Saturday: Hili dialogue

October 14, 2023 • 6:45 am

It’s CaturSaturday, October 14, 2023, cat shabbos and National Dessert Day. Here’s a dessert I love but no longer can get (unless I make it). You’ll either love it or hate it.

It’s also National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day, Universal Music Day, International African Penguin Awareness Day, National Chess Day, National Real Sugar Day (I mostly use Splenda), and World Standards Day, described thusly by Wikipedia:

The day honours the efforts of the thousands of experts who develop voluntary standards within standards development organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The aim of World Standards Day is to raise awareness among regulators, industry and consumers as to the importance of standardization to the global economy.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 14 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Re the war: Egypt has agreed to allow safe passage of fleeing Gazans out of the Strip, but the time window is narrow.

A senior State Department official said that the Israeli and Egyptian governments have agreed to allow American citizens to cross from Gaza into Egypt between noon and 5 p.m. local time on Saturday. The crossing from Gaza, which is under an Israeli blockade backed by Egypt, has been closed.

I’m hoping that it will be opened more often, and glad that there is an escape route negotiated by Egypt and Israel.

*There is still no Speaker of the House and Republicans are causing chaos by “bickering among themselves.

House Republicans. . . . are consumed with an extended struggle of personal grievance, petty beefs, political payback and rampant attention-seeking that on Thursday night forced Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana to withdraw as his party’s candidate for speaker. The tumult has sidelined Congress at a critical moment and rendered the Capitol a bastion of G.O.P. dysfunction. The spectacle of their infighting is even more glaring at a moment of international crisis, a fact not lost on Republicans themselves as they remain unable to settle on a speaker who could put the House back in business.

“We are living in a dangerous world; the world’s on fire,” Representative Michael McCaul, the Texas Republican who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, said on Thursday after leaving a closed meeting where Republicans groped unsuccessfully for a path out of their stalemate. “Our adversaries are watching what we do — and quite frankly, they like it.”

“I see a lot of threats out there,” he added, referring ominously to the ongoing disarray among his own colleagues unfolding in the Capitol basement. “One of the biggest threats I see is in that room, because we can’t unify as a conference and put the speaker in the chair together.”

Now Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a hyperconservative beloved by Trump, has made a bid for the speakership, which might have worked but he is being challenged by another mainstream conservative:

A little-known Republican emerged on Friday to challenge Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio in the raucous party feud over selecting a new speaker, underscoring the divisions that have left the House leaderless and paralyzed for more than a week.

Representative Austin Scott of Georgia, a mainstream conservative and ally of the ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, said he would seek the nomination. He effectively was putting himself forward as a protest candidate against Mr. Jordan, a hard-right Republican who is the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

The surprise move promised to prolong the infighting that has raged among Republicans since a hard-right faction of Mr. Jordan’s supporters forced out Mr. McCarthy last week and then refused to back the party’s chosen successor, Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, for the post.

I’d rejoice in this fracas if it weren’t important to have leadership right now, especially with another shutdown looming. On the other hand, I suppose a Democrat could become Speaker, but that’s unlikely.

UPDATE: I just heard this morning that although Jordan was picked as the nominee yesterday, things aren’t settled yet:

It’s not clear how the current speaker drama will end; Republicans left Washington on Friday after nominating their second candidate for speaker of the week, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, with plans to return on Tuesday for a vote but no certainty that he could be elected.

*In view of the IDF’s warning to Gazans to flee south to Wadi Gaza, meaning “get out because we’re coming,” thousands of Gazans have taken that advice and headed south.

Frightened Palestinians, heeding Israel’s warnings to abandon their homes in northern Gaza, raced on Friday to flee to the south of the blockaded coastal strip, as aid groups warned that the evacuation of more than a million civilians would have “devastating consequences” and an ongoing siege pushed Gaza’s medical system to the brink of collapse.

There was a palpable sense of crisis in Gaza on Friday, as a buildup of Israeli soldiers near Gaza fueled concerns that Israel is preparing to invade the Hamas-held territory. Many Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza are reluctant to leave their homes for the south, which has even fewer resources, across routes that have already been damaged by a week of Israeli strikes. The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said on Friday that airstrikes had killed at least 40 Palestinians who were attempting to flee northern Gaza by car on a main highway.

