Welcome to Sunday, October 29, 2023: sabbath for gentile cats and National Oatmeal Day (not to be spurned if it’s good oatmeal). Here’s a proper bowl of oatmeal I had at Kent Presents (a meeting) on August 17, 2018. It is prepared properly. (Leslie Stahl and her husband were sitting at the next table). Fruit, nuts, cream, and maple syrup! Of course, that reduces the oatmeal’s medicinal value. . .
It’s also Visit a Cemetery Day, Republic Day in Turkey, World Psoriasis Day, World Stroke Day (oy!) and, best of all, National Cat Day. If you’re an American and have a cat, and are the first to send me its photo and a few words (including said cat’s name), I’ll post it below:
Three cat photos arrived at about the same time. The first is from Reese, who titles it “More Woodford Reserve cat”. I gather this black mini-panther guards the grain at the Woodford Reserve bourbon distillery. Reese added more: “Woodford Reserve (White) is the cat’s name, out of a liquor litter. And Eddie the dog is hid best friend, though this looks more like a standoff.”
And Thomas gives us a cat named “Columbine,” adding, “Shelter adopted. Softest fur of any cat we’ve had. Protests vet visit by going limp, and with soft fur, is hard to hold! Works better than fighting. Had to travel RIC – LAX when I got too sick to take care of her. Now lives in sunny LA”
Colin sent a lovely Bengal:
Here’s Ayesha (She Who Must Be Obeyed), as a kitten (Bengal, of course). She’s now about three years old, and is destroying a wicker basket as I write this. She is best friends with our Springer Spaniel Scott, and happily climbs all over him as he tries to sleep. He is very tolerant of her.
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 29 Wikipedia page.
*The NYT describes the latest in the escalating war, and there’s an article on Hamas’s tunnels, which are a formidable barrier.
The Israeli military on Sunday signaled a heavier assault on the Gaza Strip, saying it was “expanding its operations” and increasing the “urgency” of its warning for civilians to move south from Hamas strongholds.
The precise number of soldiers who have been sent into Gaza since Friday remains unclear, but Israeli officials have said the war will go through several stages. Israel’s initial response to Hamas’s attack on Oct. 7 was an intense bombing campaign that Palestinians say has killed thousands of people, many of them children.
For more than two weeks, Israel has been calling on Gazans to move closer to the border with Egypt, an evacuation order that has forced hundreds of thousands to leave their homes and is criticized for intensifying a humanitarian crisis. But Israel has also bombed areas in southern Gaza. Late last week, Palestinians said that airstrikes had damaged telecommunications networks, leaving Gazans without phone or internet service.
Connectivity was being restored on Sunday. And, the Israeli military said, without giving details, that humanitarian efforts to send more aid to Gaza — led by Egypt and the United States — would be expanded on Monday.
Here’s what else to know:
The Israeli military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, asked Gazans again on Sunday to move south. In a post on social media, he said: “Today, we increase that urgency of that warning: Civilians in northern Gaza and Gaza City should temporarily move south of Wadi Gaza to a safer area, where they can receive water, food and medicine.”
Videos released by the Israeli military and geolocated by The New York Times indicate at least three separate places where Israeli troops have crossed the border into Gaza over the past few days.
The threat of the conflict spilling into other parts of the region was again on display on Sunday. President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran said Israel had crossed a “red line which may force everyone to take action.”
This is going to be hard fighting, compounded by the very real possibility that the hostages are sequestered in the tunnels along with Hamas fighters. It’s going to be a long, hard fight, and a bloody one, and I hope that the IDF by now has at least a rudimentary map of where the tunnels are, and some information about the hostages After they’re cleared they should all be filled with cement. And, of course, the money it took to build this elaborate system came from humanitarian aid stolen by Hamas.
*Speaking of tunnels, the Jerusalem Post gives evidence (audio), as well as a simulation, showing how Hamas has put one of its headquarters underneath Gaza’s biggest hospital, the Al-Shifa hospital. This has been well known for years. Now why do you suppose Hamas does that? (To prevent Israel from bombing the hospital, because Israel doesn’t deliberately bomb hospitals, dummy!)
The IDF revealed how the Hamas terrorist organization uses Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City as a command and control center, in a video played as part of an English briefing on Friday night.
IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari shared a video that showcased an intricate network of passageways and chambers deep beneath the hospital and other civilian buildings – where innocent Gazan civilians receive medical care and other services – such as mosques, UNRWA centers, and more. Hamas uses these buildings as shields for its own military efforts.
“Hamas wages war from hospitals,” he stressed, adding that this “not only endangers the lives of Israelis but exploits innocent Gazan civilians as human shields.”
Hagari shared a conversation recorded between two anonymous people, during which Speaker B asks: “Where are the main headquarters of Al-Qasam Brigades?” Speaker A responds: “Under the compound Al-Shifa. Yes, the leadership headquarters are under the Al-Shifa compound. Bathrooms, rooms, headquarters.”
The next day, on Saturday, the IDF and Shin Bet released further documentation of the organization’s use of the hospital, publishing clips from two interrogations of terrorists captured on October 7 after the massacre.
