August, September 2015

September 2nd, 2015 by

1. Mayoral Control of NYC Education

This is about children, and the public process.  Not  neo-progressive,not neo-liberal, not conservative.  Increases in scores that leave children at 33% passing grade levels is failure in my thinking, and the test of Mayoral control over the past decade has not succeeded.  As we continue to have top-notch Borough Presidents, as well as a Public Advocate and Comptroller of quality, let’s add them to the Mayor’s leadership in the schools, and I recommend we now move to the future by restoring a Central Board of Education, or a close version of it, with elected Community School Councils that parents and other community activists can actively participate in, and a new  openness of information for public awareness. My recommendation for the NYS Legislature 2016 to enact, with the intention of having an effective date for the incoming new Administration in 2018.

2. Societal Costs of Shootings

During one Summer weekend, there were twelve shootings in Brooklyn, and aside from the outrageous human cost of pain, suffering, and  loss, society is forced to pick up the tab for medical care and hospitalization, criminal justice proceedings from cops and investigators to courtroom proceedings to incarceration costs, and on and on.  Millions of dollars to cover these uncivilized acts. Don’t know about you, I would rather see this money go in to after-school programs  for children, and other positive programs  for uplifting this City.  I clearly see that it is not just about the victims of the shootings, it’s about all of us.  Time to hold families of these violent offenders, communities and community leaders responsible for this lawlessness.  And we all need to do better, to create a safer and gentler society.

3. Change We Can Believe In

I am a Hillary person.  Yet, I thank Donald Trump, for he has awakened us, that speaking out Truth to Power, saying what’s on your mind, making clear that political correctness is an impediment to open discussions, may well be creating a renewed path to a better society, and a better America.  For there is a possibility of a much better America, an excellent   America, not a dumbing down America, as Senator Moynihan once  called it, not a second-class America.  The Obama years have put money into the pockets of the top 1%, increased the   dependency of 50%, and demoralized the remaining 49%.  And he has divided America in a way I have not seen it for decades.  Overseas, he has created a new world in his image, denigrating the excellence of America , increasing opportunities for societies not in America’s traditional image, and putting our leadership in jeopardy, and the security of our traditional friends in doubt.  As the end of the Obama Administration approaches, we all recognize the importance of the 2016 elections to take us in a new direction. I remain a Hillary person for I know her potential to lead America to a better future, and to create a fresh, new, more enlightened Democratic Party that will be important for America’s future nationally and locally.  There is a new challenge for America ahead, and we all have a most important role in meeting that challenge.

RHINOS SURVIVAL

July 16th, 2015 by

GUEST BLOG

NOTES by Brian Gaisford

Introductory comment by Howard Teich

Brian is the owner of Hemingway African Galleries in New York City, a leading advocate for actions to insure the survival of the African lion, elephant and Hippopotamus, and safari guide in Southern Africa.  Not only have I purchased several amazing stone sculptures from him, I have been absorbed by his profound commitment to the survival of wildlife in Southern Africa, and so I share these notes he gave me to read after his most recent visit to Southern Africa on the status of the Hippopotamus.  Their website is:  www.hemingwayafricangallery.com 

Subject: Rhino War

I am just back from S. Africa and Mozambique . We were taking a close look into who and why our rhinos are being slaughtered. We interviewed farmers, officials, hunters, veterinarians, police, army units, trackers, guides  and dedicated rhino security units in the field, Walked miles in the parks and along the Mozambique border. People across the world are calling the most recent rhino slaughter the Rhino War. Here I will outline the reasons why the rhinos are currently losing this war and why there is little hope in sight.

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June, July 2015

June 23rd, 2015 by

1. 9-11 First Responders Keep Dying of Cancer

Bottom line, the ongoing treatment regimen being used on First-Responders at the 9-11 ground zero site needs to be looked at, and alternative and complementary medical approaches considered for inclusion in the Zareiga Bill. The compounds created by the collapse of the Twin Towers collapse were deadly and new in many cases, and regular medical treatment will, and does not work. The First Responders deserve a chance of recovering.

2. Take A Spin In Space

Well, notwithstanding the recent accident, finally we astronaut wannabes will be able to have our tour in space for anywhere from $95,000 to $50 million. Yes, space tourism is on the way. Fortunately for many of us, we can have a land-based mini-space experience at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, with simulators, and a taste of weightlessness. There are available programs in Spring, 2016, and I think I may sign up.

