Just like you can’t say something marginally racist, mention that your black friend said it first, and expect to get let off the hook, you can’t simply say, “I know a Jew who agrees” and expect that to be the end of the conversation. As always, what you say is your responsibility if you are willing to present it to the world you should be willing to take full credit.
The issue is this: Israel is not just any other county. Israel is a nation-state which represents a homeland for a people who has been kicked out of county after county for thousands of years because of their religious beliefs.
This is not to say that one cannot criticize Israel, but rather that there is difference between criticizing a government and criticizing a nation and separating the two is complicated. Critics of Israel are often painted as anti-Semites not because they disagree with Israel’s politics, but because it often comes across as denying that Israel has a right to exist. As Jews, we are driven to Israel’s quick defense because we are afraid it too will be taken from us. Hamas isn’t fighting over a river, or oil or trade agreements. Hamas wants Israel to cease to exist.
All of the said, the violence needs to stop in Gaza, Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Darfur and everywhere else. Fatally bad choices have been made and it is just as true as it is horrible that the people in Gaza are the perpetual victims of the continuing conflict.
“As soon as I arrived home and opened the door, my kids rushed toward me. They covered me with kisses. My 10-year-old, Abdullah, described how he dove to the floor with his classmates at school after hearing the blasts. My 12-year-old daughter, Aseel, was embarrassed because in the rush to leave her classroom, she had lost some of her textbooks. When she passed the smoking police station on the way home, she said she thought she was going to die. The experience seems to have been hardest on my oldest son, Hosam, who is 14. He just sat in front of the television all day, glued to the news reports. He refused even to come to dinner. My wife and I have tried to talk to him about what he saw, but he stops after only a few words. I’m thinking about taking him to a mental-health clinic. But frankly we all need psychiatrists.
I tried to do some reporting, but couldn’t help thinking about what we might do in the event of a ground invasion. What would happen if militants launched a rocket from nearby our home? I went over in my mind how we might stockpile food, water and other necessities. I thanked God when the electricity failed. At least we didn’t have to watch any more TV. We sat in the dark, telling the children stories about their childhood to distract them. It worked—for a couple of hours. Eventually, we got tired and went to bed, but my kids insisted on sleeping in our room.
My wife and I stayed up talking about the situation. It had never been like this before. We are paying a price in this crazy war, and nobody in the civilized world cares. But at least the chaos has finally motivated my family to do one thing. As the bombs sounded in the distance, I finally convinced my wife to leave Gaza.”—Gaza Family Considers Emigration After Attacks | Newsweek International | Newsweek.com (via robot-heart-politics)
“That night, on 9/11, Rumsfeld came over and the others, and the president finally got back, and we had a meeting. And Rumsfeld said, You know, we’ve got to do Iraq, and everyone looked at him—at least I looked at him and Powell looked at him—like, What the hell are you talking about? And he said—I’ll never forget this—There just aren’t enough targets in Afghanistan. We need to bomb something else to prove that we’re, you know, big and strong and not going to be pushed around by these kind of attacks.”—Richard Clarke, chief White House counterterrorism adviser. Vanity Fair Magazine. (via apsies)
“I think what we really need right now is to embody the courage, calm and focus that Barack Obama used in becoming President Elect. He endured ridiculous circumstances and ignorance with dignity. He never complained. He never cried. He never seemed angry enough to smack John McCain in their debates. I would have. I could never be president. I would definitely let my rage spill out. I did. Every time I heard “my friends,” I would swear and sweat and seethe. But Obama didn’t do that. He just smiled and looked into our eyes all across America and beyond, assuring us he would, he could. And he did.”—Tegan Quin (via allisonweiss)
“You might want to try handing out some hope every once in a while. Even if there’s a 99 percent probability that they’re utterly, hopelessly screwed, folks are much more inclined to hear that 1 percent chance that things are going to be okay.”—
I don’t watch the show but I saw this floating around the Internet and it reminded me of a conversation I had recently. The subject of this quote is a girl with a crushed spine. The subject of my conversation was a “state of the nation” type presentation to be given at a company holiday party involving the crushed economy. I maintain that no one wants to hear that they are probably going to be laid off unless there is an open bar. Two drinks on the house just doesn’t cut it.
