Monday, August 28, 2006
Let it be known outside of Israel that:
1) 1000 of the 5000 meals that were donated by a charity went unaccounted for every day. The worker at the Municipality who was in charge of distribution told local reporters that he was told to put the 1000 meals aside daily and to leave no written record as to having received them.
2) A truck load full of air conditioners that were donated for the poorly-ventilated, sweltering bomb shelters vanished into, well, thin air.
3) Ditto for the TVs that were donated. In contradistinction, the workers of the Municipality (that is, the 17 out of 350 who didn't desert the city entirely) arranged deluxe, "VIP" shelters for themselves, replete with color TV, A/C and Internet.
4) The free days in hotels, including free meals, that were donated by the hotels themselves and were specifically designated for the infirm and elderly first and foremost were, instead, used by workers in the Municipality. As the result of not getting one of those rooms, one woman whose 8-year-old handicapped, wheelchair-bound daughter, who must be kept in sterile conditions, contracted an infection and had to be hospitalized. Some relative of some worker of the City got the room that little girl should have had. No matter, eventually she got a nice room - in the hospital.
5) A huge number of disposable diapers that was donated likewise disappeared. What the hell can someone do with tons of nappies??? As a result of most of the Municipality workers running for the own lives and leaving us here to die, the army sent in a regiment of reserve soldiers to run the city. They did an exemplary job of handling the exigencies, but the potential peril of the precedent of being deserted by the democratically-elected government of the city and being governed almost entirely by high-ranking officers in the army need not be elaborated upon.
Tzfat has been dubbed "The Ignominy of the Galilee" in the national press.
I am LIVID and despite the fact that I have been advised by frightened citizens that if I do not shut up; I run the risk of arrest and possibly being jailed, I will not shut up.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat (Safed), Israel
Tzfat's (Safed's) having been dubbed "The Ignominy of the Galilee" in the national press, is the afflatus for a new gadget I've developed that will prove to be very useful for the residents of Tzfat.
A patent is already pending. So, no one better even think of stealing it.
It is called the Ignominometer.
It is a special cuff to measure the elevation of one's blood pressure in response to the anger as a result of, or the lowering of one's blood pressure in response to the shame of, the various degrees of ignominy which Tzfat is characterized by at any given moment.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat (Safed), Israel
דורין אלן בל-דותן,צפת
Sunday, August 27, 2006
The local government of the city of Tzfat (Safed) and, to a far lesser extent, the national government collapsed during the war. The local government of the city of Tzfat was simply non-existent.
Here in Tzfat only 17 of the 350 workers in the Municipality remained in the city during the war.
Reserve soldiers had to be brought in to see to it that the special needs of the city were taken care of. That is to say, that the supposedly democratic local government of the city of Tzfat deserted us and we were run militarily for a month. The precedent is so potentially dangerous that I need not elaborate.
In their absence the Municipality proved that they are superfluous. We simply do not need them. They are not even parasites. They are superfluous. They have realized their worst nightmare as politicians. They are not only not wanted, they are needed, not in the least.
There are many citizen-run organizations that can easily be modified slightly in order to become the bodies that take care of all of the functions of this city.
Milgam, Inc., the company that provides our water in Tzfat, is not a municipal agency. They are a private company. Our gas is provided by private companies. Although the electric company is a government company; it could be modified to be a worker-run collective with concerted effort.
Instead of the charity organizations, of which we have a very respectable number here in Tzfat, being organized to pick up where the government leaves off and, in so doing, perpetuate, rather than alleviate, poverty; they can be modified to be the bodies that care for the various needs of the residents of Tzfat.
If the charity organizations became the organizations and agencies that provide necessaries to all, not merely giving hand-outs to the needy, we would be able to eradicate indigence, as befits Jews. We would all have our needs provided for truly. Imagine no one having to beg for their subsistence. Imagine no one being punished with poverty for the "crime" of being aged, handicapped, widowed, orphaned or unemployable for whatever the reason. We can do better vastly better for ourselves and one another than can the government National Insurance Agency!
Instead of turning to the city for every need and want big and small be must learn to rely upon ourselves and upon one another. The concept is called Mutual Aid. We trade that which we can provide for that which we need. We become as maximally self-reliant as possible and create a culture of cooperative sharing.
