Thursday, August 28, 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
So the Gazans and Israelis agreed to stop for a few weeks. The Gazans are hooting and shooting guns up into the air because they are idiots, their homes were destroyed and they received nothing in return except for that one ship that had to leave for two hours before it could turn around and unload in Oakland. There's a good reason to shoot straight up and have the bullets come down and put more of your people in the hospital. No, wait. You don't have a hospital any more.
The Israelis are furious because they didn't kill every Gazan and destroy every house. They still have work to do.
These little fun-bombs end up the same way every time. It turns out that the Palestinians had to reject the same cease-fire offered last week because Qatar, who hates Egypt, told Hamas if they accepted the cease fire, brokered by Egypt, the Qatarians would boot out the Hamas leader-in-exile who happens to live in Qatar. Poor baby would have to go live in, oh, Paris.
You can't make this shit up.
Meanwhile, the Israelis are furious at Netenyahu because he wasn't aggressive enough. He only killed 2,100 people. There are so many more left! And what exactly did they want him to do? There aren't enough bulldozers in the world to do what the Israeli right wing wants to do to Gaza.
What, me worry? About this colossal waste of time and juicy celebration of death? You children who can't play in the same sandbox need to have your pants pulled down and your butts paddled. But only we can do it. And we won't.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Early Warning System
So, if I have this right, the Earthquake Early Warning System can give you ten seconds of warning before an earthquake strikes, if you have the app on your phone, if the phone is on, if you can find your glasses in the middle of the night, if you can then read or hear the message. Presumably, then, you can wake your wife, put on your slippers, grab the dog and go stand under the doorway before anything happens.
Clearly, the designers of this program sleep with their helmets on. Cuz Seattle, what am I missing?
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Red and Ripe
The first batch of shishito peppers remained tiny. But they are delicious, fried up like padrons. And there are baskets of 'em.
And the Siberian tomatoes have been delicious too, but they are ending. The weather is going to get hot again and we'll be buying tomatoes from the Farmer's Market.
Next year we plant more Siberians, and stagger the planting dates. Also, more shishitos because this season's padrons, at least the plants upstairs, can be so hot you are afraid to sample any more. But downstairs they are all mild. Same plants, planted same time. Go figure.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Ferguson and Gaza and a Sad Ending
It's easy to be on the side of Michael Brown, the weak taken out by the strong.
Yesterday morning we saw the photo in the Morning BirdWrap of a town in Northern Gaza where every building in town is blasted out, there is rubble on the street, no city services and no possible way to rebuild. They had brokered a cease fire, but now that has been abrogated by both sides. With whom do you identify with here? The armed invaders, who are showing the world how mighty they are, or the innocent and defenseless, who have been taken down a dead-end road by their ideological leaders?
Who you identify with determines how you read what you read, how you hear what you hear. Plotnik's Jewish friends for the most part agree with the strong here, that the Israelis would rather not have to do what they are doing, but have been pushed to the limit by the Gazans. It is incomprehensible to Plotnik that intelligent people can see things this way.
But many do. And keep reading.
Last night we heard about the journalist who has been beheaded in Syria. It was bottom of page six this morning, but James Foley turns out to have been a Teach for America mentor who helped prepare many TFA kids, including The Great PD. He was by all accounts a great teacher, who finished TFA and got a journalism degree. Then he went to report in Libya and got captured with several other journalists. He got lucky and escaped. But it must have been in his blood because he went back, this time to Syria. And this time his luck did not hold.
It's easy to identify with this poor man and his family. We have a good guy and some really, really bad guys. The parent in all of us thanks God our kids were not the ones who got captured, that our son had a young family and did not want to parlay his journalism degree into offshore reporting in war zones, that our cousin got out of Sierra Leone before ebola came down the pike, in other words that the miseries of the world befall people from other families.
This is not ideology. This is tribal. This comes from the gut, where all our important decisions are made. Most of us are not iconoclasts, we want to belong to something. A religion, a country, but above all a family.
Who is our family? Who will we live for? Who would we kill for? In the sea of meaningless trivia surrounding us, what, in the end, really matters?