Welcome to a Hump Day (“Lá Hump” in Irish): November 1, 2023; November is upon us, and there’s no hope until Spring. Foodimentary says that it’s National Bison Day, and I guess you’re supposed to eat the meat, but I haven’t and don’t think I will. A photo from Fermilab, which is partly run by the University of Chicago. They have their own bison herd!
It’s also the Mexican Day of the Dead on Nov. 1 and 2.
And it’s these Food Months;
National Fun with Fondue Month
National Georgia Pecan Month
National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month
National Pepper Month
National Stuffing Month
National Raisin Bread Month
November 1-7: National Fig Week
It’s also All Saints’ Day, Eat Smart Day, National Calzone Day (cultural appropriation), National Author’s Day (which author are they referring to?), National Cinnamon Day (best used in rolls), World Vegan Day, National Paté Day, National Deep Fried Clams Day, Coronation of the fifth Druk Gyalpo in Bhutan, International Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome Awareness Day, (a form of epilepsy), National Brush Day (your teeth), National Awakening Day in Bulgaria, and the first day of winter observances, which include Calan Gaeaf in Wales, with celebrations that started at sunset yesterday, and Samhain in the Northern Hemisphere and Beltane in the Southern Hemisphere, with celebrations that started at sunset yesterday(Neopagan Wheel of the Year)
Today’s Google Doodle is a gif that celebrates the Mexican Day of the Dead (click on gif screenshot to go to linked page):
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the November 1 Wikipedia page.
*The latest war news from the NYT shows that people are starting to trickle into Egypt, though not Americans. But Americans are on the ground in Gaza, helping locate hostages:
Egypt was set to receive hundreds of foreign passport holders and seriously wounded Palestinians through its border crossing with Gaza on Wednesday morning, the first such departure out of the battered territory since the war between Hamas and Israel began more than three weeks ago, according to Western diplomats in Cairo and Jerusalem and the Gaza authorities.
Photos showed people moving through a gate on the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing and walking toward the gate leading into Egypt. The crossing has been the focus of heated international negotiations as the only possible escape route, as well as the only entry point for relief supplies, as Israel has continued its three-week bombing campaign, sealed off other crossings and sent troops deep into the 140-square-mile enclave.
Egypt told Gazan authorities that more than 80 seriously wounded people from Gaza would be allowed into Egypt on Wednesday to be treated at hospitals there, according to a statement from Gaza’s General Authority for Crossings and Borders. Western diplomats in Cairo and Jerusalem said that foreign passport holders and their families, as well as some Palestinian staff working for international aid organizations, would be able to leave Wednesday.
American citizens are not expected to be among Wednesday’s evacuees, other than those working for certain aid groups, but they are slated to follow in batches later in the week, three of the diplomats said. A U.S. State Department email sent to U.S. citizens in Gaza said “limited departures from Gaza may begin this week.”
On Tuesday, an Israeli airstrike hit a densely populated neighborhood of Gaza. Israel said the strike had successfully targeted Hamas militants who were central to the Oct. 7 massacre of more than 1,400 people in southern Israel. Hamas and hospital officials said hundreds had been wounded or killed in the Jabaliya neighborhood, home to Gaza’s largest refugee camp.
Israeli forces continued to press deeper into Gaza on Tuesday, reaching the Al Karama neighborhood north of Gaza City and advancing toward a major highway that runs through the enclave, the Gazan interior ministry said. The Hamas-run ministry said Israel’s military appeared to be seeking “to separate the northern Gaza Strip from its south.”
The Pentagon said that American commandos were on the ground in Israel to help locate the more than 200 hostages seized during the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.
This is going to be a long and bloody war, and who knows how it will come out?
*The NYT describes the uproar that posters of kidnapped Israelis is causing in America, a topic I wrote about three days ago.
“KIDNAPPED,” the posters say, in big block letters above pictures of people taken hostage by Hamas terrorists during the Oct. 7 attack in Israel, urgent reminders of the men, women and children still being held hostage in Gaza.
But on college campuses and in cities around the world in recent weeks, people have been caught tearing them down.
. . .Displaying the posters has become a form of activism, keeping the more than 200 hostages seized by Hamas in full view of the public.
But removing the posters has quickly emerged as its own form of protest — a release valve and also a provocation by those anguished by the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians in the years before Oct. 7 and since the bombing of Gaza began.
Some of those caught destroying the posters have been condemned on social media. A dentist in Boston and a person in South Florida, among others, have lost their jobs.
. . . Those who object to the posters have derided them as wartime propaganda. Critics of those tearing them down have characterized the act as antisemitic and lacking basic humanity. Increasingly, the disputes seem to teeter on the brink of violence, a proxy battle for the life-or-death war in the Middle East.
To Nitzan Mintz, one of the artists behind the fliers, watching them go viral in the first place was a shock. Seeing people rip down the posters has revealed what she said was clear antisemitism. “By accident this campaign did more than bring an awareness of the kidnapped people,” she said. “It brought awareness of how hated we are as a community.”
