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Posts Tagged ‘fireworks’

A Country of Free Men or Free Things?

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/a-country-of-free-men-or-free-things.html

As I write this, the barges are being towed along the Hudson. Streets have been blocked off, police officers collecting overtime have assembled, and the crowds are trickling in hours early to grab prime viewing positions for the fireworks display. While Independence Day is the official name of the celebration, the media is still celebrating a Supreme Court decision which granted the government the power to outsource taxation to corporations by compelling everyone to purchase a product from a private company by virtue of having been born.

Nancy Pelosi explained that the mandate was more of a penalty on “Free Riders” than a tax. Down by the Hudson River, British warships once plied the waterway in a bid to prevent the colonists from acting as “Free Riders” on their investment. The debate over whether people could be disenfranchised and compelled to pay for the grandiose plans of an out of touch government was eventually thought to have been settled further north at Saratoga. But the debate is back.

Co-Dependence Day is the new Independence Day. “I love you, you tolerate me and we all live together in a happy planned economy.” Free riders are people who, like the Colonists, are perceived to have benefited from the gargantuan investment of government without paying their proper share.

All that the Crown really wanted was for the colonists to pay their “fair share”, a share that was determined thousands of miles away. All that the colonists wanted was the rights of Englishmen that they believed they were entitled to. After a great deal of bloodshed, the colonists won the right to be Americans instead—an odd series of consonants and vowels having to do with an Italian explorer but meaning free and limited government.

The “Free Riders” who didn’t want to pay into the empire won the day, but hardly anyone in the crowds heading toward the Hudson remembers what the day is about. The denizens of public housing, who are the true “Free Riders”, certainly don’t. They are getting a free ride on everything from food to housing, but the free ride comes from the taxpayers that Pelosi and Obama damn as “Free Riders”. And the only way to keep their free ride going is by ending everyone else’s freedom.

The fireworks are just one more free thing in the sea of free things that they swim in. The Fourth to them is Fireworks Day. Every country has its fireworks days and this is the day that this one chooses to light up the night sky. The day means nothing to them because though they are surrounded by free things, they aren’t free. The difference between freedom and free things has been progressively erased so that many think that the American Revolution was fought because the British weren’t providing affordable health coverage to the colonies. If only they knew about the NHS, they would vote to go back.

There is a big difference between a free country and a country of free things. You can have one or the other, but you can’t have both. A free country isn’t obsessed with free riders; only a country of free things obsesses over making everyone pay their fair share for the benefit of the people who want the free things. The rugged individualism of Colonial America has given way to stifling crowds, co-dependent on each other, lined shoulder to shoulder, clutching at each other’s wallets, crying, “Take from him and give to me.”

We are a nation overflowing with the right to things paid for with other people’s money. A nation where the government gives you food, housing and education; while Walmart gives you cheap products made in China, that used to be made in America, back when people were able to afford health care, housing and food without having to pick each other’s pockets.

The fireworks that shoot up in a wonderland of blue and red, silver and gold, are a faint echo of the real thing, the gunpowder that blasted back and forth between the lines of government troops, their Hessian mercenaries and the rebel colonists who chose to ride free, rather than bend their necks to the plans of an expanding empire. The faint smell of gunpowder and the dark shapes of the barges only mime the war that was fought here. A play of light and shadow whose meaning reaches fewer and fewer people each year.

US Embassy in Tel Aviv Raffling Off July 4 Party Tickets

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

The US Embassy in Tel Aviv announced Wednesday that it will be giving away tickets to an annual Independence Day party at the US ambassador’s residence in Herzliya.

For the second year in a row, the ambassador will host a party on the lawn of his apartment by the sea, with invitations extended to Israeli politicians, diplomats, journalists, and military brass, as well as Israel’s prime minister and president.  Traditional beer, fireworks, and American music will be featured.

To win entrance to the raffle, contestants must identify scrambled images of American sites, personalities, and historical events on the embassy’s Facebook page.