There is nothing that the Municipality is doing for us that we cannot do far more efficiently, promptly, cost-effectively, fairly, caringly and honestly ourselves – and in a far more personalized manner, providing the services such that they fit individual needs and not strapping every citizen to a procrustean bed.
It is high time that the Israeli public was weaned from the co-dependent addiction and sickness of turning to the government only to get nothing but a kick in the teeth and then turning to the government again for comfort because they have been kicked in the teeth....
Since the Municipality of Tzfat was the first in the country to collapse utterly, it devolves upon Tzfat to become the premier model city for self-government on the part of the residents.
We can supplant the Municipality and take over every one of their functions. All we have to do is believe in ourselves and in one another and organize.
Let's send the workers of the Municipality of the City of Tzfat on a permanent vacation to Eilat!
Both the Hebrew and the English versions of this essay can be found on the following site:
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
So the brainwashed, who are the unpaid, inadvertent agents of brainwashing, in turn say - a countless number of times every day just about everywhere.
We see in small children two tendencies:
1) to be original, individual and individualistic
2) to be like those they admire
They can, depending upon how they are educated, go either way. We are educated, forcibly, such that the sheep-like tendency is fostered. We are broken in the public schools by means that would be considered mental, emotional and physical torture if they were appraised honestly.
Like Pat Benetar sang: "Hell is for Children".
After being stunted, stultified, crippled and truncated we are told that we can't be set free because people are lemmings and sheep-like. Those who claim that "people are nothing but sheep and lemmings" are merely, and mindlessly, repeating what they have been told about themselves and what they have heard everyone else being told about themselves and telling one another all their lives. They are reinforcing the brainwashing.
Fight like hell to break out of the vicious cycle of repeating to yourself that you and everyone around you are incapable of independent thought and action!
The reader might be interested in looking into the educational system of one Francisco Ferrer. His theories of education served as the basis of what was called "Modern Schools" in a number of countries, including the US. There are accounts of ex-students of his school in New Jersey on the net. They remember being free, creative and, above all, happy children.
As one might expect, he was put to death for being a radical in his native Spain. Setting people free is a dangerous avocation.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
Sunday, August 20, 2006
דורין אלן בל-דותן, צפת
Now, with the cessation of fire in Lebanon when we are no longer under constant threat of death, we look around us and allow ourselves to estimate the full extent of the devastation. We bury our dead. We mourn. We clear away the rubble of what once were homes and other structures. We assess the ecological loss of forestry that was set back fifty years. We ask: "Why? We ask: "Did this have to be?" We ask: "Why weren't the lives of our soldiers protected to the absolute maximum?" We ask: "Did our government betray and attempt to befuddle us?" We ask: "How could Hezbollah have been left to arm itself and train without disturbance for six long years?" We ask: "Why didn't our leaders obviate this war?" We know that something, many things really, were blundered horrifically. Young men paid with their lives and the integrity of their bodies and psyches. Families are devastated.
But the execrable prosecution of this war was not just a matter of blundering. It is not just a matter of faulty intelligence. Our government always disappoints us. They always fail us. They always abuse use. We always pay for their luxurious lifestyles with the quality of our lives, if not our lives themselves. During wartime the faults of governments are highlighted because they are exaggerated. The truth is, governments are always bodies characterized by the crudest methods of intimidation and grossest excesses of mendacity. They are always peopled by those who, were they wiser and better, would refuse to be government officials for the shame of the debauchery, improbity and moral squalor being part in a government necessarily entails. We simply see this in greater relief clearly after a war, but we see nothing that is not always apparent, just somewhat less so. It is only after a war that we all become agreed that the failings of government must be addressed.
The government of Israel will now be faced with questions, but they will still not be faced with the questions that most urgently need to be asked in the forms in which those questions really must be formulated. They will be faced with questions that they are eminently capable of fielding and they will answer on their terms. They will answer the questions posed to them such that they retain their political positions; such that the economic status quo in Israel, which keeps a full one third of Israel's children below the poverty line, remains intact; such that Israeli workers continue to be worked to exhaustion and live in constant trepidation of losing their jobs, not being able to pay their mortgages or the many payments they are responsible for; such that Israel's children remain the victims of violence in public schools, to which they are sent in order to be systematically broken into docile, subservient citizens who run to their death when the government calls them to wars that need not have been fought, wars they do not know how to prosecute, wars that are fought so that the filthy businesses of the super-wealthy who produce armaments continue at a brisker pace.