Aid groups warned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe and said that the Israeli order to evacuate was illegal under international law. The United Nations also warned that moving more than a million people across Gaza would lead to “devastating consequences,” saying that its priority was negotiating with Israel to allow the opening of a humanitarian channel for deliveries of essential aid, including water.

Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes since Saturday, when Hamas’s incursion into Israel killed more than 1,300 people, have wiped out entire neighborhoods. The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said on Friday afternoon that at least 1,799 Palestinians had been killed since the war began.

Two more bits:

  • The U.S. government is talking with Israeli and Egyptian officials about getting safe passage for American citizens, including Palestinian Americans, and other foreigners out of Gaza through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, a senior State Department official said on Friday.

  • The U.S. secretary of defense, Lloyd J. Austin III, said on Friday that American security assistance “is already rapidly flowing into Israel” as he met with the Israeli defense minister in Tel Aviv.

Given that Israel must eliminate Hamas, a ground assault with warning to civilians seems to me the best way to go about achieving Israel’s aims: it gets civilians out of the way so that there will be fewer non-intended deaths. (I’m still opposed to a siege.)  An even better thing to do, but something that Egypt is resisting, is creating a corridor so Gazans can leave their strip.  Here’s a map from the NYT. Wadi Gaza isn’t far: only about 6 miles from Gaza City—not a huge distance to travel.  It’s possible that the ground war is a ruse and that an evacuated northern Gaza will simply be bombed flat, but that’s not only bad for civilians, but would surely lead to the death of many hostages, who will not, of course, be allowed to flee south.

But whatever Israel does, you can be sure that the MSM and “progressive” Democrats will blame only Israel for whatever deaths ensue. What would satisfy them, I think, is for Israel to do nothing, allowing more Jews to be killed by terrorists. It’s puzzling that Western governments are firmly on the side of Israel, while Western citizens are largely anti-Israeli (the U.S. is one example).

*As always, I’ll steal three items from Nellie Bowles’s Free Press weekly news summary, this week called “TGIF: Hot takes on terrorism.” It’s a bit snarky but deadly serious about the Hamas butchery, and the column deals solely with the war in the Middle East. There’s simply too much to summarize, so go read it all. Again, three items:

→ But were all 40 babies beheaded, or just a few of them? The misinformation police were very busy. There was a lot of misinformation. For example, after first responders and then journalists saw a scene of around 40 dead babies and children, some of whom were beheaded, the misinformation reporters became obsessed with making sure that people were clear: some babies were not beheaded. Words matter! Traumatized witnesses to the scene were not being clear, you see, about exactly how many beheaded babies they saw. A Washington Post reporter, reminding readers that some of the dead babies still had headssaid this is “how misinformation spreads.” It was all “unverified,” everyone was quick to say. A Bloomberg reporter called the beheaded babies a “rumor, which has gone viral” and added: “Journalists carry a far bigger responsibility in this moment. Let’s not fail the profession.” (She’s since deleted the tweet.) One of the hosts of socialist podcast Chapo Trap House called it a lie, as did a Huffington Post writer, who did a great job showing what Holocaust denial looks like in real-time when he wrote:

There was no beheading of a single baby, let alone 40. There was no massacre of 260 Israelis at a rave. There has been no mass rape of Israeli women or the targeting of elderly. All the above are lies.

The beheadings were indeed confirmed. But as The Guardian’s Jerusalem reporter was quick to explain regarding those babies: “It’s not about the manner in which children were killed. It’s about the racist stereotyping of Arabs.” Or as Bernie Sanders’ former spokeswoman and media star Briahna Joy Gray said, when criticized for denying the killings: “These craven idiots are still spreading a lie to justify the indiscriminate murder of Palestinians. I will NEVER back down.”

→ BLM × Hamas collab: In retrospect, we probably should have paid a little more attention in 2015 when Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors called for the end of Israel.

“Palestine is our generation’s South Africa,” she said. “If we don’t step up boldly and courageously to end the imperialist project called Israel, we’re doomed.” Okay, so she is saying we need to end the project called Israel. Like it’s some doomed tech company initiative (Google Glass, lookin’ at you). Okay, so disband the one Jewish state. I suppose when Patrisse asked me to chant “Death to Jews,” I might have asked for more information. But at the time it felt metaphorical, you know? Anyway, here is BLM this week, while Hamas forces were still tearing through Israel killing unarmed civilians:

→ What’s the UN up to? Must be a busy week, no? This is what we got from them this week.

