Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Time for a fresh look at Israel and Palestine

It's a treacherous topic, but it's always sat in the back of your mind. You know the conflict is a root cause of many things that impact our lives but you've never quite dug in to self educate yourself beyond the snippets and bites you hear on the news, or read in the headlines. What do you say now is the time to do some reading on the history of the Israeli Palestinian conflict? It's a dangerous thing when people are afraid to educate themselves. Understanding both sides of any conflict is crucial to even come close to solving the conflict. Just how far back does this conflict go? What exactly is Zionism, and what role does it play in this all?

An award winning documentary "Occupation 101" sheds some light on the conflict which (in the film's words) has sometimes been portrayed to us by the news and media like a badly dubbed foreign movie.

I ran across this article on CNN, and while I agree Obama should "engage" with Hamas, I think he also should "engage" with Israel. The world has been watching this "all out war".. we know both sides have blood on their hands and approaching such a sticky predicament with anything approaching one-sidedness is only going to dig the trenches deeper.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I'd also like to pass on these words to those facing difficult times during these times... powerful words to reflect upon indeed:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's all in a state of mind

If you think you are beaten you are.
If you think you dare not, you won't.
If you like to win but don't think you can,
Its almost a cinch that you won't.

If you think you'll loose you're lost.
For out in the world you'll find
Success begins with a fellow's will;
It's all in a state of mind.

For many a game is lost
Ere even before a play is run,
And many a coward fails
Ere even his work is begun.

Think big and your deeds will grow;
Think small and you'll fall behind;
Think that you can and you will;
It's all in a state of mind.

If you think you're out classed you are;
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the fellow who thinks he can!

[Anonymous author, passed on to me by my father, years ago.]

Ps if you know the original author, please let me know!