“When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.”
— THOMAS PAINE
September 2023

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Sometimes it feels like the wheels are coming off

Natural disasters in Maui, Morocco and Libya. More guns and more shootings. In Chicago we elected a clueless mayor because no one better was running. New York may be in the same boat. And then there’s the national scene. Mitt Romney’s ruminations on politics and his retirement merit close attention. He says a substantial portion of Republicans simply doesn’t care about the Constitution and democracy, and that many Republicans cower at the idea of criticizing Trump at all. They’re literally afraid of physical harm to themselves and their families. This is Nazi territory and it’s serious. No Federal appropriations unless Biden is impeached? Really?

All of us in the complacent majority need to get into what the MAGA Republicans see as a game. The Supreme Court will no longer protect us, and that leaves vicious politics at every level of government. Beyond the obvious, I write to share a favorite joke with you, maybe it’s a parable.

Moshe was a 63-year-old Israeli, an Orthodox Jew. He was observant in every way, obeying all the laws and celebrating all the many holidays in the Jewish year. He prayed three times each day, and at one of those prayer sessions, he said, “God, it’s your servant Moshe speaking. For 50 years since my Bar Mitzvah I’ve done everything right. Kept Kosher, the Sabbath, all the holidays and have prayed to you every day. In all those years of devotion I have never asked anything for myself. Now I need a favor. There is not much money in my house and my seven children are hungry. I want to win the lottery. Lord, please help me win the lottery.”

A few days later, Moshe was back in shul and said, “Lord, it’s your servant Moshe. I recently asked you for a favor, to win the lottery for my children who are hungry, and you haven’t delivered.”

A month later, same thing. 

Three months later, same thing.

Finally, six months after his first request, Moshe was in shul again and said, “Lord, it’s your servant Moshe again, this time with a heavy heart. For 50 years and six months I’ve observed all your damn laws and in all those years of devotion I asked only one little thing, to win the lottery. Not for me, but for my children who are hungry. And you haven’t delivered. Now Lord, it’s about to be Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the highest of our holidays, and I gotta tell you Lord, my faith is beginning to fade.” And with that there was a bolt of lightning and a clap of thunder; the ground shook and dust filled the air; and a voice boomed out, “MOSHE. MOSHE. GIMME A BREAK! BUY A TICKET!!”

So be not idle, support good organizations and good candidates of either party however you can. Turn off your video games. Don’t expect our many freedoms to maintain themselves.

Gimme a break, BUY A TICKET!!!

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