Welcome to the Cruelest Day: Tuesday, November 21, 2023, and, in anticipation of Thanksgiving this week, it’s National Cranberry Day. It’s a low shrub and requires lots of water at harvest time (see below). Wikipedia says this:
In 2020, the United States, Canada, and Chile accounted for 97% of the world production of cranberries. Most cranberries are processed into products such as juice, sauce, jam, and sweetened dried cranberries, with the remainder sold fresh to consumers. Cranberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment to turkey at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners in the United States and Canada, and at Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom.
When I was a kid it was served only in the jellied form at Thanksgiving (I like it), but then they discovered cranberry juice (my choice of drinks on a plane), and the industry boomed. Here’s how they grow and are harvested, and, as lagniappe, there’s a recipe at the end showing you how to make a “killer cranberry sauce” from fresh berries.
Victor Peter Chang, AC (born Chang Yam Him; 21 November 1936 – 4 July 1991), was a Chinese-born Australian cardiac surgeon and a pioneer of modern heart transplantation in Australia. His sudden murder in 1991 stunned Australia, and is considered one of the most notorious in the country’s history. Chang was given a state funeral, and in 1999, he was voted Australian of the Century at the People’s Choice Awards.
and how he died:
On the morning of 4 July 1991, Chang was shot twice in the head in a failed extortion attempt. His body was found slumped in the gutter next to his Mercedes-Benz 500SL in the Sydney suburb of Mosman. Two Malaysian men, Chew Seng (Ah Sung) Liew and Choon Tee (Phillip) Lim, picked Chang at random from a magazine featuring Asians who had ‘made it good’ in Australia. They ran their Toyota Corolla into Chang’s vehicle, forcing him to pull over.After getting into an argument with Chang, who refused to give them money, Liew fired the fatal shots. The first shot entered near the right cheek and exited below the right ear while the fatal second, fired from point-blank range, entered the right temple and passed through the brain. Police investigators initially suspected the involvement of Triad syndicates but later concluded the killing was an amateur act.
The perps went to jail, but now they’re released and one have been deported.
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the November 21 Wikipedia page.
*War news from the NYT. Two quick pieces. First, the war is widening a bit, involving Hezbollah attacking Israel from Lebanon:
Hezbollah claimed responsibility on Monday for a powerful cross-border rocket attack on an Israeli military base, the latest sign that the Lebanese militia is ramping up their use of newer and more sophisticated weaponry as it attempts to sap the strength of Israeli forces already fighting Hamas.
Although the Israeli military reported no casualties in the attack, footage from the scene verified by The New York Times showed damage to at least six buildings, with one entirely reduced to rubble and burning.
Hezbollah said it had struck the Biranit military base, the headquarters for the Israeli army’s 91st Division, with two Burkan rockets — a powerful improvised munition that the group is increasingly using against Israeli forces. The group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has said the weapons can carry as much as 500 kilograms of explosives.
Video recorded from Lebanon that was released by Hezbollah and verified by The Times shows two munitions apparently hitting the base.
This is what Biden was referring to when he said that other countries should not “take advantage” of the Hamas/Israel war to attack Israel. I wonder if now the U.S. will use drones or jets to bomb Hezbollah in Lebanon. In the meantime, Israel struck back, but two journalists died in the attack:
An Israeli strike in southern Lebanon on Tuesday killed three people — including two journalists — as cross-border clashes intensified between Israel and the armed group Hezbollah, Lebanon’s state-run news agency reported.
Al-Mayadeen, a pan-Arab network based in Beirut, said in a statement that reporter Farah Omar and cameraman Rabih Al-Maamari were killed in an Israeli airstrike. Another civilian was also killed in the strike, which took place about four miles from the Israeli border near the Lebanese town of Tayr Harfa, according to Lebanon’s state-run news agency.
A photograph taken at the scene showed bodies lying around what appeared to be a strike, and a camera on a tripod burning in the background.
Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati, blamed Israel for the killings, saying in a statement: “This attack proves once again that there are no limits to Israel’s crimes.”
