It is Official

It is Official

Photo by: Evan Kirby

I've had the website since the summer of 2013. It was always styled Herz for President. For a long time, it's been a soapbox for my political thoughts.

The truth is this campaign has long been a fantasy that I had trouble believing in, especially as I now watch America from more than five thousand miles away. I learned to code websites on I made plans to grow my site and following, but never properly executed. I thought - probably as many do - who am I to think I can be president? My generation learned in grade school that in America, anyone can become president. We learned it, but it's sometimes hard to believe things like that.

The thing is it doesn't really matter what I think. I'm called to this role. I'm called to this game. I know I'm a long shot, but that's a far cry from a zero. And I like being in this game. It calls me to life.

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Congratulations to Our 2017 Electees

Twenty one minutes until Shabbat, and I thought I'd write a quick note.

First, congratulations to all those who won a seat this week.

Second, congratulations to all those who did not. It takes something to run, and whether you win or not, and I've lost a few races, it takes something just to be in the game. And I know you are a better player for it.

As to all those who chose to yell at the sky, I invite you to get out there and talk to people, maybe run for office yourself. But I really invite you to take on talking to people rather than at them. It's time to get out of your echo chamber and into life. The world is messy. People don't think like you think, obviously. But maybe by engaging with them, you'll see that they want much the same that you do, which I hope looks something like a fair chance at a decent life affording you a certain degree of dignity.

Now we may argue about fair, and decent, and what constitutes dignity, and that's what the marketplace of ideas is for. But it's just silly to think that we are really so different.

Why BLM is Bad

Why BLM is Bad

Photo by: Lalesh Aldarwish

My friend Roger asks:

In this and other of your opinion pieces you assume good faith on the part of the reader. You write not to amplify or explain but to promote. You're a smart guy. What I want to know from you is what you contend and why. For example, I reject the BLM movement. You seem to also. Why? What constitutes the BLM movement to the extent that you and I and conservatives reject it. What is it that makes it inherently flawed. I'm not interested in doing good. I'm interested in knowing what is good.

First, I'm going to make an observation as a coach. If you are up to something in the world, you've got to start with your crew. My friend Roger always has insight that sharpens my thinking and makes me a better person. Whatever you want to do, whatever you are up to, your chances of success are just going to be that much better, if you surround yourself with the people who you want to be like and who will support you. It just works. Do it.

Now, I'm going to get to the substance. The question essentially is why does this whole Black Lives Matter movement bother us in our kishkes?

BLM looks to an answer outside of itself, and this is not the American way.

Let us say that the black community (and do not berate me for using this term; this is what the movement calls itself) is correct in its premise that black people suffer different treatment at the hands of the police. Let's take it one step further, that blacks are seen differently by a majority of whites and subject to different treatment as a result.

They are not special in this. Slavery and subjugation are a part of the human condition. From the moment he started to settle down, work fields, and build cities, man enslaved others to do his work. Every empire created was at the cost of other people, and most included a fair amount of death and persecution along the way.

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They're Right: Black Lives Don't Matter

They're Right: Black Lives Don't Matter

They're Right: Black Lives Don't Matter

Black lives don't matter. But then neither do those of anyone else. It's just not a principal of our system of government that any particular life matters at all.

Aren't All Men Created Equal?

But didn't we say “All men are created equal?” We did, but it was only a preamble to tell George the Third to kiss-off. All it really means is your life doesn't matter any more than mine. And while the Declaration of Independence is a good read (I read it most every Fourth of July), it has no legally binding effect.

The truth is your life doesn't matter any more than you make it matter. Read the Constitution. It's a fairly technical document.

And the Bill of Rights?

The Bill of Rights was actually pushed by the Anti-Federalists who thought of it as a necessary to safeguard individual liberty. The Federalists opposed saying “Hey, the states already have all the powers not enumarated in the Constitution. These are your natural rights anyway. We don't really need to spell them out.”

When Life Matters

The way to make your life matter is to make your life matter. You can choose to do it for one, to take care of your mom or dad, or your wife, or your kid, or you can choose to make it matter for the world, to “Have a Dream,” as Martin Luther King, Jr. might say, or to “be the change you wish to see in the world,” Ghandi, or to “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier,” Mother Teresa, or even to “Make America Great Again.”

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Evergreen, I Offer My Help

Evergreen, I Offer My Help

Dear Friends:

We share a common purpose, I hope. We want to foster a generation of strong, informed, involved, risk-takers, people ready to take on life and the world, people ready to leave a better world behind them.

We share a vision. We believe that people who determine the path of their own education are more likely to stay the course, to go to depth, to connect their education with their future and the world, to take that to places we can't even imagine. We believe this is good.

I am a parent of four exceptional children. My mother was a nurse. On her first day of rounds as a student nurse in the psych ward, the Attending told her class “the people you see here are people who never had any limits.”

Evergreen is a “think outside the box” kind of school. This is impossible when the box isn't clearly defined or doesn't even exist.

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