Perspective

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Monday, June 17, 2024

Portland

- me at my wedding

It is just a few days past my wedding anniversary. Do people remember their wedding anniversary if they get divorced? I was looking through the family photos today and saw this. I think it's from gramma's photo album - I destroyed all of the ones of the wedding that I had myself.

The wedding was in a park in 1982. God, I look like the undead. Pale freckly flat-chested me, all alone. Prophetic.

It's ok, though. Here I am four years later in Portland, Oregon, with my sister, divorced but surviving and even happy sometimes ;) ...

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Father's Day



Really like Pete. He was my initial choice for the Democratic presidential nominee, before it became obvious that Joe Biden was the only one with sufficient support to win. Pete would make an excellent future US president, and I'm sure he is a great dad too.

I never really knew my own father because my parents divorced when I was a toddler and we never saw or heard from him again. Two stepfathers followed. Father's day always feels a bit odd to me.

Rescue



We will recall that Israeli hostage Noa Argamani was kidnapped on Oct 7 ...



Thursday, June 13, 2024

Deep sea mining



Like I didn't have enough to worry about :(

Yay!



Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The animals

The news has been so depressing lately. Not just the Israel/Hamas war, but the polirics here in the US too - I'm really afraid we're headed for another Trump presidency.

To take my mind off that, I watch cheerful stuff, usually about animals. I think it's the only thing keeping me (somewhat) sane. Here's some of the latest ...







Restores my faith in people and makes me smile :)

Jerks



I used to think young people were idealistic and bright.

Wake up

- Hamas leader said civilian death toll could benefit militant group in Gaza war, WSJ reports

Of course Hamas said that. All Hamas has to do is put civilians in harm's way, then sit back and watch the UN and Euripean doom Israel for them.

- Hamas changes to ceasefire deal are 'unworkable', says Blinken – video

Of course Hamas moved the goal posts. Every extra day this process takes brings them closer to what they want, without them having to give up anything.

- Rescued Israeli hostages were starved, beaten ‘almost every day’ in Hamas captivity: ‘Beyond comprehension’

Oh gee, how can this be possible when the hostages were living above ground with kindly families paid by Hamas?

When are people going to realize that Hamas and its collaborators in Gaza are f*cking terrorists? To expect them to be honest, responsible, decent is just insane. And these are the people the whole world trusts to give them an accurate Gazan death toll. Wake up.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Dead Silence

My latest choice of a science fiction novel from the public library is Dead Silence by S. A. Barnes ...

Here's the blurb from the Amazon page ...

A Best Book of 2022 by the New York Public Library • One of the Best SFF Books of 2022 (Gizmodo) • One of the Best SF Mysteries of 2022 (CrimeReads) • A GoodReads Choice Award finalist for Best Science Fiction!

Titanic meets Event Horizon in this SF horror novel in which a woman and her crew board a decades-lost luxury cruiser and find the wreckage of a nightmare that hasn't yet ended.


I'm just about to start it. More updates later. Event Horizon? ... eeeeek! :)

General McCaffrey

From retired general Barry McCaffrey, who I often see as a military expert on MSNBC ...



Sunday, June 09, 2024

No more war?



Israeli army spokesperson Peter Lerner is on This Week, being asked about the number of Palestinians said (by Hamas) to have been killed in the rescue of Israeli hostages from a residential area of Gaza.

OK, now I understand why the Biden administration won't try to rescue US hostages held prisoner by Hamas .... they don't want to harm any Palestinians. Memo to American hostages in Gaza: you are on your own. Or, in an even more disturbing turn of events: Biden admin has discussed potentially negotiating unilateral deal with Hamas to free U.S. hostages.

It is absurd to expect a hostage rescue mission in an active war zone full of civilians and also bad guys to have no collateral damage. Nobody wants civilian deaths, but the logical aternative is that no hostage missions will ever be attempted. In fact, no country would be allowed to fight even a "just" war.

When Hamas kidnapped over 200 Israelis, they knew the IDF would come looking for them. And knowing this, they put these hostages in apartments with families in a crowded civilian area. Hamas killed those Gazan civilians. And Hamas has managed at the same time to make the world hate the Israelis for sucessfully saving their citizens.

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Details

From The Times of Israel's Daily Briefing. more details about the hostage rescue from military correspondent Emmanuel Fabian. He also comments on the Israeli strikes on two UNRWA schools a few days ago ...



Good news



For more details ...

IDF rescues 4 hostages from 8 months’ captivity in daytime operation in central Gaza

What good news. I especially rememner the news videos of Noa being kidnapped.

