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Tuesday, November 28, 2023


I learned about Emily and her father on the news right after the October 7 attack, and the story stuck with me, perhaps because the father was from Ireland. I'm glad she has been released, but the majority of hostages have not been. People want a permanent cease fire? Get the terrorists to release all the hostages noow.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

3rd group

The third group of hostages was released today, and it included an elderly woman who needed immediate medical care, plus two children I had read about earlier - 9 year old Emily Hand and four year old Abigail Edan.

Glad they have been released, but what I found creepy is the way Hamas is trying to portray itself as humanitarian by releasing them, at times carrying them or hugging them as they give back the people they kidnapped in the first place ...

Yep, they're the terrorists with hearts of gold.

Saturday, November 25, 2023


It's really cold here today and I am envying these monkeys ...

Friday, November 24, 2023

Mark Regev

The first batch of hostages has been released. It looks like the truce will hold for the coming days. Israel will continue the war after this limited truce, unless more hostages are released.

Unfortunately, a lot of the Gazans and many in the Arab world seem to mistakenly believe that this truce means the war is now over and that Gazans can move back north. But that isn't so.

They don't seem to realize how truly horrible and ultimately game-changing what happened on October 7 was. Israel is not going to rest, I think, until all the hostages are accounted for and Hamas is destroyed.

Thursday, November 23, 2023


Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 22, 2023


More on the hostage/truce situation from retired admiral James Stavridis ...

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Hostage release

It looks like a hostage release/temporary truce will take place in the Israel/Hamas war.

I saw that retired general Barry McCaffrey commented on MSNBC today about this ...

Monday, November 20, 2023


Elon Musk spreads antisemitism. I can't believe this guy is involved in our space progeam ... Space Business: Codependent: Why does the US government need Elon Musk and SpaceX so badly?

Rome song

See, it's not just me who thinks about Rome ...

Sunday, November 19, 2023

RIP: Rosalynn Carter


Interesting podcast today from The Times of Israel.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

The ties that bind

One might not think so, but there is a place where the Right and the Left do mett and share values. Unfortunately, it's not a good place.

Remember this poll? ... 34% of Americans say violence against government is sometimes justified, new poll finds

Those conservatives who bomb abortion clinics and attacked the Capitol on Jan 6 actually have compatriots in the liberals who think terrorists like Hamas and Osama bin Laden (now available on TikTok) are justified in killing civilians to advance their political agendas.

Yep, it's violence that binds us together.

Friday, November 17, 2023

The hospital

Chris Hayes talks to John Kirby (former navy admiral) about the Israelis and Al-Shifa hospital.

Using a hospital as a base of operations in a conflict is a war crime, and that hospital loses its protected status.

The Israelis and the US both assert that the hospital is being used by Hamas. Some weapons have been found hidden, and also the bodies of two hostages nearby. Israel is now searching the very large hospital complex and it will take time.

This Reuters story has an infographic of the complex as the IDF sees it .. After days-long siege, Israeli forces enter Al Shifa hospital

The people at the hospital were urged to leave for their own safety but many did not, and some could not. No one in the hospital, worker or patient, has been shot by the Israelis. Instead the soldiers have brought food, medicine, portable incubators, and fuel for them.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

The City

Speaking of San Francisco, here's an old song about it by Journey :) ...


So, where did President Biden meet with President Xi Jinping? It wasn't actually in The City, but in Woodside, at Filoli ...

Filoli, also known as the Bourn-Roth Estate, is a country house set in 16 acres (6.5 ha) of formal gardens surrounded by a 654-acre (265 ha) estate, located in Woodside, California, about 25 miles (40 km) south of San Francisco, at the southern end of Crystal Springs Reservoir, on the eastern slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Filoli is open to the public ...

It has some beautiful gardens ...

What I didn't see mentioned in the news was that the San Andreas Fault runs right through the property. Eeeeeeek!

The rapes

To keep up on what's happening in the Israeli/Hamas war, I've lately been listening to the Times of Israel's Daily Briefing podcast while I do dishes.

Today's briefing starts out with information about the many instances of rape perpetrated by Hamas during the October 7 attack on Israel, and the difficulties involved in bringing cases against the rapists.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023


On this day of a march in Washington in support of Israel, the Americans whose family members have been kidnapped by Hamas speak out.

