“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child-our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”—Thich Nhat Hanh (via ashramof1)
There’s a long-standing narrative, made prominent again over the past few weeks, that Israel cannot work with Hamas, cannot legitimize or recognize them in any way, because Hamas has repeated stated that its goal is the destruction of Israel. This is written in the Hamas charter and has never been revised or repudiated.
Thus, it’s taken as a given amongst those who support Israel that there’s nothing to be done as long as Hamas remains in control in Gaza and that Palestinians who support Hamas do so because they support Israel’s destruction. All that Israel can do, it seems, is to continue its blockade and oppose any efforts by Palestinians to bring Hamas into a unity government with Fatah. Hamas, Israeli politicians and their supporters claim, represents an existential threat to Israel and, as such, cannot even be considered a potential partner for peace until it formally rejects its long-standing opposition to Israel.
When did Israel become so uncharacteristically rigid in its thinking?
Let’s be honest: It’s not like Hamas is the first group to pose an existential threat to Israel. The PLO did so before Hamas, as did numerous countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The organizations and states actively sought Israel’s destruction for decades. Egypt and Jordan, for example, are neighboring states with fully-functioning militaries that formally declared war on Israel several times throughout the country’s history. And yet Israel made peace with both countries. Those peace agreements were very difficult and very costly for everyone involved, but they’ve endured for decades now. And the PLO/Fatah provides a model for normalizing relations between Israel and representatives of a dispossessed people who advocated armed struggle against Israel. The Oslo process hasn’t exactly lived up to its promise, but there remains an opportunity for representatives from Israel and the Palestinian Authority to negotiate together rather than to bomb one another.
Years ago, the PLO, Egypt, and Jordan were seen as existential threats and then one day they weren’t. One day their leaders viewed Israel as completely illegitimate and promised its destruction; the next day, they were sitting down to negotiate with Israeli diplomats. Obviously this is an oversimplification; it took a lot of back-channel negotiation, commitments from third parties, and — most of all — it took courage from politicians on both sides to see one another (and the situation as a whole) in a different light. But, importantly, it also took Israelis saying to themselves, “Peace is more important to us than anything else. Maintaining a constant war footing is bad for us, so maybe we can find a way to talk to these people who keep saying they want to kill us and maybe they’ll stop wanting to kill us.” This takes courage and it takes will and it takes creativity.
So, I guess what I’m saying is, this whole thing about Hamas representing a credible existential threat to Israel is just laziness. Israel found a way to negotiate with people who were better equipped to carry out their threats in the past. I can’t imagine anyone today actually believes that Hamas is ever going to succeed in destroying Israel, so then this is just a more palatable way of saying, “We’re just not willing to think very hard about how to make peace with the Palestinians.” Or worse, “It’s better for us not to make peace, actually.”
Yeah, we have “quotas”. They are ‘unoffical’ but you get shit duties if you dont pull in so much money for the department per month. So, what that means is, say it’s the 30th of the month and you havent met your quota.. That means you pull over someone (preferably black, since they are less likely to fight it or sue) who is ‘doing 55 in a 54’ and give them a ticket.
Also, I’m lucky enough to work in a ‘shall arrest’ DV state. Which basically means that, if we get a domestic violence call against you for any reason what so ever, we are required to arrest SOMEONE. It doesn’t matter if a neighbor who hates you calls, and when we show up you are the only person home, we are still supposed to arrest you. I’ve literally been yelled at by a superior because some asshole called in a DV against his neighbor who he had a land dispute with, and I refused to arrest the guy because his wife wasn’t even in town when we got there (she had been out of town on business for a week…). It doesn’t matter to the higher up’s, because once you are arrested for even a bullshit reason, it’s money getting pumped into the system. You are GOING to pay bail if you can (which doesn’t get refunded under any circumstances), you are going to spend 12 hours in jail minimum, and unless you luck up and get a decent public defender (which happens occasionally if they aren’t already over worked), you are going to pay for a lawyer. Even a bullshit arrest can easily turn into multiple thousands of dollars. Oh, let’s not forget the expungment paper work you have to file (which is another 5-600 bucks), just to get the arrest removed from your record (the arrest will stay there even if you are found innocent or the DA refuses to press charges). Let’s not forget the money being pumped into parole officers, probation officers, etc.