From my home to yours, happy International Trans #LesbianDay.

Nellie is of course a lesbian.

*In the NYT, David Brooks writes a column that all those damning Israel now should read, “The missed chance for peace,” referring to Clinton’s efforts to get Ehud Barak and Yasir Arafat to agree on a two-state solution. The Israeli offer was generous; Arafat turned it down. Do people not know that this was one of many chances for peace, and their own state, that the Palestinians rejected? It’s an unusually good column for Brooks, but of course I’m biased.

*The Daily Fail describes how the BBC refuses to call groups like Hamas or ISIS “terrorists”, which led to the resignation of a Jewish sports reporter. Meanwhile, as the BBC graces Hamas with the name of “militants”, both King Charles and the Prince and Princess of Wales have issued statements either calling Hamas “terrorists” or decrying out the “terrorism” inflicted on Israelis.  Go figure. Is the BBC as anti-Israel as the NYT?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Malgorzata explains this dialogue:  “In a few days, when it’s raining, Hili and Andrzej can reminisce about the past, when they were sitting in the garden. Ergo, they are creating the past now.”

Hili: We are creating the past.
A: How?
Hili: Just now, by sitting in the garden.
In Polish:
Hili: Tworzymy przeszłość.
Ja: Jak?
Hili: W tej chwili siedząc w ogrodzie.

And a picture of the loving Szaron:


From Science Humor:

Reader Pliny the in Between has a timely cartoon at The Far Corner Cafe:

From Merilee, a cartoon by Scott Metzger:

Lagniappe from Divy (click the link):

From Maseh, both sexes opposing the draconian Islamist dress code of Iran:

From Luana:

From Simon, who says, “At least the apprentice king is to the point.” (So is the King; see tomorrow’s Nooz.)

From my feed. Friendly cranes!

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a two-year-old Dutch Jewish girl, gassed upon arrival:

Tweets from Doctor Cobb.  First, did someone open a can of tuna?

You’ll have to go to the thread to see all ten eye colors. But I’ll add one:

“Ooooh! Bing!”

33 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1066 – The Norman conquest of England begins with the Battle of Hastings.

    1322 – Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeats King Edward II of England at the Battle of Old Byland, forcing Edward to accept Scotland’s independence.

    1586 – Mary, Queen of Scots, goes on trial for conspiracy against Queen Elizabeth I of England.

    1656 – The General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony enacts the first punitive legislation against the Religious Society of Friends.

    1884 – George Eastman receives a U.S. Government patent on his new paper-strip photographic film.

    1888 – Louis Le Prince films the first motion picture, Roundhay Garden Scene.

    1912 – Former president Theodore Roosevelt is shot and mildly wounded by John Flammang Schrank. With the fresh wound in his chest, and the bullet still within it, Roosevelt delivers his scheduled speech.

    1913 – Senghenydd colliery disaster, the United Kingdom’s worst coal mining accident, claims the lives of 439 miners.

    1933 – Germany withdraws from the League of Nations and World Disarmament Conference.

    1940 – World War II: The Balham underground station disaster kills sixty-six people during the London Blitz.

    1943 – World War II: Prisoners at Sobibor extermination camp covertly assassinate most of the on-duty SS officers and then stage a mass breakout.

    1947 – Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to exceed the speed of sound.

    1949 – The Smith Act trials of Communist Party leaders in the United States convicts eleven defendants of conspiring to advocate the violent overthrow of the federal government.

    1957 – At least 81 people are killed in the most devastating flood in the history of the Spanish city of Valencia.

    1962 – The Cuban Missile Crisis begins when an American reconnaissance aircraft takes photographs of Soviet ballistic missiles being installed in Cuba.

    1964 – Martin Luther King Jr. receives the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence.

    1968 – Apollo program: The first live television broadcast by American astronauts in orbit is performed by the Apollo 7 crew.

    1968 – Jim Hines becomes the first man ever to break the so-called “ten-second barrier” in the 100-meter sprint with a time of 9.95 seconds.

    1979 – The first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights draws approximately 100,000 people.