“Katrina to me was the tipping point. The president broke his bond with the public. Once that bond was broken, he no longer had the capacity to talk to the American public. State of the Union addresses? It didn’t matter. Legislative initiatives? It didn’t matter. P.R.? It didn’t matter. Travel? It didn’t matter.”—Matthew Dowd, Bush’s pollster and chief strategist for the 2004 presidential campaign. (via apsies)
Looking at this list I can tell I have been travelling more for work than pleasure lately. I am clearly keeping it continental, which is a big change for me. In 2009, I will be adding DC and Dallas and if all my finger crossing pays off, Buenos Aires.
One or more nights were spent in each city. Per Kottke’s specifications, * indicates cities visited multiple times on non-consecutive days.
See also:Katherine’s listandChrysanthe’s listandAmit’s list and courtneyj’s list
“There’s such a gulf between yourself and who you were then, but people speak to that other person and it answers; it’s like having a stranger as a house guest in your skin.”—Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams (via thoughtsdetained)
“Feminism has such bad PR — it has such loaded historical associations. As a result, many feminists are so self-conscious about how they present feminist issues. Certainly in the realm of women’s studies on the academic level, I think there’s a worry that there’s too much focus on representations of women in pop culture, and less sexy issues, like labor politics, get lost in “whether The Pussycat Dolls are empowering” or “whether Sarah Palin is a step forward or a step backward.” I think it’s frustrating! I certainly worry about contributing to that, but at the same time, Bitch’s mission has always been to think critically about media. We didn’t set out, like Ms. magazine, to cover global issues and the nuts and bolts of women’s representation in politics and policy-making. There’s certainly room for all of these perspectives. It gets frustrating when people assume every feminist publication should be covering the same things. To me, that doesn’t make sense. I’d rather see them cover different things [because] that helps break down the idea that feminism is a monolith.”—Andi Zeisler, co-founder of Bitch magazine, Feminist Media in a Time of Economic Trouble | The American Prospect (via robot-heart)
“If I ever needed to be rescued by a superhero, I’d like him to look like you… Just saying. Because nobody would want to be rescued by an ugly superhero.”—Me, to Delme (my future husband, who is back in LDN) (via britches)
“Our priorities, man, are so screwed up. We spend so much on the military we’re slashing education budgets throughout the country. No wonder we’ve got smart bombs and stupid fucking children, you know?”—Jon Stewart, 14th Annual Young Comedians Special (1991) (via theengineer)
Melissa Etheridge on Rick Warren [LINK]huffingtonpost.com
This is a message for my brothers and sisters who have fought so long and so hard for gay rights and liberty. We have spent a long time climbing up this mountain, looking at the impossible, changing a thousand year-old paradigm. We have asked for the right to love the human of our choice, and to be protected equally under the laws of this great country. The road at times has been so bloody, and so horrible, and so disheartening. From being blamed for 9/11 and Katrina, to hateful crimes committed against us, we are battle weary.
“I searched for signs of literacy as Bob flipped through the channels, lingering on the Playboy channel. It wasn’t merely the absence of literature that was nagging at me, I realized. I scanned the room like it was a Where’s Waldo book, searching for the missing piece, and then it hit me. He was missing a bookshelf. Not only did he not own books. He hadn’t even entertained the idea of owning books in the future. ”—Dating A Guy Who’s Stupid | The Frisky [LINK] (via robot-heart)
“…the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources, it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say even when it’s inconvenient - especially when it’s inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth, and a greater understanding of the world around us.”—Barack Obama, weekly video address, 20/12/2008. (via exalen)
“Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.”—
P.J. O’Rourke (via 52books)
This is also something I keep in mind when reading in public. First impressions can say such a lot and no one wants to meet someone new or run into someone from the past with a horrible book in hand. It says a great deal about you.
It seems my fellow Seattleites are having a hard time figuring out how to drive the snow. Here are some tips from Chicago, where snow happens more than twice a year. If you cannot follow these suggestions and there is a good chance you will spin out and cause an accident or block traffic perhaps the bus is a better choice. Remember, trucks and SUVs are no more snow worthy than their driver. (Full article here)
1. Front wheel drive cars are better for snow than rear wheel drive cars.
2. Automatic transmissions are better in the snow than stick shift.
3. Heavy cars are better than light ones in the snow
4. If you have a heavy front wheel drive car with an automatic transmission you have won half of the battle.
5. Allow extra travel time for driving in the snow.
6. In general when you are driving in the snow you have to slow way down.
7. When driving in the snow you also should take corners very slowly.
8. If you have to pull out of a parking spot that has been covered with a foot or two of snow first uncover your car.
9. If you are driving in heavy wet snow or an ice storm stop every ½ hour or so (or whenever you need to) and uncover the windows and mirrors with the ice scraper to see better and clear the headlights, tail lights and the snow/ice which gets encrusted in the wheel wells. (also known as car boogers)
10. If you are driving on the highway in a lot of snow, or on any multi-lane road, follow the tracks of other drivers the best that you can.
