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All Jews Suffer When Some Do Wrong

June 15, 2018 Leave a comment

I was 16 years old in 1953 when, on June 19, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for espionage against the United States of America. My family name is Rosenberg and my parents, my brothers and I are all Canadian born. We always lived in Toronto, yet we were under threat because of the Rosenberg spies in the USA.

We had nothing to do with it, of course. The only knowledge we had of it was from news out of the USA on our radios, televisions, and in our newspapers. In spite of our lack of any kind of connection to the spies, we received threats in the mail and on the telephone. “When the Rosenbergs die, you die,” was the message.

I remember two plain-clothes policemen being in our home on that day and a few days afterward, just in case somebody actually attempted something. Nobody did, of course, in gentle Canada and “Toronto the Good” as it was called in those days. I guess it was called that was because of our adherence to Sunday closing laws and the absence of alcoholic beverages except for government owned stores and the need to have a permit to purchase beer, wine and liquor.

My father received an envelope in the mail. It contained a newspaper story about the execution across which the sender had scrawled with red crayon, “Jews, the most hated race on earth.” I already knew about that kind of bigotry of course, because of the aggression I’d experienced in school and on the streets.

I find it especially ridiculous because, although I am of Jewish heritage, I don’t believe or practice any religious rituals. I am certain that there is no God and there is was no son of God. There was no meeting between Moses and God, nor does Mohammad or any other holy figure represent God. To have faith is to have a flawed belief system. Far better to have faith in one’s self to achieve or fail on one’s own.

We make our own mistakes and learn our own lessons. I have been against religious teachings since I was a teenager. Without any help from God, I have been successful and enjoyed good fortune all my life. I am 80, I am healthy and active, and have never prayed for anything, yet much good has come to me. I have often put myself in harm’s way in my quest for adventure, and always escaped harm without any God’s help.

I feel guilt when a Bernie Madoff or Michael Cohen type Jew does wrong. It’s a traditional burden that most men of Jewish heritage carry, even though it’s nonsense. Ugly encounters with anti-Semitic elements make it part of Jewish life.

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The Time of Your Life

March 20, 2018 3 comments

On the day you were born, you began the journey through time to the day you will die. We rarely know what day our life will end unless we end it ourselves. A life can span over 100 years or as little as a day. You are reading this blog, so you still have the time of your death to come, sometime in the future.

All we are given in life is time. The time is ours to use as we wish: we can kill time, waste time, save time, or use time in any way that we choose. There is no doubt that the more we put into our life’s time, the more we get out of our life. The person who lives through a life of simple work just to acquire the money for a case of beer with which to waste a weekend will get little out of life.

The person that works in exchanging currencies or buying and selling stocks that might or might not support profitable enterprises might enjoy the climb toward oligarchy, but fail to experience the rich value of nature and genuine friendships. That person might enjoy yachting, which is a good way to experience nature. Or they might enjoy yacht racing, which would rob them of the opportunity to absorb the wonders of wind and water except as a competitive platform.

Each of us should appreciate the value of time. Quiet time spent reading a book is not a waste of time. Camping in a forest, sitting around a crackling fire is not a waste of time. Lying on a beach getting fried by the sun might very well be a useless waste of time, unless a deep tan is of value. It probably is not, except as a cosmetic enhancement. In fact, it might shorten your life through the destructive forces of excessive sunlight.

Working constantly in the pursuit of wealth cannot be called a waste of time. Neither is it the maximum good use of time if it is not interspersed with times of relaxation, family relationships and social interactions.

Use the time of your life wisely because it is all you are given when you’re born, and you don’t know when you might run out of time.

30 Successful years in the Wrong Profession

March 6, 2018 2 comments

I was a taxi driver, which is a job in which I was barely competent. I can drive very well, and I know the city well, but I was not sufficiently interested to learn where and when are the best places to be to pick up fares. I preferred to take it easy, and pick up fares that seemed to need the ride more than others. Driving a cab was a job for which I was ill suited, but not the one of which I write.

I was put on the right track by a wonderful YMCA Guidance and Counseling test. It told me I should be a writer and could excel in show business. I’m a grade 10 dropout, and this information seemed misplaced in a bad cab driver. My counselor pointed out that as I had a family to support, I should get into writing advertising to begin making a living.