3. Religious Liberty, Not Public Discrimination

Religious liberty, a basic foundational principle of our country is under attack in America, as intolerance towards religion has become chic in some communities here. Yet, in taking a stand, there is no place for crossing the line intoan excuse for discrimination against others. We continue to face this difficult issue where balance based on opportunity, not limitation, is necessary.

April-May 2015

June 22nd, 2015 by

1. As a Country, We Can Do Better

I am not particularly different than so many other Americans, I have no doubt that we can do better as a country, and I turn to our elected officials to meet the challenge in this next two years.  They are there to govern and legislate, not just raise money and win for themselves and their party, and serve special interests.  I did my fair share of supporting Democratic national candidates in the 2014 Election Cycle, and I am disappointed and angry.

2. Time to Have Term Limits in Congress

Too many in Washington DC now just go with the flow.  It’s more of a monotone in the Democratic Party, one voice led by consultant’s opinion polls rather than a newly energized team making a difference for America.  Term limits would help, and I call for them now, and I would recommend twelve years for both the House and the Senate.  In 2016, I would like to see this implemented voluntarily if not passed, or by challenge of all those having served more than twelve years.

3. Great Nations Keep Their Word

Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian Has an important exhibit in Washington, DC, Nation to Nation:
Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations.  History written from the Native perspective, clarifying ongoing tribal land issues that need be resolved by the United States government   Real treaties, with lasting implications, and an overlying message:  Great Nations Keep Their Word.

4. Selfishness and Greed  – the 1%

The 99% want to place sole ownership of selfishness and greed with the 1%.  Well, maybe so, and yet, time that the 99% look into the mirror.  Too many are self-satisfied, and doing little for America, not carrying their weight, while the 1% may be making more than their fair share contribution. President Kennedy’s words, listen to them all (paraphrased), “Ask what you can do for our country, not what your country can do for you.”

New species discovered by EcoMinga staff and co-workers, Part 1: Plants

November 13th, 2014 by
Meriania aurata, a tree species we discovered in what is now EcoMinga’s Rio Zunac Reserve. Flower is large, about 7 cm across. Photo: Lou Jost/EcoMinga

Meriania aurata, a tree species we discovered in what is now EcoMinga’s Rio Zunac Reserve. Flower is large, about 7 cm across. Photo: Lou Jost/EcoMinga

I’m compiling a list of all the plant and animal species discovered by our reserve manager Juan Pablo Reyes, our director Javier Robayo, myself, and our students and co-investigators in and around our EcoMinga reserves near Banos, Ecuador. In this first installment, I’ll deal with the plants. (I’ll be saving some major as-yet-unpublished plant discoveries for a later post.) Nearly all of these species are still known only from our immediate area and nowhere else in the world. Adding these new discoveries to the previously-known locally endemic plants of the area, there are now more plant species unique to this area (the upper Rio Pastaza watershed) than there are in the world-famous Galapagos Islands! This is one reason why we are so committed to its conservation.

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July, August 2014

November 11th, 2014 by

1. Liberty Enlightening the World

With children coming over our Southern border, we need be reminded of Emma Lazarus’ words on the Statue of Liberty, “Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me, I lift my lamp besides the golden door.” Though there are no such words welcoming these youngsters from Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, we must have an open mind, and remember the original name of Lady Liberty, “Liberty Enlightnening the World”, for America must continue to live true to this message to the world.

2. Children in Central America

While we are on the subject of those children, why are we not spending more time caring about the conditions in those Central American countries that are forcing these people out. Not a word is spoken in media, and not a cent is spent! It is time for the United States to devote time and attention in our Americas’ hemisphere to make every child safe in his/her home country, and to create a better future for them. That’s also an American responsibility.

3. A Message of America’s Founders

All men (people) are created equal, with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Along with these rights come responsibilities. Liberty is not license, it has built-in expectations of a way of being that makes it work, not a free-for-all. Even the pursuit of happiness had service to others as an underlying expectation. Too many in America are self-interested today, and America was founded on public good. If America is to continue on the path of being a grand experiment, a model to the world, we citizens need to heed the Founders’ messages.

4. On Making Demands for America

Yes, we have to uplift people who have fallen, and yet we must have the intention in America that everyone must give something back to our country (and I am not talking of taxes). Why should not everyone in America have to give some time of service, whether by reinstituting a National Draft perhaps for American Service, or mandating an annual community take-on during one’s life?

