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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘space’

Invaders from Outer Space

Monday, July 30th, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/invaders-from-outer-space.html

New York City has been invaded, its buildings blown up and its citizens slaughtered hundreds of times. The invaders come every summer, descending from the sky and under the earth. Sometimes they aliens or gods or monsters. They are, however, never Muslims.

Every summer, for 10 dollars you can see a fantasy version of September 11 reenacted with invading enemies who deserve no mercy and receive none. They come in swarms, buildings fall, people run for cover and then they are beaten back and banished. And then, as summer fades, we pause for that obligatory week in which attention must be paid to commemorating the attacks of September 11 while seeing no connection between the discharges of tension through fictional victories used as an escape mechanism from a war that we dare not fight.

The Dark Knight, the previous Batman film, contained an elaborate analogy to the War on Terror, a shadow version of the real war fought out by men in costumes proving that it was possible to release a big-budget movie supportive of the War on Terror so long as it was dressed up in the right costume.

Since then, and before, New York City has been attacked by meteors, ice ages, mythical skeletons, more costumed criminals, the year 2012, and every possible imaginary scenario that can be dreamed up. It just hasn’t been attacked by Muslims because that’s something that doesn’t happen in movies. Only in real life.

The actual enemy rarely shows up in movies. There have been more movies made attacking the War on Terror than movies showing American soldiers and law enforcement officers fighting terrorists. After ten years of war there have hardly been any movies made about the war in Afghanistan and the most watched movie about the War in Iraq began with an anti-war quote, just so no one made any mistakes about where everyone involved stood. And all of these are a drop in the bucket.

Our cinematic world is a relentless barrage of anxieties; week after week, movie theater screens light up with depictions of civilization collapsing into chaos, overrun by hordes of zombies and monsters, our cities torn down, buildings burning, police and military forces helpless in the face of the enemy. These collective anxieties are packaged up and exported to audiences at home and around the world who sit watching our unacknowledged fears of invasion and collapse play out in movie theaters.

A culture’s art, no matter how tawdry it may seem, is also its dreams. They are the stories we tell, and they are full of conscious and unconscious meanings. Legends are created by a culture to battle its unspoken fears. Its great hunters and warriors, whether born of a god, risen from the sea or wearing a cape take a society’s terrors and defeat them in a story that is reenacted over and over again to bring courage to the people and remind that all obstacles may be overcome with a strong spirit.

No matter how degenerate a culture may be, its people still need such legends because they still have fears that need calming. The more troubled the time, the more they have need of such legends and the more they may even escape into them to find comfort against the coming of the long night.

The Islamic invasion is only dealt with through such legends where the enemy is reduced to metaphors, as the Soviet Union and the threat of Communism were in earlier generations. In earlier generations, we saw the Nazi on screen, and he is still a reliable villain, but the Communist is a more elusive fellow and the Islamist is more likely to show up in British movies than in American ones. Instead, the Communist became subsumed in stories of pod people and zombies, in depersonalized bombs falling from the sky and enemies with accents but no ideology. Even brainwashing was distanced as a technological trick in the Manchurian Candidate rather than an ideological practice.

If Communists occasionally showed up in movies, Islamists are as rare as white elephants. There is plenty of work for Muslim actors portraying unjustly accused men being persecuted by bigoted and ignorant law enforcement officers. But there is hardly any work for them portraying terrorists. Much as negative portrayals of Communists was Red-Baiting, negative portrayals of Muslims is Islamophobia. And it is better to be afraid of imaginary things than real ones.

Nadler Hails 20-Year U.S. Govt. Lease at One World Trade Center

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) of Lower Manhattan welcomed the announcement that the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has signed a 20-year lease for 277,000 sq. feet of office space at One World Trade Center.

The agreement with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Durst Organization makes official that 55% of the building is now leased ahead of expected completion in 2013.

“With this lease, GSA and the Port Authority have assured a robust future for the new World Trade Center complex,” Nadler said. “Now more than half leased, One World Trade Center will soon tower above the city, dramatically signaling the resurgence of Lower Manhattan and New York City. 10 years following the devastation of 9/11, Downtown is soaring to new heights, both literally and economically.”

Keeping Our Children Safe

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

How do we teach our children to keep themselves safe from the adult predators in our midst? Are our schools teaching them what they need to know? Are parents teaching our youth what they need to know? Does your child feel safe enough to approach you if their personal space is being invaded? How do you know?

Parents and Educators:
How do you teach the skills needed?

Most abusers are not what we picture in our minds. In other words they are not the repulsive dirty man sitting on a park bench. In fact, most abusers are youths themselves.

