Friday, December 15, 2006
It is exam week right now at UCLA, and all of the students are feeling mighty stressed. It's a good thing Bruins have excellent coping mechanisms for finals anxiety, including midnight howling at the moon as well as running across campus almost naked at midnight of the third day of finals - it's tradition.
"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.
We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make Canada great. Not to imply that Canada is necessarily better than any other country and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual orientation of the wishes.
By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.
This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher."
For All My Other Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I find the amount of anti-Israel progaganda in the media to be incredible. I also run into so many bloggers who are totally sympathetic to the Palestinians while demonizing the Israelis. Jimmy Carter's recent book smears Israel and he went further in subsequent interviews to suggest that a much more serious deprivation of human rights has occured among the Palestinians than even there was in South Africa. Even the Iraq Study Group Report seems to suggest that America's Iraq problem was linked to the Palestinian issue.
For almost 60 years Israel has been trying to have neighbouring Arab regimes accept its right to exist with little success. It's response to aggression have been at times questionable and counter-productive. However, Israelis have always been more concerned with security than public relations. They have tried negotiations, trading land for recognition, unilateral withdrawal from occupied land, war, etc. Nothing seems to work. When Arafat was offered just about everything he asked for in a deal worked out by Bill Clinton, he walked away and started the most recent Infitada. I see the most recent ceasefire as merely a cooling off period to give those that support terror an opportunity to re-arm. Hamas which is the legitimately-elected government of the Palestinian people refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. They are still committed to the destroying Israel - they clearly articulate this over and over again. That is why Canada and other Western countries have withheld foreign aid to the Palestinian government. Renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist would provide the Palestinian government with much needed credibility and support.
I see no solution to the ongoing conflict. The level of distrust, hatred and anguish is so great that I don't see how there can be reconciliation. Moderates can never control the agenda because it is so easy for radicals to take control by acts of violence.