I’ve known I had another blog post “due” before the election, if you know how I think, but too much on my mind and so much going on ― personally and in the news ― to actually do it.
After this morning’s attack in a Pittsburgh neighborhood where I have family and have been to several times, I did some reading and a lot of soul-searching before starting to write. I’m hoping others who I trust and posted thoughts will unknowingly help a lot.
Like many similar to me, I pretty much grew up supporting Democrats. Jews coming from overseas had no money and learned all about sacrificing for their children. That became a tradition. However, I give my mother a lot of credit for saying she never voted for Jimmy Carter.
â€œThe â€˜gameâ€™ of politics is no fun anymore. Discussing anything having to do with it used to be educating and entertaining, and sometimes enlightening, among friends and on social media. Not anymore. These days, itâ€™s all for the kill.â€
I ended it with two famous old sayings:
â€œIf you are not a liberal at 25, you have no heart. If you are not a conservative at 35 you have no brain.â€
â€œJews earn likeÂ Episcopalians, and vote likeÂ Puerto Ricans.â€
So letâ€™s start this with someone who was able to sum up the past two days.
I dare any of you to try to be much moreÂ succinct than that.
Iâ€™ve considered myself a moderate for a long time, but may have been a bit more to the right lately. The reason is Democrats moving further to the left. Itâ€™s because theyâ€™re nominating young people who donâ€™t know the history of this country and canâ€™t explain international events. Then, there are those with experience who donâ€™t have the guts to educate primary winners, but go ahead and pose in pictures like these.
I mean, with all the people Elizabeth Warren couldâ€™ve rallied with against now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh? And Sen. Booker should learn to read.
Also see 1. â€œMinnesota Congresswoman Slammed for Calling Israel â€˜Apartheidâ€™.â€
2. â€œIsrael endangered by Democrat D.C. takeover, foreign ministry official warns.â€
3. â€œPlease, pro-Israel Democrats: Rescue your party.â€
And don’t missÂ how political polarization is driven by small, loud, hyper-active groups ofÂ white voters.
It makes me very angry theyâ€™ve made fools of themselves posing with people who hijacked causes, and I honestly wish didnâ€™t exist. Forgive me. I felt their stupidity would cause moderates to vote for Republicans in the upcoming midterms. Thatâ€™s still to be seen, but maybe today changed that.
I got up late and turned on the TV. I saw what was going on, made sure the family was OK, and posted these messages. I looked for the first graphic based on what I saw on TV.
The second was after hearing the quote attributed to the suspect.
You see my thoughts on both. Later, I compared the rest of the presidentâ€™s day to an event from 46 years ago that too few people either knew or remembered. It has to do with caring and honoring victims.
Honestly, it seems the world doesnâ€™t care when it comes to Jewish victims. The president didnâ€™t go to Pittsburgh. Instead, he went to political rallies and got people all riled up.
This is what a CNN producer reported tonight.
And this is what that type ofÂ rhetoric can do in the middle of an average weekday, this week, when a reporter was about to go live on the air about the mail bombs.
Yes, the mail bomb suspect went to my high school, several years before me.
But back to the main story, this is what aÂ staff editor and writer with The New York Times opinion department wrote about her hometown.
Apparently Mr. Fred Rogers, who preached to children about being a good neighbor, lived just three blocks away.
The president said armed security wouldâ€™ve helped today. I donâ€™t know how many American congregations of any faith have that, except possibly synagogues during the High Holidays.Â Maybe the president was just bringing up a political talking point.
(Thereâ€™s also a new article,Â â€œPittsburgh shooting may be â€˜turning pointâ€™ for US Jewish security, says European leader.â€ It quotesÂ a former president of a group of Belgian Jewish communities as saying relatively lax security at American synagogues â€œsimultaneously impressed and worried me,â€ andÂ â€œIn Europe, the prospect of deadly expressions of anti-Semitism is a part of life that we grow up with.â€)
We are â€œchosenâ€ when it comes to extra security expenses, even at cemeteries, all over the world. Just do a search if you donâ€™t believe that. Unfortunately, youâ€™ll often find somebody did something within a week.
Of course, Ivanka Trump became Jewish. She and husband Jared Kushner have two sons and a daughter. Does her synagogue have armed security (and Iâ€™m talking about before they moved down to Washington, and when nobody from the family is there, nor anyone else requiring special protection)?Â By the way, I donâ€™t think Mr. Trump went to either of his grandsonsâ€™ brises.
Here is another take on armed security, plus the video.
Iâ€™d never heard of writer Judd Legum before doing research tonight, but heâ€™d already done his research â€“ posting several tweets, today alone, about President Trump and Jewish people. This should all be hard to believe, especially since the president has a Jewish daughter and grandchildren, and has been part of the New York real estate market for most of his life.
Youâ€™ll find his Twitter posts at @JuddLegum. I suggest you click and read, and predict you probably knew about several of these incidents and forgot several others. Also, I just subscribed to his new website, Popular Information. He calls it â€œNews and perspective for people who give a damnâ€ and I think itâ€™s worth a look. (Iâ€™ve always believed in hearing both sides from believers, even if I disagree. Helps me understand the issue better.)
I will point out this one tweet out of many, and it happened this past week.
Notice, in it, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy goes after three people, and all are Jewish. (OK, one is half.) Coincidence?
