The latest Flytilla attempt landed in Jordan on Saturday. The anti-Israel activists plan to attempt to cross over into Israel via the Allenby Bridge tonight and tomorrow.
Posts Tagged ‘tomorrow’
The slogan under which Obama hopes to win the next four years is “Forward”. “Forward” is the quintessential progressive slogan, progressives being people who are so forward-thinking that they want to remake the 21st Century in line with their 19th Century ideas. Progressivism, like so many other flavors of futurism, is so new it’s old. It’s the world of tomorrow as imagined by men with top hats and full beards whose Twitter-wielding descendants are still shouting, “March Forward!” at us 150 years later.
The last century has represented a great love affair with the future. A hundred years of spring cleaning accompanied by the resounding cry, “Out with the old, in with the new.” Everyone was a progressive now. The one thing that all the participants in the Second World War had in common was that they were all dreaming of the future. A Thousand Year Reich, a United Nations or Communism: millions died for the sake of a wonderful future.
The Germans died for a Nazi superstate built out of Albert Speer’s monstrous concrete towers of babel, a technocratic revival of Mad King Ludwig’s castle building projects. The Russians died for collective agriculture and inspiring posters of grim workers hoeing the earth and electrifying the countryside. Everyone else died because they were either in the way of one vision or the other. Then they died so that a United Europe and a United Nations might usher in a better world.
The world of tomorrow has seen better days. The West is still in love with the future. If you doubt that, stop by an Apple Store and marvel at all the shiny surfaces. Try not to notice that the aesthetic is a retro futurism because even our future has become our past. Forty years after the Soviet Union tried to land a Mars rover and fifteen years since the first time we did it successfully, we landed a bigger and better rover on Mars. We may not be able to reach the ISS without taking a ride on Soviet Soyuz tubs, but the parts of NASA that aren’t dedicated to proving that science and technology are burning up the planet through Global Warming, can still execute an occasional engineering triumph.
But the future is not so much a place as it is a state of mind. It is a fervent faith in the inevitability of human progress. Men have died for this faith and men are still dying for it.
Britain’s Olympics opener celebrated the journey from the industrial revolution to the NHS euthanasia bed. While capitalism killed workers randomly and unscientifically, the progressive state kills them scientifically and methodically. Any old factory can kill a worker by dropping a load on his head or allowing him to inhale fumes that in retrospect turn out to be toxic, but it takes a genuinely progressive turn of mind to leave him lying in bed for three days begging for a drink of water while he dies because he has become, in the fine German phrase, “Lebensunwertes Leben” or “Life Unworthy of Life.” That is true progress, which also happens to be the name of the unmanned Soyuz cargo ship that keeps American astronauts from starving or dying of thirst up on the ISS.
The Nazis and the Communists believed that certain races and classes had to be wiped out to make the future possible. We, the modernists who communicate through shiny slabs of white and black plastic, who use the flag of the United Nations as our background image and John Lennon’s “Imagine” as our ring tone, don’t believe in such barbaric things. Instead we kill people because they are too old or too sick and use up medical services that are always short in a collective system.
WW1 and WW2 were fought over regional ambitions, but we have gone beyond them. Our scientists can measure every atom of carbon in the atmosphere and assign responsibility for it to individuals. “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?” Yeshayah’s prophecy asks These are the territories that now concern us.
My stomach is tied in knots. I’m tense and I can feel my heart racing. It’s been so long since I had this sense of dread choking my throat. A terrorist has blown up a bus of Israelis. Not in Israel – in Bulgaria. I’m following the news. Three dead. Five dead. At least seven dead. They aren’t saying children, but there were many children on the buses.
And I remembered an article I had written long ago called, “Trying to be Normal.” It’s not my normal style – whatever that is. It’s a strange article. I thought it was strange when I wrote it – back in December, 2002…almost 10 years ago:
There is a point when sadness turns to anger, when the body ceases to be numb. Even though you dread it, you know that point will come. First there is the shock that it has happened, yet again, on some sunny day when normal people don’t think of despair. Then, the shock gives way to an endless need to see, to hear, to watch.
