Castro and My Cold War Childhood

most people were happy to see the Berlin Wall come down. The so-called “free world” dramatically expanded.

Envisioning The American Dream

mad-magazine-castro-jfk My cold war childhood filled with cold war warriors could easily have turned hot if not for MAD… oh, and our nuclear policy of Mutually Assured Destruction too. Mad Magazine covers (L) Fidel Castro October 1963 (R) JFK October 1961

Though a half a century apart, November now marks the death of two Cold War icons.

Just four days after the anniversary of the assassination of President John Kennedy, his nemesis Cuba’s Communist leader Fidel Castro has died at age 90.

Both loomed large in my cold war childhood.

Fidel Castro cover Life Magazine Any Communist foothold in our Hemisphere seemed an affront. Life Magazine June 2, 1961 Fidel Castro

It is hard to imagine today the dark shadow cast by Castro extended all the way to a suburban N.Y. child.

That the fear of communism represented by the bearded bombastic Fidel Castro on a small island 90 miles from Florida could so menace an…

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Lazy Journalism

Read the article from the Guardian contained in this one. Pseudo-journalism without any facts . Fine line between pure fiction and fantasy.

IRRUSSIANALITY

One of my main gripes with Russia-bashing journalists is the apparent laziness of much of their output. There are lots of stories which could legitimately be used to paint Russia in a bad light (I’ll discuss one of those later this week). But instead of doing the hard work of investigatory journalism, they instead propose radical ideas based on wild speculation. In this way, their work comes to resemble the ‘Russian propaganda’ they so like to despise.

Take, for instance, the latest Guardian article by Luke Harding. This contains a veritable smorgasbord of allegations which are not only unsubstantiated but also quite extreme.

First, Harding lists a whole load of things that ‘Putin wants’, which may indeed be what Putin wants, but then again may not be, as Harding doesn’t tell us how he knows what Putin is privately thinking. Next, having mentioned that Western countries have sanctioned various members…

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14 Ways to Cope with Anxiety

“The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.” Omar Bradley

Coffee Shop Rabbi

Image: Art by PeteLinforth via pixabay.com. Public domain.

I have family, friends and students who call and text me:

  • “Rabbi, I haven’t slept a full night since the election.”
  • “I am overwhelmed with anxiety. I can’t function.”
  • “Ruth, every day I shake and then break down in tears.”
  • “I looked on Facebook and then I threw up.”
  • “I have no idea how I am going to get through the next four years.”

I hear you. I hear your fears, and I hear your paralysis in anxiety. This post is my way of giving some rabbinical-friendly-motherly advice.

If you were not a fan of Donald Trump, you’ve had a bad shock. News reports from respectable sources led us to believe that Hillary Clinton would win the election. They were wrong: she won the popular vote, but Trump won the electoral vote, and that’s the one that counts. So you were misled, and you were…

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A Citizen of the World writes to America

You are giving the world a show better than any drama. For those in mourning you have two weeks to do so. President-elect Donald Trump is the winner.

He was picked apart by mainstream media in a way unbecoming of a democracy. While the media, all of it owned by a few moguls, were tearing him apart people began listening to him.

President-elect Trump talked about many domestic issues most did not get to hear or read. Mainstream media, did not want you to know about those issues, since they directly affect you and the right to have a happy life.

The big corporate media, in fact began to make up stories, rather than report news to you. In all my years as a journalist I was beginning to find it difficult to separate fact from fiction. It was as though the United States of America was having its first Presidential Election. Thankfully I do not own a television. Bless you for putting up with a very long advertising blitz.

It was indeed an extraordinary action for the media to twist the facts and bring the elected President of the Russian Federation into your election. President Putin is rather busy lifting the people of Russia out of poverty by creating avenues for them to do so. He is doing what we expect our elected leaders to do by prioritizing issues at home first. How did a simple Russian military drill make headlines as an invasion by the media?

As a friend outside your country, looking in, it appeared as though your life was being invaded by the media. We know these dangerous and misleading media headlines are the same ones who pushed you into invading Iraq. They love to see you at war invading countries who never did you any wrongs. Today as a result of their war loving ways you are involved in the atrocities being committed in the middle-east. We know the media earn billions with their lies by leaving out the facts and related evidence.

President-elect Trump talked about getting rid of or re-negotiating some trade agreements such as NAFTA and the TPP. Those agreements destroyed good paying jobs and products baring the words Made in America. I sincerely hope he can tap into your cherished gift of creativity. Let us rid ourselves of the old ways by looking into a future as one planet in an immense universe.

Russia and many other nations want you as a friend and trading partner. Trillions of dollars have and are being spent on a single-minded corporate military industry. The result is a loss of faith in people, democracy, leaders, a Creator and the right to live in peace.

The years of being in a race, nation against nation, are behind us. Getting to first is for a great baseball, basketball or hockey game. There are millions of good paying jobs available in a new industry where we clean up the pollution leftover from the past. Let us toast to a glass of fresh clean drinking water. Let your spirit and mind create domestic businesses and industries for a brighter and cleaner world.

I know the people of America and you have the spirit within you. We, the citizens of the world, would be grateful to have you look at our similarities.

Having had the honor of meeting him and listening to him I believe he represents the best of America.

neilarmstrong-1sm

“That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong 1930-2012

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American Hate: It’s Time to Speak Up

Clean up the Internet by abandoning the haters to live their miserable lives alone.

Coffee Shop Rabbi

Image: Storm clouds gather over a landscape. Photo by Unsplash at pixabay.com.

Friends, I want to make you aware of something happening right now in the United States. This is something that transcends politics; whether you voted Trump or Clinton or 3rd Party or not at all, it concerns all Americans of good will.

More than 800 journalists have received hate mail and/or death threats via Twitter and other social media outlets over the past year, and the pace has escalated since the election. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report:

The top 10 most targeted journalists – all of whom are Jewish – received 83 percent of those 19,253 tweets. The top 10 includes conservative columnist Ben Shapiro, Tablet’s Yair Rosenberg, the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg and The New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman, and CNN’s Sally Kohn and Jake Tapper.

More than 2/3 of these tweets were sent by only 1200…

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