In the video, one of the terrorists openly admits that these tunnels and operation rooms are located under hospitals, including the Al-Shifa Hospital.
The article has two calls between Gazans confirming tunnels beneath the hospital.
Hamas denies this, of course, but listen to the audio form the IDF in the article above (none of the audios released by the IDF so far have been shown to be phony). And here’s some video of interrogations.
IDF releases footage of the interrogation of Hamas terrorists who participated in the October 7 massacre in southern Israel, where they reveal that the terror group has a hideout under Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. pic.twitter.com/kCwKOBWUGr
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) October 28, 2023
And yet you won’t hear the U.S. or U.K. press discussing this. It’s amazing that those in favor of Hamas or of the Palestinians who hate Israel completely ignore these blatant and disgusting use of hospital shields.
If you want to see people in the last week desperately removing evidence for Hamas’s use of the hospital as a shield, go to the “writing history” for the Wikipedia article on the hospital.
*And an op-ed by Dennis Ross, former U.S. envoy to the Middle East, “I might have once favored a cease-fire with Hamas, but not now.”
After Oct. 7, there are many Israelis who believe their survival as a state is at stake. That may sound like an exaggeration, but to them, it’s not. If Hamas persists as a military force and is still running Gaza after this war is over, it will attack Israel again. And whether or not Hezbollah opens a true second front from Lebanon during this conflict, it, too, will attack Israel in the future. The aim of these groups, both of which are backed by Iran, is to make Israel unlivable and drive Israelis to leave: While Iran has denied involvement in the Hamas attack, Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, has long talked about Israel not surviving for another 25 years, and his strategy has been to use these militant proxies to achieve that goal.
Given the strength of Israel’s military — by far the most powerful in the region — the aims of Iran and its collaborators seemed implausible until a few weeks ago. But the events of Oct. 7 changed everything. As one commander in the Israeli military said, “If we do not defeat Hamas, we cannot survive here.”
Israel is not alone in believing it must defeat Hamas. Over the past two weeks, when I talked to Arab officials throughout the region whom I have long known, every single one told me that Hamas must be destroyed in Gaza. They made clear that if Hamas is perceived as winning, it will validate the group’s ideology of rejection, give leverage and momentum to Iran and its collaborators and put their own governments on the defensive.
But they said this in private. Their public postures have been quite different. Only a few Arab states openly condemned the Hamas massacre of more than 1,400 people in Israel. Why? Because Arab leaders understood that as Israel retaliated and Palestinian casualties and suffering grew, their own citizens would be outraged and they needed to be seen as standing up for the Palestinians, at least rhetorically.
. . . As Israel’s aerial bombardment of Gaza picks up in pace and civilian casualties rise, international calls for an immediate cease-fire are mounting. Some are calling for Israel to call off a ground invasion. But ending the war now would mean Hamas would win. At present, its military infrastructure still exists, its leadership remains largely intact, and its political control of Gaza is unchallenged. As Hamas did after conflicts with Israel in 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2021, the group will almost certainly rearm and restore. It will be able to add to its system of tunnels running under the enclave. The strip will remain impoverished, and the next round of war will be inevitable, holding both Gazan civilians and much of the rest of the Middle East hostage to Hamas’s aims.
. . . Israel’s political leaders need to clearly and publicly emphasize they will leave Gaza and lift the siege after Hamas has been militarily defeated and largely disarmed. They must communicate that they understand a political resolution is needed with the Palestinians more generally. That is not a message Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now conveying, given the shock in Israel and the makeup of his government. But it is one Israel’s partners in the region need to hear — and soon.
Finally, Ross’s, his call for the rebuilding of Gaza includes this:
For Israel to reduce the pressure from its neighbors and the international community to stop its attack, it must demonstrate more convincingly that it is fighting Hamas and is not trying to punish Palestinian civilians. It must create safe corridors for humanitarian assistance, including from Israeli territory through the Kerem Shalom crossing point. To alleviate the suffering, it should allow international groups, such as Doctors Without Borders, to operate safely there and include Israeli doctors who can set up field hospitals — something they have experience doing in Syria and Ukraine.
Malgorzata had a few sharp words for Ross’s favoring post-war aid:
Thanks. Interesting. Still, I prefer Bennet’s idea. Ross, as during his whole career Ross has demanded much more from Israel than from any other nation. A humanitarian corridor through Israel for the likes of the family of the murderer Anjuli Pandavar quoted! Israeli doctors giving loving care to them. Israelis trusting Doctors Without Borders, who are as antisemitic as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and who were caught lying about terrorists being “innocent civilians” so many times. He seems to forget that Israelis are humans and not imaginary Christian angels forgiving their murderers and giving them comfort when they suffer. And, as usual, Ross seems totally disinterested in other suffering refugees (Syrians, Yemenis etc.) Is it because their sufferings were not caused by Jews? He doesn’t demand such massive help for them as he demands for “poor Palestinians”.
Agreed. But after this is over, Netanyahu will be ignominiously thrown out of office, or so I think.
*The killer of 18 in Lewiston, Maine, was finally found, dead. He shot himself after he was identified as a suspect and became the goal of a huge manhunt.