And yay! for Willam and Mary:
Regulations surrounding where fliers are allowed to be posted tend to be made by local governments, and college campuses usually have their own rules, said Tim Zick, a professor of law at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Va.
The salient issue, he said, is one of free expression. “As a matter of free speech, people who oppose the ‘kidnapped’ posters could erect posters of their own, expressing their views,” Professor Zick said.
I believe that if Israelis had kidnapped Palestinians after the kind of butchery of Palestinians that Hamas wrought against Israel on October 7, there could be posters of kidnapped Palestinians, and I would hope that Jewish people would leave them up as a sign of sympathy with those suffering needlessly. I would not tear them down. And of course sympathizers with Gaza would object vociferously if these were torn down, as they should. The posters are political
*And OMG, the NYT also has a big story about the world’s worst confection: “Is it time to give candy corn the respect it deserves?”
This woman needs therapy:
Sitting in her Wiggins, Miss., home one fall afternoon, Wanda King began counting all of the candy corn flavors she has collected over the years.
She quickly ran out of fingers.
There is sea salt chocolate, caramel, peppermint, cookies, Starburst, Sour Patch Kids, apple pie, pumpkin pie, s’mores and three separate coffee flavors. Others are slightly more imaginative, like blackberry cobbler. Some are holiday themed, like eggnog and witch’s teeth, which are off white with green tips. Others in her collection try to mimic meals — like a brunch-flavored bag with kernels that taste like French toast, waffles and pancakes.
“It is the ultimate survival sugar rush,” she said, noting that she’d recently checked the freshness of a batch from 2017. “Candy corn don’t go bad. It’ll last forever.”
Catching her breath, Ms. King, 62, said she had amassed nearly 40 varieties, which she stores neatly in Mason jars in a guest bedroom.
With so much candy corn on the market, who’s eating it? And how? Fifty-one percent of Americans eat the whole piece at once, and 31 percent start nibbling the tiny pieces at the narrow white end, according to a recent survey by the National Confectioners Association. The remaining 18 percent start with the yellow end.
No matter how it’s eaten, candy corn regularly tops the list of most divisive treats alongside black licorice and circus peanuts, Ms. Benjamin said. Each fall, when pumpkins take center stage and candy is sold by the bucket, discord breaks out between the lovers and haters of candy corn.
The haters are right!
. . . it’s been about 30 years since Ray Garton, 60, a horror novelist in Northern California, last had candy corn. “It’s the consistency, how it feels between my teeth and the taste,” he said. “It’s just too sweet. It makes me shudder just thinking about it.”
They discuss the lovers, too (one s above), but I’ll pass on and show this cartoon from the NYT:
*From the WaPo, an article called “Jewish students braced for antisemitism and violence. It’s happening.” Note that it doesn’t refer to Muslim students being assaulted by Jews, and that’s because it almost never happens.
College administrators braced at the start of the Israel-Gaza conflict for an outbreak of antisemitism, Islamophobia, harassment and even violence. Free speech advocates predicted infringements on constitutional rights. Now, as the raid by Hamas against Israeli civilians gives way to wider combat in the region, those fears appear to be coming to fruition. The solemn and peaceable candlelight vigils from earlier this month preceded uglier confrontations, leaving Jewish college students feeling anxious, afraid and unsafe.
Israel’s counterattack against Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, has brought forth intense protests nationwide, including on college campuses. At many rallies for Palestinian sovereignty and human rights, demonstrators have usedvariations of a phrase that some Jewish students call a threat: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Defenders of the phrase often say that the line refers to a one-state solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians over that tract of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, in which Arabs and Jews could have equal voting rights. But the U.S. and U.N. position is that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state and that the conflict should be solved with a “two-state solution,” one country for each group.
On Thursday, a pro-Palestinian rally near Tulane’s campus turned violent, leaving Dylan Mann, a Jewish student, with broken nose. In video of the event, a protester sought to light an Israeli flag on fire, prompting a pro-Israel demonstrator to try to snatch the flag. In an ensuing melee, a couple of the demonstrators, who appeared to be pro-Palestinian, repeatedly struck Mann, videos show. Mann went to the hospital for treatment, he told The Post in an interview Monday.
Here’s a video of some of that real violence at Tulane, a video embedded in the WaPo article. It’s from Fox News, but take that up with the WaPo:
There’s a much smaller section on actions against Palestinian supporters, because there isn’t much, though Florida governorRon DeSantis tried to get campus chapters of National Students for Justice in Palestine be “deactivated.” Odious and hateful as that group is, it has a right to exist and speak. But Jewish students are not heaping verbal abuse or physical violence on their “opponents” nearly as much, so put the onus of blame on the SJP and its supporters. In comparison to pro-Palestinian activists, Jewish students, as they are on campus here, are far more peaceful and less disruptive. I hope to write about that soon, as we’ve had some conflict at Chicago.
Meanwhile, the NYT reports this:
Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, said threats against Jewish people in the United States are reaching “historic levels.”
