Clark Clifford: A True Friend to Israel

Clark Clifford was more than just an aide to a US President. Of course, this position was incredibly commendable in and of itself, but vis-à-vis Israel, Zionism and the Jewish people, the man had a great influence.  And to those back in the day who recognized his efforts, he was thanked.
On November 29, 1947, President Chaim Weizmann wrote a letter of thanks – the original of which is housed by The Shapell Manuscript Foundation in its ‘Between the Lines’ collection.  He said: “Our mutual friend… has kept me informed of doings in Washington, and especially of your magnificent cooperation in many critical situations. In these days of struggle and readjustment we are desperately in need of understanding friendships, and it is good to know that we have in you a genuine friend of our cause. I assure you, and I wish you would in turn assure your great Chief, that we desire nothing but peace and amity with our neighbours, and that we have no aggressive designs on any of them. We shall always be mindful of the Biblical injunction: ‘Zion will be rebuilt in Justice’.”

Clearly Clifford’s efforts were gratefully received by the Jews.

Clark Clifford achieved a lot – in many spheres – in his life.  Born in 1906, he graduated law school from Washington University and worked in his field in Missouri for 15 years.  It was during the Second World War that he became an assistant naval aide and was thereafter promoted to naval aide to the president of America, in the Navy.  Two years after the war, he was appointed as general counsel and it was through this position that Clifford participated in the drafting of the National Security Act.  Other political positions he held included adviser to John F. Kennedy and Stuart Symington, as well as later on, sitting on (and becoming chairman of ) the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

Aside from his political career, Clifford was a successful lawyer in Washington.  In this capacity he represented various large corporations, facilitating their work with various government regulations.  One of his largest clients was Howard Hughes, owner of the Hughes Tool Company.
Together with General Maxwell Taylor, in the late 1960s, Clark Clifford went to Vietnam on a fact-finding tour and advised Lyndon B. Johnson to send more troops there if he wanted America to win the war.  A year later he took over as Secretary Defense from Robert McNamara who had been pushing the President to go the other way vis-à-vis the war and the troops.
Clearly Clark Clifford did a lot in his life, both politically and in the world of business.  But what he will be most remembered for by the Jews and the people of Israel is the influence he had on President Truman and America’s support for the State of Israel.

Unwinding with a Cuppa Joe

We’d had a great weekend with the kids but then I was really craving some “us” time just with Daniel.  It so happened my sitter Donna was available last minute, so we said we’d just be gone for a couple of hours and she was fine with that.  The kids were watching TV and falling asleep anyway and she just adores them so it was mellow when we left the house. 

Of course we went to our favorite haunt, the Floyd’s Coffee Shop on SE Morrison Street. It’s just great there.  The coffee is excellent – they serve Stumptown Coffee.  This is really important for Daniel who seems to think sleep is over-rated, a trait our second-born has unfortunately inherited.  I love the soup bread there.

So we were there for just over an hour and it was just great chilling, people-watching and ending our weekend on a mellow note.  What a great kick-start to the work-week ahead.

Getting Away with Alcohol!

It’s always good to get away.  No matter how much I like living in Portland, it’s just fun to do something different and get away from the humdrum of my day-to-day existence.  So Daniel said to get the kids ready; get Galvin set to drop off at the kennels and we would take a nice drive somewhere that included a bit of alcohol (in the form of sophisticated wine-tasting of course) that would also be kid-friendly.  It sounded absolutely perfect so I enthusiastically packed all our bags without any complaining.

A little more than an hour after we set off, with Ethan sleeping peacefully in the back and Jayden watching Blues Clues on the iPad fixed to the back of my head rest, we arrived at Pheasant Valley’s Bed & Breakfast and Winery.  It was absolutely stunning.  I couldn’t have chosen anything better if I would have planned it myself.  I was truly delighted and thrilled with Daniel’s choice.  Right smack bang in the middle of Columbia River Gorge, the atmospheric air was wonderful for the kids too and I immediately put a smile on my face.

On Friday night after a delicious wholesome, hearty home-cooked meal, we got a babysitter and went walking.  I love window-shopping so we did a lot of that and then just enjoyed the scenery.  We got back at around 9 and took in an early night so we could be up full of energy for the active day ahead.

