Perhaps President Trump could be my bête noire for March

I was looking to identify a source of annoyance for the month of March. President Donald Trump annoys me whenever I think about him. Of course, if I don’t think about him, he can’t annoy me. And even then, no one can annoy me. I own my emotions.

What’s happened is that I was researching U.S. policy concerning moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel, from Tel Aviv, the country’s most international city.
I took out a digital subscription to The Washington Post so that I could follow current events. No one tells me, though, to read anything that doesn’t pertain to the subject that I’m researching. However, President Trump surprised me by actually developing the project of moving the embassy and by placing this project into a time frame.

President Trump would join the ranks of pundit Bill Bennett and Professor Lorenzo Kamel.

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My family’s illegal immigrants

My great grandfather and his family came into the U.S. without papers. This is my father’s father’s father, “Tatta Bouche” * Siegel. Tatta Bouche, Nosan Natte Siegel after whom I am named, was born in Romania, as was my great grandmother, Bubbe Kreintse. I remember her since I was about ten years old when she passed away. Tatta Bouche passed away before I was born.

They left Romania for Paris with their first born Yonah Leib (“Jean,” then “John”) around 1900. Romania and France were on good terms because France was a European advocate for Romanian nationalism against the Ottoman Empire.** On a personal level, the Romanian language is a Romance language like French.

After about ten years they left Paris for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where my great grandmother had an immigrant sister and a brother-in-law. I can’t say whether my great grandparents arrived in Paris with papers or not, but I’m almost certain about the family tradition that they came to the U.S. without papers.

The family first appears in the 1920 United States Federal Census as living in Chicago. Even so, my Zeide (Grandfather) John does not appear to be living in the family home or anywhere else that I’ve found. Family tradition was that John was working at the Ford Motor Company in Michigan.

So how did my great grandparents enter the U.S.? I surmise that they entered through Canada. Perhaps it was relatively easy to enter Canada from France, at least the Francophone part of France.

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* Tatta – for grandfather, literally father in Yiddish.

* Zeide – grandfather in Yiddish.

* Bubbe – grandmother in Yiddish.

* la bouche – ‘mouth’ because of his luxuriant mustache. The family lost the French pronunciation /boosh/, it becoming /boozh/.

** See the subject of the “Eastern Question” – how the powers of Western Europe were supporting Greece, Serbia, Romania, and other countries in their independence from the Ottoman Turks.

Daylight Savings Time and the Oil Embargo of 1974

In about 1974, the U.S. Congress mandated that the entire country remain on a daylight savings clock all year long. The oil producing countries (OPEC) were holding back petroleum exports to the U.S. By retaining daylight savings time in the winter, our basic work and school days occurred during daylight hours. Offices didn’t need to turn on lights during the last hour or so of the 9-5 workday. Presumably, using less electricity during daylight savings time would reduce usage of petroleum.

K-12 schools were in session during daylight hours. However, people discovered that children were heading off to school while it was still dark. Young people who had after-school activities were also coming home in the dark. As a safety matter, parents didn’t like the idea that their children were between home and school in the dark. Parents who would not let their children ride bicycles at night found that they were in a position to decide whether the youngsters would take bicycles to and from school.

After one winter, Congress resumed the previous winter clock of standard time. Youngsters, for the most part, were again outside during daylight hours.

To cite examples for the northern tier of states, the sun rises in December, January, and February at about 7 – 7:15 AM. In terms of daylight savings time, the sun rises between 8 and 8:15 AM.

At the same time, in most of the southernmost states, the sun rises in December, January, and February at about 7 AM. In terms of daylight savings time, the sun rises a little before 8 AM except in January when the average is about 8:15 AM.

However, on Florida’s panhandle (in the eastern time zone) the winter sunrise is around 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM daylight time. A legislative discussion in Florida has been to enact daylight savings time all year long. As such, youngsters in Tallahassee, the state capital, would be heading to school in the dark during the winter.

It seems that legislators in Florida do not have the experience of winter 1974 at their fingertips. Some hadn’t yet been born; others wouldn’t remember, of course.

Only Southern California seems to have an advantage over most other populous regions of the country by about fifteen minutes, though.

Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

The United States May Really Move Its Embassy to Jerusalem

A U.S. Department of State spokesperson announced on February 23rd, according to The Washington Post, that the United States will move its embassy to Jerusalem in May 2018.

You can view this article in The Washington Post, “National Security,” February 23rd, 2018.

Also, see the actual press statement from the U.S. State Department.

My earlier post expressed skepticism about a move of the embassy to Israel’s capital city.

Waiting to see …

Vice President Mike Pence tells Israel’s Knesset, “the U.S. will support a two-state solution”

Remarks | Foreign Policy

Issued on: January 22, 2018

The Knesset – Israel’s parliament
Jerusalem, Israel *

“And President Trump reaffirmed that, if both sides agree, the United States of America will support a two-state solution.”

Arabs rejected the two-state proposal in 1948-49 when the Arab Legion invaded Palestine just before the British Mandate ended. Then, the Kingdom of Jordan annexed the West Bank, Eastern Jerusalem, and the walled Old City of Jerusalem.

The “two-state solution” became the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan. Everything since then has been bluster by Arabs before they drive all Jews into the sea.

Driving Jews into the sea – the Mediterranean – may be literal. On the other hand, it seems to hearken back to the days of Salah ad-Din  (Saladin) who drove Crusaders “into the sea” – back to Europe. This subtlety seems to be lost on literal-minded Arabs who don’t want to see Jews when they look out their windows.

Pence addresses Israel’s Knesset – video from The Washington Post

The White House’s text of Mr. Pence’s speech.

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* Jerusalem – Israel’s capital since 1948