Create lists.

Then create lists of lists. Why?

Just do it because I said so and stop questioning everything. You’ll live a happier life.

If you must know — and I assume you must, because you’ve read this far —  it’s not because  lists of lists  help you get organized. Frankly, if you’re that disorganized, you’ll probably lose your lists anyway.

The real reason?  Lists attract clicks. Clicks attract tweets. Tweets attract advertisers. Advertisers attract people who purchase lots of on-line stuff. On-line purchased stuff helps the economy. A good economy helps the stock market. A healthy stock market means people can short stocks and make lots of money. If people have more money they’ll go to theaters and watch films like The Big Short. They’ll laugh and get angry at the evil financial manipulators who take advantage of all of the simple people who are just trying to earn a living and take care of their families.  More blogs can be written. More clicks can be clicked. More advertisers can advertise. And capitalism will thrive.

Or something like that.

So sayeth Chapter 1 in my Social Media For Dummies bible. No doubt it’s the same paperback bible read  by many of the world’s 200 million bloggers. Chapter 2, which is newly revised and now features a special how-to list on tweeting Yiddish vulgarisms by Donald Trump, tells bloggers the key to guaranteeing more eyeballs is to remain agnostic.

Love all eyeballs! That includes sinners (Trump knows who you are), repenters (a highly recidivist group with lots of “sinners” list overlap) and those who never have any fun ( lots of “repenters” list overlap). According to Trump’s list of acceptable readers, even Syrians, Mexicans, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and Univision executives are welcome to read away.

Therefore I write.

Acolytes, even those who choose to travel down the dark web road to get to my blog, are almost certain to follow. (At least until the government arrests them.) Lovers, haters, and the vast middle majority all are welcome into my blogging sanctuary. For those of you who arrived early, I’ve saved you special High Holiday blogger seats up near the front.

The Israel-Palestine blamestorming, anti-deal making industry will continue to thrive.

Through the encouragement of people like you. Why are you still following and supporting this 67-year old soap opera? There is no ending. There is no cancellation. It is the same damn story over and over and over. It’s always their fault. “Their” is whoever and whomever — I promise equal treatment to both grammatical sides — you don’t support.

And history is always the argument bullet. The future is unknown, but history — your version of course — is a reliable argument to practice safe stasis. A gaggle of   elected and unelected government officials masquerading as leaders works to ensure that.

The choice, and it is a choice, to manage the present tolerable intolerables does not help victims of random violence and learned hatred and mistrust — pretty much everyone living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea — overcome the more natural inclination to revel in historical grievances than to move forward and envision future possibilities. At the inflection when Israeli and Palestinian leaders and their supporters  become far less resolutely and proudly intolerant of each other and more intolerant of their own miserable trajectories — with each passing year the Palestinians grow more distant from having their own state and Israel gets closer to having to choose between remaining democratic or retaining its Jewish nature — progress to a two-state solution can be made.

My manifesto?

I am a strong supporter of Israel as the current and future democratic home of the Jewish people. I am also a strong supporter of  the U.S.’s (and most of the world’s) position to use the 1967 borders (pre Six Day War),  as the basis for a Palestinian state. This includes the necessity of negotiating mutually agreed land swaps to account  for the present reality of  large Israeli population centers in the West Bank.

I don’t believe that Israel’s present Likud party leadership has a real vision for how a two-state solution can be effected or a real desire to move forward to do so.  Considering demographics and the impossibility of Israel continuing to effectively control the West Bank without giving voting rights to Palestinians there, a rather common concern among Israel supporters is that Israel will soon have to choose between retaining its democratic or its Jewish character. That is certainly possible. It is even likely.

However, I believe the greatest risk to Israel’s survival as the democratic home of the Jewish people is the continued  gradual diminution of   Jewish and U.S. government support. For  Israel to ensure that erosion doesn’t continue, Israel must view failure to achieve a two-state solution as it views failure to prevent a nuclear Iran. A nuclear risk to Israel’s vital interests may be easier to see, but a failure to proactively respond to the Palestinian risk could prove just as lethal.

Donald Trump will continue to thrive on vacuous and insincere proposals, hate, mistrust, politically expedient anti-isms and free publicity.

He’ll win that war with the field of Republican party reality show contestants. Alas, when Season 1 ends, the Democrats will be left to compete against a less hirsute, less wealthy,  less insulting candidate who has the backing of the Republican party machine (aka Sheldon Adelson).

