Sunday, January 1

A Few Thoughts for the New Year, and What to Expect Here

With the beginning of the New Year, I thought today would be a good time for a quick meta-post; something to talk about the subjects that currently interest me, and which will therefore be topics for future posts.

I started this blog primarily to talk about what I call "purple" politics; the idea that there are good people from both parties, and excess attention to one's party just makes for bad policy. I still believe that to the core of my being. Almost all people that become politicians do so because they believe that they can make the world a better place. They then become Democrats or Republicans because of our paradigm politics; partisanship is the rules of the game.

Unfortunately, party membership just becomes a square peg in which you have to stuff the round hole of your actual ideology. When you do so, you begin making compromises to your ideology and the problems begin. Before you know it, you are decrying members of the other party as evil or misguided.

Washington said it best when he warned us to beware of factions. He was right. These pages will continue to highlight actions by members of both parties that rise above petty partisan squabbling.

What else gets my attention? Lots.

Local issues. Great Falls will have a new mayor, and she has her work cut out for her. Managing city assets is an important job, and one for which there has not been enough public input in recent years. In his op-ed today, outgoing Mayor Randy Gray blamed his defeat on many causes. However, I believe that anger over the management of the golf courses and swimming pools was as much a cause as anything.

The meth crisis. As a lower North-side resident, I see first hand what this scourge is causing. We have to do more to fight it. What we can do, I don't know. However, we have to try.

Judaic thought. My religion is an important part of who I am. Whether or not anyone reads these posts, I will be posting more on Judaic theology. I also will be posting more on rural Judaism, which is very important to me.

The evolution "debate." I can't really believe that we are still talking about this in 2006. I put debate in quotes because debate is an activity between rational people, making reasoned, provable arguments. The fossil record is clear; evolution happened, and is still happening. Evolution theory is a rigorous science. The other "argument," whether you call it Intelligent Design or Creation Theory, is just theology. Theology has its place, but not in a science classroom. Anyway, I will be posting more about this in upcoming weeks.

Linux. This isn't a tech blog. However, a good part of my interests revolve around tech. I will be making lots of little posts with ideas, tips and tricks on the operation of my favorite open source operating system and applications.

Israel. I make no bones about it. I am American, Pro-Israeli and proud. Israel has the right to exist, and its neighbors do not agree with that right. She is a beleaguered country, and I will use these pages to support her.

There it is in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy the read!


Mike said...

Indeed I did enjoy the read, Aaron. Happy New Year to you and yours!

As a quick aside, you can read the position of the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America as it pertains to the debate over Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design here:

Fairly straight forward, and "oddly" in conformity with what I believe the CCAR and JTS are saying on the issue :-)

Treasure State Jew said...

Mike; Thank you, and a happy New Year to you and yours as well!

Thanks also for the link. I would suspect that any rational thinker would come to such a conclusion. Otherwise, one is in the untenable position of arguing that the fossil record is just a trick put in place to test our faith. As in so many things, Occam's Razor alone should be enough to disprove such an idea.

One thing that gets me are the recent polls. "X% of Americans do not believe in evolution." Excuse me, but how is a poll relevant to scientific inquiry?

If 75% of Americans believed that 2+2=5, then 75% of Americans would be wrong. If 75% of Americans believed that you could treat a cold by jumping off a building, that 75% of Americans would be dead, and they would have done nothing about their cold virus.

I don't care if 99.9% of Americans do not believe in the fossil record. It exists and it provides clear evidence that strongly points to the truths behind evolutionary theory.

That theory says nothing about the existence of Hashem, but it does reconcile a fossil record that shows that all species, including Homo Sapiens, evolved from earlier forms of life.

Mike said...

The entire debate over so-called Intelligent Design and Evolution within the framework of Judaism/Torah and how it is applied in Orthodox circles has been going on in what I like to call the "Great Slifkin Debate." Seems a number of Yeshivot and other, how shall I say, 'strongly Orthodox' institutions have actually banned the reading and selling of books written by Rabbi Slifkin, which seeks to find common ground between all sorts of physicial evidence/proof of evolution and basic Torah teachings.
Interesting debate. I'm not sure if you have been following it or not.