Welcome to the beginning of the “work” week: Monday, October 16, 2023, and National Liqueur Day. Here’s the best one (get the green version, not the yellow). I’ve noticed that the price of at least the green version (the one I buy) has risen substantially in price over the last few years, and Wikipedia tells us why:
Meanwhile, in a separate decision, the Carthusian monks decided in 2019 to limit Chartreuse production to 1.6 million bottles per year, citing the environmental impacts of production, and the monks’ desire to focus on solitude and prayer. The combination of fixed production and increased demand has resulted in shortages of Chartreuse across the world.
It’s also The Birth of the Báb, National Dictionary Day, World Food Day, Pope John Paul II Day (in Poland), and, most important Global Cat Day. The first reader who sends in a photo of their cat (with a name and a few words of description) will have it added right here.
Aaaaand. . . . the winner is reader Simon, who sent this caption:
Balian studies bubbles while Harry ignores the news on Friday—too depressing for a cat to hear. Balian is obsessed with sparkling drinks. He will sit and study bottles of fizzy water for ages
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 16 Wikipedia page.
*The latest on the war from the NYT. I’ll add that Israel is now allowing supplies of food, water and medicine to be sent to Gaza, but not fuel. I haven’t seen that in the NYT.
Diplomats struggled to ease an escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza and get foreigners out of the blockaded enclave as intensifying clashes along Israel’s border with Lebanon and Israeli airstrikes inside Syria stoked fears of a wider conflict in the region.
With senior Israeli military officers signaling their intent to invade Gaza, Israel’s new emergency wartime government held its first formal meeting on Sunday, and appeared to be preparing for the invasion. “We will take Hamas apart,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the government ministers, according to a statement from his office.
The United States sent a second aircraft carrier strike group, the Dwight D. Eisenhower, to the eastern Mediterranean, joining the Gerald R. Ford and its escorts, to help “to deter hostile actions against Israel or any efforts toward widening this war,” Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said in a statement.
Three more tidbits:
Fighting along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon has escalated in recent days. On Sunday, at least one Israeli was killed and three others were wounded after fire from Lebanon hit the border community of Shtula in northern Israel. The Israeli military said it was returning fire.
The U.S. secretary of state, Antony J. Blinken, who has been in the region since Thursday meeting with Israeli and Arab leaders, and said he had a “very good conversation” in Cairo with the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Mr. Blinken said that David Satterfield, a veteran diplomat, will arrive in the region on Monday to start trying to coordinate shipments of humanitarian aid into Gaza.
Israeli airstrikes overnight at the international airport in Aleppo, Syria, materially damaged the site, disrupting service there, according to Syrian state media. Earlier in the week, Israel said it attacked airports in Aleppo and Damascus.
The NYT is still saying that medicines, water, and food are being kept out of Gaza by the siege, despite the Times of Israel’s report otherwise. Somebody has got it wrong.
Fighting between Israel and Islamic militants along its northern border with Lebanon intensified Sunday, even as Israeli forces continued to strike Gaza in the south ahead of an imminent ground invasion and amid a growing humanitarian crisis.
. . .Israeli jets carried out attacks against Lebanon-based militants, which include Iranian ally Hezbollah, after they launched at least six strikes against Israeli territory. Five people were injured in the Israeli town of Shtula after Hezbollah fired antitank missiles, Israel’s military said.
The developments in the north highlights the risks of the conflict spreading, especially as Israel prepares for an unprecedented ground assault against Gaza in retaliation for last week’s attack by Hamas militants that killed at least 1,400 Israelis—the worst single-day death toll for Jews since the Holocaust.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that the U.S. remained concerned about Hezbollah’s actions and that skirmishes across the Israel-Lebanon border increase the risk of escalation. The U.S. has reached out to Iran, which backs the militant group, to express its concerns, he told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “But of course, we can’t rule out that Iran would choose to get directly engaged in some way; we have to prepare for every possible contingency,” he said.
I’m really not that afraid of a wider war, largely because the U.S. has warned other nations (aka Lebanon) not to get involved, for they’ll face some serious weapons if they do. But Israel is managing to take out Hamas higher-ups:
An Israeli airstrike in southern Gaza killed Billal Al Kedra, a Hamas commander responsible for the Kibbutz Nirim massacre, late Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces said Sunday. It vowed to eliminate the remaining Hamas leaders, including Yahya Sinwar, the group’s leader in Gaza. “Mr. Sinwar is a dead man walking,” Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, the IDF’s top international spokesman, said.
Sometimes the IDF has a sense of humor, however grim. I suspect Sinwar is sweating bullets.
*Pay for Slay Department. According to Palestine Media Watch, the Palestinian Authority is, as usual, going to pay off the Hamas butchers of last week for killing Jews.
Under Palestinian Authority law, every terrorist who is killed attacking Israel is defined as a “Martyr” whose family is immediately rewarded by the PA with a 6,000 shekels ($1,511) grant and a 1,400 ($353) per month allowance for life.
This means each family of the 1,500 dead Hamas terrorists who invaded Israel will receive 7,400 shekels for this first month. Families of those terrorists who were married and had children will receive even more. The PA will pay at least 11,100,000 shekels ($2,789,430) this month as a reward for participating in last week’s murders and atrocities against Israeli civilians.
In addition, the 50 captured Hamas terrorist murderers will receive monthly salaries in prison starting at 1,400 shekels/month which will eventually rise to 12,000 shekels/month. Terrorists who are married and have children will receive even higher salaries. This month these newly arrested terrorists will receive at least 70,000 shekels ($17,590).