I knew nothing about the world of advertising, so I took the yellow pages phone book and looked up ad agencies. I began calling and calling. Finally, one day I called a guy that had one writer ill and another on vacation. He was desperate, and so he called me in. As I walked out with an assignment, I looked at sheets of copy on other writers’ desks and saw what a sheet of advertising text looks like.

I know how to type because I took a typing course in high school to avoid a course in German. Luckily for me, I had a gift for writing ads, and especially television commercials. In a fairly short time I learned TV production and excelled, as the Y test had suggested. After a couple of years of success, I took the education I earned making commercials and used it to create a television series which I wrote and was able to get produced by a national network. The series aired across the country in reruns for about 30 years.

This was the profession that was wrong for me, even though I was something of a wiz at it. It was wrong because I don’t belong in advertising. It’s full of mendacity, politics and liquid lunches. I don’t do politics, I don’t do mendacity, and I never drink. I also didn’t dress properly. Corduroy pants, sometimes well worn, sneakers and garishly printed T-shirts. So the “regular” sort of people in the creative departments didn’t like me, and I didn’t like them. However, I was able to knock the clients’ socks of, reliably, time after time. As well as being a round peg in a square hole, I was able to produce more top creative in less time than all the rest of the department put together.

It’s a gift, and I can’t really explain it except that it’s very easy for me. I think that my life as a “regular person” enables me to relate to the wants, needs, hopes and aspirations of the average consumer. In any case, I was just so happy to make a living at something that was so much fun compared to driving a taxi, I didn’t give a damn what my so-called co-workers thought of me. It paid well too.

Eventually I became fed up with the baloney and backed away from the profession that was fraught with superficial values. Now I hate the interruptions by commercials in any program I might be enjoying. I regret all the commercials I made for so many well-known national brand products. My innate talent brought me success in a cesspool, and my innate moral values took me out of it.

The Immature Octogenarian

January 29, 2018 Leave a comment

double green

Me at 18 and at 80

Some minds do not age within aging bodies. Some geezers grasp at youthful pursuits with arthritic fingers. While some old guys settle into so called golden years comfortably, others find the pensioner situation abhorrent. I think that most of the men and women that retire comfortably have perhaps always been old in their way. Perhaps they never got up to shenanigans and mischief. What of those who were always naughty and testing the boundaries of behavior? Do they all become sedate before they’re eighty? I think not.

In my mind, I still want to race sports cars as I’ve done in the past. I still want to do stunts on water skis, as I’ve done in the past. I still want to pleasure my wife, as I’ve done in the past. I’d like to have another Doberman pup to raise and walk and teach, as I’ve done in the past. I want my former life, and I’m living my old life – my old man life. It’s a new adventure as have been all the many adventures of my life.

It’s a sad realization for me that attractive women no longer view me as a virile man. I’m just another old guy. I have to intellectually remind myself of that, before I make a fool of myself and flirt with a waitress or a shop girl. I still want to flirt with her, but I have the wisdom to not do it. I imagine what a fool I would appear to be. A woman would have no idea that I was an adventurer and sometimes a dare devil.

My dearest friend is in his mid-seventies. He has been a devoted athlete all his life, and he still races open-wheeled, single seat vintage race cars and is a fervent tennis player in season. He also is a competitive snow boarder during the winter season. He might be still doing it when he’s 80 as well.

Throughout my life I’ve pursued adventure. I’ve enjoyed risks like shooting the rapids in a canoe, handling skittish horses, cross-country skiing in northern forests and riding a motorcycle down country roads. I still have the desire, but don’t have the physical structure to continue. I have no choice but to limit myself to intellectual pursuits, such as this blog.

The Lesser Evil

January 27, 2018 Leave a comment

The lesser evil is still evil. We don’t have to accept the lesser evil as the best we can do. I refer to every endeavors, including highly educated professions and every other level of society down to careless welfare recipients. Facing two plates of food, neither of which we enjoy is a logical case. If one plate is fried chicken skin and the other plate is beef liver, the liver would be chosen by those that don’t hate it and chicken skin would be chosen by those that can’t stand liver, for whatever reason.