May, June 2014

May 13th, 2014 by

1. America’s Foreign Policy Ineptness

As I have watched America’s foreign policy ineptness, it has reinforced in me the importance of America’s leadership in world-affairs, and I have placed it on the front-burner for consideration of my Presidential choice for 2016.  For me, “singles and doubles” just aren’t sufficient for America.

2. Reinvigorating America’s Space Program

And looking to 2016, I am placing the challenge of reinvigorating Our American space program, that has faced drastic cutbacks.  As China, Russia, India and others expand their programs, particularly humans in space, I want to know who will bring America’s ascendancy in space to unparalleled levels by 2025. Let’s dream again!

3. Let’s Negotiate Education with Children

One group never gets to the negotiating table, and we rarely even hear from them.  That’s the children, the students of our City.  Rarely even mentioned in articles of schools, often one wonders if they are a product, an excuse, for keeping all the educational dollars flowing to special interests. Let’s sign a Contract with Our Children, with terms and promises that need to be kept.  It’s time, that’s progressive!

4. Get Over America’s Selfishness

Time to get over America’s selfishness, where the mantra is that government has to take care of “me”.  It is our challenge as Americans to, in the words of JFK, “Ask what we can do for our country>”  Yes, perhaps old patriotism would be more meaningful now than ever.

5. Proud of My Neighborhood

Carl Schurz Park on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is a Favorite place of mine, and as I walked over on 86th Street Between York and East End Avenues, every building had American flags flying on their entrance’s awning.  As I learned, one superintendent started it a month ago and it spread. Would be great all over the City.  Flags for Everyone.

6. LBJ’s Great Society Speech

May 23rd, 2014 marks the fiftieth Anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s famed Great Society speech, laying ou a spectacular vision for America.   Often belittled, it provides a lesson for all ages of the best of the American possibility, of liberating the human spirit, exploring the universe, tending to our environmental needs, with the responsibility on all citizens for creating this American Great Society.  And so much more.

 

March, April 2014

March 12th, 2014 by

My theme for these six viewpoints is Imagine the Possible:  Education NYC, and I find the band-aids nearly impossible to live with as our NYC children fail to dramatically improve in our schools, and where we realistically have no basis for expecting a dynamic shift in educational opportunities for our NYC children.  So, I believe leaps are necessary and possible, and I want you all to Imagine the Possible as you read these six Viewpoints.

1.  The Discussion is Charter Schools

Today’s NYC discussion is Charter Schools.  They work and benefit children’s learning experience in most cases.  Originally meant as experimental for public school modeling, they are now a business, and a political football.  Although media exploits the current debates, the Mayor’s position is not anti-Charters, he has made choices.  Success Schools have been successful.  I say, for the children, you must work it out now.

2.  Our Hidden Private Schools

The untold story of New York’s educational opportunities is not public schools v. charter schools, as charter schools are public schools, it’s public schools v. private schools.  If you can afford them, you can assure the best education for your children.  And that may run $50,000 per child per year for the top private schools.  To me, that’s separate and unequal.  And no vouchers allowed in this town, so no way out.

3.  Imagine Excellence in Our Schools

Imagine excellence rather than equity as excelling in school would give our City’s children the best opportunity to succeed in their lives.  That means a goal of 90% Graduation in ten years, and 100%, the decade after.  Making a minimum wage in our Society, with rent and living, ensures you are on food stamps and Medicaid. That’s the result of equity, as Moynihan called it, “dumbing down our Society.”  That’s not building the foundation for a “life of happiness.”

4.  Expand Educational Governance

I believe in our Mayor, and yet the Bloomberg years convinced me that Mayoral control of education has not served NYC, our children and our parents.  I would call for a move back towards a Board of Education, where the Borough Presidents have a say in the educational opportunities and choices for NYC’s children, and parents again have a say at Community School Boards.  More representative, and transparent.

5. Children With Self-Esteem

Imagine if every NYC child believed in himself/herself from early childhood on, what a difference that would make.  Self esteem trainings could be mandatory in early childhood education, providing the positive tools for their life.  As the All-Stars Project says, performance is not just on stage, it’s about living your daily life, and this is happening in after-school voluntary programs.  Let’s make it happen in school.

