Sunday, April 28, 2024

Animal crackers

Just a few tweets about animals to enjoy! 

I'm sure by now the whole world has recoiled in horror after hearing that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem boasted about killing her dog. She really deserves the title "Christ, what an asshole!"

Friday, April 26, 2024

"Never Again for anyone" - Discussions about ending the Israel-Hamas War: Shulman, Fox, Alkhatib, Friedman, Ganz, Elbein

Here are some interesting and useful commentaries about the Israel-Hamas War, including some discussion about how it can be brought to an end

First, this article is recommended by Eric Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money -- at the New York Review of Books, professor David Shulman writes Israel: The Way Forward - If Israel is to survive, physically and spiritually, it needs to undergo, collectively, a sea change in its vision of reality and face some unpleasant though obvious facts:
...Israelis will have to face unpleasant though rather obvious facts:
-Palestinians are human beings, no different from the Jews or anyone else. (They have a rotten political system, but so do we.)
-They are not going anywhere.
-There are two national movements in the territory west of the Jordan River, with their own legitimate claims and bloody record of atrocities; the two populations are now equal in size, some seven million each.
-Israel cannot suppress Palestinian and other Arab resistance by force alone. (The foundational axiom of the Israeli polity has always been that only brute force works.)
-Survival depends on sharing the land between these two peoples.
-The settlement project in the West Bank has to end.
-The barbarian extremists on both sides, as if colluding together, will, given half a chance, kill us all.
-God, if there is a god, is unlikely to save us from ourselves.
None of these points is going to be easy for Israelis to swallow. I can attest that most people find it easier to sacrifice the lives of their spouses, siblings, and children in a futile cause than to change how they feel and how they understand the world.
We have wasted several blood-soaked decades on the obscene dream of annexing the territories and expelling the Palestinian population there. ....
There is only one way out of the current morass. As it happens, it’s a good way and, in theory, feasible if we had a minimally rational government capable of articulating a way forward for the people of Israel. What we now call the Biden plan would revolutionize Israel’s place in the Middle East and in the world at large; at the very least it would reverse the present murderous escalation. Its guiding idea is that Israel would become part of a regional system bound together by ties of normalization and full diplomatic relations between it and each of the moderate Sunni states, thus creating a bulwark against Iran and its proxies; the new configuration would necessarily include, indeed depend upon, some acceptable solution to the Palestinian thirst for freedom. That means a demilitarized Palestinian state and the dismantling of the occupation. In the absence of some such systemic solution, Israel will continue to fight recurrent, catastrophic wars. In the end, the state will be overwhelmed. That, in fact, is the Hamas plan, with Iranian backing. The Iranians think they can destroy Israel by 2040, if not earlier...
We will be lucky if this government doesn’t precipitate a full-scale war in Lebanon or beyond. So far it lacks any intelligible plan to end the fighting in Gaza and any political goal of some positive import. Even worse, from the start it has been playing into the hands of Hamas’s leader, Yahya Sinwar: first draw the Israeli army into Gaza, then turn it into sitting ducks in a guerrilla war that can continue indefinitely; let Israel kill enough Gazans and wreak enough destruction to turn international opinion against it, while Hamas hangs out safely in the tunnels it has created until the Israelis go away, with nothing to show for their sacrifices. Wars are won only when they have an attainable political goal.
Meanwhile, Israel is well on its way to becoming a pariah state. The wave of anti-Israel feeling that is engulfing large numbers of people in the Western world has emerged not merely from the Gaza war, with its unbearable civilian casualties and now mass starvation. What that wave reflects, more profoundly, is the justified disgust with the ongoing occupation, its seemingly eternal and ever more brutal continuation, and the policies of massive theft and apartheid that are its very essence....

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Support for Ukraine and Israel

(And read to the end for a Trump fart joke!)
Today I was very glad to see the US support for Ukraine and for Israel approved by the House -- now only was it great to see the aid approved itself, but also it was a demonstration that Trump and his crazy MAGA aren't really running the United States. 
At least, not yet. 
But why, oh why, is it just so hard for these people to do the right thing?

Thursday, April 18, 2024

"Protect the rich" is NOT going to catch on

Recently I've been seeing many articles that tut-tutted about how awful it would be for rich people and Canadian corporations to have to pay more taxes. 
I couldn't understand why this had suddenly become such a hot topic and then I realized: why, of course!  There's a new Liberal budget coming up, and chances are it is going to raise taxes for the wealthy. 
So of course the corporations and the millionaires made sure to get their media out in force beforehand, to try to set the tone of the debate and generate sympathy for the trials and tribulations of the rich. 
But I don't think it will work -- even Poilievre's Baloney Factory won't likely promote a "Protect the Rich!" slogan, because Canadians won't be fooled:

Friday, April 12, 2024

Great stories

Just sharing some stories tonight:
“I was headed into Jackson to go to work and I noticed a couple cars pulled over,” Dusty Jones tells “I looked off to the left and saw a couple of guys beating on the ice with a herd of elk right there in front of them.”
Jones ran down to the ice and called a friend to bring him a chainsaw. There were around a dozen elk in the frigid water, which Jones says measured 8-10 feet deep, and suddenly people started appearing to help.
“Before you knew it, there were 30-40 people there,” Jones said. “We began cutting a little path toward the shore so the animals could walk out but they were so cold they couldn’t move. That’s when we just started grabbing them and pulling them out.”
“Somebody had a backhoe that we were able to put two calves into the bucket and transport them to the Alpine Feed Ground,” Wyoming Game & Fish Biologist Gary Fralick told SVI’s Dan Dockstader.
Jones worried the ice might collapse but said it was around 4 inches thick and nobody fell in. The elk just happened to be standing in an area where the ice was thinner due to thermal spring action, according to Fralick.
“There normally isn’t any water there at all,” Jones said. “We had so much snow last winter that lake runoff caused this part of the reservoir to be full all summer and fall.”
One by one, each of the 13 elk was pulled to safety. Two of the calves were severely stressed and could not get up, according to Fralick. Once they were taken to another area, they were released and stood up with the rest of the herd.
“No elk died, which is awesome,” Jones said.
Moving on:
I hope George Springer can find this fan.

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Yeah, isn't this just what we all needed now ... bird flu!

So let's all worry about bird flu now!

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Trending tonight: #PuntTheRunt

Canadians are laughing at Poilievre's three-word policies for anything that ails Canada -- and tonight, "Punt The Runt" is trending: 

Also today, Charlie Angus announced he won't run again, and Poilievre couldn't resist responding with the usual petty and mean whine. 
Christ, what an asshole!