Saturday, October 18, 2008

In Honor of My Ting-Tang Kitty

My photo skillz are not mad. Caption should say: Yes, yes, this will MAKE excellent barfs.

For the Barf-Master, Tang of the World, Big Fat Orange Kitty. Mummy loves you!

Photo credit (of course)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Watch Out For a New Anti-Choice Meme!

I have a good friend here whom I really, really like. We have similar senses of humor and when we're together, we're almost constantly laughing. We have scads in common - three kids, ex-pats in Israel, Intel employed spouses, and much more.

What we do not ever discuss is religion and politics. I am a registered Independent who supports Obama/Biden this election. I am a strongly pro-choice, feminist, mostly-liberal, atheist. My friend is a die-hard party-line Republican who is stoked about McCain and especially Palin. She is most definitely not a feminist, is conservative and belongs to a fundamentalist evangelical church-franchise.

She knows my views. We have chosen never to go there because we just like each other too damned much and have too much fun together to take the chance.

Her parents are here for a few months to help her out while she recovers from tendon surgery which has put her in a cast for a long period of time and has forced her into immobility for at least two months. Her parents are funny, too, and we've had lots of laughs. They are VERY Catholic and are also anti-choice strict Republicans.

However, yesterday (she was not there), her dad was talking politics. I don't know how much my friend has told him about my views (probably not much, for fear he might tell her to stay far away from me.) So he told me yesterday, "I try to like Obama. I wonder all the time if I don't like him just because I somehow don't like black people. But I do like black people. I don't think I'm racist."

I responded, "If you don't like Obama's policies, then it's probably not because you're racist, but because you don't like his policies. If you do like his policies, but you want to vote for McCain even though you don't like McCain's policies, then you might just be racist."

He then went on (and on and on) about Obama being "pro-death." What the fuck does that even mean? Nigel told me later that I should have said, "Oh, Obama's for the death penalty? I haven't heard any discussion about that!" But I know that isn't what he was talking about. He was talking about being pro-choice and anti-abstinence-only education. I knew he held those views, but I'd never heard pro-choice being called pro-death before. I wonder now if that's the new meme the Catholic church is pushing and has sent out to its priests as a sermon-point.

I really, really, really don't want to lose a great friendship, especially because of her parents, rather than something SHE has chosen to take offense at. So I hemmed and hawed and just told him that you have to decide what your deal-breaker is and base your vote on which candidate doesn't have a policy that's a deal-breaker for you. He said, "Obama has a lot of my deal-breakers." So I said, "Well, there you go," and then changed the subject.

Has anyone else heard "pro-death" being bandied about? Have I just been missing it or is it a new part of the anti-choice discourse? It sure is ugly.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jerusalem to Be Capital of Despotic World Government!

I have been reading Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman's excellent book, Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It?, published in 2000. It is an excellent and fascinating read, not only for the hard work and research the authors did in order to provide the facts, but also for the section about freedom of speech and why it is not necessarily an abridgment of that freedom for an institution to refuse to provide an outlet for lies and distortions.

One example given is that of Holocaust deniers purchasing ad space in college newspapers whose editors then cried, "Freedom of speech! Freedom of speech!" when the shit hit the fan. The authors wrote:
We must never pass a law that says Holocaust deniers may not publish their own literature. But we are not obligated to facilitate that expression.
Too many people do not see this distinction. I think Shermer and Grobman are right on about this.


One quote from the book that stood out to me, in that I burst out laughing when I read it, is from white supremacist and historical revisionist (a.k.a. Holocaust Denier) Jack Wikoff from his 1990 Remarks newsletter:
Revolutionary communism and International Zionism are twin forces working toward the same goal: a despotic world government with the capital in Jerusalem.
Oh, ha ha ha ha!! He may be entirely serious! But he's obviously not been to Jerusalem. It is impossible to find a parking place just to go to the grocery store or the post office, much less for the entire world's population of supposed revolutionary communists and Zionists to come here to set up a despotic world government capital! Plus, in local politics, it is impossible to even get the people from different neighborhoods in Jerusalem to agree on anything. Good luck with that World Government, I say. Batshit crazy that Wikoff is!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Now They're Poaching People!