Monday, November 13, 2023


Hadrian's Wall was damaged when the Sycamore Gap tree came down, analysis finds

I perked up when I saw a mention of the Roman emperor Hadrian in the news. Not because he was an especially good guy, but because there's a lot of extant art and architecture associated with him - you come to appreciate such stuff when studying the dusty past :)

For instance, Hadrian had many artworks made of his boyfriend, Antinous, who was said to be very attractive, but who sadly died by drowning in the Nile. Here are busts of Hadrian and Antinous at the British Museum ...

Another concrete example of Hadrian's existence is his villa outside of Rome ...

And, of course, then there was his wall mentioned in the news story ...

But I think more people will be familiar with something else belonging to Hadrian - his tomb in Rome - although most Catholics now call it the Castel Sant'Angelo ...

Sunday, November 12, 2023

A march

More than 180,000 people across France march against soaring antisemitism amid the Israel-Hamas war

More than 180,000 people across France, including 100,000 in Paris, marched peacefully on Sunday to protest against rising antisemitism in the wake of Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, representatives of several parties on the left, conservatives and centrists of President Emmanuel Macron’s party as well as far-right leader Marine Le Pen attended Sunday’s march in the French capital amid tight security. Macron did not attend, but expressed his support for the protest and called on citizens to rise up against “the unbearable resurgence of unbridled antisemitism.” ...

I'm glad to see this!

As a liberal Democrat I am just mindboggled and sickened that people on my own end of the political spectrum are now siding with terrorists.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Veterans Day

My father was a veteran of the Korean war. When he came back from there, he was changed for the worse - all the men in his unit had been killed but him. Shortly after that my parents got divorced. I was 3 and my sister was a baby. We never saw or heard from him again. I wish there had been a program like this one for him.

Blue Öyster Cult

Our weekend selction from the grocery store Muzak offerings :) ...

Friday, November 10, 2023

Isaac Herzog

An NBC interview with Israel's President, Isaac Herzog. Interesting because I've seen much about the Prime Minister, but not about the President before. Here he speaks about the Israeli/Hamas war.

Thursday, November 09, 2023

In the yard

It was so nice outside today. Sunny but slightly cool. I took some pictures ...

Here is Lucy looking at the grape leaves ...

Here are some pecans that I gathered yesterday for the squirrels ...

A couple of acorn caps ...

Hansel is checking out the mushrooms ...

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

15 weeks

Now that conservatives are losing elections, they want to "compromise" with a 15 week abortion ban. It won't work. Roe v Wade, written by Republican appointees to the Supreme Court, was the compromise.

Tuesday, November 07, 2023


Yes! Ohio voters did choose the "right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions" ... including the decision to get an abortion.

Good for women, for health care, for bodily autonomy.


One of the cats that appeared here about a year ago is Dash. He has always had an ear problem - some kind of growth that dangled from one ear and seemed to irritate him at times. My sister told me about it but I never really saw it clearly until I recently took photos of it - my vision was too bad.

We signed Dash up many months ago to be surrendered to the SPCA, hoping they would fix his ear - we just can't afford to do that. Now they have decided they can fix his ear and we are just figuring out when we can catch him and take him in.

This is good news for Dash. He will finally be rid of his ear problem. Still, it makes me sad to see him go. There are about 12+ cats here, not counting indoor Yoda ... Olive, Dina, Hansel, Gretel, Lucy, Misty, Mouse, Prince Wendell, Snowy, Fig, Fluffy, Socks, and a couple of others who have recently been hanging around but are still scared of me. The quality of their lives is not great. I hope Dash will be better off by finding a new home through the SPCA.

Monday, November 06, 2023


I know there's a lot going on in the news, from Trump testifying at his civil trial in NY to Biden falling behind in the polls, but I'm still thinking about the Israeli/Hamas war.

Searching for Hamas tunnels inside Gaza ...

An interview I saw tonight with the Istaeli prime minister ...

Some have compared the combat the Israelis will face in Gaza city to what the US encountered in Fallujah ...