It says here (mainly because I refuse to go over there) that Marco Rubio (Jeb Bush’s Frankenstein) will be that man.

Or not. One never knows what one never knows. And the Republican primary process is certainly evidence that a lot of people have willingly suspended the pursuit of knowledge.

It’s time to get serious about who we are as a people, and what we want to become as a society. Donald Trump, you can stop reading.

The U.S. has five percent of the world’s population, yet we have 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated. Are Americans somehow uniquely prone to lives of crime? Or do we just find it easier to treat jails and prisons as a growth industry?

A key component of U.S. foreign policy, besides overthrowing or undermining governments we don’t like and spying on friend and foe, is to encourage other countries to adopt more democratic political systems.  The thought? If more countries were just like us, the world would be a far safer and more peaceful place. It is a thought without much underlying support.

Not only do we seem to have the wrong recipe for societies that are fundamentally different than our own, we seem to still be looking for the right recipe for our own societal dish. Democratic freedoms and equal treatment? What about the ten percent of black males between the age of 20 and 40 who have experienced jail at a rate ten times white males in that same age group? What about the 2.2 million Americans behind bars, a rate twelve times Sweden’s, eight times Italy’s, seven times Canada’s, and double Russia’s? Even China, a country with roughly four times our population has half a million less people in their jails.

Okay. Okay. Dismal stats. We aren’t perfect. But we do lead the world in health care expense, college loan debt, and the length of the last two minutes of pro football and basketball games. And we easily lead the civilized world in deaths and injuries from gun violence. With our 1:1 citizen to gun ratio should that really be a surprise?

To get closer to the civilized world’s average incarceration rate — a rate the U.S. had as recently as 1972 — we’d have to reduce our prison population by 80 percent.

A good start would be to focus on education as the great equalizer: Almost half of today’s prison inmates are functionally illiterate. Imagine if just a small percentage of the 80 billion dollars we now spend on correctional facilities was refocused on educational facilities how much more effective we would be in reducing our crime rate and  prison population. Okay, now that you’ve finished imagining, please do something about it.

Donald Trump claims he has all of the solutions for everything, but the no-good-for-nothing politicians are spineless wimps and refuse to act.

Now Trump is trying to join that no-good-for-nothing club. Trump knows how to tap into primal fears and manipulate them. He has no solutions, only thought bubbles. But he knows he’s mad. The more he talks, the more insulting he gets. And entertaining …at least if your name isn’t Jeb Bush. Plus, he’s got a budding bromance with Russia’s  Vladmir Putin. Vladmir is Russia’s less hirsute, less capitalistic version of The Donald. Elect Donald and he and Vlad can swap trade secrets on restricting freedoms and bombing their way to success.

Too snarky? Here’s what I really think: Elect or don’t elect this wildly unqualified real estate mogul.  As long as I can still stay in his hotels all is forgiven. His Trump Hotel across from Central Park in New York City is the absolute toughest and greatest hotel ever. All other hotels are spineless wimps.

Steve Harvey is, without any question, the world’s worst Miss Universe host.

Wait! Uh people, I know it’s several weeks later. But I have to tell you. I made a mistake. It’s Miss Former Soviet Union. She just won Miss Universe. Wait. Uh people, I made a mistake. Steve Harvey is really the greatest Miss Universe host. Ever. Wait. It’s all my fault. Keep the Confederate statues, New Orleans. The South really won the Civil War. Wait. I admit it people. It’s all on me. Gore really won Florida.  We never invaded Iraq.

Wow.

So here’s the deal. I was minding my  Homeland season finale business. In a novel twist, it was revealed that  the bad guys were actually the bad guys. The jihadists and the creepy U.S. spy and her Russian handler didn’t have complicated back stories. They were really thoroughly bad. We should all appreciate that. At a time when our country is being attacked from without and within by terrorists and Republican presidential candidates  it’s nice to have some predictability and to have our native prejudices played out in a way we expect.

So just as  Homeland’s American heroin was about to thwart a subway attack, I  hit “pause” on my remote and shifted to the WORLD’S GREATEST MISS UNIVERSE SHOW EVER hosted by Steve Harvey. Methinks, nay, I know, Trump sold his Miss Universe interest a few months too early. Just think of all the publicity value he lost out on.

Ah, it was such delicious fun to rubberneck this car crash. All Harvey had to do was tell a few jokes, ask a few questions,  read some names and go home. But Harvey forgot his seat belt. Also his reading glasses. Really? Announce the wrong winner? Then wait two minutes and, without first telling the faux winner or the soon-to-be-winner that a mistake had been made,  he goes back on stage and surprises them and the world?  The least Harvey could have done was set himself on fire and offer some type of distraction.

