Thursday, September 15, 2016

September 15, 2016: Vote for Hillary Clinton for President

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Forget about the current campaign headlines in what President Barack Obama likes to call “the silly season.” 
Instead, picture the candidates in the historic moments that have made presidents.
First, try picturing Donald Trump – a man who has insulted everyone who isn’t a white male like him – comforting the families of the bereaved as Ronald Reagan or Obama have. Try picturing Trump soberly addressing Congress about a declaration of war as Franklin Roosevelt did, or speaking to the nation about a military action such as the blockade of Cuba announced by John F. Kennedy.
Mr. “Art of the Deal” can’t seal that deal.
Now, picture Hillary Clinton doing those things.
It’s not a stretch. She’s been doing them for more than four decades – as a children’s advocate, First Lady of Arkansas and the U.S., senator and Secretary of State.
She should do them as the next President of the United States.
It’s no secret that she wears numerous battle scars from those four decades in public life – sometimes to her detriment. But given Trump’s detestable actions and words, this race shouldn’t even be a contest.
The real comparison should come between Clinton and Obama. She will continue many of his progressive actions on the environment and other domestic policies. She will, hopefully, improve what has been heavy handedness on education. And she plans to fix problems with the Affordable Care Act – having learned from some of those battle scars she suffered in 1993-94.
On foreign policy, she’s more hawkish than Obama – and perhaps that’s necessary. Many criticize Obama for not living up to his Nobel Peace Prize, but he’s actually shown himself to be a pacifist – too much of one at times.
A tougher hand is necessary with ISIS and North Korea. Hillary Clinton can provide it. Perhaps she can also give a needed kick in the figurative rear to those who would participate in the Middle East peace process.
She does not have Bill Clinton’s magnetism or Barack Obama’s gift with words. But a good president needs to be a hard worker. She certainly does that in spades.
And she lives up to the moments when presidents have to prove themselves to the public.
A number of times on the campaign trail, the media – which hasn’t exactly been her best friend in this election – has referred to her as “presidential.”
Indeed, she is. Make it official. Vote for Hillary Clinton for President.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September 14, 2016: NO Trump for President (with help from the Founding Fathers)

By Sylvia Gurinsky

I take inspiration and some language from the Founding Fathers in this “No” for Donald Trump to be President of the United States.

We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women in the United States are created equal. That they are endowed with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Donald Trump, who fancies himself a king, threatens those truths.
The history of this man who fancies himself a king is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, from housing discrimination as a young man to joining with the anti-Obama birthers to the disgrace of his current campaign -  all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good – especially the Constitution of the United States.
He has apparently broken laws with his businesses to cause governors - and currently at least a dozen state attorneys general – to investigate him.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of immigrants or descendants of immigrants, or those of different religions, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws – period.
He has affected to demean the Military and its heroes – starting with his aversion to serving in Vietnam and continuing with reckless foreign policy proposals that scare the daylights out of intelligent military leaders, not to mention U.S. allies.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws: Vladimir Putin.
For demeaning most Americans who don’t look like him, think like him or have money like him:
For threatening a hopeful American future:
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries – mostly Russian - to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.
A Prince-in-self-regard only whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. That describes Donald Trump.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013: What Must Happen Now in Florida

"In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed."
-Barack Obama, March 18, 2008
By Sylvia Gurinsky
There was no question that the acquittal of George Zimmerman was going to open a can of worms on race. It was a can that needed to be opened.
The issue that didn't get addressed within the legal confines of the trial and needs to be dealt with is the "less overt" discrimination that Obama referred to five years ago.
It's that "less overt," coded discrimination resulting in the Stand Your Ground Law that compelled Zimmerman to believe he could shoot an unarmed, 17-year-old, African-American male, Trayvon Martin.
It's that "less overt" discrimination that resulted in other laws made by Governors Jeb Bush, Charlie Crist and Rick Scott, in full harmony with a GOP-controlled Florida Legislature, which have restricted everything from voter rights to the ability of minority students to go to a Florida university.
Singer Stevie Wonder has already announced he will not perform in Florida unless and until Stand Your Ground is repealed. Others are considering boycotts.
The targeted - and successful - boycott that followed Miami and Dade County's refusal to welcome Nelson Mandela in 1990 should be the model for any such protest. That boycott included specific lists of demands for the tourism and hospitality industries.
The repeal of Stand Your Ground would be on the list of demands. Given that the current Florida Legislature and Scott likely won't do it, a petition drive to put the repeal question on the 2014 or 2016 Florida ballot should begin immediately.
There are two other areas in which potential boycotters can make demands from Florida government - voter rights and college access for African-Americans. Both have been seriously affected during the last 15 years of GOP government in the state.
Then there's the 2014 election. Scott and plenty of lawmakers who support Stand Your Ground are up for re-election. That should be an incentive for anyone who disagrees with them to vote, and to register if they haven't already done so.

Most Floridians are fair-minded; they showed it at the polls last year by rejecting ideology-based candidates and amendments. The ballot box is this state's chance to strive toward that "more perfect union."

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12, 2012: TTFN

By Sylvia Gurinsky

To quote the great Andy Rooney, "I'm a writer, and writers never retire." But I am going to take an indefinite break on the Sunshine Statements blog.

