For any cynical people who have lost their faith in humanity for one bad reason or another, please take note of the following. The values and teachings of the members of the Jewish faith and culture have it right. Within that community exists an honesty and neighborly love for one another that warrants admiration and emulation. This has always been true, but recently I have found reason to strongly confirm my belief.
Recently, my adult son lost his wallet in front of the 7-Eleven store on Main Street near Jewel Avenue. It had $400 inside, a Pennsylvania driver license, and bank cards. My son was so upset that he started to physically feel sick. He first thought that he had left the wallet on the counter at the 7-Eleven. The manager of that store very happily allowed us to review the security video tape of the moment my son was there. It showed that my son had actually put his wallet in his pocket when he left the store. So, he must have dropped it outside. The next day, two messengers from heaven knocked on our door at home. A very distinguished man and his charming daughter had come to visit. It was Dr. Mordechai Striks, a local real estate agent from Astor Brokerage on Main Street, and his young adult daughter Aviva.
Aviva had found the wallet and went through extraordinary measures to find the actual current address of where my son lives to return his wallet with all of its contents. This act of honesty and righteousness is a wonderful testament to the true teachings of Judaism. I feel that I might have done the same; but now, my son and I are sure that we would.
Thank you with profound love, from a Puerto Rican family,
Roberto Marrero & son, R. Jason Marrero
I’m ready to admit that I’m an addict, but please don’t call the police. I’m addicted to Netflix, and no, I didn’t steal your password. (I don’t even know mine.) I find Netflix relaxing and educational. Thanks to all the Israeli shows that I’ve watched, my Hebrew has improved from first grade level to third grade level. You can ask me any question about the British monarchy (1952-1988), thanks in large part to having viewed The Crown twice. Suits has taught me about becoming a fake lawyer and about Meghan Markle’s pre-Harry days. Having viewed Shtisel three times, I’ve learned to never smoke. My only regret is never having subscribed to HBO and not being able to discuss Game of Thrones or Succession.
“Where is this going?” you might ask. Due to my personal situation, I’ve limited my TV viewing to the news and documentaries. I found the news bland and boring. After all, how many times can you watch Joe Biden repeat himself? As a result, I turned to Netflix to watch The Hoarders. If you want to get depressed, this is the show for you. It focuses on an individual or couple who come from a red-neck small town generally located in Iowa or Alabama. The homeowner is greeted by a psychologist who deals with the person very gently, asking her/him when they started hoarding and why they are hoarding. The camera pans rooms that are unidentifiable because of the mounds of trash, bags, clothes, bugs, and other detritus. What is significant is that in almost every case these people had kept a clean and tidy home until some tragic incident (generally, a parent’s passing) upended their lives.
The first seven episodes seemed repetitive, and I was going to stop watching the show but decided to view the eighth episode. This turned out to be a sign from heaven. Instead of a small town in Georgia, this episode took place in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. It centered around a 68-year-old woman named Debbie who couldn’t part with her 100+ pairs of shoes and other assorted items (thousands of them). Why did this hit me so hard? I am also a woman named Debbie who is 68 years old and comes from McKeesport, Pennsylvania. My house seems pristine until I think about my shoes, the electric room (only the fuses know what’s there), my garage, my broom closet (100 Aron’s bags but no broom) and my junk drawer. The junk drawer contains 20 AA batteries but no AAA or D batteries that I need. There are also light bulbs from old, discarded chandeliers. Of course, there are numerous screwdrivers, but no Allen wrench, which I thought you only need for a sukkah.
The lesson I want to impart to all of you is “Al tadin es chavercha ad she’tagia limkomo,” loosely translated as “Don’t judge your friend until you are in his shoes” (even if that’s 100 pairs).
This Week’s News Roundup (Satire)
Democrats Conduct Investigation to See If Constitution Played a Role in Recent Supreme Court Decisions
Senate Democrats have launched an investigation to determine if the Constitution played any role in a string of recent Supreme Court decisions.
“We suspect that the majority of the justices on the Court have this obsession with adhering to the Constitution,” Rep. Cori Bush said. “If that’s the case, these right-wing extremists need to be impeached and removed from the Court. The Constitution has no place on the Supreme Court. The justices should be focused on their feelings and public opinion, not the Constitution.”