The 2016 presidential election in the United States of America might be a case of the lesser evil being the greater evil. Many voters believed that Hilary Clinton is so evil that even Donald J. Trump appeared to be the lesser evil. As time flows on, however, it is revealed that so called President Trump is actually a psychopathic liar, a thief, an oligarch and a traitor. In hindsight, as evil as she is, Clinton would have been a better choice.

I usually watch true police and crime series on television. Most often, there is a police interrogation of a victim, a witness, or a suspect. There comes a time when an individual is asked about his or her relationship.

“It’s fine,” they say. “You know, there are fights and stuff, like every relationship.”

NO! Accepting a relationship in which some scrapping and shouting, and even hitting is not the lesser of any evil. It is an evil-bound relationship. If a person can’t find nearly constant peace and confidence in one’s special relationship, one might be settling for the lesser evil. Don’t do it.

There should be a relationship for you where expressions of love are spoken every day. Where you are put first by the other party and the other party is put first by you. The lesser evil is not good enough. You want the absence of stress, doubt, and evil. Get it!

The Planet Rebels

January 21, 2018 Leave a comment

A religious person might see God’s will in the wave of natural disasters that have swamped society. Hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes befall societies throughout our planet. An atheist, on the other hand, might see it as natural sequences of events, not completely free of human contributions.

The planet Earth is a living, evolving entity. I see the Earth’s crust as its skin, like the skin on my face. We have all seen pimples emerge on our faces. First it shows as a small, reddish mound. Later it becomes less red, and begins to peak. Finally, it is a pimple, filled with material your body rejects. It is also this way with our planet.

I used to own a hobby farm where we kept horses. My favourite chore was to go out into the forest and cut riding trails throughout the many acres. The forest is healthy, so each summer I’d travel the trails again, to trim off the bits that intruded into the riding space.

There was a patch where two trails intersected. As the years passed, I noticed a small area, about twenty inches square in the cleared part of the two trails, where the grass was dying off. The following year, the grass had been replaced by moss. A year later, the moss was turning from green to brown, and looking ragged. Following years showed a granite boulder pushing up through the earth. Eventually, it was a large rock on the trail.

As with Icebergs where we see just ten percent of the lump of ice and below hangs ninety percent so it could be with that rock. It might be just the tip of a boulder that’s the size of a house. That’s why I see the planet as a living thing. As our skin ejects wax, fat or whatever, the earth ejects rocks and whatever as it evolves into eternity.

The life of the Earth is obvious in its seething center, boiling granite that sometimes bursts through the planet’s skin and runs down in rivulets until, at some time in infinity, it becomes more rocks to later be expelled.

Meanwhile, we enjoy the luxury of Earth’s life; trees of fruit, trees of shade, rain, snow, fields of green, fields of gold and seasons.

We need to take better care of The Earth, and greed gets in the way. The oligarchs are our enemies.

The Last Brother

January 19, 2018 Leave a comment

I was the first born. When I was about five years old, my first brother was born. When I was about ten years old, my second brother was born. We grew up in an upper-middle class family. Our father was ambitious and capable. Both parents had cars; our city home and country home were both first class. Mom was a devoted mother, wife, and homemaker. The waterfront cottage included motorboats for each member of the family, the size according to the maturity of the boy. There was nothing about which we could complain.

As the oldest brother, it fell to me to teach them things like riding a bicycle, starting an outboard motor, water skiing and many other things. Eventually, the inevitable separations came about. We married; we moved away, we had children and mortgages. We were living varied lives in different parts of the country.

Our middle brother was living in a central city in our country. After many years, his marriage ended and he moved back east. Some years later, he contracted leukemia and it took his life. Then there were two of us; the youngest and the oldest, ten years apart.

We love each other, my youngest brother and I. We live in the same country, but several thousand miles apart. He has his doting family around him. His original wife, his son and daughter and grandson and granddaughter see him almost daily. His retirement is satisfying and fulfilled.

I am more separate from my family, and connected with different family. I’m sure my brother wonders, as I do, which of us will be the last brother. We recently agreed that when one of us passes on, the other will not cross the country to witness the burial. We are both old enough to pass at any time, but our strong gene pool has us continuing to live full lives in our seventies and eighties.

I don’t think I’d like to be the last brother. I’m older and not in the midst of my children. My brother has his caring family around him all the time, so his support system would be large if I passed first. If he passed first, I’d pretty much have to handle it myself. I can do that, but I’d rather it not be required.