Israel, Palestine, and Jon Stewart

I don’t claim to know much about the Israeli/Palestinian crisis nor our awkward involvement in it. But for a show that follows a collection of adult cartoons on the Comedy Central network the Daily Show often seems capable of asking some pretty good questions. These two clips are worth watching for sure.

We're the problem

I’m not one to say that I think the answers are inside–that if we would only look inside ourselves we’d find what we need or are lacking. I think this mentality doesn’t do honor to the value of others and it doesn’t do value to the idea that we’re intended for and should expect more than what we (including our insides) currently own or possess. But I will say that we’re often too quick to point somewhere else before we’ll look inside ourselves.

I support the Occupy movement. I do. Despite all the sarcastic and snarky postings on facebook that trivialize what those people are attempting to do, I at the very least appreciate their willingness to peacefully stand up for what they think is right even despite the seemingly insurmountable odds that we can fix it. The danger, though, of a movement like Occupy Wall Street is that it will cause is to only point fingers instead of look within ourselves. The problem with our government isn’t that they don’t represent the people, but for a long time they have perfectly represented us! The government in most ways directly represents who we are as a people. We’re debt spenders who find value in being bigger and stronger than others. We revel in excess and we honestly think we can get gain and change without loss and sacrifice. We prefer power without accountability while we also despise those in authority simultaneously as we desperately want people in authority to just take care of things for us.

So if I am the government and the government is I (good grammar?) then the question is…Am I living differently? Am I willing to change? Do I recognize my own brokenness? Can I see through my fog of pride, fear, or arrogance enough to admit that I’m part of the problem? The reality is that as long as I can make it clear to all that you’re a bigger problem than I am then I’m free to continue my broken trajectory as is…and that’s a problem…what I mean is that you’re the problem…I mean, I’m the problem…no wait, we’re the problem…AND THAT’S ACTUALLY OK! If we’re all willing to own it in all its messy glory then there’s no shame in proclaiming boldly its truthiness (yes, spell check let me get away with this one).

OWS has a powerful point and has developed a powerful platform. But change must happen in the 1% and the 99%

Why I Didn't Vote…honestly

I must confess that I don’t remember the last time I voted. It’s possible that I’ve never voted though I think I remember filling out a ballot once or twice. Many of my non-voting years I’ve felt as though I was given the choice between bad candidate A and bad candidate B (here’s Southpark’s version) and I was so unaware of the ballot measures that my vote would have been uniformed and pointless. Obviously there’s some faulty reasoning in there that could be argued against, but my assumption is that in general many people who don’t vote feel and think a similar way. And if we’re completely honest a big part of it is simply laziness and forgetfulness…if we’re being honest.

I could also make a few different arguments around the idea that by not voting I’m actually casting a condemning vote on the system itself, on its brokenness, and on the fact that I believe that hope for our future is found elsewhere (both as individuals and as a nation). But if I were to be completely honest I’d have to say that laziness and forgetfulness are a larger part of why I never voted.

Honestly…laziness and forgetfulness, that’s really what it’s all about with me.

Well those days are over ’cause I’m officially registered to vote! Ok, maybe I’m making too bold a statement because I have not actually voted for anything yet but at the very least I’m positioned in such a way to be able to vote when the time comes.

To be perfectly honest I’m still feeling very indifferent about national politics (particularly the presidential race) but what has my attention is local politics. Local politics actually affect my neighbors in very real and immediate ways. And the one issue locally that really has my attention has to do with supporting our local public transit. The reality, and its a heavy one, is that if we don’t pass this particular measure 30% of our bus routes will be closed and all bus routes on Sunday will shut down. This is a huge flippin’ deal. This is an issue that will greatly affect the poor of our community, their ability to work and keep jobs and their ability to buy groceries at a grocery store rather than a convenience store among other things. Honestly, this is a very big deal for those that don’t have three cars and enough money to pay for gas to commute 45 minutes to work every day.

So I’ve decided to vote ’cause I want my bus system. Is that odd? Is it odd that after all these years it’s this issue that caused me to (re)register and actually vote? Sometimes I surprise even myself…honestly

H.O.O.P Fundraiser Anyone: why circumcision is evil*

There will be a measure on the San Francisco ballot to ban circumcision. (read it here) Some people are outraged. Some people that are not Jewish are outraged. Should we be outraged?

In other news it is illegal to tattoo your children. (read it here)

When our son was born the doctors were very clear that circumcision is a completely cosmetic procedure, it is a procedure that has absolutely no medical value and is done purely for looks. Is there a difference between circumcising your kid and tattooing them? Both create a permanent cosmetic change to your child without their consent. Both are painful. Both our needless. Both are slightly barbaric (or at least I can understand how both can be seen that way).

If Judaism and Christianity were not so influencing in our culture would we not also be outraged about the practice of circumcision? Should we nevertheless be outraged about it?

To be honest, I had my sons tip snipped. To be honest it’s probably because of some form of peer pressure. People didn’t exactly force me into it, but the only reason we did it was because “that’s what you do”. We didn’t do it because we see ourselves as united with an ancient Jewish spiritual movement (though this is true), we didn’t do it because contrary to our doctors warning we believed it was more healthy, and we didn’t do it because we wanted it to look better (I just gagged a little). We did it ’cause that’s what you do. I’m surprised we didn’t also take a hit off a bong, or hid in the alley behind our house and smoke a cigarette (we wouldn’t want our parents to see!), or take a sip of wine even though we were underage. It’d all be the same right?


* If there is any doubt– this title is exaggerated ’cause it is funny and more exciting. Lets not get carried away.

As for me and my house, we will vote for Basil

This is simply amazing. If it is a joke…its the best I’ve ever seen. If it’s not a joke (and it isn’t) it’s the best I’ve ever seen.

Check Basil’s website out, notice some of the following quotes (I have left spelling and grammar as the author wrote it):

Make sure that if national insurance is put in place, I will make sure the roots of such bill with not inclued any type measuring of the waist like other counties.

Vote for me and if I win I will immune you from all state crimes for the rest of you life!

I believe we must hate the U.S. Flag because we fly the wrong one and when we fly the right one we and the government fly it wrong.

The right too bear arms against our government and not burglars must be protected

I find it hard to take a campaign fund from anyone because if they give me money they expect something and then they seal it with a hand shack . I think this is bribery
so to keep everybody honest lets put all funds in one bucket, then divide the bucket by cities, counties and state ,then divide those buckets among who ever once want to run and nobody owes anybody.

People Called to stop Slavery at traffic stop they all say county court can not overrule supreme court ,but no-one will help while 1.8 billion is stole by false arrest

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