In the wake of this war we are at a crossroads. We can change society substantially. Israel must not return to the status quo. The Israeli people, if we are not to continue to be used, abused and sent to our deaths, if we are not to fool ourselves that any victory in war is anything but a Pyrrhic victory, must mature and take steps closer to the way in which mature, fully Human beings organize society - that is, the way of Anarchy.
The term anarchy has been much maligned. Anarchy does not mean a lack of order. Governments would have the public think that Anarchy is a state of violent chaos. It is anything but.
Governments and big businesses would paint pictures of Anarchists as those dedicated to the destruction of society. We are anything but. It is our purpose to build society – real society that is inhabitable for fully realized, fully human beings.
Anarchy means simply the absence of government. It is a condition in which there is no state – the people rule themselves and society is a dynamic kaleidoscope of purely voluntary social and economic interactions based on the common advantage of all who choose to take part in those interactions. So too in an Anarchistic society, one may choose freely not to take part in any human interactions that are not personally palatable, productive or otherwise satisfying or desirable.
Anarchy is a condition in which there is no private property. Everyone owns all, but of course, it is recognized that each individual needs certain private effects that may differ from the needs of others and those are provided for in such a way that the genuine needs of the person are fulfilled, while capital cannot be made of the effects nor can power accrue from them. Unlike Marxist Communism, as it is has been expressed so dreadfully, there is no central state that controls the modes of production. That which differentiates Anarchy from Marxism must be made clear. We are non-authoritarian and therefore do not accept the existence of any kind of state. The expression "dictatorship of the proletariat" is half honest. It is indeed a dictatorship, but in no wise represents the interests of or is concerned with the welfare of the proletariat. Moreover, we understand that people are more than just workers. Work is absolutely essential, of course, but we must associate in the fullness of our humanness in order to access, express and share the deepest levels of our being.
In an Anarchic society there is no state that retains an army and a police force that are illegally utilized to put people out of their homes and force them to live in tents. There is no value of commodities or labor. Anarchists understand that it is impossible to determine how much any item is "worth" based on the hours or difficulty of work that went into it per se. Therefore, our motto is: From each according to his or her ability, to each according to his or her need.
Anarchy is a condition in which children are not sent to prison-like schools, which are nothing but indoctrination facilities and holding pens in which they are subjected to monotony, humiliation, competition, violence and more – all intended to break the child's spirit and make him or her malleable.
In a state of Anarchy children learn for the sake of the joy of learning, as was the case in the system of education developed by Francisco Ferrer. The best in children is creatively drawn from them. They are not force-fed unsupported and unsupportable assumptions like ducks and geese being force-fed with pneumatic pumps for pate gras.
Anarchy is not only simply in keeping with Judaism, it is a particularly Jewish mode of living and interaction.
Before Israel took upon itself the government of a king we lived in a state of Anarchy. There was no centralized government during the periods of early prophets and the judges. Prophets lived communally with their students who attributed honor and authority to their revered and beloved Teachers solely on the basis of their loving-kindness and wisdom. Wise and trusted elders, who were known personally by the people who sought out their counsel, settled disputes. The Dead Sea Sect lived likewise communally.
The accepting upon ourselves of kings in order to be "a people like every other people" was a decision that proved to be a disaster – even the best of Israel's kings stumbled under the weight of a responsibility that no human being can bear. From this we learn that more than their appointed leaders, those who appoint leaders over themselves are reprehensible.
When we accepted kings upon ourselves we abrogated the right to self-determination. We became subjects, that is, we became slaves.
