News & Politics


Imprisoned by Insecurity

Today, although I’m writing about Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker, and indeed I’m writing about border security, this post is not about politics. It’s about how our search for most any kind of security – be it national, cultural or personal – can actually make us increasingly insecure. Over the weekend, Walker spoke about citizens having “legitimate concerns” about security along the U.S. border with Canada; he called the idea of building a fence along our northern border (along with the wall he supports building across our border with Mexico) “something to......

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Trump: How He Mastered Media Spin by Fixing an Ice Rink

We best understand the world through compelling narratives. Here’s one that helps us process the phenomenon known as Trump for President: Once upon a time there was an ice skating rink in Central Park that could no longer make ice. No one could figure out how to fix the skating rink. Years went by and millions of dollars were spent and still no ice. One day a white knight wearing a bright red tie showed up and said: “Let there be ice!” Four months later there was ice. When asked by the......

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Heroics on a Train Yield Lessons in Courage

What’s your definition of a hero? Of course, there are lots of ways to describe heroes and acts of heroism, but today, three names really stand out: Stone, Sadler and Skarlatos. Like so many others, I watched the recent media reports as Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos described taking down a heavily armed gunman with help from other passengers (Chris Norman of the U.K. and Mark Moogalian of France) aboard a train full of people headed from Amsterdam to Paris. All three young Americans were remarkably modest and unassuming in......

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Reading President Obama and the Iran Deal, From the Bottom Up

Whether you support President Obama and the deal with Iran, oppose it, are genuinely uncertain about where you stand, or even if you are just plain tired of the ongoing debate about it, I have an article for you. Former Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, and long-time communal leader Alan Solow, a friend, counselor and board member of Clal, publisher of The Wisdom Daily, wrote an opinion piece for JTA, which is worth the few short minutes it will take you to read. It will actually make......

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'Scenema' and the Truth According To Darren Wilson

Driven by their own quest to better understand the emotions, conflict and complexities that emerged from the tragedy of Michael Brown’s death, filmmakers Sol Guy and Ezra Miller have just premiered a provocative experimental work – a standalone “scene,” extruded from the larger drama of Ferguson, Mo. The four-and-a-half minute piece is called “The Truth According to Darren Wilson,” and it has inaugurated a new feature, The Scene, on Tribeca Film’s website*. The site describes The Scene as a platform as a place “for actors, writers, and directors to create, collaborate, and......

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The Sacred Right to Vote

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: In celebration of the U.S. Congress passing the Voting Rights Act 50 years ago, it’s a time to remember how many people fought long and hard against discriminatory policies in order to gain access to the voting process. Exercising that right to cast a ballot should be sacred in American culture.? “The law does seem to be pretty vital we have a participation problem in this country. How do we creatively incentivize voting?” Watch my video for more insight and discussion.   ?......

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Sounding the Alarm in America: The Legacy of Ferguson

Originally published last year on The Wisdom Daily, this piece remains acutely relevant as we approach one year since the fatal shooting on August 9, 2014, of Michael Brown: In the summer of 1982, I went looking for a new apartment in St. Louis (I lived and served as a rabbi there until 1987, making lifelong friends). There were many nice things about the area – the Arch, the Cardinals, Washington University, the Symphony – but race was not one of them. My introduction to the problem of race in St. Louis......

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Is Donald Trump a Disruptive Political Innovation?

Excerpted from a Forbes.com article by Craig Hatkoff and The Wisdom Daily co-founder Irwin Kula:?Despite all of the hoopla about Donald Trump’s quixotic quest to become the 45th president of the United States, it remains highly improbable, in spite of leading in the Republican polls, that the Donald will ever sit in the Oval Office. It is easy to cast aspersions and ridicule almost everything about Donald’s shoot-from-the-hip campaign; his inflammatory and offensive epithets about Mexicans, his over-simplified Wollman Rink strategy for the Middle East, his cringe-worthy McCain bashing, his arrogant diatribes......

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The German Chancellor and the Crying Refugee

In the midst of a very eventful summer for the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently found that she’d unexpectedly gone viral on YouTube. During Merkel’s otherwise pedestrian TV appearance on Good Living in Germany, a 13-year-old Palestinian refugee named Reem asked a heartbreaking question about facing deportation from Germany to her native Lebanon. When Merkel noticed the girl cry, she reached out to console her, saying that she’d done well. But the moderator took exception, saying this was not about doing well, but about Reem’s anxiety. Merkel insisted she was......

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Is Negotiating Without a Deal Productive?

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: In life, we all know the ends shouldn’t justify the means. But let’s not invert that, either. In Vienna, as we pass another deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran, U.S. officials are praising their productive negotiations – with little to show for it: “The reason to successfully come to some arrangement between the various countries is not to validate the process and justify the expenditure of time; it’s to create peaceful relations between potentially warring nations.”? Watch my video for more insight and......

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