Time for Divorce: Jews and the Democratic Party

Last week I participated in an event about Jew and the Democratic Party. We essentially discussed why Jews vote the way they do. Here are some takeaways. Jews on not a one issue voter. However, some social issues are things that we tend to shy away from. Israel, unfortunately, is not the number one issue for many Jews. There will be another event locally, if you would like to create an event in your city please email me. Or, join the discussion here.

Sander Levin - What a Shame

“Currently, Iran is only two months away from the ability to produce enough material for one nuclear weapon.  The restrictions in the Agreement provide the world with a year to respond if Iran broke out of the Agreement and moved toward acquiring the material for a bomb."

This was an excerpt from his announcement where Mr. Sander Levin came out in favor of the Iranian deal. Lest anyone accuse me of not reading and only listening to Fox News, I have read the bill, the entire long horrible bill. I actually was hoping that it would be better than I thought. In fact it is way worse. Let us dissect the one statement from the Congressman from above. I am not a mathematician, but let us try and do some basics.

The US Congress has 60 days to approve this "bill" (Should be a treaty) or disapprove. The President will veto and Congress hopefully can override. It is safe to assume that Iran will not stop producing bomb capabilities in the short term.

Assuming the treaty goes thought under the bill, Iran gets ~$100-150 billion upfront, unfrozen assets. Now, worse case scenario, Iran cheats. The Iran bill specifically gives 30-45 days for dispute resolution where you cannot snap back sanction.

Let's add in a couple of weeks for general bureaucracy and we are now 4-5 months.  I am not mathematician, but this means that Iran can keep producing its material and cheat immediately and walk away with a lot of money, power and weapons.

Mr. Levin, please reconsider.

Stop the Rape of Women

This morning on my way to work I was listening to an interview with Senator Debbie Stabenow. Now in most cases I disagree with her on many policies. However, this morning she was talking about federal monies for blight reduction. She pointed out that the money is used to tear abandoned houses and crack houses down and therefore increasing property taxes. It also helps prevent girls from being pulled in these houses and "assaulted".

Now, I know this is a small thing and this is truly not to pick on the Senator. Her point is lost when she uses the word assaulted. She should have said, these houses need to be torn down because it is used to take girls and rape them. By getting rid of blight we are helping to stop one avenue of rape. From a public policy standpoint, words are really powerful.

Earlier this week, two planned parenthood videos came out. Even those of us who are generally pro-choice, had trouble watching the videos. The words that the women on the video used were so matter of fact and terrible. Killing the fetus in a certain way to harvest the parts that they want to sell. This most probably will lead to de-funding on some level of the organization.

Words in public policy debates need to be used carefully. Blight is a multi-faceted issue that has severe consequences that many times include rape, drugs and murder. Words do matter.

The South-Will they Bern it up! Or be a hillbilly?

With the 2016 presidential primary candidates and getting their feet under them and talking points in front of them many have already began discussing how the states will shape out. At this point it's hard to put a finger on a front runner in the Republican primary as they are still in a identity crisis after the worst case scenario second term came to fruition from President Bush that still has Republicans on a National level looking for their way out of that shadow. That leaves us to the Democrats then. Maybe I'm underestimating Governor O'Malley of Maryland and Vice President Biden but it looks to be a two-person race Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The consensus early on is as in 2008 that Hillary would win easily and focus on the general, prepping to take the presidency. Well it didn't turn out that way and Sanders camp is hoping lightning will strike twice on the Clinton machine. Though major networks are focusing on each candidate stomping across Iowa and the Midwest,a different region may well be the pivotal battleground arena for Sanders and Clinton. Now that u have you wondering, let me confuse you, it's the south. Yes the states that have been red as Elmo's fur beginning the mid 1960's, could very well have a major impact on the democratic nomination. In 2008 Clinton did not fair well against then Senator Obama. Some might brush it to the demographics and excitement but that is far from the major issue at hand. The problem with Clinton was her inability to emotionally connect with the southern democrat voters. In a earlier post I dedicated an article to the South and how emotionalism controls southern politics. Hillary must tap in to the hearts of these voters if she expects to get the support. They want to know with her as President she will give them, their family and community a better shot at getting ahead and catching their American Dream. They are tired of being last and inky being spoken of when something negative comes about. They are more than that and she needs to let them know she will work to bring the Souths' economy to the 21st century and give the next generation a better opportunity at succeeding.

So if Clinton does or does not do that, what about Bernie? Bernie needs to continue his stump-speech style with his unpolished ad lobs to succeed with southerners. Mentioning his Vermont residents and the difference in how he listens to his constituents and their concerns unlike some larger state politicians that many southern said cannot connect with. When it comes to issues, Sanders should hone in on his strongest card, inequality. If any region understands the battle, the uphill struggle, the triumph, the very fabric of inequality, it is the south. If Sanders can articulate his vision and message about inequalities he could wake up a sleeping giant in the south who may aspire to become the new example of equality in economics and other issues with Bernie as the leader. Like Pres. Bill Clinton said twenty-plus years ago, "it's the economy stupid." That will be both candidates best option regarding the south in the primaries. The last question is will they be one of the candidates to turn the red ocean with a blue wave or will the south leave the democrats again in the general election running to the republicans they know will break their heart once again but like a hopeless romantic the south will always believe them when they say it will be different this time.

