Toto, Savannah Falls Too, and I are home and will answer all comments and emails tomorrow. The abrupt change from hot tropiclal humidity to cold air has left us all coughing and in dire need of hot & sour soup. We’re just to happy to see our six hundred square feet of would be minimalist beauty had we less stuff and more room. We’re just happy to be home though we aren’t cold air creatures. New York would be perfect were it in the tropics, but then it wouldn’t be New York.
From our slightly humble abode we saw the lights of the Beacon flash in honor of the Allman Brothers last show, I think, and we thought of our friend Josh
Voting for the Koufax’s ends at 11:59 tonight March 26, I don’t stand a chance of winning. This is a personal blog with a political slant, not a political blog. But think about this: maybe more people like me are needed. Many people who read my blog aren’t political. Some have become encouraged to write about politics because of Courting. I have changed a few peoples opinions; I haven’t changed other peoples opinions and don’t intend to try as I just like them anyway. Liberal politics is meaningless without compassion and an an attempt to understand other peoples POV’s
Fifteen years ago today, on my parents wedding anniversary, my dad had a massive stroke. Fortunately he died five days later, because I can’t imagine my dad severely brain damaged.
Lately I have been seeing too much anti Jewish rhetoric on the Internet. It scares me as it should because when things go wrong, people have a great tendency to blame things on Jews.
My dad was born in a tenement on Madison Street in the Lower East Side where they were so poor they literally didn’t have a pot to pee in. They moved on up, all the way to East Harlem where I do believe that they had a bathroom, and boarders.
My grandfather was an intellectual, or so I have been told, and a Socialist. My grandmother ran their small candy store, and cooked dinner every night for 25 or so of my grandfather’s best friends and relatives who sat around discussing the Socialist ideal.
My dad had his first two jobs at the age of eight. One was counting numbers for the neighborhood bookie; the other was delivering clothes for a dry cleaner where the Loews 84th Street is now.
My parents met as teenagers and my dad was enchanted by my maternal grandmother who was a feminist and Communist. For a long time he considered himself to be a Communist, and his greatest regret in life was never telling his father that he had been right all along, Communism wasn’t the answer Socialism was.
My dad had two scholarships to NYU, one for basketball and one for math. But it was the depression, and he had to work during the day to help support his family. He went to work for the one rich kind of relative, SL Hoffman who was described by his best friend Armand Hammer as “the man who could sell bras to the Russians.” I’m too lazy and too tired to look up the links. If you’re interested look them up yourself. I, personally, could never forget a line like that as the Soviet Union then wasn’t exactly known for its taste in clothes or the women for wearing American bra’s.
So I guess in a sense my dad did have help as he had a job and they were scarce. His sister also worked for SL. It took them an hour and some minutes depending on the subways to get from the Bronx where they had moved to Long Island City. If they were five minutes late, they would be docked an hours pay.
It took my dad eight years to graduate from school as he had to give up his scholarships. But he preserved and finally graduated. My parents then got married as they had wanted to wait until my father passed the CPA exam. It’s an infamously difficult exam given, I believe, in five parts. He passed each part on the first try.
So yes, my dad with his big nose and briliiance in math fit the frigging stereotype. He was also the kindest most compassionate person I have been privileged to know, though he did have many faults.
My parents adopted me years after they were married, so I never knew him as a struggling young man, but as a successful CPA who insisted on being called an accountant. My mom insisted that he be called a CPA, and frankly my younger sister and I were just confused as we lived in a post-war built for returning Vets garden apartment complex where most of the men had blue collar jobs. 98% of them were Jewish.
Nobody really understood, then, what an accountant let alone a CPA did, and I had a difficult time explaining his job as I was just a child. I knew that he did more than just prepare tax returns, but I don’t think I knew enough to explain that he oversaw audits in companies and helped individuals manage their money.
Several months ago I wrote a post on “gratitude to Christians” that became totally twisted, because I said that I am grateful to Christians for allowing us to become full citizens. I stand by that statement and I do think the Holocaust prove my point. My grandparents and great grandparents had escaped the pogroms in Russia.
I was brought up to believe in and embrace the American dream, and yes it worked for my family, but as successful as my parents became and that was very, they never felt fully American. When we bought our house my mother cried because her mother hadn’t lived to see her become a home owner. Something never allowed to my family in Russia.
My own non-Jewish friends believed that my father had to have been given help to go to college and begin his practice. No, he wasn’t. As lacking as I believe my paternal grandparents were in parenting skills, they stressed the importance of education. There wasn’t a secret Jewish cabal that helped every Jewish boy go to college. I know that because most of the people in our garden apartment community weren’t college graduates nor were they stupid.