To this day the Jewish people remain slaves. We are slaves to government. We are slaves to public opinion, which is shaped by professional propagandizers, who are in the employ governments and, more particularly, international corporations, which retain governments as their private body guards. We are slaves to our jobs, which rob us of the lion's share of our production and force us to work brutally long hours under extreme physical and psychic pressure in workplaces that are always understaffed in order to "cut the cost of labor". (It was calculated by Anarchist economist over one hundred years ago that to attain a middle class standard of living for all, all that was required was four or five hours of labor a day. All labor above and beyond that was, and is, pocketed by employers.)
It is a precept that slaves are forbidden to perform some of the precepts of Jewish law. We cannot so much as understand the foregoing precept profoundly or correctly. We imagine that it applies to others. We imagine that we have understood the circumstances being described. We do not realize that it is we to whom it applies. We do not realize that it relates to our circumstances. I have explained how we, in fact, are slaves in so very many ways. We are, then, in fact, exempt from the practice of many precepts. When we insist upon practicing those precepts we do so without deep understanding and in the way of slaves, that is, hurriedly, under pressure and without real joy. We are, in fact, forbidden to practice many of the precepts that we, in our present state of slavery, try to do and in so doing we make a mockery and a travesty of Judaism, which is none other than Freedom. When we learn Torah we cannot possibly understand what we have read and carry out the commandments properly. Chained, shackled, mutilated, crippled and truncated as we are; we cannot move our bodies to do the precepts properly. Poisoned as we are by state propaganda as well as toxic air, water and food; we cannot possibly see or cognate clearly.
Do you know anyone personally who has attained true and complete emancipation of the Soul, body, mind and emotions as a result of carrying out the precepts as they are performed today? No! And neither will you find such a one. Of course we are told tales about perfectly righteous people who possess this freedom. Do you know them? Do they deign to come to your home and live amongst you? No! Why? Because they are yet more phantasmagoria concocted to enslave you still further.
True Judaism is nothing but Freedom and slaves know nothing of freedom and are not capable of living as free human beings.
It follows, if we are to practice Torah as we should, that our first order of business is to ransom one another, to emancipate ourselves and one another mutually. The only real precept that we can carry out in our present reduced state of bondage is to set ourselves free, to throw off the yoke of government, to unloose the chains and shackles that keep us captive to promises of that will never come to realization, to illusions and addictions, to become free moral and moral-spiritual agents.
To build an Anarchistic society is holy work. In fact, it is the only holy work that we are fitted to perform at this juncture. It is the sine qua non of being able to be fully realized Jews. We cannot pray more perfectly than to toil for the purpose of building such a society. No self-sacrifice is greater than this.
Only when we live in a non-authoritarian society characterized by propertylessness, when there will be no more rich and poor, when there will be no more institutionalized injustice that we must submit ourselves and our children to for fear of being prosecuted by state law, when we will have more free time to learn, interact with one another freely and reflect deeply - then and only then will we be able to know what it is to be Jews and know what Judaism is. Until such time the vast majority of our religious expression is frustrated impotency at best, a cruel and pathetic parody in the middling case, at worst manipulation and suppression of the very best in us by agents of the government who reduce masses of people to spiritual servility by heaping upon them meaningless acts to perform and distorted "interpretations" which are devised to prevent us from taking truly moral direct action to rebuild society.
How many are straddled with poverty because of this pseudo-religion? How many children subsist on white bread devoid of nutrition and unhealthy, artery-clogging margarine while their parents give the expected "presents" to their Rabbis and take part in pilgrimages and other "obligatory" religious practices, which seem to multiply exponentially? Those who turn to religion lonely, confounded and disillusioned by the cruelty of society find not a programme for reconstruction of the society that has failed them, but rather, have laws and customs heaped upon them until they are crippled and break.
On the following link you will find essays on Anarchy. Most are in English. Only the essay entitled אנרכיה מובהקת is in Hebrew, having been translated by my husband, Daniel Dotan, at my request. The original English version of אנרכיה מובהקת, under the rubric "Authentic Anarchy", is to be found on the site as well.
Unfortunately, very little about true Anarchy is familiar to Israelis and, thus, there are practically no treatments of the subject in Hebrew. For the time being; we will have to suffice with the writings in other languages, principally English, and only those who can read other languages will be able to access this school of thought and programme of action we call Anarcho-Syndicalism. It is the hope of the writer that others will be inspired to take it upon themselves to translate Anarchistic essays, lectures and books into Hebrew.
