Saturday, July 31

Joan - We're More Than Happy to Grant Your Wish

Deep in Jeb Bush country, one woman leaves behind her last request.

Woman's Dying Wish: Bush Defeated

A South Florida woman who died this week had an unusual last request. Instead of flower or contributions in her name to a charity, she asked those who loved her to try to make sure President George W. Bush is not re-elected.

Loved ones said that Joan Abbey was committed to her political passions, even in death.

Abbey, who was a lifelong Democrat, died Monday -- coincidentally on the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

Her sister, Tillie Shapiro, said, "She was just a caring person … She cared about people, and people who were disadvantaged."

Abbey was buried the day after the Democratic convention ended. Her unusual death notice in the Miami Herald said: "You can honor Joan's values by voting against George Bush and contributing to a liberal or Democratic cause."

Abbey's nephew, Martin Shapiro, said, "What she cared most about was improving circumstances in this country... getting rid of George Bush and making this a better country for all people."

Coincidentally, the presiding rabbi, Brett Goldstein, is a registered Democrat but is voting for Bush, and he questioned the timing of Abbey's message at such a sensitive time.

"My contention is that if there's any situation that's sacrosanct, it should be devoid of political ramifications," Goldstein said. "Although people have the opportunity and they can do it if they want to, it is not really appropriate at this time."
Rabbi Goldstein, with all due respect, and as one who's a member of the tribe you represent - I think that decision should rest with the one who's dying. If that's her last request, so be it.

I have a hard time figuring out why so many Jewish folks are for Bush. No matter who the president is, he or she will never revoke our pledge to Israel - that's just reality. But Bush's relentless invoking of Jesus' name in his decision-making just scares the hell out of me. And don't get me wrong - I believe in my own God. But no matter WHO is running the country, I want the decisions to be made on wisdom, evidence, logic, common sense, knowledge, justice and compassion - not strictly from what one friend refers to as "an imaginary friend who's better than YOUR imaginary friend."

A little coarse, but countries have almost destroyed themselves over such arguments. Ask Ireland.

Getting back to the subject, let's not let Joan Abbey down. Give to the DNC and get the message out.