I don’t remember a seven-day period like the time since last Saturday. That’s when I woke up, turned on the TV, and saw what was happening in Pittsburgh. I got very angry and couldn’t stand to hear anything about it after two hours.
It took until Wednesday for the anger to turn to sadness. I had my class and other chores to keep me occupied, along with a lot of sleep. (I can never get enough of that.)
Only Thursday, did I watch a local newscast. I haven’t seen national news or cable in a week. I mostly got information from your comments and posts on Facebook. I know it’s not good, but I have reliable friends whose politics I know.
Last time, I mentioned my family in Squirrel Hill, how I’d been there several times, and showed you a tweet about my cousin Jordan (my father’s sister’s son) who helped provide grief counseling and relief.
Here he was on Tuesday, talking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper:
Later, he wrote,
“Such a horrible few days here. At least the media is giving us an opportunity to talk about the important work that JFCS does to help the community recover.”
Terrific job by Jordan and also the media.
So we don’t forget, the victims were
Joyce Fienberg, 75;
Richard Gottfried, 65;
Rose Mallinger, 97;
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66;
Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and his brother
David Rosenthal, 54;
Bernice Simon, 84, and her husband
Sylvan Simon, 87, who were married in the same synagogue in 1956;
Daniel Stein, 71;
Melvin Wax, 88; and
Irving Younger, 69.
JFCS’ website says you can support the injured victims of terror and loved ones of the deceased. Click here to help by credit card or mail a check, payable to Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh – Fund for Victims of Terror, to:
Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
234 McKee Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
You can also write an online letter to the bereaved and injured families. The letter you submit will be compiled in books and shared with each family.
I’m going to continue what I started in my last post, which is letting you, and the thoughts you posted, help me share my feelings.
Friends were gung-ho over Pittsburgh’s sports teams stepping up immediately to offer their condolences, and even change their logos!
Oct. 30: Pittsburgh sports and community unity
Monday morning, I didn’t want to watch news from Pittsburgh. I got up earlier than usual and turned on a show I never do: one I figured would focus on politics alone. And they did. And it reconfirmed why I don’t watch.
I’ve grown up hearing, â€œBe safe on the campaign trailâ€ â€“ and generic stuff like that, which anyone should agree on â€“ but nothing that would cause a viewer to think a supposed journalist has an opinion on a candidate for any office.
About Lou Dobbs: First, he puts his positions in the ring and openly takes sides. Second, I normally wouldn’t ask, but after what you just read and heard, are there any psychologists or psychiatrists â€“ professional or amateur â€“ who want to give opinions in the comments section at the bottom?
Oct. 25: Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs peddles conspiracy theory about suspicious packages
Oct. 28: Lou Dobbs is too extreme even for Fox Business News
Oct. 29: Fox bans Lou Dobbs’ guest over George Soros conspiracy theory
Nov. 1: Lou Dobbs laughs at Fox’s effort to restrain anti-Semitism on his show
I should say I’m not for anyone deciding they want to enter this country whenever and wherever they want. Every country needs secure borders, and not like the Communists kept people in. These people from Central America, who I showed Paul Krugman calling â€œunarmed desperate migrantsâ€ last time, are apparently walking all the way through Mexico â€“ bottom to top â€“ set on entering the U.S. I donâ€™t know who they are; just supposedly where they’re from.
But I would suggest â€œreal refugeesâ€ would go anywhere they could go if they were so desperate. I have relatives I never got to meet who would’ve done that, just less than 80 years ago. There are other countries around, and groups trying to make a point do not seem legitimate to me.
Individuals hoping to apply for asylum may not be doing themselves a favor by being part of that.
Oct. 29: Asylum seekers v. Trump
Speaking of watching who you’re seen with:
Feb. 6: Could this long-lost photo have derailed Obama’s 2008 campaign? (Photographer Askia Muhammad kept the 2005 photo for himself for 13 years. The image might have fueled the Obama/Muslim narrative, but we know he went to church and listened to Rev. Jeremiah â€œG-d damn Americaâ€ Wright for 20 years.)
Feb. 13: Keith Ellison says he attended Iranian president’s dinner to advocate for captive American
June 13: Chicago Dyke March returns after clash last year became international news (The alternative to the Chicago Pride Parade announces its solidarity with Palestine after a controversy broke out involving pro-Israel marchers in 2017. Separately, Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal emailed me after I thanked him for the part of his Oct. 11 column I underlined below. I mentioned the progressive movement turning so anti-Israel.