The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the strike. Earlier Tuesday, the military said that it had “struck three armed terrorist cells” operating along the Lebanese border, and that fighter jets had also struck Hezbollah targets.
Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese militia, vowed to retaliate. “This aggression and the martyrdom of other citizens will not pass without a response,” it said in a statement.
And, surprisingly, the NYT calls attention to the medical needs of many of the Israeli hostages. The paper rarely gives any sympathetic attention to those hostages:
Ms. Engelbert [recovering from a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction] is one of about 240 hostages abducted from Israel, many of whom need urgent medical attention.
They range in age from infants to octogenarians, and include a Thai foreign worker who was nine months pregnant on Oct. 7 and may have given birth in captivity. There are many kibbutz members in their mid-80s who were taking medications for chronic conditions like high blood pressure, and younger adults who have both psychiatric conditions and medical conditions that can be fatal if left untreated.
, , , , And then there were those who sustained potentially life-threatening injuries in the raid itself, which killed an estimated 1,200 people, most of them civilians.
Most elderly captives depend on medications to manage high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, according to Hagai Levine, an Israeli physician who has been working with the families of the hostages.
Among the roughly 40 children being held, most of whom are girls, there is a 4-year-old boy whose growth is delayed and who takes a nutritional supplement because he is underweight, and the boy’s 10-month-old brother. A photo of the two redheads in the arms of their mother when they were abducted has been widely circulated.
Some hostages now being held by Hamas were shot, beaten or otherwise wounded during the attack.
*Here are some tweets from various sources, but every afternoon the Elder of Ziyon publishes the most complete collection of pro-Israel tweets and videos, but of course you won’t find anything but Jewish or pro-Israeli sites that will publicize tweets like these:
I hadn’t noticed the meat cleaver at first, but it is certainly real. And notice how Hamas terrorists are palling around with medical staff, though the medical staff has uniformly denied that Hamas isn’t there
We’ve been repeatedly told clinical staff at al-Shifa had no knowledge of Hamas fighters in the hospital. In that case I’d like to understand what the staff in scrubs thought the man with the meat cleaver they clearly witnessed was involved in pic.twitter.com/6du8bAYkI7
— Victoria Freeman (@v_j_freeman) November 20, 2023
Hezbollah is of course operating here out of Lebanon, so the war has widened a bit.
IDF: Earlier today, IDF warplanes attacked operational headquarters and terrorist infrastructures of the terrorist organization Hezbollah in response to launches towards the territory of the State of Israel during the day. In addition, the IDF earlier today attacked a terrorist… pic.twitter.com/XXIeh7glDM
— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) November 20, 2023
The women of the IDF are awesome and brave. They don’t just get the easy jobs!
Reminder that America’s youngest hostage held in Gaza is a 3 year old toddler whose parents were murdered by Palestinian terrorists right before the child was taken.
— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) November 19, 2023
I didn’t know who Owen Jones is, but Wikipedia tells me that he’s “a British newspaper columnist, political commentator, journalist, author, and left-wing activist.” Naturally he has to be left wing. . .
And then the meat cleaver tweet. If the hostage is a patient, why the meat cleaver? Nope, the guy is being dragged in.
Maybe the meat cleaver is to perform surgery on the poor man they’re helping. 🥴
Maybe the machine gun is to protect him from harm. 🥴
The mental leaps these disgusting Hamas apologists have to make to deny piece after piece of evidence.
The hostages are real people. Heinous. https://t.co/FjREmW30yN
— Rachel Riley MBE 💙 (@RachelRileyRR) November 20, 2023
Here’s a Hamas video showing (on left) a boy being kidnapped and a break-in of a house, while on the right you see a kidnapping: a mother and her two children. I feel weird about the “savages” remark, but can’t dismiss it completely.
Hamas terrorists filmed themselves kidnapping a child into Gaza.
They then proceeded to kidnap a mother and her two children – 9 month old baby and a 4 year old boy.