11. Also it is widely known that the salt from all the roads will rust your car out from underneath
“Of course not. I have always treated them with respect. When they come and wanna talk to me, I talk to ‘em. When the protesters came, we served them water and donuts.”—Rick Warren, when asked if he is homophobic (via apsies)
“Overwhelmingly, the consensus was this: Jewish kids of my generation were permitted to watch one or all of: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and The Year Without Santa Claus. Therefore, their children are also allowed to watch them. But ask them why these movies pass muster and prepare for whomping exhibitions of illogic as only the People of the Book can practice it.
I learned this week that there exists an unspoken “no Jesus” rule, a “no Santa” rule (thus no Rudolph), a “no saints” rule (thus no Night before Christmas), a “no resurrections” rule (even if it’s resurrection by proxy; thus no Frosty), and also a “no bad music” rule (thus no Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special). Perhaps my favorite e-mail laying out a Unified Theory of Jewish Christmas Viewing drew the line thus: “claymation and puppets, esp. from Europe = yes; cheap animation and pop music, esp. from US = no.””—
A Jewish parent’s guide to Christmas specials. - By Dahlia Lithwick - Slate Magazine
A comprehensive attempt to explain the inexplicable, the parts of Christmas jews don’t mind. Mostly, I like the lights.
Obama Pledge Stirs Hope in Early Education - NYTimes.com [LINK]nytimes.com
…the $10 billion Mr. Obama has pledged for early childhood education would amount to the largest new federal initiative for young children since Head Start began in 1965. Now, Head Start is a $7 billion federal program serving about 900,000 preschoolers.
“People are absolutely ecstatic,” said Cornelia Grumman, executive director of the First Five Years Fund, an advocacy group. “Some people seem to think the Great Society is upon us again.”
Despite the recession, Mr. Obama has emphasized his interest in making strategic investments in early childhood education. Asked if the financial troubles might force him to scale back, Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the transition, said, “We simply cannot afford to sideline key priorities like education.”
How to tell if a girl loves you.themorningnews.org
If at Halloween you’re invited to a TV- and movie-themed party and she dresses up as Winnie Cooper and you dress up as Paul Pfeiffer, mainly because you already have the glasses, and at the party some guy who’s a dead ringer for Fred Savage saunters up, peels off his mole, and says, “Get lost, Paul, Winnie’s mine,” and you’re left standing there while the two of them go off dancing to the soundtrack from Forrest Gump, and when two hours later she finds you sitting by the punch bowl explaining for the umpteenth time that, no, you’re not supposed to be Woody Allen, she holds up a tie stolen from a passed-out Alex P. Keaton to her petticoat and redubs herself Annie Hall, and you Alvy Singer: She loves you. And, to be honest, I sort of love you, too.
“You think a little bankruptcy scares this crew? You think Chapter 11 has us down? You think we fear the future? Well, yes. Yes. And hell yes.”—Los Angeles Times media reporter James Rainey (via cakeordeath)
“And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.”—Kurt Vonnegut (A Man Without a Country) (via preduke)
“I asked her to explain the pros and cons of this strange culture. According to her, the pros are that hooking up emphasizes group friendships over the one-pair model of dating, and, therefore, removes the negative stigma from those who can’t get a date. As she put it, “It used to be that if you couldn’t get a date, you were a loser.” Now, she said, you just hang out with your friends and hope that something happens.
The cons center on the issues of gender inequity. Girls get tired of hooking up because they want it to lead to a relationship (the guys don’t), and, as they get older, they start to realize that it’s not a good way to find a spouse. Also, there’s an increased likelihood of sexual assaults because hooking up is often fueled by alcohol.”—
The Demise of Dating - NYTimes.com (via robot-heart)
The hook up is like going to a car dealership and test driving the shiniest thing on the lot; the one you remember from the commercial. You can test things you never considered much, most won’t be your style, but you’ll have a bit of fun.
The date is when you check consumer reports, show up on the lot with a lot of expectations and then only test drive the top contenders.