â€œYou’ve mentioned your progressive grandmother took you to rallies when you were younger. Times are different, but I wonder what she would think these days.â€
He responded, â€œItâ€™s a frustrating point for me.â€)
Aug. 6: Cory Booker outs himself as a political lightweight
Sept. 10: Alan Dershowitz: Why did Bill Clinton share the stage with Louis Farrakhan? (At Aretha Franklin’s funeral, along with Jesse â€œHymietownâ€ Jackson and MSNBC’s Al â€œdiamond dealersâ€ Sharpton. Rev. Sharpton used that phrase about Jews in his eulogy of Gavin Cato, 7, killed in the 1991 Crown Heights car accident. He also said, â€œIt’s an accident to allow an apartheid ambulance service in the middle of Crown Heights.â€ A banner displayed at the funeral read â€œHitler did not do the job.â€ Riots followed and may have been the reason Rudy Giuliani beat Mayor David Dinkins in his bid for reelection. Giuliani said,
â€œYou can use whatever word you want, but in fact for three days people were beaten up, people were sent to the hospital because they were Jewish. There’s no question that not enough was done about it by the city of New York. One definition of pogrom is violence where the state doesn’t do enough to prevent it.â€
According to Wikipedia,
“Use of the word was rejected by Dinkins and his supporters, primarily on the basis that a pogrom needs to be state-sponsored.”
Brandeis University historian Edward S. Shapiro later called the riot â€œthe most serious anti-Semitic incident in American history.â€ Unfortunately, it seems that has now changed.)
In my last post, I described Linda Sarsour as someone â€œwho comes as close to being the devil as any American.â€ It was to show how the Democratic Party is quickly turning to the left (I believe too far) and how current officeholders aren’t counseling Democratic candidates on the fringe about the issues. I used two senators as examples of being used by her supporters.
That and extreme left-wingers under her spell reminded me of the phrase “useful idiot,” which has often been attributed to Vladimir Lenin, but may not be the case.
Now, she’s â€œsending love to our Jewish family,â€ according to her tweet. An organization â€œdevoted to promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle Eastâ€ criticized a left-wing Israeli paper for reporting â€œreactions from high profile Israelis with a quote from â€˜American Palestinian Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour.â€™â€
“Haaretz‘s inexplicable inclusion of Sarsour’s condemnation of the synagogue massacre alongside those of Israeli leaders is puzzling. Moreover, the paper’s failure to note Sarsour’s bear hug of (Louis) Farrakhan, the pied-piper of hate, is downright reprehensible, and gives a false hechsher (kosher stamp) to a purveyor of anti-Semitism.”
These tweets are still up:
But this tweet, published by Haaretz and reprinted in this article, was taken down for some reason. Your guess is as good as mine.
But earlier in the month, Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour launches racial attack against ‘white woman’ Susan Collins. The Washington Times reported Sarsour called Collins
“guilty of espousing ‘white supremacy’ with her decision to support the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”
This all reminded me of an article from March, 2017: Should We Remember Linda Sarsour for Good? In it, read all about her up to that time including
â€œsupporting BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) and tweeting that â€˜nothing is creepier than Zionism.â€™ Unsurprisingly, she supports a one-state solution: all Palestine, no Israel.â€
The point of the article was that
â€œWhen a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis was vandalized, Sarsour spearheaded a crowdfunding campaign with other Muslim activists to repair the damage. More than $125,000 was raised â€“ more than necessary for the project â€“ and Sarsour committed to donating the excess funds to other Jewish sites damaged by vandalism. Sarsour said that the project was intended â€˜send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America.â€™â€
But at the same time, Sarsour
â€œdeclared that feminism and Zionism are incompatible.
â€œâ€˜You either stand up for the rights of all women, including Palestinians, or none. Thereâ€™s just no way around it,â€™ Sarsour said in an interview with The Nation.
â€œThis came as quite a surprise to thousands of Zionist feminists. (And, of course, Sarsour singles out the country in the Middle East that has female ministers of Parliament, equal rights and reproductive rights, rather than any countries where â€˜honor killingsâ€™ are overlooked, rape victims are executed for â€˜adultery,â€™ and women canâ€™t go out unsupervised or drive, but whatever.)â€
The author compared Sarsour to a character in the Purim holiday story who switched sides, from evil to supportive, because he was an opportunist rather than an altruistic ally.
â€œWe remember Charbonah for good because he actually switched sides. Even if it was self-serving, he came around. â€¦ Sarsour, on the other hand, is still the same. Iâ€™ll publicly thank her for fundraising to repair the desecrated cemetery â€“ even if it was a PR stunt, it was a good thing to do.â€
But she doesnâ€™t get remembered the same way because she stayed the same person.