Law enforcement separately found a letter addressed to a loved one with the passcode to Card’s phone and bank account numbers. Maine Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck at its “tone and tenor is that the individual is not going to be around,” but it wasn’t an “explicit suicide note.”
The shooter also left behind a legally purchased long gun in a vehicle abandoned near a boat ramp near the Androscoggin River. Police said the ramp is connected to a walking trail along the waterway that leads to the parking lot where Card’s body was found along with two other firearms, also legally obtained. The commissioner rebuffed a question about whether the police should’ve searched that area sooner, saying they didn’t know it was connected to the recycling center.
Authorities said Card had mental health problems and paranoia, and had not yet found evidence of a specific motive. They had found no records of Card being forcibly committed for mental health treatment and are seeking to confirm whether he received any voluntary treatment.
If we had stricter gun regulations, not only might those 18 people still be alive, but so would Card.
*Finally a new Beatles song will soon be released! New! Never released before! From Guitar Player via Mark:
The Beatles have announced that they are to release a new – and reportedly final – single on 2 November, 2023. Yeah, that’s right: The Beatles are releasing a single. Now And Then will be the last Beatles song – written and sung by John Lennon, developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and completed by Paul and Ringo over four decades later.
Now And Then will be released as a “double A-side single” that pairs the last Beatles song with the first – Love Me Do, the band’s debut UK single from 1962 – and by doing so they’re about to fix a weird glitch in the band’s back catalogue.
Both songs are mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos®. Acclaimed pop artist Ed Ruscha has designed the cover for the single which will be available to stream, download and as a 7″ black and colored vinyl record (light blue andclear), on 12-inch black vinyl and as a limited edition Beatles Store-exclusive cassette and 7-inch blue and white marbled vinyl.
Okay, so it wasn’t recorded all at once, and it’s not clear if they’ll use original vocals by John and George. But we Beatles mavens have to take what we can get. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is concerned with psychotherapy, which, in its Freudian version, is pure quackery.
Hili: I’m depressed.A: Why?Hili: I see an overproduction of psychotherapists.
Hili: Jestem w depresji.Ja: Z jakiego powodu?Hili: Widzę nadprodukcję psychoterapeutów.
From Jesus of the Day (no artist is given):
And a humorous/satirical video apparently depicting a Leftist American college student’s views. As Anna said, who sent this, “I am glad to see some people can keep their sense of humor in this situation…”
From Masih; Iran finally announced that the latest woman beaten into a coma by the morality police (for not wearing the hijab!) has died. Dead for want of a headscarf!
In 21st century girls are getting killed in Iran for the crime of refusing to cover their hair.
Today regime’s official media announced the death of #ArmitaGaravand. What they omit is that 16 year old Armita was beaten by hijab police into a coma. Yes, after the brutal murder of… pic.twitter.com/rvQiToOYgy
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) October 28, 2023
Scientific American has this deeply flawed paper (see my critique) pinned at the top of its Twitter feed. Oy, they’re proud of it!
The notion that men evolved to hunt and women to tend to children and domestic duties is one of anthropology’s most influential ideas. But the available data do not support it. Evidence from studies of physiology, archaeology and fossils point to women having a long history of… pic.twitter.com/Nxp256oonx
— Scientific American (@sciam) October 17, 2023
From Peter, a lovely cat mini-video:
Barry says “this is the cutest thing you’ll see today.” So far he’s right!
Can everybody just Please look at this domestic silk moth pic.twitter.com/FLoI3fXgdN
— Nature is Amazing ☘️ (@AMAZlNGNATURE) October 27, 2023
From Jez, who says “The BBC is doing their job properly, for once”:
BBC: “How do you justify killing civilians?”
Hamas Spokesman: “Our attack was targetted on military sites. No command was given to kill civilians.”
BBC: “But hundreds of civilians were killed, entire families, in their sleep.”
Hamas Spokesman: “I want to stop this interview.” pic.twitter.com/XSZpVGatZd
— Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid) October 27, 2023
From Frits; big cats knead (I call it “making biscuits”) just like little ones:
Many theories exist that explain why cats knead, from a form of communication to a remnant instinct related to sursing, to the ancestral action to tread down grass for making a nest
What's almost 100% sure is that all cats do this
[📹Lion Country Safari]pic.twitter.com/Vkg3yUfVnK
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) October 27, 2023
From Simon, who shows us that the centerpiece of the all-white “Unite the Right” rally is gone. Or, to quote the Band,
“Virgil, quick, come see,There goes Robert E. Lee!”
Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee statue has met its end, in a 2,250-degree furnace.
The divisive Confederate monument, the focus of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in 2017, was secretly melted down and will become a new piece of public art.
More on the process:… pic.twitter.com/XatZUfvku3
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 26, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial, a Dutch girl, age 7, gassed upon arrival. Had she lived she’d be 86 today.
29 October 1937 | A Dutch Jewish girl, Emma Sarah Overweg, was born in Dordrecht.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) October 29, 2023
Matthew graced us with a new tweet today—a cat stamp!
— Stamps Bot (@StampsBot) October 28, 2023