Since the next presidential election is approaching soon, Senate Democrats are also conducting an investigation to see if the Constitution plays a role in the election of the president.
Mystery Solved: Coke Found in White House Turns Out to Just Be a Bottle of Diet Coke
Subsequent testing confirmed that coke discovered by the Secret Service at the White House on Sunday was actually a bottle of Diet Coke, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, as questions linger about how the bottle made its way into the building.
“Thankfully, there were no drugs at the White House after all,” a Biden spokesman said. “Drugs have no place in the White House, and this administration will continue to fight against the scourge of drug addiction.”
According to reports, Hunter Biden was relieved when he saw the news.
BREAKING: Democrats Discover Summer
Many Democrats have expressed their concerns over the hot temperatures experienced throughout the past few weeks. Some of them attributed this phenomenon to climate change. Others made a startling discovery they couldn’t wait to share with their friends and colleagues.
“I had no idea that the hottest months of the year are called summer, and that’s the reason for these high temperatures,” a congressional Democrat told NBC. “And apparently it’s a yearly cycle, so we’ll expect this type of weather every year around the months of July and August. What an amazing discovery.”
Eight Famous Quotes from President Biden
President Joseph R. Biden has this uncanny ability as a master orator to communicate with the public in ways other presidents could not. He’s an inspirational leader who galvanizes people with his witty speeches and quotes. So, we wanted to provide our readers with Biden’s eight most famous quotes:
“Where am I?”
“If at first you don’t succeed, try eating a banana.”
“I have a dream that one day…oh wait, I forgot what it was. Never mind.”
“If you want to be successful in America, do business with China.”
“Seven out of four politicians can’t do basic math.”
I took a solemn oath to uphold the Articles of Confederation.”
“I’ve never abused drugs. And Bunter Hiden is the smartest man I know.”
So there’s a uh, you know, a thing uh, that uh, you know, was totally uh.”
July 2023 marks the 59th anniversary of federal government support for public transportation.
The success of public transportation can be traced back to one of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson’s greatest accomplishments, which continues to benefit many Americans today. On July 9, 1964, he signed the “Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964” into law. Subsequently, this has resulted in the investment over time of several hundred billion dollars into public transportation.
Millions of Americans, including many residing in Queens today, on a daily basis utilize various public transportation alternatives. They include local and express bus, ferry, jitney, light rail, subway, and commuter rail services. All of these systems use less fuel and move far more people than conventional single occupancy vehicles. Most of these systems are funded with your tax dollars thanks to President Johnson.
Depending upon where you live, consider the public transportation alternative. Try riding a local or express bus, para transit, commuter van, ferry, light rail, commuter rail, or subway.
Fortunately, we have the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its various operating agencies, including NYC Transit subway, bus and Staten Island Railway, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road, and MTA Bus.
There is also New Jersey Transit, Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) subway, NYC Department of Transportation Staten Island Ferry, and Economic Development Corporation private ferries.
Using MTA Metro or OMNY Cards provides free transfers between the subway and bus. This has eliminated the old two-fare zones, making public transportation an even better bargain. Purchasing a monthly Long Island Rail Road or MTA subway/bus pass reduces the cost per ride and provides virtually unlimited trips.
Many employers now allow employees to telecommute and work from home. Others use alternative work schedules, which afford staff the ability to avoid rush hour gridlock. This saves travel time and can improve mileage per gallon. Join a car or van pool to share the costs of commuting.
The ability to travel from home to workplace, school, shopping, entertainment, medical, library, etc. is a factor when moving to a new neighborhood. Economically successful communities are not 100 percent dependent on automobiles as the sole means of mobility. Seniors, students, low- and middle-income people need these transportation alternatives. Investment in public transportation today contributes to economic growth, employment, and a stronger economy. Dollar for dollar, it is one of the best investments we can make.
