Friday, November 3, 2017

"For Manhattan, New York: A Prayer After Terror"

From liturgist and poet Alden Solovy, about this week's terrible events in New York; it appeared on the website ReformJudaism.org.

https://reformjudaism.org/blog/2017/11/01/manhattan-new-york-prayer-after-terror

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

New York Times: "Without Saying ‘Trump,’ Bush and Obama Deliver Implicit Rebukes"

Of the speech by former President Bush, the Times wrote that Mr. Bush "defended immigration and free trade, denounced nationalism and bigotry and bemoaned what he called the 'casual cruelty' of current public discourse."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/us/politics/george-bush-trump.html

Monday, October 16, 2017

New York Times: "Trump Falsely Claims Obama Didn’t Contact Families of Fallen Soldiers."

From the article, below:

“This is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser to Mr. Obama, posted on Twitter.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/us/politics/trump-obama-killed-soldiers.html

Sunday, October 8, 2017

More from Senator Bob Corker

Remarkable--and frightening--follow-up comments, on Sunday, from Republican Senator Corker:

"Bob Corker Says Trump’s Recklessness Threatens ‘World War III’ "

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/08/us/politics/trump-corker.html

Sen. Bob Corker, and Mr. Trump

"Corker calls White House ‘an adult day care center’ in response to Trump’s latest Twitter tirade."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/10/08/trump-attacks-gop-sen-corker-didnt-have-the-guts-to-run-for-reelection/

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Time Magazine essay

" 'Unspeakable,' 'Incomparable.' Why Words Fail to Describe the Las Vegas Shooting":

http://time.com/4965881/unspeakable-tragedy-terrorism-las-vegas/

Friday, September 29, 2017

Yom Kippur

To those who will, shortly, be observing: best wishes for Yom Kippur...

Friday, September 22, 2017

After five episodes...

Five installments of the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary The Vietnam War have now aired; there are five episodes still to come. It is, simply, a remarkable, and riveting program--deeply informative, and deeply emotional to watch.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Rosh Hashanah

A holiday recipe from Joan Nathan, in The New York Times...

Rosh Hashanah begins this evening...Good wishes for the New Year...

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/7199-my-favorite-challah

Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur

From the "Ask the Rabbis" feature in the Jewish-oriented magazine Moment (September/October issue):  "What Is the Most Important High Holidays Prayer?"

http://www.momentmag.com/ask-rabbis-important-high-holidays-prayer/?utm

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ken Burns/Lynn Novick, "The Vietnam War"

Another superb installment, tonight (Tuesday), of the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary about Vietnam, on PBS

"The Vietnam War," PBS, continued

The first two episodes of The Vietnam War, the documentary directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, and airing on PBS, were excellent, and compelling. The program continues this evening.

http://www.pbs.org/show/vietnam-war/

Sunday, September 17, 2017

"The Vietnam War," new documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, beginning tonight

Am looking forward to watching the new documentary, The Vietnam War, by the immensely talented Ken Burns; the film's co-director is Lynn Novick. The film, which begins airing tonight (Sunday) on PBS, is written by Geoffrey C. Ward.

The piece about the film, below, is from the September 1st New York Times.

From the end of the piece:

"Mr. Burns said the film takes an 'equal opportunity' approach to the inhumanity of the war. It’s the kind of resolutely centrist balance that may not sit well with partisan viewers, but so be it.

" 'Today, we suffer from too much certainty,” he said. 'I like the middle, the uncertainty of things. I think that’s where all the progress, all the healing, takes place.'"

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/01/arts/television/ken-burns-and-lynn-novick-tackle-the-vietnam-war.html

Monday, September 11, 2017

2001

Remembering September 11th, on the sixteenth anniversary...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Mr. Trump, in Arizona

Watching Mr. Trump's Arizona speech, which has included deeply dishonest remarks about what he had said, previously, concerning Charlottesville. And lots of ranting, tonight--about the media, health care, Democrats, etc. etc. etc. The speech is remarkable, and embarrassing, in its craziness.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Trump Tower press conference

President Trump's incendiary remarks today, about the Charlottesville tragedy (at his Trump Tower press conference), were despicable, and utterly sickening.

