Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Author Unknown)

Who Knew?

At the 2014 Oscars, they celebrated the 75th anniversary of the release of the “Wizard of Oz” by having Pink sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, with highlights from the film in the background. But what few people realized, while listening to that incredible performer singing that unforgettable song is that the music is deeply embedded in the Jewish experience.

It is no accident, for example, that the greatest Christmas songs of all time were written by Jews. For example, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was written by Johnny Marks and “White Christmas” was penned by a Jewish liturgical singer’s (cantor) son, Irving Berlin.

But perhaps the most poignant song emerging out of the mass exodus from Europe was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. The lyrics were written by Yip Harburg.

He was the youngest of four children born to Russian Jewish immigrants. His real name was Isidore Hochberg and he grew up in a Yiddish speaking, Orthodox Jewish home in New York. The music was written by Harold Arlen, a cantor’s son. His real name was Hyman Arluck and his parents were from Lithuania. Together, Hochberg and Arluck wrote “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, which was voted the 20th century’s number one song by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

In writing it, the two men reached deep into their immigrant Jewish consciousness - framed by the pogroms of the past and the Holocaust about to happen - and wrote an unforgettable melody set to near prophetic words. Read the lyrics in their Jewish context and suddenly the words are no longer about wizards and Oz, but about Jewish survival:
Somewhere over the rainbow Way up high, There’s a land that I heard of Once in a lullaby. Somewhere over the rainbow Skies are blue, And the dreams that you dare to dream Really do come true. Someday I’ll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far Behind me. Where troubles melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops that’s where you’ll find me. Somewhere over the rainbow Bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow. Why then, oh why can’t I? If happy little bluebirds fly Beyond the rainbow Why, oh why can’t I?

The Jews of Europe could not fly. They could not escape beyond the rainbow. Harburg was almost prescient when he talked about wanting to fly like a bluebird away from the “chimney tops”. In the post-Auschwitz era, chimney tops have taken on a whole different meaning than the one they had at the beginning of 1939.

Pink’s mom is Judith Kugel. She’s Jewish of Lithuanian background. As Pink was belting the Harburg/Arlen song from the stage at the Academy Awards, I wasn’t thinking about the movie. I was thinking about Europe’s lost Jews and the immigrants to America.

I was then struck by the irony that for two thousand years the land that the Jews heard of “once in a lullaby” was not America, but Israel. The remarkable thing would be that less than ten years after “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was first published, the exile was over and the State of Israel was reborn. Perhaps the “dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Who was the first president of the United States?

Who Was The First President?

I suspect George Washington was your first guess.

After all, who else comes to mind?

But think back to your history books - The United States declared its
independence in 1776, yet George Washington did not take Office until
April 30, 1789.

So who was running the country during these initial years of our young
country? It was the first eight U. S. Presidents. In fact, the first
President of the United States was one John Hanson. I can hear you now -
John who? John Hanson, was the first President of the United States.

John Hanson, first President of the United States.

Check Google for more detailed information. There was also a U.S. stamp
made in his honor.

The new country was actually formed on March 1, 1781 with the adoption
of The Articles of Confederation. This document was actually proposed on
June 11, 1776, but not agreed upon by Congress until November 15, 1777.
Maryland refused to sign this document until Virginia and New York ceded
their western lands (Maryland was afraid that these states would gain too

much power in the new government from such large amounts of land).

Once the signing took place in 1781, a President was needed to run the
country. John Hanson was chosen unanimously by Congress (which included
George Washington). In fact, all the other potential candidates refused
to run against him, as he was a major player in the revolution and an
extremely influential member of Congress.

As the first President, Hanson had quite the shoes to fill. No one had
ever been President and the role was poorly defined. His actions in
office would set precedent for all future Presidents. He took office
just as the Revolutionary War ended. Almost immediately, the troops
demanded to be paid. As would be expected after any long war, there were
no funds to meet the salaries. As a result, the soldiers threatened to
overthrow the new government and put Washington on the throne as a monarch.

All the members of Congress ran for their lives, leaving Hanson as the
only guy left running the government. He somehow managed to calm the
troops down and hold the country together. If he had failed, the
government would have fallen almost immediately and everyone would have
been bowing to King Washington.

Hanson, as President, ordered all foreign troops off American soil, as
well as the removal of all foreign flags. This was quite the feat,
considering the fact that so many European countries had a stake in the
United States since the days following Columbus.

Hanson established the Great Seal of the United States, which all
Presidents have since been required to use on all official documents.
President Hanson also established the first Treasury Department, the
first Secretary of War, and the first Foreign Affairs Department.

Lastly, he declared that the fourth Thursday of every November was to be
Thanksgiving Day, which is still true today.

The Articles of Confederation only allowed a President to serve a one
year term during any three year period, so Hanson actually accomplished
quite a bit in such little time. Seven other presidents were elected
after him:

1. John Hanson
2. Elias Boudinot (1782-83),
3. Thomas Mifflin (1783-84),
4. Richard Henry Lee (1784-85),
5. John Hancock (1785-86),

6. Nathan Gorman (1786-87),
7. Arthur St. Clair (1787-88), and
8. Cyrus Griffin (1788-89),

...all prior to George Washington taking office.

So what happened? Why don't we hear about the first eight presidents?
It's quite simple - The Articles of Confederation didn't work well. The
individual states had too much power and nothing could be agreed upon. A
new doctrine needed to be written - something we know as the> Constitution.