How can anyone support these savages?#HamasisISIS
— Mor Hogeg (@SHMSBS7) November 19, 2023
I don’t think this is the same boy as in the video above, as he has a hat here (the one above is bare-headed). At any rate, this makes at least three people dragged to the hospital, one wounded.
Israel has obtained footage of Hamas terrorists taking a kidnapped Israeli boy to the Hamas headquarters in the Al-Shifa hospital.
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) November 20, 2023
The “meat cleaver” hostage and the injured one.
IDF Spox goes through clips of hostages inside Al-Shifa hospital. Thai/Nepali hostages not yet located. pic.twitter.com/z3i53NEGA5
— Daniel Roth (@daniel_c_roth) November 19, 2023
This is one reason why I don’t think you can divide Palestinians into two disparate classes: the terrorists and the totally innocent people who don’t want anything to do with Hamas. These are Palestinian civilians celebrating the kidnapping of Israelis. And remember the widespread celebration and distributing of sweets by and two civilians when Jews were killed in terrorist acts. I don’t of course think those civilians should be attacked by the IDF simply for hating Jews, but Palestinians are like the biological sexes: they’re not binary.
Video: Footage of Palestinian civilians from Gaza jumping for joy at the sight of kidnapped Israelis. pic.twitter.com/MsCCjxLljY
— Corrected Media (@correctedmedia) November 19, 2023
And some good news to finish:
New poll. Israel has the best approval rating among US voters, even better than President Biden. Hamas has the lowest.
This is a good reminder that just because some voices are the loudest on social media doesn't mean they actually have mass public support. https://t.co/c3HA7b1Z0I
— FJ (@Natsecjeff) November 20, 2023
*Biden wants to hand over the governance of all of the Palestinian territories to the Palestinian Authority. As I said, it’s insane, and this article tells you why. Bolding is in the original article from Palestinian Media Watch.
Senior Palestinian Authority official Hussein Al-Sheikh, who many see as the person Mahmoud Abbas may have designated as his successor, has announced that the PA’s “arms are still open” to Hamas, and that “our hearts are open to all dialogue that will lead in the end to the unity” of all Palestinian military forces. (See full text and video below.)
Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the PA and Fatah [Fatah is the political party of which Abbas is head] celebrated the October 7 slaughter of 1,200 Israelis, have since refused to condemn it, and now they are going one step further: instead of distancing themselves from Hamas’ atrocities of rape, murder, and burning people alive, the PA and Fatah are calling for unity with the terrorist organization.
To further encourage unity with Hamas, Fatah has even broadcast two videos of Palestinian icon and PA leader Yasser Arafat from more than 20 years ago stressing unity with Hamas, even using the words: “Hamas is like Fatah.”
An English-language interview with Fatah Spokesman Jamal Nazzal on BBC radio shows that Fatah is willing to accept continued Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip:
Posted text: “An interview with Fatah Movement Spokesman [and Fatah Revolutionary Council member] Dr. Jamal Nazzal on BBC radio.”
BBC interviewer: “Israel says it won’t accept the existence of Hamas. Do you believe that is realistic in your view?”
Fatah Spokesman Jamal Nazzal: “Maybe it is time for Israel to stop choosing for us who we would like to be governed by. I mean, mutual respect requires for Israel to respect the will of the Palestinian people, no matter who the Palestinian people would elect in office.”
The PA is corrupt and supports terrorism nearly as much as does Gaza. As does Fatah. If there’s to be a Palestinian state, it seems, the entire government of the Palestinian territories, including the West Bank and Gaza, has to be reorganized. How would that happen? The despair of the war, when it’s over, will simply give way to the despair of figuring out how to make two conflicting groups of people live next to each other amicably, especially because one is sworn to destroy the other.
*Trump is appealing a gag order imposed by a D. C. circuit judge in his indictment for trying to obstruct the 2020 election. Right now the gag order is on hold while a three-judge federal appeals court weighs Trump’s claim that his freedom of speech was violated.
