Saturday, June 02, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #264 (June 2nd, 2007)


Fifteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast That Make You a Good Feminist

1. A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the raising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time.

2. It makes great sense for the government to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its mother - who pays perhaps 2,000 dollars in taxes - can be a contributing member of society.

3. A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus.

4. So long as a woman makes a decision after consulting with her doctor, she is incapable of making an unethical choice.

5. A car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership.

6. It is absolutely necessary for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that there be women only environments from which men are excluded.

7. Because it involves taking jobs away from men and giving them to women, affirmative action makes for a fairer and more just society.

8. It is important to have lower physical standards for women firepersons and women policepersons so that, one day, half of all firepersons and policepersons will be women, thus more effectively protecting the safety of the public.

9. Affirmative action at colleges and universities needs to be maintained now that more women than men are being enrolled, in order to keep from giving men an unfair advantage academically.

10. Having ensured that there is no environment for men where women don't belong (see no.6) it is important to have zero tolerance of any expression or action which any woman might regard as sexist to ensure greater freedom for everyone.

11. Only in a society which maintains a level of 95% of alimony and child support being paid by men to women can men and women be considered as equals.

12. An airline stewardess who earned $20,000 a year at the time that she married a baseball player earning $6 million a year is entitled, in the event of a divorce, to $3 million for each year of the marriage and probably more.

13. A man's opinions on how to rear and/or raise a child are invalid because he is not the child's mother. However, his financial obligation is greater because no woman gets pregnant by herself.

14. Disagreeing with any of these statements makes you anti-woman and/or a misogynist.

15. Legislature Seats must be allocated to women and women must be allowed to bypass the democratic winnowing process in order to guarantee female representation and, thereby, make democracy fairer.



David Carrington continues:

"I am interested, though, in hearing your opinion of Israel, as I'm not sure I recall you having really defined what opinion you have of Israel, the political nation, and if you differentiate it at all with Israel, the Chosen People. The concept of Israelis versus the concept of Jews, basically. When I asked you last time whether or not you were still an ardent Zionist, I should have fleshed it out further. I believe Israel certainly has the higher moral standing in its conflicts with the broader region, but whether or not the U.S. has an unassailable responsibility in that conflict is a subject I wonder about. Shall we support them as a result that, yes, they're right and they deserve support while they fight their war. Yes, they're God's Chosen People and it's any God-fearing man's responsibility to fight YHWH's proxies in his/her/its war against Israel. It's just that Israel hasn't really proven itself to be much of an ally against the U.S. and I wonder what its responsibility is toward us. It seems Israel's only concern is Israel, and while they accept any help from the U.S. the Israelis will also do anything they want to with the enemies of the U.S. So, I just wonder if Israel, in your eyes, would ever deserve a rebuke or if the U.S. policy toward it should be re-examined. Personally I would support them until the end. But the questions remain."

I tend to take a Biblical approach to Israel, starting with the supposition "If the Jews don't belong in Jerusalem, who does?" That is, I treat the Bible as historical and assume that all of our present-day realpolitik is just off-shoots and permutations of what is documented in the Torah. The Jews are both God and YHWH's Chosen People according to my reading. YHWH selected them first -- I believe under the misapprehension that then God would choose another people and the two proxies would then fight each other for supremacy. I think God surprised YHWH by also choosing the Jews as well -- and with God's permission pretty much eradicated the inhabitants of the Promised Land (now called the West Bank) and gave it to them. The fact that we know nothing about the Girgashites, the Perrizites, the Ammonites and all the other nations that were eradicated means, to me, that that was where the Primary Chess Game of this Epoch began. It's not something that God gives permission about all the time, but in this case, starting with Adam, I believe there was a new Epoch in human history and the founding of Israel was the formal start of the new geopolitical reality. I believe YHWH became severely disenchanted with the Jews (see Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel) and set about to first chastise them and then destroy them. I think God went along with the "chastise" part but never lost faith in them AS His Chosen People. I think the Diaspora happened with God's permission (and to YHWH's ill-concealed glee) and the restoration in 1948 to Jerusalem happened with God's permission (and to YHWH's ill-concealed rage).

