Category: History

University allows master to keep his Bassett on campus as a “very large cat”

The master of a Cambridge University college that banned dogs from accommodation has been allowed to keep his canine companion after persuading officials it was “a very large cat”.

YoYo the bassett hound lives at Selwyn College with Roger Mosey…Mr Mosey said cats were allowed but dogs were “technically” banned.

However, after a past master set a “dog-owning precedent” decades ago, the college “tongue-in-cheek agreed YoYo could stay as a large cat”, he said…

“Many former masters have kept cats but the greatest master, Professor Owen Chadwick, did keep dogs during the 1950s, 60s and 70s,” he said.

Permission was granted by the council, and duly noted in the minutes: “i. College Animal – Noting precedent under the mastership of Professor Chadwick, Council approved the Master’s request to adopt a Very Large Cat in the Master’s Lodge.”

YoYo, a rescue dog, has now featured in publicity material for a veterinary course and other college material…”Students call her ‘the college dog’ and I very much want her to become part of life at Selwyn,” Mr Mosey said.

A particularly collegiate and British solution to a conflict between reality and the rules.

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Comfortably Numb

Thanks, Ursarodinia

She knows how close my mind and heart are to Pink Floyd. This isn’t her most recent suggestion; but, it’s how I’m feeling tonight.

I look at numbers from some of the pollsters who suggest gerrymandering by Republicans, the incompetence of the gutless wonders in the Democratic Party [excepting the Greens, Gays and Lesbians, Black, Brown and Red Caucuses, Feminists and Grayheads - who all know better but stay stuck into the 2-party shithole] – will probably result in this ignorant land settling deeper into a bog of complacent whining and self-pity this coming mid-term elections.

At least there is music leftover from times when young and old were courageous instead of concerned about their social network presence.

CNN ignoranuses think Captain Ron Johnson is flashing gang signs

I just can’t even deal with this crap anymore, and I encourage everyone else to not be able to deal with this crap anymore either.

Today in Ferguson, Mo., news, The Washington POST takes on the assertion that Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson has been photographed flashing gang signs with members of the community. [...]

Capt. Johnson is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, a black fraternity that was formed in 1911 at Indiana University in Bloomington, and the hand sign you see in the pictures…is a Kappa greeting.

Black police captain “flashes hand sign,” and it’s immediately presumed that he is a Secret Gang Thug indicating his sympathies in a very public way that only the cleverest of white racist bastards will catch on to. Just as when a black president and his wife bump fists, the standard greeting of the American “bro” movement becomes a terrorist fist bump, and when a black child walks home with Skittles and iced tea the press summons people to describe what sort of drug paraphernalia might be constructed with Skittles and an iced tea.

A frat sign. Well, that is a gang sign of sorts, I suppose. And if you are the sort of person who immediately suspected that Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson is a secret gang member seeking to reassure his secret gang members that their secret plan to do … something … is alive and well, we do not need to be hearing from you right now. You need to go sit in a corner, any corner will do, and let the grown-ups talk without being interrupted by your constant little hissy fits.

You can’t make this crap up. In a nation with a modicum of education you would hope to find a journalist, an editor, who will know enough about the realities of policing, of Black society, to look further than a tweet from some stupid iReporter before publishing this crap.

It wasn’t until the POST pushed the Stupid Button on CNN’s digital office door that the post was removed. Of course, FAUX NEWS will probably run with it for a week.

Anti-Fascist hero sends his Holocaust medal back to Israel


The “Righteous Among the Nations” medal

A Dutchman honoured by Israel for hiding a Jewish child during World War Two has handed back his medal after six of his relatives were killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza.

Henk Zanoli, 91, wrote to the Israeli embassy in The Hague to say he could no longer hold the honour…He said an Israeli F-16 had destroyed his great-niece’s home in Gaza, killing all inside, in the recent offensive…

Mr Zanoli and his mother were awarded the “Righteous Among the Nations” honour by Israel in 2011 for helping to shelter a Jewish child from the Nazis in their family home from 1943-45.

The award is accorded to non-Jews who risked their lives to protect and save Jews during the Holocaust.

However, Mr Zanoli said in a letter published by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper that “to hold on to the honour granted to me by the State of Israel under these circumstances, would be an insult… to those in my family, four generations on, who lost no less than six of their relatives in Gaza…”

His great-niece is a Dutch diplomat who is married to Palestinian economist Ismail Ziadah, who was born in a refugee camp in central Gaza…Mr Ziadah’s mother, three brothers, a sister-in-law and nine-year-old nephew were all killed after their family home was hit by Israeli aircraft…

Mr Zanoli also lost his father at a Nazi concentration camp. His brother-in-law was murdered by the Nazis for his role in the Dutch resistance. Like pretty much everyone who rejects the apartheid government of Israel, Mr. Zanoli holds no brief against Jews in any nation. His opposition is to the government of the state of Israel and their racist and militarist policies.