Both the government and an attorney representing Donald Trump faced intense questioning Monday morning from a three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The topic was whether a limited gag order imposed on Trump by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan unfairly limits his speech. Trump’s lawyer argued that the former president has a First Amendment right to talk about his federal election interference case, especially because he is again running for president. A lawyer from special counsel Jack Smith’s office countered that without guardrails on his speech, Trump will intimidate witnesses, incite threats against government employees and distort public understanding of the case. The judges will consider the matter and, eventually, issue a written opinion.
This is the ruling he’s appealing:
The gag order is on hold for now, while the appeals court weighs the issue. Chutkan put some limits on Trump’s speech but not as many as prosecutors sought. (The same limits apply to the special counsel’s office, but Justice Department policy already precludes out-of-court statements by prosecutors.) Trump can attack President Biden and the Justice Department, including by claiming they are prosecuting him for political reasons. But he can’t single out individual prosecutors, court staffers or witnesses.
Trump’s attorneys said those rules “muzzle the core political speech of the leading candidate for President at the height of his reelection campaign,” while allowing “purported witnesses” — potentially including former attorney general William P. Barr, former vice president Mike Pence and Gen. Mark A. Milley, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — to “routinely attack him.”
The judges were given the Justice Department a good grilling, too:
Appeals court judge Patricia Millett said Donald Trump’s rhetoric “is not how I want my children to speak, but that’s really not the question.”
The judges have continually pushed prosecutor Cecil Vandevender to explain how the Justice Department justifies a partial muzzle on Trump for things his followers may do.
Vandevender said the purpose of the gag order is to bar “inflammatory language that poses significant risk that they will be exposed to … threats, harassment and intimidation.”
Millett focused on a social media post Trump wrote attacking Gen. Mark A. Milley, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in which Trump said that in another era, treasonous military officers were executed.
Prosecutors have argued that Trump’s post about Milley, particularly the mention of execution, is an attempt to intimidate a potential witness and justification for a gag order.
“So once he’s under this order, he really can’t say anything” about witnesses, asked Millett. Vandevender said no, but he could not and should not be allowed to trigger his followers to hound prosecutors, witnesses or court staff.
*As immigration across our border with Mexico skyrockets (2 million illegal crossings last year), and immigrants are being bused to cities throughout the U.S., overstrained Democratic cities are offering immigrant bus tickets to other cities; it’s a “Move on, nothing to see here” strategy.
As weary migrants arrive in Denver on buses from the U.S.-Mexico border city of El Paso, Texas, officials offer them two options: temporary shelter or a bus ticket out.
Nearly half of the 27,000 migrants who arrived in Denver since November 2022 have chosen the bus, plane or train tickets to other cities in the U.S., city data shows. In New York and Illinois, taxpayer dollars also are being spent on tickets, creating a shuffle of migrants in the interior U.S. who need shelter, food and medical assistance as they await rulings on asylum cases that can take years.
The transfer of migrants has gained momentum since Republican governors in Texas and Florida started chartering buses and planes to Democratic-led cities in what critics waved off as political stunts. More than a year later, some of those cities, their resources dwindling, are eager to help migrants move on to their final destinations.
The efforts show the increased pressures cities are facing as more migrants from around the globe are coming to the U.S. southern border, often fleeing economic turmoil. Illegal border crossings topped 2 million during the government’s fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the second-highest number on record.
. . .With many migrants in shelters or living on the street, the next phase of the challenge is getting them to their families, friends or court cases, said Mario Russell, director at the Center for Migration Studies of New York.
That “has been in a sense dropped into the laps of interior cities without much preparation, without much forethought really at any level,” Russell added.
It’s a mess, and it’s only going to get worse as migrants continue to cross illegally. Is there a solution? Not so long as the President doesn’t have both houses of Congress with him.
*The Wall Street Journal interviewed people born on Biden’s exact birthday—November 20, 1942 (he turned 81 yesterday)—and asked them if they thought he was too old to serve as President. Now given the variance in mental and physical condition among 81 year olds, I’m not sure how enlightening this is, but let’s have a look.
