It’s also All Souls’ Day, National Men Make Dinner Day, International Stout Day (the beer), Coronation of Haile Selassie (a Rastafarian holiday), the second day of the Day of the Dead, or El Dia de los Muertos celebration in Mexico,
International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, Statehood Day for both North Dakota and South Dakota, and Plan Your Epitaph Day.
Below is the best epitaph ever, engraved on the tombstone of Mel Blanc, the voice of many cartoon characters including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Sylvester, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, the Tasmanian Devil, Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd. The first line of the epitaph is how the voice of Porky Pig ended all Warner Brothers cartoons from 1937-1946. What a wag!
The cartoon ending:
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the November 2 Wikipedia page.
*This morning’s war news from the NYT has Biden calling for a “pause” in the fighting:
Rescue efforts continued Thursday after two days of Israeli airstrikes decimated a densely populated neighborhood of northern Gaza, and international criticism mounted over the casualties caused by Israel’s bombardment.
The Gazan health ministry said on Thursday that more than 1,000 people were killed, injured or missing after the strikes on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Jabaliya neighborhood of Gaza.
Videos verified by The New York Times showed the aftermath of Wednesday’s strike in Jabaliya, about a half-mile from the site of Tuesday’s strike. Rescue workers and residents could be seen digging through the rubble of flattened rows of buildings; some carried out injured and dead people in their arms. The toll reported by the Gazan health ministry could not be independently verified.
As pressure grows to relieve the suffering in Gaza, President Biden said at a campaign reception in Minneapolis on Wednesday that there should be a “pause” in the fighting, in response to a woman who interrupted him by shouting a demand for a cease-fire. The White House said later that the president was talking about a pause to allow more of the hostages held in Gaza to be released.
More foreign and dual nationals were evacuating to Egypt on Thursday, with about 400 Americans included on a list of people scheduled to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing, the second day the border was open for such departures. But for the vast majority of two million people living in blockaded Gaza, there was nowhere to go.
I’m not sure what kind of “pause” would be required to release the hostages, as for sure the Gazans aren’t just going to let them go scot-free. I’m guessing that any prisoner swap will involve the release of 4,500 Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails. But of course those are convicted terrorists, while the Gazan hostages are almost all innocent civilians. If Hamas were smart, they’d draw out negotiations forever while they regroup and reform. But I doubt Israel would agree to any kind of long “pause”, which is in effect a cease-fire. Maybe I’m confused, but could someone explain to me the difference between a “pause” and a “cease fire”. Please?
But no, Biden says they’re different. From the WaPo:
President Biden said Wednesday that he favors a humanitarian “pause” in the war but not a cease-fire — the first time he has publicly voiced the position that senior administration officials took last week. “A pause means give time to get the prisoners out,” he said at a fundraiser in Minneapolis.
Doesn’t that require a cease-fire? Surely Hamas will demand a cease-fire as a condition for negotiation.
*The Rafah border crossing from Egypt to Gaza is starting to open. From the WaPo:
Ambulances carried injured Palestinians from the Gaza Strip into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing Wednesday, the first civilian movement out of the besieged enclave since the war began. Foreign nationals and dual citizens also gathered at the crossing in Gaza, where hundreds were expected to be allowed to leave. In northern Gaza, dozens of people were wounded in another strike on the Jabalya refugee camp Wednesday, the third strike on the densely packed camp over the past 24 hours, according to the medical director at Gaza’s Indonesian Hospital, where the injured were arriving. The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday’s strike.
. . . After the evacuation of several dozen injured Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt on Wednesday, the next group listed to leave comprises employees of international organizations. Five Americans are among them, three of whom have already crossed the border, according to a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.
Some embassies in Cairo were notified Tuesday night that their citizens would be allowed to cross out of Gaza after the wounded and staff of international organizations, and were told to send consular officers to the Rafah border crossing. Those who went, the U.S. official said, had no trouble traveling through the Suez tunnel into Sinai, a route that had been unauthorized until now.
The United States was not among those notified Tuesday night, but the official said the embassy expects the call Wednesday night and about 400 U.S. citizens and eligible family members to begin leaving in stages Thursday.
Americans who are inside Gaza and registered with the U.S. Embassy in Cairo received notice from the State Department late Tuesday that they would be assigned “specific departure dates to ensure an orderly crossing.” They were told to gather necessary documents, watch for further notification and be ready to depart within 24 to 72 hours.
