Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Humanitarian Assistance

Gilad Shalit banner
Quote of the Week: "There are 1.5 million people living in Gaza and ONLY ONE of them really needs humanitarian aid; ONLY ONE of them is locked in a tiny room and never sees the light of day; ONLY ONE of them is not allowed visits and is uncertain health. His name is GILAD SHALIT!" - author unknown - ONLY ONE of them is not able to have freedom!
                                          -From email from Steven Shamrak

Tomorrow, June 24, 2010 Gilad Shalit will have been held for 4 years since being kidnapped by terrorists from Gaza. He should be freed immediately. Assuming that he will not be freed by his captors, he should be given the minimal rights of a prisoner of war. He should be allowed visits and packages from the International Red Cross. Anything less is just inhumane treatment. Against any other soldier the world's response would be overwhelming condemnation but I guess Israelis are not human.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ever So Rare...

Ever so rare as a day in June
For then, if ever, did God make perfect days.
                                         -George Smith

Lunch with my good friend Dick.
A walk through the center of the city.
Coffee with Carol and Max.
Walking and more walking
On the bike path along the river.
A nearly cloudless sky,
Warmth from the sun,
Coolness of the breeze,
Murmuring of the river,
Sweet scents of late spring in the air.
O what a glorious day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Milton Friedman on Greed

I was sent the following video and I just thought that it is too good not to post. While I completely agree with Friedman that capitalism and free enterprise are truly the best means for advancing the welfare of society, he does not delve into the need for government oversight. We know that unsupervised greed can create tremendous havoc for our economy. Capitalists require restrictions so they do not go too far. We saw what unrestrained capitalism did with our last investment bubble. It nearly destroyed our way of life. We are still feeling the effects and will for some time. We are also seeing the effect of regulations not being enforced properly or the right regulations put in place in the fiasco going on in the Gulf of Mexico with British Petroleum.

Both of these events deserve a great deal more input than I am giving them here. I hope that you enjoy this video. The message is pertinent but only a portion of the story. Comments are always appreciated.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Right to Vote

With the low turnout in the South Dakota Republican Primary election and the similar turnout in the Sioux Falls City election in April, I am very concerned about the lack of voter interest. My parents and my education instilled in me a regard for citizenship. Our democracy is anchored on our citizens assuming their responsibility to make informed choices as to who should lead them.

The Right to Vote is not an ideal to be taken lightly. With this right goes a responsibility to use it and use it wisely. Originally in America, only white males who owned property were granted this right. With much struggle over the last 2 plus centuries, America enfranchised all citizens over the age of 18. Is it because everyone is eligible and it is so easy to register that so many of our citizens do not vote? If the ability to vote were taken away, would people finally realize its value? Or are we so apathetic toward our government at all levels that we just do not care? The knee-jerk response I receive when I ask why people do not vote is that most do not believe that voting makes any difference. I just will not accept that freedom and democracy are spectator sports. Voting is the minimum we must do to maintain our democracy.

I have a radical idea as a possible solution. Any registered voter who did not vote in the last 2 elections will be dropped from the roles of eligible voters for the same category. This sounds complicated but let me use the examples of the 2 elections previously mentioned to explain my proposal. If you did not vote in this last South Dakota Republican Primary or the prior one 2 years ago, you would be dropped as a registered Republican but not from the voter roles. If you did not vote in this year's Sioux Falls City election or last years, you would not be eligible to vote again in another city election. This proposal is drastic but I think it would get people’s attention. Actually, I would not be too harsh. If you did not vote in the last 2 elections, you could get back on the roles for the next one by going to the County Courthouse and re-registering to vote in the next election. I believe this to be a small but necessary inconvenience for those who want to maintain this basic right.

The Right to Vote is the cornerstone of our Freedom and the foundation of our country. My father told me when I was a youth that Freedom is not Free. Every citizen must do his or her part to insure that our government works. By people not voting, a minority of the electorate decides how we are to be governed. This is a travesty. I pray our citizens wake up and understand that they must play their part.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


On Sunday, Deb and I were driving back to Barry and Debby’s home from the Savannah airport having just dropped off Josh for his long trip home to Zurich. Our beautiful weekend of family getting together for Nathan’s Bar Mitzvah was slowly coming to a close. I do not know how we got on the subject of raising children. I don’t remember if Deb asked me about my philosophy (like I would have one) or what. We talked about parent’s difficulty in making the right decisions with children especially teenagers. As a parent, you want your kids to learn independence but how independent? When a situation arises, a parent does not have the luxury of saying let me think about that for awhile. I will get back to you. Usually, a decision is required immediately. Some parents are just lucky, I guess. I know that Carol and I have been. I know other parents and friends, who are fantastic people but struggled and still struggle with their children's problems.

Our discussion brings me to the point of this blog. Following our discussion, I reflected on how blessed Louis, of blessed memory, and Bernice are. What a fantastic weekend of such nachas for Bubi. She has so much to be thankful for. Look at Bubi and Zadi’s children and their spouses. Could one have asked for better spouses? Well, maybe they batted 75% because they got me in the mix. Their children’s successes are not bad but look at their grandchildren. Wow!! Absolutely, these kids (I use the term loosely.) are some of the brightest, most talented, intelligent and well-rounded that I know. I am prejudiced about David and Deborah but all of my nieces and nephews (including my Rosenthal niece and nephew who do not count as part of this group – sorry Jackie and Harry) are incredible people. A book could be written about all of them and what they have accomplished. Lastly, we come to the top for me, Carol’s and my grandson Drew. He may be only 4 but what a great child. As the ditty goes, “the seed does not fall far from the tree.” He fits with this family.

Well the Bar Mitzvah weekend was excellent. Nathan did an incredible job but what would you expect? It is in the genes. I am saddened that it all came to an end. The time I spent with family and friends was great. I know that I feel blessed but I am just a small part of the blessings that have befallen Louis and Bernice. I wish I understood what they did right because the results say that they did it exceedingly well. Thank you Bubi and Zadi.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Israel and Our Failure at Social Networking

I find this article on to be powerful. We in the Pro-Israel community have constantly been looking at ways to get our message out to the world. This article discusses how the "Peace Flotilla" used social networks that literally cost them nothing to win the public relations campaign in this battle with Israel. We need to study, understand and learn. We should be the best at this not our adversaries. Our adversaries mobilize loosely connected groups while we try to centralize our communication. We look to only convert the faithful while we also need the uncommitted. I believe that this article is a wake-up call. The article does not provide all of the answers nor all of the questions but we should use it as a starting point.

Please read the article, pass this blog or the article on to others and please comment if you would like.

How Free Explains Israel’s Flotilla FAIL