Monday, January 30, 2006

The Stripes on Israel's Flag

I'm not going to analyze the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections or guess what the future holds. I'd rather talk about the flag of the State of Israel. According to Hamas leader Mahmoud a-Zahar, the two blue stripes above and below the Star of David represent two rivers: the Nile in Egypt and the Euphrates in Iraq. He says this represents Israel's ambition to control all the land in between those rivers. Taking the stripes off the flag is a prerequisite to negotiations.

Funny. I always thought the blue stripes represent the Tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl, which traditionally has blue, purple or black stripes on each side. It's a religious symbol, just like the Star of David, not a sign of Israeli imperial ambitions. If you really think of it, the Star of David is the militaristic part of the flag. It was said to have been the symbol on David's shield when he made his first kill - when he killed the Philistine Goliath. Why don't the Hamas claim it's a symbol of the desire to kill Palestinians? It's a ridiculous claim, but so is the Nile and Euphrates interpretation.

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Social Dangers of Not Vaccinating Kids

Judith Warner, a guest columnist/blogger for the New York Times' website, has an entry about childhood vaccinations. Since it's part of TimesSelect and you have to pay for it, I'll quote two paragraphs:

"Over and over again, the link between mercury — in the form of thimerosal, a preservative once routinely used in vaccines — and autism has been disproved. Or, better put, (who knows what the future will bring?) it has not been confirmed. (The Times had an excellent history of the autism/vaccine controversy last year.)

Meanwhile, formerly all-but-eradicated deadly childhood diseases are making a comeback, as Sanghavi acknowledges: In Britain, where vaccination is optional and immunization rates in recent years for the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine have fallen to as low as 62 percent in parts of London, measles is on the rise. Ditto in Japan, where parental choice on the matter of vaccinations has resulted in a yearly rate now of more than 100,000 cases of measles, leading to an estimated 50 to 100 deaths."

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Israelis Ignore Pat Robertson

Pat Robertson said Ariel Sharon's stroke is divine retribution for the disengagement from Gaza. Well, Pat, Israelis don't give a shit about you. Israeli websites have reported the comment, but it has so far been ignored on mainstream television and in the newspapers. It should be noted though, that when Robertson called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, it was widely reported here.

These evangelical "friends" of Israel are actually its foes. They support Armageddon, the End Times prophesies. They do not care about what is best for Israel. If I remember correctly, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has certain ties with them. He should sever these ties now.

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Friday, January 06, 2006

Die, Sharon, For Your Own Sake

It is now clear that Ariel Sharon has suffered massive brain damage. If he survives, he will be severely crippled, quite possibly mentally no less than physically. If this is the case, he would be better off dead. Being in a vegetative state, or something close to it, would be horrible for him.

If there's a chance for him to live a fairly good life, albeit somewhat crippled, I'd wish him that. But the chances are dim.

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Prime Minister's Brain

Unlike Ariel Sharon's previous stroke on December 18th, this time it's serious. The prime minister is in grave condition. He probably has extensive brain damage, and even if he survives, his days as prime minister are over. I must say I'm not much concerned about the man himself - I wish him health, but I'm not as worried as if it were a family member, a friend, or someone I admired.

I'm worried about the country. I don't think too highly of Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, though he'd be better than Benjamin Netanyahu. I fear that in the next elections Netanyahu might now win. Ironically, Kadima, nicknamed "Sharon's one-man party", may get my vote now that Sharon isn't in it. If Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will be the party's candidate for PM, I'll definitely vote for them.

I've read comparisons of last night to the night of the Rabin assassination. I don't see the similarities at all. For one thing, a natural ailment is incomparable to murder; and I think Rabin was a much greater man than Sharon (and definitely not corrupt, while Sharon is).

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