Tuesday, May 3, 2011

the end of an era

As we all know by now, Osama (Usama) bin Ladin was killed on sunday.
I am feeling very conflicted about the whole thing. As was expressed in an article in the NYT, most of the American who are most excited are my contemporaries. September 11, 2001 was the very beginning of 6th grade for me, a month after my 11th birthday. I remember the principle coming into the lunch room while only the middle school was there, rationalizing that we were the oldest students in the school and only we the leaders could handle the shocking and emotional news. In reality, since we were in Worcester, MA many of us didnt know what the World Trade Centers were. The concept "twin towers" meant nothing to us. But as the article describes, bin Laden was the enemy of our generation. Its like hearing that Spider Man has killed the Green Goblin (?) and the world is now safe. But as is apparent from a poll on the NYT, readers have mixed emotion. There are responses that quote MLK Jr., all the way to those chanting "USA! USA!"
If you visit the Op-ed page of the website, the confusion continues. People dont know if its ok to be relieve or if we should be more scared now that we dont know who will take his place. Who will now be #1 on the top 10 most wanted?
It feels like a good thing, but if we are really Americans that believe in democracy, why was he killed on the spot, why was he not given a trial. If bin Laden were put on the stand, i'm confident it would be the biggest thing since the Nuremberg Trails post-WWII. If Americans are elated with this news, how much more so to hear the judge rule "guilty" after a long and grueling trial?
Also, just an op ed from yesterday (may 3, 2011) titled Bin Laden and Eichman i think it supports my point.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Beck Presents Obama's Passover Message


The video is a clip from Glenn Beck. We know that he has not been Obama's biggest fan throughout his administration. In the video he seems to be completely offended by what Obama said in his passover message. He reads that Obama sees the Palestinians as slaves and the Israelis as their oppressors. It is scary to see the President, the leader of the free world, making such a statement over our holiday.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oh Beiber, You Didn't...


I have no words.
Meaning i have a million things to say, but why is Justin Beiber a young pop singer making the front page of the New York Times. There has got to be more interesting news. Or maybe this is just the kind of interesting news that the public craves? Politics meets pop culture?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

1986 or 2011: When Chernobyl meets Japan

According to many news sources, (I am using the WSJ) the damage from the nuclear plants in Japan are reaching the levels of the horrors of Chernobyl. Something that everyone thought the modern world had moved far beyond. The earlier disaster happened in the Soviet Union, when the world was entrenched in the drama of the Cold War. A concept that we, the modern thinker, wants to think is now passe. Even though relations with Iran are shaky at best, they have yet to reach the level of Soviet relations. The Soviet union represents a low point in American diplomacy, when there was no end in sight and fear more than anything else perpetuated the relationship.
Today, however, Japan is in trouble. Their nuclear reactors are malfunctioning due to the earth quake and subsequent tsunami, they are damaged and are releasing large amounts of radio active material into the air.
As the WSJ says:
"It is quite different from Chernobyl," said Mr. Nishiyama. "First, the amount of released radiation is about a tenth of Chernobyl," he said, adding that while there were 29 deaths resulting from short-term exposure to high doses of radiation at Chernobyl, there were no such deaths at Fukushima. "At Chernobyl, the nuclear reactor itself exploded," he said, adding that at the Fukushima plant, the pressure vessel and the containment vessel were largely intact.

At the end of the day, the word is "scary." There is nothing that anyone can do to control what is going on and in a world where everyone feels like they control everything based on who wins a debate, who has the most money, who gets the most votes; this is foreign territory. 

see the article:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

facebook as "big brother"

This week, facebook took a big step in deciding to take down a page that called upon Palestinians to start a third intifada. Should facebook have that kind of power? Are we not encouraged on the site to tell people "what's on your mind"? On the one hand, i feel much more comfortable with the page gone. i cannot believe that someone would even make a page to encourage such an atrocity. the fact that the riots in egypt began due to communication on facebook, the website seems to have turned into a more powerful tool than anyone really thought. in my world, facebook is a place to waste time, catch up with old friends who i will never see and, of course, to look at pictures. but for those looking to make a change, it has become clear that facebook is a valuable tool to mobilize the public. it is therefore even more terrifying that one would make a page attempting to make more violence.
The world jewish congress wrote about what happened:
they are, naturally, in full support of facebook;s actions.

Monday, March 21, 2011

ny times on overload

If you sit on the nytimes homepage, just clicking refresh every five minutes the headlines will change... try it

Sunday, March 13, 2011

10,000 Japanese dead

When i heard that people had used facebook in Egpyt as a tool to mobilize the nation, frankly, i found it astonishing. I have this stigma against facebook that if "it" happens on facebook, "it"either gains or loses legitimacy. For example: if someone is in a relationship on facebook= legit. If someone make an event on facebook or a group for a club that they are in= not legit. For some reason it is just not how my head works.
I was not on facebook until 12am (sat night/sunday morning) this weekend. I was amazing by how much poeple were really interacting on the site. They were posting news articles left and right (no pun intended) and having REAL discussions about them. It was not just another wedding album or a crazy yahoo news story that everyone smirks over and moves on. For once facebook, to me, seemed like a more legitimate forum for real, honest and serious conversation. While i certainly do NOT think that facebook can serve as a replacement to human interaction, there was something beautiful about hundreds (or thousands) of people coming together over one issue.
The New York Times apparently wrote an article that did not fully express the brutality and heartlessness of the crimes to the Fogel family in Itamar. After reading the article myself, i really didn't see the huge problem with it. Ok fine, they didn't show the bloody pictures that have now found their way into dozens of youtube videos. Ok, they didn't discuss how bloody the scene was. They still called culprits "killers" and expressed that it was an atrocity. Anyway, the point is not to review the article.

With all that is going on, that has happened over the weekend, i am reminded of agenda setting, a topic we discussed in class a few weeks ago. While i am looking for news relating to israel and this horrible massacre, the rest of the world is looking to hear of the 10,000 who died in the tsunami in Japan. Of the radiation and nuclear material that may have infected hundreds of people. It is so hard to grasp the death of 5 members of a family, how do i begin to relate to 10,000. I think that's the point though. While i am sitting here, listening to the news, reading articles and watching youtube videos about this family, it is possible to connect to them: i was once 12, i have parents and siblings (nevermind the fact that they are Jews and Israelis). It is so hard to go on the nytimes website and be smacked in the face with japan japan japan when all i want to hear about is Israel. I know it is important too, i don't mean to sound negative or like the rest of the world does not matter, but isn't there something to be said about have a connection with someone, with something so important. I can't control if there is going to be an earthquake that will cause a tsunami that will wipe out 10,000 people. I CAN control if i teach my family how to be proper members of society, that it is NOT ok go kill people, that every human life has value.
Why don't you try that next time nytimes?