I offended people at my old job when I exaggerated and said I didn't read books (I worked in publishing). Since college I avoid paper media (I read philosophy, theology and history in paper form... but if they were online I would prefer it). I would tell you where I worked, but working in advertising is like working for the mafia and there have been physical threats made. A lot of Left Wing Palestinian sympathizers work in fashion and the advertising world. I have a child and they threatened to murder him.
The beauty of the Torah is my warning of an abused text is built in. It is a good manual... and like all good manuals the idol worship issue and the destruction of the temple is a very serious warning.
Coming from a "FRUM" family might be an understatement. My great great grandfather was Rabbi Sivitz (most well known orthodox Talmud scholar in the world @ the time) Rabbi Sivitz disowned my great grandfather for not observing the sabbath. His son was a scientist and he enjoyed every hour in his lab. The research of the younger Sivitz led to nuclear energy. The younger Sivitz was in the first class ever at Carnegie in Pittsburgh... (the college I went to as well). If the younger Sivitz had observed the sabbath we would not have nuclear energy today. That same nuclear energy that gives leverage to state of Israel over it's neighbors... and protects millions of Jewish people from the oppression of Jewish enemies.
Whose knowledge helped the Jewish people more? The greatest Talmudic scholar of his time,... or his humble disowned son who did the research into radioactive isotopes?
The most dangerous book in my opinion is religious text... with the exception to Jewish commentary, which evolves unlike other religious perspectives. Judaism was a Blog before Blogging. This is why great ideas come from the Jewish community. We are the chosen people for a reason. When you take our ideas and make them stale, the concepts eventually become oppressive without questioning. If you follow any idea in a strict interpretation (no matter how universal the philosophy), then you are an idol worshiper. To me Christianity and Islam are just an orthodoxy that I refute like I refute many Orthodox in my own religion. No material can replace the will of G-d... no single book, idea or messiah speaks for G-d alone...
Piss off fundamentalists!
It is interesting to note that the first paradox in Jewish religious code predates "Jesus" and the destruction of the second temple. It is during the expulsion to Babylonia where the Jews first come across a dilemma where the scripture tells them they must sacrifice animals in the temple (how could they if Solomon’s temple was destroyed?) Judaism had an understanding of religion as being un-concrete from this period on if you look at the bible strictly. That is why it is called the Babylonian Talmud, because it was commentary written in Babylon, not in Israel. From that point Judaism was no longer fundamentalist. It is with great irony that the effect of conservatism on a liberal movement would be reflected by two thousand years of a repressive orthodox church that would branch off from the very same liberal movement that was meant to universalize humanity. It is with even more irony that militant monotheism or modern Islam reflected the militaristic Maccabees. On the other hand post-temple pacifism eventually led Israel into the Holocaust. The "Religious Right" does not understand this, and the "Left" never seems to understand the effect of misunderstanding absolutes (or maybe the "Left" understands perfectly, but is subverting the truth for devious benefit!).
Many books I have read I do not agree with... I read them to argue with ignorant people who get their ideas from them. I read a lot of French Post-Mod philosophy. I think it is silly (but I admire the creativity of thought... French Philosophy Post-Mod is a response to the end of Europe as we know it... they don't have any ability to make any concrete statement because of the shock and cruelty of World War II, so they pretend the world doesn't exist)... I read it to argue with these people who think everything is virtual. What does it matter if these people think they live in some kind of "Matrix" or "Virtual World"? Many have gone "Anti-Zionist", I wonder if reality still is a fiction to these Europeans when my relatives bomb Lebanon? No? I guess this is why the French voted in Nicolas Sarkozy, so they could get back to a reality. Civilization is so full of extremes in leadership. One moment Europe is throwing Jews in the oven, the next moment they are afraid of social contracts like laws and money. I look forward to being friends with Europe again. I miss them... especially the pretty girls. I hope they can get their politics back to normal and find some kind of moderation with security, but without hatred and criticism of other people’s security.
