IT'S TIME TO GET REAL - ISRAEL AND JK AND LIFE AND MORE


DEEP THOUGHTS

I have not been writing blog posts for several months. I have been too timid to put pen to paper - fingers to keyboard - because Israel and Trump and gender issues are so strongly held. Those of you that I call friends may know how each of us feels about these issues, but when we disagree, we don't talk about them much. We are not the kind of voters who insist that we are undecided two weeks before an election. We've thought about things and we've decided. I hesitated to post because I knew that I have friends and family who have come to different conclusions than I have. But it's late and I'm getting old and bullshit is getting harder to tolerate. And so...

ISRAEL

Full disclosure, I'm Jewish. One of a group of us who are secure in calling ourselves Jews but who haven't been to synagogue for awhile...a long while.

Israel is where the Abraham of the Abrahamic Religions came from. Judaism started with Abraham. In Israel. Christianity started with a Jew called Jesus who lived as a Jew and died as a Jew. In Israel. According to the Quran, God gave Israel to the Jews. No, I'm not claiming that Jews owning the deed to Israel relies on certain holy books. I am claiming that until 1948, everybody knew that Israel was where Judaism began and where Jews lived. Sometimes, they were chased out, but whether they were thick on the ground or scattered to the winds. for centuries the world at large agreed that when Jews first were forced to scatter, they scattered from Israel.

Israel doesn't have a right to exist. Israel exists. Whether you like it or not. Period. More in a follow-on post.

TRUMP

Beyond understanding. I'll try. Later.

JK ROWLING

Words do not make reality. Words shape perception. You can argue that Earth is flat because you perceive it to be flat. But in reality, it ain't flat. JK says that there is reality in chromosomes. Others say that words alone can alter the reality that chromosomes represent. JK doesn't believe that. I don't believe that. I don't think JK is transphobic and I don't think that I am transphobic. 

And by the way, phobias are fears. So being transphobic means fear of trans people. Which means that a whole bunch of people called transphobic are not transphobic at all. They demonstrate that by not being afraid to say what they think about trans issues. 

Words matter, but they don't matter to the point that they can alter observed fact.

GETTING OLDER

If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.

That quote is most often attributed to Churchill. He may have said it, but he probably didn't originate it. Whatever the case, it does describe the political evolution of some people. For the record, I'm not one of them. Yes, I considered myself a liberal in my younger years, probably not a socialist. But even then, I noticed in conversations with friends that political lines were easily, and often unwittingly, crossed. 

For example, I had a very progressive friend back in the days when being a feminist was not simply progressive. It was radical. And she was a radical feminist. I'll call her Annie. We shared a common female acquaintance. That friend decided to do something that Annie thought that she shouldn't do. "Stop her," Annie said to me. "Tell her not to do it." In that one exchange, I learned that principles can easily give way to personal preferences. I understood why our friend had made her choice, I knew that she had considered the choice carefully, and I respected her. So I wasn't about stop her from pursuing her choice.

And that's where I'm going with this. I don't think that our choices are the result of embracing one end of the political spectrum over the other. I think that we choose what we choose either emotionally or logically based on preferences that are ingrained and can defy understanding. Shit happens. And we react as we do, if we are thoughtful people, reasonably and consistently.

So as I got older, I didn't get more conservative. I have gotten more confident in my beliefs. Israel exists. Deal with it. Trump was an existential threat to American democracy in 2016 and in 2020 and he is an existential threat to American democracy today. Deal with it. Sex isn't assigned at birth, it is observed at birth. Deal with it. 

THE UNIVERSE IS FINE TUNED FOR LIFE

Is it? I watch YouTube videos of serious people having long, detailed discussions to convince themselves and others that the universe seems to be fine tuned for human life. Change one little bit of our universe and its properties and it all goes away. The strength of gravity. The Cosmological Constant. Any one of dozens of numbers like those are right where they need to be.

I have never understood why no one ever argues the opposite - that human life is fine tuned to the universe. It seems obvious to me. There's one universe that we know of. The numbers are what they are. Panelists talk about what would happen if the numbers changed, but who's to say that the numbers can be changed? We evolved in the comfortable niches that those numbers provide, billions of years after our version of the universe was born, hundreds of millions of years after our Earth was formed. 

It took a hell of a long time for us to get to where we are. If there had been a designer, why did She wait billions of years to create chocolate-peanut butter ice cream. I would have whipped that up first.                   

 


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