In total, the PA will pay at least 11,170,000 shekels ($2,807,021) in payments under the PA’s “Pay-for-Slay” program to the Hamas terrorists this month. This is a low estimate since as the war continues there will be additional Hamas terrorist “Martyrs” and prisoners. This figure is added to the more than 100,000,000 shekels/month the PA already pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of terrorist “Martyrs.”
This “pay for slay” program is one of the more odious and inhumane things that the Palestinian Authority does (note: this is not Hamas, this is the group that runs the West Bank and is supposed to be more moderate). Do people not know about this program and who pays the dosh for killing Jewish civilians? How do they justify it?x
*Mirabile dictu: the theocratic and despotic “Law and Justice Party of Poland” (Andrzej and Malgorzata hate them) appears to have suffered a resounding setback in today’s elections, at least according to exit polls. From Politico:
Poland’s opposition parties look like they’ve won a solid victory in the country’s general election, according to an exit poll released immediately after voting ended at 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Although the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) came first in terms of support, three leading opposition parties would have a majority of seats in the 460-member parliament.
If the result holds, it’s a stunning defeat for PiS and could help thaw relations between Brussels and Warsaw. The party mobilized the full resources of the state to help it win, and it was also strongly backed by state media — which are firmly in the ruling party’s camp.
PiS was hobbled, however, by a growing number of scandals — including allegations that officials were selling vistas for bribes. Eight years of tensions and social conflict, with fights over abortion, rule of law, grain imports from Ukraine, and awful relations with the EU, which has frozen the payout of billions over rule of law worries, also eroded support for PiS.
Now this is based on exit polling, and so it may be wrong, but it would require a number of people lying to pollsters (and in the direction that could demonize them) to be wrong. Tomorrow we’ll know if Poland sees a brighter future. Today: so far, the results are holding up, although they’re still based on exit Poles. Malgorzata and Andrzej are pretty sure the days of the odious Law and Justice Party are over.
*And a bit of light news from the AP’s “oddities” section. A man got a traffic ticket for, he thought, $1.4 million!
Georgia man was left reeling after receiving a $1.4 million speeding ticket, but city officials say the figure was just a placeholder, not the actual fine.
Connor Cato tells WSAV-TV in Savannah that he received the citation after getting pulled over in September for driving 90 mph (145 kph) in a 55 mph (89 kph) zone.
He called the court thinking the figure was a typo but says he was told he either had to pay it or appear in court in December.
Savannah officials say anyone caught driving more than 35 mph (56 kph) above the speed limit has to appear in court, where a judge will determine the actual fine.
The figure Cato received reflected a “placeholder” that was automatically generated by e-citation software used by the local Recorder’s Court, said Joshua Peacock, a spokesman for Savannah’s city government. The actual fine cannot exceed $1,000 in addition to state-mandated costs.
“We do not issue that placeholder as a threat to scare anybody into court, even if this person heard differently from somebody in our organization,” Peacock told The Associated Press.
I hope they clarified the situation to the guy soon after he got the bad news from the court that he had to pay the fine or appear before a judge!
From Ant, a Dan Piraro “Bizarro” cartoon:
From Jesus of the Day. Crikey, what a jerk! (Maybe they’re feuding.)
From Merilee: a Scott Metzger cartoon:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is concerned with her means of egress:
Hili: This magnolia is blocking the steps.A: I know but Małgorzata forbids any trimming of it.
Hili: Ta magnolia włazi na schodki.Ja: Wiem, ale Małgorzata nie pozwala jej przycinać.
And a lovely photo of Baby Kulka showing her belly:
From Maish. The fricking Morality Police should be disbanded, but there’s no chance of that:
This woman is shouting; “ Death to Khamenei”, after morality police beaten her and injured her leg for not wearing hijab in Tabriz, Iran.
A young girl who filmed this says: 3 hijab enforcers warned her to cover her hair but she refused.
They called ambulance & didn’t let people… pic.twitter.com/fhhPvJNNHe
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) October 15, 2023
From Malcolm. This is stunning:
From a professor of Astronomy and Physics at the University of California at Davis (h/t David):
In 2017 when neo nazis marched in Charlotteville yielding Tikki torches, spokespeople at every university raced to denounce them. My own chancellor wrote:
“There was only one side that provoked the hate-fueled violence…” and
“We cannot allow our institutions of higher learning…
— Inna Vishik (@InnaVishik) October 10, 2023
From Simon. AGREED!
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) August 20, 2023
From Jez, note that it’s retweeted by Martina Navratilova. Sound up. (h/t Jez and Matthew)
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) October 14, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial, a lovely five year old girl, gassed to death upon arrival at Auschwitz. This is what those Australian demonstrators in Sydney wanted to kill when they shouted, “Gas the Jews!”
16 October 1938 | A Hungarian Jewish girl, Klara Boda, was born.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) October 16, 2023
Tweets from Dr. Cobb. The first clearly comes from his researching his next book: a biography of Francis Crick:
A very rare example of Crick’s lectures being transcribed verbatim and then heavily edited (by him) to produce an article. This is from a meeting at Houston in November 1964. You can sense the liveliness in the spoken version, the taut restraint in the published text. pic.twitter.com/hCYvBuct2t
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) October 15, 2023
What is this creature?
— Shayne Calliss (@SCalliss) October 13, 2023
This photo isn’t colorized, but the color’s been enhanced, probably with AI. Still a great photo:
Travel back 108 years to the days before the Great War: This dapper chap was photographed using a very early kodachrome technique, way back in 1914. Cigarette cases may have passed into history, but his gaze is very much of the here & now. This is a colour photo & not colourised pic.twitter.com/4KkAUNH3WA
— BabelColour (@StuartHumphryes) October 25, 2022