    1982 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan proclaims a War on Drugs. [Spoiler alert: It’s not been won…]

    1991 – Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. [She should hand it back.]

    1994 – Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres receive the Nobel Peace Prize for their role in the establishment of the Oslo Accords and the framing of future Palestinian self government.

    1998 – Eric Rudolph is charged with six bombings, including the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, Georgia.

    2012 – Felix Baumgartner successfully jumps to Earth from a balloon in the stratosphere. [Eleven years ago!]

    1644 – William Penn, English businessman who founded Pennsylvania (d. 1718).

    1861 – Julia A. Ames, American journalist, editor, and reformer (d. 1891).

    1882 – Éamon de Valera, American-Irish rebel and politician, 3rd President of Ireland (d. 1975).

    1888 – Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand novelist, short story writer, and essayist (d. 1923).

    1890 – Dwight D. Eisenhower, American general and politician, 34th President of the United States (d. 1969).

    1893 – Lillian Gish, American actress (d. 1993).

    1894 – E. E. Cummings, American poet and playwright (d. 1962).

    1906 – Hassan al-Banna, Egyptian religious leader, founded the Muslim Brotherhood (d. 1949).

    1906 – Hannah Arendt, German-American philosopher and theorist (d. 1975).

    1918 – Thelma Coyne Long, Australian tennis player and captain (d. 2015). [Included as a namesake of our host.]

    1927 – Roger Moore, English actor and producer (d. 2017).

    1940 – Cliff Richard, Indian-English singer-songwriter and actor.

    1946 – Justin Hayward, English singer-songwriter and guitarist.

    1954 – Mordechai Vanunu, Moroccan-Israeli technician and academic.

    1958 – Thomas Dolby, English singer-songwriter and producer.

    1965 – Steve Coogan, English actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter. [He’s just given an astonishing performance as British radio DJ and serial paedophile Jimmy Savile in The Reckoning.]

    1973 – George Floyd, American police brutality victim (d. 2020).

    1980 – Ben Whishaw, English actor.

    Any man who has $10,000 left when he dies is a failure. [Errol Flynn]
    530 – Antipope Dioscorus. [In a disputed election following the death of Pope Felix IV, the majority of electors picked him to be pope, in spite of Pope Felix’s wishes that Boniface II should succeed him. However, Dioscorus died less than a month after the election, allowing Boniface to be consecrated pope and Dioscorus to be branded an antipope.]

    1240 – Razia Sultana, Only female sultan of Delhi (b. c. 1205).

    1944 – Erwin Rommel, German field marshal (b. 1891). [Took a cyanide capsule after being found guilty of a plot against Hitler.]

    1959 – Errol Flynn, Australian-American actor, singer, and producer (b. 1909).

    1976 – Edith Evans, English actress (b. 1888).

    1977 – Bing Crosby, American singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1903).

    1990 – Leonard Bernstein, American pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1918).

    1997 – Harold Robbins, American author (b. 1915).

    1998 – Frankie Yankovic, American accordion player (b. 1916). [Not related to fellow accordionist “Weird Al” Yankovic, although the two collaborated.]

    1999 – Julius Nyerere, Tanzanian educator and politician, 1st President of Tanzania (b. 1922).

    2010 – Benoit Mandelbrot, Polish-American mathematician and economist (b. 1924).

    2022 – Robbie Coltrane, Scottish actor, comedian and writer (b. 1950).

  2. The list of terrible people trying to mitigate Hamas’ butchering of babies and civilians comprises the people you would expect to see on that sort of list. Briahna also has a history of dismissing Russian war crimes and murder of civilians in Ukraine.. So do most of the others mentioned.

    I have pointed out a few times that there is also a poster (WMD Kitty) at Pharyngula who also engages in the same antisemitic war crime denial. They have claimed that, not only was the murder of babies “a lie”, but the massacre of Israeli civilians was “a lie”, the claims of “rape” was “a lie”, and that it was all staged by Israel.

    That poster remains free to post there…miraculously escaping PZ’s infamous and regularly-used banhammer.

  3. I do not speak for all Jews, but I speak for many Jews. There are no peace partners, there is no peace plan, there is no two state solution. If the Palestinians are miserable in Gaza, let them be miserable in an adjoining Muslim state. Israel has an ancestral, historical, and eternal right to the land of Israel. Those Palestinians that are peaceful, let them stay. The rest and their families must be expelled. Palestinian children have been heavily inculcated to hate. There is no ‘second or third generation’ that will be milder and more amenable to peace than the first. Palestinian culture and politics have roiled for 70 years with dysfunction, corruption, and an inability to govern themselves. There is no reason to entertain the idea that it will be anything but dysfunction, corruption, and terrorism post massacre. Israel must never allow rockets to rain on their cities again. Not so much as a single missile hitting a lone Citrullus colocynthis in the Negev. As Netanyahu has succinctly stated, “we did not start this war, but we will finish this war.”

    1. ” Israel has an ancestral, historical, and eternal right to the land of Israel.” Really? Isn’t this what started it all? Then the native populations of North America, South America, Australia, et al have been screwed too. GROG

      1. Historically with respect. Every society was “ screwed” as you put it, at some time or other, whether it was my ancestors by the Romans and then the Saxons and then the Danes & the Norwegians or the Romans by the Huns or the Egyptians by the Nubians or those “screwed” mightily by the Greeks and the Turks in turn or the Southern Spanish by the Saracen muslims and so on and on. The list is endless. Homo Sapiens have been “at it” since they evolved.
        It is all a matter of time and scale and memory and whether you like it or dislike it Israel was established by an (recent) international agreement after the attempted genocide of the Nazi Holocaust and subsequently many surrounding states have tried to eliminate the country and the Jewish population. Israel has an ancestral, historical and eternal right to the land of Israel and to exist in peace.

        1. Israel has an ancestral, historical and eternal right to the land of Israel and to exist in peace.

          Eternity is a long time.

          The modern state of Israel was effectively founded in 1947 by UN mandate and has as much right to exist as any other modern state. That incudes, of course, the right to defend itself against terrorist organisations, especially if they have the destruction of Israel as their stated goal.

          All the historical and ancestry stuff is nonsense. The last time before 1948 that there was anything resembling a Jewish state in the area was 2,000 years ago, and that was under Roman hegemony. If that were the standard for determining who should have control of which land, I’d be living in part of greater Wales (I live in England) and I couldn’t begin to guess who would be running Scotland.

          1. There is however one significant difference with Wales and Scotland. For two thousand years Jews dispersed all over the world retained the same religion, the same basic culture and the same language (even if it was used only in religious context). That’s why a Jew from Buchara could communicate in the same language with a Jew from Warsaw. That’s why Jews from Yemen airlifted to Israel had the same Torah written in the same language as the ones that already were in Israel. And for two thousand years all religious Jews repeated: “Next year in Jerusalem”. Show me any other displaced nation living all over the world as minority which retaind so much of their common heritage which, moreover, was connected to a specific piece of land.

          2. True enough, Malgorzata, and it is fine to make that argument. But there is no Higher Authority who can adjudicate those claims to land, or, more specifically, statehood. For everyone for whom that argument resonates there will be someone somewhere who says, “Meh. So what about the Torah?”

            States arise through armed rebellion against a colonial authority (as the United States did and the Confederacy attempted), through evolution — where the colonial authority wanted to be shut of them. or at least acceded to popular sentiment — as Canada and India did — or by driving out or suppressing the “others” who previously lived in the land, as almost all nations have done. None of this is anything to be ashamed of and none of it delegitimizes statehood achieved by any of these routes. All states have the right to defend themselves against attempts to undo their statehood through conquest or internal rebellion. They either succeed or they don’t, in which latter case the process starts all over again.

            We should support Israel militarily because it is the only democracy in the region and because most of its civil values are more closely aligned with ours than are those of any of its neighbours. No Israeli, certainly no Jewish Israeli, wants to kill us. How it got to where it is doesn’t really matter. That it is a homeland and sanctuary for post-Holocaust Jews is important, too, but this only resonates with people who are disposed to be sympathetic toward Jewish values and history. Not even all Jews support the existence of Israel.

            Maintaining support in the West for Israel’s claim on land — so that assistance keeps flowing –needs the support of people who don’t much care for Jews but who believe in what an Israeli state means. These are the people we have to keep on side even when a lot of civilians die in Gaza. Remind them of all the people we killed in German and Japanese cities during the Second World War under the doctrine of military necessity.

