This week Pollyanna gets to choose a charity. Her choice is Reporters Without Borders, who fight to protect freedom of expression and freedom of the press everywhere. You are invited to donate via their Web site and while you are there, get an idea of the scope of their work and activity. They have opened a tribute page for their colleague James Foley who was so brutally murdered last week by the jihadis in Iraq.
IN MEMORIAM Yehezkel Braun 1922-2014
The famous Israeli composer died on Wednesday at age 92. He composed in a great variety of genres and was widely performed. He wrote symphonies, chamber music, choral compositions and solo pieces. A Hebrew obituary is in Haaretz. He was much loved and admired by the music community and by the public. A special concert was held for his 85th birthday. Then Haaretz wrote "Yehezkel Braun, who as he himself says, "always refused to compose contemporary music," considers himself better suited to have been born in the 18th century. His melodies and harmonies, the superlative vocality that dominates his compositions, the colors of the sound and the formal program - all of this draws inspiration from the classical styles. It forever relies on tradition and heritage, looking back at the past. Even when he tried to adopt avant-garde composition techniques, he once said about himself, the result was classical. After that, he stopped trying. " May he rest in peace and we shall continue to love and enjoy his music.
NO TO RACIST NAME
Pollyanna salutes the editorial board of the Washington Post who have decided to cease the use of the name Redskins to mark the NFL team of the city. We note however that this has not yet percolated to the sports pages of the journal. Let this piece of racism be relegated to the dustbin of history.
TELL THE COPS VIA THE ATM
In India where rape and sexual abuse of women are rampant, many incidents go unreported because of shame and the cavalier way the police, mostly men, treat the victims. A new system, a la ATM, is being introduced for the submission of such complaints. Pollyanna applauds.
|Manju Mitra uses the ICLIK machine to file a police complaint in New Delhi. (photo: Amrit Dhillon/The Star)|
|More than 500 protesters have tied a chain of bras across the entrance of a town hall in the Spanish city of Valladolid.|
CEASE FIRE AT LAST
The Gaza war seems to be on hold and since no one can be called a victor, it is obvious that both sides lost, whatever spin the respective sets of leaders choose to put on it. The degree of wanton cruelty shown by both sides will leave scars for a long time to come. Gideon Levy comments on the reaction to the killing of an Israeli child. "Suddenly the death of a little boy has meaning, suddenly it is shocking. It is human, understandable and moving. It is also human that the killing of an Israeli boy, a child of ours, would arouse greater identification than the death of some other child. What is incomprehensible is the Israeli response to the killing of their children." When three Israeli yeshiva boys were killed by vile Hamas terrorists, we were all up in arms. When an Arab teenager was burnt alive by vile Jewish terrorists, most of us shrugged shoulders and the police arrested and beat up members of the victim's family.
One result of the situation is the conclusion that liberal Zionism is dead and buried. As Antony Lerman writes in the NYTimes:"The only Zionism of any consequence today is xenophobic and exclusionary, a Jewish ethno-nationalism inspired by religious messianism. It is carrying out an open-ended project of national self-realization to be achieved through colonization and purification of the tribe." We indeed realize that the reign of the Rabbi Kings is just around the corner, but in good conscience we cannot give up the fight. Of course, it has been said that liberal Zionism is a romantic oxymoron. As Asher Schechter puts it, "... all along, “liberal Zionism” was nothing more than a silly romantic notion. But the Middle East has never been a good place for romantics. The last one who tried to get romantic around here ended up getting crucified." Yet we silly romantic liberals will support Meretz, go to futile demonstrations, write letters to the editor that are not published and watch the best and the brightest of the younger generation vote with their feet. We note that no right-wing journalist needs bodyguards as does Gideon Levy, no left wing group has ever disrupted a right wing demonstration, no Reform Jews have ever desecrated an Orthodox synagogue--the evil violence and hatred are the property of the right and the Orthodox. It should give food for thought.
RANTS AND RAVES
TORTURE IN MEXICO
In the early hours of 7 August 2012 Claudia Medina woke to the frightening sound of marines breaking into her home in Veracruz City, Mexico. With her hands bound and a blindfold covering her eyes, the mother of three, who makes a living as a natural medicine salesperson, was taken to a local naval base.
Over the next few days, Claudia suffered terrible torture at the hands of government forces, including electric shocks and sexual abuse, being wrapped in plastic, beaten and kicked. Her torturers even forced chili sauce up her nose with a syringe. Join the global movement to get justice for Claudia. Claudia reported her torture, prompting a federal judge to request an investigation. But almost two years later the investigation is yet to happen.
WORSE THAN ANTI-VAXXERS
Vitamin K deficiency is rare in adults, but it doesn’t cross the placental barrier except in limited amounts, so newborn babies are generally low in it. That is why it’s been a routine injection for infants for more than 50 years—while vitamin K deficiency is not as big a risk as other problems, the shot is essentially 100 percent effective, and is quite safe.
Pollyanna is the opposite of glad, she is distressed. It couples in with the antivax, "natural mothering" and all the other crap that people who should know better are promulgating.
KIDS AND GUNS
Pollyanna is outraged over the report that a 9-year old girl who was being trained to use an Uzi submachine gun killed her instructor by accident. She agrees that there is nothing wrong with teaching kids about firearms, but they should be older and the weapons single-shot to avoid a burst of automatic fire from a child who cannot control the recoil. Nuts and irresponsible all around.
ISIS aka ISIL is continuing to rampage while the world dithers. Obama frankly admits to having no strategy to deal with them and the slaughter goes on. The fate of women in their hands is another frightful atrocity. Sale as cheap wives or rape and murder are the order of the day. Yes, Mr. President, the main task should devolve to the local powers, but you and Europe must put on much more pressure. It is only a question of time before this terror spreads to Europe and the United States.
A WORD FROM SCIENCE
What If? asks: Could a person walk the entire city of NY in their lifetime?
(including inside apartments)
Asaf Shamir: It works out quite nicely, thank you.
Randall also offers an astronomy lesson for those who have problems with the
google app on their handhelds:
WUMO shows what herbal diets can cause. We hope they will forgive us this copyright violation:
Welcome to Hollywood, yes they are all the same more or less:
Finally it came to be: