Tale of the Ancient Lobster or Free Lili

While watching the BBC news on TV this morning, we held the following conversation.

“I didn’t know that lobsters could live for 140 years.”

“Course they can’t. Where did you hear that?”

“On the BBC right now. The ticker tape thingy at the bottom said that one hundred and forty year old lobster was released from a restaurant in New York.”

“Can’t be true,” says husband. “What they mean is that 140 lobsters who were one year old were released.”

“How could 140 lobsters fit into a tank in a New York restaurant? Must have been some big tank, don’t you think? Besides, why would that make it into the news amidst Gaza conflict, earthquake in Costa Rica and quarrels over halted Gas supplies from Russia through the Ukraine?”

Further discussions along the lines of what I thought I had read and husband being adamant that I had got it wrong.

“OK then, let’s wait until the ticker tape comes around again and we’ll read it together this time.”

But you know how things are in life. Just as it was the turn of the lobster story again, some commercial break interrupted the news. So my husband got out of bed and looked up the BBC news site on the internet.

“Well?”

“Yep,” the husband confirmed. “Apparently, a restaurant in New York had this 140 year old lobster in its tank for two weeks and some animal rights activists petitioned to liberate it.”

“Good for them,” I beamed.

I never did like any animals to be in cages. I even hate the idea of circuses and zoos and don’t get me started on pet canaries in cages and dogs and cats in the confines of apartment buildings.

“So how did they know it was 140 years old?”

“They can tell by its weight.”

Husband tried to get back to reading his newspaper. Not for long though…

” Hmmm. Must be a guesstimation. Cause it can’t be like telling how old a tree is on account of the number of rings. Couldn’t this particular lobster be obese rather than old? I wonder why human beings shrink as they get very old then? And another thing, why do ticker tape announcements disappear just when you want to read them again?”

The Jolly Hamas Martyr

This is a story which appeared in the New York Times on January 8 2009
It speaks for itself

GAZA CITY — The emergency room in Shifa Hospital is often a place of gore and despair. On Thursday, it was also a lesson in the way ordinary people are squeezed between suicidal fighters and a military behemoth.

Dr. Awni al-Jaru, 37, a surgeon at the hospital, rushed in from his home here, dressed in his scrubs. But he came not to work. His head was bleeding, and his daughter’s jaw was broken.

He said Hamas militants next to his apartment building had fired mortar and rocket rounds. Israel fired back with force, and his apartment was hit. His wife, Albina, originally from Ukraine, and his 1-year-old son were killed.

“My son has been turned into pieces,” he cried. “My wife was cut in half. I had to leave her body at home.” Because Albina was a foreigner, she could have left Gaza with her children. But, Dr. Jaru lamented, she would not leave him behind.

A car arrived with more patients. One was a 21-year-old man with shrapnel in his left leg who demanded quick treatment. He turned out to be a militant with Islamic Jihad. He was smiling a big smile.

“Hurry, I must get back so I can keep fighting,” he told the doctors.

He was told that there were more serious cases than his, that he needed to wait. But he insisted. “We are fighting the Israelis,” he said. “When we fire we run, but they hit back so fast. We run into the houses to get away.” He continued smiling.

“Why are you so happy?” this reporter asked. “Look around you.”

A girl who looked about 18 screamed as a surgeon removed shrapnel from her leg. An elderly man was soaked in blood. A baby a few weeks old and slightly wounded looked around helplessly. A man lay with parts of his brain coming out. His family wailed at his side.

“Don’t you see that these people are hurting?” the militant was asked.

“But I am from the people, too,” he said, his smile incandescent. “They lost their loved ones as martyrs. They should be happy. I want to be a martyr, too.”
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The Occupation of Gaza

Gaza is occupied by a force that has no respect for human life. This force is based on a fanatical ideology that it can sacrifice its own women and children for the cause. It will also callously sacrifice its own elderly parents as well as any hope of a normal life. Its sole aim is to destroy its neighbours who want to live in peace. And it will commit the most criminal acts to remain in control. So who is this occupier of Gaza? Continue reading

Best place to find a Hamas rocket launcher

If you want to find a Hamas “warrior” look for him in a school, hiding behind a group of children. He will have set up his Katyusha rocket launcher among the poor children whom he has decided to sacrifice in the name of Allah. Hamas is waging a media war and the media is its gullible accomplice.

To give in now to the monstrous tactics of Hamas would be an unwise move. I have always said that Muslim fanatics do not value their own children’s lives and here once again we have an example of how low these criminals will go. They fire mortars from a U.N school in the hope that Israel will retaliate. Israel has but it is Hamas who has blood on its hands.

I wonder how long it will take before the Palestinians get wise and stop donating their children as ammunition for this terrorist organisation. How long will it take before they say “I love my children more than I hate Israel.”?

Goodbye to “The Age” newspaper in Melbourne

Yesterday, we cancelled our subscription to “The Age” newspaper. We have written to Don Churchill (CEO and publisher of that newspaper) to explain why we can no longer tolerate the philosophy which guides “The Age”. He should be receiving our letter sometime this week. From next week we will be getting delivery of “The Australian.”

As background information, we relocated to Melbourne at the end of July last year. Avid readers that we are, we believed we should be learning about local Victorian issues and becoming familiar with the situation here. Our friends advised us against getting “The Age” if we wanted a balanced reporting about Israel. Despite their advice we went ahead and subscribed to the publication.

