This is a sign of our times I’m sure

December 29, 2006

So Bush was voted the worst person of the year. That’s right ahead of Osama Bin Laden, Hussein, Kim Jong Il and Achmandinajad. Don’t worry too much however, Bush also won best of year.

I thought that when the Supreme Court speaks its like G-od has spoken

December 29, 2006

Apparently that only applies to situations where the Court agrees with the liberal agenda. However in this case it doesn’t apply. For some reason the Supreme Court’s ruling can be ignored by the legislature when it suits them.  Try and imagine the reaction if the measure on the ballot was to allow same-sex marriage. All the lawmakers who refused to vote would be branded fundamentalists and there would be talk of how the conservatives don’t believe in the Constitution only in G-d. However this is the liberals acting here so the talk is how they are getting copies of “Profiles in Courage” telling them to corageously not show up. How is it courage to evade your responsibility as a lawmaker to get what you want? Wouldn’t true courage be to go against the clear majority and vote your conscience? Apparently not.

Bring on the space elevator.

December 28, 2006

NASA has long claimed that its budget is not too high because of their secondary research discoveries such as Tang. In Taiwan there was an earthquake which knocked out internet access to the island at losses which could be in the billions. However NASA seems to have done no work on power beaming or data transfer through space. In fac the space elevator could not only carry raw materials, it could provide a valuable path for beaming power and data up to space and back down to Earth.  Yet we are stuck with the Space Station and the Space Shuttle. NASA has failed to provide value and the money we’ve spent has failed to give back much useful technology. So lets focus on space development which can help us as well as space exploration.

The Yosef Story

December 22, 2006

    If you look at Yosef’s story it seems strange. I’m not talking about the whole slave to visier thing, but why interpreting a dream would bring him up to second-in-command. Pharoah had many dream interpreters and the chief one doesn’t seem to have been that high up. Furthermore the whole story afterwards makes no sense. The government took 20% of all produce for the 7 years and the famine lasted only two years. So if they had 1.5 times the produce in the good years compared to the normal years and only half the produce of a normal year during the famine they should have had sufficient reserves for around 4 years and even if they had no food at all during the famine years than even with normal consumption they had enough food for 2 years. However it seems that they were running out of food even during the first two years. Furthermore if they thought they didn’t have enough food for the 7 years why were they trying to sell food to outsiders?

Yosef’s interpretation was his ticket out of prison, but the genius of his plan was that the government controlled all of the food storage. Combine this shortage with free food to the priests to get their support and you have a way of taking complete control of the populace. In fact that is what happened where everybody had to sell themselves as slaves. In fact if the people believed Yosef, and given their nature it is reasonable to believe they did, there is no reason that they shouldn’t have saved wheat in the good years and there would have been sufficient food to avoid being selling themselves into slavery. From this I can only assume based on more contemporary examples such as the Soviet Union that the peasantry weren’t allowed to store their own grain. Also we have certain Midrashic statements which seem to support the fact that this was the general plan. For example everyone who took grain had to sign in. This may have helped Joseph find his brother, but it could also help the authorities find out who wasn’t buying grain and raid their hoards of grain. Furthermore they kept people from purchasing more grain than a donkey could carry leaving people very vulnerable to price increases.

So that’s the story of Yosef a slave who rose up by giving Pharoh a plan to take ultimate control of the country. In fact there may be a good reason why The other son’s of Yaakov wanted to live off by themselves. They would be the targets of the angry people once the current Pharoah was gone.

This is such a disturbing story.

December 20, 2006

Those readers in Israel (approximately 40% of my regular readers) may have heard about the woman who was beaten on a bus to Jerusalem. Now the beating sounds incredibly ugly if true. It does have the ring of truth given the corroboration of someone with no bias that we know of. The real question I have is,  where was everyone on the bus? Why did nobody say this is wrong even if we think she belongs in the back? I hope that the answer isn’t that those who didn’t beat the woman were supporters of those who did. If that is the answer than the whole society has a serious flaw. However I think their inaction can be traced to their basic philosophy.

First of all you have a philosophy that since we are intrinsically superior to the goyim (a category which includes Jews not as religious as you) we shouldn have as little involvement with them as possible. This idea has positive consequences such as Hatzalah, but it inculcates them with the value that if you see a Jew assault somebody the police should not be involved in the matter. So everybody on the bus felt helpless to act because they didn’t know who would support them if they tried to protect her. So the people who thought it was wrong wouldn’t call the police had no alternative and rationalized by blaming the woman for not moving like she should have.

In addition the schooling loves to talk about how sincere Muslims are in their religion if they are willing to blow themselves up for it. This may be true, these people may be extremely sincere, but the message it sends is, “Why aren’t we more like them?, Why aren’t we willing to kill ourselves to protect the Torah?” So society starts accepting violence for the sake of heaven and the Torah’s story of Pinhas is taught as the rule not the exception.

For example, you hear about children stoning cars passing through on Shabbat and the leaders always say that we don’t support that activity. But coursing under it is, “Did you know that they’re violating Shabbat when they throw these rocks.” So the violence is not rejected only the means. The impression given is that to save our way of life violence is a positive thing.

I hope this story isn’t true, but even if it isn’t the things I said still hold waiting for the next story to be published.

Do the musicians have no shame?

December 12, 2006

Now the musicians are lobbying againsat greater media consolidation as if it is destroying independent musicians. Of course there is no reason why that should be so and the mom-and-pop radio stations are playing just as few low-key songs as the big stations. After all the musicians made no fuss about the consolidation of the record companies because that was good for buisness. What this is about is increasing their copyright fees. A big conglomerate can get much better rates for copyright use than a single station. If they really were serious about being against monopolies they’d agree to relax some of their fair use standards so that an independent person can legally compete with the big guns.

Another misleading story from the AP

December 12, 2006

The AP has a story about the Democrats putting the bills in Congress on hold until there is earmark reform. Given that Robert Byrd is spearheading this it certainly is not about earmarks, but about who gets them. The AP gives a misleading story which makes it seem like there is $463 billion dollars in these earmarks which the Democrats are cleaning up. In fact that number is the total dollar amount of the budgets which are subject to this continuing resolution. This is a good thing, but it isn’t that good.