RIP, Edie Windsor. You are my Hero

*video courtesy of You Tube and Huff Post Live

Last week, the world lost an awe-inspiring hero for supporters of LGBTQ civil rights. Tiny, tough, lusty and outrageously fierce, Edie Windsor was the main plaintiff in the case that made it all the way to the Supreme Court, United States v. Windsor.

You see, Edie and her same-sex partner Thea were together as a couple for 40 years. After an absurdly long and loving engagement In 2007, they loudly and proudly said, I do,” in Toronto, a place where gay marriage was both safe and legal. Thea died two years later, in 2009, leaving her entire estate to her spouse, Edie, in the form of a revocable trust. But you see DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), and the people who built this hateful excuse of a law specifically defined ‘marriage’ as deliberately excluding same-sex couples. They couldn’t see ‘us.’  They went so far as to say that the term ‘spouse’ only refers to that of a ‘man and a woman.’

Edie filed taxes after the death of her lifelong love, and justly claimed the federal estate tax that allows exemptions for surviving spouses. The IRS not only barred the exemption, they forced her to pay $363,053 in taxes. Quiet and demure never described Edie. She boldly set off on the battle of a lifetime. All of us in the LGBTQ community, we were with her every step of the way. After forking over all of Thea’s loot to the government, she filed a federal lawsuit for a full refund of the nearly $400k, stating DOMA was unconstitutional, unfair and singled out legally married, same-sex couples.

Windsor fought to overturn DOMA where non-sensical legal language stripped equality from life as she and many others of us knew it. Oral arguments were heard in March of 2013.  On June 26th of that same year, ‘the Supremes’ sang out in favor of love. This court, in a 5-4 decision (thank you, Justice Kennedy! Please never, ever retire), affirmed that DOMA was unconstitutional “as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment.”

In my household, as in gazillions of same-sex households across the US, it was the feeling of sheer, unfettered joy. Phones rang, hearts throbbed, hugs, kisses, and high-fives could be heard in most major metropolitan areas where we believed we would be safer far and wide, and we were all alive with the promise of equality happening right before our very eyes.

Book the hall, call the caterer, hot-damn, we were going to be legal. In this lifetime. In our lifetime.

Once, when my Big, she was about two, maybe three years old and she asked us to see our wedding pictures. We told her we weren’t married. She asked why, and we looked at each other and said, the law, it doesn’t allow us to marry. She started to cry. We told her that despite the law, love wins.

Edie will be remembered as a powerful trailblazer in the long history of the gay rights movement. A queen in the Yiddish fight club! I am forever grateful for her, and all the others before her who went out on a limb and stood up for what is right. The positive outcome of her battle against the establishment has led to many happy and loving nuptials with similar ridiculously long engagements. (Ours was a mere 17 years… and we married legally in 2013)

Edie, you will be missed. Thank you for giving me and my mishpocheh (family) the gift of equality and acceptance in a time where we are tested, challenged, and opposed daily. Your giant heart gave out on you at 88, but we can still feel your pulse of hope. You will live on in our hearts each and every day. We carry your torch proudly and hope to keep moving our case for equality, justice, and authenticity forward.

My deepest sympathies to your surviving wife and family that are left behind. You left a tacca (big) set of shoes to fill, and you have proven that love does win.

To make promises and to love don’t cost any money. Tsuzogn un lib hobn kostn kayn gelt nisht.

My Mrs., Big, Little, I love you! Ich hob dier lieb!