Over the past few years, New York State decided they wanted to stick their noses into our yeshivahs’ secular studies curriculum, demanding “substantial equivalence” to what is offered in the public schools. On its face, the demand for “substantial equivalence” is a joke, as the public schools have been an unmitigated failure for decades, consistently producing high school graduates who can barely read or complete a fourth grade math problem. The near-unanimous reaction in the frum community was one of outrage, and justifiably so. We considered it an assault on our religious rights to educate our children.
Contrast the frum community’s reaction to the attack on our children’s spiritual health with the all-out assault of New York State (and the federal government) on our children’s physical health. Less than two years ago, we were told we all needed to take an experimental shot to “end COVID.” Today, I believe most sane people (excluding the Covidians) look back at the demand to give children an experimental shot as nothing short of bizarre. While hindsight is always 20/20, it’s worth noting that evidence presented at the time to justify this unprecedented demand was scant at best and over time proven to be a complete hoax. The shot neither protected against COVID nor prevented transmission of COVID to higher risk people, which was one of the main justifications our so-called “experts” relied upon in their quest to “vaccinate” children. To this day, I am still incensed by the tremendous pressure exerted by our communal leaders and medical professionals to comply with these outrageous and unfounded government demands. The demonizing and ridiculing of those who refused to comply and subject their precious children to our government’s mass experiment was shameful and hard to forget.
I will end my letter with an excerpt of a long email I received in December 2021, from a very prominent and influential communal leader (no names to steer clear of any lashon ha’ra). He authored a poem and mass-disseminated it, in an attempt to influence everyone including children to take a COVID shot. These are the last two paragraphs:
“Would you please come to your senses before it is too late,
And please don’t leave your lives in the hands of fate.
The Torah demands of us to listen to doctors
And to ignore the prattle of professional hockers.
So, roll up your sleeve and take the jab;
It doesn’t hurt at all, so there’s no reason to crab.
The life you may save might be your own,
Never forget your neshamah is on loan.
My one desire is for you to vaccinate;
I certainly have no desire to see you terminate.
Long life and good health will be your lot,
And believe you me, this is no plot.
I wish you all long life and good health,
And while we’re at it, let’s throw in some wealth.
So, get your shot, it won’t hurt a bit,
And stop watching sites that are not fit.
So, heed my advice and get the shot;
Don’t worry about your friends who like to mock.
Get the shot and remain in good standing in Hashem’s flock.”
Needless to say, this has not aged well. I suspect the author regrets his intertwining and conflating Hashem’s will with our government’s failed vaccine experiment. While I am not expecting to receive a retraction poem from this person, I do find the current silence and collective memory-holing of this contemptible time period to be appalling.
Presuming that he has never read, briefed, or taught about Supreme Court decisions, I can excuse the extraordinary lack of knowledge about Supreme Court precedents shown by fellow reader Avi Goldberg. But I cannot excuse the ignorance shown by the radical right-wingers who currently sit on SCOTUS today.
But since Avi clearly shows no understanding, let me explain the radical departure from precedent shown by the stolen majority.
First, in the student loan case, this radical court decided that President Biden should not be able to use an overly broad loophole in the HEROES Act to the benefit of ordinary working Americans of modest means. The HEROES Act permitted student loan forgiveness during periods of national emergencies. We were still under the COVID emergency declaration when President Biden issued the order. None of this is in dispute. Before this massive usurpation of executive authority, if Congress didn’t like how a loophole was working, they would pass a law and get it signed by the president. But these lifetime appointees of presidents who lost the popular vote decided to act as legislators AND the executive to close the loophole and deny loan forgiveness that many GOP members of the House took under PPP.
Second, this radical court improperly decided to take a theoretical case that should have been considered by a law school moot court course and decided to make it the law of the land in the website case. It is incontrovertible that there never was a same-sex couple who asked about designing the case. We did cases like this in courses that I took and taught at NYU & Queens College. The difference was that none of us was crazy enough to think we could decide a theoretical to take rights away from Americans.
As to Avi’s racist judgment against Democratic appointees, it was Trump’s appointee ACB who was deemed unqualified by the bar association, while President Biden’s appointee Ketanji Brown-Jackson was deemed supremely qualified.
