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Blogs December 2004

December 1, 2004

Now that NaNoWriMo is over, I can get caught up in my blog with thoughts about events from last month:

Why was Bush reelected? Well enough with the red state/blue states, Jesusville values, and bloggers vs. media elite claptrap. The real reason is rooted in human nature people don't like to change unless they (A.) have a compelling reason to change, and (B.) something much better comes along. The Democrats could make a strong case for A, but Kerry didn't make a strong case for B. If the war in Iraq is a big mistake (and it is), how would Kerry end it without letting that suffering country fall into greater chaos than it is now? If Bush is doing a poor job with post-9/11 national security (and he has), how would Kerry do better? To persuade us, speakers have to appeal to both the heart and the mind. In the end, Kerry wound up doing neither effectively, so the "devil you know" won out.  

Speaking of devils :), will peace come to Israel and Palestine now that Yasser Arafat is dead? I guess it depends on who takes over and how. But if there is ever going to be a peace deal between Israel and Palestine, it will take leaders on both sides with the courage to make the hard concessions. Unfortunately, those leaders haven't come forward.

On the day after his death, I heard one person on Web radio say his death is "The greatest day for Jews." Despite the many crimes Arafat committed against both Jews and Palestinians, I believe such a comment is disgusting and foolish. It's un-Jewish to cheer another person's death. That's why we spill wine on our Seder plate when we recount the plagues against the Egyptians. Some may dance in the street when Jews die, but we must not celebrate other people's suffering.

We also have to remember that one man's "terrorist" is another man's "freedom fighter". He will remain a hero and icon to many, a fact that should not be ignored. But I think the way history will eventually file Yasser Arafat in with other revolutionaries who had the charisma and personal will to launch national movements, but just couldn't make the transition to building a stable, sustainable nation. He can share a room with Simon Bolivar and Bernardo O'Higgins.

I hope all parties in that part of the world can use this time to make another attempt at peace. But with people who are described as "never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity," it may only be a hope.

December 21, 2004

This is my final blog entry. I am stopping further updates so that I can focus on promoting my new novel (More info) and to prepare for my WritersUA presentation in March. Thanks to all of you who have read and enjoyed my blog. I will keep it up permanently on my site so you can read it whenever you want.

I'd like to close my blog with some thoughts for the holidays. Recently, I heard a song that touched my heart and probably best fit the spirit of this season. No, it's not Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song. It's "The Cat Carol" written by written by Bruce Evans and sung by Meryn Cadell. Take a moment to read and reflect on the lyrics. (More info)

With all that divides us politically and personally, let the spirit of the season encourage us to transcend our differences and give willingly and generously to others. Let us use communication to bridge chasms, create greater understanding, and build a better planet. Have a wonderful holiday and joyful new year. 

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