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Not exactly winter white… 9 January 2009

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Israel/AIPAC.

Pelican in the snow, Sofia, Bulgaria [EPA via Telegraph]

He or she has a jaunty walk, magnificent plumage color… and a hair do.

UK Telegraph has a gallerie of critters, mostly in zoos but not all (white hare in the snows, wild white horse in Camargue) coping with the tough winter weather this year…

The pelican is one holding up well in Bulgaria where, apparently, some are suffering from the Gazprom – Russo – Ukrainian  gas wars…  others, zoo residents (so to speak),  are deprived of their heat and while there are electric heaters, it looks like they miss their more diffused gas heat…


Day 15 of Israel’s blood supper.

Madman added this at the end of the last thread, so will move it forward, part of the dine on Gaza and her people war:

This is Gaza:

the comments by “Yonit” at the bottom are predictable. Depressing, but predictable.



1. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 January 2009

Condom Burnings and Anti-Gay Witch Hunts: How Rick Warren Is Undermining AIDs Prevention in Africa

Once hailed by Time magazine as “America’s Pastor,” California megachurch leader and best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren now finds himself on the defensive. President-elect Barack Obama’s selection of Warren to deliver the inaugural prayer has generated intense scrutiny of the pastor’s beliefs on social issues, from his vocal support for Proposition 8, a ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage in California, to his comparison of homosexuality to pedophilia, incest and bestiality. Many of Obama’s supporters have demanded that he withdraw the invitation.

Warren’s defense against charges of intolerance ultimately depends upon his ace card: his heavily publicized crusade against AIDS in Africa. Obama senior adviser David Axelrod cited Warren’s work in Africa as one of “the things on which [Obama and Warren] agree” on the Dec. 28 episode of Meet the Press. Warren may be opposed to gay rights and abortion, the thinking goes, but he tells evangelicals it is their God-given duty to battle one of the greatest pandemics in history. What could be wrong with that?

But since the Warren inauguration controversy erupted, the nature of his work against AIDS in Africa has gone unexamined. Warren has not been particularly forthcoming to those who have attempted to look into it. His Web site contains scant information about the results of his program. However, an investigation into Warren’s involvement in Africa reveals a web of alliances with right-wing clergymen who have sidelined science-based approaches to combating AIDS in favor of abstinence-only education. More disturbingly, Warren’s allies have rolled back key elements of one of the continent’s most successful initiative, the so-called ABC program in Uganda. Stephen Lewis, the United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, told the New York Times their activism is “resulting in great damage and undoubtedly will cause significant numbers of infections which should never have occurred.”

Warren’s man in Uganda is a charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa. The head of the Makerere Community Church, a rapidly growing congregation, Ssempa enjoys close ties to his country’s first lady, Janet Museveni, and is a favorite of the Bush White House. In the capitol of Kampala, Ssempa is known for his boisterous crusading. Ssempa’s stunts have included burning condoms in the name of Jesus and arranging the publication of names of homosexuals in cooperative local newspapers while lobbying for criminal penalties to imprison them.

2. marisacat - 9 January 2009

Men of God… both Warren and Obama. Upstanding representatives of the Big Float.

3. marisacat - 9 January 2009

hmm. They’re just throwing blunt darts ar a rubber wall:

Gaza: international plan hatched to bring back Fatah

A plan to create a new foothold in Gaza for the Palestinian Authority and to bring in international monitors was being drawn up by diplomats yesterday as a UN ceasefire call was dismissed by both sides.

The plan would allow a return of the authority, led by the secular Fatah faction, to the territory 18 months after it was expelled by the Islamist Hamas. Diplomats are considering taking a triangle at the southern end of Gaza, including the Rafah crossing to Egypt and the Kerem Shalom crossing to Israel, to be policed by Turkish and French military monitors to stop arms smuggling into Gaza.

The zone would nominally be controlled by the authority, the internationally recognised Government. Such a plan would allow the crossings to reopen for the first time since Hamas seized power in Gaza in June 2007.

The plan is being negotiated as part of the Egyptian peace initiative, announced by President Mubarak after talks with President Sarkozy of France, which calls for an immediate ceasefire to be followed by talks on securing the Gaza-Egypt border and reopening the crossings. …snip…

4. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Franchise USA! USA! All I can say is don’t miss it.

5. marisacat - 10 January 2009

I am sure people will show up. Just not what the hype hyped… all that hope, you know..

6. bayprairie - 10 January 2009

Franchise USA! USA! All I can say is don’t miss it.

what! no franklin mint dollar? thats OBscene

7. marisacat - 10 January 2009

More details on the Samouni family of Zeitoun.

Maysaa says she escaped with her daughter and brother-in-law, Musa, to the house of an uncle. There she found at least 40 Israeli soldiers and about 30 Palestinians, including a handful that were blindfolded. The soldiers administered first aid to Maysaa and her daughter before releasing them, but, she testifies, said they would keep Musa and his uncle “in case Hamas came”. She adds: “I understood that they intended to use them as human shields.”

The Israeli military denies targeting any buildings in the Zeitoun area on Monday and says it never forcibly gathers civilians in a specific building. It is continuing to investigate the incident.

Interviewed at Al Quds hospital yesterday, Ibteffam Al-Samouni said soldiers had “fired missiles” in the neighbourhood on Sunday and broke into five houses inhabited by Samouni family members and told the residents to leave. They had then walked to the warehouse belonging to their relatives. She added: “The soldiers told us: ‘Stay there and shut the door, habbibi [my love].”

“We are civilians, we are farmers, we don’t take part in any kind of resistance,” said the 30-year-old woman.

After the shelling on Monday, she tried to escape. But, she says, there was shooting from Israeli forces as they walked from the building despite the fact that members of the group were waving white flags and shouting in Hebrew: “Kattan, Kattan [We have kids].” One of the men, Iyad, was shot in the leg by soldiers. “They ordered us to keep moving and not take the wounded man,” she recalls. It was not until three days later that his body was recovered and brought to the hospital.

8. bayprairie - 10 January 2009

one of DMSOC’s myIDFwingnuts playing nutter at dkos.

Jeez, (6+ / 1-)

yet another anti-Israel screed.

I think that it might be time for Jews to come together in opposition to liberal hate toward Israel. :::the threat:::

On the issues, I am a liberal, but the liberal movement does not care about Israel. ::;the artful disclaimer:::

They do not care about the rockets shot as Sderot. :::the standard bullshit line:::

They do not understand about, nor care about, the constant hate that Israel has undergone. :::the pity:::

You have to make a choice. :::the drivel:::

by Karmafish on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:18:55 PM PST

9. marisacat - 10 January 2009
10. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009

War and Piece excerpts:

Reuters: “The United States is seeking to hire a merchant ship to deliver hundreds of tons of arms to Israel from Greece later this month, tender documents seen by Reuters show. The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command said the ship was to carry 325 standard 20-foot containers of what is listed as ‘ammunition’ on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.”

We’re all about spreading peace around the world.


11. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009
12. marisacat - 10 January 2009


Israel drops leaflets over Gaza warning of ‘escalation’ in violence

Military jets drop flyers as a ‘general warning’ to Palestinians that attacks will rise in intensity

…The leaflet said Israel was about to begin a “new phase in the war on terror”. It said Israel will “escalate” an operation that already has killed more than 800 Palestinians. …

The Palestinian Authority president today said Israel must accept an Egyptian-brokered plan to end the fighting in the Gaza Strip or it would bear responsibility for the war….snip…

I read that Panetta said the obligatory “we will win the War on Terror” at his hearings. It is all just so dully mad. Such menial slow plodding deadly dull and deadly madness.

13. marisacat - 10 January 2009

From Lenin’s Tomb he’s at the big rally /march /protest in London today..

Well, the opening rally was at least 100k, and it has grown as we have hit the road. This the biggest pro-palestine demo in british history. Temperatures in hyde park are below zero. I wonder if they’ll invite us into the embassy for a hot drink? Pictures and footage coming soon.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009

I posted something on Papa Bush’s new ship.

15. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Even tho we massively supply Israel, something about that death ship is worse.

I have seen speculation, probably at Lenin, that Israel would need re arming… their thought was that it would be flown in, and what European airport would be the transit point.

Why don’t they just dock the ship at Gaza. Invite the people on the bluffs to help unload. hand out gold stars for effort.

16. marisacat - 10 January 2009


from Madman’s post…

…20 stories tall, over three football fields long

The new Nimitz class war ship, named for GHWBush. I can’t even conceive of it…

17. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009
18. CSTAR - 10 January 2009

Re 12. To be expected isn’t it?

According to what I just read the ratio is 792 palestinians vs 13 Israelis killed.. that’s an exchange rate about 50 to 1, well below the 100 to 1 which seems to be the market value IDF assigns to Palestinian lives vs Israeli ones. Gotta push up that exchange rate.

19. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Following the Fish cartoon link and the Guatanamo link above.. I am gamboling thru the Washington Babylon and various Silverstein and then No comment and the Horton posts. JesusFuckingChrist. Harper’s happy to quote John Judis. Sorry, all fucked up. Nor is Horton any sort of Walter Karp, who travailed clear eye’d thru the horror of BOTH [supposed] sides.

I thought Harper’s was lousy in the GE.. might as well tuck them into Ob’s pant’s pocket. Stay warm little politco chicklets. Stay close to ”liberal” dad.

20. marisacat - 10 January 2009


oh yes, they could nto stop now, even if they wanted to……… and they don’t. The “smart money” all seems to agree that it will move to “mopping up” in a few days, and a stop, halt, lull, fake truce, fake ceasefire… whatever for the Inauguration of the next misfit… but I see the Israelis having a hard time pulling away from the dining hall buffet tables..

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009

Would-be senator offers 1st glimpse of his agenda

Burris offered general support for the programs offered by the man who created the vacancy, President-elect Barack Obama—backing a stimulus agenda for the nation’s troubled economy and removing U.S. combat troops from Iraq while increasing the military presence in Afghanistan. But he said Obama should not count on him as a “rubber stamp.”

At the same time, Burris said he would support the expansion of O’Hare International Airport, a pet project of Mayor Richard Daley, after staking out an ambivalent position when he ran for mayor in 1995.

Burris maintained it was unfair to seek substantive answers from him about his goals because he hadn’t taken the oath of office—even though he was interested in the Senate appointment since last summer.

“I want to get my Senate legs under me and make sure I get down all the rules and regulations,” Burris said in the interview, which followed his appearance last week before a House panel that recommended Blagojevich’s impeachment. “In the meantime, I will begin to assess the various national issues that are out there in general and the Illinois issues in particular.”

22. CSTAR - 10 January 2009

Re 20 Well nobody really knows what the dynamic here is.

It’s conceivable that the IDF wants to make sure that there are hostilities in Gaza when Obama takes office just to make it clear to him who dictates american ME policy. Or rather, since Obama already knows who makes that policy and has acquiesced to it, the point is to make it clear to those who held any illusions about change in ME policy.

23. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Yes agree… when Israel struck what turned otu to be a basically moribund training camp in Northern Syria during the US primaries in late 2003, I thought then it was done solely to force the various and sundry hapless Dem primary candidates to go on the record.

24. aemd - 10 January 2009

Cstar and Ms Cat, here’s take on it.

“So the planets aligned perfectly for Israel, not so much Age of Aquarius way as Zero Hour, last chance to blow up Gaza before Obama comes in.

Will Obama be more hardnosed with the Israelis? I doubt it. Why would he? You’re not supposed to say out loud that there’s a big rich Israeli lobby, but everybody knows there is. And more to the point, what’s their counterweight? Who cares about the Palestinians, even in the Arab world, never mind DC? So there’s a big net gain to any US politician who backs Israel and no reason at all to back their opponents.

So I don’t see why the Israelis are so worried about Obama. Still, a military planner’s job is to be paranoid and the Israeli staff has decided that since Bush is a sure thing and the new guy is an unknown quantity, why not do it now?

I’ll tell you something else: Obama’s people are cheering the IDF too, for the timing at least. “Dear IDF, Thank you for doing this while Bush is still around to take the heat! Signed, Barack.” That’s exactly what Obama meant when somebody asked him about Gaza and he said, “Hey, we only have one president at a time!”

That tells you something else about this operation: it’s likely to end before January 20, 2009. Obama doesn’t want his big inauguration party bummed out with pictures of dead Arab kids, so the IDF has this thing planned to end sometime in early January.

Of course planning is one thing, execution is another. The IDF planned for a quick clean fight against Hezbollah in 2006, but that’s not the way it worked out.”

[Fixed the link –Mcat]

25. aemd - 10 January 2009

Oops again. One more time…..

War Nerds take on it.

26. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Well Live from the Met this am (in the West) is La Rondine which I have blaring forth… and SMBIVA has a too ‘on target’ take on the Big Food Mixer that war is… with us running the mixer.

Me: “And this is in Uncle Emperor’s best interests?”

Y: “Absolutely — we need a new Balkans over there — a real mess. Either that, or China and Russia will be making muskrat love right in front of our faces.”

27. marisacat - 10 January 2009

hmm Lenin says teh London demonstration is 200K… even the BBC admits to 50K…

and I see France has 90 protests around the country today… if ever there was a time for protests.

28. marisacat - 10 January 2009

More of Gary Brecher from aemd’s link…

They’re going down. Now, that’s not to say they’ll be wiped out, exterminated, whatever. That doesn’t happen any more, for reasons I’ll discuss in my next column. What we’re talking about here, what the IDF has in mind, is more what the Romans called “decimation”: killing enough of the right people to make Hamas weak for five or ten years, which may, just may, be long enough to give Israel’s allies the PLO/Fatah the edge in the Palestinian Civil War. That’s what this is about, getting your guys to win that war.

Will it work? Depends on the time frame. For a few years, yes; in the long run, Hell no. But if you’re the IDF, there are no good options in the long term. Demographics, dude; no way out of that spiral. The short term is all you’ve got, and in the short term Hamas is going to find out why it’s not a good idea to pretend you’re Hezbollah when you can’t back it up.

Yes short term is all they have. Birthrate, one reason women and children are being targetted. Wipe out a hundred, two hundred women, 300, 400, 500 hundred children, by the time they are done, and they have impacted birthrate for a long time.

I doubt they can stop for an inauguration… it was under-reported but Israel let another small group of foreign passport holders out, two days ago.

29. diane - 10 January 2009

Re Bart/Oakland Cali, Marisa,

I found myself wondering what compromised persons, with criminal records, may have been sent to Oakland to obscure the fact that folks are being shot in broad daylight in the United States under the auspices of justice (actually, “just us”) with no possibility at all to clear their names, because they have already been forced to petty crimes by the reality that haunts them, about their fellow humans who are calling the shots….behind Mahogany walls and even in the house next door. and their lackeys. And I am not talking about “blacks” versus “whites”…to anyone who would like to construe it that way……..there are as many hideous “black folk” as there are “white”…………..

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009

Waiter Interrupts Jewish Wedding With Islamic Chant

Newsday reports that Nassau County police arrested Stephen Buttafuoco, 23, who “interrupted the celebration’s final prayers with recorded Arabic chants of ‘God is great'” last week. That chant “spark[ed] fear among the 700 guests of a terrorist attack.” Buttafuoco, a waiter for the wedding’s catering company at the Woodbury Jewish Center (natch, he was fired), recorded the chants—”Allahu Akbar”— from the January 3 pro-Palestine rally in NYC and then played them over the PA system. He was charged with aggravated harassment; a grand jury will decide whether to charge him with disruption of a religious service.

Disrupting a religious service is a separate crime?

His lawyer, who suggested his client might be rebelling against his pro-Israel church preacher father, told Newsday the charges were harsh but added, “On the other hand, I can understand the concern of the members of Jewish community who were at this wedding.”

Gee, way to represent your client, counselor.

31. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Oh the victim wedding party. They just neglected to report the bombs that fell and killed the bride, groom and ring bearer. The flower bearer lost her limbs.

They just neglected to report that. Somehow the record needle got stuck on Allahu Akbar.

Talk about “elites”…



a very little bit has come out about the BART cop… and I suspect more will come out. The current story line is that his family is receiving death threats and thus is “in hiding”. I say… and who is DEAD, past tense. yeah, hiding from the not too interested Oakland DA. A very ugly time.

32. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

Press Association report at the Scotsman on the London demo: Gaza protest ends in violence

An initially peaceful demonstration ended with a group of protesters facing mounted riot police throwing missiles and smashing windows on Kensington High Street near the Israeli Embassy. Riot officers from the Metropolitan Police force charged at the group of mainly young men.

Sticks and barriers were hurled at the officers by the group, many of whom were masked.

About 300 police in full riot gear had surrounded a similar-sized group of protesters pushing them up the street. Three people were arrested, police said.

Of the three arrests, one man was held on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and another man was in custody on suspicion of aggravated trespass. The spokesman said they were awaiting details of the third arrest.

Police ensured a heavy presence at the demonstration after a similar protest in the capital last Saturday was also marred by confrontations.

The Metropolitan Police estimated 12,000 people joined in Britain’s biggest pro-Palestine demonstration in London’s Hyde Park before marching through the capital to the embassy, chanting “free, free Palestine”.

Meanwhile, shoes were thrown during the march in the capital, and were also hurled by demonstrators in Edinburgh protesting against the rising death toll and suffering of civilians in Gaza.

In Edinburgh, three officers were injured after being attacked by a group of 60 protesters outside the US Consulate.

Irish Times: Dublin protest calls for boycott of Israel

Around 800 demonstrators, some of whom were carrying a coffin draped in a Palestinian flag, assembled at the Central Bank on Dame Street to hear speakers criticise Israel’s actions in the current conflict.

33. BooHooHooMan - 10 January 2009

Ah-ight Stevie Butafuco!

34. marisacat - 10 January 2009


thanks for that.. not too surprising.. the last protest, the protesters allowed themselves to be corralled in a tunnel. The assessment at LT then was inexperience. But Galloway was in that group.

Lenin posted this a few hours ago:

Israeli embassy posted by lenin

The whole street outside the embassy is packed, dangerously so.

There have been clashes at the entrance, but nothing serious so far.

The rally, a little further on, is already well under way, but loads of
protesters haven’t even got to kensington. And hundreds of riot police are running toward the embassy with some protesters following them.

35. diane - 10 January 2009

it reminds me so of the recent incident in southern cali….someone told me that a rep from the Bart Cops stated that it is written in the code that they handcuff someone who has been shot…..say what/excuse me? And is that the ghastly statewide CALI CODE….which, for all of CALI’S technological expertise, is near impossible to refer to on the internet……..I read, if I’m not mistaken, that the State Senate is able, after the fact, to make it appear that they voted for something that they in fact/inperson didn’t………but then what would one expect from one of the still largest econimies on the Globe.

36. marisacat - 10 January 2009

hmm i have not heard yet that it is procedure to handcuff after shot. Been catching as much as I can about it. Basically Oakland “leadership” from mayor to DA to BART board was MIA for a week. AND they are admitting that it all got off to a “slow” start as “investigators”, which would be BART, as they investigate themselves, were on vaca.

We are so an island floating in the Pacific… drunk on our own rum. Or something. Coconuts fall on our heads.. we are unconscious.

Or soemthing.

Frankly 25 mil sounds low for the civil suit.

37. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

Wonderful pelican with the Dr. Seuss noggin and the bustle-butt. Loved some of the other photos too – quite the industrial-strength Popsicle they gave that elephant!

Assume you’ve heard about the mysterious brown pelican illness in California lately. . . .

As coincidence would have it, I ran across another animals-in-the-UK-cold-snap piece yesterday while following up on the penguin story (slap! slap!) in comments to the Gu Gu post – a story with a few photos from the Colchester Zoo.

Even before the temperature plummeted to minus 10C in north Essex a couple of nights ago, the zoo had taken all birds “off show”. This means they are indoors where we can’t see them.

“The birds are much more susceptible to the cold,” she said, “as are reptiles. Our snakes and lizards are already in specially-heated areas and, when the temperature drops as it has over this past week, we turn up the heating.”

The birds aren’t the only creatures to be taken indoors. The zoo’s elephants, rhinos and giraffes – built for hot, dry climates – are under cover, too.

“They are not really equipped for the cold, but that isn’t the only reason we have taken them inside,” said Ms Kaye. “They do not cope with ice at all well. If they walk on ice, they slip and could fall. Because of their size, such a fall could be nasty.”

While the primates beat a hasty retreat, the meerkats, who hale from the Kalahari Desert in Botswana (40C on a good day), were made of sterner stuff.

“The meerkats were out in the snow on Monday,” she revealed. “The temperature didn’t seem to bother them at all.”

Apparently the tigers also frolicked in the snow, even the hot-weather native.

38. marisacat - 10 January 2009

BBC has a shot up of the assembled protesters in London. A long long mass of people…

39. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Assume you’ve heard about the mysterious brown pelican illness in California lately. . . .

I had not.. thanks for the link………….

40. marisacat - 10 January 2009

That’s a really sweet article in the Clacton and Frinton Gazette

41. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Saw this in the side bar at the Clacton… Gazette (linked by IB in 37)

Bet Steve Buttafuoco (see upthread) knows a thing or two about anti social behavior:

Tendring bobbies to get headcams

POLICE officers in north Essex are to be fitted with head cameras in a bid to combat late-night crime and antisocial behaviour.

42. mattes - 10 January 2009

killing enough of the right people to make Hamas weak for five or ten years,

There is a word for it…culling the herd.
I wake-up, I see the nightmare has not ended.

43. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Lenin links to the Guardian letters:

[T]his brings me to something else I want to point out about the demonstration. In today’s Guardian, over seventy Jewish writer and activists wrote to condemn Israel’s atrocities in Gaza. It calls for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions, which was also recently backed by Naomi Klein. This letter was cited twice by speakers, one of them Azzam Tamimi, who said “this war is not between Muslims and Jews, it is between the oppressed and the oppressor”.

The other speaker who I think was Ismail Patel said something that I think is extremely important, reflecting what Alexei Sayle said at last week’s demonstration: it is long past time to stop allowing the state of Israel to call itself “the Jewish State”.

It is a travesty that a racist state that imposes apartheid and mass murder on the Palestinians has for so long been allowed to legitimise itself with reference to Jewish suffering, and particularly the Nazi holocaust. When its soldiers are bestialising themselves in Gaza, coldly murdering people in the most humiliating way, and imposing a system that seems in some respects to be deliberately redolent of the Warsaw Ghetto, the idea that Israel is the bearer of a legacy of resistance to fascism is disgusting, and absurd.

Now, I know full well that we are not watching a repeat of the Final Solution, but it shouldn’t have to get that far before Palestine has its Marek Edelmans. And we should not hesitate to support them when they defend Palestine. …snipsnappywhippy…

44. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

Another penguin story from Australia, a couple of years in the making, with steadfast canines involved.

Community, council and a Maremma conserving little penguins

In what is believed to be a world first, a Maremma Guardian dog has been successfully used to protect Little Penguin and Shearwater colonies from fox and dog predation on Middle Island in Warrnambool.

Middle Island is part of the Thunder Point Coastal Reserve and is managed by the Warrnambool City Council (WCC) with much support from local community. The Island has a history of foxes and dogs preying upon the Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwaters colonies that inhabit the Island.

The Little Penguin population has been decimated from estimates of more than 600 in the year 2000 to fewer than 10 in 2005. For several years, the WCC has implemented a fox control strategy which included shooting, fumigation and trapping. While showing some minor successes, it failed to sustain the Little Penguin population. Along came the idea of ‘Oddball’, a Maremma Guardian dog who could live on Middle Island and protect the seabird colonies from predation in their critical time of breeding.

The Maremma idea was suggested by a concerned community member, Alan ‘Swampy’ Marsh, a local free range chicken farmer who has successfully used the Maremma breed to protect his chickens from fox predation. The Maremma breed has been used for centuries in Italy to protect sheep from wolves, bears and thieves; they are specifically bred for a flock protection role. Swampy had the vision that this proven agricultural method could easily be adapted to protect the Little Penguin and Shearwater colonies from fox and dog predation.

After an initial 4-week trial with Oddball in 2006, the results were positive, the study was extended, and additional Maremma puppies were recruited and trained. (According to Dog News, in a November 08 story, there was a minor, er, setback at one point . . . an “accidental” killing of ten birds . . . but even so, the penguin population has continued to increase and thrive.)

Some fun quotes from Swampy, the chicken farmer, in this January 2007 story in The Age: ‘Oddball’ idea protects island penguin population.

“The difficulty was trying to convince all the wildlife wallies to think outside the square,” Mr Marsh said. “It’s not an altruistic view of penguins or chooks but an ingrained sense of territory that makes maremma dogs work, and it is far stronger in these dogs than any other domesticated breed.”

Oddball’s stint as guardian of Middle Island’s colony last month was a success.

At the end of the month, 70 pairs of happy feet were counted returning to the island. About 2000 penguins inhabited the island in the 1990s.

“The poor little buggers have copped such a hiding,” Mr Marsh said. “Oddy is really protective of the chooks, so to her the penguins were only chooks in dinner suits.”

(The reason I bumped into all of this was that someone has now written a song about the maremmas: Penguin pop: Canine guardians inspire song.)

45. marisacat - 10 January 2009

The Maremma breed has been used for centuries in Italy to protect sheep from wolves,

when I saw “Maremma” I htought it might be a breed from Italy… that is the sort of lesser known Tuscany… with cowboys and ranches and various sorts of herds and flocks and farming.

What a great story!

46. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Not much has been coming out of Rafah… the Guardian has a short 5 days of diary entry from a Rafah resident

…I am grateful that I have no children so I don’t have to worry that an Israeli tank or air strike could kill them.

My worst nightmare is that our house would be targeted and our whole family killed apart from one survivor. If one of us survived, I don’t know how we could continue our life.

Better for us all to die. …

47. diane - 10 January 2009


looked for something re the handcuffing…and couldn’t find it, If I do I’ll post it…got the impression the person may have heard it on tv…the person doesn’t strike me at all as a fabricator…

48. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

only chooks in dinner suits!


Fun photo here of the dogs and a Warrnambool penguin chick, before it has gotten its first tux.

49. BooHooHooMan - 10 January 2009

Amidst Crisis Obama Takes Command of Foreign Policy on World Stage:
Okay so not exactly.
I was just trying to sober up the HuffPo Lede:

Obama Going To Canada For First Foreign Trip As President

{… nothin against Canada , but…}

Imagine OTOH:

U.S. / Obama: “We deal only with Canada.”


50. mattes - 10 January 2009
51. marisacat - 10 January 2009

oh diane… did not mean it was fabrication. But the handcuffing has been a roiling sub issue. Again, no one in leadership (ha!) in oakland has been at all forthcoming. In any way.

What a fucked mess.

52. marisacat - 10 January 2009


“Obama, in a courageous move prefaced in his primary season comments of reaching out to our enemies, goes to Canada. He will address issues of cross border medical care and re-importation of our own overpriced Big Pharma items. This courageous and defining move is widely seen as related to his primary season comments w/r/t NAFTA ( you pick which side he was on when!)”

I can re-write too…. 😈

53. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

Just saw the news of Obama’s first visit while looking for Canadian protest updates.

Toronto Star: Thousands across Canada protest Gaza invasion.

‘Stop the Madness,’ Marchers Chant in Montreal

Almost 10,000 people marched down Ste. Catherine St. Saturday to speak with one voice: “Stop the madness… We are all Palestinians.”

As the Israeli offensive on Gaza enters its third week, the groundswell of indignation in Montreal has grown along with the casualties.

Men, women, jews, christians, muslims, anglos, francos, grandmothers and children walked together Saturday in the bitter cold to call for an immediate ceasefire.

CBS roundup of world protests here.

54. marisacat - 10 January 2009

luvly.. listening to conservative Talk Radio in SF, KSFO (they host FOX radio and Rush as well) in phone interview with a Major Oren of the IDF… still spining the story about stockpiles of munitions for Hamas in the targetted school.. with the 50 or so deaths. And rockets from the school location.

A native born American English speaker Major Michael Oren is.. now he is on how the Pals laugh when Israelis die.

The Pals are over dying as there was no investment in civilian shelters. Unlike Israel which has shelters “every thirty feet”. well there you have it!

Check the bluffs overlooking Gaza, buddy.

55. marisacat - 10 January 2009

From Lenin thread:

The Paris demo was bigger than last Saturday (100 000 according to the organisers, 30 000 according to the police) and equally dominated by Muslims rather than the official Left – though all the left parties and associations supported it, with the exception of the Socialist party.

I was especiallly disappointed by the contingent of the LCR/New Anticapitalist Party. Many of their members were probably dispersed around the demo rather than behind their banner, but they had no placards and few people leafletting or selling their paper. The CP did better in this respect.

A number of pro-Palestinian organisations, which are independent of the left parties, had well-organised and enthusiastic contingents. E.g. Génération Palestine, Europalestine, Association France Palestine Solidarité …

But what was particularly striking was the sheer ordinariness of the marchers – families, middle-aged couples, mixed groups of young people etc.

The route of the demo, agreed after negotiations between the organisers and the police, took us through mainly deserted quarters of eastern Paris (République, Bastille, Gare de Lyon, Nation) and well away from the busy shopping districts. There was no question even of going near the Israeli embassy this time.

Oh well, it looks like we’ll be back again next weekend. The bastards.

Colin Falconer, Saint-Denis
PS See photos on my blog.
Colin F Saint-Denis

56. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Update from Major Oren…

The Free Gaza Movement aid boat (with Cynthia McKinney) is the one who rammed the Israeli Navy. Got that?

He says it was a “so called” aid boat. And the IN DOES NOT RAM anything. Got that?


57. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Also, there is no proof that the IDF shelled the UN school.

Got it?

58. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Asp/bosom… ha’aretz, 1/9/09:

[O]ne of the unit’s most prominent reservists is Major Michael Oren, a New Jersey-born bestselling author and historian and senior fellow at the Shalem Center institute, where he specializes in Middle East history. Oren was called up soon after the launch of Operation Cast Lead.

As a regular contributor to publications such as the International Herald Tribune, The New Republic, The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, Oren – who immigrated to Israel in 1979 and lives with his wife and three children in Jerusalem – speaks of a “noticeable split” in his dealings with media representatives.

“I work with the same reporters both as part of my job at the Shalem Center and in the reserves,” said the 53-year-old from outside the Gaza Strip. “In civilian life I’m vocal in the media about my opinions, but I put it aside as soon as I put on uniform. Then I speak with the voice of the IDF.”

He’s been called up.. Medved (it’s his show) says he is currently serving in Gaza and “in uniform”.

Wiki on the Major.

Oren immigrated to Israel in 1979 and served as a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces, seeing combat in the 1982 Lebanon War. He was an advisor to Yitzhak Rabin and served as the Israeli liaison officer to the U.S. Sixth Fleet during the Gulf War. He served as a Major in the IDF Reserves during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.

His home page, sponsored by the Shalem Center in Jerusalem… with laudatory notes (right side bar) from Dr Henry Kissinger.


We are so blessed.

59. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

NYT: A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery

To avoid booby traps, the Israelis say, they enter buildings by breaking through side walls, rather than going in the front. Once inside, they move from room to room, battering holes in interior walls to avoid exposure to snipers and suicide bombers dressed as civilians, with explosive belts hidden beneath winter coats.

The Israelis say they are also using new weapons, like a small-diameter smart bomb, the GBU-39, which Israel bought last fall from Washington. The bomb, which is very accurate, has a small explosive, as little as 60 to 80 pounds, to minimize collateral damage in an urban area. But it can also penetrate the earth to hit bunkers or tunnels.

And the Israelis, too, are resorting to tricks.

Israeli intelligence officers are telephoning Gazans and, in good Arabic, pretending to be sympathetic Egyptians, Saudis, Jordanians or Libyans, Gazans say and Israel has confirmed. After expressing horror at the Israeli war and asking about the family, the callers ask about local conditions, whether the family supports Hamas and if there are fighters in the building or the neighborhood.

Karim Abu Shaban, 21, of Gaza City said he and his neighbors all had gotten such calls. His first caller had an Egyptian accent. “Oh, God help you, God be with you,” the caller began.

“It started very supportive,” Mr. Shaban said, then the questions started. The next call came in five minutes later. That caller had an Algerian accent and asked if he had reached Gaza. Mr. Shaban said he answered, “No, Tel Aviv,” and hung up.

Interviews last week with senior Israeli intelligence and military officers, both active and retired, as well as with military experts and residents of Gaza itself, made it clear that the battle, waged among civilians and between enemies who had long prepared for this fight, is now a slow, nasty business of asymmetrical urban warfare. Gaza’s civilians, who cannot flee because the borders are closed, are “the meat in the sandwich,” as one United Nations worker said, requesting anonymity.

It is also clear that both sides are evolving tactics to the new battlefield, then adjusting them quickly.

To that end, Israeli intelligence is detaining large numbers of young Gazan men to interrogate them for local knowledge and Hamas tactics.

60. marisacat - 10 January 2009

isn’t Harry the twit who seemed more than comfy wearing a sort of Nazi uniform to some partay? And a few other eventful events in the Life of a Young Prince that I have heard about but gratefully not seen the photos…

Prince Harry has apologised for using racist language about a member of his army platoon.

For more details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news

61. marisacat - 10 January 2009

The Israelis say they are also using new weapons, like a small-diameter smart bomb, the GBU-39, which Israel bought last fall from Washington. The bomb, which is very accurate, has a small explosive, as little as 60 to 80 pounds, to minimize collateral damage in an urban area. But it can also penetrate the earth to hit bunkers or tunnels.

It totally slipped by me, but there has been some running controversy over a vid that CNN put up some days ago… of the Norwegian doc, Mads Gilbert, in Gaza… working on a young boy… who apparently was shelled while playing on his family home roof. His elder brother, a photog was filming and the shelling is on film, as well as his death at the hospital with Gilbert.

part of the story was that the children (and teh roof) was struck with some new small bomb. And the righties are all laughing at this big lefty (which LOL includes CNN) idea that they developed a small bomb just for this sort of operation.

Whole thing slipped by me, but is all over Instapundit, LGF and so on. I had not been to Insta in a couple weeks probably. Meanwhile CNN has complicated the whole thing by taking the vid down, putting it back up.. and so on.

what a mess. Fog of media war.

62. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

This also in the NYT story:

A new Israeli weapon, meanwhile, is tailored to the Hamas tactic of asking civilians to stand on the roofs of buildings so Israeli pilots will not bomb. The Israelis are countering with a missile designed, paradoxically, not to explode. They aim the missiles at empty areas of the roofs to frighten residents into leaving the buildings, a tactic called “a knock on the roof.”

Lots of Israeli “press officer” and other official quotes, including claims that

the Gaza-based leadership of Hamas was in underground housing beneath the No. 2 building of Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza.That allegation cannot be confirmed.

While The New York Times and some other news organizations have local or Gaza-based Palestinian correspondents, any Israeli citizen or Israeli with dual citizenship has been banned for more than two years from entering Gaza, and any foreign correspondent who did not enter the territory before a six-month cease-fire with Hamas ended last month has not been allowed in.

Israel has also managed to block cellphone bandwidth, so very few amateur cellphone photographs are getting out of Gaza.

63. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Comment from War Nerd thread…

I got another piece of the puzzle here:



Turns out Israel killed four Hamas members on June 4, timed so that Americans would be focused on the presidential election. Israelis prefer their killings to be unseen and unnoticed. Turns out the Izzies repeatedly made raids into the West Bank from June to October, even killing Palestinian civilians – at a time when there was supposed to be a cease-fire. Of course Hamas would eventually fire rockets as a response, just like the Israelis hoped. Then the rockets could be used as an excuse for a full-scale invasion and a string of murders.

The War Nerd is right – war is nothing like what you see on TV. Whether we are talking movies or the news….snip….

Although from grafs at the Israeli Ministry, posted here earlier, the rockets were very quiet thru the summer until Nov when the 18 month blockade got tighter.

64. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Jerry Brown, CA AG is taking over the BART killing investigation. This is a departure frm what he said yesterday (paraphrase: for now let the local agencies look into it). I think we just got confirmation that Oakland city administration, mayor, DA, etc., and the BART board is unable, incapable and dysfunctional. All but defunct.

One thing, not the first mess of a kill by BART cops… tho it has been a while (I think) and BART goes thru, not all of the 9 Bay Area counties, but most.

LIABILITY… might be an issue. So totally mishandled.

65. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

A traffic stop shooting incident not far from here has shut down part of a major highway. A state trooper pulled over a yellow cab for speeding, and the passenger got out and opened fire. Ultimately, masses of police, a helicopter, and a SWAT team (which had been training nearby) were involved, and other drivers on the road and in the traffic jam that followed were told to leave their cars on the road and run for it. The shooter was eventually shot, arrested, and taken to hospital in Albany. Nobody else was hurt, apparently, but a number of the cars were shot, and the highway is still closed while they do forensics before another bunch of snow comes in tonight.

CNN. Albany Times-Union update here: Authorities say SWAT team shot I-90 gunman.

Authorities are not releasing any info yet, but apparently the cab was coming from Hartford, CT, and the shooter is at Albany Medical Center on life support. Very hard to tell from angles in the news video, but I got the fleeting impression that the shooter was dressed all in white.

66. marisacat - 10 January 2009

All in white? A little bizarre.. or some ritual clothing.

It is almost impossible to keep up… wandering around reading of the BART follow up, I found a shooting that took place a few blocks from me… a funeral in the “Western Addition”…. at which some (3 men) opened up firing at the mourners. The funeral was for a youth killed at a Housing Project in the WA.

No word of it on last night’s news… I suppose as the shooters were lousy. They managed to hit no one.

67. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

None of the news reports are mentioning the shooter’s dress, and I can’t find any stills from the local news video, or even that segment of video at the Channel 10 site, but yeah, kinda looked like ritual attire, possibly with headgear, in the few seconds I caught. Maybe that’s part of why authorities are being pretty tight-lipped so far. Or maybe I hallucinated. I guess time will tell.

68. aemd - 10 January 2009

Playmobil Security Check Point.

Read the customer reviews at Amazon. They’re hilarious.

“I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger’s shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger’s scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said “that’s the worst security ever!”. But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.”

69. marisacat - 10 January 2009

OK! How long to Stopping the Terrorists at the Checkpoint Reality SHow… brought to us by that Australian RS mogul. Forget his name.

70. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009

69 – You mean like this one, brought to you by Disney/ABC?

71. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009

I kinda thought the guy’s outfit looked a little like the outfits snipers use for winter assignments.

72. marisacat - 10 January 2009


The comments at Reason Hit and Run are good too… what a hoot!

73. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009

This video was linked to via After Downing Street:

Palestinian girls attempts to stop Isreali soldiers …

74. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009
75. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

Did you see the video too, Madman? Maybe the footage I caught showed one of the SWAT guys, and not the taxi passenger. . . supposedly the passenger gunman ran into the woods.

(Or are you pulling my leg? 😉 )

76. marisacat - 10 January 2009


leading on the page at Ha’aretz:

…Senior officers in the Israel Defense Forces told Haaretz that for further achievements, the army will have to expand the operation by at least 20 days and include reserve units in the fighting. A senior officer in Gaza said Hamas’ capabilities were gradually eroding and that the group had lost more than 300 militants from its armed wing since the ground operation began. …

A high-level Israeli political source said Friday that without a solution to the smuggling including an effective supervisory system on the Egyptian border, the Gaza operation will not be brought to an end.

Israel made clear in talks with officials representing the United States, France, Germany and other countries that only a solution including an international presence on the Egyptian side of the Philadelphi route will satisfy Israel and allow it to end the offensive.

Defense officials have noticed heightened Iranian involvement in Hamas’ activity in the Strip. It appears the group’s leadership has received promises from Tehran to “fill up the warehouses,” possibly even with longer-range rockets, if it continues hostilities with Israel. ….

77. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009

Senators say no witch hunt aimed at spy agencies

WASHINGTON – While eager to find out more about the Bush administration’s harsh interrogation and detainee policies, Senate Democrats are hinting that spy agency veterans need not fear that the groundwork is being laid for punishing those who carried them out.

People working in intelligence agencies worry that they may find themselves pursued in criminal and civil courts over their actions now that a Democratic administration critical of President Bush’s policies is coming into power.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein told The Associated Press in an interview this week that there is a clear distinction between policymakers and those who execute the policy.

“They (the CIA) carry out orders and the orders come from the (National Security Council) and the White House, so there’s not a lot of policy debate that goes on there,” said Feinstein, D-Calif. “We’re going to continue our looking into the situation and I think that is up to the administration and the director.”

Feinstein declined to comment on whether her committee would take specific action to offer legal cover to those involved in harsh interrogations that some critics say amount to torture.

President-elect Barack Obama has not indicated his stance on what information should be declassified and released or whether he thinks those who conducted harsh interrogations should be protected from lawsuits. But when he introduced his intelligence advisers at a news conference Friday, he expressed gratitude for the work and professionalism of intelligence agency employees and promised them pragmatic leadership.

“The men and women of the intelligence community have been on the front lines in this world of new and evolving dangers,” he said. “They have served in the shadows, saved American lives, advanced our interests, and earned the respect of a grateful nation.”

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said he is interested in revealing the origins and sweep of the Bush administration’s controversial interrogation program and is willing to sponsor legislation if necessary to release many of the documents about the program.

Apparently Nuremberg never happened.

Last year, the CIA announced it would pay the full cost of legal liability insurance for agency employees and expanded the pool of those eligible to about two-thirds of the work force.

Wyden said those fears of a surge in lawsuits are unfounded. With Republican Sen. Kit Bond, Wyden got legislation passed last year requiring the CIA to release an internal investigation into the agency’s activities in the months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. One of the reasons three CIA chiefs resisted doing it voluntarily was the prospect of prosecutions, Wyden said.

“You know how at Langley they are saying, ‘People are going be prosecuted with all this,'” he said in an interview. “Think about what happened. … I didn’t push anyone to be prosecuted after the CIA’s report was released on 9/11.”

“No one’s talking about some witch hunt,” Wyden insisted.

He added there is little appetite in Congress to prosecute government employees who engaged in “enhanced” interrogations authorized by the White House. The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, which prohibited cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners, also called for the protection of those employees from civil lawsuits or criminal prosecutions if they believed in good faith they were acting on lawfully. The bill passed with an overwhelming majority.

More change you can believe in.

78. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009

I watched the video at CNN linked above, a gunman w/ what looked like an assault weapon hiding behind the fender of the cab. He was wearing what looked like a one-piece white outfit, head to toe, w/ a white cap. It looked like it was fairly loose fitting. After some shots were exchanged he moved back along the cab, opened the door and crouched behind it. It looks like he sad down behind the door after being hit.

79. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009

like this, only I didn’t see a hood.

80. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Evening ABC news has snips of Obama from the TW that will air tomorrow… obster says that with “reform” in Entitlements, both SS and Medicare, we all “have to give up” we will all “have some skin in the game”… Then George Porgie smiles a lot and chats about the “daughters who were with us and wanted a tour of the Museum”.

If it is not this pecs, then it is the marriage, if not the marriage then the smile struck chicklets. Ruse.

Anything not pragmatic for Obster et al, is then “diversion”.

May diversion rain down on them all. Just fucking had it.


ugh PS not “diversion” I meant DISTRACTION… that word they use all teh time.

81. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

78 – Thanks! Didn’t realize CNN had the video clip! (Smacks head.) Kinda relieved to hear I didn’t imagine the whole thing.

Never know when snow blindness will suddenly take over, these days. . . .

82. marisacat - 10 January 2009

I couldn’t get the CNN vid to run… so will just vicariously partake of the commentary about it. The article ws distressing enough.

83. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009
84. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Thanks… I thought I had gotten thru to that page.. but it never really fully loaded…

85. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

Yeah, video didn’t work for me either until I tried clicking on the “Watch scenes from Saturday’s incident” link in the main story.

Very strange. Apparently the highway is open again, now. And the snow is coming down.

86. mattes - 10 January 2009

Pentagon denies arms shipment to Israel linked to Gaza fighting

The U.S. military has sought to hire a merchant ship to deliver ammunition to Israel this month, tender documents show, but the Pentagon said the shipment was not linked to the conflict in the Gaza Strip.
A “hazardous material” designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators but gives no other details.

The request for the ship was made on Dec. 31, with the first leg of the charter to arrive no later than Jan. 25 and the second at the end of the month.

The tender for the vessel follows the hiring of a commercial ship to carry a much larger consignment of ordnance in December.

A German shipping firm which won that tender confirmed the order when contacted by Reuters but declined to comment further.

In September, the U.S. Congress approved the sale of 1,000 bunker-buster missiles to Israel. The GPS-guided GBU-39 is said to be one of the most accurate bombs in the world.


…at least they are no any longer denying the shipment.

87. mattes - 10 January 2009

Can’t walk…can’t domonstrate

IDF uses live ammunition to break up West Bank demonstrations The .22 rifle fires a small cartridge which has a much lower stopping power than larger caliber rifles in use by Israeli security forces, but can still be lethal at close range. IDF snipers will use the rifle to fire at demonstrators, aiming at the lower half of the body.

The rifle was used by security forces against Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank last Friday, with 8 demonstrators sustaining light wounds to their legs.

“We have never seen these rifles used before. The soldiers use them to break up demonstrations, not in instances where their lives are in danger. They shoot from long range, far past the range of rock-throwers,” left-wing activist Yonatan Pollak said.

A West Bank resident who was wounded by the .22 fire told Haaretz Friday that he and his friends were leaving their village for a demonstration when as they approached the West Bank Security Fence they were fired upon by IDF soldiers.

The man said he was shot three times in the leg and suffers from lingering pain as a result. He said his friend who was also shot in the incident was more severely injured and lost a great deal of blood.


88. mattes - 10 January 2009


89. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009

84 – I had trouble with it loading at first, too.

90. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 January 2009
91. diane - 10 January 2009


Marisa, it wasn’t even in my thoughts that you thought it was a fabrication……the words weren’t meant for you, or most, if not all, of those that post here.

by the way I love your bird pics….do you have any of cedar waxwings? love those little babes…they appear to get high on firethorn berries……;0)

92. marisacat - 10 January 2009


oh i just post what I run into.. will keep an eye out for cedar wax wings.. esp if tipsy…


93. diane - 10 January 2009

thanks hon!

94. marisacat - 10 January 2009

Meet the Press: Bill Cosby, Adrian Fenty, Rep. Maxine Waters. Roundtable: David Bonior, Paul Gigot, John Harwood, Bethany McLean, Mark Zandi.

Face the Nation: Rep. Boehner, Sen. Durbin, Roland Burris.

This Week: Obama. Roundtable: Gingrich, Tom Friedman, Peggy Noonan, George Will.

Fox News Sunday: President Bush, George H.W. Bush.

Late Edition: Cheney, Pelosi, David Gergen, James Carville.

95. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

94 – Anybody else rather eat glass?

96. marisacat - 10 January 2009

I agree.. really bad line up. If I am awake I plan to catch OBster… but sure as hell skipping the RoundTable.

It’s all really bad.

97. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

(Sorry. A PSA, I realize. I think it was Gingrich, Tom Friedman, Peggy Noonan, George Will that put me over the edge. And then I saw Poppy and Son, and it only got worse from there.)

Still no major updates on the Man in White Sniper up here. I mean, what, was he coming to pick off sanctimonious, non-smoking, cross-country skiers? Don’t they have those in Connecticut too?

Last I checked, Hartford Courant is still mum on the subject, and come on, that’s where they say he caught the long-distance cab. . . .

98. wu ming - 10 January 2009

finally found some infant panda pix here. it takes about a month to reach optimum cuteness.

99. marisacat - 10 January 2009

oh thsoe are great wu ming… born as little worms… better pics than I had ever seen of the newborns.

And then some grow up to b Gu Gu… 😉

100. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

What a riot, wu ming!

So their eye spots take about 30 days to come in, and their actual eyesight lags a little behind?

The first pics look like plastic or candy, with fiberglas or spun-sugar fuzz – peppermint pigs!

(More on that local Yuletide tradition here.)

101. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

a quarter-pound at birth compared with Mei Xiang’s 250 pounds.

The ratios of nature really are amazing.

102. diane - 10 January 2009

great pics wu…thank you for the reminder of incredible beauty among the miles of suffocating ashes….I found myself wondering what their breath smells like….having been a little one who carried home every little critter who seemed abandoned….I have a somewhat memory and curiosity with the scent of wild babes………..I strive to regain the guts of my childhood…eating wild berries with no.restraint..and living …to see the next day……………..

103. diane - 10 January 2009

hugs to ya intermittent bystander……;0)

104. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

I strive to regain the guts of my childhood…eating wild berries with no.restraint

Know what you mean, diane, especially lately! But a worthy pursuit in itself for most any so-called adult.

(Not much of an overt online hugger, myself. . . but pshaw. Thanks.)

105. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

By the way, the concept of eating glass has vivid meaning for me. Close personal relatives regaled me with chortling anecdotes about literally crunching shot glasses and ingesting them while aboard ship in Her Majesty’s Navy, back in the day.

That sort of thing sticks with you, as a child.

106. marisacat - 10 January 2009

wrinkle wrinkle… So funny!

Jerry Brown, as governor, signed a bill (AB 607) 32 years ago to amend the CA constitution to no longer say marriage is between “two persons”… but to instead indicate marriage was between a man and a woman…. It was stopped by (among others) a State Senator (Milton Marks, pretty famous in CA) who called it unecessary and uneeded

California Attorney General Jerry Brown has become a hero to gay rights advocates – and a potential leader in the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial field – with his recent controversial decision to mount a legal challenge to overturn Proposition 8, the initiative approved by voters that banned-same sex marriage in California.

But few remember that 32 years ago, when Brown was governor of California, he played a crucial role on the same issue – he signed the landmark bill that changed the state’s definition of marriage from a contract between two persons to one specifically between a man and a woman.

At the time, proponents of the bill praised it as one that would “outlaw marriages between homosexuals.”

But some Democrats did raise their voices against the legislation – like then-Assemblyman Willie Brown, who later became speaker of the Assembly and even later mayor of San Francisco. He insisted that instead of adding the phrase “man and woman” to the law, the word “marriage” should be struck and substituted with “a contract between people,” the record shows. But that didn’t happen.

And then-San Francisco Sen. Milton Marks called it an unnecessary and unfair intrusion into the private lives of California citizens.

107. diane - 10 January 2009

Intermittent ( I so hate posting comment numbers, but way too frequently fall into it)

thanks for the warm smile hon, indeed, is “adulthood” really all of that and then some? :0)


108. marisacat - 10 January 2009


An Israeli official yesterday accused the UN of having allowed its operations to have been co-opted.

“Do you know who the UNRWA’s (UN Relief and Works Agency) workers are today in Gaza: they are Hamas people who distribute aid to those loyal to Hamas,” said Dan Ashbel, the Israeli ambassador in Austria. “Even this aid organisation has been taken over by Hamas and is being used as a weapon against its own people.”

Christopher Gunness, a UN spokesman, rejected the charge. “We have checked all the names of the 27,000 people who work for us against the Security Council list of known terrorists and there have been no matches,” he said.

109. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

Night all. One more meerkat for the road!

A meerkat investigates a clipboard during the annual animal count at London Zoo in London, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. A complete head count of every animal, insect and bird living at the zoo is to take place, with more than 650 different species to tally up.
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Perfect name for a critter photographer!

110. BooHooHoMan - 10 January 2009

NYT seems to have vamoosed their Pic of The Day Feature..
Dunno if its simply not on their Sunday online offer , if it was up on THE Sabbath , or just taken off their Website for tender Sunday readers without the stomach. The day I’m looking for seems to be off their archive, it’s prolly there as I continue to look..

111. Intermittent Bystander - 10 January 2009

Too bad her first name isn’t Crusty!

112. marisacat - 10 January 2009

At the very end of this rather long Times Online report on Gaza are more details of the Samouni family, 90 gathered into and locked inside the house in Zeitoun.

Pretty clearly a message was sent wtih that kill… in particular.

113. bayprairie - 10 January 2009

Close personal relatives regaled me with chortling anecdotes about literally crunching shot glasses and ingesting them while aboard ship in Her Majesty’s Navy, back in the day.

probably after one too many rounds of harbor lights.

1 part Tequila
1 part Kahlua
1 part 151 Proof Rum

Use Shot Glasses and Flame.

114. BooHooHooMan - 10 January 2009

I love China.

115. BooHooHooMan - 10 January 2009

China is Great.

116. BooHooHooMan - 10 January 2009

Did I say I love China? LOL.

China’s astroturf army
Posted by Cory Doctorow, January 10, 2009 12:35 AM

The Chinese Communist Party has reportedly raised a “50-Cent Army” of astroturfers who are paid RMB0.50 for each patriotic, pro-Chinese comment they post on blogs and social media sites. Some estimates have the size of the army at 300,000 people.

Comments, rumours and opinions can be quickly spread between internet groups in a way that makes it hard for the government to censor.

So instead of just trying to prevent people from having their say, the government is also attempting to change they way they think.

To do this, they use specially trained – and ideologically sound – internet commentators.

They have been dubbed the “50-cent party” because of how much they are reputed to be paid for each positive posting (50 Chinese cents; $0.07;

117. BooHooHooMan - 11 January 2009

[The following content is NOT SPONSORED by China, the NYT or the makers of Vaseline and Coca Cola Brand Products..]

The NYT Lede today is clear as Vaseline on Coke Bottle Glasses.
…Intended for Insertion wherever else ..who knows??…:

U.S. Rejected Aid for Israeli Raid on Iranian Nuclear Site

President Bush deflected a request by Israel last year for help in an attack on Iran’s main nuclear site and told the Israelis about new covert action against Iran.

This is The Same Old Story they trotted out before, the plausible deniability slop while Tel Aviv was 6 months into the planning of the current Bloodbath..and they do it With every bipartisan jerk and jerk around assertion that we reserve to the right to cruise missile or nuke Iran OURSELVES.

So The Translation with the Times “Not US” story?:

–> We 😉 have nothing to do with it going ahead anyways…<–

Sure We Don’t.
Though we DO ship Israel whole FuckLottas of Bread and Butter for Israeli PTBs, it’s their mothers, wives, and girlfiends who’ll provide the packed picnic lunches for alongside the Tanks and APCs.
I wonder if they planned for leftovers.

One thing becomes as clear as wtf a just born panda is in your hands in the moment you see momma re-enter what appeared to be a rather nondescript habitat . Not ME, Mamma Bear.

So WRT GMAFB Israel, I’snot US. 😉 ®
Not our kooks THEIR kooks, Their kooks.
Not even our spooks. 😉 ®

Not OUR* 😉 ® support Saddling Up the Satelliteys via the
NRO or its combat coordinating cohort the NGA ( – now “NIMA” rhymes with FEMA, catchy aint it? Might as well stand for Not In My Ass if you ask me.)(They never do…)

No, that is all old news.
Normal cooperation among fiends resolved to support fiends.
The US Information Authorities just want to make that clear…
!t Is.Not. US. 😉 ®

…despite the read-it-anyway you want U.S. Congressional Resolution in hand supporting Israel, the one that will be conflated like the AUMF into blessing Israel in playing the Iran Card.

And after they Do? Why then, quite clearly – It Will Be US.

Only Denny K and 4 others rejected the Ape-ish
Congressional “Resolution.”

The other 399 Members of Congress lined up
less they piss off Jews in the U.S.

118. bayprairie - 11 January 2009

hawaii meets the delta

Babe Kyro Lemon Turner

Booker White – Poor Boy Long Way from Home

John Fahey – Poor Boy

119. marisacat - 11 January 2009

There is a version of the Bush rejected Iran whatever, in Ha’aretz today (tonight.. ) as well……………………………..

120. BooHooHooMan - 11 January 2009

a version of the Bush rejected Iran whatever, in Ha’aretz today Figs, the fig leaves….

121. bayprairie - 11 January 2009

slide and steel

cindy cashdollar and sonny landreth – Hard Time Killing Floor

122. marisacat - 11 January 2009

new post…


……………. 8) …………………

123. Intermittent Bystander - 11 January 2009

113 – LOL! Safe bet on the 151 Rum, at least! (Is there a recipe called “Double-Proof Double-Dog Dare?”)

Thanks for the great slide performances! Loved the Black Ace, and that Cashdollar and Landreth rendition of the Skip James tune is so groovy and spare.

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