I started this blog in 2007 to continue writing full-length commentaries about important issues.

Well, life has taken a different turn. In 2008, I left full-time journalism and took a job at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida (now HistoryMiami). I was at a career crossroad.

I decided to take the road historians travel by. My work as an educator and CityTours guide at HistoryMiami is evolving into a new, enjoyable career. I am examining where that will take me, and I anticipate that writing will be a part of that. For instance, I'm considering a new blog about South Florida's historical sites.

As for journalism, I will continue to write the occasional column about issues of the day for the Jewish Journal and other papers. From time to time, I will continue with #SunStatement Twitter posts (There's too much going on for me to stay silent.).

If matters get dicey enough, I will post here (Heck, Bill Moyers keeps coming back; why can't I?).

I am continuing the YesterTube classic television blog and #YesterTube tweets, and hope to turn that into a successful (read: money-making) venture at some point.

I have enjoyed writing here for six years, and I thank you for your interest and feedback.

So, as the kids say: TTFN (Ta Ta For Now.). And thank you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday November 5, 2012: I Want My V-O-T-E!!!!

By Sylvia Gurinsky

The anger felt at the stymieing of early voting by Florida's undemocratic brick wall named Rick Scott illustrates that a lot of people are finding their constitutional right very important this year. (Let's hope they find it just as important in 2014, when they have a chance to throw Generalissimo Scott out of the governor's mansion.)

It's also illustrated in the efforts in New York and New Jersey to make sure that those affected by Hurricane Sandy have the ability to cast votes, even if their polling places were damaged or destroyed.

There's no question about what's at stake, on all levels, in every part of the ballot. A presidential election whose candidates present two very different paths. The same with a congressional election. A legislative election that presents an opportunity to make a dent in Florida's one-party rule. A list of amendments that threaten to strip Floridians of basic freedoms.

And local races, resulting in the first line of defense - or despair - for voters.

Yes, it's a long ballot, no matter where you live. Yes, it takes a long time to get through. And yes, lines to vote will still be long tomorrow.

But it is an important constitutional right. Think about people all over the world who have stood for hours in line to get the chance to use that right for the first time.

And use it tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday October 31, 2012: Remembering What We Do

By Sylvia Gurinsky

It took a hurricane.

Late last week, as Hurricane Sandy was headed toward the northeastern United States, the country looked as if it was headed toward a repeat of the contentious 2000 presidential election.

That still might be the case. But because of Sandy's damage in the eastern U.S., passions have been tempered a bit, for now.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been a loyal campaigner for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee. But Christie's main priority now is getting his state rebuilt and New Jersey's citizens into safe situations - regardless of the source. That source is currently President Barack Obama and the federal government.

They are working together toward that goal, as will representatives of New York, Connecticut, West Virginia and other states affected by Sandy.

It is what Americans of all stripes will do as they donate money and resources to help those affected by the storm.

In remarks delivered just a few minutes ago, Obama mentioned Americans pulling together to help others. "It's what we do," he said.

Indeed. And while it's a tragedy that it took a hurricane to do it, Americans remembered that we are one nation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday October 24, 2012: Letter - And Request - From A Marlins Fan

Dear South Florida,

I've been a Marlins fan since July 5, 1991 - the day Major League Baseball officially awarded a franchise to South Florida. I'm part of a family with four generations of Marlins fans, with enough invested energy to have the right to speak out.

I've watched the star-crossed history of this team - the tragedy of its first president, Carl Barger, dying at the 1992 baseball winter meetings, the tragi-comedy of Wayne Huizenga's sell-off of the 1997 world champions, Jeb Bush's "no" to John Henry's efforts to secure financing for a stadium site, Bud Selig's complicity in the mess (including the yanking of the 2000 All Star Game)  and the machinations that resulted in the current Laurel-and-Hardy administration of the Marlins by Jeffrey Loria and David Samson - culminating in this year's disaster.

While Larry Beinfest did engineer trades for Dontrelle Willis and Juan Pierre, Dave Dombrowski - whose Tigers (including former Marlins Miguel Cabrera and Anibal Sanchez) are headed to another World Series - gets a lion's share of the credit for building the Marlins team that won the Series in 2003.

Any hopes for Marlins fans since then have been inevitably crushed. Joe Girardi led a young team to an overachieving 2006 season and won the National League Manager of the Year Award. But he insulted King Jeffrey the First by disagreeing with him, and all Girardi has done is take the New York Yankees to the postseason most years since.

I didn't think much of Fredi Gonzalez as a manager here, but he's done decently with the Atlanta Braves during his first two years there. Maybe it's what he's given to work with.

Beinfest and Mike Hill have gone from decent decisions a few years ago to mediocre/bad ones with most young players recently.

Manager Ozzie Guillen was fired, but Beinfest and Hill should go, too.

So should Loria and Samson, kings of self-denial.

So the request goes to my fellow South Floridians - or at least the few of you who fall into the category of very rich baseball fans.

There must be at least one among you who knows how to run a baseball team properly, to hire the right people and let them do their jobs, and bring a quality team to a quality ballpark (Loria got the "quality ballpark" part right, at least.).

For this fan, for others who are loyal fans despite the circus of the last two decades, please step forward and buy this team.

Always with hope (I'm a baseball fan, after all),

Sylvia Gurinsky