22 November, 2008

Finally...an Israeli talking common sense about Gaza

Larry Derfner's article in the Jerusalem Post is a fall of rain in the (literal) desert of the Middle East. Larry can see that the emperor really doesn't have any clothes, and has the courage to say so. Here's his opening paragraph:
We have to change the way we think about Gaza, we have to change the way we act, we have to stop bashing Gazans around as mindlessly and automatically as we do. Israel's war with Gaza has to be the most one-sided war on earth, and it is causing tremendous unnecessary suffering to people there, it's putting Israeli soldiers and civilians in unnecessary danger, and it is leading Israel toward a big, bloody invasion that will get a lot of people on both sides killed for nothing.
At last ! a moderate Israeli who understands that co-operation and negotiation represent the only solution for the Middle East:


But of course Israeli nationalist right wing hawks swarm like angry ants at the first sign of compromise. Here a selection of their brain-washed facile responses for your inspection, Dear Thinking Reader:
*Why, it's simple you are 100% wrong 100% of the time. We should truly disengage ourselves. Meaning close the border to ALL traffic, turn off the power and water. Then whenever any attack comes our way return 100,000 artillery rounds. We will have peace one way or another.
*Solution...Post signs at all Hamas/Gaza weapons smuggle tunnels limiting all future use to bringing only UN food.....if that doesn't work...nuke 'em !!!
*The proper response to continued attack from Gaza would be to take territory permanently away from the Hamas occupiers. Lets start at the north west border fo Gaza and for each missle, morter or incursion from Gaza a 100 meter wide section of the country, from the sea to the opposite side of the strip is occupied, bulldozed down to bedrock and the rubble thrown into the sea. If the owners of the buildings want to remain in them, fine. Bulldoze them under as well. Eventually you will have one of two conditions. Either the whole of the strip is gone, or the muslims learn that war is costly.
Dear Reader, I leave you to draw your own considered and detached conclusions.
(Do you remember when Israeli bulldozers callously crushed Palestinians to death as they slept at Jenin?)

"Ah cain't fergit the horrrr of them chahpers in 'Nam. Jest werrrn't worrrth it."

Many hotels here in Thailand refuse to accept people presenting Israeli passports. Malaysia refuses to allow Israelis into the country at all.

...... Choose your own caption to the above photo:
...... [a] ..The UN Assembly voting (yet again) to condemn Israel's violence
...... [b]...Republicans voting to condemn the UN
...... [b] ..Hungry Gazan citizens begging for bread and water

I have composed a piece for string orchestra about the reconciliation process between Israel and Palestine. Oddly enough, it's entitled Reconciliation. It's hosted on MySpace Music here: this link will open conveniently in a new window. Once you're in MySpace, you can read my program notes if you click the 'Lyrics' link (even after the music has started). Crank up the volume slider control to the max before you begin, as the music opens extremely

12 November, 2008

2066 And All That.
In Pictures - the financial crisis

Here boy, Catch! It's so cool to chase the Stockmarket Frisbee, wherever it goes. Wheeeeeeeeeee!

Right at this moment we're feeling fairly much how this pooch feels as the penny drops (pun intended). Gee golly whiz, it's all been a massive hoax! Gosh. It's one of those "rabbit-caught-in-the-headlights" moments, which everyone (except the Joe the friggin' Plumber and me) apparently knew was coming:

Luckily, I stashed one of these free Mugabe lunch vouchers in my wallet:

...and, together with my financial adviser (my wife), devised a foolproof Personal Bailout Plan:

Things are lookin' bad, George... your Texas limousine may soon look like this:

We all know, however, that any crisis could be fixed if only everyone went out and did more SHOPPING with their credit card:

Avoid using cash at all costs. Banker Henry Paulsen apparently agrees with FunkyPix2, having just re-jigged the US bailout away from toxic assets in favour of assisting marginal banks dish out yet more consumer credit... which (if I'm not mistaken) was the original cause of the crash, yes/no?
Throwing water onto the fire? Petrol? Or whisky?

...... ......or is it simply that Paulsen happens to own a bunch of shares in those banks?



.. All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.

.. Two can live as cheaply as one, for half as long.

.. Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone.

.. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

Breaking News for those investing money in Japan:

'Following the problems in the sub-prime lending market in America and the run on Northern Rocks in the UK, uncertainty has now hit Japan. In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut its branches. Yesterday it was announced that Kamacazi Bank was suspended after it nosed-dived. Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared the staff my get a raw deal’.
Aw heck, I'd say it's still possible to identify unexploited business opportunities in Japan:

Want to trigger a stampede at the office?

No need to throw shoes at the boss... just circulate this memo:

Attention all staff:

Due to the current financial situation caused by the
slowdown of economy, Management has decided to implement a scheme to put workers of 40 years of age and above on early retirement. This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early).

Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to management to
be eligible for the SHAFT scheme (Special Help After Forced Termination).

Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the SCREW program (Scheme Covering Retired Early Workers).

A person may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and
SCREWED as many times as Management deems appropriate.

Persons who have been RAPED can only get AIDS (Additional
Income for Dependants & Spouse) or HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance).

Obviously persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not
be SHAFTED or SCREWED any further by Management.

Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much SHIT (Special High Intensity Training) as possible. Management has always prided itself on the amount of SHIT it gives employees. Should you feel that you do not recieve enough SHIT, please bring to the attention of your Supervisors. They have been trained to give you all the SHIT you can handle.

And now here is the Finance News. This is a nasty graph of the latest performance of the Australian dollar against the Thai baht. As Australians, our purchasing power here in Thailand is reduced to only two-thirds of what it was in July. Eeeek.

06 November, 2008

The U.S. Puppy Election: the race to become First Dog in the White House

Republicans always prefer conventional dogs, pretty dogs, wealthy dogs, white dogs... mostly BORING dogs... to be nominated as First Canine in the White House... and probably military dogs if they thought they could get away with it:

However, under Bark Obama's superior guidance and liberal vision, I expect that some disadvantaged and unusual dogs, ugly underdogs and dog minority groups, will be offered equal opportunity to succeed to Caninity's highest position. In Dog We Trust... after all, America is the Howly Land, innit?

FunkyPix2 hereby nominates some candidates for the official position of White House Puppy:
........ [PS: correspondence may be entered into. Australian dollars, please]

... and every good political rally or Dogvention should conclude with a rollicking good song:

Howl together now!!
...and you never know, in another 50 years a talented young pooch (maybe black?) could emerge from obscurity to take over Tony Snow's role as presidential attack-person ...and would certainly do a fairer more balanced job:

The rise and rise of dogs in the White House may even signal an Obama-McCanine Democratic ticket in 2012. And why not? They once laughed and claimed that a black person could never become president... didn't they? Scottie would have made a better presidog than Bush, for sure.

STOP PRESS !! FunkyPix2's puppy bid now has competition from the government of Peru, who are offering the Whine House a bald long-eared toothless mangy mutt which they claim to be non-allergenic to children!!! Looks like a cross between a rat and a rabbit. Video here.
Ha! Cheap shot. Cunning marketing. Horrid dastardly trick. Don't believe 'em, Bark.