19 January 2009

A Little Thought for These Troubled Times

Wealth has never yet sacrificed itself on the altar of patriotism. -Bob LaFollette, congressman, senator, governor (1855-1925)

Which I think we can take to mean:

Money (for it is he): Nice to meet you Mr Iceland, sorry to hear about the trouble you've been having.
Iceland: Hello Money. Yes, it's been hell. Care to stay for a cup of tea and give us a hand clearing up?
Money: What? You're havin' a laff incha? Get me a cab pronto.

15 January 2009


Methane on Mars: Let the Religious Start to Make up their Stories

So, methane on Mars. If this turns out to be a sign of life, or former life, on the planet, can someone please show me the passage in the Bible (or Koran or any other religious text) wherein it states that on the ninth day Ceiling Cat created life on the red planet? Thanks, much appreciated. Srsly.

Cat Fude Chute

Years ago I was in America and I visited someone's home where they had a huge barrel-like affair into which you poured sacks of dried cat food. There was an opening at the bottom and the cat could eat as much food as it liked, the weight of the food meant it just kept coming. I'd get one of these for our two but Dry Food = Dry Fur (+kidney problems). Mind you, Dry Food = House Doesn't Smell.

3rd Runway, Heathrow. So, NuLab, Global Warming is obviously cobblers - thanks for the heads-up.

An intersting juxtaposition on the BBC website at the moment, what with a plane in the Hudson in NYC and below this a story about the 3rd runway (GW is so over) at Heathrow. Imagine what a plane lying on the M4 would do for the 3rd runway... I'm also interested to know just how close to a motorway you can put a runway - looking at the plans I've seen, it's going to be very close indeed.

14 January 2009

2009? Wake me up when it is over

1. Russia? Bullying goes on.
2. Palestine? 1000 dead, no sign of the Israelis or Hamas stopping the madness.
3. Heathrow 3rd runway? Fine, go ahead, but please, stop with the green crap - you don't care, you don't believe it, money first - come on, please, enough with the hypocrisy. Still, it has freed me up: Global warming? I have no idea - possibly, but since no one in government believes it, why on earth, literally, would I? I'm off to throw out several dozen "bags for life".

7 January 2009


Anyone know if the UK is at all dependent on this delightful company?

1 January 2009

Gaza demo contd

Indoctrinating children isn't the way to go either - what are the chances that this kid at 21 will be friends with a number of Jewish young people?

And thus, to the demo...

Which, of course, was not what it should all be about at all. Shouting that the Israeli's are fascists, or that they are terrorists, or that there is only one war, class war (!) isn't going to change anything. Silent, dignified protest was the way to go but that wasn't what was happening so I took to taking pictures and distancing myself from the protest.

Gaza? Who am I to have an opinion?

Well now HNY to you both. Which doesn't bring me to Gaza. But here we are anyway. What do you think of it all? I think the following:
1. A nation has a collective identity and behaves on the international stage not unlike an individual.
2. The Jewish people have, throughout their history, been unimaginably badly treated and abused.
3. Abused children often go on to become abusing adults, unless they develop insight. It is not possible to develop insight if one lives in constant fear and anxiety. Israel, being surrounded by relatively hostile countries, lives in a fair degree of fear and anxiety, though she is strong. She has therefore not developed insight, she is too busy being strong.
4. In an attempt to master her collective feelings after years of abuse, Israel has become the abuser and is treating the Palestinian people in the same way the Jewish people have been treated through much of history. Most notably, Israel has created and is maintaining a ghetto for the Palestinians called Gaza.
5. In order to allow Israel the space to develop an alternative response to the provocations of Hamas, she needs good parenting (someone offering her protection but allowing her independence - America does the former but doesn't like her children having the latter, something her satellites appreciate and acknowledge from time to time but are powerless to change). In the absence of good parenting, she needs therapy. Therapy is talking. In this context, it would be called diplomacy. But Israel can't begin therapy while she is consumed with being strong.
6. I wasn't going to go to the demonstration at the Israeli embassy today but was then asked what I would have done for the Jews facing persecution in the past. I said I would like to think I would have done something to prevent the persecution. What then, I was asked, is the logical conclusion of my argument that the Jews are are at the beginning of the process of doing to the Palestinians what was done to them? The answer is, of course, that I have to protest.

And please, let no one read the above as an apologia for the disgusting Hamas rocketeers. Israel needs to treat them as they would an unruly child and prevent them from doing what they are doing through rational discourse and taking their toys away. Unfortunately, this being the big wide world of grown ups, the toys are deadly weapons and must therefore be dealt with with the aforementioned strength. But let the strength stop short of retribution, for retribution is not the sign of an adult with mature control of her feelings.

And, were the boot on the other foot, all of the above could and should be applied to the Palestinians.

I believe I am indebted to a great Jew, the good Doctor Freud, for the ability to think the thoughts above, and I'd commend him to the Israelis at this horrible point in their country's history. They could also do worse, IMHO, than read a bit of Alice Miller:

"The way we were treated as small children is the way we treat ourselves the rest of our lives: with cruelty or with tenderness and protection. We often impose our most agonizing suffering upon ourselves and, later, on our children."

And so the pattern goes on through history unless a firebreak - therapy / diplomacy / growth through insight and not just strength - is provided. The international community needs to provide that firebreak before Hamas and the Israeli's destroy the Palestinian people.

I'd imagine that the Idea of Israel is perhaps stronger the closer you get, in terms of effects on families and individuals, to the Holocaust. That is to say, those most affected by the Holocaust are, perhaps, those most likely to choose to live in, or support vociferously, Israel. This, of course, is likely to lead to an increase in the "abused becoming the abusers" effect.