We started with kayaking (the boys LOVED it), then Daniel took Jayden fishing (he was a little bit interested!) while I put Ethan in the baby-carrier and went walking.  Later on Daniel went river-rafting and the kids and I enjoyed a bowl of French onion soup.  Both kids passed out for around 2 hours Saturday afternoon, leaving Daniel and me free to enjoy a tasting of some of the most excellent wines to have ever graced my palette.

Thankfully we had used the online booking facility to reserve our spot at the Indian Creek Golf Course which Jayden got a real kick out of watching.  He even “helped” Daniel putt a few holes and really had a good time.  I was just busy chasing Ethan around the gorgeous greenery.  Later that night we took the kids to a restaurant in Hood RiverRiverside, located on E. Marina Way, which was a little pricey, but we felt worth it – especially as the kids had a blast.

We drove back this morning and now the kids are settled in their room playing with their toys.  They had a great time for sure, but I think they are pleased to be back.  As I always say, there’s simply no place like home.  Now I just have to brace myself for the working week ahead.

Ethan and The Dog

One thing I’ve forgotten to mention so far in this blog (and don’t tell Daniel – he won’t be pleased) is our dog Galvin.  The reason Daniel will be less-than-happy is because he sees him as “the first born.”  And, in a sense, he’s right.  Galvin was a rescue dog we found as a puppy when we were engaged (he was sooo cute; “he still is,” I hear Daniel yelling in the background) and he’s been with us ever since.

Anyway, sometimes I do feel a bit bad about my neglect of Galvin since having the kids.  He used to blink and I would think he was a genius.  Now I hardly even notice if he’s thrown up a hairball! So yesterday I decided that first Ehtan, Galvin and I would take a long walk (yes, Ethan still fits in the Ergo Baby Carrier – knowing he’s my last kid I just can’t seem to give it up yet).  I left Jayden in Daniel’s office to watch Toy Story 3 so the three of us could bond. It was a beautiful, sunny – somewhat crisp – d y as well.

After a while it looked like Galvin was getting a bit tired from the walk so we got home and went into the car to buy Galvin a toy.  I figured he deserved something nice.  The kids are always getting new stuff.  So I checked the Internet for local dog stores and went along to All For Paws.  I chose some really cool stuff for him there – actually, it was him who chose the stuff; he went over to the toys and treats he liked and stayed in place for a while so I picked them up for him. 

Now I don’t need to feel bad for putting him in the kennels when we go to Daniel’s parents for the weekend. Besides, they look sort of nice to me from the site – maybe he’ll even have a good time and feel more spoiled there!

Here’s to a grand weekend for us all! 

 

New Toys for Jayden

 

So yeah it’s coming up to Christmas and of course, we have to spoil our kids (who doesn’t around the holiday season?)  Truthfully, we only need to get one toy as Ethan could care less if he’s playing with a broken block or a stone from the street, and, he has all of Jayden’s old toys. But we want to get Jayden something he’ll not only really enjoy, but also get creative with as he’s a pretty imaginative kid and loves to play on his own which is certainly great for me!

He’s been using his Lego a lot recently.  Indeed, every morning before we leave for preschool he needs at least 10 minutes to build “another spaceship.”  So that’s great.  But then when I was at Kayla’s house I saw these Clic Toys and he was having a blast with them. He was making all sorts of things – hardly playing with her kid (his best friend, Matthew), at all.  So I think we’re going to get them – probably the smallest box of 175 pieces, because at his age, that will probably be more than adequate.

There’s also something I saw online: Color Mixing Toys.  Since mom and dad want to get the kids something for Christmas too, I may suggest these.  They’re just for fun and don’t really require so much imagination but it’s just for a good time and, really, isn’t that what grandma and grandparent presents are meant to be about?  According to the promo though, as well as being fun, they are educational.  You put them on and see magic!  You can switch the lenses pretty easily and see the world like a bug does or how it would like through a kaleidoscope.  So I guess that’s educational and it’s definitely something different…certainly wasn’t around in my day Indeed, it gives kids a way of changing the entire world…now, in my life that would be really amazing; just think of all the endless possibilities…hmmm, well, it’s sure something nice to dream about for a not-so-sunny Wednesday!

Have a great day and if you get a few moments to yourself, curl up with a nice hot cup of tea and dream about what you would do if you could change your view of the world into a reality.