     

      

      

      

 

Waking Up is Hard, With You

I don’t know about you, but this US-based Yiddishah momma isn’t sleeping so hot. The chaos of the world, the tweeter-in-chief, the backward direction of history, and the fears of a horrid times repeating all leave me with angst, anxiety and some pretty hefty carry-on baggage under the eyes these days. Nightmares, daymares, heart palpitations… oy vey iz mir.

a parody on Neil Sedaka’s lyrics, “Breaking up is Hard to Do”

we stupid huge win win
we stupid huge win win
Drumpf schlumpy trump dump trump
Drumpf schlumpy trump dump trump
Waking up is hard, with you
Don’t take my rights away from me
You’re breaking laws and changing history
Jamming justice, we know it’s true
Waking up is hard, with you
Looking back, phone alerts were much less scary
With just one tweet, you spooked the military
It’s Mueller time, the grand review
Waking up is hard, with you
They say that waking up is hard, with you
Now I know
I know we’re all screwed
Imploding health care and refugee bans
Are all of your decisions based on the teeny-tiny size of your hands?
I beg of you, stop the racist crap
Vlad, just share with us the wire tap
Global warming, it’s making me blue
Waking up is hard, with you
They say that waking up is hard, with you
Now I know
I know we are screwed
‘Murica should not be run by a business man
Are all of your decisions based on the teeny-tiny size of your hands?
we stupid huge win win
we stupid huge win win
Drumpf schlumpy trump dump trump
Drumpf schlumpy trump dump trump
Waking up is hard, with you
I don’t understand what is happening in our world. Ikh ton nit farshteyn voz iz gesheenish in aundzer velt.
Okay, if you would like to hear the real version of this ‘borscht belt’ singer and writer, click below, courtesy of our friends at YouTube:

      

     

      

Blog, Shmog: Today an Interview

People, thank you for joining us today for this very special interview. After the very disappointing US withdrawal from the Paris Accord, I asked both Mother Earth and mr t to join me, over a nice babka (delicious cake) and coffee, to answer just a few questions. I hope you all find this informative and provides you all with the strength you need to take action.

Q: Do you believe in climate change?

A: Mother Earth Are you kidding me? I am one hot momma, schvitzing (sweating my ass off) like the ‘mother of all menopausal hot flashes.’ Mara Lago, you will be the first to enter the drink as my own sweat forces your little southern white house under the Atlantic. And remember mr t, hurricane season, she just started! Nu? I’m just sayin’. Can you please pass me a glass of water. Vey iz mir (Woe is me), I am parched.

A: mr t I would just like to say, America first. That’s all. That’s why you hired me. And I did win. Did you see those crowds at the inauguration? Biggest crowds to date. Very big crowds. I won.

Q: Why on fucking earth would you pull out from an accord (not legally binding) designed to voluntarily make the world a better, stronger, safer and healthier planet for all in the future?

A: Mother Earth It’s obvious this horrible excuse for a man is a shlemiel (someone who is useless, clueless, inept). 

A: mr t Global warming, climate change, whatever you people call it is all a Chinese-inspired hoax, you know, by the Chinese. Not Americans. America first. I won.

Q: How does it feel to be condemned by world leaders near and far?

A: Mother Earth Smart, he isn’t. My wish for him is that may all his teeth should fall out, except for one. And in that one tooth, he should have a toothache! And may that toothache be a preexisting condition. That should be his tsuris (troubles). 

A: mr t They are all just jealous of my business skills and good looks. I know a bad deal and this was a bad deal. Very bad deal. And, since I won, I can do whatever I want to. And I will erase everything that Obama did. Because I’m a racist, and my life and my deep pockets matter most. And I am the best looking of all the world leaders. Best looking by far. And I won.

Q: How can you explain all of the horrible, tragic storms, massive floods, and hottest temperatures on record? 

A: Mother Earth — Du kanst nicht oif meinem fus pishen und mir sagen klass es regen ist. Don’t pee on my foot and tell me it’s raining. Even your first lady-daughter, Ivanka, her nogudnik, gonif (a man of shady character) of a husband, President Jared, and oil maven, Tex-Rex Tillerson wanted you to stay in the deal. I bet they watched from inside, in the air-conditioning, since they were absent at the Rose Garden. 