          3. Oh, I absolutely agree that there is no “Higher Authority”. It was only to show the connection of the Jewish nation with the land of Israel. Equally important are legally binding decisions of international bodies (both League of Nations and UN), the fact that before Jews return it was a neglected, sparcely populated province of the Ottoman Empire (see description of Mark Twain and many others) which Jews transformed into a rich, modern, industrial land. Important as well is the fact that Jews managed to defend their state from many attacks and wars, not to mention that it is a functioning, democratic state with equal rights for all its citizens.

          4. Thank you Malgorzata.
            I could not have said it better. Israel and the Jews are unique.
            If you are a true believer then eternity is also very real and meaningful. This I can understand and accommodate, it does not mean that I believe it but I nevertheless believe that Israel has the right to exist and in peace and to defend its people and land against all aggression.
            I repeat from a previous post the statement from Douglas Murray of the Spectator
            “Why is it that Israel unlike all other nations is expected to witness the murder and rape of its citizens together with invasion and destruction of its territory and yet accept it with magnanimity?

  4. „ It’s puzzling that Western governments are firmly on the side of Israel, while Western citizens are largely anti-Israeli (the U.S. is one example).“

    I got an inkling of the damage that can happen via social media yesterday when all I did was to look up the original posts of some of the posts you shared on Facebook about Israelis that were kidnapped or killed. It was sickening to see thousands of laughing emojis on them by what I can only assume must have been supporters of Hamas.

    In Berlin we have a big problem with whole groups of young people who sympathise with Hamas and the hatred of Jews. Tackling the problem, especially in schools, but also on the streets of some areas is very difficult. There is a big wall of “Stimmungsmache” on social media, and misinformation on dodgy news channels, that is just hard to cut through for anyone outside those groups.

    1. Visegrád 24 reports that some Jewish homes in Berlin are being marked with a Star of David in an intimidation campaign.

    2. Stimmungsmache: interesting word…roughly translated to “mood booster.” I think in the US, we would say “dopamine rush,” the social media crowd desperately seeking likes and follows, etc. to boost their mood with dopamine. I don’t know if this is an apt comparison or not. Either way, I really enjoy cleverly descriptive German words and I will try and commit Stimmungsmache to memory.

      1. A better translation would be “to stir up emotion”. “Mood booster” sounds too positive. “Stimmungsmache” is usually negative, just like “to stir up emotion”, unless specified otherwise, is usually negative. (It’s rarely said what the emotion is.). It has the connotation of replacing logical arguments with emotions.

          1. Good morning everyone and thanks for the clarification- yes unfortunately that term is negative. (And my apologies for being to lazy to find something more fitting in English…) “Stimmungsmache” influences people to take sides by use of unfair methods – fake news, or conjuring lies or pressing people’s buttons on topics that scare them to make them anti-this or pro-that. I suppose the old witch-hunts had a lot of Stimmungsmache about them, just as one example. So not a positive and unfortunately there is so much going around right now that it really makes it difficult to keep a clear picture of reality. I also find that being emotionally upset is not helpful the more complex the situation gets. A clear head is needed to be able to decide what action is the right one, whether one has to serve in the army, protect children in the war zone or from threats, or take a position in regards to Pro-Palestine demonstrators on the streets of any Western democracy today…

  5. “House Republicans. . . . are consumed with an extended struggle of personal grievance, petty beefs, political payback and rampant attention-seeking…”

    They built their campaigns on those very attributes. Chickens are coming home to roost.

    1. Their Cult leader embodies those same attributes through and through, so it’s no surprise his minions do as well. And it’s plain for all to see, this set of traits is antithetical to successful governance. I have a feeling 2024 will not go well for them…

  6. > The beheadings were indeed confirmed. But as The Guardian’s Jerusalem reporter was quick to explain regarding those babies: “It’s not about the manner in which children were killed. It’s about the racist stereotyping of Arabs.”

    The moral perversion of identity politics and wokism leaves me gasping.

    1. One shouldn’t expect much else from the Guardian unfortunately. But it does show a level of ignorance relating to the occupants of Gaza, the Middle East in general and the terrorist attackers many of whom do not identify as “Arabs” plus in any case to be “Arab” is not a race or a de facto terrorist so the so called “racist stereotyping” is nonsense. It goes together with Guardian descriptions of Israelis as predominantly “white” which provides the excuse for accusations of apartheid, colonialism etc whereas the reality is most Israelis are indistinguishable from surrounding nations people.

