Sign Of The Times

Everything is starting to close back up and require masks again due to the spreading Covid “Delta Variant.”

So much for having the masks off for a couple of weeks, which was at least a taste of fresh air and freedom. 

But backwards we go…

A sign of the times in Covid is to park your bicycle in front of the couch, so no one can actually sit down on it and spreads any germs. 

Any bets on what happens from here with all the variants and how this is gonna impact our daily lives for time to come? 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Let Freedom Ring

I saw this van with all this messaging about “Communist China.” 

Guy from the truck asks me:

Do you know what CCP is?

Not having heard that acronym, I started to mumble something about communism, and before I could finish, he goes:

It stands for Chinese Communist Party. 

He continued:

That’s dictatorship. Do you know what that is?

I responded:

Of course, and the people want to be free.

He goes:

Yes, freedom! We want freedom. 

It’s hard to believe that a generation ago the Cold War ended, but here we are still with people battling Communism and repression of basic rights. 

How lucky we are in America, Israel, and other western countries to live in freedom and have basic human rights. 

People around the world fight and die trying to earn their freedom, and we wake up with it every day, and it’s just there for us. 

It’s an incredible blessing to be free to think, speak, worship, and live how we choose.

We have to safeguard freedom and even fight for it: to have it, to keep it; and we should use it wisely to do and grow good in the world.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A Practical Approach to Peace in the Middle East

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called “A Practical Approach to Peace in the Middle East.”

The question then is why? What is so intractable about the Israel-Palestinian conflict that no one seems to be able to solve it and that it has become virtually the Holy Grail of world issues on which if only we could solve it then everything else would-be nirvana. The conflict has been blamed for everything from the endless Palestinian refugee situation to Soviet aggression and expansion during the Cold War, the oil embargo of 1973, the rise and proliferation of Islamic terrorism, and countless other of the world’s ills. Anyone who even contributes to Middle East Peace like Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat and Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat win the Noble Peace Prize, and that’s without there being a full and final solution!

I am certain that Israel’s willingness to negotiate and even to make painful compromises for peace has been far more prevalent, far-reaching, and consistent over time—whether in Oslo, Camp David, or Taba. In the meantime, Israel and the Palestinians continue to “take the risks” and remain in a perpetual state of sometimes active and more often passive war that is fought by Israel through military control and incremental settlement expansion and by the Palestinians through terrorism and their pursuit of the demographic population time bomb. When it comes to achieving peace, perhaps the wisdom of the ages applies here: “the short road is long”—there are no shortcuts to serious negotiation and compromise—and “the long road is short”—eventually, a solution for peace will be found even if for now it tragically and painfully evades us all.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Menachem Begin, Hero of Independence and Beyond

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Menachem Begin, Hero of Independence and Beyond.”

While David Ben-Gurion was the politically savvy founding father of the modern-day State of Israel, Menachem Begin was the military genius who brought the Jewish people from British subjugation to being a free people in our own land.

In the end, the Jewish people’s fight for freedom from oppression and for an independent homeland, even the willingness to accept a partitioned land along with the desire for peace, required both the political fight that Ben-Gurion brought to the world’s governments as well as the military struggle that Begin was expert at against both the British overlords who refused autonomy under the mandate and to the Arabs who refused partition. Further, this underscores the stark contrast between the Jewish struggle and that of the Palestinians who have incessantly rejected negotiation and any opportunities for autonomy and peace, including at Oslo, Camp David, and Taba, as well as after Israel’s full withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 that was followed by Hamas’s terror tunnels, kidnappings, incendiary balloons attacks, and rocket barrages on Israel civilian population centers.

(Credit Photo: Israel Government)

He Ain’t Heavy

Reminds me of the song:

“He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother!”

For some reason, I remember the children back in the day (I grew up at the height of the feminist movement) saying instead: “She’s my brother.”

I used to think what the heck did that mean?

20/20 hindsight, but I guess a spoof on gender roles already many moons ago. 

Now I hear identity as he, she, ze/zir.

Either way, the person ain’t heavy.  😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Heart Over Head

While many people may occasionally feel head over heels for something or someone, I liked this saying by Miska Ben-David:

The head will make its plans, but the heart will choose its own path.

In other words, we are often driven by our hearts over our heads!

Passion is a powerful motivator, indeed. 

When passion calls, do you go running too? 

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Evils of Sex Trafficking

USA Today article on Sex Trafficking:

– 4.8 million people: 3.8 Million adults + 1 million children! (and another 20 million people trafficked for slave labor)

– 99% female

– 70% Asia and Pacific, 4% in America

– $99 Billion in profits 

National Human Trafficking Hotline- Call: 1-888-373-7888

-Text: “BeFree” (233733)

– Chat: humantraffickinghotline.org
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sweet Little Bunny

Wow, what a sweet little bunny. 

Surprised s/he let me get so close without hopping away. 

The eyes seemed a little bugged out. 

Nothing to be afraid of little bunny. 

We’re not on the survival TV show Alone, so no one here is going to eat you. 

Run free and enjoy the garden little bunny. 

Life is good for you. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)