05 April 2007

Happy April!

It only took me 5 days!

It's been a bit of a hectic week for me, and I've been spending most of my non-working time either watching the Habs or listening to Year Zero. If you haven't checked out anything from the lastest NIN album, now's the time. Great stuff.

The rest of the world hasn't really had a lot going on that's really inspired me to post. It's been a relatively uneventful week in Canadian politics, though Harper has fulfilled his election pledge to create a wait times guarantee on some aspects of our beloved public health care system (which is a Canadian value, despite the protestations of a former Dal colleaue). Good on him for that; hopefully it will continue to evolve and more aspects will fall under that umbrella in due time.

I just finished reading Alan Dershowitz's The Case for Israel, which is really a very good book and should be read by anybody that pays any attention to the Arab-Israeli conflict. He doesn't trash the Palestinians, he's not a "Greater Israel" propagandist, he simply lays out an argument in favour of Israel's continued existence as a viable democracy and urges people to stop with the double standard that is so often applied to the Jewish state. He is very critical--and rightly so--of Arafat's tactics and ploys, but also critical of certain Israeli policies, in his analysis of devising a way forward that results in a two-state solution, something which is agreed upon by almost all the important parties in the dispute--with the exception of numerous elements in the Palestinian government and other Arab regimes.

The book also makes very relevant points that apply to last summer's conflict involving Hezbollah, and makes clear the distinction between a democratic state that "fights with one hand behind its back" to ensure the safety of enemy civilians and a terrorist organization that benefits greatly both from accidental civilian deaths and the deliberate murders of their intended targets. Yet somehow, Israel is often portrayed as the bad guy. Two nights ago, there was a public forum here in Halifax that had all the indicators of being a decidedly anti-Israel propganda display: pictures of a bombed-out building with a small (presumably now-homeless) child in front of it, being sponsored by a website called "Free Palestine," and probably a couple other little details that simply elude me right now. I didn't bother, as it was on a Tuesday and the Habs were playing Boston...and I have little time for such drivel. Yeah, I know, pre-judging isn't good, but all the signs were there that I would have left after 5 minutes anyways.

It's going to be an interesting weekend. Easter & birthday on Sunday, final game of the regular season on Saturday, Halifax shutting down tomorrow and Sunday because of the holiday. Hope that everybody has fun, and make sure to go listen to this: Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero.

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