You can read his letter over here.

Israel squandered any chance for peace, years ago, for a phony “victory”


Never forget!Michael Longari/AFP/Getty Images

Alongside the toll of death and broken lives, perhaps the saddest reality of the latest Gaza war, like the Gaza wars before it, is how easy it would have been to avoid. For the last eight years, Israel and the U.S. had repeated opportunities to opt for a diplomatic solution in Gaza. Each time, they have chosen war, with devastating consequences for the families of Gaza…

Let’s begin in June 2006, when the University of Maryland’s Jerome Segal, founder of the Jewish Peace Lobby, carried a high-level private message from Gaza to Washington. Segal had just returned from a meeting with Ismail Haniyeh, whose Hamas faction had recently won free and fair elections and taken power in Gaza. Hamas was seeking a unity government with the rival Fatah faction overseen by Mahmoud Abbas.

…By voting for Hamas in 2006, Palestinians signaled their weariness with Fatah’s corruption and its failure to deliver an independent state, or even a long-promised safe passage corridor between the West Bank and Gaza. In the wake of its surprise election victory, Hamas was in turn showing signs of edging toward the political center, despite its militant history.

Nevertheless, Israel and “the Quartet” — the U.S., the European Union, Russia, and the U.N. — refused to recognize the outcome of the democratic elections, labeling Hamas a “terrorist organization,” which sought Israel’s destruction. The administration of George W. Bush strongly pressured Abbas not to join a unity government. The Quartet suspended economic aid and Israel severely curtailed the flow of goods in and out of Gaza…

These punitive measures were to remain in place until Hamas renounced violence (including stopping its cross-border rocket attacks), recognized Israel, and accepted all previous agreements based on the Oslo peace accords.

Which brings us back to that Washington-bound letter from Gaza. In the wake of the elections, Hamas was no longer the militant opposition to a ruling Fatah party, but a legally elected government operating under siege. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, suddenly responsible for governing and facing a mounting economic, humanitarian, and political catastrophe, sought to defuse the situation. In his June 2006 hand-written note to President Bush that Jerome Segal delivered to the State Department and the National Security Council, he requested a direct dialogue with the administration…

The Bush team, however, chose to ignore Hamas’s overture, opting, with Israel, for violence and chaos. The Obama administration would follow the same path years later. In this way, a pattern of U.S. acquiescence in ongoing, ever worsening humanitarian disasters in Hamas-run Gaza was established. Direct American political and material support for the indiscriminate killing of thousands of Gaza’s civilians, including hundreds of children, became Washington’s de facto policy.

RTFA. It’s long, detailed – and to my mind and memory – quite accurate. Unfortunately, accuracy, truth and honesty have nothing to do with the US relationship with Israel and the prisoner nation of Palestine.

The article details time after time the chances for peace deliberately sabotaged by the US/Israel military-industrial complex. Most of our politicians couldn’t care less. American voters are wholly ignorant of history; so, there is little or no pressure from ordinary voters.

Think about it – you may be just one of the small number who cares enough to try to make a change.

Thanks, Mike

Congress authorized Vietnam War under bullshit pretense – 50 years ago, today


President Johnson signs “Gulf of Tonkin” resolutionCecil Stoughton/White House Photograph Office

After just nine hours of deliberation, both houses of Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution today in 1964. The bill authorizing the United States to officially go to war with Vietnam was signed by President Lyndon Johnson three days later. Of course, the United States had been increasingly involved in Vietnam at least since 1955, when then-President Eisenhower deployed the Military Assistance Advisory group to help train the South Vietnamese Army…

The supposed August 4th attack on the USS Maddox was used to legitimize the growing U.S. presence in Vietnam and to give the President authority to use the military in the effort to combat Communist North Vietnam. Even Johnson questioned the legitimacy of the Gulf of Tonkin. A year after the incident, Johnson said to then Press Secretary Bill Moyers, “For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there.”

A good, traditional liberal Democrat administration following the unified party line of American foreign policy. Hasn’t changed a jot since.