In part, you watch because you believe that if you can just see it, somehow it will be more real. But, of course, it never is. So you give up on believing that it is normal to feel this way or that way and you accept that you just need to see it. You’ll worry about normal tomorrow because normalcy doesn’t exist today.
As the numbers rise, as they almost always do, sadness comes next. It is the feeling of being haunted and hunted, hated to such an incredible depth that you don’t think they, whoever they may be, can overcome their hatred. The waste of it all, the lives lost. The old, the young, the parents, the orphans. The perfect ones, the good ones, the brave ones. Frozen in time, leaving you to move forwards through the grief and the sadness alone.
The brutality of the attack makes you so depressed. How could someone do such a thing? How is it possible to shoot a baby, target a little boy? How can a human being explode himself intentionally next to a teenage girl, stab a pregnant woman, lynch a 67-year-old grandfather? Such anger they must have, such hatred.
Faced with the cruelty, you realize that you are as much a prisoner of their hatred as they are and that begins to call forth the anger. You cannot be the master of their feelings, but shouldn’t they find a normal way to express their anger? You’ve been angry, you’ve hated, but you didn’t explode yourself, you didn’t shoot anyone. Is this the only way for them to get what they want? And if it is, do they have any right to it?
If you can only birth a nation on the blood of innocent children, what worth will that nation have, what compassion for others? How can it take its place in the family of nations when it is born out of hatred and death and cruelty? But that is their politics and today is for your dead and wounded. Today, it is too much to worry about their dreams for tomorrow when yours wait to be buried. Isn’t it normal to focus on your own grief, you wonder? And again you remember that you no longer know quite what normal is, and that too brings forth the anger.
The anger is like those first moments when the circulation returns to a leg that has fallen asleep. It’s a tingling sensation, unpleasant, sometimes dull and sometimes sharp. The more you explore it, the more painful it becomes. Is it better not to move, not to feel? Is it better to get it over with quickly by releasing it or hold it inside? Wouldn’t it be a relief, just once, to scream and cry and release all the frustration and anger? Wouldn’t that be normal?
You think of bombing them back, of horrible pain inflicted with the hope it will ease your pain. The thoughts bring you no comfort because you don’t want to be like them, you just want it to stop. This isn’t about revenge. Revenge won’t bring them back, won’t erase the pain, the tears, the empty chair in the classroom that will forever be his chair, her place by the window.
When you opened your morning newspaper recently (or these days clicked on the headlines), what did you see? Let’s take a look at some of the things that you might have noticed:
- According to a report in The Wall Street Journal on June 21st 2012, the United States … unemployment rate went up by a tick to 8.2% – the first such increase in almost a year.
- Greece threatens to default… again!
- Facebook IPO stalls
None of this news exactly inspires confidence in world markets. If you are the kind of person that gets seriously worried by news events, it may be difficult to smile. However, before you call your money manager to sell your portfolio, remember that today’s news becomes tomorrow’s history, and that no one can predict tomorrow’s news. For all you know, next week’s headlines may be a lot more optimistic.
For this reason, instead of basing investment decisions on today’s headlines, it might be wise to think about the fundamental reasons why you invest. How do you decide what stocks and funds to buy? On what do you base your investment decisions? Are they based on how many Americans are going to be working this year, or on where the world will be in five years?
Ask yourself two things: 1. What is your tolerance for risk? Can you hang on through the ups and downs? If no, don’t get involved in the market in the first place. 2. Do you need risk? Depending on the amount of money you have and your expenses, you may not need to take on so much risk.
If you have both tolerance for risk and your financial plan calls for risk, learn about stocks in the online stock course at www.LearnAboutInvestments.com. If you lack either or both of these traits, that’s fine. It just means that the stock market might not be the right place for you. It’s not for everyone.
The Presidential Conference, dubbed ‘Tomorrow’, did not disappoint. Filled with top brass politicians, journalists, ambassadors, entrepreneurs, academics, scientists and more, the conference was a networker’s paradise; classy, comfortable and conducive to fostering good, new initiatives. Focusing on technology, economy, problems and peace, sessions were strung with a seam of tomorrow with words like ‘shaping’, ‘change’, ‘adaptation’ and ‘innovation’.