A few months later, the same author wrote an article in the same publication called Protest, But Protest Wisely. Sarsour played a minor role in that.
â€œMusician Courtney Love Cobain was in a Twitter war with Muslim activist Linda Sarsour, saying that Sarsour had raised $80,000 for the victim of an alleged Islamophobic attack that had been proven never to have occurred. According to Cobain, Sarsour had jumped all over a convenient hot-button cause, bringing her followers along for the ride, facts be damned. (The parallels to Reverend Al Sharpton and the Tawana Brawley case are evident.)â€
You can see whatâ€™s planned in this flyer. Look specifically at this:
In fact, Michiganâ€™s August primary had her tweeting up a storm.
Then, thereâ€™s Temple University Prof. Marc Lamont Hill, whoâ€™s also a CNN political commentator. He wrote an Oct. 30 article, The Pittsburgh Temple Shooting Was Terrorism. Hereâ€™s How We Can Heal.
But he also wrote on May 17, 7 Myths About The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
(â€œ4. Palestinians keep turning down fair deals: This argument wrongly presumes that any deal that includes the sharing of stolen land with the victims of said theft could be fair. â€¦
6. Israel has a right to exist! (His exclamation point.) This claim is a product of U.S. and Israeli hasbara, a term for propaganda.â€)
And he tweeted out this:
But he also tweeted out and/or is featured in these:
(Thatâ€™s Students for Justice in Palestine.)
What are we to think with such mixed signals?
There are journalists (or journalists-in-training) who donâ€™t know how to cover a tragic situation. Take Royce Jones of WTRF in West Virginia, not too far from Pittsburgh, and the two tweets he posted.
FTVLiveâ€™s Scott Jones did a story on the first one, and I tweeted back to young Royce, with tips.
Then, I saw picture number two, let him know what I thought, and he blocked me from his professional Twitter account!
But I got in the last words about being a journalist, asking questions, accepting responsibility and learning.
But he just started Aug. 31, according to his â€œofficialâ€ Twitter feed. I know because he calls it @RoyceJOfficial.
Heâ€™s expecting to graduate from college sometime in 2020. That’s a long time away. More than a year. It shows. He has a lot to learn, like not blocking people with experience from encouraging and teaching him.
For now, he reminds of the person who wrote to the WCYB Facebook page while I was digital media manager and asked:
Just donâ€™t go to his website. Thereâ€™s something wrong, and it looks like itâ€™s coming from the Far East.
Iâ€™m going to offer you links to other pertinent articles Iâ€™ve been collecting since even before that dreadful day, for an election post. Hopefully youâ€™ll find an article or two that speak to you. Some have themes I discussed in the last post. Some are news and some are opinion.
Please donâ€™t blame the messenger if thereâ€™s something you donâ€™t like. Just let me know if you see something you think needs to be corrected IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW. (In fact, if you saw this on social media or someone sent it you, PLEASE subscribe to the blog. I always update posts in the comment section â€“ check around! â€“ and I’m the only one commenting there.)
Aug. 26: America Soured on My Multiracial Family (When my wife and I adopted our daughter from Ethiopia in 2010, we did so full of hope. In the years since, weâ€™ve faced ugliness that has robbed us of our optimismâ€”and left us fearful for the future of our country.)
Sept. 5: I survived the Warsaw ghetto. Here are the lessons Iâ€™d like to pass on
Sept. 7: Farrakhan demeans Aretha’s gospel of respect (includes leaders of the Womenâ€™s March, including Linda Sarsour)
Oct. 15: Little Partisan Agreement on the Pressing Problems Facing the U.S.
Oct. 20: Early voting hints at huge turnout
Oct. 21: The â€œfake newsâ€ fix
Oct. 23: Millions Have Voted Early in the Midterms. Hereâ€™s What That Means â€” and What It Doesnâ€™t.
Oct. 23: Voter registration increases rare for Pa. midterms and show voter excitement, experts say
Oct. 23: ‘We’re going to have a big turnout’: Pa. absentee ballots spike for midterm election
Oct. 23: Politically Uncorrected: The New Normal in Politics (about Pennsylvania and President Trump)
Oct. 25: The connection between hateful rhetoric and terrorizing acts is glaringly obvious, but some refuse to see it (Nothing could be clearer than â€œthe Trump effectâ€ but the hyperpartisan reaction muddies the water.)
Oct. 25: (VIDEO) The Republicans just admitted it: They want to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to fund MORE tax cuts for the wealthy.