These octogenarian voters are among nearly a dozen Americans born the same day as the president that The Wall Street Journal interviewed. They are uniquely suited to answer one of the biggest questions hanging over the 2024 election: Is Biden too old to run again?
Most said no. But they were candid about the risks of aging in the years to come.
“He has certainly got his wits about him,” said Smoczynski, a Democrat who voted for Biden in 2020 and plans to support him again.
. . . A recent Wall Street Journal poll found that 73% of voters think Biden is too old to seek a second term, compared with 47% of voters who said the same of 77-year-old former President Donald Trump, who is likely to be Biden’s Republican opponent.
Crikey, Trump’s almost surely in worse health than is Biden; he eats burgers all the time and is going to blow an artery. That’s beside his mental problems, too. I’ll vote for Biden if he runs; despite his low approval rating, he’s done a pretty good job with Israel and Ukraine, and the economy isn’t in serious danger right now.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Szaron have a chinwag.
Hili: I’m against hunting.Szaron: Really or just in theory?
Hili: Jestem przeciwniczką polowań.Szaron: Naprawdę, czy to tylko teoria?
From Rick, a Wiley Miller Non Sequitur cartoon:
From somewhere on Facebook:
Reader Divy sent me a picture of her cat Jango. What a noble beast!
From Masih: These morality police scare the hell out of me, but the women of Iran continue to defy them:
The video depicts a courageous woman defying the mandatory hijab law in the presence of Morality police within the subway's horror hallways. The man who filmed the video reported being assaulted by the police but managed to resist surrendering his phone. Iranian men and women… pic.twitter.com/c2tI8HCMgH
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 20, 2023
From Jez, in sympathy for my insomnia:
— Cats That Heal Your Depression (@Catshealdeprsn) November 19, 2023
Apparently Susan Sarandon was at an anti-Israel protest in New York and said, “”There are a lot of people that are afraid, that are afraid of being Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country.” Well, my friend Asra Nomani is a Muslim in America, and she says it isn’t half bad. Susan Sarandon appears to be one of those Hollywood stars who feels they have special expertise to pronounce on politics in public speeches. This is a very long tweet, so click “show more”. (h/t Muffy)
Hi there @SusanSarandon, this is my mom, my dad and me on the rail trail in Morgantown, West by God Virginia. Let me tell you what it means to be Muslim in America.
First, your backstory: At an anti-Israel protest in NYC, you just said, "There are a lot of people that are… pic.twitter.com/zAyUjpTxkY
— Asra Nomani (@AsraNomani) November 20, 2023
From women’s sports activist Riley Gaines:
The Ramapo College Instagram account that posted the photo of the male swimmer has now deleted the post
They always hate the public attention after being called out for their discrimination and mistreatment of women https://t.co/nqQNDAuCUP
— Riley Gaines (@Riley_Gaines_) November 19, 2023
From Barry: a squirrel purloins napkins to build a nest:
What is going on here? 😅 pic.twitter.com/PRQMszfp5H
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) November 3, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial: gassed upon arrival at Auschwitz, age 12:
21 November 1929 | A Polish Jewish girl, Sara Brukner, was born in Warsaw. She emigrated to France.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 21, 2023
Matthew explains why he tries to stay off Twitter (or “X”):
Occasionally I come back on here and then I see stuff like this (never mind Melon Husk’s antisemitic conspiracy theory) and I realise I need to stay away. Bad actors or loons or both, this place is bad for my wellbeing. pic.twitter.com/c5gliwtjy8
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) November 17, 2023
An attack on 23andMe might have breached my own account. But hell, I have nothing to hide. I’m an Ashkenazi Jew and that’s about it:
🚨BREAKING: Genetics firm 23andMe confirms user data theft in a credential stuffing attack.
The hackers released 1 million lines of data targeting Ashkenazi Jews.
— Matt Johansen (@mattjay) October 6, 2023