Early this year, a Report was issued by the White House Council on Women and Girls with the startling finding that one in five of our nation’s female students have been sexually assaulted. Since that time, this oft-repeated statistic has been called everything from “appalling” and “tragic” to “overblown” and “inaccurate.” Wherever an individual falls on that continuum of reactions, I think all would agree that even one incidence of sexual assault is too many.
While the wizards of new technology wax lyrically about the wonders of technological development, there is another side, one often overlooked in the avalanche of new products. Clearly computers have changed our lives, opened new horizons of learning and have abbreviated research efforts, but there are hidden societal costs that are unnoticed or intentionally ignored.
Yesterday, President Obama posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, a Black Mississippian and two white New Yorkers, murdered fifty years ago, working to register Blacks to vote in Mississippi. They were among many who lost their lives in that struggle.
There’s no denying the heat of resentment that prodded America’s colonial rebellion to its ultimate break with British rule and the formation of a new system of governance, controlled and administered by an elected body of its citizens. In retrospect, though, with the passage of several centuries for calmer contemplation, this should not condemn every aspect of the British system to infamy and avoidance. In fact, a thorough study of our current system of governance shows it lacking a mode of service, not completely available within our three traditional branches of government, into which it’s divided. Closer scrutiny in fact reveals a glaring need for its addition. A management branch could re-revolutionize our current system of three governmental branches, all of which are held hostage to the insidious influence of a continuous cycle of elective politics.
Many years ago, during my first year of rabbinical school, I co-hosted an ill fated holiday variety show with a fellow student, in which we made fools of ourselves. Our performance was so poorly received that, when it ended, I took cover behind my wife in our Manhattan apartment, convinced my humiliation would destroy me and my future career. A couple of hours after the show ended and I had begun my descent into wounded self pity, someone knocked tentatively on our apartment door. “I don’t want to see anyone“, I hissed at her as I ran into our bedroom. I heard her open the door, then a moment later she walked in to tell me that a friend of mine was standing outside.
From the time of its purported discovery, this land’s status as a welcome destination for immigrants has been clouded in controversy. Its discovery, so-called, was preceded by a century and a half of episodic probes by Norsemen, in open boats, who leap-frog-ed down the Greenland coast leaving outposts of free-spirited Vikings, to warrant what their curiosity had found but their ancestral natures had left un-peopled.
November 24, 2014, looms as a strategic date in world history. At that time, a deadline for a deal with Iran will be reached. And, even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, among others, has said “no deal is better than a bad deal,” it appears as if President Obama’s team and the so-called P5+1 group — the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, and China, plus Germany – are seeking any deal rather than no deal.