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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 People of Your Life Grow Sparse

May 25, 2018 Leave a comment

I’ve decided to write at this moment, while my feelings are in great tumult. Although my life has kept me isolated from my boyhood pals and girls for several decades, I consider them a part of me, as part of the good and bad adventures we sometimes shared, and the stories we shared about them.

The advent of the Internet enabled us to search the world for old acquaintances. I’m in my eighties. I just learned that Bernie died. He was my closest friend from the age of fifteen to thirty. We were even brothers in law in our twenties for many years because we married twin girls. The news of Bernie’s death has shaken me a bit. I’m two months younger than Bernie, and I’m still here.

I read in his obituary details of Bernie’s final years. He suffered. He was supported by friends but cared for by strangers in several homes where they placed him. It breaks my heart to think of him in squalor. He was a fabulous character. He always dressed impeccably in fine garments. He always wore alligator shoes. He was exciting.

I felt the first impact of loss of past friends some years ago. I was told of the death of my long-time steady girlfriend from high school. At the same time I learned that her closest girlfriend, who I had dated once, was also dead. My “steady” had been a music teacher and the other woman had been a doctor. They’ve been dead for many years.

Added to my emotional burden about Bernie was news of another one of the guys. Marty was seen walking with a caregiver because he has dementia. The mutual friend who told me about it said Marty didn’t recognize her.

I have just one brother. There used to be three of us brothers, but our middle brother passed away several years ago.

My one remaining friend is seventy-three, and an active athlete at competitive levels. He participates in vintage formula auto racing, snowboarding, and tennis. I was never an athlete, but I’m able to do heavy work for short durations. I write blogs or stories every day, and usually do some drawings as well.

Why are Howie, Steve, and me  still here, while our flesh and blood and our friends are gone, physically or mentally?

Luck and genes I would guess.

The Death of Seduction

April 17, 2018 Leave a comment

I have always enjoyed seducing women. To me, women are forever fabulous, and provide society with real intelligence. I mean ‘real’ in the sense that men are inevitably plagued by the need to mate while women are concerned with living life in a sensible, satisfying way. Men usually need the lure of a gorgeous car or a lovely sailboat.

I liken it to a bird of which I’ve read. Male birds of most any species earn the right to mate with the female they desire by exhibiting superior traits. It might be the enthralling mating song, or colourful puffed breast feathers or an irresistible dance routine. The male of one bird species lacks all of those desirable traits. He meets his mate because of his really cool place.

To attract a female, the ‘plain’ bird gathers colourful props, like bits of red wool, a yellow piece of a potato chip bag or a green button. This bird accumulates as much colourful stuff as it can, and uses it to decorate a small area amid ground foliage. When females see his cool digs, some find that it turns them on, and they fly in for a bit of lustful romance.

In the case of people, recent events require a re-thinking in the minds of men. Rule number one: no touching. Actually, I feel unsure about how a man should behave while earning acceptance by a woman. As with most people, I didn’t realize that harassment was so prevalent, nor do I understand what the offending men do to offend.

In the past, I have introduced myself by name. I’d try to get a conversation going about something of interest to her. I’d learn of her interests through the small talk, and then develop as much sincere interest in her for the rest of the dialogue. Now I would come to the line over which one must not step. How to get close without offending?

I used to mention her characteristic that I liked the most.

“I like your hair,” I’d say, if she had hair that I liked.

“That shade of lipstick is perfect with your complexion,” if it was true.

“You look like an athlete,” I’d say if I felt that way.

Today I’d have to hesitate. Would I offend with, “Can we meet for lunch?”

A Dearth of Mensch

April 10, 2018 Leave a comment

If you’re a woman of gentle nature and living a wholesome life, you might be seeking a special, exclusive partner. Women who fit that basic description are up against a tough situation. Although women of this type are desirable, and men would love to partner up with such women, it doesn’t happen happily as often as it should.

The main thing that diminishes the number of happy unions between gentle women and men who desire them is the dearth of mensch. The scarcity of good, kind, decent and honourable men is a potential problem for women of that same kind. Many women are not attracted to cowboys, high rollers and tattoos on bodies rippling with muscles.

Most any woman is attractive to a man of some type, but many men are unattractive to women of taste and quality. I don’t mean divas, or wealthy women. I mean good, honest, intelligent women. A man in a flashy car with a tattooed elbow out the window will be compellingly attractive to some women, but a woman with much self-esteem might find that image dated, or even comical.

The situation is such that for some women, a good man is hard to find. For other women, a hard man is good to find.

Trump’s Gang: Like kids in a Candy Store

April 2, 2018 3 comments

It’s disgusting. Every creep that Trump “hires” is a two-bit swindler. It’s astounding how selfish and insensitive they are to the life of the average citizen and family. They get on the government’s payroll and it’s “Yahoo, let’s enjoy our people-supported expense accounts. We’re wonderful, and we deserve it, as do our wives, children and mistresses.