More parents and schools need to teach children these basics. Teach your children to say, NO, GO, and TELL you or another parent/parental figure when other children or an adult does something that they know is wrong – or even just feels not right. Unfortunately, most parents admit to not speaking to their children about these issues. I know it is uncomfortable for some, but there are ways parents can speak to their children about staying safe from abuse, without compromising their morality.

The secondary – and more devastating – trauma that children (and later adults) have with sexual abuse is that they feel that they cannot tell anyone, or if they do tell someone, their reports will be discounted. If more children would have the courage and self esteem to speak out, and more parents and educators would have the ability to trust and listen to children when they talk, our world, their world, would be a safer one.

Remember: Children with one or more of the following attributes have an increased risk of being abused:

* Good at keeping secrets. * Often not believed by adults. * Children with poor social skills. * Children with few friends. * Children who crave adult attention.

Some basic tips on how to teach your children to be safe:

* Invite your children to speak to you about anything they would like. You do not have to force a child to speak to you; the invitation is the most important part of the message. Children need to know that they can come to you if they need to. A child who feels comfortable sharing uncomfortable conversations with his or her parents has a much lower risk of suffering the trauma of abuse and the secondary trauma of feeling as if he or she is at fault and/or cannot share experiences with others.

* Ensure that your children know that they can inform you if something or someone makes them feel uncomfortable.

* Teach them that they can share this with you even if the person is a brother, uncle, aunt, cousin, teacher, babysitters, stranger, or family friend.

* Children need to be taught this at a young age (4-8).

* Do not tell children that if anything ever happens something bad will happen to the person who did it. First, you cannot guarantee that. Second, very often, it is someone with who they have a close relationship and may want to protect.

* Model themes related to safety so that your children can become aware if others are violating their rights. These include modeling healthy respect of physical and emotional boundaries; modeling the respect of privacy amongst family members within the home; and modeling the ability to talk about sensitive feelings in an appropriate manner.

* If you know of a child who often seeks close relationships with adults, find him/her a mentor, before he finds his own (or the adult finds him).

Chabad of Westport Hoping for Town Approval at Long Last

Friday, June 15th, 2012

According to the Westport Daily Voice, the structure that used to house the Three Bears Restaurant in Westport, CT, will shortly officially become the new home of Chabad Lubavitch of Westport, which has been operating without approval out of the space since January.

On Thursday night, an attorney for Chabad appeared before the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, seeking a change of use from restaurant to religious institution, as well as approval of interior renovations.

“We are planning modest renovations,” Weisman said. “We’re not doing anything to the outside of the building. We may paint it, we may do some cosmetic work, but it will look exactly as it does today.”

The building will be divided into a sanctuary, three classrooms, and office space.

Five months ago, Chabad was cited by the Planning and Zoning Department for occupying the building without a special permit.

The citation was issued after a complaint from a neighbor.

Ominous Déjà Vu

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Unease. Déjà vu from Sharon’s great Expulsion. It began with a column by Hagai Segal, who depicted the insistence of Migron’s residents not to move from their current location as a sort of childish stubbornness. After all, Kedumim was founded after it was moved from its original location and ultimately grew into a thriving community. So how dare those “children” of Migron, who never heard of settler leader Ze’ev “Zambish” Hever, think otherwise?

After reading that column, I already began to feel that we lost: Migron, Ulpana Hill, it doesn’t really matter what exactly will happen on the ground. Just like in Gush Katif, the struggle on the ground is really just make-believe. The real decisions on the fate of the settlements are being made in an entirely different place where the principle has already been determined, or, to be more specific, preserved. Now it is just a question of price. The deal is really being closed between the settler leaders with the same old Sebastia/Kfar Maimon mentality and the prime minister’s advisers.

I recently spent time attending meetings with Likud ministers, trying to convince them to vote in favor of the Ulpana Law. In a lively two-hour conversation, one minister analyzed the entire scheme of considerations and pressures with which the government is dealing. He left no stone unturned as he explained the facts in detail and analyzed them once again. But he gave me no answer.

When we got up to leave, I said to him, “You know, there is a certain moment in which all the right answers are no longer relevant. The political outcome is really not important. There is a certain space that you enter, without even realizing that you are there. But if you continue from that space to make all of these logical calculations, you lose everything.”

“That is true,” said the minister, “but we are not in that space.”