Just in case you think Neo-Confederates are just guys who play dress-up in Civil War uniforms

On July 8, as I reported, [local Republican candidate in Maryland] Michael Peroutka wrote a letter to Michael Hill, president of the League of the South, asking the neo­-Confederate hate group to help his campaign. Peroutka wanted to thank the League, which advocates for secession and theocratic government by and for white people, for its friendship, work, and hospitality. Peroutka had just won the GOP’s nomination for Anne Arundel County Council, as well as a seat on the Republican Central Committee there, and it made perfect sense that he would reach out to the no doubt many members of the organization on which he once served on the Board of Directors for their support.

Perhaps Peroutka was surprised the following week, when on July 15, Hill wrote an essay for the League’s website titled “A Bazooka in Every Pot,” in which he outlines a program of “guerrilla war,” marked by “three-­to-­five-­man” death squads which would target government leaders, journalists, and other public figures for assassination, in order to advance the League’s goals.

“To oversimplify,” writes Hill, “the primary targets will not be enemy soldiers; instead, they will be political leaders, members of the hostile media, cultural icons, bureaucrats, and other of the managerial elite without whom the engines of tyranny don’t run.”

On the other hand, Hill’s views may come as no surprise to Peroutka, who routinely rails against the “tyranny” of state and federal government. He detests Maryland’s laws supporting marriage equality, transgender rights, and stormwater run­off fees intended to keep the Chesapeake Bay from choking on pollution…

In recent essays of his own, Peroutka questions whether Maryland’s state legislature is “no longer a valid legislative body,” and argues that the duty of the County Council and the sheriff should be to “resist” enforcement of any law that does not measure up to his notion of “God’s Law.” Perhaps fortuitously, Joe Delimater, an elder in Peroutka’s church who shares these views, is the GOP candidate for Sheriff of Anne Arundel County. One might say they are a pair of theocratic running mates. The Maryland chapter of the League of the South features Delimater’s comments on “The War Between the States.”

RTFA for the rest of the details. Jonathan Hutson is part of a group of activists in Maryland who successfully opposed electoral plans of some of these cretins. The Republican Party of Maryland now disavows the stars and bars clown show.

But – don’t kid yourselves into thinking they aren’t dangerous.

Thanks, Mike

Our pollution reached Antarctica before the great explorers


Lead pollution from Oz got there first

Lead pollution from Australia reached Antarctica in 1889 – long before the frozen continent’s golden age of exploration – and has remained there ever since, new research shows.

In our study, published in Nature Scientific Reports, my colleagues and I used ice core samples from West and East Antarctica to reveal the continent’s long and persistent history of heavy metal pollution.

The Antarctic remains the most remote and pristine place on Earth. Yet despite its isolation, our findings show that it has not escaped contamination from traces of industrial lead, a serious pollutant and neurotoxin. The levels of lead pollution found in the ice cores is too low to impact Antarctic ecosystems, but higher levels would be expected closer to sources…

The new study, led by Dr Joe McConnell of the Desert Research Institute in Nevada, used an array of Antarctic ice cores to reveal a detailed record of where and when pollution can be found.

The first trace of lead pollution arrived in Antarctica around 1889, 22 years before the Amundsen and Scott expeditions to the South Pole.

We also discovered that lead pollution in the Antarctic peaked twice, and that in both cases Australia was the primary source.

After an initial peak in the late 1920s, lead levels dropped in sync with the Great Depression and Second World War. The pollution peaked again in about 1975.

Today, although levels are lower than at the 1975 peak, they remain at roughly three times the pre-industrial level…

More analysis will help us unlock more of Antarctica’s secrets. If you’ll excuse the pun, our latest results are just the tip of the iceberg with regard to information stored in the Antarctic ice sheet.

For example, fires in the Southern Hemisphere have left traces in the ice and a history of climate. The history of persistent organic pollutants and mercury in the remote south are still poorly known. Colleagues at CSIRO and the Australian Nuclear Science Technology Organisation are using ice cores to understand the past variability of greenhouse gases and the Sun. Combined with records from tree rings, sediments and caves, ice cores help to recreate a large-scale reconstruction of past sea level pressure.

Meanwhile, Antarctica continues to serve as a sentinel for unintended consequences of human activities – in this case, the pollution of a pristine frozen wasteland by an Australian mining product.

Today’s abusers of the word “conservative” will continue on their plastic primrose path to the destruction of Earth’s biosphere given any opportunity at all. Unlike their predecessors – for whom conservative also meant conservator of the Earth – prattle about denial is all they have to offer their children and grandchildren when they grow old enough to accuse them of rejecting human responsibility for polluting limited resources. Including the transformation of our climate at a radical pace.

When science points out the corruption of our planet, the response of these cowards is simply to deny science.