Ok, my current place is the third floor of a house in Shadyside. It'sa renovated attic. It's not a bad place, but, alas, I am very tall, andthe slopy ceilings make for much head bumping. It's also very verysmall. It's cheap though, the landlord is nice, all utilities but elecare included, and there's free laundry in the basement. It has servedme well. This is what it looks like:
|--- K |_|B |
|--| |-| |
|--|___ \| \--/
|--| R |
The K is the kitchen, the B is the bathroom, and room Ris the bedroom/computer room. There are stairs going down from theKitchen to a very small landing on the 2nd floor, where the door tothe 2nd floor landing is. My new place, if memory serves, and note thatif I'm off, I'm going to edit history (scary!) to correct this entry,is like this:
| E |
| L |
| R |
| K |
| C |
So, The main entrance is at the top, and leads into an entry roomE. There's a slightly seperated Living Room L, with stairs down tothe basement D. Then there's a bedroom R, a Kitchen K, and an exitto outside (a shared deck and a yard), and finally a room that wasand will be again a computer room in the rear. My old place was $490a month, my new is $695. It's amazing what a difference ~$200 makes.I've been thinking that it might be fun to start regularly adding picturesto my netdiary.. but I really need to get off my ass and finally redesignthe program so the urls don't shift all over the place all the time first.Of course, I believe that in the end, I'm likely to want to toss theentire silly thing into a Postgres database somewhere so it can takecomments and be less of a pain in the butt in general. I need to geta colocated server first though. I also probably should finally get aroundto tossing my website into CVS locally, and a number of other things I'vebeen meaning to do but just never got around to doing. I should..but .. I don't know if I want to bother anytime soon :)
There's so much to read, so many scientific journals that I'm subscribed to, and the task is so dull that .. I dunno.
I've been thinking about voting systems again recently, perhaps inspired bythe Texas lawmakers in recent news. I've also been thinking about whatprecise governmental reforms that Israel would need to go through tomake it a stable area. Each side needs to change their ways. Some particulars:
- The Law of Return, which grants foreign Jews automatic citizenship to Israel, needs to be repealed, either that, or the Palestinians refugees need to be permitted to return. No games with "favoured races" belong in a civilized country.
- The Palestinians need to reform their educational system to remove anti-Jewish rhetoric. Likewise, Zionism needs to be excised from the Israeli curriculum.
- The country needs a Constitution
- The settlements should be disbanded, and the unassigned land outside of the early borders temporarily assigned to Palestinian communes, which will manage the property until they're assigned to individuals. Some redistribution should be used to ensure that the Israelis don't have all the 'good land' in Israel
- There needs to be a massive effort towards government funded outreach and integration programs, with the aim towards eventually having a single, secular educational system, with no exemptions, religious or otherwise, for at least a significant portion of each child's education. Hebrews and Arabs need to be forced, in the schools, to interact with each other, to combat cultural demonization and lack of understanding.
- There needs to be an end to all religious privileges and special subsidies based on religion. Either the universal draft should be abolished, or even the UltraOrthadox and religious scholars must be subject to it
- Arabic and Hebrew should both be official state languages
- For a limited time, quotas and other forms of affirmative action should be instituted to combat the rampant problems in the region
- There should only be one police force, which includes Palestinians and Hebrews within its ranks
- The U.N. or some other international body that isn't so close to either side needs to be involved in the transition
- Militant Arab groups need to be marginalized and starved of funds
- Dangerous people like Zeevi (thankfully deceased) who have taken political action to expel Arabs or otherwise politically pursued ethnic purification should be tried in U.N. courts and ideally tossed into U.N. prisons for life.
- Economic programs to vitalize arab areas of Israel need to be undertaken, similar in character to how West Germany's economy swallowed (with pain) the problems of the east.
- There need to be governmental safeguards in place to prevent the dominant race, whatever it is now or in 50 years, in Israel from instituting racist programs or otherwise continuing to divide along racial lines
I think it's fortunate that the Knesset is organized how it is -- it shouldprove to be much more suitable towards a multi-ethnic country struggling withracism/cultural identity problems than a two-party system ever could be.
Anyhow, these are my current thoughts on the topic of Israel. When I get mystuff together WRT my webpage, I'll have categories of issues, with mythoughts on each, as well as, of course, this journal, and the moreself-flowing form of my philosophy.