6.  It’s a Human Rights Violation

It’s not good enough that there are excuses for the quality of education for children in NYC.  Children must be given basic educational tools to compete in our society, and have the full possibility of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  That is not happening in NYC public schools, and candidly I cannot even imagine why not.  We must envision the possible, for we are limiting the lives of our children, and I consider that a human rights violation.

 

Your 2014 New Year’s Resolutions

January 15th, 2014 by

Happy New Year 2014 !!

It’s Holiday Season, and I am joyful for the incredible circle of friends I have made throughout the years, and the fortunate life I have led.

I look at my City, and the World around me, and as NYC Mayor-Elect Bill DeBlasio so notably terms it, “a Tale of Two Cities,” I see that the rich have prospered even far beyond most people’s imagination, in years of extraordinary despair for others who no longer can afford the basic promises and dreams of America.

Fifty years ago in May, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson, in his Great Society speech delivered at the University of Michigan, said, in his words, “A great people flowers not from wealth and power, but from a society which spurs it to the fullness of its genius.  That alone is a Great Society.”

I know we can do better, and as I set my New Year’s resolutions, I rejoice with all the people I meet who are making enormous contributions to creating this better world, and who respect the twin ideals of giving and service.  I look to 2014 and beyond with extraordinary optimism and renewed purpose, to create a New Great Society, as new days are arriving when the true possibilities of a vibrant America for all can be fulfilled.

And again in the words of President Johnson, “To spread the light, to enlarge man’s inner and outer liberty, to promote the peace of our people and all people…They are the purpose, I believe, of this America.”

I wish you the Happiest and Most Amazing New Year 2014!

– Howard

 

Hi Howard, I wish you and all your dear ones a serene and healthy holiday season. Be well, stay well and stay in touch.  Ciao, Mico (Licastro)

 

Dear Howard,  Your words and thoughts resonate deeply within me.  Thank you for articulating them.  Your vision is clear and I join you.  I am proud to be a new member of the NJ All Stars Board.  I hope our paths cross soon.  Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a New Year filled with a world closer to what we work for.  All my best, (Carolyn Dorfman)

 

Wonderful thoughts. Inequality of opportunity must end. Happy Holidays, Steve (Ludsin)

 

Jeffrey to Howard:  Dear Howard,  Thanks for your inspiring words from an often times, unfairly, maligned source: LBJ.  My New Year’s resolution is to Co-Create a New World Community of love and Peace.  Possibly you would like to actively join the effort  – see our website: www.NewWorldCommunity.com.  Let me know what you think.  Merry Christmas friend – Jeffrey (B. Peters, Catherine Chase “Cici” Peters)

 

Howard.  So wonderful to hear from you and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, with health, happiness, wealth, love, and great adventures…From my command  and control center, my laptop on my dining table.

All the best, Leslie (Mandel)

 

Hi Howard:  This is a very interesting wish for the future…if you haven’t already seen it, watch “Broken City”
on HBO.  When are you coming to S. Florida? I’m looking forward to seeing you again one of these days.
Lots of Love and Healthy Wishes for the New Year.  Phyllis (Gross)

 

Best to you and yours, Howard. Hope all is well.   Ross M. Wallenstein

 

Truly wonderful thoughts, Howard.

Larry and I wish you a Happy, Healthy and Joyous New Year. (Larry and Shelly Strickler)

 

Lovely..I read it twice… Loved the Johnson quotes.  Rhonda (Barad)

 

Howard!  All the best in this new year.  Fred Cerullo

 

Howard- Very Nice – Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy and Healthy New Year.  Michael New

 

Right on the money–or lack of it, Howard. This is an inspiring note. Happy holiday season to all, except for anti-Semites and racists. Abee  gezundt! Joe Dorinson

 

Thank you Howard. My best wishes for the coming year.  Edward D. Pollack

 

Hello Howard!  Thank you for your thoughtful holiday greetings.  I always appreciate optimism, especially the kind that comes from doing good work.  I hope you have a wonderful 2014 and look forward to the next time our paths cross.  Please do let me know if ever you are in Montreal. Very Best Wishes,  Skawennati

 

Happy Holidays to you from New Orleans!!  Abrasos!!  Sharon (Frazier)

 

dear howard…what lovely and meaningful  thoughts…i haven’t made any resolutions yet, but yours have given me the impetus..happy new year to you from sarah and victor (kovner)

 

Hi Howard,  Thanks for your email. My best wishes to you for a very good 2014 year.

Cantor Joseph Malovany.

 

Howard,  A very happy new year to you too!  Ron Troy

 

Blessings To you Howard. & A Terrific 2014 & always!  JULIE & JOHN (Julie Budd)

 

How beautiful Howard! Thank you for including me in in the circle of friends to whom you sent this wonderful message! Happy New Year!! I look forward to catching up with you early in 2014.  Rella (Fogliano)

 

Merry Christmas, Howard!  Please stay healthy and happy in 2014.  MY RESOLUTION:  To make meaningful progress toward the completion of my book, “B________O: (secret title): A Blue-Eyed Brother’s Journey Through History’s Greatest Sounds.”  Best, James Taibleson

 

May 2014 bring us only happiness.  Francine Raubvogel

 

Hi Howard,  You are an amazing human being and I am proud to know you and be able to call you a friend. Watching and listening to you is an inspiration…Thank you for your help. I know we can make this world a better place for all who believe it can be. I believe as a small part of the greater good we can help those who want and thrive on our help to better themselves and the others they touch. Hope is very powerful!  I look forward to seeing you sooner than later. 🙂  Happy Holidays and a Healthy, Blessed  New Year!

Sincerely your SoupMan, Sebby (Seb Rametta)

 

How lovely  to receive your  holiday wishes and insights. We are all well and looking forward to 2014. Glad to know you are well and constant in  pursuing a good life.  Best, Marcy (Syms)

 

Happy Holidays, Howard!  All Best,  Christine DeLisle

 

Such a wonderful note, Howard.  Continued blessings to you, as well.  Have a merry, magnificent, successful and healthy New Year!  Michael (Miller)

 

Dear Howard . What a beautiful message. I wish you all the best as well may the 2014 fulfill all your wishes . We can talk may be next week if you are AROWND. All the best loula

 

Howard –  Enjoyed your inspiring holiday note… thanks for sending… and hope to see you soon… You know my devotion to biking as the healthiest, often fastest, and most fun and eco-friendly means to get around New York City… After spending nearly a week with 50 members of the East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA) biking along its trails from Hartford through NYC and on to Philadelphia, I am committed to the growing movement to make it far easier for bikers, joggers (and every other self-powered person) to travel safely and conveniently between communities up and down the Atlantic Coast.  I encourage you to join this movement, too.  Best holiday wishes,  Buzz (Boaz Shattan, Jr.)

 

Hi Howard, His words echo true through you to me.  We are very lucky living in a great city and in a great society filled with opportunity.  It;s so lovely to stay in touch with you after all these years!  Wishing you a happy holiday and may 2014 be the best year ever.  Warm regards, Lisa (Lisa Ronis)

 

Dear Howard, Thank you very much for your wishes. I am honored to be part of the circle of your friends,

I consider you a very special person. I wish you a great and meaningful 2014, all your thoughts may be reality and all your deeds bring light to the world. Happy happy new year, Rita (Benjehuda)

 

Dear Howard,  How prosaic and philosophical as I read your email Christmas afternoon between gift giving with my family and sharing the meaning of the Advent Season,  hope, peace, joy and love for all humankind. Our faiths are fundamental to reigniting the spirit of America and its glory days of serving and giving towards the rebirth of the Great Society.  Your warm words are inspirational as we embrace 2014 blessed to be contributors to help humanity become a more peaceful, prosperous and positive global society.

Happy New Year fulfilled with the wonderful of life, As always, Your Linda (Linda Stillman)

 

So beautiful..Love you, my friend.   Happy Everything. Neshama (Carlebach)

 

and to you my friend  (Gary Erbaum)

 

This is absolutely beautiful.  Wishing you and yours much health and happiness in 2014.

Best, Eileen (Flannelly)

 

You are the best, Howard. Sending you all the best wishes for a happy, prosperous, and healthy 2014.