“The Jewish community is targeted by terrorists really across the spectrum — homegrown violent extremists, foreign terrorist organizations, both Sunni and Shia, domestic violent extremists,” Wray told senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee. He said that Jewish people represent less than 3 percent of the American population, but receive about 60 percent of the religious-based hate crimes.
*Kansas, a red state, has been the scene of bitter battles about abortion, but reason has triumphed: a state referendum last year turned down Republican’s attempts to amend the state constitution, saying that abortion was not a “right.”
A Kansas judge on Monday put a new state law on medication abortions on hold and blocked older restrictions that for years have spelled out what providers must tell patients and forced patients to wait 24 hours to end their pregnancies.
The ruling was another big victory for abortion rights advocates in Kansas, where a statewide vote in August 2022 decisively confirmed protections for abortion access under the state constitution. District Judge K. Christopher Jayaram’s order suspends some restrictions that have been in effect for years. The waiting period had been in place since 1997.
. . . Jayaram’s order is set to remain in effect through the trial set for the end of June 2024 for a lawsuit filed by abortion providers, against state officials who would enforce abortion restrictions. The providers filed their case in Johnson County in the Kansas City area, home to two clinics that provide abortions.
. . .Jayaram concluded that the restrictions now on hold violate a patient’s right to bodily autonomy. The judge also ruled that they violate doctors’ free speech rights by giving doctors “no discretion” to omit any of the material mandated by the state.
“In addition, there is no credible evidence that the mandatory delays imposed by the Act for arbitrary periods of time are likely to, in fact, improve either the consent/decision-making process by pregnant patients or conduct by the medical profession,” the judge wrote.
Republican lawmakers argued this year that “reasonable restrictions” are still fair game. A law that took effect July 1 required abortion providers to tell their patients that a medication abortion can be stopped using a regimen touted by anti-abortion groups. The state agreed not to enforce it until another ruling from Jayaram.
Ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, Republican lawmakers (mostly men, of course) have done their best to make abortion illegal, sometimes even after rapes or incest. I hope some of the pushback in Kansas will spread, and that people will come to their senses. But since much of the pro-life movement is based on religion, it’s an uphill battle.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is pondering:
A: Are you going for a walk?Hili: I’m thinking about it.
Ja: Idziesz na spacer?Hili: Właśnie się nad tym zastanawiam.
From reader Smith Powell. I don’t know if this is real; I doubt it but it’s still funny:
A Gary Larson Far Side cartoon from Divy (it’s 40 years old!). As I said, my dad loved liver and onions, but my mother had to cook it and hated the smell (as did my sister and I):
And a Scott Metzger cart00n (sadly, I’ve forgotten the source):
From Masih: the Iranian morality police are still at it, and the women are standing up to it (note the guy taking photos):
The Islamic regime’s morality police bully and harass women for the mere act of #WalkingUnveiled. While these oppressors film and photograph these brave women to report them, the women’s resounding response is: ‘We’re not afraid of you. #WomanLifeFreedom
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) October 31, 2023
A colorized photo by Lewis Hine (read the whole text). Hine (1874-1940) was a great photographer, and his pictures of young children at work help bring about huge reforms in child-labor laws in America.
Josie (6 years old), Bertha (6 years old) and Sophie (10 years old) worked regularly at the Maggioni Canning Company.
Work began at 4 AM, and the three would make from $9 to $15 a week.
Sophie would do six pots of oyster a day, and her mother, who also worked with her,… pic.twitter.com/hB2LGN56i8
— Fascinating (@fasc1nate) October 30, 2023
From Malcolm, who calls this “a true monorail cat”. There’s music:
Oh god he comin pic.twitter.com/80ftmVHi3z
— Why you should have a cat (@ShouldHaveCat) October 29, 2023
From gravelinspector. Yes, it’s sort of an ad, but I bought a pair to give to Elzbieta, owner of Leon and Mietek, and a friend of Andrzej and Malgorzata. She loved them and sent me a photo of her feet looking like cats’ feet!
🎁Funny Christmas Gifts🎁
The unique animal foot design makes your feet stand out and adds a lot of fun to your life.🤣
— Kosuva (@KosuvaCo) October 13, 2023
From Simon who said, “She has a point.” I didn’t get the point at first, but then the penny droopped.
Mike Pence should be forced to carry his Presidential campaign to term. pic.twitter.com/Hvel5FUzsn
— Melanie D'Arrigo (@DarrigoMelanie) October 28, 2023
From Barry. Note that other primates NEVER open bananas the way we do. We should taken lessons from them:
I know they can speak they just don’t want to pay taxes pic.twitter.com/xhJl7O71ds
— Nature is Amazing ☘️ (@AMAZlNGNATURE) October 28, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial: An author whose children’s books didn’t save her from the gas:
1 November 1877 | A German Jewish woman, Else Ury, was born in Berlin. A writer known primarily for her children's books from the 'Nesthäkche'n series.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 1, 2023
One lonely tweet from Matthew today, but he’s BACK ON TWITTER! And here’s a cheerful video of a guy stroking an axolotl!
— why you should have an animal (@shouldhaveanima) October 30, 2023