Posts in On Our Mind

Funny if it wasn’t so tragic

April 25th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 14 comments

One picture is worth a thousand words. My husband was invited to give an economic speech at a northern California college. Naturally, in an educational environment, students must be shielded from hearing opinions that aren’t part of liberal orthodoxy. And people wonder why we don’t support making college more available and affordable. It seems to us that fewer people going to college today would be an excellent idea.  (more…)

April 21st, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 3 comments

I admit to not following the Bill O’Reilly/Fox News story carefully. One of the lovely plusses of a holiday like Passover is five days with no communication from the outside world (the first two and last two days of Passover and the Sabbath in the middle.) However, if a comment about there being a lot of blondes at Fox is seen as proof of sexual harassment, then perhaps it’s time to ban women from the workplace. People make bad jokes all the time; people make stupid jokes all the time. Having everybody walk on eggshells or refrain from talking because, “everything you say can and will be used against you,” does not make for a healthy workplace. There is plenty of real harassment of all kinds that goes on. In my opinion, that comment doesn’t make the cut.

Have a wonderful day

April 16th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

Wishing all our Christian friends a wonderful Easter.

Recite, Repeat, Rejuvenate

April 14th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

Very early in the Passover Seder we ask a question, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” followed by four examples of unusual behavior. This section is often inaccurately called “The Four Questions.” From there, we annually follow the same program, reading, singing and/or chanting the same words, eating the same foods and doing the same actions as our ancestors. Yet, if that is all that you do, there is every chance that your Seder can become an uninspiring chore. It may foster warm family feeling, but do little for one’s relationship with God.

The test of a truly successful Seder, is one that indeed is exactly like every previous one in its details, but that is breathtakingly groundbreaking in terms of the discussion, questions, debate and insights. What a wonderful model for any family, group or country that wants to survive and thrive over the long term. If you break away from the core requirements, you lose your connection to the past,  becoming something new rather than a continuation of your past. If you cling so narrowly to the past that you can’t explore new avenues and see things with fresh eyes, you become a fossil.

May we all have the wisdom to know when to cling tenaciously to the past and when to fearlessly forge the future.

 

Congratulations!

April 7th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

Thank you to Justice Gorsuch,  President Trump,  Senator McConnell and the Republican Congress for standing firmly by your principles and promises. Congratulations are due to you and to all Americans.

 

Why America Should Ignore Assad & Syria

April 6th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 10 comments

…and the other fifty vicious dictators killing their citizens in fifty different countries in South America, Africa and Asia. It is undeniably tragic and unbearably sad to see the victims, particularly when they are children as they often are.
But if it is the United States government’s responsiblity to tax us to whatever extent necessary in order to underwrite the project of ending suffering around the world, why stop with killings? There are people suffering and dying from disease and hunger in those same fifty countries and another fifty besides.
Compassion is a beautiful emotion and entirely appropriate for you and me. But it is a terrible policy for guiding the actions of government. If you want to raise money to help suffering human beings, more power to you. Contact me for a small donation. But for government, with its power to tax, compassion is a bottomless pit that will ultimately impoverish Americans and still leave them frustrated at the endless suffering around the world. As for removing Assad and replacing him with the city council of Wichita, Kansas, culture counts. George W Bush learnt the futility of spending American blood and money to try bring American style government to barbaric regions that lacked the many years of western tradition. Some matters really are none of our business. What is more, the problem that impacts not only America but individuals like you and me is that when we busy ourselves with big and ultimately futile projects, we neglect the many things we could be doing and really should be doing. Am I right?

Have you heard this week’s podcast yet?

March 29th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind No Comment yet

The pic is me waiting for my wife to finish shopping in the village of Gibsons, British Columbia and other than conjuring up a magically beautiful day, has nothing whatsoever to do with the important topic of male female relationships. So, moving on, which story is more realistic, “Cinderella” or its opposite, “The Princess and the Peasant”? Many women freeze their eggs. Would men if they could? Men who fail to confront their masculinity become thugs or wimps. Strong masculine good men make women very happy just as strong sweet feminine women make men very happy. The difference is that women dare not admit it. Actually many men have also been intimidated by the culture. Join me as I discuss and link all of this on the podcast. You can hear it now; just click. https://soundcloud.com/rabbi-daniel-lapin-show

Let’s Hate Everyone

March 28th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 2 comments

One of the basic tenets of raising children (or dealing with adults) is to notice and reward good behavior more than catching and punishing bad behavior. Smiles and frowns are both contagious, but spreading one leads to a happier world while the other makes everything seem worse.

We seem to have a frenzied flap over something or other on a regular basis now – even leaving aside politics. The latest one I caught was over United Airlines enforcing the dress rules that they have for “pass travelers,” who are flying for free as relatives of United employees.

Twitter, the blogosphere, Facebook, Snapchat all reward busybodies and hotheads. These forums can obviously be used for good purposes and have been, but they encourage us to think that we have to step in and add our voice to everything we see or hear about. Inevitably, jumping to conclusions and lack of judgment become the order of the day. As well, those whose lives are emptier have more time (and need?) to be heard, often in strident and vulgar tones.

I recognize the irony that by posting here I am sharing my views on this on the blogosphere, Twitter and Facebook. I hope that doesn’t make me a busybody and hothead – does it?

Ever Wonder About the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

March 19th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 4 comments

The synagogue I was privileged to plant and serve in California had a ball team that played in a local league. We called our synagogue ball team, “The Elders of Zion”. Since this is the name of one of history’s most notorious anti-Semitic forgeries, not everyone was amused but the team thrived and gradually people loosened up and chilled out. Meanwhile, I thought it was time to tear the covers off those “Elders” which I do in this podcast episode. Don’t miss it as I don’t think I want to leave it up on the Internet indefinitely. The episode is entitled Who’s Running Things: The Bilderbergers? The United Nations? Jews? Secret Socialists? Well, I explain the true answer here: https://soundcloud.com/rabbi-daniel-lapin-show

Why Are Weather Warnings These Days Increasingly Apocalyptic and Increasingly Wrong?

March 14th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 2 comments

Have you noticed how winter weather warnings are increasingly over-hyped lately? “This one is a killer, folks!” or “This will be the biggest storm of the season 12-18 inches of snow” are the usual headlines but it’s become a case of crying “Wolf!”. It’s almost as if weather forecasters are trying to outdo one another with ever more grandiose visions of snowmagedon. Why do they predict such dire outcomes when time and time again, what actually arrives is not a howling hurricane but a whimper.
Some might say, better safe than sorry but this completely ignores the massive and entirely unnecessary costs imposed by disruption to business and home life. Schools closing unnecessarily cause parents to have to miss work. Businesses and offices fear the liability that could accompany ignoring serious storm warnings so they announce one or two day closures. There are real costs associated with apocalyptic forecasts that don’t materialize.
Why do they do it? There is a vast political-bureaucratic disaster industry in America. FEMA is one of many agencies who collect federal and state funds based on their ‘disaster needs’ and ‘disaster readiness’. Announcers and forecasters are liable to fear repercussions from under warning but experience little or no consequence from over warning. People are just relieved that the horrors did not materialize. What is more, a materialistic culture sees prevention of possible loss of life as the highest value. Many would, if they could, limit non-official vehicles to a speed limit of 20mph which would save over 60% of the 30,000 annual vehicular deaths. Costs to business are largely invisible so mayors and others gain valuable airtime talking of their urgent desire to protect their voters from harm and of their many programs to prevent any hurt. This is just one more example of how a damaged culture works against its own health.

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