March 8, 2017: Fourth time a charge

By
March 7, 2017 21:52

If the legislation goes ahead, I can smoke pot and not be a criminal, smoke it again and still not be a criminal, but if I smoke it four times? Pow, I am a criminal!




Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Fourth time a charge

Albert Einstein (or possibly Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin or an old Chinese proverb) once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. They would be interested to learn that our cabinet ministers disagree (“Ministers okay decriminalization policy for use of cannabis,” March 6).

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If it becomes law, the bill would decriminalize marijuana use by first-time offenders. If the legislation goes ahead, I can smoke pot and not be a criminal, smoke it again and still not be a criminal, but if I smoke it four times? Pow, I am a criminal! It is not clear to me how something can become a criminal offense simply by repeating it, but the idea has much merit.

Perhaps the Knesset can extend this logic to bank robberies.

ROGER KAYE
Rehovot

Bias and agenda

Eli Podeh (“The third counter- wave to democracy and liberalism,” Comment & Features, March 6) reveals his bias and agenda in the opening paragraph when he besmirches conservative governments as being both “right-wing” and “ignominious,” the first being subjective and the second being offensive. Aside from the fact that there are vast differences between the various non-leftist governments and opposition parties in Europe, it is not they who are the threat to freedom.

On the contrary.

Podeh outrageously lumps together what he calls “narrow- minded intolerant nationalism bordering on fascism in countries that enjoy territorial legitimacy (in the West)” and “religious fundamentalism in others (in parts of Africa and the Middle East).” The opposite is true. It is the vast, supra-national, unaccountable government of the EU in partnership with equally unaccountable globalist interests that has much in common with a supra-national Islamic tsunami that rejects national identities and seeks to subdue and control vast swaths of the globe, if not its entirety.

Renewed nationalism is not merely an effort by ordinary people to reclaim their culture and identities. It is also a rebellion against megalithic political forces and bureaucracies over which they have zero control and which are hell-bent on erasing religion, heritage, singularity and all that makes people feel a sense of familiality and identity.

Despite having much in common, there is one chief difference between the EU and globalist Islamism. The former cannot muster any grassroots loyalty or support – no one is rallying around the flag of the EU or has any patriotic desire to defend it in the trenches. The same cannot be said, though, for radical Islamism, which is able to recruit critical participatory support from rank and file Muslims, and massive passive support from Muslims at large.

With such a clash in the offing, there is no way for the EU to prevail against a Muslim demographic, terrorist and military invasion. It is a question only of when, not whether.

J.J. GROSS

Jerusalem

Targeting Trump

Your March 3 editorial “Trump’s apologists” contrasts with your past inaction to condemn then-president Barack Obama for his perennial abdication of leadership regarding acts of Islamic antisemitism.

There was also inaction by Jewish members of Congress who are now leading the witch hunt against President Donald Trump’s closest advisers.

Will Jared Kushner be next?

KARL HUTTENBAUER

Berlin

The recent time frame has brought about distinct changes in the political scene. Never before has any US president gained the notoriety and press coverage that Donald Trump has. He provides the media with an inordinate amount of news and yet Congress has not acted against him.

Trump says what he wants without corroboration. Truth means nothing to him. If attacked by the press, he makes his own news with unsubstantiated diversions about others.

Accused of having ties with Russia and seeking to deflect from the statement, he shows a picture of Democratic Sen.

Charles Schumer of New York with Russian President Vladimir Putin; the photo was taken at an open gathering.

Trump is a dangerous man.

He undermines freedom of the press, which is essential to our democracy. His tactics of intimidation make those around him less likely to challenge him. His inability to accept criticism makes him closed to input from others, and his need for adoration makes him weak and less open to reality.

This is the man that is our president. He was not chosen by a majority vote, so we cannot say he represents the majority of the people. His election should make it more crucial to abolish the Electoral College.

Trump’s reign will set us back to the pre-Roosevelt era. Can we really afford to be complacent? The ethical Republicans in our elected bodies have got to join with their Democratic colleagues to banish this blight.

MARILYN GINSBURG

Lake Worth, Florida

My grandfather, Albert Joseph Bialek, came to the United States from Poland in 1910. Per the Ellis Island website, he boarded the ship Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse in Bremen, Germany.

He had just completed his service in the Austrian army. Upon being discharged, he returned to his father’s farm.

Officers from the Austrian army made an attempt to reenlist him, but tradition dictated that he could remain at home so long as he was sorely needed on the farm. Immediately after the officers departed, Albert’s father gave him his brother Jan’s travel documents and instructed him to emigrate to the United States. His father knew that war was coming and didn’t want to lose his son to it.

It took me longer to locate my grandfather on the passenger list because I had forgotten that he was traveling under the name Jan. Given the fact that he entered the US under the name Jan Bialek and later burned his immigration papers, it is evident that he was by definition an “illegal immigrant.”

He went on to become a very hard-working brick mason and law-abiding citizen, raising 12 children with the help of his Polish wife, Mary. The rest, as they say, is history.

Just as Cleveland is a city of neighborhoods, so the United States is a country of immigrants.

In fact, all the major cities of America served as incubators for immigrants to not only become accustomed to the ways of the country, but to intermingle with each other, something often prohibited in their native land.

Preventing immigration is not the solution. Intense vetting is acceptable during these challenging times, but to unfairly deny one person access to the United States makes us all orphans.

As a popular song by Graham Nash goes, let me in, immigration man.

JOE BIALEK
Cleveland, Ohio

Callous perspective

In “Tunneling protocols” (Editor’s Notes, March 3), Yaakov Katz asks us to look at the tunnel threat from the correct perspective.

He writes: “Terrorist tunnels are dangerous. They can be used to infiltrate a kibbutz and massacre dozens of people. But they do not pose an existential threat to the State of Israel.”

A massacre of dozens is certainly an existential threat, and to write off the lives of our fellow citizens in the South is a callous, hardhearted perspective.

MOSHE KAHAN
Beit El

CORRECTION


It was Marlon Brando, as the character Sky Masterson, who sang “Luck Be a Lady” in the 1955 film Guys and Dolls, and not as stated in “Magical musical moments” (Arts & Entertainment, March 7).


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