Oh, and in my county in particular, ‘evidence’ that is confiscated, gets auctioned off, and the money goes back into the PD. So, if you are arrested for spotlighting or hunting out of season (or even some BS charge as mentioned above), we are going to take your car, your firearms, and possibly any other firearms you own that we ‘suspect’ you may have used for other illicit activity….and unless you can afford a good lawyer to get them back, we are going to auction all that off and the money is going to go back into buying us new squad cars and laptops to look at facebook while we sit in those squad cars.
So yeah, don’t think the police are here to protect you. We are here to put money back into the system. When I started out I was a starry eyed kid, thinking I was going to be helping out people and ‘protecting and serving’…..after a few months, I realized that it was all bullshit, and we are here to use anything you say against you, and twist any facts we can against you. It was so bad (at least where I live) that I had to quit, I didn’t have the moral ‘ambiguity’ to keep on. I know not all PD’s are like this, and my hat’s off to the people who could keep on trying to change the system from the inside, but yeah, at least around here, and as far as I’m concerned for the most part, ‘justice’ is a racket.
Don’t film companies know that any film advertised on Tumblr, in the form of shoving the shit onto our dashboards, is immediately loathed by us? That it has exactly the opposite effect desired? That now we will intentionally NOT go see that movie?
Have the balls and the intelligence to let the film be promoted by us, if it’s any good to begin with.
And, yes, Chef was really great, especially for anyone in the creative arts… don’t lose your heart. Honor your passion, respect your craft and gifts, remember why you got into your thing in the first place.
“If Israel insists, as the Bosnian Serbs did in Sarajevo, on using the weapons of industrial warfare against a helpless civilian population then that population has an inherent right to self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The international community will have to either act to immediately halt Israeli attacks and lift the blockade of Gaza or acknowledge the right of the Palestinians to use weapons to defend themselves. No nation, including any in the Muslim world, appears willing to intervene to protect the Palestinians. No world body, including the United Nations, appears willing or able to pressure Israel through sanctions to conform to the norms of international law. And the longer we in the world community fail to act, the worse the spiral of violence will become.”—Chris Hedges (via azspot)
“Jesus certainly was not a “Bible believer,” as we use that term in the post Billy Graham era of American fundamentalist religiosity that’s used as a trade-marked product to sell religion. Jesus didn’t take the Jewish scriptures at face value. In fundamentalist terms, Jesus was a rule-breaking relativist who wasn’t even “saved,” according to evangelical standards. Evangelicals insist that you have to believe very specific interpretations of the Bible to be saved. Jesus didn’t. He undercut the scriptures.”—Jesus Was Not a “Bible Believer” let Alone an Evangelical (via azspot)
“… I was on holiday once, and there was this little girl on the beach, little American kid. She says, “Hi, there. I’ve just been doing a Beatles appreciation class in school.” I said, “Wow, that’s great.” I think, “I know, I’ll be really cool here. I’ll tell her a little inside story.” So I go on about how something happened, and it was a fun story – and she looks at me, she says, “No, that’s not true. We covered that in the Beatles appreciation class.” I’m going, “Oh, fuck.” There’s no way out, man! They’re teaching this stuff now.”—Paul McCartney (via Rolling Stone)
We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms. Most of us have the sensation that “I myself” is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body — a center which “confronts” an “external” world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. “I came into this world.” “You must face reality.” “The conquest of nature.”
This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin.
PropertyOfZack is happy to be debuting a new music video for YØUTH’s “Breathing Easy.” The artist is re-releasing the single, so this is a perfect time to come onboard. Watch the video below after the jump.
“Former Vice President Dick Cheney failed to anticipate the September 11 terrorist attacks and responded to them by urging the catastrophic invasion of Iraq, which will cost $6 trillion, roughly 5,000 American lives, and tens of thousands of serious injuries. In hindsight, it’s clear that Cheney’s assessment of pre-war intelligence was inept if not dishonest; that his predictions about how Iraqis would react to the U.S. invasion were dreadful; that his estimate of the cost to Americans was wildly inaccurate; and that he was partly responsible for an occupation as negligent as, say, a man on a duck hunt who shoots another man in the face.”—The Farce of Dick Cheney Giving Foreign-Policy Advice (via azspot)
“Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means — to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal — would bring terrible retribution.”—Louis Brandeis (via azspot)