The Second Battle of Fallujah .... was an American-led offensive of the Iraq War .... it was a joint military effort carried out by the United States, the Iraqi Interim Government, and the United Kingdom. Within the city of Fallujah, the coalition was led by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army, the battle was later described as "some of the heaviest urban combat U.S. military have been involved in since the Battle of Huế City in Vietnam in 1968" ....

Fallujah was occupied by virtually every insurgent group in Iraq: al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI), Ansar al-Sunna, Army of Mohammed (AOM), the Army of the Mujahedeen and the Secret Islamic Army of Iraq ....

The Iraqi insurgents and foreign Mujahideen present in the city prepared fortified defenses in advance of the anticipated attack. They dug tunnels, trenches, prepared spider holes, and built and hid a wide variety of IEDs. In some locations, they filled the interiors of darkened homes with large numbers of propane bottles, large drums of gasoline, and ordnance, all wired to a remote trigger that could be set off by an insurgent when troops entered the building. They blocked streets with Jersey barriers and even emplaced them within homes to create strong points behind which they could attack unsuspecting troops entering the building. Insurgents were equipped with a variety of advanced small arms, and had captured a variety of U.S. armament, including M14s, M16s, body armor, uniforms and helmets. They booby-trapped buildings and vehicles, including wiring doors and windows to grenades and other ordnance. Anticipating U.S. tactics to seize the roof of high buildings, they bricked up stairwells to the roofs of many buildings, creating paths into prepared fields of fire which they hoped the troops would enter.

Most of Fallujah's civilian population fled the city before the battle, which greatly reduced the potential for noncombatant casualties. U.S. military officials estimated that 70–90% of the 300,000 civilians in the city fled before the attack, leaving 30,000 to 90,000 civilians still in the city. The military used leaflets and broadcasts to encourage civilians to leave the city before the assault ....

There were numerous criticisms relating to the United States' tactics during the battle, including the weapons used, civilian casualties, and collateral damage ...

Sunday, November 05, 2023

Face the Nation

Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Herzog, on Face the Nation today.

Saturday, November 04, 2023

Hamas and Crypto

Now and Then

Music video shows the other Beatles working on John's song. I feel like they have been keeping me company for most of my life. Sad.

Peter Jackson Talks About Making The Beatles' Last Music Video

The Beatles: Now and Then review – ‘final’ song is a poignant act of closure

Friday, November 03, 2023

A pause

UPDATE 11/3/23: Israel's military announces a brief window for people in northern Gaza to flee south


Secretary of State Tony Blinken was in Israel today, asking Prime Minister Netanyahu to consider a "pause" or a cease fire in the war. That looks unlikely umless Hamas hands over all the hostages. They won't.

Why doesn't Netanyahu want a cease fire, and is there a way to get humanitarian aid to Gaza?

My two favorite military commentators ... retired admiral James Stavridis and retired general Barry McCaffrey ... comment on this ...

Thursday, November 02, 2023

If ...



Hamas has fuel, but won't share with Gazan hospitals.

Israel will ...

Israeli general eyes admitting fuel to Gaza if hospitals run out

The chief of Israel's armed forces signalled willingness on Thursday to ease its wartime embargo on fuel for the Gaza Strip, saying that if hospitals there run out they could be resupplied under supervision ...

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Collateral damage

The Israeli/Hamas war just preys on my mind. I'm on the side of Israel, but it is hard to watch the videos of civilians killed in Gaza. I don't see a solution that allows Israel to wipe out Hamas without causing collateral damage. Does that mean Israel should just stop? That seems to be what some believe, but that doesn't seem right to me either.

I think of the Vietnam war. It was going on when I was in high school and college, and I was against it. Part of why was the civilian death toll. Estimates vary, according to Wikipedia ... Vietnam War casualties ... but depending on who and when you ask, it's somewhere between half a million and over 2 million.

In WWII, how many died in the bombing of Dresden? How many died in the bombing of Tokyo?

There was a time when I would have said that any civilian casualties should be a reason to stop the fighting. It makes my skin crawl to say this, but I guess I don't really believe that anymore. I think what Hamas did in Israel was pure evil, and tthat the organization should be. destroyed. But do the ends justify the means? I think the Israelis really are trying to avoid civilian deaths, but how many are too many?

I just don't know.