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What is really on trial | Rachel Grenadier

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Sadly, Israel has joined the long list of nations with ethics and illegality issues at the top of their leadership. People are right to gather in the streets in massive protests; however, they must let their legal system run its course.

In due time, Israel will be determined to be the canary in the coal mine as far as other leaders are concerned and that should worry Donald Trump. For some odd reason, Israelis seem to believe that Trump is the Messiah who will give them a capital in Jerusalem and be her shining knight in armor, allowing her to engage in unfettered growth in the West Bank and beyond, but this is ridiculous. Naming roads or moshavim for Donald Trump is premature, given the massive amount of ethics violations by this administration. God knows why Netanyahu has hitched his post to him. Possibly it is true that “birds of a feather flock together.” But regardless, Israelis should not associate themselves with such a person. To date, almost 100,000 Americans have died directly as a result of Trump’s inaction and corrupt behavior during the COVID-19 response and it is believed that Israelis became infected due to exposure to traveling Americans. Now do you see how corruption kills?

People like to say that what are actually on trial are not the specific acts of any one individual, but rather; whether or not that person is able to get a fair hearing in the middle of a public outcry by powerful individuals on both sides of political leadership. What people must remember is that the rule of law is at stake and to lose it will mean that there is a downward spiral in that country’s soul. To restore fairness, the rule of law and stability, trials must be held. Wrongdoing must be punished, just as the innocent must be heard, given a chance to clear their names and freed.

What most people fail to realize that there is a massive cost to getting away with crimes. A nation that constantly engages in fraudulent behavior, whether it is taking bribes or graft in order to pursue a particular agenda, becomes widely seen as a govern-less nation with whom no other nation will want to do business. It is rather like someone with a bad credit rating who cannot get a prime loan and a great interest rate; but instead, has to rely upon less reputable means in order to achieve their goals. That costs much more money in the long term. What is particularly vexing about these kinds of financial dealings is that they escalate. They lead to bad decision-making at the highest levels and self-dealing that harms the public at large. And then they make whoever is engaged in illicit behavior under an obligation to whosoever assists them. And this is dangerous on so many levels. Wars have begun over less.

The very act of being caught engaging in illegal activity shows that the legal system is working as it was designed to do. To try to circumvent it with fancy legal maneuvers will simply appear to be desperate acts by presumably guilty parties. This will not bode well at a public trial. For a powerful politician or leader to rely on obfuscation and behavior seen by gangsters at corruption trials and then bemoan the fact that they are not being given a “fair trial” misses the point. To NOT hold someone accountable would be the unfair thing. Innocence or guilt aside, the fact that a trial of a powerful leader is being held at all shows there is hope for the legal system.

As a former officer of the Federal courts, I would be remiss if I did not state that people who demand trials want to clear their names. They are almost universally innocent. And those who refuse to acknowledge the legal authority of any court to sit in judgment upon them are usually guilty as charged.

Rachel Grenadier was an olah from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2003 who returned to the United States in 2015. She really wanted to stay in Israel, but decided that having family members nearby was better for her health than a bunch of devoted, but crazed, Israeli friends who kept telling her hummous would cure her terminal heart condition. She has her B.A. and M.A. from George Mason University in Virginia and is the author of two books: the autobiographical “Israeli Men and Other Disasters” and “Kishon: The Story of Israel’s Naval Commandoes and their Fight for Justice”. She is now living in Virginia with her three Israeli psychologically-challenged cats and yet, denies being a “hoarder”.



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Evicted California renters at greater risk of getting COVID-19

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After 70 years in Monterey County, 87-year-old Mary Martinez moved in the middle of a pandemic, evicted from her modest one-bedroom, second-floor apartment at 1118 Parkside St. in north Salinas.

According to her former landlord, Martinez was evicted because she allowed a “violent man” to live with her, violating the conditions of her lease. Martinez said the man is her epileptic nephew.

Advocates say that while evictions like Martinez’s are rarer during the pandemic, landlords are feeling the financial squeeze. Some have sold rental properties to make up for lack of income. That can leave renters out in the cold when their new landlord raises the rent by hundreds of dollars or requires all renters move out before they take over the building.

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New program to help Black-owned online businesses | Technology

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ATLANTA _ Many Black entrepreneurs struggle to get bank loans and professional help to launch new businesses. A new program aims to remove those stumbling blocks.

An Atlanta nonprofit and another business have committed $150 million to the 1 Million Black Businesses effort, which will make loans and provide financial and business advice to Black-owned startups and established small businesses. Atlanta-based nonprofit Operation Hope, which helps consumers improve credit scores, is kicking in $20 million, and Shopify, the online e-commerce is adding another $130 million for the loans and website-hosting services.