Israel also took responsibility for the bombing of a hospital and the civilian deaths:
Israel claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s strikes in Jabalya, which the director of the Indonesian Hospital said killed more than 130 people and injured 300. Israel said it was targeting Hamas operatives and infrastructure, describing civilian deaths as a “tragedy of war.” The Washington Post could not independently verify the casualty tolls from the attack.
*At the Free Press, Walter Russell Mead (identified as “the foreign-affairs columnist for The Wall Street Journal, a professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College, and the author of several important book“) asks, “Are we tipping into a new world war?“. The site has both a podcast and a printed excerpt. I’ve chosen the latter as I abhor podcasts and can read much faster than I can listen. This is from Mead’s interview with Bari Weiss:
BW: Prime Minister Netanyahu recently announced that the second phase of the war had begun, with IDF troops officially entering Gaza on the ground. Is Israel right to pursue this ground invasion? Is there any other way that they could defeat Hamas other than this strategy?
WRM: I don’t think there is an alternative. That doesn’t mean that this alternative will necessarily work. We’ll have to see. But I think after what happened, they have to—for domestic political reasons, for the strength of the Israeli deterrent internationally, and just sheer self-defense—they really have to break Hamas.
BW: What does breaking Hamas look like, practically?
WRM: It would look as if Hamas, as an organization, could no longer carry out initiatives on any serious scale. Similarly to ISIS, that went from being this territorial empire and quasi-state into scattered groups who still think of themselves as ISIS, they’re still ISIS fighters, but the entity that we saw that had controlled almost everything in central Syria and western Iraq, that no longer exists. The sentiments behind Hamas will not go away. The people who have had the training—that thanks to Hezbollah and Iran have been able to impart—will not leave their heads. There will be efforts to begin to reconstitute. Breaking Hamas is not the end of the terrorism problem, but it does change the focus. It’s an effective response to what Hamas has just done.
On eliminating Hamas:
BW: There are a lot of progressive groups, including members of Congress, very prominent people here in America, and certainly around the world, calling for a cease-fire. Some are inclined to hear the word cease-fire and think, “a cease-fire is good. It means the end of war,” but in your writing, you explain that is incorrect. Why is a call for cease-fire misguided?
WRM: Let’s travel back in time to 1944. The Allied soldiers have just landed on the Normandy beaches and are just beginning to expand their foothold. A cease-fire would have given the Germans the time they needed to assemble the forces that could throw the Allies back into the sea. A call for a cease-fire that sounded so humanitarian was actually an attempt to hand the victory to one party. Now, I would never say that everybody who calls for a cease-fire today is consciously trying to help Hamas. Nevertheless, it remains the fact that a cease-fire at this time allows Hamas to continue to prepare, it does nothing for the release of hostages, and it does nothing really to alleviate the suffering of the people in Gaza. The war will resume more bitterly than ever. I think it’s a real mistake to call for a cease-fire.
While I agree with Mead, I’m not am not as sanguine as he about the motivations about those who call for a cease-fire. I think that most such people know exactly what that will mean: the withdrawal of the IDF back to Israel, a permanent cessation of Israel’s aggression (but not of Hamas’s rockets!) and horse-trading for hostages that’s either inconclusive or turns over 220 hostages held in Gaza for 4,500 terrorists in Israeli jails. It will be a victory for Hamas Israel’s loss of its power to deter future attacks. But listen to the podcast and see what I’m missing.
*The U.S. admitted that it virtually stopped spying on Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups after 9/11. That’s twenty-two years without U.S. intelligence affecting one of our allies, and it was a miscalculation:
U.S. intelligence agencies all but stopped spying on Hamas and other violent Palestinian groups in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., instead directing resources to the hunt for the leaders of al Qaeda and, later, Islamic State, according to U.S. officials familiar with the shift.
Calculating that Hamas had never directly threatened the U.S. and burdened with other spying priorities, Washington ceded the responsibility to Israel, confident that its aggressive security services would detect any threat, the U.S. officials said. It should have been “a well-placed bet,” said one senior counterterrorism official.
With more than 30 Americans dead and 10 missing, mounting fears of a regional war, and billions of dollars in U.S. military hardware headed to the Middle East since Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, some officials say the U.S. misjudged the threat to U.S. national security.