Many of the greatest Anarchists were Jewish. It is not difficult to understand why. Anarchy is an integral part of true Judaism. No true Judaism is possible without it. Those Jews who have loved and love freedom best are those Jews who not only were attracted to Anarchy, it was they who best expressed the heart, soul and intent of true Judaism – emancipation of the human being for the sake of allowing each to actualize his or her absolute optimum and interact fully with others.
It has been said that Anarchists are non-believers, that they are atheists. This writer, it should be stated categorically, is not an atheist, but a convinced Jew.
It is true that most Anarchists do not believe in an authoritarian God who compels people to actions that are not in keeping with their will. It is true that Anarchists do not accept the authority of self-proclaimed religious leaders. It is true that Anarchists do not accept religious institutions bleeding the masses of their money and impoverishing them. It is true that Anarchists do not accept compulsory education of precepts without rational analysis. It is true that Anarchists reject any and all superstitions and the inculcating people with fear. It is true that Anarchists abhor telling the poor, hungry, cold, sick, lonely and miserable that a better life awaits them in the World to Come when a better world could be made for them here.
Are they, then, anti-religionists? No! It is by virtue of the foregoing rejections that they are the very truest of those who express Judaism. Emma Goldman (1869-1940), one of the most prominent Anarchist activists and lecturers of her time and who continues to be an inspiration to all of us, once addressed a large conference of clergymen. She explained her antireligious position. Upon finishing, a Rabbi who had heard her lecture said: "In spite of all Miss Goldman has said against religion, she is the most religious person I know." Anarchists walk the walk that the pseudo-religions only talk the talk about. Anarchists live to emancipate those who are enslaved – and they take great personal risks in so doing for governments and corporations do not easily surrender their power. Anarchists are the prophets and students of prophets of modern times and they pay all the prices for freedom that prophets and students of prophets of yore paid.
Is the realization of a society based on justice, equality and oneness not the discovery and expression of the God of Israel in creation? Is it not God which propels us toward this ultimate freedom which needs be and will?
I invite those of you who truly love freedom and are intrepid enough, who love humankind enough, to bear the responsibility of building a better world, here in this world, to enter the world of the Anarchists and to join hands with us. Is this not the Israel that we envisioned during our two thousand years long Diaspora?
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
Friday, August 11, 2006
I've done it! It's my tour de force. It's the crowning achievement of decades of not only theoretical rumination, but endeavoring to live according to the principles I hold most dear. I have not only defined and elucidated the precepts, but attained the level of being the living embodiment of my ideation. I have thus formulated the basis of a new movement, which I am absolutely convinced is the one and only hope for all sentient beings and to which I intend to convert the entire world – by force if need be.
I have yclept it Anarcho-Anachro-Nacro-Necro-Narcissism. As the name clearly suggests; Anarcho-Anachro-Nacro-Necro-Narcissism is believing that one is oh, so special because one lives in a stuporous, stateless state which is out of, probably irrelevant to and almost definitely inconsequential and undesirable in any given time frame.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Free-Floating Radical - I try to remain positive :0)
Tzfat (Safed), Israel
Friday, August 04, 2006
Many are glamoured and enthralled by the myth of the so-called "Mahatma" Gandhi.
To those still belaboring under that delusion; I refer you to the following quote:
"Take Gandhi, even; within ten months of India's independence, he acquiesced in the law making passive resistance a felony, and he abandoned his nonviolent principles to support the military occupation f Kashmir. Subsequently, we've seen the same thing happen in Goa and Pakistan."
Source: PLAYBOY Interview with Saul Alinsky, 1972; Part 8
Parenthetically, the entire interview, entitled "Empowering People, Not Elites" can be found on: http://www.progress.org/2003/alinsky2.htm
I heartily recommend to any and all activists and would-be activists to read that interview and get to know Saul Alinsky's work.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat (Safed), Israel
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Murray Bookchin, visionary writer and activist, died at his home inBurlington, Vermont on July 30th at the age of 85. A revolutionarythinker and prolific writer who authored several AK Press titles, MurrayBookchin produced work spanning two historic eras: that of traditionalproletarian socialism and anarchism, with its working-classinsurrections and struggles against classical fascism, and the postwarperiod of growing corporate capitalism, environmental decay, statistpolitics, and the technocratic mentality. In his work he tried to makesomething coherent of these changes, looking forward to a liberatedfuture. He will be sorely missed.Please visit http://www.akpress.org/bookchinobit for a full obituary byBrian Tokar at the Institute for Social Ecology in Plainfield, Vermont.
This is the obituary:
Murray Bookchin, the visionary social theorist and activist, died during the early morning of Sunday, July 30th in his home in Burlington, Vermont. During a prolific career of writing, teaching and political activism that spanned half a century, Bookchin forged a new anti-authoritarian outlook rooted in ecology, dialectical philosophy and left libertarianism.During the 1950s and '60s, Bookchin built upon the legacies of utopian social philosophy and critical theory, challenging the primacy of Marxism on the left and linking contemporary ecological and urban crises to problems of capital and social hierarchy in general. Beginning in the mid-sixties, he pioneered a new political and philosophical synthesis-termed social ecology-that sought to reclaim local political power, by means of direct popular democracy, against the consolidation and increasing centralization of the nation state.From the 1960s to the present, the utopian dimension of Bookchin's social ecology inspired several generations of social and ecological activists, from the pioneering urban ecology movements of the sixties, to the 1970s' back-to-the-land, antinuclear, and sustainable technology movements, the beginnings of Green politics and organic agriculture in the early 1980s, and the anti-authoritarian global justice movement that came of age in 1999 in the streets of Seattle. His influence was often cited by prominent political and social activists throughout the US, Europe, South America, Turkey, Japan, and beyond.Even as numerous social movements drew on his ideas, however, Bookchin remained a relentless critic of the currents in those movements that he found deeply disturbing, including the New Left's drift toward Marxism-Leninism in the late 1960s, tendencies toward mysticism and misanthropy in the radical environmental movement, and the growing focus on individualism and personal lifestyles among 1990s anarchists. In the late 1990s, Bookchin broke with anarchism, the political tradition he had been most identified with for over 30 years and articulated a new political vision that he called communalism.Bookchin was raised in a leftist family in the Bronx during the 1920s and '30s. He enjoyed retelling the story of his expulsion from the Young Communist League at age 18 for openly criticizing Stalin, his brief flirtation with Trotskyism as a labor organizer in the foundries of New Jersey, and his introduction to anarchism by veterans of the immigrant labor movement during the 1950s. In 1974, he co-founded the Institute for Social Ecology, along with Dan Chodorkoff, then a graduate student at Vermont's Goddard College. For 30 years, the Institute for Social Ecology has brought thousands of students to Vermont for intensive educational programs focusing on the theory and praxis of social ecology. A self-educated scholar and public intellectual, Bookchin served as a full professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey despite his own lack of conventional academic credentials. He published more than 20 books and many hundreds of articles during his lifetime, many of which were translated into Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Turkish and other languages.During the 1960s–80s, Bookchin emphasized his fundamental theoretical break with Marxism, arguing that Marx's central focus on economics and class obscured the more profound role of social hierarchy in the shaping of human history. His anthropological studies affirmed the role of domination by age, gender and other manifestations of social power as the antecedents of modern-day economic exploitation. In The Ecology of Freedom(1982), he examined the parallel legacies of domination and freedom in human societies, from prehistoric times to the present, and he later published a four-volume work, The Third Revolution, exploring anti-authoritarian currents throughout the Western revolutionary tradition.At the same time, he criticized the lack of philosophical rigor that has often plagued the anarchist tradition, and drew theoretical sustenance from dialectical philosophy-particularly the works of Aristotle and Hegel; the Frankfurt School-of which he became increasingly critical in later years-and even the works of Marx and Lenin. During the past year, even while terminally ill in Burlington, Bookchin was working toward a re-evaluation of what he perceived as the historic failure of the 20th century left. He argued that Marxist crisis theory failed to recognize the inherent flexibility and malleability of capitalism, and that Marx never saw capitalism in its true contemporary sense. Until his death, Bookchin asserted that only the ecological problems created by modern capitalism were of sufficient magnitude to portend the system's demise.Murray Bookchin was diagnosed several months ago with a fatal heart condition. He will be remembered by his devoted family members—including his long-time companion Janet Biehl, his former wife Bea Bookchin, his son, daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter—as well as his friends, colleagues and frequent correspondents throughout the world. There will be a public memorial service in Burlington, Vermont on Sunday, August 13th. For more information, email HERE.