An article in yesterday's IOL News says that ignorant fools who somehow believe that the blood and body parts of albinos can attract gold and despicable fools who claim the power to make magic charms from such material have opened up a new and lucrative market in Burundi and Tanzania: A market for dead albino parts. I'm not talking about albino tigers like these, or even albino apes like Snowflake. I am talking about albino HUMANS.

Rhinos, apes, monkeys, elephants, leopards, and many other animals have been threatened with extinction through poaching, and often for ridiculous reasons. Are we now to add humans with no melanin in their skins to the list?

A province official has opened his home to albinos who can get there, in order to protect them from roving gangs seeking to kill them for profit.

The report illustrates the path from discrimination to destruction that sometimes happens to minorities. Albinos have been ostracized,actively discriminated against, and mistreated in Africa. But now it has escalated to murder.

I have to wonder where this idea came from. Surely nobody just happened to kill an albino and then happened to notice that his/her blood or body part made gold come up from the ground. Some fishermen think using albino meat to bait their hooks will catch fish with bellies full of gold. Did this actually happen once? Where the hell did the idea originate?

I guess it could be similar to those who used to (and perhaps still do, in some places) blame Jews for things such as plague or financial collapse, leading others to first ostracize and eventually murder Jews. To the ignorant native "sorcerer/doctors", encouraging people to kill albinos and bring the blood and parts to be transformed into gold-attractor charms, it solidifies their power within communities, is lucrative for them, and rids the area of individuals they claim deserve death. Three birds with one stone.

Terrible and stupid! Hopefully the official who is protecting some of these people can find a way to stop this barbarism.

People are so bizarre. In some parts of Africa, people, even children and babies, are being killed because they have been accused of witchcraft. In other parts, people claiming to be sorcerers encourage killing albino people to make magic charms. What if the two groups met? Would they kill each other off?

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Busy Day for The Princess

Here is The Princess's to-do list for Sunday:

1. Clos, brafist, theeth and hair
2. daddy to bus.
3. play, Lunsh
4. compeupuptr
5. james, bath, bed

What a busy day!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yom Kippur Riots in Acre

I was not at all surprised to read about the attempted stoning and subsequent riots in Acre on Yom Kippur. And it is still going on!

Even Acre’s Arab leaders are now caving in and saying that the driver should not have done whatever it was he did (allegations vary). Maybe not, and my family didn’t drive that day, not out of respect, but out of self-preservation, since we have accidentally driven near religious neighborhoods in Jerusalem and have been threatened with stones before we frantically backed away, but it is still ridiculous to expect non-Jews to follow specifically Jewish traditions.

A mayoral candidate is quoted in the article above as saying that this was a planned Islamic pogrom. What a terrible use of weighted words to raise anger and hostility. He also said that it wasn’t fair because Jews respected Ramadan for a whole month. What does that even mean? To disrespect Ramadan, what would they do? Hold some Muslims down and force them to eat during the day? Try to take away all their Qurans so they can’t read them?

In another stupid use of words, an Arab Israeli MK has called the riots a pogrom against Arabs.

There is no law saying no driving on Yom Kippur. It is considered bad form, but is not illegal, and I saw several dozen drivers on Road 1 during the day. It would be easy to make such a law if the people here wanted to. There is no separation of church and state here.

Or perhaps the Jews who want everyone to follow their traditions should move to the barricaded Haredim neighborhoods in Jerusalem where it is considered praise-worthy to throw stones at cars on Shabbat. But I’ll bet that would cramp their style.

So, we have Day Five of the riots today. Will Acre's Jews have a little something extra to atone for next year on Yom Kippur? If they take their book as a guide, they may not think they've done anything requiring atonement, since their god often commands them to wipe out non-Jews living in their promised land.