Other services firms providing expertise or help include Aprio, an Atlanta-based accounting firm, and First Horizon Bank.

It’s a package of products that many Black entrepreneurs couldn’t get through a bank or credit union, said John Hope Bryant, CEO of Operation Hope.

“A bank won’t lend you money unless you can prove that you don’t need it,” Bryant said. “That’s especially true with minority-owned small businesses.”

Small businesses with Black owners were half as likely to obtain business loans as whites, according to a Federal Reserve survey published earlier this year.

The initiative is the latest effort to help Black consumers and businesses enter the financial mainstream. Earlier this month, a group that includes rapper Killer Mike opened a digital bank aimed at Black and Latino consumers.

Banks and credit unions have tried for years to help Black consumers open checking and savings accounts. The efforts helped, as the number of U.S. households without bank accounts fell to 5.4% in 2019 from 6.5% in 2017, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Monday.

Consumers who own checking and savings accounts typically have access loans with better rates and a wider variety of financial services.

The federal government’s $660 billion loan initiative for businesses hit by COVID-19, the Paycheck Protection Program, also helped few Black-owned businesses, Bryant said. PPP loans were based on a company’s number of employees and its rent obligations. many Black-owned small businesses typically didn’t have enough workers to qualify and are based out of the owner’s residence.

Bryant said a bad credit history may not prevent applicants from receiving a loan.

He hopes more companies will contribute services such as insurance advice or software typically available only to well-established businesses.

Bryant noted that 1MBB is not a charitable organization, as participating companies like Shopify will likely get a pipeline of new business customers through the program.

“This is not pure philanthropy,” he said. “Shopify believes that Black-owned businesses are good businesses if they’re properly supported.”

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This Week’s Top Car Deals & Analysis – October 30, 2020

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The final days of October offer a chance to take advantage of outstanding model year-end deals. Most offers end November 2, which means there isn’t much time left to enjoy this month’s best lease deals and deepest new car discounts. We even found incentives that can help those with bad credit buy a new or used car.

2021 car deals. Interestingly, 2021 new car incentives are showing some surprises. For example, Audi is already offering up to $12,000 in savings when leasing the 2021 e-tron all-electric crossover. We even learned that the new Genesis GV80 SUV will debut with a $589/month lease deal plus special financing rates.

Believe it or not, the 2021 Hyundai Veloster N could prove to be a great value despite a nearly $4,700 price increase compared to the previous year. That’s because our analysis finds that better incentives can make it just $10/month more expensive to lease than the 2020 model. Talk about getting more for your money.

Why are small cars bad to lease? Even though smaller cars typically come with lower price tags, that isn’t always the case when leasing. A mix of lower discounts, worse residual values, and smaller discounts can actually make a Nissan Altima cheaper than a Versa despite having an almost $10,000 difference in MSRP.

Shorter-mileage leases. More brands are offering shorter mileage allowances on car leases. Although this is typically used to offer consumers more flexibility, we’ve found cases in which you can end up getting less for your money. If you don’t read all the fine print, this could make comparison-shopping difficult.

Bad credit car deals. If you have subprime credit, you may find it harder to get financed. However, some manufacturers are offering special incentives to help make cars & trucks more affordable. For example, Chevy is offering $2,000 in down payment assistance plus 9.9% APR for 72 months on the 2020 Trax.

$0 down leases. If you’re adamant about now putting down any money on a lease, you’ll love Sign & Drive leases. In addition to requiring no money down, $0 down lease deals can cover your first month’s payment. Even hot sellers like the Honda CR-V Hybrid offer $0 down and as little as $330/month on a lease.

The high cost of safety? Even though most major automakers are offering more safety features than ever before, our analysis finds that the highest IIHS safety ratings still require costly options in 2020. That’s starting to change, but the cost of buying a car with the most bragging rights is still very high.

Disaster relief. Those affected by some of this year’s natural disasters should be aware that automakers are offering assistance. California wildfire assistance programs like Ford Employee Pricing can save thousands when replacing a car. Similarly, a 2020 hurricane relief program from GM offers $1,000 in savings.

Spooky loan situations. There are some scary scenarios you can avoid when getting a car loan. However, boosting your credit score is possible with some determination because negative items on your credit report fall off after 7 years. Our network of dealers is specially equipped to help those with bad credit.

Upcoming vehicles. Genesis finally revealed the new GV70, a small luxury crossover based on the highly-rated G70 sedan. Whether it’s a redesigned car, truck, or SUV, odds are you’ll find it on our Previews page. That said, as we reported last week, discounts ahead of a redesign can result in substantial savings.

This Month’s Cheapest Lease Deals »



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