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if you don't yet know who the GREAT PAUL ADDIS (visionary, folk hero, persecuted arsonist!) is, see this article on how Paul Addis burned the Burning Man in an act of "premature combustion":
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/29/BA2ARQRFI.DTL

Paul Addis has taken performance art and comedy and turned it on its head! The irony of the Burning Man "performance artists" pressing charges on one of their own for accomplishing a feat of performance art that trumped their own is akin to a group of nefarious nerds in a school science fair plotting to get the winner expelled out of jealousy and humorless spite. In fact, his hilarious mug shot is likely to make his career - if the unwitting Burners continue with their suit, they will only succeed in amplifying his 15 minutes of fame! See Addis smiling? I take his smug grin of satisfaction as appreciation of his win/win situation.

photos of the burnt man:
http://ideas.4brad.com/news-burning-man-burns-monday

campaign to fund paul's legal defense/FREE PAUL ADDIS:
http://www.freepauladdis.com/
listen to my NORML radio interview (after the Cincinnati piece):

http://www.norml.org/audio/audio_stash/NORML_Daily_AudioStash_03_29_2007.mp3

and Kashrut.com says,

"The Chicago Rabbinical Council has said that the seeds and pod are
kitniot for Ashkenazim
This is based on sefer Siddur Pesach Kehilchoso page 184.
The leaves are no problem.

However, the seeds and pods are usable for Sephardim.

All acceptance is based on the law of the land."

An Open Letter to Lebanon

Dear Lebanese people,

I have spoken with many other Israelis and those that I know acknowledge that we are at fault regarding Lebanese Christians who supported us against Hizbullah in the past and we owe you bigtime. I think most Jewish people here would like you to know that we are aware of the debt between us, and while we are defending our civilians now as we must, we sincerely regret any damage we are causing the Lebanese civilians. We do not want to hurt Lebanese civilians. Israelis - and our government - are very clear on that - you can't imagine how sorry we are that there have been civilian deaths on your side.

We recognize that the Lebanese government is not strong, yet we feel that it must try to fight Hizbullah or be seen as its ally. When the Lebanese government demanded we discontinue our assault, our request was that you send your Lebanese army to the southern border, your border with us, to fight (not us, but Hizbullah). IF we are not to act to protect ourselves, you must act to defend us. Your government refused, saying they wouldn't fight an organization that they had recently welcomed into national politics to make Hizbullah 'feel Lebanese'. We prefer to see Lebanon as our friend, despite what is happening now, and neither our people nor our government harbor you any animosity -but we do harbor animosity towards your inability to remove Hizbullah and we are not happy about our cities and civilians being bombed either. Rather, we are traumatized as you are.

We would like to extend our hand in friendship and help fix the damage we have done you, regardless of the damage Hizbullah has wrought in our cities from within your borders. Remove that cancer from your body like a surgeon and throw it to the sea.

Salaam Aleikun,

Michelle from Jerusalem

Running for Knesset

I ran for Knesset and lost. But the experience was a profound one and I will run again. I was told again and again how few Anglos ever run for office here and Haaretz ran a story on why no party bothers to translate its literature into English, though it is translated into Russian, Arabic and sometimes Amharit. Anglo citizens in Israel number some 150,000 - too small of a constituency to make a difference. The article suggested that to influence Israeli politics, one should move to the U.S. Amusing, yet also somewhat bitter to us Anglos in Israel. Not for me, though, because I am taking a proactive stance in this matter.

How many times have I heard that Israel is a third world country in some ways? Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to progressive western values. {There is no curbside recycling and Israelis throw litter on the street. Homophobia is socially acceptable and people don't KNOW what privacy rights are. Pollution levels in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are higher than in any city in Europe.} Ale Yarok's platform stands for precisely this lack - progressive western values. In this year's election campaign, Ale Yarok diverged slightly from previous platforms; the issue I have trouble with is #6 -separation of church and state. While I agree with that issue in general, I'm not certain it's applicable in Israel at this time. However, I know that many other Ale Yarok activists share my reservations on that issue.

