In September 2001, a group of terrorists from al Qaeda killed several thousand Americans in New York. US friends and enemies alike condemned the attacks and the attackers. Debates that occurred were about how discriminate America should be in seeking revenge and justice. The horrors of 9/11 are invoked whenever questions arise about US occupations of Iraq or Afghanistan. The US is allowed to use the suffering and deaths of its people to justify what it has done.
This is how easily, casually, and callously mass murder can be done on Palestinians. At least 195… and of course the blame is not on the murderers, but on the victims. It is about the same toll as the Mumbai terror attacks, so far – but it will be higher before Israel is done with the current round of massacre.
Happy Holidays, everyone! Some Christmas reflection.
This past summer I had interesting discussions with friends about Christmas gift-giving rituals. My friends being spiritually inclined, there was much critique of the consumer society. My own position was to argue that the underlying impulses of gift-giving and hospitality are positive behaviors. They argued that even these things were more complex, that even gift-giving and hospitality in a consumer society were often tainted by status-seeking and competition. I thought they were being harsh. They thought I was being naive.
Carol Chomsky died yesterday at 78. Two blogs ago I celebrated Noam Chomsky’s 80th birthday, and today I celebrate the other side of the team that gave us all so much. My friend Manuel put it best: May the company of all who love you surround and support you in gratitude for all you have given us. To Carol and Noam.
In Canada, the Conservative minority government might just become the opposition in parliament this week, replaced by a Liberal-NDP coalition with support from the Bloc Quebecois from the outside.
Some friends created a site to celebrate Noam Chomsky’s 80th birthday.
I don’t talk much about Chomsky because I don’t think anyone who reads anything I would write is unaware of him. Also, because it’s hard to think of what to say about someone who goes so far beyond being an influence or a mentor or a role model. So I went to the site and put this there.