A: mr t — Everyone knows I am right. This is a big, very big hoax. All of you countries, all 187 of you, got together, just to make the US, which I love so much, economically feeble. Do you see how many syllables are in the word economically? The leaders of the world, they will all come begging to sit at my table and talk to me about a new deal. The art of the deal. It will be the American Accord. We are the best, and I won. Coal is clean. Coal is good. Oil is clean. Oil is good. I speak for Pittsburgh. Boo Paris. I won. The Pittsburgh Accord. 

Q: Is there anything either of you would like to add to the conversation today?

A: Mother Earth — Climate change is not a bubbe-meiseh (old wives tale). It is real and the outcome can be catastrophic. Just remember, no one is as deaf as the one who will not listen. And, let me add, just because you can talk, it doesn’t mean you’re making sense. How many ‘once in a lifetime’ storms will plague our earth before you see what we are doing? 

A: mr t — The deal is not fair. I won. And, I would just like to say, America first. That’s all. That’s why you hired me. And I did win. Did you see those crowds at the inauguration? Biggest crowds to date. Very big crowds. I won.

Well. That was… yes, it was. Thank you, Mother Earth, and mr t for coming today. I must go now and march in a rally for ending gun violence. Never before have I had so many opportunities to show up and support so many causes. Oy vey… (OMG)

Zei gezunt. Be healthy, be well. 

Please.

     

     

Show me a Sign?

I woke up today, a good thing. So did you, because you are reading. Nu? Already, two good things. I looked at the news on my phone… Palm Sunday Church bombings in Egypt. Dozens killed. US Aircraft carrier heading over to get closer to North Korea. A deadly truck attack in Sweden. Sweden??

I took Gatsby on a walk on a nice sunny morning and I said, “G, we need to see some sign of hope.” On the way home, look what I saw.

Yes, this sums it up pretty nicely

The highest form of wisdom is kindness. di hekhstn far fun khkhmh iz guthartsikayt.

May we all wise up and have hope.

      

 

I AM WOMAN, the musical

Nu? This mr t, he has me farklempt (all choked up) with his evil and hatred. Not too long ago, I wrote a post, I AM WOMAN HEAR MY VOICE. Well, I’ve taken it to the stage folks. Please, bear with my (awful) voice as I stumble through my own, personal feminist anthem.

Please feel free to sing along. If only to cover up my voice! Vey iz mir…I’m meshuggeneh (crazy), but I am so motivated to peacefully make a change. Because Never Again, is now folks. 

Great big hugs and love to Mackenzie for her gorgeous participation and support! And Kristin, where would I be without the bug you put in my ear? And to all of you brave, men, women and children who showed up, and continue to show up in protest. That’s what I’m sayin.’
Why’d I do it? Well, I am trying hard to teach my kinder (little kids) to be brave, not perfect.
Hey, mr t, I Am Woman, and you, little orange man, are going to have to deal with that!
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Oy, When Health Care Is Sick

GOT HEALTH INSURANCE?

Please don’t take away my Obamacare. Officially known as the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare is part of President Barack Obama’s (my Barack!) brilliant domestic legacy. No matter what mr t and his swampsters plan to do or achieve in their terroristic plans to rid the American people of basic health care, it will remain a historical feat to be celebrated. We had a president who cared about us, authentically. Now, we have shpilkis (knots in our guts, pins and needles).

‘Repeal and replace’ are terms bandied about by the billionaires who now bully our working, huddled masses. The GOP are treating ACA like it’s ISIL. And that’s a problem. My family, we have been a part of the ACA since the beginning. We were there at the launch that admittedly was flawed. The first two years, I was on the phone for 12-15 hours at a time… And you know what? The people on the other end of the line were there to help me. They stayed on the phone too. As a family with medical issues, having a no-pre-existing condition penalty was priceless. As a family that benefits from the subsidies (paid for by taxing the elite 0.1%) in the escalating costs of healthcare and pharma, it’s a must. Obama helped me, my Mrs. and my Little and Big. Such a mensch (truly good man), he is! I am forever grateful for the Obama’s.

mr t, now he is doing his very best to gut the ACA. He says it will be less expensive if we open insurance across state lines. Oh, and get this one, he will allow us, we the people of these United States, to contribute more to our health care savings account (HSA). As if we could… Smart, he isn’t.

