The Way It Iz

The OU Biennial Convention

On Sunday, The Orthodox Union held their biennial convention at the Young Israel of Woodmere. It...

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As fewer and fewer households have live television options these days, and as news is available to us instantly in our hands, one area of life that seems to be on the way out is the late local news. The best part of the late local news was always that puff piece that came on after the weather and the sports that usually put a smile on your face as you wrapped up your day - stories like “community comes together to support person facing a struggle” or “kid donates birthday money to fight cancer.” Those stories tended to be a nice balance to the probably terrible news from the beginning of the broadcast.

California has a tremendous homeless problem. Of course, it’s easy to blame the politicians in charge of the once-beautiful major cities on the West Coast, but there is another factor at play with California’s homeless population. After all, New York is widely governed by the same sort of politics, and while we here in the Empire State do have our fair share of homeless people, it pales in comparison to the Golden State. The variable? Weather. California has beautiful weather all year round, making the outdoors livable to the homeless. In New York, the bitter cold winters force the homeless to find shelter of some sort.

Ever since the death of George Floyd, major cities around the country have done everything in their power to strip police of their ability to keep the streets safe. Some removed qualified immunity, others chose to reallocate funding from the police force to social services, and still others just decided that people who were arrested need not stay in prison, by instituting the Orwellian-named “bail-reform.” Over the last two-plus years, we have seen a rapid decay in major cities, as homelessness and crime run roughshod over their streets, while district attorneys pat themselves on the back for being the driving force behind the transformations made under their watch. 

You may have heard about the two Congressional Representatives from New York who were violently attacked last week. Well, let’s rephrase that: You may have heard of one New York Congressional Representative who was violently attacked and another who claimed to have been violently attacked. Representative Lee Zeldin was attacked on stage while campaigning for New York governor by a man wearing what appeared to be sharpened brass knuckles, while Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was attacked by what appeared to be a sharpened tongue.

In the fall of 2016, the political ground shifted. Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. At the time, political commentators on both sides of the aisle predicted how that would affect the Republican Party for years to come. And for the most part, they were absolutely correct. Since Trump took office, the Republican Party more or less coalesced around Trumpism. Sure, there were some Republicans who distanced themselves and even publicly rebuked the President, but fast forward to today, and you can probably count on one hand how many of the Trump policies are not currently embraced by the Republican Party.