We are not sorry that we did this because now we know how biased this newspaper’s reporting is. Whenever something about Israel came up in the news, “The Age” was eager to blame Israel while defending the Palestinian or Muslim or Arab point of view.

Even when they published letters from the Jewish community which objected to this unbalanced reporting, there would be one letter that was pro-Israel, and three letters that were condemning Israel. Glaring factual errors were not corrected, or most likely, not allowed to be corrected

This was unfair and made us question “The Age’s” motivation.

The cartoons from Leunig and others were so prejudiced that had this approach been taken towards the Arabs, there would have been riots in the streets. As indeed there were over the Danish cartoon hysteria.

I stopped paying attention to what “The Age” was writing but my husband believes that it is good to know what the “enemy” thinks and does. His use of that terminology is revealing, isn’t it?

As for getting news about Melbourne, we learned a lot about some “reformed” druggie called Ben Cousins and other pathetic examples for our youth to emulate. As far as we could see, the local news was not informative. We could learn immediate news items from the internet and TV.

Let’s face it, newspapers are not current. By the time they are published, the news has been broadcast on other media. So the biggest attraction of newspapers is their longer articles, the columns from contributors, and even the Letters to the Editor which should be a selection of opinions from both sides, for and against and not just from one side. I would not want “The Age” to be totally biased against the Arab view either. There is no benefit in that because it just becomes propaganda.

The tipping point, to use the latest jargon, was “The Age’s” reporting on the constant shelling of Israeli towns by Hamas militants and the subsequent retaliation by Israel which is still going on as I write.

I don’t intend to go into the details of what is happening in the Middle East right now, but in my opinion, if you keep shelling me I will not keep taking it forever. Everyone has a right to self-defence. Israel should not be expected to sit back and do nothing about missiles being directed towards its civilian population. I am always amazed by Israel’s patience in the midst of such provocation.

None of this patience is ever mentioned in “The Age”. The fact that Israel wants to live in peace alongside its Arab neighbours is conveniently played down by this paper.

And if that is the way that “The Age” reports on affairs in the Middle East, then how can I believe what it writes about the rest of the world?

Roman de Gare- French sophistication at its best

If we didn’t use up the two free tickets to the Palace Cinema by next week, they would have been out of date. So that’s how come we went to see “Roman de Gare.” I don’t like movies nowadays for many reasons that I have given in past blogs.

But “Roman de Gare ” is one that I should have seen earlier even if we didn’t have to use up the free tickets. It is very, very, very, good.

I did some post grad research on Alfred Hitchcock’s films a few years ago and this film reminded me of them. Hitchcock was a master of suspense, and Claude Lelouch’s French production comes very close to the master’s high standard.

Just when you think you have worked things out, along comes a twist. Like an itch you have to scratch.

In this film, the audience is led along a tantalising excursion to discover who is the mystery man who turns up at a highway rest stop in France. Is he good? Is he bad? What does he want? Is he dangerous?

He offers a lift to Huguette who has been dumped by her boyfriend, and we wonder if the driver is going to hurt her. Pierre, the mystery man, is played by Dominique Pinon who is excellent in the role. As a leading man, Pinon is the antithesis of pretty boy, Brad Pitt. I’m always impressed by the French who often choose plain men for leading roles. It’s something that the Americans just can’t bring themselves to do except in silly monster movies.

Think of Gerard Depardieu who has been a leading man in countless films. He is overweight and quite unattractive, but somehow the French can make him a star, even a sex symbol, and isn’t that terrific!

Is Pierre the serial rapist who has just escaped from prison? Is he a missing person, a writer? Lelouch leads us along a path and then teases us back to another path. But he does this with such affability that we enjoy being teased. We go along with Pierre for the ride and the trip is well worth it.

I am purposely not telling you all what it’s about because that would spoil it. Take my advice and go see “Roman de Gare” before it disappears because it’s satisfying on many levels. It’s a thriller, a romance, a philosophical discussion about hypocrisy and ambition, and more importantly, it’s very entertaining.

Give us your babies! A call from Hamas

In their attempt to avoid genuine civilian injuries, the Israeli Defence Forces have been warning Gazans to leave Hamas strongholds which are about to be shelled. Of course, Hamas does the opposite in Israel where it intentionally targets civilians without warning.

As an example of Hamas immorality, take the incident which was recounted today in “The Weekend Australian” newspaper. Israel sent the usual warning message to a family home in Gaza which was being used to manufacture rockets so that any women and children would be removed from it for safety. So what did Hamas do? It brought in women and babies to protect its cache. Israel found out and did not attack the site.

So what can we learn from this incident? First, that Hamas relies on the fact that Israel will not knowingly attack civilians. Second, that should these civilians who were brought in intentionally by Hamas, be injured or killed, Hamas can get tons of publicity for its cause. This is the kind of obscenity that Israel has to face. Monsters who use women and babies as human shields, or worse still, as fodder.

Just thinking about these Hamas militants makes me nauseous. They are the same as the religious fanatics who attacked the Twin Towers in 2001. I can never forget the horrifying image of the planes destroying the Towers on September the 11th.

These extremists swear they want to destroy our world and we should believe them for there is no depth to which these creatures will not sink.