Friday, June 07, 2024

UNRWA schools



In most of the press, all we see on this is "Israel bombs school, killing x number of Palestinians".

The school was not, at this time, open and functioning as an actual school, full of kids, but was used as a shelter for people who have not left Rafah.

Let's recall that the UN itself said that nunerous UNRWA staff members took part in the Oct 7 attack on Israerl, so the idea of an UNRWA school housing terrorists is not unbelievable ... a past article at The Wall Street Journal: Intelligence Reveals Details of U.N. Agency Staff’s Links to Oct. 7 Attack

Hamas has claimed the Israeli strike killed a number of people. How many of those killed were Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters, and how many were civiliams? And why should we believe these numbers at all, when they are coming from Hamas?

Thursday, June 06, 2024

D-Day



My grandfather was in the army during that time, went to France, but not at Normandy, and visited Versaille.

Hamas says no

- Hamas kidnapping Israeli civilians, Oct 7

It looks like Hamas is not going to agree to the most recent ceasefire/hostage deal (Hamas rejects Israel's ceasefire response, sticks to main demands). I'm not surprised.

People say it's because Hamas would not get anything out of the deal, but that isn't really true. They would get 6 weeks or more of a ceasefire in which to skitter away from Rafah and embed themselves throughout Gaza once again. Live to fight another day.

But they can't do this, can't accept the ceasefire, because they cannot release the hostages. I think that those hostages who are still left alive have been so horribly mistreated that Hamas does not want the world ... you know, the liberal world that sees them as plucky freedom fighters striving against Israeli apartheid ... to know whar rhey really are. The information war is so necessary to Hamas' survival.

Actually, I don't think Hamas need worry. The whole world saw what Hamas really was on Oct 7. The whole world learned that Hamas shot babies in their cribs, tied children together and burned them alive, cut women's breasts off as they were raping them, tortured and mutilated people so badly that authorities had trouble deciding not just who the victims were, but what they were.

And still, European nations support Hamas and American college students wear their scarves.

So the deal won't happen, Israel won't give up trying to destroy the monsters next door, and the world will take the side of terrorists.

What I can't figure out is why the US government seems to be doing nothing to rescue the hostages. We must know the only way to save them is to go and get them. Am I naive? Does that only happen in the movies? Are we so worried about pro-Palestinian sentiment that we will sit back and let them die in captivity?

Monday, June 03, 2024

Naftali Bennett



Former Prime Minister of Israel, Naftali Bennett, comments about the Biden-proposed peace plan on Meet the Press Now.

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Biden's peace deal



Biden has spoken about a ceasefire/hostage release plan for the Israel/Hamas war, saying it is essentially the most recent plan put forth by Israel.

The actual document Biden is talking about is said to be four and a half pages long, so what he actually talked about leaves out a lot of detail. Still, here are the basics of the three-phase program he outlined (watch the video above) ...

1) Phase One would last six weeks. There would be a ceasefire, with Israel pulling back from populated areas in Gaza. Gazans could return to their homes throughout Gaza. A number of hostages held by Hamas would be released, and some of the dead hostages returned. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel would be released. Humanistarian aid would be surged into Gaza.

2) Phase Two would start after the 6 weeks, or however long that bit takes. The ceasefire would become permanent and Israel would withdraw from Gaza. The remaining living hostages would be returned.

3) In Phase three, Gaza would begin reconstruction and be rebuilt. The remaining dead hostages would be returned.

That's it. It leaves a lot out and makes a lot of assumptions ... it's hard to know what's really going one.

Examples ...

Biden said that finally the Gazans would be free and independent and able to choose their own government. Well, they have been free since 2005 when Israel left Gaza, and they did choose their own government ... Hamas.

Biden said the US will make Hezbollah leave the north of Israel alone. How? If they have that ability, why haven't they used it already?

Biden touted the wonders of Israel getting to be in a security network with Prince Bone-saw. A deal in which, by the way, we give the Saudis their own nuclear program. What could go wrong?

But most importantly, one of the main objectives of Israel in this war has been the destruction of Hamas. This has been an essential part of any plan for the future. And in his speech, Biden said that as of right now, this has been accomplished, and Hamas is no longer a threat to Israel.

What?!

At this time, Hamas is still shooting rockets at Israel, still killing IDF soldiers in Gaza. The four + Hamas batallions in Rafah are still extant, and Hamas fighters have retaken various parts of Gaza after the IDF cleaned them out earlier. The leadership of Hamas ... including Yahya Sinwar ... is still alive and well and working at Israel's destruction. This plan is just going to leave Hamas ... the rapists and the torturors and the kidnappers and the murderers ... alive and unpinished and living in a nice new rebuilt Gaza.

