Posts Tagged ‘Jared Kushner’

MBS SPEAKS

My dear American friends: I, Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, wish to offer perspective on the unfortunate passing of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi. Prepare yourselves.

To begin, your CIA is mistaken—again. I told your president I had nothing to do with Mr. Khashoggi’s untimely demise. As he knows, when a foreign leader says “I didn’t do it” (do not see The Simpsons, season 5, episode 12), he didn’t do it. Mr. Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered. We Saudis only behead people—those who offend Islam as we define it, or commit murder (unless blood money is paid), adultery or witchcraft. I know. I not only represent Saudi law, I amthe law.

We seem to have a culture gap. Americans feel uneasy that Saudis (men only) wear beards like the Prophet, Jesus and ZZ Top, while Saudi women conceal themselves in public (eye slits do not restrict vision that much). This leads to confusion, such as Saudi’s “role” in 9/11.

Fully FOUR of the 19 hijackers were citizens of nations other than Saudi Arabia. Do the math. That’s a humongous (I love American slang) 21%. You would be thrilled if your portfolio increased 21% every year so you could experienced something of the financial fantasy enjoyed by loyal Saudi princes.

Also, some people think that as “kingpin” of OPEC, Saudi instigated oil’s rapid price rise in October 1973—and the West’s subsequent economic plunge—to hurt nations that supported Israel after Egypt and Syria attacked the self-proclaimed Jewish state. Fake news. We merely used the marketplace to express solidarity with our Arab brothers and attempt to forestall global warming. We know hot weather. And if we love big, high-performance automobiles, there are only 34 million Saudis among the planet’s 7-plus billion people. Again, do the math. How much pollution can the Kingdom produce?

Finally, do not take this Khashoggi nonsense as personal. It’s only business. My good friend Donald, who also loves gilt furniture and gold toilet seats—has explained that Saudi Arabia will purchase over $100 billion of U.S. weapons. What is a smattering of red blood against blue-collar jobs and corporate profits for white people?

In sum, America needs Saudi Arabia to depress oil prices and increase sales of American arms so we can defend your nation against our treacherous Arab brothers—Yemeni Shiites backed by Iran! Besides, their children would only grow up to be terrorists.

And without us, Jared Kushner’s secret peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians doesn’t stand a chance. Remember, Mr. Trump keeps campaigning to make America great again. Of course, he’s only had two years in office. Until America means something, the Kingdom will protect you.

A century ago, your President Calvin Coolidge said, “The business of America is business.” Would you risk your economy—especially after General Motors announced massive layoffs—by offending my Kingdom? Mr. Trump warns that we will buy arms from Russia and China, each headed by a good friend of his but nonetheless a hard-headed businessperson (I am PC).

I conclude that a so-called journalist lacking loyalty to his country (namely me) fell to a conspiracy of which I, as all-powerful Crown Prince, knew nothing. Actually, I was shocked! So dry your crocodile tears and get down to business by minding your own.

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

People often ask me how I pronounce my name: Perl•stine (long “i”) or Perl•steen (long “e”). The latter is accurate. I appreciate the inquiries. Most people try to get others’ names right as a mark of respect. Some self-important people don’t.

As it happens, my family name was probably pronounced Per•el•shtine when in 1906 my grandparents landed at Ellis Island from Warsaw with three young children, including 2-1/2-year-old Moishe Chaim (my father). Moishe became Morris, and everyone else took an Americanized first names. Still, the family’s naturalization certificate (1914) displays the name Perelstein. Shortly after, the second “e” disappeared.

We value our names. The Torah relates that people sought to build a tower to the heavens (the Tower of Babel) to make a name for themselves (Genesis 11). In Genesis 12:2, God promises Abram (later Abraham), “I will make your name great.”

Shakespeare throws this tenet a curve. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” says Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. She’s a Capulet and loves a Montague—the name alone sufficient to earn her family’s displeasure. Call Romeo “a Montague,” and you label him a monster.

As kids, we defended ourselves from schoolyard bullies who mangled our names or hurled epithets with “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names (or words) will never harm me.” This lesson seems lost on our Schoolyard Bully-in-Chief.