Attacks on Jewish Maale HaZeitim Continue, Jerusalem Fire Dept. Slow to Respond

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Despite the arrest of a local Arab man for repeat Molotov cocktail attacks on the eastern Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood of  Maale HaZeitim, assaults on the residential area just across from the Old City of Jerusalem continue, with two offenses occurring in the last 72 hours.

On Friday night, as residents of  Maale HaZeitim gathered in their synagogue to commemorate the Sabbath, a series of fireworks were aimed and fired at the buildings, exploding loudly and catching grass on the perimeter of the neighborhood on fire.

After a quick consultation with the synagogue’s rabbi to determine the permissibility of calling the fire department to extinguish the flames on Shabbat, a resident dialed the emergency number for Jerusalem’s fire department.  According to the resident who placed the call, no one answered the service number.  Hanging up and trying again thereafter, the phone was answered immediately by a fire department representative, who sent a fire truck to the scene.

Residents of Maale HaZeitim told the Jewish Press that the fire truck took approximately 15 minutes to arrive.  By then, the fire had consumed the perimeter grass and extinguished itself.  Fire fighters surveyed the scene, made a report, and left the neighborhood.  The perpetrator has not been apprehended.

The Friday night attack was followed by one in the afternoon on Sunday, on the opposite side of the community.  According to reports by residents of one of the buildings, a bottle of brown oil-based paint was hurled at the homes around 3:30pm, the 20th such attack in the last few months.  The balcony of an  empty apartment in Maale HaZeitim’s “Building 5″ shows splatterings of multiple colors of paint accumulated over the course of several attacks, as well as shards of broken glass from the bottles in which the paint was poured.

Though Maale HaZeitim is under the protection of the Jerusalem Police department like all other Jerusalem neighborhoods, the city also employs a special guard service to provide protection onsite 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Despite this, attacks against the community continue, with residents expressing concern that the guards do not respond quickly to attacks.  One resident told the Jewish Press that a guard apologized to her for failing to respond to a firebomb  attack on her apartment because he had concentrated on studying for his college entrance exams and simply failed to see the assault take place.  Other residents stated that guards are afraid to respond to attacks, for fear of being incriminated by police, treated unjustly in the judicial system,  and serving time in jail for defending Jewish residents.

A Jerusalem police officer, on condition of anonymity, told the Jewish Press that guards often fail to alert local law enforcement immediately when an attack occurs, weakening the potential for a successful police response.  However, on April 30, a coordinated effort by the police, border police, and the local guards resulted in the apprehension of a man who admitted to conducting multiple firebomb attacks on the community.

Maale HaZeitim mothers have expressed concern and outrage that many of their small children have grown fearful of Arabs as a result of recent attacks, and demanded protection from the city and state, as afforded to them by right as citizens of Israel and Jerusalem.

Touro College, Brooklyn

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007


I look at it as a national holiday. Usually I make a barbeque on that day and my family will light up some fireworks. - Meir Dobkin, student



 

 



 

No. To me July 4th is simply a vacation day from work and school. Last year our family got together and we had a barbeque, and we might do that again this year, but the actual day has no historical meaning for me.

- Isaac Vizel, student

 

 

 

 

 


Yes, It means a lot to me, especially because I have friends and family members who are and have been in the military. I remember huge celebrations of the Fourth of July even when I was in Jerusalem. I definitely will be celebrating the day.


- Ilene Stroh, administrative assistant

 

 

 

 

 


No, but I do thank God we have this democratic country. My grandparents came from Ukraine, where there were no freedoms, so I appreciate the significance of the day. However, for me Israel’s  Yom Ha’atzmaut is more important. I used to celebrate Israel’s independence day, but lately I don’t, due to all the corruption there.


- Chaim Breitkopf, student



 

 




Yes, but generically. I may go out to dinner with my family and watch the fireworks. To me, the day is very important and still very relevant to Americans. The colors of the fireworks reflect our diversity in this country.


- Ron Goldman, professor

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/touro-college-brooklyn/2007/07/04/

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