Is GOP Speaker Mike Johnson a Communist?, Verizon Ad Requires Time Machine, Willie Nelson Sings
Wonderful Willie Nelson ringing in my quite deaf ears, I have a couple of comments this morning. Haven’t seen the Golden Bachelor but right away I’m glad I don’t have to. Kareem, some women are able to amuse themselves alone, just as I assume men who are unattached are able to do. At 78 I’m focusing on myself and enjoying every moment. I have physical limitations but also needs and a wonderful “boy toy” of 60 who occasionally “keeps me satisfied.” The rest of my time is spent reading and writing and following political shenanigans--a full time job in itself. Speaking of which, I read that Mike Johnson doesn’t have any bank accounts??? And why did he and wife Kelly deem it necessary to scrub all their podcasts if their message is so righteous??? And as a very recent Granny, I feel compelled to do all I can to improve the amount of Peace and Love in our world.
I am 66 years old and live in the Big Apple. I am so appreciative of you, Kareem, for educating me with each of your newsletters, providing information that compels me to be a more critical thinker and also reminds me to continuously try to be a better version of myself. I thank your for my ongoing education.
I wanted to share 2 memories of growing up Jewish. I remember my father telling me that even though he grew up in Brooklyn, he was almost 16 years old before he realized that JewBastard was not one word. My mother and grandmother would speak to each other in Yiddish and Polish. I asked numerous times to learn the languages but it was forbidden since I was to not draw attention to my religion or ethnicity. My task was to assimilate. (My maternal grandma lived until age 90. Before she died she taught me how to say, "Go shit in the lake" in Poish. How fabulous is that? It always makes me smile),
The wisdom of your heart-mind today, Kareem, is more than equal to the inspirational athleticism of your youth. Keep the columns coming. They rekindle our faith. Thank you. Shalom. ❤️🙏
Great column, Kareem. Two things stand out. On ageism - it’s everywhere. I live in a senior retirement community- I am 77, and even here, there are people who think they are complimenting me when they say “ you don’t look that old.” I usually point to my face and say,” This is what 77 looks like.” I think I am beautiful with white hair, chubby cheeks, some wrinkles etc. Even more important, at 77 I am wiser, kinder, more forgiving, more tolerant, more informed and more generous than I have ever been before in my life. My body has failed me at times, I have metal/plastic joints, fake teeth, and other age-related indignities. Looking my age is exactly what I want, if that age comes with all the wisdom and kindness gained with each year. Thanks for your perspective on age.
On antisemitism, you hit the nail on the head. Thank you for pointing out how pervasive and illogical it is. Hate of any kind is irrational. Opposition to some things requires informed thinking and rational reasoning which is missing from antisemites, racists, homophobes, ageists, misogynists etc. Why can’t we just let others be who they are, without hate. Your turning the tables on violent haters is perfect. THEY are the terrorists and criminals. Their actions should not define whole groups of people. Unfortunately,when a Jews( or a Black, or a Gay) does something wrong, whole swaths of Jews, (Blacks, Gays) become targets for hate.
Thank you for raising your voice against hate.
Kareem, I find a connection in your “Antisemitism” and “Speaker Mike Johnson” stories. In the first, I’m frequently confused as to exactly what one is attacking: Jews (a people), Judaism (a religion) or their mere existence (racism). I believe antisemitism is rooted in one’s social pathology, and that we seek others with those embedded constructs. Then, there’s Mike Johnson, who deems himself a staunch Christian. In Christianity, Jews are the chosen people, so he “pretends” to provide Israeli funding, BUT KNOWING it’s DOA. Wink-Wink! However, that ?Christianity doesn’t extend to Ukraine! Nor Taiwan! Nor to our southern border (THEY “pretend” to care about)! On the other hand, many Christians blame Jews for the death of Christ, find slavery to be biblical, and most of us sit in segregated religious gatherings, on our day of worship. So, much of antisemitism, hate, and racism are rooted there, in Religious groups. The same beliefs and values where we find our refuge, seem to fall short in caring about all mankind.
The last shall be first. Willie. What a terrific way to end your writings with "You were Always on my Mind." True American icon. Now I'll hear it in my head the rest of the day and perhaps even sing it in my tattered coat or robe should I decide to get dressed.
My neighbors have a black and white hound dog named Lucky. She is about 9 months old and still a puppy. Whenever I see her all I have to say is "kiss" and she licks my cheek and rolls over on her back so I can give her belly rubs. The genuine love between dogs and their human friends is another way to keep that scrawny old scarecrow away from the door. And to see and hear the delight of a child meeting a new pup is so endearing. If we could all repeat this love and enthusiasm for our human earth inhabitants, we would all be better people and the world would be a happier place.
