Tuesday, September 11, 2007

end of the year

The year is ending with a bang. It seems like the entire year is catching up with us in the last week. There were more then 60 soldiers injured in a rocket attack last night. This was not an unexpected event, the terrorists did absolutely nothing different then the last 2000 rockets that they have been sending off at us. Now there is a big debate about what to do about it and there will probably be a harsh military response. This is absolutely ridiculous. If there was no harsh response when the same rocket with the potential to kill civilians lands in an empty field there should be no harsh response when it hits soldiers or civilians. The government's stance is that it is ok for rockets to land in our territory. Rockets are dangerous and when you allow people to shoot them at you, then you may get hurt. This entire debate and harsh response should have taken place after the first kassam.

In any case, there is a lot to pray for this rosh hashana.
I'm not big on new years resolutions and while I really would like to post more often, I am finding less and less time to actually type what I want to type when I sit down at the keyboard and more and more what I have to type.

The holiday season should be a lot of fun, I'm taking off the middle days of Sukkos and hopefully we'll get some quality tiyuling done.

Have a happy new year. For those of you I didn't call and am not going to call, pray hard and remember that God is on our side, though he sometimes smacks us in the back of the head till we say Doh. It's just his way of saying he cares.

Shana Tova.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

its only wednesday

This week has gone just about as slowly as a week can possibly go.
#3 fractured his wrist on Shabbos when he fell off the bimba (baby scooter) he was standing on. Sunday morning was the first day of school (1st grade), so I got him all taken care of and casted by 10 AM and brought him to school. He only lasted an hour and a half. The poor boy was in so much pain, we just kept him on a constant aspirin drip for 2 days. Today he went to his first youth group meeting and hurt his arm again while playing soccer. His excuse for playing was "They convinced me."

Yesterday we went to the US consulate in Haifa to renew all the children's passports and make the littlest a US citizen. It didn't go very smoothly, with all the children yelling and having a good time while we finished up the paperwork, but he accepted W-2s as proof that I was in the US for a good number of years so we're all good.

I've been overbusy with work, there is just too much going on.

the "f's" of freedom and fanaticism

Two documentary "must sees" - you don't need a TV - over the last half year are:
The Trap: What Happened to Our Dreams of Freedom - Adam Curtis - BBC shown on BBC2 in three parts at 21:00 (UK) on 10,17,24 March 2007 and God's Warriors - Christiane Amanpour - CNN shown on CNN in three parts at 21:00 (USA) on 21, 22, 23 August 2007 in the following order: Jewish, Muslim, Christian.

Having searched for a comparison of the above whether on the net, blogs or commercial source, I am fairly convinced that the following is uncharted territory.

Summarizing these documentaries, Curtis' presentation is based on the idea of "the war coming home", the real world application of the cold war concept of game theory to all of society and its effecting of the emergence of market sovereignity over political choice (read "democracy") leading to the prevalence of freedom from security, dignity and meaning and thus to atomization, selfishness and nihilism (read "negative freedom"), Prozac (and CRM and ERP - my additions). The upshot is a powerpoint spreadsheet statistical and number persuasiveness underlying a newer development of gaming or conning the system bringing about such things as enron, the rich getting much richer and an almost absolute irreversible political corruption (as well as so-called customer service). Amanpour brings the phenomena of religious fanaticism under scrutiny in three flavors and in the following order - Jewish, Muslim and Christian. As this is more emotional territory, there is more blog ranting against her apparent moral relativism and editorial decisons of adding or subtracting material but if you read the August 20 transcript of her interview by Larry King, she places the term "illegitimate" in the right places and so I am led to believe that the programs reflect CNN's own global interests, not necessarily her own.

The programs overlap in the meaning of violence for the perpetrator (is it a transcending freedom or an audition for the world to come?. Or is it repressive or progressive?) and in the failure of politics and in religion's audition to fill that vacuum (except in the Russian Federation where "security, dignity and meaning" are chosen over personal freedom). Overall, the two programs seem to comprise an overall attack upon what I would term the behavioral materialists, were I to make some kind of Weberian joke on Marx. The message seems to be that as much as things spiritual and soul-ish have been disproven or factored out as not numerically significant and so nonexistent on the checklist, they are rebounding big time.

What it means locally may be an explanation of how much Israel is affected by what goes on outside. Making sense now of President Bush's compliment on Israel's democracy, it is supposed to be on the level of a demo freeware lite democracy, expected to be no more than the type built to make (or if need be, force) the world free.