Given that that is the basis for my own reapolitik view of the world (idiosyncratic -- as most of my views are), I think the Great Democracies would be wise to view the fate of Israel as very much The Point and all of their own domestic considerations very much Beside the Point. To me, the sensible starting assumption is that God's primary concern is what happens to the Jews and that what happens to Christians and Muslims is of secondary and tertiary interest to Him the same as any good chess player playing a multi-levelled game of chess is going to keep primary focus on the primary board.

The Christian chessboard and the Muslim chessboard are offshoots and implications of the Jewish chessboard, as I see it, therefore, so long as Christians and Muslims don't jeopardize what God is doing with the Jews, Christians and Muslims are free to wander around in their own happy or unhappy little self-deluded circles where the NBA playoffs and the World Cup of Soccer and feminism and OPEC etc. and other trivial forms of navel-gazing are considered important and to contend for God's blessings and approval in whatever form they conceive those as taking. However, I believe that if, as a non-Jew you impede or jeopardize what God is doing with the Jews, then there are very large prices to be paid: as the British Empire found out with its mandate – or, rather, "mandate" -- in Palestine – or, rather, "Palestine". Within a few decades not only has your "mandate" disappeared but so has your Empire: a thing which would have been unthinkable prior to the Foreign Office deciding that the British Crown either superseded or more clearly understood or were appointed by God to define and limit and direct Jewish interests in the Levant.

Better they should have stuck to betting on the World Cup and local rugby matches and enjoyed all of the loot they had pouring in from around the globe for a couple of hundred years.

A good example of what I mean is the reaction of the Great Democracies when Israel made it clear that it was declaring war on Hezbollah last summer. Get all of your nationals and foreign nationals to the nearest port and get them the hell out of the way. Don't try to tell Israel what to do and don't interpose your armed forces between them and their opponents – unless they ask you to, as they ultimately did -- because you're just asking for trouble. If Israel is declaring war there is every likelihood that, as God's Chosen People, they are doing so with God's permission. You simply don't want to get in the way of that if that is what is going on and you know what's good for you. Even as a dramatically out-numbered opponent when Israel has a modern-day military conflict go down in history as The Six-Day War (Happy Fortieth Anniversary to every veteran of the conflict!) that gives you a rough idea of how it is going to go when God is on your side. "Look upon My Works, ye mighty, and tremble."

This time it was the Thirty-Four Day War and it sure didn't have the same outcome. It was still the most sensible decision for non-Jews to get the heck out of the way. What I think happened is that God definitely wanted the conflict to take place but that He wasn't "on board" with this one as he had been in 1967 and 1973.

In retrospect, I think that this Realpolitik Enactment had to do with Ariel Sharon's formation of the Kadima political party a year or so before that. It was pretty clever in that it was little more than a political party formed as an unassailable one-man tank for Ariel Sharon to command, he having gotten tired of all the horse-trading and politicking he needed to engage in within his previous political party (whose name I can't think of offhand, which gives you an idea of just how relevant that party was without Ariel Sharon) just to stay in charge. Basically, he said, "Everyone who wants to follow me, follow me over here to my new political party" which he carefully shaped into a vehicle of the political center, broad enough so that even long-time opponents – Shimon Peres who has just been unceremoniously dumped by his own party at the forefront -- and political opportunists of all stripes would be comfortable joining in while also defining the rules of the party so that it was almost impossible to get rid of the leader once he was in there and completely impossible between elections. Alas, this proved to be too clever by half because, as I see it, it really amounted to Ariel Sharon's best attempt to take over God's side of the Jewish chessboard from God. Talk about flying too near the sun. The net effect was that, to paraphrase the Boomtown Rats, a silicone chip inside Ariel Sharon's head got switched to overload, he suffered a massive brain aneurism and that was it for Ariel Sharon.

It's maybe a bit of a stretch to call this a faith-based subject, but let's go with that and let it spill over into the Sabbath tomorrow.


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