Another MJ in the news and not so good either. Not only does he come across as a total sell-out, but a frightening one as well. He and his wife are such religious fundamentalists, that their vision and understanding of others is completely obstructed by the blinders they have chosen to wear. And what? He's also a lawyer? Just wait for him to completely lose any control of the house that he never had. More complete idiocy from the GOP. Whatever could be next?
Your viewpoint of antisemitism is completely authentic and scathingly honest. People are lazy as it is easier to just go along with how and what they've been taught to think than to put in the hard work of learning and decluttering their minds. Hatred based on bogus beliefs. How do we eradicate it? Send all those people to reeducation camps? Deprogramming? An injection to alter the brain chemistry? I wish. Deepak Chopra wrote a book "Peace is the Way." I would add "Love is the Way." If only there was a magic button. I know. Drone shower.
Kareem. May your days be filled with contentment, peace and love. You have shown us the way. Always grateful.
The daily quote lands today. In my sixties and not yet old, but increasingly aware of this--the body nags, the young world starts to leave you behind in certain ways... Reminds me of something I heard Jeff Tweedy say in an interview with Marc Maron, about saying to yourself “maybe you need to start taking bigger bites”. Urging and allowing the soul to clap and sing more loudly as ones conveyance slowly becomes more tattered. Thanks, Kareem, for the encouraging start to my day!
Combining Descartes and the Golden Bachelor, with a piece on antisemitism, the lackey nature of the new speaker, a puppy video and a Willie Nelson song- Noel’s that’s done form of eclectic genius.
PS I don’t like the Verizon commercial either
I Just want to say thank you. Your posts help me understand the important, while not getting bogged down by the terrible. If ever there was a 360° view it is your writings. Thank you.
Two comments. On the Mind Body issue; I used to think we were together, a team. But now, the separation, which was probably always there, is almost complete. It is astounding and still surprising. I talk to my body and it doesn't hear. I implore it but no. It is just a collection of cells and chemicals that goes its own way. Comment two. You nailed anti-Semitism. What's sad, surprising (at least for me) and scary, is that I see no way to overcome it.
A few years back before 911, my friend and I stopped for coffee at a Starbucks in Kahului. The little man in front of me in line had a long gray braid and wore a blue bandana. I’m short and we stood about eye to eye. Yep. It was Willie Nelson buying coffee like any regular person. We chatted about Maui’s beauty and the joy of the slow life. I told him what a great songwriter he was and how I loved his music, especially “Crazy.” He wished us a lovely vacation as he left. We made our orders and got our cash out to pay. The barista said, “Mr. Nelson picked up your tab.”
Kareem, your presentation of the Yeats poem, and the content that followed, made me wistful. No life lasts forever, but I wish yours would. I get so much affirmation and pleasure and truth from your column. Thank you for clapping your hands and singing loudly to, and with, all of us.
And thank you for naming antisemitism. There is so much hate in the world right now. I think of the billions spent on weapons of war, in greed and fear, that could be spent on loving compassion. As a person of Jewish ancestry, my heart bleeds for those tortured and killed by Hamas and for Israelis who are in constant fear of being wiped out. As well, it bleeds for those oppressed and killed, in Gaza and elsewhere, over decades by an Israeli government descending into out-of-control violence in a vain effort to wipe away the fear of annihilation. It bleeds for the hatred invading our own country. One young Jewish student in the USA recently wrote that he was taught to never forget the Holocaust, and that this meant to him never to descend into the hatred that leads to oppression and genocide.
Thank you for writing about and speaking out on antisemitism. I'm an old Jew ( your age! ;>) ) originally from NY, and for the first time in my life I've felt concerned that I or my family could become a target.
It is hard to do what you did. But it is in keeping with the way you write generally - fearlessly, with nuance, with compassion, and with humility. It sometimes annoys me that you can have these characteristics as well as being among the greatest BBall players ever! But instead, I am just glad you're around. (FWIW, I've been a fan since you played for Milwaukee!)
When I was growing up in East Tennessee during the sixties, my mother became the area representative for the early Experiment in International Living. This meant I was exposed to people from all over the world of different faith and cultures from the age of seven. I never appreciated how progressive my parents were. They were essentially conservative Republicans at that time, but fully believed in treating all people equally with respect. The rise in intolerance, racism, and antisemitism despite all of the massive advances in the world over the past sixty years is so disheartening.
From the start (poem by Yates maybe my favorite poet ) to the end Willie Nelson another thoughtful column I think all the issues from the antisemitism to the GOP aversion to aid for Ukraine comes from many people just living and listening to an echo chamber where they are not exposed to different viewpoints This is already a big problem in trying to have a honest debate about issues and I fear will get worse
KA-J: AM commenting b4 I finish reading cuz in my "frail coat" yrs, I may forget... The Rod Stewart hit comes to mind; "...and YOU wear it well, a little old fashioned but that's okay."