Warming up the audience was the adorable media personality, 84 year old Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who built her successful career as a sex-therapist. Sharing the stage with Yossi Vardi, considered by many as the father of Israeli start-ups, Dr. Ruth’s field of expertise dominated the conversation, attracting some awkward moments. They talked about the next generation’s version of relationships due to the role new media plays in the dating world of today – a combination of fields of expertise if ever I’ve seen one.
The opening night was politically star-studded. President Peres bestowed Israel’s highest honour, the Presidential Award of Distinction, on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Followed by the Honourable Tony Blair, who pointed out that “President Peres was a Minister before I was born,” the feeling in the air was of a triangle of friendship going back many years. Those familiar with Israel’s short history and the contribution these men have made to it, could easily have been politically ‘star-struck’. Kissinger rightfully acknowledged the significance of the award by joking, “It’s not often you hear an 89 year old man say this, but I wish my parents were here to see this.”
Sticking to the theme of ‘Tomorrow’ with the deliberation one would expect from such giants, the men praised the past but emphasized a vision for the future. As a colleague pointed out, most people of the President’s age would talk of their accomplishments or their experiences, or even merely themselves, but President Peres focuses on the future! Investing in programs and technologies and even this conference, the President is clearly embracing a better tomorrow.
In fact, every speaker I heard referenced the theme of ‘Tomorrow’. With varying degrees of optimism, hope, certainty and speculation, almost all said we should lead the change if we don’t want to be led by the change. The leaders that spoke gave glimpses into the challenges of tomorrow, where inadequate preparation for the future may leave a once powerful enterprise completely redundant and failure to properly adapt means the world is passing you by.
There is much to learn by listening to these wise and experienced speakers, and we all appreciate the time given by all those who participated in the conference, but more so, I was moved by the ‘schmooze’ time these men donated. People were accessible, friendly and willing to help, because after all, it’s about the future!
An All-Star list of speakers, including former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Cisco Systems Chairman John Chambers and Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, headlines Facing Tomorrow 2012, the fourth annual Conference under the auspices of the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, which is scheduled to begin Tuesday, June 19.
Also expected to speak at Facing Tomorrow 2012 will be President Peres himself, Ernst & Young Chairman James Turley, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and hip-hop music pioneer Russell Simmons, in the world’s leading conference that tackles vital issues, initiatives and decisions that must be implemented to guarantee a better tomorrow for the world, the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
“The Presidential Conference attracts the world’s greatest minds and personalities, all of whom come together in Jerusalem each year to discuss how we can make the most of tomorrow’s opportunities,” said Israel Maimon, Chairman of the Israeli Presidential Conference Steering Committee. “Given all the change the world has seen in the past 12 months, Facing Tomorrow 2012 is sure to be filled with fascinating, practical and inspirational subject matter for all walks of life.”
Among the sessions planned for Facing Tomorrow 2012 are “Europe – Between Unity and Division,” “Israel’s Security in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring” and “The Brain – Can Machines Improve Humans?” with world experts and public figures alike debating these and other key issues.
Facing Tomorrow 2012 will kick off with its trademark “My Recipe for a Better Tomorrow” plenary session, in which Schmidt, world champion swimmer Keren Leibovitch, Israel’s deputy prime minister and minister of defense Ehud Barak and Nobel Prize laureate Professor Daniel Kahneman each present their own unique ingredients for a “better tomorrow.”
Netanyahu, along with Peres, Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, will close the event on Thursday with a plenary session entitled “Decisions at the Doorstep of Tomorrow.”
Facing Tomorrow 2012 runs from June 19-21, 2012, and will take place at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center. The conference is organized in partnership with Hebrew University.
The Combat Engineering Corps is greeted by a jubilant little fellow after completing their treacherous trek for their gray berets.
The Combat Engineering Corps symbol features a sword on a defensive tower with a blast halo on the background.
The Combat Engineering Corps official motto is “Rishonim Tamid” (“Always First”). Its unofficial motto is “We’ll do the hard stuff today, the impossible tomorrow.”
The corps’ roles include mobility assurance, road breaching, defense and fortifications, counter-mobility of enemy forces, construction and destruction under fire, sabotage, explosives, bomb disposal, purifying nuclear, biological and chemical threats, and special engineering missions, which include identifying and demolishing smuggling tunnels.