Will administration officials, and White House staff members, begin telling Mr. Trump that they've had enough? Or will they simply continue to enable his morally repugnant presidency?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Charlottesville

Have been heartbroken about Charlottesville, and the deaths (and injuries) there. I have the city (and many friends and acquaintances, from the years I lived there) in my prayers, and thoughts.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Linda Sarsour

Here is a mid-July piece, in the online Jewish-oriented publication Tablet, about Linda Sarsour, the Palestinian-American activist (and one of the organizers/leaders of the Women's March). The piece was occasioned by Sarsour's diatribe (absurd and offensive) against the CNN journalist Jake Tapper. The Tablet piece is by Yair Rosenberg, a senior editor at the publication.

Sarsour gets a good deal of acclaim (often from the left); I am sorry to say that the acclaim, too often, is not merited.

http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/241097/linda-sarsour-declares-cnns-jake-tapper-has-joined-the-ranks-of-the-alt-right?utm

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Al Gore, on CNN town hall broadcast

It was good to see former Vice President Al Gore tonight, when he appeared in a town hall special on CNN, titled The Climate Crisis. Mr. Gore--not surprisingly--was impressive, on the program; he was interviewed by Anderson Cooper, and answered questions from the CNN audience.

His new documentary, An Inconvenient Sequel--a follow-up to 2006's An Inconvenient Truth--is making its debut in theatres this week.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/01/politics/al-gore-cnn-town-hall/index.html

Thursday, July 27, 2017

President Trump's latest regressive, lousy decision

From the New York Times editorial, below: "A year after transgender Americans secured the right to defend their nation as equals in the military service, President Trump, in one of his crueler series of tweets, declared on Wednesday that he was banishing them from serving."

The editorial is titled, "Uncle Sam No Longer Wants You."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/opinion/donald-trump-transgender-pandering.html

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Senator John McCain

John McCain is an extraordinary and courageous man.

From a statement by Meghan McCain, released on Twitter, about her father:

“It won’t surprise you to learn that in all this, the one of us who is most confident and calm is my father. He is the toughest person I know. The cruelest enemy could not break him. The aggressions of political life could not bend him. So he is meeting this challenge as he has every other. Cancer may afflict him in many ways: But it will not make him surrender. Nothing ever has.”

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/20/health/meghan-mccain-tribute-john-mccain/index.html

Monday, July 10, 2017

Max Boot, continued

An essay by Mr. Boot, which appeared Monday morning in The Los Angeles Times.

The piece, about President Trump and the issue of Russia, is titled "It's more obvious than ever: Trump doesn't care a whit about the national interest."

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-boot-trump-putin-voter-fraud-20170711-story.html

Max Boot, discussing Russia, on Don Lemon's CNN program, Monday night

A very impressive appearance by conservative writer and analyst Max Boot, on Don Lemon's CNN program Monday night, regarding the issue of Russia.

Mr. Boot said that "I am no longer a Republican, because I am disgusted with the way the Republican Party is behaving. What we are seeing is that Donald Trump puts his own self-interests over the interests of the United States."

He also said: "I think everybody should be angry when they see an American president, a Republican, who seems to be pursuing a Russia First policy, who seems to be pursuing the interests of Vladimir Putin, over the interests of NATO, the U.S., and our allies."

Mr. Boot's comments begin at about 3:40 in the interview, below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4myoE0mzNDE

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Senator Mark Warner

It's obviously early to be thinking about the next presidential election, but I'm hopeful that Democrats will be considering Virginia Senator Mark Warner--who has been much in the news, recently--as a potential candidate.

"Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?"

A follow-up, to the prior post:

Earlier this week, shortly after the North Korean missile test, President Trump took to Twitter. He wrote:

"North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?"

