Archive | December 2012

Happy Christmas!

Until one of my Christian students asked today if she could have an extension for the paper due tomorrow I was all oblivious. I mean, you know it is Monday but I’d not had enough coffee at that point for the date to make its way to the forefront of my brain. Monday was as far in orientation date-wise as I’d gotten. No, you can’t. Wait, Why? I’ll be spending the day at home with my family tomorrow since, you know, it is Christmas and can’t come in to deliver it. Oh. OH. Dudette, you are right. Yes, of course you can have an extension.

Well hey, Happy Happy and Merry Merry all around to all my readers who celebrate this festive day and I hope St. Nick brings you lots of good stuff and doesn’t leave any ashes instead in the stockings, though, given how awesome my readers are, there are no worries on that score on my end.


Hamas planning over-throw in West Bank?

Well this doesn’t look good. I tell you, the old statement that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity has been supplemented with the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to make their lives worse.

Hamas is preparing to duplicate its 2007 civil war in Gaza and has instructed terror cells in Judea and Samaria to get ready for a military coup to oust Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, according to a London Sunday Times based on Israeli intelligence sources.

The orders reportedly came from Hamas’ supreme leader Khaled Mashaal, who recently visited Gaza to celebrate what the terrorist organization claimed was a victory over Israel in last month’s missile war.

Citing unnamed officials in the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the London newspaper said that Iran is behind the plan for a coup. According to the Sunday Times, Iran wants to have an allied militia in Judea and Samaria, parallel to Hamas in Gaza and Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Tawfik Tirawi, a former PA intelligence director and now a senior member of Abbas’ Fatah party, told the newspaper, “Hamas wants intifada and will take over the West Bank.

“We’re on the verge of catastrophe,” he said.

“Bibi [Netanyahu] understands the geopolitical changes in the Middle East. No way would [he] give up an inch of the West Bank – he is convinced that the intelligence assessment about a Muslim Brotherhood [Hamas] takeover is solid,” according to the London newspaper.

The report provides evidence that Prime Minister Netanyahu is making it clear that Israel is not to be shown as being weak. The intelligence information may have been one of the reasons, if not the major cause, for his recent and unusually solid nationalist statements for building new homes for Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

It also contradicts mainstream media claims that Netanyahu’s statements were part of an election campaign to attract nationalists away from the Jewish Home party.

The information published in London totally eliminates the idea promoted by leftist commentators that Netanyahu’s’ policies are designed to strengthen Hamas at the expense of Abbas, who has advertised himself as a “peace partner.” Abbas has won international support for demands that preclude negotiations on future borders while at the same time promoting unity with Hamas.

There goes the neighbourhood: Egyptians adopt Muslim-Brotherhood constitution

Fully 71% of voters in Egypt voted to adopt the extreme Islamist constitution. The secularists are living in some sort of (middle and upper class) bubble. Sandmonkey posted a week ago that Morsy’s Muslim Brotherhood constitution would never garner the votes to pass but clearly that was not the case by a wide margin.

(Lack of electricity) and the joys of living in a religious neighbourhood

Yo, the electrics are on! I’ve got a load of wash going. The four loads behind it will just have to wait. More important is the water starting to heat so I can shower. I haven’t showered since Thursday night so gritty and grungy are serious understatements.

Today turned into a beautiful day and I got a lot done out in the garden. Being out in the garden was a good option since I couldn’t do much inside. We had one hell of a rain. The electricity went off and on repeatedly on Thursday and early Friday. About two hours before Shabbat fell, so too did the electricity and they obviously could not fix it in time.

Gotta love motze shabbat when the electrics people can go back to work in our neighbourhood. Good thing I had lots of Shabbat candles on hand so I could see my way around the apartment.

I’m expecting the water to go off in the building tomorrow. Yesterday I saw two huge pieces of the roof had blown off (we are talking HUGE) and today, while working on the compost piles, I noticed that every time someone on the top floor flushed the toilet (yeah I checked it out and and seriously yuck), or ran any sort of water there was a cascade of water directly down the building onto the ground.

some days you just wake up with a groan

This is especially true when your house is flooded with cats. See I knew today was going to start off rough because the pet store was out of the regular food my kitties eat. They eat a mixture of Georgi and Chickopee, mainly because not even the street cats want to eat Georgi by itself. Instead of the Chickopee, they sent me Friskies –and the two bags not even of the same flavour. Any time you change a cat’s diet, you are in for several days of kitty tummy upset and in my house this works out to being a bout of mass yakking anywhere and everywhere and 18 cats with diarrhea. Oh joy.

