nothing more than an attempt to persuade and rattle people into thinking that it is someone else’s fault that they find themselves in whatever social state they are in. Albeit the fact that inner cities have had a long history of neglect, poverty, and crime; I know folk who managed to survive, thrive, and even become more successful than their middle-class counterparts in the suburbs. What set them apart? More often than not, although at times raised by a single parent, they were brought up in a spiritual environment. The parent or parents tapped into the inherent quality that was instilled in them as children and demanded discipline, doing the right thing, and yes; attending Sunday church.  I was closely acquainted to such a person. They were three children raised by a single mother in the Bronx. Their mother worked three jobs to send them to parochial schools. But on Sunday they had to wear their “Sunday best”, go to church, and afterwards visit a museum or art gallery.  The two girls grew up to become Valedictorian and eventually graduates of top universities. The brother ended in jail. When I asked how the brother did not pursue the same life style; the answer was that he chose to hang out with gang bangers and went another direction. All three lived together, were raised by the same principles and by the same mother. The brother chose to do wrong.

One might accuse me of going against what I initially stated; that spirituality had little to do with religion or even God. However, although spirituality could be the recognition of a higher source of accountability, it is also a discipline of life which could  also be explained as the strong will to wake up Sunday morning and go to church. Both concepts are separate in substance but connected by objectivity. But let us leave church aside for one moment and concentrate on the spiritual connection to our skills, talents, and successes in life. Spirituality is an inner will to do the right thing. It is our “yellow brick road” toward something better in life. It is also a mental guide that urges us to take the right path toward contentment and fulfillment. Spiritualism is intellectualism sans the cynical satirical disrespect and ridicule of the so called “progressives” of today. I am referring to the self-acclaimed intellectual elites in the media and entertainment industries who deem themselves intellectually  better suited to “do good”  than us spiritual ingrates. They feel entitled to be the chaperons of the down-trodden because they  empathize and accept their lives better than any of us spiritual morons can ever do. They monopolize “doing good”. Which is utterly incongruous and  in contradiction to what the majority of them stand for: the legalization of pot, abortion under the vague and nebulous umbrella of “women’s rights”, downplaying crime to play the “race” card, encouraging weakness through entitlement, and the worst: promoting secularism but conveniently only against the Christian or Jewish faith. Their mantra of global good is hidden under an insidious desire to change a founding way of life born out of pioneer spirituality that they find passe, out dated, and not socially inclusive of life styles that some of us consider not only undesirable, but predominantly harmful to our nation. So they morph spiritualism into “hip” euphemisms like “social justice” which is another term and attempt at  labeling most of us as racist, phobic, religious nuts, and downright stupid. These are the new spiritual philanthropists who want to change a nation’s cultural identity to satisfy theirs.  It is a warped way of thinking which catches on quickly among the brain idle.

Enters  the “earth” culture. The “climate change” “global warming” gurus who have declared war on those who although very concerned about pollution do still possess a reasonable sense of reality when it comes to weather. I decided to check various websites on “climate change”; attempting to find a median consensus that is not skewed in either political or activist direction. Believe it or not, the best website was the EPA: https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/science/causes.html

although politically and partisan leaning, still managed  relatively sane conclusions indicating that both human and natural causes are responsible for climate change. I personally think that we should all do the best we can to protect our planet because it is the only place we seem to thrive on (at least for now). However, my personal responsibility is my spiritual urge to do the right thing; not to pollute, not to waste resources, and to protect the wonders that God gave me for free. That is the spiritual approach to protecting the planet.  Militants and activists are not spiritual: they are tunnel visioned and narrow minded into believing that theirs is the only solution to this issue.

My mother is very fast approaching 100 years of age. She has endured The Depression, World War II, and raising seven of us on a salary of one bread winner: my father. She is very religious but she is also very pragmatic (when she is allowed to be). Our mother and father raised us with one simple principle in mind: work hard and you will succeed.  They also raised us to be individuals. I remember coming home from school with a mediocre report card and my father asking why I had done so poorly. My sassy reply was: “I’m not the only one.” My father’s reply? “You are my daughter and I do not care about the others.” What he was trying to instill in us is the importance of remaining individually accountable and responsible for ourselves and not influenced by others. That remained with me for the rest of my life. My parents’ spirituality was founded on the simple premise that as individuals we are in control of our destinies and our future.  Eventually we might make a positive difference in the world.

The myth that to be spiritual one must be religious has played for far too long. It has been misinterpreted as an excuse to accept all things vulgar, corrupt, and harmful.  We need to resume nurturing young people into believing that as individuals spirituality guides them through the difficult twists and turns of life.  Young people seem to have lost any sense of direction in life and succumb very quickly to disillusion as soon as things go awry. Hence the rise in teen suicide.  However, as a nation, we must regain our lead as a beacon of hope for the rest of the world. Without our spiritual heritage any attempt at protecting our nation or the rest of the world from evil will be futile. Our strength lies in the fundamental belief that as a nation we have God on our side. No other nation on earth has demonstrated strength in the face of adversity like our nation. No other nation on earth has gone to the aid of others like our nation. And no other nation   on earth has fought on foreign soil to liberate others like our nation. Such valor and strength is not borne out of cliches but out of an inner strength that pushes a nation into doing the right thing: and we so need that valor and spirituality right now!