So will the south Bern it up or take on the 2016 election as hillbilly. Among voters who keep up with the election weekly,(more than the typical voter) will likely vote for Bernie, but the average voter who some to little attention to the primary will more than likely vote for Hillary. The reason for my theory is on pure name recognition. Hillary us a safe bet for the average voter and honestly for the democrats who solely care about winning the election in November. Bernie though I'd the exciting non-traditional choice who gas best along to the sound of his own drum for over twenty years. If you don't follow along that closely, you probably won't know Sanders or what he stands for. We will see how it will all turn out...until then good luck Hil, good luck Bernie, let's get it on.

Elections Have Consequences

Today President Barack Obama announced the Iranian deal to curb that countries nuclear enrichment. Yes, curb, not stop, curb. No real conditions, no unconditional checks on any facility including military. No release of hostages, no cessation of terrorism sponsorship. Let us not forget the 100 Billion in unfrozen assets.

None of this is surprise to anyone. Many people are upset and rightfully so with Obama, yet, many of them are the same people who voted for him -- Twice. He had said he was willing to negotiate with anyone anytime. Well, this is what we have. Many people have said to me, hey, it doesn't really matter Republican vs. Democrat, they both suck. The truth is, they don't. There are good Democratic folks running and in politics, but Barack Obama is not one of them. A Republican would absolutely have been better.

And here we are six and a half years later. Nearly everyone is seeing how bad this foreign policy is, yet, will they vote differently in the next election.

Please keep in mind that elections do have consequences. Deadly serious consequences.

Is it OK to Disagree?

I think it is safe to say that my last post has generated quite a lot of feedback and response from random strangers, friends and very close family. Many really disagree with me. Let me try and take a few minutes to unpack a few more thoughts and respond to a few points.

First, when dealing with diverse cases peoples emotions get played with. Everyone has some real personal experience that shapes their opinions. I shared mine to show people where my opinion was coming from. There is no doubt that people who went through divorce, or abuse will have an absolutely different opinion than me. I thank the people who were able to share their opinions without demonizing me.

One of the things I try to do is find areas of agreement and have civil discussions about very controversial topics. Let me say that after reading all the responses, I would like to change one particular point that seemed to really bother some. While I can understand why the Judge placed the children into juvenile detention, the point would have probably been better made placing them in foster care. With that being said, I don't think anyone would have been less outraged.

Some points that I really do not agree with:

Many people mentioned that the children should have the right to decide if they want to see their father. No they don't. A nine year old does not have the capacity or the legal right to make that decision. The court should and did step in.

The father should just let the kids go and not fight the mother. I am not sure that this works either. Is a "stable" environment with one parent better than the "unstable" of both fighting for the child?

If this case were switched with children not wanting to see their mother, would peoples opinion change?

Before we go on and on about this case, let's take a minute to stop with knee jerk reactions. It is ok to agree with the Judge and it is certainly ok to disagree as well. It is not ok to question people parenting since they take the opposite position.

Keep the Kids Locked Up

There is a local case about three children who are currently being held in juvenile detention. They are being held there since Judge Gorcyca called it the most awful case of parent alienation she has ever seen. Most people are horrified by the fact that they are sitting in a detention center. I must say that it doesn't really bother me. As I explain myself, understand that this following story still brings tears to my eyes as I type.

Growing up my best friend lived across the street. He, his father and I would go fishing and go on short trips. My friend and I would play basketball and just be kids. His parents were divorced and the times between his visits would grow more infrequent. His mother had moved out of state years before and eventually stopped sending him on his scheduled visits altogether. His father would book the plane tickets, and the mother would not send him. My neighbors father would fight in court to see him regularly with no success. Eventually my friend asked to stop seeing his father and the court accepted. He was about 13 years old when the court allowed him to make that decision.

When I was 18 my friend's father and I flew to Baltimore in order to see his son graduate high school. After not seeing or speaking his father in almost six year his father sheepishly asked his son if he could give him a hug. He said yes. He gave him a hug and that was nearly 20 years ago.

I know that most people have never seen a broken individual. Have never experienced the pain of losing a child. My neighbor lost his child and there was nothing the court would do.

Many people I am sure will disagree with me, but know that what Judge Gorcyca did was extreme, was necessary. For too long courts have refused to ensure that in parent alienation cases, the kids are forced to see the alienated parents. We are not talking about abuse cases, we are talking about vindictive parents who use their kids against another. I sincerely hope that everyone takes my story to heart and looks at this case with open eyes.

The Middle has left the Democratic Party

Over and over my friends mention things like; if Ronald Reagan were alive today, he couldn't win the nomination. Or, if Ike or Nixon..... I get the feeling that they believe the Republican Party is so out of touch that some of the icons of the Party could not get elected. I never respond to them since, it is not true in most cases. Has my party moved to the right, Yes. But, for the most part I believe the question is brought up by so many Democrats because when they look in the mirror, they realize that increasingly their party has left them.

People make fun of the fact that there are so many Republican candidates running for President. And, it is amusing how many people have thrown their hat into the ring. People seem to forget that there are about 4-5 Democrats vying for the nomination of their party as well. The most moderate and qualified candidate doesn't have a snowballs chance of winning. Jim Webb, who is by far one of the best candidates; maybe in both parties will probably lose to socialist Bernie Sanders.

My question for people who vote for the Democratic Party; don't you think it is time to re-evaluate?

Major League Baseball and the breakdown of society

I am going to have a short rant here. I went to a Detroit Tigers baseball game. Growing up in Detroit, it was and always will be my favorite sport and team. Not being that old there are certain things that make you feel old. For example, when I was a kid, the ushers would stop you from going to your seat until a half inning break. These days, not only do they not stop you but people constantly are getting up from and going to their seats. It is the height of rudeness. Someone spends $30 on a night out and can't actually see the game. It is a symptom of the selfishness that is starting to define our culture.