So I guess it is no wonder that last night I had a really bizarre dream in which I engaged in a discussion with a ‘neighbour’ — I mean, she was my neighbour in the dream but is not an actual neighbour and not anyone I know in real life — about taking down bags of kitty litter to the trash. Making it even more bizarre was that I’d been dreaming along in English but the whole discuss the kitty litter segment was entirely in German. Yes, I had been reading a book in German just before bed but you’d think if I was going to have a language switcheroo mid-stream there it would have been into Hebrew. At least in the dream she was the one laden down with bags and bags of the used litter.

Yeah, you know what my morning has been like.

U.N. issues 22 resolutions against Israel, 4 for all other countries combined

Anti-Semitic much?

GENEVA, December 18 – The U.N. General Assembly today adopted nine resolutions on Palestinian rights and the Golan, sharply criticizing Israel yet making no mention of Sunday’s massacre of Palestinians by Syrian warplanes firing missiles into a mosque in a Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus. Nor did the texts mention the tens of thousands of Palestinians who continue to flee the camp.

By the end of this week, the current 2012 UNGA session will have adopted 22 country-specific resolutions on Israel – and only four on the rest of the world combined, one each for Syria, Iran, North Korea and Burma, noted UN Watch.

Today’s resolutions criticized Israel for “the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people,” and focused on “the extremely difficult socioeconomic conditions being faced by the Palestine refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”

One resolution condemned Israel for holding on to the Golan Heights, demanding Israel hand the land and its people to Syria.

“It’s astonishing,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “At a time when the Syrian regime is massacring its own people, how can the U.N. call for more people to be subject to Assad’s rule? The timing of today’s text is morally galling and logically absurd.”

“What is also outrageous is that these resolutions claim to care about Palestinians, yet the U.N. proves itself completely oblivious to the actual suffering on the ground, happening right now: Palestinians slaughtered, maimed and expelled by Assad’s forces.”

“Today’s farce at the General Assembly underscores a simple fact: the U.N.’s automatic majority has no interest in truly helping Palestinians, nor in protecting anyone’s human rights; the goal of these ritual, one-sided condemnations remains the scapegoating of Israel,” said Neuer.

gotta love roses blooming in December

Every single one of the rose bushes in our yard that I’ve companion-planted around has got at least one full-on gorgeous bloom or baby bloomlets on it. The rose bush I planted scallions and garlic around has one incredible and huge pink blossom. The one with hot pepper and mint around it is covered in new buds that will open a really pretty shade of nearly orange and has been blooming continuously since the summer. And the bush that was nearly dead this summer and that I have more onions and some parsley around is now thriving and has a red bud just starting to open. We’ve got two more rose bushes that I haven’t yet planted anything around and they haven’t put up more than 2 blossoms between them since August.

Tomorrow, if it is sunny, I’m going to take some pics of the veggie garden. There isn’t much to see in it right now but what I thought was really interesting is the colours of the soil. Just walking up to it, it looks like a patchwork quilt. You can clearly see the different soil colours depending on how much compost I’ve been able to add in. The little radishes are now sprouting (just) in the most-supplemented soil and that “square” is the darkest shade of brown. Next to it, and slightly lighter, is where I planted the lettuce last week and don’t expect any to sprout, not only because that whole packet of seeds has proved to be a germination dud but also because one of the neighbourhood kitties took a romp there. Yeah deep kitty paw prints all over it. Next to that, an area one shade lighter brown still that is unplanted until I can add one more batch of compost. In front of those areas is a really yellow patch recently converted into garden space. Yeah, ya heard me, yellow because we are essentially gardening in “I used to be beach” here. I’ve only managed to mix about 2 pounds of coffee grounds and about a pound of compost in there. On the other side of the little walkway I’ve been constructing out of bricks for edging and filling between with the many small rocks I keep digging up, is an area that I’ve managed to get to a maybe light gray colour?

I planted some Melissa (I think it is called Lemon Balm in the U.S.) in the front garden in the spot where one of our big plants got stolen. I figure the Melissa might not look like a tempting theft item and the spot gets just enough sun that, while it won’t thrive there, it will grow. I also did some nook and cranny transplanting of some parsley starters that may or may not make it. They were pretty poor little specimens in the containers I started their seeds in but, who knows, they might surprise me like the hot peppers have.