Real Estate Watch: Hanukkah gives hope for gun control

Real Estate Watch: Hanukkah gives hope for gun control

This article will not be about homes, how to negotiate, good and poorly trained agents or tips to improve your property, but about something as or more important: Enabling people to get along an communicate and putting all the guns and weapons down for a change, so we can all live in a safer world and a more healthy planet.

By the time you read this it might be anywhere from the fifth night of  Hanukkah (Chanukah English derivative), the “Holiday of Lights” to being over.  

It is a Holiday celebrated around the world by those of the Jewish community and in a short, but concise description, it is about an amazing event, thousands of years ago, when there was only one day of oil left to keep the  lights on for the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, but a miracle occurred and the lights stayed on for eight nights and eight days!  

The victorious Judas Maccabeus ordered lavish yearly eight-day festivities, games and prayer, that had been profaned by Antiochus IV Epiphanes.  It was a rededication of Jewish Religion and it’s teachings  that was rekindled by that event.  

So we put out a Menorah (Hannukiah Menorah) and light a candle on the first day (eves) through the eight eves. (with the additional middle candle too).  

Lighting is done from right to left, similar to how Hebrew is read)  It is a much longer and involved story than my brief explanation, but there was and is meaning to this.  

It is really about respecting one’s own beliefs and let people be “free” to worship or pray to whomever they want, without any interference or retribution from any one person or group.  

However, it appears that is not the way the globe is heading, but rather, over the last number of years, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the most Extreme Jihadist group and most recent major threat (they have succeeded to take over where al Qaeda has left off), as well as other smaller radical groups are trying to convert and railroad the world by extreme violence, mass killings in and out of our country as well as brainwashing and recruiting the young and mislead individuals from around the world; even, as we have recently seen, in the U.S. with the San Bernardino and the many other mass shootings.  

What is going on in our world is a combination of factors and events of critical importance that has and will have long term affects on our population and freedom, if we allow it.  

My thoughts are, how do we keep peace as well as promote democracy around the world, when, over the last 75 years,  we have been going into other regions, setting up governments, putting people in power, then taking them out, when it is convenient for us financially and for what I believe, to be for no other  reasons than to control the flow of oil to the U.S. (which in the past we supposedly and desperately needed to function) and other areas.  

Now that we are the largest oil and gas producers in the world, we really no longer need to be everywhere, right?  Wrong!  

We started something many, many years ago and we seem to be addicted to war and control over regions other than ours, I think, still in the name of “Oil.”   

I had a conversation with an extremely, well versed and intelligent, Iraqi cabdriver in San Diego, when I was out there for our National Association of Realtors Conference in November, about discussions he had with a number of very influential and credible individuals about the largest oil reserves ever discovered in and around the waters off the Middle East region and why we still will be present in those regions.  

However, our safety in today’s environment, may or may not be safer than years ago because we have our own crazy and radicalized individuals and now a couple, whether citizens or not, being able to purchase assault weapons and ammunition and killing us on our own shores.  

We absolutely and assuredly need to pass a bill, which has been touted lately, which is a another, “No brainer” to not allow anyone, especially on the “No Fly List”  to buy any guns or any type of weapons what so ever and why our Congress even hesitates to pass the bill to set this in motion is beyond logic and comprehension.  

More importantly, something needs to be done about those assault rifles and automatic weapons that are not applicable in today’s world and should be completely banned and eliminated from the availability of the general population.  Hunting rifles are one thing, assault rifles and weapons are something else!  

What is wrong with our political leaders in Washington, when the NRA  lobbyists can persuade them with money and gifts, to not pass laws that we, the public want, and has been noted in enough surveys and polls.  

Have they gone completely mad and lost their reasonable sense of logic?  

To me, this is another, “No brainer!”  

Who are they working for us or the other guys? 

No wonder Donald Trump is gaining so much ground, even though he should be more tactful and careful with his words as to not to ostracize those specific groups, that would possibly vote for him, if he would just curb his political rhetoric and ranting; but he does have some valid points, which I won’t get into right now, and he has been able to get the voting public to listen, but will those same people vote, but more importantly, vote for him?  

We’ll find out next November.  However, have our elected officials not been voted into their positions, to do the right things in our government, and represent us to the best of their abilities and to serve our best interests?  

It should be about that, right?  

But what the heck is going on in Washington, when  the people with money have gotten in their way for as long as we have been a “free” country and made many of them lose their way and favor lobbyists over their constituents! 

Like a teacher, goes into teaching and not thinking about earning huge sums of money when they retire, but to be comfortable, and to convey important information to our children to absorb, learn and apply; then isn’t the reason politicians go to Washington, to serve, inform and protect the public from everything from the polluted environment, clean water, to spoiled and inferior food, bad and illegal drugs and cancerous chemicals, etc.; but many have decided personal needs, wants and interests are more important than their original intent, about serving their country!  

Money, as they say, “Can be the root of all evil; that is if you let it be!  

Has Washington been a “pork barrel since it’s inception? 

Maybe so, if you see how it generally operates! Greed is also a defining factor in the way individuals handle themselves; I ask you how many shoes clothes, homes, cars or any other material items does one really need?  

It really boils down to what is really and truly important today, things or people?  

I think, if more communication, education, diplomacy and hand holding is done, the more people will be understanding and respectful of each other and hopefully more of the World will get along with each other.  

Discrimination, bias, anti-Semitism and the like might just be reduced.  

But, I believe when personal intentions, needs, and wants, come before the good and general welfare of people, things cannot and will not change.  We are the only species that kill for the sake of killing and really no reason, except for to eliminate different points of view or religious reasons; as opposed to other species which do it for food and survival!  

We need to stay focused and get out of so many countries and begin to spend whatever money we do have left, to fix our crumbling and worn out, roads, bridges, tunnels and begin to expand and complete our high speed rail system for domestic and commercial transportation  of people and products.

We just might be the shortest lived civilization in the history of the world, if we are not careful and blow each other up or bankrupt  the future generations or more importantly  be able to have enough potable water, (since most do not today) and food for the increasing and swelling future populations. We need to think about our children and their children’s future, if there is to be a future. 

Sorry for this long rant; but I had to get this out , for this is how I feel.  

There was a movie in 1995 called “Pay it Forward,  and it starred Haley Joel Osment,  Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt and that is exactly what it’s all about!  

If we could all start paying it forward the world would survive and be a much more healthier, friendlier, happier and more civil place to live.

Next week I will get back to business as usual and talk about things related to real estate and related subjects, so enjoy this unusually crisp and warmer than normal weather we have been having, before the cold and snow storms hit!  

P.S. Have you still not bought your shovels, bags of ice melt, tuned up your snow blowers? What are you waiting for? Don’t be Monday Morning Quarterbacks!  Do it today or this weekend or get someone to do it for you, if you physically cannot!

What about those amazing Jets last weekend. Fantastic game!


Enjoy a Healthier, Happier, and  hopefully more prosperous 2015!

Philip A. Raices, Pres.

Licensed Real Estate Broker Consultant

Past President of the Rotary Club Of Great Neck 2011-2012

G.R.I. (Graduate Realtor Institute)

C.I.P.S. Designee (Certified International Property Specialist)

Turn Key Real Estate 7 Bond St Great Neck N. Y. 11021-2439 Mobile: (516) 647-4289 

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