Month: July 2014

Sam Harris to “Anti-Zionists”: Imagine Hamas’s Response to Israeli Human Shields

Professional atheist Sam Harris responds to those “anti-Zionists” who ask why he never criticizes Israel. During the course of his answer, he states the following:

The truth is that everything you need to know about the moral imbalance between Israel and her enemies can be understood on the topic of human shields. Who uses human shields? Well, Hamas certainly does. They shoot their rockets from residential neighborhoods, from beside schools, and hospitals, and mosques. Muslims in other recent conflicts, in Iraq and elsewhere, have also used human shields. They have laid their rifles on the shoulders of their own children and shot from behind their bodies.

Consider the moral difference between using human shields and being deterred by them. That is the difference we’re talking about. The Israelis and other Western powers are deterred, however imperfectly, by the Muslim use of human shields in these conflicts, as we should be.


Warding Off Cliché At the Edge of a Lake

The sun is not rising. The water looks like nothing
I could express with like or as.
I consider this a good thing: The way we stumble
for synonyms—
for firelight
for shimmer
for remembering that the stress of your son’s name
is on the last syllable—
it’s a law of nature I’m desperate to repeal.
This is how you address a lake at 6 p.m.
after a storm you didn’t order
when water reminds you of nothing but doggerel
that you open your heart to anyway.
What’s nature but the way things would be without you?
Giving your heart to a lake and waiting for the acid rain?

Central Park, October 2011: An Original Poem

Since no one would publish this poem I wrote, I decided to publish it myself on this site. I do hope you enjoy it.

Central Park, October 2011

I saw an old man grow immensely wise
on a park bench. He took the one closest
to the swinging gate of autumn,
where the largest pile of leaves
stained the ground with amber. I saw his hands
collect the air and tame it. On those cobblestones
he bled his reason. The wind was as heavy as a hymn.
The gusts cracked and split his lips,
the skin parting as if some new word
were being born.
He kissed the turmoil around him and said,
Don’t worry so much.
He had come to take something wild
from the birds gathering at his feet,
a bit of their wayward reach, their lust
for the strangest bits of this world. We are always stranded
inside ourselves.

No Country for Young Men

I’d like to draw your attention to several articles and blog posts (most of them somewhat old but still entirely relevant) that discuss what many have termed the “post-employment economy.” This refers to the more or less permanently disfigured American economy that has emerged from the global financial crisis—a place of long-term unemployment, despair, withering job opportunities, and ruthless exploitation in the form of unpaid work and part-time slavery. The post-employment economy has affected people of all ages but has been particularly hard on young people: the so-called Millenials. (more…)