Titan wishes all our Muslim friends and readers Eid Sa'eed and reminds our Jewish friends that we are entering Elul and gearing up for Rosh Hashana.
Titan just registered for Blog Action Day October 16, 2013. Join us all fellow bloggers and take part in a huge global discussion. The theme is human rights.
For human rights we refer you to the Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights action blog. As the weeks and months go by without Miriam, we continue to realize what we have lost. She got us into the human rights struggle. Please act on behalf of people who are so much in need of support in their trials and tribulations at the hands of oppressive regimes and corporations.
This week it is Titan's turn to promote a charity. His choice is Rabbis for Human Rights
and in particular their education program at the Hebrew University where they teach students about the connection between our Jewish heritage and human rights. You may donate in the currency of your choice on the English and Hebrew pages of their Web site.
Garry Davis died last week in Vermont at age 91.
|Garry Davis, leader of a movement for global citizenship, died at 91. (Peter Huoppi/Burlington Free Press via Associated Press)|
Only the geriatric component of our readership will recall his lifelong campaign to do away with nationalities and all the reasons why people go to war. He flew bombers over Germany in WWII and lost his brother who had served in the Navy. It was while flying over Brandenburg that he had a moment of insight, “Ever since my first mission over Brandenburg, I had felt pangs of conscience,” he wrote in a memoir. “How many bombs had I dropped? How many men, women and children had I murdered? Wasn’t there another way, I kept asking myself.” He devoted his life to the idea of creating a world free of separate national entities. Many considered him a fool, but others including Einstein, Camus and Sartre took him very seriously. The Washington Post has an obituary. It describes a unique life.
CURIOSITY ON MARS: ONE YEAR ON
The Curiosity rover landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. It has been a great year in terms of scientific achievement and we congratulate the Mars Science Team at JPL. Let them tell you about it themselves. Read the story and watch the videos. Enjoy!
PERSEID METEOR SHOWER.
|Night sky watcher David Kingham took this photo of the Perseid meteor shower from Snowy Range in Wyoming on August 12, 2012.|
Credit: David Kingham/DavidKinghamPhotography
MOVE OVER GRIFFON VULTURE SPY AND MOSSAD SHARK
Last time around, Titan ranted about some aspects of the Muslim community around the world, such as jailing a rape victim, cannibalism and barbaric laws coupled with a hypersensitivity that causes them to explode in violence if someone shows disrespect for the Prophet. This week Titan is at a loss whether to rant or just laugh at the latest from the Muslim Brotherhood. It appears that the interim President of Egypt, Adly Mansour, head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, is a Jew! He is said to be a member of the Seventh Day Adventist church, which is, hold on to your hats, a Jewish sect. It would be funny if the Egyptian people were not so unfortunate as to have these people as their elected leaders. On the other hand, they elected them fair and square so perhaps too much sympathy is out of place.
LEAD IS BAD STUFF
Lead is a toxic metal and we have wisely removed it from many parts of our environment. The Center for Biological Diversity is fighting to remove lead from hunting ammunition because many species, especially scavenger birds, ingest the spent bullets and die from lead poisoning. It is a perfectly reasonable action and California already requires hunters to use lead-free ammunition. Needless to say the NRA as true enemies of humanity, have started a campaign to protect their "right" to use lead bullets. US readers, please sign the petition against the NRA on the link given above and Richard, thanks for calling our attention to this issue.
IS IT REALLY CANCER?
A recent study by a prestigious scientific panel in the US has raised the question of overdiagnosis of cancer and the danger that people are getting treatment that they do not really need. Something shows up for example on a mammogram, is examined by biopsy, declared to be cancer and maybe off comes the breast.
|Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press Face|
ASPERGER'S SYNDROME AND AUTISM NOT THE SAME
New data obtained by electroencephalography (EEG) recordings to measure the amount of signaling occurring between brain areas in children indicate that Asperger's syndrome and autism show up in connections in different parts of the brain. This flies in the face of the new DSM that merges the two disorders as a continuum. It may be harmful to lump them together since the needs of the patients can be quite different. This issue is far from closed.
LGBT RIGHTS AND THE WINTER OLYMPICS
Justin Lane/European Pressphoto Agency
The games are to take place in Sochi, Russia and there is a severe danger that gay or gay-supportive athletes can be kicked out of the games. This can happen because of the Russian anti-gay laws and, worse than that, the acquiescence of the International Olympic Committee, which is more concerned with its own internal politics than with support of the human rights of the athletes whom it is supposed to support and represent.