They either didn’t have my father’s talents and skills or had to drop out of high school or not go to college at all to help their families.
To be honest my parents didn’t like Israel, but, and this is a big but, they would explain over and over again that without an Israel, there couldn’t be free Jews; that Israel was necessary because it showed the world that besides being smart, Jews could be strong. I
‘m not saying that I particularly believe this but I do know that Roosevelt wouldn’t bomb the train tracks that led to the Concentration camps, that Roosevelt knew that there were concentration camps but refused to do anything about it, and that the United States turned back boats filled with refugees though the government knew that their chances of survival were nil.
We have always been an easy people to blame for problems when things go wrong because we have tend to big noses, are often smart, live in self-made ghettos, eat funny foods and for a thousand and one other reasons that could describe many other groups.
I can easily pass for Irish as I am half by birth, or Slavic as I am that too. I went to Boston University and majored in Urban Studies, in the 1970’s during Boston school desegregation years. I did my internship in White Dorchester, in the Neighborhood Housing Services which in nineteen other cities then helped low income residents retain their homes through ending red lining, which was a common practice where residents of some areas weren’t granted mortgages or home improvement loans. They also helped residents improve their homes through sweat equity where people would help each other fix homes, and I believe began reverse mortgages where senior citizens would:
A “reverse” mortgage is a loan against your home that you do not have to pay back for as long as you live there. With a reverse mortgage, you can turn the value of your home into cash without having to move or to repay the loan each month. The cash you get from a reverse mortgage can be paid to you in several ways:
Didn’t quite work this way in White Dorchester where the Neighborhood Housing Service was an anti-busing front. It was the first time I had ever heard people use the words “nigger,” or “kike.” I was young and shocked and wanted to quit but my adviser thought I could get an excellent education. Because I didn’t look Jewish and when asked would tell people I was “Irish and Polish,” because I was, they talked freely in front of me. I learned things that I never wanted to know, and when the school year was finished ran back to New York where people at least attempted to treat each other with some civility. Yes I ran from Boston the cradle of American civilization.
When my sister was a teacher in South Jersey in the 80’s they thought she was Italian until she asked to take off for the Jewish holidays. When she came back there were swastikas on her chair and the blackboard. She spent that year being tormented by students, teachers and the god damn principal who refused to intercede.
The ADL found out and wanted her to be a test case. My parents talked her out of that as they were afraid that she would somehow be blackballed from teaching. Yes, this was in the 1980’s in New Jersey.
Forgive me for being a bit cynical but I know from these two experiences, first hand, that anti-Semitism is alive and well in the United States.
American Jews had nothing to do with 9/11 and to merely see that on the Internet is sickening. No Jew was given “advance warning,” it was the first day of school for most Jewish private schools. Law firms generally open at ten, and why am I even saying these things. I know many Jews who survived the attacks, some in my own family, and heard of many who didn’t.
It was Bin Laden who did it, I believe, not American Jews nor Israel, a country that I have no great love for, but will begin to defend, in the memory of my parents who though born here and were of course citizens, were always just a bit scared that their citizenship would be taken away as they had heard so many stories growing up, and saw the aftermath of the Holocaust.
When I was a child I was obsessed with World War Two and would constantly ask my dad why they hadn’t done anything to help:
“Because we didn’t know.”
As I was a child of the TV era I found that impossible to believe. I believe it now. I would die for this country if it meant that I was defending The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Amendments. I would also die for my religion that I don’t practice, because it is a religion that has withstood thousands of years of oppression and still somehow managed to not only survive but to thrive and not because of a secret cabal, or because we control the media, the Congress, the president or a myriad of other things people believe.
To begin to pin 9/11 on us, is beyond sick, beyond any sort of rational thinking. I personally will fight that assumption to my last breath.
Sorry if I’m not a good liberal, but to be a liberal also means sometimes taking stands that aren’t popular with all liberals–though any person who believes this should be mortified at their own stupidity. And if Israel or Jews wanted to plan a terrorist attack, why would they pick the most Jewish of cities in America? To throw everybody off track? Give me a frigging break; this scenario is so absurd it would make a great off-off Broadway play.
This is my personal blog. The First Amendment doesn’t apply. If you want to leave a sick comment, go somewhere else where it won’t be deleted or picked apart. I will not support anti-Semites on my blog nor will I allow any radical rightists using my post for any purpose or comments.
I believe that this is a great country with many faults. I have defended Muslims in these pages. I hate nobody but people who hate and spread vile vermin
Crossposted at BIO where of course I took out the personal blog part and added some more more things. I will be traveling today and catching up on last week Boston Legal Soprano’s and watching this weeks. Hey I have my priorities.