Party Platform for the 17th Knesset

1 Full and equal civil rights; defending citizens' freedoms and privacy rights
2 Strong commitment to protecting nature and the environment
3 Legalizing cannabis and industrial hemp for medicinal, personal and commercial use
4 Two safe states for two nations
5 Accessible Higher Education and better salaries for teachers and nurses
6 Separating "church and state"
7 Governmental support of the arts
8 Ongoing commitment to reduce traffic accidents and lobby for better public transit
9 Protecting animal rights and restricting experiments on animals
10 Real treatment for victims (and their families) of violence, hard drugs and alcohol

http://zope.ale-yarok.org.il/english/

During our campaign I organized foreign press for the party and manned a booth on a pedestrian street. I dress modestly, as I feel comfortable in skirts and dresses, especially in Jerusalem, and the majority of the people who approached me to ask about Ale Yarok were religious. Many ultra-orthodox. There are a good number of religious people who strongly support us because they're concerned about legalization - and it does state in the Torah that G-d put plants here for man's use. Still, this surprised me. I was also surprised by the age range - people from 10 to 80 bought our t-shirts, which we sold, even as we gave out free bumper stickers and postcards, emblazoned with our campaign slogan "We also have other ASPIRATIONS" and platform. As I manned the booth I frequently sang our jingle (available on our website - it is culturally acceptable in Israel to sing in public) and I was stunned at how often passers-by knew it (from radio and TV ads) and sang along. A television crew from Belgium came, very nice people; they interviewed only Kadima, Labor, Likud and Ale Yarok, so I took them on a tour of the Jerusalem Forest, so that they could see the 12 miles of JNF Forest and nature reserve that may soon be paved if environmentalists lose that battle. Reuters and the Associated Press also picked up on Ale Yarok as the fourth most interesting party of the election and reporters camped out in our Tel Aviv headquarters for almost the whole last week of the campaign. Newsweek Magazine published a story with just 4 parties - the same 4 as the Belgian TV Station! Internationally, we were associated with the top 3 parties and domestically we were the talk of the town. Eretz Nehederet (Israeli SNL) ran a skit featuring Ale Yarok and the Gimlaim (the Pensioners party, which got into Knesset for the first time, shocking everyone) called Saba Yarok (Green Grandpa) joking that if we ran with the pensioners, we'd all sit around and do drugs - us our marijuana and them their prescription pills. Somehow the Gimlaim won and we lost - and we're not sure why, but we think people still don't know that we are more than just the 'legalize it' party. We want to get into Knesset because we want to alter the way things are - we want to empower citizens, power to the people, and return Israel to its grassroots honest government that speaks for the regular person.

Do you think that if only 2 or 3 Ale Yarok activists are elected to Knesset (which you acknowledge MAY happen) that we we still be rendered marginal and ineffective? I PROMISE you that will not be the case. The Israeli political system is different from other systems - one DYNAMIC person can make tremendous change, as evidenced by Ariel Sharon. I am excited, not just for the next election, whenever that may be, but for all the good work Ale Yarok will do throughout the year. If you are in Israel, please join me.

going to America w/eddie murphy

ok, actually i have no idea where eddie murphy is, but he used to live in the next town over when i was in high school. a LONG time ago. anyhow, i'm going to be in NJ, NC, possibly scranton&ithaca, and definitely Tucson! for a few weeks, so if you live in one of those neighborhoods, let me know!
israeli rainbow gathering - november 2005
http://www.rainbow.israel.net/gathering.shtml

yattir forest, not far from be'er sheva, happens to be the largest planted forest in the middle east. the forest rangers are beduins who live in the area and they were super-nice to let us spend the month there. some local beduins came to the gathering and didn't totally get it, but that's the point, in my opinion. let new people have the rainbow experience and maybe something will sink in. this was the main complaint of veteran rainbow family re: the accessibility of the location. too many weekenders. bah, humbug. some people work and can't spend the whole month in the forest.

people were jamming in little circles all over the forested hillsides and we party-hopped the days away. i met roni, a bouncy, fun and pretty girl who lives in tel aviv and is trying to convince me to move there. i met max, an unlikely yeshiva boy from tekoa with awesome hair and eyes and who joined roni & me in entertaining some unsuspecting people with song and dance. i met this guy from portland who goes to ncnm and actually knows my sister who lives there! i met shaul's brother from ny who plays the fiddle like he sold his soul to an irish jig band, he had us all hopping around the fire like dancing fools! i met gorgeous ronen who crochets women's bikinis and carries around an album of hot ladies wearing his creations. hysterical! i met israeli rainbow-elder shimon, who plays the guitar beautifully, has a lovely wife and child, and truly contributes to the peaceful energy. but i assessed our elder population as woefully shorthanded, compared to american rainbow family. also, they're mostly happy when there are only about 300-400 people at the gathering, but i think we should grow bc i want to see more hippies in babylon!

just in case you wondered, there are more hippies today than there were in 1969 when san francisco hippies staged a massive parade entitled 'the death of the hippy'

pictures (there's one of me in a purple skirt with my eyes closed)
http://www.targetpoint.com/greenview/index.php?id=5&sid=1&gid=217&pid=18407&page=8