Brian Tokar, July 31, 2006
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat (Safed), Israel
Please watch this video.
It is terribly important to know.
I have written about the dangers of the fluoridation of water in the past, knowing that it was the Nazis who first experimented with it.
There is a great deal of information about the fluoridation of water that I did not know in this video.
It is most instructive.
Among the points discussed is the connection between hyperactivity in children and fluoridated water.
Although the information relates to the fluoridation of water in the US, Israel too fluoridates our water supplies.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat (Safed), Israel
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
War, Prisons, Rape, Torture and Other Fun Cheap Thrills
A "contributor" to a Current Events board wrote to a newbie:
Quote: "Please feel free to join in here. It really is fun, if you don't take yourself too seriously."
The statement was topped off by a cutesy wink.
Those who come to message boards for cheap thrills can be trusted to slip up and betray her real intentions, though they protest deep conviction and concern about pressing issues. That facade they put becomes too, too heavy a mantle to bear at some point. They fumble and drop it. The veneer then breaks and we get a glimpse into the mind and emotions of the morally squalid and emotionally truncated.
I am not singling out the person who wrote the above for being raked over the coals. Au contraire. My purpose here is to bring the reader's attention to a phenomenon.
It has been said to me a number of times by "contributors" to CE and political issues boards that I "take myself too seriously". I fluffed the accusation off, knowing that I laugh quite heartily at myself. I took it as a ploy to get me to laugh at myself thinking they were laughing with me, when in fact they would be laughing at me. So, I ignored their "friendly" suggestion.
But then the above quote was written and I realized that the case is that they come to CE and political issues boards only for "fun" and "laughs".
It is the issues that they take lightheartedly and light-headedly, not themselves. Not one of them ever laughs at himself or herself. No, only others are fair game and the butt of jokes to them.
People with a genuinely good and mature sense of humor laugh first and foremost at themselves; they never do
I realized in a flash that these are the very same people who are those who take a position in favor of Arab terrorism. I always knew that they were assuming an obnoxious position in order to get people who are genuinely concerned and passionate about matters that concern all Human beings incensed so that they could have a good laugh at someone who lost their temper. But now I realize that the only people who can take the positions that they take are people who are among those to whom Jimi Hendrix was referring when he sang: "there are many here among us who think that life is but a joke".
The matters discussed on CE and political issues boards are not jokes. They are matters of life and death and Human welfare. Anyone who comes to such boards for fun is perverted.
Certainly, we may enjoy the mental and emotional stimulation of sharing opinions, having our opinions challenged and amending them. But this is not "fun". It's not a cheap thrill.
Certainly, there is no reason for brooding solemnity all the time on a CE board or political forum. There is most definitely room, even a need, for tasteful humor that lightens the atmosphere and helps us to cope with the very difficult. But a general atmosphere of respectful decorum is in order – both for the contributors and for the issues being dealt with.
It took me a long time to realize that so many who people CE boards and political issues fora are there for nothing other than kicks (I mean this in every sense of the word). It is so far from my mind to conceive of things that way that I could simply not understand for the longest time.
But there you have it, in so many words. While a war is raging that could engulf other nations, the contributor who wrote the quote above is having fun and not taking it seriously and that person is hardly alone. Of course, s/he can't say that. So, s/he says that s/he is not taking herself seriously. Oh, no? When did s/he ever have a good-natured belly laugh at his/her own expense or allow anyone else to?
No, it is life itself that is a joke to those who take the side of terrorists. To them it is only a fun "bang bang shoot 'em up" show.
I am indebted to the person who wrote the quote above. I needed to have it presented to me in very blunt terms. I would not have understood it for myself had it not been pushed so indecorously in my face- thank God.
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat (Safed),