Lynne (Winters)

 

Hey Howard – Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year as well (from halfway around the globe – in Chiangmai, Thailand).  Howie (Katz)

 

Hi Howard Teich,       So glad to hear from you.  I also value you and our friendship and all that you’ve done to support all kinds of folks to be able to hear me and FN.  Boy do I miss him.!!  I am fine and doing all kinds of things. I also wanted to let you know that Commissioner Bratton will be bringing greetings at the Operation Conversation Cops and Kids event that I am doing in Bklyn on January 3rd  to train the entire NYPD graduating class of 1100 cops and about 500 people from the community.  Its at the Christian Cultural Center.  Any chance???? Anyway,  my resolution is to continue to put poverty on the front lines of what it is that we have to over throw  in this country and in the world.  Love u dearly, my brother.  See u soon!

Lenora (Fulani)

 

Howard, Best wishes for year of peace and possibility.  I look forward to creating this new world with you.  I don’t usually make specific resolutions.  In general, it is to keep giving and building pbu that’s more like breathing, something I need to do to live.  Jeff (Arons)

 

Hello Howard, very up lifting and well written!  Thank you for you undying interest in what is going on around and inside of us!  I also think that we have a great year ahead of us.  My resolutions are humble and personal: 1.To be a better person towards my loved ones and to the entire the world.2.Spend more time on myself – health wise  3.Create the best art possible and promote likeminded artists.I wish you all the best in the up coming 2014 ! Love, luck, health, wealth and joy, lots of it:)  Artem Mirolevich

 

Howard, thank you for your thoughtful and inspired good wishes. I wish you and our nation as well as the world a happier, healthier, more prosperous and peaceful year ahead. Best, Ethan Eldon

 

Happy New Year Howard!  Ray (Raymond J. Dowd)

 

Dear Howard,  Warmest best  wishes for the new year. With Bill de Blasio at the helm, it promises to be an exciting and productive year. Bill (William J. vanden Heuvel)

 

..Beauty..Freshness..Dreams..Truth..Imagination..Feeling..Faith..Trust!  This is the beginning of a new year.

Happy New Year, Dear Friend.  Manal Faisal Alsharief

 

Howard – All the best to you in the New year.  I am pleased to see another fan of Lyndon Johnson, whom I admire immensely, warts and all.  Sam (Samuel F. Abernethy)

 

Howard:  Happy New Year and may 2014 be a prosperous year for you. Ronald Law

 

Howard.  What wonderful thoughts for 2014!  I am in total agreement about the “Tale of Two Cities.”  Let’s hope with Mayor Bill DeBlasio, it will change.  Thank you for sharing.  Best wishes to you for a wonderful and healthy 2014.  Linda (Gras)

 

Happy new year, Howard!  (Mama Doni)

 

Nice to be included in your expression of Joy.   My reaction is: Why Johnson? He lied about the Vietnam war.  .Consider Thurgood Marshall: A society can not have both greed and democratic values and flourish.

 

I have not quoted him correctly but you get the drift. Giving and service is commendable.The piece that irks me is that relative to their incomes, the people who can least afford to give, give a greater percent of their income. They understand the struggle because they live it.

 

Have you heard about the book, The New Jim Crow? I listened to it on my way to and from work. It is well researched and a startling picture of the state of inequality of the US.

 

We both wish the same for our country. I worry as I live in a working class neighbor hood. My neighbor drove a bread truck all his adult life.He had health insurance and was looking forward to being able to stop working, a the repetitive movements of his job left him with aches. BUT his company sold out to a larger concern. To keep his job the company forced him to be an independent driver. He now runs his own business, has to pay an accountant to handle the details. He drives the same route. He rises at 3am each day. He makes less money now than before.

 

Thank goodness for Obama Care. It gives him some reassurance. His son-in-law lost his job in upstate NY. They moved in to live with my neighbor. 4 adults and 3 children under the age of 5 in a 900 square house. The only silver lining is after 2 years,  the young family has been able to qualify for a bank loan and are looking for a house.

 

My sister-in-law isn’t good with money, her first husband lived a few years after a massive stroke playing squash. She remarried but over the years has not been able to have success with her art degree. She now stocks the shelves in a large grocery store working the night shift. She’s been there about 8 years. This past year after her husband had 1 lung removed due to cancer, he doesn’t make as much, plus he’s 70 and she’s 59. She has had to rely on the food bank.

 

I believe in our country, and thank Diane Sawyer for her Made in America campaign. Until those without understand that they are being sold a life style they can’t afford via commercials they won’t understand that politicians favor themselves. I’d like to have a senator’s health insurance plan.