Titan thinks it is outrageous that Orthodox rabbis who should provide moral and spiritual leadership appear to be totally insensitive to other ethnic groups. In particular, we see that African-Americans are becoming the target of rabbinical racist slurs. The most recent is by the newly elected Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel, David Lau, who referred to professional basketball players with the Hebrew equivalent of the N-word. He is now trying to pass it off as a "joke" and one apologist even claims that the rabbi is so provincial and ignorant that he did not know that what he was saying was inappropriate. Maybe, but then think of Talleyrand who once said that stupid is worse than criminal. Rabbi Lau was trying to tell yeshiva students to stop wasting time watching basketball and to get back to their Talmud tomes. He could have said it without invoking the skin color of the players, but chose to make his point in a racist manner. We also had the worse case of Rabbi Schachter of Yeshiva University who said that sexual abuse by religious Jews should not be reported to the police immediately lest the holy soul be put in a cell with a "schwartze" which is the Yiddish equivalent. Nice moral leadership. The late Prof. Yishayahu Leibowitz who was Orthodox by persuasion but normally an enlightened person whom we admired, once referred to soccer players as hooligans with no reference to their ethnicity. The hooligans we see are not honest athletes working in the sports entertainment industry, but religious thugs with ritual fringes on the outside of their belts, who spit at little girls, send women to the back of the bus, break bus windows, beat up priests and monks and burn mosques.
HOME SWEET HOME
IS PEACE AROUND THE CORNER?
John Kerry has got the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators back to the table after a hiatus of three years. We would like to hope that this time, with an imposed nine month deadline, something positive might come about. There are diverse opinions about how the negotiations should be conducted. Alon Ben-Meir suggests that the borders issue be dealt with on its own and then a long term process of trust building be allowed to function. On the other hand, Emily Hauser writing in the DailyBeast points out the positive side of having all the issues on the table. The fact that only Kerry will report to the public and that the negotiators will clam up is a good idea and might keep extremists from their usual sabotage. In this context, Titan would like to share an interesting article by Natasha Gill explaining and giving the historical background to the fundamental NO that the Arabs of Palestine gave to the Zionist project from its very beginning. "The Arabs said No to the idea that they should pay the price for longstanding Christian persecution of the Jews, and they expressed deep resentment at the hypocrisy of the Europeans, who were promoting a home for the Jews in Palestine as they closed their own doors to the victims of Christian/European anti-Semitism." Titan agrees that this point is valid, but today irrelevant. What happened to the Jews in Europe was not persecution. Jews have stood up to that for centuries. It was genocide, followed by the refusal of the Europeans to allow the surviving Jews to return to their homes in Europe. In Poland there were riots against the return of the Jews and the slogan was "Jews, go to Palestine." When people are driven out by ethnic cleansing such as was done in Europe, they will go wherever they can. The Arab fantasy of the Jews returning to Europe has no basis in any reasonable expectation of the future. A deeper analysis of the conflict up to 1999 is given by the late Baruch Kimmerling and Joel Migdal in their book The Palestinian People: A History reviewed in the Guardian by Ian Gilmour The Observer, Sunday 8 June 2003.
RABBI ELON CONVICTED
Rabbi Moti Elon, outside the courthouse in Jerusalem. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi
WALL LADIES EXCLUDED AGAIN
Women of the Wall supporters praying in the Western Wall Plaza. Photo by Michal Fattal
The struggle for prayer rights at the Western Wall in Jerusalem goes on. Despite the court order, the police are failing to provide the women with access to the women's area of the wall which is blocked by hundreds of girls from haredi seminars. It is apparent that the courts will have to be called upon again to make the police do their duty.
OUR VILLAGE IDIOT
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett at the Knesset, July 29, 2013. Photo by Michal Fatta
What If asks What if a huge mountain—Denali, say—had the bottom inch of its base disappear? What would happen from the impact of the mountain falling 1 inch? What about 1 foot? What if the mountain's base were raised to the present height of the summit, and then the whole thing were allowed to drop to the earth? The answer is quite interesting as usual. Randall Munro has the answers.
PALE BLUE DOT
Two weeks ago Titan tried to bring you the picture of the Earth from Saturn orbit. It somehow evaporated from the blog so here it is again.
|The pale blue dot is Earth as Titan sees it|
We dedicate this to our dog Murphy who has some opinions of his own:
and this to our supporting community, in both Hofit and Kiryat Ono, who make sure that we have our emergency buttons:
Finally we acknowledge the hard life of our military people who are now facing economic reality as the public gets fed up with their huge budgets.