At a recent political rally in Iowa, Donald Trump errantly referred to California’s Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein as Fein•steen. It’s Finestine(long “I” in both syllables). Am I quibbling? I think not. Senator Feinstein has become the latest object of Trump rallies’ chants of “Lock her up.” Because she opposed Trump in the matter of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Trump sought a way to lash out. What better way for a 12-year-old to advance political discourse than to mispronounce the name of an opponent.

Also, to “dog whistle” a key message to his supporters. I suspect Trump well knows how Senator Feinstein pronounces her name but wanted to remind his supporters that the Senator is—gasp—Jewish. The real pronunciation might mislead them into thinking her background (and that of her second husband whose name stayed with her) German.

As it happens, Trump’s paternal grandfather Americanized his name from Drumpf. Nothing wrong with that. But Senator Feinstein had to be called out since a significant segment of the far-right exudes anti-Semitism, including those who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia last year chanting, “Jews will not replace us.”

Ah, you say, the President’s daughter Ivanka is Jewish. She converted to marry Jared Kushner. Good luck. When Trump stated re Charlottesville that there were good people on bothsides, he threw Ivanka and Jared under the bus. Unless he numbers these particular Jews among “the good ones” who toe the Republican line enumerated by Christian conservatives and white supremacists (they sometimes overlap) lamenting white people’s loss of their “rights”—a euphemism for monopolistic political, economic and social power.

Yes, sometimes people address me as Perl•stine. I correct them. They appreciate it. They understand the integrity names because they hold others in regard. Such esteem was offered a few years back in the Oval Office. I hope it will be again—soon.

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THE 28TH AMENDMENT

The 2016 presidential race was the most unsavory in my memory, which goes back to Eisenhower-Stevenson in 1952. The future remains uncertain. But one thing we can do now is amend the Constitution. And I’m not talking about the Electoral College.

I propose the 28th Amendment: No person may be elected or succeed to the office of President of the United States, who is the husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, former spouse, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law of anyone having served as President regardless of length of term.

Having voted for Hillary Clinton, I’d still have been glad to see the 28th Amendment passed years ago. Now Chelsea is being promoted for Congress. Fine if the party and the voters in her New York district say yes. Groom her for President? What a travesty! The same goes for Donald Trump, Jr. and his siblings.

Granted, a president’s immediate relatives may possess sterling qualities. If so, let them pursue other opportunities to serve the nation. In the (possible) words of Ben Franklin, “If we wanted another King George, we wouldn’t have elected a President George.”

The problem? Members of “royal political families” tend to assume that their name or connection entitles them to office. Somehow they possess inherently favorable genetic characteristics and judgment. Or they’ve soaked up all the qualities needed to effectively hold office just by proximity.

Unfortunately, family members tend to avoid downplaying the progenitor’s mistakes and uphold a carefully crafted image along with what they deem a superior legacy. Political inbreeding advances policies that ignore past mistakes and fail to keep up with changing times while risking downright incompetence.

Why am I concerned? Some Americans believe that Michelle Obama should run against Donald Trump in 2020 or someone in 2024. I think Michelle is terrific. But being First Lady provides no qualification for office. She was never elected to her post in the first place. Some folks may peg Malia and Sasha Obama for future roles in the Oval Office. A name is not enough. And they’re kids!

Trump supporters may push Donald, Jr. for President. (First Lady to-be Melania Trump is a naturalized citizen and ineligible.) Grave responsibilities should rest on broad shoulders, not crowns on heads turned backwards. As for providing son-in-law Jared Kushner with the highest classified security information while the Trump offspring run the family business—that poses a dangerous conflict of interest.

Had this amendment passed decades ago, Bobby Kennedy would not have mounted a run for the 1968 Democratic nomination after Vietnam-war-stressed Lyndon Johnson passed on a second full term. Teddy Kennedy wouldn’t have been a presidential hopeful, either. Fine be me. I’ve had enough of Kennedys. George W. Bush would not have run in 2000, and Jeb would not have run in this year’s primaries. One Bush was enough. In the 2016 election, Bernie Sanders or someone else would have represented the Democrats. The country would have been no worse off and perhaps would face a brighter future.

What are the chances of the 28th amendment passing? Slim. Still, the presidency of the United States is far too important to become a matter of dynasty. And if you’re expecting a clever line to wind this up, forget it. The matter is just that serious.

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The blog will take off for Thanksgiving. May you be thankful for all you have.

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