Category Archives: Adventure

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Nobody understands poor Israel – One mans terrorist is another mans Jihad

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.  That Israeli Jihad against Hamas and the Palestinians is just another example.

Israel is confused and distraught.  Nobody seems to understand them, including Hamas, which shoots at them.  The UN and the International Community keeps telling them they’re violating International Law by occupying and putting settlements in the lands occupied.

The world just doesn’t understand.  Because the world hates Jews.

So.  What is ‘right’?  Israel is occupying land that belongs so someone else according to the unanimous view of the rest of the world.  The people who own that land consider the Israeli occupation an act of war.  They’d approve of anyone doing anything to Israel out of retaliation in hopes of eventually getting what belongs to them back.

Israel is an outlaw among nations. Declared itself to be by its own persistent behavior.  And it is perpetrating its outlawry with new settlements on stolen land, attacks on the owners, and blaming everyone but themselves.

Whatever happens to Israel as a consequence will be a tragedy.  Likely there’ll come a day when Israel will be lamented :

By the waters of Babylon there we sat down

and wept as we remembered Zion.

Israeli settlement

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Map of Israeli settlements (magenta) in the West Bank in 2012.

CIA remote sensing map of Greater Jerusalem, showing Israeli settlements, Palestinian refugee camps, fences, walls, etc. in May 2006.

Map of the Golan Heights with Israeli settlements in 1992.

Israeli settlements in the occupied territories[1] (commonly referred to as simply Israeli settlements[2]) are the Israeli civilian communities[i] built on lands occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and in the Golan Heights. Settlements also existed in the Sinai and Gaza Strip until Israel evacuated the Sinai settlements following the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace agreement and from the Gaza Strip in 2005 under Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan. Israel dismantled 18 settlements in the Sinai Peninsula in 1982, and all 21 in the Gaza Strip and 4 in the West Bank in 2005,[3] but continues to both expand its settlements and settle new areas in the West Bank,[4][5][6][7][8] despite being condemned by 158 out of 166 nations in one vote, and 160 nations out of 171 nations in a different vote, in the UN.[9]

The international community considers the settlements in occupied territory to be illegal,[10] and the United Nations has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel’s construction of settlements constitutes a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.[11][12] Israeli neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and communities in the Golan Heights, areas which have been annexed by Israel, are also considered settlements by the international community, which does not recognise Israel’s annexations of these territories.[13] The International Court of Justice also says these settlements are illegal in a 2004 advisory opinion.[14][15][16] In April 2012, UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, in response to moves by Israel to legalise Israeli outposts, reiterated that all settlement activity is illegal, and “runs contrary to Israel’s obligations under the Road Map and repeated Quartet calls for the parties to refrain from provocations.”[17] Similar criticism was advanced by the EU and the US.[18][19] Israel disputes the position of the international community and the legal arguments that were used to declare the settlements illegal.[20]

The presence and ongoing expansion of existing settlements by Israel and the construction of settlement outposts is frequently criticized as an obstacle to the peace process by the Palestinians[21] and third parties, including the United Nations,[22] Russia,[23] the United Kingdom,[24] France,[25] the European Union,[26] and the United States.[22]

In July 2012, according to the Israeli interior ministry, 350,150 Jewish settlers lived in the 121 officially recognised settlements in the West Bank, 300,000 Israelis lived in settlements in East Jerusalem and over 20,000 lived in settlements in the Golan Heights.[27][28] Settlements range in character from farming communities and frontier villages to urban suburbs and neighborhoods. The four largest settlements, Modi’in Illit, Ma’ale Adumim, Beitar Illit and Ariel, have achieved city status. Ariel has 18,000 residents while the rest have around 37,000 to 55,500 each.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_settlements

So who can Americans and Europeans trust in the Middle East?

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Most of you have declared among yourselves you’d never trust an Arab, which is prudent.  And Israel’s certainly made it plain over the past few decades that it, also can’t be trusted.  Which shouldn’t come as any surprise now that DNA proves they’re all the same folks, Israelis and Arabs.

But surely, you might be saying to yourself, there’s SOMEONE over there who can be trusted.

Well, in fact there might be people with a more trustworthy gene pool than that found among the Palestinians, Israelis, Syrians, Jordanians, Egyptians, etc.  In Lebanon.  People more European genetically.  Probably descendants of Crusaders who occupied a bit of the region for a couple of centuries.

That is to say, if you’d trust a descendant of a Frenchman, Italian, or Englishman.  Or German, Spaniard, any of those bastards as far as you could throw them.  Trade a headache for an upset stomach, I suppose, and trust the Lebanese.  Send them a few thousand tanks and helicopters, artillery.  Flack jackets and M16s.

