Archive for October, 2008

Appreciating Christian Zionists

October 28, 2008

I’ve historically been cool the idea that the Jewish community would ally with groups seeking our conversion or who eagerly view Middle East conflict as leading to the End of Days. It feels like we’re being used for someone elses salvation.  Plus, we probably don’t agree on most of our domestic agenda, I once thought.  Didn’t Jewish social progress in the US emerge through limiting the influence of evangelical and other “public” Christians. Or at least conservative ones.  As I relax my grip on my noble and enlightened sense of self, these issues have receded and I recently found space to appreciate Christian Zionists.

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Radio Silence

October 18, 2008

About 2 weeks ago the campaign left me cold.  I decided I really wanted to figure out a compelling explanation of the Palin phenomenon (why she inspires) to the liberals.  Overcoming such a longstanding rift is no easy task and has brought about a period of silence as I’ve experienced the chasm which separates us.

Strategy and Tactics

October 3, 2008

The near elimination of military history from college catalogs (often in exchange for social history) is one of the reason our public conversation about war is so limited.  Besides the market among older men for WWII or ancient battles, there’s one counter-trend  — the vast number of popular computer games in which the player reenacts historical battles.  For the rest of us, here’s some help from Augean Stables:

Many people do not properly understand the difference between the two, and it is a crucial difference.

There are four levels of warfighting- Policy, Strategy, Operations, and Tactics. Strategy is the marriage between the political ends and the military means. Tactics, to give a boiled-down definition, is what is done when in combative contact with the enemy- the manuevers, attacks, timing, etc. To elucidate with an historical example – In WWII, the policy was the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. One of the strategies to achieve that policy was to knock out the German industrial capacity through aerial bombing runs. There were many operations, or organized collections of missions, meant to ensure that the bombing strategy was successful. The tactics involved in the operations include the decision to bomb at night, non-evasive flying to increase the accuracy of the bombing, and dogfighting manuevers by the fighter escorts.

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Manual for Postmodern Childrearing

October 3, 2008

“How would you bring up a child if you took the lessons from postmodernism literally? The young Swedish writers Athena Farrokhzad and Tova Gerge present a postmodern parenting guide.”

From an otherwise odd and unpleasant list, these are my favorites, especially the last one.

Emphasise the child’s potential mobility in the structure of desire by constantly spinning, shaking and upending the container in which it is kept, e.g. bed, buggy, baby walker and skin.

Combat the metaphorical system in the child’s language acquisition process. Point to a dog and say: “Paw, woof woof, mammal”.

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