“In terms of intelligence failures, which really do lie mostly on Israel, I think we should also share some blame for missing this event,” said Marc Polymeropoulos, a retired CIA operations officer with extensive counterterrorism experience. “Ceding the target to the Israelis now looks to have had consequences.”
Current and former officials said U.S. intelligence agencies, principally the CIA, had a handful of analysts tracking events in the Gaza Strip before the attacks but relied on Israel to penetrate Hamas with human sources and surveil the group with eavesdropping technology.
*Reader Jez sent a tweet and some news from the UK.
Sadly, there’s not so much good news on the police front in the UK:
It seems police in London showed up at 4 a.m. (!) because a man had posted a video in which he criticised the number of Palestinian flags being put up by immigrants in his area:
Posting this video of himself criticizing migrants in his neighborhood for putting Palestine flags everywhere got this man arrested.
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) November 1, 2023
The British coppers, and the completely wacko construal of videos like the second one above as “hate speech”, need reining in. For crying out loud: arresting a buy for a one-minute video he posted criticizing the plethora of Palestinian flags in his neighborhood! But Jez has more:
Two police officers in London tore down posters of kidnapped Jews in an area with a sizeable Jewish population – the London Metropolitan Police justified this on the basis that they did so to “stop issues escalating” and to “avoid community tension”. (There’s a link containing this news at the end of the following paragraph.)
The chief constable of Greater Manchester Police has apologised after one of their officers also took down such posters, admitting that his force had “responded badly to a complaint and I think we’ve got it wrong.” According to The Daily Mail, the Manchester police force “has now confirmed an investigation is underway and will work to ensure posters can continue to be displayed.” At least they made the right decision in the end, I suppose. But so much for police neutrality.
What? Are the British police antisemitic now? What’s making them behave this way?
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is probably referring to this story, about a Polish priest resigning after being caught at a gay orgy in his apartment. But she may be referring to the war in the Middle East.
Hili: Everybody is excited about scandals that are close by.A: Be tolerant towards your neighbour.
Hili: Każdy żyje takimi skandalami jakie ma.Ja: Bądź tolerancyjna dla bliźnich.
From reddit via Peter: the difference between cats and d*gs:
From Merilee, a cat noshery from Mark Parisi’s Off the Mark cartoons:
From somewhere on Facebook:
From Masih, with the Google translation “Walking without a veil can get you killed in Iran: they defy the ban after the death of Amita Garavand.”
— L'important (@Limportant_fr) October 31, 2023
We keep being told there is a problem with gay rights in the Arab world.
But in the entire history of Palestine, there has NEVER been a single arrest for homophobic hate crime.
Checkmate, bigots. 💅🏻 pic.twitter.com/h9a1S4KkUb
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) November 1, 2023
From Frits, who titles it “Israeli soldiers maintaining their sense of humor.”
Yemeni 🇾🇪 rebels declared war on Israel 🇮🇱
Israeli soldiers respond by performing a traditional Yemeni dance 🤣
Volume up 🔊
— Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid) November 1, 2023
From Malcolm, ants carrying a gold chain. Why? Are they going to pawn it?
Ants carrying a gold chainpic.twitter.com/SEVYTySYLW
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) October 29, 2023
From Barry, who says, “This sounds about right”:
We close out Caturday with a little history of how they came to be in our homes. 🐾 pic.twitter.com/atFITmsujK
— Ann Autumn (@The_LadyAnn) October 29, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial, a boy gassed upon arrival at only five years old:
2 November 1936 | A Dutch Jewish boy, Jan Carl Albert Ruschkewitz, was born in The Hague.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 2, 2023
Two tweets from Matthew today. The first is a bee fly, a fly aposematically resembling a bee. Google translation: Ultimate I found the ultimate super cute fly! ! ! ! ! Toratsuriabu! ! Her pointy mouth is so sharp and it’s the best, and she’s so fluffy and fluffy.
— 昼杉 起太 (@HirusugiOkita) October 31, 2023
A view of Mars from a bit above the surface. Taken by the Mars helicopter, which is still operating!
The #MarsHelicopter has completed Flight 64! The rotorcraft repositioned itself in a new airfield, flying 1,348 ft (410 m) north for 139 seconds.
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) October 30, 2023