  7. Jerry wrote: “It’s puzzling that Western governments are firmly on the side of Israel, while Western citizens are largely anti-Israeli (the U.S. is one example).”
    How does one know that “Western citizens are largely anti-Israeli”? The woke are largely anti-Israel, but they are a small share of the population (in the US, less than 10% of the electorate). Before I haven’t seen opinion poll evidence, I won’t believe that “Western citizens are largely anti-Israeli.”

    1. It’s interesting to me that the few evangelical Christians that I know fairly well are pro-Israel and antisemitic. They need Israel to exist for the second-coming but the Jews are Christ-killers.

      1. I cannot speak about Evangelicals, but most of my neighbors are different franchises of Christians, some of whom have lifestyle restrictions at least as severe as the Orthodox Jews.
        Anyway, they tend to be fiercely pro-Israel. They have student exchanges, host rabbinical speakers, and frequently share functions with the Jewish community. It would be unrealistic to suppose that so much positive interaction and shared community is about hating each other but needing them to fulfill some prophecy.

        Although I suppose there are some small number of Christian doomsday cultists who hold the stated views, I suspect most of that sentiment was invented by BDS sympathetic leftists who have enough self awareness to understand that antisemitism is a bad look, and need to ascribe negative motives to people on the other side who seem to be on the right side of the issue.

        “It’s puzzling that Western governments are firmly on the side of Israel, while Western citizens are largely anti-Israeli” is a statement that I don’t think is accurate. Perhaps it would be better to say that in the Western nations, the people most likely to engage in angry public protests include a high percentage of antisemites.

        1. Max, I agree that those Christians I referred to are likely a minority, but I think that their numbers are significant. Most Christians that I know don’t buy into the final days prophesies, rapture, etc.

  8. I was thinking the same thing as Peter. Yes, the university campuses seem disappointingly supportive of Hamas and reflexly opposed to Israel just because. But as I’ve said before, nobody outside academe cares what anyone on university campuses says about anything, ever. It’s almost a badge of dishonour for an idea to have an academic imprimatur on it. Yes, I do worry about the safety of Jewish students on campus when the campuses seem to be overrun with supporters of baby-killers, many of them foreign students courted by the colleges for the big bucks they pay in tuition, (and egged on toward global jihad by Hamas operatives) but hostility to Israel itself is not new in Leftist echo chambers like universities. Charitably, college students are trying on new ideas to see if they fit. Uncharitably, they say whatever it takes to get laid and not be charged with sexual assault afterwards.

    The censorious performative Left has indeed captured the media, the public-sector labour union leadership, the school boards, and elements of political parties and the civil service. Their storm troopers inundate social media with hateful propaganda. Outside the campuses, demonstrations against Israel are largely composed of people who, to put it delicately, look as if they don’t belong here. I believe for most of us, this just gives us another reason to resent and mistrust them, not join their crusade. I’ll also say at the risk of condemnation that the organized black community (in both Canada and the U.S., but yours matters more because it’s more numerous and exerts outsize influence on one political party) has been a major, long-term disappointment on this file and is sinking to new lows since last weekend.

    Governments in democracies who give oral and actual support to Israel must know that their positions are not electoral suicide, else they wouldn’t do it. On some level, governments know that supporting Israel is the right thing to do, whether it’s wildly popular or not. Even if popular support for Israel is only lukewarm or even vaguely hostile (with its taint of “both-sidesism”), politicians know that these voters care more about other issues and will not defeat a government or an individual politician solely on the question of support for Israel. This is where lobbying must not cease.

    Nor do we seriously worry that terrorism in our own countries will increase from the government’s position. Either the would-be terrorists who live here don’t dare, or we’ve managed to allow in only the ones who have become less fanatic as their kids attend school with infidels. That’s progress.