But having said all that, this may be the only way to get the hostages back. If that can really happen ... and I have doubts ... then maybe it's worth it for Israel.

Listen to what David Horovitz of The Times of Israel has to say about the plan ...



Friday, May 31, 2024

You're a Better Man Than I



Remembering The Yardbirds. They are famous for having three great guitarists in the band at one time or another ... Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. But 13 year old me thought the singer, Keith Relf, was the most cool :)

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Michael Cohen



Michael Cohen, former lawyer for Trump, was on MSNBC tonight. One will recall that he ended up going to prison for helping Trump pay off Stormy Daniels. It was very interesting to hear him talk about the trial and the verdict.

Over the years I've seen him on MSNBC many times, and though I don't know him, I have come to like him, and, yes, respect him. He has been pooped on a lot, most recently by Trump's lawyer, Todd Blanche. I'm glad the jury saw him as trustworthy.

Guilty



Wow! Trump found guilty on all counts! I've got to admit, I didn't think this would actually happen. It's good to know that the justice system can work against such odds.

Of course, Trump gave his usual pathetic and lie-filled diareibe afterwards. The thing is, he had his chance to set the record straight under oath, to get up and tell the jury and the world his "truth". But the professional liar didn't dare.

I wish I could say this will make a difference to Republican voters, but I don't think it will.

Wars

In The New York Times, an opinion piece by Bret Stephens ...

Do We Still Understand How Wars Are Won?

In the past 50 years, the United States has gotten good at losing wars .... But what about wars that are existential? ...

Today, Israel and Ukraine are engaged in the same kind of wars. We know that not because they say so but because their enemies do. Vladimir Putin believes that the Ukrainian state is a fiction. Hamas, Hezbollah and their patrons in Iran openly call for Israel to be wiped off the map. In response, both countries want to fight aggressively, with the view that they can achieve security only by destroying their enemies’ capability and will to wage war ....

Right now, the Biden administration is trying to restrain Israel and aid Ukraine .... In the long run, it’s a recipe for compelling our allies to lose ....


Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Antarctica



Wish I could visit there in real life.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

John Kirby



Watching the White House press briefing today. Retired admiral John Kirby was answering reporters' questions.

As you can imagine, most of the questions were about the fire in the tent camp in Rafah a couple of days ago. The reporters were all very critical of Israel, many (most) seeming to assume that the Israelis had actually called in an airstrike on the camp. They were unconvinced that the Israelis were really doing an investigation into the incident.

About halfway through the briefing, Admiral Kirby lost patience with a reporter who wanted to know why we don't condemn Israel, why the US is givng them weapons when civilians have died (in the above video, it starts around 26: 07).

Admiral Kirby said aloud what I had been thinking during the whole press conference ...

I know what you want me to say. I get it. There should be no civilians killed. I'm not going to stand up here and make an excuse for any single individual civilian being killed. There is no excuse for it. It should not happen.

Now, it does happen in war. It happens sometimes deliberately, sometimes it happens by tragic mistake. We will find out soon what was the case here on Sunday, and then we'll go from there. But no civilian casualty should be acceptable .....

We'll see what the investigation says. Let's see what the investigation comes up with. If we had done this, I think we would want the benefit of having the opportunity to investigate it and to figure out what happened.

(reporter: but we're giving them billions of dollars in weapoms)

We're giving them the kind of capabilities they need to defend themselves. Maybe some people have forgotten what happened on the 7th of October, but we haven't. 1200 Israelis, innocent Israelis, slaughtered, mutilated, raped, tortured. And they're living right next to that kind of threat, still a viable threat in Rafah, by the way. You think Hamas is just gone? It's not gone from Rafah or from Gaza. You think they've abandoned their genocidal intent towards the nation of Israerl? Think again. They haven't. So Israel has every right to not want to live next to that kind of threat. And yes, we're going to continue to provide them the capabilities to go after them.


The tent camp fire

The IDF has released a video with info on the investigation into what caused the fire in a tent camp of civilians in Rafah.

Here's the video, with IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari, who takes qustions from the press near the end ...



I wish I could believe that most people would pay attention to this. But both the press and the international community seem wedded to their baseless belief that Israel's goal is genocide against Gazan civilians instead of a justified war with the terrorists of Hamas who attacked them on Oct 7.

Matterhorn

Ascend and descend the Matterhorn via drone. Wheeeee! :)