Monday, November 19, 2012

From nice to nasty.

Mr. Rogers.

Temple Grandin.

Your nose may save your legs.

Barefoot college.

Prepping for disaster.

Catholicism and women.

Israelis, the new Nazis:
"Israel was born out of Jewish Terrorism" Tzipi Livnis Father was a Terrorist" Astonishing claims in the House of Parliament. SIR Gerald Kaufman, the veteran Labour MP, yesterday compared the actions of Israeli troops in Gaza to the Nazis who forced his family to flee Poland. During a Commons debate on the fighting in Gaza, he urged the government to impose an arms embargo on Israel. Sir Gerald, who was brought up as an orthodox Jew and Zionist, said: "My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town a German soldier shot her dead in her bed. "My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt from gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians." He said the claim that many of the Palestinian victims were militants "was the reply of the Nazi" and added: "I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants." He accused the Israeli government of seeking "conquest" and added: " They are not simply war criminals, they are fools."


Steve Bates said...

Temple Grandin is magnificent!

Ron Douglas reminds me that there are different degrees and kinds of self-reliance. Experiencing hurricanes several times in my life has made me fairly good at... no, not dealing with storms, floods, etc. ... but living off the grid for about a week. Hurricane Ike left our Houston apartments without power (refrigeration, light in the bathroom, ability to recharge the cell phone or post to the internet) for somewhat more than a week, maybe almost two weeks... and I realized how underprepared I was for a catastrophe only a little bit worse than the one I was prepared for. Imagine if we faced one of those cosmic impact catastrophes described in Gribbin's Fire on Earth... no one would be really prepared. Would civilization survive? A better question: has civilization survived, faced with the countless undocumented collisions in past millennia? We think of global climate change as the worst disaster that can happen to us... no, it isn't; it's only the most nearly certain disaster we face.

Amanda is right. Don't get me started on today's Catholic Church. In my time I have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Catholics at antiwar protests and anti-death-penalty protests, and I admire those Catholics. But anything that smacks of "liberation theology" seems to be abhorrent to the current papal hierarchy, and the church itself has become as mean as any institution I know of.

That Jewish UK MP is not the first to note the resemblance of Israel to that which they once morally most deplored. For a while, I cut them slack. Then I began to see what is going on...

ellroon said...

I would be very interested in how you and Stella made it through the aftermath of Ike, what methods you used to deal with a fridge going out, food going bad, no access to phones, or *gasp* computers!!... No electricity for our electronic equipment would have a huge impact on our family! As with Bryan in Florida, recently both of you seem to have been hit more times than not with floods, outages and difficulties. I'm interested in teaching myself how to cope with disasters because we live so very close to so many fault lines ready to snap ...

If you haven't seen it, the movie Temple Grandin is well done and I recommend it.

And all moderates on both sides are hiding until the polarizing influences of the extremists lessens. Maybe.

Steve Bates said...

ellroon, we improvised.

It didn't take long to realize that nothing in the fridge or freezer was going to survive, and we had made no preparations to cook out... our bad. All that food was just gone.

As soon as roads were passable (if scary!) we drove first to our local grocer, then 2 mi. to a store that had lots of batteries in stock. We were ripped off: they bore the "trade dress" of Duracell, but they were cheap batteries, quick to die. But at least we had lights and radio, and Stella had a battery-powered TV (waaay too battery-hungry).

Our first computer usage was at the nearby public library. Before that, my good friend Paul phoned my cell from Boston; I asked him to post a comment on my blog telling people we were OK but had no power... that was a great relief. My blog is postable from the public library under ordinary circumstances. (By now I can send short, ugly-looking blog posts from my cell phone.)

Device power was a challenge right up until we got line power back again; Stella would take my cell to work with her to recharge it.

And that's about it. Considering what happened to people in Galveston, we were lucky. Compared to some parts of Houston (those in reach of the storm surge), we were lucky.

But you're right: today's Americans are not prepared to live w/o electricity, even for short periods of time. If you can afford a generator, it's good to have one; just don't EVER operate it indoors, and if you plan to hook it up to your house power, be sure you know what you're doing. One of my clients, who stood to lose a bundle of money if they were down for weeks, did exactly that: they had generators, and they knew how to power the whole business (probably 20+ servers) using those generators.

Enough for one sitting; I'm busy drinking myself silly this evening because the pain has been pretty bad today...

ellroon said...

Cautious hugs, Steve. I'm sorry for your pain.

And thanks, I appreciate the recounting of the coping you did. It will help me deal with what could happen at any time out here in earthquake country.