Was Mr. Trump--fixated with tweeting, at all hours--aware of the irony of his question?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Trump's Saturday speech

It's really striking how often Mr. Trump, in his public remarks, sounds like he's talking about himself, when he attacks others. He said in his speech, on Saturday:

"The fact is the press has destroyed themselves because they went too far. Instead of being subtle and smart, they used a hatchet."

http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-rally-veterans-media-evangelical-christians-religious-freedom-terrorism-2017-7-2

Monday, June 19, 2017

Continuing grim news

The horrific shooting at the Republican baseball practice last week...Early Monday morning's terrible attack--against members of London's Muslim community--with a van used as a weapon...Monday's auto attack on a police van by a driver in Paris, whose car evidently contained explosives and other weapons...

The grim news, the chaos, the feeling (too often) that the world is spinning out of control--it is sobering, in the extreme.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Scott Pelley, and the CBS Evening News

Am sorry that Scott Pelley will soon be leaving the CBS Evening News. He is a fine anchor, and a terrific reporter; I've enjoyed watching his newscasts very much, over the past several years. Am certainly glad, though, that he's staying with 60 Minutes.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/cbs-makes-one-thing-clear-in-yanking-scott-pelley-its-all-about-the-ratings/2017/05/31/efabd224-4607-11e7-a196-a1bb629f64cb_story.html

"Raymond J. Pfeifer, 9/11 Firefighter Who Sought Care for Survivors, Dies at 59"

From the New York Times story, below:

"Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said in a Twitter post on Sunday: 'You meet very few truly great men in your life. Ray was one of them.' "

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/30/nyregion/raymond-pfeiffer-dead-advocate-for-911-responders.html

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Essay by conservative columnist Ross Douthat

The piece by Mr. Douthat, the New York Times columnist, is pretty startling.  It is titled: "The 25th Amendment Solution to Remove Trump."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/16/opinion/25th-amendment-trump.html

"A Few Good Men," and President Trump

In very important ways--whether it is, for example, Mr. Trump's routine reliance on falsehoods; or, as we now learn, his reckless handling of highly classified information--it is clear that we are living under the "A Few Good Men" presidency: Mr. Trump "can't handle the truth."

Essay in The New York Times: "When the World Is Led by a Child"

An excellent column by David Brooks:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/opinion/trump-classified-data.html

Washington Post column: "The experts were right: Trump isn’t fit to be president"

A piece by Anne Applebaum:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/05/16/the-experts-were-right-trump-isnt-fit-to-be-president/

Sunday, May 14, 2017

CNN Sunday interview with James Clapper

From the CNN video, below:

"I think in many ways our institutions are under assault, both externally -- and that's the big news here, is Russian interference in our election system -- and I think as well our institutions are under assault internally," said former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, on Jake Tapper's CNN Sunday program State of the Union.

"Internally, from the President?" asked Tapper. Said Clapper: "Exactly."

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/14/politics/james-clapper-russia-collusion/index.html

Friday, May 5, 2017

Enjoyable video of baby goats, at Farm Sanctuary, in New York

This is a nice video, from April, of three baby goats, at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY. Susie Coston, Farm Sanctuary's National Shelter Director, is also featured in the video. Farm Sanctuary is a fine organization; its web address is www.farmsanctuary.org.

https://www.facebook.com/farmsanctuary/videos/vb.19575923823/10155258237908824/?type=2&theater&notif_t=live_video&notif_id=1492546332611460

Essay by George Will

"Trump has a dangerous disability"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-has-a-dangerous-disability/2017/05/03/56ca6118-2f6b-11e7-9534-00e4656c22aa_story.html

Monday, May 1, 2017

President Trump, and CBS's John Dickerson

John Dickerson, the host of CBS's Face The Nation (and the political director at CBS News) is an excellent journalist and political analyst.

Here is a story about his newsmaking interview, which took place Saturday, with President Trump.

As CNN's Brian Stelter--another excellent reporter and analyst--notes, in the story:  "President Trump cut off an Oval Office interview with CBS anchor John Dickerson and gestured for him to leave the room when Dickerson repeatedly asked about the president's unfounded wiretapping claims."

http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/01/media/john-dickerson-donald-trump/index.html

Monday, April 24, 2017

Yom Hashoah, and the Days of Remembrance

The observance, in Israel, of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, began Sunday night, and continued throughout the day on Monday.

