In 2006, five year old Mariya was unfortunate enough to be in a nearby vehicle when the Israelis launched a missile attack on the car of an Islamic Jihad activist.

Mariya was left paralyzed from the neck down and her mother, brother, grandmother, and uncle were killed instantly.

Since sustaining her injuries, the Israeli Ministry of Defense has paid for her care in a Jerusalem hospital (Bravo!) but now they’ve decided to end her care and ship her off to a pathetically inadequate West Bank hospital that lacks the ability to address her intensive needs (not so bravo).

Her father, Hamdi Aman, has brought an action in the Israeli Supreme Court asking that her care be continued in the specialized childrens’ hospital in Jerusalem. Said Mr. Haman, “I’m not asking for compensation for my dead son – I’m asking that my daughter be kept alive.”

Very moving sentiment but it can’t hold a candle to this:

She has also learned to chatter away in fluent Hebrew to her dedicated Israeli therapists. “I have always avoided telling Mariya who aimed that missile at us,” says Aman. “How can I explain that the people who hurt us are the same people who are helping us now?”

Israeli law holds the state immune from responsibility in these situations and, as a matter of law, I’m willing to stipulate that the Ministry of Defense has no obligation to continue caring for this poor child. As a moral matter, however, they have every responsibility to provide the best possible care for this broken little girl who lost her mother and brother in the same attack that left her paralyzed. The glory of Judaism is its emphasis on justice and I hope the Supreme Court acts accordingly.

Should the court rule against Mr. Hamdi, I say we bring the family to America. (Maybe we can deduct the cost of her care from the fat check that we send to the Israeli Ministry of Defense) After all, our tax dollars supplied the weapons used in the attack and, as such, we bear some moral culpability in this tragic episode. (The real reason that they hate us)

If you’re one of those bible toting, venom spewing people who worship the Prince of Peace while simultaneously advocating endless war, you don’t have to look at this as an act of mercy for a five year old Muslim child. Think of it instead as a good PR move for the USA (a.k.a. Zion, the Promised Land, the New Jerusalem, or whatever the hell you call America on Sunday mornings) and a stroke of political genius for the GOP.

Our magnanimity in helping a little terrorissss will earn us kudos from abroad while the Bush Administration brings democracy to the Middle East one family at a time…

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Read the entire article in the current issue of Newsweek

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When you’re the dean of conservative fund raisers you know how to get it done…

…but there’s a bear in the woods.

First the Kremlin sponsors procreation camps to encourage Russian youth to breed for the Motherland. The same Russian youth who are starting to believe that Stalin may not have been so bad after all.

I can live with that. Negative population growth gives leaders the jitters and a bleak economic outlook might spark some xenophobia and nostalgia here and there, but THIS worries me:

RAF fighter jets were sent to intercept a Russian bomber which was heading towards British air space over the North Atlantic, it emerged this evening.

  An RAF Typhoon Eurofighter intercepts the Russian Bear-H bomber
Eurofighter intercepts the bomber

Two Typhoons were sent from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to meet the Bear-H aircraft after the early warning radar system detected it heading towards UK territory, according to the Ministry of Defence.

It is the first time the Typhoon Eurofighters have been scrambled since they took on operational duties on June 29.

No more details have been released about the incident, which took place last week, but it is bound to heighten tensions after a number of assertive acts by Moscow.

Iraq’s a quagmire; Cheney wants to bomb Iran; China’s rising; energy prices are soaring; and now Russia’s on the move.

Two words: BUY GOLD

 

… when she eats chocolate (Which, by the way, is rich purple) I can see that you’re orange (confused)

Well, for Ingrid Carey, “numbers and letters, sensations and emotions, days and months are all associated with colors”.

Bad acid trip? Mental illness? Nope, turns out it’s a legitimate neurological condition where two or more senses entwine and the result is synesthesia.

The synesthesia of those in the “perceptual” category is triggered by sensory stimuli like sights and sounds, whereas “conceptual” synesthetes respond to abstract concepts like time. One conceptual synesthete described the months of the year as a flat ribbon surrounding her body, each month a distinct color. February was pale green and oriented directly in front of her.

Richard Cytowic, a neuroscientist and author of “The Man Who Tasted Shapes” (Bradford Books, 1998), has watched the scientific shift in attitudes toward the condition in recent years.

“Many of my colleagues claimed that synesthesia was ‘made up’ because it went against prevailing theory,” Cytowic told LiveScience. “Today, everyone recognizes synesthesia as no mere curiosity but important to fundamental principles of how the brain is organized.”

If this sort of thing fascinates you as much as it does me, then read more here.

Forty-seven years ago, when JFK was running for the presidency, bigots and brigands warned that a Catholic president would be nothing more than the Pope’s mouthpiece and that the Executive power of the United States government would by fully vested in the Roman Curia.

Nearly a half century later, I’m here to put your minds at ease. The Pope won’t be sitting in that little round office in DC any time soon because the Vatican can’t handle regular website updates – let alone effectively pull the strings of a puppet government in Washington.

During the course of some research on the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (The commission that deals with the Latin Mass/Sacraments, etc) I was trolling the Vatican website [English vers.] and noticed this little blurb:

The commission has a president, Cardinal Angelo Felici, a secretary, Msgr. Camille Perl, and several assistants. A group of “permanent experts” composed of representatives of the dicasteries concerned offer their advice and expertise.

Actually, Cardinal Felici hasn’t headed the commission in more than SEVEN years and, come to think of it, he’s been dead since last June.

So if a Catlik’ wins the Oval Office next November and your fundamentalist neighbor starts spreading dark conspiracy theories about the insidious power of the Jesuits and the Pope, assure him that he has NOTHING to fear.

vick.jpgYankee fans kill dogs.

Here’s soon-to-be former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, his death hat, and his main squeeze.

Vick’s lawyer has announced that his client is prepared to plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges. (Which carry a max $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison.)

Pleading guilty to this kind of unspeakable cruelty [NB: very graphic image] means his career is over and the whole world learns just what kind of people support the New York Yankees…

This is Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and she talks to Angels:

But wait, there’s more! Not only does the Scandinavian princess communicate with heavenly beings but she can also teach you to do it!

Looking for a creative learning environment where your child can really spread her wings? On Thursday, Norway’s Princess Maertha Louise opened a school for students interested in contacting angels. For $2,100 per semester, the Astarte school affords pupils the opportunity to communicate with the “forces that surround us and who are a resource and help in all the aspects of our lives.”

Needless to say, none of this is going over very well with the commoners. A princess who claims contact with disembodied intelligence doesn’t really make a lot of friends in the bland, state Lutheranism of Norwegian society.

Many think she’s taken leave of her senses and have urged her to seek medical help, and a growing number want her to renounce her claim to the Norwegian throne. (She’s currently 4th in line so there’s no real danger of her ever becoming Queen)

And because this is the XXIst Century, when a royal princess (allegedly) takes leave of her senses and establishes an angel school, you can bet your last Krone (Norwegian currency; crown) that the school will have a website! In Norwegian AND ENGLISH!

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Also worth a read:

The Sopranos of the Rockies: Colorado hit men try to use rattlesnakes to whack “dems dat had it comin’ ”

The plan was to build a wooden box for Sowash to stand in that would hold the snakes, and “the lid was to be built to allow Sowash’s legs to be put inside but not pulled out.” The plan was to leave the rattlesnake-bitten Sowash on a hiking trail.

And, oh yeah, the Australian (Liberal) opposition leader Kevin Rudd went to New York, got drunk in a strip club, people saw him and… Oh well, you know the rest.