Thursday, November 29, 2012

But Wait! There's More!

The UN (which doesn't need Canadian membership, really) has admitted the Palestinian Authority as an "entity":

The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Thursday overwhelmingly approved the de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the world body to issue its long overdue "birth certificate."

There were 138 votes in favor, nine against and 41 abstentions. Three countries did not take part in the vote to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's observer status at the United Nations to "non-member state" from "entity."

The assembly approved the upgrade despite threats by the United States and Israel to punish the Palestinians by withholding funds for the West Bank government. U.N. envoys said Israel might avoid harsh retaliation as long as the Palestinians did not seek to join the International Criminal Court.

The much-anticipated vote came after Abbas denounced Israel for its "aggressive policies and the perpetration of war crimes" from the U.N. podium, remarks that elicited a furious response from the Jewish state.

This whole spectacle is just another reason in the list of reasons why the UN should be abolished or, at the very least, why nations like Canada should withdraw immediately. One hundred and thirty-eight nations, along with forty-one cowards, just handed Israel's perpetual thorn-in-its-side a tremendous boon, emboldening it (and rewarding its awful tirades for which it, along with other nutcases, has a platform at the UN). Of course, the Palestinian Authority is as likely to function as a fish out of water and now the other Islamists in the region don't have much in the way of leverage against Israel. However, Palestinians can now be considered legal "freedom fighters" whenever they lob rockets at Israel or kill its children with rocks.

And this is progress?

Moving on....

This article is just too sad to read:

The use of end of life care methods on disabled newborn babies was revealed in the doctors’ bible, the British Medical Journal.

Earlier this month, an un-named doctor wrote of the agony of watching the protracted deaths of babies. The doctor described one case of a baby born with ‘a lengthy list of unexpected congenital anomalies’, whose parents agreed to put it on the pathway.

The doctor wrote: ‘They wish for their child to die quickly once the feeding and fluids are stopped. They wish for pneumonia. They wish for no suffering. They wish for no visible changes to their precious baby.

‘Their wishes, however, are not consistent with my experience. Survival is often much longer than most physicians think; reflecting on my previous patients, the median time from withdrawal of hydration to death was ten days.

‘Parents and care teams are unprepared for the sometimes severe changes that they will witness in the child’s physical appearance as severe dehydration ensues.

‘I know, as they cannot, the unique horror of witnessing a child become smaller and shrunken, as the only route out of a life that has become excruciating to the patient or to the parents who love their baby.’

According to the BMJ article, the doctor involved had presided over ten such deaths in just one hospital neonatal unit.

We have diminished human life to such an extent that we cannot be considered souled creatures anymore. Why someone would think that starving a child would be painless is just unfathomable, morally and intellectually.

A censor's dream-come-true:

Badr is currently on trial for possibly libeling and defaming a female Egyptian artist, Elham Shahin, whom he called, among other disparagements, a "whore." An unrepentant Badr appeared again on TV, and made the following oath:
I have sworn to Allah, that any dog—for that is how Allah described them, for they are like dogs that are constantly panting—that any dog who mocks the Sharia, or mocks Islam, or blames it, we will cut out his tongue. I say this without hesitation: We will cut out his tongue! That's it. The time of transgressing against Islam, and speaking insolence, has passed—it is over. Today, the People of Lies [code for secular people] defend their falsehoods with great zeal; so shall we defend Islam with all our might—no matter what it costs, no matter what it costs! Let the whole world burn, but Islam not be mocked.
None of this is figurative. Days after Dr. Badr made these pronouncements, on October 30, a roaming band of Salafis in Suez attacked, severely beat and tried to cut the hand off a young Egyptian grocery store worker because he prevented one of their gang from using the store bathroom without permission. The bearded Salafi had said: "I do not ask for permission."

The assaulted youth's brother, angered at what had happened, then "insulted the men." Accordingly, Suez's new roaming band of Sharia enforcers, who call themselves the "Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice," after Saudi Arabia's "morality police," claimed that he had insulted Islam and ordered that the man's tongue be cut out. This is the same group that earlier stabbed to death a young Egyptian man for walking in public with his fiancée.

Hey! I have an idea! Let's give them a state or billions of dollars in aid!

Related: also a censor's dream-come-true:

The 12-day conference of the International Telecommunications Union, a 147-year-old organization that's now an arm of the United Nations, largely pits revenue-seeking developing countries and authoritarian regimes that want more control over Internet content against U.S. policymakers and private Net companies that prefer the status quo.

This is the same organisation that won't stop genocide and tyranny.

The Hammer speaks:

Obama is claiming an electoral mandate to raise taxes on the top 2 percent. Perhaps, but remember those incessant campaign ads promising a return to the economic nirvana of the Clinton years? Well, George W. Bush cut rates across the board, not just for the top 2 percent. Going back to the Clinton rates means middle-class tax hikes that yield four times the revenue that you get from just the rich.

So give Obama the full Clinton. Let him live with that. And with what also lies on the other side of the cliff: 28 million Americans newly subject to the ruinous alternative minimum tax. 

Republicans must stop acting like supplicants. If Obama so loves those Clinton rates, Republicans should say: Then go over the cliff and have them all. 

And add: But if you want a grand bargain, then deal. If we give way on taxes, we want, in return, serious discretionary cuts, clearly spelled-out entitlement cuts and real tax reform.

Otherwise, strap on your parachute, Mr. President. We’ll ride down together.

The Republicans don't need to cow to Obama who is certainly not worth their time let alone allegiance. The middle-class will bear the brunt of this drop from the fiscal cliff, not the rich whose oleaginous insistence to punish the wealthy will never affect them. It is clear from so many instances that Obama bears no kinship the people he has, bafflingly, been elected to lead. The unemployment rate is still high, the nationalised health service is still unfair, millions are on food stamps and foreign policy is a joke. The Republicans should view Obama like one stricken with Ebola and avoid him accordingly. HE was the president for the last four years. Let him clean up his mess before the crowds get restless.

And now, Doctor Who visits Baby Jesus.

(With thanks)

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