Or call The Donald for advice. This would have been a great moment to blame the Mexicans. Or Syrians. Or all of the weak hosts with lower likeability numbers.

Elections, Marriage, Heart Attacks, Sermons, Judaism, Anniversaries, Iran, And Israeli-Palestinian Leadership

by Jeff Pozmantier November 2, 2015

I know it’s been too long. Have you missed me? Oh, there’s no shame in admitting it. But let’s get down to important business — mine, not yours. The extra hour of morning daylight has invigorated by invigorating senses. Or something like that. It’s time to vote  for Houston’s next mayor. It’s also time to vote against anyone conflating supporting […]

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One Strong Answer To The Violence (And It’s Not To Stab, Shoot, Blame, Make A Speech, Or Call For A New Coalition)

by Jeff Pozmantier October 15, 2015

The senseless, random violence within Israel and the West Bank is truly appalling. The abysmal lack of leadership is truly enduring. What Hand in Hand schools are doing — partially in response to the violence, but entirely because it is Hand in Hand’s mission — is truly inspiring.  I would not normally relay an organizational p.r. piece. But today, with Israelis and Palestinians […]

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Exclusive Interview With Donald Trump: Shocking Reveals On McCain, Palestinians, Israelis, Iran And More!!!

by Jeff Pozmantier July 25, 2015

Donald Trump’s entry into the 2016 Republican gaggle has captured the imagination of the majority of the Republican party’s cave dweller wing. Political pundits feign surprise. Come on. The man owns black and white, the colors his Republican base loves to buy. He attacks intelligent thought, a position that is obviously quite popular. Complexity? No, everything is simple. SIMPLE! Gun […]

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This Could Be My Last Blog

by Jeff Pozmantier June 16, 2015

I’m still pondering whether our relationship should continue. I’m unsettled. Did you really miss me? Did you even know I’ve been away for the last couple of months?  Strike that. Too needy.  I’ve been in Chile, land of empanadas, earthquakes, reverse seasons, and people who refuse to accept that English is their universal language. But that was only for a week. I […]

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Benjamin Netanyahu: The Best Republican Candidate?

by Jeff Pozmantier April 13, 2015

The Republican candidate field is an embarrassment of richness. And surnames. It features politicians mouthing poll-tested and PAC-bought positions against this and that today and that and this tomorrow — until the polls or PAC funding changes. What else should we expect when we don’t have laws that apply China’s one child policy to Republican families? Any natural born U.S. citizen can run […]

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A New Plan: Behead The Opposition

by Jeff Pozmantier March 9, 2015

Springtime signals its entrance as  temperatures warm and leaves and flowers reliably return. Election time in Israel signals its entrance as politicians emerge from their hibernation and their embarrassing proposals reliably return. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s secular mullah, recently awoke. His proposal?  Behead Palestinians. What makes Lieberman’s plan so unique is he doesn’t limit it to terrorists or criminals. His focus is on  Israeli […]

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Et Tu, Bibi? Netanyahu Made His “Bad Deal” Worse

by Jeff Pozmantier March 5, 2015

Supporters of Israel sometimes disagree about tactics, threats and how to best insult the person they feel isn’t really pro-Israel or pro-Israel enough. Two Jews. Check. Three opinions. Check. Four Kapo insults. Doublecheck. Some of us with nothing better to do also disagree about how, when, and where to express support for what is still the Middle East’s only democracy and nuclear power, and also its uncontested […]

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Why Netanyahu’s Speech To Congress Is An Existential Threat To Israel

by Jeff Pozmantier March 2, 2015

I’ve held my tongue (and typing finger). Until now. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pre-election Congressional field trip is more likely to result in long-lasting damage to the U.S.-Israeli relationship than result in some sudden reversal of the U.S. effort to reach a nuclear agreement between Iran and key world powers. Today is not the day  to debate the fine points of an […]

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My War Zone Experiences (And Brian Williams’ and Bill O’ Reilly’s)

by Jeff Pozmantier February 25, 2015

Like Brian Williams, I braved enemy combat. I somehow managed to survive the  2014 Israeli destruction of Gaza and Hamas tunneling into  Israeli border towns. In the height of the conflict I was but a mile away in the underground Sderot command center. And I listened to the shelling and watched a security camera tape showing  a missile that exploded two […]

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