Oct. 25: Newt Gingrich says media has â€œearnedâ€ the label â€œenemy of the peopleâ€
Oct. 26: Facebook removes accounts tied to Iran for disinformation
Oct. 27 was last Saturdayâ€™s murders
Oct. 27: Shaking My Faith in America (NY Times opinion piece by Howard Fineman, NBC News analyst and journalism lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, who grew up attending Pittsburghâ€™s Tree of Life synagogue.)
Oct. 28: Muslim Groups Raise Thousands For Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Victims (Letâ€™s hope these are genuinely good people and not like Linda Sarsour.)
Oct. 28: Trumpâ€™s Attacks on the News Media Are Working (The journalism industry wasnâ€™t built to withstand the torrent of unsubstantiated claims coming from @realDonaldTrump and elsewhere.)
Oct. 28: Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media canâ€™t escape responsibility
Oct. 29: On a very dark day, KDKA-TV news shined with its coverage (Notice the headline didn’t say it was better than the other two local news stations. The newspaper may have gotten details because it has a partnership with this station. Still, itâ€™s a very good look at how TV news works. I should point out Pittsburgh is the largest TV market where the Fox affiliate, which happens to be owned by Sinclair, doesnâ€™t produce its own news. Instead, it carries a 10pm newscast produced by the competition. Also notice how the most reliable people have been at this station â€“ or any other â€“ for many years and have the best sources. They should be respected and valued as they age, and not get pushed out the door by cheapskate companies.)
Oct. 29: A Sad Saturday, Helped by Solid TV Journalism
Oct. 29: On Social Media, No Answers for Hate (Despite efforts against hateful and false content, those posts and videos are thriving. One Instagram search produced nearly 12,000 posts with the hashtag â€œ#jewsdid911.â€)
Oct. 29: Believing â€œAll Jews Should Dieâ€
Oct. 29: Rep. Steve King: Members of Nazi-linked party in Austria â€˜would be Republicansâ€™ if they were in US
Oct. 29: Voter suppression is a crucial story in America, but broadcast news mostly shrugs (With midterm elections next week, the networks remain obsessed with disasters â€” and all things Trump.)
Oct. 29: Eleven martyrs – What now?
Oct. 30: How to Fight Anti-Semitism (Anti-Semitism is part of an age-old hatred of the Jewish people, not merely a byproduct of Israeli policy.)
Oct. 30: N.J. Holocaust survivor: I worry Kristallnacht could happen again (Fred Behrendâ€™s father was among 30,000 Jews arrested for transport to concentration camps.)
Oct. 30: ADL letter against Rep. Steve King
Oct. 30: After Pittsburgh, We Need a Coalition of Conscience
Oct. 30: The ones who didn’t hate
Oct. 30: The media battle over radicalization
Oct. 30: Anger At Media Spreads Into Local TV (While President Donald Trumpâ€™s attacks on the media are usually centered on national outlets like CNN and The New York Times, the attitudes unleashed have filtered down to journalists on the street covering news in local communities across the country.)
Oct. 30: Paul Ryan: Trump â€œcannot end birthright citizenshipâ€ with executive order
Oct. 31: Trump doubles down on terminating birthright citizenship
Oct. 31: The split decision over the past week
Oct. 31: Pittsburgh, and the nation, mourn
Oct. 31: How a lie about George Soros and the migrant caravan multiplied online
Oct. 31: Hillary Clinton joke saying that Black folks â€˜all look alikeâ€™ falls flat
Oct. 31: Why Mike Pence’s prayer with ‘Christian’ Rabbi Loren Jacobs was so insulting to Jews
Oct. 31: â€˜Itâ€™s disturbingâ€™: Fox News anchor slams Trumpâ€™s anti-media rhetoric (Martha MacCallum says itâ€™s wrong for the president to label journalists â€˜the enemy of the peopleâ€™)
Nov. 1: Eleven empty chairs
Nov. 1: American Jewryâ€™s false prophets
Nov. 1: Jews in Pennsylvania Take Up Arms After Pittsburgh Attack
Nov. 1: Trump says supporters demand his red-hot rhetoric
Nov. 1: Rep. Steve King erupts at comparison to Pittsburgh suspect: â€˜Do not associate me with that shooterâ€™
Nov. 1: Parallel Universe: Fake (migrant invasion) news
Nov. 2: Israeli Cabinet Minister Challenges Propaganda on Trump and Anti-Semitism
Nov. 2: â€œLeft-wing Jews blaming Trump for synagogue massacre are dishonoring the deadâ€
Nov. 2: Where early voting has exceeded 2014 totals
Nov. 2: Michael Cohen: Trump said â€˜black people are too stupid to vote for meâ€™
Nov. 2: FNCâ€™s Ainsley Earhardt Gets Heat for Comment On Trump And Press (The supposed journalist said President Trump is suggesting, if the press doesnâ€™t want to be called an enemy of the people, it should report the news the way he wants it. Yeah, politicians editing the news, rather than journalists keeping tabs on the politicians!)