Pat them on the back and tell them to bring some European style honor, justice, compassion and ethics into the region.  Crusader style.

There’s not enough confusion going on over there at the moment.  Even with Syrians running amok with weaponry, Israelis grabbing every inch of territory they can see and killing anyone standing in the way of it, chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Russia forgetting what WWII felt like, there’s room for US diplomacy.  US leadership that’s proved itself time and again in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, you name it.

Time for the US  to either get behind Lebanon or get out of that entire part of the world the way we got out of Vietnam when the going got tough.  Hanging off helicopters while the getting was good.

Besides, those Lebanese are probably headed for hard times when the cousins quit fighting long enough to notice Lebanon’s not family.  Bunch of dirty Europeans occupying territory which rightfully ought to belong to Israel or Palestinians.

Old Jules

The shared genetic heritage of Jews and Palestinians

http://epiphenom.fieldofscience.com/2009/01/shared-genetic-heritage-of-jews-and.html

By Tomas Rees

The Times recently carried this unusual report on an Israeli Jew (Tsvi Misinai, a retired computer expert) who’s hoping to prove that Palestinians are descended from Jews. Apparently, he thinks that proving this will help to stop the bloodshed. His idea is that modern Jews are descended from emigration in the first few centuries of the Christian era. The Jews who stayed put in Palestine converted to Islam, and became Palestinian Arabs. There’s hope that genetic tests might be able to prove this.Well, there is good news and bad news on that score.The good news is that the genetics of Arabs and Jews have been pretty extensively researched. The classic study dates to 2000, from a team lead by Michael Hammer of University of Arizona. They looked at Y-chromosome haplotypes – this is the genetic material passed from father to son down the generations.

What they revealed was that Arabs and Jews are essentially a single population, and that Palestinians are slap bang in the middle of the different Jewish populations (as shown in this figure).

Another team, lead by Almut Nebel at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, took a closer look in 2001. They found that Jewish lineages essentially bracket Muslim Kurds, but they were also very closely related to Palestinians. In fact, what their analysis suggested was that Palestinians were identical to Jews, but with a small mix of Arab genes – what you would expect if they were originally from the same stock, but that Palestinians had mixed a little with Arab immigrants. They conclude:

We propose that the Y chromosomes in Palestinian Arabs and Bedouin represent, to a large extent, early lineages derived from the Neolithic inhabitants of the area and additional lineages from more-recent population movements. The early lineages are part of the common chromosome pool shared with Jews (Nebel et al. 2000). According to our working model, the more-recent migrations were mostly from the Arabian Peninsula…

So, as far as male lineage goes, the genetic story is very clear. Palestinians and Jews are virtually indistinguishable.

Women are a bit more tricky…
Up until last year, the matrilineal heritage of Jews also seemed pretty clear. Analysis of elements in mitochondrial DNA (which is passed from mother to daughter) seemed to show that Jewish populations around Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East were derived from at least 8 unrelated ‘founding mothers’.

Where they came from wasn’t clear, but the most likely explanation was that they were from local populations that bred with immigrant Jewish males. Their offspring became absorbed into the Jewish community.

In 2008, a more sophisticated analysis was published that made use of whole mitochondrial DNA sequences. They found no evidence for the genetic bottle necks that indicate founding mothers in the large Jewish populations. Instead, they found a complicated picture with a very diverse gene pool suggesting intermarriage both with local populations and other Jewish groups.

The overall conclusion is that the female Jewish line deviates a lot more from the Palestinian heritage than the male line, but the heritage is still there.

So that’s the good news. Jews and Palestinian Arabs are blood brothers – although this close genetic relationship probably stems from pre-Judaic times, rather than any more recent conversion of Palestinian Jews to Islam.

And the bad news? Well, this basic story has been known for the best part of a decade now. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, it hasn’t lead to the warring sides laying down their weapons and engaging in a group hug. This is a religious conflict, not a genetic one.

Mr Misinai is, sadly, on a hiding to nothing.

Moments of Moral Clarity

Old Jules:

Worthy thoughts from my friend Ed. J

Originally posted on Do What's Right:

Sometimes those moments when the moral obligations are most obvious is when it hurts the most.

In my world there is a particular person who is rather close, to the point of under my feet, as it were. This person is spiritually dead and morally vacant. While possessing a high degree of social conditioning, there is no significant response to moral truth, much less divine revelation. In other words, the only language that works is outright threat, and darn little of that. It’s complicated by connections to other people in the context. Worst of all, it’s a legal adult.

God allows us to face this kind of testing. There is likely always one, and often more, such folks in your life at various ranges of closeness. If you can escape their presence, things can be almost tolerable. If there is no escape, you’ll have to grit your teeth and do…

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The Mooring – Everyone dies. I hope this doesn’t spoil it for you.

Hi readers.  Watching Black Rock and finding it intriguing and thought provoking inspired me to watch a movie that seemed to rhyme with it.  A movie I’d normally have avoided.  The Mooring was right there where a person could watch it stream on Netflix.

The Mooring 2012 R 89 minutes  A group of teen girls gathered in the Idaho wilderness for a program to help them lose dependency on technology become victims of a murderous rampage. More Info Starring: Hallie Todd, Thomas Wilson Brown Director: Glenn Withrow

But all it managed was a lot of gratuitous violence, screaming hysterical females, lousy judgement, misplaced confidence, and grounds for paranoia for people who weren’t scared enough already.

Otherwise it was a pretty good movie.

Old Jules

Fallen Boys

Old Jules:

We’re all guilty by association just by being human. I don’t know a damned thing I could do to stop the carnage and I don’t know anyone who does know. On the other hand, history’s on their side. Those people have been killing one another since at least the time of Moses. If nobody’s thought of a way to stop it maybe it’s because they just love the feel of it being the way it is. Old Jules

Originally posted on CollTales:


Where Children Are
Killed & No One Cares

The original, moving tribute to Ahed Atef Bakr, Zakaria Ahed Bakr, Mohamed Ramez Bakr, and Ismael Mohamed Bakr, ages 8 to 10, killed by Israel’s shells at Gaza, was done by Israeli artist Almir Shiby.
We took the liberty of including the heartbreaking picture of the grief stricken father of one of the boys, taken by Hosam Salem. If nothing is done to stop this carnage, we’re all guilty by association.

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Received July 6th- July 12th

Old Jules:

Another impressive week for Jeanne’s library mail art project. They’re stll accepting submissions. You artistic readers might enjoy sending something. J

Originally posted on Library Mail Art 2014:

Last week we didn’t get any new submissions, but this week three things came in the mail!

First, a collaborative work  from Ryosuke Cohen in Osaka, Japan:
IMG_2839

From redni.com in Fresno, California:

IMG_2841

IMG_2842

And from Carlo Maria Giudici in Lecco, Italy, La Divina Commedia – Paradiso:

IMG_2843

IMG_2845

Thanks to all of you! We are still accepting submissions for our display until the end of August, so you still have plenty of time to send something to us. I will be on break from documenting submissions until the beginning of August, so if you mail something in the next two weeks, I will post it when I get back.
Spread the word…. mail art is lots of fun!

Jeanne

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Being alive puts things into a whole different light

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Those of you who’ve read here a while probably remember when I did my dramatic exit scene from Texas.  Middle of the damned coldest winter in memory, hopped in that RV trying to beat death to Kansas.  Two cats freezing and scared, me pushing things to a razor edge because I was determined to die somewhere the felines would have a home when I kicked.

Made it as far as one of those north Texas towns above Dallas, checked into a motel to croak.  And Jeanne’s sons dropped what they were doing and came down to drive me the rest of the way.

I had every reason to believe one of a couple of unhappy body parts was going on strike and planned to kill me.  The VA in Texas tried hard to avoid giving me the bad news by not examining me, but I sneaked past them into a private emergency room.  Old Gale hauled me to town when I was in bad enough shape to agree to it.  Took care of the cats while the Kerrville hospital made faces at one another every time they got the results of another test.

So I had every reason to believe my goozle was an ugly cancerous disaster, funny como se llamas on my lungs, but that those couldn’t get to me fast enough to kill me.  My ticker was going to do that honor.

So when I arrived in Oz and checked into the Olathe Medical Center through the Emergency Room I figured there was a middling chance I wouldn’t be coming back out with the amount of alive I had when I checked in.

But the cats were taken care of.  Every time a sawbones wanted to look at something else going ugly or stinking on my old jalopy of a body, I said okay.  And afterward he, or she would come around looking somber, suggesting we have a better look and by the way, I hate to tell you this, etc.

But I’ve digressed.  My point I want to make to you is that nobody anywhere along the program was saying, “On the off chance you don’t croak this is going to cost one hell of a lot of money.  Let’s discuss whether you could pay it in your wildest, most optimistic dreams.”

Hell, I’m a Social Security pensioneer.  Whatever medical care I get is through the VA, or Medicare paying the bills that have any reasonable hope of getting paid.  There’s copays, and I had a vague awareness of the fact it exists, but hell, I was having conversations with the grim reaper.  I wasn’t worrying about bill collectors.

And seemingly neither was anyone else.  Sons of bitches thought I as dying, every swinging Richard of them.  Maybe if they thought there was any hope I wouldn’t someone would have sat down with me and said, “Uh, you know, if you die you’re going to be okay.  But if you don’t, we’ve got people over in accounting who are going to try to make the REST of your life challenging.  Maybe you thought you had it bad before you came in here, but dying’s just a way to escape the accounts receivable people down the hall.  People do it all the time.”

Okay.  This defibrillator and the VA paying for physical therapy did a lot, and I believe, my home remedy herbal cancer killer took care of the goozle and lungs.  For a while it still appeared the damned ticker could still croak me, but it gradually slid down on the job.  Every physical therapy session I came away feeling better physically, and suspecting the financial world had some dark clouds looming on the horizon.  Lucky the national debt already admitted nobody gives a damn about paying debts anyway.

Well friends and neighbors, barring any unforeskinned circumcisions I won’t be seeing anymore doctors for a year.  They’ve got this ticker surveillance device hooked to me, reports to them all the time, and I’m down there three times a week on walking machines and sitting down peddler things, putting all this crap behind me.

And the bean counters are scratching their heads, dunning me and fretting over the phone about how I’m going to pay those copays that didn’t make any difference so long as I was exiting the vehicle.  Every month they get their $10 checks, and the big ones rack up a charge to neutralize that in the form of a penalty because it wasn’t enough.

And threatening to turn it over to the Roccos.

Sheeze!  I was needing a new adventure.  Aside from some help from a few good friends, I haven’t had any personal debt since Y2K.  If I didn’t have money I didn’t spend it, no matter what.  Sometimes they turned off the electricity, and it stayed turned off until I got enough money to turn it back on.

I suppose this could be called the cost of living.  I can send them $10 per month, they can call that $10 and raise, until nature can find some other way of wiping me off the Monopoly board.

But damn it’s good being alive.

Old Jules

 

 

Palin and Clinton’s surprising similarities

Hi readers.  I don’t know much at all about politicas and political figures.  But I lived through the Clinton years and couldn’t avoid a middling familiarity with Clinton’s wife, wossname.  Margery?  Anyway, the woman who was such good friends with, and a supporter of Janet Reno.

A business partner with her old man in all the real estate dealings in Arkansas that would have landed me, or you readers, in jail.  I’d sum the Clinton woman up as a selfish, venal female at worst, and someone who oughtn’t be involved in politics, at best.

But now that there’s been a black American in the White House female Americans have begun digging around to find some warm body of almost any description, minus male genitals, to occupy it next.  And I’ve seen the name of this one bandied about, seen people I’d ordinarily attribute good sense to, people I’d otherwise respect, mention her name in the same sentence with the phrase Oval Office.

Okay, so the black American occupying the White House is something of a mangy dog we all expected a lot better from.  Or most of us did.  I don’t recall expecting more myself, but I know I heard people talking at the time as though they expected a lot.  Ore at least expected SOMETHING.  It came as something of a shock to a lot of people that they’d elected a black white man.

 But equally surprising is the evident need on the part of otherwise potentially sane American womanhood to trump the whole thing downward.  To elect a white man woman to the White House who will almost certainly neutralize the concept of electing a woman to the office might make things better.

In the interest of fairness, I thought I should learn something about the woman the other party was excited about somewhat recently.  Palin.  Attractive, intelligent looking woman about whom I know almost nothing.

So I watched a couple of movies on Netflix about her.

Sarah Palin: The Undefeated2011PG-13117 minutes This documentary recounts the sudden and surprising emergence of Sarah Palin as a national political figure after two years as Alaska’s governor. Cast: Sarah Palin, Andrew Breitbart, Mark Levin  Genre: Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Political Documentaries  This movie is: Controversial, Provocative

Sarah Palin: You Betcha!2011NR91 minutes Filmmaker Nick Broomfield tracks down friends, relatives and colleagues of polarizing Alaska politician Sarah Palin in this irreverent documentary. Cast: Nick Broomfield, Chuck Heath, Sarah Palin Genre: Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries, Political Documentaries This movie is:  Irreverent, Controversial

I came away puzzled a lot worse than I was when I began.  I’m left with the distinct impression that in all ways that matter the Palin woman is indistinguishable from the Clinton woman.  Shallow, venal, malicious, probably insufferable at a personal one-on-one level.

Can’t help wondering whether all women in politics are just cardboard cutouts with everything inside being everything nobody ought to want in a politician.  Same, probably, as black men.  White men, too, for that matter.

Old Jules