Archives for the month of: May, 2010

I have little more than sorrow and outrage to add to the mounting international outcry over the unconscionable Israeli raid on the Gaza aid flotilla. I can’t help but notice that, since I woke up an hour and half ago, the Israeli comments on that international response summary linked above have been moved to the bottom of the page or scrubbed all together— not surprising, when the comments are as asinine and offensive to basic human reason as this gem from Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon:

I want to report this morning that the armada of hate and violence in support of the Hamas terror organization was a premeditated and outrageous provocation. The organizers are well-known for their ties to Global Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Hamas.

That it? I heard they were also supplying fuel rods to the Kims, genetically-engineered super-poppies to the Taliban and submachine guns to the Sinaloa Cartel.

Meanwhile, in the real world, a court case revealed earlier this month the top secret specifics of what the Gaza blockade consists of. I like this quote from the Sari Bashi, who’s with Israeli human rights group that sued for the information:

I certainly don’t understand why cinnamon is permitted, but coriander is forbidden. Is there something more dangerous about coriander? Is coriander more critical to Gaza’s economy than cinnamon? This is a policy that appears to make no sense.

“Appears to” are the key words here. The seemingly ridiculous line between what’s allowed (canned meat, mineral water, tahini, tea and coffee) and what’s not (canned fruit, fruit juice, jam, chocolate) seems to me purposefully designed to be frustrating in it’s unpredictability and capriciousness. The fact that the details of the blockade are an all-mighty state secret plays right into this— keeping people in a permanently paranoid, demoralized and resigned condition. It’d be psychological warfare if it wasn’t, you know, also leading to natal anemia and the collapse of their economy.

Anyway. This article on Daily Kos is the best summary I’ve seen so far of both what’s happening and what’s happened. There are snap protests all over the country today, so if you live in a major city, check the list to see if anything’s happening near you. It’ll be interesting to see how news of this evolves over the next few days— I was pretty appalled with how quickly the US media moved on from Israel’s rejection of the provisional UN plan calling for a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East. When any significant stockpile of nuclear weapons exists on the planet (including our own), how dare Netanyahu refer to Israel as “the only country anywhere on Earth threatened with annihilation.”

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…and it’s not over yet. Here’s a present I was working on today for a dear friend of mine whose encyclopedic knowledge of America’s caretaker presidents often goes unappreciated.

Up next? Beatbox “Don’t Let’s Start” for my favorite word nerd and a Choose Your Own Adventure for my favorite trigger puller. Come hell or high water, I’m crawling out of the Graduate Student Friend Trench.

A few pictures from our road trip/family together/grandma’s birthday celebration to Lincoln City. The weekend included lots of beach walking, rock hunting, niece and nephew chasing, eating, card playing and dice throwing. Loads of good ol’ family fun.

This is what I call a productive weekend.

I asked for a painting of a dinosaur wedding of a diplodocus and deinonychus.

I got it.

Sorry about the double whammy but hey, two more quick intelligence failures.

One, a quickie, from the Clearly Let Down By My Local School District Department, everybody’s favorite crying idiot, Glenn Beck:

[Our] country is economically on fire, and I think we have Julius Caesar in the White House.

I guess we should take it easy on him; he Nero-ly got it right!

Two, I was delighted to wake up to the media storm around the Paul-Maddow showdown. I heard Rand Paul on All Things Considered yesterday and nearly went apoplectic at his artless dodging of whether or not he would have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Coupled with Palin-esque stinkers like this one explicating his dislike of the Americans with Disabilities Act,

I think if you have a two-story office and you hire someone who’s handicapped, it might be reasonable to let him have an office on the first floor rather than the government saying you have to have a $100,000 elevator. And I think when you get to the solutions like that, the more local the better, and the more common sense the decisions are, rather than having a federal government make those decisions.

I was struck with both horror and the deep sadness that the Venn diagram of “people who may vote for Rand Paul” and “people listening to NPR” might not have a huge overlap. Thank God he had the chance to implode on the TV!

CNN says Dennis Blair is resigning; BBC says he is being “replace(d).” Interesting disconnect in terminology there! I also think it’s interesting that, among the BBC’s laundry list of recent spy snafus, they didn’t include this doozy.

Meanwhile in intelligence failures,

(BP) spokesman Mark Proegler said Thursday that the siphon is now drawing about 5,000 barrels a day up to a ship on the surface. That’s as much as government and company officials had estimated the spill was pouring into the Gulf every day for a month. Proegler declined to estimate how much more oil was escaping.

…yeah, I bet he did. I’ve been pretty disgusted with the government’s complacency in regards to BP’s stranglehold on information. I understand that a lot of that complacency was built into the system— this  is, after all, the same regulatory regime that capped potential monetary damages, ostensibly to ensure “Mom and Pop,” smaller oil company firms could still compete in the offshore environment. Any system stupid enough to have ever bought that logic probably has a lot of stupid built into its peripheries.

But seriously— CBS had Coast Guard officials blocking camera crews from filming polluted beaches, with the officials insisting “(these are) BP’s rules, (they’re) not ours.” Whose damn Coast are you Guarding? The insinuation clearly seems to be its not “ours” either.

This is next on the list of related videos for our Renegade Camp blog post from YouTube.

The best surprise/coincidence of the day so far.