According to JTA,
â€œThe Republican congressman from California tweeted a video of himself making the comments on Tuesday and temporarily pinned it to the top of his feed before deleting the Twitter post entirely.â€
Then, thereâ€™s the Pennsylvania governorâ€™s race coming up. This is from the incumbent, who is running for reelection.
His opponent put out two tweets since the tragedy. This one was posted at 1209pm…
and this one came one minute later.
Not once did he mention the victims were Jews, or that the victims were targeted for that reason. He didnâ€™t call it what it was.Â Think itâ€™s an important part of the story that a politician should mention?
But CNBCâ€™s John Harwood reminds us not to forget Scott Wagner’s judgment and thoughts of violence when it came to this TV ad, earlier this month. Like we would, since we already posted it!Â Wagner canâ€™t blame anybody but himself, since nobody else appeared.
â€œWell, Governor Wolf. Let me tell you what. Between now and Nov. 6, you better put a catcherâ€™s mask on your face, because Iâ€™m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes.â€
And this is Wagner responding to his comments without apologizing (â€œI shouldnâ€™t have said what I saidâ€).
Another gem you can watchÂ in that post isÂ White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee SandersÂ making the claim,
â€œThe president in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence.â€
PolitiFact gave her a â€˜falseâ€™ for her June 29, 2017 remarks.
And speaking of remarks:
You see what Louis Farrakhan posted on Oct. 16. Itâ€™s even a subject in my own congressional districtâ€™s race. (Pennsylvania just redistricted because of a gerrymandering lawsuit. The Democratic incumbent has represented a lot of suburbanites, but the district has become more urban and his support for Israel has diminished.)
These are also clips from recent Farrakhan speeches.
They and many more of the ministerâ€™s comments are up on Twitter, which just admitted it didnâ€™t follow its own safety guidelines when the mail bomb suspectâ€™s tweets were reported to the company, weeks ago!
And less than two months ago, I showed how Mark Zuckerberg, himself Jewish, would allow Holocaust-denial on Facebook.
Zuckerberg apparently doesnâ€™t realize hate groups start their anti-Semitic talking points by saying the Holocaust never happened.
He clarified with,
â€œI personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didnâ€™t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.â€ Then, he â€œreiterated a distinction he tried to draw in the interview: Posts that advocate violence will be taken down, but those that peddle misinformation will stay but â€˜would lose the vast majority of its distribution in News Feed.â€™â€
Thanks a lot! But who knows how many times the Facebook algorithm changed since then?
AndÂ I wouldâ€™ve hopedÂ Sheryl Sandberg, who grew up in North Miami Beach, whose brother David was my high school class valedictorian, wouldâ€™ve set him straight.
Maybe Facebook will do better here:Â â€œFacebook Election â€˜War Roomâ€™ Targets Fake Info.â€
So after today, what do I think and who am who am I going to vote for? The voting part is easy where I live. Iâ€™m happy I donâ€™t have to make a decision in the Florida governorâ€™s race.
As for my thoughts, weâ€™ll have to see. I donâ€™t like either political party, nor how candidates have to choose between the two, or switch to have a better shot at winning or getting a leadership position. Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter switched twice! People say theyâ€™ll never vote for a Democrat, or never vote for a Republican. Theyâ€™re short-sighted because there are good and bad in both.
I stopped supporting HIAS (the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, but you wonâ€™t find that name on its homepage!) when it started trying to help everyone in the world, including many I believe have alternatives to coming to the U.S. (I mean, there are other countries, several good ones besides the others.)
I think every country has the right to defensible borders and can decide who gets in. Threat to life or threat of extreme persecution are two good reasons. I know a group practically nobody let in, 80 years ago, and we know how that ended.
But I wonder why so many Jewish groups feel the need to help when there are so many other issues going on here and in Israel. Why donâ€™t they concentrate on feeding the hungry? Itâ€™s the conflict between liberalism (political correctness) and Judaism. Even Conservative synagogues (not politically conservative, but with a capital C) are adopting families new to the U.S. You can be a good neighbor without going overboard and probably alienating others.
Other groups that raise money to help elderly Jews in Russia should be trying to get them to Israel instead.
I don’t know Bianna Golodrygaâ€™s circumstances, but her websiteÂ doesnâ€™t seem to have been updated in more than two years (except her current jobs in a logo at the top), and CBSâ€™ says sheâ€™s fluent in Russian but her hometown is Houston.
Today was a real eye-opener.
Here are some articles I skimmed through and found interesting, and personally think are worth another look:
â€œWill Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Be A Wakeup Call For Jews Who Enable Trump?â€
From earlier this year,Â â€œWhite Nationalism Is Spreading In The Orthodox Communityâ€
â€œThe Real Rift: How the Left Is Driving Liberal Jews Away From Israelâ€
Feel free to comment in the section below.
Perhaps I should watch less cable news, even though I don’t watch a lot. Maybe even loosen my ties to social media. I’ve found myself reading interesting articles, some even sent to me by friends who knew Id be interested. But I’ve also had success calling out some people commenting on friends sites, occasionally just for the fun!
Just like in the upcoming election, its about acting on something and changing behavior, rather than just waiting and seeing.
P.S. Speaking of changing behavior, why this Dallas sportscaster and commentator is voting for the first time in 46 years!
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