 

I don’t understand the need to pay hundreds of dollars for shoes, etc. Why do bankers make millions after ruining the lives of so many of the employed people at the bank? Why is a corporation considered a person so that big business can buy their way to what they want?  Blah, Blah, Blah.

 

OK I’ll get off my own soap box. I agree whole heartedly that we can not provide for our society until those with the power recognize that craving more wealth and power undermines the middle class. Without people to buy goods the companies can’t grow. My understanding of the Golden Rule is two-fold. The original message and: Those with the gold rule.

 

Thanks for being a sounding board. I appreciated your New Year’s Wishes. I wish you the same.

People have been a source of change and we will continue to do this work for the betterment of all.

 

I believe one’s thoughts do become a reality.

My wishes are simple. For Linda to find the reason her back continues to “go out” so often. To find the reason for her condition and her pain.

 

For mom and dad to continue to be healthy.

 

To continue to find the joy in teaching and know I make a difference in the lives of the children I touch.

 

To have seen the worst in 2013 of catastrophic weather related destruction to the earth and people’s lives.

For 2014 to be a calm year in the world for weather and war related deaths.

 

For those with internal wars in their own countries to find peace through reconciliation, following the example set by Mandela.

 

Thanks for relatives and friends who are in my life.

 

Jane (Weinstein)

 

Additional Comments on Jane’s response

 

Howard to Jane:  What an astounding response, and one I do want to put on my website as a comment, with resolution, to my 2014 New Years note, when we put them on there.  It is so impactful, and so real.  That’s precisely where we can, and must do better.

 

By the way, on Johnson, there are really two parts to what he did.  One was Vietnam, and we all opposed that, and had a difficult time with him because of that.  The other part was his domestic policy, and his Great Society concept, and the domestic legislation he enacted during his administration that has had lasting impact, and I think is particularly significant today, and to such an extent, that we should take a relook at it.

 

Always wonderful to hear from you, and I do hope, Jane , that you have the best year in 2014!

 

– Howard

 

Jane to Howard:  Thanks for your kind words. You’re welcome to put it on your site. I perhaps would like to revise the Johnson comment to  acknowledge his vision re:  domestic policy and the Great Society, especially the war on poverty.

January, February 2014

January 10th, 2014 by

1. Welcoming Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

Melissa Mark-Viverito waged a strong, direct, and progressive campaign, becoming the first Latino woman to serve as NY City Council Speaker. The attacks by certain of NYC’s newspapers were unseemly.  A real opportunity, and challenge for NYC to make a progressive agenda work, and I welcome her leadership.

2.  NYC – A Tale of Two Cities

Giving recognition to people in our City who have been leading a hard life, and who have not had a voice, is a good thing.  Incredible to watch the stir among those who have been in power the last number of years.  My advice to them, get over it, and support a more inclusive, future NYC.  The fact is that Bill DeBlasio has made many of us take off the blinders.  NY is still the best City in the world!

3.  The Sports Business in NYC

As the City celebrates hosting the SuperBowl with unaffordable ticket prices to most New Yorkers, and when everyday professional basketball, football, hockey, and even now baseball tickets are largely out of range for most NYers, it is time to relook at the obligations of team owners, and their millionaire players, to the fans who cheer them on, and are priced out of the stadiums.

4.  The Miley Cyrus Syndrome

With twerking and less clothes, Miley Cyrus made a career branding choice that has boosted her to the top, and on that level, I may even admire it.  However, if the shift was a corporate decision for profit inducing a young woman to offer her body up as a soft-porn image for her 8-15 year old fans, I have to ask, “what’s gone wrong in our society?”

5.  Do You Understand the Fed’s $4 Trillion?

I just got to ask the question.  In terms of our long-term obligations, what’s the difference between the U.S debt increasing, and the Fed’s buying $4 trillion of our Debt? Haven’t we printed $4 trillion to cover unfunded debt, and haven’t we just added additional obligations to our $17 trillion debt?  Clearly, if we added directly to the debt, we would know what the money was spent on, and yet, with The Federal Reserve, where’s the “trickle down?”

6.  New Thinking to an Israel-Palestinian Peace

With negotiations underway in the Middle East, in my recently-published article, Holding On to Our Homeland (listed under Articles in this Website), I make the case for Israel’s declaring sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, (the West Bank) and annexing the land now.  The hard work of uplifting all the people there, and creating a vibrant new society that serves everyone, could then begin.