And that leads us to the end of our story.
George Washington definitely was not the first President of the United
States. He was the first President of the United States under the
Constitution we follow today.

And the first eight Presidents have been forgotten in history.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Deal with Iran

I get a lot of terrific commentary from JJ Surbeck and the San Diego Team Organization.  However, what interests me the most  are his "takes" on the subject matter in the articles he is forwarding.  I find them to be as illuminating and interesting as the articles he is sending to his recipients.  This is an example of his commentary on the agreement with Iran, announced yesterday:

"Many people around the world were hoping against all evidence that sanity and simple courage would prevail in Geneva, but who were we kidding? Can a leopard shed its spots? Kerry got the deal that Obama wanted him to ram through, and that’s what happened, most regrettably. It’s too early to know where the French were this time around, but it appears that they chose to keep quiet. So now we have agreed to the deal the Iranians wanted more so than the one Obama should have wanted. The conjunction between the two sides is more than suspicious. Who is Obama supposed to represent? The Iranians or the west? Forgive me for being confused here. Iran is not trustworthy, and yet the Obama administration treats it as if it was as reliable as Denmark, Switzerland, Canada or Australia, all countries that we know we can trust to honor their promises and commitments. Not Iran. Iran cannot be trusted, and yet Obama makes a fool’s deal with them. There are not enough words to describe this historically colossal mistake: stupidity, arrogance, hubris, short-sightedness, criminal negligence, or is it complicity, which would be even worse. At any rate, history will now judge, but for now Israeli leaders are the first ones to express in various degree their dismay, shock and disgust. I am as disgusted as they are. An attack appears now to be the only certainty left. It’s not if any more, but when. Nice job, Mr. President. Well done, Mr. Secretary of State."

Sunday, October 27, 2013



Bob: "Did you hear about the Obama administration scandal? ,
Jim: "You mean the Mexican gun running?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean SEAL Team 6?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the State Dept. lying about Benghazi?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean voter fraud?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the military not getting their votes counted?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean that 3 or 4 of Obama's GAY friends were mysteriously MURDERED when they came forward with claims he was gay too?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the of drones in our own country without the benefit of the law?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Giving 123 Technologies $300 Million and right after it declared bankruptcy and was sold to the Chinese?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the president arming the Muslim Brotherhood?"

Bob: "No the other one:.
Jim: "The IRS targeting conservatives?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The DOJ spying on the press?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Sebelius shaking down health insurance executives?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Giving SOLYNDRA $500 MILLION DOLLARS and 3 months later they declared bankruptcy and then the Chinese bought it?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's ordering the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants from jails and prisons, and falsely blaming the sequester?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's threat to impose gun control by Executive Order in order to bypass Congress?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's repeated violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February?"

Bob: "No, the other one.
Jim: "The 2012 vote where 115% of all registered voters in some counties voted 100% for Obama?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent the Senate's advise-and-consent role?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The State Department interfering with an Inspector General investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Clinton, the IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "I give up! ... Oh wait, I think I got it! You mean that 65 million low-information voters who don't pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in American history?"


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Obamacare--a Hackers Dream Come True

This has nothing to do with how one feels about the Health Care Act, but I have heard this on radio and now on the internet and it is something to be aware of.  Not because of the plan but because there are unethical people out there just waiting to take people to the cleaners. Most of us are beyond the need to worry about it but our kids and grands aren't.  Just a word to the wise.  Be sure that you are dealing with the government website.

Subject: FW: McAfee anti-virus on Obama Care
 McAfee anti-virus on Obama Care

John McAfee, founder of anti-virus company McAfee, Inc, on the ObamaCare exchanges:  

On Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto”on Wednesday, computer programmer and founder of McAfee, Inc. John McAfee said the online component of Obamacare “is a hacker’s dream” that will cause “the loss of income for the millions of Americans who are going to lose their identities.” For starters, McAfee said the way it is set up makes it possible for fake websites be set up to fool people to think they’re signing up for Obamacare.

“It’s seriously bad,” McAfee said. “Somebody made a grave error, not in designing the program but in simply implementing the web aspect of it.
  I mean, for example, anybody can put up a web page and claim to be a broker for this system. There is no central place where I can go and say, ‘OK, here are all the legitimate brokers, the examiners for all of the states and pick and choose one.’” “Instead, any hacker can put a website up, make it look extremely competitive, and because of the nature of the system — and this is health care, after all — they can ask you the most intimate questions, and you’re freely going to answer them,” he continued. “What’s my Social Security number? My birth date? What are my health issues?”  
According to McAfee, there’s not a quick fix — and as long as it set up this way, it could be a playground for computer hackers. “Here’s the problem: It’s not something software can solve,” McAfee continued.
 “I mean, what idiot put this system out there and did not create a central depository? There should be one website, run by the government, you go to that website and then you can click on all of the agencies. This is insane. So, I will predict that the loss of income for the millions of Americans who are going to lose their identities — I mean, you can imagine some retired lady in Utah, who has $75,000 dollars in the bank, saving her whole life, having it wiped out in one day because she signed up for Obamacare. And believe me, this is going to happen millions of times. This is a hacker’s dream. I mean I cannot believe that they did this.” 

So, instead of redistributing wealth from the middle class to welfare deadbeats, ObamaCare will redistribute that wealth to Internet thieves.
you visualize the mob of fleeced ObamaCare customers forming from coast to coast? Now might be a good time to invest in tar, torches, feathers, and
pitchforks to sell to the mad as hell people on the march who won't take it anymore. 

Hope & Change, baby,