David S. Pecoraro
Cocaine was found in the West Wing of the White House almost two weeks ago. A rational person would deduce that it has to belong to a family member. Every visitor must go through rigorous security to get into the building. The only individuals who are not subject to that security protocol is the family of the President. In case you needed verification that this is indeed the case, podcaster and radio host Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who served in the President’s detail, has come out and said so. One would think that this would be a line of questioning directed at the White House press secretary. However, the press is not interested and are clearly a propaganda outlet for this administration, and prove time and again that they are on the same team as the Marxist Democratic Party. It’s a big deal. What if the white powder was anthrax, or some other biological weapon? It’s a security breach second to none. This administration is up to their shoulders in scandals, and the American people deserve answers, especially if President Biden thinks he “deserves” another four years to crush us in high inflation, destroy our economy, and make America weak on the world stage.
Vivek Ramaswamy is becoming more and more impressive. Here is a son of immigrants who became a highly successful entrepreneur. He did not take handouts and does not go around the country bashing it like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. He praises the country and, like Tim Scott and Clarence Thomas, uses his personal experience to demonstrate the possibilities one has with the freedoms and liberties this country provides its citizens. Like Trump, he has no prior political experience before running in this primary campaign. Like Trump, he does not know the ins and outs of domestic and foreign policy. But like Trump, as the CEO of a company that provided him tremendous wealth, he can hire very bright people in their respective fields of domestic and foreign policy and potentially have, as Trump did, a highly successful presidency, despite his initial lack of knowledge in these areas.
A couple of weeks ago, after Moshe Hill reacted to the federal charges brought against former President Trump by discussing alleged misdeeds by President Biden, I pointed out the lack of any type of evidence against Biden. Now, Mr. Hill has followed that up with a column addressing the possibility of a Biden impeachment, in which he calls Biden “the most corrupt president in modern American history.” With such a claim, you would think that he would cite some sort of actual substantive evidence to back it up, but I searched up and down his column and found nothing of the sort.
Sure, he mentions the report that Biden’s troubled son Hunter, a drug addict at the time, had invoked his father’s name in his business dealings, but that type of “evidence” wouldn’t even get you to first base in a court of law. He also brings up claims from Tony Bobulinski, an associate of Hunter’s, that he has evidence of the elder Biden’s involvement in his family’s business dealings. Mr. Hill mentions texts and emails that Bobulinski released to imply that they were incriminating but fails to disclose that Bobulinski provided those to The Wall Street Journal, who found that they provided no evidence of any involvement by Joe in Hunter and Bobulinski’s business ventures with China, or that his role was ever discussed. Nothing from Bobulinski ever developed outside the realm of unsubstantiated allegations.
Mr. Hill further tries to infer impropriety from the charges brought against Hunter, calling them a sweetheart deal. However, those charges were brought by a US attorney appointed by Trump, who has put into writing that he was given full authority and that everything was done at his discretion. In fact, there are those who argue based on data from similar cases that Hunter might have been treated more harshly than an average defendant.
After all that, all Mr. Hill seems to have is insinuations made by the fact that Biden won’t disavow the only surviving child from his first marriage despite him being a political liability, and the hope that people would fail to differentiate things done by his family with the President himself.
So, where’s the beef in the corruption charges being thrown at Biden? Has he been taking in foreign money during his Presidency through businesses that he refused to divest from or even place in a blind trust? Did he lie about pursuing a deal for a tower in Russia during his campaign? Did he give government roles to family members who then received $2 billion from the Saudis to manage? Is he involved in business with the government of Oman in a deal set up by a Saudi real estate firm even after declaring as a 2024 candidate? No, of course that’s all the person who is apparently not the most corrupt President in modern American history. I remain baffled that Republicans seem to think that alleged shady foreign business deals by the President’s family is a winning issue for them with Donald Trump as their front-running nominee. Unless, of course, it’s more about keeping the base riled up and creating noise to provide cover for Trump, and less about making principled arguments in good faith.
Perhaps I shouldn’t expect more from a column that treats Lauren Boebert as a serious political figure and attempts to compare Trump trying to shake down a head of state for dirt on a rival to the House using its investigative powers. But at some point, Mr. Hill should back up his over-the-top rhetoric with some actual facts, and not just rely on smoke and mirrors innuendo.