Observances in the United States--known as the "Days of Remembrance"--also began on Sunday, and will take place during the course of this week.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Day, 1970

This is a magazine ad I saved in 1970, about the upcoming (and first) Earth Day. The ad is obviously damaged; it originally read, "April 22 is Earth Day. The beginning of the end of pollution."

Thursday, April 13, 2017

George W. Bush, and the January inauguration

This story is a couple of weeks old, but it is one of the funniest stories I've read this year.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/george-w-bush-sums-trump-185628679.html

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

President Trump, and foreign policy

I mentioned, in a recent post, that while I have no affection for Mr. Trump, I thought the American military response, to the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria, was the right one.

While I still believe this, I am nonetheless struck by Mr. Trump's dizzying lack of consistency, and competence, and sense of understanding, when it comes to foreign affairs.

While this is not a surprise--this was all evident, during the campaign--it is still disorienting.

Mr. Trump said, after the chemical attack: “My attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much."

One would have thought he would have sufficiently understood, prior to this atrocity, what Mr. Assad is like.  But then, this is a president who said in late February, "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated." Actually, a great many people did. And a great many people already knew what Assad was capable of.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Attacks on churches in Egypt, on Palm Sunday

ISIS has claimed responsibility, for the terrible attacks on two Coptic Christian churches.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/09/world/middleeast/explosion-egypt-coptic-christian-church.html

President Trump, and Syria

Despite one's continuing distress and alarm about (and aversion to) Mr. Trump's policies, words, tone, direction, and temperament, I believe his decision to attack Syria, militarily, was the right one.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

From The Washington Post: "Donald Trump is giving a lot of mixed messages about whom to blame on health care"

Analysis on Sunday from The Washington Post, by Amber Phillips, re: President Trump, and the failure of the Republican health care bill. Phillips writes that "in a sharp contrast from Friday, when he pointed the finger at Democrats," Mr. Trump is now "turning his fire at his own party."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/03/26/donald-trump-is-giving-mixed-messages-about-whom-to-blame-on-health-care/

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wall Street Journal editorial: "The President's Credibility"

A piece in The New York Times, below, concerns a forceful Wall Street Journal editorial which appeared online Tuesday night. The Journal's editorial, titled "A President’s Credibility," included the following, as noted by The Times:

“Two months into his Presidency, Gallup has Mr. Trump’s approval rating at 39 percent. No doubt Mr. Trump considers that fake news, but if he doesn’t show more respect for the truth, most Americans may conclude he’s a fake President.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/22/business/media/wall-street-journal-editorial-trump.html

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Trump and the "wiretaps"

From the Times story, below, regarding the view of the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee:

"Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016," Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, said in a statement.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/16/us/politics/richard-burr-mark-warner-trump-wiretap.html

Sunday, March 12, 2017

"McCain to Trump: Retract wiretapping claim or prove it"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/03/12/mccain-to-trump-retract-wiretapping-claim-or-prove-it/?tid=ss_fb&utm_term=.ab78edbda339

More threats, to JCCs and other Jewish institutions

There were threats to more Jewish Community Centers on Sunday.  One of the facilities targeted with a bomb threat today--a JCC in Rochester, New York--had received another threat this past Tuesday; threats were made on Tuesday to JCCs and other institutions in several states, including the Anti-Defamation League headquarters in Manhattan, and other ADL offices.

As CNN.com reports, today: "Other locations reporting similar threats [to that made against the Rochester JCC] included Indianapolis Jewish Community Center in Indiana; the Jewish Community Center of Greater Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada; and The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All reopened a few hours later without incident."  In addition: "The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston also received a bomb threat -- its second in three weeks, Executive Vice President Joel Dinkin said. The center, which received the threat via email, was not evacuated"

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/12/us/jcc-rochester-ny-bomb-threat/

Here is a report about Tuesday's threats:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/new-wave-bomb-threats-against-jewish-centers-hit-new-york-n730186

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The shootings in Kansas

The murder at a Kansas bar, last Wednesday night, of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian engineer who worked for the Garmin company, is a terrible and tragic story.

