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.
From outside, Israel looks as if itís in turmoil, largely because the entire political leadership seems to be under investigation. But Israel is a weak state with a strong civil society. The economy is exploding from the bottom up. Israelís currency, the shekel, has appreciated nearly 30 percent against the dollar since the start of 2007.
The reason? Israel is a country that is hard-wired to compete in a flat world. It has a population drawn from 100 different countries, speaking 100 different languages, with a business culture that strongly encourages individual imagination and adaptation and where being a nonconformist is the norm. While you were sleeping, Israel has gone from oranges to software, or as they say around here, from Jaffa to Java.
Bebe Netanyahu has been a huge success as a reformist finance minister. Some very fundamental reforms of civil service and banking have turned the state away from that old socialist model. Yes, there's still a load of it, but the trend is toward free market -- and the trend is your friend, as they say. The little patent factory in the desert -- just think what it could do without the endless war it must fight forever.