October 9th, 2012


Rendering Unto Caesar: Call out the Phalanx!‏

A tad over thirty years ago on my train ride into work I read a New York Times article detailing an operation in Lebanon where Palestinian civilians were brutally slaughtered by Christian Phalangists in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps under the watchful of the Israeli occupation forces. I was so moved by the news that I had to take the day off as a sick day. There was no way that I could focus on work with the slaughter fresh in my mind. The anniversary of the event brought us another article in the New York Times that outlined American involvement in giving Ariel Sharon a green light to move ahead with a planned operation to flush out residual PLO personnel from the camps. According to the article, American envoy Morris Draper backed off on a demand to Sharon to stop the operation. The article points out that a slaughter was expected:
In Tel Aviv, Mr. Draper and the American ambassador, Samuel W. Lewis, met with top Israeli officials. Contrary to Prime Minister Begin’s earlier assurances, Defense Minister Sharon said the occupation of West Beirut was justified because there were “2,000 to 3,000 terrorists who remained there.” Mr. Draper disputed this claim; having coordinated the August evacuation, he knew the number was minuscule. Mr. Draper said he was horrified to hear that Mr. Sharon was considering allowing the Phalange militia into West Beirut. Even the I.D.F. chief of staff, Rafael Eitan, acknowledged to the Americans that he feared “a relentless slaughter.”
The author, Seth Anziska, sums up:
The archival record reveals the magnitude of a deception that undermined American efforts to avoid bloodshed. Working with only partial knowledge of the reality on the ground, the United States feebly yielded to false arguments and stalling tactics that allowed a massacre in progress to proceed.

Back in 2008, Ari Folman released an animated docudrama on accounts of Israeli soldiers who were there at the time. I was impressed by the work:

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What do you think of US complicity in this operation? Why do you believe there was little or no outrage at the time?

Links: A NY Times article from 30 years ago. Seth Aziska's NY Times op-ed piece on recent revelations. Cache of documents on the massacre.

'It's better to be over the hill than under it' - the proposed slogan of Shit Creek Committee

Comrade peristaltor responded to the theme of toyvarisch a_new_machine in a manner, that bears all signs of scientific approach:
i) it has many letters
ii) it is absolutely true and
iii) it's absolutely useless. (Well, not quite so)

Well, I didn't get my PhD, I'm just a raw product of my middle-of-low-class block...
Not to disagree completely with what he says at http://talk-politics.livejournal.com/1574340.html in para 3.,and just to build upon what he says in para. 2 -

The said comrade, digging deeper, so to say, into the shit creek subject, described the process right. Pity he didn't address to the cycle procedure. He just missed the feature I would call 'safety pressure gauge'.

Let me explain what happened with subprimes, derivatives, 'value creation' and all that jazz the following way:

You're trying to pull a brick behind you with a rubber cord. You make one step ahead, and it's OK. You make another, and the cord pulls tighter. You make the third one - and, as nothing happens, you're writing down a book on pulling cords and launch a training course for dummies. You make another step, promoting and proclaiming yourself again, then yet another one - and the cord decides 'enough is enough' and you get the brick at the back of your head.

That's because one important detail was missing in the self-repeating process of 'banks creating money'...

Speaking the programming language, you closed the no-exit recursive loop.

Just about that.

Now, may I have the Noebel prize both in economy and literature?


This is really well written: Dan Harmon on the presidential race

Dan Harmon (formerly of NBC-TV's Community) has a tumblr.

http://danharmon.tumblr.com/post/33234881965/i-think-romney-doesnt-actually-want-to-be-president Collapse )

Maybe Romney should concede, and then we can talk about the multitude of other races that are going on at the same time.

Anyway, the post goes on to deplore the two parties as really being One Thing in their power-sharing arrangement, and that's kind of interesting. But the point that Romney is going on, and the media are pretending his candidacy makes sense because it's the expected thing, that's really cutting. I suppose that really the GOP is going on with its passel of bad candidates, and the media is pretending that a) they're a reasonable alternative and that b) the Democrats are an effective counterweight, because it's the expected thing.

Maybe this is the prelude to a realignment, if we're smart enough to take it.
Groovy Kol

Red lines in the sea

The game of water pistols is simple: the bigger your weapon the better, and the more people are playing, the merrier. And no one remains dry in the end.

Well, the Game of Sea Rocks in East Asia is played roughly along the same principles, save for the fun part. See for yourselves:

Last month a few dozen Japanese and Taiwanese sea vessels arranged a nice battle with water cannons between themselves. The Taiwanese wanted to pin their flag on a piece of rock amidst the ocean, and the Japanese did their best to stop them. The memorable event (which ended with a crushing defeat for the Taiwanese fleet) was one among many episodes of the recently inflamed row involving Taiwan, China and Japan over a few small islets (or rather, big rocks) which the three sides prefer to call islands. The hysteria has been growing ever since.

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  • mahnmut

Straight from the pit of Hell, baby!

Now on topic, at long last. And I swear, my dear, this ain't no Onion thingy!

Video shows 'scientist' in Congress saying evolution is from 'pit of Hell'

"U.S. Rep. Paul Broun's view that the theories of evolution and the big bang are "lies straight from the pit of Hell" is getting more exposure than he might have expected, thanks to a video that was made at a church-sponsored banquet in Georgia and distributed by a progressive political watchdog group."

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rikEWuBrkHc

Eh, I'm sure he was just kiddin', right? Like Rush Limbaugh who's not serious, but is rather a new unique type of comedian whose statements are not meant to be factual, right? RIGHT?

Oh wait. There's more...

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