Nov. 2: Ana Navarro Finally Named â€˜The Viewâ€™ Friday Co-Host (Or, as one network put it: â€œABC Newsâ€™ The View added CNNâ€™s anti-Trump conservative Ana Navarro as a regular guest host on Fridays when moderator Whoopi Goldberg is given the day off.â€)
Nov. 3: Here’s what Trump can expect if the Democrats take the House (Most pollsters expect the US House of Representatives to slip out of Republican control with the election of a new Democratic majority, while the Senate, they say, will remain in the GOPâ€™s hands.)
Nov. 3: What I’m watching on Tuesday
Nov. 3: Crystal ball watch
Nov. 3: How to watch election night: The Axios 8
Nov. 3: Where the money is going
Nov. 3: The gender gap in 2018
Nov. 3: Don’t give up on millennial voters just yet
Nov. 3: Corporate America leans GOP in 2018 midterms
Nov. 3: The no-lose scenario for stocks
There are other links in my last post.
Iâ€™d be remiss if I didnâ€™t show you yet another email I got Friday afternoon, thinking Iâ€™m a Florida voter and telling me â€œHow to vote for Florida’s Jewish community.â€ That was the subject line, and Florida’s Jewish community should be insulted this â€œgoody two shoesâ€ thinks he knows better than everyone else. How about a debate? I wrote about this less than a month ago and canâ€™t stand people telling me how to vote, especially if itâ€™s in their own special, narrow interests.
It looks to me heâ€™s getting desperate, because besides rejecting free public school, heâ€™s not sticking to his issue. He wrote less about the cost of education, more about foreign affairs, and for the first time, the stateâ€™s economy!
He ought to be happy the governor, who he wants to be senator, â€œordered enhanced security for religious institutions and additional security funding for Jewish day schools in the wake ofâ€ Pittsburgh. Donâ€™t you think?
Yes, these are tough political times and would be even if the Pittsburgh massacre hadnâ€™t happened. People are finding out what their supposed â€œfriendsâ€ really think and are dropping them from Facebook. It especially hit home when friends of mine, who donâ€™t even know each other, got personal over I post Iâ€™d written. In one case, I had to delete some uncalled for remarks on both sides.
But even I got a little touchy and had a moment I felt I had to apologize to a stranger on a mutual friendâ€™s post, about a Florida synagogueâ€™s invitation to a gubernatorial candidate. (So glad I donâ€™t have to decide down there!)
That was on Oct. 26. I underlined what had set me off, and added that last article link days later. In fact, I linked to it in last week’s post.
So maybe a kinder, gentler Lenny will come out of all this, or maybe not. Always gotta learn and improve, but stay true to myself.
I’ll end by reminding you to “fall back” this weekend (turn the clocks you still control back an hour), but we can’t afford to fall back to old times — whether in this country or elsewhere — anymore.
- The media: Certainty imperfect, definitely necessary and trying Feb. 3, 2017
- What is conscience? Elusive in the media, unfortunately Nov. 9, 2017
- Sinclair, Tribune TV stations combined: Why itâ€™s not a done deal yet Feb. 28, 2018
- WSVN without Fox? It’s possible if… March 1, 2018
- Flakes and facts, lots on my mind March 7, 2018
- Call to action: Help stop Sinclair from taking over Tribune March 11, 2018
- My urge: Follow your conscience, despite the cost April 4, 2018
- You may be right but don’t let some on the left know (and vice versa)! July 15, 2018
- More moderation in politics, not so in casting calls July 17, 2018
- Sinclair sinks, Trump’s temper, Cox’s cash value July 27, 2018
- Tribune to Sinclair: Judge’s gavel instead of merger’s handshake Aug. 9, 2018
- Sanctions against Sinclair? Sounds justified Aug. 16, 2018
- Ron DeSantis didn’t learn from Roseanne Barr Aug. 29, 2018
- Labor Day weekend leftovers Sept. 3, 2018
- Eric Trump and his shekels Sept. 14, 2018
- Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, justice and becoming a Justice Sept. 23, 2018
- News starting out good but going downhill fast Oct. 2, 2018
- The case against us all paying for private schools Oct. 10, 2018
- Political pondering, 3 weeks before Election Day Oct. 16, 2018
- Thinking about teacher’s child porn trouble and my old school’s website Oct. 20, 2018
- Not a good day for political thoughts, the USA as a whole Oct. 28, 2018
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