“Order me a private plane,” one says. “Get me fabulous furniture,” says another. And not one of them is concerned with their duty to the tax-paying citizens and to their own professional obligations. Maybe Tillerson was serious about his job, but still, he’s an oligarch, and I assure you that any person that becomes a billionaire oligarch has a cruel, rotten history behind them.

One cannot earn billions without being selfish, sly, lucky and cruel. They have to be because they have obligations that require large amounts of money. Payoffs for building permits do not come cheaply. Inspectors and union executives have to be massaged. Depending on their level of connections; some might get fat envelopes full of large sized currency. Others might get a case of Crown Royal whiskey, or the latest in television sets.

A pedestrian bridge in front of a university in Florida collapsed. Beneath it were passing cars that were crushed and people killed. It is probably because criminal elements did not pour concrete of a quality specified by the engineers. With inferior materials that are charged like better materials, the criminals grab the extra money for themselves. They don’t take into consideration the possibility of honest citizens being injured or killed.

It’s an atmosphere that has been released by the Trump attitudes. Remember, he called out for a protester to be beaten, and he would cover fines personally. Trump is as much a criminal element as are Mafia members.

There is No God

March 26, 2018 Leave a comment

Assuming I’m correct in my belief that there is no god, it’s worrying to imagine how many other beliefs are erroneous. That applies to Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and all the many other cults that flourish. I don’t know much about religion because it’s been boring to me and without substance.

Catholicism is widespread and visible, so I choose it to explore my imaginings. I admire the part of any religion that serves society’s poor and needy, but there is much more to the rituals and realities in which millions of people believe. If there is no god, what are the priests and cardinals and even the Pope really doing? They are ‘selling’ a belief that is a hoax.

In recent decades it has come to light that a great number of priests are perverts who molest young people, boys and girls. It is possible that these men have entered the priesthood for the opportunities to take advantage of youngsters in their control. The power of priests among believers has been strong but undeserved. I know of families where there are 10 to 12 siblings. These are poor people, and the large families live in poverty, yet they are pushed by their priests into having more children.

Peculiar rituals abound in Catholic churches. Small wafers represent the flesh of Christ and wine represents Christ’s blood. It is bizarre to say the least, and if there is no god, there certainly is no son of god through a virgin mother. Clearly, it’s nonsense. Kneeling before their god is demeaning, and would never be required by a loving god.

We are told that Christ lived a simple life like a poor but generous person. That does not fit with the ways of the church. In dominantly Catholic communities, no matter how humble there will be a large, imposing church. Priests wear flowing gowns and ornate tapestry trimmings, not at all like the poor and simple.

The Pope wears particularly ornate garments, and headgear that towers above others. The purpose of the fancy outfits is like that of a theatre marquee. It projects an aura of power and holiness, but it’s just a phony front. I recall a time when I was chatting with a mature Catholic couple. When I calmly told them that I did not believe there is a god, they literally staggered back a bit, partly in shock and partly as if they feared they might catch something from me. These were successful business owners, yet were enslaved by the nonsense in which they were raised.

Finally, throughout that largely Catholic area, there are crosses mounted at intersections, and bathtubs upended and dressed up as biblical scenes. Ridiculous to say the least. I once helped a friend in a pig barn. It was a hellish sight, with sows trapped in small enclosures, often sitting on their young and killing them. The dead piglets were tossed into freezers, of which there were several. Even more outrageous, on the walls above the suffering sows there were crucifixes a-plenty. The woman who owned the pig farm was a music teacher, and eventually left her marriage and became a lesbian. There is so much exhibiting of belief and so much mendacity.

There is no god!

I Think I’m Elitist

March 9, 2018 Leave a comment

I drove up and parked in front of the convenience store which is beside a biker bar. Lingering in front of the bar was a bunch of slovenly looking characters waiting for the bar to open on the Friday afternoon. All of them were smoking cigarettes and chuckling together in French. I could hear that they were exalted because it was Friday, “vendredi” as they call it, and a weekend of drunkenness was eagerly anticipated. They were speaking French because this town in Eastern Ontario is close to the border with French Quebec.

As I exited the car, two of the men and one butch looking girl in worn work boots rushed to enter the store ahead of me. I entered and was made to wait patiently while they purchased dozens of cans of beer, undoubtedly planning to spend their weekend in drunken stupors, and would begin by squandering some of their meager pay in the dingy biker bar. When the girl had her beer she turned quickly and slammed right into me.

I think I’m elitist because I definitely feel superior to them. I don’t smoke nor do I drink except on special occasions, and rarely is it beer. I do not rush to get ahead of others so they must wait while I complete my purchase. In this case it was potato chips to please my granddaughter and a lottery ticket because if one doesn’t enter one can’t possibly win.

I wonder if any of the rabble ever reads books or listens to good music or watches intelligent television. They probably have never sat at a computer keyboard and explored the world outside of bars and beer. I might well be wrong, but I doubt it. The simple lives of simple people are a burden for people who contribute intelligence and taste to society.

So I’m an elitist. What of it?