    1. Unfortunately Leslie that doesn’t hold true for a number of countries, France and the UK are examples where the home grown radicals and terrorists do commit outrages and they are not scared of doing it and they are not just Muslim either, the IRA in particular was very active and funded quite successfully from North American expatriates. They are still killing in NI. France has a population of five million muslims.
      Unsustainable blanket immigration coupled with “illegal refugees and economic migrants” poses a future problem as the monitoring and investigation procedures become swamped. Witness the very very large protest by Palestinian supporters in London UK today, Saturday. The UK government stated that any support shown for Hamas would lead to arrest and probable deportation, did not say how this would apply to UK citizens and only have one thousand police officers to monitor a huge demonstration. The reality of during the protest arrests is very unlikely.
      There are many amongst us who take full advantage of the freedoms afforded by our democratic process, freedoms they would readily deny given the opportunity and yet we tolerate this effective “ fifth column “ Environmental changes may lead to mass migration to the Northern hemisphere, witness the problems in Italy with many thousands of sub saharan illegal migrants arriving in one day recently in Lampadusa. Mostly young, mostly unattached male. When one Italian politician stated that we will have to return or even sink the boats or we will be fighting them on the beaches is a close reality in Europe.
      Islam is committed to world domination by fair or foul means this is simply more than “their kids being educated with infidels”
      If this is progress my personal experiences in Europe do not provide me with your optimism.

      1. Optimism doesn’t mean we don’t have to fight for freedom. It doesn’t just happen. I do think we can win if we want to. Assimilation where possible. Force if necessary.
        The Islamists have really tipped their hand on this one. A little xenophobia can be a good thing. If someone says, “Death to infidels” or “Death to the Jews”, we should take him at his word instead of making ecumenical excuses.

        1. Agreed, I will fight for our freedom without mercy but I fear a fair proportion of both our citizens and government representatives are imbibed with the woke doctrine and associated agendas. Your sensible comments on the whole transgender nonsense give me optimism and I hope we are not the lone voice of reason.
          I served in the RAF through almost all of the Cold War and I and my colleagues never wavered in our commitments. I just hope it wasn’t a waste of time and a considerable part of my younger life.

  9. Indian Pudding is so easy to make! corn meal and molasses! Today is Chocolate Covered Insects day. I remember my day at my first job when a colleague passed around a box of chocolates to the staff. The inside of my chocolate was light, fluffy, like a rice krispie, and tasted like hazelnuts. Delicious. After everyone had taken one, the sly guy showed everyone the box: chocolate covered insects (actually larvae).I laughed but no one else did. The ants for sale at the Bucaramonga airport in Colombia are treats sold at important events but with no chocolate, just a kind of sticky honey. I would have tried a sample but they were being sold only by the box.
    Note: eating insects is repulsive to most of us but we eat their cousins: crabs and lobsters, with enthusiasm.

  10. As a general statement IMO Netanyahu’s govt. should now recognize the invasion of Ukraine by Russia with a bit more empathy and co operation. Clearly his govt’s. luke warm limp wrist condemnation is off. Putin has backed Iran and Hamas, Iranian loot and armenants are being used against Israel.
    It’s time for a little more of a solidity effort for Ukraine from Israel even and more so, by what has happened.
    Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, condemned the Hamas attack up front… I wonder why? The Russians will be liking the distraction from their own war crimes.
    On Thursday, February 24, Lapid tweeted, “The Russian attack on Ukraine is a serious violation of international order, Israel condemns the attack, is ready and prepared to provide humanitarian aid to the citizens of Ukraine. Israel is a war-torn country, war is not the way to resolve conflicts.”

    However, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet’s initial public statements did not criticize Russia directly. He instead vaguely communicated that “these are difficult, tragic times.”

    On Monday, February 28, Lapid declared Israel’s decision to co-sponsor a United Nations Resolution condemning the Russian invasion. 

    Israel, despite U.S. President Biden’s request, initially refrained from co-sponsoring this resolution in an effort to maintain neutrality throughout the conflict.

    Israel has yet to enact sanctions against Russia. 

  11. TP reporting in :

    That Indian Pudding recipe is really good.

    I used 1-1/8 tsp of McCormick “Pumpkin Pie Spice” mix instead of individual measures. Also, dry maple sugar granules instead of syrup. Used “Grandma’s” molasses – really unsure of the blackstrap stuff.

    Might use more sugar next time.

    Fresh whipped cream made with confectioner’s sugar recommended.

    Thanks for noting this dessert! Saving this one!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *