Tuesday, December 30, 2008
As a rule, I don't respond to comments on other websites forums,although I usually read the 4 or 5 posted comments on the CBC.ca news site, if only to reassure myself that the majority of posters have too much time on their hands and far too little information.But today I read this post by one KLM409 and it got me to thinking just how wrong his little parable is.Here's his post:
What a load of crap. If anyone could look at things objectively, if they could strip away all the emotions, politics, history, and whacky religious beliefs, and bring it down to a level everyone understands, here's what we'd be left with:
There's a big guy who lives on the corner, he's a bit of a bully but he doesn't do much unless provoked. Every day on the way to school this little guy goes up to the big guy and kicks him in the leg. This goes on for a year until one day the big guy turns around and beats the snot out of the little guy.
Moral of the story: don't kick the bigger guy. I mean, come on, a five-year-old knows better than that.
This is how the parable should go:
There was a big guy, who once upon a time had been just another little guy, homeless, beaten and abused and he moved into the house where another little guy lived.The former little guy felt pretty comfortable and started throwing his weight around.The big guy told the little guy that had been living in the house prior to his arrival that he could stay in the house but only in certain rooms.The little guy wasn't allowed to use the orchard, the tree swing or the deep end of the pool and was given a little strip of the sandbox to play in. The parents who lived in the house felt that the big guy really deserved these perks, after all, he'd had a really tough time of it and they felt a little guilty that they hadn't done anything in the past.Mom and Dad tried to explain to the neighbours that it was all good and that the little guy living there didn't have it so bad, even though he wasn't allowed to travel freely from downstairs to upstairs or have the same unlimited access to what was in the fridge or the toolshed.
Eventually the little guy got tired of having the big guy tell him what to do and when to do it and started to poke the big guy with a small twig.The big guy would tolerate this for a time and eventually go out to the shed and get the sledgehammer and beat the living shit out of the little guy, as well as cut off his access to the fridge and the medicine cabinet.Mom and Dad would beg the two to settle their differences, but neither one took the sledgehammer away from the big guy and only begrudgingly let the little guy have a package of Bandaids.And they all lived unhappily ever after.
For those of you out there that feel Israel is 'justified' in bombing Gaza because of Hamas' ongoing homemade rocket attacks since the truce fell apart, please read the two articles currently at Common Dreams.org and pay attention to not only the disproportionate numbers of dead and injured between the Palestinians and the Israelis, but mark closely the very sneaky and quiet way Israel has been punishing the Gaza Strip for well...decades now.
Published on Monday, December 29, 2008 by The Independent/UK
Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, and Lessons of History are Ignored
by Robert Fisk
Published on Monday, December 29, 2008 by The Guardian/UK
Gaza: Where Civilians Become Targets
by Andrea Becker
UPDATE: I was going to post this article:
Israel turns back aid workers en route to Gaza
... Activists aboard the boat were members of a group called the Free Gaza Movement
and were carrying about three tonnes of medical aid to the region, a passenger ...
that had appeared, however briefly on CBC.ca, but the link has now been replaced with a more 'balanced' and well hidden report of what happened to a boat load of 3 tonnes of medical aid trying to reach Gaza today.I must agree, preventing medical aid from reaching 1.5 million trapped and besieged Palestinians is certainly protecting the Israeli people.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Last week we got quite a bit of snow here, 50 cm or so and one of these little fellas, called a fouine or stone marten, decided to weather the storm in the ancien grange out the back.I first saw him in evening around 6pm,I heard some scrabbling on the wooden staircase of the grange and thought it was one of the local kittehs.I made some noise and the fouine stuck his head through the railing and gave me a serious once over.He was surprisingly big, like an otter or the size of a large, long cat.Fouines have a reputation for being destructive, so much so that there is a 'fouine insurance' here in Switzerland.Apparently they have an appetite for the electrical cabling on cars (BMW's in particular). The kittehs were aware of its presence earlier, I suspect fouines have a strong scent and refused to come outside without me for 2 or 3 days.I saw him once more scuttling from the hedge to the grange and when the snow stopped he was gone.The kittehs did some cautious sniffing around and have declared the yard fouine free...for now.
It's snowing again.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
What two words have Stephen Harper petrified and inflaming everyone west of Manitoba with talk of "unity" and "separtists"?
I'm hoping the GG does not call another election, they are costly and let's face it, if the government cannot stand up to a confidence vote in the first 90 days of its mandate then it should be dissolved.
The 'Tempest in a Teapot" coverage here at CBCnews.ca.
PM asking GG to suspend Parliament
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
Published on Sunday, November 30, 2008 by CommonDreams.org
Hope You Die Before You Get Old
by David Michael Green
Here's a small excerpt from the above article posted over at Common Dreams and it is a fair example of the scathing indictment that the Boomer Generation has got to face up to:
You'd almost think we lived in a Stalinesque dictatorship of the most repressive sort, given our disinterest in using the tools readily available to us to replace or even stymie a government gone insane. Who would think, looking at the mass violent crime called Iraq committed in our name, and using our tax dollars - a crime that we stood by and watched happen - that we actually had the power to do something about this? Who would think that we live in country where a president can be impeached for as little as lying about getting a blow job? And yet we did nothing. Shame on us. My god, shame on us.
We could go on and on here. How broken is our educational system? How obscenely twisted is that corporate business enterprise masquerading as our healthcare system, a beast only incidentally concerned with keeping our country well? How messed up is American foreign policy in the Middle East, not even counting Iraq or Iran? How bankrupt are our societal values when everyone knows who Britney and Brad are, but probably not even one in ten could name the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court? How jive is our commitment to equality of opportunity (let alone actual equality), when we fund our schools through property taxes, with absolutely predictable results? How dishonest can one society be, when it deploys more mercenaries than soldiers, woefully abuses the National Guard and the Reserves, hides the bodies coming home in caskets, avoids a draft, cuts taxes and deficit spends, all to prevent citizens from having to think about a war that would instantly be massively unpopular in the absence of such ruses? How breathtakingly paranoid are we, and how devoid of the most basic skills of diplomacy, that we spend more money on ‘defense' than every other country in the world - about 195 of them - combined? How fundamentally deluded at the wholesale level are we that it would be effectively impossible for an atheist to be elected president? How shamefully lazy are we that - even in 2008 - a third of us still didn't bother to vote, and the rest of us tolerate an electoral system frequently designed to suppress turnout?
And so on, and so on. Like I said, we could go on and on here.
I recommend you take 10 minutes and read the full piece, even it makes you feel guilty (as it should).
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
We were in Basel over the weekend, enjoying the bise (a very cold wind from Siberia) and taking in a few sites, notably the Tinguely Museum.If you need any further evidence that the Swiss are just a bit odd, take note that two of its most celebrated artists are HR Giger and Jean Tinguely.Tinguely created pieces that are kinetic, noisy, and wonderfully bizarre.This was my second visit to the museum, which was built and designed specifically for the TInguely collection, and I would return again.You can watch the displays or if that becomes a little overwhelming, watch the other patrons. Here's a video to give you an idea:
We caught the train home this morning and found a little snow had fallen while we were gone.(and a couple of lonely kitties)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I went to the new James Bond flick "Quantum of Solace" yesterday afternoon in Bern, (there's a good review of the movie over at Pajiba)and I must admit I like Daniel Craig as Bond.I always thought Bond should have a rough edge to him, after all the man is a paid killer, but Craig has brought out the weary battle scarred but still fierce quality that I've seen in pictures of lions on the Serengeti.
Even the scars/wounds are eerily similar.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The scenario that plays out in this article written by Ray McGovern, whose career as a CIA analyst that spanned seven administrations and included responsibility for chairing NIEs, as well as preparing and presenting the President's Daily Brief, is a piece of dry wit on the one hand and a rather daunting set of issues that Obama will have to deal with on the other.
Published Saturday, November 8 2008
Try These on Your CIA Briefer, Mr. President-Elect
by Ray McGovern via Common Dreams
In the summer of 1969, my brother built a crystal radio and if the conditions were just right in the northern Manitoba stratosphere, he could pick up WLS in Chicago. One night in June he heard this tune and the rest of the summer was spent tuning up and down the dial to hear it again and again.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Have I mentioned that the Swiss have a thing about cows? This little gem from one of Lausanne's major newspapers is just so ....Swiss.
Les paysans devront limiter les émissions de leurs
vaches (urine) à 25000 tonnes d'azote par an,
contre 44000 tonnes aujourd'hui.Cet objectif fait
partie d'un paquet de prescritions que l'agriculture
devra remplir au nom de la protections de l'environment.
Roughly translated, Swiss cows must pee less.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
I know how euphoric this victory is, but I think we might need a reality check before we get too carried away. Here's why : 77 days remaining in the Bush Occupation.
Published on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 by
Bush's Last 100 Days the Ones to Watch
by Jesse Jackson via Common Dreams
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Bill Irwin is the 'non famous' guy in this video, but his performance as Ham Gravy chasing his hat down the crooked street at the very beginning of Altman's Popeye is one of my all time favorite pieces of film. And how can you listen to this tune and not feel better? This one is especially for Max as well.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
When I first moved here I was under the impression that most of Europe didn't celebrate Halloween, after all, there's Carnival in February for that sort of thing, but it seems there has been a culture creep in the last 15 years or so. I was surprised to learn that children go out begging for treats in the Lausanne area (not too sure if kids here in the village do) and that Halloween paraphernalia and themes are in the stores, although not as ubiquitously as they are in North America.
What really surprises me is that the Swiss didn't already have some ritual for this date.Seriously, these people will have a fête at the drop of a hat.For all I know, they have a 'drop-of-a-hat' fête sometime in January and I just haven't heard about it yet.
Halloween retailers get a shock , Oct 31 2008 , www.swissinfor.ch
I love this clip, lots of spooky, goofy fun ( I love the smoking skull) from SNL sometime way back when Paul Schaffer still had hair and Dave Sanborn was making the SNL Band worth listening to.As for Screamin' Jay, he was amaaaaazin!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
"Son a Preacher Man" was written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins, and was originally offered to Aretha Franklin, who turned it down. Springfield's version was produced by Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Marden for her first album for Atlantic Records.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
So we spent six wonderful days in Paris, mostly just walking around, stopping to have a café or sip on some wine and watch other people strolling around.We did manage to do a few cultural things, notably a visit to the Musèe d'Orsay which had a special exhibit on masques throughout the ages, as well as the stunning regular collection of impressionists.
I was enchanted with this Degas in particular.
It looked like hard and hot work.
I spent sometime in front of this one as well and reaffirmed my desire to go to Amsterdam to the Van Gogh Museum.
There was this lovely and famous Manet to ponder.
If this whet your appetite, the website for the Musèe d'Orsay is fantastic, with background and excellent pictures on almost all of the paintings in the collection.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The Big G and I are off to Paris for a week tomorrow. We'll be meeting up with my brother and his wife (who I haven't seen for 6 years) and hopefully wander around some museums and cafes and not be too disturbed at how the Champs Elysee is not what it used to be. Here's Joni with a smokin band (including the late great Jaco Pastorius) playing one of my theme songs.
It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the canton of Vaud, and what do the locals do? Go to the cow fights, of course. Today we went to the Combat des Reines in Oulens (about 2 villages over) and it was really entertaining. None of the cows get hurt, this is the kind of activity that they do left on their own in the fields, ah, but in the ring...there's a huge bell at stake.The Swiss are just a little weird.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Seeing Jonathan Demme's 'Stop Making Sense' in 1984 was close to an orgasmic event. Seeing David Byrne perform this live at the Edmonton Folk Festival in 2004 was beyond spectacular. Here's the 'big suit' letting us know that 'time isn't holding us, time isn't after us'.