I am not a socialist. I believe in my heart that society must have certain discriminations and roles for people to play as long as they can keep personal human rights to live cruelty free and with liberty and security. Leftists have a tendency to think that anybody that doesn't agree with them is stupid. Never call someone stupid who is interested in one's own benefit and is certain that radical change would be dangerous to one's family. It might be a better strategy if you have something to lose to understand the impasse you are having before rushing to judgment. There is nothing revolutionary about socialism these days. It is a tried philosophy that failed to improve our lives and devalued labor. Borders and boundaries are there to increase liberties and protect jobs. Internationalist pressure is tyranny and can wear the guise of a good cause. Moral perspectives are often less inherent to a political party then how power and money distributes. There is never a riotous reason to sacrifice your security for the liberties of others if there is an impediment to your family’s safety. It is also necessary to take the liberties away from people who are a threat. Concerning the infringement of other people’s security and rights, it does not matter if it was you who did it or your neighbor. If you do nothing you are culpable and should expect punishment. Two examples are “The Golden Calf” and the recent “Israeli Defensive in Lebanon”. Before you say that you don't believe in the bible... just check your sarcasm at the door for one second and give me some creative freedom with a little suspension of disbelief for the sake of my point which I will get to. With the “The Golden Calf”, not all the Hebrews were worshiping, but all Hebrews were culpable because they failed to react. Therefore all Hebrews spent forty years in the desert and Moses was completely denied entry into the “Promised Land” for his frustration. It is interesting that during Israel's war with Egypt, Nasser kept on bringing up "The Golden Calf", because I am going to relate it to my next point involving the Middle-East. Nobody believes that all of the country of Lebanon was responsible for the resent hostage crises. If you fail to fight injustice in your neighbor’s house, then you will reap the responsibility for those around you. I find it hard to believe that the “so called” innocent Lebanese” never noticed rockets aimed and fired to the south in their neighbors backyard. It doesn’t matter if it is a Buddhist colony in Lebanon (and certainly Buddhist “Pacifists” might be tempted to do nothing); you are culpable for allowing the crime.
Another huge mistake the “Left” takes part in is confusing corporate allegiance with the Republican Party. The only television station, which is completely a “slave” to corporate contributions, is PBS. All “commercial T.V.” either is dependant on subscriptions like cable or completely dependant on advertising (corporate as well, but the viewer will change the channel if unhappy). In other words, the best way to get the “Corporate” viewpoint is to watch a PBS newscast or talk show. Channels like FOX, MSNBC or CNN are influenced by the audience’s prejudices because they depend on advertising and the advertisers want people to watch. With PBS you get the unadulterated “Corporate” opinion, because they are trying to get the “Corporate” idea out there. And what is the “Corporate” idea? I would categorize it as “Corporate Socialism”. The corporations want us to have health care that is paid by our taxes, because the corporations will find a way to shirk their responsibilities. If we have federal health care, then the companies don’t have to buy it for their employees or feel the pressure to do so. And what type of company is generally the major contributor to PBS? Energy companies. But wait… Isn’t PBS generally slanted against the war in Iraq? How can that be? Maybe it is because the “Leftist” slur of the war being supported by “Energy Companies” is false. In fact the war in Iraq has hurt most “Energy Companies”. Energy Companies need to negotiate with “Third World Dictators” like Chavez, and the Iraq war has hurt price negotiations.
Next Time there is a major outbreak of violence... do yourself a favor... pick up the phone and call and find out what is really going on before you trust biased news. Case in point: The New York Times, which has had huge nine page ads in it's Sunday Magazine section for Dubai Tourism.
"As the world’s most important daily newspaper, the New York Times is enormously influential in framing the public and diplomatic discourse on many issues, both in the U.S. and beyond. This is particularly true with regard to the Middle East, given how much space it devotes to the subject. One of the great myths of modern journalism, particularly outside the U.S., is that the New York Times is “pro-Israel.” It would be truer to say that the reverse is the situation… to a greater extent than even most of those readers who suspect it of bias might think. In all kinds of small, insidious ways – most of which are not apparent unless you have detailed knowledge on the Middle East – the Time’s coverage is slanted against Israel. And at least until recently it was also slanted against Palestinian moderates and reformers, the Times preferring to put a positive spin on those Palestinian leaders who were corrupt, dictatorial and violent. And since the Times has a reputation as being the great paper of record, the consequences of its distortions can be much more damaging than those found elsewhere. Especially outside the U.S., some mistakenly presume that the New York Times must be pro-Israel since it is owned by a family that was originally Jewish and has a number of prominent Jewish writers and editors. In fact, it may be precisely for this reason that it bends over backward to avoid being seen as favorable to Jewish concerns. There would be nothing new in this, as was seen when the Times deliberately downplayed reports on the Holocaust in the 1940s."