What we are beginning to see very clearly now is that the myopic, anemic, and uncaring Ryancouldcareless or tRUMPdoesntgiveashitcare plans will (no big a-ha here) do inconceivable harm to millions of Americans. And yes, this new plan, if successfully passed, will also assist the obscenely wealthy folk, the fat cats, the top 0.1 percenters, to line their pockets with more loot. It is estimated that:

  • Over 10 million people (that’s approximately 9.99999999999 million more than those who showed up to the inauguration) could totally lose their healthcare, including seniors and hard-working families
  • Millions of women, who count on Planned Parenthood for basic health care tests and screenings, will be shit out of luck when it comes to the ladybits department
  • Those of us with pre-existing conditions will be allowed in, but the cost of entry will be unattainable as deductibles, out of pocket costs and premiums climb higher than Mount Chimborazo
  • Big gantse machers (hot shots) health insurance executives will see crazy tax breaks in the hundreds of millions of dollars range, annually
  • Those fat cats that mr t ‘wines and dines’ at Mara Lago on our hard working dimes, will receive tax benefit savings in the mid-to-high six-figure ranges, while us ‘hundred-aires’ struggle and get bubkis (literally goat turds, also means nothing)

Call your representatives. Oh, look, here is the number should you need it, 202-224-3121. Protest peacefully and loudly. Write letters. Attend town hall meetings. Stand up for health care for all of us. Alevai (it should only happen)!

Things may get worse, before they get better. Aider es kumt di nechomeh, ken oisgaien di neshomeh.

We can do this!

Zay gezunt! Be healthy!

 

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When Never Again is now

False flags? This my friends, is not normal.
False flags? This my friends, is not normal.

A friend is not someone who wipes your tears; a friend doesn’t make you cry.  A fraynd iz nit emetser vas veyps deyn trern; a fraynd tut nisht makhn ir veynen.

What do Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Walt Disney, Winston Churchill, Coco Channel, Henry Ford, Roald Dahl, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot and Charles Lindbergh all have in common with mr t? All are anti-Semites. They all have / had a deep, dark and outspoken hatred of Jews.

Hating Jewish people is not a new phenomenon, I know this well.  As a Jewish person, I am so grossly disturbed by this, along with the ongoing currents of bigotry and racism towards Blacks, Muslims, Mexicans, Women, and the LGBTQ community. It’s hard to comprehend and even harder to explain to the littles.

In the less than 2 months since the inauguration of mr t, let me list some news for you:

  • Over 100 Jewish Community Centers (JCC’s) have received bomb threats, and this week, about 30 of them were right here in my neck of the woods (PA, NJ, DE)
  • Horrible acts of vandalism have struck Jewish cemeteries located in St. Louis and Philadelphia (my hometown), toppling headstones and wreaking havoc for loved ones
  • Many Mosques and churches have been set on fire
  • Less than a week ago, a man in Kansas shot at two Indian men, killing one and wounding the other. He thought they were middle eastern, and yelled, “Get out of my country” as he fired shots. He also wounded a white American, 24 years old, who tried to stop him.
Can we do this? We must do this.
Can we do this? We must do this.

Can we all band together now and agree that what is happening in the US right now is not normal?

When asked about all of these recent attacks, mr t replied, “Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people—or to make others—look bad.” He implied that the Jews are actually doing this to make him look bad. Later that same day, one of his advisers stated, with his outside voice,  that the culprits were democrats, all just trying to make him (mr t) look bad.” mr t, he calls this ‘false flags.’

Once, an evil man named Adolf Hitler used propaganda, hate,  and divisiveness to exterminate six million of my people, our people who lived and loved on this planet. After that awful time in our world history played out, we all promised, Never Again.

I see a crackdown on immigration. The building of walls. A Muslim ban. I think my friends, ‘Never Again’ is now.

Keynmal mer. Never again.

Linky’s:

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