We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, August 6. 2006
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8-3-06 Kiryat Shemona: The Home Front.
Arriving in Kiryat Shemona with my Hyundai Getz, a reformulated Yugo, I both feel the car shudder and hear the dull thud; I think briefly that I have hit a small animal I did not see -- a horse perhaps, or a gazelle. By the third boom, I recognize rockets.
Within the hour, I learn the difference in sounds between incoming (bad) and outgoing (better, maybe even good). Incoming, first the whoosh, then the boom as it hits; Outgoing, boom, and maybe a whoosh.
Later, I realize that I really don't hear whooshes before. Also, with incoming we are supposed to get a warning twenty seconds before, to get into shelter. The warning sounds have been debated in Kiryat Shemona (It's a Jewish town after all; how could they just agree on one warning?). The standard viuuu-viuuu is loud, discrete, recognizable; some argue that it causes more panic than needed.
Therefore this morning, we hear the alternative, a kind of bling-blong, followed by a polite, announcer-like baritone requesting that we descend to shelter. I finished my coffee. Such a polite voice, does not raise urgency in me; more like an announcement before the symphony to please turn off your cellphones (which some still ignore).
All street lights blink yellow, streets are abandoned by pedestrians, save for the building for soldiers called up: joyfully painted tour buses await them. Inside, the windows are hung with drying towels, shirts on hangers, like guys off for a college trip. Out of uniform, most wear flip-flops, shorts, T's. Only the M16 slung diagonally over shoulder, rifle usually on the back, occassionally pointing downwards off the left hip,identifies that they are not off to camp. How they all top 5 foot 11 inches still amazes me, these Jewish soldiers. Chana Mann, the chief psychologist for Safed Hospital lives in Kiryat Shemona, the largest, most northern town in Israel. (Metulla, abutting Lebanon, is the village futher north.) She's invited me to help out with trauma cases.
To my left are the Naphtali Mountains, my namesake, that tribe whose
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