"The New York Times is not the most anti-Israel newspaper. And it is much too measured to slander like in for example, in the London Guardian – which in a lead editorial compared Israel to al Qaeda, concluding that Israel’s behavior was “every bit as repellant.” Still, in all kinds of diminutive, menacing ways – most of which are not obvious unless you have proficient knowledge on the Middle East – the Times’s coverage is more prejudiced than many readers might comprehend and the consequences of its distortions are in some ways much more detrimental than those found elsewhere because of it’s better articulated lies.
The Times does have a pro-Israel columnist, William Safire. But this hardly makes up for the slant of other columnists like Tom Friedman, let alone those of its outside contributors – such as Allegra Pacheco, a Jewish lawyer-activist who represents Palestinians in the West Bank and condemns Israel as an “apartheid” state; Henry Siegman, another Jewish activist whose writings were proudly displayed on the website of the Palestine Liberation Organization, or Deborah Sontag who is about as biased as they come on many issues, not just Israel.
The New York Times’s idea of equilibrium almost seems to be to run discontinuous pieces – first by Palestinians and others condemning Israel, then by far-left Jews condemning Israel. When an outside op-ed writer, the noted international human-rights expert Prof. Anne Bayefsky, incorporated a compassionate sentence on Israel in her article (May 22, 2002), the Times tried to silence her. Only through determined perseverance, Bayefsky says, did she manage to convince the Times to reinstate a sentence condemning the U.N. Human Rights Commission for undeviating a full 30 percent of its resolutions against Israel. Bayefsky was so infuriated by her experience with the Times op-ed desk that she wrote an entire article about it in the June 2002 edition of the legal magazine Justice."
-this quote I will find a link to soon
If you want to really understand the news you have got to understand advertising (an industry I worked in). The politics of the company will always reflect it's revenue.
A lot of people say if I am a Jewish Zionist, then why don't I move to Israel? Here's my response: (1) it is easier to fight the hatred outside of borders through media penetration. (2) It’s harder for somebody to bomb me where I am (3) I'm not going to let racists Pogrom me into a Ghetto surrounded by enemies, I prefer the mobility of attack. I admire Israelis courage, but my ass is not going to be much of a help against "Hez-Ballz". I'm of better use annoying the fuck out of the media and making sure they get the facts straight. They never do because the media will always be influenced by money and the Arabs have Oil!
A democracy without limitations of it's constituents is not a democracy. The United States has a border. Israel has defined who it's constituents are as well and the members of Israel do not stop other states from involving themselves in Democracy. Without the Republic and the limitations of the Republic you have internationalist tyranny. Internationalist tyranny comes in many forms such as Marxism. It is the boundary of who it's members are that gives a democracy it's freedoms. All freedoms in specific are not absolute. Freedom of speech is not the freedom to libel or use hate speech. The freedom to own a gun and bare arms is not the freedom to own a nuclear missile. The limitations are what makes freedom work. To declare Israel not a democracy because of it's limitations on who it's constituents are is internationalist tyranny. It is called arbitrary gerrymandering and it is an act of violence, racism and bigotry. The Jimmy Carters of this generation might seem enlightening to those that would hate anyway, but 100 years from now when the axioms are seen is a different juxtaposition, these people will be seen as racists. In the same way that the "German Democratic Republic" of East Germany is seen today as a play on language and not a defining character of it's state. Israel has a right to decide who it's members are. This does not make it any less of a Democracy then any other Democratic Republic. Israel is a Democratic Republic and in being a Republic gets to define the borders of it's constituents. Being that outside these borders are violence and hatred, my argument takes on an even more existential argument... but you can not nullify the quality of Israel's democracy based on terms that you insist to be a member.