And then I understood the problem: “we are not in that space.” And we are not there because of the same mentality that plagued us in Gush Katif. The destruction of Migron and the Ulpana Hill doesn’t move us into that space. The victims are still being represented by the same Yesha Council, whose very existence will always ensure that we do not reach the space in which the settlers and their tens of thousands of supporters will embark on a genuine struggle to save their land.

We thought we were going to Kfar Maimon to battle the Expulsion. But in truth, everything was already decided before we started out. Our role was to play a bit with the army. The army’s role was to be sensitive and determined. Afterwards, we cried. It was everything but a struggle. The role of the Yesha Council was to ensure that we would never get to that space – to the genuine struggle.

The entire settler establishment is dependent on government funding. Even more, it is mentally dependent on the government. They refuse to understand that Judea and Samaria are “out,” that the reality has changed since the good old days of Sebastia and Menachem Begin. Judea and Samaria no longer exist in Israel’s long-term plans. All they are is a huge white blotch in the middle of the map of Israel. The only new settlement currently being built by Israel is Ruabi – for the Arabs.

True, in the midst of this strategic process, Zambish can still get authorization for a public building here and there. But the strategic picture is the negative of the gleeful days of Sebastia. The enticement to remain on good terms with the establishment, the source of the Yesha Council’s power, blinds them to the necessity to fight it.

When Migron will, God forbid, be destroyed, or when the homes on Ulpana Hill will be sealed (or even have a worse fate thrust upon them), the Yesha Council will decry the destruction. Nobody expects otherwise. Their role is to ensure that there will be no genuine struggle. They will guarantee that we will once again be dragged from our homes like harmless sacks of potatoes, while the country will continue with business as usual. Our rightist journalists will write terrible things about Prime Minister Netanyahu. The hilltop youth will continue to hate the state. Everyone will play his role in the grand drama whose finale has already been written.

Crossword Puzzle – (Mostly) Jews On First

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Across

1. Search engine option

7. Moshe’s stick might have been one

10. Is it ___ ___ or a no?

14. Abandoned

15. ___ ledodi

16. Not happening

17. Like a metaphor

18. Darling Mets announcer?

19. Famous Fort

20. Who’s on first for 66-Across with 13-Down?

23. Utilizes

24. Tempt

25. Took a load off

27. View

28. Whirlpool

31. Who’s on first for 68-Across?

36. Many a Mel Brooks film

38. Wheel

39. Kind of remark

42. Relief

43. See 45-Across

45. Who was on first for 43-Across?

47. Yang’s pal

48. ___ been a while

51. Win over

52. Some strike callers

54. Hillside

58. Who was on first for 49-Down?

61. Big desert

62. Mess up

63. Claim

65. Give off

66. See 20-Across

67. Net fisherman

68. See 31-Across

69. Like Lavan

70. Place for quarters

 

Down

1. Survivor station

2. Asian poem

3. Singer LeAnn

4. Holy fruit

5. __­_ & Doug (puzzle team)

6. Where a snake once walked

7. Hank who hit homers without steroids

8. Schnozzes

9. Tiny appendage

10. High tops protectorate

11. Me

12. Many sports stars have them

13. See 20-Across

21. Fictional snowmen

22. Good snack on a hot Shabbos afternoon

26. Hollywood’s Gardner

28. Fly

29. ___ a threat

30. Little bit

31. Tiny

32. One from New Zealand

33. Andrews of ESPN

34. Daniel’s famous site

35. Another title for Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

37. Sugar or snow

40. Put out a flame

41. Tokyo, once

44. Hit the bottom, perhaps

46. Shoe fixer

49. See 58-Across

50. Brownish-orange (horse color)

52. Apartments

53. Not cool

55. Museum item

56. Gladiator site

57. Pushed

58. Israel, for most Jews

59. Just ___ ___ too late

60. Space letters

61. Ruby, e.g.

64. Before, for a poet

Iran Reverse Engineering Captured US Drone

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Iran has started manufacturing models of its captured US spy plane, the commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps announced on Saturday, Mehr reported.

Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, speaking on the anniversary of the establishment of the IRGC also said experts are receiving information from the captured spy plane.

Iran announced on December 4, 2011 that the spy drone, RQ170 Sentinel, which had violated Iran’s air space, had been downed by the armed forces of the Islamic Republic but did not say when the incident had taken place.

At the time, Iran claimed that it had ambushed The US’s sophisticated drone, with Iranian experts tricking the drone into landing where it “thought” was its Afghanistan base, which in reality was in Iran.

But US analysts prefer another explanation, which is that the drone had malfunctioned and drifted into Iranian territory.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/iran-reverse-engineering-captured-us-drone/2012/04/22/

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