Tag Archives: news

Three Good Men

My oldest brother once said that as one ages, one’s world shrinks. I don’t agree with that – in fact, I often feel the opposite is true. But in one sense, I see this happening – as we age, people that meant something to us, either personally or in the public sphere, pass away. And our world seems smaller. This week, three such people passed: Daniel Kahneman, the Israeli economist and Nobel Prize winner, who tried to explain why humans behave so (seemingly) irrationally so much of the time, died at the age of 90; Joe Lieberman, simply a fine human, died at the age of 82; and Richard Serra, abstract and minimalist sculptor and visionary, died at 85. Serra was one of the few modern artists whose work appealed to me, which I suppose is neither here nor there. All three of these men are what I call, “value adding people.” They expanded the world. They never tried to diminish or take away or make us smaller.

Items Left by the Wayside: New Year’s Eve Edition

A handful of links I put aside this year – none related to New Year’s Eve, though…

That NYTimes article – two months late and yet, hats off to them for this thorough and depressing investigative report on Hamas’ use of sexual assault (or rather, depravity). A difficult read, but read it one must.

Matti Friedman on Hamas’ insight and understanding of how effed up the West is. He puts it more diplomatically than that, but I have to say, as early as October 8th, I found myself wondering if the terrorists indeed knew just how many useful idiots there were out there.

A couple of pieces from BHL – thank goodness for the old liberal lion – about Ukraine, including this, about how Ukraine and Israel are part of the same fight and about what Ukrainians need in order to win.

David Mamet on how the Democrats betrayed the Jews. Same could be said in Canada about parties that traditionally supported the Jewish community and Israel, but that now seem to be willing to seek excuses for the slaughter of Jews, and also to be hyper-critical of the justifiable Israeli response to that slaughter.

One of my favourite historians writes about a false narrative relating to Israel (one among oh so many).

Brendan O’Neill on the unholy alliance between woke-ism and barbarism.

And no list of mine can ever be complete without an animal story – a California otter was seen stealing surfboards! As I’ve said before, the animals are done with us, and understandably so.

Happy New Year, all.

Kissinger/Musk

Douglas Murray on Kissinger – much fairer than some of the insane ramblings from old hippies I know. A couple of years ago, I read the Isaacson book about him and got a fuller picture – I was inspired to do so when I attended a Munk Debate (over a decade ago now!) where Kissinger was one of the speakers. What struck me was that, even though he was about 90 at the time, he was able to sum up important points quickly, suss out the weakness/nonsense in his opponents’ arguments and express himself with great economy. I was reminded of that debate when I heard Elon Musk speaking with Isaac Herzog in Israel this week. Spot on analysis of what needs to be done. No nonsense. Brevity.

Anniversary of 7/7

Last week saw the 18th (!!!) anniversary of the London bombings. I remember that day well – I was about to leave for Israel for ten days and wondered if my trip would be affected (it wasn’t). I also remember having a long discussion with my oldest brother about Ken Livingstone’s speech that day. On the surface, it sounded appropriate, but there was one paragraph that we both found revealing:

I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old. 

Given Livingstone’s ideology, one couldn’t help but feel that had the attack indeed been aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers, at the rich and the powerful, he would not have minded as much. (There were reports that his staff celebrated 9/11.) It reminded me a bit of what I wrote here, about the envy that seems to consume so many of us, making us forget empathy and take delight in certain people’s suffering.