A friend recently wrote me:
Remember the realization back in the early 70's that the whole country was insane? Could it be true, could a whole country go insane?
Way back when, in the dim distant past, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth and pterodactyls swooped through the skies - You know - the 70s - my friend and I were trying to get a sense of What’s Going On. Here we are, millions of years later, still trying to map out a strange land. The only difference now is he still lives in that strange land, and my family escaped across the border into Beautiful British Columbia. In fact August 22nd, marked our Third Anniversary in Canada.
A friend recently wrote me:
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen just introduced a new term into Fed Speak', "pent-up wage deflation". This seems to be an effort to explain away the problem of stagnant wages in the US economy that are not allowing the Fed to meet its 2% inflation goal by blaming it on the "inability or unwillingness of US firms to drastically cut wages" after the Bush collapse in 2008.
This, according to the Fed, is making it possible for companies to now expand employment without raising wages. Ms. Yellen did acknowledge that real wages had been declining for some time prior to the crash (real wages have been declining for 33 years, but who's counting).
Will the recent rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, be a tipping point in the struggle against racial injustice, or will it be a minor footnote in some future grad student’s thesis on Civil Unrest in the Early Twenty-First Century?
The answer can be found in May of 1970.
You probably have heard of the Kent State shootings: on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University. During those 13 seconds of gunfire, four students were killed and nine were wounded, one of whom was permanently paralyzed. The shock and outcry resulted in a nationwide strike of 4 million students that closed more than 450 campuses. Five days after the shooting, 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C. And the nation’s youth was energetically mobilized to end the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, and mindless faith in the political establishment.
Yes: Lauren Bacall.
A landmark, watershed moment of loss, finality.
End of an era much adored.
End of a storybook, starry-eyed romantic pair.
End of a warm, playful, and sly sort of style, grace, wit, charm.
End of a role model and path-maker for women, for people.
Too many ends.
Too many irrevocable lines drawn in the sand.
Okay, so I was challenged below: "Read the Bible! God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people." So....I may get crucified for this but I have started to say it -- most recently (terrified, trembling) to warm welcome in a synagogue in LA: Actually if you read Genesis Exodus and Deuteronomy in Hebrew -- as I do -- you see that God did not "give" Israel to the Jews/Israelites.
We as Jews are raised with the creed that "God gave us the land of Israel" in Genesis -- and that ethnically 'we are the chosen people." But actually -- and I could not believe my eyes when I saw this, I checked my reading with major scholars and they confirmed it -- actually God's "covenant" in Genesis, Exodus and Deuteronomy with the Jewish people is NOT ABOUT AN ETHNICITY AND NOT ABOUT A CONTRACT. IT IS ABOUT A WAY OF BEHAVING.
Erbil has an ancient history, but, in political-economic terms, the city is best understood these days as a Kurdish sort of Deadwood, as depicted in David Milch’s HBO series about a gold-rush town whose antihero, Al Swearengen, conjures up a local government to create a veneer of legitimacy for statehood, all to advance his rackets.
Erbil is an oil-rush town where the local powers that be similarly manipulate their ambiguous sovereignty for financial gain—their own, and that of any pioneer wild and wily enough to invest money without having it stolen.
On Monday, August 6, 1945, after six months of intense firebombing of 67 other Japanese cities, the United States dropped a nuclear weapon nicknamed "Little Boy" on the city of Hiroshima , Japan. This attack was followed on August 9 by the detonation of the "Fat Man" nuclear bomb over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. To date, these are the only attacks with nuclear weapons in the history of warfare.
In Remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
When the bombs were dropped I was very happy. The war would be over now, they said, and I was very happy. The boys would be coming home very soon they said, and I was very happy. We showed ‘em, they said, and I was very happy. They told us that the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been destroyed, and I was very happy. But in August of 1945 I was only ten years old, and I was very, very happy.
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