Mr. Kuchibhotla was killed, and an Indian friend from work, Alok Madasani, was injured, by a man who, witnesses say, yelled "get out of my country," before opening fire with a shotgun.

Mr. Madasani was released from the hospital on Thursday. Ian Grillot, a bystander who tried to intervene, that night, was also shot; he remains hospitalized.

Here is an editorial, from The New York Times, which appeared online yesterday, and in today's print edition of the paper:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/27/opinion/who-belongs-in-trumps-america.html

And here is a story from yesterday's Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/02/27/an-act-of-american-terror-in-trumps-heartland

Monday, February 27, 2017

Cemetery desecration in Philadelphia, and bomb threats

A week after more than 150 gravestones were vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri, 75-100 gravestones were found toppled, on Sunday, at a Jewish cemetery in Northeast Philadelphia.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Cops-Report-of-vandalism-at-Jewish-cemetery.html

And, on Monday, there were additional bomb threats directed at Jewish Community Centers--as well as Jewish day schools--in at least twelve states.  As the Anti-Defamation League notes, below, there have been, this year, approximately 90 bomb threats made to JCCs and other Jewish institutions.

http://www.adl.org/.../adl-issues-security-advisory-to..

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

President Trump, and the issue of anti-Semitism

At two press conferences, last week, President Trump gave peculiar, and troubling, responses to reporters' questions about anti-Semitism.

In the first instance, last Wednesday, Mr. Trump was asked about the recent rise in anti-Semitic acts in the country. The President discussed, initially (and oddly), his Electoral College victory. The next day, he berated an Orthodox Jewish reporter (for Ami, a Jewish magazine), who asked how Mr. Trump would address the recent anti-Semitic incidents (such as, bomb threats directed at dozens of Jewish Community Centers since the start of the year). Mr. Trump cut the reporter off, and proclaimed, angrily, that he was not an anti-Semite, or a racist--even though the reporter had made no such suggestion. Mr. Trump called the reporter's question "insulting."

Clearly, the President misunderstood the question--or simply didn't bother to listen to it carefully.

Yesterday--following eleven additional bomb threats directed at Jewish Community Centers, and after the vandalizing of a large number of headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri--the President addressed the issue of anti-Semitism directly.

From The Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/20/scores-of-headstones-vandalized-at-st-louis-jewish-cemetery-jewish-centers-threatened-across-country-as-jewish-centers-receive-threats-across-country/

And this story, from The New York Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/us/politics/trump-speaks-out-against-anti-semitism.html

Monday, February 20, 2017

New JFK stamp

The stamp was dedicated today, for Presidents Day.  This coming May will mark the 100th anniversary of Kennedy's birth.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/02/20/postal-service-dedicate-jfk-stamp-monday/tbe3EOzg2XKuRJtSieBXhK/story.html

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The cleric Omar Abdel-Rahman

A fine and informative piece, on CNN's website, about a very influential--and very bad--man. It is written by Peter Bergen, CNN's National Security Analyst.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/19/opinions/9-11-spiritual-guide-dies-bergen/index.html

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Former Governor Schwarzenegger responds to President Trump

Really enjoyed what former Governor Schwarzenegger said, in his video statement:

"Hey Donald, I have a great idea. Why don't we switch jobs? You take over TV because you're such an expert on ratings, and I take over your job and then people can finally sleep comfortably again."

http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/02/media/arnold--prayer-breakfast-response-donald-trump/index.html

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mary Tyler Moore

CBS-TV will be airing a special on Thursday (9-10 p.m., Eastern time), about the incomparable Mary Tyler Moore.

Here is a nice scene from The Dick Van Dyke Show, from 1961 (the show's first season).  It features Ms. Moore and Mr. Van Dyke singing and dancing to the song "You Wonderful You."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdefTKxQVrY

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

John Lewis

Does Donald Trump understand, at all--does he have an inkling of--what Congressman John Lewis, during his lifetime, has given to our country?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last speech

This is a video of the remarkable and powerful conclusion of the last speech given by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

His closing remarks--among his best-known--were hauntingly prescient.  He delivered the speech in Memphis, on the night of April 3, 1968; he was killed in Memphis the next day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcJWWBIro00